Clapham (St. Thomas Becket)

CLAPHAM (St. Thomas à Becket), a parish, in the hundred of Stodden, union and county of Bedford, 2½ miles (N. W. by N.) from Bedford; and containing 370 inhabitants. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £5. 13. 4.; net income, £270; patron, Lord Carteret. The church is a very ancient structure, with a tower remarkable for the simplicity of its architecture; it is mostly of rude Saxon, and has a Norman belfry. Clapham was formerly a chapelry in the parish of Oakley. J. Thomas Dawson, Esq., of Woodlands, in the parish, has given a piece of ground for a school. Ursula Taylor, in 1722, bequeathed property for apprenticing poor boys, directing the ministers of St. Paul's and St. John's, Bedford, to be trustees; it consists of 41 acres of land, producing about £50 per annum.

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

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