White's Directory of Nottinghamshire, 1853
A Description of the Town and Parish
Bingham, the capital of the Deanery and Hundred to which it gives name, is pleasantly situated on the Nottingham and Grantham road, 10 miles east by south of the former. 11 miles south-west of Newark, and 123 miles north-north-west of London. Though once of considerable repute from the religious establishment and collegiate church, of a date nearly as old as the conquest, it is now merely a straggling and inconsiderable market town, having a branch from the Nottingham and Grantham Canal.. The Nottingham and Grantham Railway passes through this town and has a neat station here. Here are a few stocking frames employed in the Nottingham trade.
The market place is large and open, and has in the centre a very convenient butter-cross. The market, which is only of trifling importance, is held on a Thursday. The fairs for cattle, horses and swine, held on February 10th and 11th, Whit-Thursday. and November 8th and 9th, are tolerably well supplied. Hirings for servants are held on Candlemas Thursday, and on the last Thursday in October, and the feast is at the November fair. The parish contains 2,054 inhabitants and 2,930 acres of land at the rateable value of £8,500. The soil is a rich red loam, and mostly belongs to the Earl of Chesterfield, who is lord of the manor, which was enclosed upwards of 170 years ago, and the tithes were commuted in 1843 for £1,445 per annum. Petty sessions are held here every alternate Thursday. In 1852 there was a neat lock-up and police station erected in Church Street.
Descent of the Manor
Previous to the Conquest it belonged to two Saxons, Hoge and Helga, but was by the Conqueror given to Roger de Busli, and had soc in Newton, a part of which is still in this parish. After this it had several owners, as the Paganels or Paynels, till Henry III, when Foulk Paynel, being in rebellion, forfeited it to the crown, and the King gave it to Henry de Ballol, who attended him in the wars at Gascoigne, but he soon afterwards joined up with the Barons against the King, after which it was given to William de Ferraries or Ferrers, who probably sold it, for in the 50th year of the said King it was in the possession of Ralph Bugg of Nottingham, whose posterity took the surname of Bingham. From the Binghams, after some time, it descended to the Rempstons, and by marriage from them to the Stapletons, but Bryan Stapleton sold it to Sir Thomas Stanhope, in whose family it still remains.
Religious History and the Church
There was a Guild or College dedicated to the Virgin Mary, which was dissolved in the reign of Edward VI, and granted to Thomas Reave and George Cotton. Part of the land reserved was given by Queen Elizabeth to John Sonkey and Percival Grimston. Here was also a chapel dedicated to St Helen, to which Richard de Bingham gave five marks yearly and one acre of land for the maintenance of the chaplain. At the dissolution it was given to the same persons and, according to Speed, is worth £40 11s per annum.
The Parish Church, dedicated to All Saints, is a good specimen of the decorated period of gothic architecture, and its date is referable to the early part of the 14th century. It is a cruciform building, with a handsome tower and spire 120 feet in height, and containing a peal of six bells. Successive alterations, in the barbarous taste which disfigured so many parish churches in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, had grievously marred the beauty of the church at Bingham. The fine roof of the chancel had been ceiled, the roof of the nave lowered, and the flowing tracery of many of the windows removed. Under the incumbency, however, of the present rector, and at his cost, the church has, since the year 1845, been undergoing a thorough restoration, in a spirit congenial to the beautiful design of its original founders. Under the direction of Mr Scott, of London, the ceiling of the chancel has been replaced by a fine open roof, its floors fitted up with stalls, and the floor of the nave covered with open seats of elegant design, and the former unsightly and inconvenient pews have been removed. Many of the windows have been filled with beautiful stained glass. The restoration is still in progress.
The Earl of Chesterfield is patron of the living, which is valued in the King's books at £44 7s 11d, but is now the richest benefice in the county, being worth about £1,500 per annum. There is a spacious rectory house, with extensive gardens, and about 35 acres of glebe. The Rev. Robert W. Miles M.A., Rural Dean, is the present rector, and the Rev. Henry Anders is the curate. The rectory of Bingham, before the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII, belonged to Welbeck Abbey, but was granted by Edward VI to Dr Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, and his heirs for ever. His nephew, Thomas Cranmer, died seized of it 5th of Edward VI but, heirs male failing, his daughter carried it in a marriage to Thomas Molineux Esq. His son, Sir John Molineux, Bart., sold all his interest in the town to the Duke of Kingston.
The Wesleyans Methodists have a neat chapel, built in 1818, which will seat about 400, and also a school attached, established about seven years ago. The Primitive Methodists have also a small chapel here. A temperance hall was built in 1843.
In 1784 and 1785, several plays were performed here by amateurs, with the purpose of raising a fund for a school. They produced a profit of £80, to which Messrs George Baxter and John Foster added £70, and the whole (£150) was laid out in a share of the Grantham canal, now worth about £10 a year, which is appropriated to the education of the poor children.
A few years ago, the Earl of Chesterfield gave nearly one acre of land at the corner of Fisher Lane, in the southern suburb of the town, called Long Acre, for the erection and endowment of a Day and Sunday School, which is now used as an infant school, of whom about 120 receive instruction daily. The mistress is Kitty Kettle, and Harriet Richmond is the assistant.
In 1845, a girls' and boys' National School, with a dwelling house for a master and mistress, was built near the east end of the church, at the sole expense of the Rev. R. Miles. These schoolrooms receive about 200 children, and besides being an unspeakable boon to the poorer inhabitants of Bingham, are by the beauty of their design, a great ornament to that part of the town. The present master is Mr George Whitelaw, and Mr George Harris is the assistant.
Chapel Close was purchased with £28 of poor's money in 1693, and now lets for £8 per annum, which is distributed at Christmas to such poor people who attend divine service on Christmas Day at nine o'clock in the morning. In 1721, Thomas and Ann Tealby left £110, with which Lowmoor Closes, in Car Colston, were purchased, and now let for £15 per year, half of which is given to the poor, and the rest to the schoolmistress for teaching ten poor scholars. Part of the £10 left by Dr Burnsell and Thomas Porter was expended in purchasing the land on which the Workhouse was built in 1769, which as lately been converted into three tenements, which let for £11 per annum, and is given to the poor. In 1764 and 1779, George and Elizabeth Bradshaw each left a £50 share in the Bingham Turnpike. These shares now produce upwards of £5 10s yearly, which is distributed amongst the poor of the parish, half on New Year's Day, and the remainder on Good Friday.
People and Events
The oldest register in Bingham church is dated 1598. The plague raged here in 1646, and many of its victims were buried in a large yard near the west end of the town, where human bones have frequently been found. In 1768, a stone coffin containing the bones of a mother and child, with several trinkets, was found in Chapel Close. In 1710 the town was set on fire in three different places, but it was providently extinguished before much damage was done. The incendiary was Thomas Patefield, surgeon, who had for some time laboured under a slight mental derangement as was, after being tried at Nottingham, directed by the judge to be confined during the rest of his life at Bingham, where a strong building of two rooms was erected for him, in the middle of the Market Place, in which he lived nearly 30 years. On September 21st 1775, the church spire and clock were greatly injured by lightning. The sacrament linen and the gold lace of the pulpit cloth and cushion were stolen December 1st 1776. The Post Office was established in 1790.
Mr Robert White, a celebrated astronomer, who was for many years a compiler of almanacks for the Stationers' Company, was a native of Bingham, where he kept a school, and died in 1773 aged 80. He was author of the Celestial Atlas, or new Ephemeris. He was born of humble parents but, being a cripple, he was indulged with a liberal education. After his death, he was ably succeeded, both in his school and as a compiler of almanacks, by his pupil, the late Mr Stafford, who died in 1783. Another worthy of this town was Thomas Groves, a poor lad who ran away from his apprenticeship and entered as a private in the Marines, in which he rose to the rank of colonel, and died in 1790, after 75 years service.
The County Court of Nottinghamshire
This is for the recovery of debts not exceeding £50, and is held at the Chesterfield Arms. It comprises 35 parishes and townships, viz. Aslocton, Bingham, Car Colston, Clipstone, Colston Bassett, Cotgrave, Cropwell Bishop, Cropwell Butler, East Bridgford, Elton, Flawborough, Flintham, Granby, Hawksworth, Hickling, Holme Pierrepont, Kinoulton, Kneeton, Langar, Orston, Owthorpe, (Parkstone and Plungar in Leicestershire), Ratcliffe on Trent, Saxondale, Scarrington, Screveton, Shelford, Shelton, Sibthorpe, Stanton on the Wolds, Thoroton, Tuthby, Watton and Widmerpool. Richard Wildman Esq is the judge, Edwin Patchett Esq. the clerk, and Mr Thomas Moody the high bailiff.
The Union Poor House
This was erected in 1837, at the western extremity of the town, and adjoining the Nottingham turnpike road. It is a large brick building, capable of holding 200 inmates. The site of the premises, gardens &c. contains two acres and the cost of building and ground was about £3,000. The Union contains 40 parishes. Wm. P. Norton Esq. of Elton is chairman; Wm. Huckerby of Bingham, is clerk, and register of births, deaths and marriages; Wm. Poiser is district auditor; Edward Dean is the governor and relieving officer for the parishes of Bingham, Car Colston, East Bridgford, Flintham, Kneeton and Screveton; George Upton of Saxondale is the relieving officer for the parishes of Aslocton, Cropwell Butler, Cropwell Bishop, Colston Bassett, Cotgrave, Clipstone, Elton, Edwalton, Flawborough, Granby, Hole Pierrepont, Hickling, Hawksworth, Kinoulton, Keyworth, Langar-cum-Barnston, Normanton-on-the-Wolds, Orston, Owthorpe, Plumptree, Ratcliffe-on-Trent, Shelford, Saxondale, Stanton-on-the-Wolds, Shelton, Sibthorpe, Scarrington, Thoroton, Tithby, Tollerton, Whatton and Widmerpool, in the county of Nottingham, and Barkston and Plungar in the county of Leicestershire. The surgeons are Mr Rowland of Bingham, Mr Wright of Bridgford, Mr Marriott of Colston Bassett, and Mr Langley of Normanton-on-the-Wolds.
[Transcribed by Clive Henly]