Chipping Sodbury

Extract from Lewis's Topographical Dictionary of England, 1831.
Transcribed by Mel Lockie, © Copyright 2010
Lewis Topographical Dictionaries

SODBURY (CHIPPING), a market-town and parish in the lower division of the hundred of GRUMBALD'S-ASH, county of GLOUCESTER, 28 miles (S.S.W.) from Gloucester, and 113 (W. by S.) from London, containing 1059 inhabitants. This town, which existed in the twelfth century, and was endowed by King Stephen with the same privileges as Bristol, is a great thoroughfare on the road from Bristol to Cirencester, at the foot of a hill near the source of the Little Avon. It is said to be one of the greatest marts for the sale of cheese in England, and many of the inhabitants are engaged in the malt trade, and the carriage of lime and coal. The market is on Thursday; and fairs are held May 23rd and June 24th for cattle, cheese, and pedlary, on the Friday before Lady-day and Michaelmas-day, both statute fairs.

The town was governed by a bailiff until 1681, when the inhabitants were incorporated by charter of Charles II., which ordained that the municipal body should consist of a mayor, six aldermen, and twelve burgesses; but this grant was annulled by proclamation of James II., in 1688, at the request of the inhabitants; constables are now elected annually at the court leet of the lord of the manor. The living is a perpetual curacy, annexed to the vicarage of Old Sodbury, in the archdeaconry and diocese of Gloucester, endowed with £1000 royal bounty. The church, a large edifice, is dedicated to St. John the Baptist. There are places of worship for Baptists and the Society of Friends. A free grammar school is endowed with £20 per annum from the funds of the town and church lands, for which the master, who has also a good residence rent-free, instructs twenty boys.

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