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"CHARD, a parish, borough, and market town in the east division of the hundred of Kingsbury, in the county of Somerset, 18 miles S. of Bridgwater, and 3 N. of the Chard Road station of the London and South-Western railway. It is situated on the highest ground between the British and English Channels, on the border of Devonshire, and was anciently spelt Cerde, or Cherde, taking its name from Cerdic, King of the West Saxons. In Domesday Survey it is called Cerdre, at which time the manor belonged to the Bishop of Wells. Bishop Jocelyn, of Bath and Wells, incorporated this borough, and gave the land from his manor of Chard for the building of the town, previous to which it is supposed to have constituted what is now known as the old town. The borough of Chard was represented in parliament during the reigns of Edwards I., II., and III., but by the neglect of the freemen the privilege was lost. The government of the town consists of a mayor, town council, and 4 aldermen. The town hall, recently erected in place of an ancient Gothic structure, is a fine building." From The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868) Transcribed by Colin Hinson © 2003
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