|Abstract||Extract from "History. Directory and Gazetteer of Essex"
by William White (1848)
TOLLESBURY is a large fishing village, 8½ miles ENE of
Maldon, on the margin of the marshes, about 1¼ miles
north of the estuary of the Blackwater, from which it has
a broad creek, in which are many oyster layings, where the
fishermen deposit the spat and young brood till they become
small oysters, which are sold and sent away to the layings on
the Kentish coast, and other places, there to be fed into the
full grown oysters. Most of the inhabitants are employed in this
trade, in about 50 dredging boars, of from 7 to 30 tons.
The parish contains 1149 souls, and 6780 acres of land, including
part of Tiptree Heath and Mr Mechi's farm of Tiptree Hall, though
distant more than 6 miles NW of the village. About 1630 acres are
saltings and waste, 60 acres wood, 1932 acres marsh and meadow,
and 3156 acres arable. The marshes on this part of the coast are
preserved from the encroachments of high tides by embankments
called sea wall, and outside these are the saltings on which
cattle are grazed during low tides. An Oyster Co., established
in 1845 in 500 £32 shares, has layings here, and purchases
spat and young brood from the dredgers. A fair, for toys, etc.,
is held in the village on the last Thursday and Friday in June.
Capt. Du Cane is lord of the manor of Tollesbury Hall, which
belonged to St. Mary's Nunnery at Barking till the dissolution
and was afterwards held by the Howard family.
Philip Bennet Esq is lord of the large manor of Bourchiers Hall
a fine old mansion, occupied by a farmer, and pleasantly situated
about a mile NW of the church. It had formerly
a large park, and was a seat of the Bourchier family in the 14th
and 15th centuries.
It afterwards passed to the Devereux, Gardiner and Hallam families,
and went in marriage with the heiress of the latter to the Bennets.
Bohun's Hall, a farm house near the church, gives name to another
manor in this parish, now belonging- to Benyon de Beauvoir Esq.
and formerly to the Bohun, Cromwell, Craddock and other families.
The Trustees of the late J. Grimwood Esq., J.J. Mechi, Rd Seabrook, Jas
Wilkin and many smaller owners have estates in the parish, partly free
and partly copyhold. The Church (St. Mary) has a nave and chancel,
and a stone tower containing six cells. The nave is ancient, but
the chancel is modern and built of brick with wood framed windows.
The vicarage, valued in K.B. at £6.l6s.3d, and in 1831 at £510, is
in the patronage of Trustees, and incumbency of the Rev. R.I.B.
Henshaw M.A., who has a large residence and 12 acres of glebe.
The tithes were commuted in 1840; the vicarial for £539, and the
rectorial for £762 per annum. The latter belongs to B. de Beauvoir,
Esq.. Here is an Independent Chapel, built about 30 years ago;
and a small Parish School, in aid of which £5.10s is paid yearly,
as arent of a tenement at Tolleshunt Knights left to the poor by
Robert Taillor in 1652.
Adams Mr Edward
Carter Rev. Thomas (independent)
Clarke James, drill owner
Cock Benjamin, assistant overseer
Collins Rev. Jchn M.A. Curate
Dodd Robert C. decoyman
Emery Joseph gardener
Frost Elizabeth, vict Plough & Sail
Henshaw, Rev Robert Ibbotson B. MA vicar
Howe Samuel saddler
Hume William vict Plough Oakley Hill
Lewis Sarah schoolmistress
Nevill Thomas blacksmith
Payne Rosetta vict Kings Head
Payne Wm butcher
Reardon G straw hat maker
Rice Abraham parish clerk
Weaver Joseph tailor and carrier
Wyatt Wm bricklayer
Beckwith Thomas, The Wick
Bourne John, Mill Farm
Bygrave John Lay Lodge
Dennis Joseph Oakley Green
Emson Robert Osbournes
Fairhead W.H. Hall and Little Totham
Foster Joseph Old Hall & Witham
Gardiner Jeffrey & John Rolls and Prentices
Golding Pearson Bourchiers
Hume Joseph Heath
Mechi John Joseph Tiptree Hall
Page Joseph (& T D'Arcy)
Readhouse John, Profitts
Root George, Bourchiers Hall
Saddler Joseph, Heath
Seabrook Rd (& Tolleshunt D'Arcy)
Seabrook Rt (& Tolleshunt D'Arcy)
Sharp Wm Sharp George
Solly Richard Bohun's Hall
Walker John (& Tolleshunt Major)
Wass John (Tiptree Heath)
Wilkin James Gorwell Hall
Bright Benj. Heath
Banyard Jno jun.
Crampin Jemima Heath
Howe Geo Druggist
Colchester Mon. Thurs & Sat
Weaver Joseph (& Maldon Fri)
Letters from Maldon
TIPTREE HEATH extends into several adjacent parishes and was anciently
part of the great forest of Essex, which occupied about one-half of the
county. From an inquisition taken in 1401, we find that Tiptree Heath
comprised several thousand acres, in which the freeholders and tenants of
the parishes of Inworth, Messing, Layer Marney, Great and Little Braxted,
Totham, Tollesbury, Tolleshunt, Wigborough, Maldon, Salcott, Goldhanger,
Wickham Bishops, and Langford had commonright for their cattle and estovers
of the trees and underwood for repairing their buildings, hedges, etc., as
well as for fuel.
Barking Abbey dedicated to the Virgin Mary is said to have
been the first Convent for women established in this kingdom.
It was founded about the year 670 in the reigns of Sebbi and
Sighere, Kings of the East Saxons, by St. Rekenwald, Bishop
of London, in compliance with the earnest desire of his sister
Ethelburgh, who was appointed the first Abbess. Several
Abbesses of the royal blood succeeded; Oswyth, Ethelburgh,
Cuthburgh. Nothing more is known of this Monastery till
the year 870 when it was burnt to the ground by the Danes and
the Nuns either slain or dispersed. About the middle of
the 10th century it was rebuilt by King Edgar as an
atonement for his having violated the chastity of Wulfhilda,
a beautiful Nun at Wilton, whom he appointed Abbess : he
restored the Monastery to its former splendour and endowed
it with large revenues. At the time of the Norman Conquest,
Alfgiva a Saxon lady who had been appointed by Edward the
Confessor, was abbess. The nuns of Barking were of the
Benedictine order. Abbey surrendered to Henry VIII in November
1539, when an annual pension of 200 marks was granted to Dorothy
Barley the last abbess, and various smaller pensions to the nuns,
who were then thirty in number.