The Project Gutenberg eBook of A History of Horncastle, from the earliest period to the present time

This ebook is for the use of anyone anywhere in the United States and most other parts of the world at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this ebook or online at If you are not located in the United States, you will have to check the laws of the country where you are located before using this eBook.

Title: A History of Horncastle, from the earliest period to the present time

Author: J. Conway Walter

Release date: October 29, 2009 [eBook #30358]

Language: English

Credits: Transcribed from the 1908 W. K. Morton & Sons edition by David Price


Transcribed from the 1908 W. K. Morton & Sons edition by David Price, email

SEAL OF SIMON DE ISLIP.  Vicar of Horncastle, 1349; Archbishop of Canterbury, 1349–1366

We are indebted for the engraving of this seal to the courtesy of Miss G. M. Bevan, author of Portraits of the Archbishops of Canterbury, published by Messrs. Mowbray & Co., London.

p. va
History of Horncastle,
from the
earliest period to the present time.


James Conway Walter,
author of
Records of Woodhall Spa and Neighbourhood, Parishes around Horncastle,
The Ayscoughs, The Coitani, &c., &c.

W. K. Morton & Sons, Ltd., Printers, High Street,

Market Place and Stanhope Memorial

p. viiPREFACE.

The following pages may truthfully be said to be the result of labours, extending over many years, and of researches in directions too many to tell.

Born within almost a mile of Horncastle, and only by a few months escaping being born in it, since his father, on first coming to the neighbourhood, resided for a time in Horncastle, [0] the author, from his earliest years (except for periodical absences) has been connected with the life, social or civil, of the place, probably more closely and more continuously, than any other person living, in like circumstances.

The notes on which this compilation is based were begun more than 30 years ago.  While writing a volume of Records of more than 30 Parishes around Horncastle, published in 1904; and, before that, while describing about as many more, in a volume, Woodhall Spa and Neighbourhood, published in 1899, he had constantly in view the crowning of the series, by the history of the old town, round which these sixty, or more, parishes cluster; the haunt, if not quite the home, of his boyhood, and familiarized to him by a life-long connection.

For this purpose sources of information have been tapped in every possible direction; of public institutions, the official records, and title deeds, where available, have been carefully consulted; especially should be here mentioned various deeds and charters, which are quoted in Chapter II, from the archives of Carlisle Cathedral, which have not hitherto been brought before the public, but of which the author has been allowed free use, through the courtesy of the librarian.  These are of special value, from the long connection of the Manor of Horncastle with the See of Carlisle.

In other cases the author has been allowed the privilege of more private testimony; for instance, his old friend, the late Mr. John Overton (of a highly p. viiirespectable family, for generations connected with the town and county), has most kindly given him the use of various family MS. notes, bearing on parish and other matters.  Mr. Henry Sharp has freely assisted him with most varied information, derived from long years of connection with the town, in public or private capacity.  The late Mr. Henry Boulton, ancestrally connected with various parts of the county, was remarkable for a mind stored with memories of persons and things, in town and neighbourhood, which he freely communicated to the author, who saw much of him in his later years.  While, last but not least, the late Mr. William Pacey, whether in his “Reminisences of Horncastle,” which he contributed to the public newspapers, or in his personal conversations, which the present writer enjoyed for many years, yielded up to him treasure, collected by an indefatigable student of local lore, who entered into such work con amore.

To all these the author would now fully, and gratefully, acknowledge his indebtedness; but for them this work could not have been produced in anything like its present fulness.  In some of the matters dealt with, as for instance in the accounts of the Grammar School, as well as in other portions, he may fairly say, in the language of “the pious Æneas” (slightly modified), “quorum pars (ipse) fui,” (Æneid ii, 6); and in these he has drawn not a few of the details from his own recollections.

In stringing these records together, of such varied character, and on subjects so numerous, he cannot but be conscious that, in the endeavour to give all possible information, and to omit nothing of real interest, he may, on the other hand, have laid himself open to the charge of being too diffuse, or even needlessly prolix.  Others not sharing his own interest in the subjects treated of, may think that he has occasionally “ridden his hobby too hard.”  If this should be the judgment of any of his readers, he would crave their indulgence out of consideration for the motive.

These are the days of historic “Pageants,” drawn from life, and with living actors to illustrate them.  We have also our “Gossoping Guides,” to enable the tourist to realize more fully the meaning of the scenes which he visits.  From both of these the author “has taken his cue.”  He had to cater for a variety of tastes; and while, for the general reader he has cast his discriptions in a colloquial, or even at times in a “gossoping,” form, he believes that the old town, with its “Bull Ring,” its “Maypole Hill,” its “Fighting Cocks,” its “Julian Bower,” and other old time memories, can still afford pabulum for the more educated student, or the special antiquary.

Like the composer of a Pageant play, his endeavour has been rather to clothe the scenes, which he conjures up, with the flesh and blood of quickened reality, than in the bare skin and bones of a dry-as-dust’s rigid skeleton.  How far he has succeeded in this he leaves to others to decide; for himself he can honestly say, that it has not been from lack of care, enquiry, or labour, if he has fallen short of the ideal aimed at.

Signature of J. Conway Walter




Part I—Prehistoric.  Horncastle—its infancy


Part II—The Dimly Historic Period




Records of the Manor, &c., from the Norman Conquest




St. Mary’s Church




The Church of Holy Trinity




Nonconformist Places of Worship.


   The Wesleyans


   The Primitive Methodists


   The Independents


   The Baptist Chapel


   The New Jerusalem Church




Educational Institutions—The Grammar School




Watson’s Free School


The Lancasterian and the Bell Schools


The Science and Art School




The Dispensary




The Canal


The Railway




Workhouse or Union


The Court House


The Stanhope Memorial


The Clerical Club


The Mechanics’ Institute


The Corn Exchange


The Whelpton Almhouses


The Drill Hall




Horncastle Worthies, &c.










West Ashby


High Toynton




Low Toynton










Wood Enderby














Mammoth Tooth


Hammer Head


North-east corner of the Castle Wall


Plan of Horncastle, 1819


Plan of Horncastle, 1908


St. Mary’s Church


Brass of Sir Lionel Dymoke in St. Mary’s Church


Ancient Scythes in St. Mary’s Church


The Old Vicarage


Holy Trinity Church


Wesleyan Chapel


Wesleyan Day Schools


Interior Congregational Chapel


The New Jerusalem Church


Rev. Thomas Lord


The Grammar School


Lord Clynton and Saye


Successive Head Masters of the Grammar School, from 1818 to 1907


The Seal of the Grammar School


The Market Place


St. Mary’s Square


Bridge Street


High Street


The Bull Ring


The Canal


On the Canal


The Court House


The Stanhope Memorial


Watermill Road during the Flood, Dec 31, 1900


p. xiiWest Street during the Flood, Dec. 31, 1900


Conging Street during the Flood, Dec. 31, 1900


The Stanch


Old Thatched Inn in the Bull Ring


St. Margaret’s Church, Thimbleby


The Manor House, West Ashby


All Saints’ Church, West Ashby


St. John the Baptist’s Church, High Toynton


St. Peter’s Church, Low Toynton


St. Helen’s Church, Mareham-le-Fen


Wesleyan Chapel, Mareham-le-Fen


St. Michael’s Church, Coningsby




In dealing with what may be called “the dark ages” of local history, we are often compelled to be content with little more than reasonable conjecture.  Still, there are generally certain surviving data, in place-names, natural features, and so forth, which enable those who can detect them, and make use of them, to piece together something like a connected outline of what we may take, with some degree of probability, as an approximation to what have been actual facts, although lacking, at the time, the chronicler to record them.

It is, however, by no means a mere exercise of the imagination, if we assume that the site of the present Horncastle was at a distant period a British settlement. [1a]  Dr. Brewer says, “nearly three-fourths of our Roman towns were built on British sites,” (Introduction to Beauties of England, p. 7), and in the case of Horncastle, although there is nothing British in the name of the town itself, yet that people have undoubtedly here left their traces behind them.  The late Dr. Isaac Taylor [1b] says, “Rivers and mountains, as a rule, receive their names from the earliest races, towns and villages from later colonists.”  The ideas of those early occupants were necessarily limited.  The hill which formed their stronghold against enemies, [1c] or which was the “high place” of their religious rites, [1d] and the river which was so essential to their daily existence, of these they felt the value, and therefore naturally distinguished p. 2them by name before anything else.  Thus the remark of an eloquent writer is generally true, who says “our mountains and rivers still murmur the voices of races long extirpated.”  “There is hardly (says Dr. Taylor [2a]) throughout the whole of England a river name which is not Celtic,” i.e. British.

As the Briton here looked from the hill-side, down upon the valley beneath him, two of the chief objects to catch his eye would be the streams which watered it, and which there, as they do still, united their forces.  They would then also, probably, form a larger feature in the prospect than they do at the present day, for the local beds of gravel deposit would seem to indicate that these streams were formerly of considerably greater volume, watering a wider area, and probably having ramifications which formed shoals and islands. [2b]  The particular names by which the Briton designated the two main streams confirm this supposition.  In the one coming from the more distant wolds, he saw a stream bright and clear, meandering through the meadows which it fertilized, and this he named the “Bain,” [2c] that word being Celtic for “bright” or “clear,” a characteristic which still belongs to its waters, as the brewers of Horncastle assure us.  In the other stream, which runs a shorter and more rapid course, he saw a more turbid current, and to it he gave the name “Waring,” [2d] which is the Celtic “garw” or “gerwin,” meaning “rough.”  Each of these names, then, we may regard as what the poet Horace calls “nomen præsente notâ productum,” [2e] they are as good as coin stamped in the mint of a Cunobelin, or a Caradoc, bearing his “image and superscription,” and after some 17 centuries of change, they are in circulation still.  So long as Horncastle is watered by the Bain and the Waring she will bear the brand of the British sway, once paramount in her valley.

These river names, however, are not the only relics of the Britons found in Horncastle.  Two British urns were unearthed about 50 years ago, where is now the garden of the present vicarage, and another was found in the parish of Thornton, about a mile from the town, when the railway was being made in 1856.  The latter the present writer has seen, although it is now unfortunately lost. [2f]

These Britons were a pastoral race, as Cæsar, their conqueror, tells us, [2g] not cultivating much corn, but having large flocks and herds, living on the milk and flesh of their live stock, and clad in the skins of these, or of other animals taken in the chase.  The well-watered pastures of the Bain valley would afford excellent grazing for their cattle, while the extensive forests [2h] of p. 3the district around would provide them with the recreations of the chase, which also helped to make them the skilled warriors which the Romans found them to be. [3]  Much of these forests remained even down to comparatively recent times, and very large trees have been dug up, black with age, in fields within four or five miles of Horncastle, within very recent years, which the present writer has seen.

Such were some of the earlier inhabitants of this locality, leaving their undoubted traces behind them, but no “local habitation” with a name; for that we are first indebted to the Romans, who, after finding the Briton a foe not unworthy of his steel, ultimately subjugated him and found him not an inapt pupil in Roman arts and civilization.  Of the aptitude of the Briton to learn from his conquerors we have evidence in the fact, mentioned by the Roman writer Eumenius, that when the Emperor Constantius wished to rebuild the town Augustodunum (now Antun) in Gaul, about the end of the 3rd century, he employed workmen chiefly from Britain, such was the change effected in our “rude forefathers” in 250 years.

We may sum up our remarks on the Britons by saying that in them we have ancestors of whom we have no occasion to be ashamed.  They had a Christian church more than 300 years before St. Augustine visited our shores.  They yet survive in the sturdy fisher folk of Brittany; in those stout miners of Cornwall, who in the famed Botallack mine have bored under the ocean bed, the name Cornwall itself being Welsh (i.e. British) for corner land; in the people who occupy the fastnesses of the Welsh mountains, as well as in the Gaels of the Scottish Highlands and the Erse of Ireland.  Their very speech is blended with our own.  Does the country labourer go to the Horncastle tailor to buy coat and breeches?  His British forefather, though clad chiefly in skins, called his upper garment his “cotta,” his nether covering his “brages,” scotice “breeks.”  Brewer, Introduction to Beauties of England, p. 42.


The headquarters of the Roman forces in our own part of Britain were at York, where more than one Roman Emperor lived and died, but Lindum, now Lincoln, was an important station.  About A.D. 71 Petillius Cerealis was appointed governor of the province by the Emperor Vespasian, he was succeeded by Julius Frontinus, both being able generals.  From A.D. 78 to 85 that admirable soldier and administrator, Julius Agricola, over-ran the whole p. 4of the north as far as the Grampians, establishing forts in all directions, and doubtless during these and the immediately succeeding years, a network of such stations would be constructed in our own country, connected by those splendid highways which the Romans carried, by the forced labour of the natives, through the length and breadth of their vast empire.

Coins of nearly all the Roman Emperors have been found at Horncastle; one was brought to the present writer in the 1st year of the 20th century, bearing the superscription of the Emperor Severus, who died at York A.D., 211.


The following list of Roman and other coins found at Horncastle, has been supplied by the Rev. J. A. Penny, Vicar of Wispington, who has them in his own possession.

Consular, denarius, silver.
Œs grave, or Roman as, heavy brass.
Augustus, quinarius (half denarius).  B.C. 27–A.D. 14.
Claudius, brass, of three different sizes.  A.D. 41–54.
Vespasian, denarius, silver.  A.D. 69–79.
Domitian, brass.  A.D. 81–96.
Nerva, brass.  A.D. 96–98.
Trajan, brass, of two sizes.  A.D. 98–117.
Hadrian, brass.  A.D. 117–138.
Antoninus Pius, denarius, silver.  A.D. 138–161.
Faustina I., his wife, brass.
Lucius Verus, brass.  A.D. 161–169.
Marcus Aurelius, brass.  A D. 161–180.
Faustina II., his wife, brass.
Caracalla, denarius, silver.  A.D. 211–217.
Julia Sæmias, mother of Emperor Heliogabalus, denarius, silver.  A.D. 218–222.
Gordian III., denarius, silver.  A.D. 238–244.
Philip I., brass.  A.D. 244–249.
Hostilian, denarius, silver.  A.D. 249–251.
Gallienus, brass.  A.D. 253–268.
Salomia, his wife, brass.
Victorinus, brass (Emperor in West).  A.D. 253–260.  (10 varieties).
Marius, brass (Emperor in West).  A.D. 267.
Claudius II. (or Gothicus), brass.  A.D. 268–270.
Tetricus I., brass (Emperor in Gaul).  A.D. 270–273.
Tetricus II., brass (Emperor in Gaul).  A.D. 270–274.
Probus, brass.  A.D. 276–282.
Diocletian, copper, a new kind of coin named a “follis.”  A.D. 284–305.
Maximian, copper, a “follis.”  A.D. 286–305.
Alectus, brass (Emperor in Britain).  A.D. 293–296.
Constantius Chlorus, brass.  A.D. 305–306.
Maxentius, copper, a “follis.”  A.D. 306–312.
Constantine the Great, brass.  A.D. 306–337.
Crispus, brass.  A.D. 326.
Magnentius, brass (Emperor in Gaul and Britain).  A.D. 350–353.
Constantine II., brass (struck in London).  A.D. 337–340.
Constans, brass.  A.D. 337–350.
Constantius II., brass.  A.D. 337–361.
Valens, brass.  A.D. 364–378.
Gratian, brass.  A.D. 375–383.
Theodosius I., brass.  A.D. 379–395.
Arcadius, brass (Emperor in East).  A.D. 395–408.
Honorius, brass (Emperor in West).  A.D. 395–423.
Byzantine coin, bronze, date not known exactly but later than Honorius, so showing that the Romans held Horncastle against Saxon invaders.

p. 5 Mammoth Tooth from gravel of River Bain, south of Horncastle. Weight 2-lbs 6-oz., length 5¼-in., breadth 6½-in., thickness 2-in.

A Roman milestone was discovered in the Bail, at Lincoln, in 1891, [5a] inscribed with the name of Marcus Piavonius Victorinus, who commanded in Gaul and Britain, and which must have been set up during his period of office, about A D. 267.  The site of this was the point of intersection of the two main streets, which would be the centre of the Roman Forum at Lindum, one of these streets leading to Horncastle; from Horncastle also there branched off, as will be hereafter noted, several main Roman roads.

As Horncastle stands on the banks of the river Bain it has been taken by Stukeley, the antiquarian, and by others following him, [5b] to have been the Roman Banovallum or “Fort on the Bain,” mentioned by the Roman geographer of Ravenna; [5c] although, however, most probably correct, this is a mere conjecture.  On the road between Horncastle and Lincoln we have the village of Baumber, also called Bamburgh, and this latter form of the name might well mean a “burgh,” or fort, on the Bain, the river running just below the village.  The two names, however, might well exist at different periods.  It may be here mentioned that this form, Bamburg, is found in Harleian Charter 56, c. i, B.M., dated at Wodehalle, December, 1328.

Tacitus, the Roman historian, [5e] tells us that the Romans “wore out the bodies and hands of the Britons in opening out the forests, and paving or fortifying the roads,” and we can well imagine that those skilled generals p. 6would see the advantageous position for a stronghold in the angle formed by the junction of the two rivers, and would employ the subjugated Britons of the locality in constructing, it may be, at first only a rude fort, protected on two sides by the streams and in the rear by a “vallum,” or embankment, and that on the site thus secured and already a native stronghold, they would, at a later period, erect the “castrum,” of which massive fragments still remain, testifying to its great strength.

These remains, indeed, in almost their whole course can be traced through present-day gardens and back premises, shewing the four sides of an irregular parallelogram.  Their dimensions, roughly speaking, are on the north and south sides about 600-ft., by about 350-ft. at the eastern, and 300-ft. at the western end, their thickness being about 16-ft.  The material employed was the Spilsby sandstone, obtainable within five miles, cemented by course grouting poured into the interstices between the massive blocks.  These walls inclose a portion of the High Street as far eastward as the site of the present Corn Exchange, westward they include the present manor house and form the boundary of the churchyard in that direction.  On the north they run at the back of the houses on that side of the Market Place, and on the south they extend from St. Mary’s Square, past the Grammar School, and through sundry yards, parallel with the branch of the canal, which is the old Waring river.  The masonry of these walls, as now seen, is very rude.  It is supposed that, originally as built by the Romans, they had an external coating of neat structure, but this has entirely disappeared, it is still, however, to be seen in the wells, which are next to be described.

In a cellar, south of the High Street, at a baker’s shop, and close to the eastern wall of the castle, is a Roman well; there is another close to the north-east angle of the castle walls, in what is called Dog-kennel Yard, and a third just within the western wall, near the present National Schools.  Thus, although the two rivers were without the castle walls, the Roman garrison was well supplied with water.

The Roman roads branching from the town were (1st) the “Ramper,” [6a] as it is still called, running north-west, and connecting it with the Roman station Lindum; from this, at Baumber, [6b] distant about 4 miles, a branch running northwards led to the Roman Castrum, now Caistor; (2nd) north-eastwards via West Ashby, being the highway to Louth, the Roman Luda; (3rd) eastwards, by High Toynton, Greetham, &c, to Waynflete, the Roman Vain-ona; (4th) southward, by Dalderby, Haltham, &c., to Leeds Gate, Chapel Hill, and there crossing the river Witham to Sleaford and Ancaster, the Roman Causennæ, situated on the great Roman Ermin Street.  This also was continued to another Roman Castrum, now Castor, near Peterborough; (5th) south-west, by Thornton, &c., to Tattershall, locally supposed to have been the Roman Durobrivæ, and where traces of a Roman camp still remain.

Besides these Roman viæ and Roman coins, quite an abundance of Roman pottery has from time to time been unearthed, and fragments are continually being found in gardens in the town.  A collection of these, probably cinerary urns, was preserved until quite recently in the library of the Mechanics’ p. 7Institute, where the writer has frequently seen them, [7a] they varied in height from 8 inches to 18 inches.  Unfortunately, for lack of funds, that institution was broken up about 1890, the books were stowed away in a room at the workhouse, a valuable collection, and the urns were sold by the late Mr. Joseph Willson, who acted as sole trustee.  Other Roman relics have been fragments of mortars of white clay, found on the site of the present union, one bearing the word “fecit,” though the maker’s name was lost.  Portions also of Samian ware have been found, one stamped with a leopard and stag, another bearing part of the potter’s name, iliani; with fragments of hand-mills, fibulæ, &c. [7b]  The present writer has two jars, or bottles, of buff coloured ware, of which about a dozen were dug up when the foundations of the workhouse were being laid in 1838, they are probably Samian, a friend having exactly similar vessels which she brought from Cyprus.  The writer has in his possession the head of a porphyritic mallet which was found in a garden in the south of the town a few years ago, it is probably Roman; the handle, which would be of wood, had entirely disappeared; it is much “pitted” through damp and age, is 6½ inches long and weighs 3-lb. 9-oz.

Hammer Head, found near the Wong, length 6⅝-in., width 3⅞-in. weight 3½-lb.; of porphyry from the Cheviot region, Neolithic period.  The stone was probably part of a large boulder

A discovery of further interesting Roman relics of another kind was made in 1896.  The owner of a garden near Queen Street, in the south-eastern part of the town, was digging up an apple tree when he came across a fine bed of gravel.  Continuing the digging, in order to find the thickness of this deposit, his spade struck against a hard substance, which proved to be a lead coffin.  After this had been examined by others invited to inspect it, without any satisfactory result, the present writer was requested to conduct further investigation.  The coffin was found to be 5-ft. 2-in. in length, containing the skeleton, rather shorter, of a female.  A few days later a second coffin was found, lying parallel to the first, 5-ft. 7-in. in length, the bones of the skeleton within being p. 8larger and evidently those of a male.  Subsequently fragments of decayed wood and long iron nails and clamps were found, showing that the leaden coffins had originally been enclosed in wooden cases.  Both these coffins lay east and west.  A description was sent to a well-known antiquarian, the late Mr. John Bellows of Gloucester, and he stated that if the lead had an admixture of tin they were Roman, if no tin, post-Roman.  The lead was afterwards analysed by Professor Church, of Kew, and by the analytical chemist of Messrs. Kynoch & Co., of Birmingham, with the result that there was found to be a percentage of 1.65 of tin to 97.08 of lead and 1.3 of oxygen, “the metal slightly oxidised.”  It was thus proved that the coffins were those of Romans, their “orientation” implying that they were Christian.  It should be added that three similar coffins were found in the year 1872, when the foundations were being laid of the New Jerusalem Chapel in Croft Street, within some 100 yards of the two already described; and further, as confirmatory of their being Roman, a lead coffin was also found in the churchyard of Baumber, on the restoration of the church there in 1892, this being close to the Roman road (already mentioned) between the old Roman stations Banovallum and Lindum.  Lead coffins have also been found in the Roman cemeteries at Colchester, York, and at other places. [8]

As another interesting case of Roman relics found in Horncastle, I give the following:—In 1894 I exhibited, at a meeting of our Archæological Society, some small clay pipes which had recently been dug up along with a copper coin of the Emperor Constantine, just within the western wall of the old castle, near the present Manor House.  They were evidently very old and of peculiar make, being short in stem with small bowl set at an obtuse angle.  They were said at the time to be Roman, but since tobacco was not introduced till the reign of Elizabeth that idea was rejected.  In the year 1904, however, a large quantity of fragments of similar clay pipes were found in the ruins of the Roman fort of Aliso, near Halteren on the river Lippe, in Western Germany, some of rude structure, some decorated with figures and Roman characters.  They were lying at a depth of 9 feet below the surface, and had evidently lain undisturbed since the time of the Roman occupation.  From the marks upon them it was manifest that they had been used, and it is now known from the statements of the Roman historian Pliny, and the Greek Herodotus, that the use of narcotic fumes was not unknown to the Romans, as well as to other ancient nations; the material used was hemp seed and cypress grass.  In the Berlin Ethnological Museum, also, vessels of clay are preserved, which are supposed to have been used for a like purpose.  This discovery, then, at Horncastle is very interesting as adding to our Roman remains, and we may picture to ourselves the Roman sentinel taking his beat on the old castle walls and solacing himself, after the manner of his countrymen, with his pipe.  (An account of this later discovery is given in a German scientific review for August, 1904, quoted Standard, August 12, 1904).

Of what may be called the close of this early historic period in connection with Horncastle there is little more to be said.  The Roman forces withdrew from Britain about A.D. 408.  The Britons harried by their northern neighbours, the Picts and Scots, applied for assistance to the Saxons, who, coming at first as friends, but led to stay by the attractions of the country, gradually p. 9over-ran the land and themselves in turn over-mastered the Britons, driving them into Wales and Cornwall.  The only matter of interest in connection with Horncastle, in this struggle between Saxon and Briton, is that about the end of the 5th century the Saxon King Horsa, with his brother Hengist, who had greatly improved the fort at Horncastle, were defeated in a fight at Tetford by the Britons under their leader Raengeires, and the British King caused the walls to be nearly demolished and the place rendered defenceless.  (Leland’s Collectanea, vol i, pt. ii, p. 509).

North-east corner of the Castle Wall, in Dog-kennel Yard

The Saxons in their turn, towards the close of the 8th century, were harassed by marauding incursions of the Danes, [9] which continued, though temporarily checked by Kings Egbert and Alfred, through many years, both p. 10nations eventually settling side by side, until both alike in the 11th century became subject to their Norman conquerors.  The traces of these peoples are still apparent in Horncastle and its soke, since of its 13 parish names, three, High Toynton, Low Toynton and Roughton have the Saxon suffix “ton”; three, Mareham-on-the-Hill, Mareham-le-Fen and Haltham terminate in the Saxon “ham,” and six, Thimbleby, West Ashby, Wood Enderby, Moorby, Wilksby and Coningsby have the Danish suffix “by.”  The name of the town itself is Saxon, Horn-castle, or more anciently Hyrne-ceastre, i.e. the castle in the corner, [10] or angle, formed by the junction of the two rivers; that junction was, within comparatively modern times, not where it is now, but some 200 yards eastward, on the other side of the field called “The Holms,” where there is still a muddy ditch.

So far our account of the town has been based mainly upon etymological evidence, derived from river and place names, with a few scanty and scattered records.  As we arrive at the Norman period we shall have to deal with more direct documentary testimony, which may well form another chapter.


A recent historian [11a] has said “In the 13th century the northern counties of England were so unsettled that there was little security north of the Humber, and in 1250 the powerful Bishop of Carlisle found it necessary to buy the manor of Horncastle (his own residence in the north, Rose Castle, having been destroyed by marauders), and the Pope granted him the Parish Church (of Horncastle) for his use;” [11b] but we can carry our history back to a considerably earlier period than this.  As a former Roman station, doubtless, and of even earlier origin than that, Horncastle had become a place of some importance, and so, even before the Norman conquest the manor was royal property, since Domesday Book states that King Edward the Confessor bestowed it upon his Queen, Editha.  Edward died January 5, 1066, and his possessions naturally passed to his successor, the Conqueror.  Its subsequent history for a few years we do not know, but in the reign of Stephen the manor was held by Adelias, or Adelidis, (Alice or Adelaide) de Cundi, daughter of William de Cheney [11c] (a name still known in the county), who was Lord of Glentham and Caenby, two parishes near Brigg.  She had a castle in this town, the site of which is not now known, but it was probably a restoration in whole, or in part, of the old fortress.  She took part against the King in his quarrel with the Empress Maud, and her estates were confiscated by Stephen, they were, however, subsequently restored to her on condition that she should demolish her castle.

On her death the manor reverted to the crown and was granted by Henry II. to a Fleming noble, Gerbald de Escald, who held it for one knight’s p. 12fee. [12a]  He was succeeded by his grandson and heir, Gerard de Rhodes, [12b] whose son, Ralph de Rhodes, sold it to Walter Mauclerk, [12c] Bishop of Carlisle, and Treasurer of the Exchequer under Henry III.  In the reign of Richard II. Roger la Scrope and Margaret his wife, with Robert Tibetot and son, his wife, as descendants of Gerbald de Escald, [12d] put in a claim for the manor and obtained letters patent, by which the episcopal possessor was bound to do them homage, but this was only for a brief period, and they then disappear from the scene.

The manor remained a possession of the bishops of Carlisle until the reign of Edward VI., when, by licence of the King, it was sold by Bishop Aldrich in 1547 to Edward, Lord Clinton. [12e]  In the reign of Mary he was compelled to re-convey it to the see of Carlisle. [12f]  Queen Elizabeth took a lease of it under the then possessing bishop, in which she was succeeded by James I.  He assigned it to Sir Edward Clinton, knt., but through neglect of enrolment this became void. [12g]  In the reign of Charles II. the former charters were renewed, [12h] and the bishops of Carlisle remained lords of the manor until 1856, when it was transferred, with the patronage of some of the benefices within the soke, to the Bishop of Lincoln.  Thus from the reign of Edward the Confessor to that of Charles II., a period of about 600 years, broken by brief intervals of alienation, Horncastle was connected with royalty.

The lease of the manor was held, under the bishops of Carlisle by Sir Joseph Banks and his ancestors for nearly a century, the lease of Sir Joseph himself being dated 21 March, 1803, and renewed 1 June, 1811.  He died in 1820 and was succeeded by his relative the Honble. James Hamilton Stanhope and, three years later, by James Banks Stanhope, Esq., then a minor, who, at a later period (in 1885) transferred all his rights to his cousin, the late Right Honble. Edward Stanhope, whose widow became lady of the manor and at whose death, in 1907, the lordship reverted to the Honble. Richard Stanhope, son of the present Earl Stanhope.  Mr. Banks Stanhope died January 18th, 1904, aged 82, having been a generous benefactor to Horncastle and the neighbourhood.

We have here given a very condensed account of the ownership of this manor from the reign of Edward the Confessor to the present time, a period of nearly 840 years.  Having had access to the episcopal archives of Carlisle, so long connected with Horncastle, we are able to confirm several of the above details from documents still existing, which we now proceed to do.

It has been stated that the manor of Horncastle was conferred upon Queen Editha by her husband, Edward the Confessor.  In confirmation of this we find the following: In the reign of Charles I. the Vicar of Horncastle, Thomas Gibson, presented a petition claiming tithe for certain mills called “Hall Mills,” with a close adjoining called “Mill Holmes,” as belonging to the glebe.  The tenant, William Davidson, resisted, arguing that he had paid no tithes to the previous vicar, Robert Holingshed, that the mills were erected p. 13before the conquest and were part of the jointure of Queen Editha, as stated in Domesday Book, and were therefore part of the manor, not of the vicar’s glebe.  The result is not recorded, but doubtless the tenant was right. [13a]  The passage here quoted from Domesday Book is the following: “In Horncastre Queen Editha had 3 carucates of land, free of gelt.  This land is now 4 carucates.  The King has there 2 carucates in demesne (i.e. as his manor), with 29 villeins and 12 bordars, who have (among them) 3 carucates.  There are 2 mills worth 26s. yearly, and 100 acres of meadow.  In King Edward’s time the annual value was £20, now it is £44.” [13b]  These two mills and the meadow were doubtless those in dispute between the vicar and tenant in the reign of Charles I., the date of Domesday being about 1085, or 540 years earlier.  They were plainly part of the royal manor and not at all connected with the glebe.

All this, however, proves that the manor of Horncastle belonged to King Edward the Confessor before the conquest, and 360 acres of it were assigned to his consort, Queen Editha.  The expansion of the 3 carucates into 4, mentioned in Domesday Book, was probably (as in many other recorded cases) due to the reclamation of land hitherto waste in flood or forest.

On the death of King Edward in 1066 the royal demesnes naturally passed to his successor and kinsman, William the Conqueror, and in due course to the successive Norman kings of his line.

The connection of Horncastle with the sovereign is shown in various ways.  Documents relating to the earlier kings are naturally rare, since for many years law courts were hardly yet established, the royal power being rather that of “might” than of “right.” [13c]  Even the sale, or devising, of property could only be legally effected by the king’s licence.  Among the Carlisle papers connected with Horncastle is one which shows that a matter which in modern times would be settled by the parish overseers, or more recently by the Urban Council, was to be formerly carried out only by the royal sanction.  There is a Patent Roll of the 13th year of King Richard II. (pt. 1, m. 3) entitled “Concerning the paving of Horncastre,” and running as follows:—“The King to the Bailiff and proved men of the vill of Horncastre, greeting.  Know, that in aid of paving your said vill, of our special grace we have granted to you, that from the day of the making of these presents to the end of 3 years, you may take, for things coming to the said vill for sale, the customs underwritten.”  Then follows a long list of articles for sale, of which we can only specify a few here, viz.: “For every horse load of corn, ¼d., for every dole of wine, 2d.; for every pipe of ditto, 1s.; for every hide, fresh, salt, or tanned, ¼d.; for 100 skins of roebucks (it seems that there were wild deer in those days), hares, rabbits, foxes, or squirrels, ½d.; for every horse load of cloth, ½d.; for every cloth of worstede, called ‘coverlyt,’ value 40s., 1d.; for every 100 of linen web of Aylesham, 1d.; for every chief of strong cendal (silk) 1d.; for 100 mullets, salt or dry, 1d.; for every cart of fish, 1d.; for every horse load of sea fish, ¼d.; for every salmon, ¼d.; for every last of herrings (12 barrels), 6d.; for every horse load of honey, 1d.; for every wey of tallow (256 lbs.), 1d.; for every milstone, ½d.; for 1,000 turfs, ¼d.  For every other p. 14kind of merchandise not here specified, of value 5s. and over, ¼d.; and the term of 3 years being ended, the said customs shall cease.  Witness the King, at Westminster, 9 Nov., 1389.”

Truly the kingly government was a paternal one to take cognizance of such petty local matters.  The “coggle” pavement of Horncastle is often complained of, but at least it had the royal sanction.

A Roll of the 18th year of Edward III. (m 8), dated Westminster, 28 June, 1344, is directed “to his very dear and faithful John de Kirketon, Fitz Hugh de Cressy,” (and others) assigning them “to choose and array 100 men at arms in the County of Lincoln,” and (among others) “6 hoblers in the vill of Horncastre, to be at Portsmouth, to set out with the King against Philip VI., de Valesco (Valois).”  This was the beginning of the campaign of Edward and his son the Black Prince, which terminated with the glorious battle of Cressy and the capture of Calais.  “Hoblers” were a sort of yeomanry who, by the terms of their tenure of land were bound to keep a light “nag” for military service.

A Domestic State Paper of Queen Elizabeth (Vol. 51, No. 12, III) contains the “Certificate of the town and soke of Horncastle to the artycles of the Queen’s Majesty’s most Honorable Pryvye Councell,” dated 27 June, 1569, shewing what “soldiers were furnished and went forth under Captaine Carsey.”  These were formerly the well-known local troops called “trainbands.”  The paper contains, further, accounts of payments for “towne common armour, jerkyns, swords, daggers, corslettes, 1 caline (piece of ordnance), conduct money (i.e. hire money), pioneers, victuals,” &c.  Accounts rendered by Thomas Hamerton, Arthur Patchytt, Thomas Raythbeake (all formerly well known names in the town), and others.

The head of the Carsey family was the owner of the Revesby Abbey Estate, and as such was lesse of the manor of Horncastle under the Bishop of Carlisle.  They sold their property, in 1575, to Thomas Cecil, son of Lord Treasurer Burleigh.

There is another Carlisle document in connection with these trained bands among the same Domestic State Papers of Queen Elizabeth (Vol. 199, No. 7), in which the Earl of Rutland writes to Anthony Thorold, sheriff, that he has instructions “from the Lords of the Counsaile to put in strength the power of the realme for the maritime counties,” and he asks him to “choose captaines for the yet untrained companies, and to supply the place of Mr. John Savile for Horncastle.”  N.B.—The Saviles owned Poolham Hall in Edlington.  On this (State Papers, Eliz., Vol. 199, No. 72) the Earl writes to Mr. Valentine Brown that he thinks him “meete to supply the place for Horncastle,” dated London, 29 March, 1586–7.  Sir Valentine Brown was of Croft and East Kirkby, and Treasurer of Ireland; he married the daughter of Sir John Monson, ancestor of the present Lord Oxenbridge.

Among the Domestic State Papers of Charles I. (Vol. 376, No. 123), is a petition from the inhabitants of Horncastle to Sir Anthony Irbie, Knt., sheriff of the county, complaining that the town was over-rated for the payment of “ship-money,” and praying for a reduction of the same.  The county was charged £8,000.  This rate, levied to maintain the navy, created widespread dissatisfaction and eventually led to the revolution.  It was included among the grievances against which public protests were made in 1641.  The five judges who pronounced in its favour were imprisoned, and Hampden received p. 16a wound in a skirmish with Prince Rupert, from which he died, June 24, 1643.  Petitions were also presented to Sir Edward Hussey, sheriff, 1636–7, as given in Domestic State Papers, Charles I., Vol. 345, No. 42.

p. 15 Horncastle map

It has been already stated that in the reign of Stephen this manor was held by Adelias, or Adelidis, de Cundi.  How this came about is not quite clear, whether it was inherited from her father, William de Cheney, who was probably among the Normans invited to immigrate by Edward the Confessor, since it would seem that at the time of the conquest he was already a large owner in the county, or from her husband, Robert de Cundi, a Fleming, probably named from the town and fortress of Conde on the frontier of France, situated on the Scheldt, in the department du Nord.  There is, however, evidence to show that she had other possessions of considerable value apparently in her own right in Nottinghamshire and Kent, as well as Lincolnshire. [16a]  She is described by the old chronicler, Geoffrey Gairmar, [16b] as a great patroness of learning and literature.

The Cheneys, or Chesneys, were apparently of foreign extraction, as implied by their appellation “de Casineto.”  They had considerable influence at various periods, one of them being knighted, another made a baron by Queen Elizabeth. [16c]  One, Robert de Cheney, was a powerful Bishop of Lincoln (A.D. 1147–67) and built one of the finest castles in England, the ruins of which still remain in the Palace grounds at Lincoln. [16d]  The Cheney pedigree is given in The Genealogist of July, 1901.  They seem to have settled in Yorkshire and Cambridgeshire, as well as in Lincolnshire.  Sir Thomas Cheney, K.G., was Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports in the latter part of the 16th century.  The Cheneys fell into decay towards the end of the 17th century, and at the beginning of the 18th century we find them in trade at Boston.  About 1750 William Garfit of Boston married Mary, daughter of Thomas Cheney, and the name, as a Christian name, still survives in that family.  The Cheneys, we may add, were among the ancestors of the Willoughbys, [16e] and the parish of Cheneys, in Bucks., doubtless named after them, is now the property of the Duke of Bedford.

The granddaughter of Adelias de Cundi, Agnes, [16f] married Walter, son of Walter de Clifford of Clifford Castle, Hereford.  Walter Clifford is named in the first great charter of Henry III. (A.D. 1216), along with the great nobles Walter de Lacy, William de Ferrars, Earl of Derby, William, Earl of Albemarle, and others.

p. 17William de Cheney, already mentioned as father of Adelias de Cundi, was “Lord of Caenby and Glentham,” and Walter de Clifford also is mentioned in the charters of Barlings Abbey as giving to that monastery lands in Caenby and Glentham, along with the above Walter de Lacy.  The great feature of the reign of Stephen was the large number of castles erected by lords who were almost more powerful than their sovereign, and Adelias built her castle at Horncastle, where she resided in great state until, on her favouring the cause of the Empress Maud, daughter of the previous king, Henry I. (whereas Stephen was only his nephew), her lands were confiscated, and, as we have already seen, only restored on condition that her castle was demolished. [17a]  This restoration was, however, only for life and on her demise the manor reverted to the crown.

The manor was next granted by Henry II. to Gerbald de Escald, a Flemish noble. [17b]  This is shewn by a record still preserved at Carlisle, dated 1274–5.  In the reign of Edward I. an inquisition was made at Lincoln, before 12 jurors of the soke of Horncastle, among the Commissioners being John de Haltham, Anselm de Rugthon (Roughton), Thomas de Camera (i.e. Chambers) of Horncastre, the King’s Justices and others, when it was declared that “the Lord Henry III., the father of King Edward who now is, once had the manor of Horncastre, and he enfeoffed Gerbald de Escald, a knight of Flanders, thereof, for his service, viz., by doing one knight’s fee for the Lord the King.”

Gerbald was succeeded by his grandson and heir, Gerard de Rhodes.  This is shewn by a Carlisle document. [17c]  A dispute arose between Hugh, son of Ralph (surname not given) and Gerard de Rhodes, concerning the manor and soke of Horncastle, the advowson of the church, &c., which were claimed by the said Hugh; but a compromise was effected, 400 marks being paid to Hugh, and Gerard de Rhodes left in undisputed possession.

It has been thought probable that this Ralph, father of Hugh, was Ranulph, Earl of Chester, who was lord of the manors of Revesby and Hareby, and had other possessions in the neighbourhood.  He, it is supposed, held the manor of Horncastle, as trustee, during the minority of Gerard.  Gerard was, in due course, succeeded by his son and heir, Ralph de Rhodes, in the reign of Henry III.  This again is proved by a Feet of Fines, [17d] which records an “agreement made in the court of the Lord King at Westminster (3 Feb., A.D. 1224–5), between Henry del Ortiay and Sabina his wife on the one part, and the said Ralph de Rhodes on the other part,” whereby the former acknowledge certain lands and appurtenances in Horncastle and its soke to be the property of the said Ralph, and he grants to them, as his tenants, certain lands; they, in acknowledgement, “rendering him therefor, by the year, one pair of gilt spurs at Easter for all service and exactions.”

We have now reached another stage in the tenure of this manor and find ourselves once more at the point where the present chapter opened.  Hitherto the manor had been held “in capite” (or “in chief”) of the king by lay lords, or, in the two cases of Queen Editha and Adelias de Condi, by a lady; p. 18but in this reign Walter Mauclerk, the third Bishop of Carlisle, purchased the manor from Ralph de Rhodes.  He was himself a powerful Norman and held the office of Treasurer of the Exchequer (a common combination of civil and ecclesiastical duties in those days), but now he and his successors were bound “to do suit and service to Ralph and his heirs.”  This purchase is proved by a Lincoln document called a “Plea Quo Warranto,” which records a case argued before the Justices Itinerant, in the reign of Edward I., when it was stated that Ralph de Rhodes “enfeoffed Walter Mauclerk to hold the church, manor and appurtenances in Horncastre, to him and his heirs, of the gift of the said Ralph.” [18a]  That the Bishop, although an ecclesiastic, was bound to do service to the heirs of Ralph is shown by another document, [18b] in which John, son of Gerard de Rhodes, a descendant of Ralph, makes a grant to certain parties of “the homage and whole service of the Bishop of Carlisle, and his successors, for the manor (&c.) of Horncastre, which Gerard, son of Gerard my brother, granted to me.”  This is dated the 13th year of Edward I., 1285, whereas the actual sale of the manor took place in the reign of Henry III., A.D. 1230, and was confirmed by the king in the same year. [18c]

We have called this another stage in the tenure of this manor and for this reason, an ecclesiastic of high rank, with the authority of the Pope of Rome at his back, was a more powerful subject than any lay baron, and this influence soon shewed itself, for while the lay lords of the manor had been content with doing their service to the king, and exacting service from those holding under them, the Bishop of Carlisle, in the first year of his tenure, obtained from the king three charters, conferring on the town of Horncastle immunities and privileges, which had the effect of raising the town from the status of little more than a village to that of the general mart of the surrounding country.  The first of these charters gave the bishop, as lord of the manor, the right of free warren throughout the soke [18d]; the second gave him licence to hold an annual fair two days before the feast of St. Barnabas (June 11), to continue eight days; the third empowered him to hang felons.  An additional charter was granted in the following year empowering the bishop to hold a weekly market on Wednesday (die Mercurii), which was afterwards changed to Saturday, on which day it is still held; also to hold another fair on the eve of the Feast of St. Laurence (Aug. 10th), to continue seven days. [18e]

We here quote a few words of the original Carlisle charter, as shewing the style of such documents in those days: “Henry to all Bishops, Bailiffs, Provosts, servants, &c., health.  Know that we, by the guidance of God, and p. 19for the health of our soul, and of the souls of our ancestors and descendants, have granted, and confirmed by this present charter, to God, and the church of the blessed Mary of Carlisle, and to the Venerable Father, Walter, Bishop of Carlisle,” &c.  It then goes on to specify, among other privileges, that the bishop shall have “all chattells of felons and fugitives, all amerciaments and fines from all men and tenants of the manor and soke; that the bishop and his successors shall be quit for ever to the king of all mercies, fines (&c.), that no constable of the king shall have power of entry, but that the whole shall pertain to the said bishop, except attachments touching pleas of the crown, and that all chattells, &c., either in the king’s court, or any other, shall be the bishop’s.”  Then follow cases in which chattells of Robert Mawe, a fugitive, were demanded by the bishop, and £24 exacted from the township of Horncastle in lieu thereof; also 40s. from William, son of Drogo de Horncastre, for trespass, and other fines from Ralph Ascer, bailiff.  Robert de Kirkby, &c., &c.  The same document states that the bishop has a gallows (furcæ) at Horncastle for hanging offenders within the soke; and, in connection with this we may observe that in the south of the town is still a point called “Hangman’s Corner.”

These extensive powers, however, would hardly seem (to use the words of the charter) to have been “for the good of the souls” of the bishop or his successors, since they rather had the effect of leading him to the abuse of his rights.  Accordingly, in the reign of Edward III., a plea was entered at Westminster, before the King’s Justices, [19a] by which John, Bishop of Carlisle, was charged with resisting the authority of the king in the matter of the patronage of the benefice of Horncastle.  That benefice was usually in the gift of the bishop, but the rector, Simon de Islip, had been appointed by the king Archbishop of Canterbury and, in such circumstances, the crown by custom presents to the vacancy.  The bishop resisted and proceeded to appoint his own nominee, but the judgment of the court was against him.

A somewhat similar case occurred a few years later. [19b]  Thomas de Appleby, the Bishop of Carlisle, and John de Rouseby, clerk, were “summoned to answer to the Lord the King, that they permit him to appoint to the church of Horncastre, vacant, and belonging to the king’s gift, by reason of the bishopric of Carlisle being recently vacant.”  It was argued that John de Kirkby, Bishop of Carlisle, had presented Simon de Islip to that benefice, afterwards created Archbishop of Canterbury, and that the temporalities (patronage, &c.) of the Bishopric of Carlisle therefore (for that turn) came to the king by the death of John de Kirkby, bishop.  The said bishop, Thomas de Appleby, and John de Rouseby brought the case before the court, but they admitted the justice of the king’s plea and judgment was given for the king.

We have said that although Walter Mauclerk, as Bishop of Carlisle, bought this manor from Ralph de Rhodes, he and his successors were still bound to “do suit and service” to Ralph and his heirs, and in the brief summary with which this chapter opened we named Roger le Scrope and Margaret his wife, with Robert Tibetot and Eva his wife, among those descendants of Ralph de Rhodes.  We have fuller mention of them in documents which we here quote.  In a Roll of the reign of Edward I., [19c] John, son p. 20of Gerard de Rhodes, says “Know all, present and future, that I, John, son of Gerard, have granted, and by this charter confirmed, to the Lord Robert Tibetot and Eva his wife (among other things) the homage and whole service of the Bishop of Carlisle, and his successors, for the manor of Horncastre, with appurtenances, &c., which Gerard, son of Gerard my brother, granted to me, &c., to have and to hold of the Lord the King . . . rendering for them annually to me and my heirs £80 sterling.”  While in another Roll [20a] of the reign of Richard II., the king states that having inspected the above he confirms the grants, not only to the said “Robert Tybetot and his wife Eve,” but also “to our very dear and faithful Roger le Scrope and Margaret his wife,” recognizing them, it would seem, as descendants of the earlier grantee, Gerbald de Escald, from whom they all inherited.

Of these personages we may here say that both Tibetots and Le Scrope were of high position and influence.  The name of Thebetot, or Tibetot, is found in the Battle Abbey Roll, as given by the historians Stow and Holinshed; [20b] with a slight variation of name, as Tibtofts, they were Lords of Langer, Co. Notts., and afterwards Earls of Worcester. [20c]  According to the historian, Camden, John Tibtoft was Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland under Henry VI., created by him Earl of Worcester, but executed for treason. [20d]  His successor, John, was Lord Deputy under Edward IV. [20e]  The last of the Tibetots, Robert, died without male issue; his three daughters were under the guardianship of Richard le Scrope, who married the eldest daughter, Margaret, to his son Roger.  This is the one named above in connection with Horncastle.  The Tibetot property of Langer, Notts., thus passed to the Le Scropes, and continued in that family down to Emanuel, created Earl of Sunderland by Charles I., AD. 1628. [20f]  Castle Combe in Wiltshire was one of their residences, [20g] but their chief seat was Bolton in Richmondshire. [20h]  William le Scrope was created Earl of Wiltshire by Richard II., but beheaded when that king was dethroned and murdered, in 1399. [20i]  Richard le Scrope was Archbishop of York, but condemned by Henry IV. for treason. [20j]  The name Le Scrope also appears in the Battle Abbey Roll of the Conqueror.  Thus in both Tibetots and Scropes Horncastle was connected with families who played a considerable part in public life.

In the reign of Edward VI. there was a temporary change in the ownership of this manor.  Among the Carlisle Papers is one [20k] by which that king grants permission to Robert Aldrich, Bishop of Carlisle, to sell “to our very dear and faithful councellor, Edward Fynes, K.G., Lord Clinton and Saye, High Admiral of England, the lordship and soke of Horncastre, with all rights, appurtenances, &c., to hold to himself, his heirs and assigns for ever,” and that he, the said Edward, “can give and grant to the said Robert, bishop, an p. 21annual rent of £28 6s. 8d.”  We have, however, in this case an illustration of the instability even of royal decrees, in that on the demise of that worthy prince, to whom the realm and Church of England owe so much, his successor, Queen Mary, in the very next year, A.D. 1553, cancelled this sale, and a document exists at Carlisle [21a] showing that she “granted a licence,” probably in effect compulsory, to the same Lord Clinton and Saye, “to alienate his lordship and soke of Horncastle and to re-convey it to Robert Aldrich, Bishop of Carlisle.”

His Lordship would, however, appear to have continued to hold the manor on lease under the bishop, and to have acted in a somewhat high-handed manner to his spiritual superior, probably under the influence of the change in religious sentiment between the reigns of “the bloody Mary,” and her sister Elizabeth of glorious memory.  For again we find a document [21b] of the reign of the latter, in which the Bishop of Carlisle complains to Sir Francis Walsingham, the Queen’s Commissioner, of a “book of Horncastle,” which the Earl of Lincoln (the new title of Lord Clinton and Saye) had sent to him “to be sealed,” because (he says) the earl, by the words of the grant, had taken from him “lands and tithes of the yearly value of £28 6s. 8d.,” the exact sum, be it observed, above specified as the rent to be paid by Lord Clinton and Saye to the bishop, Robert Aldrich.  Of this, he asserts, “the see of Carlisle is seized and the earl is not in legal possession by his lease now ‘in esse.’” [21c]  He wages his suit “the more boldly, because of the extraordinary charges he has been at, from the lamentable scarcity in the country, the great multitude of poor people, and other charges before he came had made him a poor man, and yet he must go on with it . . . the number of them which want food to keep their lives in their bodies is so pitiful.  If the Lord Warden and he did not charge themselves a great number would die of hunger, and some have done so,” dated Rose Castle, 26 May, 1578.

His lordship, however, did one good turn to the town of Horncastle in founding the Grammar School, in the 13th year of the reign of Elizabeth, A.D. 1571, although (as we shall show in our chapter on the school) this was really not strictly a foundation but a re-establishment; as a grammar school is known to have existed in the town more than two centuries earlier.

We have one more record of Lord Clinton’s connection with the town, from which it would appear that the Priory of Bullington, near Wragby, and Kirkstead Abbey also had property in Horncastle.  A Carlisle document [21d] shows that in the reign of Edward VI. Lord Clinton and Saye received a grant of “lands, tenements and hereditaments in Horncastle, late in the p. 22tenure of Alexander Rose and his assigns, and formerly of the dissolved monastery of Bollington; also two tenements, one house, two ‘lez bark houses’ (Horncastle tanners would seem even then to have flourished), one house called ‘le kylne howse,’ one ‘le garthing,’ 14 terrages of land in the fields of Thornton, with appurtenances lying in Horncastle, &c., and once belonging to the monastery of Kyrkestead.”

As in other places the Clinton family seem to have been succeeded by the Thymelbys, of these we have several records.  An Escheator’s Inquisition of the reign of Henry VIII., [22a] taken by Roger Hilton, at Horncastle, Oct. 5, 1512, shewed that “Richard Thymylby, Esquire, was seized of the manor of Parish-fee, in Horncastre, held of the Bishop of Carlisle, as of his soke of Horncastre, by fealty, and a rent of £7 by the year.”  He was also “seized of one messuage, with appurtenances, in Horncastre, called Fool-thyng, parcel of the said manor of Parish-fee.” [22b]  The said Richard died 3 March, 3 Henry VIII. (A.D. 1512).  This was, however, by no means the first of this family connected with Horncastle.  Deriving their name from the parish of Thimbleby, in the soke of Horncastle, we find the first mention of a Thymelby in that parish in a post mortem Inquisition of the reign of Edward III., [22c] which shews that Nicholas de Thymelby then held land in Thimbleby under the Bishop of Carlisle, A.D. 1333; but nearly a century before that date a Lincoln document [22d] mentions one Ivo, son of Odo de Thymelby, as holding under the Bishop in Horncastle, in the reign of Henry III., A.D. 1248.

Further, in the reign of Edward I., as is shewn by a Harleian MS., in the British Museum, [22e] Richard de Thymelby was Dean of Horncastle; Thomas, son of the above Nicholas de Thymelby, presented to the benefice of Ruckland in 1381, John de Thymelby presented to Tetford in 1388, and John again to Somersby in 1394, [22f] and other members of the family presented at later periods.  The family continued to advance in wealth and position until in the reign of Edward VI. it was found by an Inquisition [22g] that Matthew Thymelby, of Poolham (their chief residence in this neighbourhood), owned the manor of Thymbleby, that of Parish-fee in Horncastle and five others, with lands in eight other parishes, and the advowsons of Ruckland, Farforth, Somersby and Tetford.  He married Anne, daughter of Sir Robert Hussey.  Other influential marriages were those of John Thymelby, “Lord of Polum” (Poolham), to Isabel, [22h] daughter of Sir John Fflete, Knt. (circa 1409); William (probably) to Joan, daughter of Sir Walter Tailboys (circa 1432), [22i] a connection of the Earl of Angus; Matthew’s widow marrying Sir Robert Savile, Knt. [22j]

p. 23 Plan of Horncastle, 1908—from the Ordnance Survey

p. 24In connection with the marriage of William to Joan Tailboys we may mention that the base, all that now remains, of the churchyard cross at Tetford bears on its west side the Thimbleby arms “differenced” with those of Tailboys, the north side having the Thimbleby arms pure and simple. [24a]

Another important marriage was that of Richard Thimbleby (A.D. 1510) to Elizabeth, daughter and co-heir of Godfrey Hilton of Irnham Manor near Grantham, through which alliance that property passed to the Thimblebys.  It had been granted to Ralph Paganel by the Conqueror, afterwards passed to Sir Andrew Luterel, Knt., and later to Sir Geoffrey Hilton, Knt.  Richard Thimbleby built Irnham Hall; he was succeeded by his son and heir, Sir John Thimbleby, who thus became the head of the family, which has in later times become almost extinct.  This fine mansion, in the Tudor style of architecture, standing in a deer park of more than 250 acres, was destroyed by fire, Nov. 12, 1887, being then owned by W. Hervey Woodhouse, Esq., who bought it of Lord Clifford’s son. [24b]

Turning again to the Carlisle documents we find one of the reign of Edward III., [24c] giving an agreement made in the King’s Court at Westminster (20 Jan., 1353–4), “between Thomas, son of Nicholas de Thymelby, plaintiff, and Henry Colvile, knt., and Margaret his wife, deforciants,” whereby, among other property, the latter acknowledge that certain “messuages, one mill, ten acres of land (i.e. arable), two pastures, and £7 of rent, with appurtenances, in Horncastre, Thimilby, and Bokeland (i.e. Woodhall), are of the right of the said Thomas; and for this the said Thomas gives to the said Henry and Margaret 200 marks of silver.”

Another document of the same reign, [24d] of date 1360–1, states that Gilbert de Wilton, Bishop of Carlisle, “gives 60s. for the King’s licence to remit to Thomas son of Nicholas de Thymelby, and John his younger brother, the service of being Reeve (i.e. Bailiff) of the Bishop, and other services, which are due from him to the said Bishop for lands and tenements held of the said Bishop in Horncastre,” and elsewhere.  Another document, [24e] dated a few years later, shews an agreement made at Westminster, between Thomas Thymelby and his brother John, on the one part, and Frederick de Semerton and Amice his wife, deforciants, concerning four tofts, certain land, and £7 of rent, with appurtenances, in Horncastre and contiguous parts, by which “the said Frederick and Amice acknowledge these (properties) to be of the right of the said Thomas and his brother,” and for this Thomas pays them 100 marks of silver.  Two other Carlisle documents of considerably later date refer to members of this same family of Thymelby, but are chiefly of value as introducing to us a new name among Horncastle owners of land.

A Chancery Inquisition [24f] taken at Horncastle, 24 Sept., 1612, shews that “John Kent, of Langton, was seized in his manor of Horncastell, with the appurtenances, called Parish-fee, and certain messuages, cottages, land and meadows in Horncastell (and elsewhere), lately purchased of Robert Savile and Richard Thymelby,” and “held under the Bishop of Carlisle by fealty,” . . . that “the said John Kent died 19 Sept., 1611, and that William Kent, his son, is next heir.”

p. 25We have already seen that, about 60 years before, the widow of Matthew Thymelby had married Sir Robert Savile; he belonged to an old and influential family now represented by Lord Savile of Rufford Abbey, Notts., and the Earl of Mexborough, Methley Park, Yorkshire.  By the aforesaid marriage the bulk of the Thymelby property passed to the Saviles, and like the Thymelbys they had their chief residence, in this neighbourhood, at Poolham Hall, owning among many other possessions the aforesaid sub-manor of Parish-fee in Horncastle, which, as we have seen, was sold by their joint action to John Kent of Langton.  We have already had mention of a John Savile who was apparently captain of the “trained band” connected with Horncastle in the reign of Elizabeth, A.D. 1586 (see p. 14); Gervase Holles mentions this John Savile as joint lord of Somersby with Andrew Gedney, and lord of Tetford in the same reign. (Collectanea, vol. iii, p. 770).

From another document [25a] it would seem that, some 10 or 11 years later, Richard Thymelby and Robert Savile were involved in a more than questionable transaction with regard to the property thus transferred.  Among the Carlisle papers is a Petition in Chancery, of which we here give the text, slightly abridged, as it is remarkable, and fittingly brings to a close our notices of the Thymelbys in connection with Horncastle.

To the Right Honble. Sir Francis Bacon, Knt., Lord Chancellor of England.  Complainant sheweth, on the oath of your petitioner, Evan Reignolds, of St. Catherine’s, Co. Middlesex, gent., and Joan his wife, that, whereas Richard Thymelby, some time of Poleham, Co. Lincoln, Esq., deceased, was seized of the manors of Poleham, Thimbleby, Horsington, Stixwold, Buckland, Horncastle, Edlington (&c.), and tenements in Langton, Blankney, Baumber, and in one pasture inclosed for 1000 sheep, called Heirick (High-Rig, in Woodhall, near Poolham) pasture, &c., whereof Robert Savile was seized for life, conveyed the same to his father-in-law Robert Savile . . . the said Richard Thymelby, going up to London, negotiated to sell the property to one Richard Gardiner, and for £2,300 engaged, at his desire, to convey all to John Wooton, the £2,300 was paid to Richard Thymelby and bargain settled July 15, 6 Elizabeth (A.D. 1564). [25b]  A dispute arose in the following year between Richard Thymelby and Robert Savile, which was submitted to arbitrators (Feb. 15, 7 Elizabeth), who ordered Richard Thymelby to pay Robert Savile £1,500, and Robert Savile should then convey all to Richard Thymelby.  The £1,500 was paid and afterwards the two “confederated to defraud the said Richard Gardiner and conveyed the said manors to John Kent.”  The judgment of the court is not given, but neither of the defendants, surely, cut a very creditable figure, and Richard Thymelby, suitably, we must admit, passes from the scene.

Of the Saviles we may here give a few more particulars.  Gervase Holles, the antiquary, mentions in his Collectanea (vol. iii, p. 770) John Savile, Esq., as Lord of the Manor of Tetford, in this neighbourhood, in the reign of Elizabeth, and as joint Lord of Somersby with Andrew Gedney, Esq. (of the latter and his wife there is a very fine sepulchral monument in the church of the adjoining parish of Bag Enderby).  The most distinguished literary member of the family was Sir Henry Savile, a learned mathematician, Fellow and Warden of Merton College, Oxford, and Provost of Eton; a munificent patron of p. 26learning, founding Professorships of Astronomy and Geography at his University; he wrote a Treatise on Roman Warfare, but his great work was a translation of the writings of St. Chrysostom, a monument of industry and learning; he was knighted by James I., and his bust is carved in stone in the quadrangle of the Bodleian Library at Oxford, among those of other benefactors.  Charles I. conferred the Earldom of Sussex on Thomas, Lord Savile of Pontefract.  Several members of the family were Seneschals, or Stewards, of Wakefield.  George was created Marquis of Halifax, another was Baron of the Exchequer.  The name is given in the Conqueror’s Roll of Battle Abbey (A.D. 1066), Hollinshed’s version, as Sent Ville, in Stow’s version as Sant Vile, while a Chancery Inquisition (of 18 Henry VII., No. 46, Architectural Society’s Journal, 1895, p. 17) gives it as Say-vile, and on the analogy of Nevill, formerly de Novâ-villâ, we may perhaps assume that the original form was de Sanctâ-villâ (or “of the Holy City”); which may well have been adopted by one who had made a pilgrimage to Canterbury, Rome, or Jerusalem itself.

I should, however, add that a member of the family, Miss Elizabeth J. Savile, who has herself dug to the roots of the genealogical tree, gives a different version of their origin.  According to her they are descended from the Dukes de Savelli, who again trace their lineage from the still more ancient Sabella in Italy.  When John Savile, 2nd son of Sir John Savile, travelled in Italy in the time of James I., the then Duke de Savelli received him as a kinsman.  Of this family were the Popes Honorius III. and Honorius IV.  A MS. Visitation in the British Museum says “It is conceived, that this family came into England with Geoffrey Plantagenet, rather than with the Conqueror, because there are two towns of this name on the frontiers of Anjou, both of which were annexed to the crown of England when the said Geoffrey married Maud, sole daughter and heir of Henry I.”  This is said to have been taken from the Savile pedigree in the keeping of Henry Savile of Bowlings, Esq., living in 1665.  The Saviles of Methley trace their descent, in the male line, from this Sir John Savile of Savile Hall.  One branch, the Saviles of Thornhill, are now represented in the female line by the Duke of Devonshire, and the Savile Foljambes, one of whom is the present Lord Hawkesbury.  The Saviles of Copley, now extinct, are represented by the Duke of Norfolk, and a younger branch by the Earls of Mexborough.  The opinion that they came from Anjou is generally accepted, the authorities being Yorkshire Pedigrees, British Museum Visitations, Gregorovius, uno frio, Panvinio, and other chroniclers.

We now proceed to notice the other persons, of more or less repute, who were at various periods owners in Horncastle.  In the 3rd year of King John we find Gerard de Camville paying fees for land in Horncastle by his deputy, Hugo Fitz Richard, to the amount of £836, which was a large sum in those days. [26a]  He was sheriff of the county, A.D. 1190, along with Hugo. [26b]  The name, however, is more known for the celebrated defence of Lincoln Castle by Nicholaia de Camville against the besieging forces of King Stephen in 1191, and again in her old age against Henry III., assisted by Louis, Dauphin of France.  An ancestor of William de Camville is named in the Battle Abbey Roll, among those Normans who came over with the Conqueror.

William de Lizures and Eudo de Bavent are also named as paying similar fees, though to smaller amounts.  The de Lizures were a powerful Yorkshire p. 27family, who inter-married with the De Lacys of Pontefract Castle and inherited some of their large estates. [27a]  Among these, one was the neighbouring manor of Kirkby-on-Bain, which would seem to have passed to the Lady Albreda Lizures; [27b] they probably derived their name from the town of Lisieux, near Harfleur in Normandy.  We soon lose sight of this family in England, and they seem to have migrated northward and to have acquired lands in Scotland.  The name De Lizures is common in Scottish Cartularies, for instance in the Cartulary of Kelso, p. 257 (Notes & Queries, series 2, vol. xii, p. 435).  In 1317 William and Gregory de Lizures were Lords of Gorton, and held lands near Roslyn Castle, Edinburgh (Genealogie of the Saint Claires of Roslyn, by Father Augustin Hay, re-published Edinburgh, 1835), [Notes & Queries, 3rd series, vol. i, p. 173].

The De Bavents were also a distinguished family, their connection with Horncastle survives in the name of a field in the south of the parish, on the Rye farm, which is called “Bavent’s Close.”  A few particulars of this family may not be without interest.  The earliest named are Richard de Bavent in 1160, [27c] and Eudo de Bavent in 1161, [27d] as holding the manor of Mareham-le-Fen, in the extreme south of the Horncastle soke, under Henry II., “by service of falconry.” [27e]  Eudo (about 1200) gave “to God, the Cathedral, and Chapter of Lincoln,” his lands in the north fen of Bilsby. [27f]  The family seem to have gradually increased their possessions in this neighbourhood.  In 1290, under Edward I., we find Jollan de Bavent holding lands in Billesby and Winceby, as well as Mareham. [27g]  In 1319, under Edward II., Robert de Bavent holds his land in Billesby of the King by the service of supplying “3 falcons for the royal use,” [27h] and, under Edward III., certain trustees of Peter de Bavent, by his will, transfer the manor of Mareham to the convent of Revesby, to provide a monk who shall daily throughout the year say masses “for the souls of the said Peter and Catherine, his wife, for ever.” [27i]  Truly “L’ homme propose, et Dieu dispose,” for from this time forward we hear little of the Bavents.  They may “call their lands after their own names,” “Bavent’s Close” survives, but of the whilom owner we can only say, in the words of Coleridge:

The knight’s bones are dust,
   And his good sword rust,
His soul is with
   The saints, we trust.

Another family of distinction connected with Horncastle was that of the Angevines.  Among the Carlisle documents is one [27j] shewing that a trial was held at Horncastle (A.D. 1489–90), in which Sir Robert Dymoke, Knt., and William Angevin, Esq., recovered possession of 400 acres of land, with tofts p. 28and appurtenances, in Horncastle and its soke, from John Hodgisson and his wife, John Cracroft, Gervase Clifton (of Clifton) and others.  This family probably acquired their name thus: William the Conqueror brought to England from Normandy a body of troops called the “Angevine auxiliaries” (from the province of Anjou), and their descendants were granted lands in various parts of the kingdom.  One family especially seems to have adopted this name, which was variously spelt as Angevine, Aungelyne, Aungeby, &c.; they settled in various parts of this county at an early period, and Horncastle being a royal manor they naturally were located in this neighbourhood.  We find traces of them at Whaplode in the south, Saltfleetby in the north, and Theddlethorpe midway, in the 12th and 14th centuries. [28a]  Among Lincoln records is the will of Robert Angevin, Gent., [28b] of Langton by Horncastle, dated 25 April, 1545, in which he requests to be buried in the Church of St. Margaret (then a much larger edifice than the present); he leaves to his son land in Hameringham, and to his widow, for life, and his four daughters, lands in Burnsall, Hebden, Conyseat and Norton, in the County of York.  His brother, John Angevin, resided at West Ashby, then a hamlet of Horncastle.  William Angevin, Gent., of Theddlethorpe [28c] is named in the official list of Lincolnshire freeholders made in 1561, and the name also appears in the Visitation of 1562, but all traces of the family disappear before the time of the commonwealth.

The same Carlisle document [28d] mentions Thomas Fitz-William as concerned in the said dispute, as being a Horncastle proprietor; while, further, another Carlisle document of the time of Henry VIII., shows that Thomas Fitz-William, Esq., was seized of one capital messuage, 6 other messuages, 4 tofts and 100 acres of land in Horncastle, held of the Prior of Carlisle, and John Fitz-William was his heir. [28e]  The Fitz-Williams again were a very ancient and distinguished family, the name is found in the Battle Abbey Roll of William the Conqueror.  The family claim descent from Sir William Fitz-Goderic, cousin of King Edward the Confessor.  His son, Sir William Fitz-William, has been said (as the name might imply) to have been really a natural son of William the Conqueror himself, [28f] but the more generally accepted version is that Fitz-Goderic was his father.  Sir William Fitz-William accompanied the Duke of Normandy to England as Marshal of his army, and for his bravery at the battle of Hastings the Conqueror gave him a scarf from his own arm.  A descendant, in the reign of Elizabeth, was thrice Lord Lieutenant of Ireland; he was also Governor of Fotheringhay Castle when the unfortunate Queen Mary of Scotland was imprisoned there, and before she was beheaded she gave him a portrait of herself, which is still preserved at Milton House, near Peterborough, one of the seats of the Earls Fitz-William, who now represent the family, Baron of Milton being their second title.  A Patent of Edward IV. (A.D. 1461) [28g] shows that Richard Fitz-William had the privilege granted to him by that King of “free warren” at Ulceby, near Alford.

p. 29An Inquisition in the reign of Henry VII. [29a] (A.D. 1502) shows that Thomas Fitz-William held the manors of Mavis Enderby, Maidenwell and Mablethorpe.  The list of magistrates for the county in the reign of Henry VIII. [29b] contains the name of George Fitz-William along with Lionel Dymoke, Lord Willoughby, and others; while an Inquisition held five years later [29c] shews that Thomas Fitz-William held the aforementioned manor of Ulceby, by the “service of 1 falcon annually to the King.”  Sir William Fitz-William in the same reign [29d] was Lord High Admiral.  John Fitz-William is named in the Herald’s list of county gentry in the 16th century as residing at Skidbrook, a hamlet of Saltfleet Haven, [29e] and William Fitz-William, Esq., supplied “one lance and two light horse” when the Spanish Armada was expected to invade England, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth. [29f]  William Fitz-William of Mablethorpe [29g] married, in 1536, Elizabeth daughter of Sir Robert Tyrwhitt, of Kettlethorpe, a member of a very old Lincolnshire family, still owning property in this neighbourhood; and in 1644 Sir William Wentworth, [29h] a scion of a younger branch, married Elizabeth, daughter and co-heir of Thomas Savile, of Wakefield, whose family we have already mentioned as connected with Horncastle.

In 1620 the head of the Fitz-William family was created an Irish Peer; in 1742 the 3rd Baron was made Baron Milton in the peerage of Great Britain; and, 4 years later, Earl Fitz-William.  In 1782, on the death of his uncle, the last Marquis of Rockingham, the Earl of that day succeeded to the Yorkshire and Northamptonshire estates of the Wentworths, and in 1807 they took the name of Wentworth as an affix.  In the early part of the 19th century the name became again connected with Horncastle, when Earl Fitz-William, grandfather of the present Earl, hunted the local pack of foxhounds, which were kept in Horncastle, in what is still called Dog-kennel Yard, at the back of St. Lawrence Street.  An old friend, formerly practicing as a Doctor in Horncastle, but lately deceased, has told the writer that he remembered seeing the Earl’s hounds breaking cover from Whitehall Wood, in the parish of Martin.

There is one more Carlisle document deserving of quotation as it is of a peculiar nature.  A Patent Roll of the reign of Elizabeth, [29i] A.D. 1577, records that a “pardon” was granted to “Sir Thomas Cecil, Knt., for acquiring the manor of Langton (by Horncastle) with appurtenances, and 30 messuages, 20 cottages, 40 tofts, 4 dove-cotes, 40 gardens, 30 orchards, 1,400 acres of (cultivated) land, 100 acres of wood, 100 acres of furze and heath, 200 acres of marsh, 40s. of rent, and common pasture, with appurtenances, in Horncastle, Thimbleby, Martin, Thornton and Woodhall, from Philip Tylney, Esq., by fine levied without licence.”  This was a somewhat extensive acquisition.  We have already recorded a more than questionable transaction in the transfer of land by Richard Thymelby and Robert Savile, A.D. 1564, and this transaction p. 30of Sir Thomas Cecil, 13 years later, seems also to have been in some way irregular, since it needed the royal “pardon.”

There is nothing to show who this Philip Tylney was, who acted on this occasion as vendor, but Sir Thomas Cecil was the son of the great Lord Treasurer Burghley, who was Secretary of State under Edward VI., and for 40 years guided the Councils of Queen Elizabeth.  Sir Thomas himself was a high official under Elizabeth and King James I.; he was knighted in 1575, received the Order of the Garter in 1601; under James I. he was made Privy Councillor, and having succeeded his father as Baron Burghley, was created by James Earl of Exeter.  His brother Sir Robert also held high office and was made in 1603 Baron Cecil, in 1604 Viscount Cranbourne, in 1605 Earl of Salisbury.  Thomas Cecil died Feb. 7, 1622, aged 80, and was buried in Westminster Abbey.  He married 1st Dorothy, daughter of John Nevil, Lord Latimer, and 2nd, Frances, daughter of Lord Chandos.  He was, doubtless, a man of large ideas and great ambition, his royal mistress was herself Lady of the manor of Horncastle, and Horncastle having thus been brought under his notice, he may have been too grasping in compassing his purposes.  The Revesby Charters [30a] show that he purchased that estate in 1575.

We may add that the Cecils were descended from an ancient family located in Wales soon after the Norman Conquest, and acquired large possessions in the reign of King Rufus; the 14th in descent was David Cecil of Stamford, Sergeant at Arms to King Henry VIII., he was grandfather to the 1st Lord Burghley. [30b]  The present representatives of this old family are the Marquis of Exeter of Burghley House, Stamford, and the Marquis of Salisbury of Hatfield House, Herts.

We have now reached the end of a somewhat lengthy series of owners formerly connected with Horncastle, its manor, and its soke, bringing us down to the early part of the 17th century, and we think that few towns, of its size, could show such a record of distinguished names.  The information available as to more recent periods is more meagre.  The Bishops of Carlisle continued to hold the manor down to the year 1856, and various parties held leases of it under them, they themselves residing here from time to time, [30c] until the episcopal palace was demolished in 1770, when the present Manor House was erected on its site.

We have already stated that Queen Elizabeth leased the manor from the Bishop of Carlisle of that date, she was succeeded in the lease by King James I., who transferred it to Sir Henry Clinton, but owing to a legal error in that transaction, it proved void.  One of the said Bishops in the next reign was Dr. Robert Snowden, whose family were located in this neighbourhood, his son being Vicar of Horncastle.  Abigail Snowden married Edward, son of Sir Edward Dymoke, Knt., in 1654, and Jane Snowden married Charles Dymoke, Esq., of Scrivelsby Court; the former belonged to the, so called, Tetford branch of the Dymokes, who have of late years also succeeded to the Scrivelsby property.  Bishop Robert Snowden granted a lease of the Horncastle manor to his kinsman, Rutland Snowden, and his assignees for three lives; but this p. 31would appear to have been afterwards cancelled, owing to the “delinquency” of the first grantee. [31a]  The name of this Rutland Snowden appears in the list of Lincolnshire Gentry who were entitled to bear arms, at the Herald’s Visitation of 1634. [31b]

A break in the continuity of the sub-tenure of the manor here occurs, but not of long duration.  The family of Banks are next found holding the lease, under the said bishops; the most distinguished of them being Sir Joseph Banks, the eminent naturalist, and patron of science in almost every form; who visited Newfoundland in pursuit of his favourite study; accompanied Captain Cook in his voyage to the South Seas; visited Iceland with Dr. Solander, the pupil of Linnæus; made large natural history and antiquarian collections; [31c] became President of the Royal Society; and was largely instrumental in forming the schemes for the drainage and inclosure of the fens; and other works of public utility.  His family acquired the Revesby Abbey estates in 1714, and were closely connected with Horncastle for more than a century, as he died in 1820.

One of his ancestors, also Joseph, was M.P. for Grimsby and Totnes; another, also Joseph, had a daughter, Eleonora, who married the Honble. Henry Grenville, and was mother of the Countess Stanhope.  Through this last connection, on the demise of Sir Joseph, the leased manor passed, as the nearest male relative, to Col. the Honble. James Hamilton Stanhope, who served in the Peninsular War and at Waterloo.  He died three years later, in 1823, and was succeeded by the late James Banks Stanhope, Esq., then a minor, and afterwards M.P. for North Lincolnshire; who, some years ago, transferred all his manorial rights to the Right Honble. Edward Stanhope, 2nd son of the 5th Earl Stanhope, and M.P. for the Horncastle Division.  He died 22 December, 1898, and his widow, the Honble. Mrs. Stanhope of Revesby Abbey, became Lady of the Manor; this, on her decease in 1907 reverting to the family of the Earl Stanhope, of Chevening Park, Sevenoaks, Kent, in the person of his son, the Honble. Richard Stanhope, now residing at Revesby Abbey.

In 1856 the manoral rights of the Bishops of Carlisle were transferred to the See of Lincoln, and the Bishop of Lincoln is now ex officio Patron of the Benefice.  The head of the Stanhope family is still the chief owner of property in Horncastle; other owners being the Vicar with 92 acres, the representatives of the late Sigismund Trafford Southwell with 67 acres, representatives of the late W. B. Walter (now Majer Traves) with 58 acres; while Coningtons, Clitherows, Rev. Richard Ward, and about 100 other proprietors hold smaller portions.  We have mentioned the influence of Sir Joseph Banks in the drainage and enclosure of the fens, and on the completion of that important work in Wildmore Fen, in 1813, some 600 acres were added to the soke of Horncastle, about 80 acres being assigned to the manor, while the glebe of the Vicar was increased so that it now comprises 370 acres.

We conclude this chapter with another record of the past, which should p. 32not be omitted.  It is somewhat remarkable that although Horncastle has been connected with so many personages of distinction as proprietors, and for about 600 years (as already shewn) with royalty itself, as an appanage of the crown, it has only once been visited by royalty in person.  History tells [32a] that “on Sep. 12, 1406, Henry IV. made a royal procession” from this town (probably coming hither from Bolingbroke Castle, his birthplace), “with a great and honourable company, to the Abbey of Bardney, where the Abbot and monks came out, in ecclesiastical state, to meet him,” and he was royally entertained by them.  We may perhaps assume that as his father, John of Gaunt, had a palace at Lincoln, [32b] he was on his way thither, where also his half brother, Henry Beaufort, had been Bishop, but was promoted two years before this to the See of Winchester.

The nearest approach to another royal visit was that of the Protector, Oliver Cromwell, which however was of a private character.  Although historians do not generally relate it, it is locally understood that, after the Battle of Winceby, on Oct. 11, 1643, Cromwell personally came to Horncastle to see that proper honours were paid, by the churchwarden, Mr. Hamerton, to the body of Sir Ingram Hopton, slain on that eventful day in single combat with Cromwell himself, who pronounced him to be “a brave gentleman,” he having, indeed, first unhorsed Cromwell.  This visit would seem to be further proved by the fact that a man, named John Barber, died in Horncastle, aged 95, A.D. 1855 (or 1856), whose grandfather remembered Cromwell, on that occasion, sleeping in the house now called Cromwell House, in West Street (or rather an older house on the same site); while in the parish register of West Barkwith there is an entry of the burial of Nicholas Vickers, in 1719, with the additional note that he “guided Cromwell over Market Rasen Moor,” in his journey northward after the battle.  He may well, therefore, have taken Horncastle on his way.


Having, so far, dealt with the more or less conjectural, prehistoric period of Horncastle’s existence in Chapter I, and with the Manor and its ownership in Chapter II, we now proceed to give an account of the town’s institutions, its buildings, and so forth.  Among these the Parish Church, naturally, claims precedence.


This is probably not the original parish church.  There is no mention of a church in Domesday Book, and although this is not quite conclusive evidence, it is likely that no church existed at that date (circa 1085 A.D.); but in Testa de Nevill (temp. Richard I.) we find “Ecclesia de Horncastre,” named with those of (West) Ashby, High Toynton, Mareham (-on-the-Hill), and (Wood) Enderby, as being in the gift of the King; [33a] while at an Inquisition post mortem, taken at Horncastle, 8 Richard II., No. 99, [33b] the Jurors say that “the Lord King Edward (I.), son of King Henry (III.), gave to Gilbert, Prior of the alien Priory of Wyllesforth, and his successors, 2 messuages, and 6 oxgangs (90 acres) of land, and the site of the Chapel of St. Laurence, with the appurtenances, in Horncastre,” on condition that they find a fit chaplain to celebrate mass in the said chapel three days in every week “for the souls of the progenitors of the said King, and his successors, for ever.”  This chapel probably stood near the street running northwards from the Market Place, now called St. Lawrence Street, though, a few years ago, it was commonly called “Pudding Lane.”  It is said to have formerly been a main street and at the head of it stood the Market Cross.  Bodies have at various times been p. 34found interred near this street, indicating the vicinity of a place of worship, and, when a block of houses were removed in 1892, by the Right Honble. E. Stanhope, Lord of the Manor, to enlarge the Market Place, several fragments of Norman pillars were found, which, doubtless, once belonged to the Norman Chapel of St. Lawrence. [34]

The date of St. Mary’s Church, as indicated by the oldest part of it, the lower portion of the tower, is early in the 13th century.  “It is a good example of a town church of the second class (as said the late Precentor Venables, who was a good judge) in no way, indeed, rivalling such churches as those of Boston, Louth, Spalding or Grantham; nay even many a Lincolnshire village has a finer edifice, but the general effect, after various improvements, is, to say the least, pleasing, and it has its interesting features.  The plan of the church (he says) is normal; it consists of nave, with north and south aisles; chancel, with south aisle and north chantry, the modern vestry being eastward of this; a plain low tower, crowned with wooden spirelet and covered with lead.  Taking these in detail: the tower has two lancet windows in the lower part of the west wall, above these a small debased window, and again, above this, a two-light window of the Decorated style, similar windows on the north and south sides, and at the top an embattled Perpendicular parapet.  The tower opens on the nave with a lofty arch, having pilaster buttresses, which terminate above the uppermost of two strings; the base is raised above the nave by three steps, the font being on a projection of the first step.  This lower portion of the tower is the oldest part of the church, dating from the Early English period.  The chamber where the bells are hung is, by the modern arrangement, above this lower compartment, and is approached by a winding staircase built on the outside of the southern wall, a slight disfigurement.”

There are six bells, with the following inscriptions:—

(1)  Lectum fuge.  Discute somnum.  G. S. T. W. H. Penn, Fusor, 1717.

(2)  In templo venerare Deum.  H. Penn nos fudit.  Cornucastri.

(3)  Supplicem Deus audit.  Daniel Hedderley cast me.  1727.

(4) Tho. Osborn fecit.  Downham, Norfolk. 1801.  Tho. Bryan and D. Brown, Churchwardens.

(5)  Dum spiras, spera.  H. Penn, Fusor, 1717.  Tho. et Sam. Hamerton Aeditivi.

(6)  Exeat e busto.  Auspice Christo.  Tho. Loddington, LL.D., Vicar H P.  1717.

Near the south Priest’s door, in the chancel, a bell, about 1 ft. in height, stands on the floor, unused; this was the bell of a former clock in the tower.  The “Pancake Bell” is rung on Shrove Tuesday, at 10 a.m.; the Curfew at 8 p.m., from Oct. 11 to April 6, except Saturdays, at 7 p.m., and omitting from St. Thomas’s Day to Plough Monday.  The “Grammar School Bell” used to be rung daily, Sundays excepted, at 7 a.m., but of late years this has been discontinued, the Governors refusing to pay for it.

The fabric of the nave is of the Decorated style, though modern in date, with Perpendicular clerestory, having five three-light windows, on the north and south sides.  The arcades are of four bays, with chamfered equilateral arches, springing from shafted piers; the capitals of the two central ones being ornamented with foliage of a decorated character; the others being plain.  Each aisle has three three-light windows, of decorated style, in the side wall, and a fourth at the west end; these are modern, the north aisle having been p. 35re-built in 1820 and the south aisle in 1821.  There are north and south porches.

The chancel arch is modern, the carving of its caps being very delicate.  On the north side the outline of the doorway, formerly leading to the rood loft, is still visible, and below, on the west side of the chancel wall, is a well-carved statue bracket of floriated character, which was transferred from the chancel, and on the south side a still older one, much plainer.

St. Mary’s Church

The east window of the chancel is said to be an enlarged copy of the east window of the neighbouring Haltham Church.  It has five lights, with flamboyant tracery above, and is filled with rich coloured glass, by Heaton, Butler & Bayne; the subjects being, on the north side, above “The Annunciation,” below “The Nativity;” 2nd light, above “The Adoration,” below “The Flight into Egypt;” central light, above “The Crucifixion,” below “The Entombment;” next light, on south, above “Women at the Sepulchre;” below “Feed my Lambs;” southernmost light, above “The Ascension,” below “Pentecost.”  In the upper tracery are “Censing Angels” and “Instruments of the Passion.”  This window cost about £280 and is dedicated to the memory of the late Vicar, Prebendary W. H. Milner, who was largely instrumental in the restoration of the church, in 1861, and died Oct. 3, 1868.  p. 36In that restoration the architect was the late Mr. Ewan Christian, and the contractors for the work Messrs. Lea & Ashton of Retford.  The cost of the restoration of the chancel was defrayed by J. Banks Stanhope, Esq., as Lord of the Manor and Lay Rector, the rest being done by subscriptions amounting to about £4,000.

The present organ was originally designed by Mr. John Tunstall, and built by Messrs. Gray & Davidson, of London, at a cost of about £400.  As re-constructed by Mr. Nicholson, of Lincoln, it contains 3 manuals, a fine pedal organ with 45 stops, and more than 2,500 pipes.  It cost more than £2,000, £1,350 of which was contributed by the late Henry James Fielding, Esq., of Handel House, Horncastle.  At a later date a trumpet was added, costing £120, the result being probably as fine an instrument as any in the county.  For many years the organist was Mr. William Wakelin, whose musical talent was universally acknowledged; on his unfortunate sudden death, on March 1st, 1908, he was succeeded by Mr. Hughes, recently Assistant Organist of Ely Cathedral.

Beneath the east window is a handsome carved Reredos of Caen stone, somewhat heavy in style, having five panels, two on each side containing figures of the four evangelists, the central subject being “The Agony in the Garden.”  In this the figure of the Saviour is exquisitely designed; below are the three sleeping disciples, while above are two ministering angels, one holding a crown of thorns, the other the “cup of bitterness.”  The panels have richly crocketed canopies, the central one being surmounted by a floriated cross.  They are filled with diaper work, and the supporting pilasters are of various-coloured Irish marbles.  The whole was designed by C. E. Giles, Esq., cousin of the late Vicar, Prebendary Robert Giles.

In the jamb, south of the Communion Table, is a Piscina; in the north wall a square aumbrey and a curious iron-barred opening, which was probably a Hagioscope for the Chantry behind.  The present Vestry in the north-east corner is modern, built on the site where there was formerly a coalhouse, and, at a later date, a shed for the town fire-engine.

The Chancel has an arcade of three bays on the south side, filled with good 14th century carved oak screen work, separating it from the south-side chapel, said to have been anciently called “The Corpus Christi Chapel,” and has two bays on the north, the easternmost being occupied by the organ, separating it from St. Catherine’s Chantry; [36] the other having similar screen p. 37work.  In the south wall of the chancel are a Priest’s door and three four-light Perpendicular windows, with a fourth in the east wall.  Gervase Holles states that he saw in this south-east window figures of St. Ninian, with lock and chain, and of Saints Crispinus and Crispinianus with their shoe-making tools. [37a]  It is probable, therefore, that the old glass of the window was supplied by a shoemaker’s guild.  The window is now filled with good coloured glass by Heaton, Butler & Bayne, dedicated to the memory of the late Vicar, Rev. Arthur Scrivenor, who died 27 August, 1882, aged 51 years.  It is of peculiar design, the subjects being chosen to represent his life of self-denying labour.  There are four lights with eight subjects taken from St. Matthew’s Gospel, arranged in two tiers, as follows—(1) “Come ye blessed of my Father;” (2) “I was an hungred and ye gave me meat;” (3) “I was thirsty and ye gave me drink;” (4) “I was a stranger, and ye took me in;” (5) “Naked, and ye clothed me;” (6) “I was sick, and ye visited me;” (7) “I was in prison, and ye came unto me;” (8) “These shall go into life eternal.”  There are eight compartments in the upper tracery, containing the emblems of the four evangelists, and two angels, and the Alpha and Omega.

In the north chancel wall are a Priest’s door, two five-light windows, and one of three lights, with, at the east end, a two-light window, all modern.  Here, externally, the parapet of St. Catherine’s Chantry is embattled and enriched with panel work, and rises above the level of the rest of the wall.  The clerestory of the chancel has six three-light windows on the south side, and five on the north.  The easternmost on the north was inserted and made larger than the others in 1861, and, at a later date, was filled with good coloured glass by Heaton, Butler & Bayne, as a public memorial “To the glory of God, and in memory of Barnard James Boulton, M.D., who died March 15 1875.”  He was an active member of the restoration committee in 1861.  The subjects are, in the western light, “The cleansing of the leper” in the centre, “Letting down the paralytic through the roof,” in the eastern light, “The healing of blind Bartimæus.”

In the nave the second window from the west end of the south clerestory is a memorial of the late Mr. W Rayson, builder, filled with good coloured glass.  In the south aisle of the nave, the easternmost window is a good specimen of coloured glass by Heaton, Butler & Bayne, erected by public subscription in January, 1901, “To the glory of God, and in grateful commemoration of the 18 years’ ministry of Canon E. F. Quarrington,” who resigned the Vicarage in 1900.  The cost of this window was about £80, the subject is “The Sermon on the Mount.”  The Saviour is represented as addressing the people, grouped around Him, of all classes, soldiers, Pharisees, p. 38disciples, travellers, young men, women, and children, with the city in the background.  In the tracery above are angels, with rich ruby wings, in attitudes of adoration.

The window next to this is filled with coloured glass, by Clayton & Bell, to the memory of Mrs. Salome Fox.  In the upper tracery are the Alpha and Omega, with the date of erection “Anno Dm’ni MDCCCXCVII.”  In the central light below is the risen Saviour, seated on a throne, holding the emblem of sovereignty, with the inscription over His shoulders “Because I live ye shall live also.”  In each side light are three angels in adoration.  An inscription runs across the three lights, “I am he that liveth and was dead, and, behold, I am alive for evermore.”  Beneath are three square compartments, representing (1) three women, (2) three soldiers, (3) the apostles SS. John and Peter at the sepulchre, with the inscription “Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre?” and again, below all, “To the glory of God, and in loving memory of Salome Fox, who died June 26, 1883, aged 65.”  This cost about £85.

The window at the west end of this aisle, by Heaton, Butler & Bayne, was filled with coloured glass, by the late Mr. Henry Boulton, in memory of his first wife, being partly paid for by a surplus of £40 remaining from what was collected for the chancel east window, and the rest (about £40 more) by Mr. Boulton himself.  The subject is the Saviour’s baptism in the Jordan.

In the north aisle of the nave, the easternmost window was erected in 1902, at a cost of £98, from a bequest of the late Mr. Charles Dee, as a memorial of his friend the late Mr. Robert Clitherow.  The subject is “The good Samaritan,” who, in the central light, is relieving the wounded wayfarer; while, in the side lights, the Priest and Levite are represented as passing him by.  In the two upper quatrefoils are angels holding scrolls, with the inscriptions (1) “Let your light so shine before men,” (2) “That they may see your good works.”  An inscription runs across the three lights, “Blessed is he that provideth for the sick and needy, the Lord shall deliver him in the time of trouble;” and, below all, “To the glory of God, and in memory of Robert Clitherow, a truly Christian gentleman, by his faithful servant.” [38]  The artists were Messrs. Clayton & Bell.

The next window to this, also by Messrs. Clayton & Bell, is considered the best specimen of coloured glass in the church.  It was erected by public subscription, largely through the exertions of the late Mrs. Terrot, then of Wispington Vicarage, near Horncastle, her husband, the Rev. Charles Pratt Terrot, a clever artist and learned antiquary, supplying the design.  It is inscribed “To the glory of God, and in memory of Frederick Harwood, formerly churchwarden, who died March 12, 1874, aged 51 years.”  Mr. Harwood was an indefatigable church worker, and died suddenly, after attending a Lent service, when he occupied his usual seat, near this window.  It is of three lights, the subjects being six, (1) the centre light illustrates “Charity;” a female figure above, holding one child in her arms and leading others; while below is “Joseph in Egypt, receiving his father, Jacob.”  (2) The west light illustrates “Faith,” a female above, holding a cross and bible, and below “Abraham offering his son Isaac.”  (3) The east light illustrates “Hope,” a female above, leaning upon an anchor, and below “Daniel in the den of lions.”  The grouping of the subjects and arrangement of the canopies are admirable.

p. 39The west window in the same aisle contains a handsome memorial, by Preedy, of the late Vicar, Prebendary Robert Giles.  It is of three lights, the subjects being from St. Peter’s life: (1) the south light shewing “The net cast into the sea,” “Depart from me, &c.”; (2) the central light, Peter’s commendation by the Saviour, “Thou art Peter, &c.”; and (3) the north light, Peter’s release from prison, “Arise up quickly, &c.”  The tabernacle and canopy work are good.  The cost of this was about £140.  Mr. Giles succeeded Prebendary Milner, as Vicar, and died 12 July, 1872.

The two lancet windows in the lower part of the west wall of the tower, which were enlarged at the restoration, are filled with good coloured glass.  They bear no inscriptions but are memorials of deceased younger members of the families of the late Dr. B. J. Boulton, and of the late Mr. Richard Nicholson.  The southern one represents “The Good Shepherd,” carrying a lamb in his arms; the northern, “Suffer the little children to come unto me,” shewing the Saviour receiving little children into his arms.  Within the tower is also placed a List of Benefactors of the town; also a frame containing the Decalogue, supported by two painted figures, life-size, representing Aaron with his censer, and Moses with his rod; on one side of this is the Lord’s Prayer, on the other the Apostles’ Creed. [39a]

The roof of the nave, for some years hidden by a flat whitewashed ceiling, is of Spanish chestnut, with finely carved figures of angels, which support the intermediate principals.  In front of the tower arch stands the Font, of caen stone, on octagonal base; the bowl has 8 elaborately carved panels, in three of which are engraved, on scrolls, the words “One Lord,” “One Faith,” “One Baptism.” [39b]  The Pulpit, at the north-east corner of the nave, is also of Caen stone, in similar style, with four decorated panels, having, beneath the cornice, the inscription “He that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully;” the book-rest is supported by the figure of an angel, with outspread wings.  The Reading Desk, on the opposite side, consists of open tracery work, carved in modern oak.  The Lectern, an eagle of brass, was presented, in 1901, by the Misses Walter, in memory of their father, Mr. Joseph Walter, for many years church warden. [39c]  The seats in the chancel have handsomely carved poppy heads, and are placed east and west, instead of, as formerly, north and south, facing west.

On the south side of the chancel arch, in the west face of the wall, is a small stone, bearing the names of “Thomas Gibson, Vicar.  John Hamerton and John Goake, Churchwardens, 1675.”  On the south wall of the chancel south chapel is also an illuminated sheet of iron bearing the following inscription to the same Vicar:—“Sacred to the memory of the Rev. Mr. Thos. Gibson, A.M., 44 years Vicar of this parish.  He lived in such times when Truth to the Church, and Loyalty to the King met with punishment due to the worst of crimes.  He was by the rebellious powers carried away prisoner p. 40four times from the garrison of Newark for a dissenting teacher, afterwards sequestrated, and his family driven out, by the Earl of Manchester.  He survived the Restoration, and was brought back at the head of several hundreds of his friends, and made a Prebendary in the Cathedral Church of Lincoln.  As his enemies never forgave his zeal to the Church and Crown, so nothing but the height of Christian charity could forgive the insults he met with from them.  He died April 22, 1678.” [40a]  Above this is a shield, containing three storks, proper, on an argent field; and with a stork, as crest.

On the north clerestory wall of the nave are tablets in memory of Jane, wife of Thomas Taylor, to the east; in the centre to Thomas Taylor, Surgeon, and Margaret his wife, to Mary Anne, wife of Thomas Hardy Taylor; and to the west of these, to Anne, wife of Erasmus Middleton, to Erasmus Middleton, and to their daughter, Grace, wife of James Weir, and to James Weir, who died Dec. 15, 1822.  On the south clerestory wall, westward, is a tablet to the memory of Thomas Bryan, Hannah his wife, and their son Edward, all interred at Scrivelsby; another, to the east, is in memory of Edward Harrison, M.D., his wife, and his brother, erected by his nephew.

In the north aisle of the chancel is a modern, canvas, lozenge-shaped, framed copy of an older memorial, formerly painted on the south wall, on which are depicted the arms of Sir Ingram Hopton, with this inscription:—“Here lieth the worthy and memorable Knight, Sir Ingram Hopton, who paid his debt to nature, and duty to his King and country, in the attempt of seizing the arch rebel (Cromwell) in the bloody skirmish near Winceby, Oct. 6, 1643.” [40b]  The motto is Horatian (the first lines from Odes iii., xiv., 14–16; the other two from Odes iv., ix., 29–30).

         Nec tumultum,
Nec mori per vim, metuit, tenente
   Cæsare terras.
Paulum sepultæ distat inertiæ,
   Celata virtus.

p. 41Close to this, and above the arch leading into the nave, are a number of scythes, some with straight wooden handles, attached to the wall, which are said to have been used at the Winceby fight. [41a]

On the wall of the north aisle, nearest the archway into the chancel, on a small slab of Purbeck marble, is a brass of Sir Lionel Dymoke, kneeling on a cushion; on either side were formerly small shields displaying the arms of Dymoke, Waterton, Marmyon, Hebden and Haydon; [41b] and on small brasses were the figures of two sons and three daughters.  Parts of these are now lost.  The figure of Sir Lionel is in the attitude of prayer, from his left elbow issues a scroll with the inscription “S’cta Trinitas, unus Deus, miserere nob.”  Beneath is another inscription, “In Honore s’cte et individue trinitatis.  Orate pro a’i’a Leonis Dymoke, milit’ q’ obijt xvij die me’se Augusti, A° D’ni M° cccccxix.  Cuj’ a’i’e p’ piciet, de.’  Amen.”  Below this monument, in the pavement, is a brass, now mutilated, of the same Sir Lionel Dymoke, wrapped in a shroud, with two scrolls issuing from the head, the lettering of which is now effaced.  Beneath is an inscription also now obliterated, but which Mr. Weir gives as follows:—

p. 42Leonis fossa nunc hæc Dymoke capit ossa.
Miles erat Regis, cui parce Deus prece Matris,
Es testis Christe, quod non jacet hic lapis iste,
Corpus ut ornetur, sed spiritus ut memoretur.
Hinc tu qui transis, senex, medius, puer, an sis,
Pro me funde preces, quia sic mihi sit venie spes.

The actual suit of armour worn by this Sir Lionel Dymoke was formerly in the church, since in the evidence taken after the “Lincolnshire Rising,” in 1536, it was shewn that “one Philip Trotter, of Horncastle,” took it from the church, and himself wore it, while carrying the standard at the head of the insurgents (State Papers Domestic, Henry VIII., vol. xi, No. 967) [42a]

Brass of Sir Lionel Dymoke, in St. Mary’s Church

In the Harleian MS. in the British Museum, among his “Lincolnshire Church Notes,” Gervase Holles (circa 1640) mentions several other arms and inscriptions, as then existing, which are now lost. [42b]

In the pavement of the former vestry, in the south chancel aisle, is a slab with the inscription running round it, “Here lyethe the boyddes of Thomas Raithbeck & Arne his wyf, ye founders of the Beid hous.  Departed thys world, in ye fayth of Christ, ye last day of October, in ye yere of our Lord, MDLXXV.”  In the pavement at the east end of the south aisle of nave is a slab bearing the names of William Hamerton and his wife Elizabeth, and westward of this another slab, in memory of “Sarah Sellwood, wife of Henry Sellwood, Esq., [42c] who died Sep 30, 1816, aged 28 years.”  The late Poet p. 44Laureate, Alfred, afterwards Lord Tennyson, married Mr. Sellwood’s daughter Emily Sarah, the marriage being solemnised at Shiplake after the family had left Horncastle.  The Laureate’s elder brother, Charles Tennyson, married another daughter, Louisa, afterwards taking the additional name of Turner.  He held the vicarage of Grasby near Caistor.

Other monuments are, on the wall of the south aisle, a tablet inscribed “To the memory of Elizabeth Kelham, only surviving child of Richard Kelham, Rector of Coningsby.  She was pious, virtuous, and charitable, and died 26 Feb., 1780, aged 58.  Reader, imitate her example.  Erected by Robert Kelham, her nephew, as a grateful acknowledgment of her regard towards him.”  On the north wall of the chancel is a marble tablet in memory of “George Heald, Armiger, e Consultis Domini Regis, in Curiâ Cancellariâ.  Obiit 18 May, 1834.”  Inscriptions below are to his wife and daughter.  Another tablet, of black marble, records the death of Elizabeth, first wife of the Rev. John Fretwell, Curate, Dec. 4, 1784, and of his son, Matthew Harold, Sept. 11, 1786. [44a]  Another tablet is in memory of “Clement Madeley, DD., 42 years Vicar, who died Good-Friday, 1845, aged 73;” also of his wife Martha, who died 1807, and of his son Houghton, who died 1838, erected by his daughter, M. A. Dymoke, [44b] wife of Rev. John Dymoke, Champion.

In a glass covered case in the north aisle of the chancel are three volumes of Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, 1632 edition, these were formerly chained to a desk, and parts of the chains remain.  They were given by Nicolas Shipley, gentleman, in 1696, who also presented a brass chandelier of 24 sockets; he was among the benefactors to the poor of the town.  The present glass case and desk on which the case rests, were given by the late Vicar, the Rev. A. Scrivenor.  Along with these vols. are “The History of the Old and New Testaments, gathered out of sacred scripture and writings of the fathers, a translation from the work of the Sieur de Royaumont, by several hands.  London, printed for R. Blome, I. Sprint, John Nicholson and John Pero, 1701.”  There are some good old engravings of “The Work of Creation,” “The Temptation and Fall of Man,” “The Expulsion from Paradise,” “The Murder of Abel,” “Ishmael Banished,” &c.  The first of these is dedicated to “Her sacred Majesty, Mary, by the grace of God, Queen of England, Scotland, France, Ireland, &c., by Her Majesty’s most obedient servant Richard Blome.”  The next is dedicated to “Her sacred Majesty Katherine, Queen Dowager of England,” by the same; another is dedicated to “Her Royal Highness Ann, Princess of Denmark;” and other plates are dedicated to various Lincolnshire worthies, some of these are rather damaged, and the fine old bible is imperfect.

Various old documents may here be quoted, which give items of interest connected with this church.  In Lincolnshire Wills, 1st series, edited by Canon A. R. Maddison, F.S.A., 1888, is that of James Burton of Horncastle, of date 9 June, 1536, which mentions the lights burnt in the church at that time before different shrines; these were in all 23, of which 7 were in honour of the blessed virgin, one was called “The light of our Lady of Grace,” another p. 45“Our Lady’s light at the font.”  Mention is also made of a “St. Trunyan’s light;” this last saint is connected with a well at Barton-on-Humber, but nothing further is known of him under that name.  It has been suggested that it is a corruption of St. Ninian (Lincs. Notes & Queries, vol. i, 149), and in connection with this it is interesting to refer to the fact that Gervase Holles, whose description of Horncastle windows we have already quoted, states that there was a window to St. Ninian placed in the chancel south aisle, by the Guild of Shoemakers.  Here, then, it is possible, the “St. Trunion’s” or St. Ninian’s “light” may have been burned, as the emblem of some whilom Horncastrian’s faith.

A Chancery Inquisition post mortem, 19 Richard II., No. 83 (11 Dec., 1395), shows that Albinus de Enderby and others assigned a messuage, with appurtenances, in Horncastle, to pay a chaplain to say daily masses in the church of the blessed Mary, for the soul of Simon de Dowode, and other faithful deceased.  Wood Enderby was at that time a chapelry attached to Horncastle Church.

The right of sanctuary, enjoyed by felons, who sought refuge in a church, was a very ancient institution, dating from Saxon times, and only abolished by James I., in 1621, because the great number of churches in the country rendered it so easy a matter for highwaymen, then very numerous, to avail themselves of the privilege, that justice was too often defeated and crime encouraged.  According to custom, if the offender made confession before a coroner, within 40 days, and took the prescribed oath at the church door, that he would quit the realm, his life was spared.  A Close Roll, 13 Henry III., Aug. 22, 1229, states that the King, at Windsor, commands the Sheriff of Lincolnshire (Radulphus filius Reginaldi) to send two coroners to see that a robber who keeps himself in the church at Horncastle abjures the kingdom, (Lincs. Notes & Queries, vol. i, p. 49).  It is a somewhat curious coincidence, that a similar document, of date 16 Henry III., Aug. 22, 1232, only three years later, records a similar incident; and the malefactor is ordered to “make the assize, and abjuration of the kingdom, according to the custom of the land and according to the liberties granted to Walter, Bishop of Carlisle,” (Lincs. Notes & Queries, vol. iv, p. 58).  We have the explanation of this later instruction in a Memoranda Roll of 4 Ed. III., 1330, which states that Henry III. granted, by charter dated 16th July, in the 15th year of his reign, to Walter, Bishop of Carlisle, and his successors, that they should claim “all chattels of felons and fugitives within their manors,” the crown giving up all claim to the same in their favour; and the case is added of Robert Mawe, a fugitive, whose chattels were demanded by the Bishop, and £34 exacted on that account “from the township of Horncastre.”

It is remarkable that the two cases, above quoted, should have occurred at the same date, August 22.  An explanation of this has been suggested in the fact that an old calendar shows that August 22 was a day sacred to St. Zaccheus; and as that saint set the example of restoring four-fold what he had unlawfully taken, that day may have been selected for the robber to surrender his chattels in reparation of his offence.  A not improbable explanation, however, may be found in the fact that the great August fair, established by Royal Charter, closed on August 21st, and unruly characters were often left, as dregs of such gatherings in the place, murders even being not uncommon.  By charter of the same king the Bishop of Carlisle had power to try felons at Horncastle, and a spot on the eastern boundary of the parish is still known as p. 46“Hangman’s Corner,” where those who were capitally convicted in his court were executed.

We give elsewhere a list of the Incumbents of St. Mary’s, but we may here refer to probably the most distinguished of them all.  A Patent Roll, of date 11 June, 1344 (18 Edward III.), states that Thomas, Bishop of Lincoln (N.B.  This was Thomas Bec, consecrated July 7, 1342, died Feb. 1, 1346, buried in the north transept of the Cathedral), “by command of the Most Holy Father, Pope Clement VI., reduces the taxation of the church at Horncastle, with the chapels of Askeby (West Ashby), Upper Tynton (High Toynton), Maring (Mareham-on-the-Hill), and Wod Enderby, to the same church annexed, to the sum of 50 marks (£33 6s. 8d.), which were previously taxed at the immoderate sum of £77 sterling.”  This is stated to be done “of the sincere love with which we value our very dear clerk, Master Simon de Islep, parson of the church aforesaid.”  This is also confirmed to “his successors, parsons or rectors, of the said church.  Witness the King, at Westminster.”  The merits of this worthy, so valued by the Holy Father, not long afterwards received further recognition, since in 1350, only 6 years later, he was promoted to the highest dignity in the land, next to the sovereign himself, as Archbishop of Canterbury. [46]  An earlier Rector, John de Langton, had been made Bishop of Chichester, A.D. 1305.  These are the only incumbents of Horncastle who have attained the Episcopal Bench, (Horncastle Register Book, edited by Canon J. Clare Hudson, 1892).

The promotion of the Rector, Simon de Islep, led to more than one lawsuit.  The Bishop of Carlisle, being at that time heavily in debt, as Lord of the manor, to which, as has already been stated, the advowson of the church of St. Mary was attached, had in January, 1347–8 granted the manor to Hugh de Bole, and others, on their annual payment of £129 19s. 2½d, for three years.  On the vacancy thus occurring the Bishop was summoned to appear at Westminster, before Justice John de Stonor, and others, to answer to William Widuking, of Saundeby, executor of the will of the said Hugh de Bole, who claimed, as tenant of the manor, the right to nominate to the vacant benefice.  The Bishop resisted this claim, and the case was argued before the King’s Bench, in Hilary term, 1350, when the Bishop was defeated, the claim of William Widuking being allowed.  (County Placita, Lincoln, No. 46.  Pleas at Westminster, 24 Ed. III., roll 104.)

Seventeen years later, on the death of John de Kirkby, Bishop of Carlisle, who had presented Simon de Islep to Horncastle, the temporalities of the bishopric for the time lapsed to the King; and Thomas de Appleby, the succeeding Bishop, with John de Rouceby, clerk (who afterwards became Rector of Horncastle), were summoned to answer to the King, that the King be allowed, through the said lapse, to appoint to the vacant Benefice of St. Mary.  The Bishop and John de Rouceby brought the case before the court, but they admitted the justice of the King’s plea, and judgment was given for the King.  (De Banco Roll, 41 Ed. III., in. 621.)  Apparently, as a compromise, the King appointed John de Rouceby.  This John de Rouceby, while Rector of Horncastle, was murdered on the high road to Lincoln in 1388, (Horncastle Register Book, p. 2).

We may here observe, that in the above documents, the Incumbent of p. 47St. Mary’s Church is styled “Parson” or “Rector,” not, as he is at the present day, “Vicar.”  On this change of status we are able to give the following particulars.  Among the Bishop “Nicholson MSS.,” which are in the custody of the Dean and Chapter of Carlisle, and consist of extracts from the old “Bishops’ Registers,” it is stated (vol. iv, p. 349) that Bishop Stern of Carlisle, under agreement with the Bishop of Lincoln (Dr. Robert Sanderson) in 1660, appropriated the Rectorial appurtenances of the Benefice of St. Mary to the See of Carlisle.  This, however, would seem to be only a confirmation, or renewal, of what had been done long before, since as far back as 1313, the Bishop of Carlisle petitioned the Pope, to allow the church revenues of St. Mary, Horncastle, to be appropriated to that See, which had been “wasted by war and other calamities;” the Rector of the day only stipulating for a pensio congrua being reserved to him for his lifetime.  (Carlisle Episcopal Registers, xix, p. 181 b).  This was repeated about 1334 (Ibid., p. 187, a.  Quoted Horncastle Register Book, p. 2).  The title Rector accordingly disappears and from about 1400 only that of Vicar is used, the Bishops of Carlisle themselves having become the “Rectors.”  Early in the 19th century (21 March, 1803) the Bishop of Carlisle leased the manor, with appurtenances, to Sir Joseph Banks, and his representatives are now Lay Rectors.

The appointment of one of the early Rectors is a sample of the abuses connected with Papal supremacy in those times.  Peter de Galicia was nominated Rector in May, 1313, he was a foreigner and probably drew his income without ever residing at Horncastle.  Having influence at the Papal Curia, he negociated for the Bishop of Carlisle the transfer of the Rectorial appurtenances of Horncastle to that See; only, as has been stated, taking care that he had his own pensio congrua.  Becoming dissatisfied with the benefice he ultimately exchanged it for the Rectory of Caldbeck in the diocese of Carlisle.  These proceedings are given at length in Bishop de Kirkby’s Register; his Italian name was Piero de Galiciano.  He was succeeded in 1334 by Robert de Bramley, Rector of Caldbeck.  (Carlisle Episcopal Registers, quoted Lincs. Notes & Queries, vol. v, pp. 244–5).

Horncastle was one of the centres of disturbance at the time of the “Lincolnshire Rising” (already referred to) or “Pilgrimage of Grace,” in 1536, and St. Mary’s Church was the main cause of the local agitation.  William Leche, brother of the parson of Belchford, was a ringleader in the town.  The plundering of churches, by the King’s “visitors,” for the “valor ecclesiasticus,” on the plea of regulating ceremonial, but more really with a view to replenishing the royal coffers, was the great grievance with the people.  Much evidence on the subject is found among State Papers Domestic, vol. xi, 28 Henry VIII.  One witness, Edward Richardson of Thimbleby, states that William Leche, on Tuesday, 2nd Oct., “stirred the people to rise to save the church jewels from the Bishop’s officers,” who were acting by the King’s orders, the Bishop being the King’s confessor.  Robert Sotheby of Horncastle, being sworn before Sir Anthony Wyngffeld and Sir Arthur Hopton, says that “David Benet, a wever, rang the comon bell,” to rouse the people.  The said Robert stated that he and William Bywater, being churchwardens, were going to see the work of the plumbers, and in the meantime the said Davy rang the common bell; and that “William Leche was the first begynner and sterer of the whole rysinge there.”  The mob marched about with a standard, carried by Philip Trotter, clad in the armour of Lionel Dymoke, which he had taken p. 48from the church of St. Mary.  The devices on the standard were “a plough,” to encourage the husbandmen; the “challice and Host,” because the church plate and jewellery were to have been taken away; the “wands” were to encourage the people “to fight in Cristis cause;” the “horn” betokening Horncastle.

About 100 persons marched to Scrivelsby, and threatened to drag out Edward Dymoke, the sheriff, and other gentlemen.  The sheriff, Thomas Dymoke, Robert Dighton, and one Saundon, afterwards went into the field, and conversed with Leche, who said the Rising was because the Visitors would take the church goods.  The mob took the old gentleman, Sir William Saundon, and “harried him forth by the arms towards Horncastell, till from hete and weryness he was almost overcum.”  A horse was brought for him by one Salman of Baumbrough, but one of the rebels strake the horse on the head, so that both horse and rider fell to the ground, and they then said he must “go afote as they did.”  He was afterwards confined in the “Moot Hall,” at Horncastle, and “they sware him, whether he woll, or no.”  Many witnesses testified to the activity of Leche, in going to private houses and inducing the men to join, and that the gentlemen only joined from fear of violence.  Richard Mekylwhite of Horncastle was accused by Thomas Lytellbury, that he was “a great procurer” (of men), and was “one of the causers of George Wolsey’s death,” (a servant of the late Cardinal Wolsey).

William Leche, with a great company, went to Bolingbroke, to take the Bishop’s Chancellor, Dr. John Rayne, who was lying there, sick; he was brought on horseback to Horncastle amid cries of “kill him! kill him!”  He begged Philip Trotter to save him, who said he would do what he could; the Chancellor gave him xxs., but he in effect did the reverse of helping him.  On reaching the outskirts of the town, “many parsons and vicars among” the rebels cried “kill him!” whereat William Hutchinson and William Balderstone, of Horncastle, “pulled him viantly of his horse, kneling upon him, and with their staves slew him.”  The Vicar of Thornton gave xvs. to the rebels.  The Vicar of Horncastle, at that time John Haveringham, seems to have avoided being mixed up with this movement, as many of his brethren were.  The whole affair barely lasted a week, and it does not appear that the church plate suffered.  The King issued a proclamation from Richmond, 2 December following, that he pardoned all except the wretches in ward at Lincoln, T. Kendal the Vicar of Louth, and William Leche of Horncastle.

For a final notice of old records connected with the church, we may mention a matter of less importance, but one which we can hardly realise, in these days of religious liberty, when everyone is “a law unto himself” in matters of faith, and even largely in practice.  The parish book of the adjoining Thimbleby, which is in the soke of Horncastle, shews that, as late as the year 1820, the parish officials ordered all paupers, in receipt of parish relief, to attend the church services, on pain of forfeiting the aid granted; and cases are named where the payment was stopped until the offender had given satisfaction.  The State Papers Domestic of 1634 show that, at Horncastle, there was a like strictness.  Luke Burton of this town was fined 1s. for being “absent from divine service,” and again a like sum as “absent from prayers.”  Even “a stranger, a tobacco man,” was fined 1s. for the same offence; and 3s. 4d. for “tippling in time of divine service.”  John Berry, butcher, was fined 1s. “for swearing.”  Simon Lawrence, for selling ale contrary to law, was fined 20s.; the same “for permitting tippling, 20s.;” while for “selling p. 50ale without a licence,” William Grantham and Margaret Wells were “punished upon their bodies.”  (State Papers Domestic, vol. 272, No. 23, Chas. I.)

Ancient Scythes in St. Mary’s Church


We here give a list of these as compiled by Canon J. Clare Hudson, in his 1st volume of the Horncastle Parish Register Book, 1892.




Geoffrey de Leueknor by the Bishop of Carlisle (admitted on condition it be found the same church with the churches of [Wood] Enderby, and [High] Toynton and another, which Osbert the last rector held, be one benefice).


(Delegates of the Pope in a dispute between G. parson of the church of Horncastre and Francis, parson of the church of [West] Askeby, concerning the church of Askeby, decide that G[eoffrey] and his successors, are to hold the church of Askeby, and pay to Francis annually for life 27 marks sterling, and the bishop confirms this ordinance)


Adam de Kirkby.


Ralph Tulgol.


Hugh de Penna (otherwise Hugh de la Penne, Assize Roll, 4 Ed. I.  Lincs. Notes & Queries, iv, p. 220).


John de Langton.


Gilbert de Haloughton.


Peter de Galicia.




Robert de Bramley.


William de Hugate.


Simon de Islep, resigned in 1349, on becoming Archbishop of Canterbury.


William de Hugate, presented by Gilbert, Bishop of Carlisle, on exchange.


John de Rouceby.


William Stryckland.


Thomas Carleton, Chaplain.


Robert Somercotes.


John Eston.


John Ffalconer.


Richard Denham.


Barnard Towneley.


Robert Jamys, Chaplain.


John Havringham.


Arthur Layton.


Peter Wallensis.


Henry Henshoo, or Henshaw.


Clement Monke. [50]


Francis Purefey.


Richard Foster.


John Jackson.


Robert Hollinhedge.


Thomas Gibson.


John Tomlinson.


Thomas Loddington.


James Fowler.


Joseph Robertson.


Clement Madely.


Thos. James Clarke.


Wm. Holme Milner.

p. 511868

Robert Giles.


Arthur Scrivenor.


Edwin Fowler Quarrington.


Alfred Edgar Moore.

For some of the earlier details I am indebted to the Rev. W. O. Massingberd.

The Parish Registers of Horncastle are of some interest.  They date from 1559, the year following the “Injunction” issued by Queen Elizabeth (the 3rd of its kind) ordering the regular keeping of such records; similar, earlier, though less stringent, orders having been made in 1538, 1547 and 1552.  Besides the records of baptisms, marriages and burials, there are occasional notes on peculiar passing events, which we may here notice.  One of these occurs in 1627, “Upon Monday, beinge the xxviijth day of January was a great Tempest of Winde, the like hath not often been in any age; like wise upon Friday the 4th of November 1636 in the night time there happened a more fearful (wind than) before.

Mr. Weir, in his History of Horncastle, quotes a note (folio 42 b of the Register): “On the vth daie of October one thousand six hundred and three, in the ffirst yere of oure Sov’aigne Lord King James was holden in Horncastell Church a solemnn fast from eight in the morning until fower a clock in the after noone by five preachers, vidz. Mr. Hollinghedge, Vicar of Horncastell, Mr. Turner of Edlington, Mr. Downes of Lusbye, Mr. Philipe of Solmonbye, Mr. Tanzey of Hagworthingha’, occasioned by a generall and most feareful plague yt yere in sundrie places of this land, but especially upon the Cytie of London.  p’r me Clementem Whitelock.”  (Parish Clerk.)

We may observe that at this time there perished in London more than 30,000 persons; but the great plague, or “black death,” occurred 61 years later (1664–5), which carried off from 70,000 to 100,000 persons.  Between these periods, and previously, various parishes in our neighbourhood suffered from this visitation; for instance at Roughton, which is in the soke of Horncastle, there were 43 burials, including those of the Rector and two daughters, in the year 1631–2; while in the adjoining parish of Haltham (also in the soke) although there was no increase of mortality at that date, there had been 51 deaths in the year 1584; there being a note in the register for that year, “This yeare plague in Haltham.”  The turn, however, for Horncastle came in the year 1631, when the register shows that between May 3 and Sep. 29, there were no less than 176 deaths; in one case 7 in a family (Cocking), 5 in a family (Halliday), in other cases 4 (Joanes), and again (Hutchinson) 4, (Fawcitts) 4, (Cheesbrooke) 4, &c.  In August alone there were 86 deaths, and not a single marriage through all these months, whereas the following year there were only 25 deaths in the whole twelve months.  Truly Horncastrians were, at that dread time, living with the sword of Damocles hanging over them.  A note in the margin in this year is as follows, “Oct. 5th, buryalls since July 23, 144; burialls since Easter 182.”

We have already given the history of the Vicar, Rev. Thos. Gibson, he is referred to in the two following notes in the Register.  At the end of folio 81a (1635) we find, after the signature of himself and churchwardens, “Thomas Gibson, Clerk, Master of the free school of Newcastel uppon Tine, one of the Chapleins of the Right Reverend Father in God Barnabas, by Divine P’vidence Lo. Bpp. Carliel, presented by the said Lo. Bpp., was inducted into this Vicarage of Horncastel April xiiij, 1634.”  At the end of folio 85a (1639) after p. 52similar signatures is this: “The sd Mr. Thomas Gibson, being outed of Horncastle by Cromwell’s Commissioners, removed to Nether Toynton, lived there one yeare, after restored againe, taught some Gentlemen sonnes in his owne house, was afterward called to ye scole at Newark, where he continued one yeare, then was importuned to Sleeford, whether he went ye week after Easter 1650, continued there until May ye first 1661; then, the King being returned, he returned to his Vicaridge, and was by Doctor Robert Sanderson, Bishop of Linkcoln made Preban of Saint Mairie Crakepoule in the Church of Linkcoln.”

It may be observed that the spelling in those times, the entries doubtless being often made by the parish clerk, was rather phonetic than orthographic.  Many names occur which still survive, but here spelt variously, for instance Fawssett has been a name well known in Horncastle in modern times in a good position, in town and county, here we find it in generation after generation as Fawcet, Fawset, Faucitt, &c.  The name Raithbeck is of continual occurrence, it is now probably represented by Raithby.  Castledine occurs several times, being probably the phonetic form of the modern Cheseltine.  The present name Chantry appears as Chauntry.  Palfreyman, or Palfreman, occurs on several occasions, they were of a respectable family in the county, William Palfreyman being Mayor of Lincoln in 1534; Ralph Palfreyman, clerk, was presented to the Benefice of Edlington, by his brother Anthony, merchant of the Staple, Lincoln, in 1569.

In folio 69a (1628) is the entry “Tirwhitt Douglas, daughter unto Mr. George Tirwhitt, christened Jan. 8.”  Her father George Tyrwhitt was a scion of the old county family of the Tyrwhitts of Kettleby, Stainfield, &c., by Faith, daughter of Nicholas Cressy of Fulsby, who married Frances, daughter of Sir Henry Ayscough, of another very old county family.  She was named Douglas, though a female, after her kinswoman, Douglas, daughter of William, first Lord Howard of Effingham.  Her sister married Sir Edward Dymoke of Scrivelsby.  She herself is mentioned among the benefactors to the poor of Horncastle, as leaving a charge of 10s. on a farm at Belchford, as an annual payment, on her death in 1703.

Another name of frequent occurrence, though now extinct, is that of Hamerton.  John Hamerton (as already stated) is mentioned, with John Goake, on a tablet inserted in the wall on the south side of the chancel arch, as being churchwarden in the vicariate of Thomas Gibson, in 1675, and throughout the early registers successive generations of this family are recorded.  They may have been humble scions of the Hamertons, of Hamerton, Yorkshire, a branch of whom were among the landed gentry near the Scottish border; but at Horncastle they were engaged in trade.  John Hamerton, christened Dec. 10, 1575, whose probable father, another John Hamerton, was buried Sep. 3, 1584, married Feb. 2, 1613, Grace Broxholme, whose father John Broxholme is described as “Gent” in 1611.  Thomas Hamerton in 1603 was a draper, another Thomas Hamerton in 1613 was a “yoman,” John in 1615 was a tanner, Thomas in 1606 and 1617 was a tanner, Robert son of Thomas in 1619 was a tanner, William in 1620 was a glover.  In 1630, Thomas, buried Jan. 24, is designated “Mr.”  On June 16, 1633, Katherine Hamerton is married “by Licence” to George Colimbell.  A rise in status is indicated by the two latter entries, and accordingly, in the records of the neighbouring parish of Edlington we find “Geo. Hamerton, gent., and Sarah Hussey married July 21, 1699;” the Husseys being probably connected with p. 53the county family, the head of which was Lord Hussey of Sleaford.  The John Hamerton, churchwarden in 1675, was born Jan. 22, 1636, son of John and Dorothy Hamerton.  The marriage of the parents is not given in the register, the father therefore probably married an “outener,” as they are provincially termed.  The interesting point however in connection with this family is, that although they have long ago been extinct, they have left their mark behind them still surviving in the town.  Near the junction of East Street with South Street there still exists at the back of the second shop, in the former street (a repository for fancy needlework), a room lined with good oak wainscoting, with finely carved mantelpiece, over which is an inscription, richly carved in relief, with the letters “A° Di” to the left, and to the right the date “1573;” while above, in the centre, are the initials “J H” and “M H;” separated by a floriated cross and encircled by a wreath.  This would doubtless be John Hamerton and his wife Mary (or Margaret) Hamerton, the original builders of the house.  Two doors beyond is Hamerton Lane, and the title deeds, which the present writer has inspected, show that the whole of this block of buildings now forming five shops and two private residences, once formed one large dwelling place, belonging to the Hamerton of that day, with a frontage in East Street of more than 20 yards, and in South Street of 70 or 80 yards, with extensive back premises and gardens attached.  The J.H. and M.H., of whom we have here such interesting relics, were probably the grandfather and grandmother of the John Hamerton of the time of the Commonwealth and Charles II., and the extent of the buildings occupied by them show that they were wealthy.

Tanning was at one time the chief trade of the town, there being within the writer’s recollection several tan yards, now no longer existing.  The Bain water was said to be specially suited for this purpose.  We have seen that several of the Hamertons were tanners, and they had evidently prospered in their calling.

One more name in the register deserves a brief notice, that of Snowden (spelt there Snoden).  We have, at various dates, from 22 Oct. 1629, onwards, the baptisms of the whole family of Mr. Rutland Snowden, and the burials of some of them.  The Snowdens were originally a Notts. family, of the smaller gentry class, but Robert Snowden, third son of Ralph Snowden, of Mansfield Woodhouse, became Bishop of Carlisle, and, ex officio, Lord of the Manor of Horncastle.  The Bishops of Carlisle had, as has been already stated, a residence in Horncastle, near the present Manor House, and the Bishop’s widow, Abigail, probably resided there.  In her will, dated 15 April, 1651, and proved 7 May in the same year, she mentions her sons Rutland and Scrope; there was also another son Ralph.  Rutland married on Xmas day, 1628, Frances, widow of George Townshend, Esq., of Halstead Hall, Stixwould, and Lord of the Manor of Cranworth, Norfolk, by whom he had a large family.  His granddaughter, Jane Snowden, married Charles Dymoke, Esq., of Scrivelsby; she died childless and founded and endowed the village school and almshouses at Hemingby.  Another granddaughter, Abigail, married Edward Dymoke, younger son of Sir Edward Dymoke, of Scrivelsby, as shewn by the register there, on 18 July, 1654, and she thus became ancestress of the Tetford branch of the Dymokes, now also of Scrivelsby.

Rutland Snowden, who graduated B.A. at Christ’s College, Cambridge, 1617–8, took his M.A. degree at St. John’s College, Oxford, 1623, and was admitted a member of Gray’s Inn in the same year.  He was buried at p. 54Horncastle, 1654 (Lincs. Notes & Queries, vol. iv, pp. 14–16).  That was a period of national disturbance, and the people of Horncastle, with the Winceby fight of 1643, were more or less drawn into the vortex.  Abigail Snowden, widow of Bishop Robert of Carlisle seems to have been brought into much trouble, owing to her son, Rutland, having espoused the Royalist cause.  Among Exchequer Bills and Answers (Chas. I., Lincoln, No. 86) is a petition shewing that Francis, Bishop of Carlisle, leased to Rutland Snowden and his assignees, for three lives, the manor, lands, parsonage, and other premises at Horncastle, on payment of £120.  Subsequent proceedings would seem to imply that this lease was previously granted to the said Abigail herself, as shewn by the following: “To the Honourable the Commissioners for compounding with delinquents.  The Humble Petition of Abigail Snowden, widow, sheweth that Richard Milborne, late Bishop of Carlisle, did, 22 Sep., 1623, for valuable consideracions, demise the manor and soke of Horncastle (parcel of ye lands of ye Bishopricke) unto your petitonr, during the lives of Rutland Snoden, Scroope Snoden, and George Snoden, and for the life of the longest of them; that the said demise being allowed good unto her by the trustees . . . yet hath bene, and is, sequestrated, for the delinquensie of the said Rutland Snoden . . . the petitioner prayeth . . . that your petitioner may have releife . . . as to you shall seem meet.  And yr petitioner will praie, &c.  Abigail Snoden, 24 Nov., 1650.”  A note adds that the matter was “Referred to Mr. Brereton, to examine and report.”

It was reported on by Peter Brereton, 31 Jan. following (Royalist Composition Papers, 1st series, vol. 58, No. 515).  As this is a fair sample of the treatment by the Parliamentary officials of Royalist “delinquents” and their friends, we here give further particulars.

A similar petition was presented by “John Bysse, gent.” (given in Royalist Composition Papers, 1st series, vol. 8, No. 167).  Further, Abigail Snowden bequeathed her interest in the above lease to Thos. Toking, who was of Bucknall and of Ludgate Hill, London.  Accordingly, two years later, we have another attempt at recovery, as follows: “To the Honourable Commissioners for compounding with Delinquents.  The humble petition of Thomas Toking, of Co. Lincoln, gent., sheweth, that a lease was made to him by Abigail Snowden, widow, deceased, of the manor, &c., &c., which had been sequestered many years, for the delinquency of Rutland Snowden . . . and that he (T. Toking) has more to offer, for the clearing of his title.  He prays therefore for a commission of enquiry.  21 Oct., 1652.”  Reply: “not sufficient proof.”

The said Thos. Toking again petitions, stating, that he is willing, to avoid further trouble, to submit to “a reasonable composition.”  This is again “referred to Mr. Brereton,” 7 Feb., 1653.  On 21 Sep., 1653, the order was issued that “the Petitioner be admitted for compounding.”  Again “Referred to Mr. Brereton.”  The result, however, was that Mr. Thomas Toking died before obtaining the “relief” petitioned for.

N.B.  Besides the “delinquency” of having “adhered to, and assisted, ye forces against the Parliament,” it was charged against Rutland Snowden that he had “more wives than one.”  He “rendered his estate in fee” at Horncastle, in Nov., 1645, for which his fine, at one-tenth was £188 (Royalist Composition Papers, 1st series, fol. 113).  His son, a second Rutland Snowden, was among the Benefactors of Horncastle, as he bequeathed to the poor of the town, 1682, “one house of the yearly rent of 26s.,” to be “paid in bread, 6d. p. 55every other Sunday;” a considerably larger sum at that time than now.

We find the names of Rutland Snoden of Horncastle, and Scrope Snoden of Boston, in the list of Lincolnshire Gentry, entitled to bear arms, made by the Heralds, at their Visitation in 1634; along with other well known names in the neighbourhood, such as Dymoke, Heneage, Laugton, Massingberd, Tyrwhitt, &c. (Lincs. Notes & Queries, vol. i, p. 106).  The Snowden arms are said, in Yorke’s Union of Honour, to have been “Azure a lion rampant, or.” (Lincs. Notes & Queries, vol. iv, p. 16).

The Old Vicarage

The Vicarage of St. Mary’s Church formerly stood at the north-east corner of the churchyard, forming part of a block of small houses.  It was a poor residence, but occupied until his death in 1845, by the Vicar, Clement Madely, DD.  The whole block was, about that time, taken down, the space being, later on, covered with the present substantial buildings.  His successor, Rev. T. J. Clarke, rented a good house in South Street, now occupied by Mrs. Howland.  Mr. Clarke was succeeded by the Rev. W. Holme Milner, in 1853, and he built the present vicarage.

St. Mary’s Churchyard was closed, for burials, in 1848, when the churchyard of Holy Trinity was consecrated.

We here give a list of the Church Plate, which is more than usually valuable.

1.  Paten, silver, 15 oz. 2 dwt., given by Mrs. Hussey, 1718. ☼

2.  Paten lid, silver, 2 oz. 2 dwt., old, no date.

3.  Paten, pewter, no date.

4.  Chalice, silver gilt, 7 oz., old, no date.

5.  Chalice, silver gilt, 13 oz. 4 dwt.  In memoriam, J.H., 1879.

6.  Chalice, silver gilt, 13 oz. 2 dwt. *

7.  Flagon, silver, 59 oz., given by Susannah Lascells, 1741.

8.  Flagon, silver, 58 oz. 2 dwt., given by Susannah Lascelles, widow, Christmas, 1743. ☼

p. 569.  Alms basin, silver, 6 oz. 6 dwt., given by Thomas Hargreaves, Esq., 1735.  T.M.H. on handle.

10.  Alms Basin, silver, 7 oz. 6 dwt., given by Clement Madely, vicar, 1835.

11.  Paten, silver gilt, 13 oz.  In Memoriam, J.H.  1879.

12.  Paten, silver. 4 oz. 2 dwt., no date. ☼

13.  Cruet with silver stopper, H.T.C.  1872.

Those marked with asterisk are used at Holy Trinity Church.

We cannot here omit our tribute to the energy, liberality, and taste of the various parties connected with the restoration of St. Mary’s Church, begun in 1859, and happily completed in April, 1861.  With a persevering vicar, in Prebendary W. H. Milner, undaunted by difficulties, to head the movement; a working committee, no less resolute, to support him (among whom figured foremost the late Dr. J. B. Boulton and Mr. F. Harwood); with an architect of cultivated taste and wide experience, in Mr. Ewan Christian; and with the able contractors, Messrs. Lee & Ashton, to carry out his designs; and with a body of subscribers, headed by the Lord of the Manor, J. Banks Stanhope, Esq., all doing their best; the work was bound to be a marked success, of which all might be proud.  St Mary’s now probably approaches nearer to its original conception (if it does not, indeed, surpass it) than it has ever done in recent times.  Erected, as it first was, in an age marked by “zeal” for church construction, even if sometimes “without knowledge;” stimulated, perhaps in an unwholesome degree, by the prevalent superstition and mariolatry, we yet feel bound, considering the noble structures which those builders have transmitted to us, (as Prior the poet says) to be “To their virtues very kind, and to their faults a little blind.”  But, as to the restoration in the present instance, few, save the older ones among us, who remember the condition into which the fabric had lapsed, can realise the great changes which were effected, or the advantages secured to present worshippers.  The space formerly wasted by a western vestibule, with its boarded partition, and baize-covered doors, leading into nave and aisles, reducing by several feet the length of sitting space; the basement of the tower shut off, and occupied only by the bell ringers, who are now removed to the chamber above; the chancel aisles unused for seats and partially blocked up; the high square pews, rising in tiers westwards, roomy enough for undisturbed slumber; above all, the heavy galleries, with pews, made by faculty private property; all these arrangements so curtailed the accommodation, that the congregation, at its best, could be little more than half what it has been in recent years; while the tout ensemble, not omitting the flat whitewashed ceiling, put up, it has been said, by a kind lady, because the vicar, sensitive to cold, felt the draughts through the fine wooden roof thus hidden above, had an effect the very opposite of stimulating devotion, bad alike for minister and people.  Under the restored condition, with sixty additional seats provided in the tower, the south chancel aisle also seated, and every available space utilized, there is now ample accommodation for some 800 worshippers, and on special occasions more than 1,200 have been seated (the late Mr. W. Pacy counted about 1,250 passing out at the evening service at the re-opening in April, 1861); while the services, and the surroundings, are alike calculated to inspire feelings of reverence, with hearty earnestness of worship; this is the result mainly due to the “decency and order” effected through the care and self-denying efforts of the restorers, for which all should be grateful.

We should here add that in the year 1892, it being found that decay had occurred in the walls and other parts of the church, about £150 was raised by subscription, and once more the fabric was put into a complete state of repair.


Was built in the years 1847 and 1848, as a Chapel of Ease to St. Mary’s Church, in the vicariate of the Rev. T. J. Clarke, at a cost of about £2,500; £500 having been bequeathed towards that purpose by his predecessor, Dr. Clement Madely, and the rest being raised by public subscriptions.  The foundation stone was laid April 6, in the former year, by Sir Henry Dymoke, Bart., the Queen’s Champion.  The roof of the nave was reared Oct. 12, and the cross on the east end of the chancel erected Nov. 25, in the same year.  The church and churchyard were consecrated by Dr. Kaye, Bishop of Lincoln, April 27, 1848; his Lordship preaching at the opening service in the morning, and Dr. Percy, Bishop of Carlisle (as Patron [57a] of the Benefice) in the afternoon.  The architect was Mr. Stephen Lewin, of Boston (author of Churches of the Division of Holland, 1843, &c) Mr. Hind, of Sleaford, being the contractor for the work.

It was a condition of Dr. Madely’s bequest that the church should be commenced within two years of his death, which occurred on Good Friday, March 21, 1845.  This fortunately was just (but only just) effected [57b] in time to secure the bequest.

When the churchyard of Holy Trinity was consecrated that of St. Mary’s was closed, with the exception of some private vaults; both these burial grounds being closed in 1888, when the public cemetery was opened; the p. 58church part of which was consecrated on Nov. 7th, in that year, by the Bishop of Lincoln, Dr. King.

The church is in the Early English style, consisting of nave, chancel, north and south aisles, north porch, high open belfry with one bell, and has sittings for 400 persons.  The materials of the structure are white brick, with dressings of Ancaster stone.  It was considerably improved in 1887, and, more recently, in 1895.

The windows in the north and south aisles are plain small lancets, in pairs; 5 pairs on the south side, and 4 pairs, with porch door, on the north.  The north and south arcades have 5 bays, with narrow perpendicular arches, except the easternmost, on both sides, which are wider, with a view to future transepts; the octagonal columns of brick have nicely carved stone capitals.  The clerestory windows above, 5 on each side, are alternately quatrefoils and inverted triangles.  The roof is of a very high pitch, slated externally, and internally of deeply stained deal.  The principals of the chancel roof are ornamented with deeply cut dog-tooth pattern.  The choir is rather narrow, and without aisles.  At the east end of the north aisle is the vestry, the doorway leading to it having a richly carved arch, supported by twin pilasters, with carved capitals; the porch doorway has also a richly carved arch, with dog-tooth moulding, and clusters of pillars below.

The east window in the chancel is of 3 lights, and is an enlarged copy of the beautiful Early English east window of Kirkstead Abbey Chapel; with triple columns between, and, on either side of the lights, having richly carved capitals; the wall space above being also elaborately carved with floriated pattern.  It was fitted with coloured glass, by an anonymous donor, in memory of the Rev. T. J. Clarke, in whose vicariate, as has been stated, the church was built.  The subjects are, running across and in the centre, the Nativity, the Crucifixion, and Transfiguration; above being the Resurrection, and Christ sitting in glory; and in the lower row, our Lord as the Good Shepherd, the Man of sorrows and the Light of the world.

In the chancel walls, north and south, are triple windows in the same style, but with plain columns and white glass.  Below the east window is a stone Reredos, having four panels with decorated arches on each side, north and south; with a central canopy of 3 compartments, nicely carved, and plain cross in the centre.  This was carved and designed by Messrs. F. Bell & Son, of Horncastle.  The Reredos was due to a movement originating with the Girls’ Club, then under the management of Miss Agnes Armstrong; assisted by contributions from members of the choir, a considerable sum of money being raised by them, for altar frontals and other fittings in the chancel.  These, and other additions, were dedicated by the late vicar, Prebendary E. F. Quarrington, on All Saints’ day, Nov. 1, 1895.

The Organ, on the north side of the choir, is a good instrument.  In the early days of the church an old organ was transferred from St. Mary’s Church and placed at the west end, but this was sold in 1869, and for some years a harmonium was used in the choir.  The present instrument was the work of Messrs. Foster & Andrews, of Hull, and has one manual, with pedals.

The Pulpit, on the south of the lofty chancel arch, is of stone, having 5 panels with dog-tooth borders, illuminated in gold and various colours; and having, within central circles, figures of SS. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, the fifth having the cross with the inscription “Feed my sheep.”  The Reading Desk, on the north, is part of the chancel sedilia; this, with the Lectern, p. 59slightly carved, in front of it, and all the sittings, are of pitch pine, stained.

At the west end of the south aisle is a plain lancet window of one light.  The window corresponding to this, in the north aisle, has good coloured glass, in memory of the late Hugh George, M.D., who died in 1895.  It has two subjects (1) The healing of the lame man by SS. Peter and John, at the beautiful gate of the temple, and (2) Luke, the beloved physician, ministering to St. Paul, in prison at Rome.

The west window is of two lights, narrow lancets with circular window above, having quatrefoil tracery.  These are filled with coloured glass, given by the late Miss Lucy Babington of The Rookery, Horncastle, in memory of her parents, brothers and sister.  The subject in the upper “Rose” window is the Holy Dove descending; those in the window below are (1) our Lord’s Baptism, (2) His commission to the disciples, “Go ye, and baptize all nations;” (3) The baptism of a Jew (St. Paul), and (4) The baptism of a Gentile (Cornelius). [59]

Holy Trinity Church

Below this window, and in keeping with the subjects above, stands the Font, on a plain octagonal base.  The bowl is circular and larger than that in St. Mary’s Church.  It is supported by 8 carved pilasters at the angles, with a central one; rising from these are narrow arches with dog-tooth moulding.

In the eastern part of the churchyard lie the remains of four successive vicars of Horncastle, and the wife of a fifth.  A coffin-shaped stone, adorned with a full-length floriated cross, has this inscription: “Thomas James Clarke, M.A., Vicar of Horncastle, died 14th May, 1853.  Is any among you afflicted, let him pray.”  This stone was put down by the Rev. Edmund Huff, p. 60who was curate at the time of Mr. Clarke’s death, and afterwards Rector of Little Cawthorpe near Louth.

An upright stone, the head forming an inverted overhanging arch, ornamented with dog-tooth pattern (copied from a panel in the church pulpit), has the inscription: “W. H. Milner, Vicar of Horncastle, died October 3rd, 1868, aged 64.”  Within the arch is a Calvary Cross, on the steps of which are these words “He that believeth in Me hath everlasting life.”  On the base of the stone is a quotation from the Burial Service, “Blessed are the dead, which die in the Lord, &c.”  Near this a massive decorated cross bears the inscription: “Robert Giles, Vicar of Horncastle, died July 12th, 1872.  Jesu, Mercy.”  This is an exact reproduction of a granite cross in Willoughby churchyard, erected to the memory of the late Archdeacon Giles, the vicar’s brother.

A grass grave, surrounded by a kerb, has resting upon it a full-length plain Latin cross, along the arms of which is inscribed “Jesu Mercy.”  Surrounding the kerb is the inscription “Arthur Scrivenor, M.A., Vicar of Horncastle, born January 13th, 1831, died August 27th, 1882.”  “Never resting, never tiring, in the endless work of God;” the latter words being a quotation from Dr. Mansel’s Life of Bishop Wilberforce of Oxford and Winchester.

Very near the last tomb is the grave of the wife of the late Vicar of Horncastle, Prebendary E. F. Quarrington, now Rector of Welby, near Grantham; the plain slab bears the inscription “At rest, Nov. 25, 1888.”

The following biographical notes may not be without interest.  The Rev. T. J. Clarke was a remarkable man; born in this neighbourhood, in a humble rank of life (his widowed mother occupying a cottage in Woodhall, where, to his honour, he frequently visited her, and supported her, during his vicariate), he was apprenticed as a boy to a tradesman in Leeds.  A lady upon whom he attended, as she made purchases in the shop, noticed his intelligence; the result being that she sent him, at her own expense, to be educated at a good school, and, in due time, assisted him to enter at St. John’s College, Cambridge, where he took Double Honours, and obtained a Fellowship.  He was afterwards appointed to the Vicarage of Penrith, Cumberland, thus coming under the notice of the Bishop of Carlisle, who, as Patron, presented him to the Vicarage of Horncastle, on the death of Dr. Madely in 1845.  With Mr. Clarke’s arrival in Horncastle it was felt that a new era in church life had begun.  He threw himself with characteristic energy into every kind of work, and at one time had 3 curates.  To him was due the erection of Holy Trinity Church, and a great multiplication of Church services.  The old vicarage, a poor house close to St. Mary’s churchyard, was pulled down, and he rented the house in South Street, with extensive gardens, which afterwards became the residence of Major Armstrong and now occupied by Mrs. Howland.  Notwithstanding his heavy parochial work Mr. Clarke (as the present writer can testify) kept up his classical and mathematical studies.  He was also devoted to music, and a very skilful performer on the flute.  Although these were relaxations from his more serious parochial labours, the amount of mental work involved eventually told upon his health, and in the 8th year of his vicariate it became perceptible, even in his pulpit utterances, that his mind was affected.  He had married a Cumberland lady, but all her care and attention was unavailing; he gradually collapsed into a condition of melancholy, scarcely roused by anything except the music of his piano. [60]  The end p. 61inevitable was seen to be approaching, but unfortunately Mr. Clarke by his own act anticipated it.  Being accidently left alone for a few moments he took a pistol, which he had concealed in a drawer, walked out into the garden and shot himself, the overwrought brain rendering him no longer accountable for his actions.

Of his successor, the Rev. Prebendary W. H. Milner, who, like Mr. Clarke, had held preferment in the diocese of Carlisle, we have only to say that he was an able man of business, carried on the work of the church with great energy, and introduced many reforms.  He built the present vicarage.  He was the last vicar nominated by the Bishop of Carlisle.  Of the next two vicars it may be said that their tenure of office was all too short, hard faithful labour cutting off the Rev. Robert Giles (as we have before stated) in 1872, after a vicariate of only 4 years; while the Rev. Arthur Scrivenor died, after 10 years work in the parish, in his 51st year, in 1882.  Canon E. Fowler Quarrington succeeded him, and held the vicarage during 18 years, when he was transferred, in 1900, to the Rectory of Welby, near Grantham.  The Rev. Prebendary Alfred Edgar Moore, formerly Vicar of Messingham, near Brigg, began his vicariate in 1900, being inducted into the benefice on August 24, in that year.

Horncastle, we may here add, has been well served by its Curates.  “Comparisons are (proverbially) odious,” we will not therefore refer to any of these in recent years; but we may take three typical cases of men whose memory is still green and redolent of good work.

In the latter years of the amiable vicar, Dr. Madely, he needed an active assistant, and such was the Rev. William Spranger White, of Trinity College, Cambridge, a member of a family of position, the head of which was his uncle, Sir Thomas Wollaston White, of Wallingwells Park, Worksop, High Sheriff 1839, and formerly of the 10th Hussars.  Mr. White possessed independent means and was very generous.  He was of a most sympathetic nature, and became greatly beloved by all classes.  He worked hard in the parish from his ordination in 1833 to 1849. [61]  In that year he was selected by the Marchioness of Lothian, to take charge of an Episcopalian Church, which her Ladyship built and endowed at Jedburgh, Roxburghshire.  The church was opened with an octave of services, which were attended by the great Doctor Hook of Leeds, who had recommended Mr. White to her Ladyship.  The father of the present writer, and many leading clergymen from this neighbourhood, and various parts of England and Scotland, attended the opening services.  Mr. White remained there for some years, and married the eldest daughter of Lord Chancellor Campbell, who resided at Hartrigg House, near Jedburgh.  This p. 62marriage led to his subsequent return to England, being appointed by the Lord Chancellor to the Rectory of St. Just, near Land’s End, Cornwall; at a later date promoted to the Vicarage of Chaddesley Corbett, near Kidderminster, Worcestershire; and finally in 1859 to the Rectory of Potterhanworth, near Lincoln, of which cathedral he was made an Honorary Canon, in recognition of his generous gifts towards cathedral improvements.  Here he did excellent work until his death in 1893. [62]

We next take two of the well chosen curates of the Vicar, T. J. Clarke, who were contemporaries at Horncastle; Charles Dashwood Goldie of St. John’s College, Cambridge, where he took Mathematical Honours in 1847, was ordained as Curate of Horncastle in 1848.  An able preacher and indefatigable worker in the parish, he at once made his mark, not only in the town, but in the neighbourhood; he and his beautiful wife being welcome guests in many a rectory and vicarage.  He was also a man of good social position and private means, and occupied a good house with large garden on the north side of West Street (then called Far Street), belonging to the late Mrs. Conington, within some 120 yards of the railway station, now occupied by Mr. Sills, and named “The Chestnuts.”  Mr. Goldie being curate at the time when Holy Trinity Church was built presented the carved oak chairs within the communion rails.  After leaving Horncastle he was appointed to the vicarage of St. Ives, in the diocese of Ely.  The Goldies were an old Manx family; Col. Goldie, his brother, of the Scotts Guards Regiment, being President of the House of Keys, the local parliament.  Their residence in that island is “The Nunnery,” near the town of Douglas, so called from the ruin close at hand of an ancient priory, said to have been founded by St. Bridget in the sixth century.  Mr. Goldies’ nephew is the present Sir George Dashwood Tanbman Goldie, Privy Councillor, K.C.M.G., F.R.G.S., &c, formerly of the Royal Engineers, but latterly holding various Government appointments, director of several expeditions in West Africa, having travelled in Egypt, the Soudan, Algiers, Morocco, &c., and attended the Berlin Conference in 1884, as an expert on questions connected with the Niger country, where he founded the Royal Chartered Company of Nigeria.  His latest honour (1905) is the Presidency of the Royal Geographical Society, in succession to Sir Clements P. Markham, K.C.B., &c.

The Rev. Thomas Castle Southey (a relative of the poet) was Fellow of Queen’s College, Oxford, where he took Classical and Mathematical Honours in 1847.  He was ordained in the same year, and held the curacy of Horncastle from that year till 1849.  He was an able and scholarly preacher and persevering worker in the parish.  On leaving Horncastle he became Incumbent of the Episcopal Church at Montrose, N.B., which he held for six years, when he became Assistant Curate of St. Paul’s Church, Brighton, under the Rev. Arthur Wagner; then Curate of the church of St. Thomas the Martyr at Oxford; then Vicar of Wendron, Cornwall, and afterwards of Newbold Pacey, near Leamington, in 1868.  After leaving Horncastle he was invited by the Governors, as an able scholar, to examine the Horncastle Grammar School, then a considerably larger school than it has been in later years, with a large number of day boys, and also boarders from London, many distant parts of the country, and even from Jersey and the continent.

p. 63As this is the last chapter in which we shall deal with church matters, we may here say that a Clerical Club, with valuable library and news room, was established in the town in the year 1823.  At that time there was a numerous community of country clergymen living in the town; a dozen, or more, villages in the neighbourhood having no official residence in their parishes; thus a Clerical Club became a convenient institution for social intercourse, and valuable papers were often read at their meetings.  This ceased to exist at the close of the 19th century, when the books were transferred to the Diocesan Library at Lincoln.  In order to enable these country incumbents to maintain a town residence, they, in several cases, held a plurality of benefices, which would hardly be allowed in the present day.  Even the Vicar of Horncastle, Dr. Madely, also held the Vicarage of Stickford, distant more than a dozen miles; another clergyman was Rector of Martin, Vicar of Baumber, and Rector of Sotby, several miles apart; while a third held the Perpetual Curacy of Wood Enderby, 4 or 5 miles to the south-east of the town, with the Curacy of Wilksby adjoining, and the Chapelry of Kirkstead, 5 or 6 miles to the west.  Further, to eke out the family income, his daughter found employment of a somewhat novel kind in the service of the late Queen Victoria.  Being in figure the exact size of the Queen, her Majesty’s dresses were all tried on this lady by the royal dressmaker; and, as a portion of her remuneration, the cast-off clothing of the Queen became her perquisite.  On the occasion of the wedding of one of her friends at Horncastle, the bride and her bridesmaids were all attired in Queen’s dresses.

In connection with the church is the “Young Churchmen’s Union,” of which the Vicar is President.  They have fortnightly meetings, in the Boys’ National School, at 8.15 p.m.  There is also a Church Lads’ Brigade, No. 1951, attached to the 1st Battalion, Lincoln Regiment, B 51.  This was enrolled Oct. 1st, 1901.  The members are youths between the ages of 13 and 19; the present Lieutenant being H. W. Sharpe; Chaplain, the Vicar; Assistant Chaplain and Correspondent, the Senior Curate.  Entrance fee 1/6, subscription 1d. per week.

The Church National Schools are good substantial buildings, erected at various periods, the Girls’ School in 1812, the Infants’ in 1860, and the Boys’ (at a cost of £1,000) in 1872; the total accommodation is for 300 children, the average attendance being about 250.  The schools were taken over by the Lindsey County Council, on April 1st, 1903.


There are in Horncastle five Nonconformist religious communities, the Wesleyan, Congregational, Primitive Methodist, Baptist, and New Church or Swedenborgian, each now having substantially built chapels, resident ministers, with Sunday, and, in one case, Day Schools. Through the courtesy of the Rev. John Percy, late Head Minister of the Wesleyan Society, we are enabled to give a fairly full account of its origin and growth, down to the present 20th century.  As this is the most important religious body in the town, next to the Church of England, although it is not the oldest, we take the Wesleyans first.  As will be seen in the following account, this Society arose from a very small beginning, but at the present time, with perhaps the exception of the Baptists, it is the most numerous and influential body among Nonconformists.  Although, locally, rather fewer in numbers in recent years, than formerly, it is generally growing, and in the year 1904, as published statistics show, it acquired in the United Kingdom an addition of 10,705 full members, with 11,874 members on trial, and junior members 4,367; a total increase of 26,946.


The founder of this Society was, as its name implies, John Wesley, probably of the same stock as the great Duke of Wellington, whose family name was variously written Wellesley, or Wesley. [64]  We take the immediately following particulars mainly from the History of England, by Henry Walter, B.D. and F.R.S., Fellow of St. John’s College, Cambridge, Professor in the p. 65East India College, Hertford, Chaplain to the Duke of Northumberland, &c., &c., himself a Lincolnshire man.

John and Charles Wesley were the second and third sons of Samuel Wesley, Rector of Epworth, near Gainsborough; [65] John being born in 1703 (June 17), and Charles in 1708 (Dec. 18).  John was educated at the Charterhouse, and Charles at Westminster School.  In due course they both entered at Oxford University; John eventually being elected to a Fellowship at Lincoln College, and Charles to a Studentship at Christchurch.  In 1725 John was ordained deacon of the Church of England.  He left Oxford for a time to act as his father’s curate, Charles remained as Tutor to his college.  He, with some of his undergraduate pupils, formed a custom of meeting on certain evenings every week for scripture study and devotion, they carefully observed the Church’s fasts and festivals, and partook of the Holy Communion every Sunday.  From the strict regularity of their lives the name was given to them, by those who were laxer in conduct, of “Methodists.”

Wesleyan Chapel

In 1729 the Rector of Lincoln College summoned John Wesley to resume residence at Oxford, and he became Tutor of the College.  In this capacity he was careful to look after the souls, as well as the intellectual training, of those under his influence.  The brothers began missionary work in Oxford, about the year 1730, in which they were assisted by a few other kindred spirits.  They visited the sick and needy, with the permission of the parish clergy, as p. 66well as offenders confined in the gaol.  This continued for some time, but gradually John began to long for a wider field for his spiritual energies.  He had gathered about him a small band of equally earnest associates, and they went out to Georgia, North America, in 1735, to work among the English settlers and North American Indians.  After two years John returned to England, in 1737, and then began the work of his life.

It is said that he was a good deal influenced by the De Imitatione Christi of Thomas a Kempis (of which he published an abridged edition in 1777), [66a] also by Jeremy Taylor’s Holy Living and Dying; and he imputed his own conversion to his study of Law’s Serious Call.  His “first impression of genuine Christianity,” as he called it, was from the Moravian sect, with whom he came in contact at Hirnuth in Saxony, which he visited in 1738, after his return from America; but his complete “conversion,” he was wont to say, occurred at a meeting of friends, in Aldersgate Street, London, where one of them was reading Luther’s Preface to St. Paul’s Epistle to the Romans, the exact time being 8.45 p.m., May 24, 1738.

Though taking an independent course, and appointing only lay workers as his agents, he regarded himself to the end of his days as an ordained minister of the Church of England, and his society as still being a part of it, and he urged all faithful Wesleyans to attend church service once on Sunday, and to receive the Holy Communion at church, it being only after his death that the society’s secession became complete. [66b]

The first Wesleyan congregation of about 50 members, some of them Moravians, was formed in London, where they met in Fetter Lane, once a week; the first meeting being on May 1st, 1738, and from that day the society of “Methodists” may be regarded as having begun. [66c]  The birth of the sect in Lincolnshire may be said to date from his visit to Epworth, in 1742.

In 1743 he divided the whole county into two sections, or circuits, the eastern and western.  Of the eastern Grimsby was the head; this included Horncastle, and gradually comprised some 15 other subsidiary centres, extending from Grimsby and Caistor in the north, to Holbeach in the south.

His earliest recorded visit to Horncastle was in 1759, when he addressed a large concourse of people in a yard, supposed to be that of the Queen’s Head Inn, near the Market Place, on April 4th and 5th.  On July 18th, 1761, he again preached here, and on July 18th, 1774, he addressed, as his journal states, “a wild unbroken herd.”  On July 6th, 1779, he says “I took my usual stand in the Market Place, Horncastle, the wild men were more quiet than usual, Mr. Brackenbury, J.P., of Raithby Hall, standing near me.”  This Mr. Robert Carr Brackenbury remained his firm friend through life; and we may here add that he granted to Wesley the use of his hay loft at Raithby for religious services, further securing the use of it in perpetuity, by his will, to the Wesleyan body, so that the curious anomaly has occurred that, when the hall was bought in 1848, by the Rev. Edward Rawnsley, the house became the p. 67residence of an Anglican clergyman, yet bound to allow the loft over his stable to be used for nonconformist worship.  In recent years the stable has been unused as such and the loft made more comfortable, being furnished with seats, pulpit, &c

Wesley, throughout his life, generally visited Horncastle every two years, his death occurring on March 2nd, 1791.  There is in Westminster Abbey a mural memorial of John and Charles Wesley, having within a medallion, the bust-sized effigies of the two brothers, beneath which is inscribed the saying of Wesley, “The best of all is God with us.”  Below this, within a panel, is a representation of John Wesley, preaching from his father’s tomb in Epworth churchyard.  Beneath are two more quotations from his own words, “I look upon all the world as my parish,” and “God buries His workmen, but carries on His work.”  At the head of the slab is the inscription “John Wesley, M.A., born June 17th, 1703, died March 2nd, 1791.  Charles Wesley, M.A., born December 18th, 1708, died March 29th, 1788.”

The growth of the society was not rapid, and for some years was subject to fluctuations.  In 1769 Grimsby had 56 members and Horncastle 42, including such well-known local names as Rayson and Goe.  In 1774 Grimsby had fallen to 32 members and Horncastle to about the same.  In 1780 Horncastle had only 31 members, but the numbers had increased in the neighbourhood; Kirkby-on-Bain having nearly as many as Horncastle, viz. 29, Wood Enderby 10, Hemingby 7, and Thimbleby 18; there being evidently a greater readiness to accept the new teaching among the simpler rural population.

In 1786 Horncastle was made the head of a circuit to itself, and in that year the first chapel in the town was built, the whole circuit then numbering 620 members.  This chapel was near the site of the present Baptist place of worship.  A few years later the opposing barrier among the upper class seems in some degree to have given way, as, in 1792, we find the name of Joseph Bass, a “physician,” as “leader.”  In 1800 there was further growth in the country, Greetham having 21 and Fulletby 26; among the latter occurring the still well-known names of Winn (Richard and Elizabeth), 5 Riggalls, and 5 Braders.  By this time there were 6 circuits formed in Lincolnshire, and congregations at Newark and Doncaster.

Although there was a chapel at Horncastle there was no minister’s residence until after 1786.  At that date John Barritt rode over from Lincoln to preach, and finding no Wesleyan minister’s house, he was taken in and hospitably entertained by a Mr. Penistoun, who was “a great Culamite.”  After staying the night with him he rode on next day to Alford, for Sabbath duty.  On the death of John Wesley (1791) his mantle fell, and indeed, had already fallen, in several cases, on shoulders worthy of the commission which he conferred upon them.  The first resident ministers were the Rev. Thomas Longley, Superintendent; the above John Barritt was the second, and Richard Thoresby the third.

Hitherto it had not been a service free from difficulty, or even danger.  Itinerary ministers had to make their journeys on duty, often long and wearying, on horseback, over bad country roads, even occasionally incurring hardship and peril.  In 1743 Mr. John Nelson was sent by Wesley to Grimsby, and his journals describe severe labour and even persecution.  Another pioneer, Thomas Mitchell, was thrown by a mob into a pool of water, and, when drenched, was painted white from head to foot.  He was afterwards thrown into a pond more than 12 feet deep, rescued and carried to bed by friends, he p. 68was thrice dragged out of his bed because he would not promise not to visit the place (Wrangle) again.  Wesley himself, in his journal (May 10, 1757) says “I preached to a mixed congregation, some serious, others drunk;” but on the other hand, in 1764, he preached, when the chapel “though having its galleries, was too small.”

We have named John Barritt among the early Horncastle ministers.  He was preaching on one occasion at Boston, when a band of roughs forced their way into the chapel and interrupted the service, driving some of the congregation away.  He had, however, a more serious experience, from exposure to the roughness of the elements.  He was riding to Boston, apparently by a somewhat circuitous route, and a violent storm arose at sea.  When he was not far from the coast the sea bank gave way, the country was inundated, vessels were even carried some distance inland, Boston itself was deluged, and he might have been drowned, but that he managed to reach some high ground, and arrived safely at Sibsey.

About this date, we are told, the progress of Wesleyanism excited the jealousy of the clergy, not so tolerant as they are now, and a meeting was held at the Bull Hotel, Horncastle, at which it was argued that the “spread of Methodism was one of the causes of the awful irreligion” prevalent, that the ministers were “raving enthusiasts, pretending to divine impulse, and thus obtained sway over the ignorant.”

John Barritt was re-appointed to Horncastle in 1801, as Superintendent, his colleagues being Thomas Rought, John Watson, and Squire Brackenbury as supernumerary, the latter was also, about this time, appointed head of the society in Spilsby. [68a]  J. Barritt was grandfather of Robert Newton Barritt, who was very popular in Horncastle, 1882–1884.  Wesley’s characteristic advice to him had been “When thou speakest of opinions, or modes of worship, speak with coolness, but when thou speakest of Repentance, Faith and Holiness, then, if thou hast any zeal, show it!” and to these principles he was ever true.

Other ministers of note at different periods were George Shadford, a name still surviving in the town; Charles Atmore, who wrote sundry Wesleyan hymns; Thomas Jackson, a great scholar, twice elected President of the National Conference; Digory Joll, grandfather of the present Mr. Watson Joll (to whom the writer owes much of the information here utilized); and to these we may add Benjamin Gregory, 1817; Robert Ramm and Robert Bryant, 1830; [68b] Bryant was called a “son of thunder,” from his great energy.

In 1835 Leonard Posnet was a popular minister, not only in the town but in the country around, being much appreciated by the farmers from his intimate acquaintance with their avocation.  He was followed (1838–1840) by Joseph Kipling, grandfather of the now well-known Rudyard Kipling.  Joseph Clapham was a faithful minister from 1843 to 1845, and was succeeded by (1845–1848) “Father” Crookes, “Preacher” Wood, and the “saintly” Fowler, who was said to have made 900 converts.

Then followed Wright Shovelton, Martin Jubb, Peter Featherstone, Henry p. 69Richardson, and others, among whom it would be invidious to make distinctions.  We may add that a famous missionary of this sect was Thomas Williams, son of John Williams, a cabinet maker of Horncastle, the latter being an active member of the Wesleyan Sunday School Committee.  His first wife, mother of the missionary, was Miss Hollingshead, who, with her mother, kept a girls’ school, near the Bow Bridge.  A History of the Fiji Mission, issued in 1858, says “The good ship Triton sailed from England, Sep. 14, 1839, carrying out the Rev. T. Williams, and his wife, to Lakamba, Fiji.”  They arrived there July 6, 1840.  He there built a mission house and chapel, where he laboured several years, the mission growing in extent, until it was beyond his strength.  In June, 1852, Mr. Moore was appointed as a colleague to relieve him of some of the work, but again his health broke down, and he was obliged to leave, after 13 years’ hard labour, in July, 1853.  He went to Australia and took various charges in that country, being chosen President of the Mission at Ballarat in 1873.  He re-visited England in 1861, and again in 1881, returning to Ballarat, as a supernumerary, but still officiating.  The present writer well remembers the impression made by a lecture, given by Rev. T. Williams, at the Bull Hotel, Horncastle.

Wesleyan Day Schools

p. 70Among the latest ministers of note has been the Rev. John Percy, who gave up his charge as Superintendent in 1904, and was succeeded by the Rev. E. Hayward, who left Horncastle on Thursday, Aug. 29, 1907, for work at Bridlington; he was succeeded by Rev. John Turner, of Colchester, who was 6 years ago in Louth Circuit, [70a] the Rev. G. German Brown continuing as assistant.  He was succeeded by the Rev. M. Philipson, B.A., coming, with his wife, since deceased (March 14, 1906), from Stanley, near Durham, where they were the recipients of valuable presents on their departure.

In recent years no member of the society has been more valued than the late octogenarian, Mr. John Rivett, J.P., who died Sept 4, 1906.  For nearly 70 years he was a generous supporter of the cause; he represented the district at no less than 13 Conferences, in various parts of the country, and at the Leeds Conference, in 1882, he spoke for an hour and a quarter in advocacy of its principles.  Mr. Henry Lunn, of Horncastle and West Ashby, is also well known, as, for many years, an able local lay preacher and practical man of business; he was a representative at Conferences in London and at Burslem.

Of the buildings in Horncastle, connected with this society, we have gathered the following details.  As already stated the first chapel was erected in Cagthorpe about the year 1786.  It stood a few yards to the north of the present Baptist place of worship, which is close to the north-west corner of the Wong.  The early history of this first erection is little known, but a letter written by Rev. T. Williams of Ballarat, dated May 10, 1889, to the late Mr. W. Pacy, states that, after some years, it was replaced by a larger building, of which the dimensions are elsewhere given, as being length 54-ft., by width 36-ft., with 4 large windows, having pointed heads, on the north side, and single windows on the south and west; a small porch at the south-east corner, facing the Baptist Chapel, giving entrance to the body and galleries; a door at the south-west end for the use of the minister, opening near the pulpit, which was at the west end; the eastern gable being the roadway boundary.  Of these “pointed” windows the Rev. T. Williams says, “the lancet windows, with quarry panes, were a whim of Mr. Griggs Lunn and of my father.  Of this building some remains are still visible, to the height of about 3 feet, in the south wall of Mr. Scholey’s garden, about 50 yards to the north of the Baptist Chapel.  Towards its erection a number of masons, joiners, and others, who could not afford subscriptions, gave their labours gratuitously.  Two houses for ministers were also built close by.

In 1836 a third chapel was begun, on a new site in Union Street (now Queen Street), and was opened on Good Friday in the following year, the interior fittings being transferred from the second building in Cagthorpe.

In 1866 a movement was commenced, with a view to the erection of a still larger chapel, and the present fine building was the result; opened in 1869, with accommodation for over 1,000 persons (1024), at a cost of £5,876. [70b]  The Sunday School adjoining, with large class rooms and infant school being built in 1875, at a further outlay of £2,578.  The fittings of the chapel are of stained polished deal, the gallery front and pulpit are white, picked out with gold, the latter standing upon 4 round-headed arches of light and graceful design.  A new organ was erected soon after the opening of this chapel, at a cost of £300, and in 1883 the instrument was enlarged and improved.

p. 71In 1886 the Centenary of Wesleyanism was celebrated and the occasion was marked by a strenuous effort to clear off the debt from the Horncastle Circuit.  This effort was supplemented by “Ye olde Englyshe Fayre, houlden in ye Exchange Hall, Nov. 20, 21 and 22, MDCCCLXXXVIII;” and at a tea gathering on March 12, 1889, it was stated that the original debt had, in the previous two years, been reduced to £60, and since then the whole had been cleared off, the exact sum raised being £1,526 2s. 4d.; while, as an evidence of the general prosperity of the Society, the Chairman stated that in the last 24 years debts had, throughout the country, been paid to the total amount of no less than £1,226,245. [71a]

In 1860 a former foundry show room, in Foundry Street, built by the late Mr. Tupholme, was acquired through the generosity of Mr. J. Rivett, to be used as a mixed day school; it had one large general room, four classrooms, and two large yards, and afforded accommodation for more than 400 scholars.  The premises cost £450, but before the school was opened some £1,300 had been spent in adapting them to educational purposes.  This has now been superceded by an even more commodious building in Cagthorpe, on the south branch of the canal, at the corner near the Bow Bridge, opposite St. Mary’s Square, at a cost of £2,500.  It has a very large room for a mixed school, another for an infant school, with classrooms and everything required, in accordance with the latest conditions by Act of Parliament.  The foundation stone was laid June 22, 1904, and the school was formally opened Jan. 4, 1905.

A Young Men’s Institute was established in the beginning of 1889, by the Rev. G. White, then Superintendent Minister, for which the classroom of the Sunday School was to be available for their use, every evening except Sunday, supplied with daily papers, magazines, &c.; classes also being held for the consideration of important subjects and for mutual improvement; these are still continued.  There is also a Wesley Guild, which meets every Friday evening, in the band room, Queen Street, at 8 o’clock, during the winter months, and on the first Friday evening in the month during the summer.  Marriages are celebrated in this chapel. [71b]


We have given an account of the rise and progress of Wesleyanism, but, as that society eventually made a complete separation from the Church of England, of which its founder remained through life an ordained minister and communicant, so the seeds of disruption spread in itself.  At different periods it threw out off-shoots, amounting in all to some eight different daughter societies; such as those which are named “The Original Connection,” “The New Connection,” “The Primitive Methodists,” &c.  Of these the last alone is represented in Horncastle.  More than 50 years ago [71c] the Primitives had, in this country, 2,871 places of worship, with 369,216 sittings; with the exception of the “Original Connection,” none of the other off-shoots had then as many as 100,000 sittings.

p. 72In Horncastle the first chapel, opened in 1821, was a small building, situated on the left side of what is now Watermill Yard, to the north of the town.  This proving too small for the growing congregation, a larger structure, an oblong building, with front gable at the east end and a gallery, was erected in 1837; the minister’s house being at the west end.  This was about half way up Watermill Road, on the north side, now a stable, but still retaining a pointed window.  This building was of the date of the superintendency of the Rev. John Butcher.  The residence was found to be too damp to be comfortable, and a house was taken for him in Prospect Street.  In the early days of this chapel Mary Crossley, a Revivalist, occasionally preached here.  Possibly the services at this time were rather too demonstrative, as they were not unfrequently interrupted by roughs, and the sect acquired the name of “The Ranters.” [72]  An amusing anecdote is related of Mr. Butcher; he was a somewhat eccentric character, and in the discharge of his intinerant ministrations he usually rode on a donkey, sometimes accompanied by her foal; and a waggish passer-by on the road is said, on one occasion, to have saluted them with the greeting “Good morning, ye three,” adding sotto voce, “donkeys.”

After a few years this second chapel was found lacking in accommodation and a third building, the present edifice, was erected in Prospect Street, in the year 1853, with sittings for 380, at a cost of about £1,100.  As this is a substantial structure, likely to last for many years, we may here describe it.  It is of red brick, except the arch of the western door, which has a band of white bricks; the bricks are larger than usual, being 3¼ inches in thickness.  The entrance has a double door opening into a lobby, at each end of which is a staircase, leading to the north and south galleries.  There is a window on each side of the door, three windows above, and over them, in the gable, a stone, with the inscription “Primitive Methodist Chapel, 1853.”  At the east end of the interior is a Rostrum, 12-ft. long, divided into two stages, the front one being 8 inches above the floor, the second, behind it, about 4½-ft. high, with access by steps at both ends.  The front of this platform has slender piers, supported by lancet arches, with trefoils and quatrefoils between, giving a graceful effect, and painted white, gold, and grey, with a background chocolate in colour.  At the back of the rostrum are eight arches in the pannelling.  This is said to have been a copy of the arrangement in Bardney Chapel.  Over the rostrum is a recess in the east wall, containing the harmonium, which cost 40 gs., and seats for the choir.  The sittings in the body of the chapel are of stained and varnished deal.  At the rear of the chapel, entered by doors at each side of the rostrum, is a large room for the Sunday School, with two smaller class rooms above it.  The erection of this building was due to the exertions of the Rev. J. Haigh, who was appointed minister in 1850, and as an exception to the usual custom, he was requested to continue his ministry for four years.  We may add that, at the opening service of this third chapel the ministers present were Rev. J. Haigh, as Superintendent; Rev. T. Fletcher; Rev. R. Pinder, then at Coningsby; Rev. J. Garbutt, Supernumerary, from West Ashby.  The Rev. T. Fletcher was appointed as Second Minister in Horncastle, at that time, for two years; he became in 1872 Superintendent Minister for three years, and again 1884 for four years, leaving for Market Rasen in 1888.  During the ministry of Rev. J. Haigh in Horncastle, several chapels were built in the neighbourhood.

p. 73Horncastle was at first included in the Lincoln Circuit, but in 1837, at the building of the second chapel it was constituted a separate circuit, and when the third chapel was erected, in 1853, Coningsby was made a branch of Horncastle.

The first preacher who visited Horncastle was a female, Jane Brown by name, who is said to have walked from Lincoln to Horncastle on a Sunday morning, giving an address in the Market Place in the afternoon, and in the evening holding a service in a house, now forming part of the back premises of the Red Lion Hotel.  The first local preachers were also females, Mary Allen and Mary Clarke.  The first two female members were Mary Elwin and Martha Belton.

Mr. Butcher having been the first resident minister, was succeeded by the Rev. C. Smith, who worked here and in various other places during 50 years, and then retired to York as supernumerary.  The Rev. William Rose, who had been Second Minister in 1850, was appointed Superintendent in 1875, and remained two years.  A few years later the Rev. J. Pickwell (1888–90) was Superintendent, with Rev. W. Whitaker as Second Minister; the former first joined the society as a scholar in 1849, being numbered among the local members, he afterwards removed to Lincoln, and acted as Itinerant Minister for 33 years before returning to Horncastle in 1888.  Mr. Pickwell was succeeded by Rev. William Kitson as Superintendent, with Rev. R. H. Auty as Second Minister.  Mr. Kitson retained his post during four years, when he left for Market Rasen.  Mr. Auty was followed, as Second Minister, by Rev. John Bowness, and he, in turn, by Rev. Thomas Stones.

In 1894 the Rev. John Featherstone succeeded to the ministry, with Rev. W. J. Leadbetter as Second Minister, both these stayed to their second year, Mr. Featherstone dying in 1896.  In that year the Rev. John Worsnop was appointed, with Rev. A. W. Bagnall as Second Minister; the former retained his post during five years; Mr. Bagnall two years, being succeeded in 1898 by Rev. Walter Tunley, and he, in 1899, by the Rev. George H. Howgate, who stayed two years.  In 1900 Rev. J. Worsnop retired to Newcastle-on-Tyne, and died there in Dec., 1904.

In 1901 the Rev. Matthew H. Chapman became Superintendent Minister, with Rev. J. A. Kershaw as Second, both remaining during two years.  In 1903 the Rev. Robert B. Hauley succeeded, with Rev. J. Cousin as assistant, both remaining two years.  In 1905 (July) the former left for Kirkby Stephen, Westmoreland, the latter for a circuit in Shropshire.  They were followed by the Rev. E. Allport, from Skegness, as Superintendent, Sept. 1905; and Rev. E. J. Hancox from Doncaster.  In June of that year the annual Conference was held at Scarborough.

We will now put together a few details of the origin of this society.  Hugh Bourne was born at Stoke-upon-Trent, April 3, 1772. [73]  Although his family was said to be ancient, his ancestors having come to England at the Norman Conquest, he belonged to a humble rank in life, living at Ford Hays Farm.  He was in early life educated by his mother, a godly woman, and while very young he learnt by heart the Te Deum, the Litany, and much of the prayers of the Church of England.  He worked for his father, and an uncle who was a millwright, but found time to study hydrostatics, pneumatics, natural philosophy, p. 74as well as Hebrew, Greek and Latin.  His mother’s influence had given him a serious bent of mind, and he early acquired strong religious convictions.  His biographer says of him “He tells, in child-like simplicity, how, when only four or five years old, he pondered over thoughts of heaven and hell, the last judgment, and other solemn subjects.  During the next 20 years his inner life was one of hopes and fears, doubt and faith, conflict and victory.”

His mother, going to Burslem on business, borrowed of a Wesleyan friend, some religious books, among them being Baxter’s Call to the Unconverted, Allen’s Alarm, and a sermon by Wesley on The Trinity.  Her son Hugh naturally read these, and Wesley’s sermon made a great impression upon him.  One Sunday morning he was sitting in his room, reading Fletcher’s Letters on The Spiritual Manifestation of the Son of God, when he declares that he was led “to believe with his heart unto righteousness, and with his mouth to make confession unto salvation.”  This was in his 27th year, A.D. 1799.  He joined the Wesleyan society in June of that year, the special occasion being a love feast at Burslem, to which he was taken by an aged neighbour, a farmer near Bemersley, named Birchenough, at whose house services were conducted, who offered him a ticket which constituted him a member, and thus in his own words I was “made a member without knowing it.”

As we shall presently see Hugh Bourne became one of the two originators of the Primitive community, the other was his friend and neighbour William Clowes, a sketch of his career was published some years ago, [74] from which we cull the leading particulars.  He was born at Burslem 12th March, 1780, his mother, a daughter of Aaron Wedgewood, being a near relation of Josiah of that name, the inventor of the famous Wedgwood pottery.  At ten years of age (1790) he began work in his uncle’s pottery, which he continued for several years.  At that time dancing, gambling and pugilism were the chief amusement of the factory men and colliers of Staffordshire, and for some years he led a wild life of dissipation, yet this was accompanied, at times, with a sense of self-condemnation and spiritual consciousness.  “When I was ten years old,” he says, “I remember being at a prayer meeting conducted by Nancy Wood, of Burslem, in her father’s house, when, convinced of the sin of disobedience to my parents, I wept bitterly.”  Conflicts between good and evil continued to disturb him for several years.  When a young man, at a dance in Burslem, he was so suddenly convicted of sin, that he abruptly withdrew.  Shortly afterwards he married, but he and his wife quarralled so violently that he left her, and went off, taking with him only his mother’s prayer book.  After some wandering, without a penny in his pocket, he returned and begged his wife to attend the Wesleyan Chapel regularly with him, but she refused.  He then, prayer book in hand, took an oath that he would serve God and avoid dissipation.  This oath, however, was broken; but once more in the early hour of a cold January morning he went forth, and seeing a faint light burning in a window, he entered the house, to find a few humble methodists gathered for an early prayer meeting.  There, he says, he knelt unnoticed, but there he “died to sin, and was born of God.  This, I said, is what they call being converted.  I was fully persuaded that I was justified by faith, and had peace with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ.”  From that day, Jan. 20th, 1805, he began a new life.

The time now approaches when the two, Hugh Bourne and William p. 75Clowes began the great work of their life.  At the beginning of the 19th century Bourne, being much employed at Harriseahead, near Bemersley, was shocked at the general lack of the means of grace, and he endeavoured in 1800 and 1801 to promote a revivalist movement.  Daniel Shubotham, a boxer, poacher, and ringleader in wickedness, was brought, through Bourne’s influence, to the Saviour, on Christmas day 1800, and with his natural energy of character took up the cause.  Matthias Bailey, another of Bourne’s old associates was also won over, and cottage prayer meetings were begun among the colliers.  A meeting upon Mow Cop was proposed for a day given to prayer.  At this time Lorenzo Dow, an American Wesleyan visited the Black Country, as the coal district of Staffordshire was called.  He spoke of the American camp meetings, himself preaching at Congleton, when Hugh Bourne, with his brother James, was present; William Clowes being also a hearer.  They bought books of Lorenzo Dow, which had a marked effect on the future.  On May 31st, 1807, a camp meeting was held on Mow Cop, a hill in the neighbourhood, Bourne and Clowes being present.  Stands were erected and addresses given from four points.  Bourne organized two companies, who continued by turns praying all the day; others giving accounts of their spiritual experiences, among whom Clowes was prominent, and his words are “The glory that filled my soul on that day exceeds my powers of description.”  Persons were present on this occasion from Kilham in Yorkshire and other distant places, one, Dr. Paul Johnson, a friend of Lorenzo Dow, coming from Ireland.

The movement had now taken definite form and substance.  Another camp meeting followed at the same place on July 19, lasting three days; a third on August 16th, at Brown Edge; a fourth on August 23rd, at Norton-in-the-Moors.  At this time was held the Annual Wesleyan Conference, at which handbills were issued denouncing this separate movement.  For a brief moment Bourne, Clowes and Shubotham hesitated; but the question was seriously considered at a meeting at the house of a friend, Joseph Pointon, when it was “revealed” to Bourne that the camp meetings “should not die, but live;” and from that moment he “believed himself to be called of God” for the new work; and shortly his brother James, James Nixon, Thomas Cotton, and others, gave themselves to the cause.

For some years the labours of these men and their associates were chiefly devoted to the pottery and colliery districts of Staffordshire, where a remarkable change was brought about in the moral condition of the hitherto almost brutalized people.  The area of work was then gradually enlarged, extending throughout the whole country, and even, as we shall presently see, beyond it.  The following are a few personal details of Hugh Bourne’s subsequent career.

In 1808, on his way to Bemersley from Delamere Forest, an impression forced itself upon him that he would shortly be expelled from the Wesleyan connexion; on reaching home he found that a rumour to this effect was being circulated, and in June of that year the formal sentence of expulsion was carried out.  He continued to devote himself to the work of evangelization, urging however all others to join whatever denomination they were themselves most inclined for.

He preached his first sermon at Tunstall, on Nov. 12, 1810, in a kitchen which had been licensed for preaching three years before.  It was not plastered or ceiled, so that if not required at any future time, it might be converted into a cottage, which took place in 1821, when a chapel was erected.  At the Conference held at Newcastle-on-Tyne, in 1842, he was most regretfully placed p. 76on the retired list, on account of his impaired health, a yearly pension of £25 being assigned to him.  He was still, however, to be at liberty to visit different parts of the connection; and during the next ten years of his superannuation he kept up a very wide correspondence on religious matters, and made a missionary visit to America.  The last conference which he attended was at Yarmouth, in 1851.  For several years he had felt a premonition that the year 1852 would be his last.  The last sermon which he preached was at Norton Green, on Feb. 22, 1852; and on Oct. 11, in that year, he surrendered his happy spirit into the hands of God, who gave it, when “the weary wheels of life stood still.”  His chief residence would appear to have been at Bemersley, where it was long felt that they had lost in him “a man of great faith and mighty prayer.”

We now pass over a period of several years.  Clowes received a call to Hull.  He had crowded the work of a life-time into some 17 years, and his health was now far from good.  At a meeting in December, 1827, he exhibited such weakness as showed that he had done his best work.  However, he continued to reside in Hull and visited other places from there, as his strength allowed.  It is certain that he visited Horncastle, for an old lady, Mrs. Baildham, who died in May, 1900, having been a member of the connection more than 70 years, frequently asserted that she had heard both Clowes and his wife preach in, presumably, the second chapel in Mill Lane.

At the Conference in 1842, 35 years after the first camp meeting on Mow Cop, both Clowes and Bourne were present; but the assembly was saddened to see the original founders, of what was now a thoroughly established and wide-spread community, both shattered in health and broken by toil.  Nine years later Clowes said to a friend “I feel myself failing fast, I am fully prepared.”  He spoke of the glories of heaven, and said “I shall possess it all through the merits of Christ.”  His speech began to fail, but he got downstairs, and once more led his class.  On the Saturday he attended a committee meeting; on Sunday he was too weak to go to chapel; on Monday there was further weakness; early on Tuesday slight paralysis; and on March 2, 1851, he quietly passed to his rest, aged 71.  The people of Hull were greatly moved, and many thousands lined the streets as the funeral procession passed to the grave, at which the Rev. William Harland briefly recited the story of the good man’s work.

Of the general progress of the connexion, we may say, that down, to 1870 it was simply a Home and Colonial body, but, in that year, the Norwich branch sent out the missioners, Burnett and Roe, to the island of Fernando Po, on the west coast of Africa.  This was in response to an appeal from the Fernandians, who had been converted by a member of the connexion, Ship Carpenter Hands, of the ship Elgiva, who, with his godly Captain, Robinson, had in the course of trade visited that country.  The same year also saw a mission established at Aliwal North, in the eastern province of Cape Colony.

In 1884 the Primitive Methodists of Canada formed themselves into an independent community, although with expressions of mutual good will on both sides; their numbers at that time were 8223, with 99 travelling and 246 local ministers, and 237 chapels.

From the middle of the 19th century to its close was a period of great expansion, a return in 1888 reporting the existence in Great Britain of 4,406 chapels, there having been in 1843 only 1278.  In 1864 Elmfield College was opened at York, as a middle class school, one of their best; John Petty being p. 77first Warden; in 1876 a college was opened at Birmingham, named after the great founder, “Bourne College.”  At Sunderland a Theological College was opened in 1868, the former Infirmary building being bought; and here, from that date till 1881, Dr. William Antliff, assisted, and afterwards, succeeded by Mr. T. Greenfield, trained candidates for the ministry.  The college was afterwards transferred to a new building at Alexandra Park, Manchester.

In 1889, at the 70th Annual Conference, held in Bradford, the membership of the society numbered 194,347, with 1,038 itinerant and 16,229 local preachers; 430,641 Sunday School scholars, 4,436 chapels and 1,465 smaller places of worship; the value of the connexion’s property being estimated at over £3,218,320.

For these details I am largely indebted to the notes of the late Mr. William Pacy, of the Wong, Horncastle, and to the courtesy of the Rev. R. B. Hanley, Minister 1903–5.


Next in size to the Wesleyan Chapel and its Sunday Schools, on the west side of Queen Street, are the Chapel and Sunday Schools of the Independent, or Congregational, community, which stand nearly opposite, on the east side of the same street; the former being a handsome substantial building of brick, enclosed by a high wall, and tall iron rails and gate, to the precincts in front, at the north end.  Its dimensions are 50-ft. by 36-ft., with schools behind, of the same solid structure, as will be seen hereafter, erected at a later date.

Like the Baptists this society dates from the time of the Commonwealth, or even earlier, though at first known by a different name.  They arose, indeed, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth.  The persecutions of Protestants, under Queen Mary, drove many to take refuge in Germany and in Geneva, where they became familiar with the worship of the sects established there, which, as an unchecked reaction from the superstitious and elaborate ceremonies of Roman Catholicism, took a more extreme form than the carefully developed Reformation of the English Church allowed.  These persons, returning to England in the reign of Elizabeth, found, as it seemed to them, too much Romish doctrine and practice still retained; the Reformation, according to their ideas, had not gone far enough.

The Queen, as head of the English Church, was not disposed to listen to their demands for further change, and they were themselves too much divided to have the power to enforce them; dissension and disruption were the consequence.  A chief mover in this process of disintegration was one, Robert Brown, who founded a sect called the “Brownists.”  He was the son of a Mr. Anthony Brown, of Tolethorpe near Stamford, in Rutlandshire, whose father, a man of good position, had obtained the singular privilege (granted only to others of noble birth) by a Charter of Henry VIII., of wearing his cap in the presence of Royalty.  Robert Brown was educated at Cambridge, graduating from Corpus Christi College, and became a Schoolmaster in Southwark.  About 1580 he began to put forward opinions condemnatory of the established church.  He held, as opposed to the uniformity of worship by law established, that each minister, with his congregation, were “a law unto themselves;” that each such small community had a right to be independent of all others; that it was not ordination which gave a minister authority to preach, but the fact that he was the nominee of a congregation; that councils or synods might p. 78be useful in giving advice, but that they could not enforce their decisions, and had no punitory power of censure, or excommunication, against any who chose to adopt an independent course.

Such opinions, put forward in somewhat intemperate language, aroused much opposition and bitter feeling, which Brown was too impetuous to avoid, or to mitigate.  He continued his teaching and presently formed a congregation at Norwich, holding his views.

An Act of Parliament had been recently passed (23 Eliz., c. 2) which made anyone guilty of felony who should write, or set forth, seditious matter; and the Queen, as supreme head of the Church, regarded Brown’s action as an interference with the Royal prerogative.  Severe measures were adopted in order to restrain this new teaching.  Two preachers, Elias Thacker and John Copping, who embraced and proclaimed these tenet, were tried at the Bury Assizes in 1583, condemned, and shortly afterwards hanged.  Brown was himself thrown into prison, but released through the intercession of Lord Burghley, with whom he was connected.

He now left England, and, with a number of followers settled, by permission of the state, at Middlebourg, in Zealand, where they formed a congregation.  There, however, freed from all restraint, their principles of independence carried them so far that differences arose among themselves, which broke up the community.  Brown presently returned to England, and for a time conformed to the Church, which he had so freely abused, being allowed even to hold the Benefice of Thorpe Achurch, in Northamptonshire.  But again and again his independence asserted itself, and it is said that he incurred imprisonment no less than 32 times, finally ending his days in Northampton jail.  While at Middlebourg he had published, in 1582, a book entitled A Treatise of Reformation, of which he sent many copies to England, and it was for distributing these, and other of his pamphlets, that the two above-named offenders were executed. [78]  (Collier’s Ecclesiastical History.)

The movement which Brown originated did not die with himself, and in 1593 a congregation of Brownists was formed in London, which numbered some 20,000 members.  A few years later their obnoxious tenets again provoked persecution, and once more they had to take refuge on the continent.  Churches were established by them at Amsterdam and elsewhere, the principal one being at Leyden, under the Rev. John Robinson, who afterwards came to be regarded as the founder of Independency.  He was a man of considerable attainments; of more genuine piety than the impetuous Brown; and while equally with him, holding that each congregation was in itself a perfect and independent church, under Christ, he would avoid all bitter invective against other communities, who, with different regulations, might still be regarded equally as churches.

Although the Brownists had no regularly ordained ministry; as newly constituted under Robinson, there were a number of ministers elected by the congregations, and no one was allowed to teach publicly until, after due p. 79examination, he had been pronounced qualified for the work.  The Independents differ chiefly from other religious societies, in that they reject all creeds of fallible man, their test of orthodoxy being a declaration that they accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and adhere to the scriptures as the sole standard of faith and practice.

In 1616 a number of the society again returned to England under the leadership of Henry Jacobs, who had served under Robinson, and once more established a meeting house in London; while others, in charge of a Mr. Brewster, who had been a lay Elder, also under Robinson, went out, in 1620, to North America, in the good ship Mayflower, and another vessel, and founded a colony at Massachusetts.

Although, as has been already stated, under the influence of Robinson sectarian bitterness was much modified, yet throughout the reigns of James I. and Charles I., the Independents were in frequent conflict with the Presbyterians; nor was there only sectarian strife, for both parties had numerous supporters in Parliament, as well as partizans in the army.  Preaching Generals and praying Captains abounded; but Cromwell favoured the Independents, as against Presbyterians, and this gradually paved the way for toleration.

Interior Congregational Chapel

At the “Savoy Conference” in London (so called because held at the palace of that name), in 1658, the Independents published an epitome of their faith, and henceforth, with occasional interruptions, they held on their way; although it was not till 1831 that the “Congregational Union of England and Wales” was finally and fully constituted.  They again published, in 1833, a more definite “Declaration of Faith, Order, and Discipline,” which continues still to be the charter of the community.

p. 80We have seen that in the early annals of this society the name of John Robinson stood high in general estimation, but his was by no means the only honoured name.  Among early members of mark was Dr. John Owen, of Queen’s College, Oxford, a learned writer, and Chancellor of the University in 1652; he became Chaplain to Protector Cromwell, as an Independent.  The Rev. Isaac Watts, who had been tutor to the sons of Sir John Hartop, became the popular minister of a Congregational Chapel, in Mark Lane, London, in 1693.  Dr. Philip Doddridge was also a valued member, as Minister at Norwich, Northampton, Kibworth near Market Harborough, and other places.  From his candour and learning he held friendly relations with the highest dignitaries of the established church; he is chiefly known for his two great works, The Rise and Progress of Religion in the Soul, and his Family Expositor.  To the regret of many he died of consumption, at a comparatively early age, in 1751, at Lisbon, whither he had been ordered by his doctors for the milder climate.  The friend and biographer of the last-named, Mr. John Orton, was another esteemed member, who published several valuable works, he died in 1783.

Another was Robert Hall, who ministered at Cambridge, Leicester and Bristol, where he died in 1831.  He was a great writer and very eloquent preacher.  Professedly he was a Baptist, but he frequently occupied Independent platforms, and admitted that he had more feeling of fellowship with an Independent than with a strict Baptist. [80a]  None of these, however, was more highly esteemed than Dr. Isaac Taylor, of Norwich and Colchester, author of several instructive works, and commonly called “the glory of the Independents.”  He died in 1829.

By the year 1851 this community had grown to such dimensions that it had, in England and Wales, 3,244 chapels, with a membership of 1,002,307. [80b]

The connection of the Congregationalists with Horncastle is of comparatively recent date, and the evidence on this subject is somewhat conflicting.  Weir, in his History of Horncastle, published in 1820, does not name them, in his list of Nonconformists, as existing here at that time, but Saunders’ History, published in 1836, gives them with the others.  Hence they would appear to have established themselves in the town somewhere between those two dates; yet there exists a curious small publication, entitled “The Confession of Faith of the Society of his Majesty’s Protestant subjects (dissenting from the Church of England) called Independents, in Horncastle, in the County of Lincoln, and places adjacent, Framed in the year of Christ, 1781, by W. R. Lincoln, printed by S. Simmons.” [80c]

The inference from these facts would seem to be, that, at that date, 1781, there was an Independent congregation in the town, probably small, consisting of “W.R.” and his personal adherents; as the wording of the confession is said [80d] to be very remarkable, and indeed unique, “W.R.” was evidently rather of an eccentric turn of mind, which led him to publish this authoritative statement of Faith.

The society, probably, in a few years became extinct, and it is not till the p. 81year 1820 that we find any sign of their revival.  The Church Book supplies the following details: In 1820 certain worshippers in the Wesleyan Chapel of that day, finding their religions views not in accord with general Wesleyan sentiment, decided to erect a chapel of their own; and for this purpose they selected a site in East Street, at the north west corner of Foundry Street, where now stands the house, 42, East Street.  This building was opened for public worship on March 22, 1821; the morning preacher being the Rev. B. Byron of Lincoln, the Rev. John Pain, a Hoxton student, preaching in the afternoon, and the Rev. Thomas Hayes of Boston, in the evening.

Mr. Pain officiated for a few weeks and then returned to Hoxton to complete his education for the ministry.  He had, however, left a pleasing impression behind him, and he was afterwards invited, in an address signed by 130 of the townsfolk, to come and settle among them as their first permanent minister.  He commenced his labours, in that capacity, in July of the same year.  Under his ministry the congregation rapidly increased, and the first chapel was soon found to be too small; and in September of the same year a new site was purchased at the north-east corner of Union Street, now Queen Street.  While this chapel was being built (which is still their place of worship) they were allowed by the Wesleyans to make use of their chapel, at stated times; some of their services also being, for the time, held at the British Schools, on the site of which the 1st Volunteer Drill Hall was afterwards erected, now the carriage repository of Messrs. Danby & Cheseldine.

At the opening of this chapel, on March 28, 1822, the Rev. George Waterbourne, of Dewsbury, preached in the morning, and the Rev. Joseph Gilbert, of Hull, in the evening.  On Thursday, May 9th, following, seven persons formally announced themselves to be a church on Independent principles, viz., William Barton and his daughter Mary, John Jackson and Elizabeth his wife, William Parker (Solicitor), Mary Ball and Rebecca Brown.  The Rev. John Pain was duly ordained to the ministry on May 10, those officiating on the occasion being the Rev. W. Harris, LL.D., Theological Tutor of the Hoxton Academy, the Rev. B. Byron of Lincoln, and Rev. J. Gilbert of Hull.  In July of that year three members were added to the church, in 1823 eight more were enrolled, in 1824 three more, and in 1825 six joined.

During this year a vestry was built at the back of the chapel; in May of the same year a Sunday School was commenced, which at the end of the year numbered 60 scholars; and the congregation gradually grew, year by year, until Mr. Pain died in 1844 (April 11).  He was much beloved, and had brought into the fold about 150 members.  He was interred in the chapel yard, a large stone on the west side marking his grave, while a tablet on the south wall, at the east end of the interior of the chapel bears this inscription, “Sacred to the memory of the Rev. John Pain, who was ordained Pastor over this church and congregation, Anno Domini 1821.  As a minister he was talented, zealous and useful, his chief desire being to bring men unto God.  As a man he was amiable and affectionate, his private life bearing testimony to the truth of those counsels he publicly taught.  He departed this life April 11th, 1844, aged 44 years.”  The inscription on the tombstone is a long one, in verse, to which is added an epitaph to “Esther, Relict of the above,” who “died in London, Feb. 1, 1868, aged 64.  With Christ.”

Of all the ministers of this chapel Mr. Pain was probably the most valued, and his memory is still cherished.  We may add that he was born in Gloucester, a descendant, on his mother’s side, of the old and honourable family of the p. 82D’Oyleys, whose seat is at Adderbury, Oxfordshire.  His father was many years Pastor of the Independent Church of Forest Green, Gloucestershire, his mother being daughter of a Church of England clergyman.  An engraving of him is still preserved, framed, in the vestry of the chapel.

Mr. Pain was succeeded in the ministry of the chapel by the Rev. J. Kelsey in 1844; he died in Adelaide, South Australia; and from 1845 to 1848 the Rev. W C. Fisher held the post.  The Rev. Samuel Gladstone succeeded him, and officiated from 1848 to 1853.  He afterwards went to Sleaford.

The Rev. J. G. Roberts was Minister from 1853 to 1856.  He married a daughter of the late Mr. T. Meredith; there being a tablet to the memory of the latter, on the west side of the south wall of the chapel, with this inscription, “In affectionate remembrance of Mr. Thomas Meredith, who departed this life July 30, 1858, aged 66 years.  As for me I will behold Thy face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied when I awake with thy likeness.”

The Rev. Thomas Betty succeeded in 1857, and held office till 1863, when his health broke down; his last entry in the books was written on Feb. 19, 1863, “God bless them all, church and congregation, Amen.”  He returned and died at Knottingley, March 26, 1865.  During his ministry a debt of £75 on the chapel was paid off, and in 1859 a minister’s house was purchased for £250, and some £30 spent in repairs, the money being raised by a bazaar.

The Rev. Thomas Lord followed in 1863, and ministered till 1866.  He succeeded in paying off the debt on the British School, and on leaving the town was presented with a handsome timepiece by the Committee of the School.  He had as a youth attended the chapel of Dr. Doddridge (already named) in Northampton, but left there in 1834.  His first pastorate had been at Wollaston, from 1834 to 1845; then removing to Brigstock, where he ministered from 1845 until his transfer to Horncastle in 1863. [82]

He was succeeded by the Rev. J. E. Whitehead, from 1867 to 1871.  During his ministry several improvements were effected in the interior of the chapel, including the erection of a commodious platform; oak furniture and elegant fittings being added, and the seats of the choir re-arranged.

The Rev. W. Rose followed from 1872 to 1878.  He had been stationed at Portsea, but visited Horncastle in July, 1872, to preach for Home Missions, and was afterwards invited to undertake the ministry here.  Being a native of Boston, and having resided for some time in Spilsby, he was glad to return to his native county, and commenced his ministry in January, 1873.  During his pastorate the old seats in the body of the chapel were removed, and modern open benches substituted.  In 1874 a plot of land was offered by the late Mr. W. A. Rayson for new school premises.  Mr. Rose and the late Mr. J. E. Ward, as Treasurer and Secretary, took up the matter, and the present schools were erected on the south of the chapel.  On the ground floor is a spacious room, 39-ft. long by 24-ft. wide; there is a vestry for the minister, an infant classroom, and a kitchen with convenient arrangements for tea meetings; above are six large classrooms for boys and girls.  These were opened April 29, 1875; among the contributors being Mr. Samuel Morley of London, at one time President of the Society, and Sir Titus Salt, who both, with Mr. W. A. Rayson, gave £50 each.

After Mr. Rose’s retirement both he and Mrs. Rose still continued to take a kindly interest in matters connected with the chapel.  She was a member of p. 83a highly respectable family in the neighbourhood, being a daughter of Mr. Searby of Wainfleet.  Her health, however, was latterly precarious, and she died May 16, 1879, her husband dying Dec. 10, in the same year.  They were both interred at Spilsby.  Mr. Rose was highly esteemed among all denominations; was on cordial terms of intimacy with the Rev. Arthur Scrivenor, then Vicar of Horncastle; and, among other duties, he acted on a committee at Woodhall Spa, in connection with a Cottage Hospital for the poor, in which he took great interest, and which was carried on by the writer of these pages, then Vicar of Woodhall Spa.

Mr. Rose was succeeded by the Rev. W. T. Poole, of Paulers’ Pury, Northants; a former Scripture Reader at Reading, who ministered here from 1878 to 1880, when he was transferred to Bracknall, Berks.  He was followed by a Nottingham student, the Rev. W. Archer, from 1881 to 1885.  Then came the Rev. J. H. Dingle, of Ruskington, near Sleaford, from 1885 to 1886, when he left for a charge at Patricroft, near Manchester.  During his pastorate a very successful Bazaar was held in November, 1886, from the proceeds of which the manse was further improved, and the chapel again renovated, with decorations from the designs of Mr. C. H. Stevens.

Then followed an interval of two years, during which the chapel was served by students of the college at Nottingham.  In 1888 the Rev. G. Luckett succeeded, coming from Long Sutton, and held office till Sept., 1893, when he was transferred to Curry Rivell, Somerset.  An interval here again occurred, during which Mr. J. T. Whitehead and other Nottingham students took the duties, Mr. Whitehead afterwards accepting a pastorate in Lancashire.

In January, 1894, the Rev. Sidney Benjamin Dixon began his ministry, which he continued till December, 1897, when he was transferred to Tetsworth, Oxfordshire.  For more than a year Nottingham students again performed the duties; and in November, 1899, the Rev. John Pogson, B.D., entered on his ministry, which he continued until 1905, when he was transferred to Whitworth, near Rochdale.  Early in 1907 (Feb. 13) the Rev. J. H. Dingle, who had held the office in 1886, was re-appointed, having served, as above, 12 years at Patricroft, and afterwards at Newmarket and Sheffield.

There is one more tablet in the chapel, which we have not mentioned; it is on the west wall, “In affectionate remembrance of Jane, the beloved wife of William Wood, who died May 12, 1853, aged 48 years.  Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.”  Mr. Wood was a draper in the High Street, and a pillar of the church; he afterwards removed to Southampton, and died there.

We have only to add that there are a considerable number of tombstones, with inscriptions, in the chapel yard, but burials ceased to take place there by Act of Parliament in 1855.  Marriages are here solemnized.  The Services are morning and evening on Sunday, with sermon in the evening of Thursday.  A Young People’s Society of Christian Endeavour Meeting on Tuesday at 8 p.m.  A Ladies’ Sewing Meeting on the first Wednesday of every month, and choir practice on Friday evening at 8, there being a good American organ.

For the above details I am largely indebted to the notes “On the Wong,” of the late Mr. W. Pacey, supplemented by the History of England, in seven volumes, of the Rev. H. Walter, B.D., F.R.S., Professor in the East India College, Hertford, Chaplain to the Duke of Northumberland, &c., &c.


This is the oldest nonconformist building in Horncastle.  It is generally supposed that there was a still earlier chapel, situated near what is called the Bow Bridge, which spans the southern branch of the canal, between Cagthorpe and St. Mary’s Square, but we have no definite proof of this beyond a vague tradition.

The Baptist community date their origin from the time of the Commonwealth.  The earliest person of note connected with this religious body being John Bunyon, author of The Pilgrim’s Progress, [84a] who espoused the cause of the Parliament against Charles I.  He first preached in Bedford, where he was a tinker by trade, in the year 1655, visiting various other parts of the country in succeeding years, until he died, August 31st, 1688, and was buried in Bunhill Fields.

An old document shows that at a meeting held at Bedford, in the spring of 1655, over which he presided, it was decided to send one of the members, “Mr. Brown to Horncastle, in Lincolnshire, to a few persons of the belief, seeking help to guide them in forming a society.”  Before the “Toleration Act” was passed in 1689, nonconformist places of worship were not allowed to exist within five miles of a market town. [84b]  In Asterby, about six miles from Horncastle, there is a Baptist chapel, locally reputed [84c] to be the oldest in the kingdom.  At Coningsby is a Baptist Chapel, with a school, dating from nearly the same period, with an endowment of 26 acres of land.  The Baptists of Horncastle mostly, in those days, worshipped at Asterby.  At Donington-on-Bain there is also a very ancient chapel, where the Baptists of Louth worshipped.  The two chapels of Asterby and Donington have a joint endowment of £20 a year, and are now affiliated to Northgate Chapel in Louth.

The Foundation Deed of the Chapel in Horncastle is dated Sept. 19, 1767; and the names of the founders are given as William Bromley, Vicars Keal, Hamlet Dabney, William Taylor, William Storr, William Dawson, Thos. Hollingshed, Charles Bonner, George Gunnis, James Coates, John Blow, and William Tenant.

The Chapel was originally a structure of one story, having its entrance in the centre of the north wall, and the pulpit opposite.  Until the early part of the 19th century it had no baptistry, immersion being performed in the water-mill pit, [84d] in the north of the town.

Considerable structural alterations were made in the year 1843, when the walls were heightened and upper windows inserted; a gallery was erected at the east end; the north door was bricked up, and the present entrance at the east end opened; the pulpit being removed to the west end, facing the door.  A further enlargement was made by a small vestry on the west being added, thus providing sitting accommodation for 250 worshippers.

On the north side of the building is a graveyard, but only three inscriptions p. 85are legible, they are “Mary Markwell, died March 28th, 1776, aged 29.  Prepare to meet thy God.”  This was, doubtless, one of the earliest interments.  The second is “In memory of Thomas Lamb, who departed this life June 7th, 1811, aged 82.

Here rests that lately animated clod,
Who self despised, and glorified his God;
And when that great decisive day shall come,
He’ll rise triumphant from the silent tomb.

Also of Frances, his wife, who departed this life April 2nd, 1810, aged 79.  He was a watchmaker.  The third is as follows: “Sacred to the memory of Eliza, daughter of William Parker, Solicitor, and Elizabeth, his wife, who died 1st April, 1835, aged 20 years.  Them that sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him.”  Mr. Parker occupied part of the premises now forming the shop and residence of Mr. Bryant, shoemaker, in the High Street.

There is little doubt that the house adjoining the chapel, on the north west, was once the minister’s residence.  On the stairs leading to the present rostrum there is still a doorway, which evidently led to the house.  There is a stone tablet over this door, and in 1892 an exact copy of this was made, and placed on the north wall.  The inscription reads “John Hill, departed this life Oct. 16th, 1779, aged 48, Pastor of this Church 13 years.”

There are some tablets on the wall within, but the Rev. F. Samuels, who was Pastor when the Chapel was renovated, about 1882, unfortunately allowed the inscriptions to be obliterated.

It is interesting to know that the Mint Lane Baptist Chapel, at Lincoln, was founded in 1767, by worshippers at Horncastle. [85a]  Curiously it was not till 1892 that the Horncastle Chapel was “registered” as a place of worship, the omission being only then discovered, when application was made for a licence to solemnize marriages.

In 1893 the Chapel was thoroughly restored, at a cost of £80; the interior being modernised, the walls painted, the old high pews removed and replaced by neat seats, the old box-shaped pulpit taken down, and a rostrum and platform erected.  There is a good organ, with special seats for the choir.

We may add that the Baptists are now a very numerous and influential body.  At the Baptist World Conference, held at Exeter Hall, London, July 10 and following days, 1905, the first ever held as an united community, Dr. Maclaren of Manchester presiding, a message was received from the King and Queen, thanking for a loyal address from the Conference.  The President also stated that he had informally received a greeting of good will from the Established Church, as well as from the Free Churches.

On that occasion ministers and delegates attended from various parts of Great Britain and the Colonies, from America, France, and other countries.  A meeting was held under “The Reformer’s Tree,” in Hyde Park, Miss Burroughs, a coloured lady, being on the platform, also Mr. Britto, a coloured vocalist, and the singing being led by a coloured choir.  The President, Dr. Clifford of London, stated that there were present 4,000 delegates, from all parts of the world, representing some seven millions of Baptists, [85b] and 5,700,000 p. 86communicants; but besides these there are 14 or 15 millions of “adherents” to the cause, so that the whole body numbers over 20 millions.

The Rev. W. E. Pearson was appointed August, 1905, but left in Feb., 1907, to pursue his studies at college.


The Croft Street Chapel, or New Jerusalem Church, is both structurally and intellectually, the most recent developement of Nonconformity in Horncastle.  The founder of this community was a personality so remarkable that it may be well here to give a brief sketch of him.

Emanuel Swedenborg, son of a Lutheran bishop, was born at Stockholm, in 1689.  During more than the first half of his life he was distinguished as a hard worker in the field of science, and from his many clever inventions, and valuable public services, he was ennobled by his sovereign.  But in the year 1743, after a serious illness, accompanied by brain fever, the result of excessive mental labour, he threw up all work of this kind, declaring that he had received a “call” from the Lord, who manifested Himself to him, by personal appearance, and commissioned him to devote further life and strength to holier purposes.

Being a man of strong will, albeit, not improbably, with a touch (as was thought by several) of mental aberration, the result of his illness, he threw himself, with characteristic energy, into the work of religious proselytism, in support of the special views with which he was now inspired.  He became a kind of religious clairvoyant, living an ecstatic existence in communion with angels and spirits.  He printed accounts of various “Arcana,” as he termed them; visions granted to him of heaven and hell; the state after death, the true worship of God, the inner spiritual sense of the scriptures; and so forth.  He held spiritual intercourse with the dwellers in other planets, conversing with Apostles, with Luther, Calvin, Melancthon, &c.  “Things hidden since the days of Job (he declared) were revealed to himself.”

Followers gradually gathered round him, inspired by his own enthusiasm.  He visited England frequently; and before his death, in London, A.D. 1772, he had established congregations in England, Ireland, Wales, France, Holland, Sweden, Russia, and even in Turkey and America.  It is said that several Anglican clergy adopted his views, though still retaining charges in their own church.

The special tenets of the sect, which he founded, seem to have been, that, while believing in one God, they held that He was the Christ; that Christ always existed in human form, but not in human soul; and that in His Person there was a real Trinity; that the bible was to be understood in a spiritual sense, which was first revealed to Swedenborg.  Their ritual, which was based on that of the Anglican Church, included a splendid priesthood and an elaborate ceremonial.

Swedenborg’s very numerous writings included a number of mystic works, especially connected with what he called the “Spiritual Influx,” which was not limited to locality but pervaded everywhere.  Translations of all his works have been issued by the Swedenborg Society, located at No. 1, Bloomsbury Street, London, W.C., and at Horncastle they may be borrowed from the New Church Free Library in Croft Street.  The Horncastle branch has also its own monthly magazine, The New Church Advocate.

p. 87The following is a brief account of the Society’s origin and progress, in Horncastle, from particulars furnished to the present writer, by the esteemed minister, Rev. R. Mayes, in 1903 (the second year of his ministry), and by Mr. Edwin Townell, who has been secretary for a quarter of a century.  The Society was inaugurated on August 9, 1869, when Messrs. Bogg, Moore, Hall, Cook, Austin, and Bellamy, met at the house of Mr. E. J. Moore, 19, Queen Street; Mr. Moore being appointed Secretary and Treasurer, Mr. Bogg and Mr. Hall Trustees, and Mr. Bogg nominated as first Leader.  Mr. Cook offered the use of a room in his house, rent free, and the first service was held on the following day, Sunday, the 10th of the same month.

As Mr. Bogg resided at Benniworth, nine miles from Horncastle, he could not undertake a service every Sunday; and, at first there was only an evening meeting, weather permitting.

The New Jerusalem Church

There was a good deal of opposition for a time, especially from the Congregationalists, under their minister, Mr. J. E. Whitehead; this, however, served rather to increase the general interest in the new movement, and the evening congregations grew in numbers.  The first tea meeting (which ultimately became an established monthly institution) was held March 14, 1870, in a room in the alley named “Tinker’s Entry,” there being then 14 members on the roll; when addresses were given by Mr. J. S. Bogg, Chairman; and by Messrs. Cook, Moore, T. Wemyss Bogg, and others.

In May of the same year Mr. Richard Gunton, of the Lincolnshire New Church Association, visited them, followed by Rev. John Hyde in October, Mr. Gunton coming again in December of the same year.  We may here observe that this connection with Mr. Richard Gunton became, as will be hereafter shewn, a most valuable asset in the Society’s favour, in more ways than one.  He took up his residence in London, first in Oseney Crescent, p. 88Camden Road, N.W., and afterwards in Tufnell Park Road, N., but he never lost his interest in the Horncastle branch; visiting the town year after year, to preach or give lectures, in the Corn Exchange, on behalf of the Society.  His last visit was in October, 1896; his death occurring on the 5th of the December following, after (as was fitly stated) “40 years of faithful service as Superintendent Missionary,” as well as having been Treasurer of the New Church Conference.

In 1871 Mr. Moore left Horncastle, the room in Tinker’s Entry was given up, and the meetings were held in the house of Mr. W. Hall, where a library was also opened for the members.  Subsequently, with a view to the erection of a suitable place of worship, Mr. Hall bought a piece of land in Croft Street and presented it to the Society, the project being also warmly supported by Mr. R. Gunton.  A subscription list was opened, plans and estimates obtained, and the foundation stone of a fabric was laid, Sep. 16, 1872.  The appeal for support concluded with these words: “This will be the first house of worship constructed in the County of Lincoln, for the worship of the Lord Jesus Christ as the only God.”  This was signed by W. Hall, Treasurer, and Edwin Dawson, Secretary.

The Chapel was opened Jan. 29, 1873, being dedicated by the Rev. Dr. Bayley, Minister of the Chapel in Argyle Square, London; who had given a series of lectures in aid of the Society four years before (November, 1869) in the Corn Exchange; and, after the dedication, he again gave addresses, which were continued by Revs. P. Ramage, R. Storry, C. H. Wilkins, Mr. R. Gunton, and others, usually morning and evening.

We will now describe the Croft Street fabric, opened under these favourable auspices.  It consists of a square oblong, standing north and south, 40-ft. by 20-ft.; the architect was Mr. Gosling of London, the builder Mr. Chas. Blyton of Horncastle, the material being red and white brick.  There is accommodation for 150 persons; the cost of the structure was £350.  The fittings, which had formerly belonged to a chapel in Cross Street, Hatton Gardens, London, were presented by Mr. William Pickstone.  At the south end there is an apsidal recess with three lancet windows, the central one having coloured glass, with the figure of the Good Shepherd and an inscription at the bottom stating that it was “Presented by J. W Fishleigh and Fanny his wife, in memoriam, Feb., 1901,” being in memory of their only daughter, who died in London, the mother having been brought up in this connection.

Within this apse there is a platform, with polished oak rail in front, resting on carved pillars.  On this is a Reading Desk and Communion Table.  The carpet and communion cushion were presented by the late Mr. T. Tapling, carpet manufacturer, of London, who was a native of Lincolnshire.  In the centre of the apse is a carved oak chair, having the monogram I.H.S., which was given by Mr. C. Blyton.  In front, standing on the Chapel floor, is a harmonium by Alexandre & Sons, of Paris; it is a fine instrument, having four sets of vibrators and 14 stops.  It was obtained partly at the cost of the congregation, and partly by a donation of the late Mr. John Jobson, from Mr. Thomas Gunton (son of Mr. Richard Gunton of London), who resided at Bunnyfield House, Hatfield Park, and was for many years private secretary to the late Marquis of Salisbury.  The instrument originally cost £84.  Mr. William Hall presided at this harmonium from the first.

We have mentioned Dr. Bayley of London as the earliest preacher in the new chapel; there was no resident minister till 1902.  Mr. and Mrs. Hall p. 89entertained during the whole of the first year (1873) the preachers above named.  Others of note who followed were Mr. Layland of Nottingham, Leader of the Society in 1876; followed, 1877–8, by Mr. J. R. Boyle; to whom succeeded, 1878–9, Mr. W. A. Bates (afterwards of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia); Mr. W. J. Adcock, 1879–80; Mr. A. E. Beilby, 1880–1; Mr. W. Hall, 1882; and Mr. William Robinson, October of that year.  At various dates the preachers were Rev. R. Storey of Heywood near Manchester, Rev. Mr. Wilkins of Nottingham, Mr. Skelton of London, Mr. Pulsford of Leicester, Mr. Cameron of Edinburgh, Mr. Fairweather of London, Mr. Ashby of Derby, Mr. Best of Hull, Rev. T. Prestland of London, Rev. Joseph Deans in 1899, and Rev. J. R. Rendell, President of the Conference; Rev. Lewis A. Slight of Northampton, 1900; Rev. J. T. Freeth of Bolton, President, 1901.  From time to time preachers were sent by the New Church Conference, and later by the East Midland and Lincolnshire Association.

Three marriages were solemnized in the Chapel by Rev. L. A. Slight, viz., that of Miss Townell and Mr W. Chapman of Oundle, Dec. 11, 1900; Miss Elizabeth Hall and Mr. Edwin White, both of Horncastle, May 21, 1901; and Miss Florence Smith to Mr. Alfred Storton of London, July 9, 1901.

The Rev. Richard Mayes, the first resident Minister, came from Leicester, first preached here Feb. 23, 1902, and entered on his ministry in October of that year.  Other preachers during that interval were Mr. Fairweather of Loughborough, Mr. L. A. Slight, Mr. Layland, Mr. W. Hall and Mr. H. Deans.

A Sunday School was opened with the Chapel in 1873; this was, at a later date, temporarily closed, but re-opened by Mr. Mayes.  Under him, ably supported as he is by members the Townell and Blyth families, and others, the services, which are short, bright, and musical, are being attended by increasing numbers.  Mr. Edwin Townell is still Secretary, as he was in 1880; and with Mr. Mayes’ ministry Mr. H. Freeman succeeded Mr. W. Hall as Treasurer.


The subject of this notice, no longer holding a ministerial charge, is by many years the doyen among Nonconformist preachers in Horncastle, being the oldest Congregational Minister in England.  He completed his hundredth year on April 22, 1908; on which occasion he received a congratulatory telegram from His Majesty the King; while a public fund was instituted for a presentation to be made to him in recognition of the occasion, which he desired to be given in his name to the local Institution of Nurses.

Mr. Lord was born at Olney, Bucks., in 1808; and began his ministry in 1834, as pastor of a chapel at Wollaston, Northants, which he held for eleven years; thence removing to Brigstock, in the same county, where he laboured during 17 years.  He subsequently held pastorates in Horncastle, Deddington (Co. Oxford), and Great Bridge, Staffordshire.  He gave up permanent charge in 1878, continuing, however, to assist other ministers in that neighbourhood, until 1899, when, in consequence of failing eyesight, he removed once more to Horncastle, taking up his abode with his married daughter, Mrs. C. M. Hodgett, on the Wong (No. 7).

Mr. Lord has been an active worker in the temperance cause during more than 70 years; a member of the Liberation Society since its formation; a warm advocate of the Peace Society, of the United Kingdom Alliance; the p. 90inaugural meeting of which he attended at Manchester.  He was one of the founders of the Congregational Total Abstinence Association; and has always been a warm supporter of the London Missionary Society.

Mr. Lord still preaches occasionally in Horncastle.  He has officiated more than once recently in the Lincoln Mission Hall, and not unfrequently occupies the pulpit at the Presbyterian Chapel, Kirkstead, to assist the local minister, Rev. Robert Holden, who is his junior by some 16 years.  On Sunday, May 31, 1908, Mr. Lord preached at Alford, in the Congregational Chapel; and on Sunday, June 7, 1908, at Boston, in the Chapel of the United Methodists.

Rev. Thomas Lord, 100 years old, April 22, 1908

Notwithstanding his age Mr. Lord’s voice is still clear, deep-toned, and resonant; his manner is full of vigor, his language simple, yet eloquent and earnest.  His step is firm and elastic.  In habit he is an early riser.


Having dealt with the places of worship in the town, we now proceed to give an account of its schools; and among these the Grammar School, from its antiquity, as well as for other reasons, claims precedence.

This Institution, on its present foundation, dates from the reign of Elizabeth, [91] one of whose special characteristics was her warm interest in education, which led her to encourage her nobles, and more wealthy subjects, to promote the cause.  The Reformation had given an impetus towards emancipation from the ignorance which prevailed in Popish times, when the monasteries were almost the only centres of enlightenment—if so it could be called.

Henry VIII. did little or nothing towards relighting the torch, which had been held up by the monks, whom he abolished.  His successor, Edward VI., founded a few grammar schools; among them being, in our own neighbourhood, those at Spilsby, Louth, and Grantham.  During the brief reign of the Popish Mary, the movement was again checked; but Elizabeth, herself a cultivated scholar, rekindled the general interest in educational progress.

The title deeds of the school are unfortunately lost, which would have shewn to what extent it was then endowed, but documents exist belonging to the school, which prove the conveyance of certain lands, by John Neale of Horncastle, in the 17th year of Elizabeth (A.D. 1575); he being one of the first 10 Governors appointed in accordance with the rules of the foundation.

A useful little volume was published in 1894 by the late Dr. Robert Jalland, then Senior Governor of the school, containing its history, from the date of the Elizabethan foundation, gathered from various documents and minute books, preserved in the office of the Clerk of the Governors; from which we cull the following particulars:

p. 92In the 13th year of her reign (1571), by Letters Patent dated at Westminster, June 25, Elizabeth granted to her “well-beloved and faithful counsellor, and subject, Edward Fynes, Knight of the most noble Order of the Garter, Lord Clinton and Saye, High Admiral of England,” that, at his prayer, “a Grammar School should be established in the town of Horncastle, for the good education of boys and youths, living there, and about the neighbouring parts, habitants and comerants.” [92a]  This was to be called “The Free Grammar School of Queen Elizabeth, in the Town and Soke of Horncastle of the foundation of (the said) Edward, Lord Clynton,” &c., [92b] “to continue for ever.”  It was to consist of “a Master and Sub-Master, or Usher,” and the “lands, tenements, revenues, reversions, and other hereditaments, for the support of the school, were granted, assigned, and appointed,” for their better management, “to 10 discreet and honest men, who (should) be styled Governors.”

The first Governors appointed were Clement Monk, clerk; John Smith, clerk; John Sackeverill, gent.; Thomas Litter, gent.; Geo. Hargrave, gent.; Thos. Raithbecke, yeoman; John Neale, yeoman; Thos. Hamerton, yeoman; Willm. Ward, yeoman; Willm. Harrison, yeoman.  They were constituted “a body corporate,” having a “common seal, to hold, to manage the revenues of the school, and empowered to spend, and invest, the income at their discretion,” to appoint the teachers, and successors in the governing body, as vacancies should, by death, occur.

The property of the school, either from the original, or later, [92c] endowments, consists of lands, tenements, ground and quit rents, in Horncastle, or in the Wildmore Fen allotment of the same, land and tenement in Hemingby, lands in Winthorpe, Huttoft, Sutton, and in Thornton a payment of £12 a year in lieu of former land, [92d] with certain moneys invested in Government Consols and Indian Stock.

The rental of the school property has varied at various periods.  At the time of the civil war, when the neighbourhood was more or less in a state of anarchy, there is no record, for some years, of the Governors having even met to dispense payments; and the Head Master’s salary was only £10.  In 1735 it amounted to £42, and that of the Usher to £21; but in 1753 there was a reduction to £30 for the Head Master, and £15 to the Usher, owing to money having to be “borrowed for the exigenceys of the school.”  In 1786 the income of the school rose to £529; the highest point which it seems ever to have attained was £877, in 1854.  In that year the Head Master’s stipend is not specified, but two years later it was £235, with capitation fees amounting to £251 odd.

p. 93In 1780 the Head Master was the Rev. C. L’Oste; he was also Rector of Langton by Horncastle, and a good scholar.  He published a translation, in verse, of Grotius on The Christian Religion.  It was printed at the Cambridge University Press, dedicated to the Bishop of Lincoln, with a very distinguished list of subscribers. [93]  Differences arose between him and the Governors, and in Sept., 1782, he was served with a notice to quit, at the end of six months, for neglect of his duties.  He refused to give up office, counsel’s opinion was taken by the Governors, Mr. L’Oste pleaded in his own defence.  The Governors gave notice of a trial at the assizes.  No result, however, is recorded, and Mr. L’Oste retained office until his death in 1818.

The Grammar School

The year 1854 marked the close of the career of the most remarkable Head Master who ever ruled the school.  The Rev. John Bainbridge Smith, D.D., had entered on his duties April 10, 1818, succeeding Mr. L’Oste.  Coming to the post as an entirely unknown man, of comparatively humble origin, but of great energy, he soon acquired a leading position in the town and neighbourhood; becoming Rector of Martin, Rector of Sotby, and Vicar of Baumber.  He was the author of several standard works on Divinity.  Under him the school achieved such a reputation that, besides the day scholars, he had a large number of boarders coming from Scotland, Ireland, Devonshire, London, p. 94and even Jersey and France.  His end was unfortunately as remarkable as his career.  Returning by train from Lincoln he fell asleep, and being roused at Kirkstead by the porter giving the name of the station, and the night being dark, he did not perceive that the train was again in motion, and springing out of the carriage, he fell a few yards beyond the platform and broke his neck.  The porter found him lying helpless, but alive, on the line.  He was carefully conveyed to his residence at Horncastle, and lingered alive several weeks, retaining his mental faculties, but having no sense of feeling below his neck.  At length he recovered slight feeling in his legs and feet, and probably tempted by this to make an effort to move, he was found one morning dead in his bed.

The Duke of Newcastle, who owned property in Baumber (where, as we have said, Dr. Smith was Incumbent), appointed him his private chaplain; and the Doctor’s youngest daughter, Sarah Katherine, married the Rev. Henry Fiennes Clinton, a near relative of the Duke, and a descendant of the founder of the school, Lord Clinton and Saye.

The school building has not always occupied the site on which it now stands.  As shewn in Stukeley’s plan of the town, printed in 1722, it stood in the north-east corner of the school yard.  In 1772 that structure was found to be in a ruinous condition, and the present building was erected, being opened for use at Midsummer 1778.  A classroom was added at the south end in 1855, and more recently another small room put up at the north end.  The residence of the Head Master was formerly a small low cottage, but it was considerably enlarged in the early part of the 19th century, and in 1858 a new wing was added at the north end.

In 1847 two “Clinton” Exhibitions were founded by the Governors, of £50 a year, to be held for four years, by scholars going to the University.  For lack of such scholars this was granted to Clement Madely Smith, youngest son of Dr. Smith, the Head Master, who studied for the medical profession, in London.  No further appointment however was made, as in 1848 the Governors decided that they had no authority so to employ the funds at their disposal.

On the death of Dr. Smith, in 1854, a new scheme of education, more suited to the requirements of the time, was drawn up by a committee appointed for that purpose, which received the sanction of the Charity Commissioners, and was approved by the Master of the Rolls in the same year.

The attendance at the school, however, gradually fell off, until, in the year 1886, there were only 16 scholars; and further reforms were needed.  Since then changes in the system have, from time to time, been introduced, to render the school more generally useful: the more recent being the admission of female pupils in 1903, for whom was appointed a resident lady teacher, Miss E. Gibson, who had matriculated, 1st class, at London University.

Small Scholarships also, not exceeding six in number, were established for needy pupils; and application was made to the Lindsey County Council, for a grant of £80, in aid of scientific lectures, [94] under the Technical Instruction Act of Parliament; so that a general middle-class English education was provided, along with Latin, French, book-keeping, and other technical subjects; an examination being held annually by some one unconnected with the school, who should be approved of by the Charity Commissioners.  The school has thus, under the tenure of the Head Mastership by Dr. Madge, of late years, p. 95been considerably improved, and the area of the subjects taught, widened; assisted as he has been by the able Second Master, Mr. C. W. Gott, B.A., London, and Miss Gibson.  But it has also been increasingly recognised that there was room for still further development, if the institution was to take its proper position among the endowed educational establishments of the county.  This, however, is a subject to which we shall recur hereafter.

In 1855 a school Library was commenced, the Governors granting £10 for the purchase of books; £20 being given in the following year, and this has been further enlarged in later years, until the books now number nearly 500.

In March, 1893, a Magazine entitled Banovallum was established, to be mainly carried on by the scholars, the Editor being J. G. Meanwell, Sub-Editor J. R. Cowburn.  It was a monthly record of school work and sports, with various other matters of interest.  It was intended also to be a link of connection between “old boys” and new; and with this view former pupils of the school were invited to contribute. [95a]  The outside support, however, of such a publication was not sufficient to render it a paying venture, and after an existence of rather more than two years, it expired with the July No. of 1895.

Here we may fittingly introduce some personal reminiscences of the school, and those connected with it, in its palmiest days, under the regime of Dr. Smith, and first we may mention members of his own family.

Although, as before stated, himself of humble origin, [95b] he married the daughter of a General Sandwith, a lady who was highly esteemed by all who knew her.  She bore him three sons and three daughters, and predeceased him.  His eldest son, Bainbridge, graduated at Cambridge University, took Holy Orders, was at one time English Chaplain at Smyrna, and succeeded his father in the Rectory of Sotby.  He married a daughter of Judge Haliburton of Nova Scotia, the author of Sam Slick, The Watchmaker (1839) and other works, which were popular in their day.  The eldest daughter, Frances, married a member of a then well-known Horncastle family, the Rev. John Fawssett, a graduate of Cambridge, who afterwards became in turn Rector of Minting and Vicar of Baumber with Stourton.  A second son, Joseph Coltman, became a Solicitor in Hull, but died early in life.  A second daughter, Isabella, married the Rev. W. Affleck Peacock (named after his relative Sir Robert Affleck, of Dalham Hall, Newmarket), Rector of Ulceby near Alford.  The youngest daughter, as already stated, married the Rev. Henry Fiennes Clinton, Rector of Cromwell, near Newark, a near relative of the Duke of Newcastle, to whom he was appointed domestic Chaplain.  The third and youngest son, Clement Madely, so named after his godfather, the esteemed former Vicar of Horncastle, adopted the medical profession and went out to India, where he became known as a keen sportsman among big game; a group of two tigers shot by him, and stuffed by Ward the great taxidermist, being exhibited in the Crystal Palace several years ago.

Of the scholars at the school, under Dr. Smith, we recall a few names, as samples of the class of pupils whom he received.  There were three Sandwiths, Humphrey, Godfrey, and Henry, who were his nephews on his wife’s side.  p. 96Humphrey became a surgeon, and having a taste for foreign travel, went out to Constantinople to practice there.  Having good introductions he was kindly received by Sir Stratford Canning, the English Ambassador, and making the acquaintance of Layard, he was invited to travel with him to Mecca, Mosul, and Nineveh, at two of which places excavations were conducted; as Hakim, or Doctor, he was visited by crowds of Arabs, suffering from various ailments; and his quinine wrought wonderful cures among them.  When at home he sometimes surprised his friends by suddenly appearing among them dressed in Arab costume.  In 1855 he was at the famous siege of Kars, under General Fenwick Williams; when a force of 15,000 English were shut in by an army of 50,000 Russians.  The English had three months’ provisions and three days’ ammunition; they suffered greatly from cholera, and after five months surrendered, only when overcome by famine.  Humphrey wrote a history of the siege.

Of Godfrey we remember little; Henry graduated at Cambridge, took Holy Orders and became Vicar of Thorpe Salvin, near Worksop.  There were three Inveraritys, Duncan, Henry, and William; the first of these went out to India, and became a Judge in the Supreme Sudder Court.  Henry devoted himself to yachting, and died early.  William held a commission in a Highland Regiment of foot.  Roseville Brackenbury, whose father, a former Peninsular officer, and member of an old Lincolnshire family, resided temporarily at Horncastle, in order to place his son under Dr. Smith, entered the East India Company’s service, in the Bengal Presidency.

There were three Buchanans, sons of an old Indian officer, Major Buchanan, a Scotchman, but residing in Maida Vale, London.  These were James, Alexander, and Robert.  James was a dashing, chivalrous, high-spirited fellow, who took service in a Madras regiment of cavalry; his brother “Alick” was of a different fibre, being chiefly remarkable for the amount of treacle tarts which he could consume, at the shop of the once well-known “Sally Dickinson;” the third brother, Robert, entered the navy.

We may here mention, as evidence of the hard work which was done under Dr. Smith’s system, a feat of memory performed by two brothers among the senior boys, Thomas and Alfred Cammack, which the present writer well remembers, as he was present as a small boy when it occurred.  “Repetition,” of one kind or another, was required of all boys; but these two repeated to the Master from memory, the whole of the first book of Milton’s Paradise Lost (798 lines), Thomas with only three promptings, and Alfred with five.  Another boy, Sidney Bousfield, did the same with nine or ten promptings.  Thomas Cammack walked his hospital in London, and eventually became a consulting physician of some eminence, residing at Boston; Alfred died early.  Sydney Bousfield went out to India, and died some years ago.

Two pupils, Holland and Forge, who came to study with the Doctor, of more mature years than the ordinary scholars, were “crack shots,” and welcomed at many of the shooting parties in the neighbourhood.  A third, Frank Richardson, who was an ardent fox hunter, had his horse brought to the door weekly, on the day when the meet was nearest, and was always among the foremost in the field.  He was, further, a great athlete, and would follow the hounds on foot, and not seldom be in at two deaths in the day, several miles apart; of him, it is related, that he leapt the school-yard wall, nearly 7-ft. high.  There were many more who were trained by the Doctor to serve their generation worthily in various capacities, but let these suffice as a sample of his influence.

p. 97The Under Masters whose services he enlisted were, further, not unworthy of him.  We will name one or two.

The first Under Master of whom the present writer has any knowledge was Thomas Myddelton.  He was by birth a gentleman, being connected with the very old family of the Myddelton Biddulphs of Chirk Castle, North Wales, who have now dropped the latter name, retaining only the Myddelton.  Thomas Myddelton’s father, John M. (then dead), had been Rector of Bucknall, in this neighbourhood, 1804–34; his grandfather, also named Thomas, having been Vicar of Melton Mowbray; he (John M.) having been an Exhibitioner of St. Paul’s School, London, graduated B.A. at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, 1782, and gained a Fellowship.

Lord Clinton and Saye, Founder of the Grammar School

Thomas also graduated at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge.  While serving as Under Master at the Grammar School he was ordained to the Curacy of Bucknall, under his father’s successor, the Rev. John Fendall.  On the occasion of his ordination he begged a whole holiday of Dr. Smith, and treated the whole school to a day at Tattershall Castle; hiring carriages to take them all, there being yet no railway; and he gave them a substantial meal at the “Fortescue Arms” Hotel.  He was naturally very popular with the boys of the school, although he was rather a strict disciplinarian, and made them work hard.  He was commemorated in the “Breaking up Song” of the school in the following lines:—

Mr. Myddelton now comes in,
With his nose above his chin; (two prominent features)
p. 98With pleasant smile he waves his cane,
As though to say, “I would fain refrain;
It grieves me sore to give a thwack
Upon the shrinking truant’s back.”


We’re breaking up, and going away,
   All for the sake of a holiday.
Jack’s a dull boy without his play;
   So, Hurrah, again, for a holiday!

He remained at the Grammar School about two years, afterwards taking the Curacy of Langton with Wildsworth, near Gainsborough.  He presently moved to West Stockwith, holding the Curacy of Wildsworth with East Ferry.  He never held a benefice; but, having some private means, he continued to reside, in retirement, at West Stockwith, until his decease, about 1880.  He was buried at Misterton, the adjoining parish, where he had also taken occasional duty.

After Mr. Myddelton the next Under Master was William Hutchinson.  He was the son of the landlord of the principal inn in the neighbouring town of Wragby, and had been educated at the small grammar school there.  He was appointed about 1845.  He graduated at Trinity College, Dublin, as B.A., in 1848, keeping his terms there by permission, while acting as Usher at Horncastle.  In that year he left Horncastle, and was elected Master of Howden Grammar School in Yorkshire, where he was also appointed Curate in 1848, being ordained Deacon in 1848 and Priest in 1849.  While at Horncastle he had married Miss Caroline Dixon, daughter of a corn merchant; there were five daughters, all clever, the youngest being Miss Annie Dixon, who became distinguished as a miniature painter, exhibiting in the Royal Academy, and becoming a favourite of the late Queen Victoria.  He held the Head Mastership at Howden for several years; holding also the Perpetual Curacy of Laxton near Howden from 1850 to 1855, the Perpetual Curacy or Vicarage of Airmyn from 1855 to 1862, when he was appointed Vicar of Howden, which benefice he held till his death in 1903.

It was somewhat remarkable that he began professional life in Horncastle, famed for its great horse fairs, and passed the rest of his life at Howden, also noted for its great horse fair.  His wife is buried, with two sisters, in the cemetery at Horncastle.

The next Under Master to be mentioned about this period was Francis Grosvenor.  He was the son of a respectable tradesman in the town, and had been educated at the Grammar School.  At first he was employed by Dr. Smith as a supernumerary teacher of the junior boys, and became useful in the temporary absences of Mr. Hutchinson, at Dublin University.  He was a conscientious and dependable youth, thoughtful beyond his years, and was much valued by the Head Master, who was a shrewd judge of character.  He also graduated at Trinity College, Dublin, taking honours; and was ordained Deacon in 1847, and Priest in 1848.  He remained as Second Master for some years at the Grammar School, being much esteemed among neighbouring clergy for his unostentatious manners and general worth.  He frequently officiated in the Parish Church.  Eventually he went to Chester, as Curate of St. John’s Church in that city, where he remained many years, taking pupils.  There was probably a talismanic attraction in the name of Grosvenor; Eaton Hall, the seat of Lord Grosvenor (now Duke of Westminster) being in the immediate vicinity.  He was consequently very successful in obtaining pupils; p. 99and made money, whereby he acquired considerable house property there and elsewhere.  He was devoted to archæological pursuits, and published a learned paper (of 16 pp.) on “The early connection between the County Palatine of Chester and the Principality of Wales,” which he read before the County Antiquarian Society. [99a]  After many years’ residence in Chester, he retired on a competency to Epsom, in Surrey, where his mother, brother and sister resided with him; and where he acted as Chaplain to the Union, until his decease, about 1880.

The last Assistant Master, under Dr. Smith, whom we may name was John Burton, born of humble parents in Peterborough.  He was appointed about 1848, and served Dr. Smith faithfully about three years.  He was not, however, a strong man, either physically or mentally.  His weakness of character was shewn in an incident which might have had a tragic termination.  Having formed an attachment for a young lady, living near the schoolhouse, and being rejected, he declared that he would commit suicide; and he fired off a pistol under her window at night, taking care, however, not to wound himself.  On leaving the school he entered at Jesus College, Cambridge, and graduated in 1853, dying soon afterwards.

On the appointment of the Rev. Samuel Lodge, to the Head Mastership in 1854, Thomas White, a graduate of St. John’s College, Cambridge, became Under Master.  He had taken classical honours, and was an efficient teacher, and rather strict disciplinarian.  He was the first Under Master allowed to take private pupils as boarders.  He continued at his post six years, taking Holy Orders, and in 1860 was presented by the Bishop of Lincoln to the Vicarage of Scamblesby, which he held until his death in 1891.

It may be of interest if we here give some of the customs of the school at this period, as samples of a state of things which is now past and gone.  The morality of some of them might be questioned in these days of advanced ideas on civilization, but, under the guidance of a man of Dr. Smith’s mental calibre, their effect was the rearing of a generation of manly youths, capable of much intellectual, as well as physical, activity and endurance.

The Head Master was himself a remarkable instance of this.  Punctually at 7.30, without fail, he was every morning in his desk at the school, to open proceedings with prayer, it being frequently a race between himself and his boarder pupils, as to who should arrive first, his residence being some quarter mile from the school.  When he closed the school, with “abire licet,” [99b] in the afternoon, he as regularly went for his “constitutional” walk.  Furious indeed must be the weather if Dr. Smith was not to be seen on Langton Hill, summer and winter, rain or fair; if the former he would brave the elements, wrapt in a large blue cloth cloak, waterproof as his leather gaiters.  If the latter, he would often saunter slowly, rapt in meditation, or composing verses, an occupation of which he was very fond, leaving behind him at his death several vols. of MS. poetry. [99c]

p. 100The school hours were from 7.30 to 9, before breakfast; 10 to 12.30 midday; afternoon 3 to 5; while the boarders at his own house worked with the Assistant Master from 7 to 9; the day boys, in the town, preparing exercises and repetition for the next morning, at their own homes.  It was an amusement, for some of the more active, to get up some quarter of an hour earlier than the others, and hurry down to St. Mary’s Church, to help old Dawson, the sexton, to ring the Grammar School bell. [100a]  As the Doctor was very active in his movements, any boarders who were late in starting, could only reach the school in time, by running across the fields between the two branches of the canal, called “The Holms.”  Woe betide those who were late!

From the Doctor’s energy of character it would be expected that he would encourage active healthy recreations.  The days of cricket were not yet, [100b] although “single wicket” was sometimes practiced.  Nor was football popular, as it is now.  The game was indeed played, but we had, in those days, no Rugby rules, and the ball was composed of a common bladder, with a leather cover made by the shoemaker.  In the school yard the chief game was “Prisoner’s Base,” generally played by boarders against day boys; in this swiftness of foot was specially valuable.  There was also a game named “Lasty,” in which one boy was selected to stand at the upper end of the yard, while the rest gathered at the lower end.  After a short interval, the one boy darted forward towards the others, who all tried to avoid him; his object was to catch one of the other boys, and when he succeeded in this, the boy whom he caught took up the running to catch another, and this could go on for any length of time.  There was another exciting game called “Lug and a Bite.”  In the fruit season a day boarder, from the country, frequently brought his pocket full of apples; he would throw an apple among the other boys, one of whom would catch it, and run away biting it; the others would chase him, and seize him by the lug (ear), when he would throw it away, and another would catch it, and continue the process, he being, in his turn, caught by the ear, and so on.  This afforded much amusement, and many apples would in this way be consumed.  There were large slabs of stone laid down in the yard, on which marbles were played with, and peg tops were spun.  Hockey, or shinty, as it was commonly called, was also a favourite game; but these amusements were chiefly confined to the sons of tradesmen in the town.

Among the boarders archery was practised, and by some of them with a skill almost rivalling that of Locksley in Sir Walter Scott’s novel of Ivanhoe.  A carpenter in the town made for us bows of lancewood, and arrows of poplar, tipped with spikes of iron.  With these we could not only split our “willow wand” at 80 yards distant, but the more skilful deemed an arrow hardly worth having until it had been baptized in the blood of blackbird or pigeon, and some of the neighbouring pigeon cotes suffered accordingly.  The writer was presented with a bow made of bamboo, and arrows said to be poisoned, which a great traveller, then residing in Horncastle, had brought from the South Sea Islands.  He lent these to a brother archer, who by mistake shot another boy in the calf of the leg.  Great alarm was the result, but the poison must have lost its power, for no evil consequences ensued, except that the wounded party almost frightened himself into a state of fever.

Successive Head Masters, from 1818 to 1907

p. 101These, however, were among the less hardy of our sports.  The good old Doctor’s great aim was to get us healthily engaged in the country.  With this object he would say on a Monday morning to the bigger boys of the two highest classes, “Now, lads, if you will translate this book of Virgil, or Homer, or this Greek play, as quickly as you can, you shall have the rest of the week to spend as you like.”  Put upon our mettle by such a challenge the work would be completed, by us perhaps on the Wednesday, and three days of varied enjoyment in country rambles would follow.  In these days, when bird-nesting is forbidden as being “cruelty to animals,” it may horrify some of our readers to learn that the Doctor encouraged his pupils to collect eggs.  On our excursions in early summer every hedge was carefully examined for many miles round, the tallest trees were climbed, or, as it was then called “swarmed,” in search of the eggs of hawk, carrion crow, woodpecker, &c.; those of the p. 102owl were found in the thick fir plantations, or those of the jackdaw in old ruins; the rarest specimens being presented to the Doctor himself, while commoner kinds were hung in festoons from the ceiling of our study at his residence.  The two chief holidays at this season were the Queen’s Birthday, May 24th, and “Royal Oak Day,” May 29th.  On these two days the boys were expected to decorate the school in the early hours of the morning; a sine qua non being, that, on the Doctor’s arrival at 7.30 a.m., he should find his desk so filled with floral and arboreal adornments, that he could not enter it; whereat he would make the remark, repeated annually, “Well, boys! you have shut me out of my desk, so we must give up work for the day.”  He also, on these occasions, often brought with him a daughter, and the two carefully looked into the decorated desk, when they were rewarded by finding the nest and eggs of a “feather-poke” (long-tailed tit), or some other rare bird, which he always took home and preserved in his study, as a trophy till the following year.  No questions were asked as to how the decorations were obtained, but in practice the process was as follows.  On the day before, between school hours, certain of the younger boys were sent round the town to beg flowers, and then, later on, followed what, as we should have said, the present hypercritical generation would call, at the very least, “dishonest pilfering.”  After retiring to rest, and when the final visit of the Assistant Master had been made to the dormitories, all became excitement; boots and caps had been carefully concealed under the beds.  The elder boys were quickly re-clothed, booted and bonneted; and we crept down, by back stairs, to the kitchen, with the connivance of the cook and housekeeper; those good souls also providing some refreshment for us, to be taken either before we went out, or after we returned; and then, stealthily emerging by the back door, we separated into small companies of twos and threes; some re-visiting gardens in the town, and taking without permission further flowers; others going into the country; sometimes even taking a light cart from one yard and a pony or horse from another, and then visiting gardens or parks in the neighbourhood, and returning laden with branches of horse-chesnut flowers, pink may, &c., which were quietly conveyed to the school; and by the appointed hour the work of decoration would be completed; and we, having returned to our dormitories, refreshed through the cook’s kindness the inner man, and washed the outer, were ready to greet the good Doctor and his daughter on their arrival.  The only difference between the decorations on the 24th and 29th was, that on the latter day oak leaves and acorns were a distinguishing feature, some of the sprays having been gilded on the previous day for presentation to the young lady.

There was another great day called the “Treasurer’s holiday.”  Once a year the one of the Governors, who held that office, was entitled to ask the Head Master to give us a whole holiday, which he was always pleased to grant.  The custom was for one of the senior boys to call upon, or write to, the Treasurer, usually after some period of extra hard scholastic work, asking him to exercise this privilege.  The way in which these holidays were spent varied.  Sometimes we had a “Paper Chase,” or “Fox and Hounds.”  One boy was sent out as fox, sometimes accompanied by another boy, both carrying in bags a supply of paper, torn into small shreds, which formed the scent.  In this sport the Doctor sometimes offered a reward of five shillings to the “fox” who should manage to elude his pursuers until he had reached the bank of the river Witham, a distance of about six miles, but increased to 10 or more miles p. 103by the different ruses practised to escape capture; a similar reward being offered to the “hound” who should effect his capture after a run of a stipulated number of miles.

Sometimes we had a picnic to the Tower-on-the-Moor, going there on foot, through “the Wilderness,” and other woods, and having our luncheon brought to the Tower in the carrier’s cart, which passed daily on its way to Kirkstead wharf.  This was usually a bird-nesting excursion.  More than one of us accomplished the hazardous feat of climbing to the top of the tower, whence a fine view could be obtained, on a favourable day, across the Wash into Norfolk.  On one of these occasions we extended our ramble to Kirkstead wharf, some adventurous spirits took forcible possession of the ferry boat, and carried over women returning home, with their marketings, free of charge.  The owner of the boat was, however, compensated by our calling at his small hostel close by, and patronising his lemonade, bread and cheese.  Sometimes the excursion was to Tattershall Castle, and if this was in the winter we skated there in the morning, along the canal, returning on our “runners” by moonlight; the Doctor being himself a good skater, encouraged it in his boys.  On these occasions we sometimes amused ourselves on the return journey by firing pistols, to disturb the inhabitants of houses near the canal; when, if anyone put his head out of a bedroom window, some one of us would shout, “your money or your life;” the usual response being “Go along, ye bulldogs,” the name by which we were commonly known throughout the country side.

On one of these return journeys, while skating in single file, we approached the third lock, and the boy in front forgetting that there would be no ice for a few yards below the lock, because the water there was kept in agitation by the stream always falling from the lock, suddenly found himself floundering in an icy cold bath, while himself in a state of great heat.  The shock, and the fact that he was cumbered by his skates, made him almost helpless, and he would probably have been drowned, but that a fine fellow (I give his name, Edward Sharpe, for he has long ago put “off this mortal coil”), who was a great athlete, plunged in, skates and all, regardless of the risk, and like a Newfoundland dog, panting brought his friend to shore, with no worse effects than the drenching to both.  And here I may say that one of the accomplishments specially encouraged by the Doctor was that of swimming; the very youngest were taught to swim by the Under Master, in a small pool in the river Bain, called “Dead Man’s Hole,” about 100 yards from the first lock of the canal.  After gaining proficiency we bathed in the canal and lockpit itself.  The Doctor gave a reward of 5/- to any boy who could dive across the canal, the same sum when he could swim 100 yards on his back.

On one occasion a bully, among the bigger boys, threw a timid little fellow into the lockpit when full, saying “Now, you’ll learn to swim, or sink.”  The little fellow did sink, rose to the surface, and sank again; and would certainly have been drowned, but a shout from other indignant youngsters, looking helplessly on, brought the same Edward Sharpe to the rescue (he was bathing below the lock, not aware of what was going on), and he at once plunged into the lock, dived to the bottom (18 or 20 feet), and brought up the poor half-conscious boy, who would otherwise have perished.

It may here be mentioned that the present writer once swam from the junction of the two branches of the canal (close to the present bathing place) to the first lock, then passed on and swam to the second, and so continuing, swam to the third lock, his clothes being carried by a school fellow who p. 104accompanied him; this being a distance of some two miles, for this the Doctor rewarded him with 10/- and a whole holiday.  He also, it may be added, as a reckless feat, when bathing, leapt stark naked across the first lock; a performance which the slightest slip might have made fatal.

Many are the anecdotes which could be here told of our adventures; as of policemen or keepers eluded, or put off the scent, by various ruses, &c., &c., on our various marauding expeditions, but I will mention only two more incidents.

From the same feelings of jealousy, doubtless, which produce the “Town and Gown” antagonism at the University, there was much ill-feeling among the lower class of boys in the town towards ourselves, and free fights occasionally occurred between them and the hated “bull-dogs.”  At dusk stones were thrown at us, which it was difficult to avoid in the then badly lighted streets.  Sudden sorties were made from alleys, to take us unawares, and send us sprawling on the coggles.  Especially in snowy weather we were assailed with snowballs on our way from school to the Doctor’s house, and although we stood shoulder to shoulder and made a spirited resistance, it not uncommonly occurred that these missiles were (doubtless purposely) made to contain a piece of ice, or even a sharp flint.  In one of these skirmishes the writer himself was struck on the temple, his eye only just escaping, by a snowball, which a comrade picked up, on seeing that the wound was bleeding, and a fragment of glass was found inside it; this, surely, an extreme illustration of the principle that “all is lawful in war.”

One great event, of yearly re-occurrence, was our bonfire with fireworks, on the 5th of November.  Pocket money was hoarded up several weeks beforehand, to provide for the latter; some boys even made their own squibs and crackers, and these were considerably larger and more formidable than those which were bought.  The scene was usually a field on Langton Hill, which belonged to the school.  Subscriptions were raised to purchase 100 faggots, locally called “kids;” but here again our custom would, in strictness, have been condemned, for, in addition to the purchased fuel, for sometime beforehand, we had been searching the hedges around, armed with axes, and so had got together probably as much to which we had no right, as that which had been bought.  The bonfire was thus doubled in size, and made a blaze which, on the hill, would be seen for many a mile.  We had a whole holiday to give us time to pile up the heap; and in the evening parents and many other friends crowded to the field as spectators.  Sometimes a lighted balloon or two, of varied colours, would be sent up, which were watched by the bright eyes of sisters and cousins, until they were lost in the distance.

At length the conflagration was reduced to smouldering ashes, and all retired; but on our way back to the school house there were often rough doings, between the town boys and bull-dogs; free vent was given to spite, and a broken or bruised head, or body, might be the result; but we made no complaint; as loyal subjects we had done our duty in protesting against all such underhand doings as “Gunpowder Plot;” and, after a hearty supper, given by our kind Head Master, we enjoyed the rest, well earned by the exertions and trials of the day.

We have now said enough of the school, its institutions and customs, under a regime which has passed away, doubtless never to return; tempora mutantur.

Of the modern school we may here say that it is now doing useful work, p. 105although with a different class of pupils to those above referred to; and in the near future, it is hoped, that further changes will give it a still higher position in educational work.  Under Dr. A. G. Madge, who retired and accepted church preferment in 1907, the school was made to meet the requirements of the Oxford and Cambridge local examinations, the London University Matriculation, and the South Kensington Science and Art Departments.

In late years boys from the school have filled posts in various parts of the world with credit.  A considerable number have obtained clerkships in banks, or in the Civil Service; one boy, Richard Gordon Healey, passed 7th among more than a hundred candidates for the General Post Office service, London, and is now in the excise service.  Another, Fairburn, is Assistant Inspector of Police at Singapore.  Another, Isle, is a Civil Engineer, and has taken the B.Sc. degree.  A summary of successes at the school, kindly supplied to the writer by Dr. Madge, shows that in the last seven years (1906) five boys have passed the London University Matriculation, 19 the Cambridge local examination, 34 the South Kensington examination, while four have qualified for the public Civil Service; a creditable result for a town of the size of Horncastle.

The Seal of the Grammar School

A recent change has been the admission of pupil teachers to classes specially adapted to their requirements, and with this accession to the numbers receiving instruction, there are now more pupils in the school, male and female together, than at any period within the last 30 years.

The latest changes, in the direction of progress, have been as follows: A new governing body has been created by the Board of Education, consisting of 13 members; the Lord of the Manor, the Honble. R. Stanhope, being ex officio one of them; eight representative Governors holding office for three years; two being appointed by the Lindsey County Council, three (one of them a female) by the Urban Council, two by the Guardians, one by the Justices of the Peace at the Lindsey Quarter Sessions.  There are also four co-optative Governors (among them one female at least), appointed by the Governors for five years.  It is further ordered that the Head Master need not be in Holy Orders; under which rule has been appointed the present Head Master, Mr. Arthur N. Worman, B.A., London, late Assistant Master at King Edward VII. Grammar School, King’s Lynn, who was selected by the Governors from 150 candidates for the post.

p. 106Addendum I.

It will have been observed that we have so far adopted the prevalent nomenclature, and spoken of this school as an Elizabethan institution, founded in 1571.  It must now be added that, venerable as that date of origin would make it, it has a higher claim to our veneration still.  Vixere fortes ante Agamemnona.  There were grammar schools before that date.  Edward VI. is said to have established several, in various parts of the country, and we have already named two such in our own neighbourhood, viz., those of Spilsby and Louth; but it is now known that even these were, strictly speaking, revivals of still other institutions.  It is now known that not a few of the charities, or public institutions, supposed to have been founded by Queen Elizabeth, were really of older date, but revived, confirmed, or augmented, under her wise rule.  In a published account of the old grammar school of Giggleswick, Yorkshire, [106a] commonly reputed to be a foundation of Edward VI., is the following statement, “a large number of schools bear the name of Ed. VI., who undoubtedly desired to strengthen the grammar school system.  His good intentions were, however, frustrated by the Commissioners; and very few of the so-called Edward VI. grammar schools had their origin in his reign, being older foundations with a new name.” [106b]

It seems certain that Horncastle Grammar School is an analogous case.  Documents have recently been brought to light in the archives of the Dean and Chapter of Lincoln, which prove that, acting for the Chancellor (who was ex officio “Magister Scholarum”), during a temporary vacancy of that office, they appointed Masters to the grammar schools of Boston, Partney, Horncastle, and elsewhere, in the year 1329; the Horncastle Master, so appointed, being one John of Beverley.  This mode of appointment being exceptional, was only to be valid for one year; but the Chancellorship continuing vacant, the Masters were confirmed in their positions by the Dean and Chapter, in the following year 1330, and again in 1331; and so on, in successive years. [106c]

Now this mode of appointment being only in lieu of appointment by the Chancellor, while his office was in abeyance, it follows that these schools were in existence, as public institutions under the Chancellor, before the dates named.  Although, therefore, we are unable to fix the exact period of the school’s existence, it may be satisfactory for Horncastrians to know that, in addition to the various interesting associations which we have already given as connected with the school, there is proof that before Shakespeare had composed one of his immortal plays, before Spenser had written a line of his Faerie Queen, before Bacon had even thought of his Advancement of Learning, there had existed a “seat of learning” in the small provincial town of Horncastle, which had then attained to the respectable age of more than two centuries.

p. 107We have been accustomed to consider the foundation of William of Wykeham, at Winchester, in 1373, as one at least of our very oldest, but Horncastle Grammar School may even be of still earlier date than that.  The oldest school of all is King’s School, Canterbury, attributed to Archbishop Theodore, A.D. 670, but which may probably be traced to St. Augustine.  St. Peter’s School, York, is the next oldest.

Addendum II.

The Governors of the Grammar School are about to erect, in this year, 1908, new and more commodious premises for the school, in the grounds of what is now called “The Chestnuts,” near the west end of West Street.


Next in importance to the Grammar School, and prior to the existence of the two well appointed National Schools, Church and Wesleyan, possibly even of greater utility than at present, is Watson’s Free Infant School; the founder of which placed it under the control of the Grammar School.

The title deeds of this Institution are in the keeping of Mr. H. Tweed, Solicitor, who is Clerk to the Governors; and from these we gather the following particulars of its history.  Richard Watson in the latter half of the 18th century was a resident in, and a native of, Horncastle, being the son of James Watson, who had made money by tanning, at that time a staple business in the town.  Although engaged in trade he ranked with the resident gentry, his sister, Frances, marrying James Conington, Esq., belonging to a family of good position, not only in the town, but in the county; members of which have also distinguished themselves at the Universities, the name still surviving.  She is referred to in an Indenture of date 22nd Sept., 25 George III. (1785), as “Frances Conington, of Boston, widow, formerly Frances Watson, spinster, surviving sister and heir of Richard Watson, late of Horncastle, gent., deceased, tanner, and his wife Elizabeth.”  By her marriage she had a son Francis Conington, who as nephew of Richard Watson, was the sole executor of his will and testament.  The principal deed has the following external inscription: “Title deeds of the school, signed, sealed and delivered, by Benjamin Handley (afterwards called “of New Sleaford”), [108a] in the presence of Williom Swallow, [108b] supervisor, and Abraham Hanson, of Horncastle.”

p. 109The following is the heading within, “Sealed and delivered by Frances Conington, being first duly stamped, in the presence of Caleb Preston, and Bowlin Kelsey of Boston.”  This is further confirmed, as follows: “Sealed and delivered by Frances Conington, in the presence of William Swallow, supervisor, and Abraham Hanson, of Horncastle.”

Then follows a “Release of lands in Lincolnshire to found a school (dated 22nd Sept., 1785), inrolled in His Majesty’s High Court of Chancery, the 8th day of March, in the year of our Lord 1786, being first duly stamped according to the tenor of the statutes made for that purpose.”  (Signed) Thomas Brigstock.

The Market Place

The seals attached to this are those of Frances Conington, James Conington and Benjamin Handley.  There is a note in the margin that “James Conington came before me this day, and acknowledged this to be his deed, and prayed the same might be inrolled in His Majesty’s High Court of Chancery.  Robert Chapman, Master in Chancery.”  Dated 6th March, 1786.

The actual terms of Richard Watson’s will are these: “I am very desirous of establishing a small school within the town of Horncastle, wherein the children of such poor persons, as the Governors of the Grammar School p. 110shall think objects of charity, may be taught to read, knit, spin, and plain needlework, or sewing.  I do therefore hereby earnestly request, will, and direct, my nephew and executor, after my decease, by deed, conveyance (&c.), to convey, and assure, to the said Governors, and their successors, for ever, all the lands situate in Croft, and all those messuages, cottages, or tenements, within the yards and pingle adjoining, situate in Far Street (now called West Street), Horncastle; and also that part of now inclosed arable, meadow, and pasture ground, lying in Wigtoft, containing 6 acres, 28 perches, now in the occupation of my cousin, William Watson, with appurtenances, upon the Trusts following, viz.: (1) to keep the house (school) in good repair, and the residence (2) for the maintenance of a proper master or mistress, to be from time to time nominated by them, to teach such poor children, &c.”

It is then added that “the said Richard Watson dying on Sept. 30 (1784), the said Frances and James Conington, desirous to fulfil his bequest, agree to convey to the use of the said Governors, the said messuages, &c.”  An Indenture is added, witnessing “that on payment by Benjamin Handley of ten shillings to Frances and James Conington, they have granted, sold, and released” the aforesaid property, and “appointed by these presents from the day next before the date of the Indenture, all the said messuages, &c., called by the name of the ‘ffoal thing,’ [110a] and that plot commonly called ‘Backside,’ the closes in Croft abutting on the highway, and lands near the old sea bank; and land called the ‘bridge plot’ in Wigtoft (6 acres), assigned to Richard Watson, by the award of the Commissioners appointed by Parliament, in the 12th year of His Majesty, for enclosing common and open fields (No. 40 in award map), with houses, barns, curtilages, and woods, to be held by the Governors of the Grammar School, the reversions, rents, &c., to the use of John Thorold (and the Governors), [110b] on trust, that the said Governors collect the rents, &c., and apply them as shall be required, from time to time, for poor children; and shall have power to erect a new school house, or alter, enlarge, &c., and to mortgage, &c., in order to provide suitable (premises), spinning wheels, &c., and to make rules for management, as shall to their judgment seem needed, agreeing with the said Benjamin Handley, and his heirs, &c., subject in all things to the Court of Chancery at Westminster.”

The present status of the school is as follows: The original premises are still in use, standing in a retired position, in “Watson’s Yard,” about 50 yards from West Street; they consist of school buildings, play yard, and teacher’s residence.  In 1835 the school was enlarged and repaired.  In 1895 it was further improved by the removal of bedrooms above, when it was opened up to the roof; at the same time a commodious classroom was added at the east end.  Accommodation was thus provided for 120 children.  The increase in scholars necessitated an increase in the teaching staff, and the Head Teacher, Mrs. Robert Marshall, who was appointed in 1885, has, since these alterations, been assisted by an Under Mistress and two Monitors.

The scholars are of both sexes, and between the ages of three years and seven.  The school is conducted on Church of England principles, and p. 111examined by both Diocesan and Government Inspectors; a Government Grant being earned to supplement the funds of the Watson bequest.  The scholars are taught reading, writing and arithmetic, with the various kindergarten subjects.  The Secretary to the Charity, H. Tweed, Esq., Solicitor, of Horncastle, pays half the rents to the Lincoln County Council, for teachers’ salaries, and retains the other half for repairs and incidental expenses.  All the other tenements in Watson’s Yard are the property of the Charity.


Beside the endowed schools, already described, the Grammar School for the middle and upper class, and Watson’s School for the children of the poorer classes; there were two other schools before the present National Schools came into existence, the history of which is of some interest.  Weir, in his History of Horncastle, says “a school, on the Lancasterian, or British system, was established at a public meeting, held in October, 1813; and, a few days later, a meeting was held at the church, when it was resolved to establish a school on the plan of Dr. Bell.  Both buildings were erected in 1814, supported by voluntary contributions, each for about 200 children.” [111]

This needs some explanation.  Dr. Andrew Bell was an East Indian Company’s Chaplain, stationed at Fort St. George, Madras, in 1789.  He noticed, in the course of his duties, that in the native schools, beside the regular paid teachers, the more advanced pupils were also employed to instruct younger scholars; each pupil thus having a tutor, and each tutor a pupil; a system by which both were enabled to learn faster, and led to take more interest in their work, than would otherwise have been generally possible.  Being an enthusiast in educational matters, he resigned his chaplaincy, with its good stipend, to inaugurate, and himself carry on, a school for the children of Europeans in the Presidency, on the same principles.  The result was so satisfactory that on his return to England, in 1797, he published an account of what he called the “Madras, or Monitorial System,” and endeavoured to introduce it in this country.  Little progress, however, was made for some time, beyond the establishment of a charity school, on these lines, at St. Botolph’s, Aldgate, London, and a school at Kendal, Co. Cumberland.

About the same date Joseph Lancaster, a young Quaker, set up a school for poor children, before he was 19 years of age, in a room lent to him by his father, in the Borough Road, Southwark, and in a very short time he had nearly 100 under his charge.  He also adopted the monitorial method, but, as a Quaker, omitting the Church teaching of the Bell schools.  Persevering in the work, he was received in audience by the King, George III., who gave him encouragement.  He then travelled over the kingdom, giving lectures on the new mode of instruction; which in consequence spread with rapidity.  In 1798 he taught about 1,000 boys, between the ages of 5 and 12 years, his sisters teaching some 200 girls.

Objections were made to the indefinite character of the religious teaching of a Quaker, by Professor Marsh, and others, and the Bell schools, with their Church instruction, had by the year 1818 become numerous.  The services of Dr. Bell himself, in the cause of education had been recognised, and rewarded by a Canonry of Westminster.  By the year 1828 upwards of 200,000 children p. 112were being taught on his system, and at his death, a few years later, he bequeathed £120,000 to carry on the work which he had so much at heart. [112a]

These two systems, the Lancasterian or unsectarian schools, and the Bell or church schools, continued to increase in number; there having been established in 1805 “The Royal Lancasterian Institution,” otherwise called “The British and Foreign School Society,” while the Bell system was represented by “The Church of England National School Society.”

The first Lancasterian or British School founded in Horncastle, in 1814, was located in premises adjoining the Wong, on the site afterwards occupied by the first Volunteer Drill Hall.  It was afterwards transferred to what is now called Dog-Kennel Yard, occupying a building which had previously been a theatre, and which was partly fitted up with sittings removed from St. Mary’s Church, giving accommodation for 200 children.  Neither in its internal structure, however, nor in its situation in an out-of-the-way back yard, was the former theatre well adapted for school purposes; and although the late Mr. Samuel Goe had in 1869 bequeathed a legacy to the school, which rendered it almost independent of annual subscriptions, the establishment of a much more commodious school by the Wesleyans, in Foundry Street in 1860, affected it unfavourably, the number of scholars gradually decreased, and it was finally closed in 1876. [112b]

The Bell, or Church School, also built in 1814, and accommodating about 200 scholars of both sexes, formed the nucleus of the present Church National Schools.  These two schools, the Lancasterian or British, and the Bell or Church School, are the only public elementary schools, named in the Gazetteers for many years, except the Watson Charity School, already described.

Of the present Church National Schools, that for infants was erected in 1860, that for boys in 1872, at a cost of about £1,000, the original building being now the girls’ school; the whole affording accommodation for 300 children.  These were, a few years ago, taken over by the Lindsey County Council (in 1893), and are now under both Diocesan and Government Inspection. [112c]


With the establishment of Technical Schools this country may be said to have entered on a new era, in national education, which, in its development, may lead to results, the importance of which can hardly yet be realized.  The possibilities are almost unlimited.  A wide-spread network has been created, which may bring even the humblest members of our artisan families within its deneficial meshes, while also working at intervals, as opportunities offer, in our remotest villages.

This great movement, curiously, originated from dissension in Parliament, a remarkable illustration of the old adage, “’Tis an ill wind that blows no one any good.”  In the year 1890 the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in Lord p. 113Salisbury’s ministry, [113a] introduced what was called “The Local Taxation (customs and excise) Bill,” [113b] intended to empower County Councils to buy up the licences of superfluous public houses, and to compensate the publicans by grants of money.  The funds for this purpose were not to be a charge upon the local rates, but to be provided by an increase of the duty on spirituous liquors.  Strange to say, this measure was so persistently opposed by the temperance party, aided by others, who for the moment acted with them, that the proposed use of the money, thus raised, was at length abandoned, a considerable surplus, however, being thus at the Chancellor’s disposal, after the reduction of several other taxes, the remainder was handed over to the County Councils, to be employed in the furtherance of technical education.  The money thus set apart was called “the ear-marked money,” and the measure enacting it was, somewhat unworthily, termed “The Whiskey Bill.”  Horncastle benefitted by a sum being placed to the credit of the local authorities for the establishment of a school of science and art; all such institutions in the county being under the general direction of the organizing secretary, Mr. S. Maudson Grant, residing in Lincoln.

St. Mary’s Square

p. 114At first classes were held in the Masonic Hall, Bank Street; and in 1891 an efficient teacher, Mr. Mallet, was engaged to give commercial instruction in arithmetic, shorthand, &c., [114a] and he was very successful in getting pupils.  In 1892 larger accommodation was required, and two rooms were rented, over what is now the Bicycle Depot of Mr. Sorfleet, at 14, East Street; and Mr. Switzer was engaged as teacher of science and art, at a salary of £100 a year, being allowed further to augment his income by taking private pupils in certain other subjects.  About the same time £100 was spent on models, and other requisites; and by the close of 1892, Tetford, Wragby, and Woodhall Spa having been included in a general scheme for the district, it was found that the pupils attending the classes already numbered 219; of whom 76 were under Mr. Mallet’s instruction, 101 under Mr. Switzer, including 39 school teachers in the neighbourhood, attending on Saturdays; while 42 received special instruction from a qualified teacher in dressmaking.  Operations were also, in the same year, extended to rural parishes, a meeting being held at Woodhall Spa, on Feb. 10, presided over by the Rev. T. Livesey, County Councillor, when a district embracing 20 parishes was formed; Mr. Livesey being ex officio Chairman of Committees, Canon J. Clare Hudson, Vicar of Thornton, appointed as acting Chairman, and the Rev. J. Conway Walter, Rector of Langton, Hon. Secretary.

This was followed by other meetings at Horncastle, at which, in due course, plans were matured for both town and country classes in various subjects.  On the death of Mr. T. Livesey, in 1894, Mr. Robert Searby, of Edlington, succeeded him as County Councillor, and took a great interest in the school; the late Mr. W. Brown, of the Capital and Counties Bank, was elected Chairman, and for several years he rendered most valuable service to the schools, being followed, on his decease in 1901, by Mr. R. W. Clitherow, Solicitor, who had previously acted as Treasurer.  So far the whole scheme had been attended by the most marked success in all departments.

In the year 1894 the numbers of pupils, and of the subjects taught, had further increased; and it became necessary again to move into more commodious premises.  The large building in Queen Street, which had been erected by the late Mr. F. Stevens, of Gordon Villa, and was then occupied by Miss Morris, as a school for young ladies, was rented, having two large classrooms and a smaller one.

Among the teachers who followed was Miss Annie Foster, who succeeded Mr. Switzer in July, 1895, and continued as head of the Institution for nearly six years.  She was a most enthusiastic and energetic worker, and under her the schools attained the highest point of success, both as regards the number of pupils attending and the variety of subjects taught.  The school at this time had attained to the highest degree of efficiency which it is ever likely to reach.  Not only had Horncastle pupils taken more prizes than those of any other technical school in the Parts of Lindsey, but on the visit of the Government Inspector, Mr. Minton, at the prize-giving in September, 1896, he stated that the school occupied the third place in all England. [114b]

In the year 1899 again the Inspector, on his examination in October, reported its state as being “very satisfactory,” and in that year grants were earned of £140 from the County Council, £35 from South Kensington Science p. 115and Art department, £50 from the Whitehall department, £12 from fees for science and art teaching, £10 from the evening continuation classes, a total of £247.  Miss Foster was assisted by Miss M. E. Edgar.  A former pupil, Mr. C. H. Stevens, a native of Horncastle, was also appointed Assistant Master, until he was promoted to take charge of a technical school at Folkestone.  Mr. A. Blades, of the London University, Junior Master of the Grammar School, was for a time an Assistant.  At the end of 1900 (Nov. 15) Miss Foster resigned, being promoted to the head teachership of the Camden School of Art, in London.  Miss M. E. Edgar, who had been assistant teacher for several years, was at this date appointed Head Teacher, in the Science and Art department, Mr. C. W. Gott, of the Grammar School, B.A. of London University, becoming Head Master of the evening continuation school, and Mr. H. J. Haddock teacher of shorthand.

It would not be possible, nor is it desirable, here to go into full details as to all the work done; but as, in future years, it may be interesting to have some record of the progress in the earlier days of this Institution, and as the writer of these pages has been closely connected with the school, from its first inception, a summary of the more important particulars is here given.

In the spring of the year 1896, a course of public lectures, illustrated by lantern views, was given by himself, descriptive of his own travels in Egypt, which were attended by full audiences of junior pupils, and many adults.  In 1897 he gave a similar series of lectures on his travels in Palestine, and these proving equally popular, a third supplementary course was given by him in 1898.

In 1898 illustrated lectures were also given by the Rev. J. A. Penny, Vicar of Wispington, on “The Abbeys and Castles of England,” and as being very instructive on the subject of architecture, these were largely attended.  They were followed by a course, which proved very interesting, given by Mr. R. W. Clitherow, the Treasurer, descriptive of a walking tour made by himself, among the scenery of the English lakes.  He also gave an instructive lecture on Canada.

In the spring of 1898 the Head Teacher, Miss Foster, gave a series of lectures on “Physiography,” being an account, the result of most careful study and practical investigation, of the various geological formations and fossils of the earth, illustrated by specimens largely of her own collecting. [115]  These were very instructive, and attended by a fairly numerous class of pupils.

Other valuable courses of lectures were given during this early period of the school’s existence.  In the autumn of 1896 Dr. R. McLay, of Horncastle, was engaged by the Committee to give lectures in the Masonic Hall, on “First Aid to the Injured,” under the St. John’s Ambulance regulations.  The pupils, numbering 25, were afterwards examined by Dr. G. M. Lowe, of Lincoln, when 23 of them passed as entitled to St. John’s Ambulance Certificates.  So much interest was shewn in these lectures (to which policemen were specially invited), that it was resolved, in the following year (1897), that the services of Dr. McLay should be secured for a repetition of them, with increased remuneration.  They were again given in the autumn of that year (beginning Oct. 18), when 24 persons attended, of whom 16 presented themselves for examination, which was again held by Dr. Lowe, all of whom passed with credit, and gained p. 116ambulance certificates.  We give these particulars as shewing the value of the work done at this period.

Similarly valuable instruction has been given in later years, but, with diminished funds available, and classes smaller, owing doubtless to the exhaustion in some degree of the stream of candidates for instruction, compared with its flush at the outset of the school’s existence, fewer lectures on these extra subjects have been given; and instruction has been confined to more ordinary, but not less useful, work, in drawing, geometric and from models; modelling in clay, painting in water colours and oils, book-keeping, arithmetic, shorthand, French, and so forth.

To show that the school has continued to do good work, we may state that on January 25, 1906, a meeting was held for the annual prize giving, when close upon 70 pupils, of both sexes (69), received rewards, several of them for success in four or five different subjects.  For the year 1905–6 the school received a grant of £100 from the County Council, £25 from the Horncastle Urban Council, and the fees of pupils paid about half the expenses.

We now give a brief account of the more important of the work carried on during the same period in the country parishes.  In March, 1892, the first “pioneer” lecture was given at Woodhall Spa, on Horticulture, by Mr. Horace Huntly, lately in charge of the Duke of Bedford’s gardens at Woburn Abbey, Beds.  This was well attended, and the instruction given was most useful, for the better cultivation of cottagers’ gardens.  This was followed by a course of three lectures on the same subject, in March of the succeeding year.  In April of the same year (1892), a series of six lectures were given at Stixwould and Horsington, by Miss Kenealy, of the National Health Society, on the subject of home nursing, and treatment in cases of accident, fevers, &c.  These also proved so instructive that she was engaged to repeat them in the summer of the following year; and they were given in eight different parishes, beginning with Langton on June 5th; the attendances being very large, in one case 70 being present.

Mr. Robert Jalland, Surgeon, of Horncastle, also gave a lecture at Kirkby-on-Bain, in April of the same year, on the subject: “How to secure healthy homes,” which was very instructive and well attended, over 40 being present.  In the autumn of that year a series of five lectures on Cookery were given by Mrs. Pierce, of the National Health Society, at four centres, Roughton, Thimbleby, Horsington, and Minting, beginning on Oct. 10th, and continued weekly.  These were considered so instructive that the Secretary, having made notes of them, was requested to have 500 copies printed, for free distribution, which was done.

In January of 1893 lectures on butter-making, with practical demonstrations, were given by Miss Carter, a professional teacher with certificate of the B.D.F.A., in nine parishes, from Jan. 12th to 24th.  Lessons in sheep shearing were given in May, at eight centres, Roughton, Kirkstead, Woodhall, Langton, Wispington, Stixwould, Bucknall, and Thimbleby, the teachers being Mr. S. Leggett of Moorhouses, Boston, and Mr. R. Sharpe of Horsington; prizes of £1 and 10/- being given to the most proficient pupils.

In 1894 lessons were given in hedge plashing, on Mr. Gaunt’s farm at Waddingworth, in November, the teacher being Mr. H. Butler of Greetham, money prizes being given.  Lessons in under-draining were given on Mr. Carter’s farm at Bucknall, in December, the teacher being Mr. W. Scott of Hatton, money prizes being also given.

In 1895 lectures on poultry keeping were given in February, by Mr. E. p. 117Brown, F.L.S., and Mr. F. Parton, at five centres; and they also visited various farmyards in the neighbourhood to give practical advice; these lessons were well attended.  Lessons in horse shoeing were given at Horncastle, for the neighbourhood, by Mr. J. B Gresswell, M.R.V.C., of Louth, in May and June, at which nine blacksmiths attended; certificates of the National Association of Farriers being awarded.  Lessons on sheep shearing were given at Thimbleby, Kirkstead, and Bucknall, in June, the teacher being Mr. R. Sharpe of Horsington.  Dairy lessons on butter making and stilton cheese production were given by Miss Carter, at Woodhall Spa, Kirkby-on-Bain, Minting, and Reed’s Beck, in October and November.  Lessons in under-draining were given on Mr. F. W. Scott’s farm, at Bucknall, in December, the teacher being Mr. W. Scott of Hatton, and money prizes given.  Two lectures on bee keeping were given at Woodhall Spa, in November, 1895, by Mr. W. J. Banks of the Grammar School, Wragby, which were well attended; the same gentleman also giving a practical demonstration of the same, by request, at the Manor House, Woodhall Spa, in August of the following year (1896).

Bridge Street

In 1896 Hedge Plashing lessons were given, in January, at Stixwould, Bucknall, and Horsington, the teacher being Mr. W. Scott of Hatton.  The Head Secretary, Mr. S. Maudson Grant, was present and said he was “much p. 118pleased with the work done.”  Lessons in stack thatching were given, in September, in the yards of Mr. H. N. Coates, of Langton, Mr. R. Roberts, of Thimbleby, and Mr. S. Harrison, of Roughton, to ten candidates, the teacher being Mr. Isaac Storey, of West Ashby.  These extended over four days, and were pronounced by the General Secretary, Mr. S. Maudson Grant, of Lincoln, to be “highly satisfactory.”  In November lessons in under-draining were again given by Mr. W. Scott, of Hatton, on the farm of Mr. Joseph Clifton, of Horsington, to two classes of candidates, those over and those under 24 years of age, and were well attended.

In 1897 hedge plashing lessons were given in February, on the farm of Mr. S. Harrison, of Roughton, also by Mr. W. Scott, on three days, to two classes, over and under 24 years of age, being also well attended; prizes of 25/-, 20/-, and 15/- being given to each class; and two extra prizes of 7/6.

Poultry lectures were given, also in February, extending over six days, at Mr. Bates Leedale’s farm, at Woodhall, and at Mr. W. H. Holmes’, of Minting House, by Mr. W. Cook, the well-known chicken breeder, and originator of the breed named “Orpingtons,” of Orpington House, St. Mary Cray, Kent (since deceased).  These lectures created the greatest interest; the audiences were crowded, at one lecture there being 127 present; and as he visited many farmyards to give advice, and several farmers bought valuable chickens from him, his visit may be said to have materially improved the breed of fowls in the neighbourhood.

In May of this year, 1897, it was decided at head-quarters to make a change in the process of operations.  Hitherto instruction in the country parishes had been provided through the Committee of the Science and Art School, at Horncastle, but from this date each parish was to have its own Technical Education Committee, elected annually, with the other parish officials; and these were to apply direct to the Head Secretary, at Lincoln, for such instruction as they might think desirable, parishes uniting for this purpose if they chose to do so.  More money than heretofore was now being expended on the Science and Art School in Lincoln, and the grants for the country lessons were now greatly reduced.  Of this country instruction no record was henceforth kept at Horncastle, and no detailed account can therefore be given here; the lessons have been mainly confined to hedge plashing, ploughing, under-draining, and such other practical subjects as suited the farmer, or agricultural labourer.

In conclusion it may be said that although it is yet too early to prophecy, it would seem that a great future lies before us in the development of education.  Co-ordination of work between (as we have at Horncastle) the endowed Infant School, the National Schools, Technical Schools, and the “secondary” Grammar School, with higher-grade colleges, should furnish a kind of educational ladder, by which the child of the artizan, or rustic, may rise from the humblest position to the highest, if he has the ability, and the will, to avail himself of the opportunities thus placed within his reach.  It is hardly too much to say that the result may well be, that in the keen rivalry of nations, which characterizes the present age, England should thus be enabled to more than hold her own in the struggle of industrial life.


May well be said to be the most important charity in the town, not only from the valuable services which it has, through many years, rendered to the suffering poor, but because it was a pioneer institution of its kind; while the area of its usefulness has probably been more extensive than that of any similar charity in the county.

Dispensaries were established at Louth in the year 1803, at Lincoln in 1826, at Grantham in 1838, at Boston in 1852, at Market Rasen in 1857; but Horncastle was in advance of the earliest of these by more than a dozen years.  Further, the records of the charity shew, that, in the early years of its existence, patients were here treated from places so distant as Spilsby, Friskney, Wainfleet, Trusthorpe, Theddlethorpe, Alford, Fotherby, Marsh Chapel, Saltfleetby, Boston, Lincoln, Sleaford, Grantham, and even beyond the county, from Loughborough, Hull, and Beverley.

This, it may be explained, was mainly due to the fact that it was virtually the creation of a man who was, in many matters, in advance of his time, that great public benefactor, Sir Joseph Banks, Bart., of Revesby Abbey, who held the Manor of Horncastle, and took the greatest interest in the welfare of the town and neighbourhood.

At a preliminary meeting held at the Bull Inn, Horncastle, on Wednesday, Oct., 28, 1789, it was resolved, apparently on his initiative, to establish a dispensary; and this took formal shape on Dec. 3rd following, when the governing body was elected, consisting of Sir Jos. Banks, President, with Vice-Presidents the Honble. Lewis Dymoke, King’s Champion, Thomas Coltman, Esq., William Elmhirst, Esq., Treasurer, and Richard Clitherow, Gent., legal adviser; the Honorary Physicians being Edmund Laycock, M.D., and Edward Harrison, M.D., with Mr. John Chislett as Surgeon and Apothecary.

p. 120A code of rules was drawn up, which, with occasional revisions, to suit changing circumstances, remain substantially the same to the present day.  A donation of 10 guineas constituted a life Governor, a legacy of the like amount gave the trustee paying it the same privilege.  An annual subscription of one guinea made the subscriber a Governor during the year.  Church or chapel collections of two guineas secured governorship for the year to the minister, and an additional Governor for each two guineas so collected.  The officials were to be a President, Vice-Presidents, and Treasurer, elected annually at a special meeting of the Governors.  Other regulations, as to patients and their attendance, numbered between 40 and 50.

The institution was to be open on Tuesdays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. till noon, when the medical officers would prescribe for patients, attending with a governor’s nomination.  Those unable to attend should be visited at their homes.  As a small practical beginning the wooden framework of a shop was bought at Wainfleet, for the small sum of 5/5; and drugs were ordered from the firm of Wallis & Stockton, of York; and a further supply obtained from Messrs. Skeen & Peale, of London.

The first building, which was used from 1789 till 1867, was No. 2 on the south side of St. Mary’s Churchyard, being rented for the sum of five guineas a year, until it was purchased in Feb., 1810, for the institution, jointly by Dr. Harrison and the Rev. John Fretwell, [120a] for £111 2s. 8d., the conveyance being effected by Mr. Clitherow at a charge of £13 15s. 8d.  Improvements were made in this building, at a cost of £13 5s., in 1812, and of £27 15s. 7d. in 1821.

Of the first physicians, Dr. Laycock resigned office in his first year, on Sept. 29th, 1790; but Dr. Harrison continued his duties for many years, only retiring on Oct. 11th, 1821, shortly before his death.  Although that gentleman carried on a private asylum, for patients mentally affected, at his own residence in West Street, [120b] he took a great interest in the Dispensary, and was indefatigable in his attendances, often at his own inconvenience.  Moreover his pecuniary assistance was not small; as, besides sharing in the purchase of the premises in St. Mary’s Churchyard, the accounts shew that in 1820 he paid £27, and in the following year £19 14s. 4d., for Dispensary expenses, which sums were afterwards repaid to him by the Governors; and (as will be shewn hereafter) he bequeathed at his death £100 to the funds.  A vote of thanks was passed to him at the annual meeting of the Governors in September of 1821, for a further gift of £21, with the expression of their regret that his valuable services could no longer be given.  Associated with Dr. Harrison, in dispensary work, was Dr. Fawssett, appointed on the resignation of Dr. Laycock, who loyally co-operated with that gentleman for 33 years, and only survived him two years, dying on Oct. 16th. 1823.

Since that time almost all the medical men of the town have, in their p. 121turns, rendered useful service to the Dispensary.  It would be invidious to single out any of these as being more capable, or more devoted to the work, than others; but we may mention one exceptional case, which all will recognize.  From an early period medical pupils were allowed to visit the Dispensary, in order to study special cases, and the treatment they received from qualified practitioners.  Among these was a young man, Mr. E. P. Charlesworth, who virtually here received the early part of his medical education.  He afterwards, for some years, practised in Horncastle; and in Dec., 1807, a resolution of the Governors was passed, conveying to him their warm thanks for his generosity in relieving poor patients, often at his own expense, and for his readiness to receive them, for consultation, at his own residence, and to make up drugs for them at all hours.  He subsequently removed to Lincoln, and became a noted physician, whose reputation extended considerably beyond the county.  During 33 years he was one of the most active medical advisers and patrons of the Lincoln Lunatic Asylum; and, after his death in 1853, a statue of him, in white marble, was erected in the grounds of that institution.

High Street

All these medical attendants at the Dispensary gave their services gratuitously until, at a general meeting, held on April 23rd, 1878, a resolution was passed, that henceforth the two doctors should each be paid £30 a year, which has been the rule ever since.  At that date the late Dr A. E. Boulton resigned, and Mr. Robert Jalland and Dr. Haddon were the first to receive this well-merited remuneration, attending to their duties in alternate months.

Scattered about the minute books of the institution are various notes, of some interest, from which we here give a selection.  On Feb. 23rd, 1790, the Rev. John Fretwell, “sensible of the distresses of the sick poor, gave one and a half guineas from the communion money, to be laid out in salop sago and p. 122Bowen’s sago powder, to be distributed at the discretion of the faculty.”  Nov. 27th, 1790, cases of small pox having occurred in the town, it was resolved to inoculate all poor persons, free of charge; and thereafter many names are given of those who underwent the operation.  With this we may compare the following entry as indicating the progress of medical science during 12 years.  June 8th, 1802, an epidemic of small pox having occurred, and “inoculation becoming general, the Governors recommend vaccination.”  A statement was printed for circulation, that in 100,000 cases of vaccination, not one death had ensued; that it was now practised in all parts of the world, and favourably received, and that the National Institution of France had pronounced it to be the greatest discovery of the last century. [122]

Feb. 4th, 1792, has an entry, in no way bearing upon dispensary work, but interesting as a memento of an old mode of conveyance.  The proprietors of the sedan chair asked permission for it to be kept at the Dispensary, for which they were willing to pay one guinea annually; and this was agreed to at the next meeting of the Governors.  This chair was let out to convey ladies to evening parties in the town.  It was borne by two men, and was in use within living memory, as late as “in the sixties.”

April 21st, 1792.  A gift of apparatus for the recovery of drowned persons, with a drag, was received from the Royal Humane Society of London.  A water bed was afterwards purchased, which was let out for a small fee to poor patients, temporarily bed-ridden.

On Nov. 28th, 1809, at a special meeting of the Governors, the usefulness of the Dispensary was further extended by the appointment of a midwife, to attend upon poor women in labor, both in town and country, being paid from the funds of the charity, a fee of 3/6 for each case; and from the year 1810 to 1829, inclusive, Mrs. Elizabeth Southwell is mentioned, from time to time, as acting in that capacity.  In the years 1829, 30 and 31, owing to the increase in the number of patients, special appeals were made to the landowners of the district for increased support.

In July, 1834, a resolution was passed that doctors attending patients at the Dispensary, might introduce pupils, to study cases under their treatment; and, in one case, a lady applied for permission to attend a course of instruction, in order that she might be enabled to assist her husband in making up medicines.  From 1840 to 1894 drugs were supplied by Messrs. Herring & Co., of London, but since that they have been supplied by local chemists, who are subscribers.

In the autumn of 1840 there was an epidemic of scarlatina, and of the 237 patients on the books, 50 were suffering from that complaint.  In consequence of the additional work thus caused, the salary of the dispenser was raised from £40 to £60 a year.

Again, with regard to a new source of income, among early notices we find the following: that on Sept. 29th, 1790, the first anniversary of the Dispensary’s formation, a sermon was preached, on its behalf, at a service in the parish church, by the Rev. John Dymoke, Rector of Scrivelsby, and Chaplain to his grace the Duke of St. Albans.  This became an annual observance, and has continued so ever since, the preachers being selected with special care, and often from a considerable distance.  For instance, at the following anniversary, p. 123in 1791, the Rev. Everard Duckworth, LL.D., Prebendary of Canterbury, was invited to preach, and he being unable to undertake that office, the Rev. Peter Bulmer, Vicar of Thorpe, officiated in his stead.  Among other preachers named we find the Rev. Basil Beridge, well-known for his works of charity, Rector of Algarkirk, near Boston; the Rev. W. Goodenough, Archdeacon of Carlisle; the Rev. E. R. Mantell, Vicar of Louth, and other prominent clergy of the county.

How widely the institution was appreciated is shewn by the number of leading persons who gave it their patronage.  Sir Joseph Banks was its warmest supporter, through life, regularly attending the committee meetings, either as a Governor or President, until his decease, June 19, 1820; and his example brought to the meetings members of the Chaplin, Massingberd, and Heneage families, Lord Yarborough, and others, at no small inconvenience, from considerable distances.

The Bull Ring

Among other Presidents have been the widowed Lady Banks; Lord Yarborough, on several occasions; the Honble. and Rev. John Dymoke; to whom succeeded the Honble. Henry, afterwards Sir Henry Dymoke, Bart.; Lord Worsley; the Right Honble. E. Stanhope, M.P.; J. Banks Stanhope, Esq.  After the death of Mr. Stanhope, Jan. 18th, 1904, it was resolved, at a special meeting of the Governors, Jan. 28th, that the Secretary should record, among the minutes, their regret at his death, and their high appreciation of his p. 124long and generous support.  The chairman was requested to send a copy of this to the Honble. Mrs. Stanhope; and at a meeting held on March 31st, following, a very kind letter in reply was read from Mrs. Stanhope, promising her support in the future, in lieu of that of the deceased gentleman.  The chairman was again requested to convey to her the thanks of the Governors, and Mrs. Stanhope was elected and continued to be President until her death, October 25th, 1907.

Among Vice-Presidents have been two Earls Fortescue (father and son); Lord Worsley: Sir Joseph Hawley, Bart.; J. Hassard Short, Esq.; Earl Manvers; C. H. Massingberd Mundy, Esq.; General Sir E. Brackenbury, Knight of Hanover; J. Lewis Ffytche, Esq.; Capt. Dallas York, Lord Willoughby d’Eresby; Sir H. M. Hawley, Bart.

For many years a ball was given in aid of the funds, in the Assembly Room, Bull Hotel, Horncastle, which (with the exception perhaps of the “stuff” ball at Lincoln) was the most fashionably attended of any such gathering in the county.  Among the stewards of this ball we find the names of G. M. Alington, Esq., of Swinhope Hall; Joseph Livesey, Esq., Stourton Hall; C. Waldo Sibthorpe, Esq., Canwick Hall; G. F. W. Sibthorpe, Esq.; Col. Sibthorpe, M.P.; the Right Honble. C. T. d’Egremont, M.P.; E. Heneage, Esq., M.P.; Capt. Mansell, of Well Hall; G. B. Langton, Esq., of Langton Hall; J. Banks Stanhope, M.P.; Sir Montague Cholmondly, Bart.; Sir Charles H. J. Anderson, of Lea, Bart.; Sir William Ingilby, Bart., Ripley Castle, Yorks; Lord Yarborough; H. Handley, M.P., Sleaford; Lord Amelius Beauclerk; Capt. Boucherett, North Willingham Hall; Honble. Capt. Monson; Capt. Lionel Dymoke.

Among the lady patronesses were Lady Worsley, the Duchess of St. Albans, Lady Mary Christopher, Mrs. G. W. Sibthorpe, Lady Anderson, Mrs. Livesey, Lady Nelthorpe, Lady Dymoke, Lady Albinia Pye.

These balls were discontinued, to the general regret, and to the loss of the dispensary, after the year 1871; and to make up for the loss Mr. J. Banks Stanhope in that year presented the institution with a cheque for £20.

We close this list of officials, with a brief account of the dispensers, on whom the efficiency of the institution largely depended.  They were usually qualified chemists, or surgeons and apothecaries; and generally also acted as secretaries.  The first of these we have already named, Mr. John Chislett, to him succeeded Mr. Lewis Bilton, secretary and compositor, 1793–1799; L. Barton, compositor, 1799–1801; G. Lunn, compositor, 1801–1807; John Lenton, compositor, 1807–1809; William Morley, compositor, 1809–1810; Thomas Taylor, surgeon apothecary, compositor, 1811–1826; Thomas Snaith, Surgeon, 1826–1834; William Ward, surgeon and apothecary, 1834–1839; W. Shepherd, 1839–1840 (ad interim); Francis Macarthur, [124] dispenser, 1840–1865; William Caunt, dispenser, 1865–75; William Betts, Chemist and Druggist, 1875, Lady-day; elected secretary Nov. 2nd, 1882; his services have extended over a longer period than those of any previous dispenser.

On the death of the Champion, Sir Henry Dymoke, Bart., April 28th, 1865, the Governors resolved to erect a new dispensary, as a memorial of his long connection with the charity.  Circulars were issued inviting subscriptions, and, among other donors, Robert Vyner, Esq., of Gautby Hall, gave £200; p. 125the site of 52, North Street, was purchased, and the present building was erected in 1866.  In 1867 the old house in the churchyard was sold for £142 11s. 4d., and the new premises were occupied in the autumn of that year.  It was built from the designs of Messrs. Bellamy & Hardy, Architects, of Lincoln, the contractor for the work being Mr. Robert Carter, Builder, of North Street, Horncastle.  The original contract was for £765, but the ultimate cost, with furniture, lawyer’s expenses, &c., amounted to £1,026 10s. 11d.  It is subject to a ground rent of £1 to the Stanhope estate.

Of late years the support, by subscriptions, has on several occasions been inadequate.  In January, 1899, there being a deficit of £70, the late Mr. J. Banks Stanhope gave the Governors a cheque for that amount.  In the year 1905, there being again a serious deficit, application was made to the trustees of the Hurstcroft and Snowden charity, and they contributed £20 on condition that 25 poor children should receive medical treatment free of charge.  A further sum of £53 14s. remaining as a surplus, in the hands of the Soup Kitchen Committee, was also given to the funds.  Canon Quarrington, formerly Vicar of Horncastle, also contributed £20; and other donations made up a relief fund of £106 (see Report for the year).  The debt was thus wiped out, but death having carried off many former subscribers, increased support will be needed in the future.

Legacies have been bequeathed to the institution by various persons, at different times, as follows: Dr. Harrison, by will dated Feb. 5th, 1820, left £100; the late H. J. Fielding, Esq., who died Aug. 10th, 1879, left by will £100; in 1884 the late Mr. T. Garfit bequeathed £100; ten £10 shares in the railway were bequeathed by Mrs. Fox Marshall in 1897; £100 was bequeathed by Mr. J. W. Hart, of Tetford, in 1900; Mr. John Bancroft left £50 in 1905; £357 were invested in Consols and £200 in railway shares, in 1899; a portion of this was sold in 1902, and £300 were invested in the Corn Exchange; the Dispensary premises were also insured for £800, instead of £600, in the County Fire Office, in 1902.

It will thus be seen that although the operations of the institution no longer embrace the extended area of the early years of its existence, it is still doing a most valuable work in the alleviation of suffering among the poor and needy, in both town and country for many miles round, and is thoroughly deserving of the increased support, which is required, to continue its efficiency.  We trust that this will be recognized by the land owners and others, and that such assistance will be forthcoming.


The Horncastle Canal, connecting for commerce the town with the river Witham, and so with Lincoln, Boston, and the sea, though now a derelict, was formerly of much value.  Its history is here given from its earliest inception.

Horncastle having been for some centuries the chief market of an important agricultural district, an association was formed towards the close of the 18th century, with the title “The Company of Proprietors of Horncastle Navigation, in the County of Lincoln.”  This was, in the year 1792, incorporated by an Act of Parliament, which gave a list of the names of the original members, and secured to them, and to their successors, perpetual possession of the same, and a common seal.  The canal was to be 11 miles long, extending from the junction of the two rivers, Bain and Waring, which traverse the town and meet at the point where now stands the public swimming bath, to the Witham at Tattershall; and passing through the parishes of Thornton, Martin, Dalderby, Roughton, Haltham, Kirkby, Coningsby, and Tattershall.

The company had at first a capital of £15,000 in £50 shares, no member being allowed to hold less than one share or more than 20.  The surveyors for the undertaking were Messrs. Robert Stickney and Samuel Dickinson.

When about two-thirds of the work was completed this capital was exhausted; and in the year 1800 a second Act of Parliament was obtained, which authorised the raising of a supplementary sum of £20,000 in shares of £50; additional members being enrolled, and mortgages raised on the tolls.  The whole profits of the concern, for several years, were absorbed in paying off the debt thus contracted, so that no dividend accrued for the shareholders until the year 1813.  The channel, from Horncastle to Dalderby, was an entirely new cut, the rest being the river Bain deepened and straightened in its course.  It was adapted for the passage of vessels of 50 tons burden; and in the whole length of 11 miles there was a fall of 84 feet.

p. 127The original rate of charges was 2/- per ton for the whole length of the canal, 1/9 to the seventh lock, and 1/3 to the fourth lock; vessels laden with lime, manure, or material for roads, were granted free passage. [127]  By the second Act of Parliament, in 1800, the charges were raised to 3/3 per ton for the whole length of the canal, 2/7 to the seventh lock, and 1/6 to the fourth lock; lime, manure, and road material being exempted, as before.

The Canal

The whole structure was completed in the autumn of 1802, and the canal was formally opened on Friday, Sept. 17th of that year.  The occasion was observed as a general holiday by the towns-folk.  At one o’clock the boats the Betsy of Horncastle, and the Martha of Dalderby, the property of Messrs. Gilliat & Wilson, and the British Queen, owned by Mr. Boyers, were hauled into the two basins of the canal, elaborately decorated with colours, amid the cheers of spectators, who are said to have numbered more than 2,000.  The vessels having been brought to, several salutes were fired, and a band of music, on the pleasure boat of Mr. Lane, played “God save the King,” “Rule Britannia,” “Hearts of Oak,” &c.  Having traversed some distance on the p. 128canal the company afterwards landed at the wharfs on the two branches, and a large number of the shareholders partook of a festive repast at the Greyhound Inn, East Street, near the south basin.  The navvies and other workmen who had been employed in the construction of the canal, were also regaled on the boats, and afterwards feasted at the Greyhound.

In following years an excursion was made annually by the Directors, conveyed down the canal, in a fine barge, which was their own property, named “The Lady Banks,” in order to inspect its condition; and this was followed by a public dinner at the Bull Hotel, which continued to be an established institution during the period of the canal’s prosperity.

The shares quickly rose considerably in value; a great number of barges came to the town, and it was no uncommon occurrence to see the whole distance from the South bridge to the Bow bridge packed closely with heavily laden vessels, carrying coals, grain, or other merchandise.  In 1836 it was computed that about 30,000 quarters of wheat, and 3,000 packs of wool, passed through the canal annually; and in 1850 the profits of the traffic amounted to about £2,000 a year.

Consequent on the opening of the railway in August, 1855, the canal, as a means of goods conveyance, gradually became disused, until, of late years, it has become worse than a mere derelict, since it forms an obstruction to the free passage of the water brought down by the two rivers, and after heavy rain it has led to temporary inundations of the town, to the great inconvenience of those residing near it, as well as interfering, as might in some circumstances be serious, with the sanitary arrangements.

A few years ago an attempt was made to restore the canal traffic, but the railway monopoly had become too thoroughly established, and the project failed; yet the competition, could it have been maintained, might have had a salutary effect upon the cost of railway conveyance, to the advantage of the general public.

Our canals, it should be remembered, are a time-honoured institution; the Lincolnshire Cardyke and Fossdyke date from the period of the Roman occupation of this country.  The Magna Charta of the early 13th century took cognizance, not only of the roads, called “The King’s Highway,” but also of inland navigation, under the term “Haut streames de le Roy.”  The latter half of the 18th century was remarkable for great achievements as regards internal waterways, notably in the Bridgewater Canal, and the Grand Junction Canal of London; and to this period, as we have seen, the Horncastle Canal belongs.

In this twentieth century, again, notwithstanding the great railway facilities, there is a wide-spread movement in favour of extended water traffic, headed by the very successful Suez Canal; with a prospect of the sister channel of Panama.  Berlin is said to owe its prosperity largely to its well-organized system, connecting the rivers Oder, Elbe, Spree, &c., which have an annual traffic of some million and half tons.  Our own Manchester Ship Canal is another instance; the most recent case being fresh developments of the Aire and Calder Navigation, in South Yorkshire.  The canals, too, which have been recently constructed in India, are yielding, by the latest reports, [128] a handsome revenue to the Government, as well as greatly benefiting the native population.

p. 129It is acknowledged that a more general use of waterways, throughout the kingdom for the cheaper transport of our heavier and more bulky produce, would be a national boon; and a Royal Commission was engaged in considering the subject of the acquisition of all canals as Government property. [129a]

It is now being more and more recognised that, on the establishment of railways, everyone jumped too hastily to the conclusion that the days of canals were over; whereas, in truth, there is still a large field, probably an increasing field, for the cheaper traffic in heavy goods, which canals can provide for.  The Belgian town of Bruges, though situated several miles inland, is now to be converted into a port by the government of that country, through the creation of a canal, which is expected to increase the prosperity of that city.  Similarly it is suggested that our own town of Nottingham could be made a great inland port, if water carriage were provided; and Sir John Turney, before the Royal Commission, has recently (July, 1907) stated that the trade of that town might thus be greatly increased.  These, be it remembered, are not isolated cases.

On the Canal

As to our own local interests, we may reasonably regret that, after so much money being invested in the Horncastle Canal, and the serious losses incurred by so many investors, no further effort should be made to utilize it.  The trade of Horncastle is not so satisfactory but that we might welcome every adjunct, which could in any way contribute to its furtherance; while, even from an æsthetic point of view, it were desirable that, with the present dilapidated locks, and the banks in some places broken, the channel, which is in parts little more than a shallow bed of mud, befouled by garbage and carrion, or choked by a matted growth of weeds, should be superceded by a flow of water, pure and emitting no pestiferous exhalations.


In few things has there been more remarkable evolution, or we might even say, revolution, than in our methods of locomotion.  In these days of historic pageants we might well conceive of a series of scenes passing before us, shewing the means adopted at different periods, or under different conditions, in this respect.  The war-chariot of Queen Boadicea, charging the legions of Cæsar, or (in our own neighbourhood) that of the British warrior Raengeires, routing his Saxon foes, at Tetford, with their wheels of solid wood and other massive carpentry, would form a, then inconceivable, contrast to the future taximeter cab, to be evolved in this 20th century.

The lumbering “wain” of the Saxon churl, though still surviving in the name of a constellation, befitted only an age little advanced beyond barbarism.

The primitive “shout” (Dutch “schuyt”), or “dug-out” boat, hollowed by Celtic flint-axe from the bole of a mighty oak, and slowly propelled by the almost wild Girvian, through the tangle of fen morass, had but a remote connection with the steam packet which, within living memory, plied on the neighbouring Witham, between Boston and Lincoln.  Although the speed of the latter was so slow, that (as a friend of the writer has done) a pedestrian, travelling by road, could reach either of those places, from our town of Horncastle, in less time than it took to go by carrier’s van to Kirkstead wharf, and thence by the said steamer.

While, again, both these would provoke only a smile of contempt in the voyager who now crosses the atlantic, at a rate of 20 knots or more in the hour.  Then, again, compare with these the cyclist, who now flashes past us with the speed of lightning; or the motorist, who vanishes from our sight, almost before the dust he has raised is blown away.

Another humbler mode of progress, again, was a familiar sight in our boyhood, when the farmer’s wife jogged contentedly to market, seated on a pillion, behind her husband, and carrying her butter, eggs, or chickens, in roomy market baskets by her side.  Even the gig, to carry two, of the better bucolic class, has now become obsolete, as the train pours out, at the station, its living stream of market folk, male and female, within a few minutes of leaving their own doors several miles away.

As to our country roads we are, it is true, well supplied with them, but a pageant view of the past, such as we have here conceived, would reveal to us our British forefathers, toiling, in wearied gangs, under Roman task-masters, at the forced labour of road making; by which the town’s markets and chartered fairs were to be accessible, from all directions, for generations yet unborn.  In our present iron ways, we might well suppose that we have attained the highest evolutionary stage in expeditious traffic; but who, indeed, shall venture to gainsay, that as a sequel to our wireless telegraphy, we may one day eschew the mundane altogether, and become a race of aeronauts.

The Great Northern loop line, connecting Boston and Lincoln with Peterborough and Grantham, and so with the further north and south, was opened in October, 1848.  At that date, except the “Navigation” for heavy goods, such as corn, coal, &c., there were only coaches, once a day, for public conveyance to Boston, Lincoln, Market Rasen, and Louth.  But through the enterprise of Mr. Samuel Sketchley, of Horncastle, Solicitor, of the old firm of Selwood and Conington, an Act of Parliament was, not without difficulty, obtained, July 10th, 1854, for the construction of a branch line, running from p. 131Kirkstead to Horncastle; the importance of this event being recognised by a joyous peal of the parish church bells being rung, and crowds parading the streets, at 10 o’clock at night, at which hour the news arrived.  The next day the rejoicings were continued, the bells of St. Mary’s Church being again rung, while the tower of the church was adorned with a tricolour flag, bearing the inscription “God speed the railway,” and crowds again passed through the streets, headed by the town band and a large tricolour standard.

The construction of the line was begun in April of the following year, 1855; the contractors being Messrs. Smith & Knight.  The original capital of the company was £48,000, in £10 shares, but the ultimate cost was about £60,000.  The G.N.R. Company undertook the working, paying half the receipts to the shareholders; and as, for the distance (about 7½ miles), the expenditure was, compared with that of many such undertakings, small, so, as an investment, the enterprise proved a profitable one, few lines yielding so good a return for the outlay; the £10 shares still (in 1907) sell at nearly half as much again (£14 17s. 3d., July, 1907).

A brief account may well here be given of the opening ceremony of this important event in the town’s history, condensed from the public journals of the day.  The line was examined by the Government Inspector, Colonel Wynn, and a few days later Mr. Seymour Clarke, the G.N.R. manager, stated that it could not be in a more efficient condition.  The opening ceremony was fixed for Aug. 12th, 1855.  At an early hour the town was crowded with visitors and shops were closed.  At 7 a.m. 2,500 lbs. of beef were distributed among the poorer people.  Peals of bells were rung, the Horncastle and Spilsby bands added their music of popular airs.  The streets and station were profusely decorated, under the direction of Mr. Crowder, florist, Mr. John Osborne, parish clerk, Mr. Archbould, head gardener to Sir H. Dymoke, Mr. Nelson from Stourton Hall, and a local committee.  Flags displayed the arms of the town, those of Sir H. Dymoke, Mr. J. Banks Stanhope, the Bishop of Carlisle, then lord of the manor, the Rose of England, and the Union Jack.  About noon a procession was formed in the Bull Ring, to meet the Directors of the G.N.R., by Mr. F. Harwood, master of the ceremonies, in the following order:


Navvy bearing bronzed pickaxe and shovel.


Navvies, four abreast.


Two navvies, bearing silver-gilt wheelbarrow.


Horncastle Brass Band.










Directors, two abreast.

Churchwarden, Dr. B. J. Boulton.

The Vicar, Rev. W. H. Milner.



Shareholders and their friends, four abreast.

Spilsby Brass Band.

Parish Clerk, Mr. J. C. Osborne, in his robes, preceded by his Standard Bearer.



Members of the various Clubs, with Banners.



1,000 School Children, 4 abreast.



The Public.


p. 132The procession marched from the Bull Ring to the Railway Station, where the elders of the party on the platform, and the children, with their banners, ranged on the opposite side, awaited the arrival of the train bringing the G.N.R. Directors, and as it drew up the bands played “See the Conquering Hero comes.”

The procession, augmented by the directors, then re-formed, and marched through the town; in the Bull Ring the National Anthem was sung.  A large marquee was erected in the grounds of Mr. R. C Armstrong (now Mrs. Howland’s garden), adjoining South Street, in which the contractors, Messrs. Smith & Knight, provided for the directors and shareholders, and other guests, in all over 200, a splendid dinner, served in excellent style, by Messrs. Wilson and Serpell, of the Bull Hotel.  The Honble. Sir H. Dymoke presided, as Chairman of the Horncastle and Kirkstead Railway Co.; being supported on his right by Mr. Hussey Packe and Mr. C. Chaplin, Directors of the G.N.R., Major Amcotts and Sir M. J. Cholmeley, and on his left by J. Banks Stanhope, Esq., M.P., Director of the Horncastle Railway, and Rev. W. H. Milner, Vicar.  Congratulatory speeches were made, and the day closed with a fine display of fireworks.

Opened under such favourable auspices, and supplying a felt need, the railway has continued to be a success; improvements have been made, from time to time, in the stations at Horncastle and Woodhall Spa.  The line continues to be a single one, but it is sufficient for the local requirements, and the shares, as before mentioned, at the present time (1907) find a ready sale at an advance of about 50 per cent. on their original price.  We might add that if the railway could be continued to Spilsby, and then connected with the different lines running to the Skegness, Mablethorpe and other health resorts on the coast, its utility, and doubtless its paying value, would be largely increased, as it would shorten the distance by many miles.

p. 133CHAPTER X.

We now notice the chief of those public institutions, and the buildings connected therewith, which have been established in the town, within more recent times, for its welfare, or its adornment; in order to bring its corporate efficiency into more complete accord with the advanced requirements of what may be called modern municipal life.  Among these the foremost place, from its general importance, is naturally due to the Union, or Workhouse; and here it is necessary to make some preliminary remarks.

The workhouse, or union, for a large district is a comparatively recent creation.  “The poor” we have had “always with” us, but they have not always been dealt with as they now are.  By statute 23 Edward III. (1349), it was enacted that “none should give alms to a beggar who was able to work.”  By common law the really deserving poor were to be assisted “by parsons and parishioners, so that none should die for default of sustenance.”  By Act, 15 Richard II. (1392), impropriators (i.e. laymen holding church property) were bound to contribute a certain yearly sum to the poor of the parish, but no compulsory law was passed till 27 Henry VIII. (1536).  The present poor law system dates from 43 Eliz. (1601); successive amendment acts being passed from 1836 to 1847, and again in 1861; and a further relief act in 1862.

At first parishes regulated their own methods and amounts of relief.  For a long period, indeed, the labouring class were subject to strict legal rules, both as to service, and in their individual movements.  It was quite an innovation when, in 23 Henry VI. (1445), a servant was permitted to change masters after giving due notice; and when moving, or, as it is locally called, “flitting,” from one parish to another, for employment, he had to produce a certificate of settlement from his last abode.  In such matters the overseers were paramount, until their powers were transferred to the newly constituted guardians of the poor, by Act of Parliament, in 1839. [133]

p. 134The “workhouse” preceded the “union,” which latter term was adopted when parishes, throughout a large district, were united for the purposes of poor relief. [134a]  In some cases a country parish had its own workhouse.  For instance, old parish books of Thimbleby, [134b] show that in 1819 £20 was spent upon the village workhouse, which was insured for £200.

Among some old churchwardens’ records, in the possession of Mr. John Overton, of Horncastle (members of whose family have frequently held that office), it is mentioned that early in the 18th century a “public oven” was erected in the town to enable the poor to cook their meals, or to bake the “black bread,” then in common use, [134c] more conveniently than they could at home. [134d]  At a later date (1780) a spinning school was established by public rate, to help the poor to earn a livelihood by a home industry. [134e]

An important advance was made in poor relief, in 1735, when, as the same records state, “on April 17 a committee was appointed, [134f] in Horncastle, to build a workhouse,” and on May 7th in the following year a brief note gives the cost of the building as being £175 13s. 4d.  This was situated on the east side of St. Mary’s Square, separated by a few yards from the Grammar School, the site being now (1908) occupied by a common lodging house.  It continued to be the public workhouse for over 100 years; and that the poor, who needed relief, were generally expected to enter as inmates, is shewn by another brief note, in the same records, to the following effect: “May 2nd, 1781.  Out payments discontinued, except in sickness.”

It was not till 1838 that the present workhouse, in Foundry Street, was built, from the designs of Mr.—afterwards Sir—Gilbert Scott, being one of his earliest undertakings [134g]  It is a commodious structure, capable of accommodating p. 135260 inmates; and, with grounds attached, covers an area of between four and five acres.  It is now known as “The Union,” and the union district embraces 69 parishes, represented by 76 guardians, to whom, as already stated, the former duties of the overseers were transferred in 1839.

The Rev. Canon A. E. Moore is the present Chaplain.


The majesty of the law has not always been so worthily domiciled in Horncastle as during the last forty years.  In Stukeley’s map of the town, dated 1722, the Sessions House is placed at the south-east corner of the “Mercat Place,” where there now (1908) stands a small refreshment house.  The cells for prisoners probably formed the basement of this building, as there is no known record of their being confined elsewhere, until the year 1821, when what was called the “Round House” was built, at the north-east corner of the Market Place, opposite the present Lord Nelson Inn.  This was a small circular building, having two cells, with a colonnade running round it, which formed a shelter for market women selling butter, eggs, &c.  The foundations of this structure were so shallow that it is on record that a prisoner, in the course of one night, scratched a passage under the wall and effected his escape. [135]  This prison was demolished in 1853, when the present police station p. 136was built, facing the Wong, at a cost of £500, having four cells, for 12 prisoners, and a residence for a superintendent and constable.

The Court House

Some years later fresh premises were rented for the magistrates, on the south side of the High Street, adjoining the George Hotel, now extinct, though then a leading establishment.  That site is now occupied by the Lincoln and Lindsey Bank.

In 1843 the magistrates’ office was transferred to what is now 19, Bull Ring, part of the shop of Messrs. Robinson, Drapers.  All these premises proving inadequate for their purpose, the present Court House was built in 1865, on the site of the former parish stocks, the site, a slight rising ground, being called “Stocks’ Hill,” at a cost of £3,000.  The architect was Mr. C. Reeves, of London, the builder Mr. Huddleston, of Lincoln.  The furniture was supplied by Messrs. Pike & Wright, of Horncastle; gas fittings by Mr. Murrell, of Chelsea.

In this handsome building, of white brick, there is accommodation for many branches of public, local and county business.  As a possession the Court House is the property of the Board of Works, in London, the county authorities paying to them a rent of £10, for the use of it by the magistrates.


This handsome structure was erected under the following circumstances.  The Right Honble. Edward Stanhope, who had represented the Horncastle Division in Parliament, with much distinction, from the year 1874, died rather suddenly, as the result of hard work, in his official capacity, on Dec. 22, 1893, to the great grief of the entire constituency; when it was universally felt that his services merited some public recognition.  Various meetings were held, and at length, on Jan. 22nd, 1897, at a gathering in the Masonic Hall, a committee was appointed to carry out the scheme.  The design of the Memorial was intrusted to the architect, Mr. E. H. Lingen Barker, of Hereford, Messrs. Walter & Hensman, of Horncastle, being the contractors for the work.

The ceremony of inauguration was performed by J. Banks Stanhope, Esq., formerly M.P. for the Division, on Feb. 2nd, 1899, in the presence of the Earl and Countess Stanhope, and other distinguished persons on the platform, and a vast crowd from the neighbourhood filling the entire Market Place.  This was followed by a public luncheon in the Corn Exchange.

The site chosen was the centre of the Market Place, as that, along with the market dues, had been made over to the town as a free gift, by the Right Honble. gentleman, as Lord of the Manor.  The following is the official description of the monument, as published at the time of its erection.  The structure is 31-ft. 6-in. in height.  It stands on a massive foundation of concrete; with three tiers of Yorkshire stone steps, each 15-in. wide, running round the base leading up to the monument proper, their shape being octagonal.  With the exception of two strings of Dumfries’ red stone, the lower part is of Monk’s Park stone.  Above this is a moulded string course, and on each face are shafts of Aberdeen red granite, with moulded caps and bases.  The panels are filled with diaper work; and in each alternate panel are arms of the Stanhope family, and the arms of the town, with an inscription to the memory of the Right Honble. E. Stanhope, and a medallion, with bust, in relief, of the same.  These panels are surmounted by moulded and carved cinquefoil panels, surmounted by carved finials.  Above these, again, are eight p. 137columns of polished granite, supporting the superstructure, and these also have eight trefoil dormers, simpler than those below, each finished with a finial of gun metal.  Above these are eight gun metal columns, having trefoiled heads, with foliated finials and moulded cornice; and on these rests the spirette, constructed of oak and covered with lead, with eight other dormers, which complete the whole.  The total cost was £552 12s. 3d., raised by subscriptions, a small balance being handed over to the public Dispensary.


The Clerical Club was founded in 1822; a room was rented on the premises of Mr. James Babington, Bookseller, in the High Street (now occupied by Mr. J. S. Balding, Butcher), where the members met for discussion, and gradually established a good library.

The Stanhope Memorial

The first members enrolled were the Rev. the Hon. the King’s Champion, John Dymoke, Rector of Scrivelsby; the Revs. J. B. Smith, Head Master of the Grammar School; C. N. L’Oste, Rector of Claxby; Francis Rockliffe, Rector of Fulletby; Robert Spranger, D.D., Rector of Low Toynton (and of Grosvenor Street, Grosvenor Square, London); John Mounsey, Rector of Gautby; Thomas Roe, Rector of Kirkby-on-Bain; E. Brackenbury, Rector of Aswardby; W. Dodson, Rector of Well; F. Swan, Rector of Sausthorpe; and others holding benefices scattered over a wide area, but several of them living in Horncastle.

p. 138The Club was formally opened in the following year, when several more members were added; the Honble. John Dymoke being elected President, Dr. Clement Madeley, Vicar of Horncastle, Vice-President, with Dr. J. B. Smith as Secretary, in which capacity he did valuable service, in increasing the membership and adding to the efficiency of the institution, which flourished for many years.

In later times, especially on the lamented death of Dr. Smith, and the creation of circulating libraries, such as that of Messrs. Mudie, in London, the numbers of subscribers fell off considerably.  The books were transferred to various quarters; at first to the house of the late Mr. John Osborne, parish clerk, himself no mean scholar and student, afterwards to the residence of the head master of the Grammar School, where they remained for some years, under successive masters, still available for members of the club.

On June 8th, 1892, Canon Quarrington, Vicar of Horncastle, Revs. J. C. Hudson, Vicar of Thornton, and J. Conway Walter, Rector of Langton, were appointed a sub-committee, with instructions to find a permanent club room, or to give the books to the Lincoln Diocesan Library.  In September of that year Dr. Madge, Head Master, offered to keep the books, to act as Librarian, and admit members to them two or three days a week in his house.

In January, 1893, the present writer was commissioned with Dr. Madge, to examine the books, when there was found to be 799 in good condition, 69 missing.  The Secretary of the Lincoln Diocesan Library was communicated with, and at a meeting of the committee of that library, held on Feb. 24, 1893, the offer of the books was accepted, and they were in due course transferred to that institution.

On May 17th, 1894, the Rev. J. Conway Walter, with three others, was commissioned to obtain a supply of books from a circulating library at Lincoln.  Eventually Mudie’s library was established at the shop of Mr. H. Willson, Bookseller, Horncastle; Mr. W. K. Morton opened a subscription library, and Messrs. W. H. Smith opened a book stall at the station.  These three still continue: the original Clerical Club books being still available, with others, at the library in the Chapter House of Lincoln Cathedral.

There was at one time a Literary Society in Horncastle, which used to meet at the Bull Hotel, in a small room, now the bar, beneath the large ball room, on a level with the street.  Among the most active members of this was John Brown, the late, so-called, Horncastle “Poet Laureate,” whose poems were published in 1890, by the Rev. J. Conway Walter, in a volume entitled Literæ Laureatæ, dedicated to Lord Tennyson.  Another prominent member was the late Mr. Thomas Baker, who was an amateur actor and clever ventriloquist, as well as a great cricketer.  In his early years he was engaged by the father of Sir Evelyn Wood to teach the village boys cricket in Essex.  His bowling was of the old roundhand style; in which he bowled to Fuller Pilch, the greatest batsman of his day; and also to Dr. W. G. Grace, now of the Crystal Palace; and, many years ago, in a match against a crack 11, including three University players and one professional, he bowled them all out for 11 runs.  He also bowled out the captain of the All England Eleven with his first ball.  He died Feb. 12th, 1903, aged 88.


Mechanics’ Institutes were first established in the earlier half of the 19th century.  The first known was that founded in London by the famous Dr. Birkbeck in 1823; another being opened in the same year in Glasgow; after which they became general.  As Horncastle was in advance of other towns in the county in its valuable Dispensary (see p. 119), so it would seem to have preceded other towns, with the exception of Lincoln, in catering for the growing taste for literature.  The Mechanics’ Institute was founded in the year 1834.  It was first located in Union Street, now called Queen Street, and soon received the support of all classes.  The building, which consisted of one large room, was situated on the west side of the street, on the site where now stands the private residence, No. 18.

Soon after the erection of the Corn Exchange, in 1856, the Mechanics’ Institute was transferred to that building; two upper rooms being occupied, as library and reading room; the former premises in Queen Street being sold to the late Mr. Joseph Parish, who used them for sales, public meetings, dances, and so forth, until in 1866 he erected on the site a private residence for himself.

After some years the introduction of the above named branch of the popular London Library of Messrs. Mudie & Co., at the shop of Mr. Hugh Willson, Bookseller, in the Bull Ring, followed by the subscription library of Mr. W. K. Morton, in the High Street, and that of Messrs. W. H. Smith & Sons, at the Railway Station, reduced the numbers of the subscribers to “The Mechanics,” and it was removed to smaller premises in Bank Street; and eventually this same cause led to the Institute being closed.  On January 14th, 1886, a meeting was held in the library to determine its future, the result being that the Secretary, Mr. W. Betts, and the members of the committee resigned, Jan. 21st, and the books, &c., were removed to a small chamber at the Gas House, in Foundry Street, another small room there being used as a temporary reading room.  These were closed about the year 1894, the books remaining stowed away.  About the year 1899 an effort was made by the late W. Brown, of the Capital and Counties’ Bank, to get the books transferred to the Technical School in Queen Street, of the committee of which he was chairman; with the object that they might be once more rendered available for public use; but this project fell through.

In 1905 the library was finally broken up by the late Mr. Joseph Willson, the last survivor of the Managing Committee, who sold the less valuable among the books by auction in Lincoln, the rest being divided between the permanent subscription library of Mr. W. K. Morton, Bookseller, High Street, and that of the Grammar School.

It is much to be regretted that a valuable collection of books thus ceased to be public property.  A catalogue of the library, published by Mr. W. Johnson, Bookseller, High Street, in 1865, shows that the number of volumes was at that date 1,468, with annual additions; while in 1879 a bequest was made by the late Henry James Fielding, Esq., of Handel House, South Street, of about 230 volumes of standard works, bringing the total up to about 1,750 volumes.  (Classified List, published by W. K. Morton, 1879.)

The first librarian was Mrs. Wood, assisted by her daughter (afterwards Mrs. Panton).  She was succeeded by Miss South, who was followed by Miss Stephenson, and she was succeeded by Mrs. W. Johnson.

p. 140The late Mr. Henry Nicholson acted as secretary, and for several years took a great interest in all that concerned the Institute, until his prolonged serious illness, which ended fatally in June, 1900.  Mr. C. Hensman was treasurer while the library was at the Corn Exchange, resigning when it was removed to Banks Street.  During the same period the late Mr. Berridge, Master of the Union, acted as Secretary, and was succeeded by Mr. W. Betts, of the Dispensary, who only held that post two years, before the Institute was closed.

There were in the library, besides the books, a quantity of weapons of war from the South Sea Islands, some cases of objects of natural history; valuable sepia paintings by the late Rev. C. P. Terrot, of Wispington, an almost unrivalled artist in his own line; and several fine Roman vases exhumed in the town; all these were disposed of by Mr. Joseph Willson, only surviving trustee, now deceased.


The Corn Exchange is a spacious and lofty building of brick, with stone facings, capable of holding 500 persons, situated on the south side of the High Street, and standing on what was formerly the eastern wall of the old Roman castle; a well of pure water, still in use, under the adjoining house, having been just within the wall of that fortress.  It was opened on July 5th, 1856.  From the terms of the original deed of settlement of the company we may give the following items.

The Indenture, dated July 18th, 1855, was registered the 31st of the same month; the agreement being, on the first part, between Thomas Armstrong, Merchant; Henry Turner, Land Agent; George Wright, Merchant; Henry Nicholson, Draper; William Preston Carlton, Chemist; and others, all of Horncastle; with certain residents in the neighbourhood on the second part; and Frederick W. Tweed, of Horncastle, Gentleman, as trustee to give effect to the covenant, on the third part.  The said parties agree to form themselves a Joint Stock Company, within the meaning of the Act 7 and 8 Victoria, c. 110, to provide a building for the purposes, according to these presents, viz., a Corn Exchange, which can also be used for concerts, exhibitions, and other public objects, on such terms as the committee may think fit.

The capital of the company to be £3,000, in 600 shares of £5 each; annual meetings of shareholders to be held on May 2nd; any five, or more, owning 25 shares, may require the directors to convene an extraordinary meeting.  The capital may be increased by additional shares of £5, not exceeding 300; money may be borrowed on mortgage, not exceeding at any one time £1,500. [140]  One-third of the original directors to retire in May, 1856, being eligible for re-election.  In May, 1857, one-half of the remaining original directors to retire; and similarly in succeeding years one-third to retire in rotation, according to seniority.  Any director to forfeit office on ceasing to hold five shares; anyone intending to apply for directorate, to give at least 10 days’ notice.  Directors to meet at least once every three months; any two directors may require the secretary to convene a meeting, at any time, for any desirable special object.

The Court of Directors to apply to the Privy Council (Board of Trade) p. 141for permission to purchase, or rent, land or buildings, as may seem to be needed; or to let, or lease, buildings, offices, &c., as they may think fit; or to make mortgages, conveyances, &c., for the purposes of the company.  A reserve fund (by clause 67) to be established, by setting apart one per cent of the profits in any year; the accumulation to be employed for the benefit of the company, as may seem to them desirable.  Shares to be sold (by clause 68) for the benefit of the company, by a vote of a majority at a general meeting.  No sum beyond £400, at any one time, to be negotiated by promissory note or bill of exchange.

Watermill Road during the Flood, Dec., 31, 1900

That a report be presented, and dividend declared, at an annual meeting, on March 25th, with seven days’ notice to each shareholder.  A common seal to be kept in a place of safety, and affixed to all legal documents, by the secretary, in the presence of three directors.  Henry Nicholson, Draper, to be the first auditor, paid as committee of directors decide.  Samuel Sketchley to be the first solicitor; and the Lincoln and Lindsey Bank the company’s bank.  Thomas Armstrong, Timothy Collinson, and Robert Edwin Kemp to be the first trustees of the company.

The books may be inspected by any shareholder, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., in the presence of the secretary, or other person nominated in accordance with Act 7 and 8 Victoria, c. 110.  By clause 89 it was provided that, in case of the company being wound up, the chairman should declare the company p. 142to be dissolved with all convenient speed; all property to be sold, and converted into ready money, to meet all claims; a final distribution of assets to be made; no sale by private contract to any shareholder being allowed.  This deed was signed, sealed, and delivered by the said F. W. Tweed, and witnessed by J. S. Cropper, Horncastle, July 18th, 1855.

On Nov. 6th, 1889, a meeting was held to consider whether the company should be wound up; but it was decided to continue it, and of late years the financial position of the company has improved; the report for 1906 shews total receipts for the past year, £145 13s. 1d.; expenditure £87 2s. 10d.; leaving balance £58 10s. 3d.; allowing a dividend of £1 10s. per cent., the sum of £6 0s. 3d. being still in hand.  Offices on the same premises are rented by Mr. Reuben Roberts, Corn Merchant.


The Whelpton Almshouses are situated in Queen Street, on its east side, being six small residences, for the reception of deserving poor persons, natives of the town.  They were established in the year 1861, under the following circumstances.

The late Mr. Geo. Whelpton was a shoemaker, occupying a small shop, one of several then standing in the Market Place, on or near the site of the present Stanhope Memorial; [142a] the whole of these being cleared away when the late Honble. Edward Stanhope presented that piece of ground to the town, for the enlargement of the Market Place.  He resided in a small house in Stonewell Row, but afterwards removed into better premises in Queen Street.  While living in Stonewell Row he purchased some furniture cheap, at an auction, and in a drawer of one of the articles purchased he found a recipe, said to have been written by a Boston doctor, for the medicine eventually to become known universally as “Whelpton’s Pills” (a powerful stomachic, for kidney diseases, &c.), and from the sale of which he and other members of his family realised large fortunes. [142b]  His wife had been for some time in a bad state of health, and after she had consulted various doctors without deriving any benefit from their treatment, he decided to try for her the prescription which had thus accidentally come into his possession.  The result was so satisfactory that other sufferers applied to him for the pills, which for a time he freely gave to his neighbours; ultimately, however, these applications became so numerous that he was obliged to make a charge.

As he began to realise a considerable income from this source, he gave up the shoemaking business, and left Horncastle; his first move being to Derby, [142c] where he occupied a residence known as “St. Anne’s House,” afterwards moving to London, where he, at first, lived in Crane Court, Fleet Street, which still continues to be the depot of the pill business.  He subsequently p. 143moved to a better part of the metropolis, taking up his residence at 1, Albert Road, Regent’s Park, where he remained for several years, until he finally settled in Warrior Square, Hastings.

While residing in London his wife [143a] had another illness, from which she eventually died, in 1859; and feeling her loss very acutely he decided, after a time, to erect the almshouses to her memory. [143b]

West Street during the Flood, Dec. 31, 1900

Among the documents preserved in connection with this charity, is the original letter of George Whelpton, dated March 18, 1861, giving instructions that the building of the almshouses should be immediately taken in hand.  The Indenture itself is dated March 21st, 1861, and among its terms are the following: “This agreement is between Richard Clitherow, of Horncastle, Gentleman, surviving trustee and executor of the will of Samuel Curtis Lomas, late of Blencogo, Co. Cumberland, Surgeon, of the first part; George Whelpton, of No. 1, Albert Road, Regent’s Park, Middlesex, of the second part; and William Thompson Whelpton, of No. 69, Gloucester Crescent, Regent’s Park, Middlesex, Gent., and Rev. Henry Robert Whelpton, of Upton Park, Slough, p. 144Bucks., on the third part.”  In accordance with this agreement certain lands comprising, with others, the future site of the almshouses, situated on the east side of what was then called Union Street, the property of the said Samuel Curtis Lomas, were acquired through the said Mr. Richard Clitherow, for Mr. G. Whelpton, for the purposes of the charity, with the above relatives as co-trustees.  The sum of £1,000 was also conveyed as endowment of the charity, to the trustees.

It was provided by the agreement that the inmates of the houses should be selected from persons who were fit and deserving subjects of the charity, indigent, but of good character, not recipients of parish relief, and not under 45 years of age; and that any, becoming guilty of immorality, should forfeit their privileges.  The power of selection of inmates was vested in the trustees, assisted by the vicar and churchwardens of the parish; a clause being added, that, in case of the trustees being incompetent, by reason of infancy or idiocy, the vicar and churchwardens should select.  The weekly allowance to the inmates was to be 3s. 6d.

The agreement to this effect was signed, sealed, and delivered, by the said George Whelpton, in the presence of Richard Clitherow, Solicitor, and Charles Dee, Solicitor, both of Horncastle.  It was further signed by George Whelpton and William Thompson Whelpton, in the presence of Robert Cunliffe, Solicitor, of 43, Chancery Lane, London; and by Henry Robert Whelpton, in the presence of John Adams Cree, Clerk in Holy Orders, of Upton Park, Slough, Bucks.  Appended is a receipt, signed by Richard Clitherow, and witnessed by Charles Dee, shewing that, at the date of the Indenture, the sum of £101 5s. was paid by George Whelpton for the purchase of the site of the almshouses.

This agreement was examined on Feb. 7th, 1888, in the Court of Justice, London, before Mr. Justice Chitty, on an enquiry being made as to the estate of William Thompson Whelpton, deceased, at the instance of the Rev. Henry Robert Whelpton, and Stephen Whelpton; when the Court declared that the direction in the will of the testator, as to the endowment of the charity, was a “valid charitable bequest of £1,000,” and the money “invested in three per cents.  Consols, for the following purposes”: (1) for the repair of the alms-houses; (2) to pay each occupant 3s. 6d. per week; (3) in case of there being any surplus, to pay them so much more as the trustees should think fit.  A clause was added, empowering the Charity Commissioners, from time to time, to order any part of the income to be applied to special purposes, as they might think desirable.

We may add that while residing at Hastings, Mr. George Whelpton secured two acres of land, at Eastbourne, from the Duke of Devonshire, the owner of the whole town, as he is also of Buxton; and at a cost of about £20,000, erected and endowed the church and vicarage of St. Saviour’s, which was held by his youngest son, Henry Robert, who graduated at St. John’s College, Cambridge, and was afterwards made Canon of Chichester.  This benefice is private property, and is now held by his son, Henry Urling Whelpton, of Pembroke College, Cambridge.

The head of the Whelpton family may now be considered to be the Rev. George Whelpton, at one time residing in France, but now of Trinity House, Abington, Berks.  The original George Whelpton died in 1903.

For these details the present writer is indebted to several members of the Whelpton family, with some of whom he was a fellow pupil at the Horncastle Grammar School.


The present building is not the first structure erected in connection with the Volunteers, any more than the present Volunteers themselves are the first institution of the kind formed in Horncastle.  In the early years of the 19th century, when there was a general feeling abroad that one great project, nurtured in the ambitious mind of the first Napoleon, was an invasion of England, volunteers were organized throughout the country, with a view to self-defence.  As an instance of this, in the town of Pontefract a corps was formed, of which the Earl of Mexborough was Colonel Commandant, and George Pyemont, Esq., of Tanshelf House, Pontefract (grandfather of the present writer), was Major; [145] the records of which are preserved, among other public documents, in Pontefract Castle.

Conging Street during the flood, Dec. 31, 1900

Similarly, a corps was raised in Horncastle at the same period, of which we have somewhat curious evidence in the following.  There exists a small pamphlet, which the writer has recently (July, 1908) perused, entitled “An address delivered to the Horncastle Volunteers, on Feb. 26, 1804, by their chaplain, in consequence of the resignation of some of the members.  Published by desire of the corps.  Printed by James Weir, Horncastle, 1804.”  In this address he expresses his great regret that so many volunteers are resigning p. 146“after putting the country to the expense of supplying them with clothing and arms, having also pledged themselves to the country’s defence, and received in return exemption from militia service,” this too at a time when (as he says) “we are in danger of being reduced to a French province.”  “No resignations (he continues) have taken place in London, in Boston, or in Spilsby.”  He reminds them that they (the Horncastrians) had been “among the first in the county to offer their services,” and he urges them still to “maintain their character” for loyalty.

In consequence of this appeal a public meeting was called together, at which was formed a “Court of Enquiry,” consisting of “9 members, 3 elected from the officers of the corps, and 6 from the non-commissioned officers and privates, to whom all proposals of resignation should be submitted.”  In subsequent pages regulations are added as to keeping their weapons in proper condition, orders as to loading their guns, &c., which are described as “firelocks” with “flints.”  This we may regard as an interesting item of past local history, evidencing the spirit in which the first Horncastle Volunteers were formed.

The modern volunteer movement originated in the year 1859, under somewhat similar circumstances to the earlier movement.  Notwithstanding our ultimate victory in the Crimean war, it was felt that our blunders had been most serious, and our military organization far from complete.  War, as a science, was assuming new forms; steam was giving to navigation an independence of wind and tide, which might lead to invasion unawares.  The state of our defences was considered most unsatisfactory.  France was our ally, but the Emperor Napoleon III. only ruled by popular suffrage, and the memories of Waterloo still affected the sentiments of his people towards England.  The facility with which England might be invaded was a subject of discussion in parliament in the course of the session of that year.  Lord Palmerston held the view that France could, within a few hours, bring together an army, which could land on our shores and march upon London, before we were awake to the danger.  It was our duty to be ready for defence against any such surprise, and it was said that “our friend” Napoleon would himself welcome such preparedness on our part, as giving him the best arguments with his own subjects against any such enterprise.

Strengthened by such reasoning, the Earl of Ripon, Under Secretary for War, announced that volunteer corps would be enrolled throughout the country.  The government plans were published on the first of July, were warmly accepted by all parties, and a circular was issued, dated July 13th, to all the Lieutenants of counties, urging immediate action; and forthwith the “nation of shopkeepers” were, as by magic, transformed into an armed camp.  So rapid was the progress that by June of the following year the cry was “Ready, aye! ready;” and on the 23rd of that month the Queen held a review in Hyde Park, at which some 20,000 volunteers passed before her.  We are told, as a curious incident, that at that review there was present as a newly enrolled private, a Mr. Tower, of Wealdhall, Essex, who had also been present, as a private, at a review held under the former system in 1803. [146]

The loyal town of Horncastle was not behindhand; a public meeting was held in the Bull Hotel, on Aug. 10th, 1859, for the purpose of organizing a p. 147Rifle Corps, for the district, at which the Deputy Lieutenant attended.  Among those present were Major Smart, of Tumby, J. Wadham Floyer, of Martin Hall, H. F. Conington, Clarence House, Horncastle, Dr. B. J. Boulton, Dr. W. Ward, Messrs. W. S. Clitherow, R. C. Armstrong, E. Babington, F. Gilliat, F. W. Tweed, J. R. Banks, and most of the chief tradesmen and residents in town and neighbourhood.

The Stanch

The Muster Roll, which is still preserved, of the corps then formed, and designated the “G Company of the 1st Battalion of the Lincolnshire Regiment of Volunteers,” has at its head the name of Henry Francis Conington, as Captain, March 9th, 1860, with Richard W. Clitherow and Robert Jalland, as officers under him, at the same date; then follows a long list of non-commissioned officers and privates, numbering, in the course of a few years, more than 2,000 names.  Captain Conington, promoted Major in 1870, was succeeded in due course, on his going abroad, by Captain, afterwards Major, Robert Clifton Armstrong, who had begun service as Sergeant, and then Lieutenant; having under him, as Lieutenants, Messrs. W. Jeffery and W. S. Clitherow, who were succeeded by Richard W. Clitherow and Robert C. Isle; with Dr. Hugh George as surgeon.

Mr. Arthur Ellwood, of Mareham-le-Fen, who had joined the corps in 1865, succeeded to the command in 1891, with Dr. Keogh, of Coningsby, and p. 148F. S. Dymoke, Esq., as Lieutenants, Dr. Hugh George still acting as Surgeon; Ellwood was promoted as Captain in 1891, succeeded to the Colonelcy of the head-quarters staff in 1894, and is now Hon. Colonel of the Battalion, entitled to wear the regimental uniform.

In 1894 Mr. H. Tweed succeeded to the command as Captain, with Messrs. T. Levett and Granville Sharpe acting as Lieutenants (Mr. F. W. S. Heywood, of Holbeach Hall, being temporarily attached).  In 1899 Granville Sharpe succeeded to the command, but his health failing, he resigned after a year’s service.  He was succeeded in 1900 by Dr. J. W. Jessop as Captain, who had joined in 1895, and was in 1906 promoted Major of the Battalion; A. A. Ellwood becoming Lieutenant.  Dr. Herbert A. Howes, who had joined in 1900, succeeded in 1906 to the command, which he still holds, 1908.

Senior officers in command of the Battalion have been Col. Amcotts (deceased), Col. Seddon (deceased), Col. Preston (deceased), Col. J. G. Williams of Lincoln, and at present Col. J. Ruston of Lincoln.  Clergy who have served as Chaplains have been Revs. S. Lodge; C. Reginald Blathwayt, Vicar of West Ashby; A. Scrivenor, Vicar of Horncastle; H. Benwell; and at the present time (1908) Paul O. Ashby, Incumbent of Revesby.

Among those who have done good service in the corps, we should mention the first Drill Sergeant Beeton, who had previously served in the 22nd Regiment of the Line (the Old Cheshire), and afterwards in the South Lincolnshire Militia, as Colour Sergeant.  He drilled the corps during about 20 years; dying in Horncastle, after about 40 years service.  He was followed by Sergt. Major Bartlett; then by Sergeant Doggett, who had been Colour Sergeant in the 1st Royal Sussex, and previously to that in the 2nd Battalion of the North Staffordshire Regiment (the old 98th).  He still resides in Horncastle.  In later years the post has been held by Sergeants Towne, Ashley and Bamber.

As to the buildings connected with the volunteers, their history is briefly this: In the early years of the corps’ existence drill was carried on in the Corn Exchange.  After a time the building adjoining the north-east corner of the Wong, which had been a British School, was secured; and this, after structural renovation, was used for several years as the head-quarters.  It is now in the occupation of Messrs. Danby and Cheseldine, Coach Builders; as in 1901 a new site was obtained at the south-east corner of the Wong, and here on the 13th day of June in that year the foundation stone of the present Drill Hall was laid, with much ceremony, by the Earl of Yarborough, supported by other public functionaries.  We here give, in full, the official programme of the proceedings, which may be worthy of preservation, in memory of this important occasion.

to be observed in
of the
On Thursday, the 13th day of June, 1901.

the stone will be laid by the
Right Worshipful the Provincial Grand Master of Lincolnshire,
The Right Hon. the Earl of Yarborough, P.C., D.L.,
Past Grand Warden of England, R.W. Provincial Grand Master;
assisted by the
Worshipful the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, Bro. W. H. Sissons, D.L., J.P.,
And Officers of the Provincial Grand Lodge.


The Members of the Provincial Grand Lodge and Visiting Brethren will assemble at the
Wesleyan Schoolroom, Horncastle, at 12 o’clock.

A Procession will be formed at 12–15 precisely, in the following order:
Two Tylers, with drawn Swords.
Visiting Brethren.
The Lodges of the Province, according to their numbers, Juniors going first.
The W. Masters of the Olive Union and Shakspeare Lodges, with Trowel and Gavel.

Prov. Grand Steward.

Cornucopiæ with Corn and Salt,
borne by Masters of Lodges

Prov. Grand Steward.

Prov. Grand Steward.

Ewers with Wine and Oil,
borne by Masters of Lodges.

Prov. Grand Steward.


Past Provincial Grand Officers.


The Provincial Grand Superintendent of Works, with the Plate bearing the inscription for the Foundation Stone.
Provincial Grand Officer.
Provincial Grand Deacons, with Wands.
Acting Provincial Grand Treasurer, with Phial containing Coins to be deposited in the Stone.
The Corinthian Light, borne by the Master of the Franklin Lodge.
The Column of the Junior Provincial Grand Warden, borne by the Master of the Witham Lodge.
The Junior Provincial Grand Warden, with Plumb Rule.
The Doric Light, borne by the Master of the Doric Lodge.
The Column of the Senior Provincial Grand Warden, borne by the Master of the Pelham Pillar Lodge.
The Senior Provincial Grand Warden, with the Level.  The Provincial Grand Chaplains, bearing the Volume of the Sacred Law.
The Provincial Grand Secretary, with Book of Constitutions.
The Provincial Grand Standard Bearers, with Banner of Provincial Grand Lodge.
Provincial Grand Sword Bearer.
The W. Deputy Provincial Grand Master, with Square.
The Ionic Light, borne by the Master of the Yarborough Lodge.

Prov. Grand Steward

The R.W.  Provincial Grand Master.

Prov. Grand Steward.

Provincial Grand Tyler, with Sword.

On arrival at the site, the Brethren will divide right and left, allowing the R.W P.G.M. preceded by the Sword Bearers followed by the Acting Officers, to pass to their positions, and the brethren will then file round the Acting Officers.
The W.M. of the Olive Union Lodge will then request the Provincial Grand Master to lay the Foundation Stone.
The Deputy Provincial Grand Master will deliver the Ancient Opening Address.


Hail!  Eternal! by whose aid
All created things were made,
Heaven and earth Thy vast design,
Hear us, Architect Divine!

May our work, begun in thee,
Ever blest with order be;
And may we, when labours cease,
Part in harmony and peace.

By Thy glorious Majesty—
By the trust we place in Thee—
By the badge and Mystic sign—
Hear us, Architect Divine!  So mote it be.

The Provincial Grand Chaplin will offer Prayer.

The Architect will then present the Plans for Inspection.

The Acting Provincial Grand Treasurer will then deposit the Coins, &c., in the cavity of the stone.

The Provincial Grand Secretary will read aloud the inscription on the Stone and Plate, which
will then be placed in position.

The W. Master, 1304, will then present the Trowel to the P.G.M., who will adjust the cement,
and the upper stone will be lowered, with three distinct stops.

p. 150The R.W. the P.G.M. will now prove the just position and form of the stone by the Plumb Rule, Level, and Square, which will be successively handed to him by the P.G. Junior Warden, the P.G. Senior Warden, and Deputy Provincial Grand Master.  Being satisfied in these particulars, he will give the stone three knocks with the Mallet, which will be delivered to him by the Grand Superintendent of Works.

The Cornucopiæ, containing the Corn and Salt, and the Ewers, with the Wine and Oil, will next be handed to the R.W. the P.G.M., who will strew the Corn and Salt, and pour the Wine and Oil over the stone, with the accustomed ceremonies.

Invocation by the P.G. Chaplain.

The R.W. the P.G.M. having inspected the Plan of the intended building, will deliver the same to the Architect, together with the several tools used in proving the position of the stone, and desire him to proceed without loss of time to the completion of the Work, in conformity with the Plan.

The following Hymn will then be sung:—

God of Light! whose love unceasing
Doth to all Thy works extend,
Crown our Order with Thy blessing.
Build—sustain us to the end.

Humbly now we bow before Thee,
Grateful for Thine aid Divine;
Everlasting power and glory,
Mighty Architect, be Thine.  So mote it be

The Procession will return in inverse order to the P.G. Lodge Room.

This hall is a spacious and lofty building, well adapted for its purpose, and also (as it is frequently used) for theatricals, and other entertainments; having a permanent stage, dressing rooms, lavatories, &c., with a commodious kitchen attached, and every convenience for cooking, &c.  The cost of the whole was about £2,000, raised by public subscriptions.



Miss Annie Dixon, the artist, was a native of Horncastle of whom the town may well be proud.  She was the eldest daughter of a corn chandler, living on the Spilsby Road, now called East Street; he had two sons and five daughters.  We know nothing of the sons, but Miss Annie early developed great taste in water-colour painting; and among her early productions was a miniature of a near relative of the present writer, done in 1855.  Another of Miss H. A. Palmer, eldest daughter of Captain Moffat Palmer, of Horncastle, and widow of the late George Storer, Esq., of Thoroton Hall, Notts., late M.P. for S. Notts., was done about the same time.  She afterwards removed to London, and became the first miniature painter of her day; was a frequent exhibitor in the Royal Academy, and a favourite with Queen Victoria and the Royal family, of most of whom she painted miniatures.  She died unmarried Feb 15th, 1901, aged 83, and was buried in the Horncastle cemetery.

Another daughter, Leonora, married a Mr. F. Stapleforth, of Holbeach.  Two other sisters, Fanny and Emily, unmarried, carried on a ladies’ school at Spalding; and another, Charlotte, married a former Under Master of the Horncastle Grammar School, Rev. W. Hutchinson, who in 1862 was appointed by the Lord Chancellor Vicar of Howden, in Yorkshire.  Of these Emily, died unmarried, May 28th, 1903, aged 80, and was also buried in the cemetery; as well as Charlotte (Mrs. Hutchinson), who died Oct. 19th, in the same year, aged 73.  Their graves are situated to the east of the chapel.


Lord Allerton, formerly Mr. William Lawnes Jackson, is a member of a Horncastle family.  A near relative was a well-known object, a few years ago, in our streets as a cripple, going about on a donkey, lying flat on a large saddle or “pad,” his only means of locomotion.  Lord Allerton’s father, William Jackson, left Horncastle for Leeds, somewhere in the “thirties,” or the “forties,” going it is said, with only half a sovereign in his pocket, given by an aunt, and a spare shirt given by an uncle.  At Leeds he found employment in the tanyard of a Mr. Robert Barker, where he presently became foreman.  He afterwards returned to Horncastle and worked in the tanyard of the late Mr. Hawling; but went back to Leeds and commenced tanning on his own account, at Meanwood near Leeds, and afterwards on a still larger scale at Buslingthorpe.  He speedily began to prosper, and in due course was succeeded by his son; who made a large fortune in the same business.  He became a magistrate of Leeds, and was elected to the Mayoralty in 1895.  He represented North Leeds in Parliament for many years, as a conservative, being first elected in April, 1880, and re-elected five times, with ever increasing majorities.  He was for many years a Director and Chairman of G.N.R. Company, and held other public offices.  In 1896 he succeeded Mr. A. J. Balfour, under Lord Salisbury’s administration, as Chief Secretary for Ireland, being also, for several years, Financial Secretary of the Treasury; and was raised to the peerage in June, 1902.  He was born in 1840, married in 1860, Grace, the only daughter of George Tempest, Esq.  He owns, as his country seat, Allerton Hall, Chapel Allerton, Leeds, and 27, Cadogan Square, as his town residence.  His uncle, Mr. John Green, still lives in Horncastle, on the Edlington Road.


Edward Gilliat was the eldest son of the late Mr. George Gilliat, of the Manor House (now called “Banovallum”), by his second wife.  He was educated partly at the Grammar School, being afterwards a pupil of Canon Sanderson, at Seaford, Sussex.  He entered at Pembroke College, Oxford, where he obtained a scholarship in 1861.  In 1862 he took a 1st class in Classical Moderations, and 1st Literæ Humaniores, 1864.  In 1867 he was Proxime accessit for the Latin essay.  He was appointed Assistant Master at Westminster School, Sept., 1867, holding the post to Dec., 1870.  He was ordained deacon in 1870 and priest in 1871, by the Bishop of London.  In Sep. 1871, he was appointed Assistant Master at Harrow, where he remained till 1900.  He has been a voluminous writer, publishing his first work, Asylum Christi, 3 vols., in 1875; On the Wolds, 1879; Under the Downs, 1882; Forest Outlaws, 1886; John Standish, 1889; In Lincoln Green, 1893; Wolf Head, 1898; The King’s Reeve, 1899; Romance of Modern Sieges, 1907; and God save King Alfred, in the same year.  He also published, for the S.P.C.K., Dorothy Dymoke, and Champion of the Right.  He has now retired from scholastic work and resides at St. Catherine’s Hill, Worcester.


We have already in our notice of the Grammar School (p. 98) given an account of the Rev. Francis Grosvenor, son of an ironmonger in the town; p. 153there was also another son, Frederick, educated under Dr. J. Bainbridge Smith, at the school, who graduated at Oxford, and was ordained deacon in 1860, and priest in 1861.  He held a curacy at Basford, Notts, 1860–62; was travelling Chaplain to the Bishop of Brisbane, 1862–65; Curate of Holy Trinity, Westminster, 1866–67; of St. Mary’s, Hulme, Manchester, 1867–69; of St. Gabriel’s, Canning Town, London, 1869–73; at Dudley, 1874–76; and at Hornsea, near Hull, 1876–85; when he, like his brother Francis, retired to Epsom, and succeeded him as Chaplain to the Union there, until his decease.


Mr. John Caparn, Chemist, having a shop in the High Street (now occupied by Mr. Herbert Carlton), had a son, William Barton Caparn, who graduated at Brazenose College, Oxford, taking honours, in 1843.  He was ordained deacon in 1843, and priest in 1845, in the diocese of Ripon.  He became Vicar of East and West Torrington, near Wragby, in 1846, which he held till 1859.  He held the benefice, as Vicar, of Drayton, Somersetshire, from 1866 to 1875.  Having private means, he gave up that benefice, and became Curate of Angersleigh, in the same county, 1877–79; which he then gave up, and undertook the Chaplaincy of the Taunton Union, and local hospital.  These he resigned after a few years, and resided at Taunfield House, Taunton, until his death, April 10th, 1892.  He published various minor works; the first being a small volume on Epitaphs, later productions were Meditations to be used in Church before Divine Service; Councils and warnings before and after Confirmation, &c.

George Gilliat, Esq., late of The Wharf, Horncastle, married, as his first wife, Miss Caparn, a sister.  Miss Helen Caparn, another sister, married Mr. William Sharples, Surgeon, a partner of the late Mr. T. Snaith, of Horncastle, and one of the first doctors at Woodhall Spa.  Mr. Sharples left Horncastle for Wisbech, being appointed by the trustees first resident physician at the hospital founded in that town by Miss Trafford Southwell.  Losing an only daughter while there, the shock was so great, that he resigned the post, and removed to Taunton, and took up there the practice of a deceased brother, which he carried on until his death, Feb. 8th, 1897.  At Horncastle he resided for some years in the old vicarage, south of the churchyard, afterwards moving to the house next the “Fighting Cocks” Inn, called “Westholme House.”  For some years he was a very popular Secretary to the Southwold Hunt.


Among more recent natives of Horncastle, who have distinguished themselves, is the son of the late Mr. Robert Brown, of the Market Place.  He graduated at University College, Durham, as Licentiate in Theology, 1887, and was ordained deacon in 1890, priest in 1891, holding the curacy of North Ormsby, near Middlesborough; and was appointed Rector of Bucknall, near Horncastle, in 1898, by the patron his father-in-law, the late Mr. James Dunham, Merchant, of Horncastle.  He was appointed Inspector of Schools, 1899.  Mr. Benson Brown is an energetic worker, has restored his church, adding a carved reredos of oak, a handsome lectern, and filling the east window with good stained glass.  He has also introduced various reforms and improvements in the parish.


Another native of Horncastle, who has already done credit to the town is the son of Mr. Henry Sharp, Saddler, in the Bull Ring; of a very old firm, established in 1760, and doing an European business.  William Heneage Sharp was educated at the local Grammar School, 1885–9, where he gained the first scholarship granted by the Governors, under the reformed system.  He then went to the college at Framlingham, Suffolk, 1889–90, a county institution founded as a memorial of the late Prince Consort, and there gained several prizes.  He then became a Junior Master in a private school at Devizes; and during his stay there took the 2nd and 4th prizes at the College of Preceptors.  He next accepted a Mastership at John Ellis’s endowed school in South London (Gospel Oak).  After which he studied at King’s College, London, 1899–1901, where he gained the Jelf prize for Dogmatic Theology, the Senior Wordsworth prize for Latin, and the Barry Divinity Prize.  He was also appointed Precentor, and afterwards Dean, of the college, being senior student of his year, and taking a first-class in the final examination.  He was ordained by the Bishop of London, in St. Paul’s Cathedral, in 1901, being appointed “Gospellor” on the occasion.  He was Curate of Staines, Middlesex, 1901–3, removing afterwards to St. John the Evangelist, Holborn, 1903–8; and was then appointed Theological Tutor and Sub-Warden at the College of the Resurrection, Mirfield, in the Diocese of Ripon.


A youth of Horncastle who has distinguished himself, though chiefly in another line, is Alfred H. Healey, son of the late Mr. Alfred Healey, Brewer and Merchant, of Horncastle, Branston and Lincoln.  He was appointed to a Mastership of Ardingly College, Sussex, but removed to Alnwick College more recently.  A member of a family remarkable for their ability; a brother, though still young, being high up in the Civil Service; he is specially distinguished as an athlete.  Among his performances are the following:

Olympic Games, at Athens, 1906, 2nd in 110 metres hurdle race.

English Championship, 120 yards hurdle race, at Manchester, 1907, 2nd.

Northern Counties’ 100 yards Championship, hurdle race, Darlington, 1905, 2nd.

Northern Counties’ Champion, 100 yards, at Batley, 1907, 1st.

Northern Counties’ Champion, 120 yards, at Batley, 1907, 1st.

Northern Counties’ Champion, 220 yards, at Darlington, 1907, 1st.

Northern Counties’ Champion, long jump, at Darlington, 1907, 1st.

A record, no one before having won more than two events.  His “bests” have been: 100 yards in 10 seconds; 120 yards (hurdles) 16 and three-fifth seconds; 220 yards (hurdles) 23 seconds; high jump, 5-ft. 8-in.; long jump, 22-ft. 4-in.  He was also selected to represent England in the foot races at the Franco-British Exhibition, at Shepherd’s Bush, 1908.


Horncastle had, for some years, the dubious honour of being the home of the public hangman.  William Marwood was born at Goulceby, about six miles from Horncastle, and afterwards lived some years in Old Bolingbroke, coming to Horncastle about 1860; where he was a shoemaker, having a small shop in Church Street, now occupied by Mr. Joseph Borrill, of the same trade.  Before being himself appointed hangman he assisted his predecessor in that office, p. 155Calcraft, and succeeded him in 1872; continuing the duties until his death, Sept. 4th, 1883; when he in turn was succeeded by Bartholomew Binns.  He was rather short in stature, with large square head and large hands, indicative of firmness of character.  His first official act was to hang a man named Francis Horry, at Lincoln, who murdered his wife at Boston, in 1872; his last was to hang a man, James Burton, at Durham, who murdered his young wife, aged only 18, from jealousy.  On this occasion the man fainted on the scaffold, and got entangled with the rope under his arm, and Marwood had to lift him in his arms to get him disentangled, and then drop the unconscious man down—a painful scene. [155]  This was only about a fortnight before his own death.  Among his last executions was that of Charles Peace, a notorious burglar, who shot a man at Banner Cross, near Sheffield.  In May, 1882, he went to Dublin to execute the perpetrators of the Phœnix Park murders, three Fenians, who shot Lord E. Cavendish, and his secretary, Mr. Burke.  In his last illness, which was short, it was suspected that his health had been in some way injured through Fenian agency, and a post mortem examination was held by order of the Home Secretary, but a verdict was returned of “natural death.”  Mr. Henry Sharp, Saddler, of the Bull Ring, was one of the jury on this occasion.

Marwood’s wife was, for some years, ignorant of her husband’s official occupation, as he generally accounted for his absence by saying that he had to go away to settle some legal question.  Visiting the slaughter-house of a neighbouring butcher, he observed to him that he could “do” for men as the butcher did for cattle, because the men whom he had to deal with were themselves “beasts.”

Some of Marwood’s official paraphernalia are still preserved at the Portland Arms Inn, Portland Street, Lincoln, where he generally stayed at an execution.  The late Mr. Charles Chicken, who resided in Foundry Street, Horncastle, had a rope 1¼-in. thick, given him by Marwood, with which he had hanged six or seven criminals.  Other ropes used by him are in Madam Tussaud’s exhibition, in Baker Street, London, where there is also a bust of himself.  He used to exhibit his ropes to foreign horse-dealers, who attended the great August Fair at Horncastle, at a charge of 6d. each.  There was recently a portrait of Marwood, in crayons, in a barber’s shop, 29, Bridge Street, drawn by J. S. Lill, postman, but this has now disappeared.  Marwood’s favourite dog, Nero, and other effects were sold by auction, after his death in 1883, by Mr. W. B. Parish.

* * * * *

Other Horncastrians whose lives, or circumstances, were more or less exceptional, may be here also briefly noticed.


Mr. Henry Turner, about the middle of the 19th century, was a corn and coal merchant, and also land agent for Sir Henry Dymoke, Bart., of Scrivelsby Court.  He occupied the house at the corner of South Street, next the water side, then a private residence, but now the shop of Mr. F. Stuchbery, Ironmonger.  He married the widow of Arthur Thistlewood, a native of Horsington, noted, in his later years, as the leader of the “Cato Street Conspiracy,” which p. 156proposed to assassinate the ministers of the government, in London, when attending a dinner at Lord Harrowby’s residence, in February, 1820.  The plot was discovered and frustrated, and Thistlewood, with others of his guilty confreres, was executed on May 1st in that year.  Mrs. Turner was the daughter of a butcher, named Wilkinson, whose shop was situated in the High Street, where is now the shop of Mr. Uriah Spratt.


Mr. Martin Brown, grandfather of Mr. W. H. Brown, Plumber and Glazier, of Church Lane, was in the early part of the 19th century captured by the press gang in Horncastle, and made to serve in H.M.S. Mars, in the war with Napoleon.  In one contest his ship was lashed to a French man-of-war, to fight it out, and his captain was killed.  He survived to tell the story till 90 years of age, with scarcely a day’s illness, until his death, Nov. 9th, 1866.  He lies buried in Holy Trinity churchyard, his wife, who predeceased him by several years, being buried in St. Mary’s churchyard, on the south-east side.


Captain Shepherd, an old naval officer, lived many years, and died, in Union Street, now called Queen Street.  He had had many voyages and experiences, which he was fond of recounting to his many friends.  He had brought home many trophies and curiosities; among other things he gave an Indian bow, made of sugar cane, and poisoned arrows, to the present writer, when a boy.


In the next house to Captain Shepherd resided Miss Franklin, sister of the great arctic navigator, Sir John Franklin.  Much interest was taken in Horncastle in the fate of Sir John, when absent on his last polar voyage, and considerable sums were raised, more than once, among the residents in the town, to assist Lady Franklin in sending out vessels in search of her husband, under the command of Captain Leopold MacClintock and others.  We have mentioned elsewhere that a public dinner was given to Sir John, at the Bull Hotel, just before he sailed for the last time to the north.

In connection with this it may be added that the son of another great arctic explorer, Sir John Ross, used to visit friends in Horncastle, and is still remembered.  Sir John Ross sailed in search of Sir John Franklin in 1848, but was unsuccessful.


Edmund Keane, the Tragedian visited Horncastle with his company, in the first half of the 19th century, and acted in a large building, which is now the warehouse of Mr. Herbert Carlton, Chemist.  The mother of Mr. Henry Sharp, Saddler, and the late Mr. Henry Boulton, of St. Mary’s Square, among others, witnessed these performances.  In connection with this, it may be added, that Mr. Charles Keane, Actor, son of the above, sent two nieces to be educated at a ladies’ school, kept by Mrs. Nicholson, Bank Street, Horncastle, and on their leaving he made her a present of a valuable pianoforte.


About 30 years ago Robert Langley kept an inn in South Street, called the “Coach and Horses,” on the premises now occupied by Mr. Crowson, Grocer.  His son, Ambrose Langley, became a noted footballer, in Horncastle and neighbourhood.  He afterwards left the town and joined the Grimsby Town Football Club; subsequently he went to Middlesborough, Yorkshire, playing for the Ironopolis Football Club.  He afterwards joined the Sheffield Wednesday Football Club, which team he was with eight years, being captain three years; playing in the final for the English Cup, for that team, when they beat Wolverhampton Wanderers by two goals to one, in 1896.  Leaving Sheffield Wednesday he became manager of the Hull City Football Club, which position he now (season 1907–8) holds.


Captain Surgeon Smith, son of a draper, Mr. Walker Smith, who occupied, about 25 years ago, the shop near the Post Office, on the south side of the High Street, now occupied by Mr. Redmore, enlisted as a private in the Army Hospital Corps; and, afterwards, passing all examinations with credit, he rose from the ranks to become medical officer in the corps; an exceptional instance of such promotion.


Henry Allenby, son of a fellmonger, Mr. Richard Allenby, residing near the Wong, and having a tanyard on the Lincoln Road, became an assistant chemist at St. Albans.  Afterwards coming under notice, in a chemist’s shop in London, he was selected to accompany the Duke of Edinburgh in his tour round the world, in H.M.S. Galatea, as dispenser to the expedition.  This was in 1866; and in this capacity he visited India, Japan, China, Australia, &c.


Mr. Robert Schofield, Landlord (in the middle of the last century) of the Saracen’s Head Inn, Bridge Street, Horncastle, had a son, John, who left Horncastle for London, and became a member of the Stock Exchange, where, from small beginnings, he became so successful in business, that he eventually married a daughter of Bishop Blomfield, of London.


The Rev. W. Robinson, Vicar of Wood Enderby and Wilkesby, in the middle of the 19th century, like several other clergy, who at that time had no country residences, lived in Horncastle.  His daughter, happening to be of the same size and figure as Queen Victoria, was for several years engaged in the Queen’s service, as a living model, on whom were “tried” all dresses intended for the Queen.  In return for this she received, as a perquisite, her Majesty’s cast-off dresses, from the sale of which she realised an acceptable income.  It is said that, through her, on the marriage of a lady friend, the dresses of both bride and bridesmaids were all royal attire.  It was generally understood that p. 158this appointment was due to the representations, in her favour, of Miss Annie Dixon, the artist (herself a native of Horncastle, mentioned elsewhere), who was at that time a grata persona with the royal family.


Mr. John Cussons, son of the late Mr. John Cussons, Baker, in the Bull Ring, and nephew of the late Mr. David Cussons, Printer and Bookseller, High Street, Horncastle, ran away before his apprenticeship had expired, and went to America, settling in the Confederate States.  He there espoused the Confederate cause against the Federals, and took a leading part in the civil war, commanding Confederate forces in several important engagements.  Since that time he has visited Horncastle, and has published a history of his military operations.  He now resides on his own property, at Forest Lodge, Glen Allen, Virginia.  His last publication, in 1908, is Jack Sterry, the Jessie Scout.  He is also the author of A Glance at Current History, The Passage of the Thoroughfare Gap, Some Modern Pillars of State, Principles of Cryptiography, Assimilating the Indian, &c.


Henry Allison, son of Mr. Allison, Miller, formerly residing in West Street, married a daughter of Mr. David Cussons, and leaving the town about 1848, settled in Hull, where he established a large business as paper manufacturer.  He was elected Mayor of Hull; and died some years ago, leaving a widow, who resides in a large mansion, which he built on the outskirts of the town, Marlborough House, Anlaby Road.  The business, with several branches, is still carried on by members of his family.


John Brown, the “Poet Laureate” of Horncastle, has already been mentioned; he is chiefly known by the volume Literæ Laureatœ, published in 1890, dedicated to Lord Tennyson, by permission, and containing most of his poetical productions.  These are remarkable for his knowledge of Lincolnshire dialect and local folk-lore.  The volume was published, after his death, on behalf of his widow.

He was born in the first workhouse, adjoining St. Mary’s churchyard, his parents being in charge of that institution.  Being first apprenticed to a cabinet maker, Mr. J. Williams, when only just “in his teens,” he ran away to Hull, and took service on a vessel, the Margaret, bound for Cronstadt.  His first voyage, however, was sufficient to disgust him with marine life.  When about 15 he found employment with a theatrical scene painter from London, who settled in Horncastle.  He afterwards went to London to learn his trade as a house decorator.  He married in 1833 a Miss Gainsborough, of Alford.  In 1838 he went to Lincoln, and for some years carried on his trade there.  In 1848 he returned to Horncastle, and still carrying on his trade, became a member of a literary coterie, who used to hold meetings in the coffee room of the Bull Hotel.  In 1860 he bought a house on the Louth Road, which he opened as the Globe Inn, and which became the resort of his literary friends.  Literature, however, did not conduce to business.  In 1872 his health failing, and his savings p. 159having evaporated, he was granted a residence in the Whelpton Almshouses, where he continued to employ his pen, in comfort, until his death in 1890. [159]


The late Mr. Thomas Baker has already been referred to, but is worthy of a fuller account.  He was not a native of Horncastle, but lived in the town more than 60 years, and became so identified with its interests, in many ways, that he may well be regarded as one of its “worthies.”  Born in 1814, at Braintree, in Essex, he was the son of a veterinary surgeon in that town, his family having previously there owned the once well-known coaching house, named The Horn Inn; although earlier members of his family had occupied a higher position; one of them, named Thorowgood, having founded the Grammar School at Oxford.

Before coming to Horncastle, in 1841, Mr. Baker was known on more than one county cricket ground, and had distinguished himself on the University ground at Cambridge, “Parker’s Piece.”  On coming to Horncastle he immediately made his mark in cricket as a round-hand bowler; and the leading young men of the neighbourhood became his pupils.  One of his feats was, in a match between an 11 of All England and 22 gentlemen of the county; when he bowled out, with his first ball, Iddison, Captain of the All England team.  The great matches in which he took part for many years were too many to tell.  Among other things he had the distinction of being employed by Sir Evelyn Wood to train a village club in his parish.

Besides his cricketing skill he was remarkable for his ventriloquial powers; and the story was told, that, while sitting in conversation with two strangers, at the Bull Hotel, he threw his voice under the table.  The two sprang up to catch the supposed eavesdropper, when he at once calmed them by throwing his voice in another direction, and then letting them into the secret.  He was also, in his way, a fair actor; and, with the late Mr. John Brown, the Horncastle Laureate, and others, he helped to amuse considerable audiences, in town and neighbourhood.  In comedy he could take all the parts himself, rapidly changing his dress, and at one moment adopting the high falsetto tones of an old crone, and the next moment speaking in the deeper accents of a strong man.  It is greatly to his credit that, only having for many years a small shop, famed chiefly for his two specialites, “bull eyes” and “Grantham ginger-bread,” he brought up a large family, who have taken good positions in various parts of the country.  He was a staunch conservative and churchman.

In his later years he was often visited by strangers, who were entertained by his fund of anecdote and cricketing reminiscences.  Among these we may name the novelist, Miss Marie Corelli, who, while staying at Woodhall Spa, sought his acquaintance, as being one of the “characters” of the neighbourhood, and to his delight she gave him her autograph.  Mr. J. J. Hissey, the author of A Driving Tour in Lincolnshire, also visited him at his house in Horncastle, and says of him “although wearing a shabby garb, he struck me with his perfect self-possession, and superior manners. . . .  I have met many characters, but Mr. Baker struck me as being the most remarkable.”  He died Feb. 12th, 1903, aged 88; and in his last illness letters poured in upon him from old friends and pupils, expressing their sympathy and their pleasant recollections of his company.


To these “worthies” of the town we here add two or three of its “oddities.”  About 1844 Billy Boulton, who kept an inn in Millstone Street, now called North Street, named the Tom Cat, was noted for his great strength; for a wager he dragged a “dung cart” on the turnpike road, from Lincoln, to his own yard in Horncastle, a distance of over 21 miles.  It is said, however, that he suffered from rupture for the rest of his life, as a consequence of the great and continued exertion involved in this feat.  The inn is now named The Cricketers’ Arms, but it may be noticed that the figure of a cat is still engraven on a pane of the front window.

The same man bought the wife of a man named Rogers, a boatman, who put her up for auction, standing on a tub, with a halter round her neck, in the public street; the price paid being £20.  She had a son and daughter by Boulton, who both lived to be married, but died early.  In after years, having lost her (so called) husband, Boulton, she removed to Lincoln, and there meeting her former husband, Rogers, she became reconciled to him, and both again lived together, as man and wife, until death. [160]

A man, known as Aty Rushton (short for Horatio), who lived in Horncastle, on the West Ashby Road, about the same period, and let out horses on hire, being in Lincoln, laid a wager that he would set off from Lincoln, above hill, just after the moon rose, and ride to Horncastle, 21 miles, before the moon should rise there; which would be later, the town being in a hollow, with a steep hill in the west to hide the moon for some time; while Lincoln is on a hill, with a view to the west over low county, where the moon would be seen earlier.  He rode a swift animal of his own. and strained all its powers in the effort.  Unfortunately there was then a toll bar on the Lincoln road about a mile from Horncastle, where he found the gate closed, and was delayed two or three minutes before the keeper could pass him through.  He pressed on with all speed, galloping through the town, shouting in his excitement “Now me! now moon!”; but as he dashed into his own yard, he saw the moon shining in a bucket of water, standing by the stable door.  The delay at the toll-bar had lost him his wager.

A son of the above, Thomas Rushton, was a great fisherman, and not always particular where he followed his sport.  Walking in the night to a certain lake in a park, about 6 miles from Horncastle, he fished it and landed two or three brace of good trout, and then about eight o’clock in the morning, he called at the hall, and sold them to the squire for his breakfast.  He used to tell this anecdote to his confidants, with his well-known chuckle of satisfaction, as a satisfactory stroke of business.  Many other stories of his performances with “the angle” could be also related, but this may suffice.

The following relates not to a native of Horncastle, but to one whom we may call an “intruder,” although he was to play his part (not a very creditable one) in the town.  We avoid, for obvious reasons, giving names and dates.  There had occurred a number of petty thefts, which made, those who possessed anything of value, uneasy about their treasures, lest their turn for spoliation might come next.  The police arrangements for the town were still of a very p. 161primitive character, and quite inadequate for due protection of the householder.  The days of the “bobby” and “peeler” were not yet, at least in country districts; although Sir Robert Peel had done away with the old watchman, and established the present police system in the metropolis; and some other of our larger towns had followed suit.  But in Horncastle the constable, by way of setting a thief to catch a thief, had, it was said, himself in his earlier years been a great smuggler, while in his age he was a spindle-shanked old man, whom a boy could knock down.  Roused by the insecurity of property, the authorities decided to import a London detective, disguised in plain clothes.  He came, and for a while marauders, among whom the secret soon leaked out, carefully stayed their hands.  After a time, however, robberies began to recur; especially a corner shop near “the far bridge,” was the scene of considerable pilfering.  The detective was called in to investigate.  He took up the matter, but did not succeed in making any arrests.

It was noticed by someone that a brass button was missing from the sort of gamekeeper’s velveteen coat which he wore; and, strange to say, a button of the exact kind was found behind the counter of the shop where the thefts occurred.  No public action was taken in the matter, but it came to be strongly suspected that the professional thief-taker had himself been guilty of thieving.  Other suspicious circumstances occurred, but he was a clever man, and nothing was brought home against him.  It was believed, however, that something of the truth had become known at head quarters, as his appointment was a few months later cancelled, and he was not appointed elsewhere.  He continued to reside in Horncastle and, having no employment, he accepted the post of water bailiff to the local angling association, which he filled for some time, until he eventually disappeared from the scene of his labours, which were thought by not a few to be somewhat “fishy” in the unfavourable sense of being at least questionable in their nature.

He had not left the town very long when it became known that certain parties had received from him some of the goods which had disappeared from the grocer’s shop, which had been robbed.  Sundry hams were found concealed in a hay loft, and it was generally believed that the robbery of an inn in the town, not far from the shop in question, as well as other thefts in the country around, had been perpetrated by him.


One of the remarkable features of Horncastle is the number of its publichouses, and these were far more numerous formerly than at the present day.  This was, of course, mainly due to the great number of dealers who attended the horse fairs, not only from all parts of England and Ireland, but from most countries on the continent; especially the great August fair, which formerly lasted no less than three weeks.  The present facilities for rapid travel, by rail, and quicker means of communication, which now enable dealers to hear of horses for sale, and to visit them in their owners stables, before they are brought to the fair, has altered all this, and the fairs now last only a few days at the most.

These publichouses had also generally attached to them large yards, and extensive stabling (as may still be seen), where the best horses were shewn and tried, without appearing in the streets.  In consequence of the reduced need for such accommodation many of these publichouses have disappeared.  Among p. 162the names of those which have been lost, are the Royal Oak, the Peal of Bells, Cock and Breeches, Chequers, Hammer and Pincers, Dolphin, Pack Horse, Woolpack, Fox and Goose, Marquis of Granby, Blue Bell, Horseshoes, Axe and Cleaver, Three Maids’ Heads, Queen’s Head, the George, and others which are only traditionally remembered. [162]

Several of these were almost contiguous.  For instance, on the west side of the market, on the site of No. 1, now (1908) occupied by Mr. R. W. Clitherow, formerly stood a good-sized publichouse, which was destroyed by fire.  Being rebuilt, it became the private residence of Mr. H. Sellwood, Solicitor, father-in-law of the late Poet Laureate, Lord Tennyson.  Separated from this, northward, by only two houses, was the Black Horse Inn, still existing, and next to this, on what is now part of the shop of Messrs. Lunn and Dodson, was the Peal of Bells, and not more than half-a-dozen yards distant, on the opposite side of the street, was the very old Saracen’s Head, still existing.

On the north side of the Market Place, next to what is now Mr. Cammack’s cycle depot, was the Queen’s Head Inn, now gone; and at the north-east corner of the Market Place, one door removed from St. Lawrence Street, was the Nelson Inn, still existing; while at the south-east corner stood the large George Inn, no longer existing; and near the churchyard, under the same roof with the old vicarage, was a much patronized dram shop, kept by a Mrs. Clayton, long since removed.

Of some of these we are able to give particulars, not without interest.  The Cock and Breeches was kept by Roland Oliver, a breeches maker, whose daughter migrated to London, and, as Mrs. Hibbert, kept an inn, the Elephant, in Fenchurch Street, City.  At the Queen’s Head were, early last century, barracks for volunteers or soldiers, with their drill sergeants; who performed their drill and practiced with “Brown Bess” in a chalk pit, on the west side of the Edlington Road, now disused, but still represented by a deep depression in the field below the footpath to Thimbleby, and at the back of the gardens of Mr. Frank Heane, of the Garth House, and other adjoining residents.

At this same inn, the Queen’s Head, some 20 years or more ago, on removing the bricks of the kitchen floor, the workmen found a skeleton, probably that of a man who had been murdered for his money at the August fair, and in connection with this, it was remembered that a farmer living at Stourton, who used to frequent this inn, had some years before attended the fair, but never returned home, nor could enquiring friends find any trace of him.

The Nelson Hotel, on the same side of the Market Place, was formerly kept by an old man named Vesey, who was said to have been, in his earlier years, a great smuggler on the coast, but coming to Horncastle, he reformed, and was appointed constable.  The sign of this inn is a portrait of the great hero of Trafalgar and the Nile, originally well painted by the artist, Northouse, but it has recently been repainted in the worst style, and almost “improved” out of recognition.

The George stood on the sites now occupied by the Post Office, and the adjoining shop of Messrs. Salter, Shoemakers, the original archway of the inn yard still remaining between them.  This was formerly one of the principle inns of the town, equal in size to the Bull and the Red Lion; and from it, before the railway line was opened to Horncastle, the landlord, Mr. Hackford, ran a coach, to meet the train at Kirkstead.  An incident, in connection with the p. 163George may here be mentioned, which is not likely to occur again.  A wealthy lady, Miss Heald (who had also a house in London, where the writer, as a boy, visited her), occupied in those days the old hall (now demolished) in Edlington Park.  She was of the family of Chancellor Heald, to whose memory there is a marble tablet, on the north wall of the chancel of St. Mary’s Church.  She had a nephew, who was an officer in the fashionable regiment of the Guards.  He became enamoured of the once famous courtesan, Lola Montez, who had been mistress to the King of Bavaria, attracted by her beauty, it was said, as she drove, and he rode, along Rotten Row, the resort of fashion, in Hyde Park, London.  She wished to make the most of the opportunity to regain a respectable position, and pressed her attentions of the young officer too persistently.  She was a woman of daring and reckless temperament; and his love and admiration gradually, on closer acquaintance, gave way to fear.  At length he did all he could to avoid her, which roused her bitter resentment, and at length he became in daily terror of her revengeful nature.  Coming down from London to Horncastle, to collect his rents, he put up at the George, and was there found, by a friend who called upon him, sitting at his luncheon, but with a brace of pistols lying on the table, fully expecting that she would follow him, and force him into matrimony.  It is said that she ended her days in an American prison, after perpetrating a murder in a railway carriage.

Old Thatched Inn in the Bull Ring

p. 164Another inn worthy of mention here is the Fighting Cocks.  Here this once fashionable but cruel sport used to be practised, until it was made illegal by Act of Parliament, in 1849, and it is said to have been clandestinely continued for some time longer, although a penalty of £5 was imposed.  An old man working on the premises in 1902 could remember the last fight.  The “pit” was in the present garden, at the rear of the inn yard.

In the Fighting Cocks yard were formerly the kennels of the South Wold hounds, and the writer can well remember going frequently, as a boy, while he attended the Grammar School, to see them fed, as well as occasionally being mounted by the whips on one of the horses of the hunt, when, after the hunting season, they went out for exercise.  Mr. “Jack” Musters, the whilom rival of Byron for the hand of Miss Chaworth, was at that time Master.

In the yard of this inn there still remain two large scythe blades affixed to the wall of an outhouse.  The history of these is that they were formerly on the front of the inn, facing the street, because was annually held, on August 21st, what was called the Scythe Fair, when the county blacksmiths gathered to purchase scythes, to supply the Irish, and other reapers, for the coming harvest.  This was discontinued when the machinery for reaping came into use.

The Three Maids’ Inn was situated in the High Street, on part of the site now occupied by the Corn Exchange, and was demolished when that building was erected.  A small inn, on the east side of North Street, now called the Cricketer’s Arms, was formerly named the Tom Cat, because here was sold the strong old gin of the well-known distillers, Swagne and Borde, whose trademark was a cat.  Hence gin took its name of “Old Tom.”  There is still the figure of a cat engraven on the front window, with the words “Unrivalled Tom” beneath it.

Opposite the Bull, the leading hotel in the town, replete with all modern requirements, stands the King’s Head, an old “public,” still remarkable for its low thatched roof; the reason for which is said to be, that by the forms of the will of a former owner, it was bequeathed to his successor, with the condition attached, that it should continue to be thatched: a condition which the advance of civilization may, in a few years’ time, make it difficult to fulfil.

And here we may make the concluding remark that 100 years ago most of the houses in Horncastle were thatched.  It is on record (Overton MS.) that the first slated house in the town was built for a Mr. Storr, a gardener, in what is now the back passage from the Bow Bridge to the Wong, near the Baptist Chapel.  This was afterwards occupied (1790–1800) by Mrs. L’Oste, widow of a former Rector of Langton.  The next house to be slated was that of Mr. Titus Overton, lately the residence of Mr. John Overton, Grocer.



This parish is contiguous to Horncastle, but the village and church are distant about 1¼ miles from the town, in a north-westerly direction.  Letters arrive at 8.30 a.m., from Horncastle, where are the nearest money order and telegraph office and railway station.

As to the name Thimbleby, given in Domesday Book as Stimbelbi, it doubtless meant originally the Bye (scotice “Byre”), or farmstead, of a thane, or owner, in pre-Norman times named stimel. [165]  In the survey made by the Conqueror, A.D. 1085, there are two mentions of this parish, (1) It is included among the 1,442 lordships, or manors, of which King William took possession on his own behalf, ejecting the previous owners; none of whom, in this instance, are named.  Under him it was occupied by 22 soc-men, or free tenants, and 18 villeins, or bondsmen, who cultivated 4½ carucates (540 acres), with 240 acres of meadow.  This, however, did not comprise the whole parish, for (2) another mention gives Thimbleby among the lands granted by the Conqueror to Odo, Bishop of Baieux, who was half brother to King William, on his mother’s side, and was created by him Earl of Kent.  His brother was Earl of Moretaine, and his sister Adeliza was Countess of Albermarle.  He had been consecrated Bishop of Baieux before William’s conquest of England, in 1049.  He was subsequently made Count Palatine and Justiciary of England.  The old historian, Ordericus Vitalis, says “he was reputed to be the wisest man in England, and ‘totius Angliæ Vice-comes sub Rege, et . . . Regi secundus’”; and this p. 166was hardly an exaggeration, since he was granted by William 76 manors in Lincolnshire, besides 363 in other counties.  But we have observed in several other instances how insecure was the tenure of property in those unsettled times, when might was deemed right, and this ambitious Prelate was no exception.  He aspired to the Papacy, the highest ecclesiastical office in Christendom, and was about to start for Rome, with the view of securing it through his wealth, when he was arrested and imprisoned by his royal kinsman, and his estates confiscated.

The portion of Thimbleby granted to this Odo comprised 250 acres of cultivated land, with 12 acres of meadow and 30 acres of underwood.  This was worked for him by three free tenants and five bondmen. [166a]  On the attainder of Odo, this land passed again into the King’s hands, to be bestowed doubtless upon some other favourite follower.  Accordingly we find that, shortly after this, the powerful Flemish noble, Drogo de Bevere, who had distinguished himself greatly at the battle of Hastings, along with many other manors in Lincolnshire, held that of Thimbleby.  He was, by Royal Charter, Lord of all Holderness, and took his title de Bevere from Beverley, the chief town in that division.  As is also related elsewhere, [166b] the Conqueror gave him his niece in marriage; but, being of a violent temperament, Drogo got rid of her by poison, and then, having thus incurred the anger of William, he fled the country.  His estates, in turn, were probably confiscated, for we find that a few years later Stephen, Earl of Ambemarle, [166c] had five carucates (i.e. 600 acres) of land between Thimbleby, Langton and Coningsby.

This noble was distinguished for his piety, as well as his other great qualities.  The chronicler describes him as “præclarus comes, et eximius monasteriorum fundator,” an illustrious earl and distinguished founder of monasteries.  Among other such institutions he founded, on the feast of St. Hilary, A.D. 1139, the Priory of Thornton, in North Lincolnshire.  This Stephen also received the lordship of Holderness, which had been held by Drogo.  He was succeeded by his son William, who was surnamed Crassus, or “The Gross,” from his unwieldy frame.  His great-granddaughter, Avelin, succeeding to the property in her turn, married Edmund, Earl of Lancaster, surnamed Gibbosus, or humpback.  But they had no issue, and so, as the “Book of Meux Abbey” says, “for want of heirs the Earldom of Albemarle and the Honour of Holderness were seized (once again) into the King’s hands.”  What became of the demesne of Thimbleby is not specified; but we find from the survey, already quoted, that in the same century Walter de Gaunt, son of Gilbert de Gaunt, [166d] held Thimbleby and other neighbouring parishes 24 carucates, or in all 2,880 acres of land.  We have traced elsewhere [166e] the descent of p. 167the Willoughby family from the Gaunts, and about 100 years later (circa 1213, Survey, as before) William de Willoughby succeeded to these estates, including the demesne of Thimbleby.  He was ancestor of the present Earl of Ancaster, and Lord Willoughby de Eresby, who now represents this division in Parliament.  How long the estates, in whole or in part, remained with the Willoughbys is not clear; but we have evidence of their connection with Thimbleby nearly 100 years later, in a document dated 1302, [167a] concerning a dispute as to lands in Thimbleby, Langton, Woodhall, and several other parishes, between John de Bec and Robert Wylgherby, the two families being related; in which the said Robert surrenders to the said John all property in dispute, for his lifetime, on condition that, after his decease, the whole shall revert to the said John Willoughby, and his heirs, for ever. [167b]

From this time we find other names connected with the parish.  Indeed prior to this, in a charter of Bardney Abbey, dated “at the Chapter of the Convent, on Sunday next after the Ascension of our Lord” (22nd May) 1281; we have among the witnesses, along with others belonging to Edlington, Wispington, and Baumber, “Master Bartholomew of Thimbleby,” and John Crayck of the same, the former being probably the Rector. [167c]  This charter refers to certain lands and tenements, the gift to the abbey of “Walter, son of Gilbert, de Bolingbrog,” i.e. Walter, the son of Gilbert de Gaunt, already named.  In another Bardney charter, dated four years later (30th Sept., 1285), we find again the same Thimbleby witnesses, with Alured of Woodhall, and others. [167d]

Three years later than this, in an official inquiry, held at Lincoln, as to certain knights’ fees, which belonged to Elyas de Rabayn and his wife Matilda (12th Nov., 1288), the jurors declare that “Robert de Rothwell holds in Thymelby and Horncastre,” certain “rents of assize, to be paid at the Feast of St. Michael, the Nativity of the Lord, Easter, and St. Botulph” (June 17), amounting to 12s.

A more interesting record is the following.  We may premise that the Norman noble, St. Quintin (so named from a town of France, in the department of Aisne, the Augusta Veromanduorum of the Romans), came over among the followers of William the Conqueror, and his name appears in the famous “Battle Roll” of 1066.  A Final Concord, of date A.D. 1293, states that on the Quindene of the purification of the Blessed Mary (i.e. the 5th day after), a dispute having arisen between Herbert de St. Quintin on the one part, and Ascelina de Waterville and Matilda de Diva on the other part, the two latter being tenants of 3½ carucates of land (i.e. 420 acres) in Thymeleby; it was settled that the said Ascelina and Matilda should acknowledge the said land to be the right of Herbert; and for this Herbert granted them, as his tenants, all the said lands, except six oxgangs (i.e. 90 acres) which were occupied in separate parcels, by Baldrick, Hogge, Alfsi, Godric, Walfric, and others; and for this the said Ascelina and Matilda gave him, in acknowledgment, 40 marks.

A few years after this date it would appear that the Bishop of Carlisle exercised a kind of ecclesiastical lordship over this parish.  Thimbleby was in the soke of Horncastle, and Ralph de Rhodes, the former Lord of the demesne p. 168of Horncastle, with its appurtenances, West Ashby, High Toynton, &c., had granted these (by charter confirmed by Henry III., A.D. 1230) to Walter Mauclerk, Bishop of Carlisle, and his successors.

Accordingly in an old document of the early 14th century, we find that John de Halghton, Bishop of Carlisle, gave consent for William de Foletby to convey certain lands in Thimelby, Langton, and Horncastle, to the Abbot and Convent of Kirkstead, to provide two monks, to celebrate daily services for the souls of the faithful deceased.  The witnesses were Richard de Wodehall, William de Polam (Poolham), and others.  “Dated at Horncastre, on this day of St. Barnabas, 5 Ed. II., 11 June, A.D. 1312” [168a]  This shows a connection with the monastery of Kirkstead, to which we shall refer hereafter.

We next come to a record of special interest, of rather later date.  The family of Thimbleby, Thymelby, Thimoldby, &c., doubtless took their name from this parish, at a period lost in hoar antiquity.  They acquired in course of time extensive property in various parts of the county.  The chief branch of the family resided at Irnham Park, near Grantham, which was acquired (about 1510) by Richard Thimbleby, through his marriage with the heiress of Godfrey Hilton, whose ancestor, Sir Geoffrey Hilton, Knight, had obtained it by marriage with the heiress of the Luterels, a very ancient family, several members of which were summoned to Parliament as Barons, in the 12th century.

The earlier members of the Thimbleby family are called, expressly, Thomas de Thymelby, Nicholas de Thymbylby, and so forth, shewing their connection with this parish.  The family name of Thimelby still survives in the neighbourhood of Spilsby.

The first mention of a Thimbleby, as an owner in Thimbleby, occurs in a Post Mortem Inquisition, held at Holtham (Haltham), on Friday next after the Feast of St. Matthew (Sept. 21), A.D. 1333; where the jurors say that Nicholas de Thymelby held, with certain other lands in the neighbourhood, two messuages and four acres of land in Thymelby, of the Bishop of Carlisle, and that the said Nicholas died on the Feast of the Purification (Feb. 2nd); and that his son Thomas, aged 19, was heir. [168b]

Then follow a grant of land and other privileges, by the Bishop of Carlisle, in Horncastle and Upper Toynton, to Thomas, son of Nicholas de Thymelby.  Thomas presented to the Benefice of Ruckland in 1381.  His son John married Joan, daughter of Sir Walter Taillebois; whose mother was daughter and heir of Gilbert Burdon (or Barradon), whose wife was sister and heir of Gilbert Umfraville, Earl of Angus.  Thus the family kept growing in importance. [168c]

Our last mention of this family, in connection with Thimbleby, shows a still greater expansion.  An Inquisition taken 12th August, 4 Ed. VI. (1550), after the death of Matthew Thimbleby, of Polam, Esq., shows that he married Anne, daughter of Sir John Hussey, and that he was seised of six manors besides that of Thimelby; also of lands in eight other parishes, with the advowsons of the churches of Tetforde, Farrafford, Ruckland, and Somersby. [168d]  His widow married Sir Robert Savile, Knt.

Soon after the first mention of a Thymelby of Thimbleby, we find another family of some note connected with this parish.  In an agreement made at p. 169“Langton near Horncaster, 8 August, A.D. 1370, Peter Skynner of Ely, and Alice his wife, for some consideration not named, surrender to William de Atherby and his heirs, all their rights in certain lands and tenements in Woodhall, Langton, Thymelby, Horncastre, Thornton,” &c. [169a]  These lands had evidently been held by the said Peter Skynner and his wife.

The Skynners were a family of wealth and position.  In 1315 Robert and Richard Skynner held the manor of Pinchbeck, near Spalding. [169b]  They were also land owners in Hareby and Bolingbroke.  Henry Skynner, by will, dated 29th May, 1612, leaves to his daughter Judith, all his copyhold in Harebie, to his brother, Sir Vincent Skynner, Knight, lands in Hareby and other places, with the advowson of the Benefice.  Sir Vincent Skynner was Lord of the Manor of Thornton Curtis; he was in 1604 appointed by the crown Keeper of East Kirkby Park, as part of the Royal manor, or “Honour,” of Bolingbroke.  His son William married a daughter of Sir Edward Coke, Knight, and was buried at Thornton Curtis, August 17th, A.D. 1626.

We find mention of another owner of land in Thimbleby, in the 15th century, whose apparent love of pelf would seem to have tempted him to defraud the king of his dues.  A certain Thomas Knyght, of the City of Lincoln, Esquire, died in the 10th year of the reign of Henry VII. (A D 1495), seized of lands and tenements “in Thembleby,” and other places.  At the Inquisition then held, the jurors found that he had alienated certain parts of the property, “the Royal license therefor not being obtained, to the prejudice and deception of the lord the King,” and the property passed to his son and heir William, who took possession, with “a like evasion of dues, to the King’s prejudice.”  What penalty was imposed is not stated; but it was a somewhat remarkable coincidence, that, as shewn in another Inquisition made the following year (A.D. 1496), certain witnesses deposed that on the 20th day of June, A.D. 1476 (i.e. 19 years before his decease), the said Thomas Knyght, and his servants, about the middle of the night “broke and dug the soil of the parlour of his house, and found £1,000, and more, of the coinage of the Treasury . . . there placed and hidden,” which as “tresour-trove, by reason of the prerogative of the lord the King, ought to come to his use, &c.”  This has all a very suspicious look, Knyght would not have ordered this search for the money if he had not himself known of its being there.  It looks like a previous attempt at concealment, in some way to defraud the revenue, which Knyght himself afterwards felt was a failure, and that it was safer to exhume the hoard himself, rather than that public officials should do it.  Altogether it would seem that “Thomas Knyght, of the City of Lincoln, Esquire,” was somewhat of a sordid character, and not a proprietor for Thimbleby to be proud of.

We now proceed to records more ecclesiastical.  We have already noted that, with the consent of the Bishop of Carlisle, William de Foletby, in the 14th century conveyed lands in Thimbleby to the Abbot of Kirkstead.  This would seem to imply a previous connection of this parish with that monastery, to attract the Thimbleby proprietor to it.  Accordingly we find that, among the various properties of the Abbey, granted by Hugh Brito, its founder (A.D. 1139), and other benefactors, were 90 acres of land in Thimbleby, with the advowson of the Benefice.  In those days there was only a very limited number p. 170of resident clergy in the country parishes, [170a] the churches being served largely by the monks of the monasteries.  In some cases these were “itinerant clerks,” in other cases there was a “grange,” or dependency, of the monastery in the parish, having a “cell,” or “hermitage,” for a priest.

Thimbleby was not among the number of parishes which had a church before the conquest, as Edlington and several other neighbouring parishes had; but there is no doubt that a church was erected here soon after that period, which, like the neighbouring Woodhall, was connected with Kirkstead, and here, as at Woodhall, there are traces of a moated enclosure eastward of the church, which doubtless was the site of the grange.

The Abbot of Kirkstead exercised the powers of a superior lord here in a somewhat arbitrary fashion; it being complained against him before Royal Commissioners as early as the reign of Edward I., that he had erected here “furcœ,” or a gallows, on which various criminals had been executed; and that he had appropriated to himself the assize of bread and beer here, and at Horncastle. [170b]  But “blessed are the peacemakers,” and the abbots, with wholesome influence, were able, when occasion served, to produce harmony out of discordant elements; as the following records show (quoted from Final Concords): “In three weeks from the day of the Nativity of the Blessed Mary, 10 Henry III. (28th Sept., A.D. 1226),” a dispute arising between Reginald, Rector of Thymelby, and Peter, son of John, tenant of a certain messuage and toft in Thymelby.  Peter was induced to give up his claim, in favour of Reginald and his successors; and for this the said Reginald gave him one mark, in recognition of the concession.  Which agreement was made in the presence of Henry, Abbot of Kirkstead, who himself gave to the church of Thymelby all right which he had in rent, which he was wont to receive; not however without an equivalent, which—being wise in his generation—he was careful to secure; for Reginald, in return, gave him a certain sum “to buy a rent in another place.”

The worldly wisdom of the same abbot appears again in the following Concord: On the morrow of St. Michael, 10 Henry III. (30th Sept. A.D. 1226); a dispute between Sarah, the wife of Alan de Tymelby, and Henry, Abbot of Kirkstead, about a certain meadow in Tymelby, was happily settled (it being to the soul’s peril to incur an abbot’s anathema!) by the said Sarah giving up all claim to the meadow in favour of the said Abbot, and his successors; in recognition of which he gave her one mark.

A gap now occurs in our history, which can only be filled in, for a time, by conjecture.  On the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII., the possessions of Kirkstead Abbey were granted by him to Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk; on whose death without issue, they reverted to the sovereign, and were re-granted to the Earl of Lincoln, of the Fiennes Clinton family, subsequently Dukes of Newcastle.  The Abbey lands in Thimbleby are not, so far as we know, specially named in this grant, and therefore we are unable to say positively whether that family acquired property in Thimbleby or not; but they had undoubtedly property in Horncastle and neighbourhood.  For instance the manor of Baumber remained in their hands, and Baumber Church continued to be the family burial place, until the 3rd Duke of Newcastle, late in the 18th century, sold that estate to T. Livesey, Esq.

p. 171A few years later, however, we have official evidence that the manor and advowson of Thimbleby were vested in the sovereign.  By a deed (a copy of which is in the Rector’s possession) dated 10th April, 7 Edward VI. (A.D. 1553), of the Court of Augmentations, a toft and messuage in Thimbleby were granted by the King to John Welcome; also “the lordship and manor of Thimblebye, with all its rights, &c., lately belonging to the monastery of Kirkstead;” also “the advowson and right of patronage of the Rectory and Church of Thymmelbie, aforesaid.”  In the next reign, of Mary, the benefice was presented, by the Queen herself, to William Brantinghame, being admitted on her nomination 19th Sept., 1554. [171a]

A deed of that reign, dated 6th Feb., 1 and 2 Philip and Mary (1554), grants certain lands belonging to the manor of Thimblebie, to Anthony Kyme, for 21 years, at 10s. per annum

St. Margaret’s Church, Thimbleby

Next, in the reign of Elizabeth, a deed dated 9th March, 4 Elizabeth (1562), grants certain tofts and lands to John Porter, for 21 years, at a rent of 18s. per annum; and finally, by deed dated June 30th, 1564, Elizabeth in consideration of the sum of £609 5s. 2d., confirms the above grants and leases to William Conyers and William Haber, both of the Middle Temple, the patronage of the Rectory, “to be held with the manor of Est Grenwich, in the countie of Kent, free of all duty or military service.”

After a further hiatus in the parish history, we find another link in the records.  The former property of the Thimblebys, of Poolham, and elsewhere, had been sold to a member of the Bolles family, in 1600; and Mr. Weir [171b] tells us that in the reign of Charles II. the manor of Thimbleby belonged to Sir p. 172Robert Bolles, of Scampton.  From Liber Regis we find that Sir John Bolles presented to the benefice of Thimbleby in 1697, and doubtless was Lord of the Manor.  This Sir John sold his property, and according to the antiquarian, Browne Willis (Ecton’s Thesaurus), in the reign of Queen Anne, the patronage of the benefice belonged to “Mr. Kercheval”

In 1719 and 1725 John Hockin, Clerk, presented.

In 1720 the manor and advowson were bought by John Hotchkin, Esq., of Tixover; and a Thimbleby record, preserved with the registers, shows that the Hotchkins have presented from about that time till recently.  In 1767 (Sept. 10th), Allen Corrance was admitted on the cession of John Kercheval, by Thomas Hotchkin, Esq., of Alexton, Co. Leicester.  In 1778 William Holmes, M.A., was admitted to the rectory by John Hotchkin, Esq., of South Luffenham, on the death of Allen Corrance.  In 1831 (Sept. 21st) Robert Charles Herbert Hotchkin, B.A., was instituted at the rectory, on the death of William Holmes, on the nomination of Thomas Hotchkin, Esq., of Tixover.  The late T. J. Stafford Hotchkin, Esq., of Woodhall Manor, sold his property in Thimbleby and some other parishes in 1872; and the advowson of this benefice, then in his gift, was subsequently sold to the father of the present Rector, the Rev. C. A. Potter.

There is another name on record, connected with Thimbleby, which we have not yet mentioned.  Among a list of the gentry of Lincolnshire, made on the Royal Herald’s Visitation of the County, in 1634, which is still preserved at the Heralds’ office, is the name of “Robert Frieston, of Thimbleby.”  What position he held, or whether he was a land owner, in the parish, is not stated, but he ranked with Thomas Cressy (of a very old family), of Kirkby-on-Bain; the Dymokes of Scrivelsby, Haltham, and Kime; Heneage of Hainton, &c. [172a]

There is a smaller manor in this parish called the Hall-garth, the residence attached to which is a picturesque old thatched mansion, with an old-time garden, enclosed within high and thick hedges of yew, trimmed in Dutch fashion.  It has also a large “stew,” or fish-pond, from which, doubtless, in Roman Catholic times, the owners drew their supply of carp and tench, for the numerous fast-days then observed.  Old title deeds show that this was at one time crown property. [172b]  At a later date it was owned by a family named Boulton, who also held land in Stixwould, where there is still the slab of a Boulton tomb in the pavement of the aisle of the church.

A slab, on the south side of Thimbleby Church, bears the inscription: “Here lyeth the body of Michael, the son of Mr. Michael and Elizabeth Boulton, buried the 7th of Septemr, 1692, ætatis suæ 7.  His mother the 28th of May, Anno Dom. 1725, ætat suæ 61.”  The Register has the following entries, “1725, Mrs. Boulton, ye wife of Mr. Mich. Boulton, buried May 28th.”  “1738, Michael Boulton buried May 8th.”  The last entry connected with this family is that of “Michael, son of Michael and Mary Boulton,” who was baptized in 1726 and buried in 1767.

These were the ancestors of the late Mr. Henry Boulton, of St. Mary’s Square, Horncastle.  Michael Boulton, in 1719, left 40s. a year, from the Hall estate, at Bransby near Stow, for the education of poor children at Thimbleby; leaving also a bequest for the poor at Bransby.

p. 173At the beginning of the 19th century this manor was held jointly by Richard Elmhirst, Esq., of Usselby, and Mr. Thomas Kemp, the latter of whom resided at the Old Hall. [173a]  There is a field at the west end of the village, now the property of H. N. Coates, Esq., traversed by mounds and ditches, which was formerly divided into three separate plots, belonging to Elmhirst, Kemp, and Hotchkin.  The Kemps were of an old stock.  In the Thimbleby Registers the first mention of them is in 1723, [173b] but their name implies a much greater antiquity.  One theory has been that they were a Huguenot family, who came over to England at the time of the French massacre of Protestants, on St. Bartholomew’s day, 1572.  Those refugees, in their enforced poverty, prosecuted various kinds of useful industries; and the Kemps, it is suggested, acquired their name from being kempsters, or comb makers.

But it is probable that the name had a much earlier origin.  Kemp (Saxon Cempa) meant a soldier [173c] being connected with the Norman-French and modern English “Champion;” and although we might look back with pride to forefathers who suffered for their religion, it is pleasanter, if only in imagination, to regard them as having been a race of doughty warriors, sufficiently distinguished to win a name by their deeds. [173d]

Mr. Thomas Kemp, in the first half of the 19th century, was a wealthy bachelor, and added to the Hall-garth estate by the purchase, from time to time, of adjacent property.  He lived in some style, with two maiden sisters to keep house for him.  By his will the land at Thimbleby passed into the possession of his great nephew, Robert Edwin Kemp; another nephew, Samuel Harrison Kemp, inheriting most of the personal estate.  But alas! liveried servants, crests and arms, and other emblems of wealth have become things of the past; for when this Robert died the property passed to his son, Thomas Kemp, in whose hands the patrimony speedily evaporated; and other members of the family are now dispersed, “their places knowing them no more,” save as a lingering memory, which will soon be gone.

The interesting old hall and the manor were then bought by Reuben Roberts, Esq., of Linden House, Horncastle, who resides there in the summer.  He also owns other land in the parish.  Other owners are E. Hassard, p. 174Esq., of Edlington Park; H. N. Coates, Esq., of Langton Manor; the trustees of the late Mr. Samuel Goe, and several smaller proprietors.  Mrs. Tebbutt, of Horncastle, a relict of an old Thimbleby family, whose name appears frequently in the parish books, is now Lady of the Manor.

Some 200 yards east of the church and on the south side of the main road is a large field, the property of Mr. Henry N. Coates of Langton, which is known as “The Butts.”  It has some fine trees, apparently the remains of an extensive avenue, which have been more numerous even within living memory.  It has been sometimes called “The Park Close,” but the title “The Butts” is interesting, as probably indicating that it was formerly the site on which (in the words of a rhymer, it may be said):

England’s archers of old,
Village wights true and bold,
Unerring in hand and in eye,
Learned skill in their craft
With yew-bow and shaft,
Wand to splinter, or pierce the bull’s-eye.

And while the youth gay,
Rough rivals, essay
To rive and riddle each butt,
Sage sires stand by,
And coy maidens cry,
To welcome the winning shot.

Full many such scene
Has been witnessed, I ween,
In that whilome time-honoured spot,
’Neath the wide-spreading shade
Of the green wood glade
Which is still named the “Thimbleby Butt.”

In this “Butts” field rises a spring, which is the source of a small runnel, called “Daubeny’s Beck.”  This bearing westward, for some distance forms the boundary between the parishes of Thimbleby and Langton, then flowing through Woodhall falls into the “Monk’s Beck,” at Poolham.  The name “Daubeny” is doubtless a corruption of D’ Albini.  The D’ Albinis held the Barony, and built the castle of Belvoir, and had other large possessions in this county and elsewhere; the name is not uncommon as a field name, &c.  There is a field in Langton called “Daubeny’s (i.e. D’ Albini’s) Walk.”

In the grounds of Mr. W. A. Crowder, further to the east, near the Lincoln “Ramper,” as the highway is locally called, there was found, a few years ago, a so-called “Roman” tomb, somewhat rudely constructed of blocks of Spilsby sandstone.  Within it was a human skeleton, with bones of a dog, a sword, and the head of a spear.  In connection with this, we may also mention, that in the Rectory grounds there is an ancient well, of great depth, lined also with Spilsby sandstone, and said to be Roman; which in the immediate proximity of the Cornucastrum, or Roman fort of Banovallum, would not seem to be at all improbable.

An old parish book of Thimbleby, recently shown to the writer, proves the care which was taken by the parish officials, before the present poor law system was established, to secure the comfort and maintenance of poorer parishioners.

At a parish meeting, Nov. 1st, 1819, Thomas Kemp, Churchwarden, in the chair, it was ordered that John Sharp’s daughter was to have a gown and pettycoat, worsted for two pairs of stockings, and one blue apron.  Four boys p. 175were to have two smocks each, and eight old people a strike of coals each per week.  At another meeting Margaret Day was to have worsted for two pairs of socks for her two boys, herself to spin it; and one pair of shoes for her daughter.  Robert Kemp, and his son Richard, in order to find them work were to be paid 2s. per day, to “gether” stones for the parish.

Again, Maria Day’s shoes were to be mended; Mary Atkin to have a pair of blankets, and her chamber window put in and thatched.  Benj. Benton one pair of shoes, Willm. Adkin a waistcoat.  Mary King’s family four shirts, two pairs of shoes, three frocks, three petticoats, and three dabs (i.e. pinafores).  A pair of breeches for George Skipworth; Willm. Skipworth to have a spade.

Again, Mr. Thos. Kemp was “to be allowed £20 for the use of the poor-house, to be insured for £200 by the parish, and, when given up to be left in the same state.”

At a meeting on 7th August, 1820, Robert Dixon in the chair, it was ordered that all paupers receiving assistance should regularly attend Divine Service, and on their non-attendance the assistance should be stopped.  Mary Todd was to receive her money (which had been stopped) having given satisfaction to the vestry for not attending the church.  Mary Hobbins’ boy to be put to school.  “To get the Lord’s Prayer, and the ‘I believe,’ put in the church at the parish expense.”

At a meeting held 27th August, 1830, Thomas Kemp in the chair, it was agreed that £75 be borrowed of Mr. Thos. Kemp, to pay Mrs. Farmer’s expenses to America, to be repaid by the parish, 30s. weekly, with legal interest.  Church rates are now among the “has beens,” but in 1843 a rate was passed of “1d. in the pound for the support of the church, and 10d. in the pound for the highway repairs.”

In the churchyard, along the south side of the church, are a group of gravestones of the Kemp family.  Eastward are several of the Marshall family, formerly numerous here, and in the neighbourhood, holding a respectable position, but now extinct. [175]  There are also a number of tombs of the Todd family, respectable small farmers, resident in the parish, from the first notice of a burial, June 24th, 1738, down to recent years.  The Tebbuts and Dixons were also resident, as tenants or small owners, for many years.

Among the marriage registers, which date from 1695, is the following note: “March 23, 1779, a marriage was attempted to be solemnized; but the intended bridegroom, to the great surprise of the congregation assembled, remaining away, the ceremony, &c. . . .”  The rest is illegible.

We have now to speak of the church.  The present edifice stands on the site of a former 14th century church, which, judging by the remains that have been found, must have been of much larger dimensions, and consisted of nave, two aisles, chancel, and bell tower; the total breadth having been 52-ft.  Several fragments of stained glass have, at various times, been found in digging graves, showing that this early church, like several others in the neighbourhood, had good coloured windows.  This was taken down in 1744, and from the materials remaining a small fabric was erected in its place, consisting of nave and apsed chancel, with no pretensions whatever to architectural beauty.  This (as has been generally the case with badly constructed edifices of that period) became also, in turn, so decayed that the present Rector, on entering p. 176on the benefice, decided to rebuild the church once more; and in 1879 the present structure was completed at a cost of over £1,000, in the best early Decorated style.

It consists of nave, chancel, organ chamber on the south, and an octagonal bell turret, designed by the late Mr. James Fowler, the Architect, and containing one small modern bell, graven with the date and initials of W. Carey, Churchwarden in 1744, [176a] who demolished the old church.  The nave has three two-light windows, of the decorated style, in the north and south walls; there is a square-headed two-light window in the organ chamber; the chancel has a single-light window in the north and south walls, with a good east window of three lights, trefoiled, and with a triangle of trefoils above.  In the north wall is a credence recess, and in the south wall are two stone sedilia.  The tiles within the chancel rails are copied from ancient tiles, which were found some years ago, at Revesby Abbey.  In the west front, over the door, is a large two-light window, and above it a clock, the only village church clock in the neighbourhood, by Smith of Derby.  Within the west doorway, let into the north wall of the tower basement, is a fragment of an old battlement, having a shield in the centre, probably a relic from the original church.  The font is modern, having a plain octagonal bowl, shaft, and pediment.  The roof is of pitch pine, the timbers being supported by plain corbels.  The lectern, chancel stalls, and communion table are of good modern oak

Used as a stile in the south fence of the churchyard is a large slab, on which, above ground, is the matrix of a former brass, representing one figure, with a broad transverse bar for an inscription, and connecting it with other figures, which are now below the ground. [176b]

The church plate includes an interesting paten, presented to the church in 1837, by the mother of the late Rector, but bearing hall-marks of 1727–8, with the letter M and a five-pointed star below.  The chalice is still more interesting, as it bears an old Lincoln hall-mark, of date about 1570; there are only eight other known examples of this period in the county.

The rectory is a commodious house, built in 1839, doubtless on the site of the former monastic grange; it stands in an extensive garden, embowered among trees of goodly growth.  A fine oil painting at the present time adorns the entrance hall.  It is reputed to be by Spagnoletto, and was formerly in the monastery of St. Jerome, in Lisbon.  Its size is 5-ft. by 4-ft., the subject being St. Jerome translating the Vulgate scriptures.


This parish, like High Toynton, Mareham-on-the-Hill and Wood Enderby, was formerly a hamlet of Horncastle, of which it adjoins the northern boundary.  We find them all coupled together in an extract from the Testa de Nevill p. 177[folio 348 (556), quoted Lincs. Notes & Queries, vol. iii, p. 215] as follows: “The church of Horncastre, and of Askeby, and of Upper Thinton, and of Meringes, and of Hinderby, are of the gift of the Lord,” i.e. the Lord of the Manor.  In Domesday Book it is called Aschebi.  Queen Editha, wife of Edward the Confessor, who owned various lands in this neighbourhood, was Lady of this Manor, as well as that of Horncastle.  She held here six carucates of land (or about 720 acres), besides which there were 45 soc-men, 5 villeins, and 13 bordars, with eight carucates (or about 960 acres), and 500 acres of meadow and pasture.  (Domesday, “Soke of Horncastle.”)

The Manor House, West Ashby

Domesday also mentions that the Saxon thane, Chetelburn, who had property in Coningsby, Keal, Candlesby, Friskney, and other places in the county, had at Ashby “a mill worth 12s. yearly,” a very considerable sum in those days.  The manor was afterwards held by the Conqueror himself (Domesday, “Property of the King”); and it would seem, although there is no direct evidence of it, that he bestowed the manor on one of his chief favourites, Ranulph de Paganall, who received from his sovereign extensive grants in the counties of Somerset, Devon, York, Northampton, and Lincoln, [177] including all the lands formerly held by the Saxon Merleswain, in this county and elsewhere.  Ranulph Paganall founded (A.D. 1089) the Priory of the Holy Trinity in York, said to have been built on the site of a former Roman heathen temple; one of his family, Helias Pagnall, being subsequently Prior of this institution, and Canon of Selby.  When the present Church of the Holy p. 178Trinity was restored in 1904, among other ancient monuments, was found the slab of the tomb of Ralph Ranulph, which is still preserved in the church, along with sculptures commemorative of St. Benedict, St. Martin of Tours, Prior Helias, and others. [178a]

Ranulph, by charter of that date, endowed the abbey with two-thirds of the tithes of Ashby; which was further confirmed by charters of 1100, 1125, and 1179.  This Ranulph Paganall was Sheriff of Yorkshire.  The last known representative of his family was William Paganall, summoned to Parliament as a Baron in the reign of Edward III.  Dugdale states [178b] that the Priory of the Holy Trinity was made, by its founder, a dependency or cell of the greater monastery (marmonstier) of the above, St. Martin in Touraine; and by the Inquisition, taken at York, 34 Ed. I., it was found that he claimed no portion of the temporalities of the Priory, beyond the right to place an official there, during the vacancy of the priorate, as temporary custodian.  The name Paganall became in later times softened into Paynell; they were at one time Lords of Bampton.

At a later period the manor of Ashby, probably with that of Horncastle, belonged to Gerard de Rhodes and his descendant, Ralph; since in a Charter Roll of 14 Henry III. (pt. i, M. 12), we find that King’s confirmation of a grant, made by the said Ralph, to Walter, Bishop of Carlisle, of “the manor of Horncastle, with the soke, and the advowsons of the churches, and all other things pertaining to the same in all places,” evidently including the churches of the hamlets as well as that of the town.  Among the witnesses to this are Gervase, Archdeacon of Carlisle; and Henry de Capella; the latter name being noticeable because, as will be seen below, Ashby was called “Capella.” [178c]

The Abbey of Kirkstead had a grange in Ashby, which after the dissolution of the monasteries, was granted in the 5th year of Edward VI., to William Cecil, Lord Burghley, Lord High Treasurer of England; this is now part of the Ashby Thorpe estate. [178d]  In 1820 this was the property of Mr. Joseph Rinder.  It is now partly owned by the Booth family, and partly by the Smedley trustees.

The parish is still divided into Far Thorpe, Church Thorpe, and Middle Thorpe.  Far Thorpe included the farms held by the late Mr. Griffin and Mr. Addison.  Mr. Wattam’s house, which is moated, was the old Midthorpe Hall.  As being a hamlet of Horncastle, the benefice was formerly called Ashby “Capella,” or the Ashby Chapelry; and like Horncastle, Wood Enderby, High Toynton, and Mareham is given in “Liber Regis” as in the patronage of the Bishop of Carlisle.  Until recently it was a perpetual curacy, in value about £50 a year; but about 30 years ago, on the enfranchisement of certain episcopal lands, the Ecclesiastical Commissioners endowed it to the extent of £300 a year, and built a substantial vicarage.  The patronage is now with the Lord Chancellor by exchange with Kirk Oswald, Cumberland.

The church, All Saints, is of considerable size, being one of the largest village churches in the neighbourhood, mainly in the Perpendicular style, and substantially built, consisting of tower, nave, and chancel, the two latter of the same elevation throughout.  The tower has three old bells, and a peal of eight tubular bells.  Gervase Holles gives the inscriptions on the bells as being:

p. 1791.  Sit nomen Domini benedictum.

2.  Intonat e cælis vox campana Michaelis.

3.  Sum rosa pulsata Mundi Maria vocata.

One of these was, some years ago, re-cast; and now bears the inscription “voco ad templum, date 1759.”

The main features of the church are as follows: the porch arch is semi-circular, Norman, the west window in the tower is unusually high, 12-ft. by 4-ft. in width, of three lights.  The north aisle has four bays.  The nave, in the south wall, has two three-light windows, the western one perpendicular and having pointed arch, the eastern square headed.  In the north wall there is a three-light debased decorated window.  In the west wall of the north aisle is a two-light window of coloured glass, in memory of Augustus Elmhirst; and in its eastern wall is a three-light memorial window to his sister, Mrs. Elizabeth Jane Ruck Keene.  In the south wall of the chancel are two late four-centre two-light windows; and in the north wall a three-light flamboyant window.  Gervase Holles mentions a north chancel window having “sa. a crosse between 4 cinquefoyles arg. . . .,” [179] but this has disappeared.  The east window is modern, with three lights.  A new window was erected, in 1907, in the north aisle (corresponding to a window inserted in 1905, in memory of General and Mrs. Elmhirst), by Mr. H. R. Elmhirst, to the memory of his late wife, Lilian Frances, nee Hatfeild; the artists were Powell and Sons; the subject Faith, Hope and Love represented by three figures.

All Saints’ Church, West Ashby

The communion table has a very handsome cover, with red frontal, elaborately embroidered with old Roman work.  A carved wooden reredos has recently been presented by Col. and Mrs. Stack.  On a tablet on the north wall p. 180is an elaborate inscription, in memory of Lieutenant Richard Calthrop, who was killed at the siege of Algiers; erected by his mother and 10 surviving brothers and sisters; who are said to have lived to the remarkable average age of 85 years.  There are various tablets commemorative of the families of Rockliffe, Drewry, Pierce and Elmhirst.  There is a north door, as well as south, to the nave.  The font is a plain octagonal one, perpendicular in style.

The church was restored and reseated in 1873; the tower being renovated in memory of Mrs. Barnard, otherwise known as “Claribel,” a well-known musical composer, connected with the Elmhirst family.  It is lofty and massive, surmounted by four high pinnacles and large gurgoyles at the angles.

The register dates from 1561. [180a]  The communion plate consists of a cup, with inscription “Ashby Chappell, 1758;” a paten presented by “Elizabeth Pierce, Christmas Day, 1841,” and flagon, given by the same, in 1859.  She was the wife of the Vicar of that day, the Rev. W. M. Pierce, and an authoress.  In the churchyard are the tombstones of John Thistlewood and his wife; he was brother of the Cato Street conspirator, and died at Louth, having formerly resided at Ashby and Wispington.

The late William Elmhirst, Esq., bought the lands here formerly belonging to the Bishops of Carlisle, and erected a handsome and substantial residence, in well-wooded grounds; which in later years passed by purchase to the Booth family, by whom it, and the estates attached, are now owned.  It is at present occupied by Dr. and Mrs. Newstead.  The Elmhirsts are at present represented by H. R. Elmhirst, Esq., son of the late General Charles Elmhirst, C.B., who resides at The Grove.


High Toynton is situated about 1½ miles from Horncastle, in an easterly direction, on the road to Partney and Spilsby.  It would seem to have been formerly, like West Ashby, an appendage to the Manor of Horncastle.  The old record [180b] says (as already quoted under West Ashby) “The church of Horncastre, and of Askeby, and of Upper Thinton, and of Maringes (Mareham), and of Hinderby, are of the gift of the lord,” i.e. the Lord of the Manor.  As thus not being a separate manor, it is barely more than mentioned in Domesday Book, where it is called Todintune, and Tedingtone.  Queen Editha, wife of Edward the Confessor, would be Lady of the Manor; but William the Conqueror took possession and held lands here, in demesne, with tenants and dependants.

That the manor afterwards, along with that of Horncastle, became the property of Gerard de Rhodes, is shewn by the following peculiar circumstances.  In a Feet of Fines, at Lincoln, 9 Henry III., No. 52, it is recorded that an agreement was arranged in the King’s Court at Westminster, (3 Feb., A.D. 1224–5), between Henry del Ortiay and Sabina his wife, plaintiffs, and Ralph de Rhodes, a descendant of Gerard, defendant, whereby certain lands in Upper Tynton, Mareham, and other places, were recognized by the plaintiffs as the property of Ralph de Rhodes; they receiving, in lieu thereof, 100½ acres of land, and 11 acres of meadow, with appurtenances, all in Upper Tynton.  These lands are further specified by name, as 24 acres next Graham (i.e. p. 181Greetham), 12 acres in culture called “Hethoten acre” (i.e. Heath of ten acres), 9 acres of land in “Pesewang” (i.e. Peas-field), 5½ acres in “Sex acre,” 7 acres in Leir-mewang (or low mead-field), 4 acres in culture of Lange landes, 6 acres in Whetewang (i.e. wheat-field), and 10 acres in Kruncewang (qy. crown’s-field?); and further plots not specially named.  The peculiar feature however of their tenure was, that they and their heirs were “to have and to hold the said lands for ever . . . rendering therefor by the year one pair of gilt spurs, or 6d., at Easter, for all service and exaction.”

St. John the Baptist’s Church, High Toynton

A Pipe Roll (14 Henry III., Lincoln) states that “Walter, Bishop of Carlisle, holds certain lands hereditarily of the aforesaid Ralph de Rhodes;” and in a Chancery Inquisition post mortem, 34 Edward III., 2nd Nrs., No. 29 (1360), mention is made of “Thomas, son of Nicholas de Thymelby, and John his younger brother, and their heirs,” as tenants of the Manor of Horncastle, “and of lands in Over Tynton,” which they “hold of the said Bishop.”  These were scions of the wealthy family of the Thimblebyies, Lords of Poolham, and other estates.  One of them married a daughter and co-heir of Sir William Fflete, Knt.; another married a daughter of Sir Walter Tailboys; this Sir Walter being the son of Henry Tailboys and his wife, Alianora, daughter and heir of Gilbert Burdon and his wife, Elizabeth, sister and heir of Gilbert Umfraville, Earl of Angus.

p. 182By a Close Roll, 20 Henry VII. (part 2 [No. 367] No. 33), it appears that Sir Thomas Dymmok, Knight, had recently purchased lands in Over Tynton, Nether Tynton, Maring next Horncastle, and other parishes; which he granted to his son Leo, and his heirs for ever.

Further, by a Chancery Inquisition post mortem, 24 Henry VII., No. 61, it is found that Humphrey Conyngesby, Sergeant at Law, and others instituted a suit on behalf of William Stavely, and others, by which he recovered to them the Manor of (apparently Upper) Taunton, the advowson of the church of Nether Taunton, about 2,700 acres of various land, and the rent of 4½ quarters of salt in Over Taunton, Nether Taunton, Tetford, and other parishes.

The Manor, with that of Horncastle, continued for a long period in the hands of the Bishops of Carlisle; who were patrons of the benefice until the creation of a bishopric of Manchester, in 1848, when their patronage in this neighbourhood was transferred to that See.  The Manor, however, with that of Horncastle, had previously passed to Sir Joseph Banks, and came eventually to his successors, the Stanhopes.  The benefice, until late years, was a very poor one, being a perpetual curacy, annexed to Mareham-on-the-Hill; their joint annual value being £160, without a residence.  But when the episcopal property (the Bishop being Rector) was transferred to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, they, with the aid of Queen Anne’s Bounty, raised the joint benefices to £300 a year; and in 1869 erected a good residence at Toynton, now occupied by the Vicar, the Rev. W. Shaw.

The church, dedicated to St. John the Baptist, was formerly a very mean structure, dating from the 18th century (1772), in the worst of styles, with wooden-framed windows, of large square panes of glass, and having a flat whitewashed ceiling.  The timbers of this had become so decayed that a former curate-in-charge, mounting to the false roof, to examine them, fell through, among the square pews below.  This incident led, not too soon, to the rebuilding of the fabric, at a cost of more than £1,200 in 1872, on the site of the previous building, as also of an original 13th century edifice.  The present church is a substantial and neat structure in the early English style, thoroughly well kept, and with several pleasing features.  It consists of nave, chancel, and porch, with tower and low spire.  The nave has, in the north wall, two single-light narrow pointed windows, and at its eastern end a two-light window, having a quatrefoil above.  In the south wall there is one single-light and one two-light window, corresponding to the above; the porch, taking place of a window at its western end.

The two-light window in the north wall has coloured glass, with various devices, one being a small copy of the famous Descent from the Cross, by Rubens, in Antwerp Cathedral; another the Royal Arms, with the initials V.R. below, and date 1848.  The corresponding two-light window in the south wall has coloured glass “In memory of Eliza, wife of the Rev. T. Snead Hughes, late Vicar, she died March 9, 1872, aged 57.”  The subjects in the two lights are the Ascension of our Lord, and the three women at the sepulchre, with an angel pointing upward.  In the west wall of the nave are two pointed windows beneath a cusped circlet, all filled with coloured glass; the lower subjects being John the Baptist preaching in the wilderness, and the baptism of our Lord by John in the Jordan; the upper subject is the angel appearing to Zachariah; all three having reference to the patron saint of the church.  An inscription states that these are a memorial to the late Mark Harrison and his wife Ann, erected by their family.

p. 183The font is of stone, octagonal, having four different kinds of crosses on the alternate faces, a circular shaft ending in octagon, and on octagonal pediment.  Within the south porch, over the outer and inner doorways are old fragments of massive zigzag pattern, all that remains of a whilom Norman structure.  The modern doorway arch, externally, has a dog-tooth moulding, with floriated finials.  The tower, over the porch, is square below, octagonal above, with small lancet windows in each face, and is surmounted by a low spire; it contains one bell.  The roof and sittings are of pitchpine.

The chancel arch is of massive stone, plain, and of wide span.  In the east wall of the chancel are three narrow windows, the central higher than the other two; they have good coloured glass by Clayton and Bell.  Beneath is a handsome reredos of Caen stone, erected in memory of the late Mr. Thomas Terrot Taylor.  It has one large central device, the Agnus Dei within a circle, and on each side four divisions, containing a dove with olive leaf, Fleur de Lys, ears of corn, a passion flower, vine leaves and grapes, a crown, a rose, and a conventional flower.  On each side are memorial tablets of the Ball family.  In the south wall is a brass tablet in memory of Mr. Taylor, and a small pointed window.  In the north wall is a doorway leading to the vestry.  Within the vestry, lighted by a similar small pointed window, are three more Ball tablets, and a priest’s door.  In the centre of the nave floor, close to the chancel step, is a large slab “In memory of the Rev. William Robinson, 22 years Incumbent, who died May 8, 1830, aged 56.”  The register only dates from 1715, and contains no entries of special interest.

In a List of Institutions to Benefices, preserved at Lincoln, it is shewn that in 1562, on the resignation of the then Vicar, one John Howsone, Michael West, Clerk, was appointed to this vicarage, along with that of Nether Toynton, by Richard Bertie, Esq., the ancestor of the present Earl of Ancaster.  This was probably by some private arrangement with the Bishop of Carlisle, as the Berties (as the Willoughbys are now) were patrons of Low Toynton, but not of Upper, or High, Toynton.  He was instituted to the two benefices on July 9th of that year.


Of this parish, ecclesiastically annexed to High Toynton, little can be said.  The name was anciently written Maringes, [183a] or Marun [183b]; the former probably from the low “marish,” or marsh, “ings,” i.e. meadows, the suffix being the Saxon “ham,” a homestead.  It lies about two miles south-east from Horncastle, connected with High Toynton by footpath, and bridle road, across the fields barely a mile in length, but for carriages a detour of more than double that distance has to be made.

This parish, like High Toynton and West Ashby, is in the soke of Horncastle.  In Domesday Book it is stated that the manor comprised 3 carucates, or about 360 acres of land, with 21 soc-men and 11 bordars, [183c] who had four p. 184carucates, or about 480 acres; there were further 60 acres of meadow, and, what no longer exists, 300 acres of underwood; which was a very large proportion, considering that in Scrivelsby, now a well wooded estate, closely adjoining, there were at that time only six acres of underwood.

Sir Lionel Dymoke, a scion of the Scrivelsby family, once resided in this parish.  His will, dated 15th April, 1512, is a good specimen of the orthography of the period.  The following are portions of it: “I leon Dymoke of maryng of the hill in the Countie of lincolne knyght being of good and hoole mynde make and ordigne my testament and Last will in forme following | First I bequeathe my soule to almyghty god and to the blessid virgine his mother seint Mary and to all the holy Company of heven | And forasmoch as no man is certeine of the houre of dethe nor what place he shall die in and nothyng so certeine as dethe | and for as moch as I by the kyngℓ pleasure shall goo in hys warrys in the parties by yonde the see | Therefore my body to be buryed where it shall please almyghty god | Also that I will that my Executours for the helth of my soule in as hasty tyme as they may after my deceas paye or do to be paid all and singler my detts . . .  Also I bequethe and gyve to the Church warke of Maryng of al halowes vjs viijd and to the highe aulter there for tythes and oblacions forgoten xxd and to seint Jamys gild of maryng xxd . . .  Also I gyve and bequethe to the Convent of the black Freris of Boston for a trentall [184a] to be song for me and all Christen Soules xs,” &c., &c.  On 17th August, 1519 (when he was apparently on his death bed), witnesses certify that he added a codicil to be annexed, “saying these words in his mother tongue.  I will that Sr John Heron knyght have my landes in nethertynton whether I lyve or dye . . . and if my wif or myne executōs thynk there be any thyng expressed in my wille oute of goode ordre I will it be reformed by Anne my wif as she and they thynke most pleasure to god profytt for my soule.” [184b]

As to the owners of the demesne nothing further is told us; but since in Testa de Nevill, already quoted, it is stated that “the churches of Horncastre, Askeby, Upper Thinton, Maringes, &c., are of the gift of the Lord.”  Gerard de Rhodes was, doubtless, at one time, the common Lord of all those manors, as well as his descendant Ralph de Rhodes.  Mr. Weir states that the manor at a later period belonged to Edward Marsh, Esquire, of Hundle House, in the county of Lincoln; by a descendant of whom it was sold to William Hudson, Esquire, of Gray’s Inn.  In 1659 it was sold to one Duncombe, of whom it was purchased in 1688 by Sir Edmund Turnor, of Stoke Rochford, Knight; in whose family it still continues.  Other proprietors are Richard Ward, Esq., and Dr. Parkinson.

In Domesday Book there is mention of “a church and priest,” the latter, therefore, being doubtless resident in the parish; although for many years there has been no residence for an incumbent.  In 1830 the benefice was held, with High Toynton, by the Rev. E. R. H. G. Palmer, a relative of Viscount Halifax, who resided in Horncastle; in 1863 by the Rev. Isaac Hall, who did the same; and it was not till 1869 that a residence was erected at High Toynton for the united benefices.

p. 185Of the church, All Saints, we can only say that it stands in a good position, on high ground; that its walls are substantial, but that its style is of the meanest; it having been rebuilt in the early part of the 19th century (1813); and beyond a piscina, now in the north wall, it has no features of interest; having wooden-framed windows, square painted pews, walls whitewashed within and without, and a flat ceiling.  It greatly needs renovation, being now almost a solitary representative, in the neighbourhood, of that very worst period of architectural decadence.  With fairly good sandstone in the present walls, and probably more in the foundations of an earlier church, to be exhumed, and an abundance in situ not far away, restoration, or even re-erection, might be effected, at a moderate outlay.

The one bell hangs in a shabby bell turret.  While repairs were being carried out in 1813 two nobles of Edward IV., two angels of Henry VII., and several silver coins of different reigns, contained in a leathern purse, were found concealed in the wall. [185a]


Low Toynton lies about a mile from Horncastle to the north-east.  It is approached through rich meadows, watered by the river Waring. [185b]  The Rector is the Rev. J. W. Bayldon, M.A., of Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge.  Overseers, G. E. Read and W. Scholey.  Letters via Horncastle arrive at 8.30.

The church, dedicated to St. Peter, is a small structure with no pretention to architectural beauty, and almost entirely covered with ivy.  It was rebuilt in 1811, a period when architectural taste was at its lowest ebb, and barbarisms in stone, brick, and mortar were very generally perpetrated.  It was re-seated in 1863, during the incumbency of the Rev. E. M. Chapman.  It consists of chancel, nave, vestry, and open belfry containing one bell.  The chancel arch is the only remnant of a former Norman structure.  The font is apparently a 14th century one, almost a replica of that in Huttoft Church, which is engraved in Lincs. Notes & Queries, vol. iii, p. 225.  The bowl is octagonal, its faces filled with figures representing the Holy Trinity, the virgin and child, and the 12 apostles.  The bowl is joined to the shaft by angelic figures round the lower part of it.  The octagonal shaft has figures of St. Paul, Mary Magdalen, a bishop with chalice, another with scourge, and other subjects much mutilated, at the base are the winged lion, ox, man, and eagle, emblematical of the evangelists.  The walls of the church are relieved by some coloured designs, and borders of ecclesiastical patterns, running round the windows, &c., originally executed by that genuine artist the late Rev. C. P. Terrot, Vicar of Wispington.  These decorations have been recently (1898) renewed by Mr. C. Hensman, of Horncastle, when the church was thoroughly repaired, both inside and out; new panelling placed in the nave, and a new window in the vestry; and in the following year (1899) a new harmonium was purchased from Messrs. Chappell and Co., London.

The east window is filled with modern coloured glass, the subjects being the Transfiguration, the Crucifixion, and the Ascension.  On the sill of the east window are placed, over the communion table, two handsomely carved p. 186old oak candlesticks, presented by the Rev. C. P. Terrot.  On the north wall of the nave there is a small oval brass tablet, which was found in 1888, face downwards in the vestry floor.  It bears the following inscription: “Here lyeth the body of Edward Rolleston, Esquir, who departed this life the 23rd of July, in the thirtey-fourth year of his age; interr’d underneath this place the 4th of August, A.D. 1687.”  As 12 days elapsed between death and burial it is probable that he died abroad.  The manor and whole parish, except the glebe, still belongs to the Rolleston family; the benefice being in the patronage of the Earl of Ancaster.

In the floor of the chancel are two memorial slabs, one of the Rev. R. Spranger, D.C.L., late Rector of Low Toynton and Creeton, who enlarged the rectory house, and was a munificent benefactor to the neighbourhood.  Among other good deeds he built the bridge over the river Waring, on the road from Low Toynton to Horncastle. [186]  He was a member of a family of some distinction; had a residence in London, as well as his rectory here; he was popularly said to drive the handsomest pair of horses in London; and there exists a portrait in oil of an ancestor, Chancellor Spranger, in one of the great galleries in Florence.  Dr. Spranger was an intimate friend of J. Keble, the author of The Christian Year, and his son the Rev. Robert J. Spranger, Fellow of Exeter College, Oxford, spent the greater part of his life in Mr. Keble’s parish, Hursley, Hants, as a voluntary assistant in his clerical work.

The companion slab marks the last resting place of another rector, the Rev. J. Hutchinson, who died in 1788.  His history is singular.  Although well educated, he enlisted as a private in the army for foreign service; a commission however was subsequently obtained for him by his friends.  He presently became attached to a lady who refused to marry a soldier.  He then determined to take holy orders.  Chance threw him in the way of a party of gentlemen at Manchester, one of them being the agent of Lord Willoughby.  The latter stated that he had it in power, at that moment, to bestow a benefice, and that he would give it to anyone who could solve for him a particular problem.  Mr. Hutchinson succeeded in doing this, and was eventually appointed Rector of Low Toynton.  He held it, however, only 18 months, dying at an early age.  Whether he married the lady is not stated.

In the List of Institutions to Benefices, preserved at Lincoln, it is recorded that in 1562 Michael West, Clerk, was appointed Rector of Nether Toynton and Vicar of Upper Toynton, by Richard Bertie, Esq., ancestor of the Earl of Ancaster.  This must have been by some private arrangement with the Bishop of Carlisle, who was patron of High Toynton; the Berties (as the Willoughbies are now) being only patrons of Low Toynton.  From Liber Regis we learn that the Earl of Lindsey appointed to the benefice in 1692, the Duke of Ancaster in 1778, Sir Peter Burrell and Lady Willoughby d’ Eresby in 1783.

The register dates from 1585.  Under date 1717, Feb. 2nd, occurs the following entry: “Robert Willy, of Upper Toynton, did penance in the parish church of Lower Toynton, for the heinous and great sin of adultery.”  A note in the baptismal register states that on July 18th, 1818, Bishop George (Tomline) confirmed at Horncastle 683 candidates, among them being five from Low Toynton.  Confirmations were not held so frequently then as they now are.  In this parish Mr. Thomas Gibson, Vicar of Horncastle, when turned out of his preferment by the Puritans, lived for some “two years but poorly, teaching a few pupils.”

p. 187Little is known of the early history of this parish or of its proprietors.  In a Chancery Inquisition post mortem, 11 Henry VII., No. 123, taken at Partney, after the death of Isabella, wife of Richard Sapcote, Knight, the said Isabella is declared by the jurors to have died seized of the Manor of Nether Toynton, and of the advowson; and Joan, wife of William Nevill, of Rolleston, Notts., and others are declared to be daughters and heirs of the said Isabella; she herself being kinswoman and heir of William Plesington, son of Henry Plesington, Knight. [187a]

In a list of Lincolnshire names contained in the visitation of 1665–6, by William Dugdale, Esq., are Agnes Goodrick, daughter of Robert Goodrick, of Toynton, and Bridget and Elizabeth Rolston, daughters of Edward Rolston, of Toynton. [187b]

St. Peter’s Church, Low Toynton

By a Chancery Inquisition of 38 Henry VIII. (1546), it was found that Thomas Dymoke, Esq., was seized of land in Over Toynton, Nether Toynton, Maring-upon the-Hill, and other parishes; and by an Inquisition of 36 Elizabeth, it was found that Robert Dymock, Esq., was seized of the Manors of ffuletby and Belchforde, and lands in Horncastle, Nether Tointon and Upper Tointon, and several other parishes.  He died without issue 13th Sept., 1594, and his only sister, Anne, widow of Charles Bolle, of Haugh, succeeded to his property in Nether Toynton and elsewhere; and thus the connection of the Dymokes with Low Toynton ceased. [187c]

There is rather a curious feature in the following record.  By a Chancery Inquisition post mortem, 24 Henry VII., No. 61, it is found that Humphrey p. 188Conyngsby, Sergeant at Law, and others, instituted a suit on behalf of William Stavely, and others, by which he recovered to them, among other properties, “the advowson of Nether Taunton, and the rent of 4½ quarters of salt, in Nether Taunton, Over Taunton, and other parishes.”

We now find another ancient name connected with this parish.  The Newcomens (originally Le Newcomen, or the newcomer) of Saltfleetby, were one of our oldest Lincolnshire families.  They are named in Yorke’s “Union of Honour,” and their pedigrees given in four Lincolnshire Visitations.  The number of branches into which the race spread is remarkable. [188a]  Andrew Newcomen lived in the time of Richard I., resident at Saltfleetby, where the headquarters of the family continued for many generations.  Robert Newcomen (1304) married Alice, daughter of Sir William Somercotes, Knight.  His son, also Robert, married Margaret, daughter of Sir William Hardingshall, Knight.  Another Robert (1452) married Joane, daughter of Robert Craycroft, of Craycroft Hall.  A daughter Katharine, of Brian Newcomen, married (1559) George Bolle, of Haugh, a family already mentioned as, a few years later, connected with Low Toynton.  In 1540 we find Richard Newcomen residing at Nether Toynton.  By his will, dated 3rd Sept., 1540, he requests that he may be buried in the church of St. Peter, Nether Toynton.  He appoints the right worshipful Edward Dymoke, supervisor.  His grandson, Samuel Newcomen, of Nether Toynton, married Frances, daughter of Thomas Massingberd, of Braytoft Hall, M.P. for Calais (1552).  This branch of the family seems to have died out in the person of Thomas Newcomen (1592); [188b] but other branches spread over the neighbourhood, and were established at Bag Enderby, East Kirkby, Withern, and other places, and flourished throughout the 17th century.  Another Newcomen early in the 18th century married a daughter of Sir Robert Barkham, Bart.

A renewal of connection with Low Toynton was made when the widow of Nicholas Newcomen married, circa 1700, the Honble. Charles Bertie, son of Robert, 4th Earl of Lindsey, patron of the benefice of Nether Toynton.  Arthur Bocher, Esq., of Low Toynton, was in the Lincolnshire Rebellion of 1536, being brother-in-law of Thomas Moygne, one of the leaders in the movement.

Thus the parish of Low Toynton has had residents, proprietors, and rectors, to whom its present inhabitants may look back with some degree of pride and pleasure, although “their place now knoweth them no more.”


This village stands on the west bank of the river Bain, about 4 miles to the south of Horncastle.  It is bounded on the north by Thornton and Martin, on the east by Haltham and Dalderby, on the south by Kirkby-on-Bain, and on the west by Kirkstead, Kirkby, and Woodhall.  The area is 1020 acres, rateable value £945, population 137, entirely agricultural.  The soil is loam, on kimeridge clay, with “Bain terrace” gravel deposits.

The nearest railway stations are at Horncastle and Woodhall Spa, each about four miles distant.  There is an award and map of Haltham and Roughton in the parish, and a copy at the County Council office, Lincoln.  Three p. 189roads meet in the middle of the village, one from Horncastle, one to Woodhall Spa and Kirkstead, one to Kirkby-on-Bain, Coningsby and Tattershall.

Sir Henry Hawley, Bart., of Tumby Lawn, in the adjoining parish of Kirkby, is Lord of the Manor, but Lady Hartwell (daughter of the late Sir Henry Dymoke, the King’s Champion), and the executors of the Clinton family (now Clinton Baker) and the Rector own most of the soil; there being a few small proprietors.  Roughton Hall, the property of Lady Hartwell, is occupied by F. G. Hayward, Esq.

The register dates from 1564.  Peculiar entries are those of 43 burials for the years 1631–2, including those of the Rector and his two daughters, who died within a few days of each other; this was from the visitation called “The Plague,” or the “Black Death.”  For some years before 1657 only civil marriages were valid in law, and Judge Filkin is named in the register as marrying the Rector of Roughton, John Barcroft, to Ann Coulen.  In 1707 Mary Would is named as overseer of the parish, it being very unusual at that period for women to hold office.  Another entry, in the overseer’s book, needs an explanation.  “Simon Grant, for 1 day’s work of bages, 2s. 6d.;” and again, “Simon flint, for 1 day’s work of bages, 2s. 6d.”  “Bage” was the turf, cut for burning; in this case being cut from the “church moor,” for the church fire.  It was severe labour, often producing rupture of the labourer’s body, hence the high pay.

There is a charity named the “Chamerlayne Dole,” of 10s., given yearly to the poor, left by Martha Chamerlayn in 1702.  It is a charge upon a cottage and garden owned by Mr. T. Jackson, of Horncastle.

The National School was established about 1860, in a building erected in 1834 as a Wesleyan Chapel.  It was enlarged in 1872 and 1879.  It is supported by a voluntary rate.

The Church, St. Margaret’s, is of no architectural beauty, being built of brick and sandstone.  It consists of nave and chancel, with castellated tower, having one bell, also castellated parapets at the north and south corners of the east chancel wall.  The font is Norman, circular, with circular pediment, having an old oak octagonal cover, cupola shaped, plain except slight carving round the rim.  The fabric was newly roofed in 1870, when it was fitted with good open benches, the chancel paved with encaustic tiles, and the windows partly filled with stained glass; there are fragments of a former carved rood screen, the pulpit being of plain old oak.

In the chancel is a lengthy inscription, commemorative of Norreys Fynes; Esq., of Whitehall, in the adjoining parish of Martin.  He was grandson of Sir Henry Clinton, eldest son of Henry, Earl of Lincoln, by his second wife, daughter of Sir Richard Morrison, and mother of Francis, Lord Norreys, afterwards Earl of Berkshire.  He was a non-juror.  He died January 10th, 1735–6, aged 74.  There is a murial tablet to the memory of the Rev. Arthur Rockliffe, who died in 1798; another to Charles Pilkington, Esq., who died in 1798, and Abigail, his wife, who died in 1817.

The benefice is a discharged rectory, united to that of Haltham in 1741, and now held by the Rev. H. Spurrier, the patron being his son the Rev. H. C. M. Spurrier.  The two benefices together are valued at £450 a year.  There is a good rectory house.  The church plate is modern.  The village feast was discontinued about 50 years ago.

Peculiar field names are the Low Ings, Bottom Slabs, Carr Bottom, p. 190Church Moor, Honey Hole, Wong, Well-syke, Long Sand, Madam Clay, Sewer Close. [190a]

As to the early history of Roughton, Domesday Book gives it among the possessions of William the Conqueror, and also as belonging to Robert Despenser, his powerful steward, who probably held it under the king.  A Chancery Inquisition post mortem, 22 Richard II., No. 13, A.D. 1399, shows that Ralph de Cromwell, jointly with his wife Matilda, held the adjoining Manor of Tumby, with appurtenances in Roughton and elsewhere.  While another Inquisition of 13 Henry VII., No. 34, shows that the said Matilda died, “seised in fee tail of the same lands.” [190b]

In the reign of Elizabeth a family of Eastwoods resided here, since the name of Andrew Eastwood, of Roughton, appears in the list (published by T. C. Noble) of those gentry who contributed £25 to the Armada Fund.  Other documents shew that at different periods the hall has been occupied by members of various county families, as Fynes (already named), Wichcote, Heneage, Dymoke, Pilkington, and Beaumont.

The register has the following entries, probably written by an illiterate parish clerk, “An the wife of Will. Hennag, was buered ye 9 of Feberery, 1729.”  “Madame Elizabeth fines was buered May ye 29, 1730.”

Gervase Holles gives the following arms as existing in the church in his day.

Fenestra Australis Cancelli.

G. 3 lyons passant gardant, or . . .


Verry a fesse G. fretty, or . . .


Argent, a plaine crosse B. . . .


Or, a lyon rampant purpure. . . .


Chequy or and G., a chiefe ermyne . . .


In Campanili.

Arg. a sword sheathed proper, a buckler appt., with girdle wrapped, hilte pomel, and neuf or. . . [190c]


This village is distant from Horncastle between four and five miles in a southerly direction, lying on the east side of the river Bain.  It is bounded on the north by Dalderby and Scrivelsby, on the south by Kirkby and its hamlet of Fulsby, on the east by Scrivelsby, Wood Enderby and Wilksby, and on the west by Roughton.  The area is 2380 acres, rateable value £1198.  The soil is loam, with kimeridge clay below, and gravel deposits.  Population 121, mainly agricultural.

The main roads lead to Dalderby, Scrivelsby, and Horncastle, to Kirkby, Mareham-le-Fen, Coningsby, and Tattershall, and to Wood Enderby, Wilksby, and Revesby.  The nearest railway station is at Horncastle.

The Lord of the Manor was formerly the Champion Dymoke of Scrivelsby Court, but the late Rev. John Dymoke sold his estate in this parish, and the p. 191manor is now the property of Sir H. M. Hawley, Bart., of Tumby Lawn, in the adjoining parish of Kirkby; W. H. Trafford, Esq., owning the remainder, except 150 acres of glebe.

The benefice was united to that of Roughton in 1741, the two being now of the yearly value of £450, and held by the Rev. H. Spurrier.  The patron is the rector’s eldest son, the Rev. H. C. M. Spurrier.  There is an award and map of Haltham and Roughton, of date 1775.  A village feast is held on St. Benedict’s Day (March 21), he being the patron saint of the church.

There are some peculiar field names; as the Far, Middle, and Near Redlands, arable; the Top and Lower Brock-holes (brock meaning a badger), arable; the Black Sands, pasture; the Top and Low Malingars, arable; the East, West, and South High Rimes, arable; the Pingle, meadow; the Croft, pasture; the Oaks, pasture; Wood Close Meadow, the Old Cow Pasture.

The register dates from 1561, and contains an entry for the year 1684: “This yeare plague in Haltham.” [191]  There is a charity, the interest of £5, left by John Dymoke, Esq., of Haltham, who in 1634 is named among the Heralds’ List of Gentry, for yearly distribution by the overseers among the poor.  The children attend the school at Roughton.

The church is one of the most interesting in the neighbourhood.  The chancel was restored and an open roof put up in 1881, at a cost of £250.  The nave was restored in 1891, at a cost of £300.  The sanctuary was paved with Minton tiles by the late Lady Dymoke.  The most remarkable feature is a semi-circular tympanum over the door in the south porch, which is of early Norman, or possibly Saxon date.  It has sculptured on it in somewhat rude fashion a Maltese cross within a circle, a second circle running through the limbs of the cross, a square with three-quarter circles at its corners, and semicircles midway of each side, which form the extremities of another cross, and between the limbs are roundels.  Below is a figure resembling a fish, also four rows of triangles, and other complicated devices.  The east window is a very fine flamboyant one, of date about 1350.  Some of the sittings have very old rudely-carved poppy heads of oak.  There are very fine carved oak canopies over two long pews in the north aisle, for the Champion Dymokes and their servants.  There is a piscina with two fronts in the south wall of the chancel, and a series of three stone sedilia, in the north wall is an aumbrey.  There is an incised slab to one of the Dymokes.  The tower has three bells, and the bell chamber is closed by ancient boarding, on which are the ten commandments in old characters, and very curious Royal Arms of Charles I.  The church plate consists of pewter paten, silver flagon and chalice, with date 1764, given by Mr. John Dickinson.

In the village there is an old hostel, partly of the Tudor style, with pointed gable ends, projecting upper storey, and constructed externally of brick and woodwork.

As to the early history of this parish little is definitely known.  According to Domesday Book it was among the possessions of the Conqueror, and his steward, Robert Dispenser, held it under him.  Probably like other parishes in the soke of Horncastle, the manor was held by Gerbald d’ Escald, his grandson Gerard de Rhodes, his son Ralph de Rhodes, sold by him to the Bishop of Carlisle, &c.  Of the ownership of Ralph de Rhodes we have evidence in a Feet of Fines, Lincoln, 9 Henry III., No. 52, containing an agreement between p. 192Henry del Ortiary and Sabina his wife, on the one hand, and Ralph de Rhodes, on the other hand, in which the former parties recognise the right of the said Ralph to certain lands in Haltham, Wood Enderby, Moorby, and other parishes in the soke. [192a]

Of other families of distinction once connected with this parish we have indications in the arms which Gervase Holles found in the church windows in his time (circa 1630, temp. Chas. I.), which we give here.

In Fenestris Cancelli.

Verry a fesse G. fretty, d’or . . .


G. a cross sarcely, arg.  . . .


Sa. 2 lyons passant, arg. crowned, or . . .


Or, a lyon rampant, double queue, sa . . .


Sa. 3 flowres de lize betw. 6 crosse crosslets, fitchy, arg. . . .


G. 3 bars ermyne . . .


Barry of 6, or and sa. . . .


Fenestræ Boreales.

B. a lyon’s head erased betw. 6 crosses, botony, arg. . . .


Arg. 2 bars G. a border, sa. . . .


Dymoke, each lyon charged sur l’ espale with an annulet . . .


Ermyne on a bend G. a cinquefoil, or . . .


G. crosse crucilly fitchy, a lyon rampant, arg . . .

La Warre

Or, a lyon rampant, double queue, sa. . . .


Fenestræ Australes.

G. 3 water-bougets, arg. . . .


Or on fesse G. 3 plates . . .


Quarterly or and G. a border sa. bezanty . . .


Rochfort with a garbe in the 2nd quarter, arg. . . .


Rochfort with an annulet in the 2nd quarter, arg. . . .


Or, a manche G. . . .


G. a bend ermyne . . .


Rochfort with an eagle displayed in the 2nd quarter, arg. . . .


Arg. fretty of 6 pieces G. a canton ermyne . . .


In Fenestra Borealis Navis.

G. crosse crucilly fitchy, a lyon rampant, arg. . . .

La Warre

Arg. on a bend, G. 3 gryphons heads erased, or . . .


In Campanili.

Joh’es Staines W. Jo. [192b]



Mareham-le-Fen lies about six miles south from Horncastle, and five miles eastward of Tattershall station, with a population of more than 800.  Letters via Boston arrive by mail cart at 7.30 a.m.  This is the seat of a considerable industry, carried on by Mr. Titus Kime, as a grower of greatly improved varities of potatoes, agricultural seed, and, latterly on a large scale, of bulbs of different kinds, in which he seems likely to compete with the Dutch trade.

The church, which is dedicated to St. Helen, is a fine structure of oolite stone, probably one of the largest in the neighbourhood, except the collegiate church of Tattershall.  It consists of tower, nave, north and south aisles, south porch and chancel.  The body of the church was restored in 1873, and re-opened on June 13th of that year, at a cost of more than £2,000, by J. Banks Stanhope, Esq., Lord of the Manor; the then rector, the Rev. W. Sharpe restoring the chancel, and the parishioners and other friends the tower.  The latter consists of three tiers, having a small square window in the south p. 193and north walls below, with a two-light floriated window on the west.  In the tier above are two-light windows on all four faces.  At the summit it has battlements and four tall pinnacles.  There are three bells, the date of the largest being 1627.  The body of the church is also battlemented, and has pinnacles, the westernmost of these having the figures, within a niche, of St. George and the dragon.

The south porch has an early English doorway within, the outer one being modern.  In the moulding above the inner doorway is a curiously crowned head, probably representing the Empress Helena, the patron saint; other curious devices running down the moulding on each side.  To the right of the inner doorway are initials M.S., date 1681.  The font has a large octagonal bowl, with heads at the angles, and elaborate trefoil devices on the faces; the shaft is plain, octagonal, the pediment a stone cross.

St. Helen’s Church, Mareham-Le-Fen

Both aisles have four lofty bays, with early English columns.  In the north aisle is one three-light perpendicular trefoiled window, in its western wall; in the north wall, on each side of the north door, is a three-light perpendicular window, with mullions interlacing; and to the east a four-light round-headed trefoiled window.  Over the north door is a tablet, with a Latin inscription, commemorative of the Rev. H. Sheppard, a former rector, who died 24th Jan., 1764, aged 62.  Beneath it is a cherub with outspread wings.  In the wall, east of the north door, is a tablet bearing the inscription: “This church was relighted in memory of Francis Thorpe, who lost his life, by an accident, while working in the church near this spot, 22nd Sept., 1892.”  The south aisle, at the west end, has a three-light broad interlaced window.  In the south wall, west of the porch, is a low doorway, now filled in, with step at its base, probably formerly leading to a parvis, or priest’s chamber.  East of the p. 194porch are two round-headed three-light trefoiled perpendicular windows.  In the chancel the east window, of coloured glass, is lofty, with three lights, and six trefoils above.  The subjects are divided into upper and lower rows; the upper are the Ascension in the centre, with the Resurrection to the left, and to the right the disciples grouped round the virgin; the lower are the Crucifixion in the centre, Christ bearing His cross to the left, and the entombment to the right.  This window was by Lavers, Barrand and Westlake; it was given in memory of the late Mr. Joseph Corbett, by his son, C. J. Corbett, Architect, of Imber Court, Surrey.

The reredos has three compartments; the central device is a cross, with rays of glory, and the monogram I.H.S.; on the right and left are doubly pointed, crocheted, arches; the device in the northernmost being a crown of thorns, with the three nails, surrounded by a circle; next to it three interlaced circles; on the south side interlaced triangles, and a plain cross.  The east wall, up to the height of the reredos, is faced with alabaster.

In the south wall of the chancel is a wide stone seat, and above it a two-light trefoiled window.  In the north chancel wall is a trefoiled credence table.  There is a tablet to the memory of William Goodenough, formerly rector, Archdeacon of Carlisle (the benefice formerly being in the patronage of the Bishops of Carlisle), who died 13th Dec., 1854; and commemorating his wife Mary Anne, daughter of Dr. Samuel Goodenough, Bishop of Carlisle; she dying 3rd Jan., 1847, aged 75.  The memorial was erected by their only surviving child, Mrs. Hawkins.

The choir sittings are of carved modern oak; the pulpit is also of the same, on a stone base, and the lectern.  The chancel arch is lofty, the modern side columns having richly carved capitals.  Some of the stones of the original arch were found built into the chimney of a cottage near at hand.  The sittings in the nave, and the roof timbers, are of pitch pine.  The base of the tower forms a roomy vestry.

In the churchyard is the lower part of the shaft of a cross, standing on an octagonal base.  Opposite the east end of the south aisle is a tombstone in memory of James Roberts, “who sailed round the world in company with Sir Joseph Banks, in the years 1768–71, on board H.M.S. the Endeavour, Lieut. James Cook, Commander,” attending him “also on other voyages.” [194a]  The tomb of Archdeacon Goodenough is on the north-east side of the church.  Within a few feet of the south buttress of the tower is a fragment of an old tombstone, shewing part of a foliated cross on both sides, and the monogram I.H.S., in old characters, probably Saxon; Mareham being one of the 222 parishes in the county which had a church in Saxon times [194b]

Gervase Holles (temp. Chas. I.) gives the following arms and inscriptions, as existing in the church in his time.  In the east window:


Arg’ a crosse sa.

Arg. on a crosse G. a bezant.

Arg, a crosse sa.


Quarterly arg. and G., on the 1st and 4th quarters a popinjay vert. membred and beked G.

In the western window on the left of the tower:

Orate pro a’ia Joh’is Tott, Agnet, et Helene, uxorum ejus, & specialiter pro Andrea Tott, Artium Baccalaureo, qui istam fenestram lapidari, necnon vitreari fecit.

p. 195Over the buttress, on the east side:

Quarterly Ufford and Beke . . .


   3 crosses portate . . .


   2 chevrons between 3 roses . . .


   A crosse . . .


   A lyon passant . . .


“Domus mea domus orationis vocabitur, 1591.” [195a]


The register dates from 1558.  An entry records that on 22nd Nov., 1685, a “Briefe was read and published, for Saresden in Oxfordshire, for loss valued at £1,449.  Granted June 14th, 1686.”  Another entry, under date 23rd Nov., 1685, is as follows: “Thomas Eresby of Revvesby maketh oath yt Theodosie, his daughter, who was buried in the churchyard upon Sunday last, was wound and wrapped up in woollen only, according to the late Act of Parliament, in yt case made.”  In explanation of this it may be stated that in 1677 British and Irish woollens were prohibited in France, which injured the woollen trade very much; and in the next year (1678) in order to encourage the trade at home, it was enacted by 29 Charles II., c. 3, that all persons, except those who died of the plague, should be buried in wool, under a penalty of £5. [195b]  Another entry states that a collection was made, the amount not known, to afford relief, after the great fire in London, Sept., 1666.

The rectory, adjoining the church, stands in a large, well wooded garden.  It is a good substantial residence, rebuilt by Archdeacon Goodenough in 1818–19, and much improved in 1855.  In the entrance hall are two old prints of the church and rectory before their restoration, dated 1785.  They were presented to the late rector, Rev. W. Sharpe, by Alfred Cobbett, Esq., and they are preserved as heirlooms by the rectors for the time being.  The Rev. F. J. Williamson is the present rector, late of Lydgate.  The Bishop of Manchester is patron of the benefice; the patronage of this, and several other benefices in this neighbourhood, formerly held by the Bishops of Carlisle, being transferred to the See of Manchester some years after its creation, in 1848.

The national school, built in 1840, is endowed with nearly an acre of land, given by Archdeacon Goodenough; it was considerably enlarged by J. Banks Stanhope, Esq., in 1877.  Some of the inhabitants are entitled to the benefits of the almshouses at Revesby.  There is a navigable drain from the Witham, passing near the village, affording communication with New Bolingbroke and Boston.  A former part of the parish is now included in the district of Wildmoor Fen.

In Liber Regis this parish is named “Marrow, alias Marym, alias Mareham in le Fen.”  It is called in Domesday Book Meringe (or the sea-ing, i.e. sea-meadow).  Another form was Marum; the Revesby Charters, Nos. 47 and 48, mention a piece of land, near the boundary of Marum, called “Mare Furlong,” and the grass (Psamma arenaria) which now grows on the sea banks is commonly called Marrum grass.  All these names probably refer to the marish (Latin, mariscum), or marsh, character of the locality, caused by its proximity to the sea (le mer), which then came much nearer than it does now, and frequently flooded the land.

The manor was given by the Conqueror to the powerful Norman, Robert Despenser, who, as his name implies, was the King’s High Steward.  He was the ancestor of the Despensers, Earls of Gloucester, and he held 15 manors in p. 196Lincolnshire alone, besides 17 in Leicestershire, and several in other counties.  Much of the land of this parish was at a later period given to Revesby Abbey, and at the dissolution of the monasteries some of this was granted by Henry VIII, to Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk. [196a]  In later times it became, by purchase, the property of Mr. Joseph Banks, M.P. for Grimsby, born in 1681, and eventually came to his distinguished descendant, Sir Joseph Banks; and on his death some of the Mareham land passed to the ancestors of the present Sir Henry M. Hawley.  Other proprietors are now Major Gape, Messrs. J. R. Chapman, Joseph Lake, and other smaller owners.

Among the Lincolnshire gentry called upon (with the Massingberds, Heneages, and many others) to furnish “launces and light horse,” in the 16th century, when the Spanish armada was expected, was one “John May of Mairing,” who failed to present himself at the muster in 1584, but in 1586 supplied “one light horse.” [196b]

In Notes on Low Toynton mention is made of the old family of Newcomen, originally “of Salaby,” i.e. Saltfleetby, where many generations of them were buried, from the time of Richard I.  They married into influential and titled families, in various parts of the county.  Charles Newcomen lived at Hagnaby in 1634, and bought land in Revesby.  A Newcomen lived in Mareham in the 17th century.  They were connected, by marriage, with the family of Sir Joseph Banks, as Mr. Banks, grandfather of Sir Joseph, had a house in Lincoln, the adjoining one being occupied by Newcomen Wallis, Esq., and Mr. Banks married Catherine the widow of Mr. Wallis (see the Banks monument in Revesby church, north aisle), whose mother was daughter and co-heir of Nicholas Newcomen, Esq. [196c]

We here give a few old records in connection with this parish in the past.  The Court Roll of Mareham-le-Fen (preserved among the documents of the Listers of Burwell) for 2 Elizabeth, shows that, at that date (A.D. 1559), Thomas Glenham, Esq. (variously written Glemham), had the Manor of Mareham.  In the 23rd Elizabeth it is recorded that Charles Glenham, Esq., by his lawful attorney, Francis Colby, of Glenham Parva, Esq., granted leases for seven years to divers tenants in Mareham.  Thomas owned also the Manors of Calceby, Belchford, Oxcomb, and Burwell; these he sold to Sir Matthew Lister, afterwards of Burwell.  He married Amye, daughter of Sir Henry Parker. [196d]

In a suit, instituted 29th May, 1239, between William de Bavent, plaintiff, and Walter, Bishop of Carlisle, defendant, regarding the advowson of the church of “Merum,” the said William “quit claimed” all his right to the said advowson, to the bishop and his heirs for ever; and in return for this the bishop gave him 10 marks.  In the old record, Testa de Nevill, folio 556 (circa 1326), Walter de Bavent held certain lands in Marum, “by service of falconry,” i.e. by providing yearly, in lieu of rent, one “gay goss-hawk,” or more, for the use of the Lord of the Manor. [196e]

Robert de Weston, Rector of Marum, by his will, dated 3rd March, 1389, requested that he might be buried in Marum Church.  He bequeathed to the Mendicant Friars of Boston 6s. 8d. “to remember me in their masses,” to p. 197Lady Margaret Hawteyn, Nun of Ormsby, 10s.; to Trinity College, Cambridge, a book called “Johannes in Collectario,” to every fellow there 2s., and every scholar 1s.  Among other bequests are to Mgr. Eudo la Zouch “12 cocliaria nova de argento” (i.e. 12 new spoons of silver); to “John Geune my clerk a missal of the new use of sarum”, and “masses for souls of Walter ffelsted, William Stel, and James de Medringham.  Executors, Eudo la Zouch, John ffoston my chaplin, &c., the residue of my goods to be sold, as quickly as possible, communi pretio, so that the purchasers may be bound to pray for my soul.”

William Leych, parson of Mareham, by will dated 11th Aug, 1556, requests that he may be buried “in the quire of St. Helen.”  “To my brother Robert Leych 12 silver spoons, to Sir John Richardson 6 great books, containing the holle course of the bybyll, and a repetorii, and a concordance”; to Sir John Morland “Opera Chrisostomi & Sancti Thomas, & Haymo super epistolas sauli”; to Mr. Lancelot Sawkeld “Deane of Carlyle 20s., praying him to cause a dirige and masses to be said for me . . . I make Mr. Arthur Dymok and Mr. Robert Dymok supervisors.”

Wesleyan Chapel, Mareham-le-Fen

Henry Ayscough, of Blyborough, by will dated 19 Oct., 1611, left lands in Mareham-le-Fen, and the Manor of Tumby, and other lands, to his grandsons.  p. 198In connection with this we may mention that the late Sir Henry James Hawley married, as his first wife, Elizabeth Askew, a descendant of the same family.  The Ayscoughs (or Askews) were a distinguished Lincolnshire and Yorkshire family, and have still numerous representatives. [198a]

Here is another record of the same family.  By will, dated 15th April, 1612, Walter Ayscoughe, of Mareham-le-Fen, left to his wife Bridget £20 annuity, and other property, for her life; then to his sons Henry and Walter, and two daughters Margaret and Elizabeth; also 12d. to the same; and 5s. to Nicholas Cressey, gent, supervisor, witness Clynton Ayscoughe; proved at Horncastle, 2nd May, 1613.  To this family belonged Anne Askew the martyr, who was the younger daughter of Sir William Ayscough, Bart., of Stallingborough.  Their property eventually came to the late Ascoghe Boucherett, of South Willingham.

Next we find one of the old family of Newcomen, already referred to, “Edward Newcomen of Mareham-le-Fenne, by will, proved at Horncastle, 1st July, 1614,” leaving to his daughters, Elizabeth and Mary, £10 each, the same to his son Robert, and the residue to his wife; the personality being £120 3s. 8d., a vastly larger sum in those days than now.

Another will is that of Annie Elie, widow, of Mareham-le-Fen, dated 13th July, 1616, in which she desires “to be buried in the church,” so that she was probably some one of importance.  She leaves everything to her son-in-law John Wymberley, and her daughter Susan Wymberley. [198b]

Among the deeds and charters of Revesby Abbey, privately printed by the Right Hon. E. Stanhope a few years ago, No. 24 gives, among the witnesses to a deed of gift, the name of Eda, wife of Richard, Priest of Mareham (temp. Henry II., or Richard I).  Hence it is evident that celibacy was not strictly enforced on the clergy at that period. [198c]  Among the witnesses to other deeds are Robert, Priest of Marum, and Richard, Priest of Marum, A.D. 1172.  The deed of gift of certain lands to Revesby Abbey (No. 29), by a certain John, is stamped with a round seal, having an equestrian figure, and the legend Sigillum Johannis de Maringe.  By another deed William, son of John of Maring, gives certain lands; the seal bearing a lion and dog, or fox “contourné regardant,” [198d] the legend of this is Sigill. Will. de Marige.

With these records and associations with the past, the parish of Mareham may surely be said to have a history on which its people may well look back with interest and satisfaction.


Moorby lies about 4½ miles from Horncastle, and about 1½ miles beyond Scrivelsby, in a south-easterly direction.  Letters via Boston arrive at 9.30.

p. 199The registers date from 1561, but contain no entries of any particular interest.  The church, dedicated to All Saints, has undergone several transformations.  This was one of the 222 parishes which possessed a church before the Norman conquest, and it still contains a fragment (to be noticed later on) which is apparently of Saxon origin.  Both Weir in his History (1828), and Saunders (1834) agree in stating that in the early part of the 19th century the church was “totally destitute of interest.”  The Gazetteer of 1863 describes it vaguely as a “Gothic structure.”  It was rebuilt in 1864, from designs by Mr. James Fowler, Architect, of Louth, at a cost of £1,100, defrayed by J. Banks Stanhope, Esq., Lord of the Manor; and was further repaired in 1891, by public subscription.  It consists of nave, chancel, vestry, north porch, and small square tower at the north-west angle, with low spire containing one bell.  It is built chiefly of brick with facings of Ancaster stone.

In the north wall of the nave are a couple of two-light windows, in the Perpendicular style; in the south wall are three two-light windows; all these having bands of red and black brick alternately.  In the west wall are two single-light lancet windows, with an ox-eye window above.  In the chancel there is a small lancet window in the north wall, and a square aumbrey.  The east end has a three-light plain lancet window; beneath which is a stone reredos, having three compartments filled with encaustic tiles, having, as their designs, in the centre a cross in gilt, and Alpha and Omega, within ox-eyes, on either side.  In the south wall in front of the vestry is a lancet-shaped doorway, and, west of it, an arcade of two lancet apertures, supported by four columns of serpentine.  Within the vestry is a two-light lancet window; and let into the eastern wall is a small slab, having four grotesque figures, one blowing a kind of bagpipe, the others dancing.  This is said to have been a portion of a “minstrel pillar,” it is apparently Saxon, and is probably a relic from the original fabric.  The chancel arch is of red and black bricks, in alternate bands, the capitals nicely carved in stone, supported by small serpentine columns.  The pulpit is of Caen stone, having a cross within a circle on the front panel, and one serpentine column.  The chancel choir stalls are of good modern oak; the sittings in the nave and the roof being of pitch pine.

The font is the most remarkable feature of the church.  It has a large square bowl; the device on the east side is a skeleton being drawn from the tomb by two angels, doubtless emblematic of the “death unto sin and new birth unto righteousness,” accomplished in baptism.  On the north face is the virgin and child, with the sun and moon in the corners above.  On the south side is a figure in long vestment, apparently sitting on an altar, much defaced.  On the west are six figures, much defaced, in the attitude of prayer.  At the four angles are quatrefoiled niches, having at their bases, alternately, a crowned head and a mitre.  This may have been of the 14th century.  The shaft is square and modern, with columns at the angles.

The communion plate is modern, except the paten, which bears the inscription “Matthew Sympson, M.A., instituted Rector of Moorby, Feb. 28, 1705, collated Prebendary of Lincoln, June 25, 1718, Rector of Wenington, May 29, 1728.”  The present Rector is the Rev. R. C. Oake, late Vicar of Broughton, Manchester.  The rectory of Moorby is consolidated with the vicarage of Wood Enderby.

By deed dated Nov. 24th, 1855, the guardians of the poor, by consent of the ratepayers, gave certain land in Moorby for the site of a parish school to the minister, churchwardens, and overseers, and their successors; and more p. 200recently a school district has been formed for the parishes of Moorby, Wood Enderby, Claxby, and Wilksby; the school, which was built in 1855, being enlarged in 1872, to provide the accommodation required by this union.

Moorby was one of the “thousand four hundred and forty-two manors” which William the Conqueror took as his own portion, when he divided the lands of England among his Norman followers.  Being in the Soke of Horncastle, it was doubtless granted, along with that manor, and those of West Ashby, High Toynton, and several others, to Adelias or Alice de Cundi, daughter of William de Cheney, Lord of Caenby ann Glentham, and wife of Roger de Cundi.  As she took part against King Stephen, in favour of the Empress Maud, he took the property from her; but eventually restored it to her, on condition that she should demolish her castle at Horncastle; this however was only for life, the estates again reverting to the crown.  Henry II. made a grant of them to Gerbald le Escald, a Fleming noble, who was succeeded by his grandson and heir, Gerard de Rhodes.  His son, Ralph de Rhodes, in the reign of Henry III., sold the manors to Walter Mauclerke, Bishop of Carlisle, and until recently the patronage of Moorby benefice belonged to the Bishops of Carlisle.  After the creation of the See of Manchester, the patronage, with that of High Toynton, Mareham-le-Fen, &c., was transferred to the Bishops of Manchester.

Domesday Book, describing the soke of the Manor of Horncastle, says “In Morebi there are 3 carucates of land (or about 360 acres).  There are 6 soc-men, and 10 bordars, who have 4 carucates (or 480 acres).  There is a church and a priest (evidently a resident; of whom, according to Sir Henry Ellis, there were only 130 in the country), and 240 acres of meadow and 6 acres of underwood.”  In the old record, Testa de Nevill (circa 1326–1328), the benefice of “Morby” is said to be “of the gift of the lord the king,” i.e. Edward II. or III.  The original charters of Henry III., granting these manors to the Bishops of Carlisle, were confirmed by Henry VI.; but in course of time they passed to the Brandons, and to various other proprietors, until the ancestor of Sir Joseph Banks became lessee of the Manor of Horncastle, and also acquired the Manor of Moorby; to which James Banks Stanhope, Esq., and the late Right Hon. Edward Stanhope succeeded; although T. Elsey, the Artindale family, and the trustees of Bardney school, own portions of the parish.

In the year 1554 (Aug. 6th) Thomas Bewley, Clerk, was admitted to this benefice by Robert, Bishop of Carlisle, it being “vacant by deprivation.”  This was the 2nd year of the reign of Queen Mary, of ill memory.  Doubtless the offence of the ejected predecessor was that he was married, which was contrary to the papistic ideas, revived in that brief reign.  Numbers of beneficed clergy were deprived at that time for this offence.

A few old records of some interest are preserved connected with Moorby, of which we give two or three samples here.  First we have a family of the name of Moreby, of whom more than one mention is made.  Roger Moreby, by will dated Saturday after the Feast of St. Botolph, 1394, commends his soul to St. Mary and all the saints; he requests that his body may be buried in Croyland parish church; he leaves 40s. to be given to the poor on the day of his burial, and money to provide torches and wax for the church, and the altars of St. Katharine, St. John the Baptist, and Holy Trinity; he bequeaths £10 of silver to his wife, and other items.  Again, by will dated the Feast of St. Thomas the apostle, 1368, Gervase de Wylleford bequeaths 100s. to John Moreby his cousin.

p. 201The family of Ayscough, formerly so widely represented in the county, were connected with Moorby.  By will, dated 16th Nov., 1601, Henry Ascoughe, Gent., desires to be buried in the parish church of “Morebie,” leaving to his sister “Elizabeth Aiscoughe (his) hereditaments in Morebie for life, then to go to his brother Matthew.”  His sister is also to have lands which he had leased to Sir Henry Glenham, Knight. [201a]  He further leaves to her, as executrix, “£10 to be good and to my poor sister Margarette.”  To his brother Simon he bequeaths “the best apparrell of my bodie, with riding furniture, and my baie gelding, rapier, dagger, and pistol,” and further bequests.  The testator was son of Christopher Ayscough, of Bliborough, and married, apparently without issue, Margaret, daughter of Symon Battell, of Denham, Suffolk.

Like the not very distant Wildmore Fen, in which it now has a modern allotment of 14 acres of glebe land.  The name of Moorby tells of its condition at the time when it acquired that designation, which means the “by,” i.e. “byre,” or farmstead on the moor. [201b]  The moorland has now entirely disappeared under the plough, and only young plantations represent its former wild, woodland character.


Wood Enderby lies about four miles south by east from Horncastle.  Letters via Boston arrive at 10.30 a.m.

The church, dedicated to St. Benedict, consists of nave, north aisle, and chancel, a low tower, with graceful broach spire, containing one bell, and small vestry.  It is built of a warm-tinted green sandstone, with free stone dressings; the style of its architecture is a combination of the early English and Decorated periods.  It was almost entirely rebuilt in 1860, at a cost of about £1,000.  The south door, which is in the tower, has an Early English arch of five mouldings.  There is a plain trefoiled window above in the tower; the lower part of the spire having two lancet windows, with a circle above them, and a small single-light window on each side, half way up.  In the west wall of the tower is a three-light window, with two trefoils and a quatrefoil above.  This is filled with coloured glass, having the texts “I am the way, the truth, and the life,” “Where two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst of them,” and “No man cometh unto the Father but by Me.”  There are similar windows, but without coloured glass, in all four faces of the tower.  At the north-west angle of the tower is a staircase turret.  Within the south door, against the west wall, is an old stone coffin, with broken lid, ornamented with an incised floriated cross; this was discovered at the time of the restoration.

The arcade of the north aisle is of three bays, being part of the old church, in Early English style, with plain arches, supported on one octagonal pier and one shafted pier, with dog-tooth ornament, the former having foliage on the capital.  In the north wall of the nave are three square-headed windows of three lights, with trefoils above, the glass being plain, except a border of red, purple, and yellow.  In the south wall are three two-light windows, with trefoil and circle above; the glass being modern, with various coloured scripture texts.

p. 202The sittings are of deal, with plain poppy-heads.  The pulpit is of modern oak, of five panels, each panel being divided into two trefoiled arched partitions; the central panel having a trefoil above, and below it a square piece of carved old oak, representing Elijah blessing the cruse of oil for the widow of Zarephath.  The vestry, at the east end of the north aisle, has one small trefoiled window.  The tower and the spire were added at the restoration.  The chancel has a decorated east window of three lights, with three quatrefoils above.  It is filled with modern coloured glass, the subjects being, in the centre the Saviour risen from the tomb, on the left an angel seated at the tomb, and on the right the Magdalen.  There is an inscription, “Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not, for I am not yet ascended to my Father; but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father and your Father, and to my God and your God.  John xx, 17.”

The north and south chancel walls have each one two-light trefoiled window, with quatrefoil above; plain glass, except the coloured band.  In the south wall is a curious square projecting Norman piscina, with fluted basin, and fluted sides.  In the north wall is an arched sepulchral recess.  The chancel arch is plain Early English.  The roof, like the sittings, is of pitch pine.  The font has a plain octagonal large bowl of Barnack stone, its upper rim being modern, the shaft plain quadrilateral, with plain square columns at the angles; base and pediment octagonal.

The register dates from 1561.  It begins with the note “The Register booke of Woodenderbye, containing herein ye names of all such as have been married, burried, and christened, from Michaelmas 1561, to Michaelmas 1562.”  The first five or six entries are illegible, and the others contain nothing of special interest.  The benefice, a vicarage, is consolidated with the rectory of Moorby, and is now held by the Rev. R. C. Oake.

As the name of Moorby indicated the character of the locality in former times, when that name was first acquired, so Wood Enderby means the “bye,” i.e. “byre,” or farmstead “at the end of the wood,” as it borders on what was once the forest tract of “Tumby Chase”; Haltham wood, near at hand, being a relic of that former wild region. [202]

W. H. Trafford, Esq., is Lord of the Manor.  The Hon. Mr. Stanhope owns a large part of the land; and portions belong to the Rev. G. Ward, and other smaller owners.  The late Miss Trafford Southwell founded an infant school in the village; the older children attending the Moorby school.  The poor parishioners receive 6d. each at Christmas, left by an unknown donor, out of the farm now owned by Rev. G. Ward, of Mavis Enderby.

The ancient history of Wood Enderby is much the same as that of Moorby.  It was one of the minor demesnes, within the Soke of Horncastle, and attached to that manor; as were also West Ashby, High Toynton, Mareham-on-the-Hill, and other parishes.  It would thus also be among the estates of Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk, and when his main line became extinct, and the property was divided among collateral branches, Wood Enderby, with Wilksby and Revesby, fell to the share of Mr. John Carsey, or Kersey; his wife, the daughter of Sir Thomas Lovell, Knight, being grand-daughter of Margaret, sister and co-heir of the Duke of Suffolk.  He owned the property p. 203from 1552 to 1575, and he and his son Francis jointly sold it to Thomas Cecil, Lord Treasurer Burleigh.  He held it from 1575 to 1598, when it passed in succession to the 1st and 2nd Earls of Exeter, and to Elizabeth, Lady Howard, wife of the Earl of Berkshire, in 1640, and so in 1658 to Henry Howard; in 1663 to his cousin Craven Howard, who built the former residence at Revesby; and, after his death, the property was sold by the daughters of Henry Howard to the Banks family; whence the manor has descended to the present proprietors of Revesby.

The manor, like that of Moorby and other parishes already named, would at one time belong to the Bishops of Carlisle, and they were till recently patrons of the benefice; the patronage, within late years, being transferred to the Bishops of Manchester, after the creation of that See in 1848.

At an earlier date, being an appendage to the Manor of Horncastle, this demesne would be owned at one period by Gerard and Ralph de Rhodes; and this is shewn by the following records among the Final Concords, date 3rd Feb., 1224–5, whereby an agreement was arrived at between Henry del Ortiay and Sabina his wife, on the one part, and Ralph de Rhodes on the other part, as to certain lands in Moorby, Enderby, Horncastle, and other parishes, that the said Henry and Sabina should recognise the said lands as belonging to the said Ralph; he, on his part, granting to them other lands there, specially designated, they rendering to him “therefor by the year, one pair of gilt spurs, at Easter, for all service and exaction.” [203a]  This agreement was settled “at the court of the Lord the King at Westminster on the morrow of the purification of the blessed Mary, in the 9th year of King Henry III. [203b]

In the old records, Testa de Nevill (circa 1326–28), it is stated that “the churches of Horncastre, Askeby (West Ashby), Upper Thinton (High Toynton), of Meringes (Mareham-on-the-Hill), and of Hinderby (Wood Enderby), are of the gift of the lord; and Osbert, the parson, holds them of King Richard.”

In Domesday Book it is stated that at the time of the Conqueror, there were “400 acres of wood pasturage” in the parish, a sufficient reason for its designation.  Like Moorby, it was among the manors seized by the Conqueror, for his portion of the plunder taken from our Saxon forefathers.  In Saxon times the Thane, Siward, had land here; which was given by the Conqueror to his steward, Robert Despenser, brother of the Earl Montgomery. [203c]


This is a large village, about 8 miles from Horncastle, in a southerly direction.  It is bounded on the north by Tattershall Thorpe, on the west by Tattershall, on the south by Wildmore, and on the east by Tumby and Mareham-le-Fen.  Its area is 3,442 acres, including the hamlet of Hawthorn Hill; rateable value £5,160; population 1,192.  Apart from a limited number of shops and three inns, the people are engaged mainly in agriculture.  The soil is mostly a light sand, with a subsoil of gravel deposits and clay.  The nearest railway station is at Tattershall, distant about 1½ miles.

p. 204The owners of over 50 acres are Lord Willoughby de Eresby, M.P., Lord of the Manor; Sir H. M. Hawley, Bart., J.P.; F. Sherwin; J. Rodgers; J. Burcham Rogers, J.P.; Mrs. Evison; the rector, Rev. Canon A. Wright, M.A., J.P., Rural Dean and Canon of Lincoln.  Smaller owners, about 50.  The only gentleman’s seat now existing is the hall, the residence of J. B. Rogers, Esq., J.P.

The old custom of ringing the pancake bell on Shrove Tuesday is still kept up.  The annual feast is held in the week after St. Michael’s Day, the patron saint.  The “Ignitegium,” or curfew, was rung within the last 35 years, but has been discontinued, the parish being now lighted by gas.

There are a few field names, indicating the former “woodland and waste” [204] character of the locality.  The Ings, or meadows, so common throughout the district; Oatlands; Scrub Hill, scrub being an old Lincolnshire word for a small wood; Reedham, referring to the morass; Toothill, probably a “look-out” over the waste; Langworth, probably a corruption of lang-wath, the long ford; Troy Wood, may be British, corresponding to the Welsh caertroi, a labyrinth or fort of mounds.  The hamlets are Dogdyke, a corruption of Dock-dyke (the sea having once extended to these parts); Hawthorn Hill, Scrub Hill.  There is an enclosure award in the possession of the clerk of the Parish Council.

The parish register dates from 1561.  The church plate is modern, chalice and paten dated 1870; the flagon is older and more massive, but has no date.  The Earl of Ancaster is patron of the benefice, a rectory, with good house, enlarged about 30 years ago, and 500 acres of glebe.

The National School was built by subscription and government grant in 1836, at a cost of about £230, exclusive of the site, which was given by the late Sir Gilbert Heathcote.  It was enlarged in 1875 at cost of £300.  The master has £3 per annum, left by the Rev. R. Kelham in 1719, also the dividend of £100 3½ per cent. reduced consols, bought by the bequest of the Rev. Mr. Boawre, Rector, in 1784.

The charities are Banks, viz. £2 a year from land in Haltham, for bread for the poor; Metham’s, for poor widows, from houses and land in Wisbech, left by Geo. Metham in 1685; Lawrence’s, for coats for poor men, from land in Leake, left by Robt. Lawrence in 1721.

The Horncastle canal traverses the parish, but is now a derelict.

There was formerly a castle in this parish, the residence of a family of the name of Coningsby, but no traces of it remain, unless it be in an ancient dovecote, placed among some fine trees to the east of the village.

The church, dedicated to St. Michael, is a large, and originally a fine, church, consisting of nave, with north and south aisles, an apsidal modern chancel, and a massive western tower.  This latter is of Perpendicular date, very plain, but of excellent ashlar work; it has a clock and six bells.  The ground stage has open arches to the north and south, with a groined roof above, and a thoroughfare through it.  In the eastern wall of the south porch is a stoup, which was formerly open, both within the porch and outside it.  Over the porch is a parvis or priest’s chamber.  Outside the church, near the top of the wall of a cupola-shaped finial of the rood loft turret is an old sun dial.  The interior of the nave has a massive heavy roof of beams somewhat rudely cut, with traces of former colouring.

The four western bays of the arcade are Early English, with low arches, p. 205the easternmost bay seems to have been added at a later date, the arch higher and wider.  The moulding between two of the north arches terminates in a head, on each side of which an evil spirit is whispering.  Another terminal is the head of a woman wearing the “branks,” or “scold’s bridle.”  On the south side of the chancel arch is a rood loft staircase turret, of which both the lower and upper door remain.

At the restoration in 1872 the clerestory windows were spoilt by being reduced in height; externally their original design remains.  In the centre of the nave are two large sepulchral slabs, once bearing brasses, which are now gone, representing two civilians and their wives.  The apsidal chancel is quite out of keeping with the rest of the fabric.  There are some remains of the old carved oak screen, and south of the communion table is an Early English capital, with piscina behind it.

St. Michaels Church, Coningsby

The Notes on Churches, by Gervase Holles, shew that in his time (circa 1630) the windows of this church abounded in coloured glass, of which not a vestige remains.  He gives, among the devices, the arms of Marmyon, Dymoke, Hillary, Welles, Hattecliffe, Umfraville, Willoughby, Ros, Tateshale, Bernake, Crumwell, Huntingfield, Rochfort, Beke, Boucher, Waterton, Hebden, Deyncourt, France and England, &c. [205]

Among the rectors of this parish have been two poets, one the laureate of his day (1718), the Rev. Laurence Eusden, who died 1730.  The other, John Dyer, was born 1700, appointed to the benefice in 1752, by Sir John Heathcote, p. 206was the author of Grongar Hill, The Fleece, and The Ruins of Rome; he was honoured with a sonnet by Wordsworth.

A congregation of Baptists was formed here under the Commonwealth, with an endowment for a minister.  The society still exists, their present chapel being erected in 1862; they have also a day school, built by Mr. John Overy in 1845.  The Wesleyans have a chapel, built in 1825, and others at Hawthorn Hill, Haven Bank, Moorside, and Meer Booth.  The Primitive Methodists have a chapel, built in 1854, and others at Reedham Corner and Scrub Hill.

Of the early history of this parish we have scattered notices in various documents.  In Domesday Book we find that Sortibrand, son of Ulf the Saxon, who was one of the lagmen of Lincoln, held a Berewick in Coningsby.  Land here is mentioned among the Conqueror’s possessions.  The powerful favourite of the Conqueror, Robert Despenser, laid claim to a fishery and lands in Coningsby; and the juryman of the wapentake of Horncastle decided that his claim was good, because Achi, his Saxon predecessor, had held the same in the time of Edward the Confessor.  From the same source we find that two other powerful Normans held land here, viz. Hugo d’ Abrincis, surnamed “Lupus,” or “The Wolf,” from his fierce character; and Drogo de Bruere, who had the Conqueror’s niece to wife.

As with other parishes in this soke, we find from a Feet of Fines, 9 Henry III., No. 52, that Ralph de Rhodes then held lands here.  Subsequently the Marmyons, Dymokes, and Taillebois, all connected in the blazonry of the former memorial windows (as before mentioned), held property in the parish. [206a]  By a Chancery Inquisition post mortem, taken 31st May, 10 Henry VII., No. 72 (A.D. 1495), it was found that Robert Taillebois, Knt., with John Gygour, Warden of the college of Tateshale, was seized of the manor; while, further, in a Feet of Fines, 19 Henry VII. (1503), John Mordaunt is acknowledged by Sir Edward Poynings, Sir Thomas Fynes, and others, to be the owner of lands in Coningsby, and elsewhere in the soke.  He held at least four other manors, and lands in many other parishes.  Also a Feet of Fines, 21 Henry VII. (1505), it was agreed before Humphrey Coningsby, Sergeant at Law, Sir Giles Daubeney, and others, that the Bishop of Winchester held certain property here.

The Dymokes were patrons of the benefice; Sir Charles Dymoke presenting in 1682, after which the patronage passed to the Heathcote family (Liber Regis and Ecton’s Thesaurus).  But an earlier connection with the Dymokes is shewn by a tombstone commemorative of “Anna, daughter of Thomas Dymoke, and his wife Margaret, que obijt . . .  Ao Dni 1462.”

In connection with the Humphrey Coningsby, named above, we have already mentioned that a castellated residence in this parish belonged to a family of that name.  This Humphrey was Judge of the King’s Bench, and bought Hampton Court, co. Hereford, of Sir Thomas Cornwall, about 1510; where was preserved a painting of the old mansion at Coningsby. [206b]  Thomas Coningsby was knighted by Elizabeth in 1591.  Sir Fitz-William Coningsby was Sheriff of the county, 1627; and for his loyalty to Charles I. his estates were confiscated by the Puritans.  His son was rewarded with a peerage by Charles II.; and saved the life of King William at the battle of the Boyne; p. 207but his two sons dying early, and he having no further issue, the title became extinct.

In the List of Gentry of Lincolnshire, made at the Herald’s Visitation in 1634, we find the name of Clinton Whichcote, of Coningsby, a member of an old county family, still occupying a good position. [207a]


Wilksby lies about halfway between the parishes of Wood Enderby and Moorby, at a distance of about five miles from Horncastle, in a south-easterly direction.  Letters from Boston via Revesby, arrive about 10.30 a.m.

The ancient history of this parish is much the same as that of the adjoining parish of Moorby on the east, and Wood Enderby on the west.  It is called in Domesday Book Wilchesbi, and Wilgesbi.  At the date of that survey (1086) there were four soc-men and five bordars, who had one carucate (or 120 acres) of land, and 20 acres of woodland; while the lord of the manor had one carucate in demesne, and five villeins, with two oxen in another carucate; with 20 acres of meadow and 40 acres of underwood; so that, like the neighbouring Moor-by and Wood Ender-by, this parish also was largely of a forest character.

In this parish there was also “a Berewick of 1½ carucates” (or 180 acres); a Berewick meaning an outlying farm (from “bere” barley, and “wick” a village) belonging to another manor.

The parish was one of the estates taken by the Conqueror for himself, probably then forming part of the great Tumby Chase.  He afterwards granted the manor to his steward, Robert Despenser, a powerful Norman noble, the ancestor of the Earls of Gloucester, brother of the Earl Montgomery, and of Urso de Abetot, hereditary sheriff of Worcestershire.  He held 15 manors in Lincolnshire, and 17 in Leicestershire, beside others elsewhere.

Being in the Soke of Horncastle, it would be connected with that manor, as were so many other neighbouring parishes; and doubtless by a similar process, to the cases of Moorby and Wood Enderby, it belonged successively to the Brandons, Dukes of Suffolk; the Cecils, Earls of Exeter; the Howards, Earls of Berkshire; and finally, by purchase, passed to the Banks family, and through them to the Stanhopes.

Among the Assize Rolls (No. 319, m. 9 d) is a plea, made at Hertford, 10th May, 1247, in which “Joan de Leweline (with another) offered herself against Silvester, Bishop of Karlisle,” in a suit concerning “£20 of rent in Enderby, Moreby, Wilkesby and Cuningby, and the advowson of the church Moreby,” in which the bishop failed to appear.  But in a Feet of Fines, Lincoln, 32 Henry III., No. 131, an agreement was made (21st July, A.D. 1248) by which the said Joan de Lewelyn (and others) did homage to the bishop, for these lands in Enderby, “Welkeby,” &c., and the advowson of “Moresby,” the bishop in turn granting to them “the homage and whole service of Ivo, son of Odo de Tymelby”; and they holding the land, &c., “in chief of the aforesaid bishop; and doing therefor the fourth part of the service of one knight.” [207b]

In another document, a Final Concord, dated 27th May, 1240, between Alan de Dauderby and Alice de Lysurs, it was agreed that Alice should p. 208“acquit him of the service which Robert de Theleby exacts . . . of half a knight’s fee, for which she is mesne.”  She further agrees that Alan and his heirs shall hold certain tenements of Alice and her heirs; to wit, 12 oxgangs and 80 acres of land, two messuages, with a rent of 12s. 8d., and two parts of a mill in Theleby, Wilkeby, Burton; and a meadow called Utemyng, for the service a fourth part of a knight’s fee; and for this Alan gave her 10 marks.

The former of these records shews that, like the other parishes connected with the Manor of Horncastle, the Bishops of Carlisle were at one period patrons of the benefice (and probably owners of the manor) of Wilkesby; but, while in the case of several other parishes, this patronage continues (only transferred to the Bishops of Manchester) to the present day, the patronage of Wilksby passed to others.  According to Liber Regis in 1711 and 1720 Lewis Dymoke presented to the benefice.  In 1764, by some arrangement, George Willows, Gent., presented; but again, in 1833, it was in the patronage of the Hon. the Champion, H. Dymoke, who appointed to the rectory a relative, the Rev. J. Bradshaw Tyrwhitt, one of a very old, knightly, Lincolnshire family, the Tyrwhitts of Stainfield, Kettleby, &c.  A tablet to his memory is erected in the church at Scrivelsby. [208a]  The patronage was subsequently acquired by J. Banks Stanhope, Esq., and is annexed to the chaplaincy of Revesby, which has no permanent endowment.

Among the List of Gentry of Lincolnshire, made at the Herald’s Visitation in 1634, and preserved at the Heralds’ College, along with the Dymocks of Scrivelsby, Haltham, Kyme and Lincoln, is Paganell Hartgrave of Wilksby. [208b]

The church, dedicated to All Saints, is a mean structure, erected in the 18th century, of brick and Spilsby sandstone, standing on the site of an earlier church, of which nothing seems to remain except the font.  It consists of nave and chancel, both on a very small scale, and a wooden bell-turret, with one small bell.  The north and west walls are of sandstone, the former covered with a thick coating of tar to keep out the moisture; the east wall has alternate layers of brick and sandstone.  Some improvements have been made in recent years, much needed to make it even a decent place of worship.  The two two-light trefoiled windows in the south wall of the nave have been framed in stone instead of wood, and filled with green glass.  The east window of the chancel has wooden mullions interlaced, and it has been adorned with paper representations of, in the centre the Ascension, to the left the Saviour holding an infant in his arms, to the right the child Jesus sitting among the doctors in the temple.

The roof of the chancel is apsidal, externally, as well as the nave, covered with modern house tiles.  Internally the nave has a flat ceiling of deal boards.  The pulpit and seats are painted wainscot; there is a small modern oak reading desk, and a lectern to match it.  The chancel arch is a plain semicircle, but on its eastern side has a pointed Early English arch.  The chancel rails are of modern oak, slightly carved; and there is a deal credence table.  The 14th century font has a massive octagonal bowl, with large trefoils in each face, and grotesquely carved heads at the angles; the shaft being plain octagonal.  The improvements were made in 1896, at the cost of the late Mrs. Stanhope.

p. 209The register dates from 1562.  In recent years the incumbency of Claxby Pluckacre, where the church had gone to ruins, has been annexed to the rectory of Wilksby, the joint value of the two being about £300 a year.  They are held by the Rev. P. O. Ashby, Chaplain of Revesby.


These are modern accretions to the Soke of Horncastle, made in the early years of the 19th century.  They are distant southward from Horncastle about 13 miles; situated in a tract of land called Wildmore Fen, lying about midway between Coningsby to the north, and Boston to the south.  At various periods inundated by the sea, this continued, to the end of the 18th century, more or less a region of morass; available in the summer for grazing, but generally during the winter under water; when all cattle had to be removed for safety to the lands under cultivation at the homesteads of the farmers; and if by chance the farmer was behindhand in removing them, and the floods became frozen, it was a common thing for his cattle, while slipping about on the ice, to be split up, or, as it was locally termed, “screeved,” and so become helpless, and fit only for slaughter. [209]

An Act of Parliament was passed in 1787 or 1788, and commissioners were appointed, for the drainage of this and adjoining similar tracts; but little was done until 1800, when the able engineer, Mr. John Rennie, submitted his plans for the drainage to the commissioners.  His first report, dated April 7th, 1800, estimated the cost of draining Wildmore Fen alone at £29,702; the total outlay, for that and adjoining fens, being put at nearly £215,000.  By 1812 these operations were completed; and in that year an Act was passed making these lands parochial, and assigning the two portions above named to the Soke of Horncastle.


Langriville, so called because it is near Langrick (or Long Creek) on the Witham, has an area of 2,514 acres, including Langrick Ferry; rateable value £3,300.  The population is entirely engaged in agriculture.  The nearest railway station is at Langrick, in the parish.

It consists of the southern portion of Wildmore Fen, which at the enclosure was allotted to the Earl of Stamford and Warrington, in lieu of his manorial rights over Armtree and Wildmore; with other lands sold by the Drainage Commissioners, early in the 19th century.  The Earl’s estates afterwards passed, by purchase, to the late J. Fretwell Bramley and others.  The present Lord of the Manor is Lord Malcolm, of Poltallock; and he, the Rector of Coningsby, the executors of Lady Ingram Watkin, J. Linton, Esq., of Stirtcoe, Buckden, Herts., Harrison Hayter, Esq., W. Goodenough Hayter, Esq., Mr. Jonathan Fox, of Boston, E. Harrison, Esq., and Mr. William Pepper are the largest land owners.

A small brick church was erected in 1831, consisting of nave, chancel and p. 210bell turret; and repaired and improved in 1885, by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners.  The Bishop of Lincoln is patron; and the Rev. W. Fitz-Harry Curtis is the incumbent, who has here a residence, with an income of £320 a year.

The Wesleyans have a chapel at Langrick Ferry, also in Armtree Road.  By an order in council, dated 26th August, 1881, Langriville and Thornton-le-Fen were united, under the title of “The Consolidated Chapelry of Wildmore.”  There is a church at each place.  At the time of the enclosure fen allotments were assigned to various of the older parishes, and these are many of them now included in this modern district, comprising parts of Fishtoft Fen, of Coningsby, of Kirkstead, Scrivelsby, Woodhall, Dalderby, and Martin.  The entire area is now 10,500 acres, and population 1,470.

The National School, erected in 1857, is at Gipsy Bridge, now under a School Board.


Thornton-le-Fen adjoins Langriville, lying to the east of it, about three miles from Langrick railway station.  The area was originally about 1,425 acres, including Bunkers Hill, part of Gipsy Bridge, and other scattered farms, which were sold by the Drainage Commissioners early in the 19th century, when it was made, by Act of Parliament, a parochial township.  Rateable value £1,979.  It has its name from the former chief proprietors, the Thornton family; but the chief land owners now are Lord Malcolm of Poltalloch, the Pepper, Ireland, Creasey, Ward, and Wilcock families.  The soil is clay, and very fertile.

The church, which was built on the Fen Chapel Estates in 1816, is a small brick building, containing 200 sittings; the benefice, valued at £100 a year, is in the gift of the Bishop of Lincoln, and by order in council, dated 26th August, 1881, was consolidated with the chapelry of Langriville; the two being of the united yearly value of £320, and held by the Rev. W. Fitz-Harry Curtis, who resides at the latter place.

A good school and master’s house were erected in 1880, by the School Board of Wildmore Fen, at a cost of about £1,200, to accommodate 168 children.  The Wesleyans have a chapel at New York and Bunkers’ Hill.  The Primitive Methodists have also a chapel.

The Ecclesiastical Commissioners, to whom the Fen Chapel Estates were transferred in 1876, pay £120 a year for a curate, who now is the Rev. Harold E. Curtis.  The total area is now 10,500 acres, and population 1,470.

* * * * *

Note.—Other parishes have once been in the Soke of Horncastle, which no longer belong to it.  Domesday Book gives Scrivelsby, “Langton and (its) Thorpe” (from which I write; “Thorpe” being doubtless the outlying district recently known as Langton St. Andrew), and also Edlington.  How these became separated is not known.  As suggested by the author of Scrivelsby, the home of the Champions, Scrivelsby, as a barony of the Marmyon and Dymoke families, would probably be separated by payment of a fine; such powerful families preferring not to be sub-ordinated to another manor.  Several Dymokes, however, were buried at Horncastle, where are their monuments.

p. 213INDEX.


Abrincis, Hugo de, “The Wolf,” 206.

Accident, remarkable, of Dr. J. B. Smith, 94.

Adelias de Cundi, 1, 16, 17, 200.

Albemarle, Earl of, 166.

Aldrich, Bishop of Carlisle, 30 and note.

Allison, Henry, wealthy, in Hull, 158.

Allenby, Henry, Chemist to H.M.S., 157.

Allerton, Lord, Horncastrian, 152.

Ancaster, Earl of, 204.

Angevine, family of, 27, 28.

Angus, Earl of, 168, 181.

Arms of Charles I., 191.
,, temp. Charles I., 192.
,, of Marmyon, Dymoke, Umfraville, Willoughby, &c., in Coningsby Church, 205.

Ashby, West, 176–180.
,, Church described, 181, 182.

Ayscough, Clynton, 198.
,, Elizabeth, 201.
,, Henry, 201.
,, Walter, 198.
,, William, 197.


Babington, Miss, window to, 59.

Bage, i.e. sod, 189.

Baieux, Bishop of, 165, 166.

Bain, river name, meaning of, 2.

Baker, Thomas, cricketer, ventriloquist, &c., 159.

Banks, Sir Joseph, 31, 181, 194 and note, 196, 209.

Baptists, sect of, 84–86.
,, Chapel, 84.

Barkham, Sir Robert, 187.

Barracks at Queen’s Head Inn, 162.

Bavent, Eudo de, 27, 196.
,, Close, field name, 27.

Beaumont, family of, 190.

Bell and Lancastrian Schools, 111, 112.

Berewick in Coningsby, held by Sortibrand, 206.
,, in Wilksby, 207.

Bertie, Hon. Charles, 187.
,, Richard, 182, 186.

Bevere, Drogo de, 166.

Bishop of Carlisle, 12, 30 and note.

“Black Death” at Horncastle, 51, 189.

Bocher, Arthur, Esq., 188.

Bolle, Charles, 187.
,, George, 187.

Bolles, Sir Robert, 171.

Boucherett, Ascoghe, 198.

Boulton, Dr. Barnard, window to, 37.
,, Henry, window to first wife, 38.
,, “Billy,” anecdote of, 160.

Bourne, The Venerable Hugh, 73–76.
,, College, 77.

Brackenbury, Mr. Carr, Wesley’s friend, 66, 68, and note.

“Branks,” or “scold’s bridle,” 205.

Brandon, Charles, Duke of Suffolk, 196, 200, 202, 207.

British words still used, 3.

Britons, Cæsar’s description of, 2, 3 and notes.
,, good workmen, 3.

p. 214Britons, Tacitus account of, 5.

Brown, Rev. Benson, 153.
,, John, “Laureate,” 158, 159.
,, Martin, and press gang, 156.

Brownists, sect of, 78.

Bunyon, John, 84.

“Butts,” field name, meaning of, 174.


Calthrop Lieut. Richard, window to, 180.

Camville, Gerard de, 26.

Canal, Horncastle, history of, 126–129.
,, opening ceremony, 127–128.

Canals recognised by Magna Charta, 128.

Caparn, Rev. W. B., 153.

Capella, Henry de, 178.

Carlisle, Bishops of, 46, 167, 168, 181, 196, 200, 203, 207.

Carsey (or Kersey), John, 202.

Catherine, St., altar of, 200.
,, ,, chantry of, 36, 37.

Cecil, Sir Thomas, 29, 30, 203.

Chamerlayn dole, 189.

Chapel, St. Laurence’s, 33, 34.

Charles I., arms of, 191.

Charters of markets and fairs, 18.

Chattels of felons granted to bishop, 19, 45.

Cheney, family of, 16, 17.

Church, St. Mary’s, 33–45.
,, not original, 33.
,, plate, 55, 56.
,, restored, 56.
,, Holy Trinity, 57–59.
,, ,, architect of, 57.
,, Lads’ Brigade, 63.
,, Schools, National, 63.
,, service, absence from, fined, 48.

Clarke, Rev. T. J., Vicar, account, 60.

Claribel, Mrs. Barnard, 180.

Clerical Club, 63, 137, 138.

Clinton, Lord, and family, 12, 20, 21, 92 and note, 188.

Clinton, Lord, engraving of, 97.
,, Sir Edward, 12.

Clitherow, Mr. Robert, window to, 38.

Clowes, William, 75, 76.

Cock and Breeches Inn, 162.

Cock-fighting, 164.

Coins found at Mareham-on-the-Hill, 184.

Coningsby, 203–207.
,, Church, 204–7.
,, land owners of, 204.
,, Rector of, Poet Laureate, 205, 206.
,, Sir Fitz-William, Sheriff, 206.
,, ,, at battle of the Boyne saved the king’s life, 206.

Coningsby, mansion of, 206.

Conyngsby, Humphrey 187, 206.

Constable, an old smuggler, 162.

Coppuldyke, Thomas and wife, guild of, 42 and note.

Corn Exchange, 140–142.

Court House, account of, 135, 136.

Craycroft of Craycroft, 187.

Cressey, Nicholas, gent., 198.

Crispus and Crispinianus, window, 37 and note, 42 and note.

Cromwell visits Horncastle, 32.

Cromwell, Ralph de, 190.

Cussons, John, Confederate General, &c., 158.


Danish Conquerors, 10.

Despenser, Robert, 191, 195, 205, 206, 207.

Despensers, Earls of Gloucester, 195.

Destructive storms at Horncastle, 51.

Dispensary, history of, 119–125.
,, balls, 124.
,, dispensers, 124.
,, legacies, 125.
,, present building, 124, 125.
,, presidents, 123, 124.
,, sermons, 122, 123.
,, vice-presidents, 124.

Dixon, Miss Annie, artist, 151.

Dogdyke, i.e. Dock-dyke, 204.

Dole, Chamerlayn, at Roughton, 188.

Drill Hall, 148–150.

Drogo de Bruere, 206.

Dymoke, Edward, 188.
,, John, of Haltham, 191.
,, John, Rev., 190.
,, Lionel, curious will of, 183–184.
,, Robert, 187.
,, Sir Henry, 189.
,, Sir Lionel, monument to, 41.
,, ,, engraving, 42.
,, Thomas, 187.

p. 215Dymokes, 205, 206, 208, 210.


Eastwood, family of, 190.

Editha, Queen, 180.

Elmhirst, General Charles, window to, 179.
,, William, Esq., 180.

Enderby, Wood, 201–203.

Escald, Gerald de, 11, 17, 200.

Eusden, Rev. Laurence, Poet Laureate, Rector of Coningsby, 205.


Fast, solemn, at Horncastle, 51.

Felons, right to try, of Bishop of Carlisle, 45.

Fighting Cocks Inn, 164.
,, foxhounds kept at, 164.
,, scythe fair at, 164.

Fitz-William, family of, 28, 29.

Forests, extensive, 2, 3 and note, 18 and note, 202 and note, 207.

Fox, Mrs. Salome, window to, 38.

Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, in church, 44.

Franklin, Sir John, 156.

Freshville, Peter, Frances, daughter of, 42 and note.

Fynes, Norreys, Esq., 189.
,, Thomas, 206.


Gairmaro, Geoffrey, chronicler, 16 and note.

Gallows of Bishop of Carlisle, 19.
,, at Thimbleby, of Abbot, 170.

Gaunt, Walter, 166 and note, 167.

George, Dr. Hugh, window to, 59.
,, Inn, 162.
,, ,, incident at, 163.

Gibson, Thomas, Vicar, 39, 40 and note, 51, 52.

Giles, Prebendary, window to, 39.

Gilliat, Rev. Edward, author, &c., 152.

Glenham family, 196, 201.

Goldie, Rev. C. D., Curate, account of, 62.

Goodrich, Robert, 187.

Grace, Pilgrimage of, 47, 48.

Grammar School, history of, 91–107.
,, distinctions of old boys, 105.
,, distinguished boys, 95, 96.
,, games and customs, 99–104.
,, Governors, 92.
,, Madge, Dr., late Master, 105.
,, Masters, former under, 97–99.
,, modern, 105.
,, new buildings, future, 107.
,, origin of, early, 91, 92, 106.
,, property of, 92.
,, White, Rev. T., 99.
,, Worman, Mr. A. N., 105.

Grosvenor, Rev. Francis, 98, 99.
,, F., 152, 153.


Hallgarth, interesting old house in Thimbleby, 172.

Haltham, 190–192.
,, church, interesting, 191.

Hamerton, John, Churchwarden, 39.
,, family, 52, 53.

Hangman’s Corner, 19, 46.

Hardingshall, Sir William, 187.

Hartgrave, Paganell, of Wilksby, 208.

Hartwell, Lady, 188.

Harwood, Mr. F., window to, 38.

Hawley, Sir Henry M., 189.

Heald, George, Chancellor, 163.
,, and Lola Montez, incident, 163.

Healey, A. H., athlete, 154.

Heathcote, Sir Gilbert, 204.
,, Sir John, 205.

Heneage family, 190.

Henry IV., visits Horncastle, 32.

“Hoblers” for the army, 14.

Holles, Gervase, description of church windows, 42 and note.

Holles, Gervase, wife buried at Horncastle, 37 and note.

Holme, i.e. island, Danish, 2.

Hopton, Sir Ingram, 40, 41.

Horncastle, British settlement, 1.
,, Manor, owners of, 11, 12, 13, 17, 20, 22, 24.
,, market tolls, 13, 14.
,, Benefice, King appoints to, 46.
,, Rector murdered, 46.
,, Rector changed to Vicar, 47.
,, Peter de Galicia appointed to, 47.
,, Rectors and Vicars, list of, 50, 51.
,, rectory house, former, 55.

Hotchkin, family of, connected with Thimbleby, 172.

p. 216Hounds kept at Fighting Cocks, 164.


Independents, sect of and chapel, 77–83.

Islep, Simon de, Rector, 19, 46.


“Jack” Musters kept hounds at Fighting Cocks, 164.


Keane, Charles, and Horncastle, 156.
,, Edmund, 156.

Kemp family and Thimbleby, 173, 175.
,, meaning of name, 173 and note.

Kent, John, owner of Horncastle Manor, 24.

King’s Head Inn, thatched, 164.

Kirkstead, Thimbleby belonged to Abbot of, 169, 170.
,, Abbot of, arbitrary action of, 170.

Knyght, questionable action of, 169.


Lancastrian and Bell Schools, 111, 112.

Langley, Ambrose, footballer, 157.

Langton, John de, Rector of Horncastle, Bishop of Chichester, 46.

Langrick, meaning of, 209.

Langriville, 209.
,, Church, 209, 210.
,, School, 210.

Langworth, meaning of, 204.

Leweline, Joan de, 207.

Leych, William, curious will of, 197.

Lincolnshire Rising, 47, 48, 187.
,, William Leche, “begynner” of, 47.

Lindsey, Earl of, 187.

Literary Society, 138.

Lizures, William de, 26, 27.

Lodge, Canon S., lectern given by, 39 and note.
,, ,, Master of Grammar School, 99.

Lola Montez, incident, 163.

Lord, Rev. Thomas, centenarian, 82, 89–90.

L’Oste, Rev. S., Rector of Langton, 93.

Lovell, Sir Thomas, Knt., 202.

Lysurs, Alice de, 207.


Madely, Dr. Clement, tablet to, in St. Mary’s, 44 and note.

Malcolm, Lord, of Poltallock, Lord of Langriville Manor, 209, 210.

Malingars, field name, 191.

Mareham-le-Fen, 192–198.
,, church described, 192–194.

Mareham-on-the-Hill, 183, 184.
,, Church, 184.

Marwood, hangman, 154, 155.

Massingbird, Thomas, 187.

Mechanics’ Institute, 139, 140.

Milner, Canon, W. H., Vicar, 61.

Moorby, 198–200.
,, church described, 198.
,, communion plate, 199.
,, minstrel column, 199.

Mordaunt, John, owner in Coningsby, 206.

Moyne, Thomas, rebel, 188.

Murder at Queen’s Head Inn, 162.

Musters, “Jack,” kept hounds, 164.


Newcomen, family, 187, 190, 198.

New Jerusalem, sect of, 86–89.
,, Chapel, 88.
,, first resident minister, 89.

Ninian, St., in window of St. Mary’s, 37, 42 and note.

Nonconformist places of worship, 64–90.

Norman Conquerors, 11, 13.


Oddities of Horncastle, 160, 161.

Organ, fine, of parish church, 36.

Ortiay, Henry del, tenure by spurs, 180, 181, 203.

Ouseley, Sir F. Gore, of Wesley family, 64 and note.

Oven, public, 134 and note.

Overseer, a woman appointed, 188.


Paganell, Ranulph de, 177.

Palfreyman, of Horncastle, 52.

Palmer, Rev. E. R. H. G., 184.

Pancake bell, 34.

Paynell, 178.

Penance done in church, 186.

Pilgrimage of Grace, 47, 48.

Pingle, field name, 191.

Plague, 188, 191.

p. 217Plesington, Henry, Knt., 187.

Primitive Methodists, sect of, 71, 77.
,, chapel described, 72.

Publichouses, 161–164.
,, now gone, 162, 163, 164.


Quarrington, Canon E. F., late Vicar, window to, 37.

Queen’s Head Inn, murder at, 162.


Raengeires, British leader, 9.

Railway, 130–132.
,, opening ceremony of, 131, 132.

Ravennas, Geographer, 5 and note.

Rayne, Bishop’s Chancellor, slain, 48.

Rennie, Mr. John, Engineer, 209.

Rhodes, Gerard de, 184, 203.
,, Ralph de, 12, 17, 18, 19, 180, 184, 191, 192, 200, 203, 206.

Rinder, Mr. Joseph, 178.

River names, celtic, 1.

Rivett, Mr. John, 70.

Robber taking refuge in church, 45.

Robinson, Miss, and Queen’s dresses, 157, 158.
,, Rev. John, 78–80.

Rolleston, Edward, Esq., 186.
,, family, 186.

Rolston, Edward, 187.

Roman coffins, 7, 8.
,, coins, 4.
,, commanders, 3, 5.
,, milestone, 5.
,, pipes, 8.
,, pottery, 6, 7, 134 and note.
,, roads, 5, 6.
,, tomb at Thimbleby, 174.
,, urns, 6.
,, walls, 6.
,, wells, 6.

Rose, Rev. W., 82, 83.

Ross, Sir John, 156.

Round House, the (prison), 135.

Roughton, 188.
,, church described, 188.
,, plague at, 188.

Rushton, “Aty,” 160.
,, Thomas, fisherman, 160.


Salt, a property, 182.

Sanctuary in church, right of, 45.

Sapcote, Sir Richard, 186.

Savile, 22, 25, 26.

Saxon conquerors, 9.
,, minstrel pillar, 199.

Schofield, John, marries bishop’s daughter, 157.

Science and Art School, 112.
,, great efficiency of, 114.
,, lectures on special subjects, 115–118.
,, origin of, 112.
,, teachers of, 114, 115.

Scrope family, 20.

Scott, Sir Gilbert, at Horncastle, 134.

Scythes in church, probable history of, 41 and note.
,, engraving of, 48.

Scythe fair, 164.

Sessions House, former, 135.

Sewer, common for drain, 190 and note.

Sharp, Rev. W. Heneage, 154.

Shepherd, Capt., “old salt,” 156.

Ship-money, complaint of, temp. Charles I, 14.

Skynner, family of, 169.

Slated house, first in Horncastle, 164.

Smith, Captain, Surgeon, 157.
,, Dr. J. Bainbridge of Grammar School, 93, 95, 99, 101.

Snowden, Bishop of Carlisle, 30.
,, Rutland, “delinquent,” 54.
,, ,, benefactor to Horncastle, 54.
,, ,, among Lincolnshire gentry, 55.

Socmen, bordars, and villeins, 183 and note.

Somercotes, Sir William, 187.

Southey, Rev. T. C., Curate, 62.

Southwell, Miss Trafford, 202.

Spinning School, 134 and note.

Spranger, Dr. R., 186.
,, Chancellor, 186.

Spurrier, Rev. H., 189.
,, H. C. M., 189.

Spurs, tenure by, 181, 203.

Stanhope family, 31.
,, J. Banks, Esq., 192.
,, Memorial, 136, 137.

Swedenborg, Emanuel, 86.

p. 218T

Tailboys, Sir Walter, 181.

Taillebois, family of, 206.

Tanning formerly chief trade of Horncastle, 53.

Tennyson, A., and brother married in Horncastle, 44, 162.

Thatched publichouse, by will, 164.

Theft from St. Mary’s Church, 42 and note, 47, 48.

Theleby, 208.

Thief to catch thieves, 161.

Thimbleby, 165–176.
,, church described, 175, 176.
,, engraving of, 171.

Thornton-le-Fen, 210.
,, Church, 210.
,, School, 210.

Thornton family, 210.

Three Maids’ Inn, 164.

Thymelby family, 24, 25, 168, 181.

Tibetot, Robert, 12, 19, 20.

Tom Cat Inn, 164.

Toynton, High, 180–184.
,, ,, Church, 181, 182.
,, Low, 184–188.
,, ,, Church, 184–186.
,, ,, ,, engraving of, 185.

Trafford, W. H., Esq., 191, 202.

Train-bands, arms of, 14.

Trinity Church Horncastle, 57–60.
,, engraving of, 59.

Trunyan’s, light of, our Lady’s light, &c., 44, 45.

Tumby Chase, 202.

Turner and Cato Street Conspiracy, 155, 156.
,, Sir Edmund, 184.

Tymelby, Ivo de, 207.

Tyrwhitt, Douglas, a lady, 52.
,, old county family, 29, 208.


Umfraville, Earl of Angus, 168, 181.

Union, the, or workhouse, 133–135.

Union, early laws concerning paupers, 133, 134.


Volunteers, history of, 145–148.
,, Drill Hall, 148–150.
,, practiced on Edlington Road, 162.


Walter, Rev. H., B.D., History of England, 64.

Waring, river name, meaning “rough,” 2.

Watson’s Free School, 108–111.
,, property of, 110.
,, Governors, original, 110 and note.

Well-syke, field and wood name, 190 and note.

Wesley, John, 65–67.
,, Charles, 65.

Wesleyan, sect of, 64–71.
,, Chapel, 70.
,, ,, engraving of, 65.
,, circuits, 66.
,, centenary, 71.

Whelpton Almshouses, 142–144.

Whichcote, Clinton, of Coningsby, 207.

Wildmore Fen added to Horncastle, 209.

Wilksby, 207.
,, Church, 208.

Williams, Thomas, missionary, 69, 70.

Willoughby, William de, and family, 167.
,, de Eresby, Lord, 204.

Winchester, Bishop of, held land in Coningsby, 206.

Wood Enderby, 201–203.
,, Church, 201, 202.

Workhouse, before Union, 134.
,, village, 134.


Young Churchmen’s Union, 63.


Zouch, Eudo la, bequest to, 197.

* * * * *


Printed by W. K. Morton & Sons, Ltd., 27, High Street, Horncastle.


[0]  His father, for about 12 months, occupied the house in North Street, of late years known as the “Red House,” distinguished, it is said, as being the only house in the town having a front door of mahogany.

[1a]  Mr. Jeans, in his Handbook for Lincolnshire, p. 142, says “the Roman station (here) probably utilized an existing British settlement.”

[1b]  Words and Places, p. 13, note.  Ed. 1873.

[1c]  There are probably traces of British hill-forts in the neighbourhood, as on Hoe hill, near Holbeck, distant 4 miles, also probably at Somersby, Ormsby, and several other places.

[1d]  In the name of the near village of Edlington we have probably a trace of the mystic Druid, i.e. British, deity Eideleg, while in Horsington we may have the Druid sacred animal.  Olivers’ Religious Houses, Appendix, p. 167.

[2a]  Words and Places, p. 130.

[2b]  The meadow which now lies in the angle formed by the junction of the Bain and Waring at Horncastle is still called “The Holms,” which is Danish for “islands.”

[2c]  The name Bain, slightly varied, is not uncommon.  There is the Bannon, or Ban-avon (“avon” also meaning “river”), in Pembrokeshire; the Ban in Co. Wexford, Bana in Co. Down, Banney (i.e. Ban-ea, “ea” also meaning water) in Yorkshire, Bain in Herefordshire; Banavie (avon) is a place on the brightly running river Lochy in Argyleshire; and, as meaning “white,” a fair-haired boy or girl is called in Gaelic “Bhana.”

[2d]  The name Waring (G commonly representing the modern W) is found in the Yarrow, and Garry in Scotland, the Geirw, a rough mountain stream, at Pont-y-glyn, in North Wales, and in the Garonne in France.

[2e]  Ars Poetica, l 59.

[2f]  An account of this urn is given by the late Bishop Trollope, with an engraving of it, in the Architectural Society’s Journal, vol. iv, p. 200.

[2g]  De Bella Gallico, bk. v, ch. 12–14.

[2h]  Some idea of the extent of these forests, even in later times, may be formed from the account given by De la Prime (Philosophical Transactions, No. 75, p. 980) who says “round about the skirts of the wolds are found infinite millions of the roots and bodies of trees of great size.”  Pliney tells us that the Britons had “powerful mastiffs” for hunting the wild boar, and Manwood in an old Treatise on Forest Laws (circa 1680) states (p. 60) that the finest mastiffs were bred in Lincolnshire.  Fuller, in his Worthies of England (p. 150) mentions that a Dutchman (circa 1660) coming to England for sport, spent a whole season in pursuit of wild game “in Lincolniensi montium tractu,” by which doubtless were intended the wolds.  A writer in the Archæological Journal (June, 1846) says “the whole country of the Coritani (i.e. Lincolnshire, Leicestershire, &c.) was then, and long after, a dense forest.”  The name “Coritani,” or more properly Coitani, is the Roman adaptation of the British “Coed,” a wood, which still survives in Wales in such place-names as “Coed Coch,” the red wood, “Bettws y Coed,” the chapel in the wood, &c.  This was their distinguishing characteristic to the Roman, they were wood-men.

[3]  To the skill and bravery in war of the Britons Cæsar bears testimony.  He says, “They drive their chariots in all directions, throwing their spears, and by the fear of their horses and the noise of their wheels they disturb the ranks of their enemies; when they have forced their way among the troops they leap down and fight on foot.  By constant practice they acquire such skill that they can stop, turn, and guide their horses when at full speed and in the most difficult ground.  They can run along the chariot pole, sit on the collar and return with rapidity into the chariot, by which novel mode (he says) his men were much disturbed.”  (“Novitate pugnæ perturbati.”)  De Bella Gallico, lib. iv, c, 33, 34.

[5a]  An account of this milestone is given by the late Precentor Venables, in his Walks through the Streets of Lincoln, two Lectures, published by J. W. Ruddock, 253, High Street, Lincoln.

[5b]  Stukeley, Itinerarium curiosum, p. 28; Weir’s History of Horncastle, p. 4, ed. 1820; Saunders’ History, vol. ii, p. 90, ed. 1834; Bishop Trollope, Architectural Society’s Journal, vol. iv, p. 199, &c.

[5c]  Ravennas, whose personal name is not known (that term merely meaning a native of Ravenna), was an anonymous geographer, who wrote a Chorography of Britian, as well as of several other countries, about A.D. 650.  These were confessedly compilations from older authorities, and were, two centuries later, revised by Guido of Ravenna, and doubtless by others at a later period still, since the work, in its existent form describes the Saxons and Danes, as well, in Britain.  As Gallio, also of Ravenna, was the last Roman general in command in these parts, it has been suggested that he was virtually the original author (Horsley’s Britannia, 1732, chap. iv., p. 489; also The Dawn of Modern Geography, by C. Raymond Beazley, M.A., F.R.G.S., 1897, J. Murray).  Messrs. Pinder and Parthey published an edition of Ravennas, or the Ravennese Geographer, as did also Dr. Gale.

[5e]  Life of Agricola c. xxxi.

[6a]  This is a thoroughly provincial word for highway or turnpike.  It is of course a corruption of “Rampart,” a fortified passage.  In the marsh districts the main roads are called “rampires.”  See Brogden’s Provincial Words.

[6b]  The name Baumber, again, also written Bam-burgh, means a “burgh,” or fortress on the Bain, which runs through that parish.

[7a]  These urns are fully described with an engraving of them in vol. iv, pt. ii, of the Architectural Society’s Journal, by the late Bishop Dr. E. Trollope.

[7b]  Architect. S. Journal, iv, ii, p. 201.

[8]  Gough, Sepulchral Monuments, Introduction, p. 59, says “coffins of lead and wood are believed to have been used by the Romans in Britain.”

[9]  The first Danish incursions into England were in A.D. 786 and 787, specially in Lincolnshire in 838.  In 869 was fought the decisive battle of Threckingham in this county, which made the Danes paramount.  The name Threckingham is said to be derived from the fact that 3 kings were slain in this battle, but we believe this to be an error, and that the place was the residence, the “ham” of the Threcginghas.

[10]  The prefix “Horn” is also found in Holbeach Hurn, an angular headland on the south coast of Lincolnshire.  In the monkish Latin of old title deeds, we also find the patronymic Hurne, Hearne, &c., represented by its equivalent “de angulo,” i.e. “of the corner.”

[11a]  Dr. Mansell Creighton, late Bishop of London.  Essays, edited by Louisa Creighton, 1904, pp. 278–9.

[11b]  The palace of the Bishop was on the site of the present Manor House.

[11c]  Dugdale, vol. ii, p. 336.  Monast. Angl., vol. ii, p. 646.

[12a]  Hundred Rolls, Lincoln, No. 14, m. 1.

[12b]  Hundred Rolls, Lincoln, No 14, m. 1, 3 Edward I., 1274–5.

[12c]  This sale was confirmed by the King, as shewn by a Charter Roll, 14 Henry III., pt. i, m. 12 3 Ed. I., 1274–5.

[12d]  Patent Roll, 14 Richard II., pt. i, m. 3.  A.D. 1390.

[12e]  Patent Roll, 6 Edward VI., pt. iii, m. 1.

[12f]  Patent Roll, 1 Mary, pt. 8, m 2, (44) 28 Nov., 1553.

[12g]  Memoirs of Sir Henry Fynes Clinton.  Annual Register, 1772, p. 2.

[12h]  Coram Rege Roll, Portsmouth, April 20, 14 Chas. II.

[13a]  Exchequer Bills and Answers, 11 Charles V., Lincoln, No. 185.

[13b]  The carucate varied in different parts of the country, in Lincolnshire it was 120 acres.  Gelt was a land tax, first imposed by the Danes in the reign of Ethelred, about A.D. 991, being 2s. on the carucate.  Villeins and bordars were under-tenants of two different classes, bordars being superior to villeins.  (Introd. Domesday Book, by C. Gowen Smith, 1870).

[13c]  Barristers are said to have been first appointed by Edward I., A.D. 1291.

[16a]  Among the Lincoln Cathedral Charters is an imperfect one, which mentions her “Castle of Tornegat (can this be a corruption for Horncastle?), her land at Wicham in Chent (Kent?), at Carlton and Torleby (Thurlby) in Lincolnshire,” Architectural Society’s Journal, 1901, p. 22.  There is a notice of her in the Dictionary of National Biography, vol. I.

[16b]  This Geoffrey Gairmar is himself rather an interesting figure in local history.  He is mentioned in the Rolls Series, 91, i, ii (Ed. Hardy and Martin, 1888–9), as the author of L’estorie des Engles, a rhyming chronicle, based chiefly on the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, and Geoffrey of Monmouth (between A.D. 1135 and 1147).  He undertook his work at the request of Custance, wife of Ralph Fitz Gilbert; the latter held the manor of Scampton near Lincoln, and Geoffrey was probably a Norman who lived in that parish.  He quotes The Book of Washingborough and The Lay of Haveloc the Dane, relating to Grimsby.  He does not directly mention Horncastle, but shews acquaintance with the neighbourhood by celebrating the burial of King Ethelred at Bardney.

[16c]  Camden’s Britannia, pp. 45, 288, 529.

[16d]  History of Lincoln, 1816, p. 138.

[16e]  Camden, p. 88.  A Lincoln Chancery Inquisition (Oct. 31, 1503) shows that on the death of Anne, daughter and heir of Edmund Cheney, owning the manors of Tothill, Gayton, Riston, and Theddlethorpe, Robert Willoughby, Lord Broke, was declared to be her kinsman and heir.

[16f]  Dugdale, vol. ii, p. 336.  D. Mon, ii, p. 646.  (Architectural Society’s Journal, 1895, p. 23).

[17a]  Dugdale Baronage, p. 39.

[17b]  Hundred Rolls, Lincoln, No 14, m. 1, 3 Ed. I., A.D., 1274–5.  A Pipe Roll also, 1 Richard I., A.D. 1189–90, mentions “Gerbod de Escalt as paying a tale of £80 in Horncastre.”

[17c]  Feet of Fines, Lincoln, 37 Henry III., No. 36 (3 Nov. 1252), and ditto, No. 38, same date.  Gerard de Rhodes is also named in a Chancellor’s Roll, 3 John, A.D. 1201–1, as paying certain fees for Horncastle.  He is also named in the document above quoted (Hundred Rolls, Lincoln, 14, m. 1) as succeeding to the manor on the demise of Gerbald de Escald.

[17d]  Feet of Fines, 9 Henry III., No. 52, Lincoln.

[18a]  Quo Warranto Roll, 9 Ed. I., 15 June, 1281, quoted Lincolnshire Notes & Queries, vol. v, p. 216.

[18b]  Coram Rege Roll, 13 Ed. I., m. 10, 12 May, 1285.  Lincs. Notes & Queries, pp. 219–20.

[18c]  The transfer of the manor to the bishop is further proved by a Carlisle document, a chancery inquisition post mortem, dated Dec. 11, 1395, which states that a certain John Amery, owner of a messuage in the parish “by fealty and the service of 16d. of rent, by the year, holds of the Bishop of Carlisle, and the said Bishop holds of the King.”

[18d]  The bishops of those days were sportsmen.  It is recorded of a Bishop of Ely that he rode to the Cathedral “with hawk on wrist,” and left it in the cloister while doing “God’s service.”  There it was stolen and he solemnly excommunicated the thief.  Aukenleck MS., temp. Ed. II., British Museum.  The extensive woods in the soke of Horncastle abounded in game, as we have already shown by the tolls charged on roebuck, hares, &c., brought into the town.  The punishment for killing a wild boar, without the king’s licence, was the loss of both eyes.  These feræ naturæ became extinct about A.D. 1620.

[18e]  These and other privileges granted to the Bishop are first specified in a Cartulary Roll, 14–15 Henry III.; they are renewed in a Memoranda Roll of 4 Ed. III.; again in the 25th year of Henry VI., and further in a Roll attested by Charles II., in his court at Westminster, Feb. 26, 1676.  The August Fair was, in late years, altered by the Urban Council to begin on the 2nd Monday in the month, and to end on the following Thursday, it really however begins on the previous Thursday.

[19a]  Roll 104, Hilary Term, 24 Ed. III. (1350).  County Placita, Lincoln, No. 46.

[19b]  De Banco Roll, Michaelmas, 41 Ed. III., m. 621, Aug. 3, 1368, Lincoln.

[19c]  Coram Rege Roll, Trinity, 13 Ed. I., m. 10, Westminster, 12 May, 1285.  Given in Lincolnshire Notes & Queries, vol. v., p. 220.

[20a]  Patent Roll, 14 Richard II., pt. 2, m. 47, 8 Dec., 1390.  Lincs. Notes & Queries, vol. v., p. 221.

[20b]  Fuller’s Church History of Britain, vol. i, pp. 240, 242.

[20c]  Camden’s Britannia, p. 484.

[20d]  Camden’s Britannia, p. 522.

[20e]  Ibid, p. 978.  The name of Tibetot may possibly still survive in the family of Tibbot, who till quite recently held the manor of Thimbleby in the soke of Horncastle.

[20f]  Ibidem, p. 489.

[20g]  Ibidem, p. 88.

[20h]  Ibidem, p. 760.  This castle was built by Richard, Baron le Scrope, Chancellor of England under Richard II.

[20i]  Ibidem, p. 99.

[20j]  Ibidem, p. 722.

[20k]  Patent Roll 6 Ed. VI., pt. 3, m. 1, 21 Nov., 1552, witnessed by the king at Westminster.

[21a]  Patent Roll, 1 Mary, pt. 8, m. 2 (44), 28 Nov., 1553.

[21b]  Historical MS. Commission.  Calendar of MS. of the most Honble. the Marquis of Salisbury, K.G., &c., p. 179.

[21c]  This Earl of Lincoln would seem to have been of a particularly hot temperament.  I have mentioned in another volume (Records of Woodhall Spa, pp. 14.0, &c.) several of his actions of gross violence against the Saviles of Poolham Hall, in this neighbourhood, about the same date (1578).  I will merely state here that he, with a party of followers, attacked Sir Robert Savile, when on a hunting excursion, seized several of his hounds and hanged them, as Sir Robert says, “upon my own tree within my own ground.”  He forced his way into the parlour at Poolham and challenged Sir Robert to fight “six to six” of their dependents.  After an entertainment at Horncastle his followers, at his instigation, got hold of an unfortunate tailor, “drew their swords and sore wounded him,” saying he should “have that and more, for his master’s sake,” Sir Robert Savile’s son.  One Robert Fullshaw, of Waddingworth, prayed the justices for protection against his “horrible outrages,” and it was said that his conduct “savoured of insanity.”  (Illustrations of English History by Lodge.  Lansdown MS., Brit. Mus., 27, art. 41.)

[21d]  Patent Roll, 6 Ed. VI., pt. i, m. 11.  Date 8 Dec., 1554.

[22a]  Esch. Inquis. post mortem, 3–4 Henry VIII., No. 14.

[22b]  It does not appear where this “Parish-fee” was situated, doubtless it was subordinate to the main manor of Horncastle, such “fees” were generally named after the owners once “enfeoffed” of them, as we have at Spalding Ayscough-fee Hall, once owned by the Ayscoughs, Beaumont-fee at Lincoln, owned by the Beaumonts, Panell-fee by the Paganels, Nevill-fee by the Nevills in Middle Rasen, &c.  Architectural Society’s Journal, 1895, p. 19.  There is a family named Parish at Horncastle but they are a modern importation.

[22c]  Inquis. post mortem, 6 Edward III., held at Haltham, Sep. 21, 1333.

[22d]  Feet of Fines, Lincoln, 32 Henry III., 21 July, A.D. 1248.  Lincs. Notes & Queries, vol. iv. p. 120.  This is repeated in a Final Concord of the same date between Silvester, Bishop of Carlisle, and other parties.  Lincs. Notes & Queries, vol. vii., p. 114.

[22e]  Cottonian Charter, v., 61, quoted Lincs. Notes & Queries, vol. iii, p. 245.

[22f]  Architectural Society’s Journal, 1896, pp. 254–257.

[22g]  Court of Wards Inquis. post mortem, 3, 4 and 5 Ed. VI., vol. v., p. 91.  Architectural Society’s Journal, 1896, p. 258.

[22h]  Chancery Inquis. post mortem, 20 Henry VI., No. 25.  Architectural Society’s Journal, 1899, p. 257.

[22i]  Ibidem.

[22j]  Ibidem, p. 258.

[24a]  Lincs. Notes & Queues, vols. i., p. 183, and ii., p. 219.

[24b]  Lincs. Notes & Queries, vol. i, p. 47.

[24c]  Feet of Fines, Lincoln, 27 Edward III., No. 158.

[24d]  Originalia Roll, 34 Edward III., m. 35, A.D. 1360–1.

[24e]  Feet of Fines, Lincoln, 41 Edward III., No. 94.

[24f]  Inquis. post mortem, 10 James I., pt. i., No. 11.

[25a]  Chancery B. and A., James I., R., r, 10, 1, 8 October, 1623.

[25b]  These details are all taken from Camden’s Britannia, Gibson’s Edition, 1695.

[26a]  Chancellor’s Roll, A.D. 1201–2.

[26b]  Lincs. Notes & Queries, vol. iii., pp. 244–5.

[27a]  Ibidem.

[27b]  Camden’s Britannia, p. 712.

[27c]  Pipe Roll, 1160–1.

[27d]  Pipe Roll, 1161–2.

[27e]  Testa de Nevill, folio 348.  He also held the advowson of Mareham, which was transferred to the Bishop of Carlisle, as Lord of Horncastle, in 1239 (Final Concords, p. 304) by his successor, William de Bavent.

[27f]  Cathedral Charters (Calcewaith), folio 106 (a), quoted Architectural Society’s Journal, No. xxvii, p. 14.

[27g]  Chancery Inquisition post mortem, 18 Ed. I., No. 34.

[27h]  Chancery Inquisition post mortem, 12 Ed. II., No. 22.

[27i]  Chancery Inquisition post mortem, 44 Ed. III., No. 32.  These trustees were John Amery of Horncastle; Simon, Parson of Wilksby; John of Claxby Pluckacre; and others.

[27j]  De Banco Roll, 5 Henry VII., Hilary, M., A.D. 1490.

[28a]  Architectural Society’s Journal, 1894, p. 190.  Lincs. Notes & Queries, vol. iii., p. 204, vol. vii., p. 3.

[28b]  Maddison’s Wills, 1st series, p. 360, No. 96.

[28c]  Lansdown MS., British Museum, 54, 62, &c., quoted in Old Lincolnshire, vol. i., p. 118.  In All Saint’s Church at Theddlethorpe is a fine brass of an Angevin and his wife of the 16th century.

[28d]  De Banco Roll, 5 Henry VII., Hilary, M., A.D. 1490.

[28e]  Chancery Inquisition post mortem, taken at Alford, April 28, 14 Henry VIII., A.D. 1522.

[28f]  Bridge’s History of Northamptonshire, quoted Architectural Society’s Journal, 1879, p. 45, note.

[28g]  Patent I Ed. IV., pt. 2, m. 59, quoted Old Lincolnshire, vol. i., p. 124.

[29a]  Chancery Inquisition, 18 Henry VII., No. 34., taken at East Rasen, 26 Oct., 1502.

[29b]  Commission of Peace, 13 July, 1510, quoted Lincs. Notes & Queries, Jan. 1896, p. 15.

[29c]  Inquisition post mortem, 6 Henry VIII., 20 Jan., A.D. 1515.  Old Lincolnshire, vol. i, p. 221.

[29d]  Circa A.D. 1536.  Architectural Society’s Journal, 1895, p. 14.

[29e]  Architectural Society’s Journal, 1894, p. 192.

[29f]  Architectural Society’s Journal, 1894, p. 215.

[29g]  Architectural Society’s Journal, 1894, p. 221.

[29h]  Architectural Society’s Journal, 1879.  Pedigree of Fitz-Williams, p. 44, &c.  A Douglas Tyrwhitt of this family, daughter of George Tyrwhitt, Esq., in 1703 left a dole of 10/-, charged on land at Belchford, to the poor of Horncastle.

[29i]  Patent Roll, 19 Elizabeth, pt. iv, m. 13, 2 May, 1577.

[30a]  Privately printed, from Burghley Papers, by Right Hon. Edward Stanhope of Revesby Abbey, 1892.

[30b]  Works of Thomas Becon, Parker Society, p. 480, note.

[30c]  Bishop Aldrich died at Horncastle in March, 1555, he was a distinguished graduate of King’s College, Cambridge, Provost of Eton, a correspondent of the great Dutch scholar Erasmus; afterwards made Archdeacon of Colchester, Canon of Windsor, Registrar of the Order of the Garter, and consecrated to the See of Carlisle 18 July, 1537.

[31a]  Exchequer Bills and Answers, Chas. I., Lincoln, No. 36.  Among the charges brought against Rutland Snowden (as already stated elsewhere) one was, that, besides having aided the forces of the Parliament, he had more than one wife.  The Snowden Arms are given in “Yorks. Union of Honour,” Lincs. Notes & Queries, vol. iv., p. 16.

[31b]  Lincs. Notes & Queries, vol. i., p. 106.

[31c]  The valuable collections of Sir Joseph Banks are still carefully preserved at Revesby Abbey, and form in themselves almost a museum.

[32a]  Leland’s Collectanea, 66, p. 300.

[32b]  The stables of John of Gaunt’s House still exist adjoining the High Street.

[33a]  Quoted Weir’s History of Horncastle, note p. 29, ed. 1820.

[33b]  On Saturday, next the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul, 21 Jan., 1384–5, held by John de Feriby, Escheator of the King, in the County of Lincoln.

[34]  Most of these fragments were removed by Mr. Stanhope to Revesby Abbey.  Two of them are preserved in the garden of Langton Rectory, near Horncastle.

[36]  The origin of this Chantry is shewn by the following documents:—In the archives of Carlisle Cathedral is a copy, in Latin, of a Privy Seal State Paper, Domestic, vol. i, 5039, of date 5 May, 6 Henry VIII. (A.D. 1514), slightly imperfect, but running thus: “The King to all . . . greeting.  Know that we, of our special grace . . . by these presents do grant . . . for us, our heirs and successors . . . to the devout woman, the Lady Margaret Copuldyke, widow, and Richard Clarke, tanner, of Horncastle, that they found a fraternity, or guild, to the honour of St. Katharine, and for the extending of divine teaching, in the Parish Church of the blessed Virgin of Horncastell, and mortain licence to acquire land of the annual value of 25 marks” (£16 15s. 4d.).  Another document, a Chantry Certificate, Lincoln, No. 33 (55), Ed. VI. (1552), states that “the Guild of St. Katharine, in Horncastell, was founded by Joan Copuldyke, widow, and others, with the intention that one Chaplain for ever, should celebrate divine services in the church, for the souls of the founder, and others; the profits of the land and possessions are received by the Alderman of the Guild.”  They are described as “worth yearly £13 8s. 8d., with fees, wages, rents and other reprises, £7 15s. 3d.  The clear value, reprises deducted, yearly, £5 13s. 10d.,” with “goods, chattels and ornaments worth £1 10s.”  It is to be observed that Gervase Holles says, that at the time of his visit, she was named “Margaret,” in a window then existing in the church.  A Patent Roll, 3 Ed. VI., pt. 5, m. 4, gives various lands and tenements, with which this chantry was endowed, in Horncastle, Spilsby, Thornton and Roughton, occupied by about 100 tenants; and states that all these were granted “by the King to Robert Carr, gent., of Sleaford, and John Almond, their heirs and assigns.”  Witness, the King, at Westminster, 15 July, 1549.  This is further confirmed by an Inquisition post mortem, 5 Eliz., pt. 1, No. 67.  [This was ‘in return for a payment by them of £1,238 11s. 10d.’]  Among the signatories to a declaration of the Royal supremacy (Lincoln Chapter Housebook, B. 3, 14, p. 39) are the names of Robt. James, Vicar of Horncastle Michel Whithed, Curate of Horncastle Hugh Doddington, “Cantuarista” of Horncastle (probably Chaplain of this Chantry).  It was also served by Robert Geffrey in 1552.  Chantry Certificates, Lincoln 33 (55).

[37a]  Harleian MS. No. 6829, p. 241.  In a window in the north aisle was the inscription “Orate pro ái’â Thomæ Coppuldike armig., et D’næ Margaretæ, Consortis suæ, fundatoria gildæ cantar . . . fenestram fieri fecit.  Ano D’ni 1526.”  In the eastern window of the south aisle was the inscription “Orate pro benefactoribus artis sutorum, qui istim fenestram fieri fecerunt. sc’æ Nemanæ cum sera et catena.  Item S’ci Crispinus et Crispinianus cum instrumentis calceariis.”  Here it is distinctly stated that a Guild of Shoemakers gave the window, and that Crispinus and Crispinianus the patron saints of shoemakers, were there represented.  A note in the same MS. states that Frances, wife of Gervase Holles, died at Horncastle and was buried there.  (These passages are quoted in Weir’s History of Horncastle, pp. 30, 31, note, edition of 1820).

[38]  Mr. Dee had formerly been a Clerk in Mr. Clitherow’s office, as Solicitor.

[39a]  This was formerly the altar-piece below the east window of the chancel, before the present reredos was placed there, and dedicated at the Harvest Festival, 22 Sept., 1870.

[39b]  It may here be stated, that the former font was quite as good as the present one, octagonal in form, and of perpendicular design, in harmony with older portions of the church.  It was, however, discarded at the restoration, and, for some time, hidden away among rubbish, but eventually presented to the restored church of the neighbouring parish of Belchford.  The bowl of the present font is too small to answer the requirements of the Rubric, and is not in keeping with the architecture of the church.

[39c]  A Lectern, consisting of a large eagle, of cast iron, bronzed, on the model of one in St. Margaret’s Church, Lynn, was presented by the late Prebendary Samuel Lodge, Rector of Scrivelsby.  This is still preserved in the south chancel chapel.

[40a]  Walker in his Sufferings of the Clergy (1714) gives an account of Thomas Gibson, which we here abridge.  Born at Keswick (in the diocese of Carlisle), he went to Queen’s College, Oxford, was appointed Master of the Free School at Carlisle, there promoted to the similar post at Newcastle, and finally preferred by the Bishop of Carlisle to the Vicarage of Horncastle in 1634.  In consequence of a sermon preached by him, at the Election for Convocation, he was seized, in 1643, and carried as a prisoner to Hull.  Being released after four month’s detention, and returning to Horncastle, he was charged with teaching “ormanism” (arminianism), and committed to the “County Jail” at Lincoln, a Presbyterian minister being appointed in his stead at Horncastle.  In 1644 Colonel King, the Governor of Boston under the Parliament, ordered a party of horse to seize him (apparently having been released from Lincoln) and to plunder his house, but an old pupil, Lieut. Col. John Lillburn, interceded for him with his superior officer, Col. King, and the order was revoked.  In the subsequent absence, however, of Lillburn in London, the order was repeated, and Mr. Gibson was made prisoner, his house plundered, and his saddle horse, draught horses, and oxen carried off.  He was imprisoned at Boston, Lincoln and “Tattors-Hall Castle,” where he had “very ill-usage for 17 weeks.”  He was sequestrated from his benefice and an “intruder,” named Obadiah How, put in charge.  He was now accused of defending episcopacy, “refusing the covenant,” &c.  He retired to a “mean house,” about a mile from Horncastle, supposed to be at “Nether (Low) Toynton,” where he and his family “lived but poorly for two years, teaching a few pupils.”  He was then appointed Master of the Free School at Newark, two years later removed to the school at Sleaford, being presented by Lady Carr.  There he lived until the Restoration, and then resumed his Vicarage at Horncastle, until he died in 1678, aged 84.  “He was a grave and venerable person (says Walker), of a sober and regular conversation, and so studious of peace, that when any differences arose in his parish, he never rested till he had composed them.  He had likewise so well principled his parish that, of 250 families in it, he left but one of them Dissenters at his death.”  (Walker’s Sufferings of the Clergy, pt. ii, p. 252, Ed. 1714).

[40b]  There is an error in the date, which should be Oct. 11.  Further, the term “arch rebel” is inappropriate, as Cromwell was, at that time, only a Colonel, far from having attained his later distinction; the term “skirmish” is also inadequate, as the Winceby battle was a decisive engagement, with important consequences.

[41a]  The origin of these scythes has of late years been a vexata questio.  It has been suggested that they are not, as generally supposed, relics of the Parliamentary War, but of the earlier so-called “Pilgrimage of Grace,” or “Lincolnshire Rising,” a movement intended as a protest against certain abuses attending the Reformation, in the reign of Henry VIII.  The evidence, however, gathered from various directions, would seem to be strongly corroborative of the old and more general opinion.  History shows that, for many years, about the period of the Commonwealth, scythes were among the commonest, rude weapons of war.  The artist Edgar Bundy, in his painting “The morning of Edgemoor,” recently (1905) purchased for the National Gallery by the Chantry Trustees, represents a soldier armed with a straight wooden-handled scythe.  The battle of Edgemoor was fought Oct. 23, 1642, one year before that of Winceby.  We have also contemporary testimony in the Memoirs of the Verney Family (vol. i, pp. 109–118 and 315), members of which took part in the civil war of that period, that King Charles’ forces consisted largely of untrained peasants, “ill-fed and clothed . . . having neither colours, nor halberts . . . many only rude pikes . . . few a musket.”  To such the scythes used in their farm labour would be handy weapons in emergency.  As a parallel to these cases Sir Walter Scott, in his preface to Rob Roy, states that “many of the followers of MacGregor, at the battle of Prestonpans (Sep. 21, 1745), were armed with scythe blades, set straight upon their handles, for want of guns and swords.”  It is not without interest to note, that about 60 years ago there were exhumed, on the farm above Langton Hill, in Horncastle, the remains of 6 bodies, lying buried in a row, with scythe blades beside them.  It is known that skirmishes between Royalists and Roundheads took place in this locality, and it can hardly be doubted that these also were relics of the Winceby fight.  The then tenant of the farm, Mr. Dobson (as the writer has been informed by his granddaughter, Mrs. H. Boulton of St. Mary’s Square, Horncastle), carted these remains to the town and they were re-buried in the south side of St. Mary’s Churchyard, while the scythes were added to those already in the church.  An incident, which further confirms their connection with the Winceby fight, is that the present writer has in his possession a pair of spurs, which were found on the field of Winceby, remarkable for the long spikes of their rowels; and he himself once found the rowel of a spur, with similarly long spikes, within a few yards of where the bodies were discovered; and in the year 1905 he also examined several bones, pronounced by a doctor to be human, which were found near the same spot, while workmen were digging for the foundations of a house since erected there.  On the other hand, as against the theory of the scythes having been used in the earlier “Pilgrimage of Grace,” we are distinctly told that the mobs concerned in that movement were deprived of all weapons before they could use them.  In the Lincoln Chapter House books (c. i, 20, f 193) is a letter from Richard Cromwell, dated Oct. 29, 1586, which says that he, and Admiral Sir John Russell, went to Louth, where “all the harness and weapons were seized, and conveyed to Lincoln,” and that for the same purpose Mr. Bryan had been sent to Horncastle, and Mr. Brown to Market Rasen.  On the whole, therefore, the preponderance of evidence is strongly in favour of the connection of all these scythes with the neighbouring Battle of Winceby—the original tradition.

[41b]  Weir, in his History of Horncastle gives the quarterings of these shields as follows:—

(1)  Sable, 2 lions passant in pale, ducally crowned, or, Dymoke impaling Barry of 6 ermines, and gules, 3 crescents, sable, Waterton; a crescent for difference.

(2)  Dymoke impaling Vairè, on a fess, gules frettè, or.  Marmyon, in chief, ermine, 5 fusils in fess, Hebden, a crescent for difference.

(3)  Argent, a sword erect, azure, hilt and pomel gules.

(4)  Dymoke impaling quarterly, gules and argent, a cross engrailed.  Countercharged, Haydon, a crescent for difference.

[42a]  The only other theft from the church of which we have record, was when the vestry was broken into in December, 1812, and the money collected for parish purposes was stolen.  A reward of £50 was offered for information of the thief, but without result.  (MS. notes by Mr. T. Overton in possession of Mr. John Overton, of Horncastle.)

[42b]  Details of these are given by Holles as follows:—

In fenestra Insulæ Borealis.

“Orate pro a’ia Thomæ Coppuldike Armig. & D’næ Margaretæ Consortis suæ fundatoris Gildæ Cantar . . . Fenestram fieri fecit Ano Dni 1526.”

In superiori fenestra Borealis Cancelli.

‘Gules a lion passant guardant.  Arg. . . .


Sable, 3 flowres de lize betw: 6 crosses botony fitchy Arg. . . .


Gules, a cross sarcelly Arg.” . . .


In fenestra Orientali Insulæ Australis.

“Orate pro benefactoribus artis sutorum, qui istam fenestram fieri fecerunt stæ Ninianæ cum cera et catena.  Item sti Crispinus et Crispianus cum instrumentis calceariis.”  (N.B.  The feminine is an error of Holles, as St. Ninian was a man.  Collier’s History, vol. i. p. 100).

Fenestra Borealis superior.


Sa, 2 lions passant arg. crowned or.



Or, a lion rampant double queue sa.




Arg. a chevron betw: 3 bulls passant sa.

B. a fesse betw: 3 goats’ heads erased arg.




Arg. a chevron gobony sa.

Arg. on a bend g. 3 roses arg.



Arg. chevron betw: 3 griphons’ heads erased, g.



Arg. 3 bars g. over all a bend engrailed, sa.



Quarterly or and g. a border sa bezanty.



Arg. 3 crosses botony fitchy B. semy of flowres de lize


Quarterly ermine and chequey or. and g.


Arg. a chevron betw: 3 roses, g.


Taylboys &c


Fenestra Australis superior.

G. a fesse betw. 3 water bougets ermine



Marchants Mark.

Arg. on a Bend, G.  3 ferniers of the first


Hic jacet Francisca filia primogenita Petri Fressheville de Stavely, in com. Derb. arm [ex priore uxore sua Ehzabetha filia Gervasii Clifton de Clifton, in com.  Nott. Militis] et quondam uxor Gervasii Holles de Burgh in cum. Lincoln.  Militis, cui peperit Freschvillum Holles, et Margaretam, gemellos, et Franciscum Holles filium juniorem.  Obijt Horncastell.  Harleyan MS., No. 6829, p. 241.

[42c]  Mr. Sellwood lived in a house on the west side of the Market Place, now occupied by R. W. Clitherow, Esq., of a family long established in Horncastle.

[44a]  Mr. Fretwell was Curate of Horncastle and Rector of Winceby, (Directory of Horncastle, 1791–2).  He would appear to have been, for a time, in sole charge of Horncastle, as we find that on one occasion (Feb. 23, 1790) “sensible of the distresses of the sick poor, he gave 1½ g. from the communion money to be laid out in Salop sago and Bowen’s sago powder, to be distributed at the discretion of the Faculty.”  (See account of the Dispensary.)

[44b]  The vault of Dr. Madeley is within the chancel rails, beneath the tablet.  His son was an officer in the 68th Regiment of Foot, in which also a Horncastle man, named Walker, was sergeant.

[46]  There is still, in Westminster Abbey, a chantry named “The Islip Chapel,” which is used as a Robing room, at the consecration of the Bishops.

[50]  A List of Institutions given in Lincs. Notes & Queries, vol. v, p. 236 has the date of C. Monke’s appointment, 24 Oct., 1558, and gives his predecessor as Henry Henshaw.  In a previous notice (Ibidem, p. 201) the latter is given as Henry Henshoo.

[57a]  The patronage and manorial rights (as already stated) were transferred to the Bishop of Lincoln, on the death of the Bishop of Carlisle in 1856.

[57b]  We may add that Dr. Madely also left a bequest of £50 towards a much needed church at Woodhall Spa; where through the energy of the Rev. H. Walter, Vicar of the parent parish of Woodhall St. Margaret, and Rector of Langton, the Church of St. Andrew was built before that of Holy Trinity, Horncastle, the foundation stone being laid by Sir H. Dymoke, April 2, 1846, and the consecration by Bishop Kaye taking place Sep. 14, 1847; the architect in this case also being Mr. Stephen Lewin, of Boston, a vicarage being built at the same time.

[59]  All the coloured windows are by Messrs. Clayton & Bell.

[60]  The sister of the present writer, who was a brilliant pianist, frequently went to play to Mr. Clarke, and, as she touched the piano, he would rouse himself and take his flute and try to accompany her.  It is not a little remarkable, that Mr. Clarke’s widow, after a few years married again, a Medical Practitioner, near Windsor, and committed suicide by placing herself on the railway line, near that place, her mangled remains being afterwards found on the line.  Whether her mind had been affected by her first husband’s tragic death, who can say?

[61]  To show Mr. White’s energy of character the writer may mention that he frequently, as a healthy diversion from his professional work, walked up to Langton Rectory before breakfast, and plied his spade in the garden, and then enjoyed a hearty breakfast with the Rector, returning to Horncastle in time for the daily service at 11 a.m.  As an instance of his kindly nature we may give the following: At Horncastle a poor girl was suffering from a “white swelling” in the knee.  The doctor declared that her life could only be saved by the leg being amputated above the knee.  She dreaded the operation, but consented, if Mr. White would support her in his arms during the process.  He was greatly averse to painful scenes, but reluctantly consented.  Those were not the days of anæsthetics, when such operations can be performed without the patients feeling it; but he said to her “Let us pray,” and while the doctors were at work they prayed so fervently that she was too much absorbed to notice what was done.  At length she said, “Dear Mr. White will they never begin?”  His reply was “My good girl, your leg is off, and the Lord has spared you all the pain.”  She lived to be a strong healthy woman and always blessed the curate.

[62]  The writer had the privilege of visiting Mr. White at Jedburgh, and retaining his valued friendship through life, visiting him a short time before his death, and receiving many kindnesses from him.

[64]  The Morning Post of April 8, 1889, referring to the death of Sir F. Gore Ouseley, says “He was a member of an ancient Irish family . . . which gave to the world the Wellesleys, the Wesleys, and the Ouseleys, all springing from the same stock;” all three names being only varied forms of the same.  A clergyman, Rev. L. H. Wellesley Wesley, now of Folkestone, combines the two names.

[65]  Samuel Wesley, the father, was himself originally a dissenter, but afterwards conformed to the established church.  He was appointed to the benefice of South Ormsby in 1699 and afterwards held the Rectory of Epworth, and that of Wroot.  His eldest son, Samuel, born about 1692, was an Under Master in Westminster School for several years, and later became Head Master of the Grammar School at Tiverton, in Devonshire.

[66a]  This has been re-issued by Mr. A. C. Fifield, as No. 16 of “The Simple Series,” 6d., 1905.

[66b]  As a proof of his regard for the church we may quote his remark (given in Christian Sects of the 19th century, W. Pickering, 1850) “The Church of England is the purest in Christendom.”

[66c]  The first Conference was held in London at “The Foundry,” June 25, 1744.  It consisted of only 10 persons, viz., the two brothers, John and Charles Wesley, three beneficed clergymen, John Hodges, Rector of Wenvo, Henry Piers, Vicar of Bexley, Samuel Taylor, Vicar of Quinton, and John Meriton, with four Methodist preachers, viz., John Downes, John Bennett, Thomas Richards and Thomas Maxfield.  At this gathering “The Rules of a Helper” were adopted, which form to this day a part of the “discipline” enjoined on Wesleyan Ministers.

[68a]  Mr. Carr Brackenbury died August 11, 1818, aged 65, and the Stamford Mercury of the time says of him, “He powerfully and eloquently preached the glad tidings of the gospel during many years, in numerous Wesleyan Chapels, in various parts of the kingdom.  He had previously to his intimacy with Wesley been a celebrated character on the turf.”

[68b]  The aged son of the last named is still (1905) living at Alford, and several grandsons are dispersed about the country.

[70a]  Horncastle News, August 31, 1907.

[70b]  The first Sunday School was held in the British School (later the Drill Hall) east of the Wong, from 1812 to 1848.

[71a]  We may add that at the time of writing (1905) a Wesleyan Church House is about to be erected in Westminster, a fine building in the Renaissance style of architecture, which is to cost £140,000, the firm of Lanchester & Richards being contractors for the work.

[71b]  In addition to the authorities already named, we are indebted for much of the information here given to an account by Mr. Watson Joll, in the Methodist Recorder of Aug. 27, 1903, and to an article by the late Mr. W. Pacy, in the Lincoln Gazette of Aug. 20, 1898.

[71c]  Religious Worship in England and Wales, by H. Mann, from the census of 1851.

[72]  Within comparatively recent times a Primitive Chapel at Thimbleby was commonly called “The Ranters” Chapel.

[73]  Life of the Venerable Hugh Bourne, by Rev. Jesse Ashworth, 1888; also History of the Primitive Methodist Connexion, by Rev. H. B. Kendall, B.A.

[74]  The Venerable William Clowes, a sketch, by Thomas Guttery.

[78]  In connection with Robert Brown’s writings it may be of interest to note, that in the year 1907, an American scholar, Mr. Champlin Burrage, of the Newton Theological Institution, of Massachusetts, discovered in the Library of Lambeth Palace, London, a hitherto unpublished work, in MS., entitled The Retraction of Robert Brown; which the author himself describes as “A reproofe of certeine schismatical persons and their doctrine touching the hearing and preaching of the Word of God.”  This was written about the year 1588.  It has now been published by permission of the Archbishop of Canterbury (Oxford University Press, 2/6 net), and is described by the editor as “a sane and broad-minded” production.  [Guardian Newspaper, June 19, 1907.]

[80a]  These particulars are gathered from the volume Christian Sects of the 19th century, published by W. Pickering, 1850.

[80b]  Mann’s Religious Worship in England and Wales, from the census of 1851.

[80c]  Only two copies of this pamphlet are known to exist; one in the Library at Revesby Abbey; the other is in the possession of Mr. C. M. Hodgett, of Horncastle, an officer of the chapel, having been given to him by Miss Frances Robinson, a relative, presumably, of the author “W.R.,” otherwise William Robinson.

[80d]  Letter of Rev. J. G. Crippen, of The Congregational Library Memorial Hall, London, Dec., 1858.

[82]  A fuller notice of Rev. T. Lord appears on page 89.

[84a]  Written in prison, A.D. 1675.

[84b]  Under what was called “The Five Mile Act.”

[84c]  The chapel generally regarded as the oldest in the kingdom is that at Highthorne, in Kent, which dates from 1650.

[84d]  There is a tradition that there was a chapel near the watermill, but this was probably only a room retained for the convenience of those who were “dipped” in the pit.  Under date, Aug. 7, 1889, it is recorded, as though a novel event, that at a special service in the evening, the Lay Pastor, Mr. W. P. Milns, performed the ceremony of baptism, by immersion, in the chapel, the baptized being an adult, Horncastle News, August 10, 1889.

[85a]  In 1876 the Horncastle Baptists joined the “Notts., Derby and Lincoln Union,” which proved a great help to them.

[85b]  Among those present were Rev. M. C. Mason from Tura, Assam, British India, a member of the American Missionary Union; Pasteur Saillens, of the French Baptist community; Dr. B. D. Gray of Georgia, U.S.A.; as well as delegates from Russia and Japan.

[91]  For further information as to the origin of the school see addendum at the end of this chapter.

[92a]  “Comorants,” this is the Latin “Commorantes,” meaning “temporarily resident.”

[92b]  Lord Clinton was 9th in descent from John de Clinton, of Armington and Maxlock, Co. Warwick.  He was born in 1512; married Elizabeth, daughter of Sir John Blount, and widow of Gilbert, Lord Tailbois.  He was made Lord Lieutenant of the County of Lincoln, Governor of the Tower of London, had been already granted the Manor and Castle of Tattershall by Ed. VI. and was created Earl of Lincoln by Elizabeth in 1572, a title still held by his descendants, now Dukes of Newcastle.  He died January 16, 1584, and was buried in St. George’s Chapel, Windsor.

[92c]  It has already been stated that lands were given by John Neale in 1575; and by will dated Feb. 7, 1692, Mr. Nicholas Shipley bequeathed £100 to assist poor scholars, but this was lost by the Treasurer, in 1703.

[92d]  By an apparently irregular proceeding, the land in Thornton was in 1704, transferred to the Hon. Lewis Dymoke of Scrivelsby, Champion of England.  In 1811 the Governors decided to have their rights in this matter investigated.  Application was made to the Champion for an explanation of the transaction.  The case was submitted to the Charity Commissioners, no reply however was ever received from the Champion, and after a delay of 25 years, the matter was allowed to drop.  The £12 a year paid in lieu of the former land does not seem to be an equivalent for the original gift.

[93]  The present writer has a copy of this work.

[94]  This grant amounted in 1903 to £60 19s.  The income for that year, apart from the grant, was £256 11s. 4d.; fees of pupils amounting to £263 10s.; school expenses £473 3s. 8d.

[95a]  Among those, formerly connected with the school, who contributed to this Magazine, were the late Head Master, Canon S. Lodge; the Senior Governor, Dr. R. Jalland; A. C. Clapin, a whilome French pupil in the days of Dr. Smith, who was son of an officer in the army of Napoleon I.; and the present writer, who wrote School Reminiscences.

[95b]  To the credit and honour of Dr. Smith, he brought his aged father and mother, the former being blind, to Horncastle, and provided for them in their old age.  They resided in a small cottage, close to his own house, now adjoining the Great Northern Hotel.

[99a]  The writer possesses a copy of this, given to him by the author.  He has also a 1st class prize, a book, signed by J. B. Smith and F. Grosvenor as 1st and 2nd masters.

[99b]  His practice was always to close the school with these words.  When the boys were let out for 10 minutes, to freshen up in the school yard, as was done at 11.30 every morning, the expression was varied to “exire licet.”

[99c]  Among the tasks set us to do by ourselves between Saturday morning and Monday, were theses on various subjects, or original verses, on some chosen theme; the writer still possesses several of these, of varied merit.  They taught us, however, the careful use of words.

[100a]  The ringing of this bell was given up a few years ago, as the Governors decided not to pay for it.

[100b]  The veteran, Mr. Thomas Baker, the friend of the champion cricketer, Dr. W. G. Grace, and the trainer of Sir Evelyn Wood, had not yet arrived at Horncastle, which he did a few years later, to put life and energy into our cricketers.

[106a]  By Rev. T. P. Brocklehurst, Vicar of that parish, 1901.

[106b]  As a similar instance to that named in the text, the school at Kingston on Thames is now called “Queen Elizabeth’s,” but it was founded by Bishop Edington, in 1364.  It may here be mentioned that the grammar school of Bruton, Somerset, which was originally founded in 1519, was re-established by Edward VI., “by letters patent, dated June 20, 1549, Corpus Christi day,” on which day the Governors, Masters, and Scholars still attend a special commemoration service in the Parish Church.  (Guardian, August 2, 1905, p. 1,287.)

[106c]  Full details of these appointments are given in a Paper, by Mr. A. F. Leach, author of English Schools at the Reformation, for the Gazette of the Old Bostonian Club, which is reprinted in the Journal of the Lincolnshire Architectural Society, vol. xxvi, pt. ii, pp. 398 et seq, 1902.

[108a]  The firm of Handley were Solicitors, of Sleaford.  Their recent representative was a member of the Banking Company of Peacock, Handley & Co. Henry Handley, Esq., represented South Lincolnshire in Parliament during 9 years, after the passing of the Reform Bill, dying in 1846, much regretted, after a long illness.  As a memorial of his public services a statue of him was erected in the main street of Sleaford in 1851, costing upward of £1,000.

[108b]  The Swallows were a well-to-do family in Horncastle, living in the same part of the town as Mr. Watson, and the Coningtons.  Members of it, within memory, have been farmers, nurserymen, victuallers, &c.

[110a]  This particular plot of ground, sometimes called “fool thing,” is named in various other ancient documents connected with Horncastle.

[110b]  The Governors at this date were John Thorold, M.D., Horncastle; Rev. Arthur Rockliffe, Roughton; Rev. William Boawre Coningsby; Robert Cole, Horncastle, gent; Benjamin Stephenson, Mareham-le-Fen, gent; Richard Heald, Horncastle, gent; Rev. John Wheeler, Mareham-le-Fen; Simon Draper and William Hirst Simpson, Horncastle; Francis Conington, Residuary Devisee; and Joseph Mowbound, Horncastle, clerk.

[111]  Weir’s History of Horncastle, 1820, pp. 41, 42.

[112a]  Professor Walter’s History of England, vol. vii., pp. 454–6.

[112b]  This date is definitely fixed by the fact that the fittings of the school were sold by auction early in the following year (1877), among them being a desk, still in use, to the present writer’s knowledge, in a neighbouring village school.  The premises were afterwards purchased by the late Mr. Alfred Healy, for a corn store, and they are now the warehouse of Messrs. Carlton & Sons, Chemists, of High Street.

[112c]  The efficiency of the present church schools is testified to by the Report of the Government Inspector, in July, 1905, as follows: “Staff adequate, teaching energetic, boys and girls.  The new library should be a great benefit.  Infants, brisk and kind discipline; teaching bright and thorough.”

[113a]  The Right Hon. George Joachim Goschen, afterwards Viscount Goschen.

[113b]  53 and 54 Victoria, chap. 60.

[114a]  Mr. Mallet was afterwards assisted by Mr. Sydney N. Hawling, clerk to Mr. H. W. Kemp, Chemist, and also by Miss M. E. Edgar.

[114b]  Horncastle News, Sept. 19, 1896.

[115]  Miss Foster was an enthusiast in all her work, and being a cyclist she explored the country for many miles round Horncastle to collect fossils, besides making excursions into other counties, thus obtaining a valuable collection of specimens.  The writer possesses a copy of these lectures, which are remarkable for their fulness and precision.

[120a]  The Rev. John Fretwell was Rector of Winceby, and began his ministry in Horncastle, June 24th, 1782, and was Curate under the Vicars, Revs. James Fowler and Joseph Robinson.  He would appear to have possessed a private income beyond his official stipend.  He was probably, for some time, in sole charge of the cure, as we find him disposing of some of the “communion money,” for the benefit of the Dispensary, as recorded in a subsequent page of this chapter.  There is a tablet of black marble on the north wall of the chancel, in St. Mary’s Church, in memory of Elizabeth, his first wife, who died Dec. 4th, 1784, and also of his infant son by his second wife), Matthew Harold, who died Sept. 19th, 1786.

[120b]  This was the house now occupied by Dr. H. A. Howes, 30, West Street; and the writer may add, that, within his own memory, while the house was occupied by a later tenant, Mr. Jason Alison, a poor lunatic, probably a survival of Dr. Harrison’s asylum, was kept chained to the kitchen fireplace.  Such treatment would now be impossible, but parallel cases are on record in the neighbourhood.

[122]  Dr. E. Jenner made his first experiment in 1796, announced his success in 1798, and the practice became general in 1799.

[124]  Mr. Macarthur was the most indefatigable and efficient dispenser up to that time; the Governors more than once passing a vote of thanks for his services, raising his salary, or presenting him with a cheque.

[127]  Weir, in his History of Horncastle, says that lime, manure, and road material were charged half rates.  This was in 1828.

[128]  We refer to an admirable Paper, read before the Society of Arts, London, by Mr. Buckley, C.S.I., Feb. 15th, 1906.

[129a]  See a very interesting volume, Our Waterways, by Urquhart A. Forbes and W. H. R. Ashford.  Murray, London, 1906.

[133]  Garnier’s Annals of British Peasantry, 1895.

[134a]  As an instance of this the Horncastle Union comprises 69 parishes.

[134b]  These books were inspected by the present writer a few years ago, although now (1906) supposed to be lost.  In the account of Thimbleby, given in the appendix to this volume, instances are given of various forms of relief to paupers, in coals, shoes, petticoats, &c., but always on condition that they attended the church services regularly, otherwise such relief was forfeited.

[134c]  In some parts of the country “black bread,” made of oatmeal, was in use, among the humbler classes, as late as in 1850.

[134d]  This had been forestalled as early as in the reign of Edward I.; a Pipe Roll dated 12 Edward I. (A.D. 1284) shows that a payment of 60 shillings was made for a common oven, rented of the Bishop of Carlisle, as Lord of the Manor.  Lincs. Notes & Queries, vol. iv, p. 237.

[134e]  The older ones among us will remember that in the days of our grandmothers the spinning wheel was usually to be seen in the boudoir, or drawing room.  A common shrub of our hedgerows and copses is the spindle tree (euonymus europeus), so named because of its compact, yet light, wood was made the spindle of the spinster.  An old MS., kept by Sarah Cleveland, shows how not only the poor but ladies of all ranks, like the Homeric Penelope and her maidens, practised spinning; the younger with a view to providing a marriage portion for themselves; whence, until marriage, they were called “spinsters,” a term still in use.  [Berenden Letters of William Ward and his family, of Berenden, Kent, 1758–1821, edited by C. F. Hardy.  Dent & Co., 1901.]  It may be here mentioned that the ancient building in Boston named Shodfriars’ Hall, was formerly a spinning school.  In the Parish Register of Wispington, in this neighbourhood, not only is the female mentioned as “spinster,” but the male is called “weaver,” and in the adjoining parish of Woodhall there is a “weavers’ close,” part of which is named “tailors’ garth,” in the same connection, and the present parish clerk’s grandmother, a Mrs. Oldfield, had herself a hand loom; and in the parish of Minting weaving is known to have been carried on extensively, an informant telling the present writer that his grandmother had a hand loom, see Records of Woodhall Spa, &c., under Minting, by the author.  In Horncastle a weaver, named Keeling, formerly occupied the premises now the bookseller’s shop of Mr. Hugh Wilson; another lived in the house, 3, North Street, now occupied by Mr. G. Walkley.

[134f]  The members of this committee are given as Rev. Jas.  Fowler (Vicar), Joshua Towne (a well-known clock maker, whose clocks are still valued), Geo. Heald (gent), James Watson, William Maddison, Robert Boulton, John Spraggings, Francis Rockliffe, and Joshua Vickers (hatter).

[134g]  In digging to lay the foundations of the building, a considerable number of ancient jars were exhumed, which passed subsequently into the possession of the Chaplain, the late Rev. E. M. Chapman, Rector of Low Toynton.  After disappearing for some years, several of these were sold in 1905.  They are supposed to be Cyprus ware.  The present writer has three of them, others have been presented to different museums, &c.

[135]  The only town constable at that time was a feeble old man (it was said) a former smuggler.  He afterwards retired from this post, for which he was unfitted, and became host of the Lord Nelson Inn, close by the former scene of his duties.  We may add that the sign of this inn, a good portrait of Nelson, was the work of the artist Northouse.

[140]  £300 was borrowed Nov. 19th, 1901.

[142a]  Robert Whelpton, the father of George, who was also a shoemaker, used to relate that he made shoes for Sir John Franklin, before he went out as Governor of Tasmania.  Sir John, a native of Spilsby, was brother-in-law of Mr. Henry Selwood, who lived in the house on the west side of the Market Place, now occupied by Mr. R. W. Clitherow, which would be opposite Whelpton’s shop.  Sir John was Governor of Tasmania 1836–1842.

[142b]  William Thomas Whelpton took as a residence 69, Gloucester Crescent, Regent’s Park, London; and Henry Robert Whelpton resided in Upton Park, Slough.

[142c]  While at Derby he revisited Horncastle, driving over in a hired carriage, with pair of horses, and it is said that a local wag, seeing his carriage in the Bull Hotel yard, wrote upon it with chalk:

“Who would have thought it,
That pills could have bought it?”

[143a]  His wife’s maiden name was Barber.  She was, by profession, a lady’s stay maker, and occupied a house standing on the site of the present Church National School.

[143b]  The inscription on the houses states that they were erected by George Whelpton, of 1, Albeit Road, Regent’s Park, London, in 1861, in memory of his wife Elizabeth, who died Dec. 11, 1859.

[145]  The present writer still has in his possession, as a cherished heirloom, the sword and sash of his grandfather, the owner of Tanshelf House, Pontefract, as well as of residences at Lofthouse and Methley.

[146]  Similarly the present writer has a photograph of an uncle, who was an officer of yeomanry in 1804, and lived to join the modern yeomanry in 1860.

[155]  Illustrated Police News, Aug. 18th, 1883,

[159]  The Boston Guardian in an obituary notice said “all who knew him esteemed him,” and the Horncastle News said “There is gone from among us one of nature’s true gentlemen.”

[160]  This ready mode of disolving the bond of wedlock was not uncommon in former times, but a similar case is recorded as having occurred in or near Scarborough in recent years, and in November 1898 a case came before Mr. Justice Kekewich, in the Chancery Court, of a man, before leaving for Australia, having sold his wife for £250.

[162]  For these details, as well as many others, I am indebted to family records in the possession of the late Mr. John Overton, which I have had the privilege of consulting on many occasions.  J.C.W.

[165]  Mr. Isaac Taylor in his Words and Places (p. 201, ed. 1873), says “I cannot discover any indication of the place where the Lincolnshire ‘Thing’ (the Saxon ‘County Council’) assembled, unless it was at Thimbleby or Legbourne.”  There are, however, several parishes containing the element “thing” in their field names; for instance there is one in Welton near Lincoln; there is a Candlesby Thyng, a Norcotes Thyng, and Ravenworth Thyng, named in a Chancery Inquisition, 20 Henry VII., No. 133, &c.  (Architectural Society’s Journal, 1895, p. 38.)  These were probably the localities where smaller parish meetings were held.

[166a]  A superior tenant, holding under Bishop Odo, was a rather important man in the county, frequently mentioned in documents of the period, as Alan of Lincoln.  He also held lands in Langton and other parishes in the neighbourhood.  (Survey of Lindsey, Cotton MS., British Museum.  Claudius, c. 5.  A.D. 1114–1118.)

[166b]  Notices of Hagworthingham.

[166c]  Albemarle, or Aumarle, was a town in Normandy, now called Aumale, whence the Duc d’ Aumale, of the Royal family of France, takes his title.  Probably the Earl put in a claim for this demesne indirectly, because (as already stated) Adeliza, Countess of Albemarle, was sister of Bishop Odo, the former Lord of Thimbleby.

[166d]  The Gaunts took their name from Gande, now Ghent, in Flanders.  Gilbert was the son of Baldwyn, Earl of Flanders, whose sister was married to William the Conqueror.  He was thus nephew to the Conqueror’s consort.  He held 113 manors in Lincolnshire besides many others elsewhere.  Both he and his son Walter largely endowed Bardney Abbey.  The name of Gaunt still survives in our neighbourhood.

[166e]  Notes on Bolingbroke, &c.

[167a]  Feet of Fines, Lincoln, 31 Edward I.

[167b]  Architectural Society’s Journal, 1897, p. 52.

[167c]  It may be nothing more than an accidental coincidence that the name of Bartholomew occurs in the Thimbleby Register in modern times.

[167d]  These charters belong to the Rev. J. A. Penny, Vicar of Wispington, by whom they were communicated to Lincs. Notes & Queries, vol. v, No. 38, April, 1897.

[168a]  Harleian Charter, British Museum, 43 G, 52, B.M.  Lincs. Notes & Queries, Oct., 1898, p. 244.

[168b]  Chancery Inquisition post mortem 6 Ed. III.

[168c]  Chancery Inquisition post mortem, 34 Ed. III., and notes thereon, Architectural Society’s Journal, 1896, p. 257.

[168d]  Court of Wards Inquisition, 3, 4, 5 Ed. VI., vol. 5, p. 91.

[169a]  Harleian Charter, British Museum, 56 B, 49 B.M.

[169b]  Myntlyng MS. of Spalding Priory, folio 7 b.

[170a]  At the time of the Norman Conquest, according to Sir Henry Ellis, there were 222 parish churches in the county, and only 131 resident priests.  Sharon Turner gives 226 churches, about half without a resident minister.

[170b]  Hundred Rolls, p. 299.  Oliver’s Religious Houses, p. 78.

[171a]  Lincs. Notes & Queries, 1898, p. 135.

[171b]  History of Lincolnshire, p. 334.

[172a]  Lincs. Notes & Queues, vol. ii, p. 38.

[172b]  I have been informed of this by the Rev. Edwin Richard Kemp, of St. Anne’s Lodge, Lincoln, who is a scion of a collateral branch of the family, to be named next amongst the successive owners of the Hall-garth.

[173a]  Weir’s History of Lincolnshire, p. 334.

[173b]  Henry Kemp and “Elinor” Panton were married in 1723.  They had a numerous family, including Michael, baptized May 2nd, 1731; Thomas, baptized 1737, married 1768; and Robert, baptized 1740, married 1766.  Thomas and Robert were family names, which occurred in successive generations.  There were other branches of the family, whose representatives still survive; including the Rev. Edwin R. Kemp, already referred to, whose grandfather was first cousin of the last Thomas Kemp residing at the Hall-garth.  When the Kemp property was sold, a portion, at one time belonging to William Barker, was bought by the Rev. R. E. Kemp of Lincoln.

[173c]  N. Bailey’s Dictionary 1740.

[173d]  The Saxon word “cæmban” meant “to comb,” whence our words “kempt” and “unkempt,” applied to a tidy, neatly trimmed, or combed, person, and the reverse; or used of other things, as Spenser, in his Faery Queen, says:

“I greatly lothe thy wordes,
Uncourteous and unkempt.”—Book III, canto x, stanza xxix.

On the other hand, more than 100 years before the days of the Huguenots, there was a Cardinal John Kemp, afterwards consecrated Archbishop of Canterbury, A.D. 1452, born at Wye, near Ashford in Kent.  In the old Rhyming Chronicle “Lawëman’s Brut,” of date about A.D. 1205, we find “Kemp” used as a parallel to “Knight,” or warrior; as

“Three hundred cnihtes were also Kempes,
The faireste men that evere come here.”

(“Hengist and Horsa,” Cottonian MS., Brit. Mus., “Otho,” c. xiii.)
(“Morris’s Specimens of early English,” p. 65.)

In Bedfordshire there is a village named Kempston, which, like Campton in the same county, is supposed to be derived from the Saxon “Kemp,” meaning “battle.”  Taylor’s Words and Places, p. 206.

[175]  One of these Marshalls began life as the owner of property, hunting in “pink,” &c., but ended his days as the clerk of a neighbouring parish.  Another had a public-house and farm in another near parish; his descendant is a beneficed clergyman in the diocese of Exeter.

[176a]  There were six bells in the original church.  These were sold by the said churchwarden, who would appear to have been a zealous iconoclast.  According to one tradition they went to Billinghay, but as the church there has only three bells, this is probably an error.  Another version is that they were transferred to Tetford church; had the removal occurred in the time of the Thimblebys, this might not have been improbable, as they were patrons of that benefice; but several other churches claim this distinction, and, further, there are only three bells in that church, so that this again is doubtless a mistake.

[176b]  Gervase Holles gives the following as the inscription existing in his time (circa 1640), “Hic jacet Gulielmus Brackenburg et Emmotta ejus uxor, qui quidem Gulielmus obiit 6 die Januarii, An’o D’ni 1476, quorum a’iabus p’pitietur Deus.  Amen.”  There are, he adds, “figures of themselves upon the stone, and ten children, all in brasse.”  Harleian MS., Brit. Mus., No. 6,829, p. 177.

[177]  In Magna Britannia it is stated that he held 15 manors in this county.  In connection with the Paganell family it may here be noted that a daughter, Maud, of Gilbert de Gaunt, married a Norman, Ralph Fitzooth; their son William Fitzooth married the daughter of Beauchamp Paganell; from whom sprung Robert Fitz Ooth, commonly known as Robin Hood.  Stukeley, Palæol Brit., vol. ii, p. 115.

[178a]  Guardian, Jan. 18th, 1905.

[178b]  Monasticon, vol. i, 564–565.

[178c]  Lincs. Notes & Queries, vol. iv, pp. 16, 17.

[178d]  Weir’s History of Lincolnshire, vol. i, p. 335.  Ed. 1828.

[179]  Harleian MSS., No. 6,829, p. 342.

[180a]  It contains several entries of baptisms during the Commonwealth, a period when, frequently, only births were allowed to be registered.

[180b]  Testa de Nevill, folio 248 (536).

[183a]  Testa de Nevill, fol. 348 (556).

[183b]  Domesday Book.

[183c]  Soc-men were small tenants who held their lands under the lord, on the terms of doing certain agricultural service for him.  Bordars, from the Saxon “bord” a cottage, were a lower class of smaller tenants, who had a cottage and small allotment, supplying to the lord more continuous labour, and also eggs and poultry.  By statute of Queen Elizabeth (31 Eliz., c. 7), which probably only confirmed old usage, at that time liable to fall into abeyance, it was enacted that any proprietor electing a new cottage should be compelled to attach thereto four acres of land.  If something like this were done in these days we should probably hear less of the rural population migrating to the towns, to the increase of pauperage.  There was a third still lower class of dependents, not here mentioned, named villeins, who performed the meanest labours; these were attached either to the land, or to the person of the owner, and could be transferred from one to another owner, like goods or chattels.  Such a position of serfdom is unknown to the agricultural labourer of modern times; and their name, as having belonged to the lowest grade of society, now only survives as a synonym for a dishonest person, a scoundrel or villain.

[184a]  A “trentall” was thirty masses for the dead to be celebrated on thirty several days.

[184b]  Lincs. Notes & Queries, vol iv, pp. 12–13.

[185a]  Weir’s History, ed. 1828, p. 335.

[185b]  Mr. Taylor in his Words and Places, p. 130, says that “there is hardly a river named in England which is not celtic, i.e. British.  The name Waring is British; garw, or gwarw, is welsh, i.e. British, and appears in other river names, as the Yarrow and Garry in Scotland, and the Garonne in France.

[186]  This bridge was taken down and a wider and more substantial one erected in 1899.

[187a]  Lincs. Notes & Queries, vol. iii. p. 218.

[187b]  Ibid., pp. 87, 88.

[187c]  Lincs. Notes & Queries, vol. iv. pp. 212, 213.

[188a]  Canon Maddison, Architectural Society’s Journal, 1897, p. l62.

[188b]  In the old Register Book of Burials, &c., of the parish of “Toynton Inferior,” is an entry of the burial of “--- Newcomen ye 17th November, 1592.”  The Christian name is undecipherable.

[190a]  Sewer is a common local name for a drain, or even a clear running stream.  Such a stream, called the Sewer, rises at Well-syke Wood in this parish, and runs into the Witham river, nearly four miles distant, perfectly limpid throughout its course.  As to the name Well-syke, “sike” is an old term for a “beck,” or small running stream.  “Sykes and meres” are frequently mentioned in old documents connected with land.  The word syke is doubtless connected with “soak,” and this wood was so named because the “syke” welled up within a marshy part of it.

[190b]  Architectural Society’s Journal, vol. xxiii, pp. 122 and 132.

[190c]  Harleyan MS., No. 6829, p. 244.

[191]  It was at Roughton in 1631.

[192a]  Lincs. Notes & Queries, vol. iii, pp. 245–6.

[192b]  Harleyan MS., No. 6829, p. 245.

[194a]  Sir Jos. Banks was Lord of the Manor.

[194b]  Archdeacn Churton’s English Church; Introd. Domesday Book, by C. Gowen Smith, p. xxxii.

[195a]  Harleyan MS., No. 6829, p. 218.

[195b]  Burn’s Justice, vol. v, pp. 823–4.

[196a]  Revesby Deeds & Charters, published by Right Hon. E. Stanhope, No. 150.

[196b]  Architectural Society’s Journal, 1894, p. 214.

[196c]  Architectural Society’s Journal, 1891, p. 24, and 1897, pp. 145–163.

[196d]  Architectural Society’s Journal, 1897, pp. 75, 79.

[196e]  Lincs. Notes & Queries, vol. iii, p. 215.

[198a]  A pamphlet on The Ayscough family and their connections, by J. Conway Walter, 1896.

[198b]  Lincolnshire Wills, by Canon Maddison.

[198c]  At this early period, partly perhaps owing to laxity of morals, but partly because the papal supremacy was not fully recognised, celibacy of the clergy was not strictly enforced.  On the accession of Queen Mary great numbers of them were found to be married.  She issued “Injunctions” to the bishops in 1553–4, ordering them to deprive all such of their benefices; although some of them, on doing public penance, were restored to their position.  In the Lincoln Lists of Institutions to Benefices, at that period, many of the vacancies are stated to have occurred, owing to the deprivation of the previous incumbent; and in some cases, as at Knebworth, Herts., and at Haversham, Bucks, (both then in the Lincoln diocese), it is specified that the incumbent so deprived was married (sacerdos conjugatus).  Lincs. Notes & Queries, vol. v, p. 174.

[198d]  One derivation of the name Revesby is from “reeve,” a fox, or rover, and we still call the fox the “little red rover.”

[201a]  The Glenham family were at one time located at Miningsby; when the Revesby estates passed from the Duke of Suffolk, Thomas Glenham, Esq., with Sir Henry Sidney, and some others, succeeded to different portions.

[201b]  Words and Plans, by J. Taylor.

[202]  This tract of forest probably was very extensive.  We know that in the north-west of the county, and extending to near Doncaster, there was the forest of Celidon; south of that was Sherwood forest.  In Holland there was the forest of “Haut Huntre” (its Norman name); and there is a tradition, in our neighbourhood, of a church, not far from Old Bolingbroke, being called “St. Luke’s in the Forest,” now known as Stickney; this name itself probably meaning a “sticken,” or staked, island; a kind of preserved oasis, or clearing, in a wilderness of wood and morass.  Architectural Society’s Journal, 1858, p. 231.

[203a]  This has also been quoted in the Notes on High Toynton; and another case of a similar tenure of land is mentioned in the Notes on Hameringham.

[203b]  Lincs. Notes & Queues, vol. iii, pp. 245–6.

[203c]  Domesday Book, “Land of Robert Despenser.”

[204]  In Domesday Book the chief features are “the woodland” and “fisheries,” no less than 10 of the latter are named as belonging to Robert Despenser.

[205]  Harleyan MS., No. 6829, pp. 179–182, given in Weir’s History of Horncastle, pp. 50–53.

[206a]  In the reign of Mary Sir Edward Dymoke married Anne, daughter of Sir G. Taillebois.

[206b]  Gentleman’s Magazine, April, 1826.

[207a]  Lincs. Notes & Queries, vol. ii, p. 108.

[207b]  Lincs. Notes & Queries, vol. iv, pp. 119–120.

[208a]  Mr. Tyrwhitt, like many other clergy in his day, was non-resident; the duty being performed by a curate, the Rev. W. Robinson, who held also the rectory of Moorby, but resided in Horncastle.

[208b]  Lincs. Notes & Queries, vol. ii, p. 39.

[209]  The writer of these notes in his youth used to visit a farmer, living in the fen, whose father was among the first to erect his farmstead in that locality.  He had first to solidify the site of his dwelling by importing soil by boat; and, when that was effected, to import by boat all the materials for the buildings; the construction of roads followed; and thus in course of time a waste of morass became one of the most fertile tracts in the country.