Lordship Title of Sharpenhoe ID1259

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The hamlet of Sharpenhoe is not mentioned in Domesday and no definite trace of SHARPENHOE MANOR has been found before the thirteenth century when it was held of the king in chief. There is every reason to suppose, however, that the land, afterwards known as the manor, was held by the Cauz family before this date. As early as 1197 Robert Passelewe alienated land in Sharpenhoe to Richard de Cauz, (fn. 29) and in 1234 their estates in Sharpenhoe were of sufficient importance for James de Cauz to obtain the grant of a chantry in his chapel there. By 1266 Sharpenhoe manor had passed to Robert, son of John de Thorp, who in that year obtained free warren in his manor there. Matilda, Robert's widow, by a settlement made in 1303, held the manor till her death, when it passed to George de Thorpe, probably a brother of Robert, who held it in 1316, in which year he acquired a charter of free warren. In 1346 George Thorpe was holding this manor, which by 1417 had passed into the possession of Simon Felbrigge, though no record has been found of the transfer. He was holding in 1428, and between that date and 1485 there is another break in the continuity of the descent of Sharpenhoe manor, which reappears at the latter date as the property of William Tyndale and Mary his wife, who settled it on Roger Townshend. He died seised of it in 1492, and by his will he bequeathed the manor, after the death of Eleanor his wife, to his son Thomas, with remainder in default for sale 'for the benefit of his and her souls, and the souls of their friends and benefactors for whom they are most bounden.' Eleanor Townshend was still alive in 1543, when the manor was settled on Roger Townshend, her son, and his heirs, Thomas having probably died in the meanwhile. Roger Townshend transferred it to Sir John Huddleston before the latter's death in 1557, when he left a son William as heir; and he before 1578 alienated Sharpenhoe manor to Edmund Mordaunt, who at that date sold it to Thomas Norton. (fn. 40) The latter died in 1584 seised of this manor, leaving a son Henry Norton, then aged 13, who in 1604 settled the manor on his brother Robert Norton and his heirs male, with reversion to William and Walter Norton and their heirs male, and they, in 1610, sold Sharpenhoe manor to their uncle Luke Norton, who held it at his death in 1630. Graveley Norton, succeeded his father Luke, and in 1646 sold the Sharpenhoe estates for £3,050 to William Wheeler of Silsoe, whose son in 1673 alienated the manor to Hugh Smythe. The manor thus acquired has since remained in the Smythe family, and is held at the present day by Mrs. Hugh Smythe and George Townsend Benison, whose wife was first cousin to James Smythe, who held the property in 1872, as joint owners.
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Listed in the Domesday Book:

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