History of Dedham

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History of Dedham >> White's Directory 1848

White's Directory of Essex 1848

DEDHAM, a small and well built town which formerly had a market, is pleasantly situated at the north-east angle of Lexden Hundred, on the south side of the river Stour, which divides it from Suffolk.

It is a little below Stratford Bridge, where it has a suburb called Dedham Green, on the Ipswich road, 6½ miles North North East of Colchester, and 4 miles West of Manningtree.

Its parish contains 1787 inhabitants, and about 2600 acres of land, extending down the vale to its junction with the tidal waters of the Stour, and intersected by the Black Brook rivulet; but the southern parts, on and near Dedham Heath, (now enclosed,) are high and dry, and have many scattered houses.

As early as the reign of Richard II., Dedham was a seat of the woollen manufacture, which continued to flourish here for some centuries, but was discontinued many years ago. It formerly had a market every Tuesday, and has still a fair for pedlery, etc., on Easter Tuesday.

The parish has been variously spelt Dedham, Delham, and Dyham, and is in two manors, viz., Dedham Hall, of which William Hutton, Esq., of London, is lord; and Over and Nether Hall, of which Mrs. Smythies, of Colchester, is lady.

But the soil is chiefly copyho1d, and belongs to W. Downes, T.L. Ewen, E. Reeve, W. Mules, D. Blyth, W.W.Francis, E. Cook, W. Ellis, C. Eyre, H.T. Ellecombe, W. R. Richards, and several smaller proprietors, some of whom have neat houses here, with tasteful pleasure grounds.

Dedham Hall belonged at an early period, to the Stutevilles, and was sold in 1629 by Charles I. The other manor was held by the Dedham family, and was given to Campesey nunnery, in Suffolk. At the Dissolution, it was granted to Humphrey Wingfield, and it afterward passed to the Seckfords and Watkinsons.

church - exterior
St Mary's Church, Dedham.
© Copyright Adrian Cable contributor to the Geograph Project and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

The Church (Virgin Mary,) is a large and handsome building in the perpendicular style, with a spacious nave, aisles, and chancel, covered with lead; and an elegant tower at the west end, rising to the height of 131 feet, containing eight bells, and terminated by enriched battlements and pinnacles.

It has evidently been erected on the foundations of a former edifice; and beneath some of the arches are the arms of York and Lancaster, so that it will no doubt built soon after the union of those royal houses. It has a good organ and several handsome monuments. On the east side of the battlements is a statue of Margaret, Countess of Richmond.

The rectory was appropriated to Butley Priory, Suffolk, and after the dissolution, it remained with the Crown, till James I. granted it to Robert Stratford. It forms part of the endowment of the Lecture-ship, and now held by the Rev. George Taylor, D.C.L. The Vicarage, valued in K.B. at £10.0s.2½d" and in 1831 at £179, is in the patronage of the Duchy of Lancaster, and incumbency of the Rev. Robert Scarlett Grignon, B.A. It was augmented with £30 a year by Dr. William Clarke. The tithes were commutted in 1843.

In the town is an Independent Chapel, belonging to a congregation formed in 1736, and having a house for the minister.

The parish has a large and well endowed Grammar School, a National School, and various bequests for charitable and other uses.

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Dedham - Cary's New and Correct English Atlas, 1798

Dedham - First Series Ordnance Survey Map 1805

This work is based on data provided through www.VisionofBritain.org.uk and uses historical material which is copyright of the Great Britain Historical GIS Project and the University of Portsmouth. Licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence BY-SA-4.0

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