Bumpstead, Steeple, or Bumpstead-at-the-Tower (St. Mary)
BUMPSTEAD, STEEPLE, or Bumpstead-at-the-Tower (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Risbridge, hundred of Hinckford, N. division of Essex, 2¾ miles (S.) from Haverhill; containing 1212 inhabitants. This extensive parish takes the adjunct by which it is distinguished from Bumpstead-Helion, from its having been conspicuous, at an early period, for the tower or steeple of its church. A small river, called the Stour, passes through the parish, which is also intersected by the road from Clare to London. A pleasurefair is held on Whit-Wednesday, and a fair for the sale of earthenware in August. The living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £15. 2. 1.; net income, £229; patron, the Lord Chancellor. The church is an ancient structure: the door of the chancel appears to have been formerly enriched with precious stones, and ornamented with the figures of four basilisks. Here is a place of worship for Independents. Sir Thomas Bendish, a distinguished adherent to Charles I., to whom he sent a large sum of money in his troubles, and afterwards ambassador to the Ottoman Porte, was born at Bower Hall; and Augustine Lindsell, Bishop of Hereford, was also a native of the parish.