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THE

ancient and historic town of Northallerton occupies a Situation. central but somewhat secluded position in the vale of York, between the Hambleton Hills and the river Swale.

Its origin, says Gale, dates back to a very early period, Origin. so early indeed as to be almost involved in obscurity. It appears clearly to have been a Saxon borough, and, like many others, to have risen out of the ashes of some old Roman station, the name of which is considered very doubtful. That this is no improbable conjecture may be gathered from the fact that the old Roman road* from York

Whilst engaged in constructing a new road on the estate of Mr. Hirst, at Crosby, some labourers discovered the old Roman strata. Its course is as follows: York to Aldby (Derventia) by Easingwold, Thirsk, Thornton-leStreet, Romanby to Catterick, where it joins the great Erming Street, thence to Crosby, crossing the Tees at Sockburne, it continued to Durham, Chesterle-Street, and Gateshead to Tynemouth. These roads, or military ways, were a national trust and pride. The noblest office in the state was their superintendence. A Roman inspectorship of roads corresponded with our rangership of parks. Augustus himself watched over those in the neighbourhood of Rome. It is singular that the plan adopted in their construction should have been proved to be the best, and that the experiments of centuries have only re-discovered the practice of the ancients. They laid the foundation with stones and cement; and broken granite, used in a similar way, has been recently introduced as the first layer in the great streets of our sumptuous metropolis. Still the Roman road defies the rivalry of modern skill. Fourteen hundred years have not obliterated them. They have withstood all storms, and all weathers; the plough has not torn them up; the trample of armies has not beaten them down; the more insidious ravages of antiquarian researches have not entirely spoiled them.

Name.

to Tynemouth, known as Watling Street, which joined the
great Erming Street at Scotch Corner, passed through the
village of Romanby (Romundebi). This is confirmed by the
high and ancient mounds or intrenchments in the vicinity of
the town, now thought to have been Roman works, from
which Romanby (Romanorum habitatio) probably takes its
name; and also by the discovery of Roman coins, pottery,
and other relics. Sir Thomas Saville, in a letter* to Camden,
the celebrated antiquary, conjectures the Roman city of
Camulodunum† to be identical with Northallerton, and adds,
that the bishop of Durham had a charter in which "Parti de
Camuloduno, continens iii lencas in latitudine, atque xv in longitudine,
ab Edivino Northanhumbrorum rege episcopis Dunelmensis conceditur;
and that the see of Durham, under this very charter, enjoyed
the territory of Northallerton at that day and to that extent.
Supposing the above claim to be established, we learn from
Tacitus that the Roman general, Publius Ostorius, whilst
subduing the Silures, a naturally fierce tribe of Britons,
commanded by Caractacus, established a colony of strong
bodied veterans at Camulodunum, on the conquered lands, as
a defence against the rebels, and as a means of imbuing the
allies with respect for our laws. ‡
Here also, a temple
dedicated to Claudius had been raised, the priests of which
committed infamous exactions, under the pretence of hon-
ouring religion. These new settlers in the colony of
Camulodunum drove people out of their houses, ejected
them from their farms, called them captives and slaves,
and the lawlessness of the veterans was encouraged by the
soldiers, who lived a similar life and hoped for similar
license.§ Meanwhile, without any evident cause, the statue
of victory at Camulodunum fell prostrate, and turned its
back to the enemy, as though it fled before them; whereupon
the alarmed veterans took refuge in the temple, which was
shortly afterwards burnt down, the colony dispersed, and the
soldiers slaughtered by the exasperated and blood-thirsty
Britons.||

In Domesday Book the town is called Alvertune, Aluertun, and Allerton. Simeon, of Durham, who flourished about 1100, calls it Alvertona; and Peter de Longtoft, Alverton, as it is generally designated in all other ancient records. Gale thinks it is derived from the great King Alfred, and was originally called Alveredtune, which was

* Illustrium vivorum epistolæ, 1691, p. 9.

This place is frequently mentioned by Pliny, Ptolemy, and Tacitus. Northallerton, Malton, Maldon, and Colchester all claim to be identified with the ancient Camulodunum.

Cornelii Taciti. Lib. xii, cap. 32.
Cornelii Taciti. Lib. xiv, cap. 32.

§ Ib. Lib. xiv, cap. 31.

afterwards softened into Alvertun and Allerton. But as there are several other Allertons in the county of York, it seems more reasonable to suppose with Thoresby, that the name is a mere incident to the situation of the place; indeed it was common in former times for towns and territories to receive their names from the sort of wood with which they abounded.* It is very likely, therefore, that the name is derived from the Derivation. Alder-tree which flourishes in watery and boggy places, and which may have formerly abounded in and around the vicinity. The town is called North-Allerton to distinguish it from Allerton Mauleverer† which lies to the south.

The Shire contains the following parishes and townships, Allertonshire. those marked with an asterisk not being included in the Magisterial division:-Birkby, Borrowby, Brompton, Brawith, Cotcliffe, Crosby, Deighton, Ellerbeck, Foxton,* Girsby,* High Worsall,* Holme,* Hornby, Hutton Bonville, Hutton Sessay, Hutton Conyers,* North Kilvington, North Otterington, Northallerton, Knayton, Landmoth - with - Catto, Lazenby, Leake, Little Smeaton, Norton Conyers,* Osmotherley, Over Dinsdale,* Romanby, Kirby Sigston, Sowerby-under-Cotcliffe, Thimbleby, Thornton-le-Beans, Thornton-le-Street, West Harlsey, West Rounton, and Winton with Stank and Hallikeld.

The Parish of Northallerton includes the Parliamentary. The Parish. Borough and Market-town of Northallerton, with Lazenby, the Chapelries of Brompton, Deighton, and High Worsall, with the township of Romanby.

It Lazenby.

The township of Lazenby only contains six houses. was formerly within the ecclesiastical parish of Northallerton, but it is now attached to Danby Wiske. It is still within the County Court district, Magisterial division, Union, and Parliamentary Borough of Northallerton.

The Chapelry of Brompton is now a vicarage, in the gift Brompton. of the dean and chapter of Durham. The living, according to Crockford, derives £30 from glebe lands, and £352 from the Tithe-rent Commissioners. There is a good vicarage house and garden. The church, dedicated to St. Thomas, is built entirely of stone, and newly restored. It is small but pretty, and possesses a ring of three bells, several elegant stained glass windows, and a chaste reredos. The village is a large one, of considerable antiquity, being mentioned in Domesday Book by the names of Bromptuna and Brunton. The parish registers date from 1700.

* Ackworth, near Pontefract, derives its name (Aken-worth) from the oaks with which it formerly abounded.

†The seat of a family now extinct. Vide page 75.

Vide Terrier, in Appendix II.

Deighton.

High Worsall

Romanby.

Agricola.

The Parish
Church.

The village of Deighton, seven miles distant, is a chapelry in the ecclesiastical parish of Northallerton. The church, which is a small stone Gothic building, bearing date 1715, is a chapel-of-ease to the parish church of Northallerton. There is only one glebe farm.*

The Chapelry of High Worsall was in the ecclesiastical parish of Northallerton until 1720. The living which is valued at £77 per annum, is in the gift of the vicar of Northallerton. There is no residence for the incumbent, who is generally the curate of Yarm. The church, which was built in 1719, from the ruins and on the site of a more ancient chapel, is small but well preserved. The population is about 150. The terrier says there was a chapel-of-ease to the parish church of Northallerton, until the chapelry was augmented by the bounty of Queen Anne, which was about the year 1720. The picturesque village of Romanby is also in the ecclesiastical parish of Northallerton, and quite as ancient. A very small but substantial church, dedicated to St. James, has recently been erected as a chapel-of-ease.t

In the year 85, Julius Agricola, the Roman general, subdued Scotland and perhaps encamped at Northallerton both going and returning. In a descriptive poem of the ancient town and borough of Northallerton, written by Miss Crosfield, and published by Langdale, of Northallerton, in 1789, the following words occur:—

"The brave Agricola whose wisdom beam'd
A double lustre on triumphant Rome,
Perhaps encamp'd his hardy veterans here,
When in the daring march they northward bent,
And conquering all before him, drove thy sons,
Fierce Caledonia! to their inmost mountains.

The earliest date which can be accepted with any degree of certainty connected with the town is A.D. 630, in which year a church, for the most part of wood, is supposed by many eminent archæologists to have been built, around which a more substantial Saxon edifice of stone was subsequently erected by St. Paulinus, the first bishop of York, and domestic chaplain to Ethelburga, wife of Edwin, king of Northumbria. Dr. Stukely, the learned antiquarian, in a paper read before the Antiquarian Society, Oct. 30th, 1755, says,

* Vide Terrier, in Appendix.

+ Vide p. 203.

+ Vide Appendix.

§ Rev. William Stukely, M.D., F.S.A., was born at Holbeach, in Lincolnshire, in 1687; mar. Elizabeth, eldest dau. of the Rev. Thomas Gale, D.D., and sister to Roger Gale, esq., M.P. for Northallerton. In 1747 the duke of Montague gave him the rectory of St. George the Martyr, Queen-square, where he died, 1765. His principal works are "Itinerarium Curiosum"; "Descriptions of Stonehenge and Aubury"; "History of Carausius"; "An account of Richard of Cirencester "; &c.

Church.

"Paulinus built many parish churches in Yorkshire. Some I The Parish have seen and taken drawings of them; particularly that of Godmundham, where is the original font in which he baptized the heathen high-priest Coifi. He built Northallerton Church, now remaining. His effigy is placed on the outside of it."* There is no doubt that Paulinus was baptized in the Swale not far from Northallerton, in or about the year 630, for Gregory the Great, in an epistle to St. Eulogius, Patriarch of Alexandria, on the Conversion of the Britons, thus writes respecting the progress of missionary labour in the neighbourhood of Northallerton :-" On the day of Christ's nativitie, he (Paulinus) did regenerate by lively baptisme above ten thousand men, besides an innumerable multitude of women and children. Having hallowed and blessed the river, called in English, Swale, the archbishop commanded by the voice of criers and maisters that the people should enter the river confidently, two by two, and in the name of the Trinitie baptise one another in turnes. Thus were they all born againe with no lesse a miracle than in times past, the people of Israel passed over the sea divided, and likewise Jordan when it turned backe; for even so, they were transported to the banke on the other side; and notwithstanding so deepe a current and channel, so great and so divers differences of sex and age, not one person took harme. A greate miracle no doubt, but this miracle as it was, a greater pre-eminence doth surmount: in that all feebleness and infirmitie was laid off in that river; whosoever was sick and deformed returned out of it whole and reformed."

Another argument in favour of the Saxon origin of Northallerton church is the discovery, during the restoration of 1883-4, of a large quantity of Saxon crosses, and other stone work; and this is backed up by its dedication to All Saints, which is usually regarded as indicative of a Saxon origin.t

The church as it now stands is a fine and interesting old Description of pile. The effigy of St. Paulinus, mentioned by Dr. Stukely, the Church. has disappeared, but the niche remains. The building consists of nave, aisles, transepts, chancel, vestry, and organ chamber, the whole externally presenting a cathedral-like aspect, in the cruciform style. Its total length from east to west is 138 feet, and its breadth across the transepts 84 feet. The northern arcade is Norman, the southern, early English. The tower is a handsome structure 80 feet high, erected by bishop Hatfield, of Durham, in the fifteenth century. The fine perpendicular chancel, just erected, corresponds with

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