Marlow, or Great Marlow (All Saints)

MARLOW, or Great Marlow (All Saints), a borough, market-town, and parish, in the union of Wycombe, hundred of Desborough, county of Buckingham, 35½ miles (S. by E.) from Buckingham, and 31 (W. by N.) from London; containing 4480 inhabitants. The ancient name of this place was Merlaw, supposed to be derived from the Saxon word Mere, a marsh, and Law or Low, a hill. The town is situated on the bank of the Thames, and consists of two streets, which cross in the market-place; the surrounding scenery is replete with variety and beauty. Here is a good newsroom. The river is crossed by an iron suspensionbridge, erected at an expense, including the approaches, of £20,000, of which sum the county of Bucks paid twothirds, and that of Berks one-third: it is a handsome structure, and a great ornament to the town. Races are held in August. There are two paper-mills, and some copper-works at Temple, which, with rope-making and the manufacture of baby-linen, caps, lace, and covered wire, furnish considerable employment to the working classes: a trade in corn, timber, and malt is likewise carried on. The market is held on Saturday, and the market-house is a spacious building: fairs take place on May 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, for horses and cattle, and October 29th, for cheese, butter, and hops.

The town first sent representatives to parliament in the 28th of Edward I., and continued so to do till the 2nd of Edward II., when the privilege ceased for upwards of 400 years; the right was restored upon petition to the house of commons in the 21st of James I., and has since been exercised without intermission. The borough includes also the parishes of Little Marlow and Medmenham, in the county of Buckingham, and the parish of Bisham, in Berks: the high constable is returning officer. The living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £13. 6. 8.; net income, £172; patrons and appropriators, the Dean and Chapter of Gloucester. The church, erected in 1835, at an expense of £10,000, is an elegant structure in the later English style, with a tower surmounted by a lofty spire. A second church has been built at Lane-End, principally at the expense of Mr. Elwes. There are places of worship for Independents and Wesleyans. In 1628, Sir William Borlace bequeathed estates, now producing £118 per annum, for purposes of instruction, and for the maintenance of a workhouse or house of correction. In the 7th of James I., John Brinkhurst devised almshouses for six widows, who have an income of £79. 9.; and about £140, arising from bequests by William Lofton, Esq., and others, are annually distributed to the poor.

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

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