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Wokingham in 1835

Wokingham, or Oakingham, is within the precincts of Windsor Forest, and on one of the roads from London to Reading, thirty-one miles and a half from London, and seven from Reading. That part of the parish in which the town stands is in Berkshire, the other part of the parish, together with the church, is in an insulated portion of Wiltshire.

The town consists of several streets, which meet in a spacious area, containing the market-house, an ancient building framed with timber, open at the bottom, and having above room for the transaction of public business. The church is large and handsome ; the houses in the town are chiefly of brick.

In Camden's time the woollen manufacture was carried on here, but now the malting and meal trades, throwing silk, and making shoes and gauze, furnish the chief occupations of the inhabitants.

The market is held on Tuesday, and is well supplied with poultry, which the higglers purchase for the London market. There are three ancient fairs, now inconsiderable ; two additional ones were attempted to be established about
1780, but did not succeed ; one of them, at Lady Day, has been given up, the other, held near Michaelmas, is still kept up.

The population in 1831 was
1,628 for the town division of the parish, or 3,139 for the whole parish, which contains 8,450 acres.

The living is a perpetual curacy, a peculiar in the jurisdiction of the dean of Salisbury, who is impropriator of the great and small tithes, and patron of the benefice, the income of which is stated at £
126 in the Ecclesiastical Revenues' Report, 1835.

There are in the parish eight alms-houses, with a small endowment ; an hospital at Luckley Green for a chaplain and sixteen poor men ; and an endowed school for boys and girls ; also a Sunday school, and two dissenting places of worship. The town is governed by a corporation, consisting of an alderman and eleven capital burgesses. Dr. Thomas Goodwin, Bishop of Bath and Wells in the time of Elizabeth, was born here in 1517, and died here in 1590.


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