WW1 5th Glosters Gloucestershire Regiment Chelmsford 1915

Chelmsford is an Ancient Parish and a market town in the county of Essex.

Parish church: St. Mary

Parish registers begin: 1538

Nonconformists include: Baptist, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Independent/Congregational, Society of Friends/Quaker, and Wesleyan Methodist.

Table of Contents

Parishes adjacent to Chelmsford

Parish History

Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales Circa 1870

CHELMSFORD, a town, a parish, a sub-district, a district, and a hundred, in Essex. The town stands on a pleasant site, near the centre of the county, at the confluence of the rivers Chelmer and Cann, on the Roman road to Colchester, and on the Eastern Union railway, 29 ¾ miles NE by E of London. It derives its name from an ancient ford on the Chelmer; it was supposed by Camden, but incorrectly, to have been the Canonium of the Romans; it belonged, from the time of Edward the Confessor till that of Henry VIII., to the bishops of London; it got a bridge, about the year 1100, to draw through it the great eastward thoroughfare which had previously passed through the village of Writtle; it was constituted, in 1199, a market-town; it sent, in the time of Edward III., four representatives to a grand council held at Westminster; and it is now the political capital of the county, the head-quarters of militia, the seat of sessions, assizes, and elections.

The town comprises four principal streets; includes the populous hamlet of moulsham; and presents a modern and agreeable appearance. A beautiful iron bridge spans the Chelmer; a handsome, one-arched stone bridge, in lieu of the ancient one, crosses the Cann; and a viaduct of 18 brick arches, each 30 feet in span, takes the railway over the Cann. The Shire hall stands near the centre of the town; is an elegant edifice of Portland stone; has a rusticated basement, supporting four Ionic columns; and contains an open corn-exchange below, and a spacious handsome assembly or county room above. The county jail stands at Springfield, about a mile distant; and is on the radiating principle, with capacity for 330 male and 42 female prisoners. A neatly-sculptured conduit, of quadrangular form, about 15 feet high, stands adjacent to the Shire hall, and is supplied from a spring about a mile distant. Barracks for about 4,000 men, with defences against invasion, were constructed during the war with France, but subsequently demolished. The ancient parish church was of unknown date, but is recorded to have been repaired in 1424; it contained four guilds or chantries; and it fell suddenly to the ground on a night in January 1800. The present church occupies its site; is modelled externally in imitation of its architecture; has, at the west end, a square flint pinnacled tower; was opened in September 1803; and contains monuments of the Mildmays, and a fine organ. A small Dominican priory stood in Moulsham, on a site still called the Friars; and a modern church is now in that suburb. There are chapels for Independents, Baptists, Wesleyans, Primitive Methodists, Quakers, Latter Day Saints, and Roman Catholics. The Independent chapel is a fine spacious edifice, erected in 1840. The grammar school was founded in 1552, and rebuilt in 1782; has an income of £489 from endowment; and numbers among its pupils Holland the translator of Camden, Dee the astronomer, Mildmay the founder of Emmanuel college in Cambridge, and Archdeacon Plume. Alms-houses and other charities have £109. There is a neat theatre; and races are run in August, on an oval course of nearly 2 miles.

The town has a head post-office, a railway station with telegraph, two banking-offices, and four chief inns; and publishes two weekly newspapers. Markets are held on Fridays, and fairs on 12 May and 12 Nov. Little manufacture exists; but a good trade in land produce is carried on. The Chelmer is navigable hither; and a canal communicates with the Blackwater. Pop., 5,513. Houses, 1,166. The parish comprises 2,841 acres. Real property, £19,324. Pop., 8,407. Houses, 1,750. The manor passed, in the time of Henry VIII., to the Crown; and was given, by Elizabeth, to the Mildmays. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Rochester. Value, £588. Patron, Lady St. John Mildmay. Moulsham church is a separate charge, served by a p. curate. Value, £290. Patron, the Rector.

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

A Topographical Dictionary of England 1848

CHELMSFORD (St. Mary), a market-town and parish, and the head of a union, in the hundred of Chelmsford, S. division of Essex, of which it is the chief town, 29 miles (N. E. by E.) from London, on the road to Yarmouth; containing, with the hamlet of Moulsham, 6789 inhabitants. This place, which is within a short distance of the Cæsaromagus of the Romans, derives its name from an ancient ford on the Chelmer, near the natural confluence of that river with the Cann, into which its stream is previously diverted by an artificial channel near the bridge. In the reign of Edward the Confessor, and at the time of the Norman survey, it was in the possession of the bishops of London; and two buildings, still called Bishop’s Hall and Bishop’s Mill, seem to indicate its having been either permanently or occasionally their residence. In other respects it was an inconsiderable place till the reign of Henry I., when Maurice, Bishop of London, built a stone bridge of three arches over the river Cann; and, diverting the road, which previously passed through Writtle, made Chelmsford the great thoroughfare to the eastern parts of the county, and to Suffolk and Norfolk. From this period the town increased in importance; and its trade so much improved, that, in the reign of Edward III., it sent four representatives to a grand council at Westminster. A convent for Black, or Dominican, friars existed at an early date, the foundation of which has been erroneously attributed to Malcolm, King of Scotland: its revenue, at the Dissolution, was £9. 6. 5. In this convent, of which only the site is visible, Thomas Langford, a friar, compiled a Universal Chronicle, from the creation to his own time. During the late war with France, two extensive ranges of barracks, for 4000 men, were erected near the town, both of which have been taken down; and at a short distance from it, a line of embankments, defended by star batteries, of which some traces are still remaining, was raised to protect the approaches to the metropolis from the eastern coast.

The town is surrounded by interesting scenery. It is well paved, and lighted with gas: the houses, several of which, on both sides of the town, have gardens extending to the river, are in general modern and well built; and the inhabitants are amply supplied with water. Considerable improvements have been made of late years in the appearance of the neighbourhood: a handsome iron bridge has been erected over the Chelmer; and more recently a road has been formed, which, commencing at the twenty-eighth milestone on the London road, and crossing the river Cann by an elegant iron bridge (about one hundred yards from the stone bridge, erected in 1787, and connecting Chelmsford with the hamlet of Moulsham), enters the town about the centre of the High-street. A building called the Institute has been erected for the delivery of lectures, for concerts, and public meetings; and near the Eastern Counties railway, which passes a little to the west, numerous villas have been erected: this railway has a station here, 21 miles from the Colchester station, and 30 from the London terminus. Races, which continue for two days, are held in August, on Galleywood Common, about two miles distant, where is an excellent two-mile course.

The trade consists principally in corn, which is sent to London, and in the traffic arising from the situation of the town as a great public thoroughfare: there are several large corn-mills on the banks of the Chelmer. A navigable canal to the river Blackwater, twelve miles distant, was constructed in 1796. The market is on Friday, for corn, cattle, and provisions; and fairs are held on May 12th and November 12th. The town is within the jurisdiction of the county magistrates, who hold petty-sessions for the division every Tuesday and Friday; and constables and other officers are appointed at the court leet of the lord of the manor, who also holds a court baron occasionally. The powers of the county debt-court of Chelmsford, established in 1847, extend over the registration-districts of Chelmsford and Witham. The assizes and sessions for the county, and the election of knights for the southern division of the shire, take place here. The shire-hall is an elegant and commodious structure, fronted with Portland stone, and having a rustic basement, from which rise four handsome pillars of the Ionic order, supporting a triangular pediment; the front is ornamented with appropriate figures, in basso-relievo, of Wisdom, Justice, and Mercy: in the lower part is an area for the corn-market. The old county gaol, a spacious stone building, in Moulsham, was completed in 1777, at an expense of upwards of £18,000; it is appropriated exclusively to the reception of persons confined for debt, and of prisoners committed for trial. Adjoining the gaol, and incorporated with it, is the house of correction, for convicted female prisoners; it was built in 1806, at a cost of about £7500. The new convict gaol at Springfield Hill, on the road to Colchester, is a very extensive and well-arranged edifice of brick ornamented with stone, completed in 1825, at an expense of £55,739; and since enlarged. A building has been erected within the last few years for the reception of vagrants.

The parish comprises 2348 acres, the soil of which is generally a deep rich loam, occasionally intermixed with gravel, and producing fair average crops. The living is a rectory, valued in the king’s books at £31. 2. 6., and in the patronage of Lady St. John Mildmay: the tithes have been commuted for £500, and the glebe contains 15¾ acres, with a glebe-house. The body of the church has been rebuilt, at an expense of £15,000, the former having fallen down in 1800, from the unskilfulness of some workmen who, in digging a vault, undermined two of the principal pillars: it is a stately structure in the later English style, with a square embattled tower, crowned with pinnacles, and surmounted by a lofty spire. A chapel in a modern style has been erected at Moulsham, on a site given by Lady Mildmay. There are places of worship for Independents, Baptists, Irvingites, the Society of Friends, Wesleyans, and Roman Catholics. The free grammar school was founded and endowed, in 1551, by Edward VI.: the income is about £488; and, in common with the schools at Maldon and Brentwood, it has an exhibition of £6 per annum to Caius College, Cambridge. The school-house was built by R. Benyon, Esq., in 1782, on the site of a more ancient one erected by Sir John Tyrrell, Bart. Philemon Holland, translator of Camden’s Britannia, and a native of Chelmsford; John Dee, the celebrated mathematician; Sir Walter Mildmay, Bart., founder of Emmanuel College, Cambridge; and Dr. Plume, Archdeacon of Rochester, received the rudiments of their education in the establishment. The union of Chelmsford comprises 31 parishes or places, and contains a population of 30,603. The inhabitants of an island in the river have from time immemorial practised the form of electing a representative, on a dissolution of parliament or the vacation of a member for the county: the ceremony concludes with the chairing of the successful candidate, who is dipped in the river, and the chair broken to pieces.

Source: A Topographical Dictionary of England by Samuel Lewis 1848

Parish Records

Search Results for FamilySearch Catalog

England, Essex, Chelmsford – Archives and libraries – Inventories, registers, catalogs ( 3 )
Catalogue of Essex parish records
Author: Essex Record Office

A handlist of parish and noncomformist registers in the Essex Record Office
Author: Essex Record Office

A handlist of parish and nonconformist registers in the Essex Record Office
Author: Essex Record Office

England, Essex, Chelmsford – Cemeteries ( 6 )
Monumental inscriptions at Chelmsford Cathedral, 1557-1992 : 672 inscriptions including war memorials and statue
Author: Tunstill, Yvonne; Essex Society for Family History

Monumental inscriptions at London Road, non-conformist cemetery, Chelmsford, Essex : 631 inscriptions
Author: Rayment, J. L. (John L.)

Monumental inscriptions at Our Lady Immaculate R.C. Church, Chelmsford, Essex; 1818-1994 : 17 inscriptions
Author: Tunstill, Yvonne; Essex Society for Family History

Monumental inscriptions at Quaker burial ground, Chelmsford, Essex; 1818-1997 : 243 inscriptions
Author: Essex Society for Family History

Monumental inscriptions at Rectory Lane Cemetery, Chelmsford … 1855-1976 : 410 inscriptions
Author: Howe, R.; Wolfe, Marie; Essex Society for Family History

Monumental inscriptions at St. John the Evangelist, Moulsham, Chelmsford; 1837-1992 : 191 inscriptions including war memorial
Author: Essex Society for Family History

England, Essex, Chelmsford – Census ( 1 )
Census returns for Chelmsford, 1841-1891
Author: Great Britain. Census Office

England, Essex, Chelmsford – Church history ( 4 )
The Churchwardens’ Book of St. Mary, Chelmsford : (Continued from vol. xlvii., p. 128)

Iconoclasm at Chelmsford

The Old Meeting House, Baddowe Lane, Chelmsford
Author: H. S. C.

Trinity Methodist Church, Chelmsford, 1961-1986
Author: Trinity Methodist Church (Chelmsford, Essex)

England, Essex, Chelmsford – Church history – Inventories, registers, catalogs ( 1 )
An introduction to the earliest parish register book belonging to the Cathedral Church of S. Mary, Chelmsford

England, Essex, Chelmsford – Church records ( 12 )
Baptisms, 1759-1837; burials, 1818-1836
Author: Old Chapel (Baddow Lane, Chelmsford, Essex : Independent)

Baptisms, 1759-1837; burials, 1818-1836
Author: Old Chapel (Baddow Lane, Chelmsford, Essex : Independent)

Births and baptisms, 1815-1836
Author: Wesleyan Church (Springfield Lane, Chelmsford, Essex)

Births and namings, 1793-1837
Author: Duke Street Baptist Chapel (Chelmsford, Essex)

Bishop’s transcripts for Chelmsford, 1639-1640
Author: Church of England. Parish Church of Chelmsford (Essex)

Bishop’s transcripts for Chelmsford, 1800-1869
Author: Church of England. Parish Church of Chelmsford (Essex)

Church records, 1759-1937
Author: Old Meeting House (Chelmsford : Congregational)

Church records, 1786-1933
Author: London Road Chapel (Chelmsford, Essex : Independent)

Marriages at Chelmsford, 1539-1837
Author: Church of England. Parish Church of Chelmsford (Essex)

Parish chest material, 1520-1863
Author: Chelmsford (Essex)

Parish registers for Chelmsford, 1538-1959
Author: Church of England. Parish Church of Chelmsford (Essex); Essex Record Office

Record of members, 1852-1857
Author: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Chelmsford Branch (Essex)

England, Essex, Chelmsford – Church records – Indexes ( 8 )
Computer printout of Chelmsford, Duke Street Baptist, Essex, Eng

Computer printout of Chelmsford, First Meting House Baddow Lane Independent Congregational, Essex, Eng

Computer printout of Chelmsford, Wesleyan Chapel, Essex, Eng

Index to marriage licenses, Chelmsford registry, 1665-1853
Author: Browne, Robert Hollingworth

Parish register printouts of Chelmsford, Essex, England (Independent or Congregational Church, First Meeting House, Baddow Land) ; chrisgenings, 1775-1783
Author: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Genealogical Department

Parish register printouts of Chelmsford, Essex, England (Independent, Baddow Lane Old Chapel) ; christenings, 1759-1811, 1813-1836
Author: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Genealogical Department

Parish register printouts of Chelmsford, Essex, England (Independent, First Meeting House, Baddow Lane) ; christenings, 1786-1837
Author: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Genealogical Department

Parish register printouts of Chelmsford, Essex, England (Wesleyan, Springfield Lane Chapel) ; christenings, 1814-1836
Author: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Genealogical Department

England, Essex, Chelmsford – Directories ( 1 )
Kelly’s directory of Chelmsford & neighbourhood, 1927-28 : includes Great Baddow, Little Baddow, Boreham, Broomfield, Danbury, Galleywood Common, Sandon, Springfield, Widford and Writtle

England, Essex, Chelmsford – History ( 7 )
Barging into Chelmsford : the Chelmer & Blackwater navigation
Author: Marriage, John

The book of Chelmsford : the country town in retrospect
Author: Torry, Gilbert

Changing Chelmsford
Author: Marriage, John

Chelmsford through the ages
Author: Torry, Gilbert

Chelmsford, a pictorial history
Author: Marriage, John

The sleepers and the shadows : Chelmsford, a town, its people and its past
Author: Grieve, Hilda

The wild flowers of the Chelmsford District

England, Essex, Chelmsford – Manors ( 2 )
Guy Harlings, New Street, Chelmsford

Hylands : the story of an Essex country house and its owners
Author: Foreman, Stephen

England, Essex, Chelmsford – Manors – Court records ( 1 )
Account roll of the Reeve of the Manors of Chelmsford and Southwood, 1318
Author: Manor of Chelmsford. Court (Essex)

England, Essex, Chelmsford – Military records ( 1 )
Parish chest material, 1520-1863
Author: Chelmsford (Essex)

England, Essex, Chelmsford – Newspapers ( 2 )
England, Essex, Chelmsford : Family Notices, 1881-1950

England, Essex, Chelmsford : Obituaries, 1881-1950

England, Essex, Chelmsford – Obituaries ( 1 )
England, Essex, Chelmsford : Obituaries, 1881-1950

England, Essex, Chelmsford – Occupations ( 1 )
Parish chest material, 1520-1863
Author: Chelmsford (Essex)

England, Essex, Chelmsford – Poorhouses, poor law, etc. ( 1 )
Parish chest material, 1520-1863
Author: Chelmsford (Essex)

England, Essex, Chelmsford – Public records ( 1 )
Bishopric estates and manorial court records, 1273-1895
Author: Church of England. Diocese of London

England, Essex, Chelmsford – Taxation ( 2 )
Moulsham land tax assessments, 1781-1832
Author: Great Britain. Court of Quarter Sessions of the Peace (Essex)

Parish chest material, 1520-1863
Author: Chelmsford (Essex)

View Records


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 Richard James, Chelmsford, cabinet maker, Nov. 15, 1836.

Albra John, Chelmsford, Essex, innkeeper, July 17, 1827.

Cohen Jacob, Chelmsford, Essex, cabinet maker and broker, June 26, 1827.

Crickitt Sarah; Robert Alexander Crickitt; and Samuel Hunt Ruffell; Chelmsford, Essex, bankers, Dec. 24, 1825.

Johnstone Robert, Chelmsford, Essex, woollen draper, Jan. 31, 1837.

Kent John King, Chelmsford, Essex, surveyor and auctioneer, April 11, 1826.

Lamprell William, Chelmsford, Essex, linen draper, May 25, 1830.

Oakes Henry, Chelmsford, Essex, linen draper, Jan. 13. 1824.

Richardson Mary, Chelmsford, Essex, innkeeper, March 2, 1833.

Robison John, Monshalm, Chelmsford, Essex, tea dealer & draper, Nov. 11, 1828.

Woodward Edward, Chelmsford, Essex, linen draper, June 11, 1830. 

Woodward Edward, Chelmsford, Essex, linen draper, Sept. 15, 1829.


Poll Books


  • County: Essex
  • Civil Registration District: Chelmsford
  • Probate Court: Court of the Commissary of the Bishop of London (Essex and Hertfordshire Division)
  • Diocese: Post-1845 – Rochester, Pre-1846 – London
  • Rural Deanery: Chelmsford
  • Poor Law Union: Chelmsford
  • Hundred: Chelmsford
  • Province: Canterbury

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