Hingham (St. Andrew)

HINGHAM (St. Andrew), a market-town and parish, in the incorporation and hundred of Forehoe, E. division of Norfolk, 5 miles (N. N. W.) from Attleborough, 14 miles (W. by S.) from Norwich, and 96 (N. E. by N.) from London; containing 1691 inhabitants. This place is situated north of the South Mere, or Semere, a lake about twenty acres in extent, from which one of the tributary streams of the Yare flows. Though not so considerable as at the period when it gave name to the deanery, the town is yet respectable. About a century ago, a fire consumed the greater part, but it was rebuilt in an improved style, and is now distinguished for neatness, and many good houses; the inhabitants are well supplied with water from wells. The market, formerly on Saturday, is now on Tuesday, and chiefly for corn, but cattle, sheep, and swine are sometimes brought for sale: fairs are held on March 7th, Whit-Tuesday, and October 2nd; the first chiefly for horses, and the last for different kinds of live-stock. General courts baron and customary courts, for the manors of Hingham, Hingham-Gurney, and Hingham rectory, are held annually; and petty-sessions on the first Tuesday in the month. The town having been part of the domains of the Saxon kings, the inhabitants are exempted from serving on juries at the assizes and sessions. The parish comprises by admeasurement 3783 acres, of which 2900 are arable, 700 pasture and meadow, and 72 woodland.

The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £24. 18. 4., and in the gift of Lord Wodehouse: the tithes have been commuted for £1248. 16. 3., and there is a handsome parsonage-house, with a glebe of 33 acres. The church is a fine structure, chiefly in the decorated English style, with a tower of flint and stone, formerly surmounted by a lofty spire: it was rebuilt in the reign of Edward III., by the rector, Remigius de Hethersete, aided by the patron, John le Marshall; and had anciently seven chantry chapels, and as many guilds. Against the north wall of the chancel is a noble monument to the memory of Thomas Parker, Lord Morley, who died in 1435. The window of the chancel, presented by the first lord Wodehouse, in 1813, is of stained glass brought from a nunnery in the Netherlands; it is 36 feet high, and 18 feet wide, and is divided into seven compartments, chiefly emblematical of the Crucifixion, Descent from the Cross, Resurrection, and Ascension of Our Saviour. The church was formerly more richly ornamented, but in 1605 was barbarously mutilated by Robert Peak, then rector, a violent schismatic; for which being prosecuted by the bishop, he fled to New England, accompanied by many seceders from Hingham, and built a new town, which he named after this place. There are meeting-houses for Independents and the Society of Friends. The free school was founded by William Parlett, in 1727; the proceeds of an estate, amounting to £171 per annum, are divided between a master and an usher, in the ratio of two-thirds to the former, and onethird to the latter. At the inclosure in 1781, about 35 acres of land were allotted for fuel to the poor, who have also several small bequests. Sir Ralph de Hingham, chief justice of the common pleas in the 1st of Edward II., was born here.

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