Newspaper Articles

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12 March 1770 Northampton Mercury

"Stolen lately from the newly planted hedgerows belonging to the Right Honorable Lady Dowager St John at Woodford near Thrapston, in Northamptonshire, several young trees. Whoever will give information of the person or persons who took away any such trees to Mr Yorke of Thrapston will upon the conviction of the offender or offenders receive the sum of five guineas reward. By order of her Ladyship.

Daniel Yorke"

The St Johns owned the Manor House in the field known as the Warren at the east end of Church Street Only the two garden terraces are now visible.

Five Guineas in today's money be equal to about £337. In 1770 it would have paid a crafts man in the building trade for about 52 days or have been sufficient to purchase a cow.

1770 was just six years after the enclosure Act was enacted by parliament, so these trees had been recently planted in the newly created hedgerows.

24 December 1770 Northampton Mercury

"This is to inform gentleman sportsmen that have liberty to shoot in the Manor of Woodford that they will not kill any pheasants, as they are very tame, on account of their being lately turned out; therefore it is expected that this is sufficient notice to hinder them being destroyed"

The Gentleman sportsmen might have read, understood and acted as requested, but what about the poachers?............................

14 April 1777 Northampton Mercury

"Lost on Monday 7th April between Irthlingborough Stanwick and Chelston (Chelveston), A white bitch of the Pomeranian breed. Answers to the name of Sonp. Whoever brings her to the Falcon at Woodford shall receive five shillings reward"

The Falcon was the name of the pub presently called the Dukes Arms. The dog may well have been called "Soup" but the typesetter erroneosuly inverted the letter "u".

15 December 1777 Northampton Mercury

The Manor of Woodford near Thrapston in the County of Northampton

Whereas many qualified and unqualified persons have for some time past taken liberty to shoot and course within the Manor of Woodford. This is therefore to give notice to all persons that shall in future be found trespassing, they will be protected according to law.

11 May 1778 Northampton Mercury

"Whereas a fishpond in the Parish of Woodford in the County of Northampton belonging to the Right Hon Lady St John was a few nights ago robbed of a considerable number of pike and other fish. If anyone will give information to her ladyship or to Mr Yorke at Thrapston of the said person or persons concerned in the said robbery such informer shall upon the conviction of the offender or offenders receive five guineas reward"

26 April 1779 Northampton Mercury

"Lost at Melchburn in Bedfordshire an old brown and white pointer dog answers to the name of Carlo. Whoever, will bring him to Lord St John at Woodford, Dr Syme at Northampton or to John Harpur Gamekeeper at Melchburn shall receive a reward of half guinea. No higher reward will not be given."

11 August 1783 Northampton Mercury

"To be sold by auction by J Robinson, on Wednesday the 20th and Thursday the 21st of this instant August. The materials of a large Mansion House at Woodford near Thrapston in the County of Northampton belonging to the Right Hon. Lord St John: consisting of Ketton and other stone, paving brick, slate, tile, lead, timber, marble and other chimney pieces, iron glass, deal and oak floors, wainscot etc. etc. Three months credit will be given upon approved security, to purchasers of teen pounds and upwards. NB Woodford is situate near the River Nene which is very convenient for carriage to Northampton, Wellingborough, Oundle, Peterborough, etc. etc." (The House on the Warren Hill was sold a salvage)

19 January 1784 Northampton Mercury

"To be lett in Woodford near Thrapston in the County of Northampton. a large garden almost encompassed with brick walls, fully planted with the choicest fruit trees, in High perfection and espalier trees of apples, pears and plumbs with sufficient room for a kitchen garden. For particulars, please enquire of Mr Yorke, of Thrapston"

(This was most probably the walled garden where The Moorings is now built.)

6 December 1784 Northampton Mercury

"To be sold at Woodford and Islip in the County of Northampton Several Ricks and Cocks of hay, which was well got off good meadow land. It may be taken away, or if for beasts may be eaten on the premises so long as it is cleared by 25 March next. Please to apply to Mr. John Collins who has disposal of it"

This advert was repeated weekly until 21 March 1785

10 September 1791 Northampton Mercury

"Whereas the game on the Manor of Woodford in the County of Northampton has for some years past been destroyed by some unqualified persons; this is to inform all such persons found trespassing on the said manor that they will be prosecuted as the law directs. And all qualified persons are requested not to sport or shoot on the said manor."

5 April 1794 Northampton Mercury

"Wanted. A person to undertake the care and maintenance of the poor at Woodford near Thrapston, Apply to William Dickens or John Britten overseers on or before the 9th day of April next."

29 November 1794 Northampton Mercury

For the benefit of the creditors of William Hickes, to be sold by auction by William Smith without reserve.

On the premises at Woodford near Thrapston, Northamptonshire on Saturday 6th day of December 1794. All the household goods and stock in trade, horses and other effects of the said William Hickes. Comprising four post be and other bedsteads with check and other furnitures. Feather and flock beds, quilts and blankets, chest of drawers swing and other looking glasses, dining tea and other tables, chairs a thirty hour clock, twelve pairs of sheets and other linen, copper and grate, kitchen range and neat wind up jack, brass pots and kettles, barrels and tubs. Also some excellent dough troughs 12 sacks 1,500 faggots peals and other baking implements and also three useful horses and two carts one nearly new, horse harness , core of hay , manure etc. The sale to commence at 9o'clock in the forenoon as the whole is intended to be disposed of in one day."

4 July 1795 Northampton Mercury

To be sold by auction by Richard Smith. On Thursday the 9th day of July 1795 at the house of Mr. Fisher, the Lord St John's Arms at Woodford, near Thrapston, Northamptonshire.

The following wheels and other articles , viz one horse wheel, eight feet six inches, with a wallower two feet three inches and a counter wheel and heads, a dressing wheel a spur wheel five feet, a bevil pit wheel wallower three feet, a counter shaft, iron work and brasses, a counter wheel five feet, a spur, nut, spindle and Rine, a new crown wheel three feet six inches, two swim wheels and nuts, a small counter wheel and nut, three bolsters for a timber carriage, two trundle heads and blocks, a pair of lifting screws, a lathe, a jib with stout rope 100 yards, pulleys and blocks, carpenters bench, trestles etc. etc. The sale to commence at two o'clock in the afternoon and may be viewed in the morning of the sale day.

13 October 1798 Northampton Mercury

"For sale by auction by Mr. J Robinson. At Woodford near Thrapston Northamptonshire the household effects of the Rev Mr. Fancourt who has left the country. Consisting of feather and flock beds, bedsteads, mahogany dining and card tables, chairs in mahogany, stained and painted beech, large pier glasses in gilt and other frames; walnut tree chest of drawers, wainscot bureau, 30hour clock, bath stove and polished grates, smoke jack, kitchen range, and other re3quisites in copper, brass and pewter, 40 gallon copper, half hogsheads and smaller barrels. The Sale to begin precisely at 10 o'clock."

13 March 1799 Northampton Mercury

"All persons having any demands against Mr. John Chew, late of Woodford Lodge near Thrapston, in the county of Northampton, grazer deceased, are desired to send an account thereof to Mr. Thomas Chew of Woodford Lodge, aforesaid ...executor of the deceased. and all persons indebted to said Mr. John Chew at the time of his decease are desired forthwith to pay the same Thomas Chew."

26 December 1799 Northampton Mercury

"Stolen or strayed. A Bay Gelding of the nag kind, bald face, one wall eye, chaf'd on both sides by panels, cut tail four white legs, legs trimmed. If stolen any person or persons giving information if the offender or offenders shall on their conviction be rewarded with the sum of five guineas. And if it strayed all expenses and a liberal reward will be paid on the information above."

5 October 1839 Northampton Mercury

"To Millers Bakers and others, valuable freehold dwelling house and bakehouse and other outbuildings, livestock, implements of husbandry household furniture, brewing and dairy utensils etc., at Woodford near Thrapston Northamptonshire to be sold by auction by William Smith, upon the premises on Wednesday the 9th of October 1839 for the benefit of creditors , the property of the late Mr. John Bartlett consisting of a useful cart mare, in foal; tradesman's horse, two in calf cows, two sturks, two calves; light narrow wheel wagon six inch dung cart, baker's cart, with iron arms, capital Scotch cart, with raves complete, gig cart and harness, scotch and swing ploughs, gate and sheet harrows, wheel barrow, hog trough, ladders, hurdles and trays, cow and sheep cribs, saddle and bridle, dung forks, shovels, spades, hoes, ropes, skips and riddles, dressing machine, by Blackwell.

The household furniture etc. consists of four post and tent bedsteads in chintz and other furniture; leather and wool beds, mattresses, blankets, quilts ad counterpanes, swing and pier looking glasses, wash stands, basins and jugs, bedside carpets, neat oak and other chests of drawers, night convenience, neat kitchen, parlor, and other chairs; oak bureau, 30 hour clock, square oak and deal dining tables, oak pillar and claw tea tables, dressing and other tables, linen china glass and earthenware, mahogany tea trays and waiters, brass and iron candlesticks, fenders and fire irons, large and small brass pots and kettles, forty gallon copper and grate, copper tea kettles, barrel churn and frame, and dairy requisites in general. salting lead iron furnace and grate, large and small sweet ale casks, mash vat, working vat and small and large tubs etc. etc. Also a cock of capital hay, about four tons, a quantity of barley and beans and a barn to thrash the same and a yard to consume the straw until lady day next; further particulars which will appear in catalogues to be had at the principal inns in the neighborhood; at the Dukes Arms Woodford, and of the auctioneer, Swan inn Thrapston. Also the same evening at the Dukes Arms In Woodford subject to such conditions as will then be produced. All that substantial stone built swelling house in good repair with sitting room, parlor, pantry, cellar, dairy scullery, four good sleeping rooms, closets etc., with a substantial, newly built bakehouse with large flour room or granary over the same, barn, stables, piggeries, and other outbuildings, yard etc. situate in the centre of Woodford wherein and extensive business has been carried on for a number of years. For further particulars, apply to the auctioneer, Swann In Thrapston."

Northampton Mercury 13 December 1862

Committee meeting of the Architectural society of the Archdeaconry of Northampton  ...also a ground plan for the re-seating of Woodford Church by the Rev C Smyth, also approved...

Northampton Mercury 21 March 1863

On Tuesday the 10th, the celebration of the Royal Wedding was duly observed here by the children of the schools, amounting to about 230, assembling in a barn of Mr Mitchell’s, to partake of tea and cake, which had been very excellently arranged for the purpose of the day. The children sung the anthem which was composed for the day with excellent effect and other pieces which gave great pleasure to those assembled in hearing them. After the treat given to the children was over the working classes of the village amounting to upwards of 400 assembled in the same barn and partook of a meat tea. The tea being over, The Rev M Royds, the curate of the village made a suitable and short address to the people, expressing his opinion that there was a great reason for the nation to celebrate the royal marriage which had taken place that day. It was a marriage in which every circumstance connected with it led to the belief that it would be a happy one, and beneficial to the people of these realms whenever the Prince of Wales should become king. The anthem for the day having been sung in excellent style, the whole of the people left the barn and joined in a variety of sports and amusements in a field where much pleasure was given to the children and the people by the games. After the treat was over a fine growing oak was given by the Hon Mrs Arbuthnot, on the parish green in the presence of a very large number of persons. Mr Mitchell stated that it was Mr Arbuthnot’s wish that it should be called Alexandra and said it was a very pleasing mode of perpetuating the remembrance to the present in the future. When the present generation shall be removed those of the younger now witnessing this interesting ceremony would, in looking at the tree in future years, be reminded of the present. The school children sang some very suitable pieces. A vote of thanks was most enthusiastically given to Mrs Arbuthnot and the large crowd was then called to witness a very beautiful display of fireworks which finished the recreation of a day long to be remembered for the unity and good feeling which pervaded the minds of the people in the celebration of the royal marriage.

Northampton Mercury 10 February 1866

On the 5th Inst at her town residence Frances, the wife of RP Gunnell Esq of 31 Oxford Square, Hyde Park and Hill Cottage, Woodford Northamptonshire

Northampton Mercury 8 June 1867

The stay at Ringstead was but brief before moving on towards Woodford the approach to which was the most awkward experienced through the day.
Woodford Church. The experiences of the awkwardness of the way were sufficiently atoned for by the many beauties of the church which is chiefly remarkable for its execution and the peculiarities of its construction and arrangement. This church has also recently undergone a thorough restoration. The tower arch, which is unpretentious, and  yet most chaste and elegant, is left open and discloses a beautifully painted lancet window, illustrating the annunciation. The East window is also beautifully painted and represents the various scenes  of our Lord’s Passion. When the restoration of the church was effected, the old pews were done away with and in lieu of them or the usual open seats, chairs are provided, the floor on which they stand being raised some three or four inches above the aisles. The carving of the inner door was very beautiful and extremely graceful. The door was supposed by Mr Poole to be of the date 1289 though Mr Smythe, the rector put it at 1300. The tower appeared to be of the same date. The church was built in the decorated period. There is a very curious pair of wooden effigies recumbent in the north aisle supposed to represent Sir William Traylly and Alionar, his wife. Connected with the late restoration, the Rev Smyth, the rector related a curios incident. On the west side of one of the pillars in the north aisle, and just under the capital, a hole was discovered containing an old box in which a human heart was found, wrapped up in a piece of cloth. There was nothing to show to whom it belonged, but it was clearly put in about the time of the erection of the pillar because a stone which covered it corresponded with that on the other side. He might mention with regard to this that he heard the other day that at Yaxley a heart was found in a box apparently made from a piece of bamboo. No doubt this curious incident was traceable to the fact that when people fell in the Holy Land it was customary to send their hearts home in a box and bury their bodies on the field of battle.

Northampton Mercury 22 June 1867

Woodford Near Thrapston - The Parish Church will be re-opened after the restoration on Thursday July 18th with the following services:-

Holy Communion 7 30

Morning Prayer and Sermon 11 00

Afternoon ditto ditto 3 00

Evening ditto ditto 7 00

Woodford and Nene Valley Floral and Horticultural Show
Will be held on Tuesday July 16th in a field at Islip kindly lent for the occasion by M H Bigge Esq. about 300 yards from Thrapston Railway Station

Schedules may be obtained from the Hon Secretary. Rev C Smyth Woodford Rectory Thrapston.

Northampton Mercury 13 July 1867

Woodford near Thrapston. Church restoration Thursday 18th July 1867. The services for the day will be as follows:7.30am Holy Communion, 11 am Morning prayer Sermon by the Ven Edward Bickersteth DD Archdeacon of Buckingham and Vicar of Alesbury.3pm Evening Prayer Sermon by the Rev Thomas Yard MA Recytor of Ashwell and Rural Dean.7pm Evening Prayer. Sermon by the Hon and Rev A G Douglas MA Rector of Scaldwell.

On Sunday July the 21st 1867 Sermons will be preached in aid of the restoration fund, morning at 10.30am; Evening at 6.30pm by the Rev the Lord Bishop of Peterborough.

Northampton Mercury 20 July 1867

On Thursday last the re-opening services of the unique parish church of Woodford were held. At half past seven o’clock in the morning there was the administration of the sacrament; at eleven o’clock there was morning prayer when the sermon was preached by the Rev. Edward Bickersteth DD archdeacon of Buckingham and vicar of Aylesbury; at three o’clock pm there was evening prayer when the sermon was preached by the Rev Thomas Yard MA Rector of Ashwell and rural dean: and again at seven o’clock pm there was evening prayer; the sermon being preached by the Hon and Rev A G Dean MA Rector of Scaldwell. The village of Woodford is one of the most prettily situated in the County and its Parish Church is a feature if which it may well be proud. It has been some two years undergoing restoration, It is remarkable from the peculiarity of its construction, the interior being somewhat irregular; but though peculiar there is much that is beautiful in it that cannot fail to command admiration. The result of the restoration is a marked improvement and the beauty of the building is by no means marred. As we so recently, reported in our report of the Architectural Society a few weeks back, gave an account of the church, it will be needless to enter into any detailed description. The restoration and improvement chiefly consists of the rebuilding of the east wall of the chancel, the construction of a new vestry and other alterations in the body of the Church. An arcaded septum wall of Caen stone, very chaste and elegant separates the chancel from the body of the church. The flooring is entirely new and is raised some two or three inches above the ground-work; and the old high pews, so objectionable to most persons now have been replaced by chairs, a change we believe, very acceptable to the parishioners though some would have preferred the open seats now becoming so common. The whole of the restoration and improvement to the chancel has been done at the expense of the rector, the Rev C Smyth, who must be congratulated on the excellent results attained. Mr Fowler of Louth, is the architect of the chancel restoration, the body of the church having been under the supervision of another architect, Mr Slater. Mr Allen, builder, of Irthlingborough was employed to carry out the work. One or two matters still remain to be attended to. An organ has been presented to the church by Mr Gunnell, but this has not been placed in time to be used at the re-opening services. The pulpit, an old structure, surrounded by much that is new, requires replacing by one more in accord with the septum wall, as now it is out of character. We believe such an alteration is in contemplation, the new pulpit to be of stone and made to correspond with the septum wall. The amount expended in the restoration has not yet been raised. About £300 more is required. On Thursday, the day of the re-opening, the weather was fine, almost unexpectedly so, and there was a large attendance of the clergy among whom we observed- Rev T Yard, Hon and Rev A Douglas, The Rector – (Rev C Smyth). Rev N F Lightfoot, Rev Sandilanes, Rev G W Paul, Rev Worley, Rev W Duthy, Rev F B Newman, Rev Hodgson, F P Lawson, G Grove, R Doke, C Smyth, N Royds, J G Orger J G Smyth, G S H Vyse, R Watson, J Watson, - Goodman, H F Johnson, C C Spencer, -Theed, W Smyth, F M Stopford, C Porter, A Boodle, F C H Bent, -Lee, J H Gandy, -Durrant, John Parsons Goodman and L F Clarkson etc. The reredos was very chastely decorated, otherwise there were no decorations. The morning service commenced at eleven o’clock. A procession of surpliced choristers and clergy was formed at the Rectory and proceeded to the church, the choir singing the processional hymn. “Oft in danger, oft in woe, Onward, Christian onward go.” On arriving in the church, and whilst the congregation taking their seats, the choir sang the hymn commencing “We love the place O God, Wherein thine honour dwells”
The prayers were intoned by the Curate, Rev T Stevens, the first lesson being read by Rev G Paul and the second by the Rev H F Johnson. The Anthem was taken from the 84th Psalm, 1st, 2nd, and 4th verses. After the singing of the 145th hymn “Hymns Ancient and Modern” the sermon was preached.
The Venerable the Archdeacon selected for the basis of his discourse the words of the 22nd verse of the 21st chapter of Revelations – “I saw no temple therein” etc. He said it had been concluded with great reason that the two closing chapters of Revelation contained description of the state of things subject to the general Judgement, a description of the eternal kingdom and the future blessedness of God’s Saints. Now amongst the characteristics of that new heavenly state, they read this simple description-“I saw no temple therein” In that there was something at first sight surprising. Where should they look for a temple if not in the Holy City – the New Jerusalem? They knew that here they had their temples or churches, where they could all meet to draw near to God, to enjoy holy communion with their Creator and Redeemer. Could it then be possible that in the Holy City where were the brightest manifestations of Deity, and where praise and worship would know their utmost perfection, that there they should look in vain for a temple? There was no temple and yet there was a temple, for “the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb” are the temple of heaven, so that, after all, though there might not be the rich grandeur of material temples, their place was supplied by God and the Lamb. The venerable Archdeacon then appropriately alluded to the occasion which had brought them together reminding the congregation that, although God and the Lamb were the temple of heaven, yet God condescended to dwelling in temples made with hands. God did indeed dwell in their churches, because they were houses of God and therefore it was that those who loved God loved to see them kept in order. They were the means or instruments by which they might draw near to God by Jesus Christ. He urged them, instead of cultivating a spirit of going to hear this or that minister, to try, as far as possible to lose sight of the minister and to perceive the voice of Christ as addressing their consciences through the minister. The absence of temples in heaven was but a proof of the perfection of heaven. Before they could do away with temples on earth there must be a certain amount of real godliness in the world. Let them imagine such a state of righteousness. Every day would be in some degree a Sunday and every place a temple. There would be no necessity for any fixed places or seasons for serving God. Before they gave up their temples, they must have the whole inhabitants of the world converted into worshippers and the life of every individual must be one continued act of prayer and praise. Hence, when they read there was no temple in heaven, it meant that heaven was one eternal, unbroken Sunday where they would rest not day nor night crying “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord!”After dilating on the heavenly temple as one whose walls are bright with the lustre of the God-head, whose roof is His Majesty, whose pillars are His Omnipotence, and whose foundations are His Eternity, the reverend gentleman concluded by exhorting his hearers to seek the holy temple.
The service was a choral one, and the manner in which it was performed was highly creditable to the choir, which, we understood, is under the efficient management of the Rev. T Stevens. The collection at the early communion amounted to £40 7s 2 1/2d and at the morning service £30. Mr Philip Worley presided at the harmonium.