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Romford is twelve miles from London; has three markets weekly, viz Monday for hogs; Tuesday for calves, sheep, and lambs; and Wednesday for corn, cattle, horses, sheep, hogs, lamb, poultry and butchers’ meat. It has a fair annually on Midsummers day and two days after for horses, cattle etc.
Romford, with Havering and Hornchurch, form what is called the liberty of Havering Atte Bower, an ancient demesne from the crown, and endowed with many privileges, such as holding a quarter sessions etc, has two justices and a high steward, who fits as a justice, to try all felonies and trespasses etc, has a coroner, high and petty constables, clerk of the market, and many other officers. No justice of the county can act in this liberty, no inhabitant of the liberty can serve on juries etc, out of the liberty. On Whitsun Tuesday, a court leet is held annually by the justices and tenants to chuse all officers for the liberty for the year ensuing, and 5l. [5 pounds] is allowed for dinner by his majesty. The Sessions etc are held in a spacious court house in the market place, where all business relative to the liberty is transacted; it was rebuilt in the year 1752. There are many manors on the said liberty, but the lord of the manor of Gidea Hall is lord paramount. A new workhouse was erected in this town for the reception and employment of the poor, in 1787, which cost 4000 l. [4000 pounds].
Romford has a chapel of ease to Hornchurch; besides which there is one different meeting house.
The principal inn is the Cock and bell, Isaac Palmer, which is the post office. The bag to London goes by Norwich mail early in the morning: letters to be put in for London by ten o’clock in the evening. The bag from town arrives about ten o’clock in the evening, and the letters are delivered next morning at eight o’clock. All letters for the country as far as Norwich must be put in by eight o’clock in the evening, and go by mail without going to the general post office; postage to London 2d.
A stage coach sets out every day, from the Lion Inn, at nine o’clock in the morning, to the Saracens head, Aldgate, or Three Nuns, Whitechapel, each week alternately; and returns at three in the afternoon: fare, inside 2s 6d, outside 2s 3d.
A stage wagon every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, to the Swan Inn, Whitechapel: carriage 6d per cwt.
The following are the principal inhabitants:
The following are the principal
Barwis Jackson Esq, Marshalls
Benyon Richard Esq, Gidea Hall
Craggs __, Esq, Brittons
Dare Mrs, Hare Lodge
Fernandez __, Esq, Sutton
Heaton __ Esq, Bedfords
Hulse Edward Esq, Justice
Murray Mrs, Romford hall
Neave Richard Esq, Dagnams
Purkins __ Esq, Lee gardens
Rigby Mr, Hornchurch Hall
Russell John Esq, Lillipots
Wake lady, Pettits
Wallinger J A Esq, hare Hall
Bliss Rev N A, Vicar of Romford
Puddicombe Rev Thomas, Curate of Romford
Reynell Rev Mr, Vicar of Hornchurch
Strahan Rev Mr, Dissenting Minister
Wiseman Rev Dr, Nelms
Andrews James, Surgeon & Apothecary
Dawes Tho, Surgeon & Apothecary
Hitchman James, Surgeon & Apothecary
Weld William, Surgeon & Apothecary
Beckwith Jonas, Attorney
Hodgson Thomas, Attorney
Mullen John, Attorney
Barlow Roger, Taylor and Draper
Beals Miss, Ladies Boarding School
Boram James, Lamb Inn
Bourne William, Carpenter
Burton Joseph, Plumber and Glazier
Collier Stephen, Miller and Baker
Collier Pratt, Miller and Baker
Collier John, Butcher
Collins Edward, Drover
Cooper James, Lion Inn
Cotton James and Son, Grocers etc
Cotton George, Corn factor & Seedsman
Delamare and martin, Gentlemans Boarding School
Finch Augustine, Drover
French John, George Inn
Godden Abraham, Brick layer
Graves Mrs, Draper, Mercer etc
Graves Thomas, Grocer
Hambleton Charles, Carpenter
Hayward Nathaniel, Auctioneer and Appraiser
Johnson Almond, Sheriffs Officer
Lake Peter, Carpenter
Langthorpe Robert, Plumber & Glazier
Lilley Thomas, Carpenter
Marshall James, Grocer
Moore Richard, Brick layer
Nunn William, White Hart Inn
Ping John, Draper, Mercer etc
Smith Richard, Draper, Mercer etc
Stace Wm, Auctioneer , Appraiser etc
Stace John, Baker
Upwood Thomas, Dolphin Inn
Waghorn Charles, Taylor and Draper
Webb John, Grocer
Wilson John, Butcher
Worth Thomas, Miller
Worth William, Baker
Hornchurch, a village, and the only parish in the liberty of Havering, is two miles and three quarters from Romford, of which it is the mother church. A large pair of horns is affixed to the east end of the church, for which tradition assigns some reason too idle to be repeated. Here is Langtons, the handsome seat of Richard Wyatt Esq, and some other seats included in the list of gentry of Romford.
Havering Bower, a village, three miles from Romford, in the parish of Hornchurch, and liberty of Havering, was a seat of some of our Saxon kings; particularly of the simple saint, Edward the Confessor, who took great delight in it, as being woody, solitary, and fit for devotion. “It so abounded”, says the old legend. “with warbling nightingales that they disturbed him in his devotions. He therefore earnestly prayed for their absence; since which time never nightingale was heard to sing in the park, but many without the pales, as in other places”. It was named Bower, from some fine bower or shady walk, like Rosamond’s Bower, at Woodstock. It is a charming spot, having an extensive prospect over a great part of Essex, Herts, Kent, Middlesex, and Surrey, and of the Thames, with the ships sailing up and down. Here the Confessor is reported to have built a palace, some part of the walls of which are still standing. Beside this palace there was another, called Pergo, that seems to have been always the jointure house of a queen comfort. Here died Joan queen of Henry IV. It was certainly one of the royal seats in the reign of Queen Elizabeth; for, during her progress into Suffolk, in 1570, she resided here some days. It was the seat of the late Lord Archer, and was pulled down in 1770. On the site of the former is the elegant villa of Sir John Smith Burges, Bart, called the Bower House; and near this is Bedfords, the seat of John Heaton Esq.