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Researched by John Meads 2007

Osborne House

(27 High Street)

Osborne House in the 1980s.
Osborne House in the 1980s

The marriage took place at Burton Latimer St Mary’s Church on 14th February 1862 of Ann Wignell, aged 38, daughter of Edward Wignell, a butcher, farmer and grazier and James Osborne, aged 36, the son of Samuel Osborne, a farmer.

The Wignells lived in the substantial limestone house which stands facing “The Cross”, the ancient name for the open area at the junction of High Street, Church Street and Meeting Lane, now the site of the town’s war memorial.

Part of the 1803 enclosure Award map showing Robert Capps' premises. Prior to its occupation by the Wignell family, it had been the home of Robert Capps, a descendant of a family of butchers since the mid 1600s, who was also the owner of three houses and several acres of land.

Seen left is a part of the 1803 Enclosure Award map showing Robert Capps' property at The Cross

James Osborne in later life. Part of an early  photo showing the
James Osborne
in later life
Part of an early photo showing the
window which would have been
used when the house was a shop.

When Robert Capps died in 1820 the house, and probably the business, was purchased by Edward Wignell, born in Great Easton but who had come to Burton from Finedon. Following Edward Wignell’s death in 1862, his business was taken over by his son-in-law James Osborne who, it appears, eventually dropped the butchery side of the business to concentrate on farming until a few years before his death in 1908.

James Osborne first farmed from Burton Wold Farm which he left in 1873 but he then became the tenant of another farm, known as Redlands Farm, which was owned by Henry Harpur. The farmhouse and farm buildings were situated immediately south of the Waggon & Horses Inn, Kettering Road. The farm house was occupied by a farm worker and his family and it survived until the 1960s, but the large barn is still a prominent feature in Kettering Road. He also owned other land in Burton Latimer as is shown by an advertisement in 1881 which gave notice of a sale of "Valuable Ash Poles, Faggott Wood etc." in Hogs Hole Spinney "on the instructions from Mr. James Osborne."

Much of the land belonging to his farms was rich in ironstone and James Osborne exploited this by leasing some it to the Burton Ironstone Company for iron ore extraction whilst still carrying on in business as a farmer until about 1900. He was also able to develop land in Meeting Lane where Osborne’s Row (at right angles to the street) and Osborne’s Terrace (parallel to the street) were built in about 1886.

Meeting Lane c1910. On the right is Osborne's Terrace.
Meeting Lane c1910. On the right is Osborne Terrace.
The first house in Osborne Row can be seen in front of
the Baptist Chapel.

He was prominent in the affairs of the village, a churchwarden from the 1890s until his death and stood successfully as a candidate for the parish council in 1896.

Although the area where the house stood was known as Osborne's Corner when he lived there, it was not until after his death that his former home became known as ‘Osborne House’, the first mention of it is to be found in a Kelly’s Directory of 1914 where it is given as the home of Herbert Ayres. He was the cashier at the Evening Telegraph, a prominent member of the Baptist Church, a parish, and later, an urban district councillor and its chairman in 1929.

Dr. A.P. Kingsley The house’s long association with Burton Latimer’s doctors began during the First World War.

An Evening Telegraph article dated March 1916 mentions an accident attended by a Doctor Byrne and then, in 1918, Dr. Edward Crofton Byrne is on the electoral register, living at The Cross with his wife Clytie.  Kelly’s Directory of 1924 shows it as the home and surgery of Dr. Edwin Lloyd Warner. By 1928, his practice had been joined by Dr. Alan Strachan, but by 1931 his partner was Dr. F.K. Beaumont of Finedon.

After Dr. Warner left the town in 1934, Dr. Albert Prince Kingsley (pictured left) moved into Osborne House and lived there until his death in 1986. Until after the Second World War, Dr. Kingsley’s partner was Dr. Bell of Finedon and later Dr. Ken Padget, who eventually took over the practice when it moved to the newly built health centre in 1972.

As a reminder of the past, butcher's hooks can still be seen at the front and rear of the house and up to a few years ago the stables and butcher's slab could still be found in the outhouses.

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