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Market Bosworth, Leicestershire

Historical Description

Market Bosworth, a market-town, a township, a parish, and the head of a union and county court district in Leicestershire. The town stands on an eminence, three-quarters of a mile E from the Ashby-de-la-Zouch Canal, 9½ miles N from Nuneaton, 13 W from Leicester, and 113 from London. It has a station on the Ashby and Nuneaton Junction of the M.R. and L. & N.W.R., and a post, money order, and telegraph office under Nuneaton. Acreage of the township, 2716; population, 836. The parish also includes the townships and chapelries of Barlestone, Shenton, and Osbaston, and has an area of 7774 acres; population, 2348. The town is an agricultural centre, and brickmaking is carried on. A weekly market is held on Wednesday, and fairs for cattle are held on 8 May and 10 July. There is also a fortnightly sale for fat stock which is well attended. The manor from 1223 to 1554 was in the Harcourt family, when in the latter year it fell to the king, who gave it to the Hastings family, and in 1567 it was bought by the Dixie family, and is now the property of the Scotts. Bosworth Field, now a meadow, adjacent to the canal, 2 miles S of the town, was the scene of the defeat of Richard III. in 1485 by the Earl of Richmond, who mounted the throne as Henry VII.; a spring of water on it, at which the king is said to have drunk during the battle, and called King Dick's Well, is carefully preserved. This field was also the scene of a skirmish in 1644 between the Parliamentary and Royal forces. The town has a bank, a county court office, an endowed grammar school on a very ancient foundation, and a workhouse, erected in 1856, with accommodation for 200 inmates. A police station was erected in 1892 at a cost of £3000. The living is a rectory, with the chapelries of Barleston and Shenton annexed, in the diocese of Peterborough; gross value, £857 with residence. The church, dedicated to St Peter, is a building of stone in the Late Gothic style of the 14th century, consisting of chancel, nave, aisles, S porch, and an embattled tower with a lofty spire; it was restored in 1893, and contains a fine font and monuments of the Dixies. There are Baptist and Congregational chapels. Bosworth Hall is a fine mansion of red brick with stone dressings in the Queen Anne style, standing in a well-stocked deer park of about 400 acres. It was in this park that Richard III. raised his standard prior to the battle of Bosworth Field, and the spot is said to be marked by a clump of trees called Dick's Clump. Thomas Simpson, F.R.S., the mathematician, was a native of Market Bosworth, and Dr Johnson was for a short period an usher in the grammar school.

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England & Wales, 1894-5

Administration

The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.

Ancient CountyLeicestershire 
Ecclesiastical parishMarket Bosworth St. Peter 
HundredSparkenhoe 
Poor Law unionMarket-Bosworth 

Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.


Church Records

The parish register dates from the year 1569.

Findmypast, in association with the Record Office for Leicestershire, Leicester & Rutland, have the following parish records online for Market Bosworth:

BaptismsBannsMarriagesBurials
1571-19161754-19361589-19311571-1926

Churches

The church of St. Peter is a building of stone in the Gothic style, the base of the tower and north aisle of the 14th century and the chancel and south aisle of the 15th century: it consists of a spacious chancel, nave, aisle, south porch and an embattled tower, with lofty spire, containing a clock and 5 bells, rehung in 1887, at the cost of C. N. L. Tollemache Scott esq.: there is a fine font: two monuments to Sir Willoughby Wolstan Dixie bart. d. 1827, and his son, Sir W. W. Dixie bart. d. 23 June, 1850, and others to Lady Olive Dixie, and the Rev. John Dixie, a former rector, erected in 1719: there is a number of stained windows, several of which are memorials: an oak altar was erected, and the floor of the sanctuary in the side chapel paved with marble, as a memorial to the Rev. P. H. Bowers M.A. late Archdeacon of Loughborough (rector 1886-1922): the chapel also contains an oak reredos, erected in memory of the parishioners who fell in the Great War, 1914-18: the communion plate includes a chalice dated 1575: paten, 1680; silver-gilt chalice, 1683; two flagons of 1712; a paten of 1763 and a silver chalice, 1894. The nave underwent repair in 1846, and the chancel in 1852: in 1892 the chancel was again renovated, figures of St. Peter and St. Paul placed in the old niches on either side of the east window, the floor relaid in mosaic and marble steps, and an oak reredos, screen and pulpit provided, partly by the rector's family: a new organ was also presented, and the exterior of the fabric restored and strengthened: the church affords 400 sittings.

There is a Baptist chapel, seating 100 persons.


Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Market Bosworth from the following:


Land and Property

A full transcript of the Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Leicestershire is online.


Maps

Online maps of Market Bosworth are available from a number of sites:


Newspapers and Periodicals

The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following Leicestershire newspapers online:

DistrictHinckley and Bosworth
CountyLeicestershire
RegionEast Midlands
CountryEngland
Postal districtCV13
Post TownNuneaton