by James Pigot  (1828-29)


Oakham, or Okeham, the county town ; its name supposed to be derived from the great number of oak trees which grew in its neighbourhood ; is pleasantly situated in the vale of Catmore, 96 miles from London, six from Uppingham, eleven from Stamford and ten from Melton.The town consists of two parishes, though there is but one church ; one is called the Lord's Hold, and the other is called the Dean's. The former is under the Right Hon. the Earl of Winchelsea, who is lord of the manor, and who holds a court once a year: the latter is under the Dean of Westminster, who holds a court once in three years. Courts of assize for the county are held here, as also a quarter sessions, and the principal part of the county business is transacted at Oakham. The church, which is dedicated to All Saints, is a spacious structure, with a nave, chancel and side aisles ; the tower, containing a clock and a good ring of bells is terminated by a lofty spire. The living is a rectory in the present incumbency of the Rev. Heneage Finch. The coal trade is of some consequence here, but the only manufactory is one for silk. The market day is Saturday, and there are a great number of cattle fairs fixed annually, called new meetings. In 1821 Oakham contained, with its dependent hamlets, 2.160 inhabitants.