Lordship Title of Kempston Greys or Greys or Kempston Hastingbury ID1158

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The remaining third of the original manor was obtained by the third sister Ada, who married Henry Hastings, from whom it obtained the name of the manor of KEMPSTON HASTINGSBURY, and was afterwards known as KEMPSTON GREYS. Their grandson John Baron Hastings claimed to hold a view of frankpledge in Kempston in 1286. and his descendants continued to hold the manor with that of Blunham (q.v.) until on the death of John Hastings without issue in 1389 it passed to his cousin and heir Reginald de Grey of Ruthyn, lord of the manor of Wrest in Silsoe (q.v.), with which the descent of this manor is identical until about the middle of the 15th century, when the de Greys enfeoffed a younger branch of the family. Reginald Grey died seised of the manor in 1490, leaving a son Thomas, lord of Hastingsbury in 1506, and another Reginald, the latter's son doubtless, in 1531 made a settlement on himself and his wife Elizabeth and her heirs. On Reginald's death in 1534 his wife entered into possession and brought an action against certain tenants for the forcible rescue of cattle impounded for rents due. She declared that she was so insulted that she was constrained to leave her dwelling-place. With her daughter and heir Anne and the latter's husband William Stobell she settled the manor in the same year on herself for life with reversion to Sir William Fitz William, Treasurer of the Household. The latter died a few weeks afterwards, and in 1536 the manor was taken into the king's hands, the tenants being delighted at the change, as they were ill-treated by Reginald Grey and his wife, 'which was a very limb of the devil of hell.' The Fitz William claim, however, was recognized, and the manor was obtained by Thomas and Francis Fitz William, sons of Sir William by his second wife, his son and heir William by his first wife obtaining Milton House in Castor, Northants. The moiety vested in Francis was alienated by him in 1545 to Roger Chalenor, who died seised of it in 1550, when it descended to his son Thomas. The latter alienated it the same year to Thomas Leigh, tenant of the moiety, who held it till 1561, when he conveyed his right in it to William Bendlowes, serjeant-at-law, who in 1573 combined with Thomas Fitz William and his wife Alice, owners of the other moiety, to sell the whole manor to Humphrey Fitz William. On the death of Humphrey in 1604 his son William inherited the manor, but by 1614 it was in the possession of William's brother, Sir John and his wife Jane, who sold it in 1619 to Sir John Wild. Some time before 1624 Kempston Hastingsbury was alienated by the Wilds to William Cater of Kempston, sheriff for the county 1630 to 1631, who died seised of it in 1634, when it passed with the manor-house called 'le Place,' according to the terms of his will drawn up in 1632, to his youngest son Edward. Samuel Cater, probably the son of Edward, was holding the manor in 1670, in which year he married Anne Kendall, and was sheriff in 1689. He died in 1704, when it descended to their son John, who had married Mary Middleton in 1690. John, who represented the county in the last Parliament of Queen Anne and the town of Bedford in the next Parliament, died in 1734, and it was his son John doubtless who died in 1736. The estate was then inherited by Robert Kendall, Alderman of Cheap Ward, the brother-in-law of John Cater, who changed his name from Kendall to Cater. He was knighted in 1738, died the following year, and the manor passed to Beckford Kendall Cater, possibly his son, who with his son John Kendall Cater was in possession in 1749, when the estate was settled on the latter on the occasion of his marriage with Margaret Beaumond. John died about 1778, leaving a son John, who died intestate and without issue, when the manor became the right of his three sisters, Sophia and Frances, who were twin, and May. The two former in 1796 married Robert Sherbourne and the Rev. Oliph Leigh Spencer respectively, and each took a third of the manor as a marriage portion. The three sisters, however, combined in 1801 to sell the manor to William Long. By 1847 it was in the possession of Cecil Long, and between 1854 and 1864 it was acquired by Talbot Barnard, whose family held it till some time after 1885, when it was acquired by Mr. Walter G. H. Harter, J.P., the present lord of the manor. The manor of Kempston Hastingsbury was assessed at £25 2s. 1¼d. in 1320, and in 1331 the extent was recorded in great detail. There were a messuage and dove-house worth 5s., 180 acres of arable land worth 4d. an acre, 40 acres of common land at 3d. an acre, 15 acres of meadow at 1s. 6d. per acre, and 20 acres of pasture at 10d. an acre. There were 30 acres of wood. The fishery was valued at 5s. a year. The value of the manor remained fairly equal and was worth £26 19s. 6½d. in 1348, but after the Black Death it decreased, and was £24 in 1375, £23 in 1384 and £20 in 1390. In 1392 the extent of the manor was again given in detail. There were then one court with a chamber attached in ruins, a very ruinous grange roofed with straw, and a barn weakly roofed with slate ('sklett'). There were two leets held annually at Easter and Michaelmas, and the tenants' court was held every eight weeks. There were 196½ acres of arable land in demesne in the fields called Dyllewykhay, Heyfield, Rox, le Ham, Passelowe, le Hoo, Kyppescroft, Ryggeweyfield, Newland, Les Launds worth 6d. an acre or £4 18s. 3d. Pasture in Le Brode was worth 4s. 6d., in Appeleypyghtel 12d., in Les Hedes 4d., and the herbage within the site of the manor was 20s. The fishery was worth 10s. a year, and the dove-house badly covered with slate 2s., and there were 32 acres of underwood, of which 4 acres could be cut down every eight years, each worth 6s. 8d., rents from fifteen serfs, five customary tenants called molemen, &c. There were 45 works from serviles.
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