A Topographical Dictionary of England. Originally published by S Lewis, London, 1848.
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Whitacre, Nether (St. Giles)
WHITACRE, NETHER (St. Giles), a parish, in the union of Meriden, Coleshill division of the hundred of Hemlingford, N. division of the county of Warwick, 3¼ miles (N. E.) from Coleshill; containing 498 inhabitants. It comprises by measurement 1926 acres. The surface is generally flat: the soil varies from a stiff clay to a light sand and gravel; grain of every kind is grown, and the meadows and pastures are rich. The river Tame bounds the parish on the west side; the road from Coventry to Tamworth passes through, and the Birmingham and Hampton-in-Arden branches of the Derby railway meet and have a station here. The living is a perpetual curacy, endowed with the rectorial tithes; patron, Earl Howe: the tithes were commuted for land and corn-rents in 1825; the glebe comprises about 80 acres. The church is ancient, has a square tower, and contains a monument to Charles Jennins, Esq., who in 1775 bequeathed one-third of the interest of £1000 in support of a school. There is a place of worship for Wesleyans.
Whitacre, Over (St. Leonard)
WHITACRE, OVER (St. Leonard), a parish, in the union of Meriden, Coleshill division of the hundred of Hemlingford, N. division of the county of Warwick, 4½ miles (E. N. E.) from Coleshill; containing 330 inhabitants. This parish comprises about 1375 acres; the soil is rich, and the substratum contains buildingstone of excellent quality, which is extensively quarried. The Atherstone and Coleshill, and the Coventry and Tamworth, roads, intersect each other here. The living is a donative; net income, £142; patron, Earl Digby. The tithes have been commuted for £118. 7., and the glebe comprises 30 acres, with a house. The church, rebuilt about the year 1770, is a handsome structure in the Grecian style, with a tower surmounted by a dome and cupola. A school, for which a good stone building was erected in 1836, receives one-half of £12 per annum arising from land bequeathed for charitable uses; onefourth of the rent is distributed in Bibles and prayerbooks, and the remaining fourth among the poor, who have also the interest of £150 regularly divided among them at Christmas.
Whitbeck (St. Mary)
WHITBECK (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Bootle, Allerdale ward above Derwent, W. division of Cumberland, 3 miles (S. S. E.) from Bootle; containing 208 inhabitants. The parish is situated between the Black-Combe mountain and the sea, and comprises 2279 acres, whereof 1754 are arable, 205 meadow, 35 woodland and plantations, and 285 pasture and peatmoss; exclusively of about 3000 acres of common and waste. The surface presents an uneven appearance, falling from the base of Black-Combe to a level or flat nearly as low as high-water mark, and again rising to the margin of the sea. About 26 years ago, Dr. King, now president of Queen's College, Cambridge, drove a level about a hundred yards high in the mountain, and obtained cobalt, but not in sufficient quantity to induce him to persevere. The road from Dalton to Ravenglass, and the Whitehaven and Furness railway, intersect the parish. The living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £76, with a glebe of four acres, and a house; patron, the Earl of Lonsdale. The small part of the parish that is titheable pays a rent-charge of about £60; the rest has from time to time been made free by purchase. The church is a plain oblong structure, of which the chancel was rebuilt about 20 years since by the late Earl of Lonsdale. An almshouse for six poor persons was erected in 1632; the income, £24, is derived from an estate left by Henry Parke, a native of the place: at present but two old men are inmates.
At a short distance below the spot where Dr. King commenced his mining operations, rises a spring of water forming a considerable brook that passes by a farm belonging to the Earl of Lonsdale. In this water no ducks can thrive; they soon hang their wings, and pine away: neither are fish found in it, although at the distance of a few hundred yards it empties itself into a pool in which are trout and eels. The water has no bad effect upon geese; it is used for domestic purposes, and is considered pure and good. A religious house, under the abbey of Furness, is supposed to have existed here, at a farm called Monkfoss: in digging on the site a few years ago, some human bones were discovered. In the peat-mosses are found trunks of oak and fir so large, that they have been used for roofing barns and other buildings.
Whitbourne (St. John this Baptist)
WHITBOURNE (St. John this Baptist), a parish, in the union of Bromyard, hundred of Broxash, county of Hereford, 6 miles (E. by N.) from Bromyard; containing 824 inhabitants. The parish is bounded on the east by the river Teme, which separates it from the county of Worcester; and comprises 3056a. 33p. The Bishop of Hereford is lord of the manor, and courts leet and baron are periodically held in an ancient episcopal palace here, now occupied by a tenant. The river abounds with fish, and the vicinity is much frequented by anglers. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £14. 14. 9½., and in the gift of the Bishop: the tithes have been commuted for £542; the glebe contains 35½ acres. The church is partly in the early and partly in the later English style of architecture, with a square embattled tower.
WHITBURN, a parish, in the union of South Shields, E. division of Chester ward, N. division of the county of Durham, 3½ miles (N.) from Sunderland; containing, with the township of Cleadon, and part of North Bidick, 1061 inhabitants, of whom 777 are in Whitburn township. This parish, which is bounded on the east by the sea, comprises 4184a. 1r. 13p., and is about three miles square. Coal is found here, at a considerable depth; and in the north-eastern part are quarries of magnesian limestone, which is used both for building and for agricultural purposes, considerable quantities of it being exported from the Tyne. The village, which is equally noted as a fishing and a bathing place, is pleasantly situated on the southern inclination of a hill, near a fine sandy bay; it contains several respectable lodging-houses, and the view to the south is cheerful. The Lizard, a high dry sheep-walk to the north, commands a prospect of great variety and extent. A curious brick building, in the Tudor style, was erected here in 1841-2 by Mr. Barns, a principal resident, presenting a good specimen of the art of ornamental brickmaking; the plain walls are of red brick, and the mouldings, enrichments, and coats-of-arms, in all which it abounds, of blue brick, made of a fine bed of clay leased to Mr. Barns by the corporation of Newcastle. The Brandling Junction, and the Pontop and South Shields, railways, pass through several detached parts of the parish; and the road from South Shields to Sunderland intersects Cleadon.
The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £39. 19. 4½., and in the patronage of the Bishop of Durham: the incumbent's tithes have been commuted for £862. 15., and a rent-charge of £6. 1. 8. is payable to the master of Kepier grammar school; the glebe comprises 210 acres, lying in three detached parts of the parish. The church is a neat and ancient edifice, consisting of a nave, chancel, aisles, and a good tower; the whole was thoroughly repaired some years since, and portions modernised. The parsonage stands embosomed amid lofty sycamores, and its sheltered garden contains plants which do not usually flourish in a district so exposed and northerly as this county. There is a place of worship for Wesleyans; also a national school, endowed with £10 per annum by Lord Crewe's trustees. Dr. Triplett in 1664 bequeathed a rent-charge of £18, since increased to £61, which is appropriated to apprenticing boys and girls of the parishes of Whitburn, Washington, and Woodhorn. In the neighbourhood are several springs, the water of which is slightly impregnated with alkaline salt, and was formerly in great request among the inhabitants. On the sea-shore, some copper coins of Constantine, Licinius, Maxentius, and Maximian, have been discovered. Flexible limestone is found in the quarries; and on the beach, near the village, at a very low ebb-tide after a storm, some years since, were observed the trunks of large trees, supposed to be the remains of a forest, imbedded in what appeared to have been a clayey soil: hazel-nuts were also found, scattered among them.
WHITBY, a township, partly in the parish of Eastham, and partly in that of Stoak, union, and Higher division of the hundred, of Wirrall, S. division of the county of Chester, 6¼ miles (N.) from Chester; containing, in 1841, 839 inhabitants, of whom 767 were in Eastham. The area of the township is 1153 acres; the soil is clay. Tithe rent-charges have been awarded, of which £111. 10. are payable to the impropriators, £35. 15. to the vicar of Eastham, and £21 to the perpetual curate of Stoak. The township lies east of the Chester and Birkenhead road, and includes the village of Ellesmere-Port, which see.
Whitby (St. Mary)
WHITBY (St. Mary), a sea-port, borough, markettown, and parish, and the head of a union, partly in the E. division of the liberty of Langbaurgh, but chiefly in the liberty of WhitbyStrand, N. riding of York; containing, with the chapelries of Aislaby, Eskdaleside, and Ugglebarnby, and the townships of Hawsker with Stainsacre, Newholm with Dunsley, and Ruswarp, 11,682 inhabitants, of whom 7383 are in the town, 48 miles (N. N. E.) from York, and 241 (N. by W.) from London. This place was called by the Saxons Streanes-heale, which Bede interprets Sinus Phari, or "the bay of the lighthouse;" and in the Domesday survey is styled Whitteby, or "the white town." It owes its origin to the foundation of a monastery here by Oswy, King of Northumbria, in fulfilment of a vow made prior to the battle of Winwidfield, in which he defeated and killed Penda, the pagan king of Mercia, who had invaded his territories in 655. This monastery, which was dedicated to St. Peter, and contained an establishment both for monks and nuns of the Benedictine order, was placed under the superintendence of Hilda, grand-niece of Edwin, a former king of Northumbria, who in 653 came from Hartlepool to assist in its formation, and was made the first abbess. Subsequently Ælfleda, daughter of the founder, in fulfilment of her father's vow, became a nun in the establishment. Under Hilda, it acquired a high degree of celebrity; and in 664, a national synod, at which Oswy presided, was held here for the regulation of some ecclesiastical affairs about which considerable differences prevailed. Several bishops, and many men eminent for learning and sanctity, were educated here; and several cells were founded as appendages to the abbey, during the administration of Hilda, who died in 680, and was succeeded by Ælfleda.
In 867, the monastery was destroyed by the Danes, who laid waste the town, and massacred the inhabitants; the abbot is said to have effected his escape, and to have carried with him the relics of St. Hilda to Glastonbury, but so complete was the devastation of the invaders that the monastery remained a heap of ruins till after the Conquest. The site of the town was then granted to Hugh, Earl of Chester, and by him assigned to William de Percy, who in 1074 rebuilt the monastery, which he dedicated to St. Peter and St. Hilda, and endowed with 240 acres of land, for Benedictine monks. Its revenues were subsequently augmented by the Earl of Chester, who conferred on it numerous privileges; and notwithstanding the attacks of pirates to which it was continually exposed, the monastery continued to flourish till the Dissolution, when its revenues were estimated at £437. 2. 9. The site and ruins were granted in the 4th of Edward VI. to John, Earl of Warwick, and in 1555 were purchased by Sir Richard Cholmeley, by whose descendants they are still held. According to tradition, Robin Hood and Little John paid a visit to Richard de Waterville, who was then abbot, and as a proof of their dexterity in archery, shot an arrow each from the summit of the tower to the distance of more than a mile; to commemorate which event, pillars were raised on the spots where the arrows fell, and the inclosures are still called Robin Hood's and Little John's fields. About six miles from the town is Robin Hood's bay, where that celebrated outlaw is said to have kept a small fleet to assist his escape in times of emergency.
The town is situated on the shore of the North Sea, at the mouth of the river Esk, which divides it into two nearly equal parts, connected with each other by a handsome bridge, erected on the site of the old drawbridge, in 1835, at an expense of £10,000, and consisting of four arches, one of which is of cast iron, opening by swivels for the admission of vessels. The houses, partly built of brick and partly of stone, are ranged on bold acclivities on the opposite sides of the river. The greater number of the streets are narrow, and some inconveniently steep; the approaches, however, have been much improved, and many of the modern buildings are spacious and elegant. The streets are paved under an act of parliament obtained in 1837, repealing an act granted in 1789, and are lighted with gas from works established in 1825 by a company of shareholders, who have since sold them to Mr. James Malam. A newsroom, a neat and well-arranged building, was erected in 1814. The assembly-rooms are chiefly appropriated for public meetings, and the occasional delivery of lectures; and the theatre, erected in 1784, and destroyed by fire in 1823, has not been rebuilt. The public baths, on the north pier, a handsome range three stories high, were erected in 1826, by a body of shareholders. The lowest story is fitted up with every accommodation for bathing: the second comprises a subscription library, established about the year 1760, and containing more than 7000 volumes, with reading-rooms; and the third story is appropriated as the museum of the Whitby Literary and Philosophical Society, founded in 1823.
About half a mile from the pier is Whitby Spa, a chalybeate spring, of which the water has been analysed by John Murray, Esq., F.A.S., F.L.S., and found to contain muriate of soda, muriate of magnesia, sulphate of lime, and carbonate of iron held in solution by carbonic acid gas. The proportions of the ingredients have not yet been precisely determined, but the water is in high repute for its medicinal and tonic qualities. Mr. Murray has also analysed the water of a spring on the property of Miss Clark, of Bagdale, and with the exception only of the iron, which he found to be a subcarbonate, it comprises similar ingredients, producing effects scarcely to be distinguished from the former. These waters, for some time neglected, are now successfully administered in all cases in which saline tonics are recommended. Many handsome lodging-houses have been built for the reception of families, and there are several taverns and hotels for the accommodation of the numerous visiters whom the facilities of sea-bathing, the benefit of the waters, and the beauty of the scenery, attract during the season to this part of the coast.
The environs, in which are some good mansions, picturesque villas, and gentlemen's seats, abound with interest. In the rocks in the vicinity are found fossils and organic remains of almost every species, and in the aluminous strata, especially, petrifactions in numerous varieties, some of which cannot easily be assigned to any specific class. Among the most remarkable remains that have been discovered, are the petrified bones of a crocodile nearly entire, deposited in the museum of the Whitby Philosophical Society. One of the most perfect specimens of the plesiosaurus ever found was discovered in the lias strata, in 1841, and is deposited in the Woodwardian Museum, Cambridge. This fossil measures 15 feet 6 inches in length, and 8 feet 5 inches in breadth across the fore paddles; the head and neck together are 7 feet in length, and the whole in a most entire state of preservation. Ammonites, or snake stones, are obtained in great abundance in every part of the alum-rocks, but more particularly at Whitby Scarr; of these there are many different kinds, coiled in spiral folds, and imbedded in stones of elliptical or lenticular form, of much harder texture than the shells they inclose. The nautilites are also numerous, and many of them curious and beautiful; they are found generally in the lower beds of the lias strata, each of which has its peculiar fossil remains. There are not less than a hundred varieties of multilocular shells. The natural curiosities of this part of the county are fully described in Young's Geological Survey of the Yorkshire Coast, and his History of Whitby.
At the commencement, and during the greater part, of the reign of Elizabeth, the town was small, and inhabited chiefly by fishermen. Its subsequent increase, and ultimate commercial prosperity, may be attributed to the discovery of the alum-mines in this part of the coast, towards the end of that reign. The establishment of some alum-works by Mr. Chaloner, at Guisborough, about that time, was attended with so much success that works of a similar kind were erected at this place in 1615; and the large quantity of coal necessary for the supply of these works, and the facilities required for conveying their produce to distant parts of the kingdom, appear to have laid the foundation of its maritime importance. The great increase in the number of vessels connected with the works, and the abundance of oaktimber in the immediate vicinity, soon afterwards led to the introduction of ship-building, for which the port has ever since maintained a high degree of celebrity; many large and handsome ships have been launched from the docks, and all the vessels that accompanied Captain Cookin his voyage round the world were built here. After the peace in 1815, this trade greatly declined; a few years ago, however, it revived, and in 1838, twentyfive vessels, of which nineteen were of more than 100 tons' burthen, were launched from the several buildingyards. The ships of Whitby are remarkable for symmetry, strength, and durability, and a very considerable number are employed in the principal trading ports of the kingdom. The alum manufacture, which formerly constituted the main trade of the port, great quantities of alum being exported to France, Holland, and other parts of the continent, has very much diminished, and the chief part now manufactured is sent coastwise to London, Hull, and other towns, for the supply of the home market: the extensive works at Kettleness were totally destroyed in 1829, by the falling of the rock beneath which they were situated; but they have been recently rebuilt. The Greenland and Davis' Straits whale-fishery was first established here in 1753, and was for many years an important branch of trade: upon an average, about eight ships were sent out annually, with lucrative success; but about the year 1823, from the insufficiency of the returns, and the frequent loss of vessels employed in the trade, it began to decline, and in 1837 it was totally discontinued. The foreign business of the port at present consists chiefly in the importation of timber from British America, and timber, wooden wares, hemp, and flax, from the Baltic; the foreign export trade is inconsiderable. The coastingtrade is very extensive. The principal articles sent coastwise are, the produce of the alum-mines still in operation, and large quantities of freestone, grindstones, whinstone, and ironstone, from the quarries at Aislaby, Grosmont, and other places, forwarded by the Whitby Stone Company to London, Hull, Newcastle, Liverpool, and other towns: the chief articles imported are groceries, salt, bones, and coal. The number of vessels registered as belonging to the port is 327, of which 200 are of more than 100 tons; the aggregate burthen is 51,208 tons. The number of vessels that entered inwards during a recent year was 668, and their burthen 33,634 tons; of this number, 43 were from foreign ports, and 625 in the coasting-trade. The number that cleared outwards was 248, of the aggregate burthen of 13,537 tons, of which 7 vessels were in the foreign, and 241 in the coasting, trade; and the amount of duties paid at the custom-house, during the same year, was £6968. In 1839, the port obtained the privilege of bonding goods, for which spacious warehouses have been appropriated. Its jurisdiction extends from Peasholm Beck to Huntcliff Foot, a distance of forty miles. The custom-house is a neat and commodious building, situated in Sandgate; in one of the windows is a portrait of Charles II., in stained glass.
The harbour has been greatly improved at different times. Previously to 1632, the piers were constructed of wood, with a few loose stones; but in the course of that year, the west pier of stone was built under the auspices of Sir Hugh Cholmeley, who raised a subscription of £500 for the purpose. An act of parliament was obtained in 1702, for the improvement of the harbour; and the west pier has been rebuilt on a larger scale, and extended to Haggersgate by a spacious quay, which has been recently extended to the bridge, and forms a noble promenade, nearly half a mile in length to the pier-head. The east pier has also been enlarged, and both are faced, towards the sea, with dressed stones of immense size, weighing nearly six tons each. Two inner piers, called respectively the Burges Pier and the Fish Pier, have been formed within the harbour, to break the force of the waves, and give greater security to the shipping; and several rocks which obstructed the entrance have been removed. At the northern extremity of the west pier is a lighthouse, erected in 1831, after a design by Mr. Francis Pickernell, the present engineer; it is a handsome fluted column of the Doric order, seventy-five feet in height, with an octagonal lantern surmounted by a dome, and displaying at night a brilliant light for two hours before, and two hours after, high water. During the day, a flag is displayed on the west cliff, denoting that vessels may enter with safety; and an apparatus near the lighthouse shows, by a revolving index, the depth of water on the bar. At the head of the west pier is a circular battery, formerly mounted with six pieces of cannon; and since the erection of the quay, a battery, in the form of a crescent, with a tower at each end, has been built on the west side of the pier, nearly opposite to the extremity of the quay, called the Scotch Head, behind which are a bomb-proof magazine, and offices for the station of the preventive service. The entrance of the harbour is 276 feet in width between the two outer piers, and 216 between the inner piers; there is also a third entrance, 204 feet wide. The depth of water at spring tides is from 15 to 18 feet, and at neap tides from 10 to 12 feet; and within the inner harbour is sufficient accommodation for a large fleet to ride in safety.
There are several wet and dry docks, with slips for ship-building, and numerous yards for boat-building, which is carried on to a great extent. The manufacture of sailcloth, for which the place is celebrated, affords employment to a considerable number of persons: there are likewise extensive rope-walks; a large flax-mill erected in 1807, for dressing, spinning, and weaving, but now unoccupied; and the saw and bone mills of Messrs. Chapman and Co., erected in 1836. Sail-making is also carried on very largely. The Whitby and Pickering railway, which was originally opened in 1838, and re-opened in 1847, contributes greatly to the prosperity of the town, affording facility of conveyance for the valuable produce of the quarries in the adjacent districts. To this important work may be attributed the establishment of the Whitby Stone Company, and of the Brick and Tile Company. The line passes through the beautiful vale of Esk, and a succession of other valleys abounding in richly-diversified and highly-romantic scenery: it communicates with the York and Scarborough line near Malton. The market, granted by charter of Henry VI., is on Saturday, and is plentifully supplied with provisions of every kind. A fair in honour of St. Hilda, originally granted to the abbot of Whitby by Henry II., is held on the 25th of August and two following days, and there is a fair on Martinmas-day. Two fairs, also, have been established by the Whitby Agricultural Society, one for cattle in August, and the other in October for cheese: premiums are given on these occasions by the society.
The fishery on the coast, which has been conducted for many years with the most profitable success, is still pursued with advantage, and from the facility of conveyance into the interior by railway, is rapidly increasing. The principal fish taken are cod, ling, halibut, soles, and haddocks. Salmon and salmon-trout were formerly abundant in the river Esk, and constituted a main part of the trade; they are now very scarce, and are taken only on the coast by a peculiar mode of fishing, the latter occasionally in considerable quantities. A herring-fishery has been carried on since 1833, chiefly through the exertions of the Whitby Herring Company, established at that time: about 800 lasts are taken annually, of which about one-half are sold to the owners of vessels from the French coast; of the remainder about 120 lasts are cured for home consumption.
The affairs of the town are under the superintendence of commissioners appointed by act of parliament for its improvement, in 1837. The magistrates of the North riding hold petty-sessions here every Tuesday and Saturday; a court of pleas for the recovery of debts to any amount takes place every third Monday, and a court leet at Michaelmas. The powers of the county debt-court of Whitby, established in 1847, extend over the registration-district of Whitby. The town-hall, rebuilt by Nathaniel Cholmeley, Esq., lord of the manor, in 1788, is a handsome structure of stone, with a cupola surmounted by a dome. There is a small prison for the town and liberty, near the battery on the quay. By the act of William IV., the town was constituted an electoral borough with the privilege of returning one member; the right of election is vested in the £10 householders of Whitby, Ruswarp, and Hawsker cum Stainsacre, comprising 5132 acres, and a population of 9975.
The living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £206; patron, the Archbishop of York. The church, situated near the verge of a lofty cliff, and to which is an ascent of 194 steps, is a cruciform structure of very ancient foundation; some parts of it are apparently of older date than the ruins of the abbey, but it has undergone so many alterations and repairs, that very little of its original character remains. It was thoroughly repaired, and the north transept enlarged, in 1823, and is now adapted for a congregation of 2000 persons. At Baxtergate is a chapel of ease, erected by subscription in 1778, and containing 800 sittings. At Aislaby, Eskdaleside, and Ugglebarnby are other chapels. There are places of worship for the Society of Friends, Independents, Primitive Methodists, Seceders from the Scottish Church, Unitarians, and Wesleyans; and a Roman Catholic chapel. The Seamen's Hospital, originally established by voluntary contribution, in 1676, affords a comfortable asylum to forty-two, disabled seamen, or seamen's widows. In 1760 it was placed, by act of parliament, under the management of fifteen trustees, annually chosen from the masters and owners of ships, and who are empowered to levy a monthly contribution of two shillings for its support from every master, and of one shilling from every seaman belonging to the port, producing together an income of £800 per annum, from which a monthly allowance is paid to each of the inmates, and to various out-pensioners. There are likewise numerous provident societies, and a savings' bank, in which the amount of deposits exceeds £40,000; and various benefactions have been made for the relief of the poor. The union of Whitby comprises twenty-two parishes or places, containing a population of 20,100.
The remains of the ancient abbey are situated near the parochial church, and, from their exposed situation, have at various times sustained severe injury from storms. The south wall of the nave was blown down in 1763, to the very foundations: in 1830, the remains of the central tower with its massive columns fell; and in 1839, part of the south wall of the choir was levelled with the ground, so that this once majestic structure is now greatly mutilated. The style is chiefly the early and decorated English, of which many elegant details are discernible; and such of the windows of the later English style as are still entire, are enriched with elaborate tracery.
Whitchbury, Wilts.—See Whitsbury.
WHITCHBURY, Wilts.—See Whitsbury.
WHITCHESTER, a township, in the parish of Heddon-on-the-Wall, union of Castle ward, E. division of Tindale ward, S. division of Northumberland, 9½ miles (W. N. W.) from Newcastle; containing 66 inhabitants. This place was for ages the possession of the Turpin family, from whom it passed to the Widdringtons, whose sole heiress conveyed it by marriage to Lord Windsor. It is at present the property of Spearman Johnstone, Esq., of York, and John Dobson, Esq., the latter of whom resides at High Seat, a handsome mansion erected in 1808, on a site commanding an extensive view. The township is situated on both sides of the great Roman wall, on the line of the military road from Newcastle to Carlisle; and comprises about 786 acres, of which two-thirds are arable, and the remainder meadow and pasture: the surface is elevated, and the soil generally a clayey loam. The vicarial tithes have been commuted for £19. In the township is the site of a Roman station, defended on every side by deep ravines; and in a large cairn on Turpin's Hill, two stone coffins were found in 1771 and 1795, in one of which were two urns, with copper coins of Domitian, Antoninus Pius, and Faustina.
Whitchurch (St. John the Evangelist)
WHITCHURCH (St. John the Evangelist), a parish, in the union of Aylesbury, hundred of Cottesloe, county of Buckingham, 4¾ miles (N. by W.) from Aylesbury; containing 930 inhabitants. A market on Monday, and a fair on the festival of St. John the Evangelist, were formerly held, under a grant made in 1245. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £8. 17.. and in the patronage of the Crown; net income, £61. There is a place of worship for Wesleyans. John Westcar, in 1833, bequeathed £500, the interest to be appropriated in supplying the poor with clothing.
Whitchurch (St. Andrew)
WHITCHURCH (St. Andrew), a parish, in the union of Tavistock, hundred of Roborough, Tavistock and S. divisions of Devon, 1¼ mile (S. E.) from Tavistock; containing 918 inhabitants. Walreddon House, here, the property of William Courtenay, Esq., a descendant of the Courtenays, earls of Devon, is an ancient mansion of the time of Edward VI., whose arms in the hall are still in good preservation. Holwell House, also in the parish, was, until within a recent period, the property and residence of the Glanville family, and is now the property of John Scobell, Esq. The Tavistock races are held on Whitchurch Down. The living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £16. 5. 5; net income, £195; patron, incumbent, and impropriator, the Rev. Peter Sleeman. A chantry chapel was founded in 1300, by the abbot of Tavistock.
Whitchurch (St. Dubritius)
WHITCHURCH (St. Dubritius), a parish, in the union of Monmouth, Lower division of the hundred of Wormelow, county of Hereford, 6½ miles (S. W. by S.) from Ross; containing 897 inhabitants. This parish is situated on the bank of the river Wye, and on the road from Ross to Monmouth; and comprises about 2000 acres, including an extra-parochial district of the same name, which consists of 130 acres. The surface is finely diversified, and the soil fertile. In the Great Doward Hill are large deposits of rich iron-ore of a peculiar quality, belonging to R. Blakemore, Esq., who attempted to work it, but relinquished the operations in consequence of the vast expense. Limestone is quarried for the supply of the adjacent district. The living is a rectory, with that of Ganerew annexed, valued in the king's books at £6. 0. 2½., and in the patronage of Joseph Pyrke, Esq., with a net income of £300, and a good parsonage-house, lately erected by the Rev. G. Pyrke; the glebe comprises 6 acres. The church is chiefly in the decorated style, and is skirted by the Wye. There are places of worship for Independents, Primitive Methodists, and Wesleyans. A tessellated pavement has been discovered, which is supposed to have been part of a Roman bath; and several Roman coins have been found in the neighbourhood. On the slope of the Great Doward is a cave distinguished by the name of Arthur's Hall; and in a meadow in the parish is a well called the Dropping Well, whose waters have a petrifying quality.
Whitchurch (St. Mary)
WHITCHURCH (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Bradfield, chiefly in the hundred of Langtree, county of Oxford, 6½ miles (N. W.) from Reading; containing 843 inhabitants. It comprises 2180a. 3r. 35p., of which 301a. 3r. 39p. are in the county of Berks, and the remainder in the county of Oxford. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £16. 2. 8½., and in the patronage of the Crown; net income, £456. The tithes were commuted for land and corn-rents, under an act of inclosure, in the 40th of George III.
Whitchurch (St. Alkmund)
WHITCHURCH (St. Alkmund), a market-town and parish, chiefly in the Whitchurch division of the hundred of North Bradford, N. division of Salop, but partly in the hundred of Nantwich, S. division of Cheshire, 20 miles (N. by E.) from Shrewsbury, and 160 (N. W. by N.) from London; containing, with the townships of Alkington, Ash Magna and Parva, Black-Park, Broughall, Chinnell, Dodington, Edgeley, Hinton, Hollyhurst, Tilstock, Wirswall, and New and Old Woodhouses, 6373 inhabitants, of whom 3403 are in the town. This place was anciently called Album Monasterium, and Blancminster, which terms have the same signification as its present name, and appear to imply the existence of a monastery. An hospital was standing here in the reign of Henry III., which was endowed by the lord of the manor with the whole town of Wylnecot, for the relief of the poor at its gate. In 1211, King John assembled his forces here, prior to attacking the Welsh, on which occasion he penetrated to the foot of Snowdon, in North Wales. At the commencement of the civil war of the 17th century, the inhabitants appear to have taken an active part in favour of the king, and to have raised a regiment in support of his cause. Of the foundation and history of the ancient castle, a portion of whose ruined walls was standing in 1760, nothing is now known.
The town, is situated on elevated ground, in a rich and picturesque country, and contains some neat streets and respectable houses. In its neighbourhood are three fine lakes, called Osmere, Blackmere, and Brown Moss-water, and several brooks, one of which, Red Brook, is the boundary between England and Wales; another separates this county from that of Chester. The trade is principally in malt and hops; shoes are manufactured for the Manchester market, and near the town is an establishment for making oak acid, also several limekilns and brick ovens. A branch of the Ellesmere canal extends to the town, by means of which and other canals boats ply to London and the intervening towns, and to Manchester and Shrewsbury. The market is on Friday; and there are fairs on the second Friday in April, WhitMonday, the Friday after August 2nd, and October 28th. A high steward, appointed by the lord of the manor, superintends the affairs of the town, and presides at courts baron and leet held in October, at the townhall, which is the depository for the rolls and archives of the lordship. The powers of the county debt-court of Whitchurch, established in 1847, extend over part of the registration-districts of Ellesmere, Nantwich, Wrexham, and Wem and Whitchurch.
The living is a rectory, with the living of Marbury annexed, valued in the king's books at £44. 11. 8., and in the patronage of the Trustees of the Earl of Bridgewater: the tithes of Whitchurch have been commuted for £1346, and the glebe consists of 35 acres. The church, erected in 1722, on the site of an ancient edifice, is a noble structure of the Tuscan order, built of freestone, with a square embattled tower. It contains several handsome monuments of the Talbot family, and amongst them an effigy in alabaster of the renowned John Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury, who was killed in France, in 1453, and who, for his remarkable prowess, was called the English Achilles. At Ash and Tilstock are separate incumbencies. There are places of worship for Baptists, Independents, Wesleyans, and Unitarians. The free grammar school, situated at Bargates, was founded in 1550, by Sir John Talbot, who was incumbent of the parish; and was endowed by him with £200, since augmented by bequests from William Thomas and others, the whole now producing an income of £454. A charity school for children of both sexes, and an almshouse for six decayed housekeepers, were endowed by Samuel Higginson in 1697, and Jane Higginson in 1707, with property now producing about £250 per annum; and a school in connexion with the Presbyterians, was founded and endowed by Thomas Benyon in 1707. The interest of £2200, arising from bequests by Elizabeth Turton in 1794 and others, is distributed among persons in reduced circumstances; and a considerable sum is likewise laid out in bread. In 1828, the late Earl of Bridgewater, who was rector of the parish, bequeathed £2000 for charitable uses. At the northern extremity of the town is an extensive house of industry, built and principally supported from the funds of several bequests left for general purposes of relief. Whitchurch is the birthplace of Dr. Bernard, chaplain and biographer of Archbishop Ussher; and of Abraham Wheelock, a celebrated linguist, who died in 1654.
Whitchurch, or Felton (St. Gregory)
WHITCHURCH, or Felton (St. Gregory), a parish, in the union and hundred of Keynsham, E. division of Somerset, 3 miles (N.) from Pensford; containing 416 inhabitants. The name Filton, or Felton, is derived from a very old town situated to the north-west of the present village, in a forest or chace once called Filwood: a church having been erected on the site of an ancient chapel dedicated to St. White, the inhabitants of Filton gradually removed into its vicinity, upon which the new village and the parish assumed the designation of Whitchurch. The living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £88; patrons and impropriators, Sir J. Smyth, Bart., and the Laugton family.
Whitchurch (All Saints)
WHITCHURCH (All Saints), a parish, the head of a union, and formerly a market-town and representative borough, in the hundred of Evingar, Kingsclere and N. divisions of the county of Southampton, 12 miles (N. by E.) from Winchester, and 57 (W. S. W.) from London; containing, with the tythings of Charlcott, PriorsFreefolk, Cold Henley, and Whitchurch-Parsonage, 1741 inhabitants. The town, which is small and irregularly built, is situated on the river Test, on very low ground, under a range of chalk hills. Many of the inhabitants are employed in silk-weaving, and two silk-mills furnish employment to about 100 persons: there are also several corn-mills on the river. A pleasure-fair is held on the third Thursday in June, and another fair on October 19th and 20th, for cattle, pigs, &c. Whitchurch is a borough by prescription, and has a corporation consisting of a mayor and bailiff, who do not now, however, exercise any authority. They are chosen with a constable, at the court leet of the manor, held in October at the town-hall, a neat building erected about seventy years since; and another court takes place at the manor farm, in May, under the Dean and Chapter of Winchester as lords of the manor. The town first sent members to parliament in the 27th of Queen Elizabeth, and was deprived of its franchise by the act passed in the 2nd of William IV. The parish comprises about 6450 acres, chiefly arable land. The living is a vicarage, valued in the kings books at £13. 12. 8½.; net income, £120; patron, the Bishop of Winchester; impropriator, J. Portal, Esq. The church, which is a low plain structure with a tower, contains a library, chiefly of theological works, bequeathed by the Rev. William Wood, to which access is obtained by permission of the vicar. There are places of worship for Baptists, Independents, and Wesleyans. A quantity of clothing and bedding, of the annual value of about £80, is distributed amongst the poor from a bequest made by Richard Wollaston in 1688. The union of Whitchurch comprises seven parishes or places, and contains a population of 5496.
Whitchurch (St. Mary)
WHITCHURCH (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Stratford-upon-Avon, Kineton division of the hundred of Kineton, S. division of the county of Warwick, 4 miles (S. S. E.) from Stratford; containing 247 inhabitants. It includes the hamlets of Broughton, Critnscott, and Wimpstone; and comprises 1942a. 2r. 4p., of which 313 acres are common or waste: of the tithable land, 799 acres are arable, and 116 pasture. The soil is moderately good, in some parts very rich, and the surface is level. The river Stour bounds the parish on the north-east and north, and the road from Stratford to Oxford passes through. There are some quarries of stone used chiefly for mending the roads. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £20. 17. 3½., and in the patronage of J. Roberts West, Esq.: the tithes have been commuted for £286. 10. 7., and the glebe comprises 77 acres, with a parsonage-house, built in 1840 by the present rector. The church is an ancient structure in the Norman style. £6. 7. left by the Ayshcombe family (to one of whom is a monument in the church) are distributed in bread and clothes annually to the poor. Here is a mound marking the site of an old castle.
Whitchurch-Canonicorum (Holy Cnoss)
WHITCHURCH-CANONICORUM (Holy Cnoss), a parish, in the union of Bridport, hundred of Whitchurch-Canonicorum, Bridport division of Dorset, 2½ miles (N. K. by E.) from Charmouth; containing 1581 inhabitants. This parish, which is one of the most ancient in the county, derives its name from the original dedication of its church to St. Candida, or White, in honour of whom a monastery was founded here, which was called Album Monasterium, and at the time of the Norman survey belonged to the abbey of St. Wandragasil, in Normandy. The grant of a market and fair made in the reign of Henry III., was confirmed in the 4th of Edward II. Chideock, in the vicinity, was distinguished for its castle, the residence of the Chideocks and the Arundels, which, during the civil war of the 17th century, was a powerful check upon the garrison of Lyme, and was alternately in the possession of the contending parties. The parish comprises 5889 acres, of which 428 are common or waste. The soil of the vale, which principally affords pasture for cattle, is a cold chalky clay, but in the parish generally the soil is deep and fertile; flint, which is much used in building walls, is found on Hadden Hill. Many of the women and children are employed in making fishing-nets. The living is a vicarage, endowed with a portion of the rectorial tithes, with the livings of Chideock, Stanton St. Gabriel, and Marshwood annexed, and valued in the king's books at £32. 6. 3.; patron, the Bishop of Bath and Wells; appropriators of the remaining portion of the rectorial tithes, the Dean and Chapter of Wells and Dean and Chapter of Sarum, in moieties. The tithes have been commuted for £1045, and the glebe comprises 35 acres. The church, originally dedicated to St. Candida, and afterwards to the Holy Cross, is a handsome cruciform structure in the Norman style, with a tower eighty feet high, and contains some interesting monuments, among which is one to Sir John Jeffery, Kot., with his effigy in armour, and another to one of the Hemley family: the pulpit is curiously carved. There are places of worship for Baptists and Independents.
WHITCHURCH-MAUND, a township, in the parish of Bodenham, poor-law union of Leominster, hundred of Broxash, county of Hereford; containing 116 inhabitants.
WHITCLIFF, with Thorpe, a township, in the parish and liberty of Ripon, W. riding of York, 1½ mile (S.) from Ripon; containing 186 inhabitants. It comprises by computation 1300 acres, whereof 909 are in Thorpe, which has a pleasant and well-built village. The river Ure and the Ripon canal flow at a short distance. The impropriate tithes have been commuted for £198; and the appropriate for £68, payable to the Dean and Chapter of Ripon.
WHITCOMBE, a parish, in the union of Dorchester, hundred of Culliford-Tree, Dorchester division of Dorset, 2¼ miles (S. E.) from Dorchester; containing 52 inhabitants. It comprises 690 acres, of which 350 are arable, and 340 meadow and pasture; the soil is a light loam, resting upon chalk. The living is a donative; net income, £13; patron, the Hon. G. L. D. Darner. The church is in the early English style.
WHITECHAPEL, an ecclesiastical parish, in the parish of Kirkham, union of Preston, hundred of Amounderness, N. division of Lancashire, 5½ miles (S. E. by E.) from Garstang; containing about 800 inhabitants. It consists of the Higher end of the township of Goosnargh, and was constituted a parish in 1846. The surface is hilly, the soil inferior, and the scenery wild: there are extensive views of the Fylde, &c. Richard Snell, Esq., of Leyland, is proprietor of White Hill here. It is not known when the church, formerly a chapel, was erected, but it was enlarged in the year 1716-17: it is dedicated to St. John. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of the Dean and Chapter of ChristChurch, Oxford; net income, £80. A school is endowed with £40 per annum, and a house for the master, built in 1840 by Thomas Oliverson, Esq.
Whitechapel (St. Mary)
WHITECHAPEL (St. Mary), a parish, and the head of a union, in the Tower division of the hundred of Ossulstone, county of Middlesex; adjoining the city of London, and containing 34,053 inhabitants. This populous parish extends in an eastern direction from Aldgate to Mile-End, a continuous line nearly a mile in length, and including Whitechapel High-street and Whitechapel-road, the former a noted market for butchers' meat, and the latter containing numerous manufacturing establishments. On the south side of the road is a long-established bell-foundry. In Fieldgatestreet, nearly adjoining, but within the hamlet of MileEnd Old Town, in the parish of Stepney, is a large ironfoundry, to which is attached a manufactory of gun-carriages and wheelwrights' work, this latter department of the concern being in Whitechapel parish. In Great Garden-street, on the north of the road, is a brassfoundry; and nearly opposite is a factory for every kind of furnishing ironmongery, smoke and wind-up jacks, scales and scale-beams, and other articles, upon a very extensive scale. Near this extremity of the parish, and bordering on Bethnal-Green, is the distillery of Mr. Smith, for British spirits and compounds, established in that family for nearly a century; the premises, which have been rebuilt on a commodious plan, occupy a large extent of ground, and contain two powerful steamengines. In Thomas-street are some starch-works, which have been conducted by the Leschers for half a century; a steam-engine of sixteen-horse power is applied to the grinding of wheat and to other purposes connected with the manufacture, and from 800 to 900 hogs are usually fed on the premises. In Osborne-place is a large establishment for dyeing woollen-cloth. In a southern direction, the parish extends to Well-Close-square, onehalf of which is within its limits; this portion comprises Goodman's-Fields and several spacious and wellbuilt streets, including Great Prescot-street, Lemanstreet, and Great and Little Aylie-street, in the neighbourhood of which are numerous establishments for the refining of sugar, which constitutes the principal trade of the parish. In Church-lane is the proof-house of the City of London Company of Gun-makers, originally erected by the company in 1757, and rebuilt in 1818. There are several manufactories of floor-cloth in Whitechapel-road, and some establishments of coach and coach-harness makers, with various other works in different parts of the parish. The Royal Pavilion theatre, on the north side of the road, is a commodious building, with a principal entrance between Ionic pillars supporting a cornice. In Leman-street is the Royal Garrick theatre. One of the county debt-courts established in 1847, is fixed at Whitechapel.
The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £31. 17. 3½.; net income, £700; patrons, the Principal and Fellows of Brasenose College, Oxford. The church, previously to 1329, was a chapel of ease to St. Dunstan's, Stepney, the rector of which parish, in that year, made Whitechapel a rectory; the ancient building was taken down, and the present church erected of brick, in 1673, by private subscription. It has a small tower at the west end with an illuminated dial, surmounted by a cupola; the interior is handsomely arranged, and the roof, which is partly arched, is supported on Corinthian columns. Near the altar is a mural monument by Banks, erected by the parishioners to the Rev. R. Markham, D.D., formerly rector; and in various parts of the church and in the burial-ground are other monuments. St. Mark's district church, on the Tenter Ground, was erected by the Metropolitan Church-building Society, and consecrated in May, 1839; it is a neat edifice of brick in the early English style, with a square tower surmounted by an octagonal spire, and contains 1200 sittings, of which 500 are free. The living is in the gift of Brasenose College; income, £150. An additional church, of which the first stone was laid at Michaelmas 1845, was erected partly by Her Majesty's Commissioners; it is in the early English style, with a tower at the south-west angle, was completed in 1847, and cost £8000. This is a free church, for mariners, and dedicated to St. Paul. There are places of worship for Baptists, Independents, Wesleyans, and other dissenters. In Little Aylie-street is the German Lutheran church, dedicated to St. George, a neat building with a campanile turret; and in Hooper's-square is a German Calvinistic chapel.
The parochial school, originally founded and endowed by the Rev. R. Davenant, rector of the parish in 1680, and which was handsomely rebuilt in 1818, has an income of £700, arising from benefactions and annual subscriptions. The free school in Gower's-walk was established in 1806, under the immediate superintendence of the late Dr. Bell, by Mr. William Davis, who erected the building at his own cost, and endowed the institution with £2400 three per cents.: the income, including the profits of a printing-office instituted by the founder for the use of the boys, is about £1200. The Whitechapel Society's Institution in Whitechapel-road was commenced in 1814, in union with the National Society, and is a spacious brick building with a cupola at the west end; the schoolroom is consecrated, and two regular services are performed every Sunday by the chaplain and superintendent of the institution. Almshouses were founded and endowed in Whitechapel-road, in 1658, by William Meggs, for twelve aged widows; the endowment, including subsequent benefactions, is £149 per annum. Eight almshouses founded by Thomas Baker, Esq., for widows, form a neat range in the Elizabethan style.
The London Hospital here owes its origin to Mr. John Harrison, surgeon, who, having conducted a small establishment of the kind near Upper Moorfields, removed it to Prescot-street, Goodman's Fields, in the year 1740, under the designation of the London Infirmary. An appropriate building upon a larger scale having been subsequently erected in the Whitechapel-road, the institution was removed to that place in 1758, and the conductors incorporated by the name of the Governors of the London Hospital. The buildings have been progressively enlarged, and are now adapted to the reception of 370 patients; the average number of in-patients is about 320, and of out-patients 7000 annually. The income, including contributions from public bodies and private subscriptions, is about £9000. The Sailors' Home, or Brunswick Maritime Establishment, is intended for the benefit of unemployed sailors belonging to the port of London; to provide them with board and lodging at a moderate charge, and with religious and moral instruction, while on shore; to procure for them employment in the navy or merchants' service, and to furnish such as are needy with the necessary outfits for the voyage. The building occupies the site of the late Brunswick theatre, in Well-street, London Docks, and has accommodation for 500 men; the first stone was laid in June, 1830. A model establishment of Baths and Wash-houses has been formed in Goulstone-square, the building covering about 13,500 square feet, and containing about 100 baths, each in a separate apartment, and 100 pairs of wash-tubs, each with a separate dryingcloset; the whole so arranged as to insure almost entire privacy to every person. The poor-law union of Whitechapel contains a population of 71,758; there are workhouses in Whitechapel and Spitalfields.