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Rochford this ancient town is situated on the small river Roche, a confluent of the river Crouch, and the river is naviigable foor vessels of considerable burthen to.. within a mile of the town. It is 40 miles east of London 12 miles south of Maldon 19 1/4 south of Chelmsford, 23 miles from Brentwood Station, 6 miles east of Rayleigh annd 4 miles north of Southend. The parish consists of about 1,855 acres. Population in 1861 was 1,481."
[Kelly's Directory of Essex, 1862]

"ROCHFORD, a market-town and parish in the hundred of ROCHFORD, county of ESSEX, 19¼ miles (S. E.) from Chelmsford, and 40 (E. by N.) from London, containing 1382 inhabitants. It is situated on the small river Roche, from which it is supposed to derive its name, and is an irregularly built town, neither lighted nor paved, supplied with water from a spring, by a pump erected in the market-place. The trade is principally in corn. The river Crouch is navigable to Broomhills, within about a mile of the town. The market is on Thursday; and the fairs are on Tuesday and Wednesday in Easter week, and on the Wednesday and Thursday after the 29th of September, chiefly for toys; there is a market-house, built of wood, but not used as such, being occupied only as a store-room for wool. The magistrates for the hundred hold their sittings here on Thursday, once a fortnight, and occasionally weekly, for general business. The living is a rectory, in the archdeaconry of Essex, and diocese of London, rated in the king's books at £20, and in the patronage of the Hon. W. T. L. P. Wellesley. The church, situated about a quarter of a mile west from the town, is dedicated to St. Andrew; it is a plain edifice, consisting of a nave, chancel, and two aisles, with a lofty tower of very fine ancient brickwork. A new gallery, the seats in which are free, was erected in 1827, at the expense of £40, by the Incorporated Society for building and enlarging churches and chapels, and the church was repaired and beautified in 1828. There is a place of worship for Independents. A National school, for an unlimited number of children of both sexes, is supported chiefly by subscription. Almshouses, in which six poor persons are lodged, and receive a weekly allowance, were founded and endowed by Lord Riche, about the middle of the sixteenth century. Rochford Hall, the greater part of which was destroyed by fire, about sixty years since, was the birthplace of the unfortunate Anne Boleyn, queen of Henry VIII.: it stands a short distance west of the town. Rochford gave the title of earl to the family of Nassau, which, on the death of the late earl, Sept. 3rd, 1830, became extinct." [From Samuel Lewis A Topographical Dictionary of England (1831) - copyright Mel Lockie 2016]



  • 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

  • Rochford was a member of the Rochford Hundred

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Poor Houses, Poor Law etc.

  • Rochford was a member of the Rochford Poor Law Union