Asselby - Aston-Blank

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Institute of Historical Research

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Author

Samuel Lewis (editor)

Year published

1848

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Pages

100-104

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'Asselby - Aston-Blank', A Topographical Dictionary of England (1848), pp. 100-104. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=50767 Date accessed: 02 August 2014.


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Asselby

ASSELBY, a township, in the parish and union of Howden, wapentake of Howdenshire, E. riding of York, 2 miles (W. by S.) from Howden; containing 293 inhabitants. This place, in Domesday-book Aschilebi, was held at the Conquest chiefly by the Bishop of Durham and Earl Morton; the Aislabys subsequently had property here, and are supposed to have taken their name from that of the township. It comprises by computation 1200 acres; the land is very rich and prolific, and the gardens supply large quantities of fruit for the markets in the West riding. Asselby Island, containing about 10 acres, is seated in the river Ouse, which flows at a short distance on the south of the village; it belongs to the parish of Drax. There is a place of worship for Wesleyans.

Asserby

ASSERBY, a hamlet, in the parish of Bilsby, union of Spilsby, Wold division of the hundred of Calceworth, parts of Lindsey, county of Lincoln; containing 54 inhabitants.

Assingdon, county of Essex.—See Ashingdon.

ASSINGDON, county of Essex.—See Ashingdon.

Assington (St. Edmund)

ASSINGTON (St. Edmund), a parish, in the union of Sudbury, hundred of Babergh, W. division of Suffolk, 5 miles (E. S. E.) from Sudbury; containing 778 inhabitants. Assington Hall was purchased by Robert Gurdon, in the reign of Henry VIII., from Sir Piers Corbet, and has ever since been the residence of that family. A double stratum of cement stone has been found in the parish, and is now regularly manufactured. The living is a discharged vicarage, endowed with part of the rectorial tithes, and valued in the king's books at £10; patron, and impropriator of the remainder of the great tithes, John Gurdon, Esq. The impropriator's tithes have been commuted for £361. 15. 3., and the vicarial tithes for £444. 7. 10.; the glebe comprises about 14 acres.

Astbury (St. Mary)

ASTBURY (St. Mary), a parish, chiefly in the union of Congleton, consisting of the townships of Eaton and Somerford-Booths in the hundred of Macclesfield, and the market-town of Congleton, and the townships of Astbury-Newbold, Buglawton, Davenport, Hulme-Walfield, Moreton with Alcumlow, Odd Rode, Radnor, Smallwood, and Somerford, in the hundred of Northwich, county of Chester; and containing 14,890 inhabitants, of whom 641 are in Astbury-Newbold. This parish comprises by computation 20,000 acres, and contains a bed of limestone, from twenty-five to thirty yards in thickness, of which considerable quantities are procured and burnt; it is based on a species of gritstone, excellent for building. The Macclesfield canal passes at a short distance to the east of the village. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £68, and in the patronage of the Trustees of Lord Crewe; net income, upwards of £1500. The church is a spacious and beautiful structure, in every style of architecture from the early English to the later English, but chiefly the latter: the interior contains several stalls, a rood-loft, and some fine screen-work; the roofs are of oak, richly carved; the east window is highly enriched, and there are some fine specimens of stained glass. The tower, which stands at the north-west angle of the church, and is surmounted by an elegant spire, appears to have belonged to a former edifice. There are also churches or chapels at Congleton, Buglawton, Mossley, Rode, Smallwood, and Somerford; together with several places of worship for dissenters, in the parish. The sum of £50 per annum, the bequest of John Holford in 1714, is partly distributed among the poor, and partly applied in apprenticing children. The parish contains some petrifying springs.

Asterby (St. Peter)

ASTERBY (St. Peter), a parish, in the union of Horncastle, N. division of the wapentake of Gartree, parts of Lindsey, county of Lincoln, 7 miles (N.) from Horncastle; containing 256 inhabitants. The living is a discharged rectory, valued in the king's books at £8. 0. 10.; net income, £210; patron, T. Southwell, Esq. A national school, for the parishes of Asterby and Goulsby, is endowed with a rent-charge of £10 per annum.

Asthall (St. Nicholas)

ASTHALL (St. Nicholas), a parish, in the union of Witney, hundred of Bampton, county of Oxford, 3 miles (E. by S.) from Burford; containing, with the hamlet of Asthall-Leigh, 389 inhabitants. This place was formerly the residence of Sir Richard Jones, one of the judges of the court of common pleas in the reign of Charles I.; and there are still some remains of the ancient manor-house near the church, which are now converted into a farmhouse. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £7. 9. 4½.; net income, £100; patrons and impropriators, the Provost and Fellows of Eton College. The tithes were commuted for a money payment and an allotment of land, in 1812. The church contains some interesting monuments, among which is a recumbent effigy on a stone coffin, under an enriched arched canopy, said to be the tomb of Alice Corbett, mistress of Henry I., and mother of Reginald, Earl of Cornwall. In the parish is a barrow of considerable height, supposed to be a sepulchral monument, and near which the Roman Akeman-street passes.

Asthorpe

ASTHORPE, a hamlet, in the parish of Willoughby, union of Spilsby, Wold division of the hundred of Calceworth, parts of Lindsey, county of Lincoln; containing 16 inhabitants.

Astley

ASTLEY, a district chapelry, in the parish and union of Leigh, hundred of West Derby, S. division of Lancashire, 3 miles (E.) from the town of Leigh; containing 2011 inhabitants. This township comprises about 2620 acres; 900 are uncultivated moss, and of the remainder about one-fifth is in tillage. The land lies low, and the principal drainage is from north to south to the brook running east and west from the adjoining township of Worsley; the soil of about 1500 acres is or has been a peat moss, and that of the remainder is chiefly a clayey loam. A colliery producing excellent engine-coal was lately established, on an extensive scale; Messrs. Arrowsmith, cotton-spinners, have a mill here, and there is a considerable number of silk-weavers by hand. The Liverpool and Manchester railway runs over part of Chat Moss in the southern district of the township; the Duke of Bridgewater's canal passes through the centre of the township, and the road from Manchester to Leigh through the northern part. Astley Hall, or Damhouse, situated in the township of Tyldesley, but on the borders of that of Astley, was built in 1650 by Adam Mort, from whom it has passed to his descendant and present representative, Mrs. Ross, lady of Col. Malcolm Nugent Ross, who has greatly enlarged the mansion. Of Morley Hall, the seat of a branch of the Tyldesleys, but little is now remaining, it having been converted into a farmhouse and rebuilt. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the gift of the Vicar of Leigh; incumbent, the Rev. Alfred Hewlett; net income, £250, with a house erected about 1703 by Thomas Mort, whose ancestors had founded the chapel and school of Astley in the preceding century. The chapel was rebuilt in 1760; a tower was added in 1842, and a new north aisle in 1847. There is a place of worship for Wesleyans. Besides the school founded by the Mort family, and which is free for 24 children, national schools have been established for boys and girls; also an infants' school in connexion with the Church, and a school belonging to the Wesleyans.

Astley

ASTLEY, a chapelry, in the parish of St. Mary, union of Atcham, liberties of Shrewsbury, N. division of Salop, 5 miles (N. N. E.) from Shrewsbury; containing 264 inhabitants. The living is a perpetual curacy with a net income of £56, in the patronage of five Trustees, by order of the court of chancery: the impropriation is vested in the Trustees of Shrewsbury grammar school, whose tithes have been commuted for £211. Mrs. Elizabeth Jones, in 1733, agreeably to the request of her deceased husband, bequeathed a farm here, let for £60 per annum, of which about £40 are appropriated for the benefit of the poor of Atcham, £10 to the poor of Astley, and £6 to the minister: it is also charged with the payment of £5 to the organist of St. Mary's.

Astley (St. Mary)

ASTLEY (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Nuneaton, Kirby division of the hundred of Knightlow, N. division of the county of Warwick, 4½ miles (W. S. W.) from Nuneaton; comprising 2555 acres, and containing 371 inhabitants. A short distance to the north of the church is a mansion, erected in the sixteenth century, on the site of a more ancient baronial castle: in the interior are a chair and table, which, according to an inscription, were those used by Henry, Marquess Grey and Duke of Suffolk, father of Lady Jane Grey, when concealed in a hollow tree in the vicinity. The living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £60; patrons and impropriators, the family of Newdegate. The church was made collegiate, and rebuilt in the form of a cross, with a lofty spire, in the reign of Edward III., by Lord Thomas de Astley, many of whose family were interred here; the ancient choir, now forming the body of the church, is the only portion of the building remaining. The revenue of the college, at its dissolution, was £46. 8.

Astley (St. Peter)

ASTLEY (St. Peter), a parish, in the union of Martley, Lower division of the hundred of Doddingtree, Hundred-House and W. divisions of the county of Worcester, 3 miles (S. W. by S.) from Stourport; containing 834 inhabitants. An alien priory of Benedictine monks was founded here by Ralph de Todeni, in the reign of William I.; it was annexed to the college of Westbury, in that of Edward IV., and given, at the Dissolution, to Sir Ralph Sadleir. The parish is bounded on the east by the river Severn, and comprises 2960a. 3r. 10p., whereof about 450 acres are woodland: the surface is very unequal, and rather hilly; the soil is a sandy loam, and highly productive; and the scenery picturesque. There are quarries of red sandstone. Woodhampton House, the seat of Mrs. Cookes, is a commodious mansion at the foot of a well-wooded hill; and among other handsome residences are Oakhampton and Hill House. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £15. 13. 4.; patrons, I. Russell Cookes, Esq., and the Trustees of the late Rev. D. J. J. Cookes. The tithes have been commuted for £750, and the glebe consists of 20 acres of land, of a very mixed quality; the rectory-house adjoins the church. The church, pleasantly situated on a hill, is an ancient building chiefly of Norman architecture, and supposed to have been erected about the year 1090, and the Gothic tower about 1500; in 1839 a north aisle was added, and the edifice entirely restored: there are altar-tombs with recumbent effigies of members of the family of Blount. A free school is endowed with about £20 per annum, left by Mrs. Mercy Pope in 1717. Cottages have been built at Redstone Ferry, the site of an ancient hermitage excavated in a lofty cliff by the side of the river.

Astley, Abbots

ASTLEY, ABBOTS, a parish, in the union of Bridgnorth, hundred of Stottesden, S. division of Salop, 2 miles (N.) from Bridgnorth; containing 657 inhabitants. This parish, which comprises about 3200 acres, is intersected by the road from Bridgnorth to Broseley, and by the river Severn. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of the family of Whitmore: the tithes have been commuted for £255. 15., and there are 51½ acres of rectorial glebe. The church, which is in the later English style, was built in 1638; the chancel is of modern date. A parochial school was endowed by Mrs. C. Phillips, in 1805, with £300 in the three per cent. consols.

Astley-Bridge

ASTLEY-BRIDGE, an ecclesiastical parish, in the parish and union of Bolton, hundred of Salford, S. division of the county of Lancaster, 1½ mile (N.) from Bolton, on the roads to Blackburn and Belmont; containing 2325 inhabitants. This parish was formed in 1844, out of the townships of Little Bolton and Sharples, under the act of the 6th and 7th of Victoria, cap. 37. It comprises 1468 acres, the rivers Astle and Eagle forming its southern and eastern boundary. The population is chiefly employed in bleach-works and cotton-mills. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of the Crown and the Bishop of Chester, alternately; net income, £150. The church, dedicated to St. Paul, was erected in 1847, at a cost of £3000, raised by subscription aided by public grants: the body of the edifice is in the Norman style; and the tower, surmounted by a spire, is early English. The Wesleyans have a place of worship; and there are some national schools.

Aston

ASTON, a hamlet, in the parish of Ivinghoe, union of Leighton-Buzzard, hundred of Cottesloe, county of Buckingham, 1¾ mile (N. N. E.) from Ivinghoe: containing 446 inhabitants.

Aston

ASTON, a hamlet, in the parish of Hope, union of Chapel-en-le-Frith, hundred of High Peak, N. division of the county of Derby, 6½ miles (N. N. E.) from Tideswell; containing 111 inhabitants.

Aston

ASTON, a hamlet, in the parish of Avening, union of Stroud, hundred of Longtree, E. division of the county of Gloucester; containing 221 inhabitants.

Aston, or Pipe-Aston (St. Giles)

ASTON, or Pipe-Aston (St. Giles), a parish, in the union of Ludlow, hundred of Wigmore, county of Hereford, 4 miles (S. W. by W.) from Ludlow; containing 52 inhabitants, and comprising 733 acres. The surface is undulated and well-wooded; the soil is of an inferior quality. The parish runs up to the High Vinealls, and to the boundary of Richard's-Castle parish; from the height is a complete panoramic view, including the Brecon, Radnor, Cardigan, and Montgomery hills. The road from Ludlow to Wigmore and Presteign passes through. The living is a discharged rectory, valued in the king's books at £2. 13. 4.; net income, £84; patron, Sir Wm. E. Rouse Boughton, Bart. The church, an ancient structure, was restored and repewed, and an eastern window added, in 1844: the arch over the entrance door has a curious stone engraving, representing the Lamb bearing the Cross. Near the road, opposite a farmhouse, is a tumulus.

Aston (St. Mary)

ASTON (St. Mary), a parish, in the hundred of Broadwater, union and county of Hertford, 3¼ miles (S. E.) from Stevenage; containing 556 inhabitants. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £26. 11. 8.; patron and incumbent, the Rev. James Ellice. The tithes have been commuted for £460, and the glebe consists of 42½ acres.

Aston, with Cote

ASTON, with Cote, a hamlet, in the parish and hundred of Bampton, union of Witney, county of Oxford, 4 miles (S. S. W.) from Witney; containing 729 inhabitants, and comprising 2017 acres, of which 630 are common or waste. A handsome chapel was built in 1839, chiefly by the three portionists of Bampton, who perform divine service. The tithes have been commuted for £556, of which £550 are payable to the portionists, and £6 to the Dean and Chapter of Exeter.

Aston

ASTON, a township, in the parish and union of Wem, Whitchurch division of the hundred of North Bradford, N. division of Salop; containing 212 inhabitants. There is a place of worship for Wesleyans.

Aston

ASTON, a township, in the parish and union of Wellington, hundred of South Bradford, N. division of Salop; containing 84 inhabitants.

Aston, with Burston and Stoke

ASTON, with Burston and Stoke, a township, in the parish and union of Stone, S. division of the hundred of Pirehill, N. division of the county of Stafford, 2 miles (S. S. E.) from Stone; containing 773 inhabitants. This township is situated in the southeastern part of the parish. Aston lies on the southwest side of the Trent, opposite to Stoke, which is a long straggling village on the Lichfield road, near the Trent and Mersey canal; Burston is a small hamlet on the Trent, containing several good houses. Aston Hall is the property of Lord St. Vincent. In the summer of 1846, a church (St. Saviour's) was erected and endowed by Lord and Lady St. Vincent; the living is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of his Lordship. The tithes have been commuted for £396. One of the sons of Wulphere, King of Mercia, is said to have suffered martyrdom at Burston.

Aston

ASTON, a township, in the parish of Muckleston, union of Market-Drayton, N. division of the hundred of Pirehill and of the county of Stafford, 8 miles (W. S. W.) from Newcastle-under-Lyme; containing 283 inhabitants. It lies in the northern part of the parish, and on the western border of the county.

Aston

ASTON, a hamlet, in the parish of Seighford, S. division of the hundred of Pirehill, union, and N. division of the county, of Stafford, 2½ miles (W.) from Stafford. The manor-house here was formerly the residence of the Count de L'Age, who married into the Palmer family, through whom the property came to that noble. The house subsequently belonged to Lord Ashburton, from whom it was lately purchased, together with the estate and manor adjoining, by the Rev. Charles Smith Royds, rector of Haughton, the present possessor. The land is of a rich loamy quality; and the Presford brook, famous for its trout and cray-fish, passes by the hamlet, at a short distance in front of the house, to the north of which it falls into the river Sow. The manor-house, called Aston Hall, is beautifully situated on a sloping bank, north of the ancient castle of Stafford, and is a gable-ended mansion, built probably in the sixteenth or seventeenth century. A few fields distant from it, and close to the village of Derrington, is a handsome church, lately erected at the expense of the Rev. Mr. Royds, who gave the site and a spacious piece of ground for a churchyard: the building is of stone, is in the decorated style, and has a bell-turret at the west end containing two bells, and a campanile over the vestry with one bell. The chancel is laid in Mosaic and encaustic tiles, and there are eight stone stalls ornamented with hoods, and worked into bosses, crockets, and finials; the pulpit and font are also of stone, and very handsome. This church is upwards of two miles from the parish church; and has been endowed by Mr. Royds, to whom the patronage belongs. In the time of the Reformation, there existed a chapel at Derrington dedicated to St. Edmund, a Saxon prince, in a field now called the Chapel field; it was then destroyed. The Presford brook was a favourite resort of Izaak Walton.

Aston (St. Peter and St. Paul)

ASTON (St. Peter and St. Paul), a parish, and the head of a union, in the Birmingham division of the hundred of Hemlingford, N. division of the county of Warwick; adjoining the town of Birmingham, part of which is within its limits; and comprising the hamlets of Ashted, Castle and Little Bromwich, Erdington, Saltley with Washwood, Ward-End, Water-Orton, Witton, Deritend with Bordesley, and Duddeston with Nechells; containing together 45,718 inhabitants, of whom 2896 are in Aston manor. This extensive parish, the name of which was originally Eston (East town), includes several manors anciently belonging to the earls of Mercia, under whom that of Aston, at the time of the Conquest, was held by Godmund the Saxon. The manor, with other extensive possessions, was afterwards granted by William the Norman to Fitz Ausculf, one of his followers, who fixed his baronial residence at the Castle of Dudley in the county of Stafford, of which barony this place formed a part. Fitz Ausculf was succeeded by Gervase Paganell, whose nephew, Ralph Somery, about the commencement of the reign of John, granted the manor to Thomas de Erdington; and in the early part of the reign of Edward I. it became the property of Thomas de Maidenhach, who obtained from that monarch extensive privileges, with exemption from the jurisdiction of the county and hundred courts, and a charter of free warren throughout the whole of his demesnes here. The manor was purchased in 1366 from the heiress of de Maidenhach by John atte Holt, of Birmingham, and remained for many generations in the possession of his lineal descendants, of whom several were distinguished for their talents and for the important stations they occupied in society. Edward Holt, sheriff of the county in 1574, resided in the adjoining manor of Duddeston, there being at that time in Aston only an ancient house, probably of timber, situated on the bank of the river Tame near the church, and the site of which, now overgrown with trees, is discoverable only by part of the moat by which it was surrounded.

On the demise of Edward Holt in 1593, the estate descended to his son Thomas, the most distinguished member of the family, who is represented by Dugdale as eminent for his literary acquirements. He was sheriff in 1600: on the arrival of James VI. of Scotland to assume the crown of England, he attended that monarch in his route from Yorkshire, where he received the honour of knighthood; and in 1612 he was created one of the order of baronets, then recently instituted. Sir Thomas Holt inclosed the park, and erected the present stately Hall of Aston, unrivalled in these parts for beauty and magnificence, which he commenced in 1618, and completed in 1635. On the breaking out of the civil war in the reign of Charles I., he zealously embraced the royal cause, and to the utmost of his fortune assisted the king, who spent two nights at the Hall a few days previously to the battle of Edgehill. He was nominated ambassador to the court of Spain, but was excused on account of his extreme age and infirmity, which also prevented him from following the camp; his son Edward, however, accompanied the monarch to Oxford, where he was during the siege. Sir Thomas was imprisoned for his attachment to his sovereign; and during his absence, the Hall was assaulted, and, after a resolute defence by his servants, plundered by a party of soldiers of the parliamentarian army, who battered it with cannon, the marks of which are still visible on the south wall of the building, and on the massive oak staircase, where the balls that penetrated the mansion are still preserved. The estate was decimated, and subjected to contributions; the damages it sustained being estimated at £20,000.

Sir Thomas died in 1654, aged 83; and the property passed through successive baronets, his descendants, to Sir Lister Holt, who dying without issue in 1770, left it to his widow Sarah for her life, and afterwards to his brother Charles and his heirs male, with succession to his friend Heneage Legge, Esq., the Rt. Rev. Lewis Bagot, Bishop of St. Asaph, and Wriothesley Digby, Esq. After the death of Lady Sarah, and of Sir Charles Holt and the bishop without issue male, the estate passed to Mr. Legge and Mr. Digby, the former of whom occupied the Hall and park; and in 1817, both being widowers and childless, these gentlemen entered into an agreement with the heirs of Sir Lister Holt, Mary Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Charles, her husband Abraham Bracebridge, and their creditors, for the sale of the estate, which was confirmed by act of parliament in 1818. The property, in pursuance of this arrangement, was in part divided, and the remainder sold in lots to pay off the incumbrances. The Hall and park were purchased by Messrs. Whitehead and Greenway of Warwick, bankers, by whom the mansion and the contiguous portion of the park were granted on lease to James Watt, Esq., of Soho, son of the celebrated philosopher and improver of the steam-engine; who in 1823 purchased the manor from the trustees, and in 1828 served the office of sheriff for the county. Since it became the residence of Mr. Watt, this venerable mansion, which is beautifully situated in a park embellished with ancient wood, and with thriving plantations of modern growth, has undergone very little alteration: it has simply been repaired from the injuries of time; a west porch has been added, and several of the offices have been rebuilt. The Hall is a spacious and elegant structure in the Elizabethan style, containing a noble hall in which was formerly a portrait of Sir Thomas Holt from Vandyke, and numerous stately apartments, with a picture gallery, library, and chapel; and, as seen from the public road and from various other points of view, displays a splendid monument of the correct taste and munificence of its founder.

The parish comprises 12,534 acres of land, of which a considerable portion is in a high state of cultivation; and contains numerous populous and thriving villages. The living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £21. 4. 9½.; net income, £2075; patrons, the Executors of the late vicar, the Rev. George Peake, who obtained it by purchase from the trustees of the Holt family. The church, which was built at various periods, is an ancient structure, partly in the early and partly in the later English style, with a handsome tower surmounted by a graceful spire, which, seen in combination with the foliage of the park and the lofty gables of the Hall, forms a picturesque feature in the landscape. The interior was modernised in 1790, and much of its original character has been lost: a ceiling of plaister has been substituted in place of the old groined roof; and the chantry chapel at the east end of the south aisle, erected by Thomas de Erdington, and the piscina and sedilia, have been removed. In the windows are some fine specimens of painted glass by Eginton. Of the ancient monuments several still remain, among which are, an altar-tomb with recumbent figures, to the memory of William Holt and his wife; two with recumbent figures in alabaster, to members of the Erdington family; and one of similar character, to Walter de Arden and Eleonora his wife, erected in the early part of the 15th century, and of exquisite design. There are additional churches at CastleBromwich, Water-Orton, Ward-End in Little Bromwich, Bordesley, Deritend, Erdington, Ashted, and Duddeston. A school is endowed with a house and garden, valued at £25 per annum; and there are several national and Lancasterian schools, and a school of industry, in the parish. A school-house was erected in 1843, in Villa-street, in the district of Lozells, which part of the parish is under the superintendence of the Rev. D. N. Walton, curate of Aston: this establishment is called the Aston Church District Institution; it will contain upwards of 250 persons, and divine service is regularly performed in it every Sunday evening. The district comprises the neighbourhoods of the Lozells, Round-Hills, and Park, and includes a population of about 3000. There is also a society of young men, called the Lozells Society for mental cultivation, who meet at stated times for the reading and discussion of essays. Almshouses for five men and five women were founded in 1656, by Sir Thomas Holt, who endowed them with a rent-charge of £88 on his manor of Erdington. The poor law union of Aston comprises five parishes and places, containing a population, according to the last census, of 50,928.—See Birmingham, and the articles on the hamlets.

Aston (All Saints)

ASTON (All Saints), a parish, in the union of Rotherham, S. division of the wapentake of Strafforth and Tickhill, W. riding of York, 8¼ miles (E. by S.) from Sheffield; containing, with the hamlet of Aughton and part of Ulley, 763 inhabitants. This place is noticed in Domesday book, in which a church is mentioned as existing here. The parish is bounded on the western side by the river Rother, is on the road from Worksop to Sheffield, and is intersected by that from Rotherham to Mansfield; it comprises about 3000 acres, chiefly arable land, with not more than about 30 acres of wood. The surface is bold and elevated, and the views extend over the hills of North Derbyshire and the Yorkshire moors; the soil is mostly light, very fertile, and rests on a stratum of coarse dark sandstone, beneath which coal of good quality is found. The Midland railway passes on the west for a distance of two miles. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £12. 15. 2½., and in the patronage of the Duke of Leeds: the tithes have been commuted for £740, and there are about 34 acres of glebe. The church is a neat stone building, with a tower at the west end: the chancel, which has recently been renovated by the incumbent, the Rev. W. Alderson, contains kneeling marble effigies of the "good Lord D'Arcy," who died in 1628, and three of his wives, a fourth having survived him; the east window is of stained glass, and occupied chiefly with the arms and impalements of the D'Arcy family. In the hamlet of Aughton are places of worship for Calvinists and Wesleyans. The parish is remarkable for having been for many years the residence of the Rev. William Mason, the poet, its then rector, who here composed some of his most beautiful works, and who reduced to practice his rules for English gardening, in the garden which pertained to the rectorial manse: he died in 1797, and was buried in the church, where is a tablet to his memory.

Aston, Abbot's (St. James)

ASTON, ABBOT'S (St. James), a parish, in the union of Aylesbury, hundred of Cottesloe, county of Buckingham, 5½ miles (N. N. E.) from Aylesbury; containing 356 inhabitants. The parish comprises by measurement 2131 acres; the village is beautifully situated on a hill overlooking the vale of Aylesbury, within half a mile of the road from Oxford to Cambridge. A large supply of excellent butter is sent to the London market. The women and children are employed in the manufacture of lace and straw-platting. The living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £6. 7. 11.; net income, £143; patron, the Earl of Chesterfield. About 90 acres of land in the parish, with the tithes of the hamlet of Burston, belong to the benefice.

Aston-Blank (St. Andrew)

ASTON-BLANK (St. Andrew), a parish, in the union of Northleach, hundred of Bradley, E. division of the county of Gloucester, 4½ miles (N. by E.) from Northleach; containing 302 inhabitants. This parish, which comprises 2200 acres, is situated about half a mile from the Stow road, and is bounded on the north and north-east by the river Windrush. The neighbourhood has been much improved by the inclosure of waste lands, and by the plantations made by the lord of the manor. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £6. 12. 4.; net income, £151; patron, the Crown. The tithes were commuted for land and annual money payments, in 1795; the glebe consists of 3 acres.