1874 – Extract from Francis Whellan’s Directory

Far Coton, or Cotton, and Cotton-end, formerly called East and West Cotton The former hamlet contained only four farmhouses in 1849, and the latter forms a part of the town of Northampton. In Bridges’ time each of them contained about sixteen families, ” and they appear,” he says, ” to have been the several branches of the manor of Hardingstone and Coten divided between the Prior of St Andrews, the family of Besseville, and the convent of De-la-Pre

In 1868 these hamlets were, for parliamentary purposes, incorporated with the borough of Northampton. They have considerably increased in size and population during the last few years, numbering at the last census 1700 souls. In Far Cotton is a National School, erected in 1866 by the late General Bouvrie. It is licensed for divine worship ; and here also is a Baptist chapel, erected in 1860 at an expense of £300, and a Wesleyan chapel, which cost £150.

The Hospital of St Leonard, said to be founded by William the Conqueror for a master and leprous brethren and sisters, stood formerly in Cotton-end, on the site of which is now a blacksmith’s shop. Within the district. In hospital was a chapel for the use of the inhabitants of the said district. In Bridges’ time a farmhouse stood on the site of the hospital, which was then called St Leonard’s Farm, belonging to the corporation of Northampton, and adjoining it there was a small tenement called the Spital or Lazarhouse, inhabited by a poor man who received two shillings a week and clothing, and a load of firewood once a year, defrayed out of the rents of the said farm. At the survey in 1535, the revenue of this hospital was valued at £10 clear of all deductions.

The Paper Mills or Rush Mills, on the river Nene, were rebuilt after being burned down in 1847, at a cost of about £4000, by the Norwich Insurance Company. These premises are noted for the manufacture of paper used for the Government stamps, the water being peculiarly suited for that purpose. Several thousand pounds worth of paper had, fortunately, just been removed to the Government offices in London when the premises took fire in 1847. These mills, which are worked by steam and water power, are the property of Dr Faircloth, and the business is carried on under the name of Wise & Co. The river Nene is crossed near these mills by a handsome cast-iron bridge, about 61 feet long, and 25 feet broad, designed and executed by Barwell & Co. of Northampton. It was erected by the county in 1842 at a cost of nearly £2500. Nun Mill is also an extensive establishment on the river Nene in this parish; the fall of the river from these mills to Peterborough is about 107 feet.

Charities. The charity estates, under the management of J. A. S. Bouvrie Esq,, and other trustees, consist of 14a. 3r. 38p. in the parish of Wootton, which lets for about £42 a year ; a close of 2a. 3r. 34p. in the same parish lets for nearly £20 a year; a piece of ground in Milton parish, containing 9a. 3r. 4p. lets for about £25 a year ; and a rent charge of £1, 6s. 8d. issuing out of lands in the parish of Collingtree. The ordinary course of application of the income is as follows :—The yearly sum of £15 or thereabouts, upon an average, is laid out in the purchase of bread, which is distributed among the poor on Easter Monday, when a sermon is preached, for which 10s. is paid to the vicar ; apprentices are put out as opportunities occur, generally three or four in the course of a year, with premiums varying from £15 to £20, for children bound to masters out of the parish, and of £8 or £10 for children bound to masters within the parish, half the premium being paid at the commencement, and the remainder at the expiration of half the term of apprenticeship ; and the residue of the rents is laid out from time to time as is found convenient, in the purchace of shirts, shifts, and other articles of clothing given to all the poor persons in the parish, and sometimes in part in the purchase of coals, which are distributed in the like manner. John Clark, in 1762, bequeathed ,£150, which was laid out in the purchase of £270, 3 per cent, consols, yielding a dividend of £8, 2s. a year, which is expended, in compliance with the will of the testator, in purchasing good warm coats for poor men. Mrs Elizabeth Murray, of Northampton, left, in 1775, the sum of £300, with which was purchased £348, 6s. 7d. 3 per cent, annuities, yielding a dividend of ,£10, 8s. 10d. a year, which is expended in clothing four poor widows; and there is an annual sum of 14s. payable out of a field in Great Houghton parish, in the possession of Mr Bouverie, the origin of which is unknown. In lieu of this, Mr Bouverie provides a coat of greater price for a poor man, annually. In 1872 the late Mrs Sarah Forbes left a legacy of £100 to be distributed amongst the poor of Hardingstone, and £100 to the Hardingstone Friendly Society


Post Office-.—Wall Letter-Box, cleared for Northampton at 6.30 P.M. on week days.

Allbright John, beer retailer
Bates Jno Rose and Crown 
Boothey Thomas, coal dealer 
Cox Chas. tailor & coal dealer 
Eldridge Charles, grocer, and Northampton
Facer, Joseph, shoemaker Ford, Richard, shoemaker
Gilling, Chas. Faukner, butcher, and Cotton End
Goode, Thomas, milkman Grant Wm, baker & shopkeeper
Groocock Mrs Elizabeth, shopkeeper
Hobbs Frederick, tailor 
James Eli, butcher and beer retailer
Leonard Thomas, bricklayer 
Rice Wm., farmer, Brier Hill, and ironfounder at Northampton
Rickards Wm. jun. carpenter 
Rogers John, baker and shop-keeper
Spencer Thomas, foreman 
Storer John, curriers’ clerk 
Vickers Geo. Tomalin, schoolmaster, ho. Northampton 
Wareing John, builder and carpenter
Webb John, beer retailer 
Webb Thomas, shopkeeper 
Welch William, railway inspector
White Wm. shoemr. and inspector of nuisances.

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