Colne, Earl's (St. Andrew)
COLNE, EARL'S (St. Andrew), a parish, in the union of Halstead, Witham division of the hundred of Lexden, N. division of Essex, 3½ miles (E. S. E.) from Halstead; containing 1385 inhabitants. This parish takes the prefix to its name from the family of De Vere, earls of Oxford, to whom it belonged at the time of the Domesday survey; and its name, in common with others in the district, from the river Colne, over which is a bridge on the line of the Roman road from Colchester. It is about ten miles in circumference, and consists chiefly of elevated ground; the soil is a kind of loam, partially mixed with sand, and, though not of great tenacity, tolerably fertile. A fair is held on March 25th. The living is a vicarage, endowed with a portion of the rectorial tithes, and valued in the king's books at £8. 10. 10.; patron, and impropriator of the remainder of the rectorial tithes, H. H. Carwardine, Esq. The great tithes have been commuted for £242. 14. 9., and the vicarial for £670. The church is a handsome ancient edifice, with a massive tower partly of flint, and is ornamented with several monuments of the De Veres, which were removed from the church of a Benedictine priory founded here in the eleventh century by Aubrey de Vere, who became one of the monks: the priory was dedicated to St. Mary and St. John the Evangelist, and was made a cell to the abbey of Abingdon, in Berkshire; at the Dissolution it had a prior and ten monks, with a revenue of £175. 14. 8. There are places of worship for Particular Baptists and the Society of Friends. Certain land was bequeathed by the Rev. Christopher Swallow, who died in 1539, for the support of a grammar school; the proceeds amount to £188 per annum. Thomas Audley, lord chancellor of England in the reign of Henry VIII., was born in the parish.