New: Maxey Church and Parish by Rev W.D.Sweeting.
My thanks to Oscar Turnill for providing me with this fascinating document.
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Vicar of Maxey’s Museum Library No.33
LECTURE ON THE HISTORY OF MAXEY -Delivered in the Schoolroom, (now the village hall), MAXEY 17th JAN 1889.(Enlarged from one delivered 11th Jan 1884, 36 persons were present. The amount collected was 4s. 5d.)
Rev. W. D Sweeting
Five years ago I put together most of the facts that I had been able to collect on the parish of Maxey, of years long gone by; and feeling that the existing inhabitants of the place might take an interest in hearing what was known of their predecessors here, and of their way of life, and of the various changes that had taken place, as far as we could trace them, I arranged these materials into a couple of lectures that I delivered in this room. I have many times been asked, by different persons, some of whom had been prevented from attending at that time, to repeat these lectures; so I have thought, as five years have elapsed since they were given, and even in that short time many changes have taken place in the inhabitants, that the time has come when I might ask you once more to listen to some account of the Maxey of old times, and though I shall of course have to say again much of what I said before, yet you ought to know that I have never ceased to make all the enquiries that I have been able that could help me to learn more of this place, and have always taken notes of everything that I have come across bearing in any degree on this matter; and I have accordingly during this time collected many more facts, which to me have been most interesting, and which I hope you too will find both entertaining and instructive. And so I have wholly rewritten what I had to tell you before, shortening it where necessary, and I have introduced as much as possible of the new matter that I have meanwhile discovered.
We all know that what we see everyday ceases to be wonderful. One old proverb says “Familiarity breeds contempt”; and so we are apt to fancy that our own village, and homes, and the fields we cross everyday, cannot have anything of importance in them worth speaking of. Just as our friends in London always say that their country cousins, who go up to town perhaps once in ten years, see more of the sights and wonders of London in a week than they themselves see in a twelvemonth. And just as I found, when I lived at Peterborough, some grown up people who had been born and bred in the place, had never had the curiosity to go inside the Cathedral, which they might see for nothing everyday of their lives, although other people who know of its beauty, have come hundreds of miles, and from foreign countries, on purpose to see it. It is true that our own parish has not played any great part in English history; but it has been connected with some very great names; and it has had also, a history of its own, which (at least to me) is of very great interest.
I propose tonight to take these points of my subject.
1. The name of the place.
2. The Romans in Maxey.
3. The possessors and some account of the manor.
4. The boundaries and extent.
5. The population.
6. The language.
And when I take the name of the place first, it is not only because that it is the natural way of beginning, but because also in the name, where all would not expect to find it, we have the earliest and most primitive description of the place. It takes us back to hundreds of years earlier than any mention we can find in old deeds or in history. I believe ever since the place had a name, it has been known as MAXEY. The spelling has indeed been altered, but it is constantly found that while in the course of ages the name of a town or village is spelt in various ways from time to time, yet the way in which a name is pronounced seldom alters, so it is here. The earliest spelling, and indeed the only other way I have found in which the name is written is MAKESEYE, and this would be sounded exactly as we call it now. Now is this name merely a chance name, or has it any meaning? And if it has, can we find out what it does mean. And the truth is that every name, of country, or town, or village, or field has a meaning; and every surname that we have has a meaning, if only we can find it out. Now about the last syllable, EY, There is no manner of doubt. It is an Anglo-Saxon word, and means an island; land surrounded by water. But, you say, Maxey is not an island it is not surrounded by water. This is quite true, but it once was, and its name tells us so. And the fact is, and it is easy to prove it, that the whole of the district of the Fens, and its neighbourhood once formed a shallow bay, six times as large as what we know as the Wash, lying between Lincolnshire and Norfolk: and this shallow bay has been gradually filled up by the deposits of the rivers which flow through the district, as well as by the system of drainage which has carried away the water more rapidly to the sea. The Nene, Ouse, Welland have, in the course of many generations, washed down from the upland country soil and sand, and have converted into dry land what once was water. If you look to the West and South West you can see the first rising ground as we come from the East Coast; and the elevations of Burghley Woods, Ufford, Castor Hanglands and Etton were once on the coastline of this part of England. Let me give you one or two names from the neighbourhood, which show how by degrees the sea has gone away and left us. Holbeach, now 6 miles from the sea; Wisbeach, 7; Landbeach and Waterbeach near Cambridge, further still, all were once on the very coast. Think how many names of villages not far off show they were once islands. Thus we have Eye, Gedney, Thorney, Tilney, Ramsey, Ely, Yaxley, Sawtry, Whittlesey, Manea, Swavesey, Oxney, Coveney and many more. All these places were at one time islands in a great bay. But if you look at a map towards the west, you will find no places ending in EY there. Burghley is no exception, for the last syllable is LEY, a meadow. All the places I have named are east or southeast. What does this tell us? That there were no islands further west and Maxey was the very last island, closest to the mainland. But there was a time when it was not even an island, when the sea washed over the whole parish, and we have proof of this in what we see every day, namely in the gravel soil under our feet. Wherever there is found gravel there must have been the action of water. And in this gravel to this day we continue to find fossils of shells and belemnites, almost by the handful; and these we know must have lived under the sea. The great stone quarries at Barnack, 4 miles off, were formed by the action of the sea; and in any piece of Barnack stone, of which there is abundance to be found in the houses and buildings of this village, you can detect tiny shells. I have brought a piece or two here now, to illustrate this part of our subject, as well as a few fossils, mostly found in my own field.
EY then is an island. About this there is no manner of question. But when we come to ask the meaning of MAX we are not on so certain ground. Various suggestions have been made. Some connect it with an emperor of Rome, Maximinus (AD 235 –7) whose coins have been found here. This seems a very slight foundation on which to build. Coins of his have been found in scores of other places. Some say makes-ey = the made, constructed or artificial island and say it derives its name from the raised mound in the churchyard on which the church is built. This again to me seems unreasonable and after considering as best I can all the explanations that have been attempted, some of which are new to me since I lectured before, I still adhere to the explanation then given, namely, that the word means – the great island. The nearer we get to the coast, in a large bay, the shallower is the sea, and the islands nearest the mainland would naturally be the largest. And this, as it seems to me, makes the idea sensible.
We have now got then to this point. The higher ground in the parish once formed an island, of some considerable extent, in a shallow bay of the sea, which bay has been gradually narrowed in its dimensions to what we now call the wash. Indeed, the same thing is going on at this very day; and land is continually being reclaimed, and brought into cultivation, and added to the adjoining parishes, on the edge of the Wash, near Sutton Bridge and Lynn.
And here I may call your attention to the very low elevation above the sea level at which we dwell. You may have noticed a mark cut on some gateposts and buildings in the parish, like that I now exhibit. This is a government mark, called the Broad Arrow, and is set up by the Ordnance Surveyors to indicate the exact height of the mark above the sea level. So we find the mark on the church tower is 48 ft above the sea, the mark on the gatepost to my gravel pit field only 34 ft; one on the Blue Bell 31ft and one on a post opposite Etton, 27 ft. And so it gets rapidly lower, and in the North Fen, in the drove nearly opposite the Northborough road, is a benchmark, which is only 14 ft above the sea. This point is probably not more than three miles from the church; and we see that that point might have been 10 ft under water, and still the floor of the church would have stood 15 ft above the surface.
I proceed now to the earliest history with which I can connect our village. The boundary to the west is an old Roman road, which is a branch of one of the great roads of the country, called Ermine Street, which ran from London to Lincoln. This road divides into two branches at Castor, where there was an important Roman camp, and also an extensive settlement and town, and a very large manufactory of pottery. Remains of this manufactory have been often found in the district; and it has been conjectured that the Roman settlement at Castor extended for twenty miles up the Nene. It was part of the Roman plan of keeping conquered people in subjection and to employ them in some great public works; and especially about here they were set to bank up the marshland. Tacitus, a great Roman historian, who was born about two years before Saints Peter and Paul were put to death, speaks of this in his history, and describes the Romans as constructing great roads, or the main lines of communications, by their own soldiers, from which roads they could watch the enslaved Britons “ at their task/work of timber felling and fen banking”, and so keep command of the district. This very road of which I speak, running northward from Lolham bridges to West Deeping, which here goes by the name of King Street, was made for this purpose. It was laid more than 1700 years ago as is believed by Lollius Urbicus, proprietor (i.e. governor) in Britain, about AD 144. One of the Roman Emperors, Antoninus Pius, who died AD 161, has left an account of his work in Britain, and in particular has named the towns he went to, and their distances one from another. Thus he tells us he marched from Cambridge to Godmanchester and then the 25 miles to Castor, and then 30 to Ancaster. He must have marched along this very road, and our predecessors in Maxey, toiling as conquered men, must have seen the proud legions of the Roman army, with their eagle standards, marching along within a mile of this room. We have also, undoubted proof of the Romans having been here in Roman coins being dug up from time to time in the fields. I have seen 2 or 3 so found, but on only one of them was I able to read any part of the inscription, and this was a copper coin of Constantine, or Constantinus, who lived early in the 4th century, say 1580 years ago. If any persons have in their possession any old coins found in the place, I should much like to be allowed to see them. This Roman road, King St., of which I have been speaking, had to be carried over the low-lying lands by a series of bridges. These were not often made with arches as we see them now, but had strong stone piers and foundations, and then massive balks of timber laid across. The present Lolham bridges therefore are not of Roman building, though I have little doubt much of the original foundation is left, and many of the original stones though now moved from their first position. And I believe that I can point to one such stone at least. It is on the west side of the second bridge on this side of the railway. It has 5 letters cut very deeply, about 3 inches long. The letters are
and appear to be part of a longer inscription. But what these letters may mean I cannot pretend to say. And speaking of these bridges I may as well here read the actual records that are carved in stone on two of them, although this brings us to a period many hundreds of years later than the time of the Romans. One has a Latin inscription :- “ SUMPT COMITATU NORTHAMPT. 1671”. Another is “ These several bridges were built at the general charge of the whole county of Northampton in the year 1652”. Further on is “ These bridges are built at ye charges of the Whole County 1699 ”. And one more: - “ this was built at ye County Charge Charles Kirkham and John Tryon Esq. Being Trustees 1721”. These tablets were of course put up to show that the duty of repairing the bridges belongs to the county and not to the parishes. A surveyor from Northampton visits them every two years to report on their condition. The county is also, according to the printed books, charged with the repair of part of the roadway reaching from “ Crowcroft Stone “ in Maxey parish to “ Jackanapes Corner “ in Helpston. I have looked into all the old maps I can find, made every enquiry, but have not discovered anything to tell me where these two spots were, or find any person who has ever heard of these names.
The Romans finally abandoned Britain in AD 410. It had ceased to be worth keeping. It cost too much in men and money, and they had more pressing and important occupations nearer home. To them succeeded the period known as Anglo-Saxon. At first different parts of the country were occupied by different kingdoms, and these kingdoms by different tribes. We, here, belonged to the great kingdom of the Midlands, called Mercia. It extended from the Thames to the Humber and from the East Coast to the borders of Wales. The Coritani were the people who lived here, in south Lincolnshire and north Northants. Of this time but little is known of the whole nation, and of small towns and villages, next to nothing. The earliest mention of this place by name I have found is in 1013, 53 years before William 1., in which year I read the Danish invaders attacked and ravaged some of the religious houses in the east of England, Crowland and Peakirk among them; and they laid waste the manors of Glinton, Northborough and Makeseye, at that time belonging to the Peakirk monastery. 35 years later, Edoner, a Knight and lord of Holbrook, regained possession of the manor of Maxey. 100 years later (Stephen was the king) the manor was owned by Roger Torpel, who held extensive possessions here and in neighbouring parishes, and whose name is still preserved in a manor at Ufford, called Torpel manor. Part of the Maxey land was at that time owned by Geoffrey de la Mere and the descendants of these two continued as landowners for many years; but in 1295 (Edward I) the estate had passed from the Torpel family, for Eleanor of Castile, Queen of Edward I, held three Knights fees of the Abbot of Burgh, in Nunton, Makesey, Deeping, Lolham and other neighbouring lordships. The de la Meres continued in possession much longer, till about 1345 or 1350 (Edward III). The manor was from the first divided into two parts, called de la Mere’s fee, and Ardenne’s fee, but I am not able to explain this latter name. In the course of time both these halves came into the hands of a single owner. On the death of Queen Eleanor of Castile, the manor went to her third son, Edmund of Woodstock, Earl of Kent, brother to King Edward II, and uncle to King Edward III. This distinguished Maxey landowner was beheaded at Winchester in1330, on a charge of conspiracy against the king his nephew. His daughter, Joan, married Edward the Black Prince. It was not very long after the execution of the Earl of Kent that one owner became possessed of both manors. In 1409 the Earl of Somerset had both parts. His eldest and younger sons succeeded him, but both died without sons, so the daughter of the younger (who had been made the Duke of Somerset) came into the possession of his estate at Maxey. She was a lady very famous in history, Lady Margaret Somerset, wife to Edmund Tudor, Earl of Richmond, then wife to Sir Henry Stafford, son of the Duke of Buckingham, and lastly to Lord Stanley, afterwards the Earl of Derby. She was the mother of our king Henry VII. She was greatly interested in learning and education; she founded two famous colleges at Cambridge, Christ’s and St John’s, which remain to this day enjoying the fruits of her liberality; she founded also a professorship, still called the Lady Margaret Professorship of Divinity. She was never Queen, but was mother of a king, grandmother to another, Henry VIII, and great grandmother to three more sovereigns, Edward VI, Elizabeth and Mary, and our present queen is descended from her. I think we here, may be entitled to remember with something of pride the connection Maxey has had with so distinguished a lady. She died in 1509 and was buried in Westminster Abbey. It is quite likely that too that for some time at least, in her childhood, if not in later years, she was an inhabitant and lived in the old castle. I will tell you why I think so. In a curious old manuscript book, The Red Book of Thorney, belonging to the Earl of Westmorland, is copied an old petition from John Bukke prior of Deeping. “ to the High and gracious Princesse the Duchesse of Somerset”, who was the mother of the Lady Margaret. This petition makes complaint of one John, Miller of the Mill of West Deeping, saying that the noble progenitors of the Duchess had granted a regular supply of corn to be sent to Deeping Priory, John the miller had left off sending it. Whereupon she commanded her advisers to consider and decide the matter; and they decided in favour of the Prior and against the miller. This order was given at the Castle of Maxey, 1455. This seems to show that the Duchess occasionally lived here. She only had one child, the Lady Margaret, who was at that time 14, and it is unlikely that she would be away from her mother.
We have now heard for the first time of a Castle. When the manor passed from the de la Mares it came to Sir William de Thorpe, who as lord of the manor owned, and certainly lived in the old manor house. It is on record that in 1373 or 1374 he obtained a licence from the King to fortify his manor house, and it was no doubt his fortifying that caused it to be called by the name that it has ever since gone by, the castle. I should say here that of course no single stone of the castle remains in its old position; the present house does not occupy the place of the old one, which was inside the enclosure of the moat. The moat indeed, a great part of which remains, is original.
After Lady Margaret’s death her grandson, King Henry VIII, became owner of the manor; or in legal language it became vested in the crown. Queen Elizabeth afterwards had it, for in her third year she granted it to her famous minister Sir William Cecil, 1st Lord Burghley; and from his family it came by purchase (but when I do not know) to the Fitzwilliams. I have made this matter of the chief manor house lords as short as possible because the reading of names only is apt to be rather dry, and not very amusing. I know of many other names of inhabitants here, but am not able to say that any of them were persons of mark. I should hope, in a second lecture, when speaking of the old registers and other documents of the parish, to say something about a few of the older families whose names still remain here or in the neighbourhood.
The next point I take is the extent and boundaries. Maxey is the most northerly Parish in Northants and includes the hamlet of Deeping Gate, so called as most say from the turnpike gate that till recently stood in the Spalding Road, near the bridge: but much more likely from its being” the road towards Deeping. Gate is an old word meaning road or street; there are several streets so named remaining in Peterborough, Cowgate, Priestgate, Cumbergate and the lane leading to the bridge of which I speak, commonly called Brisket Lane, is really Bridgegate, the road to the bridge, and is so printed in the new map. So too we have Towngate, Horsegate and others. The boundaries of the parish are mostly marked very clearly, and I speak now of the old ecclesiastical parish of Maxey, because within the last few years an alteration has been made as regards the boundaries of the Union parish. The river Welland on the north divides it from Lincolnshire. King Street on the west is the boundary, except for six fields between King Street and the Great North Railway, and one field (32 acres) even beyond the railway. Etton Lane on the east and part of "ogger", which is the Outgang or Outgang Road from Northborough. On the south the boundary between Maxey and Helpston is the northern of the two banks, except for one field (belonging to the vicar) and the head of Woodgate Lane from Etton. It contains 1701 acres, slightly more than 2 1/2 square miles, but to walk its extreme length from Lolham to Waldram Hall, would be at least 4 1/2 or 4 3/4 miles. I find that before the enclosure there were many parts of the parish to which a particular name was given which have now nearly or entirely been forgotten. There were several open spaces that have also been enclosed and there were a few pathways and lanes that have been absorbed in the fields. And I shall try before I address you again, to make a list of these names and I will ask you then to tell me if anyone can remember hearing old people speak of such places.
And now we come to the population. In the census of 1801 the population of Maxey and Deeping Gate was 457; in 1831, 576; 1841,611; 1851, 411: 1861, 419; 1871, 474; 1881, 592. We see then for the first 40 years of the century there was a gradual increase until it exceeded 600, and then suddenly fell to 411, or lost one third of its inhabitants. What special reason there was for this I do not know, but since that time it has gradually increased again up to the last census in 1881. We have no exact record of the population before the present century, but we can make a fair estimate at one or two periods. Thus in 1724 the whole parish, along with Deeping gate, is described as having 90 houses? We may fairly conclude that there were then about 360 persons. This would be 20 less than in Maxey alone at the last census. Our population seems now again to be diminishing and having calculated as nearly as I can the present number of persons in Maxey, I believe there are 327: which would be 53 less than 8 years ago. There are here now 90 or 91 houses and in Deeping Gate 48 or 49. Now in country places in the 16th and 17th centuries the mortality rate is considered to have been, speaking roughly, 30 to 35 in the thousand. This means that out of a town or village with 1000 people 30 to 35 would die each year, and so if we can take the number of deaths in any place for thirty years together, we should get pretty nearly the number of inhabitants. Adopting this plan, I should say from counting the number of deaths entered in the register, that the population of the whole parish in 1550 was 270; in 1600, 180; in 1700, 360. This last agrees with the number of houses we find a few years later, and also shows that that these changes occurred before the present century, and that the population at one time increased and at another time diminished without apparent cause. And now I am able to show what the population was some 200 years earlier still. Only last year I found in the Record Office in London the account of the inhabitants with the names of the householders in the reign of Edward III i.e. in 1378, 511 years ago. The list was made for the purpose of granting a 10th or 15th of every man's personal estate for the King's use. Each man's name is given, and the sum he had to pay. I may be able to say something about those names next time: at present I only speak of them as helping us to form an idea of the population, and I find the parish then separately as consisting of four parts, Makeseye, Leholm(Lolham),Nunton and the Deeping Gate part. And very oddly the total number of names, no doubt the exact number of houses was 90, the same number as in 1724. At that time, consequently, we may put the population at 360. But there is no doubt that in the 11th or 12th centuries, for instance, there could not have been more that 35 or 40 houses in Maxey itself. And this brings me to notice one point which puzzles most people and which is generally the first thing noticed by strangers, I mean the fact that the church is so far away from the village. When I was speaking on this matter 5 years ago I said I saw some reason to suppose that when the church was built, the number of houses in the village here was very much smaller than now, and that the number at Nunton and Lolham was larger, and if there were so then the position of the church would be the most convenient place that could have been fixed upon, as being about equally distant from the chief centres of life in the place. And that as time went on, and more houses were built, these were built near the house of the royal manor and near the town of Deeping. I said this before I discovered the paper in the record office I have just described. I find in it a gratifying confirmation of what I then said, for I find in this paper that there were 50 persons to be taxed in Maxey, 12 at Lolham and 11 at Nunton while there were only 17 in Deeping Gate. We can hardly picture Lolham with a dozen houses. Now there are 19 houses in Deeping Gate, 8 at Nunton and Lolham together. In 1378 there were more in Nunton and Lolham than at Deeping Gate.
And I have now only one more point to notice tonight; and that is the language, the words and the speech of the place. To me this is a most interesting matter of observation and it is a subject that has a great interest for many far beyond the limits of this parish. I reminded you a while ago of a time before England was one united Kingdom, and before there was a single king to reign over the whole land, there were several different nations and each of these had, if not a different language, at least a different dialect. When the nation became one, these dialects got gradually mixed and distinctive words died out; but still, far into the 15 and 15th centuries the different parts of England had distinctly different forms of speech, and to a very great extent this difference remains to the present day. We have a number of genuine old words that a man from Kent wouldn’t know the meaning of and at the same time if anyone who has never been more than twenty miles or so away from Maxey were moved off into Somerset, he would find a difficulty in understanding the people there. Now I, for one, hope that the time is very far distant when all these words will die away. Railways, Newspapers and school boards are all combining to reduce the whole country to a dreary level of sameness in ideas and language. Of course as the nation has become one, so one of these forms of speech has by degrees has become the chief, and without driving all the others out of the field, has put them into an inferior position. And which of the languages has done this? Why it is ours, the tongue spoken in Northants. Let me read to you a few lines of Professor Freeman’s, who is one of the greatest living authorities on this subject. Londoners often laugh at country people for what they think are their funny words, or their bad grammar but the truth is theirs are the funny words not ours and theirs is the bad grammar, and ours is the good grammar. I gave a few instances of this before. A Londoner would say, “ have you got better?” while a true genuine Northants man would say, “ have you gotten better?” and that is correct English and good grammar, the other is a mere barbarism. Take another case, in one of Shakespeare’s plays the fairies are represented as changing a country man’s head, and sending him about with a great donkey’s head upon him. While he is under this transformation he feels hungry and instead of saying “ I should like some bread and cheese” he says “ I could munch a good bottle of hay now”. And it is a common saying all over England, when you want to say that it is no good to go on looking for something that is hopelessly lost, “ You might as well look for a needle in a bottle of hay”. We know what a bottle of hay means, but not one in ten of our grand London friends know. The only bottle he knows is a bottle of beer or wine. You know the old nursery song” Sing a song of sixpence, a pocket full of rye”. Next time you see a friend from town ask him what he thinks a pocket of rye means. See if he knows that it means a particular size sack, as we talk of a pocket of hops. Or ask if he knows what buying a pig in a poke means, and see if he knows that a poke is the same as a pocket or sack, and buying a pig in a poke means buying one that is tied up in a sack and so not able to be seen. A very clever artist has drawn some delightful illustrations to many of our old nursery rhymes and in one of his pictures he has a farmer with a pocket of rye, but he makes it his tail-coat pocket. And yet one more instance only, Northants people might and one party might say to the others “ Where be you a-going” and the others might answer “ We be a-going home”, and some might smile at such a form of speech and suppose it to be bad grammar. They would be quite wrong, it is perfectly correct in every particular. It is true that now the fashion of speech has altered and most people would express themselves differently, but that wouldn’t make it wrong. Almost every body that knows his Bible knows that when that was translated into English, not quite 300 years ago, that was the proper and regular way of speaking by the educated classes. You remember the conversation between our Lord and St. Peter “ I go a-fishing” and you remember in the Psalms “ There be many that say, who will show us any good”, and Joseph’s brethren when challenged in Egypt said “ We be twelve brethren, the sons of one man”. I was talking to the Dean of Peterborough on this subject, he was one of the company of revisers who have lately issued a new translation of the Scriptures, and he told me all passages as these were to be altered, so as to bring them into conformity with modern usage, They would translate “ There are many”, “Ware 12 brethren”. But I am obliged to confess that I think such a change a change for the worse, and I ask you to notice that my testimony on this matter arguing for the superiority of the common form of speech here is perfectly impartial and disinterested: for I was born in London myself, and it is only since my long residence here in this county, 28 years, that I have recognised the value and importance of the Northants language.
And here I bring my present remarks to an end. I have enough materials for another lecture and I hope most of you will be sufficiently interested to come here again in another 3 weeks time and listen to something more about the place. Perhaps the title that I have given to these addresses “ The History Of Maxey” may seem rather too grand. But you will know that in a couple of lectures I can do no more than give the merest outline of its history, selecting the points which I should suppose most likely to attract your attention, and that you would most like to hear. I now only wish to remind you that my object in speaking has been for my own good, as well as to tell you something of the village; and that I am most anxious to hear from any of the older inhabitants anything they can remember or that they can remember their fathers telling them about the old buildings, or old fields, or old life of Maxey. I was very much gratified at the result of my lectures 5 years ago. I obtained then, in consequence of it being seen how great an interest in everything that concerns Maxey, a great deal of information that was quite new to me, and I do hope that a similar result will follow now. In particular if there is any lingering tradition of a fight that once took place at Lolham bridges, or the existence of a maypole, or a whipping post, or of the sort of house that was once near the church called Church Hall, or of any great calamity, or murder done, or indeed of anything of the kind I shall be most delighted to hear about it,
And so I wish you all good night.