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SOUTHEND AND PRITTLEWELL,
Pigot's Essex 1832-3 Trade Directory
WITH THE VILLAGES OF SOUTHCHURCH, NORTH AND SOUTH SHOEBURY, LEIGH AND NEIGHBOURHOODS
SOUTHEND is a modern and genteel little watering place, in the parish of Prittlewell and hundred of Rochford; 42 miles from London, and four from Rochford. It is situated on the acclivity of a well-wooded hill, near the sea; the air is esteemed dry and salubrious; and the water, notwithstanding its mixture with the Thames, is very clear and salt. Of late years it has obtained considerable repute as a bathing place; and owing to its delightful situation, is much resorted to by the inhabitants of London, in the summer months. A great number of lodging-houses have been recently built, in a very superior style; and the terrace, commonly called New Southend, is a handsome pile of building, commanding a fine view of the river Thames, the coast of Kent, the Nore, &c. Two excellent circulating libraries, and a small theatre, add their meed of amusement to the visiters; whilst the walks and rides in the vicinity of the village combine to enhance their enjoyments. The fishery here gives employment to many persons. Robert Scratton, Esq., is lord of the manor. The present places of worship are an independent and baptist chapels; but they are inadequate to the population, which has much increased of late years.
PRITTLEWELL, is a delightful village, and, with Milton, is a parish in the hundred of Rochford; situated between that town and Southend, three miles from the former and one and a half from the latter. The village is neatly built, and has a good church, with a handsome tower, containing six well toned bells. Here is, besides, an excellent fre-school, conducted upon Dr. Bell's system. Prittlewell is a large parish, and includes part of Southend. The inhabitants are chiefly employed in agriculture, and the country is fertile and pleasant. In a mill in this parish, Sir John Holland Duke, of Exeter, was taken, in the reign of Henry IV, and beheaded at Pleshey. A fair is held for toys, &c., on the 15th of July. The population of the whole parish, including Southend, amounted, by the census of 1831, to 2,266 persons; having about doubled the number of its inhabitants in 30 years.
SOUTHCHURCH is a small village and parish, about one mile from Southend and four from Rochford. It contains a neat church with a spire; the living is a rectory, in the incumbency of the Rev. Thos. Beazley. The inhabitants (who are chiefly employed in agriculture) are in number 401.
NORTH and SOUTH SHOEBURY (anciently called Schoebirig) are two villages and parishes; the former about three miles, and the latter about two and a half from Southend. In these parishes the Danes threw up considerable fortifications, the remains of which are still to be seen; here have also been found several urns, apparently of Roman manufacture. Each parish has its church, both of which are ancient edifices. The number of inhabitants in North Shoebury is 226, and in South Shoebury 202; the latter having exactly doubled its population during the last 30 years.
LEIGH, or LEE, is an ancient village and parish, situated at the foot of a steep hill, on the border of the river Thames, four miles from Southend. The principal occupation of the inhabitants is fishing, and exclusive of that trade it is of no consideration. The church stands upon an eminence, and has a tower, which is prettily covered with ivy, containing six bells : there is, besides, a small methodist chapel. Leigh has a port and custom-house; and in its vicinity is one of the finest springs of water in the hundreds of Essex. The population of the parish, by the last census, was 1,254.
POST OFFICE, SOUTHEND, Thomas Thorn, Post Master. - Letters arrive (by mail cart) from ROCHFORD every morning at seven, and are despatched every evening at half-past five.
POST OFFICE, PRITTLEWELL. - Letters arrive (by mail cart) from ROCHFORD every morning at seven, and are despatched every evening at six.
COACHES. To LONDON, the Despatch, from the Royal Hotel, every morning at eight - and Thorogood's coach, from the Ship, every morning at six; both go through Rochford, Rayleigh, Billericay, &c.
VAN. To LONDON, Joseph Pease's Van, from the Ship, every Thursday morning at seven; goes same route as the coaches.
CONVEYANCE BY WATER. To LONDON, Steam Packets, during the season, daily - and William George and James Vandervord's Sailing Vessels, every Saturday.
Transcribed by CG
The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales...., by John Marius Wilson. circa 1866
LEIGH, a small seaport town and a parish in Rochford district, Essex. The town stands on a creek of the Thames, at the skirt of a bold steep hill, adjacent to the Southend railway, opposite Canvey Point, 3 miles W of Southend, and 4 SW by S of Rochford; is an ancient place, mentioned in Domesday book; consists chiefly of one street; carries on a small coasting trade, and an important oyster, shrimp, mussel and periwinkle fishery; and has a post-office, under Chelmsford, a railway-station, a custom-house, a church, a Wesleyan chapel, and national schools. the oyster fishery is conducted chiefly by the collecting of oysters on distant coasts, particularly the N coast of France, and by laying them down to grow and fatten on the sea-ground of the Leigh shore. The church stands on the hill behind the town; commands an extensive view of the Thames estuary; is of the 14th century, of large nave, N aisle, and handsome chapel, with an ivy-clad tower; and has carved oak stalls, and some brasses. The parish comprises 2,331 acres. Real property, £4,223. Pop., 1,473. Houses, 291. The property is much subdivided. Roman coins have been found. A stone boundary, about 1½ mile E of the town, marks the limits of the jurisdiction of the conservators of the Thames. An anchorage, called Leigh Road, with 5 fathoms of water, lies off the town. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Rochester. Value, £284. Patron, the Bishop of Rochester. Bishop Eden was rector.
LEIGH MIDDLE-GROUND, a shoal in the estuary of the Thames; about midway between the town of Leigh and the Nore Sand. It is about 2 miles long, and is overlooked by the Southend Pier lighthouse.
Transcribed by Noel Clark
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