Hedon in 1843
Hedon is a borough, market-town, and parish, in the middle division of the wapentake of Holderness and liberties of Hedon and St. Peter's, in the East Riding, about 179 miles from London, 5 or 6 miles east of Hull, in the promontory of Holderness. It is a very short distance from the river Humber, with which it is connected by a creek formerly navigable ; but though it was once a port of considerable importance, it has declined with the growth of Hull, and is now chiefly dependent upon the agriculture of the fertile and highly cultivated distict by which it is surrounded.
A charter was granted to the burgesses of Hedon by Athelstan, and it subsequently received several others down to the first year of James II. The income of the borough, in 1834, was £372, 3 shillings and 6 pence, and at that time, although a borough court of quarter-sessions was still held as a matter of form, the criminal jurisdiction had fallen into disuse, and the monthly adjournment of the quarter-sessions served the purpose of petty sessions. A court for the recovery of small debts is held here for the wapentake of Holderness. The borough first sent members to parliament in the 23rd of Edward I, but subsequently ceased to do so until the accession of Edward VI, from which time it continued to return two members until disfranchised by the Reform Act.
The living is a perpetual curacy, annexed to the vicarage of Preston, in the archdeaconry of the East Riding and diocese of York, and under the patronage of the archbishop, with a gross income of £49. According to Camden, there were formerly three churches here, although only one remained in his time, which still exists, and is a spacious edifice. The town also contains places of worship for Roman Catholics and for Independents and other dissenters, and several schools. There are also some almshouses and bequests for the use of the poor.
A great part of the town was destroyed by fire in 1656, and rebuilt in a superior manner. It consists chiefly of one street, with a market-place in the centre, and a small town-hall. The Holderness Agricultural Society hold their meetings here, and have a valuable library. The ordinary market is held on Saturday, and since 1796 fortnightly markets for cattle and sheep have been held on alternate Mondays between Shrovetide and Midsummer ; in addition to which there are several considerable fairs. The old creek having become choked up, an artificial canal, suitable for small boats, was formed from near Hedon to the Humber, under an Act of 1774 ; and this has been very useful to the town, which had a population of 1,080 in 1831, and 998 in 1841. At Newton, near this town, was formerly a small hospital for lepers, founded in the reign of King John, the revenue of which at the dissolution was £13, 15 shillings and 10 pence.