Baldock, Hertfordshire Family History Guide



Status: Ancient Parish

Parish church: St. Mary

Parish registers begin:

  • Parish registers: 1558
  • Bishop’s Transcripts: 1604

Nonconformists include:

Parishes adjacent to Baldock

  • Weston
  • Willian
  • Bygrave
  • Clothall
  • Norton

Historical Descriptions

The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales 1870

BALDOCK, a small town, a parish, and a subdistrict, in the district of Hitchin, Herts. The town stands in a valley between two hills, on Icknield-street, adjacent to the Hitchin and Cambridge railway, near. the source of the river Rhea, 5 miles NE of Hitchin. It has a station on the railway, a head post office, a parish church, four dissenting chapels, almshouses, a banking office, and two good inns; and is a seat of petty sessions. Its name was anciently written Baudoc; and is supposed by some to have been taken from Baalbec in Syria and applied by the Knights Templars. These military monks got a grant of the place, in the reign of Stephen, from Gilbert, Earl of Pembroke; and they built upon it a church, and obtained for it the rights of a market town The present parish church includes some portions of the Templars church; is a spacious edifice, in later English, with a large chancel and an ancient tower; was recently renovated; and contains some monuments of the Templars, a finely-carved oak screen, a very curious font, and part of the ancient rood-loft. The principal street of the town is wide, and has many respectable houses. Much business is done in the corn and malting trades; and a great quantity of straw-plait is made here and in the neighbourhood. A weekly market is held on Friday; and fairs, on 7 March, the last Thursday in May, 5 Aug., 2 Oct., and 11 Dec. The parish comprises 200 acres. Real property, £6,312. Pop., 1,974. Houses, 408. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Rochester Value, £200. Patron, Bishop of Rochester. Charities, £270. The subdistrict contains sixteen parishes. Acres, 28,660. Pop., 8,738. Houses, 1,811.

Source: The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales [Wilson, John M]. A. Fullarton & Co. N. d. c. [1870-72].

The Parliamentary Gazetteer of England and Wales 1851

Baldock, a market-town and parish in the hund, of Broadwater, union of Hitchin, county of Hertford; 37 miles north by west from London, and 19 from Hertford. It stands in a valley between two hills, near the source of the river Rhea, on the great north road, at its intersection with the Roman Icknield-street. Living, a discharged rectory in the archd. of Huntingdon and dio. of Lincoln; rated at £10 8s. 9d., and in the parliamentary returns at £76 14s. 8d.; gross income £142. Patron, the Crown. The church was erected on the site of one formerly built by the Knights Templars, of which some portions still exist, and form part of tbe present structure. It is a spacious building, with three chancels, and “a goodly tower,” containing some monuments of the Templars, a finely carved oak-screen, a very curious font, and part of the ancient rood-loft. The Society of Friends, and the Independents, have chapels here. In 1617, Mr John Wynne founded and endowed alms-houses for twelve aged widows. This charity has since been augmented by various other benefactions; and the yearly revenue now amounts to £95. The charity estates for the repair of, and other expenses connected with the church, produce £153 per annum. Other charities connected with the parish produce £16 a year. Courts leet and baron are held here. The principal street of tbe town is wide, and contains many respectable houses. The inns are numerous and good, and, on account of the great thoroughfare, are much frequented. The neighbouring country being very favourable to the growth of barley, the inhabitants are extensively employed in malting; there is a large brewery in the town. A great quantity of straw-plait is made here and in the neighbourhood for the London market. Fairs for cheese, cattle, and household goods, are held on the 7th of March, the last Thursday in May, 5th August, 2d October, and 11th December. Thursday is the market-day, when considerable quantities of corn are sold. The name of this place is spelt Baudoc in some old writings, but has by some been supposed to have been derived from that of Balbec in Syria, and to have been given to it by tbe Templars. The site was granted to them in the reign of Stephen, by Gilbert, earl of Pembroke, and afterwards confirmed to them by his descendant, William. By their influence, John, and his son, Henry III., conferred on it the grant of a market and an annual fair of five days. “Here,” says Lambard, “Queue Isabel, wife to Edward II. the earl of Kent his brother, and Edward (after the third of that name) his son sojourned after their arryvall, and wrote from thence their letters of request to the citizens of London for their aide against the Spensers, which they perfourmed accordingly, for they made open proclamation, that such as were not the queue’s freindes, should depart the citye immediatly: then made they the barons, byshops, abbots, and others, to be sworne the quene’s freindes, and favourers of the quarreil: and forasmuche as the byshop of Exceter either refused to doe it, or was suspected to mislike it, they strake of his head.” Pop., in 1801, 1,283; in 1831, 1,704. Houses 310. Acres 200. A.P. £2,110. Poor rates, in 1837, £638.

Source: The Parliamentary Gazetteer of England and Wales; A Fullarton & Co. Glasgow; 1851.

Leonard’s Gazetteer of England and Wales 1850

Baldock, 37½ miles N.W. London. Market, Thurs.— P. 1807

Source: Leonard’s Gazetteer of England and Wales; Second Edition; C. W. Leonard, London; 1850.

Administration

County: Hertfordshire
Civil Registration District: Hitchin
Probate Court: Court of the Archdeaconry of Huntingdon (Hitchin Division)
Diocese: Post-1844 – Rochester, Pre-1845 – Lincoln
Rural Deanery: Baldock
Poor Law Union: Hitchin
Hundred: Broadwater
Province: Canterbury