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Help and advice for Halstead

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"HALSTEAD, a market-town and parish in the hundred of HINCKFORD, county of ESSEX, 17½ miles (N. N. E.) from Chelmsford, and 47 (N. E.) from London, containing 3858 inhabitants. This town is situated on the river Colne, and on the high road from London to Norwich, through Bury-St. Edmund's; it is neither lighted nor paved, and is supplied with water from springs. In the reign of Elizabeth, the French Protestants being violently persecuted in their own country, many of them fled to England, and settling at Halstead and Colchester, introduced the manufacture of baize and says, now discontinued. A large silk- mill was erected a few years since on the site of a flour-mill, at which a considerable number of children is employed, and the trade is in a flourishing state. A market for corn is held on Friday; and there are cattle fairs on May 6th and October 29th. Courts leet and baron are held about once a year, by the lord of the manor; and the petty sessions for the division of South Hinckford are held here every Friday. There is a house of correction, in which a tread-mill has been erected. The living is a vicarage, in the peculiar jurisdiction of the Commissary of Essex and Herts, concurrently with the Consistorial Court of the Bishop of London, rated in the king's books at £17, and in the patronage of the Bishop of London. The church, dedicated to St. George, is a spacious edifice, chiefly in the later English style, except the chancel, which is decorated; and the spire is constructed of wood, in place of one destroyed by lightning about eighty years ago. It probably belonged to a college of priests, founded here in the 14th of Edward IV., the revenue of which, at the dissolution, was £26. 5. 8. Here are places of worship for Baptists, the Society of Friends., and Independents. A free grammar school was founded by Lady Ramsey, in 1594, for the education of forty children belonging to the parishes of Halstead and Colne-Engaine, and endowed with a rent-charge of £20 and a house for the master, under the patronage of the Governors of Christ's Hospital, London. Mr. Martin, in 1573, left lands producing £130 per annum; and Mrs. Holmes, in 1783, left £4000 three per cents., for the benefit of the poor of this parish. Thomas Bourchier, Archbishop of Canterbury in the reign of Edward IV., a distinguished patron of literature, was a native of Halstead." [From Samuel Lewis A Topographical Dictionary of England (1831) - copyright Mel Lockie 2016]

Greenstead Green  - a place within this parish



  • Census returns are available from the usual sources for 1841-1911, which includes most copies held at the ERO, Wharf Rd, Chelmsford. More information on other ways to view these census returns on the Essex

Description and Travel

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Historical Geography

  • Halstead was a member of the Hinckford Hundred

You can see the administrative areas in which Halstead has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.


Poor Houses, Poor Law etc.

  • Halstead was a member of the Halstead Poor Law Union