Lordship Title of Tilbrook ID13928

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The manor of TILBROOK can first be separately identified in the property held in 1302 by the son of the above earl in Tilbrook and Hardwick as of his honour of Mandeville by service of a quarter of a knight's fee. Humphrey the fourth Earl of Hereford was still holding in 1316; his son and heir John de Bohun (ob. 1335–6) would appear to have settled the property on his wife, who survived him, as 'the Countess of Hereford' was holding in 1346, and Humphrey de Bohun, the then earl, was unmarried. This Humphrey de Bohun was later succeeded by his nephew William, whose daughter and co-heiress Eleanor married Thomas Plantagenet Duke of Gloucester. Her daughter and heiress Anne married Edmund de Stafford Earl of Stafford; she is recorded as holding this Tilbrook property in 1428. On her death her son Humphrey Earl of Buckingham (afterwards Duke of Buckingham) received the property, here for the first time called a 'manor,' from John Harpur, probably a trustee of the late countess. The Duke of Buckingham espoused the Lancastrian cause and was slain at the battle of Northampton in 1460; his heir was his son Henry, but his property remained in the hands of the Crown. Richard III in 1484 granted this manor with other property to Thomas Lord Stanley and his son George Stanley Lord Strange. But Henry VII on his succession restored to Edward Duke of Buckingham the lands of Humphrey Duke of Buckingham, his grandfather. The manor of Tilbrook once more passed to the Crown on the attainder and execution of the Duke of Buckingham in 1521. Henry VIII in the next year granted it to Henry Norris, an esquire of the body. Suspected of undue intimacy with the king's wife Anne Boleyn, Henry Norris was attainted and executed in 1536; the income derived from his manor of Tilbrook together with that from his Huntingdonshire manor of Southoe amounted to £36 10s. at the time of his death. Though much of his property was restored to his son and heir by Henry VIII, and more by Elizabeth, the manor of Tilbrook was not included. By 1540 it had come into the hands of Charles Wingfield, who in that year died seised of it. At the time of his death it was stated that the manor of Tilbrook had been granted to Richard Wingfield, father of Charles, in 1523, but the manor here referred to must be Hardwick Manor (q.v.), and Tilbrook Manor cannot have been in the possession of the Wingfield family until after 1536. Thomas Wingfield son of Charles held this manor for over fifty years, dying seised of it in 1592. But the Wingfields' title seems to have been defective, and the property about this date reverted to the Crown, and was granted by Elizabeth in 1600 to William Hawkins, a grant subsequently confirmed by James I in 1610 on payment of a sum of £55 8s. 4d. William Hawkins died in 1625; he bequeathed Tilbrook Manor to his daughter Rebecca and her husband Sir Beauchamp St. John, with contingent remainders to William Hawkins of Bedford. This grant was later confirmed by Charles I. Sir Beauchamp St. John died in 1631, and in 1643 William Hawkins suffered a recovery of the manor. He apparently, however, transferred the property again to the St. John, and in 1684 Sir St. Andrew St. John, bart., nephew of Sir Beauchamp, is found as plaintiff in a suit concerning the manor. By 1755 it had passed into the hands of John tenth Baron St. John of Bletsoe, grandson of Sir St. Andrew St. John last-named. This property has remained in the hands of the Barons St. John down to the present day, Lord St. John of Bletsoe being the present lord of the manor. Mention is found in the early 17th century of a rent called 'helpesilver' appurtenant to this manor.
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