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MARKET TOWNS OF SURREY (from SDUK Penny Cyclopedia)

Haslemere in 1842

Haslemere is in Godalming hundred, twelve miles south of Guildford, on the road to Chichester. The area of the parish is 3,330 acres. There is a tradition of the former greatness of this place before it was ruined but the Danes, but the tradition is unsupported, nor is the place noticed in Domesday. A charter granted by Queen Elizabeth in the 38th year of her reign speaks of the antiquity and populousness of the town, but refers to its existing impoverishment from the extinction of its fair and market ; in consequence of which the charter contains a grant for a market and two fairs.

The town occupies an elevated site, and is very clean ; the streets are irregularly laid out, and neither lighted nor paved. The church, or rather parochial chapel, of which Chiddingfold is the mother church, is on the north side of the town, and is an ancient structure. The east window has some old painted glass. There is a small square tower at the west end. The Independents have a meeting-house; and on a common adjacent to the town is an almshouse which affords a dwelling to some poor persons, but they receive no allowance, owing to the decay of the market, from the tolls of which their stipend was derived.

The population of the parish, in 1831, was 849. The market, which is on Tuesday, is kept up, but is of little importance : there are two yearly cattle-fairs. There was in 1831 a small manufacture of silk-crape which employed sixteen men.

Haslemere sent members to parliament ’from time beyond memory.’ according to the charter of Elizabeth ; but it is questioned if any were actually sent until a few years before that charter was granted. They were regularly returned until the disfranchisement of the borough by the Reform Act.

The living is a chapelry, united with the rectory of Chiddingfold ; their joint clear yearly value is £522, with a glebe-house ; they are in the rural deanery of Stoke, in the archdeaconry of Surrey, in the diocese of Winchester.

There were in the parish, in 1833, a national school, with 60 boys; two other day-schools, with 14 boys and 29 girls ; and one Sunday-school, with 40 girls.