Universal British Directory 1791
The Village of Kingsclere, Hampshire
town of Kingsclere, which derives its name from being formerly the residence
of the Saxon kings, is situate in the north part of the county of Hants;
on the edge of a delightful chain of hills, which extends westward thro'
a vast track of the county into Berkshire.
Kingsclere is distant from London fifty-six miles, Basingstoke nine, Overton six, Whitchurch nine, Andover sixteen, Newbury seven, Reading seventeen and Aldermaston six.
A few miles west of this place, the county is divided from Berkshire by the river Auburn or Aldern. The principal trade of this town is in the malting business, very considerable quantities being annually made for the London markets and which have usually born the preference to most country malts. The market, which is principally by sample, is held at the Swan and George inns every Tuesday. The fairs are the first monday in April, first Tuesday in June and the first Tuesday in October, all old style.
Here is a free-school endowed by Sir James Lancaster, who also left ten pounds a year to the poor of this place. Also three Sunday schools, very well attended. The church is a large well built structure, stands nearly in the centre of the place, and has two chapelries (Itchingswell and Sidmonton) annexed.
A little above the town arises a beautiful spring, supplying four mills of considerable business within a mile of its source.
There is no post comes to this place. The letters are conveyed to and from the Newbury post-office by a post-man, every Sunday, Wednesday and Friday. No stage coaches.
The Swallowfield waggon, Mansy proprietor, regularly goes from the Swan Inn to the Kings Arms, Holborn-bridge, London every Tuesday morning, and returns Monday evening. Also another, Pilgrim proprietor, goes every Thursday to Newbury and returns the same day.
Carter John, Esq
Carter Thomas, Esq
Pierce Richard, Esq
Gwynne Rev. Howell
Obourne Rev. Thomas,
Rector of Laverstock and Ewerst
and Justice of the Peace
Bishop John, Surgeon, Apothecary and Man-midwife
Reeves John, Ditto
Holding William, Attorney
Adams Charles, Wheeler
Arnot Isaac, Carpenter
Arnot John, Carpenter
Ayres Mrs, Shopkeeper
Bance William, Cooper
Barnes Mrs, Victualler, (Falcon)
Blake John, Excise Officer
Bur John, Cooper
Chance Edward, Linen and Woolen draper
Clark John, Plumber and Glazier
Clements Joshua, Fellmonger
Clinton Jos, Innkeeper (George)
Cover Elizabeth, Mantua maker
Coxhead William, Gardener and Horsebreaker
Dicker Mary, Baker
Drake John, Maltster
Ducket Richard, Brick-burner
Farmer and Temner, Tanners
Field John, Maltster
Flower Francis, Maltster
Foster Thomas, Shoemaker
Goddard Michael, Butcher
Greigg Mrs, Ladies Boarding-school
the brow of the hill, about a mile east of this place, is a well built
house, formerly the seat of Francis Cottington, deceased, but now uninhabited.
Further south-east on the hills is Cannon Park, formerly the seat of his
royal highness the late Duke of Cumberland, and since of other nobility
and gentry, but now of Michael Lade, Esq. At this seat the celebrated
comedian, Foote, left his leg.[see below]
Two miles east of this place is Woolverton, the seat of Sir Charles Pole; at which place also is a neat house (the parsonage) the residence of the Rev Mr Jenkins. A little further eastward, on the borders of Berkshire, is Baughurst. Here is a good house and pleasant gardens, the seat of Robert Mackreth. Esq. recently much beautified and improved by two large sheets of water, bridges etc. Near Ewerst is Browning-hill, the seat of --- Platt, Esq. About three mile south fo Kingsclere is Sidmonton, the seat of Robert Kingsmill, Esq. A few miles further in the same direction is Highclere, the seat of the right honorable lord Porchester; and about three miles from this place, on the Newbury Road is Beenham Court, a pleasant house the residence of William Drake, Esq. The other adjoining villages are Itchinswell two mile west and Hannington three miles east.
Foote, Samuel (1720 - 1777) Actor and dramatist, spent three years at Oxford, where he dissipated a fortune. He then turned to the stage, and as an actor was particularly successful in comic mimicry; acting in his own plays, he caricatured his fellow actors and other well-known persons, often savagely. He wrote a number of dramatic sketches, depending for their success on topical allusions, of which Taste (1752) was the first. The Minor (1760), a satire directed against the Methodists in which Foote mimicked Whitefield as 'Dr Squintum', was his most powerful work. Other works include The Liar (1762), The Patron (1764, depicting Dodington), and The Mayor of Garret (1764). In The Maid of Bath (1771) Foote pilloried Squire Long, the unscrupulous sexagenarian lover of Miss Elizabeth Linley, who was to marry Sheridan. The Nabob (1772) was aimed at the directors of the East India Company and Piety in Patterns (1773) ridiculed sentimental comedy and Richardson's Pamela. Foote had a leg amputated in 1766, after some ducal horseplay, but this did not quell his spirit; he received as compensation a patent for a theatre and built the new Haymarket in 1767. He was known to his contemporaries as 'the English Aristophanes'.