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Whellan's Directory (1849) - Towcester Hundred


This hundred is bounded on the north by the hundred of Nobottle Grove; on the east by those of Wymersley and Clely, and on the south and west by the hundreds of Fawsley, and Greens Norton, is of a very irregular form, and its area is 12,980 statute acres. The Watling Street Roman way, (now the Chester road), traverses it in a straight line, and enters Fawsley hundred from Pattishall parish. "At the time of the Conqueror's survey," says Bridges, "the extent of this hundred appears to have been much larger, than it is at present, and to have remained so for several generations. In the reign of Henry II, it contained the following lordships, Gayton, Pateshall, Foxley, Hinton, Wapenham, Sewell, Grimescot, Potecote, Tiffield, Wyttlebirye, Toucestre, and Grafton. Of these, Hinton, and Wapenham, now lie in the hundred of Sutton, Sewell, and Whittlebury, with the greater part of Foxley, in the hundred of Norton, and Grafton, in the hundred of Clely. In Edward I's time, it was reduced to the dimensions which it now bears. The hundred of Towcester was in the hands of the crown in the reign of William the Conqueror, but was found to be in the possession of Audomare de Valence, [spelt Aymer later in Whellan] Earl of Pembroke, in the 17th of Edward II. (1324). The hundred court, which was held once in every three weeks, was in the third year of Edward 111. (1330), farmed out to bailiffs, from whom it passed to the lord of the manor of Towcester, and from this period the hundred has uninterruptedly accompanied the manor down to George William Richard Earl Pomfret, the present lord. The families of Hastings and Grey, enjoyed all that had been possessed of Towcester by Audomare de Valence, and from the latter family it passed to Sir Richard Empson, who was succeeded in the possession by Sir William Compton, to whom the manor was granted. It subsequently came into the hands of the Fermour family.

The following is au enumeration of the parishes into which this hundred is divided, with the population in 1841, numbers of houses, and rateable value of each parish.

ParishesAcresHousesMalesFemalesTotalRateable Value
Foscote 11372562 
Cold Higham166085   £2183
  1. George Baker "The History and Antiquities of the County of Northampton" by G.Baker 1822 and 1836 (two volumes) London.
  2. John Bridges. The History of Northamptonshire.
  1. This text has been transcribed (with original spelling and punctuation) from the "History, Gazetteer and Directory of Northamptonshire" by William Whellan and Co, London, MDCCCXLIX. Published by Whittaker and Co., Ave Maria Lane, London. Printed by Robert Gardner, Narrow Street, Peterborough. Transcription and additional research by David Wilcock, November 2004.