Amwell, Great (St. John the Baptist)

AMWELL, GREAT (St. John the Baptist), a parish, in the union of Ware, hundred and county of Hertford, 1¼ mile (S. E. by S.) from Ware; containing 1545 inhabitants. The parish contains 2443a. 1r. 12p., of which 268 acres are common or waste. It is situated between the river Lea and the road from Cambridge to London; and is supposed to take its name from "Emma's Well," which is now absorbed by the New River. The village of Amwell, particularly that part of it adjacent to the church, is one of the most beautiful in the county; and within the limits of the parish is situated the East India College, founded in 1806, for the education of youths intended for the civil service of the company, and which contains accommodation for 105 students. A pleasure fair is held on Whit-Monday. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £6; patrons, the Rev. Mordaunt Barnard and others; impropriator, E. F. Whittingstall, Esq. The great tithes have been commuted for £418. 11. 6., and the vicarial for £232; the glebe consists of 35 acres, with a house in a fine situation, built in 1840. The chancel of the church is separated from the nave by three very ancient arches, supposed to be Saxon. Hoddesdon chapel, a handsome brick edifice, is in the parish; and among the schools is a national school for girls, endowed about 1820 by Mrs. E. Jones with £40 per annum. The remains of a Roman encampment are visible between the church and the vicarage-house. Amwell has been the residence of some celebrated literary characters, among whom may be named Izaak Walton, the noted angler; Mr. Scott, author of several poems and tracts; and Hoole, the distinguished translator of Tasso, and biographer of Mr. Scott. The remains of Warner, the historian, were interred in the churchyard.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, 7th edition, published in 1848.

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