Wallingford Berkshire Family History Guide



The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales 1870

WALLINGFORD, a town, four parishes, a sub-district, and a district, in Berks. The town stands on the river Thames, at the terminus of a short branch of the Great Western railway, 15 miles NW by N of Reading; was known to the ancient Britons as Gualhen, signifying “the old fort;” had defensive earthworks, constructed by the Romans, forming three sides of a parallelogram down to the Thames, and still extensively in existence; was called by the Saxons Wealingaford, by corruption of the ancient British name, and by allusion to a ford on the river; was burnt by the Danes in 1006; rose speedily from its ashes, and gave birth to the Danish king Sweyn in 1013; acquired from William the Conqueror a reconstructed strong castle, which figured prominently in the subsequent stormy ages, and will be noticed in our next article; had 276 houses at Domesday; sent two members to parliament from the time of Edward I., till 1832, and was then reduced to the right of sending only one; had so many as fourteen churches so late as the time of Henry VIII., but now has only three; was first chartered by James I., and is now governed, under the new act, by a mayor, 4 aldermen, and 12 councillors; gave birth to the monkish historian John of Wallingford of the 12th century, and to Abbot Richard of Wallingford who died in 1335; gave the title of Viscount to the Earl of Banbury; is now a seat of sessions and a polling place; publishes a weekly newspaper; presents a well built and pleasant appearance; and has a head post-office, a r. station, two banking offices, several inns, a good town hall, a recently-erected corn exchange, a police office, a fourteen-arched br built at a cost of £14,000, a Norman church recently restored, an early English church recently restored and enlarged, a third church mainly rebuilt in 1849, four dissenting chapels, a public cemetery, a mechanics’ institution, an endowed school with £26 a year, a national school, a horticultural society, a workhouse, alms houses with £76 a year, other charities £175, a weekly market on Friday, and fairs on Easter Thursday and 29 Sept. The municipal boundaries include three of the parishes, and parts of Allhallows parish and W.-Castle precinct; and the parliamentary boundaries include also the rest of that parish and that precinct, seven other parishes, and parts of three others. Electors in 1833, 453; in 1863, 347. Pop. of the m. borough in 1851, 2,819; in 1861, 2,793. Houses, 554. Pop. of the p. borough in 1851, 8,064; in 1861, 7,794. Houses, 1,657.

The four parishes are St. Leonard, St. Mary, St. Peter, and Allhallows. Acres, with W.-Castle precinct, 1,135. Real property, £9,360; of which £125 are in gasworks. Pop., 1,030, 1,198, 472, and 139. Houses, 210, 223, 101, and 28. Castle Priory and Castle House are chief residences. The livings are rectories in the diocese of Oxford; and that of Allhallows is a sinecure, belonging to Pembroke College, Oxford. Value of St. L, £153; of St. M., £137; of St. P., £100. Patron of all, the Bishop of Oxford. The sub-district contains also 9 other parishes and a part. Acres, 18,045. Pop., 7,785. Houses, 1,668. The district includes also Cholsey sub-district, and comprises 40,860 acres. Poor rates in 1863, £11,565. Pop. in 1851, 14,163; in 1861, 14,017. Houses, 3,025. Marriages in 1863, 88; births, 455, of which 27 were illegitimate; deaths, 262, of which 73 were at ages under 5 years, and 12 at ages above 85. Marriages in the ten years 1851-60, 821; births, 4,033; deaths, 2,750. The places of worship, in 1851, were 28 of the Church of England, with 6,339 sittings; 5 of Independents, with 536 s.; 9 of Baptists, with 1,366 s.; 2 of Quakers, with 250 s.; 5 of Wesleyans, with 391 s.;. 7 of Primitive Methodists, with 719 s.; 1 undefined, with 150 s.; and 1 of Roman Catholics, with 65 s. The schools were 23 public day-schools, with 1,359 scholars; 26 private day-schools, with 519 s.; 24 Sunday schools, with 1,657 s.; and 4 evening schools for adults, with 77 s.

Source: The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales [Wilson, John M]. A. Fullarton & Co. N. d. c. [1870-72].


Below is a list of people that were declared bankrupt between 1820 and 1843 extracted from The Bankrupt Directory; George Elwick; London; Simpkin, Marshall and Co.; 1843.

Adams William, Wallingford, Berks, înnkceper, Sept. 20, 1825.

Bond Edward, Wallingford, Berks, linen draper, Feb. 11, 1826.

Bosher Thomas, Sotwell, Wallingford, Berks, timber dealer, April 21, 1821.

Henderson Arthur, Wallingford, Berks, linen draper, April 19, 1833.

Wernham George, Wallingford, Berkshire, victualler & carpenter, Dec. 17, 1830.


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