Newport Pagnell in 1839
NEWPORT PAGNELL, a market-town in the parish of Newport Pagnell, hundred of Newport, and county of Buckingham, 12 miles north-east by east from the town of Buckingham, and 45 miles north-west by north from London (direct distances). It is seated near the junction of the rivers Ouse and Ousel, by the latter of which it is divided into two unequal parts, and over which there is an elegant iron bridge, erected in 1810. The streets are ill paved, and only occasionally lighted with gas. The water for the use of the inhabitants, till within the last fifty years, was supplied by means of machinery from the Ouse, but is now derived from a town pump situate in the High-street. The parish church has lately undergone thorough repair. It is a spacious building of considerable antiquity, dedicated to St. Peter and St. Paul, and stands upon an eminence from which there is a fine view of the surrounding country. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Lincoln, and in the gift of the crown, with a net annual income of £230. There are in the town three other places of worship ; the Independent Chapel was found by John Gibbs, who was ejected from the vicarage, and in which the Rev. William Bull, the Delphic Oracle of Cowper, preached for half a century. It is not a little singular that there are four private burial-grounds in this parish, only one of which is consecrated, namely, the one situated in the gardens of Tickford Abbey.
The only manufacture of the town is that of bone lace, which, though not carried on to so great an extent as formerly, still forms a staple trade. There is a market, every Saturday, and seven fairs are held in the year, four of which are supposed to have been chartered by Alfred the Great.
About the time of the Norman Conquest the manor of Newport was in the possession of William Fitzanseulf, a powerful baron and ancestor of the Paganells, from whom the name Pagnell is derived. During the civil war the town was garrisoned by Prince Rupert, but was subsequently taken by the parliament, and retained by them during the remainder of the war. Sir Samuel Luke, conjectured to be the prototype of Hudibras, was its governor in the year 1645. (Lysons, i. 612.)
There are four schools, a national and a Lancasterian school, a girls, and an infant school, which are supported by voluntary donations. There is also a foundation for teaching twenty girls to read, write, and work, endowed by Dr. Atterbury with £10 per annum ; and a charity school for girls, supported by Mrs. Van Hagen. There is a Mechanics' Institution ; and an academy, supported by the dissenters, for the education of young men for the Christian ministry. The principal charities of the place are Reviss almshouses and Queen Anns hospital, so called from Ann, consort of James I, by whom it was re-founded. The revenue of the former, £164 per annum, is partly applied to the support and clothing of the seven aged persons appointed by the trustees to be the occupants of the almshouses, and partly towards defraying the expense of certain weekly stipends and distributions of bread, &c. The annual income of the hospital is £261, and is appropriated to the support of a master and six poor men and women, and an allowance of £20 per annum to the vicar as master thereof.
The entire parish of Newport Pagnell, in the year 1831, contained a population of 3,385 persons.