A History of the County of Northampton: Volume 4. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1937.
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SPRATTON WITH LITTLE CREATON
Spretone(xi cent.); Sprocton, Sprotton (xiii-xvcent.).
In 1831 the parish of Spratton included the hamlet of Little Creaton; since 1884 the latter has been amalgamated with Great Creaton for civil purposes but it is still ecclesiastically part of Spratton. The parish has an area of 2,248 acres, mainly permanent grass. The soil is clay and marl with a subsoil of stone, and produces crops of wheat, barley, and oats.
The northern part lies fairly high, over 400 ft.; on the west, south, and east, where small tributaries of the Nene form the boundary, the land does not reach 300 ft., rising sharply towards the centre where the village is situated. The road from Northampton to Lutterworth enters the parish on the south of Spratton Bridge at a height of 250 ft. and passing by Spratton Grange, a fine brick house built about 1848, surrounded by a park, the property of Mrs. W. H. Foster, rises by an abrupt incline till it reaches 448 ft. at its junction with the road from Teeton, which crosses the parish from west to east, and passes through the village leading by a descent to Spratton station, on the Market Harborough Branch of the L.M.S. railway.
The village is large and divided into two portions, both connected with the main road, in the northern one of which is Spratton Hall, the seat of Lord Erskine. The Hall is a plain 18th-century house of three stories, built of limestone from Kingsthorpe and roofed with slates. The date 1773 on the rain-water leads probably indicates the year of its erection. There are later additions in red brick on the east side. (fn. 1) The church and vicarage, a thatched two-story building of ironstone, built in 1704 by the Rev. Royle Bateman, are in the centre of the village, with a Baptist chapel close by, built in 1840. There are some stone houses bearing dates between 1615 and 1684. There was formerly behind the old Manor House a square stone pigeon house, containing 1,600 nesting-places. This, which was pulled down about 1890, (fn. 2) was probably the successor of one of the pigeon houses assigned to the Abbey of St. James when the vicarage was ordained in 1309.
Little Creaton lies to the north of Spratton to the east of the Lutterworth Road and south-east of Great Creaton. It consists of a few scattered farms and cottages and of Highgate House, the residence of Colonel Charles Coote, which stands facing the main road at an altitude of 451 ft.
At the Survey of 1086, the Count of Mortain had 3 hides less 1 virgate in SPRATTON which were held of him by William and Durand as separate manors. (fn. 3) The overlordship passed to Robert Earl of Leicester, and later to the honor of Winchester, as in Pitsford (q.v.). On the division of this honor in 1264 between the three daughters and co-heirs of Roger de Quincey, Earl of Winchester, the overlordship became the right of Margaret, wife of William Ferrers, Earl of Derby, (fn. 4) in whose family it remained vested until 1445, when it passed to the Greys, afterwards Marquesses of Dorset, by the marriage of Elizabeth, the heir of the Ferrers, with Sir Edward Grey, Lord Ferrers of Groby in right of his wife. (fn. 5) Their great-grandson Thomas Grey, Marquess of Dorset, was overlord in 1506, (fn. 6) but twenty years later the manor was held of Edward Stanley, Earl of Derby, as of his manor of Brackley, head of the honor of Winchester in this county. Edward Stanley's greatgrandfather Thomas Lord Stanley, 1st Earl of Derby of this family, had obtained a grant of Brackley and of the overlordship of those fees which had been assigned in 1264 to Helen, the third daughter and co-heir of Roger de Quincey, Earl of Winchester, and wife of Alan la Zouche. These two branches of the honor of Winchester were completely disconnected, with distinct and separate histories, and the mistake possibly arose through some careless error in the inquisition taken in 1526, which was afterwards copied by succeeding generations and turned to account by the Stanleys; for the overlordship remained in this family and passed by marriage to the Egertons, Earls and afterwards Dukes of Bridgwater. (fn. 7) Bridges writing in 1720 states that the manor was then in the possession of the Duke of Bridgwater, (fn. 8) and Baker, a century later, says 'this Manor is still subject to the Earl of Bridgwater's leet for the honor and a court is occasionally held in the court house, now the property of Mr. W. Lantsbery'. (fn. 9)
The manor which was held by Durand at Domesday was afterwards known as ARDERNS, CHAMBERS, or MAXES (Maukes) MANOR after the families connected with it. It passed from Durand to Simon de Croppeni who in 1205 gave the king 20 marks and a palfrey in order to retain it, (fn. 10) and in 1222 recovered it from the king, who had confiscated it with the lands of other Normans. (fn. 11) Simon apparently alienated his holding to the Pinkneys of Weedon Pinkney (q.v.). In 1234 Henry de Pinkney subinfeudated Eustacia de Pinkney in his land in Spratton, (fn. 12) which she carried in marriage to Thomas de Ardern, while the Pinkneys remained intermediary lords, the last mention of them in Spratton occurring in 1284. (fn. 13) In the same year that she obtained this fee in Spratton, Eustacia received a grant of the lands of Hugh de Warewill, a Norman, until the heirs of Hugh should return to their allegiance, (fn. 14) and in 1265 Simon son of Hugh de Cropenie sold certain lands in Spratton to Eustacia and Thomas de Ardern (fn. 15) her son. The latter took up arms against Henry III and his lands were confiscated and granted apparently to his cousin Thomas de Ardern of Hanwell, (fn. 16) who held them in 1284 (fn. 17) and was succeeded by his son another Thomas, who in 1309 recovered half of the manor against John de Ferrers with damages assessed at 42. (fn. 18) Thomas, who was still holding in 1316, (fn. 19) died before 1324, leaving a son and heir Thomas, then a minor, in the custody of Margaret Bancester. (fn. 20) Thomas, who was holding the manor in 1346, (fn. 21) was succeeded by a daughter and heir Joan, who married Sir John Swinford, lord of Spratton in 1366. (fn. 22) The latter, who survived his wife, died in 1371, when the manor passed to their daughter Elizabeth, (fn. 23) who by 1376 was the wife of William de Addebury (fn. 24) and afterwards married Roger Chambers, to whom she brought the manor. (fn. 25) From Roger it passed to Thomas Chambers, who was holding in 1428 (fn. 26) and who was succeeded by William, at whose death in 1494, (fn. 27) the manor was worth 30. William was succeeded by his brother John, who in 1498 accused Thomas Parnell, late vicar of Spratton, of taking 12 hares, 480 rabbits, 6 pheasants, 100 tench, 300 roach, and 100 bream from his warren and pond, to the value of 20; but Thomas in his defence alleged that he took only 2 tench and 6 roach, and that John had given him permission to fish in his pond and deliver the fish he took to Sir John Harrington. (fn. 28) At John's death, without heirs of his body in 1506, the manor was divided into moieties between Henry Maxe, son of his elder sister Jane, and Elizabeth his younger sister, wife of Richard Inguersby. (fn. 29) The one moiety, known as Maxe's Manor, passed to Edmund Maxe, of whom it was purchased by Laurence Manley of Northampton, mercer. He died in 1557, when the moiety of the manor was said to be worth 4 per annum and was left to Francis and Robert, the sons of his eldest son Edward who was Mayor of Northampton in 1575. (fn. 30) In spite of their settlement the moiety appears to have been obtained by Laurence, the eldest son of Edward, who died holding it in 1601, leaving a son and heir Laurence, (fn. 31) who with his wife Sarah and his son Laurence and the latter's wife Mary were in possession in 1652, after which date it probably became merged in the manor of Downhalls (q.v.), with which it was then held, (fn. 32) as there is no subsequent mention of it. The other moiety belonging in 1506 to the Inguersbys passed to Thomas, evidently a son of Richard, who died seised of the manor called Chambers, jointly with Henry Maxe, in 1526, when it was inherited by his son Richard, (fn. 33) at whose death in 1530 his brother George, then aged 10, came into possession. It remained in this family for many years, (fn. 34) and between 1582 and 1613 was in the possession of Thomas Inguersby, (fn. 35) by whom it was doubtless sold to Robert Owen of Llanassaph, Flint, as he by his will (fn. 36) proved in 1661 left it and all his estates in Northamptonshire to his wife Frances. She married as her second husband Mostyn and was again a widow in 1693, in which year she united with her daughter Elizabeth, the heir of Robert Owen and then wife of William Fitzherbert of Swynnerton, Staffordshire, and of Norbury, Derby., to sell the moiety to Edward Chapman, (fn. 37) after which date its history cannot be traced.
Another manor in Spratton which was held of the honor of Peverel appears for the first time in the 16th century, in the possession of the Downhall family of Geddington from whom it had acquired the name of the MANOR OF DOWNHALL. In 1547 it was sold by Thomas Downhall and Margaret his wife and by Richard Downhall and Mary his wife to Laurence Manley, (fn. 38) the owner of Maxe's moiety, and the patron of the church, and was said at his death in 1557 to be worth 3 3s. 4d. a year. (fn. 39) It was settled on his grandchildren Francis and Robert, who were in possession of the manor in 1611, (fn. 40) and later in the same year, Francis having died, his son Robert alienated the manor to Laurence Manley (fn. 41) his cousin. By 1658 it was in the hands of John Manley, a member of the same family, who conveyed it that year to Arthur Goodday. (fn. 42) William Goodday held it in 1695 and 1706, (fn. 43) and it passed with the greater part of the rectory to his granddaughter Ann Walker, (fn. 44) whose daughter Anne brought it in marriage to the Beet family, (fn. 45) whose representative Henry Beet with Elizabeth his wife was in possession in 1826, (fn. 46) after which date the manorial rights appear to have fallen into abeyance.
Another manor in Spratton amounting to 1 hide was held of the Countess Judith at Domesday and remained attached to the Balliol fee of the honor of Huntingdon. As under-tenant in 1086 stood Rohais, (fn. 47) who was succeeded in the greater part of her lands by a family who presumably took their name of Roys from her. Robert son of Robert, who held of half a fee here in 1242, (fn. 48) had acquired lands here in 1227 and 1239 (fn. 49) which passed to his son Roger Roys (fn. 50) and to his grandson William, who was living in 1284 (fn. 51) and at whose death c. 1308 the custody of his lands and of his son Roger, then a minor, was granted to Herbert de Borhunte. (fn. 52) Roger Roys came of age in 1317 (fn. 53) and in 1330 had view of frankpledge in his manor. (fn. 54) In 1346 his son Robert was still lord of this manor, (fn. 55) but by 1428 this estate had been obtained by Thomas Chambers, (fn. 56) lord of Ardern's Manor in Spratton into which it became absorbed.
A small portion of the lands held by Rohais in 1086 was in the possession of Walter FitzTheobald in 1242, (fn. 57) as of half a fee, and came in course of descent to John FitzTheobald, the owner in 1346, (fn. 58) but there is no further mention of this part of the fee.
One virgate and 1 bovate of land in Spratton were held in 1086 of Robert de Buci, (fn. 59) from whom the overlordship passed to the Bassets of Weldon. (fn. 60) The undertenant at Domesday was Ralph; and the estate formed part of the fee in Boughton, Spratton, and Creaton held in 1242 by Simon le Sauvage and 'his partners'. (fn. 61) In 1284 Adam Young held the lands from Ralph Danvers, who held them of the Barony of Weldon, (fn. 62) but no further records of this estate are known.
The de Cretons bestowed many lands upon the Abbot and Convent of St. James, Henry de Creton conferring on them at the beginning of the 13 th century 2 acres of land in Longfurlong which William son of Richard de Houghton, his tenant, gave them. (fn. 63) Their possessions here in 1291 were valued at 6s. (fn. 64) but in 1535 had risen to 40s. (fn. 65) and after the Dissolution were granted in 1543 to Henry Cartwright, (fn. 66) who alienated them to Laurence Manley, (fn. 67) the owner of the rectory and advowson, with which they were afterwards held.
There was a mill rendering 6s. attached to the Mortain estate in 1086. (fn. 68) It descended with Durand's part of the fee, (fn. 69) and on the division of the manor in 1506 the water-mill was also held in moieties (fn. 70) and is mentioned for the last time in 1530 in conjunction with a horse-mill in the possession of Richard Inguersby. (fn. 71)
Another mill mentioned in Domesday was appurtenant to the fee held of the honor of Huntingdon, (fn. 72) but although there is mention of mill in this estate in 1227, (fn. 73) it appears to have fallen into disuse.
LITTLE CREATON. (Creptone, xi cent.) The Count of Mortain had hide in Little Creaton in 1086 which was held of him by William (de Cahanes), (fn. 74) his undertenant also in Spratton. (fn. 75) These two holdings coalesced to form one manor called indifferently Spratton or Little Creaton which, at the division of the earldom of Leicester in 1204, (fn. 76) became a fee of the honor of Leicester, (fn. 77) to which it remained attached as late as 1485 when a moiety of the manor escheated to the Crown through attainder and continued to be held of the sovereign, (fn. 78) the last mention of the overlordship occurring in 1622. (fn. 79)
William, the Domesday under-tenant, was ancestor of the Keynes of Dodford (q.v.). Their interest was only that of intermediary lords, a position which they ceased to hold in 1485 with respect to the moiety above mentioned, although the overlordship of the other moiety remained their prerogative as late as 1720. (fn. 80)
Holding under William in 1086 was Humphrey, (fn. 81) who was succeeded by Herbert, lord of Creaton in the 12th century. (fn. 82) The latter may have been related to Simon de Creton, who was lord of the manor towards the end of the same century, (fn. 83) and was succeeded by his son Henry. (fn. 84) In 1205 Henry gave to William de Montacute and Emma his wife, in exchange for lands in Creaton which were her dower as the widow of William de Creton, 1 virgate in Spratton for the life of Emma with reversion to Henry; (fn. 85) but as the Montacutes afterwards appear as lords of part of Creaton, holding under the de Cretons, (fn. 86) they doubtless acquired this land in fee. Henry's son Simon held Creaton in 1242, (fn. 87) and was followed by his son Hugh, who in 1278 obtained licence from the Abbey of St. James to hear Mass in the chapel built by his father in his court at Little Creaton. (fn. 88) He was succeeded by his son John, who held this estate in 1316. (fn. 89)
The first of the Montacutes who appears as lord of part of Spratton and Little Creaton under the de Cretons is Simon son of Simon, who in 1276 was arraigned for neglecting to pay geld and do suit of court. (fn. 90) John his son occurs as lord in 1284 (fn. 91) and in 1346 another John Montacute is recorded as joint lord of Little Creaton and Spratton with John de Creton above mentioned. (fn. 92) After this date there is a division of the fee, half being held in 1428 by a John de Creton. (fn. 93) He mortgaged his lands to the Abbot of St. James's for 132 and died without being able to redeem them, for they were conveyed to trustees in 1468 (fn. 94) and sold about 1484 to William Catesby, (fn. 95) who was attainted and beheaded the following year, when his lands were confiscated by the Crown and granted in 1489 to Sir David Owen. (fn. 96) After David's death his son John in 1548 sold the reversion of the manor after the death of his mother Anne to Thomas Twigden, (fn. 97) who died in 1580 and by his will left one-half of the manor to his eldest son Edward and the other to his wife Anne with reversion to Edward, (fn. 98) but Anne gave up her right in the premises to Edward for 120. (fn. 99) The whole manor, thus acquired by Edward, was settled by him in 1602, on the marriage of his eldest daughter Elizabeth to William Knighton, on himself and his wife Anne for life with reversion to Elizabeth and William. (fn. 100) Edward and Anne dying in 1614, (fn. 101) the manor was inherited by Elizabeth, a widow since 1607, with a son Thomas. (fn. 102) Elizabeth married as her second husband Gifford Bullock and was again a widow in 1651 when, her son Thomas probably having died without issue, a recovery of the manor was suffered in order to break the entail. (fn. 103) Elizabeth died shortly afterwards, and the manor appears to have passed to John Atkins, who sold it in 1665 to Theophilus Hart. (fn. 104) The manor reappears in 1713 when Thomas Parkyns and Dorothy his wife conveyed it to Thomas Hanbury. (fn. 105) There is no further mention of it until 1763, when Mary Hindman, widow, and Josiah Hindman were in possession; (fn. 106) they alienated it two years later to Francis Beynon, (fn. 107) patron of the church, from whom it passed to his grandson Francis Beynon Hackett, holding it in 1816. (fn. 108) Baker, writing in 1820, calls it 'a considerable estate' (fn. 109) and makes no mention of the manor, of which there is no further trace.
The other half fee by 1428 was divided equally between Agnes Compworth, the heir of John Wattes, and John Tybesore (fn. 110) but was probably afterwards acquired in its entirety by William Gosage whose daughter carried it in marriage to William Cope, who held it in 1488; it was then worth 8 a year. (fn. 111) It passed to John Cope, whose widow Anne, in 1510, left the manor to trustees to provide a portion for Anne, daughter and heir of Edward Cope, her son, on her marriage with William Lovett or any other son of Thomas Lovett. (fn. 112) On Anne's death in 1513 the manor became the right of her grand-daughter Anne Lovett (fn. 113) but was sold soon after in accordance with the terms of the will; for in 1571 these lands were in the possession of the families of Sprigg, Miller alias Brown, and Chapman: (fn. 114) the two latter were still freeholders there in 1820, (fn. 115) but all manorial rights have long since fallen into abeyance.
The church of ST. ANDREW stands on high ground in the centre of the village and consists of chancel, 29 ft. by 15 ft., with north chapel its full length 14 ft. wide, clerestoried nave of four bays, 47 ft. 10 in. by 17 ft., with north and south aisles, 12 ft. wide, north porch and embattled west tower, 9 ft. 3 in. square, all these measurements being internal. The tower is surmounted by a spire, and is a prominent landmark.
The building is faced throughout with wrought ironstone (fn. 118) in irregular courses, and except the tower has plain parapets and low-pitched leaded roofs.
The earliest church was erected about 1120 and had an aisleless nave covering the same area as at present, the west wall and south-east angle of which remain. The western angles of this early nave stand free about 3 ft. north and south of the tower, but less of the southeast angle is now visible. A rounded moulding with double quirk, which ran round the nave at a height of about 6 ft., still remains at the west end and at the southeast angle, and the original south doorway has been moved outward to its present position. About 1195 the lower part of the tower was built, (fn. 119) a doorway being made into it from the nave, and a north aisle added. The upper stages of the tower are rather later in date, showing a well-developed lancet style, but with intervals the work may have extended continuously down to about 121520. In the 14th century a new chancel was built round the former one, which was then pulled down, a south aisle added, and the north aisle remodelled. A clerestory was also added at the same time. In the next century several Perpendicular windows were inserted. The spire and parapet of the tower are also of 15th-century date. The chantry chapel north of the chancel was erected about 1505 by John Chamber. The interior of the church was restored in 1847 by Sir Gilbert Scott, and the north porch rebuilt. (fn. 120) The spire was taken down nearly to the base in 1870 and rebuilt.
The chancel has an east window of three lights with modern Perpendicular tracery, and in the south wall are a 14th-century priest's doorway and two Perpendicular two-light windows the jambs of which, however, appear to belong to former 14th-century openings. Below the westernmost of these is a small rectangular low-side window, now blocked, widely splayed inside, the sill of which forms a seat. (fn. 121) The 14th-century piscina has been restored; the single sedile is within a flat-arched moulded recess. The first 7 ft. of the north wall from the east are blank, beyond which the chancel is open to the chapel (now used as an organ-chamber and vestry) by an early-16th-century arcade of two pointed arches with octagonal pillar and corresponding responds. The 14th-century chancel arch is of two chamfered orders, the inner on half octagonal responds with moulded capitals. The chancel roof is modern (fn. 122) and the walls, as elsewhere internally, are plastered.
The late-12th-century north nave arcade consists of four semicircular arches of two orders, the outer square and the inner chamfered, springing from circular pillars with carved capitals, square moulded abaci, and circular moulded bases: the responds are of similar type. Nail-head ornament occurs in the angle foliage of the capital of the west respond, but not elsewhere. The pillars of the 14th-century south arcade are also circular, with circular moulded capitals and bases, and support pointed arches of two chamfered orders. The old south doorway, moved outward when the aisle was erected, has a semicircular arch of two orders, the outer with chevron ornament resting on angle shafts with cushion capitals and moulded bases, and the inner with a round moulding carried down the jambs below the capitals. (fn. 123) The later north doorway is of Transitional Norman character with semicircular arch of two square orders and label on moulded imposts, with outer angle shafts, and inner chamfered jambs. The shafts have moulded bases and capitals with early foliage.
The south aisle has diagonal angle buttresses of two stages and a 14th-century moulded string all round at sill level. The west window and two in the south wall are of two trefoiled lights with quatrefoil in the head, one being modern and another much restored. The 15th-century easternmost window in the south wall is of three cinquefoiled lights with four-centred head: when it was inserted the east wall was either rebuilt or much altered, a reredos for the aisle altar in the form of an arched recess with crocketed head and flanking pinnacles being substituted for the formerly existing window. Two moulded corbels, one on each side of the reredos are of 14th-century date, as is the piscina in the south wall. Farther west are two moulded wall recesses of the same period, the arches of which spring from short shafts with moulded capitals and bases and are enriched with ball-flower.
The north aisle is without buttresses and does not appear to have been rebuilt, but the three two-light windows in its north wall are 14th-century insertions, while that at the west end is a four-centred Perpendicular opening of three cinquefoiled lights. In the north wall is a restored 14th-century recess, and at the east end in the usual position a piscina serving the north aisle altar.
There are four clerestory windows on each side, but three on the south and two on the north are 15th-century insertions (fn. 124) in the 14th-century wall, and break the moulding of the parapet: they are four-centred and of two lights. The three remaining openings are squareheaded in the 14th-century style, but date only from 1847. The 15th-century nave roof is of five bays, with plain oak principals on stone corbels. The roof of the north aisle, which is a continuation of that of the chantry chapel, has been restored. The chapel has a wide four-light east window with plain Perpendicular tracery, and two plain four-centred windows of three lights on the north side.
The tower is of three main stages, the lower part on the north and south being blank, but on the west is again divided by strings, making five stages in all on that side. The semicircular west doorway is decorated with chevron ornament and grotesque heads in the label and above it is an arcade of three round arches, over which an arcade of pointed arches is taken round the tower, five on each side. In the bellchamber stage the two middle openings in an arcade of four pointed arches are pierced and recessed within a semicircular containing arch, but the arcade is not continued to the angles, which form flat clasping buttresses. Nearly all the shafts of the lower pointed arcade, as well as the bell-chamber windows, are new, but though much restored in places the upper part of the tower is still a very interesting example of early13th-century work. The battlemented parapet with cross ceillets is built above the original corbel table of heads, and the spire has ribbed angles and a single set of lights on its cardinal faces. The semicircular arch to the tower from the nave is of a single square order, the shafted jambs having scalloped capitals and moulded bases: above it is a tall round-headed window originally above the nave roof, but now blocked. There is no vice. The floor of the tower is two steps above that of the nave.
The 13th-century font has an octagonal bowl with round-headed trefoil arcading on a plain pedestal and chamfered plinth.
The pulpit and chancel screen are modern.
Below the westernmost arch north of the chancel is a panelled table tomb with the alabaster effigy of Sir John Swinford (d. 1371) already described, (fn. 125) enclosed by a contemporary iron grille, and under the eastern arch a later tomb with panelled sides containing blank shields within quatrefoils, upon which was formerly a wooden effigy. In the floor of the chapel, now in part covered by the organ, is a slab with the brass figures of Robert Parnell (d. 1464) and Joan his wife, with their children below. (fn. 126) There is also a brass plate on the floor of the chapel to Edward Twigden (d. 1614) and Ann his wife, (fn. 127) but no other monuments older than the 18th century remain.
There are five bells in the tower, cast in 1685 by Henry and Matthew Bagley of Chacombe. (fn. 128) The frame was repaired in 1886, in which year a clock was erected. In 1930 the oak frame was replaced by one of steel; two of the bells were recast and three were quarterturned and retuned.
The plate consists of two cups of 1790, a paten of 1839, a flagon of 1868, and a silver-plated alms basin. There are also a pewter flagon and a pewter plate. (fn. 129)
The registers before 1812 are as follows: (i) baptisms, marriages, and burials 15381652; (ii) baptisms and burials 17371801; (iii) baptisms and burials (1802 12; (iv) marriages 175485; (v) marriages 17861813.
On the south side of the church is a churchyard cross consisting of a tall and slender octagonal shaft set in a square socket on two plain steps. The shaft slightly tapers and at the top is a tenon which originally fitted the head or cross arms. (fn. 130)
The church of Spratton, with 1 acre of land called Overebrech, was bestowed on St. James's Abbey, Northampton, by Simon de Creton between 1180 and 1205, (fn. 131) and these gifts were confirmed by his grandson Simon in 1235, (fn. 132) and by the latter's grandson John in 1311. (fn. 133) In 1266 Richard Gravesend, Bishop of Lincoln, enabled the abbey to appropriate the church in view of the great claims on the hospitality of the monks. (fn. 134) In 1270, after the institution of Giles le Rous, Archdeacon of Northampton, to the church of Spratton, (fn. 135) certain tithes and lands were allotted to the abbey, among them being meadows called Bromhillwell and Pyndersmead. (fn. 136) About this date Simon son of Simon de Montacute, lord of Little Creaton manor, claimed the advowson of Spratton Church but was bought off by the abbot, Adam Kelmersh, for 20 marks. (fn. 137) The rectory and vicarage were valued at 10 13s. 4d. and 4 13s. 4d. respectively in 1291, (fn. 138) and in 1309 the ordination of the vicarage was confirmed in great detail by the Bishop of Lincoln. (fn. 139) In 1312 Edward II tried to dispossess the abbey of the advowson on the ground that the church had been appropriated without licence, but the abbot proved that the advowson was appendant to the honor of Leicester and showed a legal appropriation in the reign of Henry III, (fn. 140) and he therefore obtained a confirmation of Edward II in 1316. (fn. 141) In 1535 the vicarage was rated at 15 and the rectory was leased out for a rent of 14, (fn. 142) of which a pension of 13s. 4d. paid to Lincoln Church was deducted. (fn. 143) After the dissolution of the abbey in 1538 (fn. 144) the rectory and advowson were bestowed upon Anthony Stringer in 1543, (fn. 145) who in the same year obtained licence to alienate them to Laurence Manley of Northampton. (fn. 146) The latter soon afterwards obtained one moiety of Maxe's Manor and also Downhall Manor, which with the rectory and advowson remained in the Manley family for over 100 years, but during the last quarter of the 17th century the Manleys parted with all their possessions in Spratton, the rectory and advowson being sold separately. Between 1673 and 1684 Michael Bateman purchased the advowson from Lawrence Manley junior and Mary his wife and John Manley, clerk, (fn. 147) and presented his son Royle Bateman to the church. (fn. 148) The patronage descended to Royle, who died in 1733 leaving two daughters and co-heirs, Anne the wife of Giles Watson and Elizabeth the wife of Benjamin Okell. (fn. 149) As Anne died childless in 1762, the advowson vested entirely in her sister, and the latter's only child Elizabeth, who married Francis Beynon. (fn. 150) By his will dated 1774 Francis Beynon left the advowson of Spratton to his only surviving child Elizabeth Anne, the wife of Andrew Hackett of Moxhull, Warwickshire, with reversion to her son Andrew Hackett junior and his children. Francis Beynon died shortly after, in 1778, and the advowson was inherited by Elizabeth Anne Hackett, (fn. 151) and passed to her second but eldest surviving son, Francis Beynon Hackett, who was patron in 1816. (fn. 152) Before 1820 the patronage of the church was purchased of F. B. Hackett by John Bartlett of Buckingham, (fn. 153) in whom it was still vested in 1874, (fn. 154) but it was resold between that date and 1903 when Mr. H. Roberts of London owned the presentation and by 1906 it was in the possession of the Rev. Humphrey Gordon Roberts Hays-Boyd of Towend, Symington, who in 1925 transferred it to the Bishop of Peterborough.
After 1673 the rectory was severed from the advowson and was sold in portions, half apparently being bought from the Manleys by Arthur Goodday, (fn. 155) as in 1695 it belonged to William Goodday, probably his son. (fn. 156) Another quarter was vested in Laurence Hadden, Elizabeth his wife and others in 1690, (fn. 157) but was afterwards purchased by William Goodday who with Mary his wife, held of the rectory in 1706. (fn. 158) On William's death in 1715 his right to the rectory was inherited by John his son who died in 1755, (fn. 159) leaving two daughters and co-heirs, Millicent the wife of the Rev. Thomas Hide and Anne the wife of John Walker, who at the inclosure of part of the parish in 1765 were each certified to hold of the great tithes, the remaining or being the property of Francis Beynon, patron of the vicarage. (fn. 160) Millicent Hide seems to have died without issue, for her share passed to her sister's daughters Anne the wife of Thomas Beet, of Great Houghton, and Rebecca, who held the lands in 1793 (fn. 161) and by 1820 they were vested in the representatives of the late Thomas Beet and of the Rev. George Beet of Harpole. (fn. 162) The other lands allotted to Francis Beynon descended with the advowson to Francis Beynon Hackett who held them in 1820. (fn. 163)
By his will dated 1505 John Chambers left a messuage called the Bedehouse and other property in Spratton and Holdenby to found a chantry in the chapel on the north side of the chancel lately rebuilt by him; prayers were to be offered up for the souls of his brother William, his wife Elizabeth, his parents, and of himself. (fn. 164) In 1534 and 1545 the lands belonging to it were worth 5, (fn. 165) and at its dissolution in 1548 5 12s. a year, paid to the priest as salary. (fn. 166) Silvester Taverner of London and Joseph Hinde obtained the property, (fn. 167) and they doubtless sold it afterwards in small portions.
The Town and Charity Estate. It appears by a decree of the Commissioners for Charitable Uses issued in the 16th year of King Charles II that one John Pearson bequeathed 10 for the poor, that a cottage and 3 a. 1 r. of land had been given for the reparation of the church, that the rents of certain other lands had been applied for the reparation of the highways and bridges, and that several sums of money had been given for the relief of the poor. In a deed dated 7 December 1694 it is stated that 50 had been bequeathed by one Arthur Goodday towards binding poor children apprentices. The sums of money mentioned were laid out in the purchase of land, and the property now consists of 29 a. o r. 25 p. let in allotments. A house and garden acquired at the same time have since been sold and the proceeds invested, the whole producing about 75.
An Order of the Charity Commissioners dated 28 September 1909 directed that three-quarters of the net income should form the endowment of the Town Charity and the remaining quarter the endowment of the Church Charity. The Town Charity is administered by a body of trustees and the Church Charity by the vicar and churchwardens and additional trustees.
Thomas Hill by his will proved in P.R. 16 August 1921 gave 100, the income to be applied by the vicar and churchwardens in the purchase of coal for the poor, the charity to be called 'Thomas and Sarah Hill's Charity'. The money was invested and produces about 5 yearly.
The vicar of Spratton receives annually 30 from the trustees of Sir Edward Nicoll's Charity, which is described under the parish of Kettering.