Halesworth in 1842
Halesworth is in Blything hundred, 31 miles north-north-east of Ipswich through Woodbridge and Saxmundham. The area of the parish is 1,070 acres ; the population in 1831 was 2,473, one-fifth agricultural. The town is irregularly laid out ; a small stream runs through it and joins the river Blythe half a mile south-east of the town. The streets are wide, but not paved ; and some of the houses are well-built. The town is lighted with oil. The church is a handsome Gothic building ; and there are places of worship for Baptists and Independents. On the south side of the town is a small theatre. There are some large malthouses, and a considerable trade in malting is carried on. The river Blythe and its branch are made navigable up to the town, and afford facility for the export of agricultural produce, and the import of coal, lime, and general merchandise. There is a corn and general market on Thursday, and there is also a yearly fair.
The living is a rectory, united with the vicarage of Chediston, in the rural deanery of Dunwich, and the archdeaconry of Suffolk, and the diocese of Norfolk, of the joint clear yearly value of £450, with a glebe-house. There were in the parish in 1833, an infant-school, with 40 children, chiefly girls supported by voluntary contributions ; eleven day-schools, with from 267 to 287 children, viz., 117 boys, 120 girls, and from 30 to 50 children of sex not stated ; one day and Sunday national school, with 200 children, an equal number of each sex ; and one Sunday-school, with 110 children, viz., 50 boys and 60 girls. There was also an evening school and a lending library.