HARWICH AND NEIGHBOURHOOD
Pigot's Essex 1832-3 Trade Directory
HARWICH is a market and corporate town, borough and sea-port; 72 miles from the metropolis, 21 from Colchester, and 12 from Ipswich, in Suffolk. It is seated on a point of land, washed upon the east by the German ocean, and upon the north by an estuary, formed by the junction of the united streams of the Orwell and Stour with the sea; an estuary memorable for an action fought between the English and Danish fleets in the year 884. This town has its name, Haperic, derived from Here, and 'army', and wick, a 'strong hold;' and, as its name implies, was originally a strong hold, garrisoned by the Saxons; it was also a Roman station, and one of no mean rank, if we may conjecture from the many roman antiquities found in its vicinity. Till the conquest, Harwich was not esteemed a place of any considerable note; after that event, it rose gradually into celebrity upon the ruin of Orwell, a town said to have been seated upon a shoal, called 'the west rocks;' the ruins of this ancient town are still visible beneath the water. Harwich obtained a charter, constituting it a borough and market, from Edward II; the new and extensive charter which it now enjoys was granted in the reign of James I, and confirmed by James II: the government of the town is, by this charter, vested in the hands of a mayor, eight aldermen, 24 capital burgesses, a recorder, and other subordinate officers. The right of sending two representatives to parliament, the exercise of which had been dormant from the reign of Edward III, was also restored by this deed, and the right of election is at present vested in the members of the corporation alone; the mayor is the returning officer; the present representatives are the Right Hon. John Charles Herries and the Right Hon. George Robt. Dawson. Quarter sessions are held here for the borough, and a court of record of pleas for the recovery of debts of from £5 to £100, but very seldom resorted to. The present lord of the manor is Nathaniel Garland, Esq. The public buildings are, a neat town hall, the gaol and the custom-house, and the places for divine worship. Ship-building, and other maritime employments, furnish the majority of the inhabitants with the means of support. The naval yard is very commodious; several third-rates, besides merchantmen of considerable burden, have been built in it. The harbour is deep and extensive, & is capable of containing an immense fleet. The north sea fishery gives employment to a large number of smacks, belong to this place. Besides the profits accruing to the inhabitants from these employments, they possess another, and, in time of tranquillity, a lucrative source of emolument, from the town being the station of the packets which sail between England, Holland and Germany; Harwich is indebted to this circumstance for the frequent visits of royal and distinguished personages. It is much resorted to by visiters, during the season, for the purpose of bathing, for which the coast is particularly well adapted. The scenery up the rivers is very beautiful, and affords delightful excursions in the summer. There are two handsome light-houses, and a large martello tower mounted with ten guns. The esplanade, to the east of the town, is a favourite promenade in the season of the fashionable sojourners.
The church is dedicated to St. Nicholas, and was founded, as we are informed, in the 13th century, by Roger Bigod, Earl of Norfolk. The old building has been removed, and in 1821 a spacious and elegant structure substituted; it is chiefly of brick, with stone buttresses and steeple, the whole appearance of which is strikingly neat. The mother church is situated at Dover Court. The living is a consolidated vicarage, in the patronage of the Crown; the Rev. Saml. N. Bull is the vicar, and the officiating minister at Dover Court is the Rev. William Bull. There are also three chapels for dissenters; a free-school, founded by Humphrey Parsons, Esq. in 1724; another, upon the national system; and some almshouses, in West-street. Market days are Tuesday and Friday; the fairs are May 1st and October 18th, each continuing three days. The population of the Borough of Harwich, including the two parishes of St. Nicholas and Dover Court, by the official returns for 1831, was - in 1801, 2,761 inhabitants - 1811, 3,732 - 1821, 4,010 - and in 1831, 4,297; being an increase, in the preceeding 30 years of 1,536 persons.
POST OFFICE, Church-street, Eliza Freshfield, Post Mistress. - Letters from all parts arrive by mail-cart from COLCHESTER every morning at seven, and are despatched every evening at half-past seven.
PACKET OFFICE, Bank-street, Anthony Cox, Esq. Agent. - Letters for HOLLAND, CUXHAVEN and GOTTENBURGH are despatched twice a week, on the arrival of the Packets.
COACHES. To LONDON, the New Times, from the Three Cups and White Hart Inns on alternate weeks, every Sunday morning at ten, and every other morning (Saturday excepted) at eight; goes through Manningtree, Colchester, Chelmsford, Witham, Ingatestone, &c.
CARRIERS. To COLCHESTER, a Mail Cart, from the Three Cups, every evening at half-past seven - and Robert Salter, from the Spread Eagle, every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday morning.
CONVEYANCE BY WATER. To LONDON, the Steam Packet (from Ipswich), calls every Tuesday and Friday morning - and the Sarah and the Jemima sailing vessels, weekly.
To GOTTENBURG, the Emily, Jane, Charlotte, and Prince sailing packets, every Saturday.
To HELVOETSLUYS & CUXHAVEN, the Prince of Orange, Henry Freeling, Lord Nelson, Lady Nepean, Castlereugh, Earl of Leicester, Vansittart, Princess Charlotte and Lord Duncan sailing packets, every Wednesday & Saturday.
To IPSWICH, a Steam Packet (from London), calls every Wednesday and Saturday morning - and sailing vessels, every day, according to the tide.
Transcribed by CG