Hailsham (St. Mary)

HAILSHAM (St. Mary), a market-town and parish, and the head of a union, partly within the liberty of the borough of Pevensey, but chiefly in the hundred of Dill, rape of Pevensey, E. division of Sussex, 52 miles (E.) from Chichester, and 55 (S. S. E.) from London; containing 1586 inhabitants. This town is pleasantly situated on a gentle acclivity, on the road from London to Eastbourne, and within eight miles of the sea: the manufacture of rope, twine, and sacking, is carried on to a considerable extent, and there is a large brewery. A market, chiefly for cattle, is held on the alternate Wednesdays; fairs are held on the 6th of April and 3rd of June. The town is within the duchy of Lancaster, and the county magistrates hold pettysessions here every alternate Wednesday. An act was passed in 1846, for a branch to this place of the Brighton and Hastings railway; it was opened in 1848, and is nearly three miles in length. The parish comprises by estimation 4740 acres, of which 1262 are arable, 2175 marsh, 800 meadow, 261 wood, and 120 common: the arable lands are well cultivated, and the scenery is in many places picturesque. The living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £16. 6. 8., and in the patronage of W. Brunton, Esq.; impropriator, the Rev. G. C. Luxford, whose tithes have been commuted for £420, and those of the vicar for £599. 10. The church is principally in the later English style, with a lofty embattled tower crowned by pinnacles; at the east ends of the aisles are small chapels, one of which is used as a vestry. There are places of worship for Baptists and Calvinists; and a national school supported by endowment, and by subscription. Mrs. E. Hooper in 1819 bequeathed £300 three per cent. South Sea annuities, to the poor; and £300 five per cent. Bank annuities, now reduced to three and a half per cent., for instruction; which latter forms the endowment of the school. The union of Hailsham comprises 11 parishes or places, containing a population of 12,433. In the reign of Henry II. a monastery of Præmonstratensian canons was founded in the parish, which was afterwards removed to Bayham; some remains of an ecclesiastical building at Otham, are supposed to be those of the monastery.

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

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