A Topographical Dictionary of England. Originally published by S Lewis, London, 1848.
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Stradbrook, or Stradbroke (All Saints)
STRADBROOK, or Stradbroke (All Saints), a parish, in the union and hundred of Hoxne, E. division of Suffolk, 5¾ miles (E.) from Eye; containing 1637 inhabitants. The parish is situated on the road from Woodbridge to Norwich. A corn-market takes place every Tuesday; and petty-sessions are held monthly. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £9.18. 6½.; patron, the Bishop of Ely; total net income, £712: the vicar holds the great tithes from the bishop at the rent of £8 per annum, under a grant made in 1661 as an augmentation. There is a handsome glebe-house, erected by the late Rev. W. White, with a glebe of six acres. The church is a fine structure, chiefly in the decorated English style, with a lofty embattled tower; the chancel has been lately beautified at a great expense. Here is a place of worship for Baptists. William Grenling, in 1599, bequeathed some land to be applied, among other purposes, in support of a school; and Mary Warner, in 1746, left an annuity of £15 for teaching children. Michael Wentworth, in 1587, gave the town-house for the use of the poor; and there is a sum of £70 per annum, derived from 60 acres of land, for the repairs of the church, and for general purposes. The union workhouse is situated here. Robert Grostete, Bishop of Lincoln, who died in 1253, was a native of the parish. The Earl of Stradbroke takes his title from it.
Stradishall (St. Margaret)
STRADISHALL (St. Margaret), a parish, in the union and hundred of Risbridge, W. division of Suffolk, 5 miles (N. by W.) from Clare; containing 379 inhabitants. It comprises 1376 acres, of which 27 are common or waste. Stradishall Place, the seat of the lord of the manor, is a handsome residence, situated in a small park. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £9. 11. 0½., and in the gift of Sir Robert Harland, Bart.: the tithes have been commuted for £350; there is a glebe-house, and the glebe contains 52¼ acres. Dr. Valpy, master of Reading school, was many years rector of the parish.
Stradsett (St. Mary)
STRADSETT (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Downham, hundred of Clackclose, W. division of Norfolk, 4 miles (E. N. E.) from Downham; containing 194 inhabitants. The parish lies on the road from Bury St. Edmund's to Lynn, and comprises 1325 acres, of which about 555 are arable, 673 pasture and meadow, and 89 woodland and water. The Hall, an ancient mansion, in an extensive and well-wooded park with a lake of 24 acres, is the residence of W. Bagge, Esq. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £3. 6. 8., and in the gift of Mr. Bagge, who is also impropriator: the great tithes have been commuted for £220, and the vicarial for £110; there is a glebehouse, and the glebe contains nearly 4 acres. The church, beautifully situated in the park, is chiefly in the decorated and later English styles, with a square embattled tower surmounted by a lantern and spire.
Stragglesthorpe (St. Michael)
STRAGGLESTHORPE (St. Michael), a parish, in the union of Newark, wapentake of Loveden, parts of Kesteven, county of Lincoln, 8 miles (E. by S.) from Newark; containing 85 inhabitants. The living is annexed to the rectory of Beckingham.
STRAGGLETHORPE, a hamlet, in the parish of Cotgrave, union, and S. division of the wapentake, of Bingham, S. division of the county of Nottingham; containing 47 inhabitants.
STRAMSHALL, a township, in the parish and union of Uttoxeter, S. division of the hundred of Totmonslow, N. division of the county of Stafford, 1¾ mile (N. N. W.) from Uttoxeter. St. Modwenna, on her arrival from Ireland, early in the ninth century, founded a nunnery here, and presided as abbess in it.
Stranton (All Saints)
STRANTON (All Saints), a parish, in the union of Stockton, N. division of Stockton ward, S. division of the county of Durham; containing, with the townships of Brierton and Seaton-Carew, 2106 inhabitants, of whom 1491 are in Stranton township, 2½ miles (S. W. by W.) from Hartlepool, on the road to Stockton. Since the formation of the harbour at Hartlepool, this place has become the scene of busy employment in ironfoundries, ship-building yards, and other works connected with maritime trade. A harbour and docks were opened at Stranton in the summer of 1847. Limestone abounds, and used formerly to be quarried to a great extent, and the lime shipped coastwise. The Stockton and Hartlepool railway approaches close to the sea-coast at New Stranton, and is carried along the verge of the sea by an embankment of puddled clay. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £17. 16. 0½., and in the patronage of Sir M. W. Ridley, Bart., with a net income of £303; impropriators, John Stephenson, Esq., and others. The great tithes of Stranton township have been commuted for £103, and the small for £220. The church, which is situated on an eminence in the centre of the village, exhibits specimens of various styles; the tower serves as an excellent landmark to mariners. At Seaton-Carew is a second incumbency. The Wesleyans have a place of worship. There is an excellent school at Stranton, founded by the Rev. Christopher Fulthorpe, with an endowment of £30 per annum, for which fifteen children receive instruction; and in the hamlet of Middleton, in the parish, is a commodious national school, built in 1840. An immense quantity of human bones was discovered in draining a morass adjoining the Slake, supposed to have been those of the Scots who fell at the siege of Hartlepool in 1644: on a farm called Tunstal, about two miles south-west of the spot, are vestiges of an encampment.
Stratfield-Mortimer (St. Mary)
STRATFIELD-MORTIMER (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Bradfield, partly in the hundred of Holdshott, Basingstoke and N. divisions of the county of Southampton, but chiefly in the hundred of Theale, county of Berks, 8 miles (S. W. by S.) from Reading; containing, with the tythings of Wokefield and Mortimer West-End, 1169 inhabitants, of whom 723 are in the tything of Stratfield-Mortimer. The parish comprises 5975a. 1r. 16p., of which about 800 acres consist of fir-plantations and commons. A fair for cattle is held on the 7th of November. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £8. 19. 4½.; net income, £176; patrons and impropriators, the Provost and Fellows of Eton College. The great tithes have been commuted for £941, and the vicarial for £244; the impropriate glebe comprises 83 acres, and the vicarial 32. The Independents have a place of worship. Here are some remains of a Roman amphitheatre, attached to the station of Silchester.
Stratfield-Saye, or Strathfieldsaye (St. Mary)
STRATFIELD-SAYE, or Strathfieldsaye (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Basingstoke, partly in the hundred of Reading, county of Berks, but chiefly in the hundred of Holdshott, Basingstoke and N. divisions of the county of Southampton, 7¾ miles (N. E. by N.) from Basingstoke; containing, with Beechhill tything, 839 inhabitants, of whom 578 are in the tything of Stratfield-Saye. In this parish is the noble mansion of the Duke of Wellington, the grounds of which are about a mile in average breadth, and about 1½ mile in average length. The river Loddon winds through the park, dividing it into two unequal parts, in the smaller of which stands the mansion; the church is situated at the south-west corner of the domain. This estate was formerly the property of Lord Rivers, from whom it was purchased by government, and presented to his grace as a token of gratitude for his great military achievements. Her Majesty and Prince Albert visited the duke here in January 1845. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £24.13., and in the gift of the Duke of Wellington: the tithes have been commuted for £962; there is a glebe-house, and the glebe contains 12½ acres. Lora Pitt and others, in 1739, erected a school, and endowed it with £400, now producing an income of about £18.18. A Benedictine priory in honour of St. Leonard was founded here in 1170, by Nicholas de Stoteville, as a cell to the abbey of Vallemont, in Normandy, and at the suppression was granted to Eton College.
Stratfield-Turgis (All Saints)
STRATFIELD-TURGIS (All Saints), a parish, in the union of Basingstoke, hundred of Holdshott, Basingstoke and N. divisions of the county of Southampton, 5 miles (N. W. by W.) from Hartford-Bridge; containing 243 inhabitants. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £6. 10. 1½., and in the gift of the Duke of Wellington: the tithes have been commuted for £300; the glebe contains 17¾ acres.
Stratford (St. Andrew)
STRATFORD (St. Andrew), a parish, in the union and hundred of Plomesgate, E. division of Suffolk, 3 miles (S. W.) from Saxmundham; containing 201 inhabitants. The living is a discharged rectory, valued in the king's books at £5, and in the patronage of the Duchy of Lancaster; net income, £137. Ranulph de Glanville, justiciary of England in the reign of Henry II., was born here.
Stratford (St. Mary)
STRATFORD (St. Mary), a parish, in the incorporation and hundred of Samford, E. division of Suffolk, 7 miles (N. E. by N.) from Colchester; containing 647 inhabitants. It comprises 1454a. 2r. 37p.: the river Stour is navigable on the west, and also on the south, where it is crossed by a bridge. The living is a discharged rectory, valued in the king's books at £13, and in the patronage of the Duchy of Lancaster: the tithes have been commuted for £320; there is a glebe-house, and the glebe contains 18¾ acres. Stratford Hall was the seat, by purchase, of Major-Gen. Skippon. Dr. William Nicholson, Bishop of Gloucester, who died in 1672, was a native of the parish.
Stratford St. Anthony or Tony (St. Mary)
STRATFORD ST. ANTHONY or TONY (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Alderbury, hundred of Cawden and Cadworth, Salisbury and Amesbury, and S. divisions of Wilts, 4 miles (S. W. by W.) from Salisbury; containing 156 inhabitants. This parish, which took its affix from the family of Tony, who formerly possessed it, is situated about a mile west of the road from Salisbury to Blandford, Dorchester, and Weymouth; and comprises 1579a. 1r. 9p. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £12, and in the gift of Corpus Christi College, Oxford: the tithes have been partly commuted for 47a. 3r. 18p. of land, and partly for a rent-charge of £242. John Bampton, founder of the celebrated Bampton Lectures in the university of Oxford, and canon residentiary of Sarum, was rector of the parish.
STRATFORD, FENNY, a market-town and chapelry, in the union of Newport-Pagnell, partly in the parish of Bletchley, and partly in that of Simpson, in the three hundreds of Newport, county of Buckingham, 13½ miles (E.) from Buckingham, and 45 (N. W.) from London; containing 1033 inhabitants. The distinguishing prefix is derived from the fenny nature of the surrounding land; the town itself, comprising two streets, stands on an eminence. In 1665, it was much depopulated by the plague; the inns were shut up, and the road turned in another direction. The Grand Junction canal crosses the high road at the bottom of the town; and about three-quarters of a mile distant, is a station of the London and Birmingham railway: the Bedford branch quits the main line near this place. Lace-making employs a considerable number of the females. The market, which has not flourished since the time of the plague, is on Monday; and fairs for cattle are held on April 19th, July 18th, October 10th, and November 28th. The living is a perpetual curacy; patron, John Willis, Esq. The chapel, dedicated to St. Martin, and situated in Bletchley, having been dilapidated since the reign of Elizabeth, was at length rebuilt by subscription, through the exertions of Browne Willis the antiquary, who resided here, and by whom the first stone was laid on St. Martin's day, 1724: his remains are interred within the rails of the communion-table. There are places of worship for Baptists and Wesleyans.
STRATFORD-LANGTHORNE, a ward, in the parish and union of West Ham, hundred of Becontree, S. division of Essex, 4 miles (N. E. by E.) from London. About 1135, a Cistercian abbey was founded here in honour of the Virgin Mary and All Saints by William of Montfitchet, but from its low situation in the marshes, being damaged by the floods, the society removed to a cell at Burghstead, near Billericay; on its repair, however, they returned, and continued till the Dissolution, when the revenue was valued at £573. In 1307 the abbot was summoned to parliament. Margaret, the unfortunate Countess of Salisbury, beheaded on a charge of high treason, resided within the precincts of the abbey about the period of its suppression. The principal remains are a brick gateway and an ornamented arch, about three furlongs south-west of the parish church. The village is situated on the road to Harwich, and on the bank of the navigable river Lea, over which is a bridge connecting it with the village of Bow; it is lighted with gas by the trustees of the road, and supplied with water from the East London works. The printing and dyeing of calico and silk are extensively carried on; and near the river Lea are two chymical establishments, and a porter brewery. The EasternCounties railway, having crossed the river, here divides into two separate lines, one to Cambridge, and the other to Colchester; and a grand depôt has been formed at Stratford, with workshops and other conveniences. A branch of five miles runs hence, along the banks of the Lea and of the Thames, to a point opposite Woolwich, in Kent; it was formed in 1846, and has a branch of half a mile across the Lea to the company's warehouses at the East India docks. A district church in the early English style, with a tower and spire, was erected in 1833, at an expense of £7100; it is dedicated to St. John: the living is a perpetual curacy; patron, the Vicar of West Ham; income, £310. There are places of worship for Independents, Wesleyans, and Roman Catholics. George Edwards, the writer on natural history, who died in 1773, was born here.
Stratford-Le-Bow, Middlesex.—See Bow.
STRATFORD-LE-BOW, Middlesex.—See Bow.
STRATFORD, OLD, a hamlet, in the parishes of Cosgrove, Furtho, Passenham, and Potters-Pury, union of Potters-Pury, hundred of Cleley, S. division of the county of Northampton, ¼ of a mile (N. W.) from Stony-Stratford. At Chapel Close formerly stood a hermitage, and free chapel.
Stratford, Old (Holy Trinity)
STRATFORD, OLD (Holy Trinity), a parish, in the union of Stratford-upon-Avon, Stratford division of the hundred of Barlichway, S. division of the county of Warwick; comprising the town of Stratford, and the hamlet of Luddington with Dodwell; and containing 6022 inhabitants, of whom 3321 are in the township of Old Stratford. The parish comprehends by admeasurement 7359 acres, of which 6276 are in the township. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £20, and in the patronage of the Countess Amherst; net income, £239; impropriators, the Corporation of Stratford-upon-Avon. The tithes were commuted for land and a money payment in 1786.
STRATFORD, STONY, a market-town, comprising the united parishes of St. Giles and St. Mary Magdalene, commonly called West Side and East Side, in the union of Potters-Pury, three hundreds of Newport, county of Buckingham, 8 miles (N. E.) from Buckingham, and 51 (N. W.) from London; the whole containing 1757 inhabitants, of whom 1227 are in the West Side. At or near this spot appears to have been the boundary of King Alfred's kingdom, running from Bedford along the river Ouse, and ending at the Watling-street. Camden is of opinion that the Lactodorum of the Itinerary was at Stony-Stratford, because its derivation, in the ancient British language, agrees with the present name, both signifying a "river forded by means of stones." But Dr. Stukeley supposes it was at Old Stratford, on the Northamptonshire side of the river Ouse; and Dr. Salmon, at Calverton, an eminence close by, near the ford to Passenham, an adjoining parish, where the army of Edward the Elder was stationed whilst he fortified Towcester. Stratford is intersected by the Roman Watling-street, in a direct line through the county from Dunstable. One of the crosses of Eleanor, queen of Edward I., was erected here, the body resting at the place in its way from Lincolnshire to Westminster; but the memorial was demolished in the great civil war. At an inn in the town, called the Rose and Crown, Richard III., when Duke of Gloucester, accompanied by the Duke of Buckingham, seized the unfortunate young prince, Edward V., and in his presence arrested Lord Richard Grey, Sir Thomas Vaughan, and Sir Richard Hawt. In 1736 an accidental fire destroyed 53 houses; and in 1742, a similar catastrophe consumed 113, with the church of St. Mary Magdalene, except the tower, which is yet standing: the damage was estimated at £10,000, and £7000 were raised for the sufferers by a brief and subscriptions.
The town is situated on the parliamentary road to Birmingham and Holyhead, and consists of one long street which is macadamised, with a good market-square and two back streets; the houses are principally of brick. It comprised originally only a few inns, and was a noted place of rendezvous for pack-horses, prior to the introduction of wagons, for the conveyance of goods to London. Over the Ouse was a bridge supposed to have been built by the Romans, and consisting of five arches; having been partially destroyed during the civil war of the 17th century, and become very dilapidated, an act was obtained in 1834, enabling the justices of the counties of Buckingham and Northampton to rebuild it on an enlarged plan. The manufacture of bone-lace was formerly carried on to a considerable extent, but has greatly declined in value. The Grand Junction canal passes about a mile north-east of the town, where it is carried over the Ouse, across Wolverton valley, by a large embankment and an aqueduct of cast iron; and at Cosgrove, about half a mile from the aqueduct, commences a branch canal to Buckingham, constructed under the authority of an act procured in 1794. The London and Birmingham railway has its central station at Wolverton, within two miles, where every train, both up and down, stops for refreshment, and to which omnibuses run from Stratford hourly: on this part of its course is the largest viaduct throughout the entire line. Henry III., in 1257, granted a fair to Hugh de Vere, Earl of Oxford, to be held on the eve, day, and morrow of St. Giles; and Edward I., in 1290, bestowed another fair, to take place on the eve and festival of St. Mary Magdalene. Charles II., in 1663, granted to Simon Bennett, Esq., fairs to be held on the west side of the town, on the Friday next before the feast of St. Michael the Archangel, on the feast of All Saints, April 9th, and the Wednesday next before Whitsuntide; he also gave permission for a market to be held on Friday, with a court of pie-poudre. The magistrates for the counties of Buckingham and Northampton preside at a petty-session in the town on alternate Fridays.
The livings of the two parishes, having been united, form a perpetual curacy; net income, £130; patron, the Bishop of Lincoln. The church dedicated to St. Giles was originally erected as a chantry in 1451, and endowed in 1482, and, with the exception of the tower, was rebuilt in 1776; it was once considered a chapel to the mother church of Calverton, the manor of which comprises the west side of the town. The church of St. Mary Magdalene on the east side belonged to Wolverton: its remaining tower has a pack-saddle roof. There are places of worship for Baptists, Independents, and Wesleyans. On the site of the old Rose and Crown inn, a school was founded and endowed by Michael Hipwell in 1610, with which a national school was incorporated in 1819. The town has several charities. John Whalley, in 1670, left an estate at Hartwell, in Northamptonshire, the interest to be applied in apprenticing children; and Edmund Arnold, in 1691, devised the manor of Furtho and all his lands there, in trust, among other things, to pay £20 per annum in apprenticing children whose parents are of the Established Church, and afterwards setting them up in business: the improvement of the lands in value has increased this charity. The same benefactor left £20 a year to the minister of Stony-Stratford. Serjeant Piggott in 1519, John White in 1674, and John Mashe, gave estates for keeping in repair the bridge and highways of the town; part of the fund arising from these bequests is now appropriated to paving, lighting, and repairing the High street. There is also a fund for the poor from bequests by Sir Simon Bennett and others; and a close of land on the west side of the town, called the Town Close, has been immemorially considered charity land, the rents being applied to the benefit of distressed persons: the donor is unknown.
Stratford-Under-The-Castle (St. Lawrence)
STRATFORD-UNDER-THE-CASTLE (St. Lawrence), a parish, in the union of Alderbury, hundred of Underditch, Salisbury and Amesbury, and S. divisions of Wilts, l¾ mile (N. W. by W.) from Salisbury; containing, with Old Sarum, which is extra-parochial, and the hamlet of Avon, 352 inhabitants. The parish comprises 1476 acres, of which 73 are common or waste land. The living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £80 per annum; patrons and appropriators, the Dean and Chapter of Salisbury.
STRATFORD-UPONAVON, an incorporated market-town, and the head of a union, in the parish of Old Stratford, having separate jurisdiction, though locally in the Stratford division of the hundred of Barlichway, S. division of the county of Warwick, 8 miles (S. W.) from Warwick, and 94 (N. W.) from London; containing 3321 inhabitants. This place, originally called Streat-ford and Stretford, derived its name from its situation on the great north road, and from a Saxon ford on the river Avon, at the entrance to the town. It was of considerable importance prior to the Conquest, and was distinguished for its monastery, founded in the reign of Ethelred, on or near the site of the present church. In 1197, Richard I. granted the inhabitants a weekly market; and during the succeeding reigns, various other privileges were conferred upon the town. In the 36th and 37th of Elizabeth, it suffered materially from accidental fires, which destroyed the greater part of it; and in 1614 it experienced a similar calamity. In 1588, both ends of the bridge over the Avon were carried away by a flood that inundated the lower part of the town. During the civil war, a party of royalists stationed here was driven out by a superior force of parliamentarians, under the command of Lord Brooke, in 1642; but the inhabitants still maintained their adherence to the king, and in the following year, Henrietta Maria, Charles's queen, at the head of 3000 infantry, 1500 cavalry, and with a train of artillery and 150 waggons, advanced to the town, at which she was met by Prince Rupert. After remaining for three days at New Place, then the residence of Shakspeare's daughter, where she was hospitably entertained by the family, the queen proceeded to Kineton, to meet the king, whom she accompanied to Oxford. The parliamentarians, subsequently obtaining possession of the town, demolished one of the arches of the bridge, over the deepest part of the river, to prevent the approach of the royalists.
The town is beautifully situated on the south-west border of the county, upon an eminence rising gently from the west bank of the Avon, and occupies a considerable space. The entrance from the London road is by a handsome stone bridge of fourteen pointed arches, built by Sir Hugh Clopton in the reign of Henry VII., aud widened by act of parliament in 1814; and nearly parallel with this, is another of nine elliptic arches, built of brick, and exclusively used as a tramroad to the wharfs at the extremity of the town. There are several spacious streets, intersecting each other, some at right angles, and others obliquely. The houses in that part which is called the Old Town, though rather ancient, are in general commodious and well built, occasionally interspersed with modern buildings of handsome appearance; and in some of the streets are smaller houses of framework timber and plaster. Among these last, part of the ancient house in which Shakspeare is said to have been born is still preserved in its antique state. It was sold on the 16th Sept. 1847, for £3000, to a committee that had been appointed for ensuring its possession to the nation; and other premises adjoining, and forming part of the original house, were purchased by the committee about the same time. The house in which Shakspeare lived in retirement for a few years previously to his decease, was originally the mansion of the Clopton family, and was purchased by the bard, who, after repairing and improving it, called it New Place; it was taken down by a late proprietor, who also cut away the mulberry-tree planted by Shakspeare in the gardens. The town is partially paved, and lighted with gas, and the inhabitants are supplied with water from pumps.
A public library and reading-rooms are supported by subscription; the Shakspearian library, maintained in a similar manner, was established in 1810, and is a useful institution. There is a theatre, a neat building of brick, within the precincts of Shakspeare's garden; aud assemblies are held occasionally during the winter, at the town-hall. To the south of the town is a race-course, where races took place so early as 1691, and were in general well attended; but since 1786 they have been discontinued. A jubilee in honour of Shakspeare was instituted by Garrick in 1769, when the town-hall, which had been recently rebuilt, was dedicated to the poet; this festival has been recently revived, to be celebrated every third year.
The environs, abounding with diversified scenery and with objects of considerable interest, afford many beautiful walks; and the salubrity of the air, and the central situation of Stratford in a neighbourhood enlivened with the villas of respectable families, and the elegant mansions of the wealthy, make the town eligible as a place of residence. To the north-east, a mile distant, is the manor of Welcombe, consisting of about 800 acres, the plantations of which are singularly beautiful, the higher portions embracing views of the champaign country adjacent. This place, formerly the property of the Lloyd family, is now that of Charles Thomas Warde, Esq., by whom, on his purchase of the neighbouring estate of Clopton (see Clopton), Welcombe House was pulled down: the gardens and pleasure-grounds, however, including an extensive range of pine-houses, and vineries, are still kept up. About a mile west of the town, near the hamlet of Bishopton, is a mineral spring, which, when analysed in 1744, was found to be of a saline quality, strongly impregnated with sulphur, in its properties resembling the water of Leamington. A pumproom has been erected at the spring; and for the accommodation of invalids, to whom the distance from the town may be inconvenient, a handsome hotel has been built, affording every requisite comfort for visiters of rank. The spa, which is designated the Victoria Spa, is a tasteful erection in the embellished rustic style; the grounds are laid out with great variety, and sheltered from the north, north-east, and north-west by richlywooded hills.
The Stratford canal, passing close to the north of the town, and communicating with the Birmingham, Warwick, and Worcester canals, connects them with the Avon, which is navigable; and near the bridge are some extensive wharfs for lime, timber, coal, and other articles of merchandise. A railway, sixteen miles in length, has been constructed from the town to Moreton-in-theMarsh, in the county of Gloucester, with a branch of three miles to Shipston. In 1846 an act was passed for making a branch of 8¾ miles from the Oxford, Worcester, and Wolverhampton railway, to Stratford; and in the same year, an act was obtained authorizing a line from Birmingham to the Oxford and Rugby line, with a branch of 10¼ miles to Stratford. The market, which was formerly on Thursday, is now, by charter granted in the 59th of George III., held on Friday, and is very considerable for corn and other grain, and for cattle. Fairs, to which courts of pie-poudre are attached, are held on May 14th and the three following days, for cattle, horses, and toys; and September 25th, for cattle and cheese. There are great cattle-markets on the third Monday in February, the Friday after the 25th of March, the last Monday in July, the second Friday after the 25th of September, and on the second Monday in December; also a statute-fair on the morrow of Old Michaelmas. The corn-market is held in the area near the town-hall, and the poultry-market in a neat stuccoed building at the east end of Wood-street, near the site of the ancient cross: the building is surmounted by a cupola and vane, representing a falcon grasping a tilting-spear, Shakspeare's family crest. The cattle-market is held in Rother-street.
The town received a regular charter of incorporation from Edward VI. in 1553, which, reciting and confirming former grants of privileges, was extended by James I. in 1611, and by Charles II. in the 16th and 26th years of his reign. The corporation now consists of a mayor, four aldermen, and twelve councillors, under the act 5th and 6th of William IV., cap. 76; the number of magistrates is three. The powers of the county debtcourt of Stratford, established in 1847, extend over part of the registration-district of Stratford. The guildhall is an old building, occupying the west side of a small quadrangular area, of which the chapel of the ancient guild of the Holy Cross forms the north side, the vicar's and grammar schoolmaster's houses the east, and the entrance to the school the south side; above the hall are rooms appropriated to the use of the school. The town-hall was built in 1768, by the corporation, assisted by the nobility and gentry of the neighbourhood, on the site of a former hall, of which the upper room, having been used during the civil war as a magazine, was destroyed, and the building greatly damaged, by an accidental explosion. The edifice is plain and substantial, of the Tuscan order, on piazzas; the west front bears the arms of the corporation, and in a niche at the north end of the building is a finely-sculptured statue of Shakspeare presented by Garrick. The upper story comprises a handsome banqueting-room, decorated with paintings, including a full-length portrait of Shakspeare sitting in an antique chair, by Benjamin Wilson, and, at the opposite end, one of Garrick reclining against a bust of the poet, by Gainsborough.
The parochial church, which was formerly collegiate, is a spacious and venerable cruciform structure chiefly in the early English style, with a square embattled tower rising from the centre, and surmounted by a lofty octagonal spire. The west entrance is through a deeplyrecessed archway, above which is a large window in the later style, having the lower central compartment filled up with three richly-canopied shrines. The nave is very lofty, and has a fine roof of carved oak. In the south aisle, which is in the decorated style, is a chapel dedicated to St. Thomas a Becket; and in the north aisle, separated by a stone screen, is a sepulchral chapel containing several altar-tombs, with recumbent figures of the Clopton family sculptured in marble. Massive clustered piers and lofty arches support the tower, and separate the chancel from the nave; the chancel has a roof of oak, and is lighted by handsome windows. On a slab at the entrance to the altar, covering the ashes of Shakspeare, is an inscription written by himself; and on the north wall is a monument to his memory, containing his bust, representing him in the act of composing, with a pen in the right hand, and the left arm resting upon a scroll on a cushion. This bust, which is a well-attested likeness, originally bore a strict resemblance to the complexion, and colour of the eyes and hair of the poet; but by the direction of Malone his commentator, painted in imitation of stone, and now forms a lamentable contrast to the complexioned monuments of the Clopton family and others in the church. The edifice has lately undergone a thorough repair, in which a due regard to its primary character has been preserved, at an estimated expense of £3000, raised by subscription, aided by grants from societies. The renovation of the chancel and its monuments, was effected under the superintendence of a committee appointed by the Shakspeare Club at Stratford, at a cost of £1100, contributed in donations not exceeding £1 each.
The chapel at Stratford, dedicated to the Holy Trinity, a handsome edifice in the later English style, belonged to the guild of the Holy Cross, and was rebuilt by Sir Hugh Clopton in the reign of Henry VII. It has a square embattled tower, and a beautiful north porch with a deeply-recessed and highly-enriched arch surmounted by a canopy embellished with scrolls and flowers. The master of the free grammar school is usually appointed minister of the chapel, and has the pew-rents for his stipend. At the Victoria Spa is a chapel of ease, consecrated in 1843. There are places of worship for Baptists, Independents, and Wesleyans. The grammar school was established in 1482, by Thomas Jolyffe, a native of the town, and one of the brethren of the guild of the Holy Cross: at the Dissolution the estate was seized by Henry VIII., but it was afterwards restored to the corporation by charter of Edward VI., who refounded the school. The income is about £345 per annum, and is applied in payment of the head and second masters, and for the general maintenance of the institution. The school is free for boys residing in the borough, and admits non-residents upon payment of small capitation-fees, pursuant to an extended scheme lately approved by the court of chancery. Here Shakspeare received his education, but he was removed at an early age. Some almshouses nearly adjoining the guildhall, and in a similar style, were refounded and endowed under the charter of King Edward, for twelve men and twelve women; and there are numerous bequests for distribution among the poor. An infirmary is supported by subscription, and a savings' bank has been established. The union of Stratford comprises 36 parishes or places, 29 of which are in the county of Warwick, 6 in that of Gloucester, and one in that of Worcester; the whole containing a population of 20,202.
At Welcombe are the remains of a military intrenchment; and in the neighbourhood are several tumuli, in which human bones, spear-heads, and other military weapons have been found: in opening one of these, in 1795, the proprietor discovered a human scull, transfixed with a spear that seemed to be the gilded head of a standard-pike. On the surface of Borden Hill, about a mile to the west, astroites, or star-stones, are obtained in profusion; and to the north-west, large specimens of testaceous fossils are found. Of the ancient monastery, or of the college that succeeded it, not the slightest vestige is discernible.
Stratford is pre-eminently distinguished as the birthplace and residence of the immortal Shakspeare, of whose baptism there is an entry in the parochial register, dated April 26th, 1564, which is supposed to have been three days after his birth. As already stated, a house is still pointed out by tradition, in Henley-street, as that in which the dramatist first saw the light; and it is certain that his father John Shakspeare, bailiff of Stratford in 1568-9, owned two copyhold dwellings in Henleystreet and Greenhill-street, whence it may, perhaps, be reasonably concluded that the tradition is founded upon fact. About 1586, four years after his marriage with Ann Hathaway, Shakspeare quitted Stratford for London, which, however, did not prevent him from often visiting his native place, and displaying his partiality towards it. About 1597, having prosperously exercised his talents, he was able to buy one of the best houses in the town, the before-mentioned New Place; and a short time afterwards, he made additions to his property here, by the purchase of some land and houses, and by obtaining a lease of a moiety of the tithes. In 1612 or 1613, the poet took up his permanent residence with his family at Stratford, where he passed the rest of his days in tranquil retirement. He died here on the 23rd of April, 1616, and was buried in the parochial church, a circumstance which, coupled with that of Stratford being the birthplace of the "myriad-minded" dramatist, has conferred upon the town a dignity superior to that of any other spot in the kingdom.
Among other natives have been, John de Stratford, lord treasurer in the reign of Edward II., and chancellor in that of Edward III., who promoted him to the see of Canterbury; Robert de Stratford, his brother, archdeacon of Canterbury, afterwards chancellor on the translation of John to the primacy, and who was subsequently promoted to the see of Chichester; Ralph de Stratford, Bishop of London; John Huckell, educated in the free school, author of a poem on the Avon, and who assisted Garrick in the composition of the Ode and other poetical addresses, delivered at the celebration of the jubilee, in 1769; and Francis Ainge, a memorable instance of longevity, who died in North America, on the 13th of April, 1767, having attained the extraordinary age of 137 years.
Stratford, Water (St. Giles)
STRATFORD, WATER (St. Giles), a parish, in the union, hundred, and county of Buckingham, 3½ miles (W. by N.) from Buckingham; containing 172 inhabitants. It comprises 1082a. 39p., of which about 69 acres are wood and brakes, and the remainder nearly equally divided between arable and pasture. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £7. 0. 5., and in the gift of the Duke of Buckingham: the tithes have been commuted for £300, and the glebe contains 38 acres. The church is partly Norman.