Leighs, Little (St. John the Evangelist)
LEIGHS, LITTLE (St. John the Evangelist), a parish, in the union and hundred of Chelmsford, S. division of Essex, 5¼ miles (S. W. by S.) from Braintree; containing 182 inhabitants. A priory of Black canons, in honour of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. John the Evangelist, was founded here in the reign of Henry III.; and its revenue, at the Dissolution, was estimated at £141. 14. 8.: the gate-house, which still remains, is in the later English style. The parish comprises about 500 acres of land; the soil is various, but chiefly a sandy loam resting on clay, in many parts very fertile. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £9, and in the gift of the family of Stewart: the tithes have been commuted for £380, and the glebe comprises 15 acres. The church, which is about half a mile from the road to Braintree, is a small edifice with a shingled spire, and contains some ancient monuments.