Langley, Abbots (St. Lawrence)

LANGLEY, ABBOTS (St. Lawrence), a parish, in the union of Watford, hundred of Cashio, or liberty of St. Alban's, county of Hertford, 1¾ mile (E. by S.) from King's-Langley; containing 2115 inhabitants. It has some corn and paper mills. The Grand Junction canal passes through the parish, and the London and Birmingham railway within less than a mile of the church. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £15, and in the gift of the Rev. Richard Gee: the great tithes have been commuted for £856. 17. 6., and the vicarial for £315; there are 7 acres of glebe. The church, partly Norman and partly in the later English style, has a square tower surmounted by a short spire, and contains some handsome monuments, among which is one to Chief Justice Raimond. Here is the Booksellers' Provident Retreat, erected on a site given by Mr. Dickinson, whose extensive paper-works and beautiful residence are adjacent: the first stone was laid by the Earl of Clarendon in Sept. 1845. A national school is endowed with £10 per annum; and a school of industry for girls, with £8 per annum. Nicholas de Breakspear, who first instructed the Norwegians in Christianity, and the only Englishman ever raised to the popedom, was born in the parish, though the place from which he took his name is situated in the adjoining parish of St. Michael; he assumed the title of Adrian IV., and was poisoned in 1159, in the fifth year of his pontificate, by a citizen of Rome whose son he had refused to consecrate bishop.

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

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