The Stamford and Peterborough mints

The Stamford and Peterborough mints

Wells, William C.

British Numismatic Society, 1934-37 (Vol. 22)


S T A M F O R D , the greater part of which now lies in Lincolnshire, originally consisted of two separate towns, one in Northamp- tonshire, known down to the fifteenth century as Stam- ford-south-of-the-river and afterwards as Stamford Baron, Stamford-beyond-the-bridge, or Stamford St. Martin’s, and the other in Lincolnshire; the two places being separated by the river Welland. By the time of the Domesday Survey, however, they had been united for local assessment purposes, but in other ways they were still distinct “burhs”. There appears to have been considerable jealousy between the two places, and in early documents we frequently read of quarrels and disturbances and even suits at law between the inhabi- tants of Stamford, Lincolnshire, and those of Stamford Baron, Northamptonshire.

The place-name Stanford or Stamford is derived from Anglo-Saxon Stanford, “Stone-ford”, denoting the stone paved-ford by which the river Welland was crossed prior to the erection of the bridge connecting the two Stamfords and also connecting the counties of Northampton and Lincoln. The earliest record of Stamford is of the year 449 when, according to the Venerable Bede, the Saxons were invited over by Vortigern to defend his country against the Picts and Scots. The first battle after their arrival appears to have been fought in the neighbourhood of this ford across the Welland, and proved an entire defeat for the Picts and Scots. Henry of Huntingdon thus describes the fight: ” The enemy advanced as far as Stanford . . . The Picts and Scots fought with spears and lances, but when the Saxons most furiously fell on with their axes and long swords, they immediately fled, unable to resist the weight of so fierce an attack.”


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