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EMSWORTH, a town, in the parish of Warblington, union of Havant, hundred of Bosmere, Portsdown and S. divisions of the county of Southampton, 2 miles (E. by S.) from Havant; containing 1165 inhabitants. This place is situated on the road from Portsmouth to Brighton, and on the Sussex border, opposite to Thorney Island, at the head of Emsworth Channel, which is navigable along Hayling Island to the English Channel, for vessels of 200 tons' burthen. It formerly consisted only of a few fishermen's huts, but from its favourable situation has, within the last few years, grown into considerable importance, and become a thriving and populous town, containing many well-built houses, and in the immediate vicinity several neat and pleasant villas; it is amply supplied with water, conveyed by pipes from a reservoir on Emsworth Common. Hot and cold seawater baths have been erected; and a literary and scientific society has been established since 1834. The manufacture of sailcloth, sacking, ropes, fishing-nets, and twine, is carried on, employing about eighty persons; and there are a ship-building yard and two breweries. The place is a member of the ports of Portsmouth and Chichester, and has a considerable trade in the importation of coal, and exportation of flour and timber; for which two good quays have been constructed. There are several vessels occupied in the coasting-trade, and about thirty boats in the oysterfishery for which the place is celebrated; prawns are also found in abundance, and various other kinds of fish. Fairs, chiefly for toys, are held on the 15th of April and the 18th of July. A proprietary chapel dedicated to St. Peter, a neat building of brick, was erected in 1790; the minister's stipend is £50. A district church, dedicated to St. James, was erected in 1840, at an expense of £1200: it is a cruciform structure of brick, with two towers at the west end surmounted by octangular turrets terminating in low spires, between which is the entrance porch; it is in the Norman style, and contains 566 sittings. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of the Rector, who has endowed it with £50 per annum, in addition to the seat-rents. There are places of worship for Independents and Wesleyans.

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