SPALDING, a market town in the Holland or Spalding parliamentary division of Lincolnshire, England, on the river Welland, and on the Great Northern and Great Eastern railways, 93 "m. N. from London. Pop. of urban district (1901), 9385. Thetown is the centre of a rich agricultural district. The parish church of St Mary and St Nicholas was built in 1 284 and is of peculiar construction, having four aisles to the nave. It is mainly Decorated in style. The adjoining lady chapel (St Mary and St Thomas a Becket) was built in 1315; in 1588 it was appropriated for the grammar school endowed in 1568 by John Blanke and again in 1588 by John Gamlyn. A new grammar school was erected in 1881. Theft are several modern churches and chapels, a corn exchange, a Christian association and literary institute, and the Johnson hospital (1881, endowed). The existing high bridge over the Welland, constructed in 1838, took the place of a wooden erection dating from the end of the 17th century; this last was built on the site of a Roman bridge of two arches, the foundations of the centre pier of which were disclosed when the wooden bridge was constructed. Trade is principally agricultural, and there is considerable water-traffic on the Welland.
Although there are no traces of settlement at Spalding (Spaltnige) before late Saxon times there was probably a village here before Thorold the sheriff founded his cell of Crowland Abbey in 1051. In Domesday Book the manor is said to belong to Ivo de Taillebois, who possessed a market there worth 403., six fisheries and rent from salt-pans. The manor was afterwards granted to Angers, and later belonged to Spalding Priory, which retained it until at the suppression it passed to the Crown. Stephen made Spalding Priory free of toll, while John gave the monks forest rights. The town was governed by the prior's manorial court, and never became a parliamentary or municipal borough. The prior obtained the grant of the Friday market in 1242, and in the reign of Edward I. claimed from of old fairs on the feast of St Nicholas and fifteen days following, and on the vigil and octave of St Cross. In more modern times Spalding was well known for the club known as the " Gentleman's Society," founded in 1710 by Maurice Johnson, which met once a week at a coffee-house in the town for the discussion of literary and antiquarian subjects, and numbered among its members Newton, Bentley, Addison, Pope and Gay.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)