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Northampton, Northamptonshire

Historical Description

Northampton, the county town of Northamptonshire, a municipal, county, and parliamentary borough, head of a union, petty sessional division and county court district, situated on the river Nen, at a point where that river flowing from the western border of the county makes a bend towards the NE. The town is 21 miles NW from Bedford, 20 SE from Rugby, and 63½ by rail and about 66 by road from London. A great mistake was made at the forming of the Birmingham and London railway, now part of the main line of the L. & N.W.R., in causing it to pass 4 miles SW of the town, instead of passing through or near it; but that mistake has been rectified by the formation of a direct line from London, and of branches and lines from the town running into communication with all parts of the kingdom. A main branch goes south-by-westward into junction with the L. & N.W.R main line near Blisworth; a line in continuation of that branch goes north-eastward to Peterborough, where the G.N.R., M.R., and G.E.R. also meet; another line, part of the Midland system, goes east-south-eastward into junctions at Bedford; the M.R. has also running powers over the L. & N.W.R. from Northampton to Wellingborough, which is on the Midland main line; another line belonging to the L. & N.W.R. goes northward into junction at Market Harborough, and unites with the M.R. and G.N.R., giving connection with Leicester, Nottingham, Newark, &c.; and two lines belonging to the L. & N.W.R. system, in continuation of the main branch to Blisworth, go west-south-westward and west-north-westward into intersections and junctions in Oxfordshire and Warwickshire. A branch canal, constructed in 1815, connects the river Nen with the Grand Junction Canal. The communications now, partly by river and canal, and mainly by railways, are ample and facile, and have greatly contributed to local prosperity.

History.-Northampton probably dates from the ancient British times, but it does not appear in record till the times of the Saxons. It was then called Hamtnne; it afterwards took the prefix North to its name to distinguish it from other Hamtunes or Hamptons; it figured in the later Saxon times as Northafendon, and it appears in Domesday book as Northantone. The Danes held it in 817-21; they burnt it in 1010; and, after severe and desolating struggles with the English throughout the kingdom about 1064, they again burnt it and almost completely depopulated the surrounding country. Simon de St Liz received it from William the Conqueror, took from it the title of Earl, fortified it with walls and a castle, and speedily raised it to comparatively high prosperity. It soon became the occasional residence of several of the kings, and acquired for a time a quasi-metro-political influence. Henry I. in 1106 met here his brother Curthose. The same king in 1122 celebrated Easter here with great pomp, and in 1131 assembled a parliament here in which the English barons swore allegiance to his daughter, the Empress Maud, as his appointed successor to the throne. Parliament was convened here also in 1138 and 1144 by Stephen; in 1163 by Henry II., to arraign Archbishop Becket; in 1175, to confirm "the Constitutions of Clarendon;" in 1176, attended by King William of Scotland as a prisoner; in 1179, for further consideration of the laws of the realm, and attended for the first time by burgesses; in 1194, when Richard I. met the King of Scotland, and when a mint was established which continued till the time of Henry III.; and in 1199, on the death of Richard I., to take the oath of allegiance to his brother John. John removed his exchequer hither from London in 1209; he convened a council here in 1212, attended by the Pope's legates, Pandulph and Durant; he failed here to make concessions satisfactory to the legates, and was then excommunicated; and after the outbreak of the war between him and the barons, and after they had unsuccessfully laid siege to the castle, he was obliged to place both the castle and the town in their custody as security for the fulfilment of the conditions of Magna Charta. Henry III. received the homage of the King of Scotland here in 1217; kept Christmas here in 1218; convened parliaments here in 1227 and 1241; held a tournament here in 1241, at which Peter de Savoy, the queen's uncle, tilted; took the town from Simon Montfort and the barons in 1264; and held another parliament at it in 1266. An effort, in consequence of disputes among the students of Oxford and Cambridge, was repeatedly made in the time of Henry III. to establish a university in Northampton, and it so far succeeded as to obtain royal license for the establishment, and to draw hither a large party of the Oxford and Cambridge students, but it finally lapsed in 1265. Thirty Jews were hanged here in 1277 for clipping the king's coin, and fifty more were put to death in the following year on the allegation of their having crucified a child on Good Friday. Edward I. held a parliament here in 1290, and kept Christmas here in 1300. Edward II. held parliaments here in 1307 and 1316. Edward III. held a parliament here in 1328, at which peace was made with Scotland; another in 1336, at which war was declared against France; and another in 1338, under the Black Prince. Richard II. held a parliament here in 1380, when the poll-tax was enacted, the levying of which provoked the insurrection under Wat Tyler. The action known as the battle of Northampton, when Warwick the king-maker defeated Henry VI., was fought in Hardingstone Fields in 1459. Rivers and Woodville were beheaded at Northampton after the battle of Edgcott in 1469. Richard III. was here in 1483 before seizing the young king; Henry VIII. in 1540, Elizabeth in 1564, and James I. at his accession. The Court of Eyre for the forests was held here under the Earl of Holland in 1637. The town was garrisoned and refortified for the Parliament by Lord Brooke in 1642. Cromwell was here in 1645, Fairfax in 1647, and Cosmo, duke of Tuscany, in 1669. The plague devastated the town in 1637, great floods occurred in 1663 and 1720, a fire consumed 600 houses and one of the churches in 1675, and shocks of earthquake were felt in 1720 and 1776. The desolation by the fire of 1675 affected the greater part of the town, made an easy prey of the houses in consequence of their being chiefly built of wood and covered with thatch, and destroyed property estimated at £150,000 in value, but it led to the obtaining of an Act of Parliament for rebuilding the town, and occasioned it to be transformed from a state of meanness to a state of comparative beauty. Bishops Adam of Northampton, John of Northampton, another John of Northampton, Cartwright, and Parker, the monk Beaufu, the theologians Addington, West, and Woolsten, the dissenter Browne who founded the sect of Brownists, and the enthusiast Fisher who went to Rome to convert the Pope, were natives; and the family of Compton take from the town the titles of Earl and Marquis.

Structure and Antiquities.-The town stands on a gentle ascent, on the left bank of the Nen, and has charming environs, adorned with wood and gemmed with mansions and villas. It comprises two principal streets, spacious and regular, nearly a mile in length, intersecting each other at right angles, and dividing it into four nearly equal parts; includes minor streets diverging from the principal ones, also a spacious market-place where formerly stood a cross and a conduit; consists of well-built houses; and has neatly-paved thoroughfares, and an ample water supply from works belonging to the corporation. The castle and the town walls were dismantled in 1662. An old Gothic gateway from the wall of the castle has been built into a modern wall in Black Lion Hill, near the entrance to Castle Station. This is the only relic of the ancient stronghold. Some Roman coins, Roman urns, and mediaeval pottery have been found. An earthwork, popularly known as Danes' Camp from an idea that it was formed by Sweyn, the father of Canute, and formerly comprising about 4 acres, occupies a commanding eminence adjacent to the battlefield of Northampton, about 11 mile S of the town. Recent opinion, however, inclines to the belief that the earthwork is of British origin. Within the last few years it has been disturbed for ironstone, and various interesting objects, military and domestic, have been found, which go far to confirm this opinion. Some other ancient military works, indicative of frequent and formidable struggles. in the course of the local history, are in other parts of the neighbourhood. On the London Road, at the south-west corner of the park of De-la-Pre, and a little less than a mile S of Northampton, stands Queen's Cross, one of the most interesting monuments in the kingdom, still beautiful, though worn by time and defaced by memorials emblazoning the deeds of modern reformers. Eleanor, Queen of Edward I., dying at Harby in Nottinghamshire, monumental crosses were erected to her memory at Lincoln, Grantham, Stamford, Geddington, Northampton, Stony Stratford, Dunstable, St Albans, Waltham, London (Charing Cross), and Westminster, upon the places where her hearse rested. Of these monumental erections-the number of which have been variously stated at fifteen, thirteen, and ten-those at Geddington, Northampton, and Waltham alone survive. The cross at Northampton occupies a well-selected spot (supposed to be part of a site of a Roman encampment, several silver coins of the emperors-one of Nero-having been found in the adjoining fields), on the brow of a hill overlooking the town of Northampton and the verdant valley of the Nen. It consists of three diminishing compartments or storeys, surmounted by a broken cross, occupying a pediment of stone, ascended by nine steps, and rising hence to the height of about 40 feet. The whole structure is a composition of peculiar elegance and beauty, and is in the Early English style in transition to Decorative. A Black friary was founded at the town about 1240 by J. Dalyngton, and given at the dissolution to the Samwells; a Grey friary was founded in 1246, and given at the dissolution to the Taveners; an hospital, dedicated to the Virgin Mary, was founded in 1450; another ecclesiastical building, of unrecorded date, stood on the ground afterwards occupied by Wetton's Library; and all these four buildings have left some vestiges. A Cluniac priory, a cell to St Mary de Caritate in France, was founded in 1084 by Simon de St Liz, and given at the dissolution to the Smiths; a White friary was founded in 1271 by Simon Montfort; an Augustinian cell was founded in 1322 by John Longueville; a hermitage also stood at an old bridge over the Nen; and all these have disappeared. A well of ancient repute is called Becket's Well; and another, called the Scarlet Well (now closed), was notable for the sending of cloth from London to be dyed in its water. The Victoria Promenade skirts that part of the commons known as Cow Meadow, and commands a good view.

Public Buildings.-The Town-hall and Municipal Buildings stand in St Giles' Square; the first portion or eastern part was erected in 1861-64 at a cost of about £12,000, and the second or western portion in the years 1889-92 at a cost of about £45,700. The whole is built in the style of French Decorated Gothic and possesses great architectural beauty. The main front facade is of two storeys; the ground stage in the eastern part possesses a fine open groined vestibule, over which rises a lofty clock tower in two stages. This is balanced on the W by a broad gable flanked with tall turrets and pinnacles and by a noble fleche of leadwork on the main ridge. The whole front is elaborately treated with carving and sculptures in groups representing memorable events connected with the town and county of Nothampton, and with life-size statues of kings and queens of England and of eminent men having local historical connection of interest. Internally is provided a large hall for assemblies, &c., of the burgesses and for other purposes, and very beautifully decorated in colour; a sessions court, where the magistrates sit four times a week; a spacious council chamber, arranged and fitted in oak. Within the building are also located the town clerk's and magistrates' clerk's offices, the borough rate offices, and corporation water, accountant's, engineer's, and borough surveyor's offices; as well as the mayor's parlour, magistrates' rooms, and rooms for solicitors and witnesses. These municipal buildings also include the borough police station and offices of the chief-constable, with parade room, recreation-room, detective department, and ranges of cells all in direct communication with the police court. There is also a residence for the chief-constable in connection with the police department. Adjoining the Municipal Buildings are a capacious fire-engine station and other acessories. The principal halls, courts, the council chamber, the police station, and the offices are lighted with the electric light. The County Hall stands in George Row; it was erected soon after the great fire of 1675, and extended and re-arranged in 1812. It is an elegant and spacious structure in the Corinthian style; contains courts for the assizes and the quarter sessions, and a commodious suite of rooms for the county business, and is adorned with a splendidly ornate ceiling, and with fine portraits of William III., Queen Mary, Queen Anne, George I., and George II. The County Council Chamber, erected in 1890 at the back of the County Hall, is a spacious edifice of brick. The Corn Exchange stands on the Parade; was erected in 1850, at a cost of more than £10,000; is in the Italian style; includes shops and offices; and contains a noble hall 140 feet long, 65 wide, and 60 high, capable of holding 4000 persons. The Museum, Free Library, and Beading-room is in the Guildhall Road. The Museum contains some interesting portraits, a grand collection of geological specimens, both general and local, and a large number of ancient relics which have been found from time to time in the town and neighbourhood. The Library, which was established under the provisions of the Free Libraries' Act, includes the library which formerly belonged to the Mechanics' Institution, numbering upwards of 12,000 volumes, and also the library of the defunct Religious and Useful Knowledge Society, the rooms of which are now occupied by a Conservative club. The Post Office in Abington Street was erected in 1872, and is a building of brick and stone in the style of the Italian Renaissance. The Masonic Hall and Club in Prince's Street is used by all the Masonic societies in the borough, and was erected in 1889 at a total cost of about £7000. The Opera House, in the Guildhall Road, was erected in 1884 at a cost of about £10,000, and is a building of Ancaster stone in the Italian style; it can accommodate an audience of about 1700. The Temperance Hall, at the junction of Newland and Prince's Streets, is a building of brick in the style of the Renaissance. The Barracks stand at the N extremity of the town, on the Leicester Road; were originally erected in 1797 for cavalry, but were rebuilt in 1877-78 and converted into barracks for infantry; and are now occupied by the Northamptonshire Regiment (48th and 58th foot.) There are public swimming baths in Cattle Market Road. The Workhouse stands on the Wellingborough Road, within St Giles' parish, was erected in 1837, and will accommodate 400 inmates. H.M. Prison stands in Campbell Square, and was erected in 1845-46, at a cost of about £17,000. It is a large brick structure on the model principle, and was originally designed to hold 220 prisoners, but has since been greatly altered and enlarged.

Parishes, &c.-The municipal borough of Northampton is divided into three wards, named respectively East, South, and West. The parishes are All Saints, area 125 acres, population 9133; St Giles, area 779 acres, population 20,202; St Peter, area 46 acres, population 1752; Priory of St. Andrew or town part, area 89 acres, population 10,625; and St Sepulchre, area 272 acres, population 19,300. Total area of the municipal borough, 1311 acres; population, 61,016. The parliamentary borough includes parts of the parishes of Dallington, Duston, Hardingstone, and Kings-thorpe, and has an area of 1972 acres; population, 70,872. The ecclesiastical parishes of Northampton are All Saints (population, 6207), gross value, £87 with residence; St Andrew (6652), net value, £335; St Edmund King and Martyr (11,720), gross value, £300 with residence; St Giles (4293), gross value, £270 with residence; St James (4159), gross value, £152 with residence; St Katharine (4217), net value, £335 with residence; St Lawrence (5502), net value, £200 with residence; St Mary (254), gross value, £153 with residence; St Michael and All Angels (11,520), gross value, £200 with residence; St Paul (6150), gross value, £291 with residence; St Peter with Upton St Michael (2772), net value, £300 with residence; St Sepulchre (6518), gross value, £269. The living of St Peter is a rectory, and all the others are vicarages, all being in the rural deanery and archdeaconry of Northampton, and the diocese of Peterborough.

Churches and Chapels.-Seven parochial churches formerly stood within the walls and two without the walls, but only four of these old churches remain. The parish church (All Saints) stands nearly in the centre of the town, and must have been a magnificent structure-cruciform in shape, with the tower rising from the intersection; the nave reached half-way across the drapery. All except the Early English tower (which is burnt red in places) was destroyed by a fire in 1675. The work of rebuilding was at once commenced in accordance with the then popular Classical style, and in 1680 the church was re-opened for worship. King Charles II. gave a thousand tons of timber towards the rebuilding, and his gift is commemorated by an inscription along the portico and his statue in Roman costume above. The church consists of nave and chancel, with N and S aisles and galleries, and has a handsome dome in the centre of the ceiling of the nave, supported on massive Ionic columns. The chancel has a very elaborate ceiling of richly-modelled plaster-work, and until 1888 contained two full-length paintings of " Moses and Aaron" by Sir Godfrey Kneller; but these, together with a poor altar-piece containing the Ten Commandments, were in that year removed to the W end of the church to give place to the existing handsome reredos, which occupies the whole of the E end, in the centre of which is a beautiful painting of "The Crucifixion" by Mr Phillip H. Newman, of London. Sir Christopher Wren is the reputed architect. The organ was built in 1700 and is a very fine one. There is some fine woodwork about the church, notably in the old consistory court and round the doors giving entrance to the church. There is also a finely-carved oak pulpit. It is all early 18th century work, in the Renaissance style. A marble statue of the Right Hon. Spencer Perceval by Chantrey formerly stood in the chancel, but in 1866 was removed to the town-hall, and now stands in the new council chamber. St Giles' Church is of various dates, from Norman downward; has been greatly altered by repairs, renovations, and extensions; was restored and enlarged by extension of the nave and by erection of an additional N aisle about 1855; appears to have been originally cruciform, without aisles; has a fine Norman doorway reinstated in the new W end; has also a large embattled tower of the early part of the 17th century; and contains a Later English octagonal font and a beautiful alabaster tomb, supposed to belong to the Gobion family. St Peter's Church stands near the W extremity of the town, contiguous to the site of the ancient castle; is supposed to have been erected either by Simon de St Liz about the same time as the castle, or by bis immediate successor; shows interesting and exquisite features of pure Norman architecture; has a tower surmounting a fine arch; was well restored about 1852; and contains a monument to Smith the distinguished mezzotinto engraver, a tablet with bust of Dr William Smith, known as the " father of English geology," and various other monuments. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre was built by the Knights Templars after the model of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre at Jerusalem; is one of only four ancient round churches remaining in the kingdom, the others being at Cambridge, at Little Maplestead in Essex, and at the Temple, London. The Northampton example is a very fine one. The massive pillars of the round alone retain the character of the earliest building; the rest of the edifice has been several times restored and enlarged. It still, however, may claim to be one of the handsomest parish churches in England. The present building consists of the round surmounted by tower and spire (built about 1380), into which entrance is given by a handsomely moulded W door and S porch lately built on its old foundations. Ascending five steps the nave is reached; this is of good breadth and has two aisles to the N and one to the S, of different dates, from Transition Norman to Perpendicular. Beyond the nave is a lengthy chancel terminating in an apse, and with N and S chapels. The whole of the chancel was rebuilt at the last restoration by Sir Gilbert Scott in 1866. The Church of St Andrew, erected in 1841, is a building of local stone in the Early English style. The Church of St Crispin, erected in 1884 as a chapel of ease to the parish church of the Holy Sepulchre, is a building of local ironstone in the Early Gothic style, and has across its west front a large hall of the same stone used for parochial meetings. The Church of St Edmund, erected in 1850 at a cost of about £5000, is a cruciform building of local stone in the Early English style. The Church of St James, erected in 1868 at a cost of about £3000, is a building of brick in the Early English style. St Katherine's Church, which stands near the Horse Market, was originally erected in 1839, and was greatly improved in 1866; it is a building of local stone in the Gothic style. The Church of St Lawrence, erected in 1877 at a cost of £7800, is a building of red brick in the Early Pointed style. St Mary's Church, opened in 1885, is in a modified form of English Gothic, and is of local stone, with Bath stone dressings. The Church of St Michael and All Angels, erected in 1882, is a cruciform building of red brick in the Early English style. The Church of St Paul, erected in 1890, is an edifice of local stone in the Decorated style. St Matthew's Church is notably the largest and most beautiful of the modern churches of Northampton. It was erected by Pickering Phipps, Esq., of Blis-worth, to the memory of his father, upon a site given by other members of the family, and is situated on an elevated plateau on the eastern suburb of the town, and was consecrated on St Matthew's Day, 21 Sept., 1893. The church consists of a lofty nave with broad aisles, N and S transepts, a deep chancel and side chapel, the whole having a total interior length of some 159 feet, by a width of 60 and a height of 65 to the nave ridge. A tower and spire rising to a total height of about 180 feet is situated at the west end. The church is built entirely of stone, the exterior walling being of local limestone with Bath stone dressings, and the whole of the interior is of wrought Bath stone, including the lining of all the walls. There is much fine stained glass both in the chancel, chapel, and at the west end. The font, pulpit, and altar are costly sculpture works in marble and alabaster. The chancel screens are of fine wrought-iron, and the floor of marble. The organ is a magnificent instrument of four manuals, by Walker & Sons, and is blown by electricity, by which means also the church is lighted throughout. The total cost was upwards of £25,000.

The town of Northampton forms the head of a Romart Catholic diocese, which includes Northamptonshire, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Huntingdonshire, Norfolk, and Suffolk. The pro-cathedral, which is dedicated to St Mary and St Thomas, and was opened in 1864, is a building in the Early Decorated style, from designs by M. A. Pugin, the elder, and his son, M. A. W. N. Pngin. It contains some beautiful stained windows, two large panel paintings by Hesse, a fine picture of the head of Our Lord by Franz Seitz, a pulpit of stone and alabaster, erected in 1881 and a large crucifix carved in veined ivory by a Spanish artist. The chapel of the ancient hospital of St John the Baptist was purchased by the Roman Catholics in 1881, and opened, for their services in 1882. It is served from the cathedral.

There are five Baptist chapels in Northampton. That in College Street was rebuilt in 1863, and is a building of local stone, with sittings for 1300 people; that in Grafton Street,. but fronting Grafton Square, was rebuilt in 1869; that of Prince's Street, at the junction of Prince's and Grey Friars-Streets, was rebuilt in 1890, and is of red pressed brick in the Early English style, with a tower and spire 100 feet high. There are also five Congregational chapels, the most noteworthy being that known as Doddridge chapel, an ancient building of local stone, which had the celebrated Nonconformist divine, Philip Doddridge, D.D., as its minister. There are two Primitive Methodist chapels. There are also three Wesleyan chapels and one Reformed Wesleyan chapel. Of the Wesleyan chapels, that of Queen's Road, erected in 1887, is a building of red brick and stone in the Early Decorated style, and has an octagonal tower with spire nearly 100 feet in height. There are also a Friends' meeting-house, two meeting-houses of the Plymouth Brethren, a new Jerusalem church, a Unitarian chapel, a Salvation Army Barracks; and several mission-rooms.

Schools and Institutions.-The Free Grammar School was founded in 1542 at St Gregory's old church by Thomas Chip-sey, a grocer of Northampton, subsequent endowments being added by Cardinal Pole and Paul Wentworth. It was rebuilt in 1840, and again rebuilt in 1870, and had Bishop Cartwright and Hervey for pupils. By a scheme sanctioned by the Charity Commissioners, under which the Northamptonshire county council and the Northampton town council contribute to its maintenance and its management in co-operation with the old trustees, the school has been converted into the Northampton Town and County modern and Technical School. The Blue and Orange Corporation Charity School for educating and clothing forty-six boys was founded in 1753, and Becket and Sergeant's School for clothing and educating thirty girls was founded in 1735, and both have small endowments. There are also Government art, science, and technical schools attached to the buildings of the Grammar School, which are now continued under the above scheme, and numerous elementary schools. The General Infirmary occupies a healthful and airy site in The E of the town, was built in 1793 at a cost of £25,000, is a handsome edifice of stone, and has accommodation for about 160 patients. In 1872-78 extension of two south wings and out-patient building were erected at a cost of £6800. In 1888 the Jubilee wing was added, and in 1893 a north-east, wing was rebuilt and enlarged at a cost of £7000. The Royal Victoria Dispensary, which was established in 1844 in commemoration of the Queen's visit to Northampton, is for out-patients only. St Andrew's Hospital, for mental diseases, stands on a plot of 24 acres contiguous to the Billing Road; was built in 1836 from designs of Mr James Milne, and has cost over £96,000, is a splendid quadrangular edifice of white Bath stone, and has capacity for about 350 inmates. St John's Hospital Charity for aged and infirm persons was founded in 1137 by Walter, archdeacon of Northampton; has a yearly income of upwards of £1500; maintains a number of pensioners, and supports a convalescent home at Weston Favell, a village within 2 miles of the town. The old hospital buildings were Sold to the Roman Catholics in 1881. St Thomas' Hospital, originally founded in 1450 by the citizens and burgesses of Northampton, has an income of about £2000 a year; occupies a building in St Giles' Street erected in 1834; and supports both in-door and out-door pensioners. The Roman Catholic Convent of Notre Dame stands in Abington Street; was erected in 1871 at a cost of about £6000, exclusive of the chapel, and was greatly enlarged in 1890. It is a spacious building of white brick in the Gothic style. It has a boarding-school for 100 young ladies and a good middle-class school for day scholars. The Sisters also conduct a poor school, the building of which is situated on the Lower Mounts. There is a Roman Catholic Asylum for aged persons and destitute children at Nazareth House, Leicester Road. The town possesses some useful charities, among which is a fund left by Sir Thomas White, lord-mayor of London in 1553, to provide sums of money to be lent without interest to young men engaged in trade.

The Borough.-Northampton received its first charter from Henry II., and it has sent two members to Parliament since the time of Edward I. It is now governed by a mayor, 6 aldermen, and 18 councillors, with the usual assistant officers under the title of the Mayor, Bailiffs, and Burgesses of Northampton. It has a commission of the peace, under which the regular petty sessions and quarterly courts of session are held. It is also the seat of assizes and the head of an excise collection. By the Local Government Act of 1888 the town was declared a " county borough " for certain purposes. The corporation hold a court of record for the recovery of debts, and also constitute the urban sanitary authority. The county police station is situated at Angel Lane, and is the headquarters of the county police, Trade and Manufactures.-The town has a head post office, six banks, five large hotels, and publishes two daily and two weekly newspapers:-The Northampton, Mercury (established 1720, published every Friday), The Northampton Daily Reporter (established 1880, published every weekday afternoon except Friday), The Northampton Herald (established 1831, published every Friday), The, Northampton Daily Chronicle (established 1880, published every weekday afternoon except Friday). A weekly market for fat stock is held on Wednesday; another weekly market, largely attended, for cattle, sheep, and pigs, is held on Saturday; and fairs are held on the second Tuesday of Jan., 20 Feb., third Monday in March, 5 April, 4 May, 19 June, 5 and 26 Aug., 19 Sept., first Thursday in Nov., 28 Nov., and the Friday before the great Smithfield Market. The Cattle Market, on the S side of the town, occupies an area of six acres, and will accommodate about 5000 beasts, 5000 sheep, and 500 pigs. A trade in saltpetre and pigeons prevailed in Fuller's time, and the making of leather bottles was practised at a much earlier date. In former times many trade guilds existed among the burgesses and the craftsmen, one of the most important being that of the shoemakers, whose trade had become the principal in Northampton before the reign of Edward VI.-a place it retains until the present day. Fuller wrote concerning the town " that it may be said to stand chiefly on other men's legs;" and an old saying asserts that " you know when you are within a mile of Northampton by the smell of the leather and the noise of the lapstones." Immense quantities of boots and shoes are still made for the supply of the" army, the London market, an

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England & Wales, 1894-5


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Ancient CountyNorthamptonshire 
Poor Law unionNorthampton 

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RegionEast Midlands
Postal districtNN1
Post TownNorthampton