Description in 1877:
"Rothley Village, in Barrow-on-Soar Union, Leicester County Court District, and West Goscote Hundred, is situated on the banks of a rivulet about half a mile west of the river Soar, 1 1/2 mile south of Mountsorrell, and 5 miles N. of Leicester; its township comprises about 1,172 acres, and in 1871 contained 1,040 persons, living in 232 houses. Barrow-on-Soar Workhouse is situated here... The Peculiar or Soke of Rothley, which has jurisdiction over this and other parishes...and belongs to H Parker Esq., son of the late Vice Chancellor Sir James Parker, as lord of the manor, in which he claims 1s in the pound on the value of all the copyhold lands, when they pass from one owner to another. The Court House is an ancient building with a pyramid roof, near the centre of the village, In it the Commissionary Court of the Peculiar is opened every half year, and afterwards alternately adjourned to the Red Lion and Crown Inns. The lord of the manor and the executors of W. Perry Herrick. Esq., are the principal owners of the soil, but the Fowke family has an estate in the parish. Many of the inhabitants are quarrymen and framework knitters; and the soil is various, some clay, some marl and some good barley land. About 12 acres of land are let in small allottments to the industrious poor, at low rents. The manor and rectory were anciently held by the Knights Templars (see Rothley Temple) and in 1283 they had a grant for a market and a fair, which were removed from Rothley to Gaddesby in 1305. At the Dissolution, the manor, the impropriate rectory, and the advowson of the vicarage were granted to Edward Cartwright, and were sold, in 1567, to Humphrey Babington, Esq., of whom the present owner, H. Parker, Esq, is a descendant on the mother ’s side. The advowson was purchased by the present vicar in 1872. The CHURCH (St. John the Baptist) is a large and handsome fabric, with an embattled tower and five bells, and contains several monuments of the Babington family. It was partly restored in 1861 by the late vicar, at a host of £1000, and its complete restoration is now being carried out at a cost of £3000. The architect is R. Reynolds Rowe Esq., of Cambridge. The living is a vicarage, valued in K.B. at £11 Os. 5d., and now at £600, and has 240 acres of giebe; the tithes were commuted at the enclosure in 1781. The Rev. Richard Burton, M.A, who succeeded the Rev. H. J. Shackleton in 1869, is patron and incumbent, and has a good vicarage near the church, which was enlarged in 1870, and is now a handsome residence. The WESLEYANS and PRIMITIVE METHODISTS and the GENERAL BAPTISTS have chapels here. The FREE SCHOOL was founded by Bartholomew Hickling, who in 1683 left a cottage and several pieces of land here, in trust for the education of 14 or 15 poor boys of Rothley. Besides the schoolroom, and a good house and garden, occupied by the master, the endowment now consists of about 3 1/2 acres of land, worth £25 per annum. The NATIONAL SCHOOL was rebuilt in 1872, at a cost of £500. In I736 Mrs. Elizabeth Daniel gave £30 in trust to pay the interest to a school-mistress for instructing several poor girls to read. A yearly rent-charge of 5s., paid out of the late Sir James Parker ’s estate, was left by John Willows, to buy a Bible for any boy who can read the first chapter of St. John ’s Gospel the most distinctly. For distribution in bread and money, the poor have the interest of £30, given by several donors, and a yearly rent-charge of 20s., left by the Rev. William Stavely, out of land at Cossington. In the village is a small MECHANICS ’ INSTITUTION, which was founded about 30 years ago by the late Thomas Babington, Esq., of Rothley Temple; it has now about 50 members, a library of 300 volumes, and the institution is well supplied with newspapers."
"ROTHLEY TEMPLE formerly an extra-parochial estate, has been constituted a civil parish, comprising about 630 acres of land and in 1871 containing 85 persons, living in 18 houses. It is in Barrow-on-Soar Union and County Gourt District, and West Goscote Hundred; it adjoins Rothley on the west, and is distant 5 miles N. of Leicester. It is in the peculiar jurisdiction of Rothley. The manor and soke of Rothley is extensive, and has very curious rights in its jurisdiction. The extra-parochial liberty has been in the hands of the Babington family from about A.D. 1500 to the death of Thomas Babington, in 1838, after which his daughter having married Sir James Parker, Kt., it came into the hands of that eminent lawyer and vice-chancellor. It is now owned by his eldest son, Harry Rainy Parker, Esq., who occupies the mansion, which has tasteful pleasure-grounds, and stands on the site of a Preceptory, or Commandery of Knights Templars to whom the manor was given by Henry III. After the suppression of the Templars, it was given to the Knights Hospitallers of St. John of Jerusalem. On the dissolution of the latter, the site and manor were given to Edward Cartwright, as noticed with Rothley."
[WHITE's "History, Gazetteer and Directory of the Counties of Leicester and Rutland. 3rd Edition," 1877]