Abington, Northamptonshire Family History Guide

Abington is an Ancient Parish in the county of Northamptonshire.

Parish church: SS Peter and Paul

Parish registers begin:

  • Parish registers: 1637
  • Bishop’s Transcripts: 1706

Nonconformists include:

Adjacent Parishes

  • Great Houghton
  • Hardingstone
  • Weston Favell
  • Northampton St Edmund
  • Kingsthorpe
  • Little Houghton
  • Northampton St Giles
  • Moulton Park

Historical Descriptions

The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales 1870

ABINGTON, a parish in the district and county of Northampton; near the river Nen and the Peterborough railway, 1¼ mile NE of Northampton. Post Town, Northampton. Acres, 1,112. Real property, £2,851. Pop., 164. Houses, 24. A spot here was the grave of Shakspeare's favourite grand-daughter, and is marked by a mulberry-tree planted by Garrick. Abington Abbey is a lunatic asylum. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Peterborough. Value, £200. Patron, Lord Overstone. The church is early English, and contains tombs of the Berhards. Charities, £20.

Source: The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales [Wilson, John M]. A. Fullarton & Co. N. d. c. [1870-72].



Kelly Post Office Directory of Northamptonshire 1869 - Google Books

Kelly Post Office Directory of Northamptonshire 1885 - Archive.org

History, topography, and directory of Northamptonshire, by Francis Whellan and co. 1874

The parish of Abington, called in Domesday Book, Abintone, is bounded on the east by Weston Favell, on the north by Kingsthorpe and Moulton parishes, on the west by Northampton, and on the south by the river Nene. Bridges, writing about the year 1720, says, "it is a village of thirty-three houses, in an enclosed lordship." The parish contains 1080 acres, of the rateable value of £2874, and its population in 1801 was 170; in 1831, 155; in 1841, 143; in 1851, 164; in 1861, 164; and in 1871, 164 souls. The estimated gross rental is £3000. The village now consists of a few scattered cottages, situate one and a half mile E.N.E. of Northampton, on the Wellingborough road, and the soil is a light red loam of excellent quality. At the time of the Conqueror's survey, Abington was in the hands of one Richard, who held here four hides of land, and which, with a mill worth 205. a year, and twenty acres of meadow, were all valued together at 405. yearly at the time of Edward the Confessor, but was then advanced to £4. Humphrey de Bassingburne had these four hides certified to him in the reign of Henry II., from whom they descended toNicholas de Basingburne, and remained in this family till the death of Alice, formerly the wife of Giles de Bassingburne, in the forty-second of Edward III., 1369. The manor then passed to Robert de Colville (son of Margaret, the daughter of Alice, who married Walter de Colville), who died without issue in the forty-third of Edward III., 1370, and was succeeded by Sir Ralph Basset, of Sapcote, and Sir John Gernoun, who were found by inquisition to be his next heirs. In the ninth year of Richard II., 1386, Sir Robert de Swynbum, William Ashby, and others, were sentenced to pay a fine of thirty-five marks, for having purchased the manor and advowson of the church of Abington, which were held of the crown in capite of Sir John Gernoun, without the King's license. From these gentlemen it passed to Sir Nicholas Lyllyng, from whom it descended to Robert Bernard, in right of his wife, Elizabeth, daughter of this Sir Nicholas, in which family it remained for upward of two hundred years, till purchased of Sir John Bernard, in 1669, by William Thursby, Esq., then of the Middle Temple, London, for .£13,750. William Thursby, by will dated 30th July 1700, "devised his manor and premises in Abington, Little Billing, and Weston Favell, and estates in Pightesley and other places, to his nephews, William Thursby and Richard Thursby, successivery entail male, with remainder to his niece, Mary Harvey, wife of Robert Harvey, Esq., of Stockton, in Warwickshire, with divers remainders over. The nephews both dying, the settled estates devolved to John Harvey, Esq., son and heir of Robert and Mary Harvey, who thereupon, in pursuance of an express proviso in the will of the devisor, assumed the name and arms of Thursby of Essex, and from whom they have descended to John Harvey Thursby, Esq." The Right Hon. Lord Overstone, of Overstone, is the present lord of the manor, and principal owner of the soil.

The Abbey, or Manor House, is situated in a walled park of about eighty acres, which is well stocked with elms, chestnuts, and pink thorns, and is certainly one of the most pleasing parts of the environs of Northampton. " The hall," says Mr Baker, " is a lofty Gothic room with open timber roof, a recess at one end, and mullioned windows adorned with the achievements of O'Brien, Earl of Thomond, and other arms from the old manor house at Great Billing. . . . The dining-room is wainscoted, and the arms and quarterings of Bernard, inter mixed with a variety of grotesque devices, introduced into the panels. The grounds present some agreeable home scenery, and a tower overhung with ivy, constructed to supply the house with water from Broadley-head spring, serves the double purpose of utility and ornament. The enthusiastic admirers of the ' bard of nature,' and the actor who ' embodied what the poet drew,' will here feel their sympathetic affections awakened by viewing the residence and last long home of Shakespeare's favourite grand-daughter ; and in an adjacent lawn, the mulberry-tree inscribed, ' This tree was planted by David Garrick Esq., at the request of Ann Thursby, as a growing testimony of their friendship.'" The mansion is now occupied as a private asylum, and known as Abington Abbey. It was instituted October 1st, 1845, and registered in pursuance of the Act 8th and 9th Victoria, cap. 100. The institution is intended exclusively for the reception of a limited number of patients of both sexes from the upper and middle classes of society, and combines all the advantages of a large public hospital with the comforts and retirement of a private residence. The mansion, as regards its construction, is singularly well adapted for the purposes to which it is applied. The sitting-rooms, eight in number, are lofty, most of them very spacious and cheerful, and none of them either small or gloomy. The sleeping apartments are equally eligible ; nor can any part of the house suggest ideas ' of restraint or coercion. It was originally intended for the temporary retirement of invalids from the first classes of society ; it has consequently been fitted up in a style that is not excelled in similar establishments of the highest celebrity. The Gothic entrance-hall affords space for exercise during inclement weather, being about forty feet long by twenty-two and thirty-five feet high ; it contains a finger organ, and antique furniture in keeping with the character of the apartment. The village church stands upon the eastern lawn, to which the patients have access by a private entrance. The number of pews attached to the Abbey enable a large proportion to attend divine service. The institution is under the efficient superintendence of Dr Thomas Prichard, the resident physician.

Tlie Church, dedicated to Saints Peter and Paul, was rebuilt (except the tower) in 1821 by subscription, and consists of a nave, north and south transepts, south porch, chancel, and square embattled tower, in which are three bells. The building exhibits various styles of English architecture. The south front is mantled with ivy, and the interior is very neat ; the font is octagonal, the pulpit is of oak, very richly carved, and was presented by Thomas Rocke, "a great benefactor to this church, who died January 3, 1715, statis suae 80," as his monument testifies ; and the chancel window is filled with stained glass, presented by the late rector and his brothers to the "memory of their father, John Harvey Thursby, Esq., who died in 1860. There are several monuments in the church belonging to the Thursby family. The benefice is a rectory, rated in the king's books at £20, but now worth about £500 a year. The tithes have been commuted for £301, 15s. 2d, and there are about fifty acres of glebe. The living is in the patronage of Lord Overstone, and the Rev. Lewis Haig Loyd, M.A., is the rector. The church was broken into about sixty years since, and robbed of two large silver flagons, a chalice and plate, inscribed, Oblatio Gul. Thursby ; and the large bible and a prayer-book were stolen in November 1848, but were afterwards found hid in a heap of stones in a brickyard, near the Northampton race-course. The Rectory-house, built in 1848, occupies a pleasant situation a short distance from the church ; it is a substantial building of stone (quarried on the premises), with quoins and dressings of Bath stone, and over hanging eaves supported by brackets; the structure, which is from a design by Mr E. F. Law, architect, is of an Italian character. The cost of its erection, was about £2500. The rent of the church land amounts to £50 a year.

Leonard Welsted, the poet and dramatist, son of the Rev. Leonard Welsted, rector of this parish, was born here in 1688.

Post-Office. — Letters from Northampton, for arrivals and despatch see Weston Favell.

Hargood Fred. H. surgeon, Abington Abbey

Loyd Rev. Lewis Haig, M.A. rector

Prichard Thomas, M. D. Abington Abbey

Farmers and Graziers.

Britten Richard

Campion Joseph

Harris Frederick, Bartlett

Stanton Richard

Source: History, topography, and directory of Northamptonshire; Francis Whellan and co. 1874.

Kelly Post Office Directory of Northamptonshire 1869

Abington is a parish, in the Southern division of the county, hundred of Spelhoe, union and county court district of Northampton, rural deanery of Haddon, archdeaconry of Northampton, and diocese of Peterborough, a mile and a half east-north-east from Northampton. The chureh of SS. Peter and Paul was erected in the thirteenth century: the tower of the original building alone remains, as the church was blown down, and rebuilt by T. H. Thursby, Esq., in 1824: it has been much improved by stained windows. The living is a rectory, tithes commuted at about £300 yearly, with 42 acres of glebe, in the gift of Lord Overstone, and held by the Rev. Mathew William Frederic Thursby, M.A., of Lincoln College, Oxford. Abington Abbey, the seat of the Thursby family for 200 years till purchased by Lord Overstone, has been converted into a private lunatic asylum. Lord Overstone is lord of the manor and the principal landowner. The soil is loamy and marl; subsoil, stone and clay. The chief crops are wheat, barley and grass. The area is 1,100 acres, and the population in 1861 was 164.

Parish Clerk, Charles Thompson.

Letters from Northampton, which is the nearest money order office.

Carrier to Northampton. — F. Thompson, monday, Wednesday & Saturday

Prichard Thomas, M.D. Abington abbey

Thursby Rev. Mathew William Fredc. M.A. [rector]

Britten Richard, farmer, Lodge

Campion Joseph, farmer

Harris Charlotte (Mrs.), farmer, The Park

Merry Thomas, miller & grazier

Prichard Thomas, physician, Abington abbey

Stanton Richard, farmer

Source: Post Office Directory of Northamptonshire, Huntingdonshire, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and Oxfordshire; E. R. Kelly; Kelly & Co., London. 1869.


  • County: Northamptonshire
  • Civil Registration District: Northampton
  • Probate Court: Court of the Archdeaconry of Northampton
  • Diocese: Peterborough
  • Rural Deanery: Haddon
  • Poor Law Union: Northampton
  • Hundred: Spelhoe
  • Province: Canterbury