Rixton - Rochford

Sponsor

Institute of Historical Research

Publication

Author

Samuel Lewis (editor)

Year published

1848

Supporting documents

Pages

679-686

Citation Show another format:

'Rixton - Rochford', A Topographical Dictionary of England (1848), pp. 679-686. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=51241 Date accessed: 02 October 2014.


Highlight

(Min 3 characters)

Rixton, with Glazebrook

RIXTON, with Glazebrook, a township, in the parish and union of Warrington, hundred of West Derby, S. division of Lancashire, 5½ miles (E. by N.) from Warrington; containing 843 inhabitants, of whom 410 are in the hamlet of Rixton. In the reign of John this was the seat of a family of the local name, the last male descendant of whom was Alan Rixton, in the reign of Edward III. His heiress married Sir Hamon Massey, second son of Hugh Massey, of Tatton, Cheshire; and this family held the lordship until 1760, when Francis Massey died, leaving three co-heiresses: the eldest of these married into the Tempest family, of Broughton, Yorkshire, who became the principal owners here. The township is situated on the Mersey, and comprises 2692 acres, of which 650 are common or waste land. A quarry of rough stone produces a good material for flooring. The road from Liverpool to Manchester passes through. A small collection of dwellings here is called Fisherton, or Fishertown, the "Piscaria of Glazebrook" frequently mentioned in ancient inquisitions. Hollin's Green, formerly called Hollingfare or Hollinferry, is a rural village in the township, on the bank of the river; and gives name to a chapelry, of which the living is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of the Rector of Warrington; income, £136. The chapel was erected in 1835, and is a plain edifice of brick. The Roman Catholics have a place of worship; and a school is supported by subscription. A chalybeate spring here is strongly impregnated, but it is not much used.

Roach, or Roche (St. Gomonda)

ROACH, or Roche (St. Gomonda), a parish, in the union of St. Austell, E. division of the hundred of Powder and of the county of Cornwall, 7 miles (S. W.) from Bodmin; containing 2041 inhabitants. It is supposed to have derived its name from some remarkable rocks in the parish, on the principal of which are the remains of a small oratory or chapel dedicated to St. Michael, anciently the habitation of Conan, a celebrated hermit who afterwards removed to the see of St. Germans. The parish comprises 6080 acres, of which 2916 are common or waste. The surface is undulated, rising in some parts into bold eminences; and Hainsborough, one of the loftiest elevations in the county, in which the river Fal has its source, is partly within the parish. In the streams that descend from this eminence, grains of pure gold are occasionally discovered, some of them of considerable size. The inhabitants are chiefly employed in tin stream-works, of which here are several: the tin is washed from the soil by artificial waterfalls. A tin-mine was opened in 1831, which from its situation near the rock is called the Rock mine; and great quantities of china-clay are raised in the parish, and sent to Liverpool for the potteries. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £20, and in the gift of the Trustees of the late John Thornton, Esq.: the tithes have been commuted for £440, and the glebe comprises 34 acres. The church, rebuilt in 1822, has a fine Norman font; in the churchyard is an ancient cross. There are several places of worship for Wesleyans and Bryanites. A mile and a half to the north of the rock, is Holy Well, said to be efficacious in curing diseases of children, of whom great numbers are brought for that purpose on Holy-Thursday.

Road (St. Lawrence)

ROAD (St. Lawrence), a parish, in the union and hundred of Frome, E. division of Somerset, 4½ miles (N. E. by N.) from Frome; containing 861 inhabitants. This parish, formerly called Rode, is bounded on the west by the river Frome, and comprises by computation 1500 acres. The soil is generally light and thin, but deeper towards the meadows, which are esteemed very rich; the surface slopes gradually to the river, and in some parts is subject to flood. The manufacture of cloth is carried on. A fair for cattle and cheese is held on the Monday after the 9th of September. The living is a discharged rectory, with that of Woolverton consolidated, valued in the king's books at £11. 9. 4., and in the gift of A. Starky, Esq.: the tithes of the two parishes have been commuted for £455, and the glebe contains 85 acres. There are places of worship for Baptists and Wesleyans; and a school which is supported by subscription.

Roade (St. Mary)

ROADE (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Hardingstone, hundred of Cleley, S. division of the county of Northampton, 6 miles (S.) from Northampton; containing 716 inhabitants. The parish comprises about 1500 acres; and is intersected by the London and Birmingham railway, which occupies 70 acres in addition, and has a station here. The manufacture of lace, and shoe-making, afford employment to a part of the population. The living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £104, with a glebe-house, erected in 1845; patrons, the Duke of Grafton and the Rector of Ashton. In the parish are 57 acres of glebe, and in Warwickshire 24. The church is a very ancient edifice. There is a place of worship for Baptists.

Robert's-Bridge, or Rother-Bridge

ROBERT'S-BRIDGE, or Rother-Bridge, a village and posting-place, in the parish of Salehurst, union of Ticehurst, hundred of Henhurst, rape of Hastings, E. division of Sussex, 5¾ miles (N.) from Battle, and 50 (S. E.) from London. It takes its name from a bridge over the river Rother, and consists chiefly of one long street upon the road from London to Battle. A large flour-mill has been established for many generations; and here is a branch of the Hastings bank. The Wesleyans have a meeting-house. An abbey in honour of the Blessed Virgin Mary, for Cistercian monks, was founded at this place in 1176, by Alfred de S. Martino, the revenue of which at the Dissolution amounted to £248. 10. 6.

Roborough (St. Peter)

ROBOROUGH (St. Peter), a parish, in the union of Torrington, hundred of Fremington, Great Torrington and N. divisions of Devon, 6 miles (E. by S.) from Torrington; containing 588 inhabitants. The parish comprises 3114a. 3r. 30p., of which 2200 acres are arable, 420 meadow and pasture, and 380 wood. There is some good land, but the prevailing quality of the soil is inferior; the ground lies high, and is much exposed to easterly and other winds. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £10. 8. 9.; net income, £193; patron, the Rev. Thomas May. The church is supposed to have been built in the fifteenth century.

Roburndale

ROBURNDALE, a township, in the parish of Melling, hundred of Lonsdale south of the Sands, N. division of Lancashire, 8½ miles (E. N. E.) from Lancaster; containing 191 inhabitants. This is a wild and mountainous tract, stretching beyond the remotest sources of the rapid and often swollen river Roeburn or Roburn. It seems to have anciently been, as its name imports, a haunt of the larger species of deer; and in a fine of the 37th Edward III., between Robert de Swilyngton, plaintiff, and Walter Tebaud, parson of Burghwaleys, and John de Nevill, deforcers of the castle of Hornby and manor of Melling, the chase of Roburndale is specially excepted. A dyke of considerable extent, which bore the name of the Harrington dyke, is traceable on the barren heights which form the limits of Hornby and Bowland.

Roby

ROBY, a township, in the parish of Huyton, union of Prescot, hundred of West Derby, S. division of Lancashire, 2 miles (S. S. W.) from Prescot; containing 444 inhabitants. This place, the Rabil of the Domesday survey, was the property of the Lathoms soon after the Conquest; and in the 32nd of Edward I., Robert de Lathom had a market and fair, as well as free warren, chartered for his manor of Robye. The Earl of Derby is now lord of the manor, which is subject to the court at Knowsley. The township is beautifully situated, and comprises 1032 acres, of very good land, undulated, and well wooded. The soil is various, and in some parts rich; the air salubrious and healthy; and the scenery embraces views of the Cheshire hills and the Welsh mountains. The features of the country around have of late undergone, and are still undergoing, great improvements through the liberality of the Earl of Derby. There is a red-sandstone quarry. The Liverpool and Manchester railway has a station here. Roby Hall, with 98 acres of freehold land, is the seat and property of Richard Edwards, Esq., a magistrate of the county. The Hall has a central projection formed of three sides of an octagon, and is flanked by two small but neat greenhouses, presenting a pleasing termination to the line of the front: a light iron balustrade runs partly across the first story, affording access to the French windows which open to the lawn. This handsome structure is seated on the side of a vale that separates it from the beautiful village of Childwall. Edenhurst, with 30 acres of land, is the property and residence of Richard Earle, Esq., also a magistrate, and who is agent to the Earl of Derby. Holly Grove belongs to William Jameson, Esq. Whitfield-House Academy, established in 1820, is successfully carried on by Mr. John Theophilus Baron. A school for about 60 children is supported by subscription.

Rocester (St. Michael)

ROCESTER (St. Michael), a parish, in the union of Uttoxeter, S. division of the hundred of Totmonslow, N. division of the county of Stafford, 4½ miles (N. by E.) from Uttoxeter; containing 1136 inhabitants. This parish, anciently called Rocetter, or Roucestre, comprises about 2370 acres; the soil is very good, consisting for the most part of rich meadow and pasture. The Churnet and Dove rivers unite a little below the village: in 1838, an act was obtained for building a bridge over the latter. A canal from Uttoxeter to the Potteries passes here, by which coal and lime are brought for the supply of the neighbourhood, as also goods from Liverpool and Manchester. A large cotton-mill built by Sir Richard Arkwright is now employed for doubling lacethread. The living is a perpetual curacy, valued in the king's books at £4; net income, £69; patron, George Alsop, Esq.; appropriators, the Dean and Canons of Windsor. The church, an ancient edifice, has been enlarged. There are places of worship for Baptists and Methodists: and a national school. An abbey for Black canons, in honour of the Blessed Virgin Mary, was founded here in 1146 by Richard Bacoun, the revenue of which at the Dissolution was valued at £111. 11. 7.: no traces now remain.

Rochdale (St. Chad)

ROCHDALE (St. Chad), a borough, market-town, and parish, and the head of a union, chiefly in the hundred of Salford, S. division of the county of Lancaster, but partly in the Upper division of the wapentake of Agbrigg, W. riding of York, 50 miles (S. E.) from Lancaster, and 198 (N. N. W.) from London; containing 84,718 inhabitants, of whom 24,091 are in the borough. This place, which takes its appellation from the river Roche, appears, from the name of a part of the vale below Castle Hill, which is called Kill-Dane field, to have been celebrated for the slaughter of the Danes, who, having in their predatory incursions penetrated into this district of the county, met with a signal overthrow. The castle, from which the township of Castleton has its name, but of which there are no traces, was one of the twelve Saxon forts probably destroyed in the frequent conflicts that occurred between the Saxons and Danes in the tenth and eleventh centuries. The Roman Watling-street, leading from Mancunium to Cambodunum, traversed the Yorkshire part of the parish.

Rochdale is noticed in the Conqueror's survey, in which it is recorded that the Saxon thane Gamel was permitted to retain his estate here: part of it seems afterwards to have reverted to the crown, as Henry II. made grants of land in the district. Roger de Lacy, lord of Rochdale, made similar grants from 1193 to 1211, at which time there were mesne lords of the manor under the crown and the Lacys. Previously to 1224, John de Eland, and John de Lacy of Cromwellbotham, were coparceners in the mesne manor, probably by inheritance from Gamel. In 1250, Edmund de Lacy, valettus regis, obtained a grant of a market and fairs, which was confirmed, with free warren, to Henry de Lacy in 1291. In 1351, Henry, Duke of Lancaster, whose mother Alice was heiress of Henry de Lacy, possessed the manor; and through him it merged into the crown estates in 1400: in 1505 Henry VII. was in possession, and in 1520 John Savel or Savile, held lands here under Henry VIII. Of this family was Sir Henry Savile, at whose decease, without issue, the manor once more reverted to the crown. In 1543 Sir John Byron, Knt., is mentioned as steward of the manor to Henry VIII.; he afterwards leased it from Queen Elizabeth. In 1625 Charles I. granted it to Sir Robert Heath, who in 1638 sold it to Sir John Byron; and in this latter family it remained until purchased from George Gordon, Lord Byron, in 1823, by the late James Dearden, Esq., of Rochdale.

This place owes its importance to the extent of its manufactures, of which those of cloth and woollens were considerable in the parish even in the reign of Henry VIII.; and to the mines of coal, and quarries of flags and other stone, with which the district abounds. The town is comprised within the townships of Castleton, Spotland, and Wardleworth in Hundersfield. It is pleasantly situated in a valley on the banks of the river Roche, and consists of several streets, which were formerly narrow and inconvenient, but have been widened, and in other respects greatly improved, under the provisions of an act obtained in the 50th of George III. In 1824 a company was formed for the purpose of widening the principal street, and the road from Yorkshire into Lancashire; in effecting which, and in erecting a market-house and town-hall, and making other public improvements, it has expended more than £40,000. There is a stone bridge of three arches over the Roche: within a few paces to the east of it, a handsome iron bridge has been constructed, for the accommodation of foot passengers; and about a quarter of a mile to the west, is a stone bridge of one arch, connecting the town meadows with Pinfold, by a new line diverging from the old Manchester and Bury road. The houses are chiefly built of brick, but several of the most substantial and respectable in the town and its vicinity are of the fine freestone from the neighbouring quarries. The place is well paved, and lighted with gas by the commissioners of police: the gas-works were erected in 1824, at an expense of £12,000; and in 1847 an act was passed for the better supply of the town with water. The environs are pleasant, abounding with fertile vales, sheltered by the range of high hills called Blackstone Edge, and containing many handsome villas and agreeable walks. From Summer Castle, a modern mansion, a very extensive view is obtained of the town, and the surrounding hills and dales. The public subscription library and newsrooms are well supported: a small theatre is occasionally opened; concerts take place in the public hall, a large and commodious building erected in 1844; and races are held in August.

Among the principal branches of manufacture are those of baise, coatings, and kerseys; calicoes and strong cotton goods are made to a very considerable extent, and within the last few years the spinning of cotton has been introduced with success. The making of hats also constitutes an important part of the trade. Since the American tariff came into operation the flannel business has much declined, but the other branches of manufacture are prosperous: the woollen trade in the town and neighbourhood employs 12,000 persons, and about 8000 pieces are produced weekly; in the cotton trade about 9000 persons are engaged. A station of the Manchester and Leeds railway is situated here; and in 1846 an act was passed for making a branch from Rochdale to Bacup, 8¼ miles in length. The Rochdale canal, communicating with the Duke of Bridgewater's canal at Manchester, and with the Calder and Hebble navigation, affords a facility of intercourse with the ports of Liverpool and Hull; on its banks are convenient quays and wharfs, and the basin and warehouses are capacious. The market-days are Monday and Saturday, the former for cotton, wool, and manufactured articles of flannel, and the latter for provisions of all kinds. The fairs are on May 14th, WhitTuesday, and November 7th, for horses, cattle, and pedlery; and a mart for wares, on the first Monday in every month, is generally well attended.

The town was constituted a borough in 1832, with the privilege of sending one member to parliament, the right of election being vested in the £10 householders; the boundaries comprise 1130 acres, and the returning officer is appointed by the sheriff of the county. It is within the jurisdiction of the county magistrates; the lord of the manor holds a court leet twice a year, and a court baron every third week, at which latter debts under 40s. are recoverable. The powers of the county debt-court of Rochdale, established in 1847, extend over the registration-district of Rochdale. The town-hall is a neat and substantial edifice of brick, containing an elegant saloon, in which the merchants and traders meet for the transaction of business. The gaol for the town, called the New Bailey, is a convenient building adjoining the workhouse. The civil parish is wholly in Lancashire, and is divided into seven townships, namely, Castleton, Butterworth, Spotland, Wardleworth, Wuerdale with Wardle, Blatchinworth with Calderbrook, and Todmorden with Walsden: the four last townships form the division of Hundersfield. Ecclesiastically, Rochdale includes also the parochial chapelry of Saddleworth, in Yorkshire, which in a civil point of view forms a distinct parish.

The living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £11. 4. 9½.; net income, £1730; patron, the Archbishop of Canterbury. The church stands on a lofty eminence, to which there is an ascent of 124 steps from the lower part of the town, and is a spacious and venerable structure in the early English style, with a square embattled tower crowned by pinnacles; the interior has some few remains of Norman character. St. Mary's church, Hundersfield, consecrated in 1740, is a brick building, of neat interior: the living is a perpetual curacy, endowed with an estate at Shaw producing £50 per annum, and in the patronage of the Vicar. St. James's, Hundersfield, a handsome edifice of stone, in the later English style, with a square embattled tower, was erected in 1820: the living is a perpetual curacy, also in the patronage of the Vicar; net income, £200, arising entirely from the pews. At Healey, Littleborough, Milnrow, Saddleworth, Smallbridge, Spotland-Bridge, Todmorden, Walsden, and Whitworth, are other incumbencies. In the town are places of worship for Baptists, Independents, Presbyterians, Unitarians, Wesleyans, Primitive Methodists, Methodists of the New Connexion, the Wesleyan Methodists Association, the Society of Friends, and Roman Catholics. In 1823 the late James Dearden, Esq., purchased of Richard Greaves Townley, Esq., of Belfield Hall, the ancient Trinity chapel, for the sum of £650. This chapel was erected in the time of Henry VII., by the Marlands, of Marland, and Butterworths, of Belfield, both places in the parish of Rochdale; the moiety of the former family was bought by the latter in Charles II.'s reign, and the whole passed by will to the Townleys in 1728, on the death of the last Mr. Butterworth.

The Free Grammar school was founded in 1565, by Archbishop Parker, and the premises were erected on ground given by Richard Midgley, the then vicar. It has an interest, in turn with the schools of Middleton, in Lancashire, and Steeple-Aston, in the county of Oxford, in two scholarships founded at Brasenose College, Oxford, by Dr. Radcliffe, principal of that college. The building from the first appears to have been an humble structure of one story, constructed of rough stone, and strongly indicative of the rude state of the town when it was built; a new school-house is now about to be erected by subscription, and the proceeds of a bazaar, and several gentlemen of influence have formed themselves into a committee for the purpose. The Moss school, so called from its situation on Vicar's Moss, was founded in 1769, by Mrs. Jane Hardman, whose son endowed it with £500, which were fortunately expended in land: the master's salary is now £100. A national school was erected in 1814, and a much larger one in 1843; and there are several other schools, among which are the British school, and the Sunday and infant schools connected with the Church: for the latter schools, a house has been lately built. Numerous bequests have been made for the relief of the poor: £1000 were given in 1840 by Jonathan Fildes, Esq., to the Ladies' charity, and £1000 to the dispensary, an institution which is well supported. The union of Rochdale comprises six townships, and contains a population of 60,577. About a mile and a half fron the town, on the banks of the Roche, is a romantic spot called "Tyrone's bed," where, according to generally received tradition, the Earl of Tyrone was concealed, when he fled from Ireland, in 1603, after his unsuccessful efforts to release his countrymen from the English yoke. Near Rochdale, in 1820, was found a small iron box containing a rouleau of brass coins of the Lower Empire in good preservation.

Roche, county of Cornwall.—See Roach.

ROCHE, county of Cornwall.—See Roach.

Rochester

ROCHESTER, an ancient city and port, having separate jurisdiction, in the union of Medway, locally in the lathe of Aylesford, W. division of Kent, 8½ miles (N.) from Maidstone, and 29 (E. S. E.) from London, on the road to Dovor; containing, with part of Chatham, and part of Strood Infra, 11,743 inhabitants. This place, the Durobrivæ of the Romans, and one of their stipendiary towns, was by the Saxons called Hrove ceastre, from which by contraction its present name is derived. The Roman Watling-street from Canterbury passed through it; and the city was defended by walls built, according to the Roman custom, in the direction of the cardinal points, and extending for half a mile from east to west, and about a quarter of a mile from north to south. Little of its history has been recorded previously to the Saxon era, in the early period of which, Ethelbert, King of Kent, having been converted to Christianity by the preaching of St. Augustine, to whom he gave large possessions at Canterbury, founded a church in this city, and thus laid the foundation of its subsequent importance. In 676, Ethelred, King of Mercia, making an irruption into Kent, plundered and nearly destroyed the place, which also suffered from repeated attacks of the Danes, who committed the most barbarous outrages. In 839, these ferocious invaders having landed at Romney, and defeated the troops sent to oppose them, plundered Rochester, and massacred its inhabitants; and in 885, another party of them, under their leader Hasting, sailed up the Medway, and laid siege to the city, before which they threw up a strong intrenchment; but on this occasion the inhabitants opposed a vigorous resistance, till Alfred, coming to their aid, obliged the enemy to raise the siege, and retire to their ships with considerable loss. Athelstan, about the year 930, established three mints at Rochester, at that time one of the chief ports in the island; two of these mints were for the use of the king, and one for the bishop. On another invasion of the Danes, in 999, the inhabitants, struck with terror at their approach, abandoned the city to their fury.


Arms.

At the time of the Conquest, Rochester was given by William to his half-brother, Odo, Bishop of Bayeux, whom he created Earl of Kent, and who, in the reign of William Rufus, having headed a conspiracy against that monarch, in favour of Robert, Duke of Normandy, was besieged in the castle here, and deprived of his possessions, which reverted to the crown. In 1130, Henry I., with several of his nobles, attended at the consecration of the church of St. Andrew, in Rochester, by Lanfranc, Archbishop of Canterbury: during the ceremony a dreadful fire broke out, which raged with such fury that the city was nearly reduced to ashes. In 1137, it was again burnt; and it had scarcely recovered from that calamity, when a third destructive fire spread with so great rapidity and to such an extent, that traces of its devastation were visible for ages. In 1141, Robert, Earl of Gloucester, chief general and counsellor of Matilda, after having effected that queen's escape, was himself taken prisoner at Winchester, and confined in the castle of this city; but he was soon afterwards exchanged for King Stephen, who had been made prisoner by Matilda's party. In 1215, the barons seized the castle, which they held against King John, who, investing it with a large body of troops, obtained possession after an obstinate defence, and ordered many of the garrison to be forthwith hanged.

The castle was considerably repaired, and the walls strengthened, in the reign of Henry III., and by that monarch's liberality the city was restored from the dilapidation it had suffered. Henry held a grand tournament here in 1251, in which the English knights entered the lists against all foreigners, without exception. In 1254, the castle was besieged by Simon de Montfort, on the part of the confederate barons, and was successfully defended for the king by Edward, Earl Warren; during this siege the bridge, and the tower upon it, both constructed of wood, were burnt. On the insurrection of Wat Tyler, in the reign of Richard II., a party of the rebels assaulted the castle, and took away by force one of their comrades, who had been placed there in confinement. Edward IV. repaired the castle and the walls of the city, and bestowed several privileges upon the inhabitants. In 1522, Henry VIII., accompanied by the Emperor Charles V., visited Rochester; and in 1573, Queen Elizabeth, during her tour in Kent, remained here for five days, and conferred many marks of her favour on the citizens, by whom she was hospitably entertained. On the restoration of Charles II., that monarch, on his arrival from the continent, passed through the city on his route to the metropolis, and was joyfully received by the mayor and corporation, who presented him with a silver basin and ewer. In 1688, James II., on his retreat from the capital, embarked privately at this port on board a tender lying in the Medway, which conveyed him to France.

The city occupies rather a low point of land bounded on the west by the Medway, which, pursuing a northern course till it has passed the town, suddenly bends to the south-east, thus environing the town nearly on three sides. Over the river is a stone bridge of numerous arches, connecting the city with Strood, built on piles, chiefly at the expense of Sir Robert Knolles and Sir John de Cobham, who, with several others, bequeathed estates fully adequate for keeping it in repair; it is 560 feet long, and defended by a stone parapet and balustrade. The bridge chamber, in which the records of the Bridge Corporation are kept, and the business of that trust transacted, is a neat building of Portland stone, with a handsome portico, occupying the site of a chapel erected near the east end of the bridge by Sir John de Cobham. An act was passed in 1846, for taking down the bridge and building a new one. The approach from it is peculiarly striking; the remains of the stately castle, on an eminence which rises abruptly from the Medway, and the view of that noble river, expanding to a considerable breadth, immediately beyond the bridge, with Chatham lines, and the martello towers ranged along the shores, contribute to heighten the effect. The town consists principally of one spacious street, intersected by several smaller streets, and is bounded on the east by St. Margaret's Bank, connecting it with Chatham; the houses are in general respectable and of ancient appearance, interspersed with some timber and brick buildings. The city is paved, lighted with gas, and supplied with water conveyed from an excellent spring near a field called the Vines. An horticultural society has been formed under the auspices of the nobility and clergy of the neighbourhood: the theatre, a small building, is opened occasionally; and assemblies are held. The Rochester and Chatham Literary and Philosophical Institution is of recent establishment. The environs are extremely pleasant, and contain several handsome villas; on the north-west, on an easy ascent, are several streets of neat modern houses, called, from the owner of the estate, Troy Town. The air is salubrious, and on the banks of the Medway are beautiful promenades. The city, with Chatham and Chatham dockyard, is strongly fortified on the south side, with works which are mostly of modern construction, having been erected since the peace of Amiens.

As regards mercantile pursuits, the place enjoys a favourable situation on the river Medway. Most of the vessels belonging to the port are colliers or coastingvessels, which bring supplies for Chatham; the number of those of above fifty tons' burthen is eighty-six, and their aggregate tonnage 6972. A railway, commencing at Strood, was opened to Gravesend in 1845. The trade arises from the great number of persons employed in the dockyard, and the temporary residents connected with the army and navy, in addition to a small degree of ship-building: the victualling-office has been removed to Sheerness. An oyster-fishery is carried on, and large quantities of oysters are sent to London. The market, on Friday, is supplied with fish and provisions of every kind, and a corn-market is held on Tuesday; the fairs, which are on May 30th and Dec. 11th, have nearly fallen into disuse, but there is a well-attended cattlemarket monthly, on Tuesday.


Corporation Seal.

Rochester received its first charter of Incorporation from Henry II., in 1165; and other charters, chiefly confirmatory, were granted by subsequent monarchs till the time of Charles I. At present the government is vested in a mayor, 6 aldermen, and 18 councillors, under the act 5th and 6th of William IV., cap. 76; the number of magistrates is 10. The borough is divided into three wards, and the municipal boundaries are co-extensive with those for parliamentary purposes, including an area of 2821 acres. The city first exercised the elective franchise in the 23rd of Edward I., since which time it has regularly returned two members to parliament: the mayor is returning officer. The freedom is inherited by birth, or obtained by servitude. Petty-sessions occur twice a week. The corporation has jurisdiction over the oysterfisheries in the river, and in the creeks and branches of the Medway, under an act of the 2nd of George II.; and the mayor and aldermen, assisted by a jury of free dredgers, formerly held a court of admiralty, in which they made regulations for the opening, stocking, and shutting of the oyster-beds; but the admiralty jurisdiction has been lately abolished. The free dredgers are governed by the same act, and no one can be free who has not served an apprenticeship of seven years to one of that body. The powers of the county debt-court of Rochester, established in 1847, extend over the registration-districts of Medway and Hoo, and part of those of North Aylesford, Milton, and Malling. The town-hall, erected in 1687, is a handsome brick building supported on duplicated columns of the Doric order. The hall is commodiously fitted up, and its ceiling enriched with trophies, together with the city arms, and the arms of Sir Cloudesley Shovel, at whose expense it was embellished. At the upper end are fulllength portraits of King William and Queen Anne, by Sir Godfrey Kneller; and the apartment contains also portraits of Sir C. Shovel, Sir John Jennings, Sir Thomas Colby, Sir Joseph Williamson, Richard Watts, Esq., and various other benefactors to the city. The area underneath the edifice is paved with Purbeck stone, and appropriated as the market. The dock-house, a neat building, was erected on the site of the old guildhall (in which the assizes for the county were anciently held), at the expense of Sir C. Shovel, in 1706.


Admiralty Seal, now disused.

The See of Rochester was founded in 600, by Ethelbert, King of Kent, who, at the persuasion of St. Augustine, erected a church in the city; and, establishing a monastery for secular priests, appointed for their bishop, Justus, who had accompanied Augustine into Britian. Until lately the diocese comprehended the western division of the county, forming the deaneries of Rochester, Malling, and Dartford, separated from the see of Canterbury by the river Medway; but under the provisions of the act 6th and 7th of William IV., cap. 77, it consists of the city and deanery of Rochester, of the county of Essex (except those few parishes which remain in the diocese of London), and of Hertfordshire. The ecclesiastical establishment consists of a bishop, dean, four archdeacons, five (till lately six) canons or prebendaries, six minor canons, a chancellor, eight choristers, a grammar master, twenty scholars, six poor bedesmen, and subordinate officers. The bishop has the appointment to the archdeaconries, chancellorship, and 25 benefices, with a revenue of £5000; the dean and chapter possess the patronage of the minor canonries and 30 benefices. The patronage of the canonries is in the Crown.


Arms of the Bishopric.

The Cathedral, dedicated to St. Andrew, and rebuilt by Bishop Gundulph in 1080, is a spacious and venerable structure in the form of a double cross, with a central tower, once surmounted by a spire, which has been taken down. The west front is a fine specimen of Norman architecture, elaborately enriched with sculpture, but the great window over the entrance is an insertion in the later English style, as are many of the windows in the nave and other parts of the building. On each side of the west door is a square tower: that on the north side has been lately rebuilt, and has a niche in which is a statue supposed to be that of Gundulph. A descent of several steps leads into the nave, which, with the exception of the windows, and a part near the transepts, is Norman; the finely-groined roof is supported on massive piers and circular arches, and, though now flat, has evidently been much loftier. From the nave an ascent of ten steps leads through the arch of the stone screen into the choir, which is in the early English style, the roof groined, and the columns, formed of marble from the quarries near Petworth, in Sussex. The altar-piece is decorated with a painting, by West, of the Angel appearing to the Shepherds; and on the north of the altar, within the railing, are two very ancient tombs, thought to have been erected for Bishop Lawrence de St. Martin and Bishop Gilbert de Glanville. Of the several chapels, are, the Lady chapel, where the bishop holds his consistory court; St. Edmund's, a square chapel, from which a door, now closed up, led to the chapter-house; a small chapel in the south aisle of the choir, with a beautiful window in the decorated style; and, at the north end of the eastern transept, the chapel of St. William, whose shrine is still preserved in it. On the east side of the north transept is a building called Gundulph's Tower, but the style scarcely warrants the supposition of its having been built by Gundulph. The crypt, under the eastern part of the cathedral, is a fine specimen of the early English style; the roof is plainly groined, and in that part of it which extends under the north aisle, the architecture is scarcely to be distinguished from Norman. There are numerous ancient monuments, but they are much mutilated, and the inscriptions are for the most part obliterated; among them is a statue in red-veined marble of Walter de Merton, founder of Merton College, Oxford. There are also memorials to Lord Henniker and his lady, by Bacon, Jun. A sepulchral effigy of John de Sheppy, bishop in the fourteenth century, was discovered in 1825; he was buried in 1360, and his tomb forms a magnificent specimen of the state of monumental sculpture at that period. Some restorations were effected in the cathedral in 1845. The priory of secular priests was re-constituted in 1087, by Bishop Gundulph, who placed in their stead Benedictine monks, whose revenue at the Dissolution amounted to £486. 11. 5. The ancient chapter-house, now in ruins, still displays the remains of several fine Norman arches; and the prebendal houses contain many relics of the monastic buildings.

The city comprises the parishes of St. Margaret and St. Nicholas, the former containing 4908, and the latter 3331, inhabitants: the parish of St. Margaret comprises 2480a. 1r. 4p., of which 201 are common or waste. The living of St. Margaret's is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £10; net income, £389; patrons and appropriators, the Dean and Chapter. The church is an ancient structure with a tower, and contains several monuments, and an antique font. The living of St. Nicholas' is a vicarage, with that of St. Clement's annexed, valued in the king's books at £20. 8. 9., and in the gift of the Bishop; net income, £160. The church, which has been extensively repaired at different times, is a substantial and commodious edifice, principally in the later style, with a square embattled tower at the northwest angle: the roof of the nave is supported by lofty columns and finely-pointed arches; there are some monuments, and a very ancient stone font. The churches of St. Clement and St. Mary the Virgin have been demolished. Here are places of worship for the Society of Friends, Independents, Wesleyans, and Unitarians.

The Royal free grammar school, founded by Henry VIII. for 20 boys, forms part of the establishment of the cathedral, and is under the superintendence of the Dean and Chapter. There are four exhibitions of £5 per annum each, two to each of the universities, which, on taking the degree of master of arts, are augmented to £6, and subsequently to £6. 13. 4.: the institution has also, with that of Maidstone, two of four exhibitions of £15 per annum each, with chambers, in University College, Oxford, founded by the Rev. Robert Gunsley. A free school was established in 1701, by Sir Joseph Williamson, who bequeathed £5000 for its erection and endowment; the income is about £600 per annum, and about 80 boys are instructed in the ancient and modern languages, the mathematics, astronomy, and navigation. Several distinguished naval characters have been educated here. Sir John Hayward having, in 1635, devised certain estates for charitable uses, his trustee, Mr. Francis Barrell, in 1718 appropriated £33 per annum to purposes of education; and by order of the court of chancery in 1824, a house of industry was built from the produce of the bequest, for the residence of twelve respectable single men, who are boarded in the house. Near the site of the ancient market-cross is a house founded by Richard Watts, Esq., for the reception of poor travellers; six travellers may claim a lodging for the night and fourpence each. The funds left, then amounting only to £36, now produce £2500 per annum; the annual expense averages about £82, and by a decree of the court of chancery the surplus is appropriated to the support of the parochial poor. St. Catherine's hospital, founded in 1316, by Simond Potyn, for the maintenance of lepers and other diseased persons, is now assigned as an almshouse for aged females; the buildings comprise fourteen dwelling-houses. There are various further bequests for distribution among the poor.

The remains of the castle, which was erected after the Conquest, on the site of the ancient Roman fortress, consist principally of the keep, or great tower, in the south-west angle of an inclosed quadrangular area 300 feet in length. It was built by Bishop Gundulph, and is considered one of the most entire and curious specimens of Norman military architecture now remaining. The tower is square, with angular turrets, is 104 feet high, and 70 feet in breadth at the base; the walls are 12 feet in thickness, and a winding staircase in the east angle, connected with every story, leads to the summit, from which a most extensive view of the surrounding country is obtained. The state apartments are on the second story, communicating with which is an arched gallery in the thick wall, extending round the whole tower. The walls of the castle and of the keep are of Kentish ragstone, cemented with mortar which by time has been rendered harder than the stone itself; and the whole fabric has acquired such a degree of solidity, as to have baffled an attempt to demolish it, which was made for the value of the materials, about the beginning of the last century. Some parts of the city walls remain entire, and the north-east angle, in particular, displays the height, form, and embrasures. Near MinorCanon-row is a small embattled tower, through which was the entrance into the cloisters of the priory, whereof some parts are still remaining. At Boley Hill, to the south of the city, the Romans are thought to have had a cemetery, and sepulchral urns and lachrymatories have been found there in great numbers; a part of the hill, however, is supposed to have been thrown up by the Danes when they besieged the city in 885. Under an elm-tree on the hill the corporation hold a separate court leet for this small district, at which the recorder presides as steward, and appoints an officer called the Baron of Boley: a court of pie-poudre is also held here.

Rochester-Ward

ROCHESTER-WARD, a township, in the parish of Elsdon, union of Bellingham, S. division of Coquetdale ward, N. division of Northumberland, 12 miles (N.) from Bellingham; containing 437 inhabitants. This district is eleven miles in length, and about three in average breadth, and comprises by admeasurement 22,068 acres, of which about 213 are arable, 138 woodland, and the remainder pasture, whereon large flocks of excellent Cheviot sheep are kept. At Horsley, a mile to the east of Rochester, a chapel of ease has been erected, which will accommodate 182 persons; and at Byrness, in the township, near the extremity of the parish, is a small chapel with a separate endowment. There is a place of worship for Presbyterians. A village called High Rochester, situated on the brow of a rugged eminence, occupies the site of Bremenium, the strongest of the Roman stations in the north, and previously the chief fortification of the Ottadini. Portions of the walls on the west and south-west sides still remain; they were seven feet in thickness, chequered with ashlar-work, and defended by triple ramparts of earth. The hypocaust was in the north-eastern part of the walls, and the conduits leading to it were, a few years since, in a tolerably perfect state. Numerous altars, urns, and other relics, have been found; and in the neighbourhood are several rude sepulchral monuments of the ancient Britons, which prove that it must have been the scene of many sanguinary conflicts between the Ottadini and the Romans, before the conquest of the former.

Rochford (St. Andrew)

ROCHFORD (St. Andrew), a market-town and parish, and the head of a union, in the hundred of Rochford, S. division of Essex, 19¼ miles (S. E.) from Chelmsford, and 40 (E. by N.) from London; containing 1722 inhabitants. It is situated on the small river Roche, from which it is supposed to derive its name, and is an irregularly-built town, supplied with water by a stream that runs through it, and from a pump erected in the market-place. The trade is principally in corn. The river Crouch is navigable to Broomhills, within about a mile of the town, and affords great facility for the conveyance of corn, coal, and other merchandise, by vessels of from 100 to 200 tons' burthen. The market is on Thursday; and fairs take place on the Tuesday and Wednesday in Easter-week, and the Wednesday and Thursday after September 29th, chiefly for toys. The magistrates for the hundred hold sittings on Thursday, once a fortnight, and occasionally weekly, for general business. The powers of the county debt-court of Rochford, established in 1847, extend over the registration-district of Rochford, and four adjacent parishes. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £20, and in the gift of the Earl of Mornington: the tithes have been commuted for £565, and the glebe comprises 54 acres. The church is a plain edifice, with a lofty tower of very fine old brickwork; a gallery was erected in 1827, and the church was repaired and beautified in 1828. There is a place of worship for Independents. A workhouse for 300 inmates has been erected for the union, which comprises 24 parishes or places, and contains a population of 14,617. Rochford Hall, the greater part of which was destroyed by fire about eighty years since, was the birthplace of the unfortunate Anna Boleyn, queen of Henry VIII.

Rochford (St. Michael)

ROCHFORD (St. Michael), a parish, in the union of Tenbury, Upper division of the hundred of Doddingtree, Hundred-House and W. divisions of Worcestershire, 2 miles (E. by N.) from Tenbury; containing 227 inhabitants. This parish comprises about 1400 acres of fertile land, of which a small quantity is laid out in hops. It is intersected by the road from Tenbury to Worcester. The living is a rectory, in the gift of the Misses Wilkinson; income, £400. The church exhibits some beautiful specimens of early architecture. In 1753, John Turner bequeathed £100, the interest to be distributed among the poor; and in 1802, Philip Morres invested £164 in the 3 per cent. consols., for the same purpose.



<--Previous:
Risca - Rivington
Next:-->
Rock - Rodsley