Hardingstone (St. Edmund)

HARDINGSTONE (St. Edmund), a parish, and the head of a union, in the hundred of Wymmersley, S. division of the county of Northampton, 1 mile (S. S. E.) from Northampton; containing with the hamlets of Cotton-End and Delapre, 1053 inhabitants. This place was the scene of a sanguinary conflict called the battle of Northampton, in the reign of Henry VI., when that monarch was made prisoner, and the Duke of Buckingham and other noblemen were slain. The parish comprises about 2800 acres, inclosed in 1762; the soil towards the north, and on the bank of the Nene, is rich meadow and pasture land, in other parts a strong clay, and towards the west a reddish loam, yielding good crops of grain. The surface rises by gentle undulations towards the village, which is pleasantly situated on an eminence, commanding fine views of the country and of the villages on the opposite bank of the river. A branch of the Grand Junction canal joins the Nene at Cotton-End, where wharfs and warehouses have been constructed. The living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £13. 5., and in the patronage of the Crown; net income, £244; impropriator, E. Bouverie, Esq. The tithes were commuted for land in 1765; the glebe altogether comprises 150 acres. The church has a fine tower with five bells; the arches of the interior are lancet-shaped, and there are some costly memorials to the Hervey family. The poor law union of Hardingstone comprises 20 parishes or places, and contains a population of 8668. Near the side of the London road is one of the beautiful crosses erected by Edward I. to the memory of his consort Eleanor; and to the southwest of it is a commanding eminence, crowned by the remains of a circular fortification, inclosing an area of more than four acres, supposed to have been constructed by Sweyn, the father of Canute. James Hervey, author of the Meditations, was born at the village in 1713.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, 7th edition, published in 1848.

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