Descriptive Gazetteer Entry for LEICESTER

LEICESTER, -popularly LESTER, -a town, six parishes, two sub-districts, and a district in Leicestershire. The town stands on the river Soar, on the Via Devana, and on the Fosse way, at a convergence of railways, 22 miles S of Nottingham, and 96 by road, but 103 by railway, NNW of London. The river Soar and the Union canal give it a valuable amount of water conveyance; and the Midland railway, the Leicester and Hitchin railway, the Leicester and Swannington railway, the Junction railway to Burton-on-Trent, connecting the Midland and the Swannington lines, and the Leicester and Nuneaton railway, going into junction with the entire system of the Northwestern railway, give it communication with all parts of England.

History.—Leicester was known to the ancient Britons as Caer-Leirion or Caer-Loidcot; to the Saxons as Leirceastre or Legraceaster; and to the Normans, at Domesday, as Ledecester. It dates from very early times; is supposed to have been a town prior to the landing of Julius Cæsar; and has been alleged, but without authority of either record or monument, to have been built by King Lear, about 800 years before the Christian era. Its ancient Britain name, Caer-Leirion, does not necessarily assume the existence of such a king, but may have been taken from the river Soar, which was anciently called the Leire. That name would thus signify the castle or fortified place of the Leire; and the Saxon or Norman names Leirceastre and Ledecester, which time has softened into Leicester, are only the same name in another form. The town was the capital of the ancient British Coritani; and it became an important station of the Romans, supposed to be the Ratæ of Antoninus. Numerous coins, urns, implements, weapons, fragments of pottery, tesselated pavements, and other relics of the Romans, have been found. A Roman milestone, with rudely-carved letters intimating it to be of the time of Hadrian, was found, in 17 71, on the side of the Fosse way, about 2 miles N of the town, and was placed on a pedestal in Belgrave-gate, and afterwards removed to the town museum. A fine specimen of tesselated pavement was discovered, in 1830, in a cellar in Jewry-Wallstreet, and may still be seen there. The Jewry-Wall, in St. Nicholas-street, though deriving its name from the supposed contiguity to it of the isolated residence of Jews in the middle ages, is believed, by competent judges, from the character of its masonry and architecture, to have formed part of a Roman bath or basilica. A moulded and carved stone, 4¼ feet long, 2¼ feet wide, and 2 feet deep, believed to have been a Roman sacrificial altar, was found, in the autumn of 1862, at a depth of about 9 feet from the surface, in the preparing of foundations for new buildings in Southgate-street.

The kings of Mercia treated Leicester as one of their principal towns. The see of Mercia was divided, in the latter part of the 7th century, into seven bishoprics; and the seat of one of these was placed at Leicester, and continued here till 874, when it was transferred to Dorchester, in Oxfordshire. The diocese of Lincoln eventually absorbed that see; and it continued to include Leicester till the re-arranging of dioceses in 1837. The town was stormed by Ethelfrid, King of Northumbria; was captured, in 886, by the Danes; was regained, in 901, by Etheldred, King of Mercia; was afterwards recaptured by the Danes; and was re-taken, in 1016, by Edmund Ironside. A mint was here in the time of Athelstan, and continued to exist, and to issue coins, till the time of Henry II. Six churches were here at Domesday. Some castle or fortress, in continuation of the ancient British and the Roman fortifications, most probably existed in the Saxon times; and this was restored and enlarged, or a new one was built, either by William the Conqueror, or by Hugo de Grentemaisuel, to whom the Conqueror gave the manor. The castle was battered by William Rufus; was restored by Robert de Bellomont, the first Earl of Leicester, in the time of Henry I.; was destroyed by Henry II.; passed to Fitz-Parnel, the Montforts, and Henry, Earl of Lancaster; was restored, with much splendour, by the Earl of Lancaster and the two succeeding dukes; was afterwards suffered to go silently to decay and ruin; went, with the earldom and duchy of Leicester, in the time of Henry IV., to the Crown; had become so dilapidated in the time of Richard III., that that monarch, on the night previous to the battle of Bosworth, chose to sleep, with his suite, at the Blue Boar inn, rather than occupy its time-worn halls; fell afterwards into such extreme ruin that orders were issued, in 1633, to the sheriff ' ' to take down the old pieces of our castle at Leicester, to repair the castlehouse, wherein our records of the honour of Leicester do remain; ''seems to have, at that time, undergone considerable restoration; was stormed and dismantled, in 16 45, by Charles I.; acquired a new front in the time of George I.; and is now represented by only an artificial mound and some fragments of ancient masonry. These fragments, however, while showing the latest front, include two windows with such vestiges of zig-zag moulding in their arches as prove their Norman origin, and fix their date at a time between 1100 and 1200. St. Mary's church, also, which no doubt was originally used as the church of the castle, includes, in its oldest portion at the W end, a Norman arcade of probably about 1100.

The White Boar inn, at which Richard III. slept on the night previous to the battle of Bosworth, stood in High Cross-street, at the corner of Red Cross-street; and was taken down about 1829. Richard, on the following morning, sallied forth at the head of his troops; and his mangled corpse, on the evening of the same day, was brought back to the town, placed for two days at the town hall, buried afterwards in the church of the Grey Friars, and soon exhumed by a mob, and thrown over the Bow-bridge into the Soar. A factory now stands on the site of the Grey Friars church; and an inscription has been placed on it, at the end of Bow-bridge, to indicate the spot where the corpse is supposed to have been interred. Bones of a human skeleton were recently found in the river at the bridge, and have been supposed, by some local antiquaries, to be those of Richard; but they neither correspond in character with the time of life at which he died, nor show any appearance of stroke or. fracture such as might be expected from the account of Richard's body, that it was ' ' hacked to pieces. ''The wooden bedstead in which Richard slept at the Blue Boar was removed to Rothley Temple; and his stone coffin was, for two centuries, used as a trough at the White Horse inn. Plague raged in the town in 1361, and carried off Henry of Lancaster as a victim. Richard II. was here in 1390. Henry V. held here, in 1414, a parliament which enacted death against the Wickliffites. Parliaments were held here also in 1426 and 1450. Edward IV. was here in 1463-4. Richard III. was here in 1483, as well as at the time of the battle of Bosworth. Queen Annie of Denmark was here in 1603. The plague raged again in 1610-11. James I. was here in 1 612,161 4, and 1616. Charles I. besieged the town, and took it by storm, in 1645; and the parliamentary forces, under Sir Thomas Fairfax, retook it in the same year.-The title of Earl of Leicester was given, by Elizabeth, to her favourite Dudley; and was revived in 1837, and given then to Thomas William Coke, Esq. Cardinal Wolsey, when travelling to London as a prisoner under charge of high treason, was lodged in Leicester abbey, and was in so sick a condition that he took immediately to bed there, and died in three days.-William and Robert of Leicester, Seaman the nonconformist, Simpson the biblical critic, Thirby the editor of "Justin Martyr," and Dr. Farmer the antiquary, who wrote a famous ' ' Essay on the Learning of Shakespeare, ''were natives.

Streets and Outskirts.—The principal streets intersect on e another at right angles, and are spacious, well built, and well paved. The new streets are numerous, and are laid out on the most approved sanitary plans; while the old streets have been much improved by the re-erection of houses, but are wanting in good sanitary conditions. The extension of the town, in recent years, has been both great and beautiful. A well-informed notice of 1865, says, ' ' Palatial factories and warehouses have sprung up in different parts of the town; green fields have been broken up, and hundreds of dwelling-houses have been built upon them, within a few years; while hundreds of others are now in the course of erection, and, as fast as, and in many instances before, they are finished, become tenanted. A new town hall, a new Unitarian meetinghouse, two new chrurches, an extensive brewery, and a large building for a banking establishment, are in contemplation, and, no doubt, will in a short time be commenced. There is to be a new post office; the goods station of the Midland Railway company, and the county police offices are immediately to be enlarged; and some thousands of tons of stone from Bath and other distant places annually find their way to the railway wharf. Building-ground in the vicinity of the railway station, which thirty years ago, exchanged hands at 10d. per superficial yard, has, within the last two years, been again sold at a fraction less than 20s. per yard. ''Many of the factories and warehouses are really large and ornate enough to be hyperbolically called palatial; and one, erected in 1865, for the Messrs. Corah, occupies a space of four acres, including recreation-grounds for the workpeople, and is four stories high, with a Derbyshire stone basement, stone architraves round the windows, stone quoins to the angles, and a cantilever stone cornice, surmounted by a colossal figure of Commerce in Box Bath stone.

A beautiful public walk, called the New walk, lies southeast of the town; is upwards of half a mile long; consists of a well arranged avenue of trees, flanked by neat houses and tasteful gardens; is a fashionable promenade; and commands, at the further end, a fine view of the surrounding luxuriant country and neighbouring hills. A tract of 124 acres, part of an extensive common enclosed in 1814, and lying in St. Mary's parish, was reserved for the freemen of the town, to be used as pasturage; and 95 acres of this were set apart in 1845 for allotment or garden ground; and were afterwards enlarged by a purchased addition of 28 acres. A tract in Belgrave-road was formerly a common pasturage for St. Margaret's parish; and is now let out in gardens, the rents of which are applied to the support of equally the Church of England and the dissenting schools. A right of pasturage over the Abbey meadows is enjoyed by the inhabitants of St. Margaret's parish, from 12 Aug. till 2 Dec. A race-course, occupying nearly 70 acres, and opened in 1806, lies a little S of the town; and races, patronized by the Duke of Rutland and other noblemen, are held on it in September.

Public Buildings.—The market-place forms an area of about 4 acres; and has a bronze statue of the late Duke of Rutland, erected by subscription. The old town hall was enlarged in the time of Elizabeth; and was opened by a banquet, to celebrate the victory over the Spanish Armada. The assembly rooms were built in 1836-7, after designs by Flint; were originally intended for a coffee-room and tavern; were purchased by the county, and converted to county purposes; and are used as the judges' lodgings at the assizes. The assize-hall was once the castle-hall, where the Earls and Dukes held their court; and it measures 78 feet in length, 51 feet in width, and 24 feet in height, and has oak pillars. The county jail stands on rising ground on the S side of the town; was built after designs by Parsons; presents some resemblance to a baronial castle; has turrets on the boundary-walls, a portcullis at the entrance, and towers at the sides; stands within a walled enclosure of more than three acres; and has capacity for 286 male and 30 female prisoners. The borough jail stands in High Cross-street, and has capacity for 106 male and 22 female prisoners. The public library and news-room stands at the corner of Belvoir-street and Granby-street; forms a conjoint structure with the assembly-rooms; is in the Ionic style, after the model of the Minerva Polias at Athens; and contains many valuable old books, and some manuscripts. The Temperance hall, in Granby-street, is a very fine edifice; and contains a library, reading-rooms, and a hall capable of accommodating 1,600 persons. The New hall, at the top of Wellington-street, is handsome and commodious. The town museum, in the New walk, is a handsome building; contains an interesting collection of antiquities, including Roman ones found in the town and its vicinity; and is free to the public throughout the year, excepting on Fridays. The mechanics' institute contains a library of nearly 4,000 volumes. The theatre stands in Horsefair-street; was built in 1837, after designs by Beazley; possesses considerable ornament, both exteriorly and interiorly; and is open nine months in the year. The market-house and corn-exchange, in the market-place, was erected in 1852, on the site of some very old buildings then removed; and is spacious and well arranged. A new entrance into the market-place was made from Gallowtree-gate; bears the name of Victoria parade; and is a very great improvement. The cattlemarket was considerably enlarged in 1849. The Albion tepid baths, in the New walk, are on a large scale, and on an improved plan; have supply of water, by steampower, from a pure spring 90 feet deep; include a plunging bath upwards of 4,200 feet in superficies, a private swimming bath, and hot, vapour, and shower baths; and, in consideration of £100 a year paid by the corporation, are open to the public at a charge of 1 d. The militia barracks, in the Newarke, are a handsome range of building. Five bridges, besides the railway ones, span the Soar. A commodious railway station, for the Midland railway and its connexion s, is at the SE point of the town; and another station, for the Leicester and Swannington is at the N end.

Parishes.—The borough contains the parishes of All Saints, St. Martini, St. Nicholas, St. Mary, St. Leonard-with-Abbeygate-and-Woodgate, and the greater part of St. Margaret; the chapelries of Trinity, St Andrew, St. George, Christchurch, and St. John; the liberties of Castle-View and Newark; and the extraparochial places of Blackfriars and Whitefriars. The excluded part of St. Margaret's parish is Knighton chapelry, and lies within Blabydistrict. The chapelries are included in the parishes and extra-parochial places, chiefly in St. Margaret's parish; and those of St. George, Christchurch, St. John, and St. Andrew, were constituted in respectively 1828,1 839,1854, and 1861. Pop. in 1861, of All Saints parish, 5,945; of St. Martin, 2,778; of St. Nicholas, 1,662; of St. Mary, 13,264; of St. Leonardwith-Abbeygate-and-Woodgate, 441; of the part of St. Margaret within the borough, 41,194; of all St. Margaret, 41,835; of Castle View liberty, 139; of Newark liberty, 1,341; of Blackfriars, 1,1 73; of Whiteflies, 119. The livings of All Saints, St. Martin, St. Mary, St. Nicholas, St. Leonard, and St. Margaret are vicarages, and those of Trinity, St. Andrew, St. George, Christchurch, and St. John are p. curacies, in the diocese of Peterborough. The living of All Saints is united with that of St. Leonard; and the living of St. Margaret is united with the chapelry of Knighton. Value of All Saints-with St. Leonards, £120;* of St. Martin, £1 40;* of St. Mar, £221;* of St. Nicholas, £150; of St. Margaret-with Knighton, £380; of Trinity, £550; of St. George, £300; of Christchurch, £300;* of St. Andrew and of yt. John, not reported. Patron of All Saints, St. Martin, St. Mary, and St. Nicholas, the Lord Chancellor; of St. Margaret and St. George, the Prebendary of Lincoln; of Trinity, T. Frewen, Esq.; of St. Andrew and St. John, the Bishop of Peterborough; of Christchurch, Trustees.

Churches.—The places of worship within the borough in 1866, besides 3 in course of erection, were 10 of the Church of England, 5 of Independents, 12 of Baptists, 1 of Calvinists, 1 of Quakers, 4 of Wesleyans, 8 of Primitive Methodists, 1 of New Connexion Methodists, 1 of U. Free Methodists, 1 of Unitarians, 1 of Irvingites, and 1 of Roman Catholics. Those in 1851, according to the census, were 9 of the Church of England, with 8,828 sittings; 3 of Independents, with 2,634 s.; 5 of Particular Baptists, with 3,214 s.; 5 of General Baptists, with 3,429 s.; 1 of Quakers, with 280 s.; 1 of Unitarians, with 470 s.; 2 of Wesleyan Methodists, with 1,572 s.; 3 of Primitive Methodists, with 1,121 s.; 1 of the Wesleyan Association, with 760 s.; 1 of Independent Methodists, with 250 s.; 1 of Wesleyan Reformers, with 1,050 s.; 1 of an isolated congregation, with 600 s.; 1 of Latter Day Saints, with 250 s.; and 1 of Roman Catholics, with 550 s.

All Saints church stands in High Cross-street; is early English, with a fine W Norman door; consists of nave, aisles, and chancel, with a tower; contains a richly carved pulpit, an early English font, and an old chest; and belonged formerly to Leicester abbey. St. Martin's church stands in Townhall-lane; is cruciform, partly Norman, and very spacious; has a recently rebuilt tower, in the early English style, 106 feet high, and designed to be surmounted with a spire 94 feet high; underwent restoration during several years till 1865; had anciently two guilds and chapels, with a hobby-horse used on St. Georges day: was converted into a barrack by the parliamentarian soldiers during the civil war; and is the Archdeacon of Leicester's church, and attended by the judges of assize. St. Mary's church stands near the castle, on the S of the Newarke; is mainly early English, rebuilt by De Bellomont, on the site oaf previous church; retains, as already noticed, a Norman arcade of the previous pile; underwent restoration during several years till 1861, at a cost of £7,000; has a beautiful lofty crocketted spire; contains a finely-carved pulpit, finely-carved sedilia, a Norman piscina, a monument to Robinson, the author of ''Scripture Characters, ''and a memorial window to the Rev. John Brown, late vicar. St. Nicholas' church stands in St. Nicholas-square, adjoining a considerable fragment of the Jewry Wall; is early Norman, with a square tower; and was repaired in 1830, yet presents a patched appearance. St. Leonard's church was destroyed in the civil wars, and not afterwards rebuilt; but its churchyard continued to be in use. Several other old churches also have been demolished; and the very sites of some of them are not now known. St. Margaret's church stands in a spacious churchyard, at the junction of Church-gate and Sanvey-gate; is in the early and the later English styles; consists of nave, aisles, and chancel, with S porch and lofty tower; and contains a handsome oak screen, a piscina, sedilia, a richlycarved font, and monuments of Bishop Penny and Lord Rollo. Trinity church stands in Regent-street; was built in 1838, and enlarged in 1855; and contains 1,375 sittings. St. Andrew's church stands in Jarrom-street; was built in 1862, at a cost of about £5,000; is cruciform, in a variety of the first pointed style, of red brick, banded by bricks of other colours; has a bell-turret 80 feet high; and contains 960 sittings. St. George's church stands in Rutland-street; was built in 1826, at a cost of nearly £16,000; is in the decorated English style; has a tower and spire 170 feet high, struck by lightning in 1846, and restored in 1850; contains a font of 1865, with richlyornate spiral oak cover, in memorial of the late R. Barnaby, who was incumbent for 37 years; and has 1,800 sittings. St. John's church stands at the junction of Ashwell-street and South Albion-street; was built in 1855, at a cost of about £7,000; is cruciform, in the style of the 14th century; has a tower and lofty spire; and contains 1,000 sittings. St. Matthew's church stands in Chester-street; was in the course of erection in 1866; is in the style of the 14th century; consists of nave, aisles, and chancel, with SE tower and spire 225 feet high; and was designed to contain 1,100 sittings.

The Independent chapel in Oxford-street was built in 1864, at a cost of upwards of £4,000; is in the Lombardic style, of brick and stone; and measures 74 feet in length, 50 in width, and 30 in height. The Independent chapel in Bond-street was enlarged in 1865. One of the Baptist chapels had for some time, as a minister, the distinguished Robert Hall. The Baptist chapel in Victoria-road, formerly called Occupation-road, was founded in the autumn of 1865; was estimated to cost £7,000, which would be defrayed almost wholly by the congregations of Belvoir-street and Charles-street chapels; is in the pointed style, with a spire 150 feet high; and was designed to contain about 1,100 sittings. The Wesleyan chapel in Humberstone-road, was built in 1863, at a cost of £2,500; is in the pointed style, of brick with stone bands and dressings; and contains 850 sittings. A number of the other dissenting chapels are large and handsome. The general cemetery is on a commanding eminence, a little S of the town; was opened in 1849; comprises an area of 25 acres; and is beautifully laid out.

Ancient Monasteries.—A collegiate church of prebends intra castrum stood in Leicester before the Conquest; was destroyed in the wars connected with the Conquest; was rebuilt, in 1107, by Robert, Earl of Mellent and Leicester, for a dean and twelve prebendaries; was very greatly impoverished by Robert Bossu, Earl of Leicester, through alienation of the greater part of its lands and tythes to a new abbey founded by him; continued, nevertheless, to have a dean and seven prebendaries; bore then the name of the college of St. Mary-the-Less; and had, at the dissolution, a clear revenue of upwards of £23. The new abbey founded by Robert Bossu, was founded in 1143, in what is now the extra-parochial tract of Leicester-Abbey, 1 mile N of Leicester; was for black canons, and dedicated to St. Mary de Pratis; figures in history as Leicester abbey; was the place where Cardinal Wolsey died; had endowments estimated at £1,062; was given, at the dissolution, to William, Marquis of Northampton; and is now represented by part of a wall at Abbeygate. An hospital to the lion our of the annunciation of the Virgin Mary, for a master and certain chaplains and poor persons, was founded in 1330, on four acres of ground near the castle, by Henry, Earl of Leicester and Lancaster; was much augmented by his son Henry, Duke of Lancaster; was converted, in 1355, into a college, called the Newarke college or college of St. Mary-the-Greater; was further augmented, both in buildings and in endowments, by John of Gaunt; was much favoured by Henry IV. and his successors of the Lancasterian line; was the burialplace of John of Gaunt's wife, Constance, of Mary de Bohun, and of other distinguished persons; and had, at the dissolution, an income of about £888 a year. Part of its property was given, at the dissolution, to John Beaumont and William Guyse; and part, together with portions of the lands of other monastic institutions, was purchased by the corporation of Leicester. An hospital, for alms-people, was founded and endowed with much of this purchased property; has now an annual income of about £1,300; bears the name of Trinity hospital; and gives sustenance or relief to 44 residents and 46 nonresidents. An hospital dedicated to St. Leonard, and four monasteries of respectively white, black, grey, and eremite friars, also were anciently in the town; but all these have disappeared.

Schools and Institutions.—The free grammar school sprang from an hospital founded in 1499; has an endowed income of £58, and three exhibitions; and had, for pupils, Thirlby the editor of ''Justin Martyr,'' and Farmer the author of the ''Learning of Shakespear. ''Newton's school, or.boys' green coat school, is in St. Martin's, and has an endowed income of £604. A school of design is held in an upper room of the Mechanics' institute. Seven national schools, two British schools, five infant schools, the Great Meeting House school, and two Roman Catholic schools, stand dispersedly through the town. The Leicestershire and Rutland lunatic asylnm, the Leicestershire infirmary, the female orphan asylum, and the Leices tershire infant orphan asylum, are all in St. Mary's parish; and, at the census of 1861, had respectively 420, 100,22, and 15 inmates. The lunatic asylnm stands on a healthy spot, outside of the town; was erected in 1836, at a cost of nearly £18,000; has been repeatedly enlarged; and is a handsome edifice. Wyggeston's hospital was founded in 1513, for two chaplains, 12 men, and 12 women; has an endowed income, formerly returned at £474, but now amounting to about £5,000; gives £300 a year and a free house to the master, and £200 to the confrater; and was recently desigued to have schools established in connexion with it. St. John's and Bent hospital, in High-cross-street, is an amalgamation of two institutions, for 2 men and 6 women; and has an endowed income of about £70. Simon's hospital, in Blue Boar-lane, was founded in 1712, for 6 poor women; and has an endowed income, formerly returned at £130, but now amounting to £600. Johnson s hospital, in Southgate-street, was founded in 1794, for 5 inmates; and has an endowed income of £90. Mason's alms houses, in Vauxhall-street, are for 4 females; and have an income of £50. Other charities have a considerable aggregate amount of endowed income, and are chiefly parochial. There are a general dispensary, a homœopathic dispensary, an eye infirmary, an institution for the blind, and a female home institution.

Trade.—Leicester has a head post office,‡ three subpost offices‡ in Belgrave gate, High-Cross-street, and Humberstone-road, two other sub-post offices† in Oxford-street and Waterloo street, a number of pillar letterboxes, two telegraph-offices, two railway stations, five banking offices, and about ten chief inns; is a seat of assizes and quarter sessions, and the place of election for the S division of the county; and publishes six weekly newspapers. A weekly general market is held on Saturday; a weekly cattle market, on Wednesday; a woolfair, on 1 June; a cheese fair, on 10 Oct.; and fairs for cattle, sheep, and horses, on 4 Jan., 2 March, the Saturday before and the Saturday after Easter week, 12 May, 1 June, 5 July, 1 Aug., 13 Sept., 10 Oct., 2 Nov., and 8 Dec. The hosiery manufacture, in all its departments, has long been largely carried on; figures here and at Nottingliam as its centres for the kingdom; and occupies a large proportion of both the old and the new factories. The manufacture of elastic fabrics was recently introduced, and is now carried on with much vigour and to a very large extent. The shoe trade also was recently introduced, and is already carried on to a degree inferior only to its extent in Northampton. Cotton, lace, silk, and other manufactures make some figure; and still others are in the course of being introduced. At the census of 1861, 3,323 males and 1,764 females of 20 years and upwards were employed in hose manufacture; 125 m. and 19 f. in woollen cloth manufacture; 517 m. and 617 f. in worsted manufacture; 69 m. and 378 f. in cotton manufacture; 14 m. and 43 f. in lace manufacture; 61 m. and 158 f. in silk manufacture; 1,362 m. and 492 f. in shoe and bootmaking; and proportionate numbers in departments of manufacture subordinate to these or connected with them. There are large agricultural implement manufactories, extensive sewage manure-works, several iron foundries, and several malting and other establishments.

The Borough.—Leicester was first chartered by King John; has sent two members to parliament since the time of Edward I.; and, under the new act, is divided into 7 wards, and governed by a mayor, 14 aldermen, and 42 councillors. Its limits are the same municipally as parliamentary; and have been indicated in our account of the parishes. The borough magistrates meet five days in the week, from Monday onward, at the townhall; and the county magistrates meet on Saturdays, at the county police office. The police force of the borough, in 1864, comprised 70 men, maintained at an annual cost of £4,868. The crimes committed in the year ending 29 Sept., 1864, were 200; the persons apprehended, 128; the depredators and suspected persons at large, 278; the houses of bad character, 91. Corporation income in 1855, £44,917. Amount of property and income tax charged in 1863, £18,496. Real property, in 1860, £97,932; of which £1,240 were in canals, and £4,518 in gas-works. Electors in 1833,3,663; in 163, 4,561. Pop. in 1851,60,584; in 1861,68,056. Houses, 14,595.

The District.—The district, or poor law union, consists of the borough and the three extra-parochial places of Freaks Ground, New-Sound-Pool, and New Parks; and is divided into the two sub-districts of East Leicester and West Leicester, the former containing the borough portion of St. Margaret's parish, the latter containing all the rest of the district. Acres, 3,960. Poor rates in 1863, £25,655. Pop. in 1851,60,642; in 1861,68,190. Houses, 14,615. Marriages in 1863,945; births, 2,937, -of which 212 were illegitimate; deaths, 2,253,-of which 1,204 were at ages under 5 years, and 27 at ages above 85. Marriages in the ten years 1851-60,6,704; births, 23,998; deaths, 16,366. The workhouse stands in St. Margaret's parish, near the railway station; is a brick edifice, in the Tudor style; and has capacity for 1,000 inmates.

(John Marius Wilson, Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870-72))

Linked entities:
Feature Description: "a town, six parishes, two sub-districts, and a district"   (ADL Feature Type: "cities")
Administrative units: Leicester CP       Leicester PLPar/PLU/RegD       Leicestershire AncC
Place names: CAER LEIRION     |     CAER LOIDCOT     |     LEDECESTER     |     LEGRACEASTER     |     LEICESTER     |     LEIRCEASTRE     |     VICTORIA PARADE
Place: Leicester

Go to the linked place page for a location map, and for access to other historical writing about the place. Pages for linked administrative units may contain historical statistics and information on boundaries.