A Topographical Dictionary of England. Originally published by S Lewis, London, 1848.
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Blackauton (St. Michael)
BLACKAUTON (St. Michael), a parish, in the union of Kingsbridge, hundred of Coleridge, Stanborough and Coleridge, and S. divisions of Devon, 5 miles (W. by N.) from Dartmouth; containing, with the chapelry of Street, 1449 inhabitants, of whom 420 are in the village of Blackauton. It comprises 5217 acres, of which 105 are common or waste; the soil is in general good, the surface hilly. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £15. 8. 9.; net income, £122; patron, Sir H. P. Seale, Bart.; impropriator, A. Welland, Esq.: the glebe consists of 9 acres, with a residence. The church contains a Norman font, and a wooden screen richly carved. An additional church has been built at Street, containing 400 sittings, of which 200 are free, the Incorporated Society having granted £250 towards the expense: the Vicar is patron. There is a place of worship for a congregation of Wesleyans.
Blackborough (All Saints)
BLACKBOROUGH (All Saints), a parish, in the union of Tiverton, hundred of Hayridge, Cullompton and N. divisions of Devon, 4 miles (E. S. E.) from Cullompton; containing 112 inhabitants. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £4, and in the patronage of the Wyndham family: the tithes have been commuted for £80, and the glebe consists of 74 acres. The church having become dilapidated, a new one of elegant design was erected at the expense of the third earl of Egremont, of agate, of which an almost inexhaustible quarry has been discovered in the Black Down hills, a portion of which range is included within the limits of the parish. Whetstones for sharpening scythes; and the Sun Dew (Drosera rotundifolia), a plant confined to particular localities; are found in great abundance.
Blackbrook, or Blakebrook
BLACKBROOK, or Blakebrook, a hamlet, in that part of the parish of Kidderminster which is called the Foreign, union of Kidderminster, Lower division of the hundred of Halfshire, Kidderminster and W. divisions of the county of Worcester, ½ a mile (W.) from Kidderminster. Several new houses have been erected in this agreeable part of the environs of Kidderminster.
Blackburn (St. Mary)
BLACKBURN (St. Mary), a parish, and the head of a union, in the Lower division of the hundred of Blackburn, N. division of the county of Lancaster; comprising the market-town and newly-enfranchised borough of Blackburn, the chapelries of Balderston, Billington-Langho, Over Darwen, Salesbury, Samlesbury, and Tockholes, and the townships of Clayton-leDale, Cuerdale, Lower Darwen, Dinkley, Eccleshill, Great and Little Harwood, Livesey, Mellor, Osbaldeston, Pleasington, Ramsgrave, Rishton, Walton-le-Dale, Wilpshire, and Witton; and containing 71,711 inhabitants, of whom 36,629 are in the town, 31 miles (S. E. by S.) from Lancaster, and 210 (N. N. W.) from London. This place takes its name from a small rivulet near the town, which, from the turbid state of the water, was anciently called Blakeburn, or "the yellow bourne." A castle is said to have been built here, probably by the Romans, which, after their departure from the island, was occupied successively by the Britons and the Saxons; but there are no vestiges of it, nor can even its site be distinctly ascertained. Blackburn was formerly the capital of a district called Blackburnshire, which for many ages was a dreary and uncultivated waste. In the reign of Elizabeth, it was distinguished as a good market-town, and in the middle of the following century was celebrated for its supplies of corn, cattle, and provisions. The town is pleasantly situated at the distance of about half a mile from the river Derwent, in a valley sheltered by a ridge of hills, extending from the north-east to the north-west, and consists of several streets, irregularly formed, but containing some wellbuilt and many respectable houses: it is only indifferently paved, is lighted with gas, and amply supplied with water under an act passed in 1845. There are assembly-rooms, a subscription library, a scientific institution, and a theatre, which was erected in 1818.
The manufacture of Blackburn checks, and subsequently that of Blackburn greys, a mixture of linen and cotton, which formerly flourished here to a considerable extent, have been superseded by the manufacture of calico, muslin, and cotton goods: nearly 50,000 pieces of the last are on an average made weekly, about 10,000 persons being employed; and the value of these goods, exclusively of dyeing and printing, is estimated at more than £2,000,000 sterling per annum. There are large factories for the spinning of cotton; and throughout the entire parish are printing, dyeing, bleaching, and other establishments connected with the manufacture. Some of the earliest and most important improvements in the spinning and manufacture of cotton originated with James Hargreave, a carpenter in this town, who was the inventor and patentee of the spinning-jenny, since so generally adopted. The introduction of machinery excited a powerful sensation among the workmen of the neighbourhood, and created such tumultuous proceedings on the part of the populace, who destroyed several of the factories in which it was used, that the inventor was driven from the town; while many individuals who had invested large capitals in the establishment of cotton-factories, were so intimidated, that they embraced the earliest opportunity of withdrawing their investments, and of removing to places where they might employ them with security. There are at present about 100,000 spindles in operation in the town and neighbourhood, which produce about 35,000lb. of yarn weekly.
The Leeds and Liverpool canal passes the town, and affords communication with the Mersey, the Dee, the Ouse, the Trent, the Humber, the Severn, and the Thames, forming a most extensive line of inland navigation. The Blackburn and Preston railway, running hence to the Farington station of the North-Union line, three miles south of Preston, was opened in June, 1846; and the distance by railway between the two towns has been since diminished, by avoiding the angle at Farington. The Blackburn, Darwen, and Bolton railway, 14½ miles in length, was opened in May 1847. The station here is on a large scale, the length of the building being 252 feet and its mean breadth about 40 feet: the platform is 330 feet long, and the four lines of rails in front of it are covered with an iron roof in one span: the station is lighted by a plate-glass Louvre light, 16 feet wide at the top of the roof, and extending along its whole length. There is a railway to Accrington, Burnley, &c.; also a line to Clitheroe, &c. The market-days are Wednesday and Saturday: the fairs are held on Easter-Monday (which continues during the whole week), May 12th and the two following days, and October 17th; a cattle-fair is also held every second Wednesday throughout the year. An act was passed in 1841, for improving the streets, and for the erection of a town-hall and market-places. A spacious covered market was erected in 1847, in King William-street; it is a rectangular building in the Italian style, 60 feet long and 36 wide, with an iron roof supported by two rows of iron pillars dividing the market into three parallel walks, with distinct entrances at both ends to each. Over the middle entrance of the front elevation rises a lofty campanile tower, containing a public clock; and excellent light and ventilation are afforded by a series of windows at each side, where are also entrances. The fish-market is held in Fleming's-square. One side of this square is occupied by a spacious cloth-hall, built for the exhibition and sale of Yorkshire woollen-cloths, a great quantity of which is brought hither; but it is now seldom used for that purpose, the stalls for the sale of these cloths being erected in the streets. Blackburn is within the jurisdiction of the magistrates acting for the hundred to which it gives name, and which is co-extensive with the ancient Blackburnshire; and two high constables are appointed, one for the upper, and one for the lower, division, for which latter, together with Whalley, a court of petty-session is held here: its local concerns are under the superintendence of commissioners. An act was passed in 1841, vesting in the overseers of the poor the town moor for sale or other disposal. The powers of the county debt-court of Blackburn, established in 1847, extend over the registration-district of Blackburn. By the 2nd of William IV., cap. 45, the place was constituted a borough, with the privilege of sending two members to parliament, to be elected by the £10 householders of the township, including about 4160 acres: the returning officer is appointed annually by the sheriff.
This extensive parish, which is fourteen miles in length, and ten in breadth, was formerly part of Whalley, on being separated from which it was, on account of its sterility, endowed with a fourth part of the tithes of that parish, in addition to its own. The living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £8. 1. 8.; net income, £893; patron and appropriator, the Archbishop of Canterbury. The church, formerly the conventual church of the monastery of Whalley, was rebuilt in the reign of Edward III., and again in that of Henry VIII.; but in 1819 it was taken down, with the exception of the tower and the Dunken chapel, and a new building was completed in 1826, on the site of the old grammar school, at an expense of upwards of £30,000, raised by a rate. The Dunken chapel was used for the performance of parochial duties during the interval, but has been since taken down, so that the tower is the only part of the old church now remaining. The present spacious and elegant edifice is in the later English style, with a lofty square tower, highly enriched, and crowned with a pierced parapet and crocketed pinnacles; the roof of the nave was burned down in January, 1831. The district church of St. Paul remained unconsecrated from the time of its erection until a few years since, when it was united to the Establishment: the living is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of the Vicar of Blackburn, with a net income of £150. The district churches of St. John and St. Peter are both neat modern edifices: the livings are perpetual curacies; net income of St. John's, £150, and of St. Peter's, £153. They are in the patronage of the Vicar, in whom is also vested the presentation of the perpetual curacies of St. Michael and Trinity, both formed in 1839, and of All Saints; net income of St. Michael's, £150, and of All Saints', £100. A chapel dedicated to St. Clement has been erected; and the Vicar likewise presents to the incumbencies of Balderstone, Bamber-Bridge, Billington-Langho, Lower and Over Darwen, Feniscowles, Great Harwood, Mellor, Mellor-Brook, Salesbury, Samlesbury, Tockholes, Walton, and Witton. In the town are places of worship for Baptists, the Society of Friends, Independents, Wesleyans, Primitive Methodists, and Warrenites, also a Scottish kirk and a Roman Catholic chapel; and in the rural parts of the parish are various other meeting-houses for different denominations.
The free grammar school was founded in the reign of Elizabeth, who placed it under the superintendence of fifty governors resident in the town, who are a corporate body, and appoint a master: it is endowed with land in the neighbourhood, producing £120 per annum; and there are 30 boys on the foundation. The Rev. Robert Bolton, an eminent divine, and one of the compilers of the Liturgy, was a native of the town, and received the rudiments of his education in this school. In 1764, Mr. John Leyland bequeathed £250 for the instruction of girls, which sum has been augmented by subsequent benefactions, and at present 90 girls are taught and clothed. Several national schools have been erected; a dispensary was established in the year 1823; and there are a ladies' society for the relief of poor women during child-birth at their own houses, a strangers' friend society, and several other charitable institutions. The union of Blackburn comprises the entire parish, with the exception of the townships of Cuerdale, Samlesbury, and Walton, which are in the union of Preston; together with four townships of the parish of Whalley: it contains a population of 75,091.
Black-Burton.—See Burton, Black.
BLACK-CARTS, forming with Ryehill an extraparochial liberty, in the union of Hexham, N. W. division of Tindale ward, S. division of Northumberland, and containing 17 inhabitants. It comprises 447 acres of land.
BLACK-CHAPEL, a chapelry, in the parish of Great Waltham, union and hundred of Chelmsford, S. division of Essex, 9 miles (N. by W.) from Chelmsford. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of certain Trustees; net income, £20.
BLACKDEN, a township, in the parish of Sandbach, union of Congleton, hundred of Northwich, S. division of the county of Chester, 6½ miles (S. S. E.) from Knutsford; containing 266 inhabitants. The township comprises 581 acres; the prevailing soil is sand. The impropriate tithes have been commuted for £70, and the vicarial for £52. 18.
BLACKFORD, a chapelry, in the parish of Wedmore, union of Axbridge, hundred of Bempstone, E. division of Somerset, 5¼ miles (S. by W.) from Axbridge. It comprises by measurement 1600 acres; stone of good quality for building is quarried. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of the Vicar of Wedmore, with a net income of £105: the impropriate tithes have been commuted for £150, and the impropriate glebe comprises 20 acres. The chapel is a modern building, towards defraying the expense of which the Incorporated Society gave £200. The manor was given as part of the endowment of Bruton Hospital, by Hugh Saxey, Esq., the founder; and two boys are annually sent from this place to be educated at that institution. Here is a mineral spring.
Blackford (St. Michael)
BLACKFORD (St. Michael), a parish, in the union of Wincanton, hundred of Whitley, though locally in the hundred of Horethorne, E. division of Somerset, 4½ miles (W. S. W.) from Wincanton; containing 178 inhabitants. It is situated in a fertile vale on the road from London to Exeter, and comprises by measurement 566 acres of profitable land; the scenery is generally pleasing. There are quarries of stone for building and other purposes. The living is a discharged rectory, valued in the king's books at £6. 11. 0½.; and in the patronage of the Trustees of the late J. H. Hunt, Esq.: the tithes have been commuted for £160, and there are nearly 25 acres of glebe, with a residence. The church is in the early English style, with a Norman arch over the entrance. The Wesleyans have a place of worship.
BLACKFORDBY, a chapelry, in the parishes of Ashby-De-La-Zouch and Seal, union of Ashby, hundred of West Goscote, N. division of the county of Leicester, 2¾ miles (W. N. W.) from Ashby; containing 478 inhabitants. It comprises 530 acres, principally pasture land. The Ashby canal crosses the Wolds south of this place. The chapel is dedicated to St. Margaret. There is a place of worship for Wesleyans; and a school is supported by subscription.
BLACKHEATH, a village, in the parishes of Greenwich, Lewisham, and Lee, hundred of Blackheath, lathe of Sutton-At-Hone, W. division of Kent, 5 miles (S. E.) from London, on the road to Dovor. This place, which takes its name either from the colour of the soil, or from the bleakness of its situation, was, prior to the erection of the numerous villas with which it now abounds, the scene of many important political transactions. In 1011, the Danes, having landed at Greenwich, encamped on the heath, and, among other barbarities, put to death Alphege, Archbishop of Canterbury, who had refused to sanction their extortions, and who was afterwards canonized. In the reign of Richard II., the insurgents under Wat Tyler, amounting to 100,000 men, took up their station here, whence they marched to London. In 1400, Henry IV. held an interview at the place with the Emperor of Constantinople, who came to solicit aid against Bajazet, Emperor of the Turks; and in 1415, the lord mayor and aldermen of London, in their robes of state, attended by 400 of the principal citizens, clothed in scarlet, came hither in procession to meet Henry V., on his triumphant return after the battle of Agincourt. In 1451, Henry VI. met many of the followers of Jack Cade, who submitted to his authority, and on their knees implored and obtained his pardon; and here, the following year, that monarch assembled his forces to oppose Richard, Duke of York, who aspired to the throne. In 1497, the Cornish rebels, headed by Lord Audley, who had advanced into Kent, encamped near Eltham, and awaited the approach of Henry VII., on whose arrival a battle ensued, on the 22nd of July, in which the insurgents were defeated, and their leader, together with two of his associates, taken and executed. In 1519, Campejo, the pope's legate, was received here in great state by the Duke of Norfolk, with a numerous retinue of bishops, knights, and gentlemen, who conducted him to a magnificent tent of cloth of gold, whence, after having arrayed himself in his cardinal's robes, he proceeded to London; and at this place, in 1540, Henry VIII. appointed an interview with Ann of Cleves, previously to their marriage, which was celebrated with great pomp at Greenwich.
Blackheath is pleasantly situated on elevated ground, commanding diversified and extensive views of the surrounding country, which is richly cultivated, and abounds with fine scenery, in which Greenwich hospital and park, and the river Thames, are prominent objects. There are many elegant villas, among which the Paragon, a handsome range of building, is eminently conspicuous: on the west, and within the park, is the residence occupied by the late Princess Sophia of Gloucester. Wricklemarsh House, once the noblest ornament of the heath, erected early in the last century by Sir Gregory Page, was razed to the ground in 1787, by the different purchasers to whom it had been sold in lots by public auction; its site, now called Blackheath Park, is occupied by handsome villas. There are two episcopal chapels on that part of the heath in the parish of Lewisham. Another at Kidbrooke, an extra-parochial district on the north side of the heath, was built by the late Dr. Greenlaw; and on the declivity of the hill opposite Kentplace, is the church of the Holy Trinity, in the early English style, with two towers surmounted by spires at its east end. St. Peter's church, Blackheath Park, is an elegant structure of stone, of decorated and later English architecture, with a slender pinnacled tower, above which rises a beautiful spire; it forms a conspicuous and interesting object in the surrounding landscape, and was erected in 1829 by John Cator, Esq., at an expense of £15,000.
The Blackheath proprietary school, in connexion with King's College, London, is a neat building, situated on the rise of the hill near Blackheath Park. In Lee Park, also, is a handsome building after the model of the Propylæum at Athens, erected as a proprietary school for classical and general literature. Morden College, a noble institution for the support of decayed merchants, was founded in 1695, by Sir John Morden, Bart., an opulent Turkey merchant, who endowed it with the manor of Old Court: the establishment consists of 40 brethren (each of whom receives £60 per annum, with attendance), a chaplain, and a treasurer; and the management is vested in seven trustees, who must be either Turkey merchants, or directors of the East India Company. The premises, which occupy a spacious quadrangle, are handsomely built of brick, with quoins and cornices of stone, and are surrounded with a piazza: over the entrance are statues of the founder and his lady, whose portraits are in the hall; and in the chapel are the arms of Sir John, who was interred here in 1708. The Watling-street, or Roman road from London to Dovor, which passed over the heath, may still be traced: in 1710, several Roman urns were dug up, two of which were of fine red clay, one of a spherical, and the other of a cylindrical, form; and in 1803, several urns were discovered in the gardens of the Earl of Dartmouth, about a foot below the surface of the ground, which were presented by his lordship to the British Museum.—See Lewisham.
Blackland (St. Peter)
BLACKLAND (St. Peter), a parish, in the union, parliamentary borough, and hundred of Calne, Chippenham and Calne, and N. divisions of Wilts, 1¾ mile (S. E.) from Calne; containing 81 inhabitants. The living is a discharged rectory, valued in the king's books at £3. 10. 10.; net income, £160; patron, the Rev. James Mayo. Allotments of land were assigned in 1813 in lieu of certain tithes.
BLACKLEY, a chapelry, in the parish and union of Manchester, hundred of Salford, S. division of the county of Lancaster, 3½ miles (N. N. E.) from Manchester, on the road to Middleton and Rochdale; containing 3202 inhabitants. It comprises about 1000 acres; the surface is undulated, and the scenery picturesque and beautiful. The population is employed in weaving, bleaching, and dyeing cotton and silk; the silk-dye works of Messrs. Louis and Michael Delaunay are among the establishments that are carried on here. The living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £150, with a house built in 1838; patrons, the Dean and Canons of the Cathedral of Manchester, to whom a rent-charge of £203. 11. 4. per annum has been lately assigned in lieu of tithes. The chapel, dedicated to St. Peter, was previously to the Reformation a domestic chapel belonging to Blackley Hall, and, after a period of disuse, was purchased by the inhabitants, in 1610; it was rebuilt in 1844, at a cost of £3300, raised by subscription and public grants, and is in the early English style, with a square tower. There are places of worship for Wesleyans and Unitarians. A school has an endowment of £5 per annum: in 1838, Miss Alsop, of Litchford Hall, founded another, and endowed it with £60 per annum; and a national school was built at Crab Lane in 1842.
BLACKMANSTONE, a parish, in the union and liberty of Romney-Marsh, though locally in the hundred of Worth, lathe of Shepway, E. division of Kent, 3 miles (N. by E.) from Romney; containing 10 inhabitants. It comprises 276 acres of pasture, and 12 of arable land, the latter being the glebe. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £4; net income, £36; patron, the Archbishop of Canterbury. The church is in ruins.
Blackmore (St. Lawrence)
BLACKMORE (St. Lawrence), a parish, in the union of Ongar, hundred of Chelmsford, S. division of Essex, 3½ miles (N. W. by W.) from Ingatestone; containing 709 inhabitants. The parish comprises by computation 2400 acres, of which about 100 are woodland, 800 pasture, and the rest arable; and derives its name from the dark colour of the soil, which is generally a rich wet loam. The living is a perpetual curacy, valued in the king's books at £6. 13. 4.; net income, £83; patrons and impropriators, the Representatives of the late C. A. Crickett, Esq. The church belonged to a priory of Black canons, founded here by Adam and Jordan de Samford, and which was dissolved in the 17th of Henry VIII.; the revenue, amounting to £85. 9. 7., was applied by Cardinal Wolsey towards the endowment of his two colleges at Oxford and Ipswich, and on his attainder, in 1529, was appropriated to the crown. Blackmore was the frequent residence of Henry VIII., whose natural son, Henry Fitzroy, Duke of Somerset, was born here.
BLACKPOOL, a chapelry and bathing-place, in the township of Layton with Warbrick, parish of Bispham, union of the Fylde, hundred of Amounderness, N. division of the county of Lancaster, 4 miles (S. W. by W.) from Poulton, 19 (W. by N.) from Preston, and 25 (S. W. by W.) from Lancaster; containing 1304 inhabitants. This place perhaps acquired its name from a boggy pool at the southern end of the village: until within the last 90 years it was an inconsiderable hamlet; but owing to its eligibility for sea-bathing, it has become a very favourite locality. No bathing-place can be better situated; it opens out to the sea, is refreshed by a pure and bracing air, presents a fine smooth sand, new modelled by every tide, but always firm, safe, and elastic, and is furnished with excellent accommodations. The village at the height of the season commonly numbers a thousand visiters; many of them of rank and fashion, mixed with good company from the manufacturing districts. The houses of public reception, and the villas, are scattered along the coast, and in the rear are the habitations of the villagers; when viewed from the sea, the place has a large and imposing appearance. The parade forms an agreeable promenade, from which there is an extensive view of the fells in Westmorland and Cumberland, and the mountains in North Wales. Assemblies occasionally take place at the principal hotels; a news-room has been established; and much is otherwise done to conduce to the pleasure and comfort of the increasing number of families who sojourn here. The sea has receded towards the south, but appears to have encroached considerably on the shore towards the north; a large rock called Penny-stone, lying on the sands about half a mile from the shore, is stated by tradition to mark the site on which a public-house formerly stood. An act was passed in 1845 for making a branch to this village of the Preston and Wyre railway; the branch, 3¼ miles long, has been completed, and the communication between Blackpool and the important town of Preston is thus easy and rapid. Fox Hall, once a sequestered residence of the gallant family of Tildesley, is now a farmhouse. The living is a perpetual curacy in the patronage of certain Trustees; net income, £150, with a house. The chapel was built in 1821, at a cost of £1150, and has been twice enlarged. There is a place of worship for Wesleyans; and a free school, established in 1817, is conducted on Dr. Bell's plan. In the peat bog here, numerous antediluvian trees are found.—See South-Shore.
BLACKROD, a chapelry, in the parish of Bolton, union of Wigan, hundred of Salford, S. division of the county of Lancaster, 4½ miles (S. S. E.) from Chorley; containing 2615 inhabitants. This is the site of a Roman station, named Coccium by Antonine and Rigodunum by Ptolemy, which was situated on the Watling-street; and from its central position, and its commanding every object between Rivington Pike and the sea, it was most suitable for a military station. In the reign of John, Hugh le Norries had possessions here; and subsequently Hugh de Blakerode held a carucate of land, of the fee of William Peverel. The manor came at a later period to the Bradshaws and the Stanleys; and in the 10th of Elizabeth was found in the possession of Sir William Norreys' family, on his death: it afterwards passed to the Lindsays, and Lord Balcarres is the present lord. The township is situated on the river Douglas, and on the road from Bolton to Chorley: it comprises 2344a. 2r. 22p., of which the surface is hilly, and the soil good; 207 acres are common or waste land. Coal is obtained: the spinning of cotton and the printing of calico are carried on; and the trade is facilitated by a branch of the Lancaster canal, and the Manchester, Bolton, and Preston railway, which pass through. A fair for toys and pedlery is held on the first Thursday after the 12th of July.
The living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £100, with a house; patron, the Vicar of Bolton. The tithes of the Bishop of Chester have been commuted for £98. The chapel, dedicated to St. Catherine, was principally built in the reign of Elizabeth, and has a tower with a peal of bells: it stands on elevated ground, and forms a most conspicuous object for four miles in the line of road from Chorley. There is a place of worship for Wesleyans. A free grammar school, under the superintendence of trustees, is endowed with about £140 per annum, being the produce of various benefactions. John Holmes, in the year 1568, founded an exhibition at Pembroke College, Cambridge, for a scholar on this foundation: the funds having accumulated, three exhibitioners are now appointed, receiving respectively £60, £70, and £80 per annum, for four years. In 1845, a handsome national school-house, with a master's residence attached, was built at an expense of £1000, for the accommodation of 500 children. In 1829, John Popplewell, Esq., M.D., a native of Bolton, among other munificent bequests to the parish, left by will sums altogether amounting to £3500 to this township, to be applied as follows: the interest of £1000 to augment the incumbent's salary; the interest of £1900 to be given annually, after certain deductions, in bread and clothing to the poor; of £400, for clothing boys or girls of the free grammar school; and of £200, for twelve pairs of blankets to old women. Anne and Rebecca, the sisters of this benefactor, left £2150 (part of a sum of £ 12,600, in the three per cents., bequeathed by them to the whole parish) to this township, for similar benevolent uses. Here stood an ancient castle, the entrance to which, the fosse, &c., were discernible within the memory of persons now living; and many relics have been found in a field which is still called the "Castle field."
BLACKTHORN, a chapelry, in the parish of Ambrosden, union of Bicester, hundred of Bullington, county of Oxford, 3 miles (S. E. by E.) from Bicester; containing 380 inhabitants. The chapel is in ruins. The Roman Akeman-street enters the county here, and proceeds over Blackthorn Hill, in its course through the parish. The custom of running at the quintal or quintain, the origin of which is attributed to the Romans, was anciently observed on the occasion of a wedding in the chapelry.
BLACKTOFT, a parish, in the union of Howden, wapentake of Howdenshire, E. riding of York; comprising the townships of Blacktoft and Scalby, in which latter is included the extra-parochial place of Cheapsides; and containing 552 inhabitants, of whom 333 are in the township of Blacktoft, 8 miles (E. S. E.) from Howden. The parish consists by computation of 2241 acres: the surface is level; the soil has been latterly much improved by warping, and is now well drained. The views are very fine, and include the adjacent hills of Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. The village is situated on the northern bank of the Ouse, one mile above its confluence with the Trent, and occasionally vessels ride opposite to it, its roads affording the best anchorage between Hull and Selby; the steam-packets of those places pass daily. The river is very broad in this part, and leaves at low water an extensive bed of sand, which is used for the ballasting of small craft. The Hull and Selby railway crosses the parish near Scalby. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the gift of the Dean and Chapter of Durham, and has a net income of £198, by augmentation from the patrons, with a new and convenient parsonage-house. The tithes of the township of Blacktoft have been commuted for £568, payable to the Dean and Chapter. The church is a neat substantial edifice, built in 1841.
Black Torrington.—See Torrington, Black.
BLACKWALL, a hamlet, in the parish of Stepney, borough of Tower Hamlets, union of Poplar, Tower division of the hundred of Ossulstone, county of Middlesex, 4 miles (E.) from Cornhill, London. This place, which is situated near the influx of the river Lea into the Thames, consists chiefly of a few irregularlyformed streets, which are paved, and lighted with gas: the houses, many of which are of wood, and of mean appearance, are inhabited chiefly by shipwrights, and persons employed in the docks; they are supplied with water by the East London Company. It has long been noted for a very large private yard for ship-building, and a wet-dock, once belonging to Mr. Perry: the former was purchased by Sir Robert Wigram, Bart., and is still applied to the same use; and the latter by the East India Dock Company, for the formation of their docks, which were commenced in 1804, and completed in 1806. These docks, situated at the eastern extremity of the hamlet, and surrounded by a lofty wall, consist of an outer and an inner dock, communicating by locks and flood-gates; the entrance from the river is by a basin, nearly three acres in extent, from which vessels sail directly into the docks. At Blackwall reach, adjoining the hamlet, are the West India docks, similarly constructed, but upon a more extensive scale. In 1836, an act was obtained for making a railway from Fenchurchstreet, London, to Blackwall, with branches to the East and West India docks; and this work, which was begun with a capital of £600,000, afterwards augmented, was opened to the public 4th July, 1840: the station is on an extensive scale, and the offices fronting the Brunswick wharf have a very imposing effect from the river. An act was passed in 1846, empowering the Eastern Counties Railway Company to make a line from the Pepper warehouses at the East India docks to the Thames Junction railway in Essex: the line is about three furlongs in length.—See London.