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[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 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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