Higham Ferrers Genealogical Records

Higham Ferrers Birth & Baptism Records

England & Wales Birth Index (1837-2006)

An index to births registered throughout England & Wales. Provides a reference to order copies of birth certificates from the national registrar of births, marriages and deaths – the General Register Office.

FreeBMD Births (1837-1957)

An index to births registered at the central authority for England & Wales. The index provides the area where the birth was registered, mother's maiden name from September 1911 and a reference to order a birth certificate.

British Army Birth Index (1761-2005)

An index to births registered to British Army personal at home and abroad.

Birth Notices from The Times (1983-2003)

An index to over 100,000 birth and christening notices from The London Times.

London Clandestine Marriages & Baptisms (1667-1754)

Registers of clandestine marriages and baptisms from the Fleet Prison, King's Bench Prison, the Mint and the May Fair Chapel. These events were recorded to avoid church regulations. Although the majority of records related to people in the London area, they cover people from throughout Britain and in some cases abroad.

Higham Ferrers Marriage & Divorce Records

England & Wales Marriage Index (1837-2008)

An index to marriages registered throughout England & Wales. This is the only national marriage index that allows you to search by both spouse's names. Provides a reference to order copies of marriage certificates from the national registrar of births, marriages and deaths – the General Register Office.

Lincoln Diocese Marriage Licences (1598-1628)

Abstracts of documents grating couples a right to marry in church by licences issued by Lincoln Diocese. The abstracts list name, condition, occupation, residence, age and other details.

Lincoln Diocese Marriage Bonds & Allegations (1628-1837)

An index to over 40,000 marriage allegations issued by the Diocese of Lincoln, its Dean and Chapters and Prebendal Courts.

Vicar General’s Office Marriage Licences (1600-1679)

Abstracts of marriage licences granted by the Vicar-General in London. These licences could be used to marry in any church in the Province of Canterbury.

Northamptonshire Marriage Index (1538-1975)

An index to over 95,000 marriages in around 500 Northamptonshire parishes.

Higham Ferrers Death & Burial Records

England & Wales Death Index (1837-2006)

An index to deaths registered throughout England & Wales. Provides a reference to order copies of death certificates from the national registrar of births, marriages and deaths – the General Register Office.

Blessed Virgin, Higham Ferrers Burial Records (1743-1886)

Burial records covering those buried at Blessed Virgin, Higham Ferrers_. This resource is an index and may not include all the details that were recorded in the burial registers from which they were extracted.

Northamptonshire Burial Index (1527-2006)

An index to over 400,000 burials in 300 Northamptonshire parishes.

Deceased Online (1629-Present)

Images of millions of pages from cemetery and crematoria registers, photographs of memorials, cemetery plans and more. Records can be search by a name index.

FreeBMD Deaths (1837-1964)

An index to deaths registered at the central authority for England and Wales. To 1866, only the locality the death was registered in was listed. Age was listed until 1969, when the deceased's date of birth was listed. Provides a reference to order a death certificate, which has further details.

Higham Ferrers Church Records

Lincoln Episcopal Records (1571-1584)

Records relating to the administration of Lincoln Diocese. Includes act books and bishop's registers.

State of the Church: Eliz I & James I (1571-1606)

Extracts from the records of the Diocese of Lincoln, including visitations, subsidy rolls, clergy lists, records relating to papists and non-conformists etc.

Rotuli Ricardi Gravesend (1259-1279)

Records relating to the administration of Lincoln Diocese.

Rotuli Hugonis de Welles, Vol. I (1186-1203)

Records relating to the administration of Lincoln Diocese.

Rotuli Hugonis de Welles, Vol. II (1186-1203)

Records relating to the administration of Lincoln Diocese.

Higham Ferrers Census & Population Lists

England, Wales, IoM & Channel Islands 1911 Census (1911)

The 1911 census provides details on an individual's age, residence, place of birth, relations and occupation. FindMyPast's index allows searches on for multiple metrics including occupation and residence.

1901 British Census (1901)

The 1901 census provides details on an individual's age, residence, place of birth, relations and occupation. FindMyPast's index allows searches on for multiple metrics including occupation and residence.

1891 British Census (1891)

The 1891 census provides details on an individual's age, residence, place of birth, relations and occupation. FindMyPast's index allows searches on for multiple metrics including occupation and residence.

1881 British Census (1881)

The 1881 census provides details on an individual's age, residence and occupation. FindMyPast's index allows for searches on multiple metrics including occupation and residence.

British Phone Books (1880-1984)

Directories containing over 275,000,000 entries. As well as name, address and phone number, occupations are often recorded. A useful census substitute.

Higham Ferrers Wills & Probate Records

England & Wales National Probate Calendar (1858-1966)

Searchable index and original images of over 12.5 million probates and administrations granted by civil registries. Entries usually include the testator's name, date of death, date of probate and registry. Names of relations may be given.

Administrations in the Archdeaconry of Northampton (1667-1710)

A searchable transcript of abstracts of administrations granted by the Archdeaconry of Northampton.

Archdeaconry of Northampton Probate Index (1510-1652)

An index to early wills proved by the Archdeaconry of Northampton. Contains the name of the testator, year of probate, residence and a reference, which can be used to order a copy of a will.

Early Lincoln Wills (1280-1547)

Abstracts of early wills, naming legates etc., from the Diocese of Lincoln, covering parts of Lincolnshire and surrounding counties.

Consistory Court of Lincoln Probate Index (1601-1652)

Index of wills proved in the Consistory Court of Lincoln. Provides a reference which can be used to locate records.

Newspapers Covering Higham Ferrers

Northampton Mercury (1770-1904)

A local newspaper including news from the Northampton district, business notices, family announcements, legal & governmental proceedings, advertisements and more.

Northants Evening Telegraph (1900-1901)

A record of births, marriages, deaths, legal, political, organisation and other news from the Northamptonshire area. Original pages of the newspaper can be viewed and located by a full text search.

Huntingdon, Bedford & Peterborough Gazette (1818-1839)

A regional newspaper recording events in the counties of Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Huntingdonshire and Northamptonshire. It includes family announcements, reports on legal proceedings and business notices & advertisements.

The Daily Herald (1926)

A London newspaper that later became The Sun.

Pall Mall Gazette (1865-1900)

A gentleman's magazine published in London, but covering news from all England, Wales and further afield.

Higham Ferrers Obituaries

iAnnounce Obituaries (2006-Present)

The UKs largest repository of obituaries, containing millions of searchable notices.

United Kingdom and Ireland Obituary Collection (1882-Present)

A growing collection currently containing over 425,000 abstracts of obituaries with reference to the location of the full obituary.

Quakers Annual Monitor (1847-1848)

A collection of 364 obituaries of Quakers from the British Isles. The volume was published in 1849 and includes obituaries of those who died in late 1847 through 1848.

Musgrave's Obituaries (1421-1800)

This transcribed and searchable work by Sir William Musgrave contains 10,000s of brief obituaries. The work is a reference point for other works containing information on an individual.

British Medical Journal (1849-Present)

A text index and digital images of all editions of a journal containing medical articles and obituaries of medical practitioners.

Higham Ferrers Cemeteries

Northamptonshire Church Monuments (1300-1900)

Photographs and descriptions of Northamptonshire's most illustrious church monuments, often featuring effigies, medieval inscriptions and heraldic devices.

Deceased Online (1629-Present)

Images of millions of pages from cemetery and crematoria registers, photographs of memorials, cemetery plans and more. Records can be search by a name index.

Billion Graves (1200-Present)

Photographs and transcriptions of millions of gravestones from cemeteries around the world.

Mausolea and Monuments (1500-Present)

Profiles of several hundred mausolea found in the British Isles.

Maritime Memorials (1588-1950)

Several thousand transcribed memorials remembering those connected with the nautical occupations.

Higham Ferrers Directories & Gazetteers

Kelly's Directory of Northamptonshire (1914)

A comprehensive place-by-place gazetteer, listing key historical and contemporary facts. Contains details on local schools, churches, government and other institutions. Also contains a list of residents and businesses for each place.

Kelly's Directory of Northamptonshire (1910)

A comprehensive place-by-place gazetteer, listing key historical and contemporary facts. Contains details on local schools, churches, government and other institutions. Also contains a list of residents and businesses for each place.

Kelly's Directory of Northamptonshire (1906)

A comprehensive place-by-place gazetteer, listing key historical and contemporary facts. Contains details on local schools, churches, government and other institutions. Also contains a list of residents and businesses for each place.

Kelly's Directory of Beds, Hunts & Northants (1903)

A comprehensive place-by-place gazetteer, listing key historical and contemporary facts. Contains details on local schools, churches, government and other institutions. Also contains a list of residents and businesses for each place.

Kelly's Directory of Northamptonshire (1898)

A directory of settlements in Northamptonshire detailing their history, agriculture, topography, economy and leading commercial, professional and private residents.

Act Books of the Archbishops of Canterbury (1663-1859)

An index to names and places mentioned in act books of the Province of Canterbury. It records various licences and conferments, such as marriage and physician licences.

Home Office Prison Calendars (1868-1929)

Records of over 300,000 prisoners held by quarter sessions in England & Wales. Records may contain age, occupation, criminal history, offence and trial proceedings.

Central Criminal Court After-trial Calendars (1855-1931)

Over 175,000 records detailing prisoner's alleged offences and the outcome of their trial. Contains genealogical information.

Prison Hulk Registers (1802-1849)

From the late 18th century many prisoners in Britain were kept on decommissioned ships known as hulks. This collection contains nearly 50 years of registers for various ships. Details given include: prisoner's name, date received, age, year of birth and conviction details.

England & Wales Criminal Registers (1791-1892)

This collection lists brief details on 1.55 million criminal cases in England and Wales between 1791 and 1892. Its primary use is to locate specific legal records, which may give further details on the crime and the accused. Details may include the accused's age, nature of crime, location of trial and sentence. Early records can contain a place of birth.

Higham Ferrers Taxation Records

Land Tax Redemption (1798-1811)

This vital collection details almost 1.2 million properties eligible for land tax. Records include the name of the landowner, occupier, amount assessed and sometimes the name and/or description of the property. It is a useful starting point for locating relevant estate records and establishing the succession of tenancies and freehold. Most records cover 1798, but some extend up to 1811.

Duties Paid for Apprentices' Indentures (1710-1811)

An index linked to original images of registers recording apprenticeship indentures. Details are given on the trade and nature of apprenticeship. Many records list the parents of the apprentice.

Red Book of the Exchequer (1066-1230)

A compilation of records from the Court of the Exchequer primarily dealing with taxes and land. These records are in Latin.

Index to Death Duty Registers (1796-1903)

An index to wills and administrations that incurred a death duty tax. The index can be used to order documents that give a brief abstract of the will and details on the duty. It can be used as a make-shift probate index.

Testa De Nevill (1198-1251)

An account of knights' fees and serjeanties in the reigns of Henry the Third and Edward the First.

Higham Ferrers Land & Property Records

Land Tax Redemption (1798-1811)

This vital collection details almost 1.2 million properties eligible for land tax. Records include the name of the landowner, occupier, amount assessed and sometimes the name and/or description of the property. It is a useful starting point for locating relevant estate records and establishing the succession of tenancies and freehold. Most records cover 1798, but some extend up to 1811.

UK Poll Books and Electoral Rolls (1538-1893)

Poll books record the names of voters and the direction of their vote. Until 1872 only landholders could vote, so not everyone will be listed. Useful for discerning an ancestor's political leanings and landholdings. The collection is supplemented with other records relating to the vote.

Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem (1236-1291)

Abstracts of records detailing the estates and families of deceased tenants from the reigns of Henry III and Edward I.

Red Book of the Exchequer (1066-1230)

A compilation of records from the Court of the Exchequer primarily dealing with taxes and land. These records are in Latin.

Return of Owners of Land England (1873)

A list of landowners in England giving their primary residence, extent of their land and estimated yearly rental.

Higham Ferrers Occupation & Business Records

Midlands Mines Index (1896)

Profiles of coal and metal mines in the Midlands region of England.

Northamptonshire Baptist Churches (1814)

A list of Baptist churches in the county with the name of their pastor.

Beds, Hunts & Northamptonshire Baptist Ministers (1753-1835)

A non-exhaustive list of Baptist churches and their ministers in the counties.

Lost Pubs of Northamptonshire (1750-Present)

Short histories of former public houses, with photographs and lists of owners or operators.

Teacher's Registration Council Registers (1870-1948)

A name index linked to original images of registers recording the education and careers of teachers in England & Wales.

Higham Ferrers School & Education Records

Teacher's Registration Council Registers (1870-1948)

A name index linked to original images of registers recording the education and careers of teachers in England & Wales.

Oxford University Alumni (1500-1886)

A name index linked to original images of short biographies for over 120,000 Oxford University students. This is a particularly useful source for tracing the ancestry of the landed gentry.

Cambridge University Alumni (1261-1900)

A transcript of a vast scholarly work briefly chronicling the heritage, education and careers of over 150,000 Cambridge University students. This is a particularly useful source for tracing the ancestry of the landed gentry.

Cambridge Alumni Database (1198-1910)

A searchable database containing over 90,000 note-form biographies for students of Cambridge University.

Dissenting Academy Database (1660-1860)

Histories of schools operated by non-conformist clergy.

Pedigrees & Family Trees Covering Higham Ferrers

British & Irish Royal & Noble Genealogies (491-1603)

Extensive and impeccably sourced genealogies for British, Irish & Manx royalty and nobility. Scroll down to 'British Isles' for relevant sections.

FamilySearch Community Trees (6000 BC-Present)

A searchable database of linked genealogies compiled from thousands of reputable and not-so-reputable sources. Contains many details on European gentry & nobility, but covers many countries outside Europe and people from all walks of life.

Visitation of England and Wales (1700-1899)

Over 600 pedigrees for English and Welsh families who had a right to bear a coat of arms.

Ancestry Member Family Trees (6000 BC-Present)

A compilation of lineage-linked family trees submitted by Ancestry users. The database contains over 2 billion individuals and is searchable by numerous metrics.

Debrett's Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage (1921)

A dictionary of families elevated to the peerage of Great Britain & Ireland. It includes genealogies and biographical details.

Higham Ferrers Royalty, Nobility & Heraldry Records

Northamptonshire Church Monuments (1300-1900)

Photographs and descriptions of Northamptonshire's most illustrious church monuments, often featuring effigies, medieval inscriptions and heraldic devices.

British & Irish Royal & Noble Genealogies (491-1603)

Extensive and impeccably sourced genealogies for British, Irish & Manx royalty and nobility. Scroll down to 'British Isles' for relevant sections.

FamilySearch Community Trees (6000 BC-Present)

A searchable database of linked genealogies compiled from thousands of reputable and not-so-reputable sources. Contains many details on European gentry & nobility, but covers many countries outside Europe and people from all walks of life.

Visitation of England and Wales (1700-1899)

Over 600 pedigrees for English and Welsh families who had a right to bear a coat of arms.

Knights of England (1127-1904)

The most comprehensive listing of Knights of the Crown, listing details where known to the order, date, place and reason for elevation.

Higham Ferrers Military Records

Northamptonshire WWI Memorials (1914-1918)

A list of names found on World War One monuments in Northamptonshire, with some service details.

Northamptonshire WWII Memorials (1914-1918)

A list of names found on World War Two monuments in Northamptonshire, with some service details.

Prisoners of War of British Army (1939-1945)

A searchable list of over 100,000 British Army POWs. Records contains details on the captured, their military career and where they were held prisoner.

British Prisoners of World War II (1939-1945)

Details on around 165,000 men serving in the British Army, Navy and Air Force who were held as prisoners during WWII.

British Army WWI Medal Rolls (1914-1920)

Index and original images of over 5 million medal index cards for British soldiers It can be searched by individual's name, Coprs, Unit and Regiment. Due to the loss of many WWI service records, this is the most complete source for British WWI soldiers

Higham Ferrers Immigration & Travel Records

Passenger Lists Leaving UK (1890-1960)

A name index connected to original images of passenger lists recording people travelling from Britain to destinations outside Europe. Records may detail a passenger's age or date of birth, residence, occupation, destination and more.

UK Incoming Passenger Lists (1878-1960)

A full index of passenger lists for vessels arriving in the UK linked to original images. Does not include lists from vessels sailing from European ports. Early entries can be brief, but later entries may include dates of births, occupations, home addresses and more. Useful for documenting immigration.

Alien Arrivals in England (1810-1869)

Details on over 600,000 non-British citizens arriving in England. Often includes age and professions. Useful for discerning the origin of immigrants.

17th Century British Emigrants to the U.S. (1600-1700)

Details on thousands of 17th century British immigrants to the U.S., detailing their origins and nature of their immigration.

Migration from North America to Britain & Ireland (1858-1870)

A list of over 40,000 passengers traveling from North America to the British Isles. Details of passengers may include: occupation, nationality, gender, age, martial status, class, destination, and details of the vessel they sailed on.

Higham Ferrers Histories & Books

Northamptonshire Church Photographs (1890-Present)

Photographs and images of churches in Northamptonshire.

Northamptonshire Windmills (1998-Present)

An index of windmills in the county, with brief notes and some photographs.

Geograph: Photos of the UK and Ireland (2005-Present)

A growing database including millions of photographs of the United Kingdom, Isle of Man and Ireland catalogued by latitude & longitude and OS grid reference.

Britain from Above (1919-1953)

Ariel photographs of the British Isles. Browsable by location.

UK & Ireland Historical Postcards (1885-1950)

Over 19,000 postcards depicting places in the UK & Ireland.

Biographical Directories Covering Higham Ferrers

Oxford University Alumni (1500-1886)

A name index linked to original images of short biographies for over 120,000 Oxford University students. This is a particularly useful source for tracing the ancestry of the landed gentry.

Cambridge University Alumni (1261-1900)

A transcript of a vast scholarly work briefly chronicling the heritage, education and careers of over 150,000 Cambridge University students. This is a particularly useful source for tracing the ancestry of the landed gentry.

Crockford's Clerical Directories (1868-1914)

Brief biographies of Anglican clergy in the UK.

The Concise Dictionary of National Biography (1654-1930)

A directory containing lengthy biographies of noted British figures. The work took over two decades to compile. Biographies can be searched by name and are linked to images of the original publication.

Church of England Clergy Database (1500-1835)

A database of CoE clergy, giving details of their education of service. Contains references to source documents. Also contains profiles of various church institutions.

Higham Ferrers Maps

Maps of Northamptonshire (1617-1900)

Digital images of maps covering the county.

Ordnance Survey 1:10 Maps (1840-1890)

Maps showing settlements, features and some buildings in mainland Britain.

A Vision of Britain (1190-Present)

A sprawling website setting out and describing the historical divisions of Britain. Also contains countless maps of various sorts. Covers the UK, Ireland, Isle of Man & has fleeting details of other localities.

Ordnance Survey One-inch to the Mile Maps (1945-1947)

High-quality digital reproductions of maps plotting, settlements, roads, natural features and other features in England & Wales.

Speed's Maps of Britain (1612)

County and national maps covering the British Isles, extracted from John Speed's landmark work, Theatre of the Empire of Great Britain.

Higham Ferrers Reference Works

England Research Guide (1538-Present)

A beginner’s guide to researching ancestry in England.

Parish Register Abstract (1538-1812)

Compiled in 1831, this book details the coverage and condition of parish registers in England & Wales.

Building History Research Guide (1066-Present)

A comprehensive guide to researching the history of buildings in the British Isles.

Surname Origins (1790-1911)

A service that provides advanced and custom surname maps for the British Isles and the US.

British Family Mottoes (1189-Present)

A dictionary of around 9,000 mottoes for British families who had right to bear arms.

Higham Ferrers Information

Civil & Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction:

Historical Description

Higham Ferrers, a clean and pleasant town, and; a royal manor, as part of the duchy of Lancaster. — The town is small, consisting of two streets, a lane, and what is here called the market-stead, in which stands a cross, bearing a cube at top, and on the four sides are carved in stone, different figures, emblematic of the crucifixion.

Higham Ferrers, which signifies the high house of Ferrers, derives its name from a castle on a rising ground, anciently in the possession of the family of Ferrers, though it was probably built by Thomas Earl of Lancaster, son of Edmund, younger son of Henry the Third, who obtained this lordship in the fiftieth year of that monarch’s reign. Northward of the church is a spot called the Castle-yard, the site of this castle, the ground of which is divided into two parts by a deep foss, running from east to west. — That on the south side contains about two acres; the only remains are hollows, heaps of ruins, and foundations of walls. The northern division, both in extent and strength, appears to have been the most considerable work; it comprises nearly four acres, having on the east side a very large moat, about fifty feet wide, and five hundred feet long, and another on the south side, of similar dimensions.

The church, which is a handsome structure, consists of a have, chancel, and aisles, to the south and north: those of the chancel are divided from it by screens, decorated with carving. On each side the chancel are ten stalls, on which are carved various fanciful and emblematic devices. At the west end of the nave, on a handsome embattled tower, is raised a finely-proportioned hexagonal spire, with crockets running up the angles; the greater part of the present spire is not two centuries old; for the old spire, and part of the tower falling down, it was rebuilt about the year 1632, by subscription, to which Archbishop Laud appears to have been a liberal contributor. The western front of the tower displays some curious architectural features: at the base is a pointed arched doorway, with two openings beneath flattened arches; the mouldings surrounding them are charged with sculpture of figures, foliage, &c. Immediately over these are ten circular compartments, or pannels of basso-relievo, representing so many passages from the New Testament.

Under an arch in the chancel is a free-stone monument, covered with a marble slab, having a brass inlaid, on which is the portrait of a man, bearing on his breast this inscription: "Fili Dei miserere mei." Above and on the sides were formerly 18 figures of apostles and saints, most of which hare, however, been sacrilegiously removed: round the frieze of the arch is, "Suscipiat me Christus, qui vocavit me. — In sinu Abrahe angeli deducant me: "and on the marble, beneath the portrait, "Hic jacet Laurentius de Sto Mauro, quondam rector istius ecce cujus anime propicietur Deus." In the north part of the chancel, upon a marble, is the following inscription, to the memory of the parents of Archbishop Chichele: "Hic jacet Thomas Chichele, qui obiit XXV° die mensis Februarii anno dni. millmo CCCC°, et Agnes uxor ejus, quorum animabus propitietur Deus. Amen. "

In the tenth year of Henry the Fifth, that prince granted a licence to Henry Chicheley, Archbishop of Canterbury, to found a college here (this being the place of his birth) for eight secular canons, four clerks, and six choristers. It was incorporated by the name of the College of the Blessed Virgin, St. Thomas of Canterbury, and St. Edward the Confessor. The bishop endowed it with lands in his life time, and these were increased after his death by his brothers Robert and William, Aldermen of London, his executors. By a survey made of the possessions in the year 1735, it was found to have an annual revenue of 204l. 5s. 6d. but after different deductions, one of which was a penny a day to thirteen poor persons to pray for the soul of the founder, a clear income remained of 156l. 2s. 7d. per annum. This, with the house, in the thirty-fifth year of Henry the Eighth’s reign, were surrendered to the crown. The building, which appears to have been in a quadrangular form, but now in a ruinous state, was some time since converted into an inn. A portion of the revenues form the endowment of the present free-school, the house of which is a handsome stone building, situated at the north-west end of the church.

Archbishop Chicheley also founded and endowed an alms or head house, for twelve poor men and one woman, with a daily allowance to each person of one penny: the house is situated on the south side of the church.

In the reign of Philip and Mary this town was made a borough and corporation, consisting of a mayor, steward, recorder, seven aldermen, thirteen capital burgesses, and commonality, with power to send one member to parliament; the elective franchise being in all the inhabitants, exclusive of such as receive alms.

The number of houses, by the returns under the population act, is 153, and inhabitants 877. From its formerly having had three weekly markets, it was probably then much more populous: those kept on Mondays and Thursdays have long been disused, and the remaining one, held on Saturdays, is much decayed.

About three miles to the south of Higham Ferrers, is Higham-park, which anciently belonged to the Dukes of Lancaster. The mansion erected by one of them was standing in Norden’s time, and then inhabited by a Mr. Pemberton, whose family had considerable possessions, and were seated here for several generations. The present demesne appears to have been originally imparked in the reign of Henry the Second, while the manor belonged to the crown; it was afterwards granted to the family of Long, and is now disparked.

Topography of Great Britain, written: 1802-29 by George Alexander Cooke

HIGHAM FERRERS is a municipal borough and a market town, originally a borough by prescription; it has a station on the Wellingborough and Higham Ferrers branch of the Midland Railway, and another station 1 mile north from the town, on the Northampton and Peterborough section of the London and North Western railway, 5 miles east from Wellingborough, 8 south-west from Thrapston, 10 south-east from Kettering, 16 east-north-east from Northampton and 65 from London. Irchester station on the main line of the Midland railway is 3 miles south-west. The parish is in the Eastern division of the county, petty sessional division, hundred, union and county court district of Wellingborough, rural deanery of Higham Ferrers (first portion), archdeaconry of Oakham and diocese of Peterborough. The town chiefly consists of one street about a mile long with a market place, and is situated on a rocky height near the navigable river Nen or Nene, and on the road from Bedford to Kettering; in Domesday it is called “Higham,” and takes its after-name from the Earls Ferrers, who were its lords; Roman pottery and remains of buildings have been found here. The town was incorporated, prior to the time of King John, but the earliest existing charter is that of 2 & 3 Philip and Mary (1555—6), and this charter was confirmed 36 Chas. II. (1684—5). The corporation formerly consisted of a mayor, 7 aldermen, 13 capital burgesses, a recorder and deputy recorder, but under the provisions of the “Municipal Corporations Act, 1883” (46 and 47 Vict. c. 18), the corporation was dissolved and the borough received a new Charter of Incorporation, June, 1885, and is now governed by a mayor, 4 aldermen and 12 councillors. The town is lighted with gas by a company; there is no public water supply. The mayor and corporation walk in procession to church twice a year, when a, bidding prayer is used and a special sermon is preached by the vicar, who is also chaplain to the mayor. The town formerly sent one member to Parliament, but was disfranchised by the Reform Act of 1832. The church of St. Mary, a large and beautiful structure, formerly collegiate, and supposed to have been built between 1289 and 1337, is in the Early English and later styles, and consists of choir, double nave with clerestory on each of the outer sides, north and south aisles, south and west porches, severed chapels and an embattled western tower with pinnacles and an octagonal crocketed spire rising to the height of 170 feet, and containing a clock and 8 bells: the carved work of the inner west doorway is much admired: the choir retains a screen of carved oak, some stalls and a double piscina: the eastern windows, one of which has a niche above it, are very fine: the font is of Early English date: in the north chantry chapel is an altar tomb with a fine canopy and super-canopy, and bearing on the slab a full-length brass effigy of an ecclesiastic and an invocatory inscription to Laurence St. Maur, rector, ob. 1337; at the sides of the canopy are niches with figures of saints, four of which on the north side are now lost: on the breast of the figure is the legend, “Fili Dei, Miserere mei;” on another marble slab is an elegant cross fleury, with the Deity in the centre, evangelistic symbols at the angles and an inscription at the foot, to Thomas Chichele, ob. 25th February, 1400, and Agnes (Pyncheon), his wife, the father and mother of Archbishop Chichele; near this are two fine effigies in brass of a man in a loose robe with his feet 00 a lion, and a woman in a mantle and veil, commemorating William Chichele, sheriff and alderman of London, ob. 1425, and Beatrice (Barret), his wife; there remain 12 English verses, but the other inscription, formerly below, is lost; there are also brass effigies with invocations from the Latin Litany, and an inscription in English to William Thorpe, mercer, ob. 5 Oct. 1504, and Maryon, his widow, with 12 children: in the choir is a large slab with the brass effigy of a man in a furred and ornamented robe, and below an invocatiry inscription in Latin to Richard Wylleys, warden of Archbishop Chichele’s College here, ob. c. 1523; north of this is the brass effigy of a female in a loose robe, with inscription in Latin to Edith, widow of John Chaunceler, merchant, of Kens-ham, c. 1435; near the entrance to the south chapel is the brass effigy of an ecclesiastic, with a Latin inscription to Henry Denton, chaplain of Chelston, ob. 18 Feb. 1498: in the north aisle is a brass effigy, representing Arthur Sotheryn, ob. 1518, and there are two other brass effigies of civilians, both c. 1540, but without inscriptions: the church is 119 feet in length by 69 feet wide and was thoroughly restored in 1864, at a cost of £6,000: the churchyard was enlarged in the year 1870, at a cost of £228 and new iron gates placed at the entrance at further cost of £50: an organ was placed in the church in the year 1877, at a cost of £680: in 1884 a beautiful reredos of walnut was set up, and the chancel new floored; and in 1885 the east window was filled with stained glass by W. H. Pope esq. and Mrs.-Pope: and there is a memorial window, erected in 1897 by Dr. Crew, to the Rev. Mr. Dixon. The register dates from the year 1573. The living is a vicarage united to that of Chelveston, joint net yearly value £230, including 66 acres of glebe, with residence, in the gift of G. C. Wentworth-Fitzwilliam esq. and held since 1889 by the Rev. James Dun B.A. of University College, Durham, and rural dean. The vicarage house has been rebuilt, but the room originally occupied by the warden of the Bede House, and containing some oak carving, still remains. There is a Wesleyan Methodist chapel. The Town Hall, erected in 1808, is a small building of stone, in a very plain style, and contains some armour and a breast plate popularly known as “John of Gaunt’s,” formerly kept in the lady chapel of the church. The chief trade is shoe making. The markets used to be held thrice a week, but were discontinued in the early part of the present century, until Oct. 1888, when a weekly market was established and is held every Monday. Of the castle once standing here, only part of the earthworks now remains. Henry Chichele, Archbishop of Canterbury 1414—43, and founder of All Souls College, Oxford, was born here about 1362, and in 1415 founded in this place a college for a master and 7 canons, dedicating it to SS. Mary and Thomas the Martyr, and St. Edward the Confessor, and the existing church then became collegiate, but the college and parish used distinct portions. At the dissolution of the monasteries the college was suppressed, its revenues being then estimated at £156 yearly, but the property was regranted to the corporation; the remains of this college, consisting of portions of the court with the gateway, still stand in the main street of the town, and one of the walls bears a curious sun-dial. The Bede House, an ancient building in the Perpendicular style, on the south side of the churchyard, restored in the year 1854, chiefly at the expense of Earl Fitzwilliam, was also founded by Archbishop Chichele; it is now used as a Sunday school and for lectures; the old Refectory, now the Grammar school, is also situated in the churchyard. Of the ancient Hospital of St. James there are no remains. There are two ancient crosses, one of stone carved with oak leal foliage, in the churchyard, and a monolithic cross of stone in the Market square. From Archbishop Chichele’s charity twelve poor men and one woman receive one penny per day and other gratuities. Newman’s charity of about £160 yearly, founded in 1855 by William Newman of this place and derived from Consols, is for six old women, inhabitants of the parish, who occupy six houses erected by the corporation in accordance with his will; they receive £5 4s. each quarterly. A sum of £9 yearly, arising from Latham’s, Glazebrook’s, Sanders’ and Marshall’s charities, is distributed. G. C. Wentworth-Fitzwilliam esq. lord of the manor, and the vicar are the principal landowners. The soil is mixed; subsoil, chiefly clay, limestone and ironstone. The chief crops are wheat, barley and beans. The parish contains 1,931 acres of land and 14 of water; rateable value, £6,323; had a population in 1891 of 1,810.

Schools:-

A School Board of 5 members was formed July 17, 1871; George Stewart Mason, clerk to the board.

Board, built, with master’s residence, in 1873, at a cost of £2,500, for 250 children, & enlarged in 1886 at a further cost of about £1,200, to hold 400 children; new infant schools built in 1897, at a cost of £2,200, to hold 200; average attendance, 390.

Kelly's Directory of Northamptonshire (1898)

Surnames Found in Higham Ferrers

RankSurnameNo. of People% of Population
1Smith543.57
2Parker503.30
3Pack332.18
4Miller281.85
5Brown271.78
6Patenall241.59
7Houghton241.59
8Thompson231.52
9Shelton231.52
10Bates221.45
11Wright211.39
12Draper201.32
13Flawn191.25
14Randall191.25
15Sanders191.25
16Bailey181.19
17Allen171.12
18Lamb161.06
19Hale161.06
20Irons161.06
21Evans161.06
22Groome150.99
23Blackwell150.99
24Middleton150.99
25Robinson150.99
26Kelsby140.92
27Mason140.92
28Cox140.92
29Gadsby130.86
30Church120.79
31White120.79
32Wagstaff120.79
33Baxter110.73
34Lawrence110.73
35Linnett100.66
36Chambers100.66
37Sargent100.66
38West100.66
39Newman100.66
40Driver100.66
41Wilson100.66
42Norman100.66
43Partridge100.66
44Richardson100.66
45Martin100.66
46Felce90.59
47Fletton90.59
48Perkins90.59
49Simpson90.59
50Warner80.53
51Underwood80.53
52Groom80.53
53Strachan80.53
54Dix80.53
55Coleman80.53
56Kilsby80.53
57Bettles70.46
58Lucas70.46
59Morris70.46
60Horne70.46
61Crew70.46
62Knibbs70.46
63Nottingham70.46
64Nurrish70.46
65Lyne70.46
66Jester70.46
67Clarke70.46
68Taylor70.46
69Eaton70.46
70Anderson70.46
71Mitchell70.46
72Hilsby70.46
73Lovell70.46
74Measures60.40
75Hooper60.40
76Simmonds60.40
77Dearlove60.40
78Mayes60.40
79Millard60.40
80Cherry60.40
81Denton60.40
82Dickens60.40
83Kingston60.40
84Wilby60.40
85Turner60.40
86George60.40
87Dawes50.33
88Cunnington50.33
89Scholes50.33
90Cowley50.33
91Stanton50.33
92Compton50.33
93Hawkes50.33
94Ekins50.33
95Hughes50.33
96Charles50.33
97Nichols50.33
98Clements50.33
99Standley50.33
100Bayes50.33