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A Basildon Chronology
1800   1849

10th March

First official government Census for England records the combined population for the parishes of Basildon (62), Dunton (121), Laindon (242), Langdon Hills (195), Nevendon (147), Pitsea (211) and Vange (130) as 1008.



James Hornsby born at Great Burstead, Essex. He is best known as the last Schoolmaster of 48 years at the former Puckle's charity school housed in an annexe on the west end of St. Nicholas Church, Laindon. He lived above the school in the Priest House and was also sexton to the church and a parish clerk. He married three times and outlived all his wives: Sarah, d. 1851, Catherine, d. 1859 and his last, also called Catherine, d. 1883. He died on 14th May, 1887, aged 83, and was interred on the 20th May in the churchyard within sight of the schoolhouse in a shared grave with his final wife Catherine. His two other wives are buried in the adjacent plot. In 1998 the Laindon and Nicholas senior schools amalgamated on the Laindon site as the James Hornsby High School in recognition of the former schoolteachers past connection to the area. In 2000 the school transferred to the former Nicholas site at Leinster Road where it remains today.


16th October

National Society for Promoting the Education of the Poor in the Principles of the Established Church in England and Wales is set up by the Church of England to provide schools. A new school run by the society would later open around 1860 at the summit of Langdon Hills. This is now a private residence.


6th October

A lease to run Pitsea Windmill is agreed between Thomas James of West Tilbury in the County of Essex, Miller; Jonathan Hill of Melton in the County of Kent, Flour Factor; Henry Prescott Blencowe of Bath in the County of Somerset, Esquire and James Stock of Cold Norton in the County of Essex, Miller. The contents of the lease agreement relate to a Messuage or Tenement with stables, outhouses, yards and gardens. It also includes ‘a piece or parcel of land or pasture known by the name of Mill Close - since renamed Howard Close after the Howard family - containing by estimation four acres and a half with the Windmill for grinding corn thereon erected.’ Includes all the Going Gears, Utensils and Implements of the windmill. The post mill, to which no known photographs exist, stood above Howard's Park and may have been 18th century. It was destroyed by fire in the late 19th century and the bricks used in the construction of Pound Lane Mission. A tombstone dated 1831 to James Miller, a party to this lease agreement, was known to exist.



The South Essex parliamentary constituency created by the Representation of the People Act 1832 (Reform Act 1832). In the first election to take place following the Act, Essex was divided into north and south elections with Billericay being one of seven polling stations in the South East region of the county.



A new Rectory at Vange in London Road is built. This replaced an earlier wooden rectory that stood on the opposite side of London Road near to All Saints Church. It survived as a rectory to 1960 when it was sold after another rectory was built adjacent to the then new St. Chad's Church in Timberlog Lane (now 782 Clay Hill Road). The building was later demolished and in the 1970s became the site of Vange Zoo to 2001 when the zoo closed. Plans for



A beer house at Vange once known as The Man with Seven Wives is renamed The Barge (Inn). The first licencee was John Adey who occupied the premises with his wife Frances. The house or beer shop known as the Barge Inn was later renamed the Old Barge Inn but is now known simply as the Barge. For many years the ale was supplied by Hornchurch Brewery.


6th June

The first United Kingdom Census conducted. The United Kingdom Census of 1841 is the first national census to record selective information relating to every individual within a household or institution, as things were, on the night of 6th June, 1841. Although population censuses had been held every ten years from 1801 the detail was very basic. For this census a new format was introduced following the Population Act 1840, with a broader range of questions for each individual's status, like names, age, sex and occupation. Locally, the population of Basildon was recorded as being 157; Dunton 194; Laindon 411; Langdon Hills 288; Lee Chapel 11; Pitsea 304; Nevendon 216 and Vange was recorded as 169.



A small church school at Dunton opens. The school, situated in Lower Dunton Road, remained open until early 1929 when a new Council school was built - 100 yards or so away to the same side of the road - to accommodate a rising intake, mainly as a result of the plotland development nearby. Around 1934 the old school was sold by Essex County Council and converted to a private residence and can still be seen today, while the new Dunton School remained open until the late 1970s when falling numbers forced it to close. That too is now a private residence.


The Red Cow public house built in Dry Street, Langdon Hills. Little is known of its time as a public house beyond the late 1890s, though it was known to have been an off licence until around 1930. The former licencee of the Five Bells at Vange took it over from 1931 to 1954, by which time it was serving the area well as a Post Office & General Stores. It was still open until at least the late 1970s before eventually closing and is now a private residence called Roma.

Text researched and written by William Cox, 2001 with revisions and additions 2002-2017.
Copyright © 2001-2017, B. Cox - Basildon History Online. All rights reserved.

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