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MARKET TOWNS OF ESSEX (from SDUK Penny Cyclopedia)

Rochford in 1837

Rochford is in Rochford hundred, on the Broomhill river, which is navigable to within about a mile of the town, 40 miles from London through Romford, Brentwood, and Billericay. The town consists principally of two streets running one into the other in the form of the letter T : the houses are ill built : the market-house, which a of timber, stands near the centre of the town, and has on it the date 1707 : it is not used as a market-house now. There are two bridges over the river, which close to the town is an inconsiderable brook. The church, which is a little removed from the town, is a good-sized building, consisting of nave, chancel, and side aisles, with a lofty brick tower at the west end. There is an Independent meeting-house. At the lower end of the town are a row of brick almshouses for six poor people, founded and endowed by Robert Rich, earl of Warwick, in the early part of the seventeenth century.

The parish comprehends an area of 1,240 acres : it had, in 1831, 271 inhabited houses, and a population of 1,526, of which more than a third was agricultural. The chief trade is in corn. The market is on Thursday.

The living is a rectory, in the archdeaconry of Essex, of the yearly value of £570, with a glebe-house.

There were in the parish, in 1833, a Lancasterian school, with 70 boys ; a national school, with 64 children (rather more on Sunday) ; seven other day-schools, with 158 scholars; and one Sunday-school, with 100 children : to the Sunday-school a lending library is attached.