MARKET TOWNS OF CORNWALL (from SDUK Penny Cyclopedia)
Liskeard in 1839
LISKEARD, LESKEARD, or LESKERET, a parish, corporate town, and parliamentary borough, in the hundred of West and county of Cornwall, distant 218 miles west-south-west from London. The assessionable Duchy Manor of Liskeard includes the whole parish and borough. The charters of the borough are numerous, commencing with that of Richard, king of the Romans and earl of Cornwall, brother of Henry III, granted in the year 1240 ; the latest is that of 29th Elizabeth, and dated 26th July, 1587. The council consists of 4 aldermen, one of whom is the mayor, and 12 councillors. The revenue of the corporation for the year ending October, 1832, was £442, and its expenditure during the same period was £242 ; but in previous years the expenditure had considerably exceeded the revenue.
The town, which is meanly built, stands partly in a hollow and partly upon rocky heights, which give to the streets an appearance of great irregularity. Of late years the town has been much improved, and several persons, possessed of large properties, have decorated the immediate environs with excellent houses. The chief public building is the town-hall, erected about the beginning of the last century, at the expense of one of the members for the borough ; it is a handsome structure, supported on granite columns. Liskeard still continues a place of considerable trade, and has an excellent market. It has been greatly benefited by the recent improvement of the roads in that part of Cornwall.
The living is a vicarage, in the diocese of Exeter, possessing an average net income of £303, the rectory having been appropriated to the priory of Launceston. In 1304 the bishop of Exeter excommunicated the inhabitants of Liskeard, and put their church under an interdict for refusing to pay tithes in kind on the ground of a composition between Earl Richard and the prior. An attempt was afterwards made to appropriate the vicarage also. The population of the borough in 1831 was 2,853 and that of the entire parish 4,042 ; the parochial assessments for the year ending 25th March, 1829, amounted to £873. Before the passing of the Reform Act, the corporation of Liskeard had returned two members to parliament continuously from the reign of Edward I. The borough, which consists of the parish of Liskeard and such parts of the old borough of Liskeard as are without the parish, now returns one member.