Grimsby in 1839
Grimsby is in the wapentake of Bradley Haverstoe, in the parts of Lindsey, on the south bank of the Humber, near its mouth. In the time of Edward III Grimsby was of sufficient importance to furnish the king with eleven vessels and 170 mariners for his armament against Calais. The gradual blocking up of the harbour by the accumulation of mud and sand led to the decay of the port, until it was renovated by the spirited exertions of some of the neighbouring landed proprietors about the beginning of the present century. The landing at low water is however still very bad, and a jetty is now erecting to remedy this inconvenience. The parish of Grimsby, the township of Clee, and the hamlet of Weelsby, comprehend 2,110 acres, and had in 1831 a population of 4,225, of which a small proportion is agricultural. The town consists of two parts : the older part of the town is irregularly laid out, and is at the head of the harbour, about a mile from the sea ; the new part, commonly called the Marsh, consists of three streets parallel to the harbour, on the east side. The harbour, which is a tide-harbour, with a lock, &c., is at one of the mouths of the Laceby Beck, extending inland about a mile southward from the sea ; vessels drawing sixteen feet can enter it with high-water at neap tides. There are large warehouses and timber-yards attached to the harbour. The town formerly consisted of two parishes now united. The church of St. James, now the only one, is a large cross church, with a tower in the centre ; the architecture is in a great degree early English ; the west door is Norman. There are in the church some. ancient monuments and inscriptions, and large font of early English character. There is a small ill managed borough gaol. There are a tan-yard, two bone-mills, some corn-mills, and a large ropery for making patent cordage of phormium tenax, which has not been very successful. The market is on Friday.
Grimsby a borough by prescription : the council under the Municipal Reform Act consists of four aldermen and twelve councillors. The parliamentary borough, which was considerably enlarged by the Boundary Act, includes, besides the municipal borough, the rest of the parish of Grimsby, and the parishes of Great Coates, Little Coates, Bradley, Laceby, Waltham, Scartho, and Clee, with the township of Cleethorpe, containing an additional population of 2,364 ; making in all 6,589. Clee has an ancient church, with some fine Norman piers and arches.
the living of Grimsby is a vicarage, in the archdeaconry of Lincoln, of the clear yearly value of £532. There are several dissenting places of worship.
There were in the parish, in 1833, one infant school, with 20 children, partly supported by the corporation ; a grammar-school, with 60 boys and 20 girls ; a school preparatory to the grammar-school, with 54 boys and 19 girls ; and a school for dissenters, with 22 children ; the first two of these schools were wholly and the third partly supported by the corporation : four other day-schools, with 114 children ; one boarding-school, with 23 children ; and one Sunday-school, with 110 children.