Descriptive Gazetteer Entry for HARBOROUGH (MARKET)

HARBOROUGH (MARKET), a town, a chapelry, and a district in Leicestershire. The town stands adjacent to Northamptonshire, on the river Welland, the Union canal, the Rugby and Stamford railway, and the Hitchin and Leicester railway, 15 miles SE by S of Leicester. It has some claim to have been a Roman settlement; and on the E side of it are traces of a Roman encampment, near which Roman urns and other Roman relics have been found. It was formerly called HerberburrBuggedon and Haverberg; it took the two first syllables of these names from a word signifying "oats, " in allusion probably to the fertility of the tract around it; and it stands in a very rich grazing country, celebrated for productiveness and for field sports. It was the headquarters of Charles I., before the battle of Naseby; it was occupied by Cromwell immediately after that battle, and was the place where he wrote his letter to the parliament announcing the victory; and it was plundered by Prince Rupert, and relieved by the Earl of Stamford. The family of Sherard took from it the title of Earl; and had an old seat, afterwards converted into the King's Head inn, close to the Roman camp. The town consists of one spacious principal street, and several small streets or alleys; is well built; and contains many good houses. The town hall, in High street, was built in 1788, by the Earl of Harborough; and is a large edifice, with the ground floor disposed as a meat market. The corn exchange, also in High street, was built in 1858; and is used for a county court, and for public meetings and lectures. The police station, in Kings Head yard, is used for petty sessions. The church was built, before 1344, by the Scropes or by John of Gaunt; measures 140 feet by 53; underwent considerable repair in 1844, and extensive improvements in 1860-2; has a fine tower, with an octagonal crocketted spire, 154 feet high; and includes, among its recent improvements, a semi-hexangular stone lantern at an angle of a porch, and a beautiful carved alabaster pulpit. The Independent chapel was built in 1844, at a cost of nearly £3, 000; and has a fine front with Doric and Corinthian features. There are chapels also for Baptists, Wesleyans, and Roman Catholics; a British school, a national school, and an endowed grammar school; a dispensary, a library and reading room, and a working man's improvement society. The district workhouse stands a little beyond the town, to the N; and was built in 1837. The town has a head post office, ‡ two railway stations with telegraph, two banking offices, and two chief inns; is a polling place; and publishes a weekly newspaper. A weekly market is held on Tuesday; and fairs on 6 Jan., 16 Feb., the first Tuesday after Mid-Lent Sunday, 29 and 30 April, 31 July, 19 Oct., and the eight following days, the Tuesday before 22 Nov., and 8 Dec. A considerable trade was formerly carried on in hosiery, shoes, and leather; and there are now malt houses and brick and tile works. The chapelry and the town are regarded as co-extensive; and are in the parish of Great Bowden. Real property, £7, 827. Pop., 2, 302. Houses, 476. The manor belongs to Henry M. Vane, Esq. The Elms, a large mansion at the N end of the town, belongs to W. de Capell Brook, Esq. The living is a p. curacy in the diocese of Peterborough. Value, £220.* Patron, Christ Church, Oxford. -The district contains the parishes of Great Bowden, Welham, Lubenham, Foxton, Kibworth-Beauchamp, Church-Langton, Cranoe, Glooston, StontonWyville, Shangton, Husbands-Bosworth, Fleckney, Saddington, Gumley, Langhton, and parts of Knaptoft and Theddingworth, electorally in Leicestershire; and the parishes of Sibbertoft, Sulby, Marston-Trussell, Little Bowden, East Farndon, Great Oxendon, Clipston, Kelmarsh, Arthingworth, Braybrooke, Dingley, BramptonAsh, Stoke-Albany, Wilbarston, Ashley, Sutton-Bassett, Weston-by-Welland, part of Theddingworth, and the extra-parochial tract of Thorpe-Lubenham, electorally in Northamptonshire. Acres, 64, 094. Poor rates in 1863, £11, 573. Pop. in 1851, 15, 839; in 1861, 16, 059. Houses, 3, 577. Marriages in 1862, 95; births, 550, -of which 28 were illegitimate; deaths, 296, -of which 119 were at ages under 5 years, and 10 at ages above 85. Marriages in the 10 years 1851-60, 1, 074; births, 5, 210; deaths, 3, 174. The places of worship, in 1851, were 39 of the Church of England, with 8, 991 sittings; 12 of Independents, with 2, 429 s.; 9 of Baptists, with 1, 939 s.; 7 of Wesleyans, with 912 s.; 4 undefined, with 413 s.; and one of Roman Catholics, with 76 s. The schools were 20 public day schools, with 1, 223 scholars; 41 private day schools, with 621 s.; 38 Sunday schools, with 1, 982 s.; and 2 evening schools for adults, with 52 s.

(John Marius Wilson, Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870-72))

Linked entities:
Feature Description: "a town, a chapelry, and a district"   (ADL Feature Type: "cities")
Administrative units: Market Harborough CP/Tn/Ch       Market Harborough RegD/PLU       Leicestershire AncC
Place: Market Harborough

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