Stebbing in the Nineteenth Century

The night they 'burned' a Policeman

Stebbing villagers utside the Red Lion preparing to burn an effigy of the local constable November 5th. 1888eIn the late 1880's a zealous new policeman was appointed to maintain law and order in Stebbing. Police constable Enoch Rasen (sic) proved to be so unpopular that he feared for his safety.

It is said that as Bonfire Night (Nov. 5th.) 1888 approached, he decided to leave the village. The story that he commandeered a fast horse and took refuge in Chelmsford Gaol is probably apocryphal, but it is clear that the lads of the village (suitably disguised) burnt him in effigy.

The photograph reproduced right shows the villagers assembling in front of the Red Lion public house so to do.

At that time the inn was owned by the Hawkes Brewery of Bishops Stortford. 'Hawkes Entire', as advertised on the sign above the door, was a most nutritious stout ale.

An extract from the Post Office Guide of 1863

STEBBING is a parish, situate on high ground, on a brook which falls into the Chelmer, in the Northern division of the county, hundred of Hinkeford, union and county court district of Dunmow, Colchester archdeaconry, Bocking rural deanery, and Rochester diocese, 3 miles north-east of Dunmow, 7 west of Braintree station, 13 north of Chelmsford, 112 east of Bishops Stortford, and 41 from London. The church of St. Mary the Virgin stans in the highest part of the village, and is a fine specimen of Decorated architecture: it has a tower, spire, and 5 bells, a large and lofty nave, two aisles, and a large chancel: the chancel arch forms a screen of magnificent design; it consists of three openings, with slender clustered columns, and was the only feature of the structure that possessed a gorgeous character: the principle part of the design remains.

The register dates from 1712. The living is a vicarage, vicarial tithes commuted at 351 yearly. With residence, in the gift of Co. Bingham, and held by the Rev. Matthew Dawson Duffield, B.D., of Caius College, Cambridge. A fair is held yearly on the 10th of July for calves and cattle. Here is some malting. This place formerly belonged to the Peverells and the Ferrers, and, in the reign of Henry II, was held by the service of being the king's cheesemonger.

The Earl of Essex and Col. Bingham are lords of the manors; the latter is impropriator of the rectory and patron of the vicarage. Here are National and British schools; also chapels for Independents, Methodists, and the Society of Friends.

On the river are two mills. There are two artificial mounds, surrounded by a moat, near the village, on which a castle, according to tradition, formerly stood. The parish contains 4,301 acres, and the population in 1861 was 1.346.

BRAN END is half a mile north; DUCK END, a mile and a half north; STEBBING GREEN, one mile south-east.

Parish Clerk: William Lapworth.

POST OFFICE - Thomas Thorogood, receiver. Letters through the Chelmsford office, by foot post, from Throws, arrive at 6 a.m.; delivered at 7 a.m. The box closes at 6 p.m.; but letters may be posted until 6.15 p.m. by an extra stamp. The nearest money order office is at Dunmow.

SCHOOLS: British: Miss Olive Grigsby, mistress. National: Mrs. Mary Cock, mistress.


Bainton, Rev. James Batsford, Mr. Robert Chopping, Mrs.
Clarke, Misses Cross, Mr. Thomas, Bran End Duffield, Rev. Matthew Dawson, B.D. (vicar of Stebbing & canon of Middleham, Yorkshire)
Easton, James Brooks Lynch, Mrs. Parkinson, James, Esq.
Wood, Mr. Thomas


Adams, Samuel, White Hart Barker, Josiah, blacksmith, Duck End Barker, William. Baker, Bran End
Barnard, William, maltster & farmer, Holts farm Brand, Thomas, beer retailer Britton, William, butcher
Byatt, William, farmer, Yew Tree farm Byford, Alfred, farmer & landowner, Hill farm Byford, James, farmer, Scollops
Chopping, Job, miller, Town Mill Chopping, Samuel Davey, brick maker Chopping, William, miller, farmer, maltster & baker.
Clarke, Richard Starn, farmer, Stebbing parsonage Easton, Jas. Brooks, surgeon & registrar Emms, Hannah (Mrs.), Red Lion
Ereth, John Charles, farmer Firman, William, butcher Franklin, Thos. Green Man, Bran End
Gowers, Esdras, shoe maker, Bran End Hitching, Charles, farmer, William's farm Hitching, Samuel, farmer, Cowlands farm
Hutley, John, farmer, Porters Hall Lewis, Henry, farmer & hay dealer Lewsey, Charles, King's Head
Lewsey, Sarah (Mrs.), farmer Linsell, James, Bell, & harness maker Linsell, Sarah (Mrs.), maltster & farmer, Bran End
Linsell, William, corn dealer Linsell, William, jun.,grocer & draper Massey, John Bailey, farmer, Stebbing Park
Mateson, George, farmer, Lubberhedges Meadows, Harvey, grocer &c Messent, Charles, farmer
Monk, William, shopkeeper & tailor, Bran End Nichols, Zachariah, miller Overall, William, farmer, Ford farm
Parkinson, James, surgeon Parr, Richard, blacksmith Philpot, James, shoe maker
Pickford, William, farmer, Lubberhedges Rawlingson, William, farmer, Bran End Riley ,--, farmer, Lubberhedges
Ruffel & Son, coach, cart & gig builders & wheelwrights Saggars, Joseph, shoe maker Savill, Frederick, harness maker
Shuttleworth, James, farmer Smith, John, higgler*, Duck End Smith, Joseph, farmer
Staines, Anne (Mrs.), shopkeeper Tarbert, John, farmer, Lucas farm Thorogood, James, baker
Thorogood, Thomas, shoe maker Thorogood, William, carpenter, Bran End Whitehead, Joseph, miller, farmer & landowner, Bran End mills
Wood, Henry, farmer

* A 'higgler' was a general dealer.