Old Stratford - Newspaper Reports

The Northampton Mercury November 21st  1774


From J. GIBBONS’S, at Old Stratford, near Stony Stratford, about the first Week in June last, consisting of ten Joints of Cane of the natural Colour, except the bottom Joint, which is black, with large Caps of Brass at each End, and most of the Joints are mark’d with Letters of either A. B. or C. It is hoped the Person whose Hands it may have fallen into will be so kind as to give Information as above, and they shall receive FIVE SHILLINGS Reward, and all reasonable Satisfaction for their Trouble.

The Northampton Mercury November 26th 1785

THOMAS NEALE, of Old Stratford, HOG-DROVER, acquaints his Friends and Public, that he intends setting off from Towcester on Tuesday next, to drive PORKETS to Barnet Market, as usual.

The Northampton Mercury 4 February 1786

4th February, 1786

Stolen, sometime in the Night between Saturday the 28th, and Sunday the 29th of January last, out of a Ground in the Parish of Wolverton, in the County of Bucks, called Half-Mile Ground.

A Poll’d White EWE SHEEP

Of the Value of 25s. marked with a K on the off Hip, the Property of Mr. Thomas Johnson, of Old Stratford, in the County of Northampton.
Whoever will discover the Person or Persons guilty of the said Offence shall, on their Conviction, be paid by the Owner of the said sheep, over and above the Sum of FIVE GUINEAS, on Conviction, allowed by the said Society.

The Northampton Mercury December 5th  1789

Northamptonshire. GAME DUTY. A List of the several Persons to whom CERTIFICATES have been granted for the Year 1789, under the Act of Parliament of the 25th of George the Third, to the 21st of November, inclusive. Rev. Wm. Corbett Wilson, of Old Stratford, Clerk

The Northampton Mercury November 14th 1795

On Thursday the body of Thomas Johnson, corn-factor, of Old Stratford, was found drowned in the river near that place. The unhappy mad had been missing nearly a fortnight and so determined was he upon accomplishing his purpose, that it appears he had secured his head and one leg together by cord, previous to his throwing himself into the water.

The Northampton Mercury November 14th 1795

For the Benefit of Creditors.
 By J. DAY and SON,

On Monday the 23rd of November, 1795, and following Day, on the Premises at OLD-STRATFORD, in the County of Northampton,
THE SUNDRY EFFECTS lately belonging to Mr. THO. JOHNSON , deceased: Confining of Wheat and Beans, thresh’d and un-thresh’d ; upwards of 18 Quarters of Oats in Sacks ; one Six inch and one Narrow-Wheel Waggon ; two Carts; one Jockey Cart and Harness ; seven Horses; Gears for ten Ditto; Ploughs, Harrows, and Barn Tackle; a large Quantity of Wheat Straw, &c. &c.
The Household Furniture consists of Four-post and other Bedsteads, with Check, Stuff, and other Furniture, Feather and Flock Beds ; Blankets, Tables, Drawers, Chairs, &c.; Kitchen Grate, and Kitchen Furniture in General; a Hogshead Brewing Copper one smaller Ditto; Mash Tub and Coolers ; Brewing Tubs, Beer Casks. and sundry other Effects.
The Stock, &c. will be sold on the first Day's Sale, and the Sale to begin each Day exactly at Eleven o’Clock.

The Northampton Mercury January 9th 1796

The Creditors of Mr. THOMAS JOHNSON, late of Old Stratford in the County of Northampton, Corn-Factor, are requested to attend on Thursday the 21st Day of this instant January, 1796, at the House of Mr. Richard Sirett, at Old Stratford aforesaid, known by the Sign of the Saracen’s Head, to receive their Dividend.
Stony Stratford, 1st Jan. 1796

The Northampton Mercury January 25th 1799


OUT of a Close, at OLD STRATFORD, in the County of Northampton, on Thursday Evening the 10th, or early on Friday Morning the 11th of October, 1799,


Rising seven Years old, of the Coaching Kind, fifteen Hands and a Half high, bar Shoe on the near Foot before, Part of the same Hoof pared away, her Shoulders rubbed by the Collar, has a black cut Tail, and a small Star in the Forehead.
Any Person giving Information of the said Mare to MARK COLLINGRIDGE, Saddler, in STONY STRATFORD, Bucks shall be handsomely rewarded for their Trouble.

The Northampton Mercury January 18th 1845


Crossing the Ouse the hamlet of Old Stratford was entered, and here another arch spanned the road, near to which a group of well dressed villagers were assembled to greet the Royal presence.

The Northampton Mercury February 15th 1845

Longevity - There are now living at Old Stratford, Northamptonshire, three widow ladies, whose united age amount to 250 years.

The Northampton Mercury October 18th 1845

LOST, between OLD STRATFORD, BRIDGE GATE and OLD STRATFORD, a MACKINTOSH and a pair of gloves; whoever will bring the same to Mrs. Stockley’s, the Falcon Inn, will be handsomely rewarded for their trouble.

The Northampton Mercury June 15th 1850


That at One o’clock in the Afternoon of Wednesday the said Third day of July next, the Court will proceed to take into consideration a Notice, to me directed and delivered, of which the following is a copy (viz.):
“We, the undersigned, being five of Her Majesty’s
“Justices of the Peace, acting in and for the County of
“Northampton, do hereby require you to give notice, that
“at the next General Quarter Sessions of the Pease, to be
“holden at Northampton, in and for the County of North
“ampton, on Wednesday the Third day of July, 1850, Appli-
“cation will be made to the Justices of the Peace, to be then
“and there assembled, if they shall think fit, to order that a
“Lock-up House, for the temporary confinement of persons
“taken into custody by any constable, and not yet committed
“for trial, or in execution of any sentence, shall be provided
“at Old Stratford, in the said County of Northampton.
“Dated this 26th day of April, 1850.

“To H. P. Markham, Esq., Clerk of the Pease
“for the County of Northampton.”

HENRY PHILIP MARKHAM, Clerk of the Peace.
County Hall, Northampton, June 14th, 1850

 The Northampton Mercury September 13th 1853

[From a larger newspaper article of this date]
Fire broke out on the 6th of May, 1742, breaking out at the Bull Inn, and in about four hours destroyed 146 dwelling houses, besides outhouses, barns and stables, &c. The fire extended to Old Stratford, a quarter of a mile distant on the other side of the river.

The Northampton Mercury January 7th 1860
Old Stratford Petty Sessions Division.
Mr. Barton stated that it had not been thought desirable upon further consideration to make a new Petty Sessionsal Division at Old Stratford, and he therefore begged to withdraw the notice.

The Northampton Mercury October 4th 1862


The second annual gathering of the friends of agriculture and social progress was held at the Watling Works, on Tuesday last. The attendance was large, although the unpropitious  state of the weather prevented some friends attending from the country. The object of the meeting is to bring together the mechanics, artizans, ministers of religion, tradesmen, and the industrial population of Stony Stratford and the adjoining villages, and discuss the improvements that have taken place in agriculture and the social progress during the past year. The idea of holding these meetings in Stony Stratford originated with Henry Vincent. Among, other places, he visited Stony Stratford, and, owing to the, numerous expenses attending his lectures, many were prevented from hearing him on account of the high price of admission. Mr. Hayes thought something might be done at a cheaper rate, and still be instructive, amusing, and very beneficial to all, both old and young. The idea was mentioned to Mr. Vincent, and his opinion was asked on the matter, and he suggested the title " Gathering of the Friends of Agricultural and Social Progress." The first meeting was held last year, and passed off admirably. This year greater interest was felt in the success of the gathering, owing to the rapid strides that have been made in agriculture by the more general application of steam to the plough. Stony Stratford is closely connected with these advances, some of the most useful steam ploughing machinery being made there. The steam cultivator, the property of the Northamptonshire Steam Ploughing Company (which has been fully described in the Mercury), was at work in a field at Old Stratford, and was visited by a large number of persons interested in steam ploughing, amongst whom were the Hon. R. Cavendish, of Thornton Hall, and Captain Mansell. These two gentlemen were both prevented from attending the evening meeting by previous engagements. Several gentlemen from Landon and Birmingham were expected to attend, but, from some cause or other, they were not there. Their places, however, were supplied by various friends, who addressed the audience. The gathering commenced with a tea at five o'clock in the afternoon, which was held at the Watling Works, and was attended by a large number of residents of Stony Stratford and neighbourhood. The fitting room at the works had been tastefully decorated with laurels, flowers, and flags, under the superintendence of Mr. Britten. A large number of the fair sex were present, and added greatly to the pleasure of the party by attending to the duties of the tea-trays. An amateur string band, composed of young men of the town, under the leadership of Mr. H. Sole, played a variety of tunes during tea. At seven o’clock the meeting and musical entertainment commenced. A large and very intelligent audience attended. The Rev. W. R. Trevelyan, vicar of Wolverton, was unanimously called to the chair.
Before speeches commenced, Mr. Hayes apologised for the non-attendance of several eminent men who had promised to attend.
The Rev. W. S. SANKEY: He thought that all the dwellers in the town of Stony Stratford ought to be proud of Mr. Hayes for the great ingenuity and perseverance displayed by him in his improvements and appliances for the assistance of farmers. The farmers were often a long time before they would allow any change in management; but he thought they must introduce steam cultivation on their farms, and turn their field s more into gardens. With regard to social progress, he was glad to see so good a meeting, and he was sure Mr. Hayes was the best man to carry out their meetings. Mr. Hayes has set foot the practical working out of Christianity. He had lived long amongst them, and he greatly respected him. He had spent a great deal of time with him during his illness. He must congratulate Mr. Hayes on his improvements in machinery.
Mr. Hayes: Several years ago he invented the windlass, which had been so greatly admired in the International Exhibition; but he was a very long time before he would patent it, as he had an antipathy to rope traction, and he did not want to make an article for the farmers that they would, in a year or two, say was useless, and that they had thrown away their money’s worth for his money. After a great deal of solicitation from his friends he patented the windlass, and last year sent it to the annual meeting of the Royal Agricultural Society, at Leeds, where he was honoured with a silver medal. He was convinced it was the best machine of its class at the present invented. It was a great thing for him to say, but it had been commented on by engineers of every rank, and he had found a good mention in every work that had appeared concerning the Exhibition.
Rev. E. L. FORESTER: He recollected Mr. Hayes factory was very small, and the bellows were worked with the foot, but the works have greatly altered since then.

The Northampton Mercury February 13th 1864

NARROW ESCAPE FROM DROWNING. On Wednesday afternoon last the canal at Old Stratford being frozen over, a number of people assembled to skate. Towards the close of the afternoon the ice began to get very rotten. The majority of the people seeing their lives endangered, left. A youth named Sheldon, being more reckless then the rest, and neglecting the entreaties of his companions to come off the ice, would insist upon skating into one of the most dangerous parts. Suddenly the ice gave way. Sheldon managed to catch hold of a projecting piece that kept him above water for some few minutes. His companions, seeing the peril he was in, called loudly for help, and luckily their cries were heard by a number of workmen in the employ of Mr. Hayes, Watling Works, who were building a steam tug near the spot. A young gentleman amongst them (Mr. William Weldon Symington, engineer, late of Market Harborough,) with great presence of mind seized a long pole, and ran off to the spot; then creeping on hands and knees, pushed the pole to the drowning youth. He had succeeded in drawing him a little distance, when the ice gave way under him, letting them both in. Symington, being a good swimmer and strong in the arm, seized Shelton by the coat, and gallantly rescued him from the watery grave.

The Northampton Mercury March 7th 1866

An Additional Constable. The Rev. H. J. BARTON, in accordance with a notice of motion, rose to propose an additional constable in the parish of Old Stratford especially at the Great Barnet or Old Chesterfield road, where a large number of tramps were in the habit of passing. It so happened that the Yardley Gobion Union was three miles off, so that there was great difficulty in lodging them.  If a constable were placed there it would prevent a great amount of crimes and mischief. A residence would be found for the constable. The Duke of Grafton, had he been present, would have given the motion his support.—Mr. DOLBEN seconded the motion. He thought on the ground of population this was a very exceptional case. It would too be simply the wages of the constable, who would be assisted by a man supported at other peoples expense to look after the arrangement of the workhouse.—Lord BURGHLEY said the question whether it would not double the amount of beggars. Mr. BARTON said the system would be made a test of labour in the shape of labour- and diet. The worst class would certainly soon be sifted out.—Gen. CARTWRIGHT, in reference to Lard Burghley's remark, referred to a case at Wickham Market when were a certain number of tramps, and be had a return given to him. Under the old system of a lodging-house, it had cost them in four mouths £8 15s., to relieve 415, but under the new system of taking them to the workhouse at Saxmundham, there were during the eight mouths  following, 93 applications, and of then only 19 would go to the house at all.. Therefore the expense only amounted to £1 8s. At Framlingham similar results were obtained.— The motion for an additional constable was then granted.

The Northampton Mercury April 19th 1879


TWO POUNDS will be given by Emma Mansel, No. 9, Church-street, Coventry, for one of the Weekly NORTHAMPTON MERCURY Newspapers that was printed for SATURDAY, NOVEMBER the 4th, 1802, that contained the account of the Marriage of Sarah Major, of Old Stratford, Cosgrove, Northamptonshire. Other papers please copy.

The Northampton Mercury July 7th 1888


HIGHWAYS BOARD: The Clerk (Mr. Percival) stated that he had received a communication from the United Telephone Company, London. Some three months since the company asked for permission to lay the poles for the telephone going from London to Birmingham along the highway. On that occasion he was directed to write and inform the company that when the plan was before the Board, it would be fully considered. Mr. Shorter, a representative of the company visited his office on Monday evening, and produced a copy of the tracings of the ordnance survey, and explained that as far as Towcester was concerned, the poles would not be laid along the public road, but the company would arrange with private owners to carry out the communication. They asked for permission to carry their poles along the public road from Old Stratford to Goose Bridge. About 369 poles would have to be laid, and nine wires would be used. The company will pay to the road authority the sum of one shilling per pole per annum as an acknowledgement that the poles are fixed and maintained by permission of the road authority and notes of right. The agreement shall be terminable on the 25th December, 1895, or on the 25th of December in any subsequent year by six months’ notice in writing, and thereupon the company would at their own expense remove the poles and wires, and make good all the damage incident to such removal.

The Northampton Mercury August 4th1888


At a previous meeting a resolution was carried to the effect that the Board would allow the company to erect the poles on the same side of the road from Old Stratford to Goose Bridge.

The Northampton Mercury August 25th 1898

ALLEGED ELOPMENT AT OLD STRATFORD. On Monday the hamlet of Old Stratford was thrown into a state of unwonted excitement by the rumour that a married woman had gone off with a young man lodger. The first intimation of the affair was the appearance at the house of a man and trolley, the man, it is stated, having received a "wire" from the lodger requesting him to fetch a load of furniture from Old Stratford. The goods were duly loaded, the woman had departed, presumably to follow the lodger, who had gone off earlier in the morning, when the husband appeared on the scene just in time to stop the removal of the furniture, which was restored to the house. A good number of the neighbours took a lively interest in the proceedings. It appears that a Stony Stratford tradesman out for orders noticed the removal, and thinking it rather queer, went to the place where the husband was at work, and asked him if he knew what was taking place, a timely warning which enabled the husband to arrive home in time to save his goods.

The Northampton Mercury August 14th 1903

LOCAL SUCCESS. Mr. J. D. Harmer has recently passed his second professional (medical) examination at Edinburgh University, and gained the gold medal for practical anatomy. Mr. Harmer formerly resided at Old Stratford, and was a pupil at Towcester School (Dr. Knight’s).

The Northampton Mercury September 20th 1907


Peculiar circumstances occurred in connections with the burial of the body of John Smith, one of the men who were killed on the line near Roade on Tuesday morning by the Warrington to London goods express (as reported on Page 6). Smith as a widower with a family to maintain, and in addition to providing for his children he contributed to the support of his aged parents, who are in receipt of parish relief. He had no relatives who could afford to bear the expense, of his funeral, and steps were therefore taken for the burial of the body by the Union. Mr. C. H. Davis. the Divisional Coroner, upon his return to Northampton after the inquest  on Wednesday, kindly facilitated matters by calling upon both the Clerk to the Hardingstone Union (Mr. J. R. Phillips) and the Relieving Officer (Mr. J. A. Bennett), and an order for a coffin was telegraphed to Roade and placed in the hands of Mr. W. Walker. Meanwhile a brother of the deceased had visited Roade from Stony Stratford. As a labourer of slender means he was unable to undertake the cost of the burial, but upon his return to Stratford he mentioned the facts to others, with the result that Mr. John Brown, landlord of the Black Horse, Old Stratford, who is a native of Cosgrove and knew the deceased well, resolved to save his old acquaintance from a pauper’s grave. He therefore gave an order to Mr. Page of Stony Stratford, to provide a coffin and execute the funeral. Mr. Page complied and went to the George Hotel, Roade, where the body was lying with the coffin on Thursday morning. Upon his arrival he found that the body had already been enclosed in the “parish” coffin, and that arrangement had been made for the interment in Roade churchyard the same afternoon. Thus a bewildering position presented itself. As there was no time to be lost, a Roade gentleman and Mr. Page visited Northampton and interviewed the Relieving Officer, who thereupon wired to Mr. Walker authorising him to deliver the body to Mr. Page. The proposed interment at Roade was therefore not proceeded with, but matters were still complicated by the fact that the body was in a putrefying state, and had to be screwed down. Ultimately it was agreed not to disturb the corpse but to adopt the “parish” coffin as the private coffin, and the transfer was simplified by exchanging the breastplate of Mr. Page’s coffin to Mr. Walker’s, with the understanding that the Union would be relieved of all responsibility and expense. The second coffin was taken back to Stony Stratford and the remains of the deceased were removed by Mr. Page the same evening to Cosgrove for interment in the churchyard to-day.
The remains of Frederick Keech, the other man who was killed, were removed to Cosgrove on Wednesday by the family.

The Northampton Mercury May 1st 1908

WEDDING. A pretty wedding was solemnised at the Parish Church [Cosgrove], on Thursday, between Mr. John Schouler, only son of the late Mr. Schouler, of Hanslope, and Miss Alice Jubilee Panter, eldest daughter of Mr. William Panter, of Old Stratford. Notwithstanding the inclement weather the church was crowded. The bride was charmingly attired in a white embroidered dress with wreath and veil. She was given away by her father. Mr. George Russell, of Hanslope, was best man. There were three bridesmaids, Miss Evelyn Panter, and Miss Milly Panter, (sisters of the bride), and Miss Minnie Wykes (cousin of the bride). The bride and bridesmaids carried exquisite bouquets, the gifts of the bridegroom. Owing to the illness of the rector the ceremony was performed by the Rev. V. Jacks, of Wolverton. After the ceremony a reception was held at the residence of the bride’s parents. The presents, which were both numerous and useful, included cheque (father of the bride), house linen and furniture (mother of the bride), furniture (mother of the bridegroom). The happy couple left later in the afternoon for Brighton, where the honeymoon is being spent.

The Northampton Mercury April 9th 1909


On Friday morning a burglary occurred at the residence of Mr. Panter, Old Stratford. It appeared that in the early morning Mr. Panter heard a noise and got out of bed. The burglar or burglars were apparently on the alert and cleared off, as Mr. Panter heard someone running away. The dining-room window had been forced and also the drawing- room window. Both rooms had apparently been searched. It was evident the thieves were after hard cash, for a silver tea service, a silver drinking cup, and other silver were left behind. The only thing missing is a missionary money-box. The police were early informed and have the matter in hand.

The Northampton Mercury October 2nd. 1914

The prize of the week is awarded to:
Old Stratford.


Take 6lbs. of marrow, green tomatoes, cauliflower, onions, cucumber, and French beans. Cut all in small pieces, well sprinkle with salt, and leave for twelve hours. Then well drain, and dry with a cloth. Get two quarts of vinegar, add ½lb. sugar, three-quarters of an ounce of turmeric, three-quarters of an ounce of mustard, and six chilies. Boil all together until tender. It is ready for use when cold.

The Northampton Mercury November 28th 1919

Grant-Thorold Sale 1919: Lot 6. Isworth Farm and farm buildings, 190a 0r. 37p., was sold to Mr. W. Dickens, of Old Stratford, for £2,270.

The Northampton Mercury October 8th 1920

Old Stratford, a village of 66 houses, has raised £250 for the Hospital in eight days.

The Mercury & Herald October 14th 1938


The parish of Cosgrove is a very scattered one, for, in addition to the compact portion of houses and cottages on each side of the Grand Union Canal, it stretches westward to the hamlet of Old Stratford on the Watling Street.
At the latter end there has been a great increase in the population with the growth of houses and bungalows.


When a “Mercury & Herald” reporter called on the rector he scorned the idea that he was too old to tricycle. “I bought the tricycle from a garage in Stony Stratford for 50s. in order that I could visit more of the parishioners. You know my parish is very scattered.” Was his comment.
The rector has had no one to teach him to ride and as if to demonstrate his newly-acquired ability he mounted his machine to make a tour of his parish.

Mercury & Herald October 30th 1942

AWARD FOR OLD STRATFORD BOY A parchment of the Royal Humane Society has been awarded to Norman A. M. Tapp (12), of Cosgrove Road, Old Stratford, for saving a life. Although a non-swimmer, he lowered himself into the Grand Union Canal at Old Stratford and rescued three-year-old Judith A. Stephenson, of 21, Buddle-road, Elswick, Newcastle-on-Tyne.

The Wolverton Express February 2nd 1962

An application of the 1890s

An application of the 1890s Miss Daisy Archer, of 35 Deanshanger Road, Old Stratford, has sent me a copy of a letter which was written to her late father, Mr. Fred Archer, when he was an inspector on the Bombay Railways more than '70 years ago. The letter was from Mahadoo Vittoo, who described himself as an ex-fireman, and Miss Archer comments that the English alone is remarkable, written as it was by a Hindu.

The letter reads: "Honoured Sir, With due deference and humble submission, I meekly and respectfully beg to lay my following humble statement before your merciful consideration.
"I am a very poor helpless family man and very sorry to write before your kind honour that I served for three years honestly and attentively, but misery my misfortune, I became dangerously ill by hard fever ago the three months. Now I am quite well.
"Therefore I pray before your kind honour that you favour me, and kindly grant me my, place again, as a charity.
"I am unsupported by any one, and I have a large family to support, and there is no one to support us without your honour, in this world. Kind sir mercy on me that God will bring this my poor application before your kind honour, to protect my poor large family.
“In doing this special favour upon our poor family, I and my family join their hands and feet before Almighty God day and night for your honour and honour's family, and long life in health and prosperity."

Miss Archer comments that Life must have indeed been hard in the 1890s, and jobs scarce. She adds: "I only hope my father reinstated him."

The Wolverton Express 9th December 1966

Two-minute terror at Old Stratford

A “WHIRLWIND" swept through the Manorfield Road housing estate at Old Stratford on Thursday afternoon last week leaving a trail of damage in its wake.
After rain most of the day, the sky went very dark just before 2 p.m. and then the "whirlwind" struck. At Holton's garage, two cars were lifted off the ground and dropped feet away with windows sucked out. A trailer standing in the same yard was damaged, a petrol pump knocked over and the feed pipe ripped from under the ground.
A heavy door in the yard was caught up and carried 80 yards before dropping through the roof of a bungalow on the opposite side of the road. The dutch barn in the yard was lifted up and a section carried away in pieces.
Mrs. Vera Holton whose home at 39 Manorfield Road backs on to the yard, was looking out of the window at the rain and saw a bath flying towards her 6ft. above the ground! “I have never seen anything like it”, she said. “Fencing and everything was flying towards me.”
Surprisingly a large greenhouse was untouched, but the bungalow of Mr. Robert Lloyd next door at 1 Manorfield Road, received a direct hit from the air-borne door.

Mr. Skipper shows his daughter Melanie the
chimney that should be on the foor of their house.
Firemen were still at work when darkness fell
fixing tarpaulins over storm-damages roofs.

Taken to hospital

Several other houses in the path of the “whirlwind” had chimneys toppled, roofs damaged, tiles shattered and television aerials twisted. Luckily no-one was hurt – but the damage kept firemen busy with “first aid” repairs for several hours.
Many more places in North Bucks and South Northants suffered in the gale. Two houses in Wolverton Road, Newport Pagnell, lost their chimneys and had roofs damaged.
At Wolverton a coping stone on top of the general office at Messrs. McCorquodale’s came through a glass roof.
One of the employees in the office, Mrs. Sylvia Mundy, of 32, Calverton Road, Stony Stratford, was slightly cut by the falling glass. She was taken to Hospital to have stiches inserted in a wound on her arm. Several girls in the same office were sent home, suffering from slight shock.