Coton, with Hopton
COTON, with Hopton, a township, in the parishes of St. Mary and St. Chad, Stafford, S. division of the hundred of Pirehill, union, and N. division of the county, of Stafford, 5¾ miles (E. by S.) from Stone; containing 464 inhabitants. Upon Hopton Heath, now inclosed, a most severe battle was fought in 1643, between the king's forces under the Earl of Northampton, and the parliamentary army commanded by Sir John Gell and Sir William Brereton. The earl, notwithstanding the superiority of his adversaries, attacked them with great impetuosity, and a long and obstinate contest followed, in which, after performing prodigies of valour, the earl's horse having been shot under him, he was surrounded and slain. The royalists, however, continued the battle, and, according to their own account, gained a decided victory; but the parliamentary army, on the other hand, asserted that, though worsted at first, they were in the end successful: be this as it may, it is certain that out of 600 dead found on the field next morning, 500 were royalists. The township is a fertile district, containing a number of scattered houses extending from the hamlet of Littleworth, on the eastern side of Stafford, to the confines of Ingestre, the beautiful seat of the Earl Talbot, who is lord of the manor and owner of most of the soil. On the north bank of the river Sow, in the hamlet of St. Thomas, are some remains of a priory of Black canons, founded about 1180. The Staffordshire General Lunatic Asylum is situated in the township.