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Festival of History
Northamptonshire is a landlocked county in the East Midlands. The county was first recorded in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle in 1011, as Hamtunscire.
In the 1st century BC, most of what later became Northamptonshire belonged to the Catuvellauni, a Belgic tribe, the Northamptonshire area forming their most northerly possession. The Catuvellauni were in turn conquered by the Romans in 43 AD. The Roman road of Watling Street passed through the county, and an important Roman settlement, Lactodorum, stood on the site of modern-day Towcester.
After the Romans left, the county became part of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Mercia.
George Washington, the first President of the United States of America, was born into the Washington family who had migrated to America from Northamptonshire in 1656.
During the English Civil War, Northamptonshire strongly supported the Parliamentarian cause, and the Royalist forces suffered a crushing defeat at the Battle of Naseby in 1645 in the north of the county. King Charles I was imprisoned at Holdenby House in 1647.
In the 18th and 19th centuries, parts of Northamptonshire and the surrounding area became industrialised. The local specialisation was shoemaking and the leather industry. During the 1930s, the town of Corby was established as a major centre of the steel industry.