Lordship Title of Markyate ID13786

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MARKYATE priory was founded early in the twelfth century, and in 1145 the dean and chapter of St. Paul's granted to the prioress and nuns the site of the monastery and the surrounding woods. The house appears to have been surrendered before 10 February, 1537, probably to the satisfaction of the lords of Caddington manor, for the last prioress seems to have been an unruly tenant. There are complaints in the court rolls that she erected a pillory in the liberty of the church of St. Paul, that she refused to do suit for land called Rokett, that she interfered with the fishing rights of the tenants of Caddington in a pool near the monastery, and finally that she orderded that a great beech tree, 'growing upon the free ground opposite the house of the nuns of Markyate,' should be cut down, to the great loss of the cathedral church of St. Paul's. The priory remained in the king's hands for about two years after the surrender, and on 29 March, 1539, was leased to Humphrey Bourchier of the king's household for twenty-one years. This Humphrey subsequently tried to purchase the estate, but owing in part to his own heavy liabilities, and in part to the fraud perpetrated by his kinsman, Sir. Francis Bryan, to whom the purchase money was entrusted, the transaction was not completed when Humphrey died without children in 1540. His widow Elizabeth in the following year married George Ferrers, to whom Edward VI in 1548 granted the site of the late monastery with free warren, court leet, view of frankpledge and of the assize of bread and ale, and other manorial rights. George Ferrers was the son of Thomas Ferrers of St. Albans, and in 1534 published an English translation of Magna Charta and other important statutes. He became a member of Lincoln's Inn and his oratory gained him a high reputation at the bar. He was elected M.P. for Plymouth in 1542, and in that year he was arrested on his way to the House of Commons. A rather famous dispute arose as to the privilege of members of Parliament of exemption from arrest, and he was released. He is said to have served in the war against Scotland and France, but he most probably attended Henry VIII in some civil capacity. Henry showed his attachment for him by bequeathing him 100 marks. At Christmas 1551 he was directed to prepare a series of pageants on a very gorgeous scale to distract the young king, who was reported to be sorrowing over the execution of his uncle Somerset. Ferrers assisted in suppressing Wyatt's rebellion, and held the office of escheator for the counties of Essex and Hertford in 1567. The manor remained in the family of Ferrers for about one hundred years, passing from George to his son Julius, and in 1596 to his grandson Sir John. Knighton Ferrers, the son of Sir John and of Anne, daughter of Sir George Knighton of Bayford, knt., died before his father, and the estate consequently passed on the death of Sir John in 1640 to Katherine, the only daughter of Knighton, who subsequently married Sir Thomas Fanshawe of Ware Park. In 1655 Sir Thomas and Thomas his son sold the manor to John Meech, Edward Greene, and John Fullerton of London, and in 1657 Meech, Greene, and Fullerton, together with Benjamin Andrews and Joan his wife, sold it to Thomas Coppin of Markyate Cell, son of Sir George Coppin. Thomas by will dated 8 December, 1662, left £400 in trust for the purchase of a house in Markyate Street to serve as a schoolhouse. He was succeeded in 1663 by his second son John, who in fulfilment of his father's will purchased a messuage called the 'Mermaid' in Markyate Street for the purposes of a school. His son John succeeded him, and in 1734 built a chapel at Markyate Cell. On his death in 1742 the estate passed under a settlement made in his lifetime to his son John. At the death, without issue, of the latter John the estate came to his uncle Samuel, who died in 1766 without issue, having devised the estate to his nephew John Reynardson, son of his sister Anne by Joseph Reynardson, on the condition of his taking the name of Coppin. John Reynardson Coppin died in 1781, and the manor came to the Rev. John Pittman, who thereupon took the name of Coppin. He married Mary Pearce of Buckinghamshire, and died in 1794, leaving John Coppin Pittman-Coppin his only son and heir, and two daughters Susan and Mary. John sold the estate to Joseph Howell, by whose executors it was sold in 1825 to Daniel Goodson Adey of St. Albans, J.P. On his death in December, 1872, it came to his son Rev. Francis William Adye, who still holds it.
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