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Rochford (St. Andrew)

ROCHFORD (St. Andrew), a market-town and parish, and the head of a union, in the hundred of Rochford, S. division of Essex, 19¼ miles (S. E.) from Chelmsford, and 40 (E. by N.) from London; containing 1722 inhabitants. It is situated on the small river Roche, from which it is supposed to derive its name, and is an irregularly-built town, supplied with water by a stream that runs through it, and from a pump erected in the market-place. The trade is principally in corn. The river Crouch is navigable to Broomhills, within about a mile of the town, and affords great facility for the conveyance of corn, coal, and other merchandise, by vessels of from 100 to 200 tons' burthen. The market is on Thursday; and fairs take place on the Tuesday and Wednesday in Easter-week, and the Wednesday and Thursday after September 29th, chiefly for toys. The magistrates for the hundred hold sittings on Thursday, once a fortnight, and occasionally weekly, for general business. The powers of the county debt-court of Rochford, established in 1847, extend over the registration-district of Rochford, and four adjacent parishes. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £20, and in the gift of the Earl of Mornington: the tithes have been commuted for £565, and the glebe comprises 54 acres. The church is a plain edifice, with a lofty tower of very fine old brickwork; a gallery was erected in 1827, and the church was repaired and beautified in 1828. There is a place of worship for Independents. A workhouse for 300 inmates has been erected for the union, which comprises 24 parishes or places, and contains a population of 14,617. Rochford Hall, the greater part of which was destroyed by fire about eighty years since, was the birthplace of the unfortunate Anna Boleyn, queen of Henry VIII.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, seventh edition, published 1858.