DATA BASE REF: H 1044 and P1028
Notes from “A Northamptonshire Miscellany” ed Edmund White 1983
Note: Page numbers refer to the page in Edmund White’s book.
P 114 Table 1:
Men recorded in each parish and hamlet in Nassaburgh Hundred in 1762 and
All Inhabitants and all male inhabitants 1801
Village 1762 1801 All 1801 Male
Castor 66 475 251
Ailsworth 28 154 83
Sutton 13 110 59
Upton 5 76 36
Marholm 14 109 56
Note that Castor was one of the biggest villages in the Soke and Hundred at the time. Only Eye was bigger. (The figures for Barnack include Pilsgate and Southorpe.) Other examples are as follows:
Pilsgate 16}74 613 322
Eye 85 501 256
Glinton 50 314 159
Helpston 48 301 155
Maxey 52 313 152
Northborough 32 192 89
Peakirk 24 132 64
Ufford 20 120 63
Wansford 16 148 76
Wittering 21 194 85
P 117 Comment re Shepherds and John Clare
In 1762, more shepherds were recorded at Castor and its hamlets than in any other parish in Nassaburgh – 7 in all. Castor lies between Morton’s heathland and the River Nene and contains much pasturage, including river meadow. John Stimson, maternal grandfather of John Clare, the poet, was a shepherd in Castor, and his name appears in the Castor Militia List. Clare referred to him as having been a “town shepherd as they are called, who has care of all the flocks of the village…”, confirmation that sheep had a prominent place in the agricultural economy of Castor during the eighteenth century. John Morton (1712) observed that in the Nassaburgh Hundred Northants heathland “yields a sweet and cleanly Herbage, which feeds a Breed of small Sheep, whose flesh is usually much commended and esteem’d.” William Cobbett Rural Rides more than a hundred years later says of Nassaburgh Hundred stated “Here as all over the country (sic) everlasting fine sheep.”
P 122 John Stimson of Castor: maternal grandfather of John Clare the poet.
John Stimson married Elizabeth Daves at Castor on 5 November 1750; he was a shepherd who has already been noticed in the section on shepherds in Nassaburgh. His daughet Ann, who was baptised at Castor on 17 April 1757, married Parker Clare of Helpston, but not at either Castor or Helpston and the whereabouts and date is not known (1982). John Clare the poet was their son.
P 33 n149 The Waterville Family at Marholm AD 1240
The Waterville family held Marholm in the Soke of Peterborough, and land in Thorpe Achurch, Titchmarsh, and Clapton itself: Pytchley, pp41-45. An assise of novel disseisin was taken at Clapton on 4 November 1240, which shows Reginald of Waterville succeeding his father and establishing his lordship in Marholm; he died in 1287: Curia Regis Rolls, xvi, no 2465; Pytchley, p45, note.
P 115 re Robert Collinge of Marholm
Since (the Militia) list was displayed on the door of the parish church, it may seem rather hard that Robert Collinge, who kept a public house at Marholm, should have been described as having “remarkable crooked legs”, especially as this unflattering disability did not earn him an exemption.