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Many civil parishes were in effect areas at first subordinate to a mother parish, which came in time to enjoy independence. These units were variously called hamlets (small settlements), tithings, or townships (generally subdivisions for poor law purposes), chapelries, areas with a clergyman dependent upon the incumbent of the mother parish, liberties, or lordships (areas with an early dependence upon a secular or ecclesiastical lord), or were called by a variety of other names with local importance. If a separate poor law rate was levied in the subordinate unit, it was then called by its own 'rank' such as 'township' and/or as 'parish'. To avoid this confusion the Poor Law Amendment Act, 1866 (29 & 30 Vict. c 113) stipulated that these areas should thereafter he called 'parishes'. Many 'extra-parochial' areas not within the parochial framework also became civil parishes, particularly in 1858.


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