Burstead, Great (St. Mary Magdalene)

BURSTEAD, GREAT (St. Mary Magdalene), a parish, in the union of Billericay, hundred of Barstable, S. division of Essex; comprising the market-town of Billericay, and containing 2168 inhabitants. This parish, which at the time of the Norman survey belonged to Odo, Bishop of Bayeux, is pleasantly situated on elevated ground, commanding a distant view of the river Thames, and comprises by measurement 3052 acres. The village had formerly a weekly market and an annual fair, granted by Henry III. to the abbot and brethren of Stratford Abbey. The living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £17. 6. 8.; patron, the Rev. Edward Evans; impropriator, Lord Petre. The great tithes have been commuted for £268. 10., and the vicarial for £177. 10. The church is an ancient and spacious structure, and a prominent feature in the landscape; it contains some very handsome monuments to members of the Tyrell family and others. There is an episcopal chapel at Billericay, which was once a chapel of ease, and endowed with a chantry for a priest. A school for boys is endowed with land, producing £60 per annum.

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

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