Mike Ingram for the NQ

English Civil War horsemen and guard of honour at historian Mike Ingram’s funeral in Northampton

A mounted Guard of Honour accompanied the stunning funeral procession of historian and NQ writer Mike Ingram in Northampton.   In bright winter sunshine, the cortege made its way down Park Avenue South to the Church of St Peter and St Paul in Abington Park, led by members of historical re-enactment society The Troop, in…

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In memory of Mike Ingram: an irreplaceable legend

Local treasure Morcea Walker, the queen of Northampton’s carnival community, pulled me aside once and revealed conspiratorially to me: “You have one of my former pupils writing for your magazine…” I spent a few minutes trying to guess who she meant and eventually she put me out of my misery by disclosing that it was…

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The boy from The Garibaldi

Have you heard of John Brown? No not the one who lies mouldering in the grave but Northampton’s own John Brown. Considering how he died less than 70 years ago it is surprising how quickly the people have forgotten this important son of Northampton who rose from humble beginnings to not only designing some of…

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What Charles Dickens thought of elections in Northants and our great unsung literary heroes

Northamptonshire is sadly not normally recognised for its literary connections. We have all heard of the brilliant Alan Moore, writer of V for Vendetta, Watchmen and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, the poets John Clare and John Dryden (Britain’s first ever Poet Laureate), as well as H.E. Bates (Darling Buds of May). There are many…

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How Northampton’s Eleanor Cross has been saved

After years of neglect, the 700 year old Northampton Queen Eleanor Cross, one of only three surviving in England from the original twelve, has at last been conserved after four years of campaigning by locals and supporters from all over the world. As a result, it has finally been removed from Historic England’s ‘Heritage At…

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Why we should tread lightly on the remaining cobbles of Northampton’s Market Square

Northampton’s historic Market Square is in the news. And not for the first time! In February 2019, plans to regenerate the town centre were unveiled by an organisation called Northampton Forward, which includes the borough council, the University of Northampton and other public and commercial organisations, although largely devoid of representatives of the numerous history…

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Northamptonshire’s Richard III was the victim of a French coup

My first encounter with the author of Richard III and the Battle of Bosworth now seems like it took place in another era of history. Many years ago I was news editor of the Northampton Chronicle & Echo and I had stumbled across a fascinating bit of local history – probably about the Battle of…

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We’re a little bit Saxon and a little bit Viking

Historian Mike Ingram delves into Northampton’s distant past and finds it once again at the centre of history-making events Throughout its early history, what would eventually be known as Northamptonshire became a centre for royal administration and home to Kings and Queens. It would also be devastated first by Saxons and then by Vikings. Although…

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The battle to stop our history turning into dust

When Edward I’s queen, Eleanor died in 1290 at Harby, her viscera, less her heart, were sent to the Angel Choir of Lincoln Cathedral for burial, and her body was then taken to London, taking 12 days to reach Westminster Abbey. Crosses were erected at the twelve places where her funeral procession stopped overnight. Today…

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Thomas Becket vs the King of England: the trial of the millennium held in Northampton

Mike Ingram takes us step by step through the trial that shook the nation when the church took on the state at Northampton Castle Northampton has always been a place of Kings and Queens. It was in the town that one of the most controversial and infamous trials in medieval English history took place, that…

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Alan Moore features in NQ Christmas Edition video

The Christmas NQ is a video this year featuring stories and Christmas messages from a number of people who have kindly supported the magazine this year in various different ways. Among them is Northampton writer Alan Moore who talks about the filming of his new movie and the Leader of the House of Commons Andrea…

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Discover Northampton’s hidden history

Historian Mike Ingram is offering guided tours of the historic heart of Northampton. In medieval times the town was an important trade centre and a seat of government where monarchs took many of the decisions that form the waypoints of British history: including the trial of Thomas A Becket; the rebel nobles that prompted Magna…

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Notorious Northamptonshire the home of naughty

Mike Ingram tells how the lawlessness of medieval Northamptonshire led to it becoming a centre for experiments in fighting crime… Today, headlines like “Knife crime hits record high in England and Wales as violence soars” emblazon newspapers across Britain. But is this a new phenomenon in Northamptonshire ? In fact the county was one of…

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Battle of Northampton memorial walk

The annual Battle of Northampton memorial walk is tonight. Historian Mike Ingram will lead a tour of the battlefield from 7pm, starting at Queen Eleanor’s Cross where a wreath will be laid in memory of the thousands who died in the bloody 1460 encounter. Re-enacters brought the battle to life over the weekend at Delapre…

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The noose is around the neck of Northampton’s old County Hall

Mike Ingram reveals why the sale of the old County Hall buildings is another critical moment for Northampton’s heritage… Northampton’s historic County Hall has been the centre of county justice and administration for over 340 years. Throughout its history, it has been the site of many trials including those accused of witchcraft as well as…

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It was the end of the world as we knew it

In his second piece about Northamptonshire during the English Civil War, Mike Ingram takes us back to June 1645, when the future of the nation was decided at the Battle of Naseby… For three weeks in 1645, Northamptonshire was devastated by war. The county was stripped of its livestock, many skirmishes took place and few…

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Historian’s Facebook plea to Northampton: What has happened to England’s rebel heart?

Historian Mike Ingram has poured out his concerns about the future of Northampton in an emotional Facebook post that asks what kind of people are living in the area today… Northampton is suffering from an epidemic. For years now, more and more people have been infected by a disease which is proving to be far…

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Northamptonshire’s hot protestants and the Great Rebellion

Mike Ingram looks at the county’s part in the English Civil War… The ‘Great Rebellion’ better known today as the English Civil War began on 22 August 1642. Northamptonshire was split between Royalists and Parliamentarians and was always on the front line. Very little of the county was untouched by the ravages of war.  Since…

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Fotheringhay – another missing Northamptonshire castle

Mike Ingram reveals the history of Fotheringhay Castle, a forgotten jewel in Northamptonshire’s crown… Northamptonshire just drips with history. Almost every town, village and church has a story to tell, many connected to national history and events. However, if there is one village that encapsulates the whole history of not just of England, but the…

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The Delapre Abbey story

Mike Ingram delivers an epic account of the history of Delapre Abbey… Although the café has been open for a while and the house has been open for weddings and conferences for some time, on 17 March, Delapré Abbey officially reopens its doors to the public with a jousting tournament, a battle re-enactment and an…

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Is this a red or white rose county? The Lancastrian connection…

The second part of Mike Ingram’s two part examination of Northamptonshire’s key role in the Wars of the Roses… In the last issue we looked at the Yorkist networks in Northamptonshire, now it is time to consider the Lancastrian connections. Although Fotheringhay remained the Yorkist centre of power and its church the family mausoleum, the…

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The Hog, the Dog and the Cat

Why the Rose of the Shires should be the Shire of the Roses

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Who is standing guard over our heritage?

Northampton. Once upon a time, it was one of the most important towns in England with a history few other English towns can boast. It was a place where national decisions were made, and a place where kings and queens regularly stayed. During the reigns of the Plantagenet kings, Parliament met here more often than…

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photo of fireworks display

The Gunpowder Plot in Northamptonshire

Mike Ingram takes a forensic look at history’s most famous terror plot and how it was very much a Northamptonshire conspiracy… Everyone knows Bonfire night, but just who and what are we remembering? We all know the name Guy Fawkes, however he was just the man that was given the task of lighting the fuse.…

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Magna Carta – the Northampton connection

Mike Ingram unpicks the role of Northampton in the Barons’ War and how it played a key role in bringing King John to seal Magna Carta… In 1202, Northampton was one of eleven towns which purchased the right to buy and sell dyed cloth from King John.  It soon had a national reputation for fulling…

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The battle decided by a Banbury bar maid

Historian Mike Ingram reveals the story behind the Battle of Edgecote which legend has it was decided by the whim of a Banbury bar maid… It was the year 1469. The ‘war of succession’ that started at Northampton in 1460 was over and Edward Plantagenet, Earl of March was now King Edward IV, despite the…

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Walking the battlefield

At the weekend I felt like a big brave boy because I got some scratches on my leg while I was out on the old bicycle. Brambles and bitey things had left a few livid pin streaks of torn skin that had a hot sting to them. It wasn’t agony but it was the kind…

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How a king was defeated at the Battle of Northampton

Mike Ingram tells the story of the 1460 Battle of Northampton which will be commemorated on July 15 and 16 at Delapre Abbey. Northamptonshire Battlefield Society will have a stand at the event… The battle was the first major engagement in what is now known as the War of Succession that ended with Britain’s bloodiest…

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It was festival season in the medieval era

Historian Mike Ingram reveals that real medieval tournament’s were sprawling and chaotic – and some of the best took place in Northamptonshire… Although very little of Northamptonshire’s medieval past remains today, it is still there, oozing out the ground, and if you look hard enough, it is easy to walk in the footsteps of kings and…

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Queen Eleanor’s Cross – a love story

Alarming pictures of Northampton’s Queen Eleanor Cross overgrown with weeds prompted a new Facebook group and the promise of action from Northampton Borough Council. Historian Mike Ingram reminds us why we are so lucky to have it at Delapre… Since the 1290’s Northampton’s Queen Eleanor Cross has stood majestically looking out over the town, marking…

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