MARKET TOWNS OF CORNWALL (from SDUK Penny Cyclopedia)
East Looe in 1837
East Looe is in the parish of St. Martin, in the hundred of West : it is on the left or east bank of the river Looe, which here falls into the sea ; 234 miles from London by Plymouth.
It is built on a flat piece of ground between the river Looe and the sea, and is described as a labyrinth of short narrow dirty alleys, above which rises the low embattled tower of a little chapel of ease. On the land side rises a high steep hill, over which the road leads into the town. East Looe is united with West Looe on the opposite side of the river by a bridge of thirteen, or, according to other accounts, fifteen arches : this bridge is 141 yards long, but only 6 feet two inches wide : there was formerly upon it a chapel or oratory dedicated to St. Anne.
The number of houses in 1831 was 167 : the inhabitants were 865. They are chiefly engaged in the pilchard fishery. The harbour, formed by the mouth of the river, admits vessels of 100 tons, and is protected by a battery of ten guns. There is a market on Saturday.
The town was incorporated by Queen Elizabeth ; the corporation consists of a mayor, recorder, and eight burgesses, and an unlimited number of freemen. It returned members to parliament from the time of Elizabeth to the passing of the Reform Act, by which it was disfranchised. The election was in the mayor burgesses, and freemen.
There is an endowed free-school for teaching mathematics, especially those branches connected with navigation. There is an endowment of £27 per annum attached to the chapel of ease, which is held with the living of St. Martin.
The living of St. Martin is a chapelry of the annual value of £481, with a glebe-house, in the gift of the duke of Cleveland and the earl of Sandwich. It is in the diocese of Exeter, and the archdeaconry of Cornwall.
East Looe was formerly of much greater importance: it united with Fowey in sending a member to a council of trade held at Westminster in the reign of Edward I, and furnished 20 vessels and 315 men to the fleet of Edward III.