Daventry - Encyclopedia Britannica 1911




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DAVENTRY, a market town and municipal borough in the Southern parliamentary division of Northamptonshire, England, 14 m. N.W. from London by the London & North Western railway. Pop. (1901) 3780. It is picturesquely situated on a. sloping site in a rich undulating country. On the adjacent Borough Hill arc extensive earthworks, and the discovery of remains here and at Burnt Walls, immediately south, proves the existence of a considerable Roman station. The chief industry of the town is the manufacture of boots and shoes. The borough is under a mayor, four aldermen and twelve councillors. Area, 3 6 33 acres.

In spite of the Roman remains on Borough Hill, nothing is known of the town itself until the time of the Domesday Survey, when the manor consisting of eight hides belonged to the countess Judith, the Conqueror's niece. According to tradition, Daventry was created a borough by King John, but there is no extant charter before that of Elizabeth in 1576, by which the town was incorporated under the name of the bailiff, burgesses and commonalty of the borough of Daventry. The bailiff was to be chosen every year in the Moot Hall and to be assisted by fourteen principal burgesses and a recorder. James I. confirmed this charter in 1605-1606, and Charles II. in 1674-1675 granted a new charter. The "quo warranto" rolls show that a market every Wednesday and a fair on St Augustine's day were granted to Simon son of Walter by King John. The charter of 1576 confirms this market and fair to the burgesses, and grants them two new fairs each continuing for two days, on Tuesday after Easter and on the feast of St Matthew the Apostle. Wednesday is still the market day. The town was an important coaching centre, and there was a large local industry in the manufacture of whips. During the civil wars Daventry was the headquarters of Charles I. in the summer of 1645, immediately before the battle of Naseby, at which he was defeated. A Cluniac priory founded here shortly after the Conquest has left no remains.

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