Lordship Title of Bray ID1392

Title Type:
Previous Lords:
The manor of BRAY belonged to the ancient demesne of the Crown and paid no geld, though it was assessed in 1086 at 18 hides. It was usually let to farm to a succession of wardens, but as the Crown reserved the right to grant pensions out of the issues the farmers usually lost by the transaction. The Ministers' Accounts for the manor show that the half-yearly expenses sometimes amounted to £48 6s. 8d., though the receipts were only £28 7s. 8d. Complaints of oppression were made under Sir Imbert de Montreal and his successor Hamo de Chaumbre. John le Keu, warden in 1322, was afterwards accused of unjust exactions on pretence of providing men-at-arms for the king, but the attack on him may have been partly due to political feeling; he is said to have fled out of the country at the time of Mortimer's triumph, and seems to have found some favour with Edward III after the earl's fall. During the 14th century the manor was usually in the queen's hands. It was granted in dower in 1299 to Margaret of France and in 1327 to Isabel for her services in the matter of the treaty with France and the suppression of the Despensers' rebellion. Queen Philippa held it from 1331 till her death in 1360, and it was subsequently granted to Anne of Bohemia. Henry IV, however, gave it to his son Humphrey, afterwards created Duke of Gloucester, who in 1435 settled it on himself and Eleanor his wife, with remainder to the king. Eleanor forfeited her interest after her condemnation for treason and sorcery, and upon Humphrey's death in 1447 the manor reverted to the Crown, in whose possession it remained until 1649, when it was taken over by the Parliamentary Commissioners. After the Restoration the manor was resumed by the king, and remained Crown property until 1818, when it was bought by Mr. Pascoe Grenfell of Taplow, whose great-grandson Lord Desborough of Taplow Court is the present owner of the manor. An interesting custom is mentioned in the early part of the 13th century, when it was stated that 'it was always the custom of Bray that if any tenant had three or four daughters and all of them were married outside their father's tenement save one who remained at home (in atrio) she who remained at home should have the whole of her father's land … but if … all of them are married outside their father's tenement with his chattels whether this be so before or after his death the eldest daughter should have the whole … and if the daughters were married after their father's death with his chattels, and this without protest, and one remained at home she should retain the whole.
Other Information:
Listed in the Domesday Book:

of pages