Lordship Title of Souldrop (Hospitallers) ID1272

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There is no mention of Souldrop in the Domesday Book, but it seems probable that it may be found included under Sharnbrook as part of the land of the Bishop of Coutances, who had three holdings there, amounting to 4½ hides in all. As in the case of Melchbourne (q.v.), where the bishop also held in 1086, Souldrop appears as part of the original endowment of Melchbourne Preceptory, a house of the Knights Hospitallers, founded by Alice de Clermont in the reign of Henry II. Down to the dissolution of the religious houses Souldrop Manor remained in the possession of Melchbourne, its history presenting little of importance. In 1278–9 the prior claimed view of frankpledge in the manor, which then contained 6 virgates, and the following year obtained a charter of free warren. Souldrop was held by the prior by service of one-fourth of a knight's fee, and in 1302 six of the prior's tenants, William de le Despenser, Michael in Le Lane, Warin Duke, William Bacon, William Faber and Robert Bacon, combined to render this service. There is no mention of this property in the Valor, but after the Dissolution it was granted to Thomas Cobbe of Sharnbrook. This grant took place before 1573, at which date Thomas died seised of both manor and advowson. The Cobbes held Souldrop until 1655, and their pedigree will be found traced under Sharnbrook, where was their seat. In 1655 Thomas Cobbe and others conveyed the manor to Laurence Wright, and Souldrop Manor thus became united to that of Knotting, and has followed the same descent through the families of Wright, Pye and the Dukes of Bedford. Mr. Albert Edward Bowen is the lord of the manor at the present day.
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