A History of the County of Northampton: Volume 4. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1937.
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Hardingestone (xi cent. onwards); Hardingestorp (xi-xiii cent.); Hardingesthorn (xii-xv cent.); Herdingestone, Ardingesthorn (xiii cent.); Harthingistorn, Hardynstone (xiv cent.); Hardenston (xvii cent.).
Hardingstone is a parish and head of a rural district. (fn. 1) Cotton End and Far Cotton (Cotes xii-xiv cent.; Chotes xii-xiii cent.; Cotom xiv cent.), formerly hamlets, were incorporated in 1868 with the borough of Northampton for parliamentary purposes and constituted the civil parish of Far Cotton, in Delapré Ward, under the Local Government Act of 1894; in 1900 the greater part was added to the municipal borough of Northampton and the rest annexed to Hardingstone. (fn. 2) Part of the ecclesiastical parish was assigned to Far Cotton in 1875. (fn. 3)
The area of the civil parish of Hardingstone is 2,581 acres, land and water, that of Far Cotton 382 acres, the respective populations in 1931 being 704 and 7,268. The former shows a decline from 1921, the latter 2,000 increase. The soil is clay and loam, the subsoil stone and gravel, the crops wheat, barley, and grass.
The pleasant village of Hardingstone, 1¾ miles south-south-east of Northampton, stands about 275 ft. above the ordnance datum and commands a fine view of Northampton and the Nene Valley. A few 17thcentury ironstone thatched houses remain in the village, but in nearly all cases the windows have been altered and the mullions removed; one of these houses, on the north side of the main street, has a good four-centred moulded doorway. The lofty Hunsborough Hill was a late Celtic settlement; Roman coins and pottery have been found. (fn. 4) The parish became almost entirely church land in the 12th century and maintained two religious houses on its own soil, the Cluniac abbey of Delapré and the leper hospital of St. Leonard. A bedeman dwelt in the so-called Hermitage (fn. 5) near the south bridge, (fn. 6) for the repair of which he no doubt collected alms.
Of the two mills belonging to the royal manor at the time of the Conquest one, then known as Canchesmelne, was apparently for a while in the hands of Grimbold, who gave its tithes to the nuns of Delapre before 1135. (fn. 7) The mill itself may have come to the nuns when Earl Simon II gave them all that Hugh Grimbold held in Hardingstone, (fn. 8) but it was in the hands of the Crown from 1196 to 1199, when it was given to King David. (fn. 9) It was eventually given or restored to the abbey, as the mill of Conches, Kong, Congenes, or Quengions (fn. 10) was known in 1591 as 'Quyn Johns alias Quingeons mills alias Nunne mills'. (fn. 11) Rush mills and Marvell's mill rose in the 12th century and were given to St. Andrew's. A postern in the town wall and a causeway 7 ft. wide led to the latter. (fn. 12) Two corn-mills, called Cotton or the Abbot's, and from later owners Walgier's and Samwell's, belonged to St. James's Abbey, Northampton; and there were medieval fulling-mills and for a while a gig mill for dressing cloth; it was pulled down under a statute of Edward VI. In 1591 the Quingeons or Nun mills were composed of three mills under one roof and of a wheat mill standing by itself, and a centenarian witnessed that the gig mill had stood between them and the south bridge. Thomas Sandbrook had lately built a windmill which took away custom from the Queen's mills and also dug a ditch about St. Thomas's house (a hospital on the South bridge) and diverted water from the royal mills. (fn. 13) Marvell's mill saw an unsuccessful pioneer venture in cotton in the 18th century; (fn. 14) Rush mill became a paper mill and was making paper for Government stamps in 1874. (fn. 15)
The Eleanor Cross stands on the east side of the London road on the brow of the hill, about a mile from Northampton. It is one of the three remaining crosses erected to mark the resting-places of the body of Edward I's first wife, Eleanor of Castile, on its way from Harby in Nottinghamshire, where she died on 28 November 1290, to Westminster, and although it has been more than once restored, much of the original work remains. With the other 'Eleanor Crosses' it was erected about 1292 (fn. 16) and is a very beautiful example of late-13th-century architecture.
The cross stands on modern basement steps, octagonal on plan, and is built of stone in three diminishingstages, (fn. 17) the character of the original termination being unknown. (fn. 18) In 1900 the custody of the monument was handed over to the Northamptonshire County Council. (fn. 19) The first recorded restoration was in 1713, when the Justices of the county, 'seeing its dilapidated condition', made an order for its repair. (fn. 20) A cross 3 ft. high was erected on the summit, four sun-dials with mottoes (fn. 21) were placed on the third stage facing the cardinal points, and on the west side of the bottom stage was placed a white marble tablet surmounted by the royal arms, with a long Latin inscription. (fn. 22) The steps were renewed in 1762 and other repairs made, (fn. 23) but it was not until 1840 that any extensive work of restoration was carried out. This was done under the direction of Edward Blore, who removed the cross from its summit and put the present broken shaft in its place. The dials, royal arms, and inscription tablet were likewise removed, and the structure itself somewhat drastically renovated, one of the gables being entirely rebuilt. (fn. 24) In 1884 (fn. 25) the foundations were made secure and the steps renewed, their number being increased from seven to nine. (fn. 26)
The lowest stage of the cross is octagonal, with traceried sides, buttresses at the angles, and a sculptured cornice with cresting. The panelling on each side is in the form of a pointed arch, divided into two 'lights', with traceried head under a crocketed triangular canopy with foliated finial. In the head of each 'light' is a shield suspended from a knot of foliage, bearing the arms of England, Ponthieu, or Castile quartering Leon. (fn. 27) Each alternate side is further ornamented near the middle of the panel with an open book supported on a lectern.
The second stage, which appears as an octagon, is formed by a solid square pillar, in front of each side of which is a statue of the Queen under an elaborate gabled and vaulted canopy supported by slender shafts, facing the cardinal points; the statues, which are 6 ft. 8 in. high and in different postures, are said to be original. (fn. 28) The third stage, which rises from behind the canopies, is square on plan, each side with a pointed traceried panel of four 'lights', surmounted by a crocketed gable with foliated finial. The present termination, as already stated, is modern and reproduces no ancient feature.
The present Delapré Abbey, standing in a fine park, has undergone so many alterations that it is not possible to give a connected history of its development, but it retains quite a considerable amount of ancient work. It apparently incorporates no actual portions of the old abbey, but in one of its internal walls are two good doorways dating from about 1550. These were originally external doorways, but they now open into a passage leading from the hall to the kitchen. The opposite wall of the passage, of somewhat later date, has at each end a curious small recess, some 4 ft. off the floor. These were evidently intended to hold lamps to light the passages. The western or entrance front is of good Jacobean work and was lighted by mullioned windows, some now replaced by sashes. This front followed the customary E plan, with a projecting wing at each end and a porch in the middle. The old views, before the modern additions, show a very charming, quiet house. Its northern gable has a neighbour of much the same date, which is the end of a long range of rooms of which the northern wall, against the stable-yard, is of plain Jacobean work, while the southern wall is that in which the two mid-16th-century doors occur, near to them being an original circular stone staircase.
The Jacobean work may probably be attributed to ZouchTate, who was in possession from 1617 to 1650, and, according to Walker's Sufferings of the Clergy, 'built on the site of the nunnery and part of the church; turned other parts to profane use, particularly the chancel, to a dairy, buttery and such other offices'. But it must be said that no actual evidences of his profanity are now identifiable. Many of the rooms still retain wood panelling of his time, and in the servants' quarters is a staircase of the same period. In the year 1764 the property passed into possession of the Bouveries, and to them may be attributed the handsome south front with its long rows of sash windows, lighting rooms with panelling of the period. Later years brought more changes, among them being the enlargement, perhaps between 1830 and 1840, of the library by lengthening the original south wing westwards. Other rooms were contrived within the main block of the building, and although they make its history puzzling they helped to produce a very commodious and imposing home.
The stables are a simple but striking building of much the same period as the south front. The gardens are the particular delight of the present owner, Miss Bouverie. In the wall on the south front is a handsome old doorway treated in the fine manner usually associated with Inigo Jones.
The fields were inclosed 1765–6. (fn. 29)
Among the lands of ancient demesne held by the Confessor and retained by William I was HARDINGSTONE, in 'Coltrewestan' hundred. There were 5 hides besides the inland. William Peverel and Gunfrid de Cioches held 2 hides and 60 acres of meadow, by the king's gift 'as they say'. Another 2 hides, which had been held by Waltheof formed a manor for the Countess Judith in 1086. (fn. 30)
Of the fee of Chokes here no more seems to be heard; but under-tenants of the honor of Chokes elsewhere appear in Cotton, (fn. 31) where tenements were also held of the honor of Peverel in the 14th century. (fn. 32)
Most of the royal demesne was soon alienated, 7 hides being in the possession of King David in 1124. (fn. 33) The overlordship of all the manors in the parish descended from David with the honor of Huntingdon in the Hastings pourparty until 1542 when they were made members of the new honor of Grafton. (fn. 34)
King David's stepson Earl Simon I before 1135 gave all his demesne here to St Andrew's Priory, Northampton, which he founded, with 3 carucates of land, 3 doles of meadow, a holme, the mill called Cotesmeln, the new mill 'Riscmiln' (now Rush mills), the church and whole tithe. (fn. 35) Other gifts of land in Hardingstone Cotton were made by various donors. (fn. 36)
The crown, although alienating the rectory in 1590, retained manor and advowson, making various leases, (fn. 39) including a life grant to the Princess Elizabeth in 1551. (fn. 40) Bridges, about 1720, said that the 5 hides held by the crown in 1086 were still held by tenants in ancient demesne who paid a rent of £52 per annum to the Lord Chief Justice Raynsford's heirs, grantees of the crown, 'and are so far lords of Hardingstone as to fish and hunt within the parish'. They were also exempted from payment of toll in the hundred. (fn. 41)
In 1275 the Earl of Cornwall had a prison at Cotton and took toll of 50 herring from each cartload, and one each of other fish; while the bailiff of the Hastings in Cotton took the same toll of herring, two of other fish, and from a sumpter horse one fish or from a sumpter horse with salmon quarter of a salmon, and 6d. for carrying mill-stones, all to the damage of Northampton, whose merchants and brewers he forestalled here, besides distraining them for debt against their privileges. (fn. 42) Toll at Cotton and view of frank- pledge at St. Leonard's were attached to the manor of Yardley Hastings in 1325. (fn. 43)
The priory of St. Andrew's, having obtained all the Senlis demesnes in Hardingstone, gave back to Earl Simon II for a yearly rent of 60s. a site on which to build the monastery of St. Mary in about 1145. (fn. 44) This was the beginning of Delapre Abbey, which had its home manor here, the manor of COTTON alias WEST COTTON AND HARDINGSTONE. Earl Simon the founder gave it the church of Hardingstone, in which the abbey was established, (fn. 45) all the tenements in Hardingstone of Hugh Grimbald, Walter Dalt and Outus sometime porter of the King of Scots, and the service of Hugh Gobion from two dwellings by the bridge of St. Leonard, and the meadow called Alfwoldesholm. (fn. 46) Other donors made small grants in the parish. (fn. 47) The manor, or half manor, apparently came from the Vipont family. William de Vipont, believed to be grandson of Hugh de Morville, was enfeoffed of lands in Cumberland by King David, (fn. 48) and that king or, more probably, William the Lion granted him 2 hides (i.e. half the manor) in Hardingstone. He was in possession in 1194. (fn. 49) His son Ives succeeded, but joined the rebels in 1217, and the manor was handed over for a while to his brother Robert. (fn. 50) In 1219 the abbess of Delapré claimed 2 hides against William Vipont, stating that the Abbess Odierda was seised of it in the time of Henry II; and William called to warrant Alexander, King of Scotland. As the last-named called to warrant the King of England the plea was respited until his majority. (fn. 51) In 1236 the case was resumed, by William Vipont's claiming 20 virgates against the abbess; (fn. 52) and as late as 1253 the itinerant justices had instruction for the record of a plea of Robert Vipont against the abbess concerning half the manor. (fn. 53) In 1242–3 the Beseville family held 1/5 and St. Mary of Delapré 4/5 of the second knight's fee here; (fn. 54) later they were returned as sharing half a fee, (fn. 55) all of which was in the possession of the abbey in 1428, (fn. 56) and until its surrender in 1538. (fn. 57) The Crown still retained the manor in 1615, when the two royal manors were said to comprise the greater part of the parish or all of it. (fn. 58) As with the St. Andrew's manor, various leases were made, including a life grant by Edward VI to Princess Elizabeth, under her father's will. (fn. 59) The site of Delapré Abbey came into the possession of the Tate family in 1590, when the queen granted to Bartholomew Tate the rectory and the manor and grange of Cotton, in fee. (fn. 60) He died seised in 1601 and his son and heir Sir William, who married Eleanor daughter and co-heir of William Lord Zouch of Harringworth and was brother of the antiquary Francis, (fn. 61) was living there in 1612. (fn. 62) He died seised of the 'manor or capital messuage and grange commonly called Cotton manor alias Cotton Grange', in 1617, leaving a son and heir Zouch, aged 11, (fn. 63) ward of Lord Zouch. (fn. 64) He became a noted Roundhead and author of the Self-Denying Ordinance. William, son of Zouch, made a settlement of the manor on his marriage with Mary Stedman, (fn. 65) in 1673, (fn. 66) and others 1685 and 1695. (fn. 67) He and his son Bartholomew lived at Delapré. The latter's son Bartholomew (fn. 68) was living about 1720 in a house built on the site of the abbey, of which there remained what was supposed to have formed part of a chapel. (fn. 69) By 1722 he had left the house but was still impropriator of the rectory. (fn. 70) Edward Long, the author, married his daughter and co-heir Mary; (fn. 71) but this property came to the Clarkes. John Clarke held some estate here in 1722; (fn. 72) and Bartholomew Clarke, merchant of London, (fn. 73) acquired the manor. Sir Jacob des Bouverie, bart., married in 1723 Mary his daughter and sole heir. He was created Viscount Folkestone in 1747, their son William Earl of Radnor in 1765. (fn. 74) The second son Edward, of Delapré Abbey, had this manor and died in 1858 leaving a son General Everard William, of Delapré Abbey, who died childless in 1871 and was succeeded by John Augustus Sheil Bouverie of Delapré Abbey, son of his brother Francis Kenelm Bouverie. He was succeeded in 1894 by his son John Augustus Sheil of Delapré Abbey who died unmarried 1905. (fn. 75) His sister Miss Mary Helen Bouverie is now lady of the manor, as tenant for life.
The Beseville family, parceners of Delapré Abbey to the amount of 1/5 of their joint half fee here, made early grants to both Abbey and priory. Richard de Beseville and Richard his son witnessed an agreement in 1199. (fn. 76) The latter's son Ralph, who succeeded after 1227, (fn. 77) gave the abbey his right in the fish-pond of Lachemere (fn. 78) and was tenant here 1242 and 1284. (fn. 79) Richard de Besevile was lord 1313 and 1325, (fn. 80) and in 1356 William Besevile died at Cotton seised of a messuage and rents, leaving a son and heir Richard, aged 3, (fn. 81) who died a minor. His heir was Elizabeth wife of William Lombe. (fn. 82) She and her husband had seisin in 1367 (fn. 83) and William Lambe was holding in 1376. (fn. 84) By 1428 Delapre Abbey was the sole tenant.
RAVENSCROFT'S alias HARVEY'S MANOR, held of the honor of Huntingdon, seems to have originated in the possessions of the Gaytons and Cogenhoes. In 1325 Giles de Cogenhoe was returned as tenant of half a fee, but this mesne lordship is no further mentioned.
Philip de Quenton in 1284 held 6 virgates in Cotes by serjeanty, (fn. 85) and four years later made a fine with Philip de Gayton, (fn. 86) from whom he had evidently purchased; and the lord of the barony of Wardon, who held Kingshall meadow, probably in these fields, (fn. 87) was also concerned. (fn. 88) Theobald de Gayton held 3 parts of a knight's fee in Brafield, Hardingstone, and Cotton in 1316. (fn. 89) About 1306 William son of Michael (fn. 90) gave land in Hardingstone to Henry de Longueville in marriage with his daughter Joan. Henry and Joan died without issue, and in 1328 William son of Adam son of William son of Michael of Northampton claimed this land against John de Longueville of Little Billing and next year against George his son; (fn. 91) Elizabeth Longueville married James Swetenham, (fn. 92) and John Meyho, clerk, presumably trustee to uses, conveyed the manor to Nicholas Swetenham with contingent remainders to James, John, Randell, and William Swetenham in tail male, John Kingsley and Henry Ravenscroft in fee simple. Nicholas and James succeeded in turn. John meanwhile died childless and Thomas son of Randell succeeded and died childless. William then held the manor, then John Kingsley, and they dying childless were followed by Henry Ravenscroft. (fn. 93) That was the story of 100 years later. Richard Swetenham, however, was the tenant in the official return 1428. (fn. 94) Henry Ravenscroft was holding meadow in Cotton in 1467 that had belonged to James Swetenham. (fn. 95) His son Hugh died in his lifetime, leaving a son Henry who succeeded his grandfather in the manor and was father of Henry Ravenscroft, lord in the early 16th century. (fn. 96) Thomas Ravenscroft was a free tenant of the royal manor of Cotton and Hardingstone in 1543 and owed suit of court. (fn. 97) There followed a George Ravenscroft, whose inheritance by 1584 was in the occupation of Stephen Harvey, (fn. 98) auditor of the Duchy of Lancaster, who died in 1606 in the manor-house. Also his wife Anne, who died in 1590, was buried in the 'Harvey' aisle in the church, a burial-place 'time out of mind' for those whose estate they held here. (fn. 99) His son Sir Francis, judge of the Common Pleas, settled the manor on his son Stephen, K.B., who predeceased him in 1630. (fn. 100) Sir Francis was followed in 1632 by Stephen's young son Francis, (fn. 101) who was succeeded by his brother Richard in 1645. (fn. 102) James Harvey, rector of Weston Favell and a devotional writer, son of William Harvey rector of Collingtree, was born here in 1714. (fn. 103) He had a brother William, perhaps the William Harvey who held an estate in 1722 ; (fn. 104) but the mansion-house was in ruins and the greater part of the property, together with the manorial rights, was in the possession of the Tates of Delapre Abbey. (fn. 105)
The leper hospital of St. Leonard, founded about 1150 by Ralph de Stafford, lay south of the bridge at Cotton End, also called St. Leonard's End or Wick, by the London road, a good spot for begging. It had semi-parochial rights. (fn. 106) It was taken as a chantry into the king's hands and granted in 1548 to Francis Samwell. (fn. 107) The corporation protested and it was restored. The lazar-house was pulled down in 1823; but a poor man or woman was maintained up to 1840. In 1864 the property was assigned to the support of Northampton Grammar School. (fn. 108)
St. James's Abbey, Northampton, possessed about 10 acres of meadow land from the 13th century in Cotton 'mersh', near the bridge, receiving grants from the families of Saucey and Thorpe, Beseville and Cogenhoe, (fn. 109) and holding a fulling mill. (fn. 110) Edward VI alienated the meadow to Sir Thomas Tresham. (fn. 111)
A messuage and meadow called Plash in Hardingstone were held in 1364 by the hospital of St. John the Baptist of Northampton. (fn. 112) In 1543 the masters of that hospital and the hospital of St. Thomas of Northampton were free tenants and owed suit of court at the former Delapre manor. (fn. 113)
The church of ST. EDMUND consists of chancel, 29 ft. by 15 ft. 6 in., with south aisle or chapel, now used as a vestry and organ-chamber; clerestoried nave, 49 ft. 6 in. by 16 ft.; north and south aisles 9 ft. wide, north and south porches, and west tower, 12 ft. square, all these measurements being internal. The width across nave and aisles is 37 ft. 6 in. The north and south doorways are blocked and porches disused, the main entrance to the church being by a modern doorway in the north wall of the tower.
The greater part of the present building is of 14thcentury date, but the lower part of the tower may belong to an earlier structure. The 14th-century rebuilding comprised chancel, aisled nave, north porch, and the upper part of the tower; early in the 15th century the chapel on the south side of the chancel was added, or an older one modified, and the south porch erected. Extensive repairs and alterations in the 18th century have left their mark on the fabric, especially in the chancel, the north, east, and part of the south walls of which appear to have been rebuilt on the old foundations. (fn. 114) The date 1764 on the lead covering the roof of the south aisle (fn. 115) probably indicates approximately the time when these reparations took place. In 1868–9 the whole of the 18th-century fittings were removed, the tower arch opened out, new roofs erected over the aisles, the other roofs repaired, a new east window inserted in the chancel, and the whole of the walls replastered. (fn. 116)
The tower is of rubble, and the nave, aisles, and porches of roughly coursed dressed ironstone. The roofs are leaded and of low pitch behind straight parapets, except in the north aisle where the parapet is battlemented.
As rebuilt in the 18th century the chancel is faced with ashlar, with quoins at its four angles, chamfered plinth and plain cornice and parapet, the latter broken by projections into four unequal bays. The lowpitched east gable is now surmounted by a modern Gothic cross, and the modern pointed east window is of three lights with Decorated tracery. The north and south walls are without windows but on the south the chancel is open to the chapel at its west end by a 15thcentury pointed arch of two chamfered orders, the inner order on half-octagonal responds with moulded capitals and bases. (fn. 117) No ancient ritual arrangements have been retained: the floor is flagged. The pointed chancel arch is of two chamfered orders with hoodmoulds, resting on modern moulded corbels.
The chapel (fn. 118) is open to the aisle at its west end, the intervening wall having been removed, though the original diagonal angle buttress of the aisle was left standing. There is a four-centred doorway in the south wall and west of it a square-headed window of three cinquefoiled lights; the two-light east window, which is wholly restored or modern, is also square-headed.
The early-14th-century nave arcades consist of five pointed arches of two chamfered orders, with hoodmoulds on one side, springing from octagonal pillars with moulded capitals and bases, and from responds of similar character. On the north side the capitals are alike, but on the south they differ in detail though their general character is the same. The bases, with one exception, (fn. 119) have all a double roll moulding and stand on square plinths. (fn. 120)
The aisles have diagonal angle buttresses, chamfered plinths, and strings at sill level; their west windows are blocked, but appear to have been of a single pointed light. On the north side the three windows in the north wall are tall square-headed openings of three trefoiled lights, and that at the east end is of the same character but of two lights. (fn. 121) The pointed north door- way is of two continuous wave-moulded orders. The windows of the south aisle are also square-headed, the easternmost being of three and the others of two cinquefoiled lights, and the doorway is of two continuous moulded orders. Internally there is no trace of either doorway, the blocking masonry being covered with plaster. No ancient ritual arrangements remain in either aisle.
The clerestory has three plain square-headed windows on each side. The north porch (fn. 122) is without buttresses and has a wave-moulded pointed doorway and low-pitched coped gable with 18th-century finial. The larger south porch has a four-centred moulded doorway and single-light lateral windows. The stone benches are in position but the floor has been removed to allow of access to a heating-chamber.
The tower is of two stages, the older lower stage serving as an entrance porch. The square-headed west window, like the north doorway, was inserted during the 1868 restoration and represents no ancient feature. A buttress at the south-west angle and one against the south wall were probably added subsequent to the erection of the upper stage in the 14th century. There is no vice. The pointed bell-chamber windows are of two trefoiled lights with quatrefoil in the head, and the tower terminates in a battlemented parapet with 18th-century angle pinnacles surmounted by iron vanes. (fn. 123) The wide pointed tower arch is of three square orders towards the nave, on chamfered imposts, the voussoirs being alternately of dark- and light-coloured ironstone.
The font is modern, with octagonal stone bowl, in the style of the 14th century. (fn. 124) The oak pulpit is in memory of the Rev. N. T. Hughes, vicar 1892– 1913.
The fine alabaster monument, erected 'to the pious memory of Stephen Harvey Esq. [d. 1606] auditor of the Dutchy of Lancaster', his wife (d. 1590), and three sons, stands against the north wall of the chapel at its east end. The kneeling figures of the man and wife together with a shield of arms are above the cornice, below which are three canopied recesses containing the effigies of their sons, all kneeling, the youngest, Stephen Harvey, citizen and merchant of London 'by whose appointment this monument was erected', being in the middle. (fn. 125) On either side are Sir Francis Harvey, kt., one of the Judges of the Common Pleas (eldest son) who died 1632 and 'lyeth hereby buried', and William Harvey, who died 1633 and was buried at Weston Favell. The arched canopies are supported by columns of black marble, and in the lower part of the monument are inscribed black marble tablets.
The monument of Sir Stephen Harvey, Knight of the Bath (d. 1630), son of Sir Francis, is against the south wall of the chapel, and is of white marble with recumbent figure in the habit of the time. (fn. 126)
Within an arched recess in the south wall of the chancel is a table-tomb, the slab of which is without inscription and at present forms a seat. The arch is enriched with Renaissance ornament and is surmounted with the Tate crest. (fn. 127) On the north wall is a large marble monument by Rysbrack with portrait busts to Bartholomew Clarke of Roehampton (d. 1746) father of Lady Bouverie, and Hitch Young (d. 1759) brother to Mrs. Clarke, and in the chancel floor are the marble grave-slabs of Bartholomew Tate (d. 1704) and Mary widow of William Tate (d. 1699). A tablet at the west end of the south aisle records the burial in a vault under the chancel of Benjamin Clarke (d. 1765), (fn. 128) and the chancel contains a number of marble tablets to members of the Bouverie family, and one of alabaster to John Augustus Sheil Bouverie (d. 1894) and his son Francis Kenelm (d. 1891). In the aisles are a number of memorial tablets of 18th- and 19thcentury date, and one in oak in memory of twenty-five men of the parish who fell in the war of 1914–18. In the south aisle is an iron-bound chest with three locks.
There is a ring of five bells, the first, fourth, and tenor dated 1669, the third by Henry Bagley I of Chacombe, 1682, and the second by Taylor & Co. of Loughborough, 1871. (fn. 129)
The plate consists of a silver cup of 1810, and a plated paten, flagon, and bread-holder. (fn. 130)
The registers before 1812 are as follows: (i) all entries 1562–1651; (ii) baptisms 1653–1726, marriages 1677–1726, burials 1676–1726; (iii) burials 1678–1722; (iv) baptisms and marriages 1727–48, burials 1727–50; (v) baptisms 1749–1805, marriages 1749–53, burials 1751–1805; (vi) marriages 1754–79; (vii) baptisms and burials 1805–12; (viii) marriages 1779–1805; (ix) marriages 1805–12.
The church and whole tithe was given to St. Andrew's priory by its founder. (fn. 131) The priory held the church appropriated to its uses, a perpetual vicarage being set out in 1224, (fn. 132) until its surrender. The Crown then retained it until 1874, (fn. 133) though, on account of its small value, it was in the gift of the Lord Chancellor, not the king. (fn. 134) In 1874 it was transferred to the bishop of Peterborough, the present patron. (fn. 135)
Delapre Abbey in 1535 paid 13s. 4d. stipend to a chaplain to celebrate mass once weekly in the chapel of 'Gore', not otherwise recorded. From its first foundation it gave 21s. 8d. yearly to the poor in money, bread, and fish, and a further 5s. yearly from later benefactions. (fn. 136)
The chapel of St. Leonard probably dated from the foundation of the hospital, and there is a list of chap- lains from 1282 to 1415. (fn. 137) All the rights of a parish church were confirmed to it in 1281. The mayor and burgesses of Northampton were patrons, but the Bishop of Lincoln decreed in 1281 that their presentations must receive the consent of the prior of St. Andrew's and the vicar of Hardingstone. (fn. 138)
Robert Lucas, divine and poet, was curate at Hardingstone 1778–82. (fn. 139) The Independent minister, Risdon Darracott, began his labours here about 1738. (fn. 140) A Baptist chapel was registered for marriages in 1875. (fn. 141)
Charity Estates. These estates which consisted of three closes of land containing in all 27 a. 2 r. 36 p. together with a yearly sum of £1 6s. 8d. issuing out of lands in Collingtree are understood to have been in part derived under gifts of freeholders and inhabitants of the parish and were partly purchased with sundry benefactions for the poor and for apprenticing children. The charity is now regulated by a Scheme of the Charity Commissioners dated 17 January 1908 under the provisions of which a body of 5 representative trustees and 6 cooptative trustees were appointed. The land has been sold and the proceeds invested, the income amounting to about £30 10s.
The Church Charity. A yearly sum of 10s. is paid by the trustees of the Charity Estates to the vicar of Hardingstone subject to the condition that he preaches a sermon on Easter Monday in the parish church.
Clark's Charity. John Clark by will dated 26 October 1762 bequeathed £150, the income thereon to be laid out by the vicar of Hardingstone in buying four new warm cloth coats to be given to four of the most indigent poor men of the parish. The endowment now consists of £270 2½ Consols held by the Official Trustees the dividends on which amounting to £6 15s. annually are applied by the vicar in accordance with the trusts.
Murray's Charity. Elizabeth Murray by will proved about 1776 gave £300, the interest therefrom to be applied to clothing four poor women in the parish. The charity is now regulated by a Scheme of the Charity Commissioners dated 27 June 1913 whereby a body of 4 representative trustees and 2 co-optative trustees was appointed. The income arising from the endowment consisting of £348 6s. 7d. 2½ Consols is applied in clothing.
Everard William Bouverie by his will proved in 1872 gave £500 3% Annuities, the income thereof to be distributed amongst ten poor industrious families or persons of good character and sober habits in the parish. The charity is administered by the vicar and 4 trustees appointed by the parish council and the income amounts to £12 10s.
Unknown Donor. An annual sum is payable as a rent or acknowledgement for a small piece of land in Great Houghton. In lieu of the rent a coat of the value of £2 is now given annually to a poor man. The origin of the payment is unknown.