The present parish of Orton Longueville includes the old parish of Botolphbridge, with which it became united in 1702. The civil parish is known as Orton Longueville; the ecclesiastical parish was known as Orton Longueville with Botolphbridge. In 1728 an Act of Parliament was passed for confirmation of the inclosure of Orton Longueville and Botolphbridge.

There were some changes to the civil boundary in 1956. Orton Longueville is now part of Peterborough Urban area.

The early history is of the formation of the two parishes of Orton Longueville and Orton Waterville. In Domesday Book no distinction of name is made and the different holdings are all called Overton, and only one church is mentioned. Originally it seems to have been king’s land and in his soke, but a portion was alienated, probably by King Edgar, to the Abbey of Peterborough and formed in the reign of King Edward the Confessor a berewick of the Abbey manor of Alwalton.

Edward granted 3 hides of land to the Bishopric of Lincoln.  In 1066 the remainder of Orton was still in the king’s soke, but by 1086 the abbey had increased its holding by a grant of 3½ hides made in the time of William the Conqueror, and the other holdings were in the hands of Eustace the Sheriff.

It seems impossible to fix a date for the separation of the parish of Orton Waterville, but before 1086 the Abbey of Peterborough had been forced to subinfeudate many of its lands to military tenants, and its holdings in Orton were then both in the hands of Ansgered the ancestor of the Waterville family, who were hereditary marshals of the Abbot’s Hall at Peterborough.

The last two holdings were not described as manors, but as being in the king’s soke of Norman Cross. It seems that Elsi’s manor, with the church, formed the nucleus of the parish of Overton Longueville; but some part of the remainder seems to have been acquired by the de Waterville’s, and became part of Orton Waterville, to which some 5 hides seem to have been assigned.

The first member of the family of whom there is any record was Henry de Longueville in 1166. Reginald de Longueville was probably the next tenant. He died before 1219, his heir being his son Henry,  who, with his brothers Giles and Robert, was concerned in a grant of land in Orton Longueville to the Abbey of Ramsey.  John de Longueville was the tenant. He died before 1265, leaving his son Henry, a minor, in the wardship of his overlord, Roger de Lovetot. He forfeited the wardship to the king with his other possessions for his support of Simon de Montfort, and Henry III granted it to Adam de Chesterton.

Roger, however, recovered his lands and appears to have granted the wardship of Henry to his mother, Isabel, widow of John de Longueville. Henry married his overlord’s daughter, Petronilla, and in 1273, shortly before Roger’s death, they were in ‘seisin’ of rents in Orton Waterville which Roger gave them in free marriage, although Henry was still in the wardship of his mother.

Orton Longueville is mentioned in the settlement made in 1685 on the occasion of the marriage of Robert Greville.

Orton Longueville was assigned to Charlotte Anne Greville, who married George Gordon, son of the 4th Earl of Aboyne, who also succeeded as 9th Marquess of Huntly, in 1836. It now belongs to his grandson, the present Marquess of Huntly.

From: ‘Parishes: Orton Longueville with Botolphbridge’, A History of the County of Huntingdon

Peterborough’s very own Florence Nightingale – Florence Matilda Saunders (b. 1856; d. 1904)

Florence was one of nine children born on 16 May 1855 to Augustus Page Saunders, Dean of Peterborough Cathedral, and his wife Emma Frances. Florence had two brothers and six sisters and was the third youngest.

In later life she is said to have been the woman who caused a riot in Peterborough by trying to introduce smallpox vaccination (discovered by Edward Jenner in 1796), years before anyone else.

Florence was born ten years before Nurse Edith Cavell and died at the age of 48 in 1904 – so some 11 years before Edith was executed by the Germans in Belgium.

What they have in common is that both went to The Laurel Court School in the Cathedral Precincts. This was run by Miss Margaret Gibson and Miss Van Dissel whose special subjects included culture and music, plus the teaching of French and German languages.

Florence lived with her family at Oswald House now called St Peter’s House on Bishops Road. As a young girl she would visit Boongate (now part of Eastgate) with her father. This area was very disadvantaged and mostly the poorer people of Peterborough lived there.

After Florence left Laurel Court School – having trained as “a lady” she seems never to have forgotten her desire to alleviate pain and suffering of the poor in Peterborough and decided to train professionally as a nurse at The Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford. When Florence qualified she set up services from her home (Oswald House), initially she worked alone on a voluntary basis but soon generous local benefactors rallied to her cause and an assistant was employed.

Florence used all her inheritance entirely to her life’s work. Florence rode around Peterborough on her tricycle wearing a long dark cloak and bonnet and made 100,000 visits to those in need throughout her lifetime.

In 1900 she was appointed a Jubilee Nurse and the Peterborough Association became affiliated to Queen Victoria’s Jubilee Institute for District Nurses – now the Queen’s Nursing Institute.

Florence died aged 48 on Tuesday, 12 April 1904 and the funeral procession passed through St John’s Street, Eastgate, where some of her patients and friends lined the route. She is buried in Broadway Cemetery.

In her will she left her home (Oswald House) to the Jubilee Institute for District Nurses. It closed in 1974 and the proceeds of the sale were invested in the Florence Saunders Relief in Sickness Charity whose registered offices are at Stephenson House, 15 Church Walk, Peterborough.

June & Vernon Bull – local historians and authors