Extends nearly thirteen miles along the northern bank of the river Yare, from Norwich, eastward to Hardley cross, and varies from 2 to 4 miles in breadth, being bounded on the north and east by Walsham Hundred, and on the west by Taverham Hundred. Its southern side, throughout its whole length, is traversed by the Norwich and Yarmouth Railway, running near and parallel with the river Yare. It is a fine agricultural district, having rich loamy uplands, rising boldly from the verdant valley of the Yare.
It anciently comprised Tombland, and all the north end of the city of Norwich; and the hamlet of Thorpe, within the county of the city, still remains a member of the parish of Thorpe St. Andrew, in Blofield, which forms, with Walsham Hundred, the Deanery of Blofield, in the Archdeaconry of Norwich.
In the 38th of Henry III., on an appeal of death in the Court of King's Bench, the defendant put in a plea of jurisdiction, alleging that he was a clerk. The Dean of Blofield appeared in Court, with the letters patent of the Bishop of Norwich, and demanded the said defendant to be given up to the Ecclesiastical Court. This privilege, called the benefit of clergy, like that of sanctuary, became, in course of time, a most intolerable nuisance to society, as it often enabled the crafty and vicious to defeat the ends of justice. Every culprit who could read was allowed this clerical privilege; but in more enlightened times, learning was considered rather as an aggravation than an extenuation of guilt. By virtue of this privilege, the punishment of death was commuted for branding in the hand, and imprisonment.
Blofield contains 19 parishes, of which the following is an enumeration, shewing their population in 1841, the annual value of their lands and buildings, as assessed to the County Rate in 1843, and their territorial extent, in assessable acres.
|Burlingham St. And.||214||2102||859|
|Burlingham St. Ed.||98||1310||646|
|Burlingham St. Pet||91||948||399|
[There is more information about individual parishes]
* Lingwood included 102 persons in Blofield Union Workhouse; and Thorp[sic] 176 in the County Lunatic Asylum.
+ Blofield Hundred is all in the Union to which it gives name, and in Ludham and Loddon Police Divisions. It had 5290 souls, in 1831. Its annual value, as assessed to the property tax, was £26,231, in 1815, and [£]43,543 in 1842. The Rev. E. Sidney is honorary secretary of the Blofield & Walsham Farmers' Club.
Petty Sessions, for Blofield and Walsham Hundreds, are held at Blofield every alternate Monday; and Mr. W. H. Codling is clerk to the magistrates.
BLOFIELD UNION comprises the 32 parishes of Blofield and Walsham Hundreds, embracing an area of 73 square miles, or about 44,000 acres, and 10,555 inhabitants, of whom 5255 are males, and 5300 females. The average annual expenditure of the 32 parishes, on their poor, from 1832 to 1835, was £5815, and since then it has been less than £4000. The Union Workhouse is at Lingwood, and was built in 1836, at the cost of £5810. It has room for 250 paupers. Mr. Wm. Henry Codling, of Blofield, is Union Clerk and Supt. Registrar; and Mr. Roger Harrison is master of the Workhouse. The Surgeons and District Registrars are Mr. Peter Eade, of Blofield, and Mr. Wm. Hy. Cufaude, of Acle.
Some placenames in the transcription (of pages 501 to 502) above
are given below together with their standard spelling :-
Bradestone/Braydeston, Burlingham St. And./Burlingham St. Andrew, Burlingham St. Ed./Burlingham St. Edmund, Burlingham St. Pet./Burlingham St. Peter, Plumstead (Grt.)/Great Plumstead, Plumstead (Littl.)/Little Plumstead, Thorpe-next-Norwich/Thorpe St Andrew
For more information see :-
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