Harleston

HARLESTON, a market-town, in the parish of Reddenhall, union of Depwade, hundred of Earsham, E. division of Norfolk, 19 miles (S.) from Norwich, and 99½ (N. E.) from London; containing 1425 inhabitants. The original appellation of Herolfston, or Herolveston, of which the present is a corruption, was derived from Herolf, one of the Danish leaders, who came over with Sweyn, and settled in this part of the kingdom: in the centre of the town stands a stone, formerly called Herolf's stone. Sir John Herolveston, in the reign of Richard II., quelled a formidable insurrection in Norfolk and the neighbouring counties. The town is situated on the road from Bury St. Edmund's to Yarmouth, about one mile from the river Waveney, over which is a bridge: it is lighted with gas, and well supplied with water from springs. The manufacture of bombazines, and weaving, have been carried on of late years to a limited extent. The market, which is chiefly for corn, is on Wednesday, and is well attended: fairs are held on July 15th and Sept. 9th and 10th; the latter, which is still a large sheep and cattle fair, was originally continued eight days. On December 1st was formerly a fair for Scotch cattle, which lasted one month, and which was removed hither many years since from Hoxne, in Suffolk; but it has fallen into disuse, in consequence of the preference given to the cattle-market at Norwich. A portion of the town is under the superior jurisdiction of the Duke of Norfolk, who is lord of the manor, and has the tolls of the markets and fairs, holding courts for the manor occasionally. The powers of the county debt-court of Harleston, established in 1847, extend over part of the registration-districts of Depwade, Wangford, and Hoxne. Petty-sessions are held on the 1st and 3rd Fridays in the month. In the centre of the town is a chapel of ease, dedicated to St. John the Baptist, which was rebuilt in 1726, and enlarged in 1819 at the expense of the parishioners, by taking in the site of the market-cross, which stood at the east end: the chaplain is nominated by Emmanuel College, Cambridge, pursuant to the direction of Dr. Sancroft, Archbishop of Canterbury, who, in 1688, settled upon that society £54 per annum, now reduced to £30. 18. in trust. There are places of worship for Independents and Wesleyans. The rent of an estate in the adjoining parish of Rushall, purchased with £200, the gift of John Dove, who died in 1712, is paid to a national school.

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

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