Everley, or Everleigh (St. Peter)

EVERLEY, or Everleigh (St. Peter), a parish, in the union of Pewsey, hundred of Elstub and Everley, Everley and Pewsey, and S. divisions of Wilts, 4¾ miles (W. N. W.) from Ludgershall; containing 354 inhabitants. This place, at the time of the heptarchy, was the residence of Ina, King of the West Saxons; it subsequently belonged for many generations to the Plantagenets, dukes of Lancaster, and eventually became vested in the crown, as the property of Henry of Bolingbroke, afterwards Henry IV. The manor was granted by Edward VI., in the first year of his reign, to Edward, Duke of Somerset, Protector, after whose attainder, reverting to the crown, it was given by Queen Elizabeth to Sir Ralph Sadlier, Knt., the royal falconer, whose son and successor had the honour of entertaining James I. at the manor-house, on the 31st of August, 1603. The parish comprises about 4000 acres; the surface is hilly, and the soil, though generally chalky, is in some parts alternated with a strong clay. The village was anciently a market-town of considerable note. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £16. 4. 4½., and in the gift of Sir J. D. Astley, Bart.: the tithes have been commuted for £700, and the glebe comprises 18 acres. The church, erected in 1813, at the expense of Francis Dugdale Astley, Esq., is a chaste and elegant structure in the later English style. About two miles to the south is the fortified camp of Chidbury, to which there appears to have been a covered way from Everley.

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

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