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Lymington in 1839

LYMINGTON is a corporate town and parliamentary borough of Hampshire. The town is agreeably situated on the right bank of the river Lymington, at a short distance from its mouth, and is 7 miles south-west by south from Southampton, and about 90 miles south-west from London. It is well supplied with water, and the paving and lighting are defrayed by a rate of 13 pence in the pound on houses, and 4 pence in the pound on land. ‘Lymington is subordinate to the port of Southampton, from the necessity of the importers having to pay the full duties on the entrance of their cargoes into the port’ (Corp. Reports), which circumstance is regarded by the inhabitants as a grievance, inasmuch as they consider the situation of their own port peculiarly favorable to foreign trade. The foreign trade is unimportant, and the coasting-trade is evidently on the decline, for it appears that the aggregate tonnage inwards and outwards, which in 1812 amounted to 44,934, had gradually decreased down to the year 1832, when the tonnage inwards was 10,757, and outwards 7,242. The town has of late years received considerable improvements, with a view to invite visitors during the bathing season : £3000 had been subscribed in 1835 for the erection of baths, and a like sum for the establishment of gas-works.

The chief manufacture of the neighbourhood is salt, which some years ago was carried on to a considerable extent, but has since declined. The salt-works are situated on the bank of the Solent Channel, to the south-west of the town. The fairs for cheese are held May 12 and October 2, and are usually well attended. Lymington is a borough by prescription, there being no charter extant or upon record. The town-council consist of four aldermen and twelve common-councillors (5 and 6 William IV., c. 76), and the income of the corporation, arising from landed property, tolls, quay and river dues, amounted, in the year ending October, 1832, to £68. 19. shillings. 5 pence, the expenditure during the same period being £79. 12 shillings. 4 pence. The parish church, dedicated to St. Thomas a Becket. is in the diocese of Winchester, and in its interior are many handsome monuments. The living is a curacy, dependent in some respects upon the church of Boldre, and the income is included in that of the vicarage of Boldre. The population of the town and parish in 1831 was 3,361. Lymington has returned two members to parliament since the reign of Elizabeth.