UK Genealogy Archives logo


AMPTHILL is a market and union town, head of a petty sessional division and county court district, centrally situated in the county, 45 miles from London by road and 8 south from Bedford. The Midland Railway Company's main line passes through and has a station 1 mile north of the town; the Ampthill (Marston) station on the Bedford and Bletchley branch of the London and North Western railway is in the parish of Marston (Morteyne), 3 miles north-west from Ampthill, which is in the Northern division of the county, hundred of Redbornestoke, rural deanery of Ampthill, archdeaconry of Bedford and diocese of Ely. The town is clean and well built, and is situated on high ground, shielded from the north and east by hills, and open to the south: it is lighted with gas, and has a good supply of water, and its position on a dry sandy soil renders it very healthy, while the picturesque scenery or the neighbourhood affords most beautiful walks and drives. The Alameda, situated just outside the town, on the Woburn road, is a double avenue of limes, planted by the celebrated Lady Holland, in imitation of that at Madrid. Ampthill was constituted a manor-royal by Henry VIII. under the title of the Honor of Ampthill, and confers the title of baron on a branch of the Russell family. The church of St. Andrew is an ancient structure, in the Early English, Decorated and Perpendicular styles, consisting of chancel, nave, aisles, porch, with sacristy over it, and a tower containing 5 bells; the interior of the church was restored and reseated in 1846, and again in 1877, at a cost of £2,300, of which £1,000 was contributed by the Duke of Bedford K.G.: it contains a mural monument to Richard Nicolls, of Ampthill House, killed in the engagement between the fleets of England and Holland, May 28th, 1672; the cannon ball which occasioned his death is inlaid in the marble, with the inscription, "Instrumentum Mortis et Immortalitatis;" there is also a marble pillar in memory of the Earl of Upper Ossory, and a brass to Sir Nicholas Hervey knt. one of the knights of the Field of the Cloth of Gold, and in the suite of Katherine of Arragon when she resided at Ampthill Castle: the ancient sacristy over the porch is now used as a clerical library. An addition of one acre was made to the churchyard in 1883, the gift of the Duke of Bedford, who also bore the cost of inclosing it with iron railings: the church will seat 700 persons. The register dates from the year 1558. The living is a rectory, tithe rent-charge £250, gross yearly value £300, including 47 acres of glebe, with residence, in the gift of the Lord Chancellor, and held since 1875 by the Rev. John James Tall Wilmot M.A. of St. John's College, Cambridge. There are Congregational, Wesleyan and Primitive Methodist chapels. The Baptist chapel, situated in Dunstable street, is a brick structure, and seating 400 persons. The Wesleyan chapel, Dunstable street, completed in 1884, at a cost of £3,500, is an edifice of grey brick, with stone dressings: it will seat 800 persons, and has attached a schoolroom and 6 class-rooms, with vestry. The County Court hall, situated in Church street, is an imposing structure of brick. The extensive brewery of Messrs. Morris and Co. has undergone extensive repairs and alterations, which are now completed. The iron works of Mr. Alfred Hetley, which have been considerably enlarged, comprise an extensive iron foundry, fitting and erecting shops, and employ a large staff of workmen: the works cover an area of about two acres, The market day is on Thursday; and fairs are held on the 4th May and 30th November for cattle, and a statute fair September 29th. At Little Park, about a mile from the town, are almshouses, founded by the Rev. John Cross D.D. and vested in five trustees, members of the University of Oxford; they are for nine men and four women: each of the former receives £30, and the latter £20 yearly: the rector is chaplain. Near the church are the feoffee almshouses, for twelve widows, each of whom receives £10 yearly; the other charities amount to about £40 yearly. Ampthill Park, the property of the Duke of Bedford K.G. was erected by Lord Ashburnham in 1694, and has been the residence of Lords Upper Ossory and Holland, the former of whom considerably improved the house and surrounding grounds: the park, though not large, is one of great beauty, and has long been celebrated for its majestic oaks, many of which are supposed to be upwards of 1,000 years old, and two of the most noted are more than 36 feet in circumference in the trunk: in the garden front of the mansion is one of the finest avenues of lime trees in England. At a short distance to the south-west formerly stood Ampthill Castle, the retreat of Queen Katharine during her trial, which circumstance is mentioned in Shakespeare's "Henry VIII.," Act iv. Scene 1 :-

"The Archbishop
Of Canterbury, accompanied with other
Learned and reverend fathers of his order,
Held a late court at Dunstable, six miles
From Ampthill, where the princess lay."

This spot, which commands most extensive and beautiful views of the Vale of Bedford and the surrounding country, is marked by a stone cross, erected by the Earl of Upper Ossory, with an inscription by Horace Walpole. Near here are the ruins of Houghton House, supposed to have been erected by Inigo Jones, about the year 1620, for Mary (Sidney), Countess of Pembroke, daughter of Sir Henry Sidney K.G. and sister to Sir Philip Sidney, who is said to have written his "Arcadia" in the park in which this mansion stood. The Duke of Bedford K.G. is lord of the manor and principal landowner. The population in 1881 was 2,257, including 93 officers and inmates in the workhouse; the area is 1,928 acres; rateable value, £10,272.

Parish Clerk, Thomas Harrison, Dunstable street.

Official Establishments, Local Institutions &c.

Post, M. O. & T. O., S. B. & Annuity & Insurance Office & Inland Revenue Stamp Office, Dunstable street.- Edward Tomblin, postmaster. The delivery commences from London & all parts at 7 a.m. & from London & the South at 10 p.m.; box closes for London at 11.55 a.m.; for London, the North & all parts at 6.40 p.m. & for London & the South at 9.35 p.m. Letters can be posted until 6.55 by affixing an extra stamp, & can be registered within half an hour of closing the box. Sunday delivery 7 a.m. & dispatched at 6.15 p.m. Money orders issued & paid & savings bank department open from 9 a.m. till 6 p.m. & on saturdays until 8 p.m. Telegraph messages received from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.; on sundays, from 8 to 10 a.m


Thynne Francis John esq. D.L. Bedford, chairman
Brooks Maj. John Hatfield D.L. Flitwick Manor ho. Ampthill
Coventry-Campion Major John Gadsby B.A. The Grange, Pulloxhill, Ampthill
Barter James Francis Hatfeild esq. Cranfield court, Newport Pagnell
Jekyll Edward Joseph esq. Higham Bury, Ampthill
Wingfield Anthony Henry esq
Clerk to the Magistrates, Frederic Thomas Tanqueray, Market place

Petty Sessions are held at the County Court hall every alternate thursday at 11 a.m

The following are the places included in its jurisdiction:- Ampthill, Chicksands, Clophill, Cranfield, Flitton, Flitwick, Gravenhurst, Harlington, Haynes, Higham Gobion, Houghton Conquest, Lidlington, Marston-Morteyne, Maulden, Millbrook, Pulloxhill, Shillington, Silsoe, Steppingley & Westoning


Commercial Union Life & Fire, E.T.I. Morris, Church st
County Fire, Provident Life & Midland Counties (Hail Storm), H. R. J. Swaffield, Market place
Norwich Union Fire, E. Coleman, Woburn street
Sun Fire & Life, George Allen & Co. Market place


County Court Office, Church street, His Honor William Henry Gunning Bagshawe Q.C. judge; John Wright, registrar & high bailiff; Arthur Stanbridge, bailiff. The court is held in the County Court hall every alternate month: the following are the places within its jurisdiction:- Ampthill, Clophill, Cranfield, Eversholt, Flitton, Flitwick, Gravenhurst, Harlington, Higham Gobion, Haynes, Houghton Conquest, Lidlington, Marston-Morteyne, Maulden, Millbrook, Pulloxhill, Ridgmont, Shillington, Silsoe, Steppingley, Tingrith & Westoning

Certified Bailiffs under the Law of Distress Amendment Act:- Henry R. J. Swaffield, Ampthill; Fras. Joyce, Silsoe; John R. Eve, Bedford

County Police Station, Park street, George James, superintendent; 1 sergeant & 12 constables, also an additional constable at Wrest park

Fire Engine House, Church street

Highway Board of the Woburn District, held at the King's Arms inn, Henry Trethewy esq. chairman; Thomas Tanqueray, clerk; Henry Platt, surveyor

Bedfordshire Regiment, 3rd Volunteer Battalion (E Company), 'King's Arms', Market place, Capt. Herbert T. Eve, commandant; - Dellar, sergt. instructor


Board days every thurs. at the Workhouse at 11.45 a.m.

The union comprises the following parishes- Ampthill, Clophill, Cranfield, Flitton, Flitwick, Gravenhurst, Haynes, Higham Gobion, Houghton Conquest, Lidlington, Marston-Morteyne, Maulden, Millbrook, Pulloxhill, Shillington, Silsoe, Steppingley & Westoning; the population of the union in 1881 was 16,253; rateable value, £80,014

Clerk to the Guardians & Assessment Committee, Jn. Wright, Church street, Ampthill

Treasurer, James Hack Tuke, Market place, Ampthill

Relieving & Vaccination Officer for the Union & Collector to the Guardians, Chas. Cook Bartram, Arthur st. Ampthill

Medical & Public Vaccinators:- Ampthill district, William Samuel Seinn, Church street, Ampthill; deputy, Richard Ambler L.R.C.P. Edin. Church street; Cranfield district, William Wright Milligan, Cranfield; Silsoe district, Henry Fredk. Holland M.D. Church square, Ampthill; Shillington district, Thomas Cameron Temple, Shefford

Superintendent Registrar, Jn. Wright, Church st. Ampthill

Registrar of Births & Deaths, Ampthill sub-district, Thomas Henry Lane, Dunstable street, Ampthill; Cranfield sub-district, William Wright Milligan, Cranfield; Shillington sub-district, Abraham William Day, Shillington

Registrars of Marriages, Ampthill district, Charles Riddle, Market place, Ampthill; Cranfield district, William Coleman, Cranfield

The Workhouse, occupying a commanding position at the entrance of the town from the railway station, was erected in 1835 & consists of several blocks of buildings in red brick; it is available for 500 inmates; Henry Frederick Holland M.D. medical officer; Rev. John James Tall Wilmot M.A. chaplain; Charles Sharland, master; Miss Mary Lane, matron


Clerk, John Wright, Church street, Ampthill

Treasurer, James Hack Tuke, Market place, Ampthill

Medical Officer of Health, Henry Frederick Holland M.D. Church square, Ampthill

Sanitary Inspector, John Fawcitt, Maulden


Clerk, John Wright, Church street, Ampthill

Attendance Officer, John Fawcitt, Maulden


Assistant Overseer, Charles Riddle, Market place

Certifying Factory Surgeon, Samuel Slinn, Church street

Collector of Poor's Rates & Taxes, Chas. Riddle, Markel pl

Coroner for the Honor of Ampthill, Frederic Thomas Tanqueray, Market place; deputy, Arthur Lucas, Woburn

Inland Revenue Officer, Hugh Hawthorne, Dunstable street

Secretary to Lighting Inspection Committee, Walter Studman, Dunstable street

Superintendent of Police, George James, Park street

Treasurers for the Lamp Inspectors of Ampthill, Sharples & Co. Market place; secretary, Walter Studman, Dunstable street

Town Crier, John Horspool, Dunstable street

PLACES OF WORSHIP, with times or services:-

St. Andrew's, Rev. John James Tall Wilmot M.A., rector; 11 a.m. & 6.30 p.m

Baptist, Dunstable street; various ministers

Congregational, 10.15 a.m. & 6 p.m.; mon. 7 p.m.; wed. 7.30 p.m

Primitive Methodist, 10.30 a.m. & 6 p.m.; prayer meeting, mon. 7.30 p.m

Wesleyan, Dunstable street, Rev. I. H. Pawlyn, minister; 10.30 a.m. & 6 p.m

National School, Bedford road, erected in 1845, for 260 children; average attendance, 220; & supported by government grant & contributions; master, Geo. Andrew Ferraby; assistant master, Herbert Studman; mistress, Miss Martha Brightman; infants' mistress, Miss M. A. Dickens


Midland, Joseph Minney, station master

London & North Western (Millbrook for Ampthill), Cornelius Theobald, station master

CONVEYANCE.-Omnibus, from 'White Hart,' to the Ampthill station (Midland) to meet up & down trains


BEDFORD- Henry Walker, wed. & sat. returning same day Luton- Thos. Gee, mon. wed. & sat. returning same day Parcels Agents- For the Midland railway, John Gray, 'White Hart;' for the London & North Western railway, Mrs. Eliza Stanbridge, 'King,'s Arms'


Allen George, Market place
Allen John, Church street
Allen Joseph, Gothic cot. Dunstable st
Allen William Stephen, Church street
Ambler Richard, Dunstable street
Ampthill Lady, Ampthill park
Barton Mrs. Church street
Bartram Thomas John, Park street
Berwick Charles, Market place
Binyon William, Dunstable street
Blarney John, Market place
Broughton Commander Cecil Delves R.N. Church street
Brown James, Dunstable street
Claridge George, Maulden road
Clark John, Dunstable street
Coleman Edward, jun. Church street
Coleman Joseph, Woburn street
Coleman Mrs. Oliver, Dunstable street
Croson Mrs. Woburn street
Eagles Mrs. Dunstable street
Handscomb Mrs. Woburn street
Hawthorne Hugh, Dunstable street
Hetley Altred,The Laurels, Dunstable st
Henman Mrs. Dunstable street
Holland Henry Fredk. M.D. Church sq
Marshall Miss, Church street
Morris Misses, Church street
Morris Miss, Dunstable stroet
Peer Stnart, Dunstable street
Randall Miss, Dunstable street
Readman Mrs. Dunstable street
Reah Miss, Dunstable street
Rushbrooke George, Market place
Seabrook Mrs. Dunstable street
Seabrook John, Church street
Seabrook Samuel, The Grange
Seward John Bramwell, Hill Side house
Slinn William Samuel, Church street
Smith George Morrison, Market place
Smith Isaac, Glo'ster ho. Dunstable st
Smith Mrs. Cromwell house
Smith William Samuel, Linden house
Studman Walter, Market place
Thomson William Arnold Urquhart, The Limes
White Robert M. Dunstable street
Wilmot Rev.John James Tall M.A. [rector & chaplain of the workhouse], Rectory
Wingfield Mrs. Ampthill house


Abbis Joseph, blacksmith, Woburn street
Abbiss Frederick, coach builder, Woburn street
Abbott George John, baker, Park hill
Allen Geo. & Co. manufacturing & pharmaceutical chemists & growers of lavender & medicinal herbs, Market place
Allen William & Son, plumbers, Bedford street
Ambler Richd. L.R.C.P.Edin. deputy medical officer & public vaccinator to the Ampthill district, Church street
Ampthill Gas & Coke Co.(George Claridge, sec.), Maulden rd
Ampthill Savings Bank (open 3 to 4 on thursday; Henry Richard James Swatfield, actuary), Market place
Ansell George, greengrocer, Bedford street
Arnold William, blacksmith, Dunstable street
Arnold William, butcher, Bedford street
Dailey Benjamin, shoe maker, Park street
Barfoot John & Son, tailors, Woburn street
Bartram Charles Cook, relieving & vaccination officer for the union & collector to the guardians, Arthur street
Battison Emma Matilda (Miss), dress maker, Church street
Battison Samuel John, upholsterer, Church street
Bedfordshire Regiment, 3rd Volunteer Battalion (E Company) (Capt. Herbert T. Eve, commandant; - Dellar, sergeant instructor); head quarters & armoury, King's Arms P.H. Market place
Billington Charles, Compasses P.H. Dunstable street
Blarney John, manager of Hertfordshire & Hitchin Bank, Market place
Bonness Edward, beer retailer, Dunstable street
Hosford George, builder, Chapel street
Brightman Leonard, butcher, Market place
Brooks George, butcher, Dunstable street
Burgess Josiah, mineral & soda water, ginger beer & lemonade manufacturer, Oliver street
Chapman Thomas, carpenter, Grange
Claridge & Berwick, grocers, & agents for W. & A. Gilbey, wine & spirit merchants
Clarke William W. watch maker, Dunstable street
Cole Henry J. baker, Woburn street
Cole Philip, Crown & Sceptre P.H. Bedford street
Coleman Edward & Sons, grocers, Woburn street
Cooper Lucy (Miss), straw hat maker, Church street
Crick Isaac, nurseryman, Houghton Park gardens
Crick Thomas, grocer &c. Bedford street
Crisp William J. farmer, Brickhill pastures
Dillingham Brothers, wheelwrights, Dunstable street
Fielder Richard, market gardener, Bedford street
Finding Samuel, watchmaker, Bedford street
Fountain Newland Michael (Mrs.), farmer, Little Park farm
Franklin Charles, coal merchant
Gammons Samuel, tailor, Arthur street
Gee George, beer retailer, Bedford street
Gee Thomas, general carrier, Dunstable street
Goff Charles, beer retailer, Woburn street
Gray John, White Hart commercial hotel & posting house
Hanscomb Samuel Richard, cabinet maker, Woburn street
Hanscomb Sarah (Mrs.), straw bonnet maker, Woburn st
Hardwick Arthur, grocer, Dunstable street
Harrison Thomas, boot maker, Dunstable street
Hawthorne Hugh, inland revenue officer, Dunstable street
Hensman George, machine maker & brass founder, Park st
Hertfordshire Hitchin Bank (branch of) (Sharples & Co.) (John Blarney, manager), Market place; draw on Barclay, Bevan & Co. London EC
Hetley Alfred, general engineer (civil & mechanical) & iron founder, manufacturer of agricultural implements, The Iron works
Holland Henry Frederick M.D. St. Andrews, surgeon, & medical officer & public vaccinator, Silsoe district, Ampthill union, medical officer to workhouse & medical officer of health to rural sanitary authority, Church square
Horn Richard, umbrella maker, Dunstable street
Horspool John, bill poster & town crier, Dunstable street
James George, supt. of police, Police station, Park street
Johnson Irvine, brewer for Messrs. Morris, Dunstable street
Johnson William, shoe maker, Dunstable street
Jolly Francis, confectioner, Church street
Lane Thomas Henry, registrar of births & deaths for the Ampthill sub-district, Dunstable street
Langley George, Old Sun P.H. Dunstable street
Mann Sarah Ann (Miss), beer retailer, Dunstable street
Moore Sarah (Miss), dress maker, Park hill
Morris & Co. brewers, Ampthill brewery; office, Bedford st
Morris Frederick (Mrs.), grocer & ironmonger, Church st
New Arthur M.R.C.V.S. veterinary surgeon, Church street
Negus Rachel Ann (Mrs.), fancy repository, Bedford street
Norman Dennis, saddler & harness maker, portmanteau, legging & gaiter maker, Dunstable street
Pack Robert, boot maker, Dunstable street
Peck Francis, shopkeeper, Dunstable street
Peskett Charles, beer retailer, Church street
Phillips William, shoe maker, Dunstable street
Platt Henry, surveyor to Woburn District Highway Board
Ramsay John, cabinet maker, Church street
Riddle Charles, fancy repository, registrar of marriages for the Ampthill district, collector of poor's rates & taxes & assistant overseer, Market place
Robinson William Archibald, saddler, Woburn street
Rushbrooke George, draper, Market place
Seabrook Samuel, farmer, Grange farm
Sharpe & Sons, house decorators, Woburn street
Sharpe William (Mrs.), shopkeeper, Sanders piece
Sharples & Co. bankers, see Hertfordshire Hitchin Bank
Sheffield Henry, shoemaker, Woburn street
Slinn William Samuel, surgeon, & medical officer & public vaccinator, Ampthill district, Ampthill union & certifying factory surgeon, Church street
Smith James, printer, stationer &c. Church street
Smith John & Joseph, ironmongers, Dunstable street
Smith Joseph, leather seller, Park hill
Smith William (Mrs.), dress maker, Dunstable street
Smith Rachel (Mrs.), fancy repository, Dunstable street
Stanbridge Eliza (Mrs.), King's Arms P.H. Market place
Stanbridge Robert, butcher, Woburn street
Stanbridge William, china & glass dealer, Dunstable street
Stapleton Chas. boot closed upper manufacturer, Woburn st
Stearn & Son, tailors, Dunstable street
Stimson Samuel, coal merchant, Ampthill station
Studman Mary (Mrs.), dress maker, Dunstable street
Sugars, Facer & Smith, plumbers &c. Church street
Swaffield Henry Richard James, land agent, auctioneer & farmer, Market place; & Lodge farm, Beckerings park
Swan Henry John, manchester warehouseman, Dunstable st
Tanqueray Frederic Thomas, solicitor & coroner for the Queen's Honor or Ampthill, & clerk to magistrates, Market place; & at Woburn
Tansley James, King's Head P.H. Bedford street
Thomson Wm. Arnold Urquhart F.R.C.S. surgn. Dunstable st
Walker Henry, carrier, Woburn street
Walker William, boot maker, Market place
Warner William, Albion inn, Dunstable street
Welch George, beer retailer, Dunstable street
Wheatley James, hair dree-er, Dunstable street
Whitbread Henry, confectioner &c. Church street
Whitbread John, jun. cooper, Dunstable street
White Edward, hair dresser, Market place
Wildman Alfred & Ernest, builders, Church street
Wildman Alfred, stone mason, Church street
Wildman James, builder, Dunstable street
Wright John, solicitor, clerk to guardians, assessment & school attendance committee of Ampthill union, & the rural sanitary authority, registrar & high bailiff of county court, clerk to Flitwick & Millbrook school boards & supt. registrar, Church street
Young Men's Christian Association (Jas. Brown, hon. sec)

Transcribed from Kelly's Directory of Bedfordshire, 1890