Cytringan, Kyteringas (x cent.); Cateringe (xi
cent.); Keteringes, Ketteringe (xii, xiii cent.).
The civil parish and urban district of Kettering
covers 2,814 acres, of which the town occupies the
greater part; there are still, however, over 1,000 acres
of pasture and arable land growing corn and roots.
The soil is iron and lime stone, and in 1766 borings
were unsuccessfully made for coal. The land rises
from the River Ise on the east and a stream on the
west to a height of a little over 300 ft. above the
ordnance datum. Objects of the Bronze Age and the
Romano-British and Anglo-Saxon periods have been
found in the parish, suggesting an early settlement of
The town stands on high ground and probably
owes its importance to the fact that it is a centre of
the road system of the Midlands. In 1086 and
probably before, Kettering was a prosperous agricultural manor and grew into a trading town with the
grant to the abbot of Peterborough of a market here
on Fridays, in 1227. (fn. 1) The building of a 'noble hall'
faced with stone, by Walter, abbot of Peterborough
(1233–45) (fn. 2) , added to the importance of the town and
brought traffic to it when the abbot was in residence
there. The town remained a prosperous market
town down to the dissolution of Peterborough Abbey
in 1540. Leland refers to it about 1535 as a 'pratie
market town,' and Camden, about 1600, as a market
town of considerable resort. Owing to its easy access
from all parts, it was selected in 1625 as the place for
holding the quarter sessions (fn. 3) which gave it increased
importance in the county. In 1613 the justices
petitioned that the sessions might be held alternately
at Northampton and Kettering, (fn. 4) but this apparently
was not done, and in 1629 the Earl of Westmorland,
then Custos Rotulorum, built in the Market Place
'a very fair sessions house.' A reference at this time
to the old session house suggests that the sessions had
been held there for a long time previously. It was
said that the town could accommodate all those who
usually appeared at the winter session of the five
hundreds and those who attended could return home
the same night after they had done their service,
'whereas when the session was at Northampton they
were forced to lie there two nights at charges.' (fn. 5)
Kettering was also a meeting place of the musters,
and, as the musters were held almost annually, the
billeting and payments to the muster master became
a burden to the inhabitants for which repayment was
very irregularly made. (fn. 6)
During the Civil War, Kettering's sympathies were
mainly on the Parliamentary side. The imposition
of ship-money was strongly resented. Francis
Sawyer, brother of Edward Sawyer who lived at the
Manor House in 1638, refused to pay this tax and
assaulted the collectors, (fn. 7) and in 1640 the grand jury
at the quarter sessions held at Kettering complained
to the Bench that there was 'a great and unsupportable grievance lying upon the county under the name
of ship-money to be raised for providing of ships, for
which their goods were forcibly taken and detained.'
They prayed for redress from a burden which they
were not well able to bear. (fn. 8) In August following,
there was a meeting of ministers of the neighbourhood
at the 'Swan' in Kettering to consider the oath in
'the late Book of Canons' known as the 'Etcetera
Oath.' Those attending resolved never to take the
oath but rather to lose their livings. (fn. 9) Led by the
Sawyer family, Kettering remained Puritan in sympathy throughout the Civil War, although for a time
in 1643 it was a rendezvous for the royal troops. (fn. 10)
The town suffered severely from the plague in
1665, which claimed some 80 victims. (fn. 11) The justices
of the peace presented a petition to the Bishop of
Peterborough, calling attention to the distressed condition of the town by reason of the plague and asking
for relief out of the money collected. (fn. 12)
The failure of the crops in 1795 was the cause of
much distress, and bread riots took place at Kettering;
wagons loaded with flour passing through the town
had to be protected by soldiers, who were attacked by
the mob. (fn. 13)
About 1700, Kettering is described in the Magna
Britannica as 'a well traded populous market town'
which owed its prosperity wholly to the woollen manufacture, introduced by Mr. Jordan and then still
carried on by his posterity. About 20 years later
Bridges described Kettering as 'a large and populous
town' containing 566 houses and 2,645 inhabitants.
The market place lay to the north-west of the church,
in the middle of which, dividing the Sheep Market
from the Butcher Row, was a row of houses later
known as Rotten Row. At the end of Butcher Row
was the Sessions House, 'a good stone building supported by pillars'; eastward was Newland pond and
in one of the pond walls was fixed a piece of the stump
of a cross. 'Coming out of the north end of Newland
and crossing the stone pit Leys,' where stone was then
dug 'you descend by going westward into Staunch
Lane, so named from pellucid or vitrified stones,
which from the shape of some of them are called
Kitcats and are seemed good for staunching blood.'
They are also found in several other shapes in the clay
used for making brick and sometimes near the surface
of the ground. (fn. 14)
The growth of the town through the latter part of
the 19th century was rapid. Besides the woollen
trade already alluded to, silk, plush and ribbon
weaving, linen making, lace making and wool combing
were carried on, and bells were cast at a foundry at
Wadecroft Lane from c. 1710 to 1762 by the Eayre
family. All these trades save the bell foundry were
prosperous at the beginning of the 19th century,
but they gradually gave place to the manufacture of
boots and shoes, a trade said to have been introduced
by Thomas Gotch about 1790. It was not, however,
till about 1857 that this industry developed, and it
greatly increased in 1870 during the Franco-German
war. Railway communication, which reached the
town in 1857 when the Leicester and Hitchin Railway
was opened, also helped towards its prosperity. Since
this date Kettering has become an important railway
centre. Previously the means of communication had
been by one coach which passed through the town
from Uppingham to Wellingborough, and an omnibus
to the latter place.
In connexion with the woolcombing industry there
were processions on the festival of St. Blaise (3 February) (fn. 15) the patron saint of the trade, the last of which
took place in 1829.
The old town of Kettering lay on the west side of
the main road from Wellingborough to Uppingham.
Eayre's map of the town made about 1720 (here reproduced) gives a good idea of its extent at that date.
The fires which devastated it in 1744 and 1766 have
left little in the nature of old buildings. The Sessions
House built by the Earl of Westmorland in 1629, (fn. 16)
which stood in the Market Place as already mentioned,
was pulled down in 1805. The Market Place was
remodelled at the end of the 18th century; the line
of thatched shops called Rotten Row in the middle of
the Market Place, was pulled down between 1785 and
1789. The cross, with a dungeon or lock-up under it,
which stood close to the old Market House near the
entrance to the churchyard, was removed about 1790.
The smaller cross which was erected on the site of
the old cross was destroyed about 1808. Near it
stood the stocks, later moved to Hog Leys, the whipping post and pillory. (fn. 17)
The Sawyer almshouses in Sheep Street were
formerly of one story with high-pitched roof and
dormer windows, but the walls have been heightened
and have windows lighting the upper rooms. The
block consists of six dwellings with as many doorways
and mullioned windows on the ground floor and is
built of ironstone rubble; the roof is covered with
stone slates. Over the middle windows is a panel
inscribed 'This Hospitall was Built by Edmund
Sawyer Esqr An[n]ō Dmni, 1688,' and the founder's
arms above with helm, crest and mantling.
The government of the town was administered at
the Abbot of Peterborough's manorial court and we
have references to the bailiff of the manor as the
principal official of the manor and town and the
constable acting under him, to carry out the orders of
the steward. (fn. 18) The vestry began to assume powers
possibly in the 17th century, but certainly early in the
18th century, and the organization of a workhouse by
the vestry in 1717 is an early instance of such an
institution. (fn. 19) In 1862 the officials of the vestry
were the four overseers, two surveyors of highways,
a Nuisance Removal Committee, twelve in number,
and a Sanitary Committee. (fn. 20) A Local Board was
formed in 1873 which in 1894 became the Urban
District Council, now consisting of twenty-five
members. The district is divided into five wards.
Proposals were made in 1893 and again in 1901 to
apply for a charter of incorporation, but they were
negatived. There was an Inclosure Award in 1804.
The Public Library and Museum were given by Mr.
Andrew Carnegie in 1904 and the Alfred East Art
Gallery adjoining it was built in 1913 as a memorial
to Sir Alfred East, R.A., a native of the town. The
Gallery contains a representative collection of Sir
By a charter of 956 King Edwy
granted 10 cassati of land at KETTERING to his thegn Aelfsige the goldsmith. (fn. 21) The boundaries of the land are set out and
seem to have included the site of the present town.
They run from Cransley Bridge along the brook to
Humbridge, thence to the gallows tree on Debden,
from there to Kinston Head to the Long Dike, then
to Weekley Ford along the Ise until it came to Pytchley
Ford, and from the ford along the brook until it came
back to Cransley Bridge. Possibly Aelfsige gave
Kettering to the monastery of Medeshamstede or
Peterborough as, by a charter dated 972, King Edgar
confirmed it to that monastery. (fn. 22) Although this
charter is spurious, it is probably correct as to its
facts, for in 975 it is said that Leofsi son of Bixi, 'an
enemy of God,' dispossessed Peterborough Abbey of
Kettering for two years, but by the influence of
Aethelwold, Bishop of Winchester, possession was
regained. The manor is assigned to the abbey in
the Domesday Survey (1086) and by several confirma-
tion charters. King Stephen gave the abbot a grant
of free warren in Kettering (fn. 23) and the abbey held the
manor attached to the office of Sacrist, in demesne,
until its dissolution in 1540. (fn. 24)
In 1544 the manor and advowson of the rectory of
Kettering were granted to William Lord Parr in tail
male. (fn. 25) Lord Parr died two years later without male
issue and Kettering reverted to the Crown. In 1560
a grant was made to William Garrard and others, (fn. 26)
which they surrendered two years later.
Watson, Earl of Rockingham. Argent a cheveron azure between three martlets sable with three crescents or on the cheveron.
Sawyer. Lozengy or and azure a pale gules with three scallops or thereon.
The manor of Kettering from which the site of
the manor (q.v.) had been separated was granted in
1624 to Sir Henry Hobart and others for 99 years, in
trust for Charles Prince of Wales, afterwards Charles I. (fn. 27)
In 1628 the trustees assigned their interest to William
Williams, Robert Mitchell and others, citizens of
London, reserving a rent of £66 7s. 10½d. (fn. 28) In the
same year Charles I mortgaged the reversion in fee
of the manor and much other property, to Edward
Ditchfield and others (fn. 29) representing the City of
London, for a large sum of money. Sir Henry Hobart
and the other trustees had apparently conveyed the
remainder of their lease of the manor subject to the
rent of £66 7s. 10½d. to Sir Edward Watson, who was
holding it in 1628, while Peter Cawston held the
market tolls, etc. (fn. 30) The interest of William Williams
and the other trustees was sold in 1630 to William
Child and Thomas Gardiner, and in the same year
Edward Ditchfield and the others sold the reversion
in fee to John Child and Daniel Britten subject to
the fee farm rent of £66 7s. 10½d. (fn. 31) It appears that
Sir Lewis Watson, assignee of the lease of the manor,
John Sawyer, Everard Sturges and certain others,
copyholders of the manor, hearing that the King was
selling the manor, desired to purchase it. They
quarrelled, however, over the terms on which the
purchase should be made, and Sir Lewis Watson
brought an action against Sawyer and the others for
non-performance of the agreement. In the meanwhile Sawyer and nine others obtained the residue of
the term of 99 years from William Child and Thomas
Gardiner and John Child and Daniel Britten sold
the reversion in fee of the manor to Robert Breton of
Teton, Valentine Goodman of Blaston and eight
others. (fn. 32) Thus the manor became divided into ten
shares. In 1634 the shareholders sold to Sir Edward
Watson and Edward Watson, at the nomination of
Sir Lewis Watson, all the fairs and markets, the
common bakehouse, etc. (fn. 33)
The shareholders of the manor in 1641 were Edward
Watson, created Lord Rockingham in 1645, who held
six shares, and Edmund Sawyer, William Good,
William Billing and John Drury, (fn. 34) who owned the
remaining four shares. The Sawyers acquired a
second tenth and their two tenths were obtained
by John Duke of Montagu in 1724. He also acquired
two other shares in 1726 and 1729 from Mrs. Falkner
and Mrs. Bass, thus bringing his holding up to
four tenths. (fn. 35) The Duke's daughter, Mary Duchess
of Montagu, had an only daughter Elizabeth, who
married Henry Duke of Buccleuch, and these four
shares came to the present Duke of Buccleuch. The
other six tenths remained in the Watson family
Earls and Marquesses of Rockingham and Lords
Sondes, and were held by Mr. George Lewis Watson
at the time of his death on 31 Dec. 1899. (fn. 36) They
then passed to the Rev. Wentworth Watson and on
his death without issue on 5 July 1925, Sir Michael
Culme Seymour, a minor, grandson of Mary G. Culme
Seymour, sister of George Lewis Watson, succeeded
to the property which was vested in the hands of
trustees, called the Manor trustees.
The fee farm rent of £66 7s. 10½d. was granted in
1635 to James Duke of Lenox, (fn. 37) who settled it on
George and Bernard Stuart. They in 1652 assigned
their interest to Thomas Gorstelow and John Knight
on behalf of Sir Jeffrey Palmer, Bt., attorney general.
Sir Jeffrey settled it on his son Lewis and Jane his
wife in 1654, and he on his son Sir Geoffrey Palmer.
Sir Geoffrey in 1728 sold it to trustees for John Duke
of Montagu, from whom it passed with his shares
of the manor to the Duke of Buccleuch until extinguished in 1891. (fn. 38)
In 1582 the market tolls and rights, the profits
of the common bakehouse and the annual returns
called eleven 'dussens' or tithings, were leased for
21 years to Edward Depupper. In 1592 a further
term of 21 years was granted to Peter Cawston. (fn. 39)
who was still holding in 1628. The fairs and markets
and bakehouse were in 1634 sold by Robert Breton,
Valentine Goodman and others, trustees for John
Sawyer, Francis Sawyer and others, to Sir Edward
Watson and Edward Watson, at the nomination of
Sir Lewis Watson. (fn. 40) In 1661 Sir Edward Watson,
then Lord Rockingham, received a grant of three
yearly fairs at Kettering on Tuesday before the feast
of the Passover, Tuesday before the feast of Michaelmas, and Tuesday before the feast of St. Thomas. (fn. 41)
The market rights were, on 16 March, 1881, sold by
George Lewis Watson to the old Local Board, and
the market is now controlled and owned by the
Urban District Council.
The pasture and lands called Haselfield and the
site and demesne lands of the manor were in 1586
granted to Sir Christopher Hatton and his heirs
at a rent of £27 6s. 8d. (fn. 42) After his death in 1591
his heir, Sir William Hatton, or Newport, son of
John Newport and Dorothy his wife, sister of Sir
Christopher, sold the Hallfield, otherwise known
as Haselfield, and the site of the manor in 1596 to
Edmund Sawyer, (fn. 43) and for confirmation of title
Sawyer obtained a Crown grant in 1602. (fn. 44) Edmund
Sawyer died seised of the manor house where he lived (fn. 45)
in 1630, which in 1612 he and his wife Ann had
settled on their son John and Sarah his wife, daughter
of Francis Harvey. (fn. 46) John was killed in a skirmish
at Wellingborough in 1646, and was succeeded by
his son Edmund. He had a dispute as to the repair
of the church, whereby it was eventually agreed in
1665 that he and his family should occupy their
accustomed seats, and so long as other parishioners
who wanted room were permitted by Edmund Sawyer
to sit in the aisle or chancel anciently belonging to
his (Sawyer's) house, the churchwardens should repair
the same, except only the pavement of the lower
chancel, which should be maintained and repaired
by Edmund Sawyer, because it was the burial place
of his family. Edmund Sawyer died in 1680, and was
succeeded by his son Henry. The hospital or almshouses were founded under the will of his younger son
Edmund, who died abroad in 1687. (fn. 47)
Henry Sawyer settled the site of the manor on his
wife Mary, daughter of William Gomeldon, of
London, in 1688, (fn. 48) and had by her a son Edmund.
He apparently lost his money in the South Sea Bubble,
and he and his son Edmund sold the site of the manor
and all his property in Kettering in 1720 to Francis
Hawes, who was connected with the South Sea Company, and Susan his wife. In the following year the
estates of the directors of this company, being seized
for the benefit of the sufferers, Hawes' property in
Kettering was sold to John Lord Montagu by a
series of conveyances completed in 1729. (fn. 49) From this
date the site of the manor has followed the descent
of the Montagu property, and is now held by the Duke
The fee farm rent of £27 6s. 8d. reserved by the
grant to Sir Christopher Hatton, and later by that to
Edmund Sawyer, was leased to Henry and Francis
Tate in 1594 for 21 years. (fn. 50) In 1616 this rent was
granted to Nathaniel Rich and Robert Hatton, who
were possibly acting for Sawyer in order to extinguish it. (fn. 51)
The RECTORY MANOR was probably in existence in the 13th century, and was held by the successive incumbents. Its lands lay to the north of the
Market Place. In 1562 Anthony Burton, LL.B.,
the rector, with the consent of the Bishop, leased
the manor to Edward Watson, junior, for 60 years,
at a rent of £20. In 1565 a further term of five score
years was added at the rent of £36, and in 1569
a still further term of 80 years at the rent of £40.
The manor was held under these leases by the Watsons,
Earls of Rockingham, until 1802. Since this date
it has been held by the rectors for the time being. (fn. 52)
The Church of ST. PETER AND
ST. PAUL consists of a chancel 48 ft. 6 in.
by 16 ft. 9 in., with north and south
chapels, clearstoried nave of six bays 73 ft. by
21 ft. 6 in., north and south aisles 18 ft. 6 in. wide,
north porch, and west tower 16 ft. square, surmounted
by a lofty spire. All these measurements are internal.
The width across nave and aisles is 63 ft. 8 in., and
across chancel and chapels 61 ft. 5 in.
The church stands on a gradually rising slope
from the west and, with the exception of the tower,
south chapel and the west bay of the south aisle,
is faced with rubble. The roofs are of flat pitch and
leaded, behind plain parapets; internally the walls
In the outer wall of the south aisle is a fragment
of a pre-Conquest cross shaft, possibly of the 8th or
9th century, and a Norman corbel also remains in one
of the window jambs; but of any church which
existed before the 14th century there are no further
remains, owing to the extensive rebuilding which took
place in the late mediaeval period.
The eastern part of the chancel projecting beyond
the chapels dates from about 1300, and the north doorway of the nave is of the same period; but the rest
of the fabric belongs to the middle or third quarter
of the 15th century, at which time the church was
rebuilt and assumed its present aspect. The tower
was probably first erected, being built to the west
of the then existing nave (after the demolition of its
western bay), and the new nave afterwards joined to
it. (fn. 53)
Considerable changes were made in the interior
during the early part of the 19th century, and in
1890–91 the church underwent a very extensive
restoration, the galleries and old box seats being
removed, new roofs erected over the aisles, the nave
roof repaired, (fn. 54) and the stonework of many of the
windows renewed; a large detached vestry connected
by a lobby with the south chapel was also added. (fn. 55)
The chancel has good double angle buttresses,
and a scroll string at sill level. The east window is
of three trefoiled lights, with three uncusped circles
in the head and moulded jambs and mullions, and in
the north wall is a window of two trefoiled lights
with two pointed trefoils in the head; both windows
are c. 1300, but have been restored. A contemporary
moulded doorway below the north window was removed in 1890 to the east end of the north chapel,
but has recently been blocked. The roof of the old
chancel was lowered in the 15th century, and the
present parapet, with good angle gargoyles, added.
The roof is of five bays, and has carved tracery
between the ties and principals. The sedilia, piscina,
and the chancel arch are all modern. On the north
side the chancel opens to the chapel by a 15th-century
arcade of two arches, and on the south by a similar
arcade of three arches, all of two moulded orders on
piers composed of four attached shafts with separate
capitals and bases. The north chapel is about 28 ft.
long internally by 18 ft. 6 in. wide, and has a fivelight east window and two three-light windows in the
north wall with three-centred heads, cinquefoiled
lights and transoms; all are restorations. In the southeast corner is a cinquefoiled piscina, and in the east
wall, north of the altar, a niche for a statue. The roof
is of two bays, with good carved tie-beams.
Plan of Kettering Church.
The south chapel, sometime known as 'Mr.
Sawyer's aisle,' (fn. 56) is about 38 ft. long by 21 ft. in
width, and is faced with ashlar. It is divided into
three bays, and has a five-light east window, and three
four-centred windows of three lights on the south,
with Perpendicular tracery, but no transoms. The
rood-screen crossed the whole church, and the stairway to the loft, with lower and upper doorways,
is in the south-west corner of the chapel, but no part
of the screen remains. In the north-west corner,
high in the wall, is the doorway to the chancel loft,
and below it a consecration cross within a roundel.
The roof of the chapel is a very beautiful piece of
15th-century work of three bays, the principals of
which are increased in depth and connected with the
wall-pieces by braces, with solid spandrels carved in
Both chapels are separated from the aisles by
moulded arches, and the chancel arcades are filled
with modern screens. There is also a modern screen
between the north chapel and the aisle.
The nave arcades follow the design of those of the
chancel, with clustered columns of four attached
shafts and well-moulded arches. The windows of the
aisles are all of three cinquefoiled lights, with fourcentred heads and embattled transoms, but the west
window of the north aisle is higher and narrower
than the corresponding window on the south side. (fn. 57)
At the east end of both aisles there were altars against
the screens, the aumbries in connection with which
remain, and in the north aisle a niche for a statue.
The early 14th-century north doorway has a moulded
arch and jamb shafts, with moulded capitals, but the
bases are hidden; the door bears the date 1682.
The porch is set at an oblique angle, a position
accounted for by the ancient entrance to the churchyard, with which it is in line. (fn. 58) It is of two stories,
with low-pitched gable, access to the chamber being
by a stair-turret at the north-west corner of the aisle.
The pointed outer doorway is set within a square
frame, the spandrels of which are filled with quatrefoils in circles, and above are three canopied niches,
the outer ones formerly occupied by statues of St.
Peter and St. Paul, whose emblems appear on shields
below. The porch has a square-headed two-light
window on each side, but no wall benches; the
chamber is lighted by a similar window facing west.
The clearstory windows are of three cinquefoiled
lights with four-centred heads and moulded jambs.
Kettering: Church Porch
The magnificent tower and spire are equal in height, (fn. 59)
and are amongst the best examples of work of their
kind in the kingdom. The whole tower was carefully
designed with relation to the spire which it was to
bear and the slope of the buttresses was contrived
with this end in view. The tower is of four stages,
with a slight set-back at each stage, and finishes with
battlemented parapets and octagonal angle turrets.
There is a vice in the south-west angle. Above the
moulded plinth is a band of quatrefoils in circles,
which is continued round the enclosing rectangular
frame of the west doorway. The doorway is richly
moulded and flanked by small panelled buttresses,
terminating in lofty pinnacles, and has a crocketed
hood with large finials; the spandrels are filled with
Perpendicular tracery. The tower buttresses are
well set back from the angles, and there is a band
of quatrefoils marking each stage. The great west
window is of five lights, with transom and Perpendicular tracery, and the stage above is filled on each
face with five transomed panels, the middle one of
which is pierced. On each side of the bell-chamber
stage are three admirably proportioned windows
of two trefoiled lights with transoms, and the battlements have cross loopholes. The spire was repaired
in 1887, when 31 ft. were taken down and rebuilt (fn. 60) ;
the angles are crocketed, and there are three sets
of lights on the cardinal faces, the two lower with
mullions and tracery. The tower arch is of four
chamfered orders, the innermost springing from halfround responds.
The font and pulpit are modern.
There are some traces of mural paintings; on the
north clearstory wall, near the chancel arch, is the
figure of an angel with gaze apparently directed
to the rood above the loft, and in the spandrel of the
arch below is a fragment of a post-Reformation text. (fn. 61)
On the inner wall of the north aisle are the remains of
a figure of St. Roch on a blue ground powdered with
gilt stars. (fn. 62)
A fragment of 15th-century glass, with kneeling
figure bearing an inscription to the Blessed Virgin,
remains in a window of the south chapel, and another
inscription in the same window '. . . pro statu magistri
Tho. Bloxham,' may have reference to this figure. (fn. 63)
In the south chapel is a small brass plate to Edmund
Sawyer (d. 1630) and his wife Ann Goodman, of
Blaston, with kneeling figures; the chapel also contains a 17th-century bookstand and desk for two
chained books, the chains of which remain. (fn. 64) In the
vestry is an old iron-bound chest with three locks.
There is a ring of ten bells. The two trebles are
by Gillett and Johnson, of Croydon, 1921, the third
and fourth by Richard Sanders, of Bromsgrove,
1714, the fifth by John Taylor and Co. of Loughborough, 1890, the sixth a recasting by Taylor,
in 1905, of a bell by Thomas Eayre of Kettering,
dated 1714, the seventh dated 1630, the eighth by
Thomas Eayre, 1732, the ninth by the same founder,
1722, and the tenor by W. and J. Taylor, 1832. (fn. 65)
The plate consists of a cup c. 1663, inscribed
'The gift of Elizabeth Crosey to Kettering Church,'
with the maker's mark I.C four times repeated;
a plate of 1716 inscribed 'The gift of Mrs. Fowler
in the parish of Kettering who dyed the 27th of
Aprill 1715'; a flagon of 1756, by William Shaw and
William Priest; a silver-gilt chalice of 1908, given in
1915; a silver-gilt chalice by Frank Knight of
Wellingborough, given in 1926; a silver-gilt ciborium
of 1914, and another by Frank Knight, 1926. There
are also two plated dishes 1871, and a pewter flagon.
The registers before 1812 are as follows: (i)
baptisms 1637–1680, marriages and burials 1637–1681;
(ii) baptisms 1681–1710, marriages 1697–1709, burials
1683–1710; (iii) baptisms and burials 1710–1812,
marriages 1710–1754; (iv) marriages 1754–1781;
(v) marriages 1781–1812. In the third volume is a
terrier of 1727.
The advowson belonged to the
abbot and convent of Peterborough
down to the dissolution of that
house. It was granted with the manor to Lord
Parr in 1544 and reverted to the Crown on his
death in 1546. It was granted in 1550 and again
in 1552 to William Parr, Marquis of Northampton, (fn. 66) nephew of Lord Parr, but was forfeited on
his attainder in 1554. In 1558 it was granted
to Thomas Reve and Christopher Bullyt, who sold it
in the same year to Henry Goldeney. (fn. 67) It had passed
to Edward Watson in 1561, and has remained in the
hands of the family of Watson, Lords Rockingham
and Sondes, (fn. 68) then of George Lewis Watson, and
has followed the descent of the Watson shares of the
There are the modern churches of St. Andrew in
Rockingham Road built in 1870; St. Mary the Virgin,
in Fuller Street (1895); All Saints, in William Street
(1899); and Mission Churches of St. Luke, Alexandra
Street (1876); St. Philip's, in Brook Street (1893);
and St. Michael's, Garfield Street, built in 1894.
The Roman Catholic Church of St. Edward, in the
Grove, was built in 1893, and there are many Nonconformist chapels, including those known as Toller
Chapel, first built for the Independents in 1723 and
called after Thomas Northcote Toller, and Fuller
Chapel for Baptists, named after Rev. Andrew Fuller,
pastor there 1783 to 1815, both in Gold Street.
The Church and Town Allotment.
In the Parish Book it is stated that
£50 was given by James Cater and
£10 by Alderman Pack, which sums were laid out in
the purchase of 5 doles of meadow ground lying in
Killingholme and Walcots, the rents to be applied to
put forth poor children to trades. The old brass
tablet of Charities states that John Pettifer gave the
rent of Emmerton's Holme (or Lads' Holme), which
consisted of about 3½ acres, for putting out of poor
people's children. By the award of the Inclosure
Commissioners dated 23 Nov. 1805 two allotments in
the Middle Field, containing respectively 8 a. 1 r. 30 p.
and 8 a. 16 p., were awarded to the Rector, Churchwardens and Overseers in lieu of lands appropriated
for apprenticing, for the church and for the poor. The
land, which is let in allotments, produces a net rent of
about £43 yearly. The charity is administered by the
rector and churchwardens and four trustees appointed by the Urban District Council in place of the
overseers. 12/43rds of the income are applied by the
churchwardens towards church expenses. 26/43rds,
together with the dividends amounting to £9 9s.
yearly on £378 1s. 10d. Consols (representing accumulations of income), are applied in the maintenance of
Exhibitions in conformity with a scheme of the Charity
Commissioners dated 17 Jan. 1896, and 5/43rds are
distributed to the poor by the trustees of Hunt's
Poor's Allotment. An allotment of 9 a. 1 r. 17 p.
was set out on the inclosure for the poor in lieu of their
rights of cutting fuel on certain lands. The land is
let in allotments and produces about £20 10s. yearly,
and the Official Trustees of Charitable Funds hold
a sum of £847 15s. 10d. Consols producing £21 3s. 8d.
yearly in dividends. This sum of stock represents
the investment of mine rents under lease to the
Kettering Coal and Iron Co. The income is applied
by the rector and two trustees appointed by the
Urban District Council in the distribution of coal
and in donations to the Kettering and District Nursing Association.
By his will, proved 23 Feb. 1617–18, William Cave
gave £20 to the poor. A rentcharge of £1 2s. on 3
doles of meadow land was purchased with this
By his will dated in 1733 Thomas Dawson, innkeeper at 'The George' in Kettering, gave £50 to the
poor, and Mrs. Ann Dawson, his widow, added £10.
A rentcharge of £4 was purchased with these sums
aided by a donation from the parish. These two
charges are paid out of land belonging to Mr. James B.
Christopher Eady in 1680 gave £4 yearly to the
poor out of the White Hart Inn and one yard of
land. This charge was redeemed in 1891 by the
transfer of £160 2½ per cent. Annuities to the Official
These charities are distributed in doles to the poor
in January by trustees appointed by the Urban District Council in place of churchwardens and overseers.
The endowment for this parish of the charity of
Edward Hunt—particulars of which are given in the
Charities of the parish of Warkton—consists of
£384 6s. 3d. Derby Corporation 6 per cent. Redeemable Stock and £388 2s. 5d. Middlesbrough Corporation 6 per cent. Stock, producing £46 6s. 10d. yearly
in dividends. The charity is administered by the
minister and 6 trustees appointed by the Urban
District Council, and the income is distributed to the
The Almshouse Charity of Edmund Sawyer and
others is regulated by a scheme of the Charity Commissioners dated 28 Oct. 1910, and comprises:—
(1) Sawyer's Hospital, founded by will proved in
the Prerogative Court of Canterbury 23 June 1688,
consisting of 6 almshouses and a rentcharge of £6
paid by the owner of the Boughton Estate.
(2) Elizabeth Baker's Charity for Bread. Deed poll
15 Sept. 1790 and declaration of trust 30 April 1816,
originally £150 South Sea Annuities, and—
(3) Martha Baker's Charity. Will proved at Northampton 23 July 1782, originally £200 South Sea Annuities. The endowments of these two charities are
now represented by £277 13s. 8d. 5 per cent. War
Stock producing £13 17s. 8d. yearly.
(4) James Gibbon's Charity. Will proved in Prerogative Court 18 May 1888; endowment £500 Queensland
Government 4 per cent. Stock, producing £20 yearly.
The Duke of Buccleuch, as owner of Boughton House
in Weekley, is the patron of the charity, which is
administered by a body of trustees consisting of the
rector and seven others. The income is divided
equally among the six almswomen who to qualify
must have resided in Kettering for not less than ten
years. One almswoman, called Baker's Almswoman,
must be a member of the Church of England. The
Stock is with the Official Trustees.
Anne Aldwinkle by codicil to her will, proved in
the Prerogative Court of Canterbury 2 Nov. 1793,
gave to the vicar and churchwardens a sum of stock
producing £30 yearly, to be applied as to £12 to the
inmates of Sawyer's Hospital, £2 10s. for a person to
read and pray with the inmates, £1 10s. for the purchase of books, £5 to the poor, and the remainder to
the poor at Christmas. A sum of £600 Navy 5 per
cent. was appropriated to answer this bequest. The
capital money was never transferred to the minister
and churchwardens, and a draft scheme was prepared
in 1894 but was never carried through. No payment
has been made in respect of this charity for the last
Sir John Knightley, Bart., by a codicil to his will
proved in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury
18 April 1812 gave £200 in support of the Sunday
Schools. The endowment consists of £180 4s. 2d.
Consols with the Official Trustees of Charitable
Funds and the interest amounting to £4 10s. yearly
is applied by the rector, churchwardens and overseers for the benefit of the Sunday School.
Thomas Dash, by his will proved 28 Sept. 1841,
gave £50 to the rector and churchwardens in support of the Sunday Schools. The legacy with accumulations was invested in £91 5s. 10d. Consols
with the Official Trustees, producing £2 5s. 8d. in
Mrs. McGrouther's Charity. Many years ago a
Mrs. Mary Hogg established by subscription a charity
for the relief of aged poor widows, which became known
as 'The Kettering Poor Widows' Fund,' and Mrs.
Sophia Susan McGrouther, by deed dated 29 May
1872, gave £300 Bank Annuities, the interest to be
applied for the benefit of poor widows or single women
of good character not under 50 years of age. The
annuities became 2½ per cent. Consolidated Stock,
and this was converted into £207 16s. 3d. 5 per cent.
War Stock standing in the names of the Rev. C. B.
Lucas and C. E. Lamb. The charity is administered
by Mrs. Alice Lamb, of Warkton. Monthly payments
are made to about 25 poor widows.
James Gibbon, by his will proved 18 May 1888,
gave £500 Queensland Govt. 4 per cent. Stock upon
similar trusts to Mrs. McGrouther's Charity. The
stock is standing in the same names, and the dividends
amounting to £20 yearly are distributed in cash to
about 16 poor widows.
The Great Meeting House known as Toller Chapel
is comprised in an indenture of 11 March 1723,
and the following charities are in connection therewith:—
(1) By his will, proved at Northampton 15 July 1732,
Samuel Langley gave an annual sum of £1 out of his
lands for the benefit of the minister. This charge is
paid out of land in Nether Field now the property
of the Kettering Industrial Co-operative Society,
(2) Matthew Wilson, by will proved in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury 3 Feb. 1827, gave £500
for the benefit of the minister. This sum is placed on
The following charities are administered by the
deacons of the chapel and the income amounting to
£11 8s. 11d. yearly is applied in cash and other disbursements to about 20 poor persons and in the
purchase of books for use at the chapel.
(1) Joseph Wright, by his will proved in Prerogative Court of Canterbury 2 Jan. 1746, gave £30.
(2) John Wakelin, by will proved at Northampton
12 Jan. 1793, gave £40.
(3) John Meadows, by his will proved at Northampton on 27 Nov. 1799, gave £50.
(4) Ephraim Buswell, by will proved in Prerogative
Court of Canterbury 7 Aug. 1801, gave £50.
(5) George Satchell, who died 22 April 1835, by
his will gave £20, the interest to be distributed in
meat at Christmas.
(6) Joseph Nunneley, by will proved at Northampton 16 August 1769, gave £100, on trust that £1 10s.
should be paid to the minister yearly, 20s. distributed
in meat to the poor, and 30s. in cash to the poor.
(7) Miss Mary Mee, by will proved at Northampton 24 July 1826, gave £19 19s., the interest to be
applied in distribution of books.
(8) Joseph Wright, by will proved 2 July 1834,
gave £50 for the general purposes of the Meeting.
(9) Thomas Dash beforementioned, by will gave
£100, the interest to be applied in the distribution of
The endowments of these charities were originally
placed on mortgage, but those of Joseph Wright 1746,
Wakelin, Meadows, Buswell, Satchell and Nunneley
now form part of a sum of £412 7s. 6d. 5 per cent.
War Stock in private names and a sum £7 0s. 9d, part
of the dividends on this sum of stock, is applied in
satisfaction of these legacies.
The endowments of the charities of Mee, Wright
(1834) and Dash are represented by £177 5s. 1d.
Consols with the Official Trustees of Charitable Funds,
producing £4 8s. 4d. yearly.
The charity of Nathaniel Collis was founded by
declaration of trust dated 11 April 1849. The endowment, which originally consisted of shops, is now
represented by £300 Consols in the names of George
Barratt and two others. The dividends amounting
to £7 10s. yearly are applied by the trustees of the
Great Meeting in the distribution of cash to about
40 poor and the purchase of hymn books for use in the
Jane Curchin, by will proved 9 March 1900, bequeathed the sum of £200, to be called Mrs. Curchin's
Bequest to the trustees of the Toller Chapel, the
interest to be distributed in money, coal, flannel or
calico. The personalty was insufficient to pay the
bequest in full, and £156 15s. was all that was received.
This was invested in 5 per cent. War Stock and forms
part of the above-mentioned sum of £412 7s. 6d. In
respect of this bequest a sum of £6 5s. 6d. is distributed in money payments to about 36 poor and in
The following charities are in connection with the
Fuller Baptist Chapel comprised in an indenture dated
25 Feb. 1816:—
The Fuller Allotment. By the Inclosure Award of
23 Nov. 1805, a piece of land in Middle Field, Kettering, was granted for the support of public worship in
the Fuller Chapel. The land was sold and the proceeds invested in £210 1s. 8d. 5 per cent. War Stock
with the Official Trustees of Charitable Funds, producing £10 10s. 2d. yearly, which is applied to expenses
of the chapel.
By his will, proved in the Prerogative Court of
Canterbury 6 Feb. 1734–5, Job Davenport devised
land and hereditaments to trustees for the benefit of
the minister of the Protestant Dissenters called the
Baptists or Anabaptists in Kettering. The property
consisted of about 5 acres of land with a house and
stable. This was sold some years since and the proceeds invested in £523 16s. 1d. 5 per cent. War Stock
with the Official Trustees, producing £26 3s. 10d.
yearly. The trustees of the Fuller Baptist Chapel
were appointed trustees by scheme of the Charity
Commissioners dated 15 March 1918. The income
is applied to the general expenses of Fuller Chapel.
Mrs. Beeby Wallis, by will proved in Prerogative
Court of Canterbury 6 May 1813, gave £400 to the
minister and deacons of the Particular Baptist Congregation upon trust to apply the interest yearly as
to £2 10s. to the minister for preaching occasionally
in neighbouring villages, £2 10s. in Bibles and hymn
books for poor of congregation, £5 to poor of congregation, £4 10s. in repair of Meeting House and residue
for minister. The money was invested in Consols,
which were sold in 1897, and the proceeds, £455 1s.,
after being placed on mortgage were subsequently
invested in £480 17s. 7d. 5 per cent. War Stock, with
the Official Trustees, producing £24 0s. 10d. yearly. In
1924 £16 10s. was placed to the general fund of
Fuller Chapel, £2 10s. to the Hymn Book and Bible
Fund, and £5 was distributed to the poor.
Thomas Gotch, by his will proved in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury 12 March 1806, gave £100
to the minister and deacons of the Baptist Meeting
upon trust to distribute the interest among the poor
of the congregation. The money was placed on mortgage, but was subsequently invested in £170 10s. 8d.
Consols standing in the names of William Timpson
and three others. The dividends, £4 5s. yearly, are
distributed to the poor.
Mary Marlowe, by her will proved in the Prerogative
Court of Canterbury 13 March 1779, gave to trustees
£150, part of £6,900 3 per cent. Bank Annuities,
towards the support of the minister of the Particular
Baptists at Kettering, and £50 3 per cent. Bank Annuities to the poor members of the congregation. At
her death there was not sufficient property for the
trustees to execute her will, and the money was put
into Chancery. In 1787 the share for this charity
was fixed at £1 8s. The capital is invested in Consols
and the trustees now pay 17s. 4d. for the minister and
5s. 10d. for the poor.
Elizabeth Seward, by her will dated 2 June 1753,
gave to trustees £400 South Sea Annuities upon trust
to pay the interest to the ministers of the four congregations of Particular Baptists of Bolton of the Water,
Alcester, Leicester and Kettering. The capital is in
Consols, and the sum now received for Kettering is
£3 1s. 10d. yearly.
Mrs. Agnes Percival, by her will proved 24 March
1917, gave £400 to the trustees of the London Road
Congregational Church upon trust to apply the
interest in religious work in connection with the
chapel. The money was invested in £411 18s. 10d.
5 per cent. War Stock with the Official Trustees of
Charitable Funds producing £20 12s. yearly in
William Wilson, by his will proved at Oxford,
June, 1928, gave £100 in augmentation of Agnes
Percival's charity. £96 18s. 5 per cent. War Stock
was purchased by the Official Trustees of Charitable
Funds and produces £4 16s. 10d. per annum.
Mrs. C. Arnsby, by her will proved at Peterborough
12 March 1912, bequeathed the residue of her estate
to the trustees of the Strict Baptist Church Jehovah
Shalom, Wadcroft, for the benefit of the church.
The endowment consists of £410 10s. 6d. 3½ per cent.
War Stock and £81 3s. 3d. 5 per cent. War Stock in
names of D. E. Rootham and two others, and produces £18 8s. 4d. yearly in dividends. The income
is placed to the church incidental fund.
The Wicksteed Village Trust is comprised in an
indenture dated 29 Jan. 1916. 181 acres of land,
known as Barton Seagrave Suburb Estate, used as a
public park, and 41 acres called the Pebbleford
Building Estate, were granted to trustees for the
amelioration of the conditions of the working classes
in and near the town of Kettering and elsewhere in
the United Kingdom, by the provision of improved
dwellings with gardens, etc. In 1924 £8,119 16s. 7d.
was received from sale of turf, loam, gravel, refreshments, farm sales, etc.
The following legacies were left for the endowment fund of the Kettering and District General
Miss Laura Rebecca Morris. Will proved 27 Aug.
1908; gave £100 as an addition to the endowment fund.
This sum has, with other monies, been invested in
£650 Dominion of Canada 3½ per cent. Stock in the
names of F. Mobbs and three others.
The Rev. Cecil Henry Maunsell. Will proved
23 Dec. 1911, gave £1,000. The legacy, less duty,
was invested with other monies in £550 Glasgow
Corporation 3 per cent. Stock and £607 L. & N.W.R.
3 per cent. Deb. Stock.
Mrs. Mary Ann Brown. Will proved 12 April 1911,
gave £20. This was invested in Glasgow Corporation
3 per cent. Stock, and forms part of the abovementioned sum of £550. (fn. 69)
Sir Edward Nicolls, by his will proved in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, 17 July 1717, gave land
situate at Haslebeech, Sulby, Hardwick, Old, Wilbarston, and Walgrave, amounting altogether to about
593 acres, to trustees upon trust to pay out of the
income thereof £30 yearly to each of the incumbents
of the following parishes—namely, Northampton All
Saints, Kettering, Rothwell, Oundle, Hardwick,
Moulton, Guilsborough and Spratton, and he directed
that the residue of the income should be applied to
charitable uses at the discretion of the trustees. The
land has been sold and the proceeds invested in
£1,608 11s. 7d. Consols and £15,900 17s. 5d. 4 per
cent. Funding Stock with the Official Trustees of
Charitable Funds, producing £676 4s. 8d. yearly in
dividends. Each of the respective incumbents receives a cheque yearly for £30, and the residue is applied
in special grants varying from £20 to £30 to other
incumbents and in donations to hospitals.