White's Directory of Essex 1848

MANNINGTREE is an improving market town, and forms with MISTLEY, a port or creek under Harwich, pleasantly situated on the south side of the river Stour, at the point where that river begins to expand into a broad estuary, about half a mile below where it is crossed by the Eastern Union Railway, 9 miles North East by East of Colchester, 11 miles West of Harwich, and 60 miles North East by East of London. Its parish is remarkably small, containing only about 17 acres of land and 1255 inhabitants; but the town has a western suburb in Lawford parish, and a large and handsome eastern suburb in Mistley parish, where there is a large and commodious Quay; so that the total population of the town and suburbs is upwards of 3000. The Stour is navigable for barges as high as Sudbury, 20 miles above Manningtree, which carries on, in conjunction with Mistley, an extensive trade in corn, coal, timber, fish etc. Here are also several very extensive malting establishments, which pay annually in duty about £50,000; and the number of vessels belonging to the port is now about 460, and their aggregate amount of tonnage nearly 37,000 tons; though in 1840, its number of vessels was only 308. In 1847, eight ships brought here 5447 quarters of wheat from the Baltic, and in the same there were large importations of oil cake, deals, etc. The light dues paid here amount to about £500 per annum. In 1844, Mistley Hall was sold in lots to suit purchasers, and since then several wharfs, warehouses, neat dwelling houses, and other buildings have been erected upon it, the river there having 14 feet of water at the quay, while there is only about seven feet at Manningtree. Manningtree Station, on the Eastern Union Railway, is about half a mile west of the town, and from it will diverge the Harwich Railway, passing near the quay at Mistley, and through Wrabness etc. This station is near the river, and commands a fine view both up and down the vale. A small market for corn etc. is held every Thursday in the High Street; and a fair for toys and pleasure on Whit-Thursday. A regatta is held on the river about the second week in September. T.G. Kensit, Esq., of Brighton, is lord of the manor of Mistley, which includes Manningtree, both parishes being included in the Domesday Book under the name of Sciddinchou, but the soil of the two parishes is freehold, and belongs partly to E. Norman, R.E. Page, J.T. Ambrose, and many smaller proprietors.

Manningtree Church (St. Michael) was rebuilt in 1616, and was enlarged some years ago by the addition of 345 free sittings, towards which the Society for building and enlarging churches, gave £450. It anciently had a Guild dedicated to the Holy Trinity; and until 1840, its perpetual curacy was consolidated with Mistley; but in that year, it was constituted a seperate benefice, in the patronage of the Rector of Mistley. Trinity Guild, noticed above, was valued at £8.5s.4d. per annum at the Dissolution. In a certificate of its chantry lands, Manningtree is described as “a great towne, and also a haven towne, having it yt to the number of 700 houseling people”. Here are two neat chapels belonging to the Independents and Wesleyans; and a large National School, built in 1814 for children of Manningtree, Mistley, and Lawford parishes, and conducted on the Glasgow system. A house, occupied rent free by poor people, is said to have been given by one Smith, about 1680, and afterwards used as a workhouse. Manningtree Saving's Bank, of which Mr. John Webber is secretary, was established in 1817, and on Nov. 20th, 1847, it had deposits amounting to £11,629 belonging to 280 depositors. Gas Works were erected here in 1840, at the cost of £1700, and they have since been extended to the Railway Station. Mr. W. Webber is the largest shareholder. Petty Sessions are held at the Packet Inn every fourth Monday, and Mr. William Angell is clerk to the magistrates, and also clerk of Tendring Union. Three fire engines are kept here, two belonging to the town, and one to the Farmers' Insurance Company. In the church is a marble monument, in memory of Thomas Ormond, a fuller, who was burnt here for not adhering to the Roman Catholic faith, in 1555, during the reign of Queen Mary, when many other martyrs suffered at Colchester and other places. In the 17th century, three persons were executed here for the supposed crime of witchcraft.

 Manningtree   print published 1834