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John Nichols, The History and Antiquities of the County of Leicester : Vol. 3, Part 1 (1800) p420-428

containing East Goscote Hundred,


The first paragraph from John Nichols Sileby section

© University of Leicester Special Collections

For the next page and a half Nichols describes Sileby's manorial history. It is followed by a brief commentary of the parish Enclosure 1758-60 and he also remarks upon the current scene as he saw it around 1800...


"The manor is now the property of earl Ferrers; with whom it has been customary to call a court once in three years: but Mr Pochin of Barkby is the principal land-owner. Since the inclosure there are many small freeholders.

There have been formerly two antient mansion-houses at Sileby; one belonging to the Sherard family; and now in the tenure of Mr Ward, a farmer; the other, belonging to the Pochins, is demolished.

Mr. Thomas King has a tolerable house here, which he inherited from his father. The other inhabitants are chiefly farmers and frame-work knitters.

The village is situated in a deep soil, and the roads round it were till lately very indifferent; but are now generally much improved.

The Rev. George Staveley (who died in 1714) settled £4. a year for teaching 8 poor children of this place; to which a private gentleman added 50s. a year, and another person 6s. A third gave 5s. a year to buy books, and a gentleman of Loughborough two annual Bibles.

There are three large schools beside the free-school.

Houses 204, inhabitants 978, and (plough) teams 19 (in 1793).

There are three Dissenting meeting-houses.

The oldest standing is that of the Quakers; but, as there are none of that sect living in the village, it is now converted into a blacksmith's house and shop; the burial-ground into a yard and garden.

The second belongs to a congregation of General Baptists, of which the Rev. Edward Pyke is the minister, to whom I am obliged for some useful information.

And the third to the people called Methodists, connected with the late John Wesley."

Nichols then outlines the monies raised and paid upon the poor in the parish. In the footnotes he makes a point of highlighting the steady increase in poor rates...

"Mr. Ward, one of the principal farmers, informed me, that in 1795 (when corn was dear) the assessments paid from his farm, for the relief of the poor, exceeded the sums collected in the whole parish for that purpose 35 years before!"

From here Nichols records the history of the Parish church in great detail, taking three and a half pages to do so, as well as documenting monumental inscriptions. He finishes by inserting a biography of Ralph Heathcote, late vicar of Sileby.

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T R Potter, Walks Around Loughborough (1840) p27

Walk from Barrow upon Soar to Cossington

“At the distance of a mile and a half from Barrow is SILEBY, an extensive village, with a population half manufacturing and half agricultural. It is a place that presents little worthy of notice save the Church and Parsonage, and it is only to direct the reader to the loveliest village in the county (Cossington!), if not in the country, that we are led to include it in our Walks.”

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R Allen, The Midland Counties' Railway Companion (1840) p67-68
















Samuel Lewis (Editor), A Topograpical Dictionary of England, Vol.IV (1845) p110

Sileby (St. Mary)

SILEBY (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Barrow-upon-Soar, hundred of East Goscote, N. division of the county of Leicester, 1½ mile (E.) from Mountsorrel; containing 1473 inhabitants.


This parish, which is bounded on the west by the river Soar, comprises about 2300 acres: the soil is fertile, producing grain of all kinds, and the meadow and pasture lands are rich; the surface is elevated. A station on the Midland railway is fixed here. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £8. 15. 5.; net income, £158; patron and impropriator, W. Pochin, Esq.: the tithes were commuted for land in 1759.


The church has a highly-enriched tower. There are places of worship for Baptists and Wesleyans. William Lane, in 1639, bequeathed property now producing £34. 10. per annum, of which one-seventh part is paid to the vicar, and the remainder distributed among the poor. The Rev. William Staveley, in 1702, founded a small free school.

William Burton, The Description of Leicestershire : (1622, 1777 (2nd Edition)) p243-244

containing matters of antiquity, history, armoury, and genealogy


In the Hundred of East Goscote, standing upon the river Sore. This manor antiently belonged to the Lord Segrave. And King Edward the First (20.Edw.I) gave unto Nicholas Lord Segrave the elder, liberty of Free Warren here. It came afterwards, by marriage, to Mowbray, afterwards Duke of Norfolk. In the time of King Edward the Third, Robert Harecourt held lands here, of the honour of Leicester.

[Rot. 5.Hen.III. (1220)] Ecclesiae de Sileby patronus Ricardus de Harecourt persona [ blank ] Monachi de Sancto Ebrulfo percipiunt ibi decimas de six virgatis terrae ab antiquo.

The Patron of the Church is Sir Thomas Grimes, Knight

This Vicarage is valued in the Kings books at £8.15s.5d."

Burton then describes the heraldry he saw in various windows of the Parish Church, recording the Arms of Thomas de Brotherton, the Ferrers and the Segrave families. The entry finishes :

"These are all which I saw standing there in 1609; the East window of the Chancel, being very large, is almost quite broken down, and most windows of the Church are very much defaced."

John Throsby, The supplementary volume to the Leicestershire views : (1790) p118-119

containing a series of excursions in the year 1790, to the villages and places of note in the county


The Lordship is large, and was inclosed about 30 years since. The principal proprietor is William Pochin, Esq. M.P. 

I believe Lord Ferrers is lord of the manor. This village is large and in it are several good houses, among which is that of Dr. Heathcote, a gentleman well known for his learning and writings...

The church has a nave, two side ailes, and five bells, but no monuments."

Throsby then lists a number of people buried in the chancel according to the gravestones he saw there. He adds...

"The church is tolerable, the chancel spacious. The pillars that support the roof of the north aile are Saxon architecture. Here is a vault for the Kings (not of England). Thomas King, Esq. who was the owner of a good estate here, died in 1780.


I have never met so many Esquires and Gentlemen sleeping in one church together peaceably, as in this, in all my inquisitorial pursuits in Leicestershire, none of which have left their gloomy abodes to disturb the living; for, by the bye, I have heard of ghosts and hobgoblins, on my excursions, who sometimes leave the church or church-yard, to affrighten children and women big with child.


I was unfortunate enough to call three times at Sileby when Dr. Heathcote was out; consequently I could not see the register."

Rev. J Curtis, A topographical History of the County of Leicester (1831) p158


Hund. of East Goscote, 5 miles S. E. from Loughborough, and 105 from London; contains 2139 acres, 1328 inhabitants, many of whom are employed in framework-knitting, 286 houses; its expenditure in poor rates £461.15s. The soil is various, being partly clay and partly good turnip and barley land. The river Soar and the Loughborough Canal pass through the parish. The principal landed proprietors are George Pochin, Thomas King, Thomas Ward, and John Wild, Esqrs... Earl Ferrers is Lord of the manor, and George Pochin, Esq. is patron of the Vicarage, which has a Glebe of 20 acres in Sileby, and 42 acres at Cossington... The parish was enclosed in 1759."

Curtis finishes with a brief manorial history.

William White, History, Gazetteer & Directory of Leicestershire (1846) p453-455










The first paragraph from White's Directory 1846 - Sileby section

© University of Leicester Special Collections

White continues with a brief manorial history, a history of the church, chapels and schools. In addition he outlines the history of parish charities and their benefactors. Then he adds personalised trade information. Later, the directories have similar formats for their town and village sections; having a settlement description to start with, followed by a listing of principal inhabitants and then listing tradesmen and women.





Part of the trades listing from White's Directory 1846 - Sileby section

© University of Leicester Special Collections

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