Dedham Essex Family History Guide

Dedham is an Ancient Parish in the county of Essex.

Alternative names:

Parish church: St. Mary

Parish registers begin:

  • Parish registers: 1560
  • Bishop’s Transcripts: 1800

Nonconformists include: Independent/Congregational

Adjacent Parishes

  • Lawford
  • Stratford St Mary
  • East Bergholt
  • Langham
  • Ardleigh

Historical Descriptions

The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales 1870

DEDHAM, a village, a parish, and a sub-district, in Lexden district, Essex. The village stands on the river Stour, in a fine valley, at the boundary with Suffolk, 2¾ miles N of Ardleigh r. station, and 3½ W by N of Manningtree; consists chiefly of one street; and has a post office under Colchester, and a fair on Easter Tuesday. It was mentioned at Domesday; had a great clothing trade in the time of Richard II.; and was long a market-town. The parish comprises 2,551 acres. Real property, £8,349. Pop., 1,734. Houses, 402. The property is much subdivided. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Rochester. Value, £170. Patron, the Duchy of Lancaster. The church is later English, with a fine tower; and was restored in 1862. A lectureship rectory, endowed by Burkitt, the commentator, is a separate benefice. Value, £430. Patron, the Governor of the grammar-school. There is an Independent chapel. The grammar school was founded in 1571, and rebuilt in 1868; and it has £254 from endowment for ordinary uses, and £55 for exhibitions at St. John's college, Cambridge. Another school has £18. Dunton's alms-houses have £91; and other charities have £108. The sub-district contains five parishes. Acres, 12,642. Pop., 4,553. Houses, 1,032.

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

A Topographical Dictionary of England 1848

DEDHAM (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Lexden and Winstree, Colchester division of the hundred of Lexden, N. division of Essex, 7 miles (N. E. by N.) from Colchester; containing 1787 inhabitants. This parish, which is bounded by the river Stour, and intersected by the rivulet Blackbrook, comprises about 2530 acres; the land is generally elevated, and of superior quality. The village is situated in a picturesque valley on the river, over which is a good bridge, and consists chiefly of one street: it had formerly the privilege of a market on Tuesday; there is a fair for toys on Easter-Tuesday. The clothing-trade flourished here so early as the reign of Richard II., but has wholly declined, and the place is now only remarkable for the number of genteel residences in its vicinity. The living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £10. 0. 2½., and in the patronage of the Crown, in right of the duchy of Lancaster; net income, £170. The church is a spacious structure in the later English style, with a lofty embattled tower at the west end, crowned by octagonal turrets richly pinnacled: it appears to have been built on the site of a more ancient foundation, of which there are still some remains; beneath the arches are the roses of York and Lancaster, and on the east side of the battlements is a statue of Margaret, Countess of Richmond. Annexed to the church is a lectureship, which, in the beginning of the eighteenth century, was endowed with the great tithes by the Rev. William Burkitt, then lecturer, the able and learned commentator on the New Testament. The free grammar school was built by Dame Jane Clarke, prior to 1571, when it was endowed by William Littlebury with a farm of 180 acres, in augmentation of which William Cardinal, in 1593, bequeathed land now let for £60 per annum, for the maintenance of two boys in St. John's College, Cambridge: the governors were incorporated by charter of Queen Elizabeth, in 1574. William Littlebury also founded and endowed an English school, and some almshouses.

Source: A Topographical Dictionary of England by Samuel Lewis 1848

Administration

County: Essex
Civil Registration District: Lexden
Probate Court: Court of the Archdeaconry of Colchester
Diocese: Pre-1846 - London, Post-1845 - Rochester
Rural Deanery: Pre-1847 - Lexden, Post-1846 - Dedham
Poor Law Union: Lexden and Winstree
Hundred: Lexden
Province: Canterbury