Higham Ferrers 1251–1914

A portrait of a town and its people through its historic charters

new commemorative book

Higham Town Council and Higham Ferrers Tourism, Business and Community Partnership have achieved Heritage Lottery Funding to restore the Town’s Charters for everyone to see and enjoy.

Higham Ferrers 1251–1914 A portrait of a town and its people through its historic charters has been produced by Brenda Lofthouse, Gwen Tobin and Rachel Smyth to commemorate this important event. The book launch will coincide with the Town Council’s Medieval Day on Saturday 29 June 2019 to celebrate the conservation of the Town Charters.

This new commemorative book, presented in a family-friendly way, maps how events, both national and local, had an impact on the people of Higham Ferrers.

It is the first book to chart almost 700 years of the development of Higham in one go, from the tentative steps of 91 people gaining some freedom from serfdom, to a fully-fledged autonomous town that at one point sent its own MP to Parliament.

Pre-order Form.pdf

Pre Order Now!

To get your name listed as a subscriber inside the book*

  • You will be one of the first to own this beautiful 200-page book in June 2019
  • And you'll pay only £15 (published price £20 – a saving of £5)

Print and complete this order form to pre-order your copy of this fascinating 200-page book at a discount price of £15


* if you pre-order before 31 March 2019

Did you know?

Image: Wiki Commons

In the Middle Ages the Chaplain of Chichele College, Robert Ireland, was charged with haunting suspect places, particularly the house of Elizabeth Bere, even during divine service?

Image courtesy of Rushden & District History Society

A report on the state of the St Mary’s churchyard in the seventeenth century found that there were dung heaps in the churchyard that were large, extremely offensive and malodorous?

Image courtesy of Higham Chichele Society

After Lord Bryon died in Greece his body was brought back to England and the coffin stopped the night in the Green Dragon?

Image: Wiki Commons

George Malim, the Vicar of Higham, wrote two letters (in total 21 pages long) to the Earl Fitzwilliam in 1819 protesting that his nephew had not shot some geese because he was a very indifferent shot?

More about the book …

This beautifully illustrated book, structured around each of the Town’s charters, describes how Higham Ferrers developed from a small village in Norman England to the fully-fledged town of today.

  • Charter of William De Ferrers 1251
  • Charter of Philip and Mary 1556
  • Charter of James I 1604
  • Charters of Charles II 1664 and 1668
  • Charter of Queen Victoria 1886.

Each chapter begins with the original charter and an explanation of the key points. This is followed by illustrated articles on the social, political and democratic development in the town, in the intervening period up to the next charter, showing how both national and local events shaped the lives of the people in Higham Ferrers

Whilst national events are recorded because they fashioned how people lived, there are many articles relating directly to life in the town, such as:

  • how the Mayor tried to stop people leaving the entrails of slaughtered animals on the roadside
  • the fines imposed on people playing tennis.

These are all brought to life by beautiful illustrations of the period.

Image: Tudor vagrant being whipped through the streets (WikiMedia)

Elizabethan Poor Laws made begging illegal. Those who flouted the laws were dealt with harshly.

Image: Wiki Commons

Ralph the Cobbler was one the people who bought their freedom from serfdom in 1251, a forerunner of the boot and shoe industry that was a major source of employment in the town for centuries.

Woven into this are the stories of who lived and worked in Higham over the centuries, including:

  • Henry Chichele
  • Thomas Rudd
  • Alfred Hacon.
Pre-order Form.pdf

Pre Order Now!

To get your name listed as a subscriber inside the book*

  • You will be one of the first to own this beautiful 200-page book in June 2019
  • And you'll pay only £15 (published price £20 – a saving of £5)

Print and complete this order form to pre-order your copy of this fascinating 200-page book at a discount price of £15


* if you pre-order before 31 March 2019