This parish is bounded on the north by Brixworth and Holcot, from which it is divided by a brook, on the east and south-east by Overstone, on the south by Weston Favell and Moulton Park, and on the west by Boughton and Pitsford parishes. It contains 3034 acres, of the rateable value of £6814, and the gross estimated rental is £8139. Its population in 1801 was 843 ; in 1831, 1334; in 1841,1368; in 1851, 1524; in 1861, 1848 ; and in 1871, 1692. The open common was enclosed in 1772, and the land divided between sixty-eight freeholders. The soil is principally a reddish loam, except the south side of the lordship, which is a dark strong clay, and there are three limestone quarries in the parish, one of which is of considerable note. The lordship consists of about 2970 acres, exclusive of Moulton Park. The manor is divided, and Lord Overstone, Henry Osmond Nethercote, Esq., Rev. Geo. Robertson, Rev. S. Backler, Wm. Birber, Wm. Marsh, Lewis Brown Elliot, Esqs., the Trustees of the late Charles Britten, Esq., and Mr Jeyes are the principal proprietors. Morton mentions a chalybeate spring in this parish, of which nothing now is known. " The Meadow Brook," says Mr Baker, " which divides the fields of Moulton and Brixworth, must have formerly been a stream of some consequence, for in the fourth Edward I., 1276, the jurors of Spelhoe hundred presented that Simon Fitz-Simon, of Brixworth, had appropriated to himself a free and several fishery in the water between those parishes which used to be common."
Manor. — At the time of the Domesday survey, William the Conqueror, after having ejected Ailric, the Saxon proprietor, gave the manor of Moulton, consist ing of three hides and one virgate of land, valued at 403. in the time of King Edward, but then rated at 503., to the Countess Judith, his niece, under whom it was held by Grimbauld. In the_ reign of Henry II., two hides and four small virgates were held of the fee of Engayne ; Guy de Baillol held one hide and a half, and one small virgate of the fee of Faxton ; and Richard de le Pek four hides of the fee of King (Earl) David, or of the fee of Huntingdon. John Fitz- John, the son of John Fitz-Geoffrey, Lord Chief-Justice of Ireland, died seized of die manor of Moulton, which he held of William Grimbauld, by the service of one knight's fee, in the fourth year of Edward I., 1276, and was succeeded by Richard Fitz-John, his brother, who died whilst engaged in the expedition against France, seized of this, and many other manors and fees in several other counties. At the final partition of his estates, Moulton Manor was valued at £43, 6s. 11d., and assigned to Robert de Clifford, Baron Clifford, and Idoned, widow of Roger de Leybourn, and wife of John de Crombwell, or Cromwell, the two co-heirs of Isabel de Vipond, his second sister. In the ninth of Edward II., 1316, this John de Cromwell was found to be the lord of the manor of Moulton.
In the twentieth of Edward II., 1326, having incurred a forfeiture of his estates by contumaciously remaining abroad with the queen, who was exciting the French court against her husband, the manor of Moulton and lands in Potter's Pery and Yardley were consigned to Roger de Bilney during pleasure ; but on the accession of Edward III. he obtained restitution of all his possessions. Having afterwards fallen under the king's displeasure, the manor was conveyed to Hugh de Spencer, junior, sometimes called Earl of Gloucester, by whom it was re stored to them during the term of their natural lives, with remainder to himself for life, and to his second son. On the death of Cromwell, about 1335, the manor devolved upon Edward de Spencer, whose father (Hugh de Spencer) had been beheaded at Hereford in 1326, and who alienated it almost immediately after it came into his possession. It then passed into the hands of the Beauchamp family, and from Thomas Beauchamp, then Earl of Warwick, who held it in 1390, it lineally descended to Anne, Countess of Warwick, widow of "the king maker," who in 1487-8 conveyed all her possessions to the king entail male, with remainder to herself in fee. Edward VI. afterwards settled it on the Princess Elizabeth for life, on whose succession to the throne it again merged in the crown, where it remained till the fourth of Charles I., 1628, when it was granted to the Corporation of London, for moneys advanced to the king, and by whom the manor and estates were probably sold soon after in lots.
The Village, which is large, and pleasantly situated midway between the Kettering and Market Harborough roads from Northampton, is about four miles N.N.E. of the latter town.
The Church, which is situated on a gentle eminence, is dedicated to St Peter and St Paul, and consists of a nave, chancel, north and south aisles, both terminating eastward in chapels, western tower embattled, and south porch. The tower is of three decorated stages, and contains six bells ; the upper stage is of subsequent erection, and of superior stone and masonry to any other part of the building. The aisles, though not of the same masonry, agree very nearly in character with the tower ; their characteristic is the channelled and the swelled chamfer in the mouldings of the windows and doors. The interior retains the open roof, which was partly restored in 1842 and 1844. The church was re-pewed and a west gallery erected in 1816 ; and in 1869 a handsome organ was added by subscription. The body of the edifice is in the semi-Norman style. The chancel is separated from the nave by an open arch ; the north chapel communicates with the chancel through a lofty pointed arch ; the doorways once opening to the rood-loft still remain, and there is a piscina in the chancel, and in each chapel. The living is a vicarage in the deanery of Haddon, valued in the king's books at £14, 35. 9d., now worth £420 a year. The Rev. Thomas A. Walker, M.A., is patron ; and the Rev. Thomas Sanders, M.A., vicar. At the enclosure of the common, 397a. 3r. 35p. were allotted in lieu of the great tithes of the parish except Thorplands, and the rector of Blatherwick's- portion. An action was tried in the Court of Exchequer in 1784, Hatton versus Pell, by which the impropriators recovered the great tithes in kind of Thorplands, but they have been since exonerated by the late Mr Hillyard. Henry Osmond Nethercote, Esq., is the present impropriator.
At the west end of the village is a Particular or Calvinistic Baptist Chapel, which was erected under the ministry of the celebrated Dr Wm. Carey, professor of the Sanscrit and Bengalee languages in the College of Fort William, in India. Whilst here, he projected the Baptist Missionary Society, and in promotion of that object published "An Inquiry into the Obligations of Christians to use Means for the Conversion of the Heathen." This chapel was enlarged in 1870 at a cost of £500, and will seat 400 hearers. It has a house for the minister, and also a burial-ground attached. Rev. John Richard Parker is the present minister.
The Wcsleyan Methodist Chapel, a stone building, capable of seating about 300 persons, is situated in the village ; and here also is a Primitive Methodist Chapel, built in 1864, at a cost of £250.
The National School, built in 1843, is a handsome commodious building in the modern Gothic style. Sunday schools are attached to each of the places of worship, and they are all well attended.
The Vicarage House, a very old thatched building, stands near the centre of the village.
Moulton Grange, the seat of Henry Osmond Nethercote, Esq., is a handsome structure, situate about six miles north-east of Northampton. Thorplands is the property of Lord Overstone, and at present occupied by George Turner, Esq.
Holly Lodge is another good residence, occupied by Mr Philadelphus Jeyes, pleasantly situated about half a mile west of the village.
About half a mile north-west of the church is Castle Hill, the supposed site of the baronial residence of the Fitz-Johns, of which no vestige now remains beyond traces of the moat. The old Manor House, or as Bridges says, " the new house, now called the hall," lies north of the church ; it formerly belonged to the family of Sanderson, and afterwards to that of Staunton of Longbridge, near Leamington. It is now the property of Lord Overstone, and is reduced to a plain farmhouse.
Charities. — The commissioners allotted 38a. 3r. 33p at the enclosure in lieu of the different charitable bequests in land, which now lets for £112, 155. per annum, subject to the interest of a mortgage of £2000 imposed by the authority of the Court of Chancery.
Post and Money-Order Office, Telegraph, and Savings Bank.— Mrs Martha Britten, post mistress. Letters arrive from Northampton at 6.45 A.M., and are despatched thereto at 6.20 P. M.
Bonson Jas. land surveyor and house agent
Bradshaw Charles, joiner and wheelwright
Bradshaw John, post messenger
Bradshaw William, joiner
Britten Miss Ann
Buswell Hy. plumber, painter, and paperhanger
Cox Chas. Hump, watchmaker at Northampton, Ivy Cottage
Cox Mrs Helen, teacher of National School
Dawson Robert, higgler
Denton & Luck, shoe manufacturers
Denton Geo. (Denton & Luck)
Green Mr John
Howe Samuel, saddler and harness maker
Jeyes Philadelphus, chemist at Northampton, Holly Lodge
Luck William (Denton & Luck)
Luddington and hosier Robert, draper
Marshall Francis Henry, surgeon, &c.
Nethercote, Hy. Osmd., Esq., Moulton Grange
Onn William Thos. teacher, National School
Parker Rev. John Richard (Baptist)
Pell Thomas West, maltster
Sanders Rev. Thomas, M.A. vicar
Smith Jesse, greengrocer
Stevenson Charles, shoe manufacturer
Walker Joseph, Excise officer
Wheeler Mrs Elizabeth
Willis George, higgler
Andrews Mrs Rebecca
Dove Mrs Ann
Farmers and Graziers.
(Marked * are Yeomen).
* Barber William
Drage John, Moulton Lodge
Ead Mrs Jane, Manor Farm
Elliott Lewis Brown (and brickmaker)
Hopkins Henry Joseph, Grange Farm
Jones John George
* Marsh William
* Tressler John
Turner George, Thorplands
Walker Alfred, Moulton Lodge
Britten Mrs Martha
Checkley William Fisher
Co-operative stores, John Joyce, manager
Dove Mrs Ann
Inns and Taverns.
Artichoke (old), Thomas Clark
Blue Bell, Mrs Sarah Francis
Cardigan Arm, Benjamin Cox
Shoulder of Mutton, George Jolly Sanders (and soda-water manufacturer)
White Lion, James Walton
Carriers to Northampton. — Charles Jones, Monday, Tuesday, and Saturday ; John Ward, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.
Source: History, topography, and directory of Northamptonshire, by Francis Whellan and co. 1874