Laughton - Laverstoke

Pages 33-37

A Topographical Dictionary of England. Originally published by S Lewis, London, 1848.

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Laughton (St. Luke)

LAUGHTON (St. Luke), a parish, in the union of Market-Harborough, hundred of Gartree, S. division of the county of Leicester, 5¼ miles (W. by N.) from Harborough; containing 180 inhabitants. The parish comprises 1109 acres. From Laughton hills, celebrated in the annals of fox-hunting, are extensive views of the surrounding country. The Grand Union canal passes about a mile from the village, along the southern boundary of the parish; and to the south, also, is the road from Harborough to Lutterworth. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £10. 10. 5.; net income, £247; patrons, the family of Humfrey. The tithes were partly commuted for land under an act of inclosure in 1778, and partly under the recent Tithe act for a rent-charge of £100. 11. 9.; the glebe comprises 25 acres, with a good house. The church is an old and very small edifice, the aisles of which are said to have been pulled down many years since; it contains a monument to Colonel Cole, who served in the reign of Charles I. Twelve acres of land, let in small allotments to the labouring poor, produce £10 per annum, for the use of the parish.


LAUGHTON, an ancient parish, in the union of Bourne, wapentake of Aveland, parts of Kesteven, county of Lincoln, 1¾ mile (S. by E.) from Falkingham; containing 73 inhabitants. The living is a vicarage, united to the rectory of Falkingham. The church has long been in ruins.

Laughton (All Saints)

LAUGHTON (All Saints), a parish, in the union of Gainsborough, wapentake of Corringham, parts of Lindsey, county of Lincoln; containing, with the hamlet of Wildsworth, 483 inhabitants, of whom 336 are in the township of Laughton, 6 miles (N. E. by N.) from Gainsborough. This parish is situated on the river Trent, and comprises 4482 acres, of which about two-thirds are arable, and the remainder pasture, with 434 acres of common or waste; the soil is various, in some parts a stiff clay, and in others a shifting sand. The living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £12; net income, £159; patron, Hugo Meynell Ingram, Esq. The church is a very neat structure. An additional church was built in 1839, in the hamlet of Wildsworth. There is a place of worship for Wesleyans. A school was founded in the reign of James I., by Roger Dalyson, D.D., who endowed it with a rent-charge of £20; a new school-house was built in 1821, principally at the cost of the Marchioness of Hertford.


LAUGHTON, a parish, in the union of Hailsham, hundred of Shiplake, rape of Pevensey, E. division of Sussex, 6 miles (S. S. E.) from Uckfield; containing 850 inhabitants. This parish, which is situated on the road from Lewes to Hastings, has been for ages the property of the Pelham family, earls of Chichester, whose ancient manorial mansion of Laughton Place, erected in 1534, is still remaining. There are some quarries of Sussex marble, which is susceptible of a very high polish, and is applied to various uses. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £9. 11. 3.; patron and impropriator, the Earl of Chichester: the great tithes have been commuted for £645, the vicarial for £255, and the glebe comprises 6 acres. The church is a handsome structure in the early English style, with a square embattled tower, and some insertions of a later date; it contains the family vault of the Pelhams: it was new-pewed in 1827, and a gallery was erected in 1831.

Laughton-En-Le-Morthen (All Saints)

LAUGHTON-EN-LE-MORTHEN (All Saints), a parish, in the unions of Rotherham and Worksop, S. division of the wapentake of Strafforth and Tickhill. W. riding of York, 6 miles (E. S. E.) from Rotherham; containing 742 inhabitants. This place, during the wars between the houses of York and Lancaster, suffered much from the Lancastrian party, in an attack made upon it by the Baron of Mowbray and his adherents, who greatly injured the town, and nearly destroyed the church. The parish comprises by computation 3685 acres, most of which is fertile land in good cultivation; the surface is varied, and the scenery in parts enriched with wood. Laughton Hall, the ancient seat of the Butler family, is a spacious mansion, commanding extensive views. The village is situated on an eminence, and is large and neatly built. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £6. 13. 4.; net income, £200, with a glebe of 4 acres, and a glebe-house, erected in 1842; patron, the Chancellor of the Cathedral of York. The impropriate tithes have been commuted for £140, and there is an impropriate glebe of 5 acres. The church is a handsome and stately structure in the early and decorated English styles, with a square embattled tower surmounted by a lofty crocketed spire, rising to the height of 180 feet, and forming a conspicuous and beautiful object in the landscape for many miles round: the interior contains various rich details; the reading-desk is an eagle of wood, highly gilt. Here is a place of worship for Independents. A parochial school is endowed with three acres of land, and £13 per annum from bequests; and there are several benefactions for distribution among the poor.

Launcells (St. Andrew)

LAUNCELLS (St. Andrew), a parish, in the union and hundred of Stratton, E. division of Cornwall, 1½ mile (E. S. E.) from Stratton; containing 855 inhabitants. The parish comprises 6184 acres, of which 350 are common or waste; the Bude canal passes through it from west to east. The living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £10. 10. 10.; patron and impropriator, L. W. Buck, Esq.: the great tithes have been commuted for £280; and the vicarial for £220, with a glebe of 15 acres. The church is an ancient structure, with a lofty embattled tower crowned by pinnacles; part of the floor is laid with tiles curiously figured, and in the south aisle is an altar-tomb with the recumbent effigy of John Chamond, who died in 1624.

Launceston (St. Mary Magdalene)

LAUNCESTON (St. Mary Magdalene), a borough, market-town, and parish, and the head of a union, in the N. division of the hundred of East, E. division of Cornwall, 20½ miles (N. E. by E.) from Bodmin, and 213 (W. S. W.) from London; containing, exclusively of those portions of the borough which extend beyond the limits of the parish, 2460 inhabitants. The original name of Launceston was Dunheved, "the Swelling hill:" it was also called Lanstephadon, or "Church Stephen Town," the word Llan signifying a church in the British language. Its present appellation seems to be a contraction of Lancester-ton, or "Church Castle Town." The manor and honour, which had a very extensive jurisdiction, belonged from time immemorial to the earls of Cornwall, who had their chief seat at Launceston Castle; they were given by William the Conqueror to his half-brother, Robert, Earl of Montaigne, whom he made Earl of Cornwall. The church of St. Stephen (within which parish is the borough of Newport, adjoining to Launceston, and considered as part of it,) was made collegiate, before the Conquest, for Secular canons; and King Henry I. gave it to the church of Exeter. Reginald, Earl of Cornwall, was a great benefactor to the college, and used all his influence with King Stephen to remove the see from Devonshire to Cornwall, and constitute this the cathedral; but the attempt was successfully opposed by William Warlewast, Bishop of Exeter, who, being then resident at Lawhitton, on his first triennial visitation suppressed the college of Secular canons, and in its stead founded a priory of Augustine monks, in the parish of St. Thomas, about half-way between St. Stephen's and the castle.

Seal and Arms.

The castle of Launceston passed with the earldom, and was annexed to the duchy of Cornwall by act of parliament. Hubert de Burgh, who had large possessions in Cornwall, was made governor of the castle, and sheriff for the county, by King John. It eventually passed by grant into the hands of the dukes of Northumberland, who were thereupon invested with the office of constable of Launceston. From its strong position, and its situation at the entrance into the county, this castle was an important post during the civil war of the 17th century. It was at first in the hands of the parliament, and under the governorship of Sir Richard Buller, who, on the approach of Sir Ralph Hopton with the king's forces, quitted the town and fled. In 1643, Sir Ralph was attacked by Major-General Chudleigh, without success. In August, 1644, the place was surrendered to the Earl of Essex, but it fell into the hands of the royalists again, after the capitulation of the earl's army. In 1645 the Prince of Wales sojourned for some time in Launceston. In November of the same year, the town was fortified by Sir Richard Granville, who, being at variance with Lord Goring, another of the king's generals, caused proclamation to be made in all the churches of Cornwall, that if any of Lord Goring's forces should come into the county, the bells should be rung, and the people incited to drive them out. Shortly after, Sir Richard, having refused to take the chief command of the infantry under Lord Hopton as generalissimo, was committed to the prison of Launceston. Colonel Basset, being then governor, surrendered the place to Sir Thomas Fairfax, in March, 1646. In the time of the Commonwealth, the castle and park were put up to sale by the government, and purchased by Robert Bennet, Esq., but on the Restoration they reverted to the crown.

The Town, which is highly interesting to the antiquary, is pleasantly situated near the western bank of the Tamar, on a steep ascent, at the foot of which is the little river Kinsey. On the summit of a hill is a conical rocky mount, partly natural and partly artificial, upon which stands the keep of the ancient castle, with a Norman gateway, and part of the outer walls. Traces of the wall that surrounded the town yet exist; and the old South gate, still remaining, is used as a place of temporary confinement for prisoners, before their removal to the county gaol at Bodmin. Over the entrance to the White Hart inn is a fine Norman arch, said to have belonged to the priory. There are many good houses, and the town is rapidly improving and increasing, but the streets, which are macadamized, are in general narrow. It is lighted with gas; and the inhabitants are well supplied with water, which is brought by pipes from Trenibbett, or Dunheved Green. On the north side of the church is a pleasant promenade, shaded by an avenue of trees, and commanding a fine prospect over the adjacent country; there is another walk on the green below the castle. Two book clubs and three subscription libraries are supported. Some years since a philosophical institution, with a good apparatus, was established; and lectures are given during the winter, in a public subscription room at the head of the town. In the centre of the town is a room of large dimensions, occasionally used for concerts, &c. An extensive manufacture of serges was formerly carried on, but it has for several years been on the decline. A branch of the Bude canal has been brought within four miles of the town, and promises materially to improve the general trade; in 1836, an act was procured for making a railway from Tremoutha haven. The markets are on Wednesday for butcher's meat, and on Saturday for corn and provisions of all sorts. Fairs are held on WhitMonday, July 5th, Nov. 17th, and Dec. 6th, for cattle; and on the first Thursday in March, and the third Thursday in April, for cattle of all sorts, free of toll. There are likewise three cattle-fairs in the parish of St. Stephen, on May 12th, July 31st, and September 25th. An act for erecting a market-house, and for the regulation of the markets, was passed in 1840.

Launceston was constituted a free Borough in the reign of Henry III., by Richard, Earl of Cornwall, who granted various privileges to the burgesses, and a piece of ground on which to build their guildhall, to be held of him and his heirs by the annual tender of a pound of pepper. The town subsequently received several charters, and those by which it was governed until the passing of the Municipal act, were bestowed by Queen Mary and Charles II., the former in 1556, and the latter in 1683. By the above act, the control is vested in a mayor, four aldermen, and twelve councillors; the mayor and late mayor being magistrates for the borough, concurrently with the county justices. Launceston first returned members to parliament in the 23rd of Edward I.: under the act of the 2nd of William IV., cap. 45, it now sends one: the mayor is returning officer. Petty-sessions for the Northern division of the hundred of East are held here on the first Friday in every month. The powers of the county debt-court of Launceston, established in 1847, extend over the registration-district of Launceston. The assizes for the county, once held wholly in this town, and for more than half a century here alternately with Bodmin, were in 1838 entirely removed to the latter place. A private house was purchased by the corporation in 1810, for the transaction of public business, and is now called the Mayoralty Room.

The parish comprises by computation 1100 acres: the soil is generally of a loamy quality, and in the neighbourhood of the town the meadows are rich; the subsoil is rock, alternated with clay, and from the prevalence of mineral springs, an opinion was once entertained that mines existed, but every attempt to find them has failed. The Living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £116; patron and impropriator, the Duke of Northumberland, whose tithes have been commuted for £34. The church was erected about the year 1540, by the munificence of Sir Henry Trecarrell, Knt., on the site of a decayed chantry, and was made parochial in the early part of the sixteenth century. The body of the edifice is in the later English style, built with square blocks of granite, and covered with a profusion of beautiful ornaments; the tower is of different materials, and apparently of much greater antiquity. A series of square blocks of granite is continued round the building on the outside, upon each of which is a single letter, on a shield, the whole forming the following congratulatory dedication: "Ave Maria gratiæ plena, Dominus tecum. Sponsus amat sponsam; Maria optimum partem elegit." "O quam terribilis ac metuendus est locus iste ! vere aliud non est hic nisi domus Dei, et porta cæli." On the south side is the principal entrance, over which are the figures of St. George and the Dragon; and St. Martin on horseback, cutting off the skirts of his coat with his sword, to clothe a cripple who is represented as begging and with crutches. At the east end, within a recess on the outside, is a recumbent figure of Mary Magdalene. The interior of the church is light and uniform, and the altar is embellished with two superb paintings, representing Moses and Aaron; there is a fine organ, and the ceiling is ornamented with elaborately carved oak. Of the numerous stately and interesting monuments, is a splendid monument of marble in the north aisle, reaching from the floor to the ceiling, and displaying a profusion of chaste and elegant sculpture, to the memory of Granville Piper and Richard Wyse, Esqrs. There are places of worship for Independents, Wesleyans, and other dissenters. The grammar school was founded by Queen Elizabeth, and endowed with £16 per annum, chargeable on the estates of the duchy of Cornwall, to which an augmentation of £10 per annum was made in 1685, by George Baron, Esq.: after having been shut up for some years, it was lately re-opened. Here was an hospital for lepers, dedicated to St. Leonard; the income, amounting to about £25 per annum, is vested in trustees for charitable uses. The poor-law union comprises twenty-one parishes or places, of which nineteen are in Cornwall, and two in Devon; and contains a population of 16,746. Launceston gives the title of Viscount to the reigning sovereign.—See the articles upon Newport, St. Stephen's, and St. Thomas'.

Launceston-Tarrant, county of Dorset.—See Tarrant, Launceston.

LAUNCESTON-TARRANT, county of Dorset.— See Tarrant, Launceston.

Laund, in the county of Lancaster.—See Booth.

LAUND, in the county of Lancaster.—See Booth.


LAUNDE, an extra-parochial liberty, in the hundred of East Goscote, N. division of the county of Leicester, 6¾ miles (W. N. W.) from Uppingham; containing 38 inhabitants. A priory was founded here in the reign of Henry I., by Richard Basset and Maud his wife, for Black canons of the order of St. Augnstine; the revenue, at the Dissolution, was valued at £510. 16. 5. The chapel and burial-ground are still preserved.

Launton (St. Mary)

LAUNTON (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Bicester, hundred of Ploughley, county of Oxford, 1¾ mile (E.) from Bicester; containing 619 inhabitants. It comprises by measurement 2800 acres, of which the greater portion is pasture. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £11. 9. 4½.; net income, £618; patron, the Bishop of London. The church is in the early English style, and has been fitted up with oak seats. A good school-house has been built; the schools, for which there are a master and two mistresses, are in connexion with the National Society, and are supported by subscription.

Laurence, St.

LAURENCE, ST., a parish, in the union of the Isle of Thanet, hundred of Ringslow, or Isle of Thanet, lathe of St. Augustine, E. division of Kent, ¾ of a mile (W.) from Ramsgate; containing 2694 inhabitants. The parish comprises 3244 acres, of which 65 are common, and 68 marsh. It is bounded on the south by Pegwell bay, which is celebrated for shrimps, and much resorted to by visiters from Ramsgate and Margate, for whose accommodation there is an excellent inn, commanding a fine sea view. The village is situated on a hill, upon the road from Ramsgate to Canterbury; a pleasure-fair is held in it on the 9th of August. In 1826, Ramsgate was separated from this parish by act of parliament, and made distinct. The living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £7; net income, £180; patron, the Archbishop of Canterbury, who, with the Dean and Chapter, is appropriator. The church is very ancient, particularly the tower, which is of Saxon architecture; it was one of the chapels belonging to Minster, but was made parochial in 1275. His Majesty William IV. erected a tablet to the memory of Admiral Fox, who is buried here; as is also Lady Augusta Murray. There is a church dedicated to the Holy Trinity, which has a chapelry district annexed. The remains of a small chapel in the village have been incorporated into a dwelling-house.

Lavant, East and West (St. Mary)

LAVANT, EAST and WEST (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of West Hampnett, hundred of Aldwick, rape of Chichester, W. division of Sussex, 2½ miles (N.) from Chichester; and containing 370 inhabitants. It comprises by computation nearly 3000 acres, of which more than one-half is arable, and the remainder pasture, woodland, down, and common; the scenery is of pleasing character, and the river Lavant flows through the parish. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £20. 18. 1½., and in the gift of Lord Willoughby de Broke: the tithes have been commuted for £483, and the glebe comprises 38 acres. The church is a very ancient structure, of which the chancel has been rebuilt; the tower, which is of brick, was added at the close of the seventeenth century.

Lavant, Mid

LAVANT, MID, a parish, in the union of West Hampnett, hundred of Westbourn and Singleton, rape of Chichester, W. division of Sussex, 2¾ miles (N. by W.) from Chichester, containing 279 inhabitants. It is situated on the road from London, viâ Midhurst, to Chichester; and comprises 1000 acres by computation. The living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £52; patron and impropriator, the Duke of Richmond. The church is a neat structure in the later English style, and contains a handsome monument to Lady Mary May, whose figure is beautifully sculptured in white marble.

Lavendon (St. Mary)

LAVENDON (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Newport-Pagnell, hundred of Newport, county of Buckingham, 2¾ miles (N. E.) from Olney; containing 691 inhabitants. Here was a market on Tuesday, granted to Paulinus Peyore in 1248, but now disused; a fair is held on the Tuesday before Easter. The living is a discharged vicarage, with that of Cold Brayfield annexed, valued in the king's books at £6; net income, £194; patron, the Earl of Gainsborough. The tithes were commuted for land and a money payment in 1801. An abbey of Præmonstratensian canons was founded in the reign of Henry II., by John de Bidum, and dedicated to St. John the Baptist; the revenue, at the Dissolution, was valued at £79. 13. 8.

Lavenham (St. Peter and St. Paul)

LAVENHAM (St. Peter and St. Paul), a markettown and parish, in the union of Cosford, hundred of Babergh, W. division of Suffolk, 18½ miles (W. by N.) from Ipswich, and 61 (N. E.) from London; containing 1871 inhabitants. The town, which is remarkably healthy, occupies the acclivities of two hills rising gradually from the river Bret, and consists of several small streets; the houses are in general of mean appearance: the inhabitants are well supplied with water. The manufacture of blue cloth formerly flourished here, under the direction of several guilds, each of which had its separate hall; at present, wool-combing and spinning, but only on a small scale, are carried on, and the women and children are employed in platting straw for bonnets. The market, now almost disused, is on Tuesday: the market-place is a spacious area, containing a stone cross. Fairs are held for horses and cattle on Shrove-Tuesday, and October 11th, 12th, and 13th; the former is well attended, but the October fair, which was once for the sale of butter and cheese, and the hiring of servants, is no longer frequented for such purposes. Lavenham was long governed by six capital burgesses, styled headboroughs, elected for the last time in 1775.

The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £20. 2. 11., and in the patronage of Caius College, Cambridge: the incumbent's tithes have been commuted for £850, and certain impropriate tithes for £37; there are 144 acres of glebe. The church was rebuilt in the reign of Henry VI., partly by the De Veres, earls of Oxford, who resided here, and partly by the family of Spring, wealthy clothiers. It is an eminently beautiful structure, in the later English style; the body is of rich workmanship, having a most elaborate open-worked parapet, and the tower is a structure of massive grandeur. The entrance is by a porch, supposed to have been erected by John, the fourteenth earl of Oxford, and much enriched; over the arch is a finely-sculptured double niche, and on each side of the niche are three escutcheons, each bearing quartered coats of arms of the De Vere family. In the church are, a curious mural monument to Allaine Dister, a clothier of the town; and another of alabaster and marble to the Rev. Mr. Copinger. There are places of worship for Independents and Wesleyans. The free school was founded in 1647, by Richard Peacock, with an endowment of £5 per annum, augmented in 1699 by Edward Colman, with £16 per annum. A national school is supported by the proceeds of a bequest of £2000 three per cent. consols. by Henry Steward, in 1806; and some almshouses, rebuilt in 1836, are inhabited by forty aged persons. The Rev. George Ruggle, author of a Latin comedy entitled Ignoramus, and other dramatic pieces, was born at Lavenham in 1575.

Laver, High (All Saints)

LAVER, HIGH (All Saints), a parish, in the union and hundred of Ongar, S. division of Essex, 4 miles (N. N. W.) from Ongar; containing 478 inhabitants. It comprises by computation 1500 acres: the soil is principally a strong clay, forming excellent corn and grazing land; the surface is generally level, and in addition to numerous springs, the grounds are watered by a copious brook. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £14. 1. 8.; net income, £370; patron and incumbent, the Rev. Philip Budworth. The church is an ancient edifice, consisting of a nave and chancel, with a tower surmounted by a spire of wood. The celebrated John Locke resided at the mansion-house of Otes, in the parish, then the property of the lords Masham, during the last two years of his life; he died in October, 1704, and was interred on the south side of the churchyard: over his remains is a black marble tomb, inclosed within iron rails, and on the wall of the church is his epitaph in Latin, composed by himself.

Laver, Little (St. Mary)

LAVER, LITTLE (St. Mary), a parish, in the union and hundred of Ongar, S. division of Essex, 5 miles (E. by S.) from Harlow; containing 128 inhabitants. It comprises 894 acres, of which 20 are woodland, and the remainder arable, with a small portion of pasture. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £15. 10. 5.; net income, £261; patron, Robert Palmer, Esq. The church is a small edifice, with a central tower surmounted by a small spire of wood.

Laver-Magdalen (St. Mary Magdalene)

LAVER-MAGDALEN (St. Mary Magdalene), a parish, in the union of Epping, hundred of Ongar, S. division of Essex, 5¼ miles (N. W. by N.) from Ongar; containing 217 inhabitants. The parish derives the affix by which it is distinguished from other places of the same name, from the dedication of its church; it is pleasantly situated, and is remarkable for the salubrity of its air. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £16. 12. 1.; net income, £281; patron and incumbent, the Rev. W. J. Burford, D.D. The church is a small ancient edifice with a nave and chancel.

Laverstock (St. Andrew)

LAVERSTOCK (St. Andrew), a parish, in the union of Alderbury, partly in the hundred of Alderbury, and partly in that of Underditch, Salisbury and Amesbury, and S. divisions of Wilts, 1 mile (N. E.) from Salisbury; containing 539 inhabitants. It is situated in a fertile country, and comprises 1674a. 3r. 22p.; the views, in which the adjacent city with its venerable cathedral forms a conspicuous and interesting feature, are highly picturesque. Laverstock House, for the reception of insane patients, is distinguished as one of the first establishments in which the mild and social system of treatment was practised with success. The living is a rectory not in charge, annexed to the commonalty of the Vicars-Choral of the Cathedral of Salisbury: the tithes have been commuted for £680. The church is an ancient structure in the Norman style, and contains some monuments to the Bathurst family, who are buried here.

Laverstoke (St. Mary)

LAVERSTOKE (St. Mary), a parish, in the hundred of Overton, Kingclere and N. divisions of the county of Southampton, 2¾ miles (E. N. E.) from Whitchurch; containing 123 inhabitants. It comprises about 1500 acres. The surface is finely undulated, and the lower grounds are watered by the limpid stream of the Test, which has its source within two miles; the soil is chiefly clay, resting on chalk. A very extensive manufactory of the paper used for the notes of the Bank of England is established here. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £8. 10.; net income, £61; patron, John Portal, Esq.