Hadleigh in 1842
Hadleigh is in Cosford hundred, 9 miles west of Ipswich. It is said to have been the burial-place of Guthrum the Dane, to whom Alfred ceded East Anglia ; and has some interest as the place of martyrdom of Dr. Rowland Taylor, burned in the persecution under Queen Mary, on what is commonly, but improperly, called Aldham Common, near the town. A stone with this inscription marks the spot "Anno 1555, Dr. Taylor, for defending what was God, in this place shed his blod."
The parish of Hadleigh has an area of 3,440 acres : the population in 1831 was 3,425, less than one-third agricultural. The town consists of one principal street running from south-south-east to north-north-west, and other smaller ones branching from it ; but none of the streets are paved or lighted.
The church is large and handsome, with a tower and spire and two south porches. The aisles and clerestory extend along the chancel as well as the nave. The architecture is chiefly of perpendicular date, but some portions are earlier. The monument shown in this church as the monument of the Anglo-Danish king Guthrum is of later date than the ninth century, in which he died. The rectory-house, adjacent to the church-yard, is ancient, and in front of it is a brick gateway, with two hexangular towers of the same date (about 1490) as the house. There are meeting-houses for Baptists, Independents, and Wesleyans ; and a range of twelve alms-houses with a chapel, built by William Pykeham, rector of this parish, who built the rectory-house and gateway.
Some weaving is carried on in the town. There is a good corn and general market on Monday, and there are two yearly fairs: the corn-exchange or market-house is a good modern building. Hadleigh was formerly a corporate town, but the charter was surrendered in the time of James II, and never restored. The living is a rectory, in the peculiar jurisdiction of the Archbishop of Canterbury, of the clear yearly value of £929, with a glebe-house. There were in the parish in 1833, six day-schools, with 132 scholars, viz., 70 boys, 32 girls, and 30 children of sex not stated ; four boarding-schools, for which no return was made ; two day and Sunday national schools, with 213 children (90 boys and 123 girls) in the week, and 262 children (121 boys and 141 girls) on Sundays; and one Sunday-school, with 210 children, viz., 90 boys and 120 girls. One of the day-schools had three small endowments.