Parishes: Earls Barton

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

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, 'Parishes: Earls Barton', in A History of the County of Northampton: Volume 4, (London, 1937) pp. 116-122. British History Online [accessed 18 May 2024].

. "Parishes: Earls Barton", in A History of the County of Northampton: Volume 4, (London, 1937) 116-122. British History Online, accessed May 18, 2024,

. "Parishes: Earls Barton", A History of the County of Northampton: Volume 4, (London, 1937). 116-122. British History Online. Web. 18 May 2024,

In this section


Bartone, Barton (xi–xiii cent.); Earl's Barton (xiv– xx cent.); Barton Yarles (xvi cent.).

The parish of Earls Barton is pleasantly situated on the north bank of the River Nene, near which the land is low-lying and often flooded. It rises from the river to a height of 336 ft. in the north. The village, often called Barton-on-the-hill, is of considerable size; the older part is built at the meeting-point of roads from Great Doddington, Northampton, and Wellingborough. It contains several 17th-century houses built of ironstone, but with later modern windows, and mostly thatched. Most of these retain coped end gables with kneelers, and one large block in High Street has a gabled front dated 1686. The village is 1¼ miles north of Castle Ashby and Earls Barton station. On the village green below the church is a war memorial. Near the village square are the Methodist, Baptist, and Calvinistic Baptist chapels. There are two schools, a Board School built in 1868, and a National School enlarged in 1885. The newer part of the village, New Barton, is built north of the old part.

The extent of the parish is 2,307 acres. The soil is red loam, subsoil ironstone and limestone; the chief crops are cereals. Besides agriculture the manufacture of boots and shoes gives employment for many of the inhabitants. In 1931 the population numbered 2,587. The name Earls Barton was derived from the Earls of Huntingdon who were anciently lords of the fee.

There was formerly within this parish a hamlet of Thorp; probably the south-east part of the village called Dowthorp End marks its site. Ancient remains have been found in this parish; these include British coins of the late Celtic period (fn. 1) and an earthwork which has been partly destroyed for the site of the church. (fn. 2)

The Church Clock Close in Earls Barton was land originally set apart for repairing 'a clock dyall or watch for the comfort of the township of Earls Barton'. (fn. 3)


In 1086 the Countess Judith held 4 hides in Barton valued at £4. It had been in the tenure of Bondi, who held it with soc and sac. (fn. 4) From Judith it descended to her son-in-law King David; (fn. 5) and so to the Hastings family, following the same descent as Yardley Hastings (q.v.). The overlordship is last mentioned in connexion with Earls Barton in 1511. (fn. 6)

Hastings. Or a sleeve gules.

Pynkeny. Or a fesse indented of five points gules.

At the beginning of the 14th century three manors existed in Earls Barton. One of these, called PYNKENY or BARNARD'S MANOR, from the names of the families which held it, seems to have been in the hands of David de Lindesey, whose widow Margery (fn. 7) held half a fee in Barton in 1241, at which time Thomas de Lindesey was said to hold a quarter fee there. (fn. 8) But Thomas was actually dead in 1239, (fn. 9) and his heir held the quarter fee in 1242. (fn. 10) This heir was apparently Gerard de Lindesey, son of Margery, (fn. 11) and his sister Alice married Henry de Pynkeny. Henry, before his death in 1253, gave 10 marks of land which he held in Earls Barton in right of his wife to his daughter Alice, (fn. 12) who married Ralph de Thorp, and his son Henry confirmed the gift. (fn. 13) Alice, who died in 1289, had held the manor of Earls Barton of Robert de Pynkeny, her nephew, but had surrendered it to him, reserving the use of the hall, chambers, kitchen, &c., during her life. (fn. 14) Her son Simon de Thorp in 1292 gave up to Robert de Pynkeny his claim in lands here, (fn. 15) though between 1329 and 1332 Simon's three daughters laid claim to the manor. (fn. 16) During his minority Simon de Thorp had been in ward to Seman de Stokes, (fn. 17) who appears in 1285 as holding part of a fee in Barton. (fn. 18) Robert de Pynkeny died in 1295, and in 1316 Robert his son held Barton Manor. (fn. 19) Robert de Pynkeny was still in possession in 1349, (fn. 20) and had a daughter Margaret (fn. 21) who married William de Champayne, whose grand-daughter Margaret was the wife of John Sulney. The manor then followed the same descent as Barnard's in Great Doddington (q.v.) until 1633, when John Barnard and his wife Elizabeth were in possession of the manor. (fn. 22) From John Barnard the Whitworth family evidently acquired Barnard's Manor, but the exact date of the transfer is not known. In 1636 Myles Whitworth petitioned as a resident in Earls Barton (fn. 23) and in 1655 Robert Whitworth had land there. (fn. 24) In 1711 William and Robert Whitworth conveyed certain tithes in Barton to William Manning. (fn. 25) By 1812 the Whitworths held Barnard's Manor and had also acquired Holdenby's Manor (q.v.) from the Earl of Northampton. (fn. 26) Subsequently the manor of Earls Barton descended to T. W. Whitworth, whose trustees held it in 1877. At the present day no manorial rights are exercised in Earls Barton, but William Chetwode Whitworth is principal landowner.

Charneles. Gules two cheverons in a border or.

Holdenby. Azure five cinqfoils argent set saltirewise.

A second manor in Earls Barton called HOLDENBY'S and later SPENCER'S MANOR was held in the latter half of the 13th century by the Charneles, or Carnail, (fn. 27) family. In 1247 Agnes de Carnail conveyed her lands in Barton to William de Carnail. (fn. 28) In 1275 William de Carnail was presented for having encroached on the high road in Barton, (fn. 29) and in 1285 he, with Seman de Stokes (guardian of Simon de Thorpe), (fn. 30) held a knight's fee there. (fn. 31) Another William, presumably his son, in 1325 held ¼ fee in Barton. (fn. 32) In 1343 William and his wife Isabel transferred the manor to their son William and his wife Joan. (fn. 33) In 1346 William held fees in Earls Barton. (fn. 34) William de Carnail died on 24 June 1349, when the Black Death was raging in this district, leaving as heir his daughter Maud, then 1 year old, (fn. 35) in ward to John and Thomas de Carnail, brothers of William. (fn. 36) In 1362 an inquisition was made concerning the age of Maud, who had married Robert de Holdenby. (fn. 37) Robert and Maud in 1392 granted certain lands out of their manor to the nunnery of Delapré. (fn. 38) Robert de Holdenby was succeeded by John; after whom the manor descended to his son John Holdenby and his wife Joan. Their son William (fn. 39) in 1456 granted to his mother certain lands in Barton for her life. William's son William, who in 1490 granted to his mother Agnes Nevill for life certain rents out of his manor, (fn. 40) was the last of his family to hold the manor; from him it appears to have passed to the Muscote family. John Muscote died seised of land held of John Barnard in Earls Barton in 1512; his heir was his son Richard, (fn. 41) who in 1539 held 'Holdenbys Manor'. (fn. 42) Richard Muscote died in 1558, having settled the manor (fn. 43) on his wife Mary, who survived him, and was succeeded by his son John Muscote (fn. 44) who in 1566 alienated the manor to Sir John Spencer, (fn. 45) who died in 1587, having settled the manor on his son Richard. (fn. 46) On the death of Sir Richard in 1624 his manor came to his second son Brockett. (fn. 47) No further mention has been found of this family holding a manor in Earls Barton, but like Great Doddington (q.v.) in 1719 it was in the hands of the Earl of Northampton (fn. 48) and from him it descended to his grand-nephew Charles (fn. 49) Lord Compton, who held it in 1780. (fn. 50) In 1811 Charles, then Earl of Northampton, still held this manor, (fn. 51) but by 1812 it had been transferred to William Whitworth (fn. 52) and followed the same descent as Barnard's Manor (q.v.), with which it then became merged.

Muscote. Gules a cross engrailed argent with five roses gules thereon.

The Abbey of Delapré held an estate or manor known as DELAPREY MANOR in Barton. At an early date Roger son of Saer de Wollaston gave property in Barton to this house. (fn. 53) Subsequently Henry de Pynkeny gave 8 virgates in Barton, (fn. 54) and in 1313, (fn. 55) and again in 1349, (fn. 56) a half fee was returned as held jointly by Robert de Pynkeny and the Abbess of Delapré. In 1329 the abbess successfully claimed frankpledge from her tenants in her manor of Barton. (fn. 57) In 1392 Robert Holdenby granted land in Barton to the convent, (fn. 58) and about the same time grants were made to it by John Mauntell and Thomas Bray. (fn. 59) The value of these lands held by Delapré in 1535 was £9 5s. annually. (fn. 60) At the Dissolution this estate passed to the Crown, and in 1537 Henry VIII granted £20 of rent out of this and other estates in Earls Barton to William Lee. (fn. 61) The lands, which had been leased to various tenants, were granted in 1553 to Anthony Brown and Richard Weston, (fn. 62) and ten years later Anthony Brown quitclaimed the whole estate to Richard Weston. (fn. 63) By 1604 Delaprey Manor was in the hands of Sir Richard Spencer, owner of Holdenby's, and the two manors descended together (fn. 64) until 1812, when Delaprey was among the manors held by William Whitworth. (fn. 65)

Another manor or estate named DRUEL'S MANOR was held of the Earl of Kent in 1495, when John Druel of Newton Bromswold (q.v.) died seised of it and was succeeded by his brother Richard. (fn. 66) It had been held by John's grandmother Joan Druell alias Burne, widow, until the previous year. The manor is not mentioned by name again, but in 1540 Thomas Carowe and John Knight alienated a third of a 'manor' in Earls Barton to John Brown and Audrey his wife and their son George. (fn. 67) This may refer to Druel's Manor. In 1557 George Brown granted certain lands to John Lord Mordaunt. (fn. 68) In 1609 Henry Lord Mordaunt, grandson of John, (fn. 69) died seised of a rent of 33s. 2½d. issuing from lands in Earls Barton. (fn. 70) No further trace of this estate has been found.

THORP MANOR in the hamlet of that name seems to have been 'Widetorp', in which, at the Domesday Survey, Robert held of the Countess Judith 3 virgates of land. (fn. 71) The overlordship descended with the honor of Huntingdon. No further mention of the manor has been found until 1375, when the manor of Thorp by Barton was conveyed by Thomas Seymour, of Hardwick, to Robert Drakelowe and his wife Catherine and their heirs. (fn. 72) In 1491 Roger Salisbury died seised of Thorp and left his son William as heir. (fn. 73) William died about 1511 and the manor descended to his daughter Mary, then married to Sir William Parre. (fn. 74) In 1519 Sir William Parre and his wife settled the manor on Ralph Lane, who married Sir William's daughter Maud. (fn. 75) In 1558 Sir Thomas Tresham held lands (fn. 76) in Barton which had belonged to Sir William Parre, then deceased, whose daughter Mary he had married. (fn. 77) Before the year 1580 the manor had been conveyed to Thomas Tyringham, who in that year alienated it to Thomas Throckmorton (fn. 78) probably in trust for Thomas Tresham, grandson of Sir Thomas Tresham and Mary Parre, and his wife Muriel, daughter of Sir Robert Throckmorton. (fn. 79) Nothing further has been found in connexion with Thorp Manor.


At the time of the Conqueror's Survey there were three mills in Earls Barton; these rendered 28s. 6d. annually and were held by the Countess Judith. (fn. 80) In 1580 two water-mills were held with Thorp Manor (fn. 81) and in 1592 one was appurtenant to the rectory then held by Clement Lewis. (fn. 82)


There was formerly in Earls Barton a court called the Baron's Mote held every month by the Earls of Huntingdon. (fn. 83) To this court all who held of the honor of Huntingdon owed suit and service. (fn. 84)


The church of ALL SAINTS stands conspicuously on a prominent spur of land that commands the road running up to the village from the ford and mill in the valley below, (fn. 85) and occupies part of the site of a mote castle, or mound fortress, the ditch of which remains on the north side. The site has been already described. (fn. 86) The building consists of chancel, 43 ft. 6 in. by 16 ft. 9 in.; (fn. 87) clerestoried nave, 51 ft. by 22 ft.; north and south aisles, respectively 12 ft. 9 in. and 13 ft. wide; south porch, and west tower, 14 ft. 9 in. by 15 ft. 9 in., (fn. 88) all these measurements being internal. The width across the nave and aisles is 53 ft. There is a small modern organchamber on the north side of the chancel.

Plan of Earls Barton Church

The church is of exceptional interest as possessing a late Saxon tower which is generally agreed to be both the finest existing specimen of pre-Conquest work (fn. 89) and the most noteworthy architectural monument of its period in England, (fn. 90) as well as features ranging from the 12th to the 15th centuries. The tower alone is earlier than the Conquest, but the quoins of an aisleless early 12th-century nave remain at the two eastern angles and less perfectly at the west end, while the south doorway is of c. 1180, but was rebuilt when the south aisle was made. The 12th-century chancel was lengthened and altered c. 1250, and about the same time aisles were added to the nave, the south aisle being the earlier. The north arcade is of c. 1290–1300, but both aisles were altered in the 14th century, when the arches of the nave arcades seem to have been reconstructed and a new chancel arch erected upon the 12th-century jambs; the outer walls of the north aisle were entirely rebuilt and new windows inserted in the chancel and south aisle. Other windows were made in the chancel in the 15th century and the clerestory was added. The building was restored in 1868–70, when the roofs (fn. 91) were renewed, a west gallery removed, the porch rebuilt, and the organ-chamber added. (fn. 92)

The walls are of rubble, plastered internally, with plain ashlar parapets; the chancel has a high-pitched roof, and the nave and aisles roofs of low pitch, all leaded.

The tower is of four unequal stages and is 68 ft. 8 in. in height to the top of the modern battlemented parapet, with an external width on the west face of 24 ft. The walls are about 4 ft. thick above a simple square plinth, but decrease as they ascend to 2 ft. 6 in. at the bell-chamber stage by a series of set-offs. The stages, or horizontal divisions, are marked by string-courses, of which the first has a hollow chamfer, the other two being square in section, and the quoins show pronounced long-and-short work. The faces of the walling are enriched by pilaster strips about 4 in. in width, between which the rubble is plastered, the strips being joined by round arches at the bottom of the second stage, and by diagonal bands of strip work forming straight-sided arches in the third stage. The eastern quoins are as marked as the western and are completed down to the ground, the 12th-century nave being built up against them. It is therefore possible that the ground story of the tower formed the body, or main interior division, of the original church, and had a narrower, square-ended chancel on the eastern side, but there is no indication of a western adjunct (fn. 93) as at Barton-onHumber. Unfortunately, at Earls Barton the eastern arch opening to the nave was altered and widened later, and its original form lost. Whatever the nature of the eastern limb, however, its roof was of high pitch, the apex of the gable reaching to the lower part of the third stage of the tower, where its marks still remain.

The west doorway has a semicircular moulded (fn. 94) head, which on the exterior is cut out of two stones, but internally the whole head is formed of a single block. The doorway, which is 3 ft. 3 in. wide and 7 ft. 7 in. high to the crown of the arch, is cut straight through the wall, and the door was suspended on the inner face by iron hooks. The jambs are formed by large slabs set upright, alternating with flat stones, but they differ in construction, on the north side a single slab 4 ft. 6 in. high, 6 in. thick, and 3 ft. 7 in. deep forming almost the whole height of the jamb. The doorway is enriched with an outer order of upright pilaster strips bent round above in the shape of the arch, and upon the outer and inner faces of the square imposts is an incised arcading, which may have been added in the 12th century. The plinths are square blocks.

Immediately above the doorway is a round-headed, internally splayed 12th-century window, taking the place of an original double window, like that in the south wall of the tower. This is double splayed with cross-shaped piercings in the mid-wall slabs, whereas those on the western side were circular. (fn. 95) Externally the openings are ornamented with three projecting baluster shafts set on square corbels, and above each is an enrichment of narrow roll-mouldings disposed about a central cross carved in relief. (fn. 96) The openings occupy the upper part of the two middle vertical spaces between the pilaster strips, immediately below the string course, the south face of the tower being divided into six such spaces; on the north side there are only five, and both of the lower stages are quite plain.

In the second stage, except on the north, are roundheaded upper doorways. (fn. 97) That on the east side, which is placed higher than the others, now gives access to the roof of the nave, but originally opened into a space between an upper and an under roof. (fn. 98) On the south and west sides the doorways, which are 2 ft. 6 in. wide by 7 ft. in height, provide egress from near the floor of the ringing chamber, but the external apertures are at too great a height from the ground to admit of access by a ladder from the outside, nor is there any sign of a gallery or platform. In the third stage, one on each of the four sides, are small triangular-headed openings (fn. 99) which, like the doorways in the stage below, are cut straight through the thickness of the wall without any splay. (fn. 100)

The short upper, or bell-chamber stage has on each face a group of five round-headed openings so arranged that the main part of the wall is carried by simple square stone pillars, while the baluster shafts, which are intended to be seen, are thrust forward to the external edge of the opening. The shafts differ from those generally in use, being mostly oblong in plan instead of round, and only equipped with mouldings on their outer faces. (fn. 101)

The present opening from the tower to the nave is of the late 13 th century, with re-use of 12th-century material, and is 12 ft. 6 in. wide. The arch is a pointed one of three chamfered orders dying out above plain jambs with scalloped and moulded imposts, and the outer order facing east has a double row of billet moulding. The ground floor of the tower is now a vestry and has a modern floor at the height of the crown of the arch.

Of the 12th-century nave only the angles with their ashlar quoin-stones and the jambs of the chancel arch (fn. 98) remain in position, the south doorway having been moved outward. It has an enriched semicircular arch of three orders, the innermost continuous with chevron ornament and plain soffit, the two outer on nook-shafts with sculptured capitals and moulded imposts and bases. The chevron is also used on the outer order, and the middle order has beak-heads on an angle roll, the soffits in each case being plain; the hood-mould has a circular arched ornament. The circular inner shafts are enriched with spiral decoration, but the others are octagonal in section with studded and plain chevrons. The west capital of the middle order has a bird with wings displayed at the angle.

The opening of the chancel arch is the full width of the 12th-century chancel, with two shafts on each side towards the nave, all with cushion capitals. Upon these is a 14th-century arch of three orders facing west and two on the east side, the latter chamfered, the former with wave-moulding.

The side walls of the Norman chancel still form the western part of the present structure for a distance of about 24 ft. At this point on either side the walling is reduced in thickness where the 13th-century work begins, thus increasing the width of the chancel at the east end by 18 in. Externally a flat, shallow buttress remains on each side 12 ft. from the west end, but no original windows have survived, and the internal wallarcading, which seems to have been carried all round the 12th-century chancel, was reconstructed and some of the spare arches from the east end were inserted as sedilia in the new part of the south wall, (fn. 102) while pieces of chevron ornament, probably from the jambs of earlier windows, were built up at the interior angles of the old walls at their junction with the thinner walls of the added portion. (fn. 103) On the south side the wall arcade now consists of six semicircular arches with chevron moulding, on shafts (fn. 104) with scalloped capitals, on a continuous bench-table, the easternmost arch being occupied by a rectangular aumbry. On the north side are five similar arches, with the springing of a sixth at the junction of the old and new work, but the capitals of the shafts vary, one being cushioned, another scalloped, one with volutes, and two sculptured. Over each arcade, at sill level, is a string-course with double billet moulding. The arcading now begins about 5 ft. from the entrance to the chancel, two low-side windows having been introduced at the west end opposite to each other. That on the south is pointed, with chamfered arch and hood-mould terminating in corbels, whilst the other is a plain rectangular opening. Both have flat sills forming seats and on the north side the hooks for the shutter remain. (fn. 105) The moulded, roundheaded priest's doorway apparently belongs to the 13th-century work; it has a keel-shaped hood-mould and roll-moulded jambs.

The added portion of the chancel, about 20 ft. in length, has coupled angle buttresses, moulded plinth, and keel-shaped string-course at sill level, (fn. 106) the latter continued westward on the south side. The east window is of three grouped lancets with shafted mullions, moulded jambs, (fn. 107) and separate hood-moulds, and in the gable above is a sexfoil opening with continuous label. At the east end of the north wall is a single widely splayed lancet, but all the other windows in the chancel are insertions of 14th- and 15th-century date, each of two lights, that at the east end of the south wall being four-centred, the others square-headed. Below the modern parapet is a hollow string-course, apparently contemporary with the 14th-century windows. Internally, the keel-shaped string is repeated all round the 13th-century extension, but the wall below has modern panelling at the east end with a return on each side. The trefoiled piscina has a fluted projecting bowl and stone shelf and the triple stepped sedilia, as already stated, are made up from the displaced Norman wall arcade, with round chevron arches and shafts with cushion capitals. (fn. 108)

The 13th-century south arcade of the nave consists of three pointed arches of two chamfered orders, with hood-mould on one side, springing from octagonal piers with moulded capitals and bases, and from keel-shaped responds. The bases stand on square plinths of masonry probably portions of the 12th-century wall through which the arcade was cut. There is a keel-shaped string all round the aisle inside and out, and the shallow buttresses are contemporary with the walling, but all the windows are 14th-century insertions, with ogee heads and, except at the east end, of two trefoiled lights with elongated quatrefoil in the head; the east window is of three lights with reticulated tracery, and its sill is dropped inside as a reredos for the aisle altar. To the north of it is a rectangular aumbry, and in the south wall a trefoiled moulded piscina with plain circular bowl.

The later north arcade is also of three bays, with arches of two sunk-chamfered orders divided by a casement, springing from clustered piers consisting of four half-round shafts with small intervening rolls, and four responds of similar section, all with moulded capitals and bases. The north aisle walls were wholly rebuilt in the 14th century and have angle buttresses of two stages and a moulded string-course at sill level inside and out. The windows are of similar type to those in the south aisle, with moulded rear arches, and the doorway has a continuous moulding of three members. On the south side of the east window is an image-bracket with carved head and on the north another formed from a 13th-century capital, but no ritual arrangements have survived. In the north wall is a locker for a processional cross.

There are four square-headed clerestory windows of two trefoiled lights on each side. The porch has been rebuilt on the old lines, much of the old masonry being re-used; the outer arch is of two orders on clustered shafts with moulded capitals and bases which are 14thcentury work much restored. The side windows are modern.

The 15th-century traceried rood-screen has been much restored and painted; (fn. 109) it has two subdivided openings on each side of the doorway and plain lower panels with traceried heads, carved rail and cornice, and vaulted cover. There is a modern rood with three figures.

The hexagonal dark oak Jacobean pulpit has five of its sides elaborately panelled in two tiers, the lower arched, the upper oblong; it stands on a modern stone base. The font dates from 1877 and is in the 13th-century style. There is a plain oak chest with the marks of three locks, and the royal arms of one of the Hanoverian Georges are over the tower arch. The seating and fittings are all modern.

The brass of John Muscote (d. 1512) and Alice his wife, formerly in the floor of the nave, is now on the south jamb of the tower arch. The figures of the man and wife and one of the evangelists' symbols (fn. 110) remain, but the other symbols, the inscription, and the figures of four sons and twelve daughters are gone. (fn. 111)

In the church are preserved two quarries of glass from the old vicarage, with scratched inscriptions recording the marriage of Thomas Gery Bennet, (fn. 112) 13 June 1745, and the birth of his son Thomas, 25 March 1748.

There are mural tablets, from 1790, to members of the Whitworth family, and on the outside of the south wall of the chancel is a memorial to James Harris, who died in 1605 aged 93, inscribed 'The loss of friends is much, the losse of time is more. The losse of Christ is much more worse, which no man can restore.'

There is a ring of eight bells, the treble, second, and fourth dated 1720, the third by Edward Arnold of St. Neots 1775, and the tenor by Thomas Eayre of Kettering 1761. (fn. 113) The former fifth was recast and increased in weight, becoming the seventh, in 1935, when two new bells were given by the Barron Bell Trust, inscribed 'In the year of the King's Silver Jubilee'. All the bells were then rehung in a new oak frame. (fn. 114)

The plate is all modern and comprises a silver cup, paten, flagon, bread-holder, and alms dish of 1814, the first four given by Elizabeth Whitworth, spinster, in that year. There is also a pewter flagon. The alms dish was made from 'a silver cup with cover of silver' which is mentioned in 1647, and may have been Elizabethan. (fn. 115)

The registers before 1812 are as follows: (i) baptisms 1558–1686, 1691–2, 1705–28, (fn. 116) marriages 1559–68, 1579–87, 1591–1678, 1705–25, burials 1558–1678, 1682–85, 1705–28; (ii) baptisms 1730–69, 1770–5, 1777–83, marriages 1730–53, burials 1730–67,1770– 2, 1777–83; (iii) baptisms 1784–1812, burials 1789– 1812; (iv) marriages 1754–93. There is also a clerk's book containing entries of baptisms 1695–1705, marriages 1697–1702, and burials 1695–1704.


The advowson of the church of Earls Barton was part of the gift of Simon de St. Liz, Earl of Northampton, to the abbey of Delapré. (fn. 117) With the abbey the advowson continued until the reign of Henry VIII; but on several occasions different persons were patrons by permission of the abbess. (fn. 118) In 1535 the profits issuing from the church were valued at £10. (fn. 119) After the Dissolution the advowson was retained by the Crown until 1867. (fn. 120) In 1868 it was held by Edward Thornton, and is now in the gift of the Martyrs Memorial Trust. (fn. 121)

The rectory of Earl's Barton was let out to various tenants (fn. 122) by the abbey, the annual rent in 1535 being £14. (fn. 123) After the Dissolution the rectory was the subject of various grants by the Crown. In 1543 Sir William Parre obtained a life grant. (fn. 124) In 1550 the king granted it to Ralph Sherman for a term of 21 years after the expiration of the grant to Parre. (fn. 125) Elizabeth in 1567 granted the rectory for a term of 21 years to Christopher Lewis, (fn. 126) from whom it descended to Clement Lewis and his heirs; (fn. 127) it remained in this family until 1623. (fn. 128) In 1656 the rectory was under sequestration (fn. 129) and after that date the tithes from small parts of land were held by various tenants. (fn. 130)


William Farrow, who died 23 October 1750, gave a rent-charge of £1 10s. a year to buy coats for two poor men. This charge is paid out of Mercer's Farm and is applied in the distribution of coats when there is sufficient in hand.

The charity of Henry Medbury, founded by will 27 December 1705 and regulated by a scheme of the Charity Commissioners dated 12 February 1892, is described under the parish of Islip. The trustees of the Earls Barton Charity, consisting of the vicar, the parish warden, and the chairman of the parish council, receive £3 yearly, which is distributed to the poor in small cash payments.

Elizabeth Whitworth, widow, by her will proved 1 June 1844, gave to her brother William £130 to purchase clothing for the poor, and by codicil to her will a further £100, the interest to be distributed on 24 December in half-crowns. These legacies are now represented by a sum of £156 6s. 5d. Consols producing £3 18s. yearly in dividends. The income is applied partly in clothing and partly in the distribution of half-crowns.

Mrs. Mary Whitworth's Almshouses for poor women, founded by will dated 16 February 1823, are regulated by a scheme of the Charity Commissioners dated 12 January 1877. The property consists of three cottages, the trustees being the lord of the manor of Earls Barton and three others.

Church and Clock Land. By an award of the Inclosure Commissioners in 1771 9 a. 2 r. 11 p. of land in East Rye Field were allotted to the churchwardens for the repair of the church and clock and other church expenses. The land is let in allotments and produced £36 in 1924.

The several sums of Stock are with the Official Trustees.


  • 1. V.C.H. Northants. i, 155.
  • 2. Ibid, ii, 405.
  • 3. Northants. N. & Q. i, 39.
  • 4. V.C.H. Northants. i, 351.
  • 5. Ibid, i, 382.
  • 6. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), xxvii, 133.
  • 7. Farrer, Honors and Knights' Fees, ii, 344.
  • 8. Cal. Close, 1237–42, p. 369.
  • 9. Farrer, loc. cit.
  • 10. Bk. of Fees, 938.
  • 11. Farrer, op. cit. 345.
  • 12. Cal. Inq. p.m. i, 304.
  • 13. Assize R. 632, m. 60.
  • 14. Cal. Inq. p.m. ii, 752.
  • 15. Feet of F. Northants. 21 Edw. I, no. 303.
  • 16. Assize R. 632, m. 60; De Banco R. 292, m. 400.
  • 17. Cal. Inq. p.m. ii, 316.
  • 18. Feud. Aids, iv, 17.
  • 19. Feet of F. Northants. 10 Edw. II; cf. Plac. de Quo Warr. (Rec. Com.), 540.
  • 20. Cal. Close, 1346–9, p. 582.
  • 21. Ped. fr. Plea R. 373.
  • 22. Feet of F. Northants. Hil. 8 Chas. I.
  • 23. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1636–7, i, 286.
  • 24. Northants. N. & Q. i, 39.
  • 25. Feet of F. Northants. East. 10 Anne.
  • 26. Recov. R. East. 52 Geo. III, ro. 423.
  • 27. Frequently printed as 'Carvail'.
  • 28. Feet of F. Northants. 31 Hen. III.
  • 29. Hund. R. (Rec. Com.), ii, 12.
  • 30. See above, n. 12.
  • 31. Feud. Aids, iv, 17. In the return of the fees of John de Hastings in 1313 what is apparently this quarter fee is said to be held by Michael de Halughton, possibly during a minority: Cal. Inq. p.m. v, 234.
  • 32. Cal. Close, 1323–7, p. 433.
  • 33. Add. Chart. 21522.
  • 34. Feud. Aids, iv, 447.
  • 35. Cal. Inq. p.m. ix, 321.
  • 36. Exch. Accts. bdle. 10, no. 25.
  • 37. Chan. Inq. p.m. 36 Edw. III, i, 144.
  • 38. Add. Chart. 21525.
  • 39. Ibid. 21528.
  • 40. Ibid. 21529.
  • 41. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), xxvii, 133.
  • 42. Recov. R. East. 31 Hen. VIII.
  • 43. Said to be held of Francis Barnard as of his manor of Earls Barton.
  • 44. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), cxv, 13; Chan. Proc. (Ser. 2), 127 (7).
  • 45. Feet of F. Northants. East. 8 Eliz.
  • 46. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), ccxv, 58.
  • 47. Ibid, ccccxviii, 95.
  • 48. Bridges, Northants. ii, 138.
  • 49. G.E.C. Complete Peerage (1st ed.), vi, 74.
  • 50. Recov. R. Trin. 21 Geo. III, ro. 385.
  • 51. Ibid. Hil. 51 Geo. III, ro. 212.
  • 52. Ibid. East. 52 Geo. III, ro. 4.23.
  • 53. Dugdale, Mon. v, 210.
  • 54. Ibid. 213.
  • 55. Cal. Inq. p.m. vi, p. 391.
  • 56. Cal. Close, 1346–9, p. 582.
  • 57. Plac. de Quo Warr. (Rec. Com.), 573.
  • 58. Add. Chart. 21525.
  • 59. Cal. Pat. 1391–6, p. 160; Chan. Inq. p.m. 16 Ric. II, pt. ii, 42.
  • 60. Valor Eccles. (Rec. Com.), iv, 321.
  • 61. L. and P. Hen. VIII, xiii, pt. 1, 583.
  • 62. Pat. 7 Edw. VI, pt. 7, m. 6.
  • 63. Com. Pleas D. Enr. Trin. 5 Eliz.
  • 64. Feet of F. Northants. Hil. 2 Jas. I; ibid. East. 5 Chas. I; ibid. Hil. 4. & 5 Wm. and Mary.
  • 65. Recov. R. East. 52 Geo. III, ro. 423.
  • 66. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), xi, m. 53.
  • 67. Feet of F. Northants. Hil. 31 Hen. VIII. Audrey was still holding in 1553: Recov. R. Hil. 1 Mary, ro. 415.
  • 68. Com. Pleas. D. Enr. East. 1 Edw. VI, m. 4 d.
  • 69. G.E.C. Peerage, v, 366.
  • 70. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), cccix, 200.
  • 71. V.C.H. Northants. i, 354.
  • 72. Feet of F. Northants. 49 Edw. III.
  • 73. Cal. Inq. p.m. Hen. VII, i, p. 341.
  • 74. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), lxxviii, 38.
  • 75. Burke, Extinct Peerages, 419.
  • 76. Pat. 5 & 6 Ph. and M. pt. iii, 10.
  • 77. Burke, loc. cit.
  • 78. Feet of F. Div. Co. Mich. 21 & 22 Eliz.
  • 79. Lipscomb, Hist, of Bucks, iv, 373.
  • 80. V.C.H. Northants. i, 351.
  • 81. Feet of F. Div. Co. Mich. 21 & 22 Eliz.
  • 82. Pat. 35 Eliz. pt. 5.
  • 83. Chan. Inq. p.m. 49 Edw. III, pt. i, 70.
  • 84. Bridges, Northants. ii, 138.
  • 85. G. Baldwin Brown, Arts in Early Eng. i, 297. The late Prof. Baldwin Brown's account of the Saxon tower is, with permission, made use of in our description. The site is about 170 ft. above the River Nene. Sir William Hope explained the nearness of the mount to the church by the fact that the nave was originally aisleless and the graveyard on the north side of it of small extent, thus leaving plenty of room for the mount and ditch: Arch. Jour. lxix, 513.
  • 86. V.C.H. Northants. ii, 4.05, where a plan is given.
  • 87. This is the width of the older western part; at the east end it is 18 ft. 3 in. wide.
  • 88. The greater dimension is from north to south.
  • 89. Baldwin Brown, op. cit. i, 65.
  • 90. Ibid, ii, 283 (ed. 1925, hereafter used).
  • 91. Before the restoration the roof of the nave is said to have been of 15th-century date. The chancel roof was 'comparatively modern' and cut across the east window and the chancel arch: Assoc. Arch. Soc. Repts. x, p. xxxv.
  • 92. Assoc. Arch. Soc. Repts. ix, p. xcvii; x, pp, xxxv, xci; xi, p. xciv. The architect in charge of the restoration was Mr. E. F. Law. The nave arcades were rebuilt with the old material, and the external stonework and windows extensively restored. The north aisle was repaired in 1877: ibid, xiv, p. xli.
  • 93. The treatment of the face of the tower seems to preclude the idea.
  • 94. Two mouldings of half-round section.
  • 95. Baldwin Brown, op. cit. ii, 286.
  • 96. Ibid, ii, 287; V.C.H. Northants. ii, 193.
  • 97. 'Enigmatical doorways, apparently leading no whither', Baldwin Brown, op. cit. ii, 287; the subject is discussed, ibid. 337.
  • 98. Ibid, ii, 336.
  • 99. That on the east side again at a higher level.
  • 100. 'This is usual in the case of doorways, but quite abnormal in that of window openings, which especially in late Saxon work are always deeply splayed either internally or on both faces of the wall': Baldwin Brown, op. cit. ii, 287.
  • 101. Ibid, ii, 263. The earliest and most elaborate shafts were turned in a lathe; the Earls Barton shafts are roughly hewn to shape by mallet and chisel, and may be regarded as clumsy imitations of the turned balusters.
  • 102. Arch. Jour. lxix, 512.
  • 103. Ibid.
  • 104. One shaft has gone.
  • 105. Assoc. Arch. Soc. Repts. xxix, 405. Both windows are 13 in. from the aisle wall outside and their sills are 3 ft. 4 in. above the floor. The north window is 5 ft. high by 1 ft. 7 in. wide, the south window 3 ft. 11 in. by 1 ft. 4 in. They are probably of 13th-century date.
  • 106. At a height of 8 ft. above the ground.
  • 107. Internally the jambs as well as the mullions are shafted and have moulded capitals and bases; the rear arch is moulded.
  • 108. The middle arch alone is perfect; the eastern arch was replaced by a 15th-century head when the window above was inserted.
  • 109. The west side of the screen was decorated, the lower panels being painted with figures of saints unconventionally treated, by Mr. Henry Bird in 1935.
  • 110. That of St. Matthew.
  • 111. The brass was originally at the west end of the nave. It was moved to its present position in 1905. The inscription is given in Bridges, Hist. of Northants. ii, 139.
  • 112. Vicar 1745–87.
  • 113. North, Ch. Bells of Northants. 254, where the inscriptions are given. The fifth is by Henry Penn of Peterborough, who probably cast the others of the same date. When Bridges wrote there were five bells, the second inscribed 'Robertus Skalis quondam vicarius de Lokington dedit hanc campanam': op. cit. ii, 138.
  • 114. Northampton Mercury, 5 Apr. 1935.
  • 115. Markham, Ch. Plate of Northants. 106.
  • 116. One entry each year in 1687, 1689, 1696, 1697, 1700, 1701, and 1702.
  • 117. Dugdale, Mon. v, 207.
  • 118. Epis. Regs, cited by Bridges, Northants. ii, 138.
  • 119. Valor Eccles. (Rec. Com.), iv, 305.
  • 120. Inst. Bks. (P.R.O.).
  • 121. Clergy Guides.
  • 122. Pat. 10 Eliz. pt. 5.
  • 123. Valor Eccles. (Rec. Com.), iv, 305 and 321.
  • 124. L. and P. Hen. VIII, xviii (1), 347.
  • 125. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1547–80, p. 31.
  • 126. Pat. R. 10 Eliz. pt. 5.
  • 127. Ibid. 35 Eliz. pt. 5.
  • 128. Recov. R. Mich. 21 Jas. I.
  • 129. Cal. S.T. Dom. 1656–7, p. 192.
  • 130. Feet of F. Northants. Trin. 10 Wm. and M.; ibid. Hil. 11 Wm. and M.; ibid. East. 10 Anne; ibid. East. 3 Geo. I.