Upton-Upon-Severn (St. Peter and St. Paul)

UPTON-UPON-SEVERN (St. Peter and St. Paul), a market-town and parish, and the head of a union, in the Lower division of the hundred of Pershore, Upton and W. divisions of the county of Worcester, 10 miles (S.) from Worcester, and 109 (N. W. by W.) from London; containing 2696 inhabitants. According to Dr. Stukeley, this was the Upoessa of Ravennas; and the probability of its having been a Roman station is strengthened by the discovery of some ancient armour in the neighbourhood. During the civil war, a bridge of six arches, erected pursuant to legislative enactment in the reign of James I., was partly broken down, and a battery placed in the churchyard, to prevent the approach of Cromwell and his forces; but the plan was ineffectual, and the parliamentary troops entered the town. Upton is situated on the right bank of the river Severn, which is here navigable for vessels of 100 tons' burthen; it is neatly built, and the streets are well paved: the surrounding country is in a state of high cultivation, and the scenery is varied and picturesque. There is a subscription library. A considerable quantity of cider, brought from Herefordshire and other parts, is shipped here for conveyance to different places, there being a harbour for barges, with a wharf for loading and discharging. The market is on Thursday: a handsome market-house, including an assembly-room and apartments for the meetings of the magistrates, has been erected by subscription. Fairs are held on Mid-Lent and Whitsun Thursdays, July 10th, and the Thursday before October 2nd; a manorial court is held annually in October, and petty-sessions every alternate Thursday. The powers of the county debt-court of Upton, established in 1847, extend over the registration-district of Upton. The parish comprises 3003 acres of land, of which 300 are common or waste; the remainder is in equal portions of arable and pasture.

The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £27; net income, £917; patron, the Bishop of Worcester. The church is a handsome structure, erected, with the exception of the tower, in 1758; the ancient spire, from an apprehension of insecurity, was taken down, and a wooden cupola, covered with copper, substituted, in 1769. There are places of worship for Baptists and Wesleyans. A charity school for 20 girls was endowed in 1718, by Richard and Anne Smith, with property now producing £28 per annum, which was augmented with a bequest of £5 a year, in 1824, by Miss Sarah Husband: a boys' school was added in 1797, by a benefaction from George King, which was vested in the purchase of £100 three per cents., and £100 four per cent, consols.; and these two foundations are now incorporated into a national school. Edward Hall, in 1578, left an estate at present worth about £80 a year, for maintaining a bridge here over the Severn; and Thomas Morris, alias Woodward, in 1675 bequeathed £185, which sum was invested in land, &c., now valued at £35. 10. per annum, for parochial purposes. The poor-law union comprises 22 parishes or places, and contains a population of 16,886. Dr. John Dee, the celebrated astrologer in the reign of Elizabeth, was a native of the town. The late Rev. J. Davison, B.D., author of some theological works, was rector.

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