[From Samuel Lewis's Topographical Dictionary of England 1831.]
CLAPHAM, a parish forming, with the parishes of Milton-Ernest and Oakley, a detached portion of the hundred of STODDEN, county, of BEDFORD, 21 miles (N.W. by N.) from Bedford, containing 204 inhabitants. The living is a discharged vicarage, in the archdeaconry of Bedford, and diocese of Lincoln, rated in the king's books at £6.13.4., endowed with £600 private benefaction, and £600 royal bounty, and in the patronage of the Earl of Ashburnham. The church, dedicated to St. Thomas à Becket, is a very ancient structure, with a Norman, or Saxon, tower remarkable for the simplicity and rudeness of its architecture. Clapham was formerly a chapelry in the parish of Oakley; the inhabitants still bury there. Here are charitable donations, producing £20 per annum, for the purpose of apprenticing boys.
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