Martin's, St., Stamford-Baron

MARTIN'S, ST., Stamford-Baron, a parish, in the borough and union of Stamford, soke of Peterborough, N. division of the county of Northampton, ½ a mile (S. E.) from Stamford; containing, with the hamlet of Wothorpe, 1443 inhabitants. The parish is situated on the navigable river Welland: the surface is varied, and enriched with wood; the substratum contains freestone of excellent quality. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £7. 13. 9., and lately endowed by the Marquess of Exeter, who is patron and impropriator, with £1800; total net income, £215. The tithes were commuted for land in 1795. The church is a handsome structure in the later English style, erected by a bishop of Lincoln in the fifteenth century, and contains monuments to several members of the Cecil family, including one to Lord Treasurer Burghley, whose ancient mansion in the immediate neighbourhood, Burghley House, is now the magnificent residence of the Marquess of Exeter. Her Majesty the Queen, accompanied by Prince Albert, visited the noble marquess at Burghley House in Nov. 1844: during her stay she planted an oak in the grounds, near the great lime planted by Queen Elizabeth on her visit to Lord Burghley. In the parish is an hospital founded by Lord Burghley about 1597, and endowed by him with a rent-charge of £100, for a warden and twelve poor men; the endowment was subsequently augmented by various gifts. Dorothy, afterwards Countess of Exeter, in 1596, and Elizabeth, Countess Dowager, in 1722, gave property now producing together £123 per annum, which sum is appropriated to the support of schools, and in assisting the poor. Here was a Benedictine nunnery in honour of our Lady St. Mary and St. Michael, founded in the time of Henry II., by William de Waterville, abbot of Peterborough, to which abbey it was subordinate; it had at one period forty nuns, but at the Dissolution possessed a revenue of only £72. 18. 10. In March, 1847, some labourers, when excavating, near the late rectory-house, discovered a wooden box containing seven gold coins, consisting of nobles of the reign of Edward III., and angels and half-angels of the reign of Henry VIII.: they were nearly as bright as gold just issued from the mint.

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

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