Melton Mowbray in 1839
Melton Mowbray is in the hundred of Framland, 15 miles from Leicester, and 105 from London on the Leeds mail-road. The parish contains an area of 3,570 acres, with a population, in 1831, of 3,356, beside the chapelry of Freeby and the township of Welby, which are in the parish, and contain 2,040 acres, with a population of 164. Melton owes its prosperity to its being the seat of the well-known Melton Hunt, which causes a large influx of sportsmen during the season. The town is in a valley, on the river Eye, or Wreak, and is well built. It is watched, lighted, and paved ; and the three bridges in or about the town over the Eye, (or, its feeder, the Scalford) are kept in repair from property left in trust, and called the Town Estate. The church is large, and has a fine tower, partly in the Early English style. There are one or two dissenting meeting-houses. The chief manufacture is that of bobbin-net lace. The market is on Tuesday : and at every alternate market there is usually a great show of cattle. The living is a vicarage, united with the chapelries of Freeby and Welby (both in the parish), also with the chapelries of Burton Lazars and Sysonby : its clear yearly value is £580, with a glebe-house. There were, in 1833, in the parish, exclusive of Freeby and Welby, fifteen dame-schools, with 250 children ; two free day-schools, supported from the Town Estate ; the upper school having 45 boys, and the lower school 330 children of both sexes ; eight other day-schools, with 145 children ; and three Sunday-schools, with 537 children.