Lordship Title of Woburn ID14096

Title Type:
Previous Lords:
In the time of Edward the Confessor Alric, a king's thegn, held Woburn, and there were six sokemen there who held 2 hides. (fn. 28) After the Conquest the property was granted to Walter Giffard, and in 1086 it was assessed at 10 hides and valued at £5. (fn. 29) Walter Giffard's tenant was Hugh de Bolebec, who (either himself or his son Hugh) became seised of the manor in chief. Hugh the younger included Woburn in the original endowment of the Cistercian Abbey of Woburn, which he founded in 1145. (fn. 30) This grant was confirmed by King Stephen, (fn. 31) Henry II and later sovereigns, (fn. 32) and the abbey continued to hold the manor in frankalmoign till the dissolution of their house in 1539. With the traffic brought by the needs of the abbey a town sprang up, and in 1245 Henry III granted the monks the right to hold a market on Fridays 'at the chapel of Old Woburn' and a yearly fair there in September to last for three days. (fn. 33) In the 13th century the abbot claimed the right to hold a market, (fn. 34) a view of frankpledge and the right to gallows, (fn. 35) and in 1299 he obtained a grant of free warren. (fn. 36) Two additional fairs at Woburn were granted to the abbot by Henry VIII in 1530, the one in March and the other in July. (fn. 37) At the Dissolution the manor of Woburn was valued at £67 1s. 5d., (fn. 39) and there exists a letter from George Giffard to Thomas Cromwell, dated September 1538, advising him to ask the king for it, which he doubted not the king would give him 'for the asking.' (fn. 40) He does not appear to have acted on this advice, but the Woburn property was included in those monastic lands of which he was appointed chief steward the next year. (fn. 41) In 1542 Woburn Manor was annexed to the newlycreated honour of Ampthill. (fn. 42) Edward VI in 1547 granted the manor, with the monastery buildings and granges, the fairs, the weekly market and all appurtenances, to John Lord Russell, (fn. 43) who was created Earl of Bedford two years later. (fn. 44) Russell, Duke of Bedford. Argent a lion gules and in chief sable with three scallops argent therein. The manor has remained the property of the Russell family down to the present day, Herbrand eleventh Duke of Bedford being the present lord.
Other Information:
Listed in the Domesday Book:

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