Lordship Title of Little Barford ID1178

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The abbey of St. Benedict, Ramsey, held LITTLE BARFORD MANOR in chief both at the time of and previous to the Domesday Survey. An early charter of the abbey records that a certain Ædgiva granted land in Barford to the abbey, which probably became the manor assessed at 5 hides referred to in Domesday. Between the years 1133 and 1160 the manor was alienated by Abbot Alwin to Hugh de Beauchamp for £10 without the consent of the monastery, but in 1194 Hugh surrendered the 5 hides of land which constituted the manor to Abbot Robert, and from this time until the Dissolution of the Monasteries Ramsey Abbey continued to exercise the overlordship of Little Barford, which was invariably held by the service of one knight's fee and the rent of a mark of silver. It then lapsed to the crown, and the last mention of the overlordship occurs in 1563, when the manor was held of the queen 'by reason of the dissolution of the abbey.' At the time of the Survey this manor was held of Ramsey Abbey by Eudo Dapifer, who had as under-tenant one Osberne. Eudo appears to have been followed by the Leyhams, who were holding in Barford as early as 1194, in which year Peter de Leyham rendered homage for this manor to the abbot. Matthew de Leyham, probably a grandson, who was one of the knights of Ramsey Abbey who performed service in Poiton, Gascony, and Scotland in the years 1240, 1242, and 1244 respectively, confirmed his right to the manor by fine in 1243. By the year 1316 the manor had passed to Thomas de la Dale, probably on his marriage with Isabel de Leyham. A fine levied a year later declared the manor to be the right of Isabel formerly wife of Thomas Dale, which lends probability to this assumption. Thomas Dale, son of Isabel, held the manor in 1346, and was succeeded by a son Thomas, whose wife Isabel in 1408 obtained the marriage and wardship of her grandson Thomas, on payment of 100 marks to Ramsey Abbey within twenty years. He rendered feudal service for the manor in 1428, and in 1480 his grandson John Dale, son of another Thomas, died seised of this manor. John left a son William, who at his death in 1537 left the manor to his eldest daughter Anne, wife of Alexander Fettiplace. They settled the manor on their son William, and on his death in 1563— shortly before that of his father—the manor passed to his son Edmund Fettiplace. In 1613 the manor passed to John son of Edmund, who in 1658 alienated it to George Edwards, whose son Jasper Edwards transferred it in 1692 to Sir Walter St. John and Francis St. John. By the marriage of Mary daughter of the latter to Sir Samuel Browne, the manor next passed to the Brownes of Arlesey, and followed the same descent as Arlesey manor (q.v.) during the eighteenth century. In 1764 Mrs. Schutz (granddaughter of Sir Samuel Browne) made over this estate to a son, who sold it to an attorney. He transferred it to Mr. Hutchinson, a partner in the original Security Bank, and on his failure in 1799 Little Barford manor was sold to Mr. Williamson of Baldock, 'a great dealer in malt, and of very considerable landed property in the county of Hertfordshire.' His daughter Sara married the Reverend William Alington, who died in 1849, leaving a son John, who at his death in 1864 left two sons, William, who died in 1874, and Julius Alington, who is at the present day lord of Little Barford manor.
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