Bolton is a small village in Northumberland, on the north bank of the River Aln, about two miles east by north from Whittingham, and five and a half miles west of the county town, Alnwick. It has a chapel and a small number of cottages.
Bolton is an old village. An early record is of the establishment of a hospital, founded by Robert de Ros, Baron of Wark, before the year 1225, to support a master and three chaplains, thirteen leprous men, and other lay-brethren, dedicated to St Thomas the Martyr, or the Holy Trinity; subordinate to the abbey of Ryeval, and the priory of Kirkham, in Yorkshire.
De Ros richly endowed the hospital with the villa, lordship, impropriation, and advowson of Bolton, and a waste of 140 acres; a corn-mill and a tenement at Mindrum; lands at Paston, and at Kilham. He also gave it the villa, manor, impropriation, and advowson of Straunston, and his estates of the Pauntons within that lordship, near Grantham, in Lincolnshire; and also an estate at Elwell, in Swanesland, in Yorkshire, with pasturage for 300 sheep, near the Humber; a corn-mill and a tenement at Middleton, near Dalton; and lands at Garton; both in the county of York.
The master, chaplains, and brethren of the hospital, were to keep a good table, dress neatly, and provide themselves with proper necessaries and conveniences out of their annual revenues, and apply the remainder to the relief of the poor, and helpless strangers.
At the Dissolution of the Monasteries between 1536 and 1541, it came, with the manor and villa, into the possession of the Collingwoods of Eslington.
By 1702, Bolton was the seat and manor of William Brown, who served as Sheriff of Northumberland in that year; and of Nicholas Brown, sheriff of Northumberland in1748; and afterwards of his son-in-law, Matthew Forster a younger branch of the house of Etherstone, and who was sheriff of Northumberland in 1765. Bolton came next into the possession of the co-heiress of his late widow, Mrs. Forster, daughter of Nicholas Brown, Esq. above-mentioned.
Before the Battle of Flodden Field (fought by nearby Branxton), Sir Thomas Howard, Earl of Surrey, was at this village, on Monday, 5 September 1513; where all the noblemen and gentlemen met him with their retinues, to the number of 26,000 men, among whom were Lords Clifford, Coniers, Ogle, Scroope, and Lumley, Sir William Percy, Lionel Percy, Sir George Darcy, Sir William Bulmer, of Brancepeth Castle, in the county of Durham, and Richard Tempest.
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- E. Mackenzie, An historical, topographical, and descriptive view of the county of Northumberland, Volume II, Newcastle, 1825, page 37.