Dunmow, Great (St. Mary)
DUNMOW, GREAT (St. Mary), a parish, and the head of a union, in the hundred of Dunmow, N. division of Essex, 12½ miles (N. N. W.) from Chelmsford, and 37½ (N. E. by N.) from London; containing 2792 inhabitants. It is supposed by Bishop Gibson to be the site of the Roman station Cæsaromagus, and this conjecture has been adopted by other antiquaries; coins have been discovered at several places near the town, and the road leading from it to Colchester, which was probably Camalodunum, displays some indications of Roman construction. At the time of the Norman survey it was the chief place in the hundred to which it gives name, and in 1250 it was made a market-town: it is agreeably situated near the river Chelmer, and consists mainly of two streets. Formerly the manufacture of baize and blankets was carried on very extensively; at present there is only a small establishment for making sacking and coarse cloth. The market, which was on Saturday, has been discontinued; but there are fairs on May 6th and Nov. 8th, for cattle. The inhabitants obtained a charter of incorporation from Philip and Mary, which was confirmed by Elizabeth, the government being vested in a recorder, bailiff, and twelve burgesses; but the officers do not now possess magisterial authority, and the only duty they perform is the appointment of a constable, bread-weighers, and leather-sealers, which takes place on the Tuesday after Michaelmas-day. The powers of the county debt-court of Dunmow, established in 1847, extend over the registration-district of Dunmow. The petty-sessions for the division are held here. The parish is of considerable extent, comprising 6661 acres, of which 144 are common or waste; on the banks of the Chelmer are some of the finest meadows in the county, and the soil is generally fertile. The living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £18. 13. 4.; patron, the Bishop of London; impropriator, Sir G. H. W. Beaumont, Bart.: the great tithes have been commuted for £1510, and the vicarial for £580; the glebe contains half an acre, with a house. The church is a spacious edifice in the decorated and later English styles, consisting of a nave, aisles, and a chancel with a fine window: it has many ancient and interesting monuments. Here are places of worship for Particular Baptists, the Society of Friends, and Independents; and an almshouse for ten poor persons. The union comprises 25 parishes or places, and contains a population of 19,884.