Melton Mowbray is an Ancient Parish and a market town in the county of Leicestershire. Welby and Freeby are chapelries of Melton Mowbray with Burton Lazars, Freeby, Sysonby and Welby.

Alternative names: Melton Mowbray with Burton Lazars, Freeby, Sysonby and Welby

Other places in the parish include: Sysonby, Burton Lazars, Freeby and Welby.

Parish church:

Parish registers begin: 1546; Separate registers exist for

  • Burton Lazars: 1778
  • Sysonby: 1830

Nonconformists include: Independent/Congregational, Primitive Methodist, Roman Catholic, and Wesleyan Methodist.

Parishes adjacent to Melton Mowbray

  • Asfordby
  • Freeby
  • Stapleford
  • Welby
  • Great Dalby
  • Scalford
  • Thorpe Arnold
  • Kirby Bellars
  • Holwell
  • Little Dalby
  • Wyfordby

Historical Descriptions

The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales 1870

MELTON-MOWBRAY, a town, a township, a parish, a sub-district, and a district, in Leicestershire. The town stands in a fine vale, on the river Eye, and on the Syston and Peterborough railway, 15 miles NE of Leicester. It was known at Domesday, as Medeltune; it takes its present name from corruption of that word, and from the Mowbray family who once held the manor; it sent members to parliament in the time of Edward III.; it was the scene of an action, in 1645, when the parliamentarians under Col. Rossiter were beaten by the royalists under Sir M. Langdale; and it numbers, among eminent natives, Bishop de Kirkby, Archbishop de Melton, and the orator Henley. It is well built, and has, of late years, been much improved and enlarged. It is a seat of petty sessions and county courts, and a polling-place; and it has a head postoffice, a railway station with telegraph, four banking offices, several good inns, a police station, a corn-exchange, three bridges, a church, three dissenting chapels, a Roman Catholic chapel, a literary institution and museum, three public schools, a workhouse, a town estate yielding about £800 a year, and charities £362. The corn-exchange includes accommodation for the petty sessions and county courts; and was estimated in 1866 to be then worth £3,500. The church was once a cell to Lowe’s abbey; is a cruciform edifice, 164 feet by 117, variously early, decorated, and later English, with a handsome central early English tower; has a very peculiar W porch, with an elegant doorway, surmounted by a magnificent five-light window; has also several fine memorial windows, passed into a state of much decay; underwent considerable restoration between 1850 and 1864; and was further restored, under the direction of G. G. Scott, in 1867. The dissenting chapels are Independent, Wesleyan, and Primitive Methodist. The Roman Catholic chapel is a handsome edifice in the pointed style, after designs by Pugin. Two of the public schools are Church and British, maintained out of the town estate, and free to all children of the parish. The third public school is an infant one, built in 1853, capable of receiving 200 children, and supported by subscription. The workhouse has capacity for 250 persons; and, at the census of 1861, had 132 inmates. The charities include an hospital for twelve persons, and an almshouse for six. A weekly market is held on Tuesday; fairs are held on the Monday and Tuesday after 17 January, the second Tuesday of April, Whit-Tuesday, 21 Aug., 29 Sept., and 24 Oct.; and a trade in Stilton cheese and pork pies is carried on. Stilton cheese, though taking name from Stilton in Hunts, was first made in Melton. Pork pies are made to the amount of about two tons a week; and the greater portion of them is sent to London, Manchester, and Leeds. A famous subscription hunt takes name from Melton; commences early in November, and closes with the Croxton-Park races, about the end of March or beginning of April; is frequented by the leading sportsmen from all quarters of the kingdom; and is accommodated with extensive stables, capable of holding 500 horses. Pop., of the town, in 1861, 4,047. Houses, 890.

The township extends beyond the town; and, with Welby chapelry, comprises 5,680 acres. Real property, exclusive of Welby, £20,503; of which £146 are in the canal, and £240 in gas-works. Pop. in 1851, 4,434; in 1861, 4,446. Houses, 942. The parish contains also the chapelries of Welby, Sysonby, Freeby, and Burton Lazars. Acres, 10,266. Real property, £30,433. Pop. in 1851, 4,956; in 1861, 4,936. Houses, 1,039. The manor of Melton was given, by William the Conqueror, to Goisfrid de Wirce; passed early to the Albinis, the Mowbrays, and others; and went afterwards to the Hudson’s and the Lambs. The manor of Welby belongs to Sir W. E. Welby, Bart.; and that of Freeby, to Sir John Hartopp, Bart. Edgerton Lodge is a hunting-box of the Earl of Wilton; and Newport Lodge, of the Earl of Bradford. A priory anciently stood here; and was given, at the dissolution, to the Earl of Warwick. The living is a vicarage, united with the four Melton chapelries, in the diocese of Peterborough. Value, £600. Patron, T. Frewen, Esq. There are chapels of ease in Burton, Sysonby, Welby, and Freeby, and a chapel for Independents in Freeby.

The sub-district excludes the chapelries of Freeby and Burton-Lazars, but includes the parishes of Asfordby, Hoby, Ragdale, Dalby-on-the-Wolds, Grimston, and Saxilby, the chapelry of Wartnaby, and the extraparochial tract of Shoby. Acres, 17,900. Pop., 6,375. Houses, 1,353. The district comprehends also the subdistrict of Somerby, containing the parishes of Somerby, Pickwell, Little Dalby, Burrough, Twyford, Great Dalby, Kirby-Bellars, Frisby-on-the-Wreak, Rotherby, Brooksby, Gaddesby, and Ashby-Folville, and the chapelry of Burton-Lazars; the sub-district of Waltham, containing the parishes of Waltham-on-the-Wolds, Thorpe-Arnold, Wyfordby, Stonesby, Saltby., Sproxton, Buckminster, Coston, Garthorpe, Saxby, Edmondthorpe, Wynmondham, and Stapleford, the chapelry of Freeby, and the extra-parochial tract of Bescaby; and the sub-district of Clawson, containing the parishes of Clawson, Hose, Harby, Stathern, Eaton, Branston, Eastwell, GoadbyMarwood, Scalford, Abkettleby, Nether-Bronghton, and Broughton-Sulney-the last electorally in Notts and the chapelry of Wycombe and Chadwell. Acres, 98,077. Poor rates in 1863, £8,387. Pop. in 1851, 20,533; in 1861, 20,171. Houses, 4,289. Marriages in 1863, 110; births, 607, of which 58 were illegitimate; deaths, 376, of which 131 were at ages under 5 years, and 3 at ages above 85. Marriages in the ten years 1851-60, 1,429; births, 6,366; deaths, 3,809. The places of worship, in 1851, were 55 of the Church of England, with 12,327 sittings; 3 of Independents, with 795 s.; 4 of Baptists, with 375 s.; 29 of Wesleyan Methodists, with 4,447 s.; 8 of Primitive Methodists, with 670 s.; 1 of Wesleyan Reformers, with 40 s.; 1 undefined, with 100 s.; and 2 of Roman Catholics, with 260 s. The schools were 34 public day-schools, with 2,422 scholars; 49 private day-schools, with 833 s.; 69 Sunday schools, with 3,174 s.; and 1 evening school for adults, with 20 s.

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


Melton Mowbray Leicestershire Universal British Directory 1791

Melton Mowbray is one hundred and eight miles from London, in a fertile soil, with a market on Tuesday, the most considerable for cattle of any in this part of the island.  It is almost encompassed with a little river called the Eye, over which it has two fine bridges; and has a large handsome church, damaged by lightning, May 5, 1770, with a free-school. Burton Lazars (once belonging to the knights of Jerusalem) is a hamlet to this parish, as are Sysonby, Freeby, and Welby.  The pastures all about are exceeding good, and the appearance pleasing.  Fairs the first Tuesday after Jan. 17, Whitsun-Tuesday, and August 21. – The following is a list of the principal inhabitants:


Linney Mrs. Elizabeth

Reeve Mrs.

Uddlestone Mrs. Mary


Ford Rev. Thomas, LL.D.


Hose Seth, Surgeon and Apothecary

Linney Benj. Surgeon and Apothecary

Pearson Robert, Druggist

Whitchurch John, Apothecary


Caldecott Samuel, Attorney

Latham Charles, Attorney

Stokes Edward, Attorney

Traders, &c.

Adcock George, Smith

Adcock Thomas, Blacksmith

Adcock John, Cordwainer

Adcock William, Chandler

Ainge A. Brazier and Tinplate-worker

Allen George, Innkeeper (Ram)

Boyfield Thomas, Watch & Clock-maker

Boyfield Rich. Watch and Clock-maker

Black Thomas, Grazier

Bright Edward, Hardware-man

Burbage Mary, Shopkeeper

Burton Tho. Joiner and Cabinet-maker

Carpendale and Wainer, Bankers

Clementson Jn. Printer and Bookseller

Cooke George, Weaver

Cooke William, Weaver

Daft John, Taylor

Darmen J. Grocer and Tallow-chandler

Dixon John, Horse-dealer

Draper John, Stay-maker

Ellerby Thomas, Cooper

Ellis Richard, Plasterer

Frank Thomas, Hair-dresser & Hatter

Gesing Peter, Innkeeper

Gamble James, Currier

Gibbins William, Innkeeper (Fox)

Hollingshead Robert, Innholder

Hawley Edward, Innkeeper

Henton Thomas, Draper

Hill William, Miller

Hill Robert, Miller

Hill Robert, Baker

Hind Robert, Currier

Hinman William, Smith

Holwell William, Grazier

Inett Richard, Grazier

Johnson John, Innkeeper, (Bishop Blaze)

Judd Thomas, Butcher

Judd Robert, Milliner and Grazier

Keal Thomas, Baker and Miller

Latham William, Grocer

Linney John, Grazier

Marriott John, Glazier and Clothier

Mason Godfrey, Gardener

Metcalf Charles, Schoolmaster

Mowbray William, Grazier

Nixon – , Staymaker

Page John, Hair-dresser

Palmer Eleanor, Milliner

Plowman William, Fellmonger

Rouse William, Breeches-maker

Sharp Richard, Innholder, (Blue Bell)

Sharp Taylor, Horse-dealer

Shepherd William, Draper

Simpson Matthew, Grazier

Skerrit Robert, Innkeeper (George)

Smith Walter, Draper

Smith Robert, Hosier

Staveley Catharine, Milliner

Sutton Thomas, Innkeeper, (White Lion)

Taylor James, Wheelwright

Tomlin John, Cutler

Townshend William, Turner

Tuxford William, Hair-dresser

Underwood William, Hosier

Waddington J. Joiner and Cabinet-maker

Wainer William, Taylor

Ward Mary, Butcher

Ward Francis, Innkeeper, (Swan)

Warren Tho. Innkeeper (Wheatsheaf)

Wartnaby Robert, Grazier

Whittle James, Butcher

Wing and Halford, Grocers

Worall Richard, Hair-dresser

Wright Joseph, Breeches-maker

Source: The Universal British Directory of Trade, Commerce, and Manufacture 1791. Vol. 3.


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.

Adcock Daniel, Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, druggist, July 28, 1821.

Brewin Thomas, Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, draper, Jan. 9, 1829.


  • County: Leicestershire
  • Civil Registration District: Melton Mowbray
  • Probate Court: Court of the Archdeaconry of Leicester
  • Diocese: Peterborough
  • Rural Deanery: Framland
  • Poor Law Union: Melton Mowbray
  • Hundred: Framland
  • Province: Canterbury

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