Wonderful Wivenhoe. A Short History Written for the 1951 Festival

Compiled by members of the Wivenhoe Branch of the Workers Educational Association, Essex Telegraph Press, 1951, 12 pp, (Essex County Libraries E.WIV)

Summary by Pat Marsden

A brief history of Wivenhoe with many domestic anecdotes which attempt to capture some of the details of its past, with a foreword by Dr W. Radcliffe, President of the local W.E.A.. The pamphlet refers to the earliest documentary record of Wivenhoe in the Essex section of the Domesday Book, 1086; the successive lords of the manor including the De Veres, Earls of Oxford, Roger Townshend and the Corsellis family. There are references to Wivenhoe as a health resort referring to the sea water baths and the Tunmers. In the seventeenth century Nonconformity developed in the town and one Isaac Taylor refers to ‘the very dark and profligate state of Wivenhoe’. The Congregational Church, the village reading room on Alma St, and the Salvation Army were established. Concerns were expressed about sanitation and drinking water in the nineteenth century, the emptying of middens, and sewerage. The Manor property started to break up. Education developed, at first with parish and dame schools. The work of the Church is described and attempts to control wrongdoing; there were many cases of theft, debt and insolvency. The ‘Wivenhoe Association for Apprehending and Prosecuting Felons of all Denominations’, was established. Finally there is a description of the attempts to launch the Wyvenhoe Flier in 1909.

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