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though such a site does not appear to be congenial to human healthfulness, it certainly lays claim to great autiquity, as is testified by many ancient remains which have been discovered in the town and its vicinity... It certainly existed before the foundation of Croyland Abbey, for in the Charter of King Ethelbald to that Monastery, the bounds of its lands are described as extending “usque ad a deficia Spaldeling *.” Anterior to the conquest, the manor was the property of Algar, Earl of Mercia; subsequent to that event, it was granted with the whole of Hollaud by William the Conqueror, to his nephew, Ivo Tailbois. After various changes, it at present is the property of Lord Eardley, who was some years since created Baron Spalding. Another manor, called Spalding cum Croyland, belongs to Thomas Buckworth, Esq. A castle was erected here by Ivo Tailbois, the moat of which was visible in 1746, in part of the castlefields, called Coney Garth, where that proud baron used to reside in great splendour. He also added to the endowments of the priory, which Thorold de Brokenhale founded, A. D. 1051, for six Benedictine monks, and made it a cell to Croyland. This religious house became in succeeding times a monastery of great consequence, and was one of the two mitred ones in this county. The accounts of the different altercations between its priors and the abbots of Croyland, tend to illustrate the spirit and manners of the times. Richard Palmer, the last prior, surrendered his convent into the king's hands, A. D. 1540, at which period its annual revenues were valued, according to Speed, at 1217l. 5s. 11d. From this place Egelric, Abbot of Croyland, made a firm causeway, called Elrickroad, through the marsh, called Arundel Forest, to Deeping, being an extent of twelve miles. It was formed by driving in piles of wood, and covering them over with layers of gravel; but no traces of this road are visible. The churches of Holy Cross, and “St. Mary Stokys,” being decayed, and the conventual church, though spacious, much crowded; the prior, pulled down the
* Ingulphus. Hist, p. 485.
latter, and built the present parish church, in the year 1284. It is a light structure, with a handsome spire, which has crockets at the angles; its beautiful porch appears to have been added about the end of the fifteenth century. A house, for a free grammar school, was erected here in the reign of Elizabeth; it was bequeathed by the will of John Blanche, bearing date 27th of May,
1588, wherein he devised lands for the endowment. Another school, called the Petty School, in contradistinction to the grammar school, was founded by Thomas Wellesby, gent. in the year 1682. Here is also a blue-coat charity school, which was founded by a person of the name of Gamlyn. In Church-street is an almshouse, which was rebuilt in 1754, and contains eleven tenements, each having a plot of garden-ground. It was founded and endowed by Sir Mathew Gamlyn, A. D. 1590, for the benefit of twenty-two poor persons. Another almshouse, for eight poor widows, was erected August 19th, A. D. 1709, by Mrs. Elizabeth Sparke. For many centuries Spalding has been the principal seat of jurisdiction, for the division of Holland. In the Saxon times, the courts of law were held here by the Earls; and subsequent to the Norman conquest, the priors, under their patrons the Dukes of Lancaster, and afterwards the Earls of Lincoln, till the suppression of the monastery, were vested with the judicial authority. During that period even capital offences were cognizable in the conventual court of this district. But at the dissolution of religious houses, statutes were enacted which removed the power of " deciding on life and death from all such inferior courts". Since that time a court of sessions has been held here; for which purpose a town-hall, or, as it is termed, a court-house, was built at the expence of Mr. John Holstan. It is a substantial brick building, situated
* From the register of Spalding manor, by Sir Lawrence Myntling, librarian and illuminator of the abbey, it appears, that under the power of this local court, eighty felons were hanged on the Prior's gallows, from the fortyfirst year of Henry the Third, to the sixteenth of Henry the Seventh.
situated at the north-west end of the market-place; the upper rooms of it are used for the quarter sessions, the courts leet and baron, the court of requests, and the court of sewers. The under part of the building is let out for shops, conformably to the will of the founder, and the rents appropriated to the use of the poor. A small company of comedians was accustomed to perform, at one season of the year, in the upper rooms: but for their better accommodation, a small theatre has been erected near the marketplace: and an assembly and card-rooms fitted up, adjoining the town-hall. Spalding, since the river Welland was made navigable to the town, has enjoyed a good carrying and coasting trade. It is registered, in the book of rates at the custom-house, “a member of the port of Boston.” The river is navigable for barges of about forty tons burthen to the centre of the town, where are good quays with spacious store-houses; but vessels that require a large draught of water can come no further than Boston Scalp, distant about nine miles. Various attempts have been unsuccessfully made to introduce manufactures into Spalding; the town derives its principal support at present from agriculture, and the many extensive grazing concerns carried on in the vicinity. Wool consequently forms a very prominent feature in its trade; more especially since allowance has been given, under certain restrictions, to carry the article coastwise. The neighbourhood supplies the manufacturing towns of Yorkshire and Norfolk with long wool, which is here deposited and packed, and carried to the respective places. Spalding has a flourishing market weekly on Tuesdays; five fairs annually, and two statutes for hiring servants. By the returns under the late act, the number of houses was 737; of inhabitants 3,296. The establishment of the society of antiquaries at London, in the begining of the last century, gave rise to several minor establishments in different provincial towns. Literary societies were established at Peterborough, Doncaster, and Stamford; but the one formed here, under the auspices of Maurice Johnson, flourished for many years, and was composed of several gentlemen,
eminent for literary talents. The minutes or records of the meetings contain many valuable hints and discoveries: in the style of corporate antiquity, they modestly assumed, for their house of meeting, the denomination of “ a Cell to that of London:” to which society transcripts of their minutes were regularly sent for upwards of forty years. The above named MAURICE Johnson, a native of this place, and son of Maurice Johnson, Esq. steward of the courts, was educated under that eminent scholar Dr. Jurin. He afterwards studied at the Inner Temple, London; was appointed steward of the Soke, or manor of Spalding, then belonging to the Duke of Buccleugh; and also of Kirkton, the property of the Earl of Exeter. An early member of the society of antiquaries, he displayed, through the whole of his life, an ardent love of science and literature. He was the intimate friend of Stukeley, Gale, and others, who were celebrated for antiquarian research; and was the founder of the Spalding society, so congenial to his own taste; which, by his zeal and attention, continued to flourish till his death, on the sixth of February, in the year 1755°.
At PINchdeck, about three miles north of Spalding, are some considerable remains of an ancient mansion, which formerly bore the name of Pinchbeck Hall, from a family of that name. Being afterwards possessed by the Otway family, it then acquired the appellation of Otway Hall. It appears to have been originally a large building, and was erected about the time of Henry the Eighth. It was moated round, and a few of the windows have pointed lights, with square heads. The chimnies are singularly lofty, and the gable ends have at the sides and centre spire-shaped ornaments, each crowned with an ornamental ball. In the gardens of this mansion was discovered, in the year 1742, a large brass coin of Commodus; on the reverse, a woman sitting on a globe,
* An eulogium of his character, written by his friend Dr. Stukeley, is preserved in the minutes of the society of antiquaries.
globe, with her right hand extended, and in her left, a victory. In the following year several pipes of baked earth were found here. The house has lately been purchased by a farmer, who resides in it. About eight miles south of Spalding is `... .
CROYLAND, or CROWLAND,
A town of very remote antiquity, and peculiarly interesting to the antiquary, from the ruins of its once splendid and extensive abbey, and its singular triangularly-shaped bridge. Some writers, particularly Dr. Stukeley, have supposed that the Romans had a settlement here, from the various ancient remains of that people, which have been discovered in the vicinity; but this is not very probable. The situation was not adapted for a military station, nor would it be selected for a villa. Early in the Anglo Saxon dynasty it was however occupied; and we are informed that Ethelbald, King of Mercia, founded a monastery here, and dedicated it “to the honour of St. Mary, Sl. Bartholomew, and St. Guthlac *.” The history of Croyland is involved in that of its monastery, which constitutes the chief and almost only prominent artificial object of interest or curiosity. It appears from the charter of Ethelbald, that the lands belonging to the abbey, comprehended “ the whole island of Croyland, formed by the four waters of Shepishee on the east; Nene on the west; Southee on the south ; and Asendyk on the north; in length four leagues, in breadth three, WOL. IX. 3 B with
* This Saint was the son of a Mercian nobleman, named Perwald, and his mother's name was Tetha. At an early period of life he distinguished himself in the army; but having completed his twenty-fourth year, he renounced the world; and became a monk under the Abbess Elfrida, in the monastery of Repton. “ By divine guidance he came in a boat to one of those solitary desart islands, called Crulande, on St. Bartholomew's day; and in an hollow, on the side of an heap of turf, built himself a hut in the days of Conrad, King of Mercia; when the Britons gave their inveterate enemies, the Saxons, all the trouble they could.” Gough's Hist, and Antiq. of Croyland.