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ESSEX

From Pigot's 1832-3 Directory

THIS county is bounded by those of Suffolk and Cambridge on the north, by those of Hertford and Middlesex on the west, by the river Thames on the south, and by the sea on the east. Its figure on the sea-coast is irregular, being broken into a series of inlets and peninsulas, deeply cut in by arms of the sea and exhibiting evident tokens of the force and effects of that relentless element. Its extent from east to west is estimated at sixty miles and from north to south at about fifty; its circumference is computed at 225 miles; its area comprises 1,532 square miles, and 980,480 statute acres. In size it ranks as the tenth county in England, and in population the fourteenth.

ANCIENT HISTORY. - At the time of the Roman Invasion, Essex was inhabited by the people called Trinobantes; an appellation connected with the situation of their country on the borders of the broad waters, principally formed by the estuary of the Thames, at a time when its embankments were few and ill constructed. Various actions with the Danes took place in this county, as well as in many others on the east coast; one of the most memorable was fought at Assingdon (or Ashdown), near Rochford, in which King Edmund, Ironside was defeated with great slaughter by the renowned Canute. Tilbury Fort, opposite to Gravesend, is the principal protection to the Thames: in its neighbourhood Queen Elizabeth reviewed the army she had assembled to oppose the famous Armada, in 1588. Colchester underwent a very obstinate siege in 1648, on occasion of an insurrection of the Royal adherents against the authority of the Parliament,- the gallant leaders of which, on the surrender of the place were executed.

SOIL, PRODUCE AND MANUFACTURES.- Essex composes part of that tract of the country, on the east side of England, which forms the largest connected space of level ground in the whole island. The surface of this county is not, however, totally flat, having many gentle hills and dales; and towards the northwest, whence most of the rivers proceed, the country rises, and presents a continued inequality of surface. The greater part of the county is inclosed, and rendered highly productive by the skilful management of the agriculturalists. The principal productions are wheat, barley, oats, beans, pease, turnips, tares, rape, mustard, rye-grass and trefoil; many acres are also appropriated to hops. Another product of this county is saffron, which at one period was cultivated so extensively as to bestow a second appellation on a town (Saffron Walden), around which it flourished abundantly: a light rich soil and dry country are particularly adapted to this plant. There is also a kind of treble crop cultivated, viz. coriander, caraway and teazle; the two former on account of their aromatic seeds, - the latter, for its prickly heads, used for the purpose of raising the nap on woolen cloths: these are all sown together, but come to maturity at different periods, and the succession of the whole crop lasts three or four years. The conveniency of water carriage, and goodness of the roads throughout the county, are of great advantage in transmitting its productions, and, combines with its proximity to the metropolitan county, bestow on it a commercial superiority over many others. Almost every species of soil is to be found within the limits of Essex, from the most stubborn to the mildest loam. Though this county is not highly celebrated for its dairies, yet those in the parish of Epping and its vicinity are famous for the richness of their cream and butter, - the latter mostly sent to London, where it bears a high character and price. Essex is proverbially distinguished for its calves, of which more are suckled or fattened here than in any other county. Fish are plentiful on the coast and in the various creeks of this county; some of the latter, about Colchester and the Mersey Island, are celebrated for their fine oyster beds; these afford a considerable article for exportation, and the true breed are highly valued in the Metropolis.

The manufactures of Essex are not of high importance. At Colchester are some extensive silk-mills; and the town also retains a share of the manufacturing of baize, for which it was once very famous; Bocking, Braintree and Coggeshall participate also in these trades; and in the last named town, and its neighbourhood, many of the industrious poor are supported by the making of straw plat for the London market. The principal harbour on the Essex coast is that of Harwich; it affords an occasional shelter to the coasting fleets passing along these shores, but has not much trade of its own.

RIVERS, &C - The principal rivers properly belonging to this county are the Colne, the Blackwater (or Pont), the Chelmer, the Crouch, the Ingerbourn, the Roding and the Cam. Besides these, Essex partakes of other rivers, which serve as natural boundaries, and irrigate and fertilize its land: there are the Thames, the Lea, the Stort and the Stour. The Lea and the Stort constitute the west boundary of the county, separating it from Middlesex and Hertfordshire; and the Stour divides it from the county of Suffolk to the North. Other small streams rise in Essex, and fall either into the Thames or the ocean.

CIVIL AND ECCLESIASTICAL DIVISIONS. - Essex is in the Province of Canterbury and Diocese of London; is included in the Home Circuit, and divided into twenty hundreds: these collectively contain three Archdeaconries and fifteen Deaneries; one county town (Chelmsford), fifteen other market towns, and four hundred and nine parishes. The whole county sends eight Members to Parliament, viz. two each for Colchester, Harwich and Maldon and two for the Shire: the present members for which, are Charles Collis Western, Esq. And the Honourable William Pole Tylney Long Wellesley.

POPULATION. - According to the last census (1831), the number of inhabitants in the county, in 1801, was 226,437 - in 1811, 252,273 - in 1821, 289,424 - and in 1831, 317, 235: of which last number 158,881 were males, and 158,352 females: the total result increase, from 1801 to 1831 amounting to 90,798 persons,

Index of Distances from Town to Town in the County of Essex.

names of the respective towns are on the top and side, and the square where both meet gives the distance.

The italic letters following the name of the town denote its market days.

Distance from London

 

Barking

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7

Billericay

18

Billericay, tu

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

24

Braintree

35

21

Braintree, w

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

41

Brentwood

12

6

23

Brentwood

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

18

Chelmsford

24

9

12

11

Chelmsford, f

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

29

Chipping Ongar

17

12

20

7

10

Chipping Ongar, s

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

21

Coggeshall

40

26

6

26

16

27

Coggeshall, th

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

44

Colchester

45

31

15

33

22

31

9

Colchester, w. and s.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

51

Dunmow

31

21

9

19

13

15

15

24

Dunmow, s

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

40

Epping

11

18

27

12

17

7

33

39

20

Epping

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

17

Gray’s Thurrock

14

12

33

11

21

17

36

41

30

22

Gray’s Thurrock

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

21

Halsted

40

27

6

29

18

26

6

14

15

34

38

Halsted, f. and s

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

47

Harwich

66

51

36

54

42

52

30

21

45

60

62

35

Harwich, tu and f

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

72

H.Broadoak

25

20

14

18

12

11

20

30

8

12

29

21

50

Hatfield Broadoak

 

 

 

 

 

 

29

Maldon

30

18

13

20

10

20

12

16

22

26

25

18

37

22

Maldon, s

 

 

 

 

 

 

37

Manningtree

54

40

24

42

31

40

18

9

33

49

50

23

12

39

25

Manningtree, th

 

 

 

 

60

Rochford

34

15

26

21

18

28

23

29

31

33

23

29

47

30

13

36

Rochford, th

 

 

 

 

39

Romford

7

11

29

6

17

10

32

39

24

10

12

34

60

21

27

48

26

Romford, w

 

 

 

12

Saffron Walden

36

36

20

34

27

27

26

34

15

25

46

20

55

18

34

43

45

35

Saffron Walden, s

42

Thaxted

37

27

12

26

19

22

19

27

7

23

37

14

48

11

25

36

37

30

8

Thaxted

 

 

44

Waltham Abbey

13

20

33

18

23

13

39

44

26

6

23

40

65

18

32

53

35

12

31

33

W.Abbey, tu

 

12

Witham

32

17

7

19

9

18

7

14

17

26

30

14

35

21

6

23

18

25

27

19

32 W‘ham, tu

 

37

Transcribed by Debbie Wade & CG

 

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