Employments of the males in Leicestershire, in 1851, upwards of 20 years of age, ....  138 needle manufacturers....

Employments of the males, in Leicestershire in 1871, of all ages......................  ..119 needle manufacturers



by James Pigot 1835 

Leicestershire is an inland County, situate nearly in the middle of England: hourfded on the north by the counties of Nottingham and Derby; on the west by the latter county and that of Warwick; on the south by the county of Northampton; nn the east by the county of Rutland; aud on the north-east by the county of Lincoln. To the north, the Trent and Soar form part of its boundary; the famous Roman road, callc.-d Walling Street, and the small river Ankor (or Ankre), being its limits on the Warwickshire side; and the rivers

Avon and Weyland separating it from Northamptonshire. The shape of the county is very irregular, and extends itself, from bo1·tb to south, about thirty miles, anrl about twenty-five from east to west; being nearly one hundred miles in circumference ; its area comprises 804 square miles or 514,560 statute acres. In size Leicester tanks as the twc.-nty-eighth county in England, and in population as the twenty-sixth.

NAME and ANCIENT HISTORY.-This county takes its name from its principal town, which was built long before the time of the Roman invasion; and the variations of its name prove that it has passed througha long !luccession of time,-its first appellation being Caer Leon, or Lerion; afterwards Lege Cestria, Leogora, Legt>oce!lter, and in the Saxon annals Ledcelterscyre and Legeocester; whence, with some tJitling alterations subsequently, its present name is derived: the Saxon word Ledcesterscyre having reference to the situation of the town or castle on the river Leir or Liere, now the Soar. Previous to the Roman invasion this part of the country was inhabited by the Coritani, but was afterwards called FLAVIA C..ESARIEMSIS: in

the Saxon Heptarchy it belonged to the kingdom of .Mercia. Some authors have maintained that the town

of Leicester was founded by King Lear, or Leir, 850 years bt'fore the Christian era; and this versonage has

also bad the rt>putation a:-cribed to him of erecting the great Temple of Janus, which fm·merly stood near the

town, on the banks of the then Leir. This county, and especially the vicinity of its principal town, has been

the arena of early and desperate contention, and more recently of civil strife. Leicester castle was often times

battered down and rebuilt, but scarcely any thing remains of it now but an artificial mound or earth-work of

the keep. The remains of the rich ahhey also, which bad, in monastic times, such extensive posst-.;;sions in•

this lieighbourhood. are now nearly all levelled with the earth which covers the ashes of its ancient inhabitants: this abbey afforded accommodation and lodJ;(ment to several of the kings of England, on their excursions to and from the north ; and it was within its walls that the great and ambitious Cardinal Wolsey died.

on the 29th of November, 1530, on his journey from York to London, having just before been stripped of JJis

dignities and ill-acquired propt-rty by his unprincipled royal master. In was in this county (near Markea

Bosworth) that the memorable' Battle of Bosworth Field • was fought, by which the ruthless Ricl~ard Ill.

lost his crown and life together, fighting against the Earl of Richmond, afterwards Heury VII. In the

civil war of Charles I, this county took a decided position against that. monarch, and on the lst July, 1644,

a skirmish took place upon the celebrated field of Bosworth, between the Royali~ts and a detachment of

Lord G1·ey's hor~e, when the former wert! defeated. In the following year the parliamentarians sustained

two defeats in this county; one between j:larborough and Leicester; the other near Melton Mowbray; and on

the 31st May, in the same year, the town of Leicestt~r was stormed, and taken by the King and P1·ince Rupert.

SOIL and CLIMATE, PJWDUCE and MANUFACTURES.-The soil of this COUnty is various, but for the most

part strong and stiff, comnosed of clay and marl: it affords a great extent of grazing lnnd, and is also

peculiarly fitted fm· the culture of beans and wheat, for which it is proverbially noted. The ~m·face in

most parts is varied and uneven : towards the north-west, the Bardon Hill;; rise to a considerable height ;

and in their neighbourhood lies Cbarnwood, or Chorley Forest, a rough and open tract. Faa·ther to the

north-west ate valuable coal-mines, which supply the country round to a great distance. The uorth·east

paa·t feeds vast numbers of sheep-a principal source of the wealth of the inhabitants. The Leicestet·shire

sheep are of a very large size, without horns, and clothed with thick long Hakes of soft wool, particular}¥

l'luited to the worsted manufactures. The east and south-east part of the county is a rich grazing trac~, which

breeds- numbers of cattle of large size to supply the London and other markets. This county, indeed, has

long been famous for its large black horses aud horned cattlt•, as wdJ as its sheep ; and its reputation ha•

lately: been much extended by the skill and attention of SE"veral wealthy and spiritt'd persons of the courtty,

who have bred every species ut domestic quadruped to the utmost perfc.-ction of form and l!ize. The breed of

l'lheep called the new Leicester, has In great measure takenflace of the old breed, and is dispersed thronglr

most com1ties in the kingdom. A considerable weight o cheese is made on the west side of the county,

about Leicester Forest aud some other parts-the rich kind callc.-d Stilton, is made in the villages round

Melton Mowbray. This part is also much celebrated as being the residence of many noblemen and gentlemt:n of distinction during the hunting season. The rivers supply the towns with many sorts of fish,..

particularly the best kind of salmon, which comes from the Trent into the Soar. The MANUFACTURES ofthis

coumy, though not so varied as those of some others, are neverthele!ls of great importance, and indeed

commensurate with its population and extent. The manufacture of hosierY", and :nany other articleS'

produced from the fleece, is very considerable, the chief st-at of which is in the county town, where are

also made machine net and lace to some e"ttent, and ribbons, sewing cottons, &c. The MINERAL produc-·

tions of this county are iron-stone, lime-stone, free-stone, coal, slate, and lead. Iron-stone is plentifully

tound upon Ashby Wolds ~ lead ore at Staunto.n Harold; coal is worked at Cole Orton, Ashby Wolds,

and other place~; slate, of a thick hea1·y quality, at Swithland, to the east of Charnwood Forest; free-stone

is found in many parts of the county, as is time-stone-that at Barrow-upon-Soar is celebrated for its

l'lUperior cementing properties in the construction of works under water. The CLIMATE is in general mild'

and remprrate, as tht're are no mountains or bogs : the highest gro11nd in the county is some of the peaksin Charowood Forest,-these have the true mountain appearance of bare and barren rocks, projectingabruptly from the surface ; the elevation of these hills is not more than nine hundred feet above the levt'r

of the sea, and consequently within a temperate region of the atmosphere: the air of the whole county

may therefore be pronounced mild, temperate and bealthful, and its aspect fertile and pleasing. 1

RIVERS and CANALs.-The principal rh·ers of Leicestershire are the SoAR. (or SoURE, anciently the

Liere) and 'lle WREKE. The Soar ri~es in the snuth-west border, and runs to Leicester; after which it re.J.

eeives the Wreke, from the north-east, and then turns to Mount Soar and Loughborough-watcring in its.

t:our!!e meadows of uncommon beauty and fertility, till it falls into the Trent, not far fmm Cavendish Bridge.

The Soar has, by recent Acts of Parliament, been made navi11able from Leicester to the town of Loughborough, and from thence to its junction with the Trent; and the latter is made navi~able, by an act obtained'

nearly at the same period, to Melton Mowbray, where it is joined by the Oakham canal. The western ))artS'

are watered by the two head bmnche, of the river Aukre, which go from hence into Warwickshire. The

chief communications afforded by inland navigation through this county are by the • Leicester• and ' LouJ!hborough' canals, the~ Leicester and l\1elton Mowbrdy canal,' and the • Oakbam canal.' The Leicester canal

'commences at the town of Leicester, and after running nearly two miles joins the Soar, near Bt>lgra,·e;

Irom whence, as has been observed, it is rendered navigable to the commencement of the Loughborough

canal, which takes place a little below Gracedieu Brook ; and the latter canal then takes a straight course to

the Bushes, at Loughborough : this navigation, althonRh so short, has been found wery beneficial to the inhabitants of Loughborough, as it brings a regular lm(!ply of coal, at a cheaper rate; and by means of the

Soar it enjoys an uninterrupted connection wilh the Trent,-and, by that nver, and by the rt.cent improved  

navigations to Leiceste-r, Melton Mowbray, &c., with all the •arious and importantd\nals in the interior of

tbe kingdGm. By the Leicester :tnd l\lelton Mowhray caru~l, the rivers Wreke and Eye form a communication with the Soar; and the former rivl'rs, by the addition of cnt!9 and deviat\unli were necessary, are made

navigable to Melton Mowbrav, where the Oakham canal commences.

Cn'IL and ECCLEsiASTICAL lllVISIONS, and REPRESENTATION,-Leicestersbirt- is ·in the Pl'OVinee of

Canterbury, and diocese of L.incoln; is included in the midland circuit, and divided into the ~ix hundreds of

}'aAMLAND, GARTRE.&, EAST GoscoTE, WEsT GoscoTB, GuTHLAXTON and SPARKE!'iHoE; which are sobdivided into two hundred and sixteen parisbell, collecrin•ly containing one borough and county town (Leicester), and ten odit~r market towns. By the Reform Bill, two additional members have been given to the

county, so that the whole shire returns si:c representarivt-s to parliament• viz. two for the borough ot Leicester, andfour for the countv. The new Boundar!l Act divides the county into two parts, respectively named

the Northern Division and tbe Soutl1ern Division,-tbe former comprises the hundreds of West Goscote, East

Goscote, and l<~ramlaud, and also those two detached portions of the hundred of Gartree, which are situate

on the east of the hundred of Goscote; and the southern division includes the hundrrd of Gartree, except as

before-ntentioned, and the hund•·eds of Sparkenhoe and Guthlaxton, also the boron~:h of Leicestt>r and th12

libertie.'l ther~of. The election of members fur the northern division is held at LouGHBOROUGH, and for the

I!Oothern at LKICBSTER. B~side111 the place of electjun, the northern division polls at MELTON M OWBRAY

and AsHBY·DE.-LA-Zoucu; and the southern division (besides the plare of Plection), polls at Hn:cKLEY aud

MARKET HARBOROUGH. The members returned at thr general election in 1832 were, for the northern division, L01·d Robert Manners, and the Hon. Charle-s !\larch Phillips; and for the! southe•·n divi~;ion, Edward

Dawson and Henry Halford, Esquia·etz.

PoPULATION.-By the census for 1831 this county ('ontained 97,556 males. and 99,477 females-total~

197,0()3; ht>ing an increast-, $ince the returns made in the year 1821, ot 22,432 inhabitants; and fr<1m the

census of 1801 t<1 that of 1831, tbe augmentation amounted to 66,922 persons.  




Ab Kettleby



Anstey Pastures




Ashby Folville

Ashby Magna

Ashby Parva

Ashby de la Zouch

Ashby de la Zouch Holy Trinity

Aston Flamville







Barkby Thorpe



Barrow upon Soar



Beaumont Leys




Belvoir Castle









Bradgate Park



Braunstone Frith

Breedon on the Hill



Broughton Astley




Burrough on the Hill

Burton Overy



Cadeby, Leicestershire

Carlton, Leicestershire

Carlton Curlieu, Leicestershire

Castle Donington, Leicestershire

Catthorpe, Leicestershire

Charley, Leicestershire

Church Langton, Leicestershire

Claybrooke, Leicestershire

Coalville, Leicestershire

Cold Overton, Leicestershire

Cole Orton, Leicestershire

Congerstone, Leicestershire

Cosby, Leicestershire

Cossington, Leicestershire

Coston, Leicestershire

Cotesbach, Leicestershire

Countesthorpe, Leicestershire

Cranoe, Leicestershire

Croft, Leicestershire

Croxton Kerrial, Leicestershire



Dadlington, Leicestershire

Desford, Leicestershire

Diseworth, Leicestershire

Dishley, Leicestershire

Dunton Bassett, Leicestershire



Earl Shilton, Leicestershire

East Norton, Leicestershire

Eastwell, Leicestershire

Eaton, Leicestershire

Edmondthorpe, Leicestershire

Elmersthorpe, Leicestershire

Enderby, Leicestershire

Evington, Leicestershire



Fenny Drayton, Leicestershire

Fleckney, Leicestershire

Foston, Leicestershire

Foxton, Leicestershire

Freakes Ground, Leicestershire

Freeby, Leicestershire

Frisby, Leicestershire

Frisby on the Wreak, Leicestershire

Frolesworth, Leicestershire



Gaddesby, Leicestershire

Garendon, Leicestershire

Garthorpe, Leicestershire

Gaulby, Leicestershire

Gilmorton, Leicestershire

Gilroes, Leicestershire

Glen Magna, Leicestershire

Glen Parva, Leicestershire

Glenfield, Leicestershire

Glenfield Frith, Leicestershire

Glooston, Leicestershire

Goadby, Leicestershire

Goadby Marwood, Leicestershire

Gopsall, Leicestershire

Great Bowden, Leicestershire

Great Dalby, Leicestershire

Great Easton, Leicestershire

Great Wigston, Leicestershire

Grimston, Leicestershire

Gumley, Leicestershire



Hallaton, Leicestershire

Harby, Leicestershire

Harston, Leicestershire

Hathern, Leicestershire

Heather, Leicestershire

Higham on the Hill, Leicestershire


Hinckley Holy Trinity, Leicestershire

Hoby, Leicestershire

Holt, Leicestershire

Holwell, Leicestershire

Horninghold, Leicestershire

Hose, Leicestershire

Hoton, Leicestershire

Houghton on the Hill, Leicestershire

Hugglescote and Donington, Leicestershire

Humberstone, Leicestershire

Hungarton with Twyford and Thorpe Satchville, Leicestershire

Husbands Bosworth, Leicestershire



Ibstock, Leicestershire

Ilston on the Hill, Leicestershire

Isley Walton, Leicestershire



Kegworth, Leicestershire

Keyham, Leicestershire

Kibworth Beauchamp, Leicestershire

Kibworth Harcourt, Leicestershire

Kilby, Leicestershire

Kimcote, Leicestershire

King’s Norton, Leicestershire

Kirby Bellars, Leicestershire

Kirby Frith, Leicestershire

Kirby Muxloe, Leicestershire

Kirkby Mallory, Leicestershire

Knaptoft, Leicestershire

Knighton, Leicestershire

Knipton, Leicestershire

Knoll and Bassett House, Leicestershire

Knossington, Leicestershire



Langley Priory, Leicestershire

Laughton, Leicestershire

Launde Abbey, Leicestershire

Leicester Abbey, Leicestershire

Leicester All Saints, Leicestershire

Leicester Augustine Friars, Leicestershire

Leicester Blackfriars, Leicestershire

Leicester Christ Church, Leicestershire

Leicester Forest East, Leicestershire

Leicester Forest West, Leicestershire

Leicester Frith, Leicestershire

Leicester Holy Trinity, Leicestershire

Leicester New Found Pool, Leicestershire

Leicester St George, Leicestershire

Leicester St Margaret, Leicestershire

Leicester St Martin, Leicestershire

Leicester St Mary, Leicestershire

Leicester St Nicholas, Leicestershire

Leicester the Castle View, Leicestershire

Leire, Leicestershire

Little Dalby, Leicestershire

Lockington, Leicestershire

Loddington, Leicestershire

Long Clawson, Leicestershire

Long Whatton, Leicestershire

Loughborough, Leicestershire

Loughborough Emmanuel, Leicestershire

Lowesby, Leicestershire

Lubbesthorpe, Leicestershire

Lubenham, Leicestershire

Lutterworth, Leicestershire



Market Bosworth, Leicestershire

Market Harborough, Leicestershire

Markfield, Leicestershire

Medbourne, Leicestershire

Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire

Merevale, Leicestershire

Misterton, Leicestershire

Monks Kirby, Leicestershire

Mountsorrel, Leicestershire

Mountsorrel Christ Church, Leicestershire

Mowsley, Leicestershire

Muston, Leicestershire



Nailstone, Leicestershire

Narborough, Leicestershire

Nether Broughton, Leicestershire

New Parks, Leicestershire

Newbold Verdon, Leicestershire

Newton Harcourt, Leicestershire

Newtown Linford, Leicestershire

Normanton le Heath, Leicestershire

North Kilworth, Leicestershire

North Thurmaston, Leicestershire

Norton juxta Twycross, Leicestershire

Noseley, Leicestershire



Oadby, Leicestershire

Old Dalby, Leicestershire

Orton on the Hill, Leicestershire

Osgathorpe, Leicestershire

Owston, Leicestershire



Packington, Leicestershire

Peatling Parva, Leicestershire

Peckleton, Leicestershire

Pickwell, Leicestershire

Plungar, Leicestershire

Potters Marston, Leicestershire

Prestwold, Leicestershire



Queniborough, Leicestershire

Quorn, Leicestershire



Ragdale, Leicestershire

Ratby cum Groby, Leicestershire

Ratcliffe Culey, Leicestershire

Ratcliffe on the Wreake, Leicestershire

Ravenstone, Leicestershire

Rearsby, Leicestershire

Redmile, Leicestershire

Rolleston, Leicestershire

Rotherby, Leicestershire

Rothley, Leicestershire

Rothley Temple, Leicestershire



Saddington, Leicestershire

Saltby, Leicestershire

Sapcote, Leicestershire

Saxby, Leicestershire

Saxelby, Leicestershire

Scalford, Leicestershire

Scraptoft, Leicestershire

Seagrave, Leicestershire

Seal, Leicestershire

Sewstern, Leicestershire

Shackerstone, Leicestershire

Shangton, Leicestershire

Sharnford, Leicestershire

Shawell, Leicestershire

Shearsby, Leicestershire

Sheepshed, Leicestershire

Sheepy, Leicestershire

Shenton, Leicestershire

Shoby, Leicestershire

Sibson, Leicestershire

Sileby, Leicestershire

Skeffington, Leicestershire

Slawston, Leicestershire

Snarestone, Leicestershire

Snibston, Leicestershire

Somerby, Leicestershire

South Croxton, Leicestershire

South Kilworth, Leicestershire

Sproxton, Leicestershire

Stanton under Bardon, Leicestershire

Stapleford, Leicestershire

Stapleton, Leicestershire

Stathern, Leicestershire

Staunton Harold, Leicestershire

Stockerston, Leicestershire

Stoke Dry, Leicestershire

Stoke Golding, Leicestershire

Stonesby, Leicestershire

Stoney Stanton, Leicestershire

Stonton Wyville, Leicestershire

Stoughton, Leicestershire

Stretton Magna, Leicestershire

Stretton Parva, Leicestershire

Sutton Cheney, Leicestershire

Swannington, Leicestershire

Swepstone, Leicestershire

Swinford, Leicestershire

Swithland, Leicestershire

Syston, Leicestershire



Theddingworth, Leicestershire

Thornton, Leicestershire

Thorpe Acre, Leicestershire

Thorpe Arnold, Leicestershire

Thorpe Langton, Leicestershire

Thringstone, Leicestershire

Thrussington, Leicestershire

Thurcaston, Leicestershire

Thurlaston, Leicestershire

Thurmaston, Leicestershire

Thurnby, Leicestershire

Tilton on the Hill, Leicestershire

Tugby, Leicestershire

Tur Langton, Leicestershire

Twycross, Leicestershire



Ulverscroft, Leicestershire



Waltham on the Wolds, Leicestershire

Walton, Leicestershire

Walton le Wolds, Leicestershire

Wanlip, Leicestershire

Wartnaby, Leicestershire

Welby, Leicestershire

Welham, Leicestershire

West Langton, Leicestershire

Westrill and Starmore, Leicestershire

Whetstone, Leicestershire

Whitwick, Leicestershire

Wigston Parva, Leicestershire

Willoughby Waterless with Peatling Magna, Leicestershire

Wistow, Leicestershire

Withcote, Leicestershire

Witherley, Leicestershire

Woodhouse, Leicestershire

Woodhouse Eaves, Leicestershire

Woodville, Leicestershire

Worthington, Leicestershire

Wyfordby, Leicestershire

Wymeswold, Leicestershire

Wymondham, Leicestershire