Stow-On-The-Wold (St. Edward)
STOW-ON-THE-WOLD (St. Edward), a market-town and parish, and the head of a union, in the Upper division of the hundred of Slaughter, E. division of the county of Gloucester, 25 miles (E. by N.) from Gloucester, and 82 (W. N. W.) from London; containing, with the hamlets of Donnington and Mangersbury, 2140 inhabitants, of whom 1465 are in the town. This place, in old records denominated Stow St. Edward, was the scene of a battle between the royalists and the parliamentary forces in the great civil war, when the former were put to flight. The town is situated on the summit of a steep elevation. The houses in general are of stone, but low, irregularly built, and of ancient appearance; and being indifferently supplied with fuel and water, and having no common field attached, the place is vulgarly remarked to have only one of the four elements, namely, air. A charter for a market was procured in the reign of Edward III., by the abbot of Evesham, then lord of the manor; it is on Thursday, and fairs are held on May 12th and October 24th, for the sale of hops, cheese, and sheep, of which last 20,000 are said to have been sold at one fair. The inhabitants were incorporated by Henry VI., but at present the town is governed by two bailiffs, who are appointed annually at the manorial court leet. The powers of the county debt-court of Stow, established in 1847, extend over the registrationdistrict of Stow. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £18; net income, £525; patron, the family of Hippisley: the tithes were commuted for land and a money payment in 1765. The church is a spacious edifice in the ancient English style, erected at different periods in the 14th and 15th centuries; the tower is conspicuous at a great distance. There is a place of worship for Baptists; also a school endowed with £13. 9. per annum for teaching Latin. An almshouse for nine persons, on the south side of the churchyard, was founded in the sixteenth of Edward IV., under the will of William Chestre; and subsequent endowments have been given for the maintenance of its inmates. The poor-law union comprises 28 parishes or places, 25 of which are in the county of Gloucester, and 3 in that of Worcester; the whole containing a population of 9522. A park, house, and garden, named St. Margaret's Chapel, at a place called Merke, in the parish, constituted part of the estates of Charles I. and his queen. The Fosse-way intersects the northern part of the parish.
Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, seventh edition, published 1858.