Bocking (St. Mary)

BOCKING (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Braintree, hundred of Hinckford, N. division of Essex, 1 mile (N.) from Braintree; containing 3437 inhabitants. The parish comprises 4490a. 1r. 12p., of which 3460 acres are arable, 617 meadow and pasture, 262 woodland, and 30 acres hop-grounds; and is intersected by the river Blackwater, which puts in motion the machinery of several corn-mills and silk-factories. The lands rest on a substratum of clay partially mixed with chalk; that portion under tillage produces fair average crops. The village, one of the most extensive in the county, has one principal street reaching to the town of Braintree, and containing several well-built houses. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £35. 10., and in the gift of the Archbishop of Canterbury: the tithes have been commuted for £1360, and there are nearly 114 acres of glebe. The church, built partly of flints and stone, is a spacious and handsome structure in the early English style, with a square embattled tower, and contains many interesting monuments. John Gauden, Bishop of Worcester, established a school for boys, and endowed it with land now producing £50 per annum. An almshouse, endowed with about £8 per annum, was built by license of Henry VI., as a Maison Dieu, or "God's House," by John Doreward, who gave to it, and the chaplain of his chantry in the parish church, his manor of Tendring and a rentcharge on all his lands in the county; but this revenue, it is supposed, was lost at the Dissolution.

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

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