Drax (St. Peter)

DRAX (St. Peter), a parish, in the union of Selby, Lower division of the wapentake of Barkstone-Ash, W. riding of York; including the townships of Camblesforth and Newland; and containing 1161 inhabitants, of whom 364 are in the township of Drax, 7 miles (S. E.) from Selby, and 171 in that of Long Drax. The parish is bounded on the east and north-east by the river Ouse, and on the south-east by the Aire, which empties itself into the former a little above Booth Great Ferry-House. It comprises by computation 6474a. 3r. 38p., of which 4823 acres are arable, 1093 pasture, and 166 wood; the surface is level, and the situation is not very wholesome, though it has been much improved of late by drainage. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £4, with a net income of £81; the patronage and impropriation belong to the Crown, and the impropriate tithes have been commuted for £1446. The church is a very ancient edifice. There is a place of worship for Wesleyans. A free grammar school was built in 1669, by Charles Reed, and endowed by him with £2000; he also erected six almshouses, to be kept in repair from the same fund, for three aged persons of each sex. The whole endowment is now £924 per annum. This benefactor, when an infant, is said to have been discovered lying among some reeds, and to have been, from that circumstance, named Reed; having been brought up by the parish, he was put to the sea service at the age of sixteen, and, after fifty years' absence, returned opulent, and testified his gratitude to his preservers by the above benevolent acts. The story of his having been a foundling, is, however, by most persons deemed fabulous, and is disproved by his will, in which he bequeaths legacies to several relations. A priory of Black canons was founded in the time of Henry I., by William Paynell, to the honour of St. Nicholas; the revenue, at the Dissolution, was valued at £121. 18. 3.

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

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