Parishes: Titchmarsh

A History of the County of Northampton: Volume 3. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1930.

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'Parishes: Titchmarsh', in A History of the County of Northampton: Volume 3, ed. William Page( London, 1930), British History Online [accessed 15 July 2024].

'Parishes: Titchmarsh', in A History of the County of Northampton: Volume 3. Edited by William Page( London, 1930), British History Online, accessed July 15, 2024,

"Parishes: Titchmarsh". A History of the County of Northampton: Volume 3. Ed. William Page(London, 1930), , British History Online. Web. 15 July 2024.

In this section


Thichemers, Tychemers (xiii cent.), Tychemersh, Tichmarsh (xiv cent.), Tichmersh (xvii cent.).

The parish of Titchmarsh contains 3,988 acres, of which more than two-thirds are under grass. The land lies between 120 ft. and 175 ft. above the ordnance datum. The river Nene forms part of the western boundary and the Thorp brook that of the north and east. The sub-soil is alluvium, great oolite series and Oxford clay. The parish was inclosed under an Act of Parliament of 1778. (fn. 1) The name of Foxholes, now a farm, is mentioned in 1227. (fn. 2)

The village lies off the main road from Northampton to Peterborough, about 2½ miles from Thrapston. At the north-west end of the long village street is the church. Not far from it is the rectory house, which was rebuilt in 1861, and has in its garden a fine cedar tree planted about 1744. (fn. 3) The Pickering almshouses are to the south-west of the church on the Denford road, and form a long one-story stone building with dormer windows, a tablet records that "This Hospital was erected and endowed for the support of eight Poor Persons by Mrs. Dorothy Elizabeth Pickering, eldest daughter of the late Sir Gilbert Pickering, Bart., Anno Domini 1756." There is a modern extension at each end. (fn. 4) Near by are two blocks of cottages dated respectively 1742 and 1750.

The old manor house stood on the south side of the village a quarter of a mile south-east of the church, on or near a site which has already been described. (fn. 5) The date of its erection is not known, but it may have been built of stone obtained from an older house known as Titchmarsh Castle, (fn. 6) which seems to have been deserted at the beginning of Queen Elizabeth's reign, and the ruins of which were taken down in the 18th century. (fn. 7) The earlier building would be the house which Sir John Lovel in 1304 obtained licence to crenellate, (fn. 8) and which in the inquisition on his death (1346–7) was described as moated round and enclosed with a stone wall after the manner of a castle. (fn. 9) In 1363, however, the castle is returned as being in a ruinous condition, (fn. 10) and no part of it now remains above ground. An excavation of the site by Sir Henry Dryden in 1887, (fn. 11) however, revealed considerable remains of the lower portion of numerous buildings, apparently of two different periods, some of the older having been destroyed before the others were erected. It was found impossible from the fragmentary nature of the remains and the confusion of the plan to appropriate the greater number of the buildings or to decide the period of their erection. The material was all of limestone, and Sir Henry Dryden was of the opinion that the earliest building on the site had been bounded by a wall nearly circular in plan, inclosing several irregular buildings, of which some of the foundations uncovered were portions. This first building he assumed to have been pulled down when the house was reconstructed by Sir John Lovel, and he conjectured that it was an early castle, built, as he suggests, by the Ferrers family, but possibly by the grandsons or greatgrandsons of Saswalo, the Domesday holder, in the latter part of the 12th century. If this was so, the present quadrangular moat is of early 14th century date, and belongs to Sir John Lovel's building, the lower parts of whose external walls were laid bare along the greater part of four sides, from 12 in. to 8 ft. in height above the bottom of the moat. The space inclosed was an irregular parallelogram, (fn. 12) and at three of the angles were found the foundations of five-sided towers projecting from the walls; the north-west angle had disappeared. Boniface Pickering died in 1585 seised of a pasture called Castle Yard, with a barn standing in it which was again mentioned in 1629. (fn. 13)

A bridge carrying the main road to Peterborough over the brook running into the Nene south of Thorpe station, has remains possibly of medieval work on its south side.

Ferrers. Argent six horseshoes sable.


In the time of Edward the Confessor, Bundi held freely 10 hides and a portion of a hide in TITCHMARSH. (fn. 14) In 1086 the land was held by Henry de Ferrers, ancestor of the Earls of Derby, (fn. 15) and the overlordship of it continued in the possession of the Earls of Derby as of their Honour of Tutbury until the forfeiture of Earl Robert in 1266. (fn. 16) The overlordship passed with the Honour to Edmund, Earl of Lancaster, (fn. 17) and later, with the Duchy of Lancaster, to the Crown. (fn. 18)

The Domesday under-tenant was named Saswalo, who held other lands of the Ferrers. (fn. 19) This holding appears as forming first one and a half knights' fees, (fn. 20) and then as two knights' fees, (fn. 21) throughout the 11th and 12th centuries. Sewal, son of Henry, held it in 1233, (fn. 22) and from him it passed to James Shirley, said to be his son. (fn. 23) Shirley granted the mesne lordship to Gilbert de Clare, Earl of Gloucester, (fn. 24) but presumably only for a term of years, as his son, Ralph Shirley, had recovered the lordship by 1286. (fn. 25) Between 1298 and 1302 Ralph granted it to Bishop Walter de Langton, the Royal Treasurer. (fn. 26) On the latter's death it passed to his nephew, Edmund Peverel, a minor in the wardship of the king. (fn. 27) The Peverels continued to be the mesne lords, (fn. 28) but in 1363 their fee was again in the king's hands, and their rights seem to have disappeared before 1408. (fn. 29)

Shirley. Paly or and azure with a quarter ermine.

Lovel of Titchmarsh. Barry wavy or and gules.

The Ferrers' land in Titchmarsh may be identified with the manor of TITCHMARSH, alias LOVELLS, alias SOMERSETS. The first tenant in demesne of the manor recorded was Ascelin de Sidenham, (fn. 30) who in 1224 had a law suit with the Abbot of Peterborough as to suit of court due from his tenants to the courts of the Hundred of Navisford. (fn. 31) He was succeeded by William de Sidenham, who had died before 1233. (fn. 32) William's heir was a minor, and the wardship of his fees in Titchmarsh was granted by Sewal, son of Henry, to Sir John de Plesseys, (fn. 33) who married William's widow (fn. 34) and held there in 1243. (fn. 35) Maud de Sidenham is said to have been William's daughter and heir and to have married John Lovel of Minster Lovel, but contemporary evidence of this does not appear. (fn. 36) John Lovel was undoubtedly the tenant of the manor in 1268, (fn. 37) and died seised of it in 1287. (fn. 38) His son Sir John Lovel was summoned to Parliament as Lord Lovel of Titchmarsh in 1299 and his descendants (fn. 39) held the manor until the forfeiture of the lands of Francis, Lord Lovel, in 1485. (fn. 40) The following year the King granted Lovel's manor to Charles Somerset, afterwards Earl of Worcester. (fn. 41) His grandson, William Earl of Worcester, obtained a new grant of the manor in 1553, (fn. 42) and in the same year sold it to Gilbert Pickering. (fn. 43) Gilbert's son John (d. 1591) had a son Gilbert, who married Elizabeth, daughter of . . .Hogard of Bourn, in Cambridgeshire. He was succeeded in 1613 by his son John, who in 1609 had married Susannah, daughter of Sir Erasmus Dryden. (fn. 44) (fn. 45) Their son, Sir Gilbert Pickering, was created a baronet in 1638, and married Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Sidney Montagu. (fn. 46) He was an ardent Parliamentarian and chamberlain to both protectors. He was one of the regicide judges, but did not sign the death warrant of Charles I, and obtained a pardon after the Restoration. (fn. 47) His great grandson, Sir Edward Pickering, M.P., the fourth baronet, died unmarried in 1749, (fn. 48) and his estates passed to his two sisters, Elizabeth, who died unmarried in 1766, and Frances, afterwards the wife of Thomas Byrd. She also died childless and a widow in 1765, and by their wills the sisters directed that the Titchmarsh estate was to be sold. (fn. 49) It seems, however, to have been vested in trustees before their deaths, as Frances Byrd conveyed her moiety of the manor and advowson in 1764 to Edward Dickenson, (fn. 50) while Elizabeth's moiety apparently was transferred to Anne Pye. (fn. 51) Before 1778 it was acquired by Thomas Powys, (fn. 52) whose descendant, Lord Lilford, is now lord of the manor.

Pickering. Ermine a lion azure crowned or.

In the early 13th century, the geld payable by Titchmarsh was divided amongst the three holders of fees there, Ascelin de Sidenham, Ralph, son of Ralph, and Robert, son of Thomas. (fn. 53) The holding of Ralph, son of Ralph, may probably be identified with the knight's fee held of John de Plesseys in 1242 by Ralph de Titchmarsh, Robert le Her and William de Suthburc. (fn. 54) Sir Ralph de Titchmarsh witnessed a deed as to lands in Hemington in 1264 (fn. 55) and Robert witnessed charters of a few years later. (fn. 56) Ralph de Titchmarsh whose heirs held a several fishery in the Nene in 1348 may have followed in the descent. (fn. 57) Possibly the fee had been divided before this, since Sir John Lovel's lands had been considerably subinfeudated; one quarter of a fee was held by Richard, son of Guy and his wife Joan, another quarter by William de Claybrook and his wife Elizabeth, a third quarter by Isabel Drayton and two eighth parts respectively by John de Seymour and the successors of Simon Mullesworth. It seems possible that these tenants represented the heirs of Ralph de Titchmarsh. (fn. 58)

Creed. Azure a cheveron between three swans argent.

A rent of 20 marks held in 1412 by Nicholas Mores, in Rothewell, Titchmarsh, and Glapthorn may have arisen from one or more of these portions of land (fn. 59) and equally be represented by the manor, later known as TYRRINGHAMS, which was bought from John Morice in 1512 by Thomas Tyrringham and others. (fn. 60) On the death of Thomas, the manor, which was held of Lovel's manor by fealty only, passed to his son Robert, a minor. (fn. 61) The latter died in 1532 and his heir was his brother Thomas, (fn. 62) who settled the manor in 1544 on Edmund, his son, and he, in 1557, conveyed it to Thomas, probably his brother. Apparently, in 1557, it was held by Boniface Pickering, (fn. 63) the third son of the Gilbert Pickering, (fn. 64) who had bought Lovel's Manor (q.v.). In 1583 Boniface settled the manor on his second son, James, on his marriage with Anne Clifford. James obtained seisin when his father died in 1586. (fn. 65) He was succeeded in 1629 by his grandson Christopher, (fn. 66) who owned the manor in 1655. (fn. 67) On his death, it seems to have been divided between his two heiresses, Anne the wife of Alexander Wilkinson and Jane Pickering. (fn. 68) They probably sold it in 1679 to John Farrer and William Sherard, (fn. 69) who sold it in 1685 to John Creed, of Oundle, (fn. 70) who had married Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Gilbert Pickering, the lord of Lovel's 'manor. John Creed died in 1701, and his eldest son Major Richard Creed was killed at the Battle of Blenheim in 1704. (fn. 71) John, brother of Richard, apparently succeeded and died in 1731. (fn. 72) He was succeeded by his son John, (fn. 73) who made a settlement of the manor, in 1745, on another John Creed, the younger. (fn. 74) In 1766, the property was in the possession of Dr. William Walcott and his wife Mary, (fn. 75) the younger daughter of Col. John Creed (d. 1751). Their son, William Walcott, died in 1827

Margaret, the daughter of Ascelin de Sidenham, the tenant of Lovel's manor, married Simon de Borard and Joan their heiress brought the manor of Clifton Reynes, iu Buckinghamshire, to her husband Thomas de Reynes about 1293. (fn. 76) It seems probable that she brought land in Titchmarsh also, since in 1349 Thomas de Reynes, grandson of Thomas and Joan and Geoffrey de Titchmarsh held 1/15 of a fee of John Lovel. (fn. 77) In 1383, Sir Thomas de Reynes, of Clifton Reynes, son of the last named Thomas, settled lands in Titchmarsh and other places on his younger son Richard (fn. 78) and in 1412 Robert Reynes had rents in Titchmarsh of 26s. 8d. a year, (fn. 79) but this appears to be the last mention of this holding.

TITCHMARSH alias KNOLLES manor was held of the Abbey of Peterborough. In 973, 2½ hides of land at Titchmarsh are mentioned in a forged charter of King Edgar to the Abbey (fn. 80) and in 1086 it held 3 hides, 1 virgate there. (fn. 81) The overlordship is last mentioned in 1428, (fn. 82) but it presumably lasted till the dissolution of the abbey.

In 1086, the under-tenant was Ascelin (fn. 83) who may be identified as the ancestor of the de Watervilles, who held Thorpe Waterville and Achurch of the Abbey. (fn. 84) In the early 13th century, the manor was sub-infeudated (fn. 85) and the mesne-lordship followed the descent of Thorpe Waterville (q.v.), Lord Burghley being the mesne lord in 1590. (fn. 86)

The manor was held in demesne by a second family named Titchmarsh, but their pedigree is obscure. A Robert de Titchmarsh was living in 1199 (fn. 87) and may have been the same as Robert son of Thomas, who paid geld from his fee in Titchmarsh early in the 13th century. (fn. 88) In 1243 he had been succeeded by Thomas son of Robert, who held a fee of Reginald de Waterville. (fn. 89) Robert de Titchmarsh was seised of land in Titchmarsh before 1269 (fn. 90) and was living in 1280. (fn. 91) His son William was living in 1298, (fn. 92) but before 1301 it seems to have passed to Henry de Titchmarsh, presumably the husband of the youngest Waterville heiress. (fn. 93) In 1317, he settled the manor of Titchmarsh on his elder son John, (fn. 94) but he seems to have been living in 1324. (fn. 95) John was seised of other family property in 1330 (fn. 96) and, in an undated inquisition, was said to hold half a knight's fee in Titchmarsh. (fn. 97) Before 1348, he was succeeded by his son Henry. (fn. 98) from whom the manor passed to Katherine, the wife of John Bray. Two parts of the manor were acquired by Sir John Lovel, who died seised of them in 1408, when the remaining third part was held for life by Margaret, widow of Henry de Titchmarsh of the inheritance of Katherine Bray. (fn. 99) The Brays' portion is not mentioned again, (fn. 100) but the two parts acquired by Sir John Lovel remained with his descendants presumably until the forfeiture of Francis, Lord Lovel in 1485. (fn. 101) They do not, however, seem to have been included in the grant of Lovel's manor (q.v.) to Sir Charles Somerset. Possibly they may be identified with the manor held in 1532 by Sir John Mordaunt, in right of his wife Elizabeth (fn. 102) and sold by him to William Saunders, John Smyth and Thomas Saxby. In 1553, a settlement of the manor was made on Gilbert Pickering and his son John, to which Roger Knolles was a party and presumably the manor took its name from him. (fn. 103) From this time the manor of Knolles was held with Lovel's Manor by the Pickerings and is last mentioned as a separate manor in 1638. (fn. 104)

Plan of Titchmarsh Church.

In 1274 John Lovel claimed free warren at Titchmarsh, (fn. 105) but it is not mentioned later. The right of a free fishery in the Nene is mentioned in 1314 as parcel of Lovel's manor (fn. 106) and in 1348 it was said to be several except that the parson of Titchmarsh, Henry de Titchmarsh, then tenant of Knolles' manor, and the heir of Ralph de Titchmarsh, had the right to fish from the river bank. (fn. 107) The free fishery attached to Tyrringham's manor (q.v.) is referred to in the 17th and 18th centuries. (fn. 108)

A mill is mentioned on the land of Henry de Ferrers in Domesday Book and later (fn. 109) there was a water-mill in Lovel's manor (fn. 110) and a windmill is mentioned in 1330 (fn. 111) and was parcel of Knolles' manor in 1553. (fn. 112) A mill in Tyrringham's manor is mentioned in 1613. (fn. 113)

An interesting custom of Lovel's manor is recorded in 1350 that each of the bond tenants with his wife dined with the lord on Christmas Day and that each dinner was worth 3d. At the same date a common oven is mentioned. (fn. 114)

In 1305, Edward I granted the second John Lovel a weekly market on Mondays and an annual fair to be held on the eve and day of Trinity Sunday and on the seven days following. (fn. 115)


The Church of ST. MARY THE VIRGIN (fn. 116) consists of chancel 42 ft. 6 in. by 18 ft. 9 in., with north aisle or chapel 31 ft. 10 in. by 15 ft. 8 in., clearstoried nave of three bays 50 ft. 6 in. by 21 ft. 8 in., north and south aisles each 12 ft. 3 in. wide, short north transept, south porch, and lofty west tower 17 ft. 6 in. square, all these measurements being internal. There is a small modern vestry north of the chancel aisle.

No part of the existing structure appears to be older than the 13th century, but the rear arch of the priest's doorway is a 12th century semi-circular arch re-used, and in all probability a 12th century church stood on the site consisting of an aisleless nave and chancel. The first extension was probably made by the Lovel family, in 1250, by adding an aisle on the north side and by lengthening the chancel to its present extent. The chapel is also of the same period and seems to have been part of the original re-building. A south aisle was added, or a former one rebuilt, early in the 14th century, and a little later the north aisle was rebuilt in its present form and the transept added. The tower, clearstory and porch were additions of the 15th century, at which period new windows were inserted in the chancel, aisles, and chapel, the building then assuming its present appearance. There were restorations in 1840–3 and in 1866, and in 1926 a chancel screen and new pulpit were erected. The tower, which is about 100 ft. high, has lately been repaired.

The tower is faced with wrought Weldon stone, but the rest of the building is of rubble with wrought stone buttresses and dressings. The parapets of the chancel and clearstory are battlemented, but elsewhere plain, and the roofs, which are modern, are of low pitch, leaded. The porch has a chamber over, at one time used as the pew or 'gallery' of the Pickering family, (fn. 117) and said to have been connected by an overhead passage with the manor-house, which then stood immediately to the south of the church. The chamber is now inaccessible, the openings having long been blocked: the chimney from the fireplace remains on the west side.

The walls of the chancel and the arcade opening to the chapel (fn. 118) on its north side are of 13th century date and the walls of the chapel are probably contemporary, but with one exception all the windows are 15th century insertions. The four-centered east window is of five lights with perpendicular tracery, and in the south side are three windows of similar type but of three lights. The pointed 13th century priest's doorway has a plain continuous chamfer; the reararch already referred to is ornamented with chevrons. The piscina is original, with trefoiled head and stone shelf above the bowl, but the sedilia are formed in the sill of the easternmost window at two levels. Below the westernmost window is a blocked rectangular low-side opening, and in the north wall at the east end is a restored recess similar to that of the piscina. West of this a low pointed 13th century doorway, now blocked, led to what appears to have been a priest's room, or sacristy, the lean-to roof of which was below the sill of the late 13th century two-light window with forked mullion at the east end of the north wall of the chancel. The greater length of this wall is open to the chapel by an arcade of two arches springing from a cylindrical pier and half-round responds, all with moulded capitals and bases, the nail-head occurring in the former. The lofty chancel arch was rebuilt in the 15th century, but the north jamb to a height of about 7 ft. is original. (fn. 119)

The chapel had originally an east window of two lights, which was refashioned in the 15th century into one of four lights, using the old hood-mould, the jambs re-used for the wider opening and the sill lowered: it has external shafted jambs with delicately carved capitals at its original 13th century springing. A three-light window in the north wall has been blocked. The original piscina in the south-east corner was cut through in the 14th century to form a squint from the chapel; the openings on either side have cusped heads and moulded jambs. The chapel is open to the north aisle of the nave by a 13th century arch.

The north arcade of the nave has arches springing from cylindrical piers and half-round responds, all with moulded bases and capitals, in the latter of which the nail-head occurs. The 14th century south arcade is generally of the same character, the piers having moulded bases, but the capitals have boldly carved upturned leaf ornament, and the mouldings are later in character and without the nail-head.

The moulded north doorway belongs to the 14th century rebuilding of the aisle, but has been restored: west of it is a restored window with intersecting tracery, and in the west wall a square-headed window of two trefoiled lights. The other window and that in the transept are 15th century insertions. In the south aisle all the windows are 15th century insertions with four-centered heads, cinquefoiled lights and perpendicular tracery, similar in type to those of the clearstory, of which there are five on each side.

In the south aisle, between the two easternmost windows, is a 14th century tomb recess (fn. 120) with pointed arch of two hollowed orders, containing a 13th century grave slab with floriated cross. The south doorway is a modern restoration. A scroll string runs round the south aisle externally, and the buttresses are of an early type with gabled heads.

The magnificent west tower is of a type uncommon in the county, being rather akin to the towers of Somersetshire. It is of four stages, with open parapets and lofty angle and intermediate pinnacles. The two lower stages are blank on the north and south but in the third stage is a pointed two-light window with transom at half-height, and the double bellchamber windows (fn. 121) are of the same type, the thick dividing mullion between them being carried up the face of the wall to form the intermediate pinnacle. Ornament is chiefly concentrated in the ground story and upper stage, there being a triple band of quatrefoils in circles above the moulded plinth, and on either side of the west doorway a pointed niche with straight-sided crocketted hood-mould. There are also canopied niches in the second and third stages on the west side, all the niches being filled with modern statues. The moulded arch of the doorway, which has an ogee crocketted label, is set within a rectangular frame, the spandrels of which are filled with blank shields in quatrefoils. The vice is in the south-west angle and is lighted by quatrefoil openings. The four-centered west window is of three cinquefoiled lights, with double transoms and perpendicular tracery. The lofty arch to the nave is of three hollow orders, the two inner resting on embattled imposts, below which the jambs are moulded.

The 15th century font consists of an octagonal panelled bowl and plain pedestal. Bridges records some old glass, (fn. 122) but this has disappeared.

At the east end of the south aisle is a mediæval grave slab, re-used in the 17th century, inscribed round the verge in Lombardic characters—' Margery la femme Johan ci Dieu de sa alme eyt mercy.' (fn. 123)

In the north chapel is a mural monument to Sir John (d. 1703), Sir Gilbert (d. 1735), and Sir Edward Pickering (d. 1749), baronets, and other members of the family down to 1766; and a table tomb to John, eldest son of Sir Gilbert Pickering, who died in 1703 in his eighth year. The chapel also contains two wooden mural tablets painted by Mrs. Elizabeth Creed, the first about 1710 (fn. 124) in memory of her brother the Rev. Theophilus Pickering, D.D., Prebendary of Durham, and successively rector of Gateshead and Sedgefield, who died in 1710; (fn. 125) the second in 1722 in memory of her cousin John Dryden, and his parents Erasmus Dryden and Mary Pickering, which is surmounted by a wooden bust of the poet. (fn. 126)

The east end of the south aisle, which was the burial place of the Creed family and formerly enclosed by a wooden screen, (fn. 127) contains mural monuments to John Creed of Oundle (d. 1701), 'a wise, learned, pious man,' who 'served His Majesty King Charles ye II in divers Honorable employments at home and abroad' ; (fn. 128) his wife Elizabeth (d. 1728), daughter of Sir Gilbert Pickering; (fn. 129) his son Richard who was killed at Blenheim in 1704; (fn. 130) and his daughter Jemima (d. 1705). In another part of the aisle is a monument to Colonel John Creed (d. 1751) who 'served under the Duke of Marlborough in the wars during the reigns of King William and Queen Ann.'

There are three scratch dials on the south side of the church, (i) on porch, (ii) on gable of middle buttress of aisle, and (iii) on lower stage of angle buttress of chancel.

There were formerly six bells in the tower, but two trebles were added in 1885, and the whole eight recast in 1913 by Gillett and Johnson, of Croydon. (fn. 131)

The plate consists of a silver cup and cover paten of 1670, another cup and cover paten of 1674, a flagon of 1670 (inscribed '1671'), and a silver alms-dish of 1836, given in 1837 by the Hon. and Rev. L. Powys, rector. (fn. 132)

The registers before 1812 are as follows: (i) baptisms 1544–1651, marriages 1556–1646, burials 1543–4, 1556–1646; (ii) all entries 1653–1715; (iii) baptisms 1715–1789, marriages 1715–1754, burials 1715–1787; (iv) baptisms and burials 1789–1812; (v) marriages 1755–1812. There are two volumes of churchwardens' accounts: (1) 1730–1766; (ii) 1779– 1792.


The church of St. Mary the Virgin (fn. 133) is a rectory, of which the advowson was held by the lord of Lovel's manor since the early 13th century. (fn. 134) The first recorded presentation was by Ascelin de Sidenham in 1224. (fn. 135) At the present day, Lord Lilford is patron. In 1616, Sir John Pickering sold the next presentation to Lord Say and Sele, (fn. 136) who presented, together with Robert Horseman in 1633, (fn. 137) while in 1660, (fn. 138) presumably before Sir Gilbert Pickering, the Parliamentarian, obtained his pardon, a presentation was made by the Crown. The rector of Achurch, in 1291, had a portion in the rectory worth £1 a year. (fn. 139)

The free chapel of St. Stephen (fn. 140) founded by John, son of John Lovel, is first mentioned in 1293 (fn. 141) and was a chantry chapel in the castle or manor of Titchmarsh. It was served by a chaplain presented by the lords of Lovel's manor, (fn. 142) the last recorded presentation being by Alice, the widow of William, Lord Lovel in 1462. (fn. 143) No chantry certificate exists and presumably the Somersets retained possession of the Chantry lands, though the latter and some of the demesne lands called Somerset's lands were later separated from Lovel's manor. They came into the possession of Boniface Pickering, who died seised of the Chantry lands in 1586, which were held in chief of the Crown. (fn. 144) The lands presumably passed with Tyrringham's manor (q.v.) to the Creeds, but they did not include the Chapel itself and the Chapel Hill, which were held by James Pickering, the second son of the first Gilbert Pickering. On his death in 1602 they passed to his grandson William Bury, (fn. 145) who is said to have sold them again to the Pickerings. (fn. 146) Bridges mentions the Chapel Hill in the centre of the village in the early 18th century. (fn. 147)

In 1672, George Foule obtained licence to use James Cole's house and barn at Titchmarsh as a Congregational Chapel. (fn. 148) There is now a Wesleyan chapel in the parish.


The Hospital or Almshouses founded by Dorothy Elizabeth Pickering and Frances Byrd by indentures dated 1 and 2 January, 1756, consist of The Almshouses in Titchmarsh and a farm of 210a. 1r. 6p. at Molesworth, Huntingdonshire, let for £165, including sporting rights. The property and the following subsidiary charities are regulated by a scheme of the Charity Commissioners dated 6 June, 1882. Mrs. Francis Byrd by her will and codicil gave £1,500 Bank Annuities, now Consols, and producing £37 10s. yearly, for the benefit of the Hospital. Thomas Knight by his will proved at York, 19 June, 1858, gave £900. This sum was invested in £839 3s. 3d. India 5 per cent. now 3½ per cent. Stock producing £29 7s. 4d. yearly. Thomas Attenborough by Declaration of Trust 1 September, 1891, gave £1,000, which was invested in £1,047 2s. 4d. India 3 per cent. Stock producing £31 8s. yearly. The Almshouses are managed by a body of trustees consisting of the rector and five others. The full number of almswomen is twelve and during the year ended 30 June, 1924, £134 15s. was applied in stipends, £33 0s. 4d. in firing, £25 10s. 4d. in clothing, £9 10s. in nursing and medical attendance for inmates.

By his will dated 30 March, 1697, Edward Pickering gave £300 to the poor. The money was laid out in the purchase of land let for £15 yearly and 17a. 3r. 14p. let in allotments and producing about £18 yearly. The sporting rights are let to Lord Lilford for £1 10s. yearly. The charity is known as The Nonecclesiastical Charity and is regulated by the scheme of the Charity Commissioners regulating the Almshouses and the trustees consist of those for the Almshouses, together with five trustees appointed by the Parish Council. The income is applied in subscriptions to the local coal and clothing clubs, in urgent relief of poor and in subscriptions to hospitals.

An allotment of five acres of land was set out upon the inclosure of the open fields in or about the year 1778 in lieu of land formerly appropriated to the use of the church. The land is let to Mr. A. Abbott for £10 yearly which is applied by the churchwardens in the maintenance and upkeep of the church.

By her will proved in P.R. 23 June, 1887, Caroline Powys bequeathed £500 to the rector and two other trustees for the benefit of the poor. The endowment consists of £534 L. and N.E.R. 3 per cent. Debenture Stock and the income, amounting to £16 0s. 6d., is applied in doles to about 40 aged poor.

The several sums of stock are with the Official Trustees of Charitable Funds.


  • 1. Priv. Act of Parl. 18 Geo. III, c. 8.
  • 2. Feet of F. Northants, Trin. 11 Hen. III.
  • 3. N. and Q. cliii, 103. The tree was damaged by a storm in March 1916 and again in Jan. 1928.
  • 4. At the north end for 'two Bedeswomen, erected A.D. 1857 by donation of the late T. Coales, Esq.': at the south end for 'two Bedesmen, erected A.D. 1863.' The original building has four doorways and eight windows on the ground floor, and eight dormers in the roof.
  • 5. V.C.H. Northants. ii, 413 (under 'Homestead Moats').
  • 6. More correctly a fortified manorhouse.
  • 7. Bridges, Hist. Northants. ii, 381.
  • 8. Cal. Pat. 1301–7, p. 290.
  • 9. Assoc. Arch. Soc. Rep. xxi, 245.
  • 10. Chan. Inq. p.m. Edw. III, file 14.
  • 11. Assoc. Arch. Soc. Rep. xxi, 243–52. See also the measured drawings in the Dryden Collection, Northampton Public Library.
  • 12. The measurements from outside to outside of opposite walls are thus given: north-east side about 238 ft., south-west about 257 ft., south-east about 220 ft., north-west about 210 ft.
  • 13. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. ii), ccix, 33; cccclix, 44.
  • 14. V.C.H. Northants, i, 333a.
  • 15. Ibid.
  • 16. Ibid. 365b; Bk. of Fees, i, 495; Cal. Inq. ii, no. 622; G.E.C. Complete Peerage.
  • 17. Cal. Inq. i, 137.
  • 18. Chan. Inq. p.m. 9 Hen. IV, no. 29; ibid. (Ser. ii), ccxxix, 120.
  • 19. V.C.H. Northants. i, 333a.
  • 20. Bk. of Fees, i, 495.
  • 21. Cal. Inq. ii, no. 622; Bk. of Fees, ii, 937. Sewal had two sons, Henry and Fulcher, and Fulcher also had two sons, Henry and Sewal, the latter of whom was heir to his father and uncle. Cf. Round in Derbyshire Arch. Soc. Journ. 1905.
  • 22. Anct. Deeds, D. 286.
  • 23. E. P. Shirley, Stemmata Shirleiana, 362.
  • 24. Tear Books (Rolls Ser.), 30–31 Edw. I, p. 8.
  • 25. Cal. Inq. ii, no. 622.
  • 26. Ibid. iii, p. 302; v, no. 263; Year Books (Rolls Ser.), 30–31 Edw. I, p. 8.
  • 27. Cal. Inq. vi, no. 330 (the inquisition enumerates only the lands held in demesne by the Bishop).
  • 28. Feud. Aids, ii, 569; Cal. Inq. ix, no. 44.
  • 29. Chan. Inq. p.m. 36 Edw. III, file 14, no. 326; ibid. 9 Hen. IV, no. 29.
  • 30. Egerton MS. (B.M.), 2733, f. 155.
  • 31. Curia Regis R. 85, m. 2. He is described as Ascelin de Titchmarsh of Titchmarsh, but this is probably a mistake. Although two families named Titchmarsh held parts of the parish, there does not seem to have been an Ascelin at this time and the defendant of the lawsuit seems to have been a man of more importance than the Titchmarshes.
  • 32. Cal. Pat. 1231–34, p. 354; Anct. D. D. 286.
  • 33. Anct. Deeds, D. 286.
  • 34. G.E.C. Complete Peerage.
  • 35. Egerton MS. (B.M.), 2733, f. 141; Bk. of Fees, ii, 937.
  • 36. Ashmole MS. (Bodley's Lib.) 804, ff. 38, 42 (evidences of the Lovel family).
  • 37. Hunter, Rot. Select. (Rec. Com.), 197.
  • 38. Chan. Inq. p.m. Edw. I, file 47, no. 2.
  • 39. Cal. Pat. 1292–1301, pp. 44, 45; 1301–7, p. 145; 1396–99, p. 541.
  • 40. Chan. Inq. p.m. Edw. II, file 20, no. 14; file 37, no. 3; Edw. III, file 84, no. 15; Hen. V, file 8, no. 30; Hen. VI, file 158, no. 1; Cal. Anct. D., A. 4790.
  • 41. Cal. Pat. 1485–94, p. 100; Feet of F. Div. Cos. East. 4 and 5 Hen. VIII; Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. ii), xlv, 63; G.E.C. Complete Peerage.
  • 42. Pat. R. 7 Edw. VI, pt. 3.
  • 43. Recov. R. Trin. 7 Edw. VI, ro. 516; Feet of F. Div. Cos. Mich. 1 Mary.
  • 44. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. ii), ccxxix, 120. Bridges, Hist. Northants. ii, 383, 384.
  • 45. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. ii), cccxlii, 94.
  • 46. Bridges, loc. cit.
  • 47. G.E.C. Complete Baronetage, ii, 432–4.
  • 48. Ibid. He was son of Gilbert (d. 1736), son of John (d. 1703), son of Gilbert (d. 1668).
  • 49. Ibid.; J. Nichols, Hist. and Antiq. of Leics. i, 615; ii, 664; cf. Instit. Bks. (P.R.O.), 1751.
  • 50. Recov. R. East. 4 Geo. III, ro. 278.
  • 51. Cf. Instit. Bks. (P.R.O.), 1770.
  • 52. Priv. Act of Parl. 18 Geo. III, cap. 8.
  • 53. Egerton MS. (B.M.), 2733, f. 155; a Ralph de Titchmarsh was living in 1199. Rot. Cur. Reg. (Rec. Com.), 389.
  • 54. Bk. of Fees, ii, 937. Robert le Her was probably Robert son of Ralph Herede of Wadenhoe (Buccleuch MS. 71).
  • 55. Buccleuch Deeds, G. 8.
  • 56. Ibid. H. 19, 28; Buccleuch MS. 73.
  • 57. Chan. Inq. p.m. Edw. III, file 84, no. 15. Sir Richard de Titchmarsh witnessed deeds as to lands at Kingsthorp in 1264 and lands at Barnwell c. 1270 (Buccleuch Deeds, A. 40, H. 21). Geoffrey de Titchmarsh witnessed a deed as to lands at Hemington in 1345 (ibid. A. 75) and Sir Richard Waterville, Ralph de Titchmarsh, Geoffrey son of Roger de Titchmarsh, and Fulk de Titchmarsh witnessed a 13th century charter as to lands at Lilford (Buccleuch MS. 20).
  • 58. Cal. Inq. ix, no. 393.
  • 59. Feud. Aids, vi, 500.
  • 60. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. ii), xlvi, 64. The chief reason for suggesting that the manor of Tyrringhams represented part of Ralph de Titchmarsh's fee is that a free fishery was one of the appurtenances of the manor and that it was held of Lovel's manor. For Tyrringham descent see V.C.H. Bucks. iv, 482–3.
  • 61. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. ii), xlvi, 43 (i), 64.
  • 62. Ibid. liv, 48; L. and P. Hen. VIII, vol. vi, g. 105 (23).
  • 63. Feet of F. Northants. Mich. 36 Hen. VIII; ibid. 4 and 5 Ph. and Mary; Court R. (P.R.O.) (Gen. Ser.), ptf. 195, no. 56.
  • 64. Metcalfe, Visit. Northants. 42.
  • 65. Feet of F. Northants. Mich. 25 and 26 Eliz.; Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. ii), ccix, 33.
  • 66. Ibid. ccccxlix, 44.
  • 67. Recov. R. Mich. 1655, ro. 26; Feet of F. Northants. Mich. 1655.
  • 68. Feet of F. Northants. East. 30 Chas. II.
  • 69. Ibid.
  • 70. Ibid. Mich. 36 Chas. II; Recov. R. Trin. 36 Chas. II, ro, 10.
  • 71. M.I. in church.
  • 72. Dict. Nat. Biog.
  • 73. Bridges, Hist. Northants, ii, 384.
  • 74. Recov. R. Trin. 18 and 19 Geo. II, ro. 240.
  • 75. Recov. R. Trin. 6 Geo. III, ro. 8.
  • 76. V.C.H. Bucks. iv, 317–8; Lipscombe, Hist. of Bucks. iv, 105.
  • 77. Cal. Inq. ix, no. 393.
  • 78. Close R. 6 Ric. II, pt. ii, m. 11 d.
  • 79. Feud. Aids, vi, 500.
  • 80. Kemble, Cod. Dipl. dlxxix.
  • 81. V.C.H. Northants. i, 316b, 365b.
  • 82. Egerton MS. (B.M.) 2733, f. 134 d; Feud. Aids, iv, 48.
  • 83. V.C.H. Northants. i, 316b.
  • 84. See p. 136.
  • 85. Egerton MS. (B.M.) 2733, f. 134 d.
  • 86. Cott MS. Vesp. E xxii, f. 113; Chan. Inq. p.m. Hen. IV, file 66, no. 29; ibid. Hen. V, file 8, no. 30; Feud. Aids, iv, 48, 51; Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. ii), ccxxix, 120.
  • 87. Rot. Cur. Regis (Rec. Com.), p. 389.
  • 88. Egerton MS. (B.M.), 2733, f. 155.
  • 89. Ibid. f. 134 d.
  • 90. Feet of F. Northants, Trin. 53 Hen. III.
  • 91. Chron. Petrob. (Camden Soc.), 36.
  • 92. Cal. Anct. D., A. 1288.
  • 93. Coram Rege R. 166; Pytchley, Bk. of Fees (Northants Rec. Soc.), 43; Feud. Aids, iv, 28; Cott. MS. Cleop. C i, 141 d.
  • 94. Feet of F. Northants. Mich. 11 Edw. II.
  • 95. Cal. Inq. Edw. II, no. 619.
  • 96. Feet of F. Northants. Mich. 3 Edw. III.
  • 97. Cott MS. Cleop. C i, f. 141 d.
  • 98. Cal. Inq. Edw. II, ix, no. 44.
  • 99. Chan. Inq. p.m. Hen. IV, file 66, no. 29.
  • 100. It is possible that the ⅓rd part of the manor of Ranesse in the town of Titchmarsh of which John de Styucle and Katherine his wife held the reversion in 1381, might be identical with this portion of the manor, but the life tenants who were in seisin were different. Cf. Feet of F. Northants, case 178, file 86. no. 32.
  • 101. Chan. Inq. p.m. Hen. V, file 8, no. 30; Cal. Pat. 1485–94, p. 100.
  • 102. Feet of F. Northants. East. 24 Hen. VIII.
  • 103. Ibid. Hil. 6 and 7 Edw. VI.
  • 104. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. ii), ccxxix, 120; cccxvi, 61; cccxlii, 94; ccccxlvi, 84; Recov. R. Mich. 12 Jas. I, ro. 142; Feet of F. Northants. Trin. 14 Chas. I.
  • 105. Rot. Hund. (Rec. Com.), ii, 8b.
  • 106. Chan. Inq. p.m. Edw. II, file 37, no. 3.
  • 107. Ibid. file 84, no. 15.
  • 108. Feet of F. Northants. East. 30 Chas. II; ibid. Mich. 36 Chas. II; Recov. R. Trin. 18 and 19 Geo. II, ro. 240.
  • 109. V.C.H. Northants. i, 333a; Chan. Inq. p.m. Edw. II, file 37, no. 3; ibid. Edw. III, file 84, no. 15.
  • 110. Recov. R. Mich. 20 Chas. II, ro. 225; ibid. Trin. 3 Will. and Mary, ro. 173; ibid. East. 4 Geo. III, ro. 278 (two watermills); ibid. Mich. 6 Geo. IV, ro. 265.
  • 111. Assize R. 632, f. 72d.
  • 112. Feet of F. Northants. Hil. 6 and 7 Edw. VI.
  • 113. Feet of F. Northants. East. 10 Jas. I.
  • 114. Cal. Inq. Edw. III, ix, no. 664.
  • 115. Chart. R. 33 Edw. I, m. 12 (66).
  • 116. Assize R. 635, m. 56d.
  • 117. Bridges, Hist. Northants. ii, 385.
  • 118. Possibly the chapel of St. James mentioned in wills of 1521. Ex inf. Canon Luckock. Now used as an organ chamber.
  • 119. One of the stones at the base was part of a Norman capital inverted. Ex inf. Canon Luckock.
  • 120. The recess was opened out in the restoration of 1866. Possibly it was the tomb of one of the Lovels who probably rebuilt the church.
  • 121. The windows are now filled with open brickwork set diagonally; the windows in the third stage are similarly treated on the north and south; on the east and west they are blocked. On the south side of the tower is a painted sundial dated 1798, the gnomon gone, and lower down the disused clock face made by George Eayre in 1745. The present clock with quarter chimes was installed in 1886.
  • 122. Hist. Nortbants. ii, 385. In the lower window, south aisle, the effigy of a woman 'Margareta Blythe,' and in this and the adjoining window were 'saints, a king, a bishop, and an old man.' In the east window of the same aisle 'a parson praying' with the inscription 'Lord God who sittest on Thy t[h]r[o]ne have m[er]ci on Thos. Criston.'
  • 123. The inscription is now partly covered, but is recorded by Bridges; the slab was re-used in 1691, and again in 1765 (for John Creed, jun.).
  • 124. The inscription records that she was sixty-eight when the tablet was erected.
  • 125. He was son of Sir Gilbert Pickering, born 1662, buried at Sedgefield, co. Durham. The inscription, which is a very long one, is given in Bridges, op. cit. ii, 387.
  • 126. He is described as 'the celebrated Poet and Laureate of his time.' The inscription consists of sixty-four lines, and was executed by Mrs. Creed in her eightieth year.
  • 127. Bridges, op. cit. ii, 385.
  • 128. He was Secretary to the Commissioners for Tangier.
  • 129. She painted the tablets recorded above.
  • 130. There is a monument to Major Creed in Westminster Abbey (south aisle of nave). He was interred on the field of battle.
  • 131. Four of the old bells were cast by Henry Bagley of Ecton, 1688, the tenor was by Henry Penn of Peterborough, 1708, and the third by Edward Arnold of St. Ncots, 1781. The inscriptions are given in North, Ch. Bells of Northants. 420; only two have been retained on the new bells.
  • 132. Markham, Ch. Plate of Northants. 284.
  • 133. Assize R. 632, f. 75d.
  • 134. Rot. Hug. de Welles (Cant. and York Soc.), ii, 119, 215; Chan. Inq. p.m. Edw. II, file 37, no. 3; Edw. III, file 84, no. 15; ibid. Hen. VI, file 6; Common Pleas, Recov. Trin. 7 Edw. VI; Recov. Mich. 12 Jas. I, ro. 142; East. 4 Geo. III, ro. 278; Mich. 6 Geo. IV, ro. 265; Instit. Bks. (P.R.O.), 1631, 1648, 1751, 1770, 1788.
  • 135. Rot. Hug. de Welles (Cant. and York Soc.), ii, 119.
  • 136. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. ii), ccccxlvi, 84.
  • 137. Instit. Bks. (P.R.O.), 1633.
  • 138. Ibid. 1660.
  • 139. Pope Nich. Tax. (Rec. Com.), 39b.
  • 140. Cal. Pat. 1327–30, p. 319.
  • 141. Linc. Epis. Reg. Inst. Dalderby List of Instit., Bridges, Hist. Northants, ii, 388.
  • 142. Linc. Epis. Reg. Inst. Chedworth, fol. 65d; List of Instit., Bridges, Hist. Northants, ii, 388; Cal. Pat. 1327–1330, pp. 319, 324; ibid. 1350–54, p. 506; Cal. Inq. ix, no. 393; Chan. Inq. p.m. Edw. III, file 84.
  • 143. List of Instit., Bridges, Hist. Northants. ii, 388.
  • 144. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. ii), ccix, 33.
  • 145. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. ii), cclxxxiv, 97.
  • 146. Bridges, Hist. Northants. ii, 383, 384.
  • 147. Ibid.
  • 148. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1672, pp. 42, 198.