Blunham (St. Edmund)

BLUNHAM (St. Edmund), a parish, in the union of Biggleswade, hundred of Wixamtree, county of Bedford, 5¼ miles (N. N. W.) from Biggleswade, and on the great north road; containing, with the hamlet of Muggerhanger, 1050 inhabitants. The parish is situated at the junction of the Ivel with the Ouse, which is navigable to Bedford. It comprises 2589 acres, whereof 1785 are arable, 424 meadow, 250 pasture, and 130 plantation; the soil is light and convertible, the surface level, and the meadow lands subject to floods. A large portion of the females are employed in the manufacture of pillow-lace, and in preparing straw-bonnet plat. In the reign of Edward II., the inhabitants obtained the grant of a weekly market on Wednesday, and of an annual fair on the festival of St. James, both which have long been discontinued. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £46. 2. 11., and in the patronage of Earl de Grey; net income, £731, derived from about 600 acres of land. The church is a commodious, plain structure; the interior and the tower appear of different dates: there are some ancient monuments, among which is one to Lady Susan Longueville, daughter and heiress of Charles de Grey, Earl of Kent, who died at the manor-house in 1625. Here is a place of worship for Particular Baptists. Within the parish is a mineral spring, called Poplar Well.

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

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