STAMFORD, or STANFORD, Lincolnshire, a market-town, muni cipal and parliamentary borough, and the seat of a Poor-Lew Union, is situated on both sides of the river Welland (which hero divides the counties of Lincoln nod Northampton), iu 52° 40' N. lat., 0° 28' W. long., distant 47 miles S. by E. from Lincoln, S9 miles N. by W. from London by road, and by the Great Northern and Leicester and Stam ford railways. The population of the borough of Stamford (a portion of which, called Stamford Baron, is in Northamptonshire), was 8933 in 1851. The borough is governed by 6 aldermen and IS councillors, of whom one is mayor; and returns two members to the Imperial Parliament. The livings are in the archdcaconry and diocese of Lincoln. Stamford Poor-Law Union contains 37 parishes and town ships, with an area of 52,858 acres, and a population iu 1851 of 19,755.
Stamford is an ancient town, but authentic history is silent respect ing it till the troubled period succeeding the Roman dominion, when the Picts and Scots were defeated hero by the Britons and their Saxon allies, in 449. In the reign of Edward the Elder iu 922, the part of Stamford south of the Welland was fortified by the Saxons; and the Danes, who occupied the northern part of the town, submitted. Tho town was one of the five Danish burghs which couuected their Northumbrian and East Anglian possessions. In Domesday-book, Stamford, there called Stanford, is styled a king's borough. In 1190 the Jews of Stamford were plundered, and many of them slain by those who had enlisted for tho crusade. One of the crosses which marked the resting-place of Queen Eleanor's body, was erected at Stamford : it was demolished in the civil troubles of Charles I. Stamford returned members to parliament as early as the 23rd Edward I. Several parliaments and councils were held in the town in the middle ages. There were 16 pariah churches in the town and suburbs, and there were priories for Carmelite, Franciscan, Dominican, and Augustine friars (two in or near the town), and Benedictine monks (at St. Leonard's, just out of the town to the east); also several ' halls' or monastic) schools. On occasion of some discontent at Oxford, a number of the students retired here in 1333, and were not induced to return without great difficulty. The town was greatly benefited iu its trade by the settlement here, in 1572, of some Flemish Protestaut refugees, Bilk and serge weavers, who settled at Stamford by advice of Lord Treasurer Burghley, lord of the manor.
Over the river Welland are an ancient stone bridge of five arches, and a handsome new bridge of three arches, built of granite in the Norman style, by the Marquis of Exeter. Tho town is well supplied
with water, and lighted with gas. Many new houses have been built of late years. All Saints church consists of a nave and two aisles, and a chancel with one aisle. It is chiefly of early English archi tecture; the tower, spire, and two porches are of perpendicular character. The other churches era generally perpendicular in style. Part of the nave of the conventnal church of the Benedictine priory of St. Leonard's is still standing, and is used as a barn. Tho west gate of the Carmelite or White Friary is still entire, just outside the I town on the north-east side. Near it are part of a wall and a postern or back gateway of the Gray or Franciscan Friary. Tho Wesleyan and Reform Methodists, Independents, Roman Catholics, and Mormons have places of worship. The Grammar school was founded about 1530 by William Radcliffe, an alderman of the borough. The school possesses an endowment of about 6001. a year, and had 37 scholars in 1854. The Blue-Coat school, established in 1704, has an income from endowment of about 200/. a year; it is conducted ou the British school system : the number of scholars in 1852 was 150, of whom GO receive clothing as well as instruction. There aro several National, Infant, and Free schools. The Stamford, Rutland, and Oeneral Infirmary, erected in 1826, in consequence of a bequest by Henry Frier, Esq., a surgeon in Stamford, end which has since received !Fevers! valuable additional endowments, had an income In 1851, from all sources, of 1313/. 8s. The cost of the building, amounting to upwards of 5000/., wee defrayed chiefly by public subscription. In the town ore flume:taus endowed hospitals, almshouses, and other charities, a literary and scientific Institution, with a museum, lecture room, library, &c.., and a aavings bank. There are three extensive breweries, and a manufactory of agricultural Implements. Near the Grammar school Is a Norman gateway, anciently belonging to &ami ne:me College, one of the monastic schools, and now forming an entrance Into a garden. The markets are on Monday and Friday; that on Friday Is a good corn-market ; there aro several cattle-markets in the course of the year, and &Well yearly fairs. Fat stock markets are held once a fortnight. The Welland, or rather a lateral ent to the natural bed of the river, is navigable up to the town for boats and small barges. Tho public baths, established in 1722 by the medical practitioners of Stamford, were retina in 1823 by the present pro prietor, the Marquis of Exeter. Quarter sessions and a county court are held.