Cockington - Colchester

Pages 654-659

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

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COCKINGTON, a parish, in the union of NewtonAbbot, hundred of Haytor, Paignton and S. divisions of Devon, 2½ miles (W.) from Torbay; containing 203 inhabitants. This place is of considerable antiquity, and appears to have obtained a degree of importance at an early period; in 1297, the inhabitants received the grant of a market and a fair, both which have long been discontinued. The living is a perpetual curacy, annexed to that of Tor-Mohun; impropriator, the Rev. Roger Mallock. The church contains an octagonal font and a wooden screen. Queen Elizabeth leased the rectory of Tor-Mohun, and the church of Cockington, to Sir George Cary, who in 1609 erected almshouses here for seven persons, with an endowment of £30 per annum.


COCKLAW, a township, in the parish of St. John Lee, union of Hexham, S. division of Tindale ward and of Northumberland, 4½ miles (N. by E.) from Hexham; containing 172 inhabitants. It is chiefly distinguished for its strong old fortress, called Cocklaw or Cockley Tower, in 1567 the principal seat of the family of Errington, who derived their name from a small hamlet on the Erring burn, where they were seated in 1372. The township extends from the North Tyne along the eastern side of the burn, and the Roman Watling-street passes on the east a small distance from the village. The impropriate tithes have been commuted for £224.


COCKLE-PARK, a township, in the parochial chapelry of Hebburn, union of Morpeth, W. division of Morpeth ward, N. division of Northumberland, 4 miles (N.) from Morpeth; containing 53 inhabitants. Cockle-Park Tower, now occupied as a farmhouse, was built about the year 1460, and was once a stronghold of the Ogles, but additions have been made since that date, and there is a tradition that the southern part of the building was destroyed by fire some centuries since. Its situation is exposed, and a very extensive prospect may be obtained from it, especially over the sea. It is probable that there was a manor-house here prior to the erection of the tower, as "William of Cookperce" was one of the twelve English knights appointed in 1241 to sit with twelve Scottish ones, to make laws for the regulation of the marches between the two kingdoms; and the Lawson copy of the aid granted to Henry III. to knight his eldest son, makes "Cockelpke" one of the manors of the Bothal barony. The township comprises about 1300 acres of land, which are free from tithe.

Cockley-Cley (All Saints)

COCKLEY-CLEY (All Saints), a parish, in the union of Swaffham, hundred of South Greenhoe, W. division of Norfolk, 3 miles (S. W. by S.) from Swaffham; containing 244 inhabitants. It comprises 4413a. 1r. 10p., of which 2648 acres are arable, 1631 meadow and pasture, and 134 woodland. The living is a discharged rectory, with the vicarage of St. Peter consolidated, valued in the king's books at £8. 17. 1., and in the patronage of J. R. Buckworth, Esq.: the tithes have been commuted for £180, and the glebe comprises 107 acres. The church is in the decorated English style, with a circular tower. There was formerly a church dedicated to St. Peter, which has been demolished; and a chapel, dedicated to St. Mary, has been converted into the parsonage-house.


COCKSHUT, a chapelry, in the parish and union of Ellesmere, hundred of Pimhill, N. division of Salop, 4 miles (S. E. by S.) from Ellesmere. This place is situated on the road from Shrewsbury to Chester; two fairs have been established for agricultural produce. The living is a perpetual curacy, with a net income of £86, and is in the gift of the Vicar of Ellesmere; the impropriation belongs to the trustees of the Earl of Bridgewater. The chapel is dedicated to St. Helen.

Cockthorpe (All Saints)

COCKTHORPE (All Saints), a parish, in the union of Walsingham, hundred of North Greenhoe, W. division of Norfolk, 5 miles (E. S. E.) from Wells; containing 42 inhabitants. It comprises 514a. 31p., nearly all arable. The living is a rectory, with that of Blakeney, the vicarage of Little Langham, and the perpetual curacy of Glandford, united, valued in the king's books at £5, and in the patronage of Lord Calthorpe: the tithes of the parish have been commuted for £143. 11. 1., and the glebe consists of 26 acres. The church, which is chiefly in the early style, was repewed in 1839, and contains a handsome sculptured font. At this place, now comprising only three or four houses, Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovel, Sir John Narborough, and Sir Christopher Mynnes, were born.

Coddenham (St. Mary)

CODDENHAM (St. Mary), a parish, in the union and hundred of Bosmere and Claydon, E. division of Suffolk, 3 miles (E. S. E.) from Needham-Market; containing, with the chapelry of Crowfield, 1309 inhabitants. The parish is situated on the road from London, through Ipswich, to Norwich, and bounded on the south-west by the Stow-Market and Ipswich navigation; it comprises 2585a. 3r., of which 1721a. 1r. 10p. are in Crowfield, and contains some extensive chalkpits. Petty-sessions are held monthly. The living is a vicarage, endowed with the rectorial tithes, and valued in the king's books at £12. 0. 5.; patron, the Rev. J. Longe: the tithes have been commuted for £637. 7. 6., and the glebe contains nearly 29 acres, and a house. The church is a handsome structure in the decorated English style, with a square embattled tower at the west end of the north aisle; the window of the chancel is embellished with stained glass, the gift of the family of Longe. The Rev. Balthazar Gardemau, vicar, vested the impropriation in trustees for the use of the vicar for ever; and in 1758, his widow, Lady Catherine, erected a commodious school, with an endowment in land now producing a rental of £70 per annum.

Coddington (St. Mary)

CODDINGTON (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Great Boughton, Higher division of the hundred of Broxton, S. division of the county of Chester; comprising the townships of Alderley, Chowley, and Coddington; and containing 324 inhabitants, of whom 109 are in the township of Coddington, 2 miles (S. S. W.) from Handley. This place is supposed to have been a habitation of the Britons. In 1093, it appears to have been held by two brothers, Hugh and Ralph, the former of whom was Baron of Hawarden, and the Earl of Chester's chamberlain, and the latter the earl's butler. In the 31st of Edward III., Hawiss, widow of Ralph Botiler, claimed to have a market here every Monday, and a fair on the eve and festival of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. The parish comprises 2957a. 1r. 5p., about onethird of which is arable: in Coddington township are 1337 acres, whereof the soil is clay. The living is a discharged rectory, valued in the king's books at £5. 4. 2., and in the gift of the Dean and Chapter of Chester: the incumbent's tithes have been commuted for £247, and the glebe consists of 3 acres; certain impropriate tithes have been commuted for £128. The late church, an ancient structure with a wooden belfry, supposed to have been founded in the eleventh century, was granted, with the living, to Chester Abbey, by Fitz-Hugh, and was one of the few possessions remaining to the abbey that were confirmed to the Dean and Chapter by Queen Elizabeth. This church was taken down in 1833, and a new edifice erected at a cost of £1600. In the middle of a field called the Mudd-field, is a tumulus of uncertain origin, which has never been opened: iron bits of a very large size have been found in a corner of the same field, and a causeway has been traced under ground. John Stone, rector of this parish, and sacrist of the cathedral of Chester, brought hither the communion-plate of that cathedral, and buried it in the church, underneath a seat in the chancel, during the rebellion in 1745.

Coddington (All Saints)

CODDINGTON (All Saints), a parish, in the union of Ledbury, hundred of Radlow, county of Hereford, 3 miles (N.) from Ledbury; containing 158 inhabitants, and consisting of 1064 acres. The living is a discharged rectory, valued in the king's books at £4. 18. 4., and in the patronage of the Bishop of Hereford: the tithes have been commuted for a yearly rentcharge of £ 180, and the glebe comprises 34 acres, with a glebe-house.

Coddington (All Saints)

CODDINGTON (All Saints), a parish, in the union of Newark, S. division of the wapentake of Newark and of the county of Nottingham, 2¼ miles (E. by N.) from Newark; containing 436 inhabitants. It comprises by measurement 1500 acres: limestone is quarried for building and for burning into lime. The living is annexed, with that of Syerston, to the vicarage of East Stoke: the tithes were commuted for land in 1760. The church is a small structure, principally in the early and decorated English styles. There is a place of worship for Wesleyans. Joseph Birch, in 1738, bequeathed 98a. 2r. 8p. of land, part of the proceeds of which is paid to a master for teaching children, and the remainder distributed among the poor.

Codford (St. Mary)

CODFORD (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Warminster, hundred of Heytesbury, Warminster and S. divisions of Wilts, 2 miles (N. W.) from Wily; containing 338 inhabitants. This parish, situated on the river Wily, and the road from Bristol to Portsmouth, comprises 2123 acres, of which 661 are common or waste; the soil is chalk, of which there are some pits, whence are taken materials for building cottages and for the roads. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £18, and in the patronage of St. John's College, Oxford: the tithes have been commuted for £345, and the glebe, including a portion of downland, comprises about 95 acres. The church was nearly rebuilt in 1844; it was a very ancient structure, supposed to have been built anterior to the Conquest, and had a Norman arch, surmounting one of plainer character, thought to be of Saxon architecture. There is a place of worship for Independents. The remains of a British camp are to be seen.

Codford (St. Peter)

CODFORD (St. Peter), a parish, in the union of Warminster, hundred of Heytesbury, Warminster and S. divisions of Wilts, 3 miles (E. S. E.) from Heytesbury; containing, with the township of AshtonGifford, 394 inhabitants, and consisting of 1614 acres. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £17. 15.; net income, £380; patrons, the Master and Fellows of Pembroke College, Oxford: the glebe comprises about 8 acres.

Codicote (St. Giles)

CODICOTE (St. Giles), a parish, in the union of Hitchin, hundred of Cashio, or liberty of St. Alban's, though locally in the hundred of Broadwater, county of Hertford, 1½ mile (N. N. W.) from Welwyn; containing 906 inhabitants. The parish is intersected by the London and Bedford road, and comprises 2433 acres; the soil is gravel, alternated with clay. At Sissifernes, in the parish, the soil is particularly favourable to the growth of walnuts. Many females are occupied in making straw-plat for hats and bonnets. There were formerly a chartered market on Friday, and a fair on St. James' day, both of which are discontinued; but a small market for the sale of straw-plat is held on Thursday, and a pleasure-fair on Whit-Monday. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £7. 5. 10., and in the gift of the Bishop of Ely: the vicarial tithes have been commuted for £150, and tithes belonging to the bishop for £500; there is a glebe of 30 acres. The church is a small building, with a chapel attached, and has an embattled tower surmounted by a spire. Here is a place of worship for Baptists. On Codicote heath are the remains of a Roman fortification.

Codnor, with Loscoe

CODNOR, with Loscoe, an ecclesiastical parish or district, partly in the parishes of Denby and Pentrich, union of Belper, but chiefly in the parish of Heanor, union of Basford, hundred of Morleston and Litchurch, S. division of Derbyshire, 2 miles (N. by W.) from Heanor. This district comprises the township of Codnor and Loscoe, in Heanor parish, containing 1738 inhabitants, of whom 1314 are in Codnor; the extraparochial liberty of Codnor-Park, with 815 inhabitants; and portions of Denby and Pentrich. The township comprises 1894 acres, and the liberty 1320. The manor of Codnor was held at the Domesday survey, under William Peverel; and belonged to the family of Grey as early as 1211, when Codnor Castle became the seat of the elder branch of that noble house. Richard de Grey was one of the loyal barons in the reign of Henry III.; and John, Lord Grey, distinguished himself in the Scottish wars, in that of Edward III. The last lord Grey, of Codnor, died about 1526; he was a philosopher and alchymist, and had a licence to practise the transmutation of metals. The estate eventually devolved to Sir John Zouch, who sold it in 1634 to Archbishop Neile and his son Sir Paul; and their descendant disposed of the manor and castle, with the members, to Sir Streynsham Master, high sheriff in 1712, who occupied the castle. The park contained about 3200 acres; and it is said that six farmhouses, with their out-buildings, were raised with the materials taken from the ruins of Codnor Castle.

The district lies on the eastern confines of the county, and the land is nearly equally divided between arable and pasture; the higher parts command extensive views. Coal and ironstone are wrought, employing many of the population, and the Butterley Iron Company have three blast-furnaces here; there is also a manufactory of stone-ware bottles, and frame-work knitting is carried on. Facility of conveyance is afforded both by canal and railway. The parish was formed by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, under the act 6 and 7 Victoria, cap. 37; the living is a perpetual curacy, endowed with £150 per annum, and in the gift of the Crown and the Bishop of Lichfield, alternately. The church, dedicated to St. James, was consecrated in 1844, and is a neat building with a tower. There are places of worship for Baptists and Wesleyans; and good schools on the national system. The sum of £11 per annum was left in 1731 by Jonathan Tantum, twothirds to the poor, and one-third to the Society of Friends. Loscoe Park has been long disparked, and the house, for several generations the seat of the Draycotts, pulled down.

Codsall (St. Nicholas)

CODSALL (St. Nicholas), a parish, in the union, and S. division of the hundred, of Seisdon, S. division of the county of Stafford, 5 miles (N. W.) from Wolverhampton; containing, with the township of Oaken, 1096 inhabitants. The parish comprises 2869 acres, whereof 1568 are in Codsall township; the soil is loamy; about one-third pasture, and the rest arable: stone is quarried for building. The road from Wolverhampton to Shrewsbury passes along the south-western boundary. The village is picturesquely seated on an eminence, and there are several neat villas. The living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £146; patron, Lord Wrottesley; impropriator, the Duke of Sutherland, whose tithes have been commuted for £172. 13. 6. The church is a handsome edifice, consisting of a chancel and north aisle, separated by very fine pointed arches; the chancel contains a monument, erected in 1630, on which rests a recumbent effigy of Walter Wrottesley. There is a place of worship for Independents. A school was founded in 1716, by Dorothy Derby; and a national school is supported by subscription. Two sulphureous springs here, are much used; one, remarkably situated in Codsall wood, issues from the stump of an oak-tree, which forms the basin.

Coedkernew (All Saints)

COEDKERNEW (All Saints), a parish, in the union and division of Newport, hundred of Wentlloog, county of Monmouth, 4¼ miles (S. S. W.) from Newport; containing 149 inhabitants. It comprises by computation 600 acres; the surface is hilly and undulated. The living is united to the vicarage of St. Bride's, Wentlloog: the tithes have been commuted for £84 payable to the Bishop of Llandaff, and £20 payable to the incumbent.

Coffinswell (St. Bartholomew)

COFFINSWELL (St. Bartholomew), a parish, in the union of Newton-Abbott, hundred of Haytor, Teignbridge and S. divisions of Devon, 3 miles (S. E. by E.) from Newton-Bushell; containing 215 inhabitants. The parish comprises 1035 acres, of which 60 are common or waste. The living is a perpetual curacy, annexed to the vicarage of St. Mary Church: the Dean and Chapter of Exeter receive a tithe rent-charge of £133, and the incumbent one of £105.

Cogenhoe, or Cucknoe (St. Peter)

COGENHOE, or Cucknoe (St. Peter), a parish, in the union of Hardingstone, hundred of Wymmersley, S. division of the county of Northampton, 5¼ miles (E.) from Northampton; containing 322 inhabitants. The parish is situated on the river Nene, and comprises by computation 989 acres, including 175 acres called Cogenhoe Brace, lying between Horton and Stoke-Goldington, and belonging to Cogenhoe: onehalf of the area is arable, and one-half pasture, with about 14 acres of plantation. Limestone of excellent quality is quarried, both for building and for burning into lime. The village is seated on an eminence rising from the bank of the river, and commands some pleasing views. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £17; net income, £245, with a house; patron, Robert Rogers, Esq. The church is a handsome edifice, with a square tower; it is chiefly in the early English style, with portions of a later date, and contains a mutilated monument to the founder, bearing his effigy in a recumbent posture, and cross-legged. There are places of worship for Baptists and Wesleyans; and a school, built in 1843 in the antique style.

Cogges (St. Mary)

COGGES (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Witney, hundred of Wootton, county of Oxford, 1¼ mile (S. E. by E.) from Witney; containing 757 inhabitants. Some of the family of Arsic, who were lords of the barony, founded here an alien priory of Black monks, subordinate to the abbey of Fescamp, in Normandy: after the dissolution of foreign cells, its possessions were granted by Henry VI. to Eton College. The living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £64; patrons and impropriators, the Provost and Fellows of the College. The tithes were commuted for land and a money payment in 1787. The church is an ancient edifice, with a tower having a pyramidal roof: the north aisle is ornamented with rich mouldings, and grotesque figures playing on musical instruments; and between it and the chancel is a handsome altar-tomb. In 1695, William Blake bequeathed land producing about £50 per annum, chiefly for instruction. To the south of the church, on a spot called Castle Yard, foundations, supposed to be those of a castle, are frequently dug up; and at Wilcot, in the parish, is an old chapel, in which are the arms of the family of Pope, and a mural tablet to the memory of John Price, keeper of the Bodleian library at Oxford.

Coggeshall, Great (St. Peter)

COGGESHALL, GREAT (St. Peter), a markettown and parish, in the union of Witham, Witham division of the hundred of Lexden, N. division of Essex, 3 miles (N.) from Kelvedon, and 44 (N. E.) from London; containing 3408 inhabitants, of whom 443 are in the hamlet of Little Coggeshall. This place is supposed by some to have been the Roman station Ad Ansam, and by others the Canonium of Antoninus, with the distance of which latter from Cæsaromagus its situation precisely corresponds: numerous vestiges of Roman antiquity have been discovered. The present town appears to have risen from the establishment of an abbey in 1142, by King Stephen and his Queen Matilda, for monks of the Cistercian order, and in honour of the Blessed Virgin; to the abbot and monks of which King John granted several privileges, including, probably, the power of life and death, as is inferred from the ancient name of one of the streets, still by some called Gallows-street. Henry III. granted them free warren, a weekly market, and an annual fair for eight days. The revenue of the abbey at the Dissolution was £298. 8.: the remains, which exhibit specimens of early English architecture, are now occupied as a farmhouse; the exterior has lancet-shaped windows in good preservation, and in the interior are some good windows and vaulted and groined roofs. Near the abbey is an ancient bridge of three arches, built by Stephen, over a canal cut for conveying water from the river to the monastery.

The town is situated near the river Blackwater, from which it rises gradually to a considerable elevation, and consists of several narrow streets; it was first lighted with gas in 1837, and the inhabitants are amply supplied with water from springs in the neighbourhood. The manufacture of baize and serge, formerly extensive, is now extinct; the principal branch of trade is silkweaving, which has been established within the last 30 years. In 1838, Mr. John Hall erected a silk-throwing mill, capable of employing 500 persons, and Messrs. Westmacott and Co. have 100 looms at work weaving broad silks and velvets; in 1826, Mr. Bankes commenced the tambour-work on lace-net, in which about 300 females are engaged, and in 1838 introduced a number of machines for weaving lace-net. An extensive iron-foundry and steam flour-mill have been erected by Charles Newman, Esq. The place is noted for its vegetables and garden-seeds. The market is on Thursday: the market-place is spacious, and contained an old cross, which was taken down in 1787. A fair for cattle and pedlery is held on Whit-Tuesday.

Coggeshall anciently comprised the parishes of Great and Little Coggeshall, at present consolidated: in the latter were two churches, built by the monks; one for their own use, which has been entirely demolished, and the other for a parochial church, the remains whereof have been converted into a barn. The parish comprises by computation 2300 acres, 300 of which are woodland; the soil is various, in some parts a strong loam resting on a clay bottom, in others a stiff wet loam on a whitish marl, and in the neighbourhood of the town a rich deep loam of great fertility. The living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £11. 3. 4.; net income, £215; patron, Peter Du Cane, Esq., lord of the manor; impropriators, Charles Skingley, Esq., and Mrs. Caswell. The church is a spacious handsome structure in the later English style, with a large tower; the aisles are embattled, and strengthened with empanelled buttresses: the interior contains several ancient monuments. There are places of worship for Baptists, the Society of Friends, Independents, and Wesleyans. A school, under the direction of Pembroke Hall, Cambridge, was founded in 1636, by Sir Robert Hitcham, Knt., who bequeathed land producing £300 per annum. Silver and copper coins of Ethelwulph, and a massive gold ring, have been dug up on the Highfields estate.


COGSHALL, a township, in the parish of Great Budworth, union of Northwich, hundred of Bucklow, N. division of the county of Chester, 3½ miles (N. N. W.) from Northwich; containing 108 inhabitants. The manor was possessed by the Lacys, from whom it reverted to the crown as parcel of the duchy of Lancaster; the lands were purchased in fee-farm in 1612. Burges Hall, now Cogshall Hall, belonged to the ancient family of Burges, from whom the estate passed to the Starkeys, Booths, Ashtons, and others. The township comprises 560 acres, of a clayey and sandy soil. Tradition reports, that on a steep sandy eminence called Butter Hill, the market people from the hundred of Wirral deposited their butter and other produce when the plague excluded them from the market-place at Chester.

Coker, East (St. Michael)

COKER, EAST (St. Michael), a parish, in the union of Yeovil, hundred of Houndsborough, Barwick, and Coker, W. division of Somerset, 3 miles (S. W. by W.) from Yeovil; containing, with the hamlet of North Coker, 1334 inhabitants, and comprising by measurement 2081 acres. Nearly one-half of the population is employed in the manufacture of sail-cloth, which is carried on to a great extent; and limestone, and stone for building and for the roads, are quarried. The living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £12. 6. 3.; patrons, the Dean and Chapter of Exeter; impropriator, W. Helyar, Esq., as lessee under the Dean and Chapter. The rectorial tithes have been commuted for £335, and the vicarial for £267. 10.; the glebe comprises 7 acres, with a glebe-house. The church is a neat cruciform edifice, with a central tower. There is a place of worship for Baptists. The foundations of a Roman building were discovered in a field in 1753; one of the rooms had a beautiful pavement representing persons lying on a couch, beneath which were found a hypocaust, several coffins, burnt bones, &c. There are remains of a religious house, called Nash Abbey, in the parish, supposed to have been an appendage to that of Montacute. Dampier, the celebrated circumnavigator, was born here in 1652.

Coker, West (St. Martin)

COKER, WEST (St. Martin), a parish, in the union of Yeovil, hundred of Houndsborough, Barwick, and Coker, W. division of Somerset, 3½ miles (S. W. by W.) from Yeovil; containing 1046 inhabitants, and consisting of about 1300 acres. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £12. 19. 7.; patron, R. Raven, Esq.: the tithes have been commuted for £425, and the glebe comprises 17 acres, with a glebe-house. The church has been enlarged, by the addition of 316 sittings. There is a school, endowed with the interest of a bequest of £100; also almshouses for five persons, founded about 1719, pursuant to the will of William Ruddock.

Colan (St. Colan)

COLAN (St. Colan), a parish, in the union of St. Columb Major, hundred of Pyder, E. division of Cornwall, 3½ miles (S. W. by W.) from St. Columb Major; containing 217 inhabitants, and comprising 1481 acres, of which 150 are common or waste. The barton of Colan belonged to the ancient family of Colan or St. Colan, whose last heir-male, about the year 1500, left two daughters, the elder married to one of the Blewetts, of Holcombe-Rogus, in Devonshire, and the other to a member of the family of Trefusis. The Blewetts resided here for several generations, and one of the family, Major Colan Blewett, distinguished himself as an active officer under Charles I., and is said to have had four brothers engaged in the same service. The parish contains the villages of Bezoan, Melancoose, and Mountjoy. The living is a discharged vicarage, endowed with a portion of the rectorial tithes, and valued in the king's books at £6. 13. 4.; net income, £163; patron, the Bishop of Exeter; impropriator of the remainder of the rectorial tithes, Sir R. Vyvyan, Bart. The church contains a monument to the memory of Thomas and Elizabeth Blewett, with a brass plate, on which their effigies, and those of their thirteen sons and eleven daughters are engraved. There are two places of worship for Wesleyans. In the parish is a celebrated spring, called Our Lady of Nantz' Well.


COLBOURNE, a township, in the parish of Catterick, union of Richmond, wapentake of Hang-East, N. riding of York, 2½ miles (S. E. by E.) from Richmond; containing 142 inhabitants. This place, which derives its name from a stream, or burn, that falls into the river Swale a little below the village, comprises by computation 1240 acres of land. The ancient Hall, now a farmhouse, was a seat of the D'Arcy family; and near it are the remains of a Roman Catholic chapel, which was dedicated to St. Ann.

Colby (St. Giles)

COLBY (St. Giles), a parish, in the union of Aylsham, hundred of South Erpingham, E. division of Norfolk, 3¼ miles (N. E. by N.) from Aylsham; containing 346 inhabitants. It comprises 1115a. 1r. 18p., of which about 868 acres are arable, 177 pasture and meadow, and nearly 28 wood and plantation. The living is a discharged rectory, valued in the king's books at £8. 15. 10., and in the gift of Lord Suffield: the tithes have been commuted for £360, and the glebe contains 7a. 27p., with a glebe-house. The church had a north aisle, which was taken down in 1748, when the church was thoroughly repaired; the font is elaborately sculptured, and to the south side of the chancel is attached a beautiful piscina. Thomas de Colby, D.D., Bishop of Lismore and Waterford, who died in 1460, was a native of the parish.


COLBY, a township, in the parish of St. Lawrence, Appleby, East ward and union, county of Westmorland, 1½ mile (W. by N.) from Appleby; containing 156 inhabitants. The village is situated on an eminence, at the base of which flows the river Eden.


COLCHESTER, a borough and market - town, having separate jurisdiction, and the head of a union, locally in the Colchester division of the hundred of Lexden, N. division of Essex, 22 miles (N. E. by E.) from Chelmsford, and 51 (N. E. by E.) from London; containing, with the parishes of Bere-Church, Greenstead, Lexden, and Mile-End, all within the liberties, 17,790 inhabitants. This place, which by some antiquaries is supposed to have been the Camalodunum of the Romans, derives its name either from its having been one of the Coloniæ established by that people in Britain, or from its situation on the river Colne. It was called by the Britons Caer Colun, and appears to have been a town of considerable importance prior to the invasion of the Romans, who, according to Tacitus and other historians, having, under the conduct of Claudius, subdued the Trinobantes and taken possession of this town, garrisoned it with the second, ninth, and fourteenth legions, styled by him the conquerors of Britain. The Roman name of the place is said to have been derived from an altar dedicated to Mars, under the name of Camulus, by which also that divinity is designated on some coins, still extant, of Cunobeline, King of the Trinobantes, who, prior to the conquest by the Romans, had his residence here. Claudius, having reduced the neighbouring country to a Roman province, appointed Platius his proprætor, and returned in triumph to Rome. After his departure, Boadicea, queen of the Iceni, taking advantage of the absence of part of the Roman legions, attacked Camalodunum, which, after a feeble resistance, she entirely demolished; but according to Pliny, and the evidence of Roman coins and other ancient inscriptions, it appears to have been soon rebuilt with increased splendour, and to have been adorned with public edifices, a temple to Claudius, a triumphal arch, and a statue to the goddess of Victory; and Constantine the Great is traditionally said to have been born in the city, which continued to flourish as a principal station of the Romans till their final departure from Britain. The Saxons, by whom it was afterwards occupied, gave it the name of Colneceaster, and it retained its consequence as a place of strength for a considerable time, but began to decline in proportion as London rose into importance. On the irruption of the Danes, it became a principal residence of that people, who, by treaty with Alfred, were established in the city and country adjacent; but re-commencing their barbarous system of plunder and devastation, Edward the Elder, in 921, took the town by assault, and putting them all to the sword, re-peopled it with West Saxons. According to the Saxon Chronicles, he repaired the walls in 922, at which time he is stated to have erected the castle, now falling to decay; but the remains of that edifice are evidently of Norman character.


Colchester was a considerable town at the time of the Norman survey, but suffered greatly in the wars of the succeeding reigns. During the turbulent reign of John, Saher de Quincy, Earl of Winchester, having assembled an army of foreigners, laid siege to the place in 1215; but on the approach of the barons, who were advancing from London to its relief, he drew off his forces and retired to Bury St. Edmund's: he afterwards got possession of the town, and, having plundered it, left a garrison in the castle, which, being invested by the king, was compelled to surrender. The castle was subsequently besieged and taken by the troops of Prince Louis, whom the barons had invited into England to their assistance, and who, thinking the opportunity favourable for conquest, kept possession of it for himself, and hoisted the banner of France upon its walls; but the barons, having submitted to their new sovereign, Henry III., retook the castle from the prince, and expelled him from the kingdom. In the reign of Edward III., the town contributed 5 ships and 170 mariners towards the naval armament for the blockade of Calais. The inhabitants, during the attempt to raise Lady Jane Grey to the throne, stedfastly adhered to the interests of Mary, whose cause they supported with so much zeal, that, very soon after her accession, the queen visited the town for the express purpose of testifying her gratitude: she was received with every public demonstration of joy, and, on her departure, was presented with a silver cup, and £20 in gold. During her reign many of the Protestant townspeople were put to death on account of their religious tenets. In 1648, the inhabitants, who during the contest between the king and the parliament had generally espoused the cause of the latter, for whose support they had raised considerable supplies of money, finding it necessary to restrain its inordinate power, formed an alliance with the royalists, who, being closely pressed by the parliamentarians, took up their station in the town, into which they were admitted by the inhabitants by treaty. The town was soon afterwards besieged by the army under Fairfax, who had been joined on his march by Col. Whalley and Sir Thomas Honeywood with 2000 horse and foot; and after a close blockade for eleven weeks, during which period the place was gallantly defended by the Earl of Norwich, Lord Capel, Sir Charles Lucas, and Sir George Lisle, the garrison, reduced to the extremity of want and suffering, surrendered to Fairfax, when Sir Charles Lucas and Sir George Lisle were shot under the castle walls.

The town is built on the summit and northern acclivity of an eminence rising gently from the river Colne, over which are three bridges; and occupies a quadrilateral area inclosed by the ancient walls, within which the houses to the south and south-east are irregularly disposed. The streets are spacious, and the High-street contains many excellent houses; the town is well paved, lighted with gas, and supplied with water by an engine worked by steam. A splendid hotel was erected in 1842–3, adjoining the railway terminus, in the Italian style. The theatre, a neat and commodious edifice, erected in 1812, is opened annually by the Norwich company. A botanical society was instituted in 1823; and there is a medical society, established in 1774. The barracks here, with a park of artillery, were capable of accommodating 10,000 troops; but since the conclusion of the war they have been taken down. The woollenmanufacture appears to have been carried on so early as the reign of Edward III.; the weaving of baizes, for which the town was afterwards distinguished, was probably introduced by the Flemings in the reign of Elizabeth, and at that time employed a considerable number of the inhabitants. This manufacture was subject to certain regulations prescribed by the Baize-hall; it has been transferred to other towns. A large silk-throwing mill, established in 1825, affords occupation to about 300 hands; and there is a distillery, employing about 50 men; also a rectifying-house. The oyster-fishery on the river Colne, granted to the free burgesses by Richard I., confirmed by subsequent charters, and for the preservation of which courts of admiralty were and are still occasionally held at Mersea Stone, about 8 miles from the borough, but now generally at the town-hall, affords employment to about 600 licensed dredgemen; and numerous smacks are engaged in conveying to London the oysters, for which there is a very great demand, especially for those of Pyfleet, which are found in a small creek, and are remarkable for their flavour. The river is navigable to the suburb called the Hythe, where are a spacious quay and a custom-house. The Eastern Counties railway from London extends to this town; and, in junction with that line, commences the railway between Colchester and Ipswich, which was opened in June 1846. The markets are on Wednesday and Saturday, the latter being the principal for corn and provisions, and also a large mart for cattle and sheep: the market-place is on the north side of the High-street, and is commodiously arranged. The corn-exchange, erected a few years since, is a handsome building; the interior is 78 feet by 47, and is lighted by 19 skylights along the sides of the hall, and a clerestory lantern over the centre of it. The fairs are on July 5th and the following day; July 23rd and two following days, for cattle; and Oct. 20th for cattle, and the three following days for general merchandise. There was formerly another fair, called the Tailors' fair, from its having been granted by William III. in the same charter which incorporated the tailors of Colchester, December 15th, 1699.

Corporation Seal.

This is supposed to be a Borough by prescription: it was first incorporated in 1189, by charter of Richard I., who conferred on the inhabitants many valuable privileges, which were confirmed by succeeding sovereigns, and extended by Henry V.: the charter having been forfeited on several occasions, was renewed by George III. in 1818. By the act of the 5th and 6th of William IV., cap. 76, the corporation now consists of a mayor, six aldermen, and eighteen councillors; and the borough is divided into three wards, the municipal and parliamentary boundaries being co-extensive. The mayor for the time being, and for the previous year, are justices by virtue of office; and there are seven others. The borough first exercised the elective franchise in the 23rd of Edward I., since which time it has, with occasional intermissions, returned two members to parliament. The right of election was formerly vested in the free burgesses generally, whose number was about 1400; but by the act of the 2nd of William IV., cap. 45, nonresident burgesses, except within seven miles, were disfranchised, and the privilege was extended to the £10 householders of the borough, the limits of which comprise 11,055 acres. The mayor is returning officer. The recorder presides at quarterly courts of session for the borough and liberties, together extending over sixteen parishes; and the mayor and recorder hold two courts of pleas for the recovery of debts to any amount, the jurisdiction of which was extended by Edward IV. to the adjoining parishes of Bere-Church, Greenstead, Lexden, and Mile-End. These two courts are held at stated periods: one, styled the Law Hundred, for actions against free burgesses, is on Monday; and the other, called the Foreign Court, for actions against strangers or non-freemen, is on Thursday. The petty-sessions for the division are also held in the town, every Saturday. The powers of the county debt-court of Colchester, established in 1847, extend over the registration-districts of Colchester, and Lexden and Winstree, and part of Tendring district. The Town-hall, erected from the designs of Messrs. Blore and Brandon, was opened March 1st, 1845: it is of the Roman-Doric order; the front is divided by pilasters into five compartments, and is surmounted by a bold cornice and balustrade with a central compartment bearing the borough arms.

Colchester, upon very disputed authority, is supposed to have been the seat of a diocese in the early period of Christianity in Britain: Henry VIII. made it the seat of a suffragan bishop, and two bishops were successively consecrated. The town comprises within the walls the twelve Parishes of All Saints, containing 492 inhabitants; St. James, 1603; St. Martin, 937; St. Maryat-the-Walls, 1272; St. Nicholas, 1087; St. Peter, 1916; St. Runwald, 444; the Holy Trinity, 768; St. Botolph, 3003; St. Giles, 1987; St. Leonard, or the Hythe, 1119; and St. Mary Magdalen, 365. The four parishes without the walls, namely, Lexden, Bere-Church, MileEnd, and Greenstead, are considered as part of the town, but are described under their respective heads. The living of All Saints' is a rectory not in charge, with a net income of £291, and is in the gift of Balliol College, Oxford: the tithes have been commuted for £35. The church, erected in the year 1309, near the east gate of the monastery of Grey friars, which had been founded by Robert Fitzwalter in that year, consists of a nave, north aisle, and chancel, with a handsome tower of flint and stone; the south wall, now covered with cement, is of Roman bricks laid in the herring-bone style. The living of St. James' is a discharged rectory, valued in the king's books at £11. 10., and in the patronage of the Crown; net income, £98. The church is a spacious structure, built prior to the reign of Edward II.; it consists of a nave, north and south aisles, and a chancel, with a tower of Roman brick and stone, and has a fine altar-piece representing the Adoration of the Shepherds. St. Martin's is a discharged rectory, valued at £6. 13. 4.; net income, £102: the patronage is in dispute. The church, which was much damaged during the siege of the town in 1648, was repewed in 1841, when 50 free sittings were added; the steeple, built with Roman bricks, is in a ruinous state. The living of St. Mary's-at-the-Walls is a rectory, valued at £10; net income, £212; patron, the Bishop of London. The tithes have been commuted for £105, and the glebe consists of 14 acres. The church was rebuilt in 1713, with the exception of the ancient steeple, which, becoming ruinous, was repaired in 1729; it contains some ancient monuments: the churchyard is surrounded with avenues of lime-trees, and is much frequented as a promenade. St. Nicholas' is a discharged rectory, valued at £10; net income, £92; patrons, the Master and Fellows of Balliol College, Oxford. The church is ancient; the tower some years since fell down upon the nave and chancel, the latter of which is still in a ruinous state. The chapel of St. Helen, in this parish, rebuilt by Eudo in 1076, was lately used as a place of worship by the Society of Friends, and is now a Sunday school. St. Peter's is a discharged vicarage, valued at £10; net income, £285; patrons, the Trustees of the late Rev. Charles Simeon. The church, an ancient structure, was erected before the Conquest, and in Domesday book is noticed as the only church in Colchester; it was extensively repaired and modernised in 1758, when the tower at the west end was erected, and was some time since greatly beautified at an expense of £3000: the altar-piece is embellished with a fine painting, by Halls, of the Raising of Jairus' Daughter. St. Runwald's is a discharged rectory, valued at £7. 13. 4.; net income, £160; patron, Charles Grey Round, Esq. The church, which is small, was erected about the close of the thirteenth century, and is partly of brick and partly of stone, with a wooden turret rising from the centre. The living of the parish of the Holy Trinity is a discharged rectory, valued at £6. 13. 4.; net income, £158; patrons, the Master and Fellows of Balliol College, Oxford. The tithes have been commuted for £24. The church was erected in the year 1349, and consists of a nave, south aisle, and chancel, with a tower. Only a part of the tower, the west door (now closed up), and a small portion about it, are of early date; but this small part is curious from its near approximation to Roman work, being plastered over bricks, and also from its having a straight-lined arch: the arch into the church is semicircular, and of flat tiling. The edifice contains several ancient and interesting monuments, among which is one to the memory of Dr. William Gilbert, chief physician to Queen Elizabeth and James I., and author of many learned works. St. Botolph's is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of Balliol College, and has a net income of £21: the tithes have been commuted for £230. 7. A new parish church in the Norman style, built under the superintendence of Mr. Mason, of Ipswich, at a cost, including the purchase of the site, of above £7000, was consecrated on the 25th of October, 1837; the doorway and other portions of the western elevation are designed from the Norman tower at Bury St. Edmund's: there are 1079 sittings, of which 815 are free, the Incorporated Society having granted £1000 towards the expense. The old church, which has been in ruins since the siege in 1648, exhibits indications of its original magnificence, and of the antiquity of its style, which appears to have been the early Norman, and of the same date as the neighbouring priory; it was built with bricks of extraordinary hardness, supposed to have been taken from the Roman station. The living of St. Giles' is a discharged rectory, valued at £30; patron and incumbent, the Rev. John Woodrooffe Morgan, whose tithes have been commuted for £200, and whose glebe comprises one acre and a half, with a glebe-house. The church, a very ancient structure which has been repaired and enlarged, contains a monument to the memory of Sir Charles Lucas and Sir George Lisle, who were shot under the walls by order of Fairfax, after the siege of the town. The living of St. Leonard's is a discharged rectory, valued at £10; net income, £129; patrons, the Master and Fellows of Balliol College. The church is a spacious structure in good preservation, and was once remarkable for the exquisite carved-work of the roof, which, having fallen into decay, was removed. The living of St. Mary Magdalen's is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £11, and in the gift of the Crown: the church is small, and pleasantly situated on Magdalen Green. On the site of the chapel of St. Anne, which stood in the parish of St. James, and was originally a hermitage, a barn has been erected, part of the chapel being incorporated with the building. There are places of worship for Baptists, Independents, the Society of Friends, and Wesleyans.

The Free Grammar School was founded and endowed by the corporation, to whom Queen Elizabeth, in the 26th year of her reign, granted certain ecclesiastical revenues for that purpose: the income amounts to £181. 10. Dr. Harsnet, Archbishop of York, received the rudiments of his education in the school. John Winnock in 1679 endowed almshouses for aged widows with a rent-charge of £41, to which several other benefactions were added subsequently; the income now amounts to £235. Arthur Winsley in 1726 founded and endowed almshouses for twelve men, to which six others have since been added. In 1791, John Kendall erected and endowed eight almshouses for widows whose husbands have died in Winsley's almshouses, or in default of such, for other single women: the small original endowment having been considerably augmented, the annual income amounts to about £166, and eight additional houses have been erected. Four almshouses for aged women were endowed in 1552 by Ralph Fynch with £6. 6. 8. per annum, to which £5 per annum have been added by John Lyon, and the interest of £262. 10. new four per cent. annuities by W. Godwin, together with £1000 three per cent. consols. for four additional houses: the income amounts to £51. The Essex and Colchester general hospital, completed in 1820, and supported by subscription, is a neat building of white brick, on the south side of the London road. The poor law union of Colchester comprises the twelve parishes within, and the four without, the walls.

Of the monastic establishments anciently existing here, was the hospital founded (at the command of Henry I.) for a master and leprous brethren, and dedicated to St. Mary Magdalen, by Eudo, who had been a principal officer of the household to William the Conqueror and his two sons, William and Henry. The revenue at the Dissolution was £11. This hospital was refounded in 1610, by James I., for five poor brethren and a master, who is always the clergyman of the parish. The almshouses have been lately rebuilt, and are now tenanted by five widows, who receive one shilling per week each; the remainder of the income, which is very considerable, being appropriated to the master's use. Of the other establishments, the principal was St. John's Abbey, founded in the reign of Henry I. by the same Eudo, for monks of the Benedictine order, and the revenue of which, at the Dissolution, was £523. 17.: of this only the gateway is remaining, a handsome structure in the later English style, either built since the foundation of the abbey, or a subsequent addition to it. To the south of the town was a monastery of Augustine canons, founded in the reign of Henry I., and dedicated to St. Julian and St. Botolph, by Ernulphus, who afterwards became prior; at the Dissolution its revenue was £113. 12. 8.: the only remains are its stately church, now in ruins. Without the walls was an hospital, or priory, of Crutched Friars, an order introduced into England about 1244; the revenue of which, at the Dissolution, was £7. 7. 8. The priory of Franciscan or Grey Friars was founded in 1309, by Robert Fitz-Walter; the only probable remains are the parish church of All Saints.

Of the Walls by which the borough was surrounded, and in consideration of repairing which Richard II. is recorded to have exempted the burgesses from sending members to three of his parliaments, considerable portions still remain. They were strengthened by bastions, and defended on the west by an ancient fort of Roman construction, the remaining arches of which are built with Roman bricks; the north and west sides, where the town was most exposed, were protected by deep intrenchments. The entrance to the town was by four principal gates and three posterns, which have been mostly demolished. The ruins of the Castle occupy an elevated site on the north side of High-street; the form is quadrilateral, and the walls of the keep, twelve feet in thickness, are almost entire. The building is of flint, stone, and Roman brick intermixed, and is supposed to have been originally erected by the Romans, and subsequently repaired by Edward the Elder; the solidity of the structure has frustrated repeated attempts to demolish it, for the sake of the materials. The town and environs abound with relics of antiquity, among which is a quantity of Roman bricks in several of the churches and other buildings; and tessellated pavements, sepulchral urns, statues, lamps, rings, coins, medals, and almost every other species of Roman antiquities, have been discovered. Wm. Gilbert, born in 1540, physician to Elizabeth and James I., and author of a work on the qualities of the loadstone, entitled De Magnete, and other publications; and Dr. Samuel Harsnet, Archbishop of York; were natives of the place. The Rt. Hon. Charles Abbot, speaker of the house of commons (whose father was rector of All Saints), was elevated to the peerage, June 3rd, 1817, by the title of Baron Colchester, which is now enjoyed by his son.