Burnham (St. Mary)
BURNHAM (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Maldon, hundred of Dengie, S. division of Essex, 12 miles (S. E.) from Maldon; containing 1735 inhabitants. It takes its name from a small stream running near the church, and comprises 4277a. 3r. 16p. The village is situated on the northern bank of the river Crouch, near its estuary, and has a commodious quay, to which vessels of 250 tons' burthen can come up: there are vessels of 1000 tons' aggregate burthen belonging to Burnham, employing 100 seamen. The oysterbeds, both in the river and on the coast, are extremely productive; they are held under lease from Lady St. John Mildmay by a company, and in addition to the home consumption, a considerable quantity of oysters is exported to Holland and Belgium: about 300 persons are engaged in the fishery. The living is a vicarage, endowed with a portion of the rectorial tithes, and valued in the king's books at £22. 13. 4., with a net income of £558: it is in the patronage of Lady St. John Mildmay, to whom also the impropriation belongs. The church, built in 1525, stands about a mile from the village, on an elevated site; its altar-piece is embellished with a good painting of the Lord's Supper, and the pulpit and font are elaborately carved. Divine service is also performed in a national schoolroom, by license of the bishop; the school is endowed with about £80 per annum. There is a place of worship for Baptists. Several Roman coins, fragments of ancient masonry, and urns containing burnt ashes, have been found on a farm at the edge of the marsh. Burnham formerly conferred the inferior title of Baron on the Fitzwalter family.