MARAZION, an incorporated market-town and a chapelry, in the parish of St. Hilary, union of Penzance, hundred of Penwith, W. division of Cornwall, 63½ miles (S. W. by W.) from Launceston, and 282 (W. S. W.) from London; containing 1683 inhabitants. The ancient name of this town was Marghasiewe; the more recent appellation of Marketjew, still in use among the common people, is supposed by some to take its origin from a market formerly held here, which was much frequented by Jews. In the early part of the reign of Henry VIII., a party of French soldiers, having landed from a fleet then cruising in the Channel, took possession of Marazion; but on the approach of the sheriff of the county with the posse comitatus, they retreated to their ships, having first set fire to the place. It again suffered by conflagration in the reign of Edward VI. The town is very pleasantly situated on the eastern side of Mount's bay, chiefly at the foot of a hill, by which it is sheltered on the north: the air is particularly mild and salubrious; the inhabitants are amply supplied with water. The profits of a fair held here were given to the priory of St. Michael's Mount, in the reign of Henry I.; and in the reign of Henry III., that religious community was empowered by Richard, Earl of Cornwall, to hold three fairs and three markets, which had been previously granted to them at Marghasbigan by charter of the kings of England, on their own land at Marchadyon. In the year 1331, a market on Monday, and a fair on the festival of St. Andrew, to continue three days, were granted to Ralph de Bleyon. There are several mines in the chapelry, but none at present in operation; also several quarries of good building-stone: the chief manufacture is that of rope, which is carried on to a moderate extent. The market is on Saturday; and there is a fair on Michaelmas-day for horses and for cattle. The town was incorporated by charter from Queen Elizabeth, in 1595, and the corporation consists of a mayor, who is a magistrate, eight burgesses, and twelve capital inhabitants. The chapelry comprises by computation 650 acres. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of the Corporation, subject to the approval of the Vicar of St. Hilary; net income, £98; impropriator, the Rev. J. Rogers. The great tithes have been commuted for £105, and the vicarial for £147; the glebe comprises one acre. The chapel is dedicated to St. Ervat. There are several places of worship for dissenters.
Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, seventh edition, published 1858.