Halesworth (St. Mary)

HALESWORTH (St. Mary), a market-town and parish, in the union and hundred of Blything, E. division of Suffolk, 30½ miles (N. E. by N.) from Ipswich, and 101 (N. E.) from London; containing 2661 inhabitants. This town, which is situated in a valley on the banks of the river Blyth, is ancient, and indifferently built, nearly in the form of the letter S, but contains a few good houses; the streets are spacious, and well lighted with gas, and the inhabitants are plentifully supplied with water. A small theatre is opened once in two years. The river is navigable hence to Southwold, for craft of about 25 tons, which are usually laden with malt, grain, timber, and general merchandise; and there are some very large malt-houses here, the trade in malting being extensive. The market is on Tuesday, for corn and provisions: a fair is held on October 29th, chiefly for Scotch cattle; and pleasure-fairs take place on Easter-Tuesday and Whit-Tuesday. The magistrates of the hundred hold petty-sessions monthly, and courts leet and baron for the manor are held occasionally: the powers of the county debt-court of Halesworth, established in 1847, extend over the registration-district of Blything. The parish comprises 1445a. 3r. 25p. The living is a discharged rectory, with the vicarage of Chediston united, valued in the king's books at £20, and in the gift of Mrs. Badeley. The tithes have been commuted for £387. 3.; a rent-charge of £10 is paid to the Dean and Chapter of Norwich, and the glebe contains 20 acres. The church is a fine edifice of flint, chiefly in the later English style, with a low but handsome tower ornamented with a splendid clock; it was enlarged in 1823, and more recently a gallery was erected. There are places of worship for Independents and Wesleyans. John Keable, by will in 1652, left lands worth about £98 per annum, half of which is appropriated to poor widows, and the other half to the apprenticing of boys.

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

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