Manningtree (St. Michael)

MANNINGTREE (St. Michael), a market-town and parish, in the union and hundred of Tendring, N. division of Essex, 9 miles (N. E. by E.) from Colchester, and 61 (N. E. by E.) from London; containing 1255 inhabitants. This place was anciently called Scidinghoo, or, as in Domesday book, Sciddinchou; and in the reign of Henry VIII. it had received the name of Many tree, of which the present appellation is an obvious corruption. Here was a guild, dedicated to the Holy Trinity, the revenue of which was £8. 5. 4.; and the importance of the place may be inferred from a certificate of the value of some chantry lands, in which it is termed "a great town and also a haven town, having in it to the number of 700 houseling people." The parish is extremely salubrious, and occupies the most pleasant situation in the hundred; it is bounded on the north by the river Stour. The town is on the southern bank of the river, on the road from London to Harwich, and is irregularly built; the streets are paved and lighted with oil, and the inhabitants are amply supplied with excellent water. The malt-trade is carried on to a great extent, and a brewery here produces annually 5000 barrels of strong ale. At spring tides, vessels drawing six feet of water come up to the quay, bringing corn, coal, deals, &c. The Stour was made navigable from the town to Sudbury, by act of parliament in the 4th and 5th of the reign of Anne. A station here of the Ipswich and Colchester railway is about midway between the stations at those two towns. The market is on Thursday, for corn and cattle; and there is a fair for toys on the Thursday in Whitsun-week. The pettysessions for the division of Tendring take place on Mondays at Mistley and Thorpe alternately, when overseers, surveyors, and constables are appointed; and a court baron is held here annually by the lords of the manor of Mistley and Manningtree. The village of Mistley, about half a mile from the town, consists of several handsome houses; and a fair is held by permission on the green there, on the 8th and 9th of August. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of the Rector of Mistley. The church consists of a nave, with north and south aisles separated from the nave by ranges of massive pillars, and contains a monument on which is an inscription recording that a fuller, named Thomas Osmond, was burnt here for heresy, June 15th, 1555. There are places of worship for Independents and Wesleyans.

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

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