Gawsworth (St. James)
GAWSWORTH (St. James), a parish, in the union and hundred of Macclesfield, N. division of the county of Chester, 3 miles (S. W.) from Macclesfield; containing 806 inhabitants. This place is noticed in Domesday book as forming part of the demesne of Earl Ranulph, who gave it to Hugh Bigod, Earl of Chester, for a caparisoned horse. The parish comprises 5400 acres, of which 1000 are arable, 3600 pasture, and 800 woodland and plantations: the surface is pleasingly undulated; the soil in the eastern portion is light, but in the western a stiffish clay. The ancient manor-house, formerly the residence of Lord Mohun, is now a farmhouse. The Macclesfield canal, connecting the Grand Trunk and Peak-Forest canals, passes through the parish. A court leet and a court baron are held at Martinmas. The living, originally a chapelry to Prestbury, is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £7. 4. 4½.; net income, £734; patron, the Earl of Harrington. The church is situated on an ascent near the village, and is a handsome structure in the later English style, with a tower strengthened by buttresses and surmounted by pinnacles: there are some ancient monuments to the Fittons, among which is one to the last male descendant of that family, who was killed at the battle of Bristol, in 1643, fighting on the side of the royalists. On a bank called the Warren are the remains of a cross, at which, it is said, the country people, afraid of entering the neighbouring towns during the prevalence of the plague in 1665, exposed their provisions for sale; and at some distance on the road to Macclesfield is the tomb of the eccentric author of Hurlo Thrumbo, a burlesque drama, acted for 30 nights at the Haymarket theatre, in 1722.