Tag Archives: Dr Samuel Johnson

Aldwincle Northamptonshire Revisited

In a time gone by there were two Aldwincle Parishes, Aldwincle St Peters and Aldwincle All Saints they were joined together in November 1879.

Aldwincle Village Sign

Aldwincle Village Sign Northamptonshire

To all appearances it is St Peters that is now the center of village life as All Saints sits a world apart opposte Dryden house on the way to Thorpe Waterville across  Harper’s Brook and over the Nene river by Brancey Bridge.

All Saints Church Aldwincle Northamptonshire

John Dryden poet, playwright and critic was born in the house that sits in the shadow of church on the 9 August 1631. Dryden House Aldwincle Northamptonshire

Dryden House Aldwincle Northamptonshire

Son of Erasmas Dryden and Mary Pickering of Titchmarsh he was Christened in the Church of All Saints where his grandfather Henry Pickering was Rector were there is a tablet commemorating the event.

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Church Commemorative Tablet

All Saints Church is now in the care of The Church Conservation Trust as it is no longer needed for regular worship but remains as consecrated buildings and is of historical importance, it is a delight to walk round and has always been open when ever we have visited.

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All Saints Church Striking Interior

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All Saints Church Stained Glass Window

Samuel Johnson summed up the general attitude to John Dryden with his remark that

 “the veneration with which his name is pronounced by every cultivator of English literature,

 is paid to him as he refined the language, improved the sentiments,

and tuned the numbers of English poetry.”

and tuned the numbers of English poetry.”

And T. S. Eliot wrote that he was

‘the ancestor of nearly all that is best in the poetry of the eighteenth century’,

and that ‘we cannot fully enjoy or rightly estimate a hundred years of English poetry

unless we fully enjoy Dryden.’


In The Footsteps of The Good Doctor

Langton by Spilsby Lincolnshire Wolds.

Langton by Spilsby Lincolnshire Wold

“Early in 1764 Dr Samuel Johnson paid a visit to the Langton Family, at their seat of Langton, in Lincolnshire, where he passed some time, much to his satisfaction.”

Quoted from The Life Of Samuel Johnson by James Boswell

Although Langton Hall in Langton by Spilsby in Lincolnshire no longer stands the church of St Peter and St Paul and its environs are a delight to explore and if you feel energetic you can emulate the good doctor and roll down the sheep walks.

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Dr Johnson is said to have visited The church of St Peter and St Paul while visiting his good friend Bennet Langton a founder member of the literary club.

The present church was erected by Bennett’s grandfather George in 1725, when the great man of letters visited the roof would have been covered in lead unlike today, it is said that the lead was removed to be turned into bulletts for use in the Napoleonic Wars.

“War involves in its progress such a train of unforeseen circumstances that no human wisdom can calculate the end; it has but one thing certain, and that is to increase taxes.”

Thomas Paine

St Peter and St Paul Church

The setting and the exterior of the church building is extremely charming but it is when you enter that you experience the full impact and appreciate why it has gained its reputation with the great and good.

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