Egremont (St. Michael)
The town is situated within less than three miles of the Irish Sea, and consists mainly of one spacious street; the houses are in general ancient, but many improvements have been recently effected, and a new bridge has been built over the river Echen. The clothing business appears to have been once carried on: the principal articles of manufacture at present are checks, linen, canvas, sailcloth, and paper; the tanning and dressing of leather prevail to a limited extent. In the parish are mines of ironstone, from which about 100 tons of ore are raised per day, and shipped at Whitehaven, for the supply of the iron-foundries of South Wales; limestone and red freestone are procured in the neighbourhood, and a considerable quantity of lime is burnt. The market is on Saturday, and is well supplied with corn. The fairs are on Feb. 18th for horses, the third Friday in May, and Sept. 18th for horned-cattle, sheep, &c.; on the three days following the last fair, a festival is celebrated, during which the inhabitants are allowed to sell ale without a licence: statute-fairs for hiring servants are held at Whitsuntide and Martinmas. The town was anciently a borough, and returned members to parliament in the 23rd of Edward I., but was, on its own petition, disfranchised in the 24th of the same reign: the burgesses possessed many other privileges, of which all records are lost. A borough serjeant, two bailiffs, four constables, two hedge and corn viewers, and assessors of damages, are appointed at the court leet of the lord of the manor, held in April, at which time a customary court is also held; a court baron is held every third Friday, for the recovery of debts under 40s. The living is a discharged rectory, valued in the king's books at £7. 12. 1., and in the patronage of the Wyndham family; net income, £249. The church is an ancient structure, of which the east end is in the early English style, and the remainder chiefly Norman; it has a low tower. There is a place of worship for Wesleyans.
Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, seventh edition, published 1858.