Halstead St Andrew is an Ancient Parish and a market town in the county of Essex.

Alternative names: Halstead

Parish church: St Andrew

Parish registers begin:

  • Parish registers: 1564
  • Bishop’s Transcripts: 1639; 1800

Nonconformists include:

Adjacent Parishes

Parish History

The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales 1870

HALSTEAD, a town, a parish, a sub-district, and a district, in Essex. The town stands on a gentle acclivity, adjacent to the river Colne, and to the Colne Valley railway, 14 miles NW by W of Colchester. It belonged, in the time of Edward the Confessor, to Earl Godwin; but, at the Conquest, was divided amongst several Norman chiefs. Its name is derived from two Saxon words, signifying ‘’a healthy place.” A market, long before the Norman accession, existed on Chippinghill; but afterwards was removed to the middle of the town; and it seems, from early times, to have been always such as to mark Halstead as a place of provincial importance.

The town is irregularly built, but comprises several streets, and has undergone recent improvement. A block of houses, with ornate shops in the basement storey, projecting windows in the second storey, and a projecting roof rising from columns and brackets over the third storey, erected in 1862, after designs by F. Hayward, is a very fine specimen of tasteful street architecture. The town hall, the market house, and the police station are suitable and good. The mechanics’ institute, on Market hill, is a handsome edifice, and has a considerable library.

The parish church is ancient; comprises nave, aisles, and chancel, with western tower and spire; had a chantry, founded, in 1340, by Lord Bonrchier; was lately restored and beautified, at a cost of about £5,500; and contains effigies of a knight and lady of the Bourchiers. The spire is modern; two previous spires were destroyed by lightning; and the second of these was erected in 1717, and is commemorated in some lines of the poet Prior.

A new cemetery, on the Colchester road, with a very neat entrance lodge, was opened in 1856.

Holy Trinity church, at the W end of the town, was built in 1844.

An Independent chapel was built in 1866, at a cost of £4,500. There are two chapels for Independents, two for Baptists, and one for Quakers.

A grammar school, founded in 1594, with £20 from endowment; three national schools and a British school; a charity of £281 a year for the poor; other charities worth £260

A workhouse, with capacity for 500 inmates.

The town has a head post office, a railway station, two banking offices, and two chief inns; is a seat of petty sessions, and of county courts; and publishes a weekly newspaper.

A weekly market is held on Tuesday; and fairs on 6 May, and 29 Oct.

Brewing and malting, an extensive manufacture of straw plait, and a large trade in silk, velvet, and crape are carried on.

Halstead Lodge, Stanstead Hall, Ashford Lodge, Star Stile, Sloe Farm, Attwoods, the Howe, and other seats are in the neighbourhood.

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

A Topographical Dictionary of England 1848

HALSTEAD (St. George), a market-town and parish, and the head of a union, in the hundred of Hinckford, N. division of Essex, 17½ miles (N. N. E.) from Chelmsford, and 47 (N. E.) from London; containing 5710 inhabitants. This town is pleasantly situated on a gentle acclivity rising from the river Colne, and on the road from London to Norwich, through Bury St. Edmund’s; it consists chiefly of one spacious street, containing some handsome and wellbuilt houses, is lighted with gas, and supplied with water from springs. In the reign of Elizabeth, many of the French Protestants being violently persecuted in their own country, fled to England, and, settling at Halstead and Colchester, introduced the manufacture of baize and says, now discontinued. Large silk-crape mills were established in 1825, on the site of a flour-mill, and employ about 800 persons, mostly females. An act was passed in 1846, for effecting railway communication with Colchester. A market for corn is held on Tuesday; and there are cattle-fairs on May 6th and October 29th. Courts leet and baron take place about once a year, by the lord of the manor; and the petty-sessions for the division of South Hinckford are held here on alternate Tuesdays. The powers of the county debt-court of Halstead, established in 1847, extend over the greater part of the registration-district of Halstead. There is a house of correction, in which is a tread-mill. The parish comprises 5632a. 1r. 14p., of which 4176a. 2r. 15p. are arable, 854a. 2r. 7p. pasture, 250 acres woodland and plantations, and about 70 appropriated to the cultivation of hops: there are numerous handsome seats. The living is a vicarage, valued in the king’s books at £17; patron, the Bishop of London; appropriators, the Dean and Chapter, and Vicars Choral, of St. Paul’s Cathedral, under whom the great tithes are held on lease by J. G. Sparrow, Esq., and have been commuted for £1350; the vicarial tithes have been commuted for £470, and the glebe comprises 5 acres. The church is a spacious edifice, in the later English style, except the chancel, which is in the decorated style; its spire is of wood, and occupies the place of one destroyed by lightning about 90 years ago. It contains many ancient monuments, brasses, and inscriptions; and probably belonged to a college of priests, founded here in the 14th of Edward IV., and the revenue of which, at the Dissolution, was £26. 5. 8. A district parish, named the Holy Trinity, was constituted in October 1844, under the act 6th and 7th Victoria, cap. 37; it comprises part of the town, from which it extends nearly two miles. The church is a very handsome and spacious edifice in the early English style, with a spire 150 feet in height, and cost about £5000. The living is a perpetual curacy, endowed by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners with £150 per annum, and in the patronage of the Bishop of London. At Greenstead-Green is a district church, dedicated to St. James, which was consecrated in Oct. 1845. It is a beautiful structure in the same style, built at the expense of Mrs. Gee, of Colne House, on a site presented by Mrs. Brewster, and has a tower which forms a conspicuous object for miles round; the fittings-up of the interior are exceedingly good, and at the east end is a window of stained glass. The total cost, including the endowment, schools, and parsonage, amounting to £8000, was defrayed by Mrs. Gee. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of the Bishop of Rochester. There are places of worship for Baptists, the Society of Friends, and Independents. A free grammar school, founded by Lady Ramsey in 1594, is endowed with a rent-charge of £20, and a house for the master. The family of Martin, in 1573, left lands producing £130 per annum, and Mrs. Holmes, in 1783, £4000 three per cents., for the benefit of the poor. The union comprises 16 parishes or places, and contains a population of 17,691. Thomas Bourchier, Archbishop of Canterbury in the reign of Edward IV., a distinguished patron of literature, was a native of Halstead.

Source: A Topographical Dictionary of England by Samuel Lewis 1848


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.

Boulting John, Halstead, Essex, linen draper, Sept. 27, 1823.

Cardinal James, Halstead, Essex, carrier, Jan. 23, 1829.

Coates Samuel, Halstead, Essex, plumber and glazier, April 30, 1825.

Edwards Thomas, Halstead, Essex, victualler, July 7, 1826.

Hustler Orbell, Halstead, Essex, scrivener, Dec. 5, 1834.

Scale Richard Burgess, Halstead, Essex, farmer, April 22, 1842

Sperling James Moss, Halstead, Essex, scrivener, Sept. 21, 1841.

Parish Records

FamilySearch Catalog

The following records are available free online.


Census returns for Halstead, 1841-1891

Church Records

Births and baptisms, 1829-1837 Author: Parsonage Lane Chapel (Halstead, Essex : Independent)

Births, baptisms and burials, 1828-1837 Author: New Chapel, High Street (Halstead, Essex : Independent)

Bishop’s transcripts for Greenstead-Green, 1846-1872 Author: Church of England. Chapelry of Greenstead-Green (Essex)

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

Bishop’s transcripts for Halstead, 1800-1867 Author: Church of England. Parish Church of Halstead (Essex)

Church records, 1792-1837 Author: Old Meeting House (Parsonage Lane, Halstead, Essex : Independent)

Parish registers for Halstead, 1564-1978 Author: Church of England. Parish Church of Halstead (Essex); Essex Record Office

Parish registers for Halstead, 1844-1978 Author: Church of England. Holy Trinity Church (Halstead, Essex); Essex Record Office

Parish register printouts of Halstead, Essex, England (Independent, High Street Chapel) ; christenings, 1828-1837 Author: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Genealogical Department

Parish register printouts of Halstead, Essex, England (Independent, Parsonage Lane Meeting House) ; christenings, 1829-1837 Author: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Genealogical Department


Poll Books


Vision of Britain historical maps


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

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