Higham Ferrers hundred

Pages 1-2

A History of the County of Northampton: Volume 4. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1937.

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Containing The Parishes of Bozeat; Chelveston-Cum-Caldecott; Easton Maudit; Hargrave; Higham Ferrers Borough (fn. 1); Higham Park; Irchester; Newton Bromswold; Raunds; Ringstead; Rushden; Stanwick; Strixton; Wollaston

Map of the Hundred

In the Geld Roll of about 1076 and in the following century the Hundred of Higham Ferrers is given as one and a half hundreds. (fn. 2) In 1086 it was held by William Peverel, who also held the manor of Higham Ferrers, (fn. 3) and the hundred and manor (q.v.) have subsequently remained in the same hands. In the Domesday Survey the following lands belonged to it: Higham Ferrers, Rushden, Chelveston, Caldecott, Knuston, Irchester, Easton Maudit, Farndish, Poddington, Raunds, (fn. 4) Bozeat, and Hargrave, (fn. 5) as well as 10½ hides in Finedon (fn. 6) and certain unnamed lands, which by comparison with the 12th-century survey of Northamptonshire can be identified with Strixton. (fn. 7) Newton Bromswold which belonged to William Peverel in 1086 is returned in Hamfordshoe Hundred (fn. 8) but before the Northamptonshire Survey of the next century it was certainly in Higham Hundred. (fn. 9) Farndish and parts of Poddington lie in Bedfordshire, but in the early 18th century the lands of the Hundred of Higham Ferrers were much interlaced with those of the neighbouring county. (fn. 10) In 1602 both the court leet and the three-weeks court were indiscriminately described in estreat rolls as the hundred court, (fn. 11) but by 1674 they were distinguished as the court leet or view of frankpledge and the court baron of the hundred. (fn. 12) The courts were generally held at Higham Ferrers, (fn. 13) but in October 1694 there is an instance of their being held at Raunds. (fn. 14) In Queen Elizabeth's reign the freeholders who owed suit to the three-weeks court paid a yearly fine at one of the half-yearly leets from their lands in the hundred, in lieu of doing suit. (fn. 15) In 1651 these fines amounted to 12s. a year, the profits of the two courts being £4. (fn. 16) Throughout the 17th century cases of debt and trespass were heard in the hundred court, as well as occasional matters relating to tolls and bridge-repairs. (fn. 17)


  • 1. V.C.H. Northants. i, 297, 276b.
  • 2. Ibid. 336b.
  • 3. Ibid. 336b, 337a.
  • 4. Ibid. 338b.
  • 5. Ibid. 308a.
  • 6. Ibid. i, 342a, 376b.
  • 7. Ibid. 311a.
  • 8. Ibid. 376b.
  • 9. Bridges, Hist, of Northants. ii, 157.
  • 10. Duchy of Lanc. Ct. R. (P.R.O.), bdle. 105, no. 1502.
  • 11. Ibid. nos. 1506, 1516.
  • 12. For Higham Ferrers Borough and Higham Park see V.C.H. Northants. iii, 263–80.
  • 13. Duchy of Lanc. Ct. R. (P.R.O.), nos. 1502, 1506, 1514, 1516, 1518.
  • 14. Ibid. no. 1518.
  • 15. Ibid. nos. 1502, 1506.
  • 16. Rentals and Surv. (P.R.O.), Parl. Surv. Northants. 5.
  • 17. Duchy of Lanc. Ct. R. (P.R.O.), bdle. 105.