Lordship Title of Pilling Rowsberry ID14031

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Lands in Wootton Pilling, which afterwards became known as the manor of PILLING ROWSBERRY, attached to the Mowbrays' portion of Wootton Manor, are mentioned for the first time in 1248 in the possession of Geoffrey le Rous, and remained in his descendants for several generations. William le Rous, who settled the estate on himself and his wife Joan in 1305, died in 1310, leaving a son Simon, aged nine, who in 1347 settled £10 annual rent in Pilling on John Oyldeboef of Colmworth in marriage with his daughter Laura. Simon died some time before 1368, when his widow Joan recovered the manor against John de Bracebridge and others, but for the next 120 years there is no trace of the manor. In 1497 it was held by William Church and his wife Katherine, who conveyed it in that year to John Mordaunt, king's serjeant. The latter's great-grandson Lewis alienated it in 1588 to Thomas Terle, by whom closes called 'Bowes,' 'Garners' and 'the Greate Hayes,' parcel of the manor, were sold to Thomas Spicer alias Helder in 1596, and the rest of the manor was mortgaged to Anthony Jenkinson. It was acquired by Sir Francis Clerke, lord of the manor in 1605, who in 1627 bestowed it and the manor of Pilling Shingay upon Sidney-Sussex College, Cambridge, in order to found four fellowships and eight scholarships. In 1836 both manors were in the possession of the College, which at the present day is a landowner in this parish. When Sir Francis Clerke granted the manors to Sidney Sussex College he apparently retained the capital messuage, and obtained a lease of the manors for ninety-nine years at a rent of £140. By his will dated 31 May 1632 the capital messuage and remainder of the lease were left to his nephew Francis Clerke, who in 1651 held a court baron for the manors jointly with the College. After his death in 1661 his executors, Richard Marsh and Thomas Warren, sold the remainder of the lease and capital messuage in 1662 to Sir William Thompson for £8,500. The latter in 1663 settled them on his son Samuel and his heirs male on the occasion of his marriage with Mary Buller, but as they had numerous issue Samuel broke the entail in 1681 in order to raise portions for his younger children. The estate was mortgaged at first to Edward Strode in 1694 and afterwards in 1700 to Joshua Lomax, and, as the Thompsons were unable to redeem the mortgage, it passed into the possession of the Lomax family. The ninety-nine years' lease of the manors expired some time in the first quarter of the 18th century, and was not renewed by Sidney-Sussex College, but the capital messuage and other lands were left by Joshua Lomax at his death in 1724 to his widow Ruth, who in 1720 sold them to their son Caleb for £7,000. The latter died shortly after, and the premises were conveyed by his trustees in 1734 to Thomas Inwen of Southwark, who in 1740 obtained licence by Private Act of Parliament to exchange lands in Wootton with Sidney-Sussex College. The capital messuage and premises were inherited by Sarah widow of Henry Earl of Suffolk and daughter and heir of Thomas Inwen, who married as her second husband Lucius Charles Viscount Falkland. By her will dated 25 May 1776 she vested her estate in trustees to the use of her husband after her death, and left as her residuary legatee Francis Mottey Austen, who obtained possession in 1785. Austen sold the Bedfordshire estate in 1812, but the capital messuage by that time had been demolished, for the land purchased by William Parsons was described as 'the toft in which a capital messuage formerly stood wherein Francis Clerke deceased heretofore dwelt.'
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