Daventry in 1839
Daventry is in the hundred of Fawsley, 72 miles from London. The area of the parish (including the hamlet of Drayton is 4,090 acres ; the population, in 1831, was 3,646, a very small portion agricultural. This town probably rose from the decay of the neighbouring British and Roman stations of Bennavenna and Isanavatia. During the civil war of Charles I the neighbourhood of the town was the scene of some skirmishes. In 1660, General Lambert, who had collected a force at Daventry, to oppose the designs of General Monk for the restoration of the king, was taken prisoner near the town by Colonel Ingoldsby.
The town is on an eminence, and consists of two principal streets and some smaller ones, partially paved and lighted ; the houses are generally neat and well built. The church is a modern building, consisting of nave, side aisles, and chancel. There are meeting-houses for the Independents and Wesleyan Methodists.
The town has no manufacture, except that of whips. There is a market on Wednesday, and there are nine annual fairs, chiefly for cattle and horses. The Dissenting Academy at Northampton was removed to Daventry on the decease of Dr. Doddridge, A.D. 1752, and continued there under the charge successively of Dr. Ashworth, Mr. Robins, and Mr. Belsham, till A.D. 1789, when, on Mr. Belshams resignation, it was removed to Wymondley. It has since been transferred, under the designation of Coward College, to London.Daventry is a borough by prescription ; the corporation, under the Municipal Reform Act, consists of four aldermen and twelve councillors. By that Act, the town was not to have a commission of the peace, except on petition and grant. There were, before the Act, sessions held once a year. There is a small gaol, built within these few years. The corporation revenues are very trifling.The living of Daventry is a perpetual curacy, of the clear yearly value of £344, with a glebe-house.
There were, in 1833, two day-schools, partially endowed, with 12 children ; seventeen other day-schools, with 376 children ; a national day and Sunday school, with 152 children, partly supported by an endowment and by subscription (some of the children are clothed) ; and four Sunday-schools, with 511 children.