The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales...., by John Marius Wilson. circa 1866
BRIGHTLINGSEA, a village and a parish in Lexden district, Essex. The village stands on the estuary of the Colne river, opposite Mersey island, 4 miles SSE of Wivenhoe r. station, and 8 SE by S of Colchester; is a sub-port to Colchester, and a member of the cinque port of Sandwich; and has a post-office under Colchester, and a recently erected temperance hall. Fairs are held on the first Thursday of June and 15 Oct.; and a large trade is carried on in the fishing of sprats and oysters. The parish comprises 3,560 acres; of which 470 are water. Real property, £7,081. Pop., 2,585. Houses, 589. The property is sub-divided. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Rochester. Value, £213. Patron, the Bishop of Peterborough. The church has a tower nearly 100 feet high, serving as a sea-mark; and contains brasses of a merchant, a nun, and W. Beriffe, 1579. There are a chapel of ease in Gothic architecture, and chapels for Independents, Wesleyans, and Swedenborgians.
Transcribed by Noel Clark
"Brightlingsea: This is the only town outside Kent and Susex which is a member of the Cinque Ports - ports on the south-east coast with ancient privileges. It is described in an Elizabethan charter as being 'a Limb of the Cinque Port of Sandwich', and on the first Monday in December a Deputy of the Cinque Port Liberty is elected from among the Freemen of the town. At a ceremony which takes place in the belfry of All Saints Church, the Deputy swears allegiance to the Mayor of Sandwich; he then visits the Mayor and presents him with fifty pence for Ship Money."
Provided my Ann Major
London pub history directory.