A Topographical Dictionary of England. Originally published by S Lewis, London, 1848.
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Oadby (St. Peter)
OADBY (St. Peter), a parish, in the union of Blaby, hundred of Guthlaxton, S. division of the county of Leicester, 3 miles (S. E.) from Leicester; containing 1085 inhabitants. It comprises by admeasurement 1896 acres of land. Many of the population are frame-work knitters. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £8; net income, £210; patrons and impropriators, the Windham family: the old glebe consists of 18 acres. The church, which is supposed to have been erected about the year 1100, contains some fine specimens of ancient sculpture. There is a place of worship for Baptists. A sum of £42 per annum, arising from an allotment of 15 acres under an inclosure act, is applied to the reduction of the poor rates.
Oakamoor.—See Oakmoor, county Stafford.
Oake (St. Bartholomew)
OAKE (St. Bartholomew), a parish, in the union of Wellington, hundred of Taunton and TauntonDean, W. division of Somerset, 5¾ miles (W.) from Taunton; containing 174 inhabitants. It comprises by admeasurement 860 acres; the soil is generally a heavy loam, and in some parts stony earth. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £11. 0. 5., and in the gift of the Trustees of the late Rev. Francis Prowde: the tithes have been commuted for £190, and the glebe consists of 46½ acres.
OAKEN, a township, in the parish of Codsall, union of Seisdon, S. division of the hundred of Seisdon and of the county of Stafford, 4¾ miles (N. W. by W.) from Wolverhampton; containing 324 inhabitants. It comprises 1298 acres, of which two-thirds are arable, and the remainder grass with 40 acres of common or waste. At a short distance from the Shrewsbury road, on an elevated site commanding beautiful and extensive views, stands Oaken Terrace, a mansion surrounded with 200 acres, the seat and property of Christopher Wood, Esq. About 60 acres of land belong to William Wenman, Esq., of Codsall. The tithes have been commuted for £212.
Oakford (St. Peter)
OAKFORD (St. Peter), a parish, in the union of Tiverton, hundred of Witheridge, Cullompton and N. divisions of Devon, 3½ miles (W. by S.) from Bampton; containing 641 inhabitants. This parish, which is situated on the road from Bampton to South Molton, and bounded on the east by the river Eske, comprises 4221 acres, of which 1790 are common or waste land. Stone is quarried for building, and for the repair of roads. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £24, and in the patronage of Mrs. Parkyn: the tithes have been commuted for a yearly rent-charge of £425, and the glebe consists of about 90 acres. The church was rebuilt in 1838-9; the tower contains a beautiful peal of ten bells.
Oakham, or Okeham (All Saints)
OAKHAM, or Okeham (All Saints), a markettown and parish, and the head of a union, in the soke of Oakham, county of Rutland, of which it is the chief town, 95 miles (N. N. W.) from London; containing 2726 inhabitants, of whom 1902 are in the Lordshold, with Leigh-Fields extra-parochial, and 824 in the Deanshold, with Barleythorpe chapelry and Gunthorpe township. This place is situated in the luxuriant vale of Catmose, so called from the woods with which it abounded (Coed-maes) signifying in the British language a woody plain); and is supposed to have derived its name from the oaks that formerly grew in the vicinity. A castle was erected here soon after the Norman Conquest by Walkelin de Ferrers; in relation to which the following singular custom still prevails: every peer of the realm, on first passing through the town, is compelled to give a shoe from the foot of one of his horses, or, in commutation, a sum of money for the purchase of a horse-shoe, to be nailed upon the castle-gate or placed in some part of the building. Affixed to the castle are many ancient horse-shoes, of which the oldest with a date is of the time of Elizabeth, and is very large and curiously worked and gilt; there are one of bronze and or molu, of George IV. when Prince Regent, one of the late Duke of York, and one of Her present Majesty when princess. Richard II. having advanced Edward, son of the Duke of York, to the earldom of Rutland, assigned to him this castle, which in the reign of Henry VIII. was the baronial seat of Thomas, Lord Cromwell. The hall of the ancient building yet remains, and the assizes are held and public business is transacted in it; the other parts are in ruins.
The houses of the town are amply provided with water, and the air is remarkably salubrious. The inhabitants formerly enjoyed the staple of wool, and many French merchants settled in Oakham, of whose descendants several may still be traced here. A manufactory was established some years since, chiefly for weaving silk shag for covering hats. The town possesses the advantage of a canal to Melton-Mowbray, in Leicestershire, by which coal is brought from Derbyshire, and corn sent to Manchester and Liverpool: the Syston and Peterborough railway, also, completed in 1847, passes by Oakham. The market, which is well supplied with corn, is on Monday; and a market for butchers' meat is held on Saturday. The fairs are on March 15th, May 6th, Sept. 9th, under the original charters, and on Feb. 4th, April 9th, June 2nd, July 16th, August 13th, Oct. 15th, Nov. 19th, and Dec. 15th, as established within the last half century; they are principally for the sale of cattle. Courts leet are held annually by the lord of the castle for the manor of Lordshold, and triennially by the Dean of Westminster for the Deanshold, for the election of parochial and other officers. The assizes and quarter-sessions for the county, and the election of knights of the shire, take place in the town. The powers of the county debt-court of Oakham, established in 1847, extend over the registration-district of Oakham, and part of that of Billesden. The common gaol and house of correction for the county is a commodious edifice.
The parish comprises 2902a. 2r. 11p. The Living is a vicarage, with the livings of Brooke and Langham annexed, valued in the king's books at £28. 3. 1½.; net income, £918; patron, George Finch, Esq.; appropriators, the Dean and Chapter of Westminster. The tithes, with some exceptions, were commuted for land and a money payment in 1820. The church is a spacious and elegant structure of various dates, but chiefly in the later English style, with a fine tower surmounted by a lofty spire. At Egleton is a chapel of ease; and there are places of worship in the town for Baptists, the Society of Friends, Independents, and Wesleyans. The free grammar school was founded about 1584, by Robert Johnson, Archdeacon of Leicester, who established a similar school at Uppingham. These schools, to each of which an hospital is annexed, were incorporated by Queen Elizabeth, who endowed them with certain alienated ecclesiastical property now producing an income of more than £3000 per annum, and placed them under the control of 24 governors, including the Bishops of London and Peterborough, the Deans of Westminster and Peterborough, the Archdeacon of Northampton, and the Masters of Trinity and St. John's Colleges, Cambridge. Belonging to them are, 20 exhibitions of £40 per annum each, tenable for seven years, to any of the colleges of Oxford or Cambridge; four scholarships of £24 per annum each, in Emmanuel College, Cambridge; four of £20 per annum each, in Sidney-Sussex College; four of £20 per annum each, in Clare Hall; and four of £16 each, in St. John's College; all founded by Archdeacon Johnson. Two exhibitions, likewise, of £40 per annum each, were founded by the family of Lovett, for the sons of graduated clergymen, who have been for three years in the school of Grantham, or, these failing, of Oakham. In the hospitals were originally 28 aged men; there are now 100 hospital poor, who receive each £10 per annum at their own dwellings, the buildings of both hospitals being occupied by the schoolmasters for the accommodation of boarders.
The hospital of St. John and St. Anne, originally instituted about the 22nd of Richard II., by Walter Dalby, for two chaplains and twelve aged men, and of which the revenue at the Dissolution was £12. 12. 11., was refounded by Archdeacon Johnson, who increased the endowment. Twenty aged men now receive each £6 per annum at their own dwellings; the warden has £15, and the subwarden £10. The buildings of the hospital have fallen to decay, with the exception of a house for the warden, in which the subwarden at present resides, a chapel, and four separate tenements under one roof. A national school, established in 1816, is supported by subscription; and there are several bequests for distribution among the indigent generally. The poor-law union of Oakham comprises 30 parishes or places, 28 of which are in the county of Rutland, and two in that of Leicester, the whole containing a population of 11,218. Geoffrey Hudson, the dwarf, only three feet nine inches in height, was a native of Oakham.
Oakhampton, or Okehampton (All Saints)
OAKHAMPTON, or Okehampton (All Saints), a market-town and parish, the head of a union, and formerly a representative borough, partly in the hundred of Black Torrington, N. division, but chiefly in the hundred of Lifton, Lifton and S. divisions, of Devon, 22 miles (W. by N.) from Exeter, and 198 (W. by S.) from London; containing, with the hamlets of Kigbear, Cheesacott, Brightley, Lower Fartherford, Meldon, Southacott, and Maddaford, 2194 inhabitants. This place is interesting as having been the head of the earldom of Devon, and the seat of the hereditary county sheriffs, keepers of the castle of Exeter. The barony was given by the Conqueror to Baldwin de Brioniis, one of his most faithful followers, who distinguished himself at the battle of Hastings. The castle, erected by that nobleman, was remarkable for its grandeur, of which there is abundant evidence in the venerable remains. The barons exercised the right of capital punishment over eight manors, besides which they held a great number in demesne, no less than 164 being at one time occupied by inferior tenants: they acted as stewards at the installation of the bishops of the diocese, claiming on the occasion perquisites to a great amount; possessed also numerous advowsons, and were the patrons of several priories; holding three fees of the see of Exeter, and 92 by knight's service. The above-mentioned grant is noticed in Domesday book, in which it is recorded that Baldwin the Viscount held Okehampton of the king, that he had his castle, and that there were four burgesses, and a market. The town was afterwards for several generations in the possession of the Courtenays, one of whom, named Robert, granted to the inhabitants a charter without date, but probably in the 28th of Edward I., conferring various immunities. James I., in 1623, on petition of the burgesses, bestowed a charter of incorporation with many new privileges, yet still preserving the rights and liberties of the old constitution, as set forth in Courtenay's charter; and this grant remained in force until the 36th of Charles II., when it was surrendered and a new one obtained, by which the powers and jurisdiction of the corporation were enlarged. During the great civil war, the place was twice visited by King Charles, and as often by his opponent, Sir Thomas Fairfax.
The Town is situated in the lowest part of a valley watered by two rapid streams, called the East and West Ockments, and is a great thoroughfare between Exeter and Cornwall: there is a plentiful supply of water from pumps. The two rivers issue out of Crawmere or Cranmere Pool, on Dartmoor, and after flowing respectively eastward and westward round a succession of hills on Dartmoor and in Oakhampton Park, run through, and unite about a quarter of a mile below, the town. The forest of Dartmoor affords pasturage to sheep, of which great numbers are sent to the London market, the sweetness of the herbage rendering the mutton of superior flavour. A limestone-quarry is in constant operation. The market, which is held on Saturday, by prescription, has an excellent supply of every necessary commodity, including fish and corn: fairs are held by charter on the second Tuesday after March 11th, on May 14th, the first Wednesday after July 6th, on August 5th, the first Tuesday after September 11th, and first Wednesday after October 11th; and there are great markets on the Saturday before, and the Saturday after, Christmas. Under the charter of the 36th of Charles II., Oakhampton is governed by a mayor, recorder, justice, eight principal burgesses, and eight assistants, aided by a town-clerk and other officers: the lordship of the borough is vested in the mayor and burgesses. The freedom may be acquired by servitude; and the eldest surviving son of a freeman becomes free at his father's death, if born within the borough. The first return of members to parliament was in the reign of Edward I., and the next in the 7th of Edward II., after which there was an intermission till 1640, but from that period the representation was regular until the 2nd of William IV., when the borough was disfranchised. The mayor, the late mayor, and the recorder, are justices of the peace; the county magistrates having concurrent jurisdiction. Quarter-sessions are held for the borough, but there are seldom any prisoners. The powers of the county debtcourt of Oakhampton, established in 1847, extend over the registration-district of Oakhampton.
The parish comprises 8145 acres, of which 2807 are common or waste land. The living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £20; patrons, the family of Savile; impropriator, A. Holdsworth, Esq.: the tithes have been commuted for £350, and the glebe consists of 200 acres. The church, an ancient structure with a square embattled tower, was almost totally destroyed by an accidental fire in February 1842. St. James' chapel, a small building, originally founded as a chantry, belongs to the corporation, and divine service is performed in it on Sunday and Wednesday evenings. There are places of worship for Independents and Wesleyans. The poor-law union comprises 28 parishes or places, containing a population of 22,001. The castle, situated about half a mile from the town, is a most interesting ruin, and particularly striking when observed on approaching from the west; it occupies the summit and declivity of a conoidal mount, so thickly clothed with trees that, although the remains are of considerable magnitude, the keep and a smaller fragment northward are alone visible from the road.
OAKHAMPTON, MONK, a parish, in the union of Oakhampton, hundred of Black Torrington, Black Torrington and Shebbear, and N. divisions of the county of Devon, 2¾ miles (E. N. E.) from Hatherleigh; containing 259 inhabitants. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £6. 14. 7.; net income, £131; patron, Sir S. Northcote, Bart.
OAKHILL, a village, partly in the parish of Ashwick, hundred of Kilmersdon, and partly in that of Shepton-Mallet, hundred of Whitestone, union of Shepton-Mallet, E. division of the county of Somerset, 3 miles (N. by E.) from Shepton-Mallet. This place has been long noted for its brewery.
Oakingham, Berks.—See Wokingham.
Oakington (St. Andrew)
OAKINGTON (St. Andrew), a parish, in the union of Chesterton, partly in the hundred of Chesterton, but chiefly in that of Northstow, county of Cambridge, 5 miles (N. N. W.) from Cambridge; containing, with the hamlet of Westwick, 619 inhabitants. The living is a vicarage, endowed with the rectorial tithes, and valued in the king's books at £4. 13. 1½. net income, £199; patrons, the President and Fellows of Queen's College, Cambridge. There is a place of worship for Baptists.
Oakley, or Oakley-Reynes (St. Mary)
OAKLEY, or Oakley-Reynes (St. Mary), a parish, forming, with Clapham and Milton-Earnest, a detached portion of the hundred of Stodden, in the union and county of Bedford, 4 miles (N. W.) from Bedford; containing 492 inhabitants. It is bounded on the north, west, and south by the river Ouse; the surface is boldly undulated, and about half a mile from the village is Oakley Hill, an eminence commanding an extensive prospect, and through which is a cutting of the high road from London to Leeds. The substratum of the parish contains good building-stone and gravel. On the south side of the hill has lately been constructed a large manufactory for draining-tiles, one of the numerous establishments of the kind erected by the Marquess of Tweeddale and others: here, as in all the north-east of the parish, the subsoil is clay. Part of the population is employed in the making of lace; the rest is chiefly agricultural. The living is a discharged vicarage, annexed to that of Bromham, and valued in the king's books at £8. 14. 9.: the tithes were commuted for 64 acres of land, and Easter offerings, in 1803. The church is in the early English style, with later additions, and contains an altar-tomb with the recumbent effigy of the foundress, one of the family of Reynes, habited as a nun. £25, the rent of twenty acres of land, are applied to a school.
Oakley (St. Mary)
OAKLEY (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Thame, hundred of Ashendon, county of Buckingham, 6 miles (N. W. by N.) from Thame; containing 391 inhabitants. The living is a discharged vicarage, endowed with the rectorial tithes, and valued in the king's books at £5. 17. 1.; net income, £264; patron, Sir T. D. Aubrey, Bart. The tithes were commuted for land and a corn-rent in 1819. The church was formerly the mother church of Brill and Borstall. A rentcharge of £25 is applied to education.
OAKLEY, a township, in the parish of Croxall, union of Tamworth, N. division of the hundred of Offlow and of the county of Stafford, 6½ miles (N. by W.) from Tamworth; containing 31 inhabitants. It is bounded on the west by the river Tame, and comprises about 600 acres of land. The Trent, which flows on the east of the township, separates it from the remainder of Croxall parish, in the county of Derby. The vicarial tithes have been commuted for £218.
OAKLEY, a township, in the parish of Muckleston, union of Drayton, N. division of the hundred of Pirehill and of the county of Stafford, 3¼ miles (N. E. by N.) from Drayton; containing 64 inhabitants. The township lies on the immediate border of Shropshire, and at the south end of the parish, two miles south-west of the village of Muckleston. Oakley Hall, the handsome seat of Sir John N. L. Chetwode, Bart., stands in a beautiful park of 300 acres, on the east bank of the Terne, which here separates Staffordshire and Shropshire.
Oakley (St. Nicholas)
OAKLEY (St. Nicholas), a parish, in the union and hundred of Hartismere, W. division of Suffolk, 2 miles (S. by E.) from Scole; containing 355 inhabitants. The parish comprises 1288a. 1r. 13p., and is bounded on the north by the river Waveney, which separates it from the county of Norfolk. The living is a rectory, annexed to that of Brome, and valued in the king's books at £9. 4. 9½.: the tithes have been commuted for £343, and there are 25 acres of glebe. The church is chiefly in the later English style, and has a handsome south porch. Oakley Parva was formerly a separate parish, and had a church dedicated to St. Peter; but it was annexed to Oakley in 1449, and the church is now in ruins. Dr. William Broome, the poet, was rector of the parish.
Oakley, Church (St. Leonard)
OAKLEY, CHURCH (St. Leonard), a parish, in the union of Basingstoke, hundred of Chutely, Kingsclere and N. divisions of the county of Southampton, 5 miles (W. by S.) from Basingstoke; containing 335 inhabitants. It is intersected by the London and SouthWestern railway, and comprises 1605a. 1r. 24p., of which 1119 acres are arable, 226 pasture, and 168 woodland. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £11. 13. 11½.; net income, £311; patrons, the Provost and Fellows of Queen's College, Oxford. William Warham, successively Bishop of London and Archbishop of Canterbury, and an eminent statesman, who died in 1532, was born here.
Oakley, Great (All Saints)
OAKLEY, GREAT (All Saints), a parish, in the union and hundred of Tendring, N. division of Essex, 6 miles (S.) from Ipswich; containing 1145 inhabitants. The parish is situated near an inlet of the sea, opposite Pewit Island, and comprises by computation 2800 acres, of which 2483 are arable, and about 100 nearly equally divided between woodland and pasture. It is celebrated as the scene of a sanguinary conflict between Ethelwolf and the Danes, and had once a castle, of which a small portion of the keep, and traces of the moat, are still discernible. A fair is held on the 25th of April. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £23, and in the patronage of St. John's College, Cambridge: the tithes have been commuted for £900, and there is a glebe of 57 acres. The church, a small edifice, had a steeple of flint, which, becoming ruinous, was rebuilt. Here are places of worship for Baptists and Wesleyans.
Oakley, Great (St. Michael)
OAKLEY, GREAT (St. Michael), a parish, in the union of Kettering, hundred of Corby, N. division of the county of Northampton, 5 miles (N.) from Kettering; containing 225 inhabitants. This parish, which comprises 2172 acres, is on the road from Kettering to Rockingham and Uppingham. A large portion of it was included in the bounds of the royal forest of Rockingham, lately disafforested, where the sovereigns of England, particularly in early periods, took the diversion of hunting while resident at the ancient castle of Rockingham, on the confines of the forest. Great Oakley is distinguished by its fine springs: one of them is called Monks' Well, from the monks of the neighbouring monastery of Pipewell having resorted to it for its pure water. Harpurs or Harpisk brook, the chief source of which is near the village, formed one of the forest boundaries; it flows from west to east, and falls into the Nene at Thrapston. Oakley Hall, the seat of Sir Arthur de Capell Broke, Bart., is a picturesque specimen of an old English manor-house; it is deeply embosomed in woods, and approached by an avenue of aged elms, presenting a scene of solitude and repose: the front of the Hall bears the date 1575, but part of it is supposed to be much older. Sir Arthur is lord of the manor, and possesses a right of free warren, granted shortly after the Conquest. The collection of family deeds is one of the finest and most curious in the kingdom, and in beautiful preservation; the dates of some of them are not much later than William I.'s reign.
The living is a donative; net income, £50; patron, Sir Arthur de Capell Broke, who is owner of the tithes. The church, situated close to the manor-house, is an interesting fabric of early English architecture, and remarkable for its depth of roof; the tower is more modern. In the church is a very beautiful stone arch, dug up some years ago at Pipewell, and which formed part of one of the windows of the abbey chapel; there is also a considerable number of flooring-tiles of red brick, obtained from the same spot, some of them having the armorial bearings of William de Boutevylein, founder of Pipewell Abbey. The churchyard is picturesque in the extreme, deeply shaded by fine old trees, and planted with shrubs and wild flowers. There are four tumuli in the lordship; on one of them is a windmill, more than 200 years old.
Oakley, Little (St. Mary)
OAKLEY, LITTLE (St. Mary), a parish, in the union and hundred of Tendring, N. division of Essex, 4 miles (S. W. by W.) from Harwich; containing 254 inhabitants. It extends along the sea-shore, and comprises 1028 acres, of which 821 are arable, 162 meadow, 15 wood, and 29 common or waste. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £13. 11. 0½.; patron and incumbent, the Rev. George Burmester: the tithes have been commuted for £415, and there is a glebe-house, with upwards of 30 acres of land. The church is a small ancient edifice in the English style, with a tower of stone. Here is a small place of worship for Wesleyans. Some gold coins were found whilst digging under the floor of the church, in 1802.
Oakley, Little (St. Peter)
OAKLEY, LITTLE (St. Peter), a parish, in the union of Kettering, hundred of Corby, N. division of the county of Northampton, 5½ miles (N. N. E.) from the town of Kettering; containing 139 inhabitants. The parish is situated in a vale on the road from Kettering to Stamford, and comprises 724a. 33p., of which 604 acres are arable and pasture, and 119 woodland: good stone for building is quarried. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £7. 7. 6.; net income, £81; patron, the Duke of Buccleuch. The tithes have been commuted for land, under an act of inclosure; the glebe altogether comprises 106 acres, and there is a glebehouse. The church is an ancient structure in the later English style, with a square embattled tower, and from the spacious dimensions of the building, the parish is supposed to have been formerly much larger than it is at present.
OAKMERE, a township, in the parish of Delamere, poor-law union of Northwich, First division of the hundred of Eddisbury, S. division of the county of Chester; containing 195 inhabitants, and comprising 2880 acres of a light soil.