Lordship Title of Caddington ID1041

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The manor of CADDINGTON was ancient demesne of the crown. There is some evidence that it was granted to the monastery of St. Albans by Offa, king of Mercia (757–96), but apparently no record exists of its subsequent history until the time of Edward the Confessor, when it seems to have been held by Edwin of Caddington, and to have passed from him to his son Lewin. From the Domesday entry Lewin appears to have given it to the canons of St. Paul's, London, in whose possession it remained until 1649, when it was sold, under the 'Act for the sale of dean and chapter's lands,' to Henry Proby of London, and John Hammond of the same, draper. At the Restoration the property returned to the canons, for whom it has been held, since 1872, by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners. About one mile west from the church there is now a farm called the Bury Farm. The farm-house of the seventeenth century is probably on the site of the old manor-house. Copies of manorial court rolls of the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries are preserved in the library of St. Paul's, together with some early surveys and leases. From these it would appear that in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries the manor was usually farmed by an ecclesiastic, but certainly as early as the reign of Edward IV the farmer was a layman. The custom of farming out the manor seems to have continued through the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries. The farmer lived at Caddington Bury, and was bound to keep a bull and a boar on the manorial farm for the use of the tenants. A visitation of 1222 gives the stocking of the farm at two hundred sheep, four cows, and forty pigs, as well as two plough-teams of eight head. There was a windmill, which could be farmed for 20s. The extent of land in demesne was 260 acres of arable; there was no pasture, but two small woods contained twelve acres between them, and there was also a great beechwood of 300 acres. In 1206 a dispute seems to have arisen between Roger de Tony and the canons of St. Paul's with regard to their right of common in the wood. It was finally agreed that the whole wood between Blikeslane as far as Bereford was to remain to the canons, and all the plain outside the wood to the south should belong to Roger. Further, that from Bereford to Papiatem all the wood should remain to the canons, and the rest of the wood, with the plain to the south, should remain to Roger; but neither party was to exclude Walter son of Walter of Luton, who came and claimed common of pasturage in both parts. In the seventeenth century the dean and chapter of St. Paul's attempted to inclose the wood, and a commission was appointed to decide the dispute which arose in consequence. According to the award of the commissioners, the canons were to be allowed to inclose 150 acres, and the vicar of Caddington 10 acres. The remainder of the wood was to remain open, and the dean and chapter were to have no common of pasture there, except for such of their tenants as held lands under leases not yet expired. The dean and chapter of St. Paul's claimed most extensive liberties within their Hertfordshire manors. They held their estates quit of all suit at county and hundred courts, and were exempt from the fines there levied, as well as from all tolls and other mercantile dues. They had the fullest rights of jurisdiction over their tenants, and claimed to hold views of frankpledge and of the assize of bread and ale, to have their own gallows, pillory, and tumbril, and to have free warren in all their demesne lands. The last liberty had been granted to the dean and chapter in their demesne lands at Caddington in 1248. From an inquisition of 1297 it would appear that among the services of the tenants that of carrying farm produce to London was of importance, holders of one virgate being bound to carry 35 quarters of corn annually, and holders of half a virgate five capons or ten hens 'against the feast of the Nativity.' In the eighteenth century some question seems to have arisen as to the building rights of the tenants, for the jurors of the court baron frequently present that a free tenant may build or pull down his house and fell timber without the consent of the lord, but that a termor may not do so.
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