Alnwick Genealogical Records

Alnwick 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.

Durham Diocese Bishop's Transcripts (1700-1900)

Browsable images of summaries of registers of baptisms, marriages and burials.

Northumberland Baptism Transcripts (1578-1918)

Transcriptions of baptisms in Northumberland covering around 50% of Anglican parishes.

Northumberland BMD (1837-2010)

An index to births, marriages and deaths recorded in the county. Includes a facility to order certificates.

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.

Alnwick 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.

St. Paul, Alnwick Marriage Registers (1846-1852)

The Marriage registers of St. Paul, Alnwick, document marriages 1846 to 1852. Details given on the bride and groom may include their age, father's name, marital status and residence.

St. Michael, Alnwick Marriage Registers (1813-1841)

Marriage records from people who married at St. Michael, Alnwick between 1813 and 1841. Lists an individual's abode, marital status and more.

Durham Diocese Bishop's Transcripts (1700-1900)

Browsable images of summaries of registers of baptisms, marriages and burials.

Northumberland Marriage Index (1540-1862)

An index to marriages from over 100 churches in the county of Northumberland.

Alnwick 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.

St Michael, Alnwick Burial Registers (1646-1812)

Burial records for people buried at St Michael, Alnwick between 1646 and 1812. Lists the deceased's name, residence and age. Some records may contain the names of relations, cause of death and more.

St Michael, Alnwick Burial Records (1646-1812)

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

Durham Diocese Bishop's Transcripts (1700-1900)

Browsable images of summaries of registers of baptisms, marriages and burials.

Durham Diocese Marriage Bonds (1692-1900)

Digital images of marriage bonds ordered by year, not indexed. These bonds record intention to marry and may include details not recorded in parish registers.

Alnwick Church Records

Alnwick Parish Registers (1646-1852)

The parish registers of Alnwick are a collection of books essentially documenting births, marriages and deaths. Their records can assist tracing a family as far back as 1646.

Durham Diocese Bishop's Transcripts (1700-1900)

Browsable images of summaries of registers of baptisms, marriages and burials.

Northumberland Misc Records (1570-2005)

A wide collection of records, particularly those created by the government and church, such as electoral rolls, court of plea records, petty sessions and parish records.

Northumberland Catholic Documents (1665-1799)

Contains a register of Roman Catholic estates in Northumberland and the correspondence of Miles Stapylton, a Catholic from a gentry family.

Hexham & Newcastle Catholic Diocese (2000-Present)

Photographs and profiles of Catholic churches in the Diocese.

Alnwick 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.

Northumberland Misc Records (1570-2005)

A wide collection of records, particularly those created by the government and church, such as electoral rolls, court of plea records, petty sessions and parish records.

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.

Alnwick 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.

Diocese of Durham Probate Index (1527-1858)

An index to surviving wills, bonds and inventories proved by the Bishop of Durham's consistory court. The index contains name, occupation, residence, various dates and financial details.

North Country Wills (1383-1558)

Transcripts of several hundred wills, contains an index to people named within.

Prerogative Court of Canterbury Wills (PPV) (1384-1858)

A index to testators whose will was proved in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury. They principally cover those who lived in the lower two thirds of Britain, but contain wills for residents of Scotland, Ireland, British India and other countries. A copy of each will may be purchased for digital download.

Prerogative Court of Canterbury Wills (Subscription) (1384-1858)

An index and digital images of PCC wills, available on a subscription basis.

Newspapers Covering Alnwick

Northern Echo (1870-1900)

Britain's most popular provincial newspaper, covering local & national news, family announcements, government & local proceedings and more.

Northumberland and Durham Advertiser (1855)

A short-lived regional newspaper covering news in Northumberland and Durham.

Northern Star (1838-1852)

A chartist newspaper published in Leeds that focused on affairs in Northumberland, Yorkshire and Lancashire. The paper focuses on politics, but does contain a limited number of family announcements

Northern Liberator (1837-1840)

A chartist paper published at Newcastle-upon-Tyne. The paper covered working class issues.

The Daily Herald (1926)

A London newspaper that later became The Sun.

Alnwick 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.

Alnwick Cemeteries

Northumberland Church Monuments (1300-1900)

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

Northumberland Monumental Inscriptions (1700-1985)

An index to vital details engraved on 1000s of gravestones and other monuments across the county of Northumberland.

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.

Alnwick Directories & Gazetteers

Kelly's Directory of Northumberland (1921)

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

Kelly's Directory of Northumberland (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 Northumberland (1894)

A directory of residents and businesses; with a description of each settlement, containing details on its history, public institutions, churches, postal services, governance and more.

Kelly's Directory of Northumberland (1890-1938)

A collection of directories detailing the history, agriculture, topography, economy and leading commercial, professional and private residents of Northumberland.

Kelly's Directory of Northumberland (1879)

An exhaustive gazetteer, containing details of settlement's history, governance, churches, postal services, public institutions and more. Also contains lists of residents with their occupation and address.

Northumberland Misc Records (1570-2005)

A wide collection of records, particularly those created by the government and church, such as electoral rolls, court of plea records, petty sessions and parish records.

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.

Alnwick 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.

Alnwick Land & Property Records

Northumberland Catholic Documents (1665-1799)

Contains a register of Roman Catholic estates in Northumberland and the correspondence of Miles Stapylton, a Catholic from a gentry family.

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.

Alnwick Occupation & Business Records

Durham & Northumberland Mining Images (1844-Present)

Photographs and other images of Northumberland & Durham collieries.

Collieries of The North (1869-1991)

Profiles of collieries in the north of England, with employment statistics, profiles of those who died in the mines and photographs.

Folk Archive of The North East (1694-1950)

A searchable database of artifacts relating to the history of music in Northumberland.

Northern Mining Disasters (1705-1975)

Reports of mining distastes, includes lists of the deceased and photographs of monuments.

Smuggling on the East Coast (1600-1892)

An introduction to smuggling on the east coast of England, with details of the act in various regions.

Alnwick 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 Alnwick

Victoria County History: Northamptonshire (1086-1900)

A detailed history of the county's hundreds, parishes and religious houses.

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.

Alnwick Royalty, Nobility & Heraldry Records

Victoria County History: Northamptonshire (1086-1900)

A detailed history of the county's hundreds, parishes and religious houses.

Northumberland Church Monuments (1300-1900)

Photographs and descriptions of Northumberland'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.

Alnwick Military Records

4th Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers (1908-1918)

A detailed history of the battalion in the early 20th century. It includes photos, biographical details, battle reports and more.

North-East Diary (1939-1945)

A chronicle of happenings in the counties of Northumberland, Durham and Yorkshire relating to the war in Europe. Contains much detail on ship building.

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

Alnwick 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.

Alnwick Histories & Books

Victoria County History: Northamptonshire (1086-1900)

A detailed history of the county's hundreds, parishes and religious houses.

Tyne and Wear Photos & Images (2000 BC-2000)

A database of over 15,000 images relating to the Tyne & Wear area. It includes postcards, photos, paintings, ceramics, monuments and more.

A History of Northumberland (1066-1890)

Two volumes detailing the history and geology of Northumberland and some of its parishes.

North-East Diary (1939-1945)

A chronicle of happenings in the counties of Northumberland, Durham and Yorkshire relating to the war in Europe. Contains much detail on ship building.

Northumberland Church Photographs (1890-Present)

Photographs and images of churches in Northumberland.

Biographical Directories Covering Alnwick

Who's Who in Northern Mining (1852-1910)

Abstract biographies of people connected with mining in the North of England.

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.

Alnwick Maps

Maps of Northumberland (1616-1920)

Digital images of maps covering the county.

Collery Maps of The North (1807-1951)

A number of maps of northern England with the locations of collieries plotted.

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.

Alnwick 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.

Alnwick Information

Civil & Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction:

Historical Description

Alnwick, a handsome town, pleasantly situated on the north side of a hill near the River Alne, over which is a stone bridge, which though belonging to the public, was rebuilt by the late Duke of Northumberland, at the expence of near two thousand pounds, and in a very handsome Gothic stile. He also built another beautiful bridge of one arch, a little lower down. These two bridges serve as boundaries to the fine lawns that surround the castle, which is one of the principal seats of the ancient family of Percy, earls of Northumberland. The castle is situated on the south side of the River Alne, opposite the town, on an elevation that gives great dignity to its appearance, and in ancient times rendered it a most impregnable fortress. From some Roman mouldings found under the present walks, it is believed to have been founded in the time of the Romans, although no part of the original structure is now remaining. The dungeon, or keep, of the present castle, was evidently founded in the Saxon times, as it appears to have been a very strong fortress immediately after the Norman conquest; for in the reign of King William Rufus, it underwent a remarkable siege from Malcolm III. king of Scotland, who lost his life before it, as did also prince Edward his eldest son. The most authentic account of this event seems to be that given in the ancient chronicle of Alnwick Abbey; of which a copy is preserved in the British Museum. This informs us that the castle, although too strong to be taken by assault, being cut off from all hopes of succour, was on the point of surrendering, when one of the garrison undertook its rescue by the following stratagem. He rode forth completely armed, with the keys of the castle tied to the end of his spear, and presented himself in a suppliant manner before the king’s pavilion, as being come to surrender up the possession: Malcolm too hastily came forth to receive him, and suddenly received a mortal wound. The assailant escaped, by the fleetness of his horse, through the river, which was then swoln with rains. The chronicle adds that his name was Hammond, and that the place of his passage was long after him named Hammond’s Ford, probably where the bridge was afterwards built. Prince Edward, Malcolm’s eldest son, too incautiously advancing to revenge his father, received a mortal wound, of which he died three days after. The spot where Malcolm was slain was distinguished by a cross, which has been restored by the late most illustrious dutchess, who was lineally descended from this unfortunate king, by his daughter Queen Maud, wife of King Henry I. of England. In the following century, another king of Scotland was taken prisoner besieging this castle: this was William III. commonly called the Lion; who, having formed a blockade for some days, was surprised by a party of English, and taken prisoner early in the morning of July 12, 1174.

This castle, like many others in the North, was anciently ornamented with figures of warriors, distributed round the battlements, and therefore the present noble proprietors have allowed them to be continued, and have supplied some that had been destroyed, to shew what they once were; and, to shew that this is no innovation, they have retained the ancient ones, though defaced, which were placed on the top of the two octagon towers. From length of time, and the shocks it had sustained in ancient wars, this castle was become quite a ruin, when, by the death of Algernon, duke of Somerset, 1750, it devolved, together with all the estates of this great barony, &c. to the late duke of Northumberland; who, immediately began to repair the castle, and with the most consummate taste and judgment restored and embellished it, as much as possible, in the true Gothic stile; so that it may deservedly be considered as one of the noblest and most magnificent models of a great baronial castle. Nothing can he more striking than the effect at first entrance within the walls from the town, when, through a dark gloomy gateway of considerable length and depth, the eye suddenly emerges into one of the most splendid scenes that can be imagined; and is presented at once with the great body of the inner castle, surrounded with fair semicircular towers, gaily adorned with pinnacles, figures, battlements, &c. The impression is still farther strengthened by the successive entrance into the second and third courts, through great massy towers, till the stranger is conducted to the inner court, in the very centre of this great citadel. Here he enters to a most beautiful stair-case, of a very singular yet pleasing form, expanding like a fan: the cornice of the ceiling is enriched with a series of 120 escutcheons, displaying the principal quarterings and intermarriages of the Percy family.

The first room that presents to the left is the saloon, a most beautiful apartment, designed in the most elegant stile of Gothic architecture; to this succeeds the drawing-room, consisting of one large oval, with a semi-circular projection or bow-window, this room is 46 feet 7 inches long, 35 feet 4 inches wide, and 22 feet in height.

The great dining-room, which was one of the first executed, is of the purest Gothic, with niches and other ornaments, that render it a very noble model of a Baronial Hall. In this room was an irregularity in the form, which has been managed with great skill and judgment, and made productive of beauty and convenience. This was a large bow- window, not in the centre, but towards the upper end, which now affords a very agreeable recess when the family dine alone, or for a second table at the great public dinners. This apartment is 53 feet 9 inches long, 20 feet 10 inches wide, (exclusive of the circular recess, which is 19 feet in diameter) and 26 feet 9 inches in height.

The library is a very fine room, in the form of a parallelogram, properly fitted up for books, and ornamented with stucco-work in a very rich Gothic stile. This apartment leads to the chapel, which fills all the upper space of the middle ward. Here the highest display of Gothic ornaments, in the greatest beauty, has been very properly exhibited; and the several parts of the chapel have been designed after the most perfect models of Gothic excellence. The great east window is taken from one of the finest in York Minster, The ceiling is borrowed from one of Kind’s college, in Cambridge, and the walls are painted after the great church in Milan. Exclusive of a beautiful circular recess for the family, the chapel is 50 feet long, 21 feet 4 inches wide, and 22 feet high.

Returning from the chapel, through the library, and passing another great staircase, a passage or gallery leads to two great state bed-chambers, each 30 feet long, most nobly furnished, with double dressing rooms, closets, and other conveniences, all in the Highest elegance and magnificence; but as conformable as possible to the general style of the castle. From these chambers a passage opens to the grand staircase.

"To remount back (says Mr. Grose) to the history of the proprietors of Alnwick Castle: before the Norman Conquest, this castle, together with the barony of Alnwick, and all its dependencies, had belonged to a great baron, named Gilbert Tyson, who was slain fighting along with Harold. His son William had an only daughter, whom the Conqueror gave in marriage to one of his Norman chieftains named Ivo do Vescy, together with all the inheritance of her house. From this period the castle and barony of Alnwick continued in the possession of the Lords de Vescy, down to the reign of Edward the First, in the 25th year of whose reign, Anno Domini 1297, died Lord William de Vescy, the last baron of this family; who having no legitimate issue, did, by the king’s licence, infeoff Anthony Bee, bishop of Durham, and titular patriarch of Jerusalem, in the castle and barony of Alnwick. At the same time William gave to a natural son of his, named also William de Vescy, the manor of Hoton Buscel, in Yorkshire; which he settled absolutely on him and his heirs; appointing him as he was then a minor, two guardians, whose names were Thomas Plaiz, and Geoffrey Gyppysmer Clerk (See Dugdale’s Baronetage. )

" This appointment, as also the very words of the deed of infeoffment (still extant), in which the conveyance is to the bishop absolute and unconditional, confute a report too hastily taken up by some historians, that this castle and barony were only given to the bishop in trust for William the Bastard above mentioned, and that he was guilty of a violation of this trust in disposing of them otherwise.

"In the bishop’s possession the castle and barony of Alnwick continued 12 years, and were then by him granted and sold to the Lord Henry de Percy, one of the greatest barons in the North, who had distinguished himself very much in the wars of Scotland, and whose family had enjoyed large possessions in Yorkshire from the time of the Conquest. The bishop’s deed bears date 19th Nov. 1309, and was no clandestine or obscure transaction, for the witnesses to it were some of the greatest personages in the kingdom, viz. Henry Lacy, earl of Lincoln; Robert de Umfreville, earl of Angus; Robert, Lord Clifford, &c. The grant was afterwards confirmed by the King at Sheene, 23rd of January 1310, (anno 3. R. Edward II. ) to Henry de Percy and his heirs; who to remove every pretence of complaint obtained a release of all right and title to tne inheritance from the heir at law, Sir Gilbert de Aton, knight, who was the nearest legitimate relation to the Lord William de Vescy above-mentioned.

"From that period Alnwick Castle became the great baronial seat in the north, of the Lords de Percy, and of their successors the Earls of Northumberland; by whom it was transmitted down in lineal succession to their illustrious representatives, the present duke and dutchess of Northumberland."

The town of Alnwick in general is well built, and appears to have been formerly a fortified town, by the vestiges of a wall still visible in many parts, and three gates, which remain almost entire. The marketplace is nearly in the centre of the town: and on the west side is the market house, built by the Duke of Northumberland, and ornamented with the different crests and badges of the Percy family; and having piazzas in front.

On the north side, of the market place is a range of buildings, in which is the town-hall, entered by a flight of steps and having a tower like that of a church, with a clock. Here the quarter-sessions and county courts are held, and members of parliament are elected; the assizes however (probably for the convenience of the judges) are held at Newcastle.

The church is neat and capacious, having three aisles extending through three arches into the chancel, and four galleries.

The Abbey of Alnwick was founded in the year 1157, by Eustace Fitz-John, for Premonstratensian canons. He dedicated it to the Virgin Mary, and endowed it with a large parcel of baronial lands. He gave the village of Huicliff, and all the demesnes about it, on the left hand of the road leading from Alnwick to Ruck, and the wastes belonging to it, extending from Hindon to the river Alne, with the service of half the tenants. He gave it two parts of the tithes of the lordships of Tughall, Alnham, Newham, Heysend, and Chatton, together with one moiety of the tithes of Woller, Long Houghton, and Lesbury. He also annexed to it the priory and church of Gysnes, now Gyson, or Guizance, near Felton, dedicated to St. Wilfrid, of Richard Tyson’s foundation, to hold in pure alms, with all its privileges and endowments, a moiety of the titles, and two bevats of land at Gyson, the church of Halge or Haugh, the lands of Ridley, and Morwick-Haugh, with liberty of erecting a corn-mill on the river Coquet, and of raising as much corn on its wastes there as they could plough; with liberty to grind it at his own mill, moulter free. He also gave the canons for their table the tenth part of all the venison and pork killed in his parks and forests, and of all the fish taken in his fisheries by his order; and a salt work at Warkworth.

These are the chief ancient privileges and possessions of this Abbey. At the time of the dissolution its annual revenues were estimated at 189l. 15s.; at which time it had 13 canons. In the fourth year of the reign of King Edward VI. the site of it was granted to Ralph Sadler and Lawrence Winnington. It was afterwards sold, with the demesnes about it, to Sir Francis Brandling, knight, of whose family it was purchased, with the same lands, by Mr. Doubleday, ancestor of the present proprietor, — Doubleday, Esq. whose seat is built out of the ruins which stood in his orchard, south of his pleasure garden. "The only remains (says Mr. Wallis in his History of Northumberland) of this religious pile is the court-wall to the east, through which is the entrance, of very curious architecture, with a modern turret at the south end; beyond which is a building seemingly of a later erection, not corresponding with the grandeur of monastic structures, answering better the use it is now put to, viz. a stable, than any other. Adjoining to it is an ancient and strong tower with four turrets, two at each end.

"The situation of the Abbey is extremely pleasant, at a small distance from the castle, in a view from the church, and under a hill, on the extreme point of a peninsula, by the eastern margin of the river Alne, crossed by a bridge of two arches, whose winding trout stream, in pleasant murmurs, glides past it, shaded on the opposite side with a bank of wood, and here and there a broken rock visible through it, variegated with ivy and woodbine."

The tower here spoken of by Mr. Wallis was the ancient gatehouse of the monastery, the strong latticed gate of which is still remaining. The grand entrance fronted the north; over it was a canopy and niche for the Virgin Mary, The whole tower seems to have been much decorated with elegant carving, and has several escutcheons of the quarterings borne by the noble family of the Percies; some of whom, besides confirming the grant of the founder and his son, added benefactions of their own. Indeed from the conspicuous manner in which their arms are placed on this gate, it seems as if it were of their construction.

In the tower a gate opened to the east, on each side of which are figures of angels supporting armorial shields. On this front was also a canopy, and niche for a statue; and over the entrance here, as also on the north side, were machicolations.

In the chronicle of this house, preserved in the library of King’s College, Cambridge, there is an account of a banquet given by Walter de Hepescotes, the abbot, anno, 1376, on the day of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, to Henry, the fourth lord of Alnwick, with the thirteen following knights: William de Acon, Richard Tempest, Walter Blount, Alan de Heton, John Coniers, John Heron, John Lilleburum, Thomas de Ilderton, Thomas tie Boynton, Ingram de Umfravil, John de Dichaunt, John de Swynton, Radulphus de Viners, and many others of the chief gentry of the country, amounting to 120, all entertained in the refectory; besides 86 at a second repast. The cloisters too were filled with the inferior sort of people of all ages, to the number of 1020, who were likewise there feasted.

It appears also, from the same authority, that divers of the Percies were here interred; particularly Henry, the second lord of Alnwyck, who died anno 1351; Henry, the third lord, who bestowed on the monks here 100l. at his death, anno 1368; besides many other benefactions. Also Mary his wife, daughter of the Earl of Lancaster.

During the abbacy of Walter de Hepescotes, this house was afflicted with a great scarcity of the fruits of the earth, together with a pestilence, whereby all the cattle belonging to the monastery were destroyed.

The town of Alnwick is situated 308 miles from London, and consists, according to the late population act, of 739 houses; and 4, 719 inhabitants, viz. 2, 054 males and 2, 665 females, of whom 824 were returned as being employed in trade and manufacture, and 613 in agriculture. Here is a good market on Saturdays; and fairs on Palm Sunday-eve; May 12; last Monday in July; first Tuesday in October; October 28; and Saturday before Christmas- day.

Alnwick sends two representatives to parliament, and is governed by four chamberlains, who are chosen every two years out of a common-council of 24. The manner of making freemen is peculiar to this place: those to be made free, or as the phrase is, leap the well, assemble in the market-place, early on St. Mark’s day, on horseback, with every man his sword by his side, dressed in white, attended by the four chamberlains, mounted and armed in the same manner; hence they proceed with music to a large dirty pool, called Freeman's Well; where they dismount and draw up in a body, and then rush through the mud, and as the water is generally very foul, they come out in a dirty condition; but putting on dry clothes, they remount their horses, and ride full gallop round the confines of the town; and returning sword in hand, are met by women decorated with ribbands, bells, &c. ringing and dancing. — These are called Timber Wasts. The houses of the new freemen are on this day distinguished by a holly bush, as a signal for their friends to assemble and make merry. This ridiculous ceremony is attributed to King John, who having been mired in this well, as a punishment for not mending the road made this a part of the charter of the town.

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

ALMWICK, the county town of Northumberland, is a market and union town, parish and township, and head of a county court district, delightfully situated amid beautiful scenery, at a considerable elevation above the level and on the south bank of the river Alne, from which it derives its name, 5 miles west from the German Ocean, and has a station here 3 miles west from Bilton junction station on the North Eastern railway, and also on the Alnwick and Coldstream line, 12 from Rothbury, 15 from Belford, 19 from Morpeth, 30 south-south-east from Berwick, 34 ½ north-by-west from Newcastle-on-Tyne and 306 from London; it is in the Berwick-upon-Tweed division of the county, eastern division of Coquetdale ward, East Coquetdale petty sessional division, rural deanery of Alnwick, archdeaconry of Lindisfarne and diocese of Newcastle.

Alnwick is a borough by prescription, the burgesses having from an early date in the Norman period a common seal, and holding, in their corporate character, a large extent of land in the 13th century; the chief officers in early times were bailiffs, in 1474 a provost or mayor occurs, and then again bailiffs down to 1697 the archives do not contain any royal incorporating charter, but an established incorporation is recognized, the corporate style being:-“The Chamberlains, Common Council, and Freemen of the Borough of Alnwick,” and consisting of 24 common councilmen, four of whom are annually elected chamberlains; they exercise no jurisdiction over the affairs of the town, but being possessed of property in land and houses, they support a large classical, mathematical and commercial school: and also maintain the Town Hall, Weigh-house and two public clocks: this Corporation was specially excepted under the Municipal Corporations Act, 1882: the freemen consist of ten companies-viz. the Cordwainers, Skinners and Glovers, Merchants, Tanners, Weavers, Blacksmiths, Batchers, Joiners, Tailors, and Coopers: each company is governed by an alderman and stewards, appointed annually.

The Michaelmas quarter sessions for the county are held annually at Alnwick.

There is a Local Board of Health, established 28th Sep. 1850, and consisting of eighteen members, who, besides exercising the ordinary functions of a board of health, have powers for the improvement of the town: this board has thoroughly drained the town, at a cost of nearly £11,000, and an abundant supply of good water has been brought from Tuffy’s well, a distance of about 3 miles, and from the Firth burn, Rugely wood and other sources: the water supply is conveyed in pipes to a reservoir, 300 feet above the sea level: a large number of hydrants have been fixed in different parts of the town, and the water is also carried into all the houses. A gas company was first formed in 1825, with works in Canongate, which in 1859 were much extended; the company, registered in 1849, was incorporated under the Joint Stock Companies Act, 5th Nov. 1856.

The Abbey Bridge, a fine stone structure of three arches, crosses the Alne, on the Wooler road. The town was formerly defended by four massive towers, of which Bondgate alone remains; this is a massive rectangular structure, erected at the beginning of the 15th century by a son of the celebrated Hotspur, and flanked in front by semi-octangular towers pierced with small square windows; the entrance gateway is formed by a plain round arch; high above which, in a deeply recessed panel, is carved the rampant lion of the Percies; the parapet is now quite plain, but one or two machicolations are left.

The town is well built, the houses and the public buildings being chiefly constructed of freestone, and many of them of considerable elegance; the streets are spacious and well paved.

The church of S. Michael, in the vicinity of Bailiff gate, on the south bank of the Alne, is an ancient edifice of stone, chiefly in the Decorated and Perpendicular styles; it consists of chancel and nave of five bays, both with aisles running the whole length of the church, south porch, and a massive embattled western tower at the end of the south aisle, with angle buttresses, many times set off and terminating in small crocketed pinnacles: there are 3 bells, 2 of which have invocatory inscriptions to St. Mary the Virgin, and St. Michael the Archangel and are probably of the 14th century; the 3rd is dated 1764; at the south-east angle of the church is an octagonal stair turret, with a gabled chamber attached to it on the roof: of the church existing here in the 12th century, some fragments were recovered in 1863, when the foundations of the Norman church, which had a long narrow nave and apsidal chancel, were discovered: the piers of the chancel arcades are octagonal, each face being panelled with a trefoil-cusped head; four of these have flat octagonal caps, richly carved with foliage, spreading from a twisted stem encircling the pier, and some bear the fetterlock and crescent badges of the Percies: the chancel retains a piscina and is fitted with stalls: in the chancel, on modern altar-tombs, lie three large recumbent stone figures, the earliest being that of a lady under an ogee crocketed canopy, with a coronet round the head and a wimple, and probably representing .Isabella (de Periton), widow of William, the last baron de Vesci of Alnwick, he died in 1297; one of the remaining effigies represents a layman and is also canopied, e. 1350; the third is the figure of a cleric: two figures, disinterred from under the north aisle in 1818, are now in the baptistery; one of these, which has a modern head, is a royal effigy, assumed to represent Henry VI.; the other, also with a modern head, may represent St. Sebastian: some early coffin slabs, with incised crosses, shears, a key and a sword have also been recovered, some being found under the nave floor, and others built into the walls: there are stones inscribed to James Forster, ob. 9th Sep. 1602; Nicholas Forster, ob. Feb. 1659; Edward Leak, ob. 29th March, 1699; and a singularly quaint epitaph to Richard Chaleton, ob. 23rd March, 1664; and a large number of modern monuments: in the vestry is a large and ancient oak chest, the front of which, 7 feet long and 2 feet 10 inches high, is curiously carved, with a hunting scene in the upper compartment, and in others with grotesque animals, chiefly winged dragons; the carving appears to date from the 15th century, and may be Flemish; the chancel was renovated in 1782, at the cost of Hugh, 1st Duke of Northumberland, the work being carried out by Italian artists, and in 1818 was repaired, altered and reseated at a cost of £2,189, a large western gallery being at this time erected: in 1863, the church was extensively restored under the direction of Mr. A. Salvin, architect, at a cost of £945, the reconstruction of the chancel being carried out at the expense of the 5th Duke, and the gallery removed: in 1867 the three east windows of the chancel and aisles were filled with stained glass in memory of Algernon, 4th Duke K.G., P.C., F.R.S. d. 12th Feb. 1865: in 1875, a beautiful reredos, together with side screens inclosing the sanctuary, were erected at the cost of the present Duke, and the ends of the stalls ornamented with foliaged poppy heads, executed by Mr. John Brown, carver at the castle: the churchyard was enlarged on the north in 1829, but was closed against interments (with modifications) 1st July, 1855: on the north side are laid several incised slabs, and the base of a Norman pillar enriched with bead ornament: there are 1,100 sittings. The register dates from the year 1645. The living is a vicarage, average tithe rent-charge £145, net yearly value £250, with residence, in the gift of the Duke of Northumberland K.G. and held since 1890 by the Rev. William Higgin Connor M.A. of St. Catharine’s College, Cambridge, domestic chaplain to the Duke of Northumberland, and surrogate.

St. Paul’s is an ecclesiastical parish formed in 1846; the church, in Green Bat, built in the year 1845-6, at the sole expense of Hugh, 3rd Duke of Northumberland K.G. at a cost of £12,000, is an edifice of stone in the Decorated style, from designs by Mr. Anthony Salvin, architect, and consists of chancel with aisles, clerestoried nave of five bays, aisles, north porch and an embattled western tower 100 feet in height; the church is seated with massive oak benches, and the oak panelling round the sanctuary forms a memorial to the Rev. Edward Brien, a former curate, who died in 1859: the stained east window, designed by W. Dyce esq. R.A. and executed at the royal manufactory at Munich, was erected in 1856 by public subscription, at a cost of £1,639, to the memory of Hugh, 3rd Duke, founder of the church, who died 11th Feb. 1847: in the north aisle is an altar-tomb of Caen stone, bearing a fine recumbent figure of the Duke in white marble, by Carew, of London; the effigy is habited in the robes of a Knight of the Garter, and the tomb is guarded by brass standards surmounted by ducal coronets: there are 1,000 sittings. The register dates from the year 1846. The living, endowed by the founder of the church and his successors and the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, is a vicarage, average tithe rent-charge £114, net yearly value £310, including glebe (£37), with residence, given by Charlotte Florentia, Duchess of Northumberland, in the gift of the Duke of Northumberland K.G. and held since 1872 by the Rev. Jevon James Muschamp Perry M.A. of Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, and surrogate. The population in 1891 was 3,948.

The St. Andrews mission hall was erected in 1886, at a cost of £1,300.

The Catholic church, in Bailiff gate, dedicated to St. Mary was erected in 1836.

There is a Presbyterian chapel in Clayport street, erected in 1846; Congregational in St. Michael’s lane, erected in 1815; Methodist New Connexion in Bondgate without, erected in 1870; Wesleyan in Chapel lane, erected in 1786; Baptist in Lisburn street, erected in 1839; Presbyterian in Pottergate, erected in 1690; and one for Plymouth Brethren in Green Bat.

The Cemetery, about half a mile south of the town, consists of about six acres, purchased for a sum of £1,200, and consecrated 11 Dec. 1856; the ground was laid out and a sexton’s house and two mortuary chapels built, at a cost of £1,000; the cemetery was opened for interments Oct. 7, 1856, and is under the control of a burial board of nine members.

The Town Hall, anciently called the “Tollbooth,” and situated on the west side of the Market place, in the centre of the town, was erected in 1731 on the site of the old “Tolbooth,” at a cost of £730; it contains a spacious hall, 50 by 30 feet, with two rooms adjoining, and is used for the election of knights of the shire for the northern division of the county, for the manor and county courts, meetings of the common council, the several companies of the freemen, and for the public meetings of the town. The corporation possess no municipal insignia except the borough seal, which displays figure of St. Michael encountering the dragon, and the legend, “s’ comvne bvrgi de alnkwike.”

The Corn Exchange, in the main street, is a building of stone, and possesses every requisite for the transaction of business.

The House of Correction, in Green Bat, was erected in the year 1807, and contains cells and other necessary apartments, with two separate yards for the prisoners, and a spacious court-house for holding petty sessions.

The Savings Bank, in St. Michael’s place, was established in 1816.

There is a Horticultural and Botanical Society, the annual exhibitions of which are held in the Abbey grounds.

The Scientific and Mechanical Institution, founded 18 Nov. 1824, occupies premises in Green Bat, erected in 1831-2, at a cost of £553, on a site given by John Lambert esq. and comprising apartments for a resident librarian, library 36 by 20 feet, and a news room opened in Jan. 1859: the library now (1894) contains about 7,600 volumes.

The Alnwick Baths, Washhouses and Laundry, in Clayport street, were built in 1874 by the Duke of Northumberland.

Charities.-The local charities, apart from the endowment of the Grammar school, include a total sum of £59 from several benefactions, for distribution in money, derived in part from Craword’s and Hall’s bequests, left respectively by will in 1826, 1829 and 3857; and also a sum of £15 8s. 5d. from Hall’s bequest for medical relief.

The Infirmary, in Dispensary street, established 9 June, 1815, is situated on the western outskirts of the town, and has on the ground floor dispensing and committee rooms and apartments for a resident medical officer and matron, the various wards being arranged on the upper floor: the yearly number of patients, which at the foundation was 260, had in 1892 decreased to 34; the infirmary is supported by subscriptions and donations, and is controlled by a body of governors.

Alnwick is the head quarters of the Northumberland Militia, which forms the 3rd Battalion of the Northumberland Fusiliers, the 2nd Northumberland (The Percy) Volunteer Artillery, Western Division Royal Artillery, and the D Co. 1st Volunteer Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers. The Artillery drill hall, at the back of Fenkle street, is a large stone building, erected in 1887.

The trade of the town is chiefly dependent on the surrounding agricultural district and the wealthy families in the neighbourhood. There are four tobacco and snuff manufactories, two of which are very extensive, and several maltsters, brewers and corn millers.

The general market, held on Saturday, is numerously attended, and is well supplied with dairy and farm produce and meat. A cattle market is held every Monday. Fairs for sheep, cattle and horses, are held on the last Monday in July and the first Tuesday in October, a lamb and wool fair on the first Monday after the 5th July. The fairs for hiring servants are the first Saturday in March, first Monday in May and the first Saturday in November.

Two newspapers are issued here, “The Alnwick and County Gazette” and “The Alnwick Guardian,” both published on Friday.

Aydon Forest, or Alnwick Moor, a tract of 2,591 acres of uncultivated land about 3 miles south-west, which had been uninclosed, and the depasturage of which had been one of the privileges of the freemen, was inclosed and allotted in 1854 under an award by the Commissioners for the Inclosure of Commons, and about 300 acres were set off and inclosed as a stint of one acre each to individual freemen; in 1869 and 1870 a sum of £8,000 was expended in draining, fencing and providing roads for 1,000 acres, at which time each freeman was allowed 3 acres, making a total of 4 acres each; these are usually let out by the freemen, so that farmers in the district have many landlords: there are quarries and a lime-kiln here.

Alnwick Castle stands on an eminence of moderate height, on the south bank of the Alne and immediately north of the town, from which it is cut off by a deep ravine, once the bed of a streamlet or bum: from the well defined and naturally strong position of the castle, it seems probable that the site was at a very early period fortified as a defence against the incursions of northern marauders, especially as there are still marked traces of ancient earthworks almost close to the town: its situation at a distance of only 30 miles from the Border made it a very important frontier fortress, and as such, the scene of varying and incessant conflict, and its historical associations, arising chiefly from this circumstance, are of the most interesting and romantic character, and have been sung and told in countless ballads and legends. Before the walls of Alnwick Castle in 1093 fell Malcolm, King of Scotland; a century later (1174) another Scottish king, William the Lion, was taken prisoner in sight of its towers.

From the castle in 1388, issued the hero of Chevy Chase, when he sallied forth to that celebrated but “woeful hunting and from Alnwick poured reinforcements that made Flodden one of England’s most famous victories. Above all, its intimate connection with the memory of the gallant “Hotspur” and his “gentle Kate” casts around it a halo of romance and chivalry not to be outshone in interest by the traditions and history of any other edifice in the kingdom. The stronghold existing here at the time of the Conquest is said to have been held by one Gilbert Tyson, who was slain in the fight at Hastings, but the earliest portions of the fabric still in situ, and such fragments as have been recovered from the walls, are of late Norman date, and it is therefore probable that the first buildings of stone on this site were erected by Eustace Fitz John, the founder of Alnwick Abbey and Governor of Bamborough Castle, who married Beatrix, daughter and heir of Ivo de Vesci, a Norman chieftain, whose wife Alda (Tyson) was granddaughter of the Gilbert above mentioned; to this Eustace may be attributed the construction of the general body of the first keep, together with the still remaining gateway and the earliest portions of the enceinte, his work being distinguishable by the open jointed and irregular courses of its masonry, and dating from about 1140. In July, 1174, William the Lion, king of Scotland, returning from an incursion into England, appeared before Alnwick, but was attacked and captured by William de Vesci, son of Eustace, and subsequently sent into exile in Normandy; King John came to the Castle February 12, 1201, and again April 24, 1209, when he received here the homage of Alexander II. who shortly afterwards ascended the throne of Scotland; King John visited the castle also on two subsequent occasions; Henry III. on September 23, 1256, and Edward I. was frequently entertained here. On the death, in 1297, of William de Vesci, who had enfeoffed Anthony Bek, Bishop of Durham, with the castle and barony of Alnwick, in trust for his natural son, William de Kildare, that prelate, it is said, avoiding his trusteeship, granted the property, November 19, 1309, to Henry de Percy, who thus became the founder of the Percies of Alnwick, and carried out, during his tenure of the castle, such extensive alterations and repairs that he may be fairly said to have rebuilt the fabric, and the marks of his work, though obliterated in some places by modern restorations, are still numerous; at his death in 1315 (8 Edward II.), his son Henry being then a minor, the custody of Alnwick was entrusted to John de Felton, and during 1314-15, while it was closely invested by the Scots, £83 was spent in repairs, and a further sum of £ 1,137 in maintaining about 3,000 soldiers and 40 hoblers, or cavalry: in 1318-19, Henry de Percy came into possession of his inheritance, and to him is attributed the erection, about 1350, of the great gatehouse leading into the inner bailey or court of the keep, with the stone figures on the parapets, and the addition of the barbican: this lord, a distinguished warrior, fought at Halidon hiil (July 13,1333) and with Ralph Neville at Neville’s Cross (October 17, 1346), when David II. King of Scotland, was taken prisoner, and at his death, June 17, 1368, was buried in Alnwick Abbey: his grandson, Henry de Percy, at the coronation of Richard II. (July 16, 1377), was created Earl of Northumberland and K.G. but after assisting in the defeat of the Scots at Homildon Hill, 14 September, 1402, rose in arms against Henry IV. and being vanquished at Shrewsbury (July 21, 1403), obtained the royal pardon and was restored to his dignities and estates; again rebelling, he was defeated and slain at Bramham Moor, Yorks (February 29, 1407-8), his head set up on London Bridge and his quartered body over the gates of Berwick, Lincoln, London and Newcastle: his son Sir Henry Percy, was the renowned “Hotspur," the hero of Otterburn or “Chevy Chase,” fought August 19, 1388; he joined in the revolt of his father, and was slain, after performing prodigies of valour, in the engagement at Shrewsbury: Henry, the son of “Hotspur,” and second earl, probably repaired, between 1425 and 1450, the great western curtain wall, and fortified the town, for doing which he obtained a license in 1434; he also erected the keep at Warkworth, and reared on Hedgeley Moor, in Eglingham parish, the still standing “Percy Cross,” as a memorial to his son, Sir Ralph Percy, who was slain in a skirmish there, April 25, 1464, and he built also the peel tower at Heaforlaw, about 3 miles north of Alnwick: this great lord was present at Agincourt (October 25, 1415), and following the banner of Henry VI. fell at the first battle of St. Albans (May 23, 1455), and was buried in the lady chapel of the abbey church there: the succeeding lords, although they maintained the reputation of Alnwick as a great border fortress, do not seem to have effected any material changes in the fabric of the castle as left by the two earliest of the Percies, and there is a long interval without any of those architectural evidences which in the earlier history of the place afford so useful a guide. In 1537-8, 1557, 1567 and 1650, four surveys or inquisitions were made relating to the condition of Alnwick and other castles in this county, from which it is evident that the decay of the buildings of Alnwick Castle had even then become considerable; but Thormas Percy, 7th earl, to whom by letters patent, dated April 30, 1557, the estreated title and estates were restored, after being forfeited for 19 years, made great efforts to repair the dilapidations into which the castle had fallen during a period so disastrous to the family, and it was at this time that Clarkson's survey was taken: this nobleman, who joined in the Rising of the North,” in support of the Catholic religion, was beheaded at York, August 22, 1572, and buried in the lately removed (1888) church of St. Crux there: the honours then reverted to his brother Henry, 8th earl, who was committed to the Tower on suspicion of favouring Mary, Queen of Scots, and found dead in his bed, pierced by three bullets, June 21, 1585; his eldest son Henry, 9th earl K.G. though it could not be shown that he was concerned in the “Gunpowder Plot,” suffered a fine of £30,000 from the Star Chamber, and was also cast into the Tower, where he remained several years, and died November 5, 1632: Algernon, his son, and 10th earl K.G. summoned to Parliament during his father’s lifetime as Baron Percy, was a Parliamentary leader during the Civil War, but promoted the Restoration, and dying October 13, 1668, was succeeded by his only son Jocelin, 11th earl and last male representative of the Percies; he married Elizabeth (Wriothesley), and their only daughter Elizabeth, heiress of this great house, eventually became the wife (May 30, 1683) of Charles (Seymour), 6th Duke of Somerset, and had 13 children, the eldest surviving of whom, Algernon, was created Duke of Northumberland, October 2, 1749, with remainder to Sir Hugh Smithson bart, who has married his daughter, the Lady Elizabeth Seymour, and who, on the decease of the duke in 1750, succeeded to the dukedom and other honours, and assuming by act of Parliament the name and arms of Percy, was the founder of the existing line: this duke, on taking possession of the castle, found several portions of it in a state of great dilapidation, and began the execution of very important works, which, carried out under the superintendence of Robert Adam, the eminent architect, materially changed the aspect of the buildings, both within and without. Algernon, 4th duke of this family, being desirous to renew that stateliness and variety of effect which, by repeated alterations, the castle had unfortunately lost, as well as to adapt the interior to modern requirements, determined to remodel the central mass so as to effect these objects, preserving with scrupulous care every feature that could be retained, and assimilating the new work of the exterior to that of the 1st and and Percies; this work was carried out in 1854-7, under the direction of Mr. Anthony Salvin F.R.I.B.A. the interior decoration being intrusted to Commendatore L. Canina, a distinguished Italian architect, and Signor P. Leone Bulletti, of Florence, but the wood carving was excuted, under instruction, by English artizans.

In plan the castle consists of a central polygonal and many-towered keep placed nearly in the centre of a fortified inclosure, surrounded by curtain walls, with towers at intervals, and further defended originally, apart from the river, by an inner and an outer ditch; the keep here is not a single tower, but a cluster of towers of varying height, set round a large courtyard about 100 feet square, entered by a great gatehouse on the south-east, westward of which a range of buildings projects southward to the curtain on that side; the area within the enceinte comprises about 5 acres and forms an oblong tapering to a point at its eastern extremity; the west and south sides are respectively 125 and 213 yards long, and the north side, near the river, 226 yards; curtain walls, running from the keep to the enceinte, divide the inclosed space into two wards, the outer or western and inner or eastern ward, but a portion north of the keep, now bounded by a terrace wall with bastions, was originally left open. The most complete and striking portion of the outer defences is the western gateway, 40 by 45 feet, a fine example, c. 1312-15, with octagonal flanking towers and a barbican, 55 by 32 feet; on the merlons are armed figures, erected 1750-86; the curtain to the left has Norman foundations and a small rectangular tower called the “Avener'e tower;” at the north-west angle is the Abbot’s tower, a large square structure, with vaulted base and angle turret, surmounted by figures; from this a short curtain runs north to the Falconer’s tower, rebuilt in 1856, and from it a modern wall extends to the keep: the terrace wall, previously mentioned, connects this tower with the rectangular postern tower, a fine example of a northern military building of the Decorated period, with a vaulted passage and first floor and an angle turret with a single armed figure on the top; next is the Constable’s tower, of the same date, with a gabled roof porch at the top of the stair; in the curtain between this and the Ravine tower is a projection, once opening into a round tower, and now known as “Hotspur’s Chair;” the Ravine tower, a large circular work, stands at the eastern angle of the enceinte and has a well stair on its south side; on the curtain between it and the Lion gate, the chief entrance on the south side, is a small chamber called the " east garret;” the Lion gateway, leading to the gardens, and erected in: 860 upon a work of 1770, has advanced flanking towers, semi-octagonal in front; from it the south curtain is continued to the clock tower (1750-86), a singular shield-shaped structure, which defends the south-west angle; in the midst of this curtain is the Auditor’s tower (1770) and outside it the estate offices and stable court; the remaining portion of the enceinte extends from the clock tower to the western gatehouse, already described, and has on it the west garret, and outside it a riding school and a noble hall, 135 by 35 feet, with an open timber roof, erected in 1856: in the eastern ward, near the Constable’s tower, once stood a detached chapel, taken down in 1755.

The keep is entered by a grand gatehouse, 40 by 20 feet, flanked by two lofty half-octagonal towers, built in 1350: the entrance archway is part of the Norman work of Eustace de Vesci, c. 1150, with highly enriched round-headed arches on the exterior and interior, and a vaulted passage crossed by massive chamfered ribs; on the parapets of the towers are carved the heraldic shields of the Percy, Clifford, Tyson, Bohun, Plantagenet, de Vesci, Neville and other families; on the right of the entrance is the very curious draw-well, constructed by Henry de Percy in 1312-15, exhibiting towards the court a wide pointed panel, in which is a triplet of deeply-recessed arches, the centre one opening to the mouth of the well and having above it a small niche with a figure of St. James in the act of benediction: next on this side is the great hall or dining room, 60 by 34 feet, refitted by the 1st duke and rebuilt in 1863, and containing a chimneypiece of white marble, supported by a nymph and a satyr: next beyond the hall is the drawing-room, 45 by 22 feet, incorporating a half-round tower, once the kitchen and scullery; it has a splendid carved wood ceiling, coloured and gilt, with an exquisite frieze, and on the walls, which are partly covered with satin, hang pictures by some of the most famous Italian masters: beyond, at the north-east angle, is the saloon, 42 by 22 feet, incorporating another tower, and adorned with a frieze painted at Rome and a ceiling of geometrical design; it has also a mantelpiece of white marble, supported by figures of slaves, and here hang numerous works of the Italian school, some being of great interest and value, a portrait of Queen Henrietta Maria, and one of Algernon (Percy), 10th earl K.G. by Vandyke: the anteroom, which comes next in order on the north front, is a square apartment, 23 by 22 feet, built in the last century, with a handsome frieze and a flat wood ceiling, and hung with more pictures: the anteroom opens westward into the library, which forms the principal floor of the Prudhoe tower, constructed in 1856 by Mr. Salvin, in place of a large round tower, built in 1764, and then inclosing the grand staircase; this tower projects boldly in semi-octagonal bays towards the north and west, and, rising 20 feet above all the other buildings, is finished with a plainly embattled parapet; a stair turret leads to the roof, from which rises a tall flagstaff; the library, 55 by 24 feet, with two grand bays, has a flat carved and painted ceiling, and the walls are lined with presses of maple wood in two tiers, the space above being hung with family portraits, and there are three fireplaces of various coloured marbles, adorned with busts of distinguished English writers: adjoining the library on the west is the chapel, 30 by 20 feet, built in 1856 out of another tower; the sanctuary, which has a three-sided apse, pointing south-west; it has a high-pitched roof and a richly-groined ceiling, and the walls and pavement are enriched with mosaics; an arcading separates it from the gallery near the entrance: the former chapel, constructed in 1760, was over the middle gateway, and still earlier was the detached chapel in the east ward: completing the circle of the keep, follow two half-round towers, connected by short curtains and forming state bedrooms with dressing-rooms, and at the end, next the gatehouse, is a broad staircase leading up to the interior corridor which conducts to the apartments on the west side: over the gate-house is a small dining-room, 40 by 25 feet, and next it, on the west, a lobby, and from this point, running due south, is the gallery, which extends over the middle gate, including its tower, and contains a series of five rooms opening into a long corridor on the east side, and forming the private apartments of the duke and duchess; the apartments on the east side of the keep are reached by the corridor built by Mr. Salvin in 1856, and carried partly on bold corbels and partly on an open arcading: the entrance to the state apartments, erected at the same time, is now by an embattled rectangular vestibule of two stories and 30 feet square, projecting into the courtyard of the keep on the north-west, with a vaulted carriage way through it: on the east and on the west a grand staircase, about 12 feet wide, conducting immediately to the anteroom, saloon and library: the gardens, laid out about 1864, occupy a gentle slops to the north-east of the castle: there are three parks, the largest of which, called the " North Demesne,” and about 600 acres in extent, is traversed by the river Alne: the public are admitted to the parks on certain days: north-east of the great park is “White Cross.”

About one mile west of the town, on the north bank of the Alne, once stood the Premonetratensian Abbey of the Blessed Virgin Mary, founded in 1147, by Eustace Fitz John, who married Beatrix, the heiress of the de Vescis, and colonised from the Abbey of Newhouse, Lincolnshire; of the building nothing now remains above ground but the great gatehouse, which formed the entrance to the precinct on the north; this is an oblong embattled structure, with square battlemented turrets at the angles, those on the east side being considerably advanced in that direction; the entrance is through a wide segmental arch, over which is a canopied niche, the parapet is machicolated, the inner front is somewhat similar, and both have shields with crosses; the passage way is waggon vaulted and of doubtful antiquity: the east front has a moulded archway, now blocked, which served for foot passengers, and over it a very good canopied niche: in the first floor and in the north-east turret are square transomed windows, the latter with late Decorated tracery: on this front are four shields of Percy quartering Lucy. By permission of the duke of Northumberland, the site of the abbey, a perfectly level green field between the gatehouse and the river, was carefully excavated in 1884, under the direction of W. H. St. John Hope esq. M.A. assistant secretary of the Society of Antiquaries of Loudon, and although it was found that the destruction of the buildings after the suppression had been unusually complete, a ground plan of considerable extent and presenting many singular features has been recovered, and is now permanently indicated on the surface by lines of concrete: nearly in the centre of the inclosure and 100 feet south of the great gatehouse, stood the church, which consisted of nave of eight bays with aisles, transepts with eastern chapels, choir of four bays, without aisles, and retro-choir; the total interior length of the church was 218 feet, and the width across the nave and aisles 56 feet: the transept had a total interior length of 80 feet, the northern limb being 20 and the southern 26 feet wide; and the width of the choir was 24 feet: the western portion of the choir was prolonged two bays into the nave, and the eastern part, or presbytery, opened into the immediately adjoining transeptal chapels, which were extended beyond the others: in the choir were found the remains of a huge slab, with the matrix of a brass: and in the nave some of the bases of the piers of the arcades were found in situ; with this exception, and that of the foundations of the canons’ stalls, the only portion of coursed stonework met with was a fragment of the south wall of the nave, 4 feet thick, and including part of the jamb of a doorway opening into the western alley of the cloisters; these were 90 feet square, with alleys 11 feet 9 inches wide: the exterior wall was arcaded, and some caps and bases of the arcading, of Early English date, with beautifully carved foliage, were met with; next the south transept was a sacristy, then a parlour and slype, and south of this a perfectly unique chapter house, consisting of a rectangular western portion about 30 by 22 feet, opening into an eastern portion which forms a nearly complete circle, and in the centre was found a stone coffin containing bones: south of the chapter house was the warming house (calefactorium), 44 by 20 feet: on the south side of the cloisters was found the substructure of the frater (refectory), on the west there was a wall simply and no buildings; but the foundations of an extensive range of buildings were discovered surrounding a court to the south-west of the great gatehouse, and continued entirely round the bank of the river to the modern mill on the east; these included bakehouses with ovens, guests’ lodgings and cellarer’s offices, kitchen, and the infirmary, with its hall: in the monastery were buried William de Vesci, ob. 1184, and Burga (de Estoteville, or Stuteville), his wife; Isabella (Longespee), wife of William de Vesci, grandson of the foregoing; John de Vesci, 1st baron, buried 10th February, 1288; Henry de Percy, 3rd baron Percy Of Alnwick, ob. 17th June, 1368, and the Lady Mary (Plantagenet), his 1st wife: the abbey was surrendered 22nd Dec. 1539, by the abbot, William Halton, and 13 canons, the clear receipts at this date being £189 15s. and after passing through the families of Brandling and Doubleday, was purchased by the Duke of Northumberland; Mr. Doubleday built out of the ruins a mansion, which stood to the south-west of the gatehouse, but has been entirely removed. A great feast took place herein 1376, when Henry de Percy, 4th baron, with 13 knights and 1,226 persons were entertained: the abbots were summoned to Parliament in 8 various years of Edward I. and in the 1st of Edward II. This account is chiefly taken from a paper contributed by Mr. Hope to the Arch. Aeliana.

St. Leonard’s Hospital, the remains of which occupy the summit of a hill, about a mile north of the town, was founded by Eustace FitzJohn or de Vesci, and dedicated to God and St. Leonard for the soul of Malcolm III. King of Scotland, grandfather of Beatrix, the wife of Eustace, and was erected on a spot called the “Quarelflat,” where Malcolm, then engaged in attack upon Alnwick Castle, fell by the hand of Morel of Bambotough, 13th November, 1093; portions of the Norman chapel exist, and fragments of buildings, including a nearly perfect arch, with chevron moulding, and the pedestal and capital of a cross have been dug up on the site.

Near the spot, in a grove of trees, is the restored cross, erected in 1774, by his descendant Elizabeth, duchess of Northumberlandi Opposite the railway station is a noble fluted column, 100 feet high, raised on a lofty square base, with buttress-like projections at the angles; the column is surmounted by a square railed capping, upon which, on a circular pedestal, is the figure of a lion statant, with tail extended, the well-known Percy crest; at the angles at the base of the monument are four lions couchant, and on the side is the following inscription-“To Hugh, Duke of Northumberland K.G. this column is erected, dedicated, and inscribed by a grateful and united tenantry A.D. 1816;” an ornamental railing surrounds the whole.

Pottergata tower, erected in 1768, on the site of the ancient gate so called, is a rectangular embattled structure in a pseudo-Gothic style, and contains a clock, with dial; it once had an open spire, built in imitation of that of St. Nicholas, Newcastle-on-Tyne.

The Duke of Northumberland K.G., P.C. is lord of the manor and chief landowner of the parish.

The area is 4,604 acres; rateable value, £34,447; the population of the parish in 1891 was 7,428, including 86 officers and inmates in the workhouse.

The population of the Local Board district in 1891 was 6,746.

Church of England School, for 30 children; average attendance, 15.

Petty Sessions are held at the Court House the first & third Saturday in every month at 11 a.m. The following places are included in the division:-Acklington, Acklington Pars, Acton & Old Felton, Alnmouth, Alnwick, Amble, Bassington, Birling, Brotherwick, Broxfield, Brunton, Buston H. Buston L. Charlton North, Charlton South, Craster, Ditchburn, Doxford, Dunstan, Elyhaugh, Embleton, Falloden, Felton, Gloster Hill, Greens & Glantles, Guyzance, Hauxley, Hazon & Hartlaw, Howick, Lesbury, Littlehoughton, Longhoughton, Morwick, Newton-by-the-Sea, Newton-on-the-Moor, Rennington, Rock, Shipley, Stamford, Sturton Grange, Shilbottle, Swarland, Togston, Walkmill, Warkworth, Whittle, Woodhouse.

Alnwick Uhion.

The Union comprehends the following townships:-Abberwick, Acklington, Acklington Park, Acton & Old Felton, Alnmouth, Alnwick, Amble, Bassington, Beanley, Birling, Bolton, Broompark, Brotherwick, Broxfield, Brunton, High Buston, Low Buston, North Charlton, South Charlton, Craster, Crawley, Ditchburn, Doxford, Dunston, Eddingham, Eglingham, Elyhaugh, Embleton, Falloden, Felton, Glanton, Gloster Hill, Greens & Glantlees, Guyzance or Guyson, Harehope, Hauxley, Hazon & Hartlaw, Hedgeley, Little Houghton, Long Houghton, Howick, Hulne Park, Learchild, Lemmington, Lesbury, Morwick, Newton-by-the-Sea, Newton-on-the-Moor, Bennington, Rock, Shawdon, Shilbottle, Shipley, Stamford, Sturton Grange, Swarland, Titlington, Togstone, Walkmill, Warkworth, Whittle & Woodhouse. The population in 1891 was 21,907; area, 98,879 acres; rateable value, £144,728.

Board day, second & fourth Mondays in each month at 11 a.m. at the Board room, Alnwick.

Places of Worship, with times of Services

Parish Church, Bailiffgate, Rev. William Higgin Connor M.A. vicar; Revs. Harold John Underhill M.A. & Robert Rathay Mangin M.A. curates; 8 & 11 a.m. 3 & 6.30 p.m.; week days, 10 a.m. & 5.30 p.m.

Denwick Chapel of Ease, 6.30 p.m.

St. Paul’s Church, Green bat, Rev. Jevon James Muschamp Perry M.A. vicar; Rev. Peter McVittie, curate; 11 a.m. & 6.30 p.m. & daily at 11 a.m.

St. Mary’s Catholic Church, seat 400, Bailiffgate street, Rev. Edward Joseph Robert, priest; 10.30 a.m. & 6.30 p.m.; week days, 8 a.m.

Presbyteriah Church of England, Clayport street, Rev. W. Limont; 11 a.m. & 6.30 p.m.; seat 600.

Presbyterian Church of England, Pottergate street, Rev. R. Macnair; 11 a.m. & 6 p.m.; seat 460.

Baptist, Lisburn street, Rev. William Wilks, pastor; 11 a.m. & 6.30 p.m.; seat 400.

Congregational, St. Michael’s place, Rev. W. H. Chesson; 11 a.m. & 6.30 p.m.; seat 400.

Methodist New Connexion, Bondgate without, Rev. James Crothers; 10.30 a.m. & 6 p.m.

Wesleyan, Chapel lane, Rev. Joseph H. Slack; 10.30 a.m. & 6.30 p.m.; seat 400.

Plymouth Brethren, Green bat, 6.30 p.m.

Schools

Alnwick Corporation, Dispensary street, erected in 1853, at the cost of the borough, on a site given by Algernon, 4th Duke of Northumberland, endowed with £500 yearly from the Corporation funds; the schools are free to the children of freemen & are open to others on payment of fees.

Duke of Northumberland’s, Green bat, founded 25 Oct. 1810, by Hugh, 2nd Duke, for the education of 100 boys free, & opened 12 Aug. 1811.

Duchess of Northumberland’s, Bailiffgate, for the clothing & education of 50 girls; average attendance, 60.

National, Dispensary lane, built in 1849, at a cost of £1,408, & enlarged in 1854, for 760 children; average attendance, 650.

St. John’s (Catholic), Howick street, for 160 children; average attendance, 100.

Alnwick Training School for Girls, Northumberland street, founded in 1888, for 12 girls.

Kelly's Directory of Northumberland (1894)

Surnames Found in Alnwick

RankSurnameNo. of People% of Population
1Thompson1952.61
2Davison1171.57
3Forster1031.38
4Smith1011.35
5Anderson861.15
6Scott801.07
7Elliott710.95
8Gibson680.91
9Brown610.82
10Dixon610.82
11Taylor590.79
12Young570.76
13Robertson530.71
14Robinson520.70
15Dodds510.68
16Wright510.68
17Hall510.68
18Wilson500.67
19Graham500.67
20Bell490.66
21Wood470.63
22Skelly470.63
23White450.60
24Kelly430.58
25Rennison430.58
26Hume420.56
27Turnbull420.56
28Dunn390.52
29Robson380.51
30Burn380.51
31Hunter370.50
32Carr360.48
33Elloitt360.48
34Snowdon350.47
35Rutherford350.47
36Jobson340.45
37Hindmarsh340.45
38Marshall340.45
39Henderson320.43
40Douglas320.43
41Darling310.41
42Watson310.41
43Johnson300.40
44Gibb300.40
45Clark290.39
46Walker280.37
47Short280.37
48Moore280.37
49Gray280.37
50Richardson270.36
51Keen270.36
52Burnett260.35
53Egdell260.35
54Hudson260.35
55Simpson260.35
56Grey260.35
57Appleby260.35
58Stewart250.33
59Tate250.33
60Archbold250.33
61Whinham240.32
62Miller240.32
63Marr240.32
64Burns230.31
65Davidson230.31
66Lawson230.31
67Knox230.31
68Patterson230.31
69Jackson230.31
70O'Brien230.31
71Pringle220.29
72Pickard220.29
73Rogerson210.28
74Hutchinson210.28
75Lockey210.28
76Angus210.28
77Hetherington210.28
78Mattison210.28
79Purvis200.27
80Turner200.27
81Collins200.27
82Straughan200.27
83Nelson200.27
84Smart200.27
85Wilcox200.27
86Glass190.25
87Cook190.25
88Donohoe190.25
89Kirk190.25
90Black190.25
91Jeffrey190.25
92Tait190.25
93Wallace190.25
94Charlton180.24
95Stott180.24
96Cockburn180.24
97Goodfellow180.24
98Schofield180.24
99Murphy180.24
100Mitchell180.24

* Statistics based on the 1881 census