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1911 Encyclopedia Britannica


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A market town, municipal borough and port, in the Maldon parliamentary borough of Essex, England, on an acclivity rising from the south side of the Blackwater, 43 m. E.N.E. from London by a branch from Witham of the Great Eastern railway. Pop. (1901), 5565. There are east and west railway stations. The church of All Saints, dating from 1056, but, as it stands, Early English and later, consists of chancel, nave and aisles, with a triangular Early English tower (a unique form) at the west end surmounted by a hexagonal spire. The tower of St Mary's Church shows Norman work with Roman materials. The other public buildings are the grammar school, founded in 1547; the town-hall, formerly D'Arcy's tower, built in the reign of Henry VI.; and the public hall. There are manufactures of crystallized salt, breweries, an oyster fishery and some shipping. On Osea Island, in the Blackwater estuary, there is a farm colony for the unemployed. A mile west of Maldon are remains of Beeleigh Abbey, a Premonstratensian foundation of the 12th century. They consist of the chapter-house and another chamber, and are of fine Early English work. The borough is under a mayor, 4 aldermen and 12 councillors. Area, 3028 acres.

At Maldon (Maelduna, Melduna, Mealdon or Meaudon) palaeolithic, neolithic and Roman remains that have been found seem to indicate an early settlement. It is not, however, an important Roman site. An earthwork, of which traces exist, may be Saxon or Danish. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle relates that Edward the Elder established a "burh" there about 921, and that Ealdorman Brihtnoth was killed there by the Danes in 99 1. The position of Maldon may have given it some commercial importance, but the fortress is the point emphasized by the Chronicle. Maldon remained a royal town up to the reign of Henry I., and thus is entered as on terra regis in Domesday. Henry II. granted the burgesses their first charter, probably in 1155, giving them the land of the borough and suburb with sac and soc and other judicial rights, also freedom from county and forest jurisdiction, danegeld, scutage, tallage and all tolls, by the service of one ship a year for forty days. This charter was confirmed by Edward I. in 1290, by Edward III. in 1344, and by Richard II. in 1378. In 1403 the bishop of London granted further judicial and financial rights, and Henry V. confirmed the charters in 1417, Henry VI. in 1443, and Henry VIII. in 1525. Maldon was incorporated by Philip and Mary in 1554, and received confirmatory charters from Elizabeth in 1563 and 1592, from Charles I. in 1631, Charles II. and James II. In 1768 the incorporation charter was regranted, with modifications in 181o.

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Bibliography Information
Chisholm, Hugh, General Editor. Entry for 'Maldon'. 1911 Encyclopedia Britanica. 1910.

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