Lordship Title of Blewbury Prebendal ID1388

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The origin of the PREBENDAL MANOR is to be found in the 5 virgates of land attached to the church of Blewbury, and belonging to the royal manor, which were held by Aluric in the reign of Edward the Confessor. In 1086 the tenant was William Belfou (de Beaufeu), the Norman Bishop of Thetford and chaplain and chancellor to William the Conqueror. This estate was given shortly after 1086 to Osmund Bishop of Salisbury. That Belfou was the grantor seems possible, since another benefice of his, the church of Marlborough, also became the property of the bishop, and the two estates were so closely connected that they afterwards formed the prebend of Blewbury and Marlborough. Bishop Osmund founded the cathedral church of Old Sarum in 1091, and made the church of Blewbury part of the original endowment. The prebendal estate was held for life by Warner of Sandford, a canon of Salisbury, but on his death, about 1148, Bishop Jocelin conveyed it for the commons of the resident canons. This arrangement was afterwards abandoned and Blewbury formed a separate priest-prebend of the cathedral until the 16th century. In 1516 the Prior of St. John of Jerusalem held the prebend. His successor granted the advowson to Cardinal's College, Oxford, the consent of Campeggio Bishop of Salisbury being obtained for its annexation. On the fall of Wolsey the endowments of the college passed to the king, who first assigned the prebend of Blewbury to St. George's College at Windsor, but in 1536 granted it to Thomas Cromwell. On Cromwell's attainder in 1540 Thomas Paston, a gentleman of the Privy Chamber, obtained the prebend. By an Act of Parliament of 1541–2, however, it was given to the Bishop of Salisbury and his successors, Paston receiving compensation. The prebend was dissolved, but the estate and the manorial rights attached to it became part of the temporalities of the see, and the bishop retained the title of Prebendary of Blewbury. The episcopal estates were confiscated in 1646 by the Long Parliament and the prebendal manor was sold in 1650 to John Dove the regicide. After the Restoration it was restored to the Bishop of Salisbury. From this time it became customary for the manor to be held under lease from the bishop, and in 1685 the lessee, Dr. John Townson, settled it on the Corporation of the Sons of the Clergy. This body surrendered it in 1865 to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, who are now the lords of the manor.
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