A Topographical Dictionary of England. Originally published by S Lewis, London, 1848.
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COURAGE, a tything, in the parish of Chieveley, union of Newbury, hundred of Faircross, county of Berks, 4½ miles (N. N. E.) from Newbury; containing 277 inhabitants. The vicarial tithes have been commuted for £342.
Courteenhall (St. Peter and St. Paul)
COURTEENHALL (St. Peter and St. Paul), a parish, in the union of Hardingstone, hundred of Wymersley, S. division of the county of Northampton, 5½ miles (S.) from Northampton; containing 143 inhabitants. This place is situated between the two roads from Northampton to London, one by NewportPagnell and the other by Stony-Stratford, and is within a mile of the Roade station of the London and Birmingham railway: the Grand Junction canal passes within two miles. The number of acres is 1314, mostly pasture. There is a quarry of limestone used for building and draining. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £12. 10. 10., and in the patronage of the Crown: the tithes have been commuted for £300, and the glebe comprises 60 acres, with a glebe-house. The church, supposed to have been built about the year 1587, is a neat structure, having some fine arches in the later English style; on the north side is a handsome monument, representing in full length Sir Samuel Jones, a former possessor of the estate, who provided the church with a set of bells. A free grammar school for boys was founded in 1680, by Sir Samuel, who bequeathed £500 for the erection of a school-house, a rent-charge of £80 for the master, and another of £20 for the usher. The same benefactor bequeathed £500 for repairing the church.
COVE, a tything in the parish of Yateley, hundred of Crondall, Odiham and N. divisions of the county of Southampton, 9 miles (E. N. E.) from Odiham; containing 433 inhabitants. It is within threequarters of a mile of the Farnborough station of the London and Southampton railway. A church for the inhabitants of Cove and South Hawley, was built in 1844, at a cost of £1200; it is a small handsome structure, in the Norman style. The living is in the gift of the Bishop of Winchester.
COVE, CHAPEL, a chapelry, in Pitt Quarter of the parish of Tiverton, union and hundred of Tiverton, Cullompton and N. divisions of Devon, 5 miles (N.) from Tiverton. The chapel is dedicated to St. John the Baptist.
Cove, North (St. Botolph)
COVE, NORTH (St. Botolph), a parish, in the union and hundred of Wangford, E. division of Suffolk, 3 miles (E. by S.) from Beccles; containing 219 inhabitants. This parish is situated on the road from Beccles to Lowestoft, and comprises by computation 2000 acres: the navigable river Waveney separates it, on the north, from the county of Norfolk. The Hall, and about 290 acres of land, were sold in 1845 to the Rev. Thomas Farr for £40,050. The living is a discharged rectory, with that of Willingham annexed, valued in the king's books at £10, and in the patronage of the Crown; net income, £353: there are about 5 roods of glebe. The church is in the later English style, and has an embattled tower, and a rich Norman doorway on the south; the font is curiously sculptured. There is a place of worship for Wesleyans.
Cove, South (St. Lawrence)
COVE, SOUTH (St. Lawrence), a parish, in the union and hundred of Blything, E. division of Suffolk, 3 miles (N.) from Southwold; containing 194 inhabitants, and comprising 1172 acres. The living is a discharged rectory, valued in the king's books at £6. 2. 11., and in the gift of Sir Thomas S. Gooch, Bart.: the tithes have been commuted for £267. 10.; there is a glebe-house, and the glebe comprises 13 acres. The church, an ancient edifice, has some remains of Norman architecture.
COVEN, a liberty, in the parish of Brewood, union of Penkridge, E. division of the hundred of Cuttlestone, S. division of the county of Stafford, 2 miles (E. S. E.) from Brewood; containing 650 inhabitants. It lies on the road from Wolverhampton to Penkridge, and has a considerable village. The Staffordshire and Worcestershire canal, and the Liverpool and Birmingham railway, pass through the liberty. A chapel of ease was built in 1839 by Edward Monckton, Esq., of Somerford Hall, and fitted up by the inhabitants. There is a place of worship for Wesleyans; also a national school, attached to the chapel.
Coveney (St. Peter)
COVENEY (St. Peter), a parish, in the hundred of South Witchford, union and Isle of Ely, county of Cambridge, 6 miles (W. N. W.) from Ely; containing, with the chapelry of Manea and the hamlet of Wardy-Hill, 1505 inhabitants. It stands on an eminence overlooking the Fens. The manor belonged to the monks of Ely, and having been for some time wrongfully withheld from them, was recovered by Bishop Nigell before the year 1169: among subsequent owners, occur the families of Lisle, Scrope, and Robinson. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £5, and in the gift of Lord Rokeby, with a net income of £809: the tithes have been commuted for £227. 14.; and there is a glebe of 30 acres. The church is an ancient edifice with a thatched roof. The chapel at Manea forms a separate cure. There is a national school supported by subscription; and about £50 per annum, the amount of various bequests, are distributed among the poor on St. Thomas's day. Great numbers of oak, and a few other trees, have been discovered buried at various depths below the surface, and some almost petrified are found in various places.
Covenham (St. Bartholomew)
COVENHAM (St. Bartholomew), commonly called Cawthorpe, a parish, in the union of Louth, wapentake of Ludborough, parts of Lindsey, county of Lincoln, 6 miles (N. N. E.) from Louth; containing 277 inhabitants. It comprises 1434a. 1r. 28p., and is watered at its eastern extremity by the river Ludd, from which a canal runs to Tetney Haven, at the mouth of the Humber. The living is a discharged rectory, valued in the king's books at £17. 12. 8.; net income, £287; patrons, the Heirs of Sapsford Harold, Esq., for one turn, and of the Rev. C. D. Holland, for two turns. The tithes of this parish, and of Covenham St. Mary, were commuted for corn-rents, under an inclosure act, in 1793. The glebe consists of about 62 acres in this parish, and 2½ in that of Grainthorpe. The church contains a curious octagonal font, much admired by antiquaries; and in the chancel is an effigy in metal of John Skypwyth, Knt., who was interred here in July, 1415. The church-land comprises 26 acres, allotted at the inclosure. There are places of worship for Primitive Methodists and Wesleyans.
Covenham (St. Mary)
COVENHAM (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Louth, wapentake of Ludborough, parts of Lindsey, county of Lincoln, 5½ miles (N. N. E.) from Louth; containing 169 inhabitants, and comprising 973a. 1r. 26p. The living is a discharged rectory, valued in the king's books at £10, and in the patronage of the Crown; net income, £197. The church is an ancient edifice, with a tower: in the north wall of the chancel is an arched compartment, ornamented with tracery, and supposed to have formerly contained a tomb. The church-land comprises 17a. 1r. 5p., allotted at the inclosure of the parish, and the rent is applied as far as necessary to the repair of the church, the residue being given to the poor. Here was a cell belonging to the monastery of St. Carilephus, in the diocese of Mains.
COVENTRY, an ancient city, in the hundred of Knightlow, N. division of the county of Warwick, 10 miles (N. E.) from Warwick, 18 (S. E.) from Birmingham, and 91 (N. N. W.) from London, on the road to Holyhead; containing, with the hamlets of Radford, Whitley, and Keresley, 31,430 inhabitants. In ancient records this place is called Coventre, and Conventrey, probably from the foundation of a convent, of which St. Osberg was abbess in the year 1016, when it was burnt by Canute, King of Denmark, and Edric the traitor, who, having invaded Mercia, destroyed many towns in Warwickshire. On the site of this convent, Leofric, Earl of Mercia, and his countess Godiva, about the beginning of the reign of Edward the Confessor, erected a monastery, which they munificently endowed, and decorated with such a profusion of costly ornaments, that, according to William of Malmesbury, the walls were covered with gold and silver. About this time, Leofric, at the intercession of his countess, granted the citizens a charter conferring various privileges and immunities, which gift was commemorated in the south window of Trinity church, by portraits of the earl and countess, with a poetical legend. Leofric died in 1057, and was interred in the monastery which he had founded. Shortly after the Norman Conquest, the lordship of Coventry became vested in the earls of Chester, of whom Ralph, the third earl of that name, married Lucia, grand-daughter of Leofric. Their son Ralph having espoused the cause of the Empress Matilda, his castle of Coventry was occupied by the forces of Stephen: the earl besieged it, but the king came in person to its relief, and repulsed him after an obstinate conflict. In 1141, Robert Marmion, the inveterate enemy of the Earl of Chester, took possession of the monastery, from which he expelled the monks; fortified the church; and cut deep trenches in the adjoining fields, concealing them only with a slight covering: on the earl's approach to dislodge him, Marmion drew out his forces, but forgetting the exact situation of the trenches, his horse fell with him to the ground, and in this situation his head was severed from his body by a private soldier. In the reign of Henry III., the twelve noblemen and prelates elected to decide upon the terms by which such as had forfeited their estates during the baronial war might be again admitted to enjoy them, met here; and their decree is called the Dictum de Kenilworth, from its having been published in the king's camp at Kenilworth, during his siege of the castle, in 1266. In 1355 was commenced the erection of the city walls, which were of great height and thickness, and subsequently extended to three miles in circuit; they were strengthened with thirty-two towers, and contained twelve principal gates, each defended by a portcullis.
In 1397, Richard II. appointed this town for the decision, by single combat, of the quarrel between the Dukes of Hereford and Norfolk; and magnificent preparations were made on Gosford Green for this encounter, which, however, was prevented by the banishment of the combatants, a measure that ultimately caused the deposition of the king. In 1404, the Duke of Hereford, who had become Duke of Lancaster by the death of his father, John of Gaunt, on his return from exile, having succeeded to the crown by the title of Henry IV., held a parliament here, which, from the exclusion of all lawyers, was called Parliamentum Indoctorum. In 1411, the Prince of Wales, afterwards Henry V., was arrested at the priory by John Horneby, mayor of the city, probably for some tumultuous excess, the particulars of which are not recorded. In 1459, Henry VI. held a parliament in the chapter-house of the priory, which, from the number of attainders passed against the Duke of York and others, was, by the Yorkists, called Parliamentum Diabolicum; the acts made in it were annulled by the succeeding parliament. In 1467, Edward IV. and his queen kept the festival of Christmas at Coventry; two years after, Earl Rivers and his son, who had both been seized by a party of the northern rebels at Grafton, were beheaded on Gosford Green, to the east of the city. In the war between the houses of York and Lancaster, Richard, Earl of Warwick, marched with all his ordnance and warlike stores into this city, where he remained for a short time, during which Edward IV., on his route from Leicester, attempted to force an entrance. Being repulsed, the king passed on to Warwick, and thence to London; and having gained the battle of Barnet, in which the Earl of Warwick was slain, and that near Tewkesbury shortly after, he returned to Coventry, and deprived the citizens of their charter, for the restoration of which they were compelled to pay a fine of 500 marks. In 1474, Edward IV. and his queen kept the festival of St. George here; and subsequently, in 1485, Henry VII., on his route from Bosworth Field, was received here with every demonstration of respect.
In the early part of the sixteenth century, Coventry became the theatre of religious persecution: the Bishop of Chester, coming to examine persons accused of heresy, condemned seven to the stake, which sentence was executed in the Little Park. In 1554, Mr. Hopkins, sheriff for the city, was confined in the Fleet prison, on a charge of heresy, but was liberated after great intercession, and fled the kingdom; in the following year, Laurence Saunders, Robert Glover, A.M., and Cornelius Bongey, were burnt for their religious tenets. In 1565, Queen Elizabeth visited the city; and in 1569, Mary, Queen of Scots, on her removal from Tutbury Castle for greater security, was for some time at the Bull inn, in the custody of the Earls of Shrewsbury and Huntingdon. In 1607, the city suffered considerable damage from an inundation, which entered 257 houses, washing away furniture and property of various kinds: the flood rose to the height of three yards, and after remaining for three or four hours, suddenly subsided; clusters of white snails were afterwards found in the houses and in the trees, supposed to have collected prior to the influx of the water, which, though observed at the distance of nearly a mile from the town, was so instantaneous in its approach, as to preclude all means of precaution. King James, attended by a large retinue of the nobility, visited the city in 1617, when a cup of pure gold, weighing 45 ounces, and containing the sum of £100, was presented to him by the corporation, which his majesty ordered to be preserved with the royal plate for the heirs of the crown.
During the parliamentary war, Charles I., having erected his standard at Nottingham in 1641, and taken the city of Leicester, sent orders to the mayor and sheriffs of Coventry to attend him at that place; but the majority of the citizens embraced the cause of the parliament, and a party having obtained possession of the magazine in Spon Tower, which the Earl of Northampton had directed the aldermen to secure for the royalists, kept it for Lord Brooke, who removed it to Warwick Castle. The parliamentarian party in the city, being reinforced with 400 men from Birmingham, held it against the king, who sent a herald to demand entrance, which being refused, some cannon were planted in the Great Park and on Stivichall Hill, which played upon the town, but without effect. Finding the citizens resolved to defend their gates, and learning that Lord Brooke was approaching with his army from London, the king drew off his forces; the city was now regularly garrisoned by the parliament, and further preparations made for its defence. The women were employed to fill up the quarries in the park, that they might not afford shelter to the royal troops; and for this purpose they assembled in companies, by beat of drum, and marched in military array, with mattocks and spades, headed by an amazon who carried an Herculean club on her shoulder. On the restoration of Charles II., that monarch was proclaimed by the mayor and aldermen, attended by a vast concourse of the inhabitants, with the most triumphant acclamation; the greatest rejoicings took place, and the public conduits of the city were made to flow with wine: a deputation was sent to present to him a basin and ewer, and 50 pieces of gold, and to restore all the king's lands. In the year 1662, the Earl of Northampton, with a large retinue of the neighbouring gentry, and a detachment of the county troops, was sent with a commission from the king to make a breach in the walls, as a punishment to the inhabitants for shutting their gates against his father; but the earl so far exceeded the limits of his commission as to leave only a few fragments of them remaining: the gates were only dismantled, and there are some yet standing, of which the Bastille, Swanswell, and Cook-street gates are the most entire.
The city is pleasantly situated on a gentle eminence, bounded on the north-east by the river Sherbourne and the Radford brook, which, running from north to south, unite within the town. Till of late, the houses were generally in the style of the fifteenth century, built of timber frame-work and brick, with the upper stories projecting, and presenting a dark and sombre appearance; the streets, also, were narrow and but partially paved: but the town has undergone great improvement, the more ancient parts having been taken down and rebuilt in a modern style. The suburbs have within the last few years been greatly extended; several new streets have been formed, and ranges of handsome houses erected: the whole is well paved, and lighted with gas; and the inhabitants are amply supplied with water from the corporation water-works. An act of parliament for the general improvement of the city, and providing for the establishment of a cemetery, also for a residence for the judges during the assizes, was passed in 1844. The environs are pleasant, abounding with interesting scenery, and having some agreeable promenades. The public library, established in 1791, has a proprietary of about 200 members, and is well regulated by a committee: the theatre, a neat and conveniently arranged building, is opened occasionally; and assemblies and concerts take place periodically at St. Mary's and Drapers' Halls. The barracks, erected in 1792, on the site of the old Bull inn (where Henry VII. slept on his route from the victory of Bosworth Field), are a handsome range of building, fronted with stone, and ornamented with the royal arms over the principal gateway; the establishment is for a field-officer and fifteen subalterns, and comprises a riding-house, an hospital, and stabling for 188 horses.
The making of caps was the principal trade of the town prior to the year 1436, when the manufacture of woollen and broad cloth was introduced, which continued to flourish till the end of the sixteenth century: at this time Coventry was celebrated for a superior blue dye, which from the permanence of its colour, obtained the appellation of "Coventry true blue." About the beginning of the eighteenth century, striped and mixed tammies, camlets, shalloons, and calimancoes, were manufactured to a considerable extent; to which succeeded the throwing of silk, the weaving of gauze, broad silks, and ribbon, and the manufacture of watches. The weaving of ribbon at present forms the staple trade: a vast supply is furnished weekly to the wholesale houses in London, and to every part of the United Kingdom, by means of commercial agents; and large quantities are exported. In 1808 there were 2819 silk and ribbon looms in the city alone, exclusively of those in the adjacent villages: since that time the number has considerably increased, affording employment to nearly 16,000 persons in the city and suburbs; and from the introduction of the French looms and machinery, an infinite variety in the pattern and an elegance in the texture have been attained, which give a distinguished superiority to the ribbon manufactured here. The manufacture of watches, for which Coventry was so long celebrated, has of late undergone great improvement; and many gold watches of superior construction are supplied to the first houses in that branch of trade. The situation of the town is peculiarly advantageous for trade, being central to the ports of London, Liverpool, Bristol, and Hull, and having by means of the Oxford and Coventry canals, which form a junction at a short distance to the north, a direct communication with the manufacturing districts of Lancashire and Yorkshire. On the south side of the town is a station of the London and Birmingham railway; there is a railway to Leamington, and an act was passed in 1846 for a railway to Nuneaton, 10½ miles in length.
The market, which is on Wednesday and Friday, is held in various parts of the town; for corn, in the Cross-cheaping, a spacious area enlarged by the removal of a middle range of old houses, and in which was the ancient cross, one of the most beautiful in the kingdom, built by Sir William Holles, Knt., in 1544, and taken down in 1771; for cattle, in Bishop-street; for pigs, in Cook-street; and for butter, eggs, and poultry, in an area behind the mayor's parlour, or police-office, where a market-house has been erected. Fairs for three days each commence April 21st, Aug. 16th, and Oct. 21st, for cattle and merchandise; to these fairs are attached courts of pie-poudre, and the corporation is entitled to the same tolls as are taken at Smithfield market, in London: there are also monthly fairs for cattle. The great show-fair takes place on the Friday after Corpus Christi-day, and continues for eight days, on the first of which the commemoration of Lady Godiva's procession is occasionally revived, by a representative obtained for that purpose. This ceremony has its origin in a tradition, that, the citizens having been greatly oppressed by the severe exactions imposed upon them by Leofric, his countess undertook to intercede for their relief, but was apparently frustrated in her suit by a promise of exemption only upon the condition of her riding naked through the city on horseback. It is further recorded in the traditionary legends of the city, that, having obtained her husband's permission, and trusting for concealment to the length of her hair, and to the discretion of the inhabitants, who were ordered, upon pain of death, to shut themselves up in their houses, she performed the task, and obtained for the city a charter of "freedom from servitude, evil customs, and exactions." The tradition also records that a tailor, who disobeyed the injunction, was instantly struck blind; and a figure, called Peeping Tom, carved in wood, and placed in an opening at the corner of a house in High-street, is still preserved in memory of this event, which has become closely interwoven with the history of the place, though not invented till the time of Charles II.
Ranulph, Earl of Chester, in the reign of Henry II., granted a charter to the inhabitants, confirming their possessions in free burgage as they held them in the time of his father and ancestors, with liberty to elect a bailiff, and to have a portmote, or town court of record, in which the bailiff should preside for the trial of all pleas amongst themselves; bestowing on them, also, all such freedoms as the burgesses of Lincoln enjoyed. This charter was confirmed by the reigning sovereign; and in a subsequent charter, granted by Edward III., Coventry, with a considerable district around it, was termed a city, and liberty was given to elect a mayor and two bailiffs, who presided in the portmote, which was from that time called the "Court of the Mayor and Bailiffs." Henry VI. made the bailiffs sheriffs also, and converted the city into a county, separating it from the county of Warwick, and conferring many other privileges. Under the last charter, that of James I., the corporation consisted of a mayor, 10 aldermen, a council of 31, a recorder, two sheriffs and bailiffs, a coroner, steward (always a barrister), two chamberlains, two wardens, a town-clerk, sword-bearer, mace-bearer, and subordinate officers. By the act of the 5th and 6th of William IV., cap. 76, the government is now vested in a mayor, 10 aldermen, and 30 councillors. The city is divided into 5 wards, instead of 10 as formerly; and comprises 13 fraternities, or trading companies, the numbers of which, with the exception of the Drapers' Company, who still retain their hall, have been greatly reduced. There are 19 justices of the peace; and a police force, consisting of a superintendent, inspector, sergeant, and 16 constables. The freedom is obtained by a servitude of seven years to any branch of trade within the city and liberties. Among the privileges enjoyed by the freemen is that of pasturing cattle upon the "Lammas Grounds," a tract of about 1100 acres, appropriated to that use from Lammas to Candlemas by especial grant. The city first exercised the elective franchise in the 26th of Edward I.: there were partial intermissions until the 31st of Henry VI., since which time it has regularly returned two members to parliament. The right of election was formerly vested in the freemen, in number about 3000; but by the act of the 2nd of William IV., cap. 45, the non-resident freemen, except within seven miles, were disfranchised, and the privilege was extended to £10 householders within the city: the mayor is returning officer. The boundaries of the city were defined by the act passed in the year 1842 for re-annexing Coventry to the county of Warwick, and abolishing the distinction of "county of the city," conferred by Henry VI. The corporation formerly held quarterly courts of session, at which the recorder presided, and they had power to try capital offenders; but the courts of quarter-sessions are now held here by the magistrates of the county, and the assizes by the judges of the Midland circuit, for the "Coventry division," which comprises the greater part of North Warwickshire. Petty-sessions are held by the Warwickshire magistrates every alternate Thursday; and the city magistrates attend at the police-office every day except Tuesday. The powers of the county debt-court of Coventry, established in 1847, under the provisions of a general act of parliament, extend over the registrationdistrict of Coventry, and part of the districts of Foleshill and Meriden.
The County Hall is a neat modern building faced with stone, and ornamented with pillars of the Tuscan order, rising from a rustic basement, and supporting a handsome cornice in the centre of the front. Adjoining is the gaoler's house, a neat brick edifice; and behind it are the prison and bridewell, which were rebuilt a few years since, at an expense of £16,000. St. Mary's Hall, appropriated to the larger meetings and civic entertainments of the corporation, is a magnificent structure in the later English style, originally built by the master and wardens of the Trinity Guild, in the fourteenth century. The exterior of the edifice, with its richly decorated windows, and elaborately groined archway, has an imposing grandeur of effect. The interior, which is replete with the richest ornaments of the decorated style, comprises a splendid banquet-hall, adorned with well-painted portraits of several of the sovereigns who have been entertained within its walls; the windows, the tracery of which is gracefully elegant, are ornamented with painted glass: at the upper end is a fine piece of tapestry, worked in compartments; and on the north side is a small recess, with a beautiful oriel window, of which the original carved roof is still entire. The council-chamber is fitted up in the ancient style, and retains, among its ornaments, many relics of feudal grandeur. The present Drapers' Hall, nearly adjoining, is an elegant structure containing a fine suite of rooms, executed under the superintendence of Messrs. Rickman and Hutchinson, of Birmingham, and opened in the year 1832.
Coventry, until recently, formed a diocese jointly with Lichfield, the seat of which was fixed in this city from 1102 till 1188, when it was removed to Lichfield: the diocese comprehended the whole counties of Derby and Stafford, the greater part of Warwickshire, and nearly half of the county of Salop, and comprised 557 parishes. By the act of the 6th and 7th of William IV., cap. 77, the city was separated from Lichfield, and, with the rest of the county of Warwick, united to the diocese of Worcester; the consistory court of Lichfield still retaining ecclesiastical jurisdiction. Of the Cathedral, a sumptuous and magnificent structure (formerly the Benedictine monastery founded by Leofric, of which, at the Dissolution, the revenue was £731. 19. 5.), only the slightest vestiges are discernible, consisting of the base of one of the towers, upon which a dwelling-house has been erected, and some indistinct remains of what are supposed to have been the conventual buildings. The city comprises the parishes of St. Michael, the Holy Trinity, and St. John the Baptist, the last having been constituted a parish by act of parliament in 1734. The parish of St. Michael contains about 2700 acres. The living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £26. 15. 5., and in the patronage of the Crown, with a net income of £472: the impropriation belongs to the corporation. The church is a splendid structure, principally in the later English style, with a tower of four stages, ornamented with niches in which were sculptured figures, and surmounted by a finely-proportioned octagonal spire, the whole height from the base of the tower being 300 feet, exactly equal to the length of the church; this beautiful and richly-decorated steeple was begun in 1373, and finished in 1395. The interior of the church is finely arranged, and derives great beauty from the loftiness of its elevation, and the delicacy of the piers which support the roof; the clerestory windows of the nave form a noble range of large dimensions, and are ornamented with some fragments of ancient stained glass: the chancel, which is of earlier date, was formerly a chapel, erected in 1133, to which the nave and aisles were subsequently added; it deviates from a straight line, and forms an angle with the line of the nave, which sensibly offends the eye. Several chantries were founded in this and the other churches by different persons, and endowed for the maintenance of one or more priests. To the south of the city was the monastery of the Grey friars, the brethren of which were famous for their skill in the representation of religious dramas: it was originally founded in 1234, and in 1358 the church was built, for which Edward the Black Prince granted the friars permission to take stone from the quarries in his park at Cheylesmere. The monastery was destroyed at the Dissolution; and all that remained of the church was the very beautiful steeple, consisting of an octagonal tower, with a pierced parapet, from which rises a lofty and finely-proportioned octagonal spire. To this a body has been annexed by subscription among the inhabitants, aided by a grant from the Commissioners; and the design being in harmony with the character of the steeple, the whole forms an interesting architectural feature in the town. The church was completed in 1832, and dedicated to Our Blessed Saviour. The living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £179; patron, the Vicar of St. Michael's.
The parish of the Holy Trinity comprises 1771a. 2r. 16p. of land. The living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £10, with a net income of £396; it is in the patronage of the Crown, and the impropriation belongs to the corporation. The church, which is of earlier date than the more recent part of St. Michael's, is a venerable cruciform structure, in the later English style, with a well-proportioned tower rising from the intersection, and surmounted by a handsome octagonal spire. The proportions of the interior are more massive than those of St. Michael's; and though less elaborate in its details, this church preserves throughout a consistent unity of design: the oak roof is panelled, and decorated with gilded mouldings; the pulpit, which is of stone, has been recently restored, and is a beautiful specimen of enriched sculpture, in the later style. The first stone of another church, dedicated to St. Peter, and to which a district has been assigned, was laid on the 7th September, 1840: the edifice cost £3200, and was opened for divine service on the 28th October, 1841; the design is in the later English style, and the building contains 1354 sittings, 695 of which are free. The living is a perpetual curacy; net income of the incumbent, £150; patron, the Vicar of Holy Trinity. The living of St. John's is a rectory not in charge, annexed to the headmastership of the free school, and including also a lectureship for the second master; net income, £83. The church, formerly a chapel, erected in honour of Our Saviour, upon ground given by Isabel, queen-mother of Edward III., is an interesting structure, quadrangular in the lower part and cruciform in the upper; from the centre rises a square embattled tower, with circular turrets at the angles, and supported on four finely-clustered piers and arches of singular beauty: the interior is characterised by a simple grandeur of style. A church district named St. Thomas' was formed out of the parish of St. John, in 1844, by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners: the living is in the gift of the Crown and the Bishop of Worcester, alternately. There are places of worship in the town for congregations of Baptists, the Society of Friends, Independents, Wesleyans, Unitarians, and Roman Catholics.
The Free Grammar school was founded in the reign of Henry VIII. by John Hales. His original munificent intentions were frustrated by the opposition of the then corporation, and Coventry school was thereby deprived of university endowments which would have made it the rival of Eton and Winchester. At his death, however, this benefactor endowed it with lands and houses to the value of 200 marks per annum, which now produce an income of £870. It was placed by the Municipal act under the management of Church-Charity Trustees, who appoint the masters. There are several exhibitions, which have been much increased in value of late years, and will probably continue to increase; they are five in number, and worth about £40 per annum during residence at the university. There are also two fellowships at St. John's College, Oxford, and one at Catherine Hall, Cambridge, appropriated to this school. The schoolroom is the only remaining portion of the hospital of St. John, founded in the reign of Henry II., and was the chapel of that religious house: its east window is a magnificent specimen of flowing decorated tracery, and the side windows of the ancient chancel are of the same date, probably 1320. The roof, which is now concealed by a coved plaster ceiling, is a fine specimen of joiners' work, and contains a vast amount of timber. The beautiful double row of oak stalls were removed by Hales from the choir of the church belonging to the monastery of Grey friars, for the use of the scholars. The western end of the school was taken down about fifty years ago to widen the street, and was rebuilt in the worst style of pseudo-Gothic then prevalent; one stone alone retains the characteristic Norman ornament, which proves the antiquity of the old west front. Sir William Dugdale the celebrated antiquary, and Archbishop Secker, received their education in this school; and the quaint old physician, Philemon Holland, who was called the Translator General of the age, was master here. The present masters are, the Rev. T. Sheepshanks, M.A., of Trinity College, Cambridge, and the Rev. W. Drake, M.A., late fellow of St. John's, in the same university. Bablake school occupies one side of the quadrangle of Bond's hospital. It was founded in 1566 by Thomas Wheatley, ironmonger, and mayor of the city, in consequence of an accidental acquisition of wealth, by the delivery of barrels of cochineal and ingots of silver in mistake for steel gads, which he sent his agent to purchase in Spain; the original endowment, increased by subsequent benefactions, produces £938 per annum.
Bond's hospital was founded in 1506, by Thomas Bond, draper, who endowed it with lands for the maintenance of ten poor men and one woman: the number of pensioners, in consequence of the improvement of the income, has been increased to forty-six, fifteen of whom are resident. The building, occupying one side of the Bablake quadrangle, is an ancient edifice of timber frame-work, in the Elizabethan style; it has undergone great improvement, under the superintendence of Mr. Rickman, and the entire building is now restored to its original character. The Grey-friars' hospital, so called from its proximity to the monastery of that order, was founded in 1529, by William Ford, who endowed it for five aged men and one woman; from the increased amount of the income, there are at present 34 poor persons in the establishment. The buildings, which form a long and narrow quadrangular area, almost darkened by the projection of the upper stories, are in the style of domestic architecture prevailing in the reign of Elizabeth; the timber frame-work, richly carved, and decorated with cornices and canopies over the central windows and doorways, is as perfect as when first erected, and these beautiful almshouses are deservedly admired as the most entire and elegant specimen of the kind in the kingdom. The House of Industry occupies the site, and includes the remains, of a monastery of Carmelites, founded in 1342, by Sir John Pulteney, lord mayor of London, and the clear revenue of which, at the Dissolution, was £7. 13. 8. Part of the arched cloisters, beautifully groined, also the refectory and dormitory, are still remaining, with the beautiful entrance gateway, richly groined and ornamented with three canopied niches in front; to these remains has been added a large and handsome brick building, well adapted to the purpose. The management of this establishment, which is also a comfortable asylum for the aged poor, is vested in a body of guardians, under a local act, which extends over the parishes of St. John the Baptist and St. Michael, and part of that of the Holy Trinity, the whole union containing a population of 27,070. The trustees of the church and general charities have altogether at their disposal funds to the amount of £3000 per annum, for distribution among the poor: the charity of Sir Thomas White has arisen chiefly from his donation of £1400 in the reign of Henry VIII., exclusively of considerable sums to be lent for nine years to apprentices of good character, on the expiration of their indentures; in this loan, natives of Leicester, Northampton, Nottingham, and Warwick participate. At Allesley, about a mile distant, is a petrifying spring, not much used. Walter of Coventry, a Benedictine monk and eminent early historian; William Macclesfield, created cardinal by Pope Benedict XI.; John Bird, Bishop of Chester, who was deprived of his see in the reign of Mary; Humphrey Wanley, the antiquary; and Nehemiah Grew, the botanist, were natives of the city. It gives the title of Earl, created in 1697, to the family of Coventry.
Coverham (Holy Trinity)
COVERHAM (Holy Trinity), a parish, in the union of Leyburn, wapentake of Hang-West, N. riding of York, 12 miles (W.) from Bedale, and 1½ (S. W.) from Middleham; containing 1254 inhabitants. This place was distinguished for its abbey, which was founded at Swainby, in the parish of Pickhall, near the southern point of Richmondshire, prior to 1189, by Helewisia, daughter and heiress of Ranulph de Glanville, lord chief justice of England, and was removed hither in 1214 by the son of that lady, Ralph Fitz-Robert, lord of Middleham. The institution was of considerable celebrity, and received various endowments from families of rank, possessing, among other lands, nearly the whole of the valley of Coverham; at the Dissolution its revenue was returned at £207. 14. 8. The situation of the priory was highly appropriate for the purposes of the foundation, and from the spot is obtained a view of the outline of Whernside and Penhill, which is very majestic, but it does not appear that the buildings were ever magnificent; the remains, situated on the north side of the Cover, consist principally of some shattered arches of the nave, and the gateway, a very picturesque structure.
The parish extends over a space of forty superficial miles, and is divided into the High dale and Low dale. The former contains 12,480 acres, and includes the townships of Gammersgill, Swineside, Arkleside, Blackrake, Bradley, Coverhead, Pickle, and Woodale, with the village of Horsehouse, which gives name to a chapelry that consists of the preceding townships. The latter comprises 9640 acres, and includes, besides Caldbridge, East Scrafton, Carlton, Melmerby, and West Scrafton, the hamlet of Coverham Abbey, in the vicinity of which stand the ancient church and mill of the monks, and which, with Agglethorpe Hall and its dependencies, forms the township of Coverham, with 1090 acres of rich land. The river Cover, which confers its name upon the district, is a rapid stream abounding with trout; the dale through which it runs is supposed to have been the birthplace of Myles Coverdale, Bishop of Exeter, born in Yorkshire in 1488, and who, in 1535, published the first edition of the Bible ever printed in English. Both coal and lead are found in the parish. The living is a perpetual curacy, endowed with the tithes of Arkleside, Blackrake, Coverhead, Pickle, Swineside, and Woodale, and in the patronage of the Tomlinson family; net income, £180. The tithes of Coverham township have been commuted for £84. The church, which is thought to have been built in the 12th century, is a neat edifice, consisting of a nave, chancel, and south aisle, with a tower, and contains in the windows some remains of painted glass of great beauty. In the churchyard, which comprises less than two acres, is a spot where neither the church can be seen nor the bells heard, which is occasioned by a very sudden descent on the south-east side, towards the bottom in which the abbey stands, while the noise of the stream propelling the mill-wheel, shuts out the sound of the bells.
Covington (All Saints)
COVINGTON (All Saints), a parish, in the union of Thrapston, hundred of Leightonstone, county of Huntingdon, 3¼ miles (W. N. W.) from Kimbolton, on the road to Higham-Ferrers; containing 142 inhabitants. It is situated on the road from Higham-Ferrers to Kimbolton. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £10. 1. 8.; net income, £165; patron, Earl Fitzwilliam. The tithes were commuted for land and a money payment, in 1801.
COWARNE, LITTLE, a parish, in the union of Bromyard, hundred of Broxash, county of Hereford, 3 miles (S. W. by W.) from Bromyard; containing 187 inhabitants, and consisting of 674 acres. The living is annexed to the rectory of Ullingswick: the tithes have been commuted for £135, and the glebe consists of about 25 acres.
Cowarne, Much (St. Mary)
COWARNE, MUCH (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Bromyard, hundred of Broxash, county of Hereford, 5 miles (S. S. W.) from Bromyard; containing 557 inhabitants. A small stream, a branch of the river Froome, flows from north to south through this parish, which comprises by measurement 3550 acres. The soil is clayey, and the surface flat, with a spot of rising ground called Greatfield, abounding in gravel, sand, and stones, all set in regular layers, which formation is supposed to be of diluvial origin. The road between Hereford and Bromyard intersects the parish. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £14. 19. 7.; net income, £280; patron, the Bishop of Gloucester and Bristol. The site of the glebehouse, and the ground attached, consist of 2a. 3r. The church, having been almost totally destroyed in January, 1840, through the steeple being struck by lightning, has been rebuilt: in the chancel, which was the only part of the church saved, are the figure of a knight-errant, and a monument containing a recumbent effigy of a lady of the name of Reede, with four small figures kneeling by her side, over which is a curious Latin inscription.
Cowbit (St. Mary)
COWBIT (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Spalding, wapentake of Elloe, parts of Holland, county of Lincoln, 3½ miles (S. by E.) from Spalding; containing 664 inhabitants. The road from Spalding to Peterborough by Crowland, passes through the village, and the navigable river Welland runs parallel with the road on the west. A small pleasure-fair is held in June. The living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £460; patrons, certain Feoffees: the tithes were commuted for land, in 1800; the glebe consists of 350 acres, with a glebe-house. The church was consecrated in 1486, with the cemetery, by Bishop Russell, and was, previously to that year, a chantry to the abbey of Spalding. MajorGeneral Dyson, owner of the estate of Peakill, in the parish, has lately erected two elegant tablets in the chancel, one in memory of his father, James Dyson, Esq., for many years solicitor to the Admiralty and Navy; and has also presented an excellent organ, and a beautiful altar window. There is a place of worship for Wesleyans.
Cowden (St. Mary Magdalene)
COWDEN (St. Mary Magdalene), a parish, in the union of Seven-Oaks, hundred of Somerden, lathe of Sutton-at-Hone, W. division of Kent, 9 miles (W.) from Tonbridge-Wells; containing 695 inhabitants. It comprises 3232 acres, whereof 760 are woodland. One of the four principal heads of the Medway, which rises at Gravelly Hill, in Sussex, directs its course eastward along the southern side of the parish, and separates it from the county of Sussex. Iron-ore is found. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £9. 18. 11½., and in the gift and incumbency of the Rev. T. Harvey: the tithes have been commuted for £544, and the glebe consists of 4 acres. The church is a small building, with a handsome spire; a north aisle has been added to it, and 134 additional sittings have been provided.
Cowdon or Colden, Great and Little
COWDON or COLDEN, GREAT and LITTLE, an ancient parish, in the union of Skirlaugh, partly in the Middle, but chiefly in the N., division of the wapentake of Holderness, E. riding of York, 3½ miles (S. by E.) from Hornsea; containing 151 inhabitants, of whom 19 are in Little Cowdon. Great Cowdon is described in Domesday book as a berewick, belonging, in the Confessor's time, to St. John of Beverley; and the manor was in the possession of the Archbishop of York at an early period subsequent to the Conquest. At Little Cowdon was a parochial chapel dedicated to St. John the Evangelist, anciently given to the monks of St. Martin, Albemarle, who conveyed it in the 18th of Richard II. to the convent of Kirkstall; the patronage before this time had been exercised by the knightly family of Despencer. The parish is commonly considered a township, sometimes called Cowdons-Ambo, partly in the parish of Aldbrough, but chiefly in that of Mappleton: it comprises by measurement 1503 acres, of which about 800 are in Great Cowdon; one-fourth is pasture, and the remainder arable. The village of the latter place is situated at the very edge of the cliffs, on the German Ocean, and is occupied by a few farmers and persons employed in obtaining gravel from the cliffs. The chapel, with a portion of the village, suffered from the devastations of the sea, and was swept away about half a century since: the living, however, exists, and is a discharged rectory, valued in the king's books at £2. 13. 4., and annexed to the living of Aldbrough. Some time since, the incumbent received £3000 in satisfaction of his claim to tithes.
COWES, EAST, a parochial district, in the parish of Whippingham, liberty of East Medina, Isle of Wight division of the county of Southampton, 5 miles (N.) from Newport; containing 880 inhabitants. The village is situated on the eastern side of the mouth of the river Medina, by which it is separated from West Cowes, and owes its origin to a fort or blockhouse, erected in the reign of Henry VIII., for the defence of the harbour, but of which no vestiges are now discernible. Until of late here was an establishment of the Customs, which has been removed to West Cowes, and the buildings are now occupied as a station for the men employed in the preventive service. Ship-building is carried on to a considerable extent; and good buildingstone is obtained in several parts of the vicinity, particularly at Osborne Park, where it was raised in large quantities for the erection of the Southampton docks. The neighbourhood abounds with interesting features and finely-varied scenery; and on the brow of a hill near the village is East Cowes Castle, a handsome structure, consisting of one square and two circular embattled towers, erected by the late eminent architect, Mr. Nash, for his own residence, and commanding a fine sea-view. Osborne House was purchased in 1845 from Lady Isabella Blanchford by Her Majesty as a royal residence: the estate comprises 376 acres, and, with Barton farm, 817 acres; having an indented line of sea-shore about a mile and a half in extent. Important additions have been made to the house, and the grounds in various ways embellished. The church, dedicated to St. James, and of which the first stone was laid by Her present Majesty, when Princess Victoria, who was also present at its consecration in 1831, was erected at an expense of £3000, raised by subscription, towards which Her Majesty and the Duchess of Kent contributed liberally, and which was also aided by a grant of £375 from the funds of the Incorporated Society; it is a handsome edifice, in the Norman style, and contains 668 sittings, of which 370 are free. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of the Rector of Whippingham, with a net income of £135. There is a place of worship for Independents. At Barton was an oratory of Augustine monks, founded by John de Insula, in 1282, and the beautiful remains of which have been converted into a farmhouse.
COWES, WEST, a sea-port and chapelry, in the N. division of the parish of Northwood, liberty of West Medina, Isle of Wight division of the county of Southampton, 5 miles (N.) from Newport, and 86 (S. W.) from London; containing 4107 inhabitants. This place owes its origin to the erection of a small castle in 1539, by Henry VIII, on the western bank of the river Medina, commanding the entrance of the harbour; the fortress is a small edifice with a semicircular battery mounting eight pieces of heavy ordnance, and contains accommodation for a captain and a company of artillery. From the excellence of the harbour, in which ships may find shelter in stormy weather, and from which they may sail out either to the east or west, as the wind may serve, Cowes has become a populous and flourishing town; and from its advantageous situation for shipbuilding, several private yards have been established, in which men-of-war have been built for the royal navy. The town is romantically situated on the acclivity of an eminence: the streets are narrow, and the houses in general inelegant, but, rising above each other from the margin of the river to the summit of the eminence on which they are built, they have a pleasing and picturesque appearance from the opposite bank, and are seen with peculiar advantage from the sea, of which they command interesting and extensive views. The excellence of its beach, the pleasantness of its situation, and the salubrity of the air, have rendered it a fashionable place for seabathing, for which purpose several respectable lodginghouses have been erected, and numerous bathingmachines are ranged on the beach, to the west of the castle. The parade, terminated at one extremity by the castle, and at the other by the Marine hotel, forms a favourite promenade. The Royal Yacht Club, consisting of about 160 noblemen and gentlemen, established here for many years, celebrate their regatta annually in August, on which occasion more than 200 yachts and other vessels are assembled, forming a spectacle truly splendid. The club-house, situated on the parade, is a handsome building with a spacious veranda, commanding a fine view of the sea, and having in front an inclosure, within which are several pieces of cannon, and a semaphore, with apparatus for the display of signals to the vessels in the roadstead, belonging respectively to the several members of the squadron. An extensive trade is carried on in provisions and other articles for the supply of the shipping: the principal exports of the island are wheat, flour, malt, barley, wool, and salt, large quantities of which are shipped for France, Spain, Portugal, and the Mediterranean shores. Packets sail several times a day to Southampton, Ryde, and Portsmouth, and passage-boats to Newport. A market-house was erected in 1816, and the market is well supplied with meat, fish, and vegetables; a fair is held on the Thursday in Whitsun-week. The town is partly in the jurisdiction of the borough of Newport, and partly in that of the county; the upper part of the market-house is appropriated as the town-hall.
The living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £256; patron, the Vicar of Carisbrooke. The chapel, erected in the year 1657, and consecrated in the year 1662, is on the summit of the hill: in 1811 it was enlarged and improved at an expense of £3000, by the late George Ward, Esq., who added the tower at the west end, the lower part of which, opening into the church, forms the pew and the mausoleum of that family, and contains an elegant monument to the late Mrs. Ward; the building was further enlarged in 1832. A district church, erected on the west cliff, at the expense of Mrs. Goodwin, at a cost of £5000, including endowment, and dedicated to the Holy Trinity, was consecrated in 1832: it is a handsome building of white brick, ornamented with stone, in the later English style, and has an embattled tower crowned with pinnacles; the interior is lighted by a range of lofty windows, enriched with tracery, and is embellished with an east window of stained glass, and other appropriate details. The living is a perpetual curacy in the patronage of Mrs. Goodwin; net income, £85. There are places of worship for Independents and Wesleyans, and a Roman Catholic chapel.
COWFOLD, a parish, in the union of Cuckfield, hundred of Windham and Ewhurst, rape of Bramber, W. division of Sussex, 7 miles (S. S. E.) from Horsham; containing 943 inhabitants. It is on the road from London, by way of Horsham, to Brighton, and comprises by measurement nearly 3000 acres, the soil of which is chiefly a stiff clay, though in some parts of a lighter quality. The village is pleasantly situated, and a market for corn is held in it every alternate Wednesday. The living is a vicarage, endowed with the rectorial tithes, valued in the king's books at £10. 6. 8., and in the patronage of the Bishop of Chichester: the tithes have been commuted for £580, and the glebe comprises 33 acres. The church is a handsome structure, in the early and later English styles, with a low embattled tower; in the nave is a magnificent monument of brass to the memory of Thomas Nelond, prior of Lewes, who died in 1433.