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A History of Horncastle by James Conway Walter

Connecting for commerce the town with the river Witham


late years the support, by subscriptions, has on several occasions been inadequate. In January, 1899, there being a deficit of 70 pound, the late Mr. J. Banks Stanhope gave the Governors a cheque for that amount. In the year 1905, there being again a serious deficit, application was made to the trustees of the Hurstcroft and Snowden charity, and they contributed 20 pounds on condition that 25 poor children should receive medical treatment free of charge. A further sum of 53 pounds 14s. remaining as a surplus, in the hands of the Soup Kitchen Committee, was also given to the funds. Canon Quarrington, formerly Vicar of Horncastle, also contributed 20 pounds; and other donations made up a relief fund of 106 pounds (see Report for the year). The debt was thus wiped out, but death having carried off many former subscribers, increased support will be needed in the future.

Legacies have been bequeathed to the institution by various persons, at different times, as follows: Dr. Harrison, by will dated Feb. 5th, 1820, left 100 pounds; the late H. J. Fielding, Esq., who died Aug. 10th, 1879, left by will 100 pounds; in 1884 the late Mr. T. Garfit bequeathed 100 pounds; ten 10 pounds shares in the railway were bequeathed by Mrs. Fox Marshall in 1897; 100 pounds was bequeathed by Mr. J. W. Hart, of Tetford, in 1900; Mr. John Bancroft left 50 pounds in 1905; 357 pounds were invested in Consols and 200 pounds in railway shares, in 1899; a portion of this

was sold in 1902, and 300 pounds were invested in the Corn Exchange; the Dispensary premises were also insured for 800 pounds, instead of 600 pounds, in the County Fire Office, in 1902.

It will thus be seen that although the operations of the institution no longer embrace the extended area of the early years of its existence, it is still doing a most valuable work in the alleviation of suffering among the poor and needy, in both town and country for many miles round, and is thoroughly deserving of the increased support, which is required, to continue its efficiency. We trust that this will be recognized by the land owners and others, and that such assistance will be forthcoming.


The Horncastle Canal, connecting for commerce the town with the river Witham, and so with Lincoln, Boston, and the sea, though now a derelict, was formerly of much value. Its history is here given from its earliest inception.

Horncastle having been for some centuries the chief market of an important agricultural district, an association was formed towards the close of the 18th century, with the title "The Company of Proprietors of Horncastle Navigation, in the County of Lincoln." This was, in the year 1792, incorporated by an Act of Parliament, which gave a list of the names of the original members, and secured to them, and to their successors, perpetual possession of the same, and a common seal. The canal was to be 11 miles long, extending from the junction of the two rivers, Bain and Waring, which traverse the town and meet at the point where now stands the public swimming bath, to the Witham at Tattershall; and passing through the parishes of Thornton, Martin, Dalderby, Roughton, Haltham, Kirkby, Coningsby, and Tattershall.

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