Northamp'tonshire, or Northants, a midland county of England, 67 miles long, and 25 where broadest, is surrounded by the counties of Rutland, Lincoln, Cambridge, Huntingdon, Bedford, Buckingham, Oxford, and Warwick. Area, 984 sq. m., or 629,912 acres, of which more than half is pasture. Pop. (1801) 131,757; (1841) 199,208; (1881) 272,558 ; (1901) 338,088. In the north-east near Peterborough the county is flat, and forms part of the Bedford Level (q.v.), but elsewhere the surface is undulating, the highest ground - about 800 feet above sea-level - being found in the neighbourhood of Daventry. The Nen and the Welland are the chief rivers. Corn and green crops are largely grown; many cattle are grazed on the broad pastures, and dairy-farming is carried on ; but, although Northants is a great hunting county, the breeding of horses is not much encouraged. Limestone is quarried in the north-east, and excellent ironstone is found near Kettering and Wellingborough. The county comprises twenty hundreds, the municipal boroughs of Brackley, Daventry, Higham Ferrers, Northampton, Peterborough, and Stamford (the last two extending into Huntingdonshire and Lincolnshire), and has 344 civil parishes, with parts of four others, almost entirely in the diocese of Peterborough. The parliamentary divisions are four, each returning one member. Northamptonshire has witnessed the battles of Edgecote (1469) and Naseby (1645), the beheading of Mary, Queen of Scots, at Fotheringay Castle (1587), and the imprisonment of Charles I. at Holmby House (1647). Of its natives, besides Richard III. and (perhaps) Catharine Parr, the best known are Archbishop Chichele, Sir Christopher Hatton, Catesby, Thomas Fuller, James Harrington, Bishop Cumberland, Dryden, Charles Montagu, Earl of Halifax, William Law, Doddridge, James Hervey, Cartwright ('the father of Reform'), Dr Paley, William Lisle Bowles, Clare (the peasant poet), the Earl of Cardigan (leader of the Balaclava charge), and Dean Mansel. See the county histories by Bridges (2 vols. 1791), Baker (2 vols. 1822-41), and Whellan (2d ed. 1874). - Hampshire (q.v.) is the county of Scuthampton.