In 1887, John Bartholomew's Gazetteer of the British Isles described Northampton like this:
Northampton, parl. and mun. bor., and capital of Northamptonshire, on river Nen, 21 miles NW. of Bedford and 67' miles NW. of London by rail - mun. bor., 1342 ac., pop. 51,881; parl. bor., 2406 ac., pop. 57,544; 3 Banks, 7 newspapers. Market-days, Wednesday and Saturday. During Saxon times the appellation of the place was Hamtune, Northafendon, &c., while in the Domesday Book it appears as Northaneton. The distinguishing prefix "North" was adopted to prevent confusion with other places having similar names - e.g., Southampton. ...
The town has a high degree of historical interest. In 921 it was a possession of the Danes, by whom it was burnt in 1010. After the Conquest it was a royal residence; and, beginning with 1179, was the meeting place of several parliaments, one of which ratified the "Treaty of Northampton," which acknowledged the independence of Scotland (1328). Henry VI. was defeated and taken prisoner here in the sanguinary battle of the 10th July 1460. The old castle and walls, dating from the llth century, were demolished in 1662. Objects of considerable interest to antiquarians are the Knights Templars' church, one of the four round churches in England, and a beautiful Eleanor cross. All Saints Church was rebuilt (1680) by Wren, after being burnt in the great fire which nearly destroyed the town in 1675. The staple trade of Northampton is the mfr. of boots and shoes, an industry which has made extraordinary progress during recent years, and now shows an enormous output of work. Leather mfr. is largely carried on; also brewing, malting, iron and brass founding, and paper making. The town has a canal from the Nen, uniting with the Grand Junction system. The bor. returns 2 members to Parl.
A Vision of Britain through Time includes a large library of local statistics for administrative units. For the best overall sense of how the area containing Northampton has changed, please see our redistricted information for the modern district of Northampton. More detailed statistical data are available under Units and statistics, which includes both administrative units covering Northampton and units named after it.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Northampton in Northamptonshire | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 19th May 2013
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