Northants Directory 1849


Below is the record of Eye from the History, Gazetteer and Directory of Northamptonshire published in 1849 Comprising of the County and history of the diocese of Peterborough with separate Historical, Statistical and Topographical Descriptions of all the Towns, Parishes, Townships, Hundreds and Manors to which is subjoined a list of the seats of the Nobility, Clergy & Gentry. By William Whellan and co. London. Whittaker and Co., Ave Maria Lane. MDCCCXLIX

Printed by Robert Gardner, Narrow Street, Peterborough.

Eye, or as it is called in ancient records, Eya, or the island lying north of Peterborough, from its frequently being surrounded by water in winter, before the drainage of the fen, is bounded on the east by Cambridgeshire, on the south and west by the borough of Peterborough, and on the north by Borough-fen.

It contains 2,670 acre ; its population in 1801, was 501; in 1831, 1,122; and in 1841, 1,359 souls. The amount of assessed property in the parish is £3,545, and the rateable value is £4,608. II. Magnus Little, Esq., as lessee under the Bishop of Peterborough, is lord of the manor, and the principal owners are the Bishop, the Duke of Bedford, and Randolph Knipe, Esq. with several resident yeomen, who have neat and commodious residences in the village. The surrounding country is flat and principally arable.

Manor.—No mention being made of Eye in the Doomsday book, it is supposed to have been included in the survey of Peterborough, more especially as we find it in the possession of the Abbey at an early period. Upon the erection of the see of Peterborough, after the dissolution of the abbey, the manor of Eye, with the tithes and tithe barn, were given to the Bishop and his successors, and the Bishop’s lessee holds a court leet and court baron.

Eyebury, was a cell to the convent, in the liberty of Eye, of which it was a member. At the suppression, it was let to Sir John Russell, at the annual rent of £13. 6s. 8d., and in the 33rd year of Henry VIII. (1541), he obtained a grant of the manor and capital messuage and certain other lands which belonged to the abbey. His descendant, the Duke of Bedford, is the present possessor.

Northolm, was another cell to the abbey, and a member of Eye. The monks obtained the privilege of a weekly market here on Thursday, and an annual fair for two days, beginning on the feast of the exaltation of the holy cross. In 1541, the manor was given to the bishop of the diocese, and the cell converted into a farmhouse. Here was formerly a chapel.


Singlesholt, or Singlesole, with the marsh of Peakirk and Eye, and the hermitage of Singlesholt, was confirmed to the convent of Burgh, in the 1st. of Richard I. (1189). About the year 1290 a chapel, dedicated to St. Michael, was built here, ” of wood and stone, covered with lead, and having in it seven glass windows, of elegant workmanship.” In 1541, this Manor also was given to the bishop and his successors.

The Village of Eye, which is both pleasant and improving, is about half a mile in length and situated on high ground about 3 1/2 miles N. E. of Peterborough. Bridges tell us that in his time it contained nearly 100 families and that the inhabitants formerly supported themselves by fishing and fowling. An alarming incendiary fire broke out here in November last (1848), in the stack yard of a farmer which, aided by a hurricane then blowing made dreadful havoc, and in a short time consumed several stacks of corn, outbuildings, cottages and a haystack and had not the wind providentially veered to the south, the village must have been totally laid in ruins. The amount of damage was estimated at £2,500.

The Church, dedicated to St. Matthew, is a handsome Gothic structure, occupying the site of an old one erected in 1543. The first stone of the present structure was laid by the lord bishop of the diocese on the 11th of May 1846 and opened for divine service on the 8th of April 1847. It consists of a nave, transepts, and chancel, and when completed will have a spire. The fund for rebuilding it has been raised by the voluntary subscriptions of the Duke of Bedford, the inhabitants, and others, aided by a grant from the Church building society.

The living is a perpetual curacy in the deanery of Peterborough, valued at £16, and now worth about £160 per annum. At the inclosure in 1822, 154a. 11p were awarded to the bishop as impropriator and his lessee in lieu of all tithes.

The patronage is vested in the bishop, and the Rev. Robert Bell, M.A., is the incumbent. The Parsonage house stands at the east end of the village.

A Methodist Chapel capable of holding about 200 persons was built here in 1823.

Anderson J, collar, & c. mkr
Ashling Thos., tailor
Bailey James, beer retailer Baggerley Jas., beer house
Bell Rev. Robt, M.A., incumbent
Bowland William, drover
Brainsby Hack, grcr. & dpr. Browning J. gardener
Buckle John Walker
Coles Wm., baker
Edis William, beer retailer and pig dealer
Freshwater Jph.,shopkeepr.
Frost Jno. fa Jas., drovers
Green B.,National-scb-mstr
Griffin Mrs. Susannah
Hall Joseph, baker
Hall Daniel, beer retailer
King Mary, schoolmistress Knighton John, tailor
Langley Edw., bricklayer
Morris Mr. William
Nix Benjamin, baker
Norman Mat., baker. Green
Palmer Wm., miller & baker
Parr Wm., grocer & druggist
Peach Chpr., L., grcr. & dpr.
Pratt Mr. Henry Marshall Kadford Jas., gardener and seedsman
Sergeant Jno., shpkpr. & dvr
Skellet Sarah, schoolmistress
Southwell Thos., cooper
Steels Thos., harness maker
Steels Thos., beer ret., Green
Sutton Wm., parish clerk
Tooley Mr. John
Whittle Jas., Geo., brewer
Inns, &c.
Blue Boar, Thomas Hanger,
(and drover)
Grey Hound, John Whittle
[and grocer,] Green
Red Lion, Robt. Pentlow
Spade Sf Shovel, T. Twelvetree

Fox John
Griffin John. Green
Jones Charles
Porter William

Boot and Shoemakers.
Batterham Andrew
Chaney John
Hill Stephen
Pedley James
Stanley John
Stocks James
Thompson Thomas


Carter William, Green
Griffin Luke
Moore William
Pedley Wm., & beer house
Porter Daniel
Smith Robert
Thorp James

Wheelwrights, &c.
Griffin J., [and agricultural implement maker] Green
Islip Andrew
Love Samuel
Twelvetree Thomas

Farmers & Graziers.
Griffin John, Green
Griffin Luke
Griffin Phlp., Powder-bl-farm
King William
Leeds Mrs., Eyebury
Little Islip
Little John
Little John, jun.
Little Magnus Hack
Moore Mrs. Elizabeth
Moore Thomas
Moore William
Moore William Pank
Pank John
Parnell Thos. and William
Porter John
Richardson Thomas
Russell George
Sawford W., [and salesman]
Swift John, Northolme
Tennant J., Single-sole-farm
Twelvetree Thomas

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