Lordship Title of Fenlake Barns or Cardington Priors or Cardington Regine or Regine ID1103

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A fifth manor in this parish, that of FENLAKE BARNS alias CARDINGTON PRIORS or REGINE, has its origin in the 3 hides which the canons of Bedford held of the Countess Judith in Harrowden and which Azelin had owned before the Conquest. This land evidently passed to the barony of Bedford, for 3 hides in Harrowden together with Cardington Church formed part of the endowment of Newnham Priory by Simon de Beauchamp c. 1166. In 1291 the priory possessions in Eastcotts, Fenlake and Harrowden were valued at £1 15s. 4d., and many small grants were afterwards made in all these places. The manor of Fenlake Barns owed service to the barony of Cainhoe in 1346, in 1428 to the barony of Bedford. The priors of Newnham held the view of frankpledge twice a year at Fenlake Barns, and several references are made to this court in the cartulary of the priory, while the right of free warren in Cardington and Eastcotts was granted by Richard II in 1385. Fenlake Barns belonged to the priory at the Dissolution, when its value was estimated at £12 11s. 3¾d. It remained in the possession of the Crown, who leased it at various times. Thomas Colby held it on lease c. 1579, but in 1599 it was granted to Michael and Edward Stanhope, who must have sold it soon afterwards, since Henry Foster owned it at his death in 1625. He was succeeded by his son John, whose will was proved in 1658, and whose son, another John, died without issue in 1667, when his brother Charles succeeded to the property. His death in 1669 was followed almost immediately by that of his mother Rebecca Foster and his sister Martha, co-legatees with his sisters Elizabeth and Mary. In 1718 Fenlake Barns belonged to John White, who conveyed it in that year to Thomas Bedford and Martha his wife. The Rev. Thomas Bedford, to whom it had descended under the will of his grandfather's widow, sold it in 1779 for £720 to Samuel Whitbread, whose ancestors had lived in Cardington from the earlier half of the previous century. The manor has remained in the Whitbread family, following the same descent as Cardington Manor (q.v.).
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