A History of the County of Buckingham: Volume 4. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1927.
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Neuport (xi cent.); Neuport Paynell or Panell (1220).
The parish of Newport Pagnell is conterminous with the modern urban district and covers 3,396 acres of land with 36 of water. The Ouse and the Lovat (Lovente, xiii cent.) flow from west to east and from south to north respectively through the parish, uniting near its northern boundary. Here the town of Newport Pagnell, cut into two parts by the Lovat, stands on the south bank of the Ouse. The high road from Northampton to London passes through the town, and roads from Stony Stratford, Fenny Stratford and Woburn enter it from various points. There is no tradition of a Roman settlement on this site. Before the Norman Conquest, however, a trading town had sprung up, and by the middle of the 13th century most of its principal features were certainly in existence. The form of the original town is very simple. The long, wide High Street or market-place runs south-west and north-east. From a point near its centre St. John's Street runs southeast, crossing the Lovat at Tickford Bridge and becoming Tickford Street and then the London road; and from its north end the Northampton road runs across the Ouse by the North Bridge.
Bridges must have been built at these points at the earliest period of the town's history. The 'Newport Bridge' of Gervase Paynel's charter of 1187 (fn. 1) is apparently the modern Tickford Bridge, which seems to have been mentioned by the latter name in the foundation charter of Tickford Priory, quoted in a confirmation of charters by Edward II in 1311. (fn. 2) The inhabitants had a grant of pontage for the repair of 'North brigge and South brigge' in 1380. (fn. 3) The bridges were then in a serious state of decay, and the men of the town were heavily charged for their support. (fn. 4) This statement as to the great cost of the bridges occurs again at the end of the 15th century, when a bequest of a messuage was made to relieve it. (fn. 5) Other bequests for the same purpose were made at various times, and it seems that the townsmen in their brotherhood or gild of St. Mary or Our Lady made themselves responsible for the care of the bridges. (fn. 6) The gild was presumably dissolved by Edward VI, but its property was held for the maintenance of the bridges by feoffees, who were presented at the manorial court in 1720 and 1721 for not keeping them in repair. (fn. 7) In 1809 an Act of Parliament (fn. 8) was obtained for their rebuilding, and the present stone bridge over the Ouse and the cast-iron bridge over the Lovat replaced the old stone structures. (fn. 9) There was in the 13th century a lepers' hospital 'without the town of Newport Pagnell' dedicated to St. Margaret (fn. 10) or St. Margaret and St. Anthony, (fn. 11) which perhaps stood on the north side of the North Bridge, just outside the borough and parish boundaries. This site is suggested by two references in 1241 and 1252 to a hospital of St. Margaret in the neighbouring parish of Lathbury. (fn. 12) It seems probable that the two were identical. The Newport house was founded probably before 1241 (fn. 13) and existed in 1272, (fn. 14) but is not afterwards mentioned. (fn. 15)
The market-place of Newport, in which Gervase Paynel in 1187 granted the monks of Tickford the privilege of buying and selling free of toll, (fn. 16) was called by its present name in 1245, when John le Chat had a shop in the High Street. (fn. 17) The High Street and North Street both appear in 1543, (fn. 18) North Street being probably the street running directly north to the bridge from the north-east end of High Street. In the 16th and 17th centuries eight butchers' shambles stood in the middle of the market-place, apparently at its northern end. (fn. 19) In front of the houses along the street, and apparently in the open ground to the south, stalls and booths were erected on market and fair days for the display of the goods of poulterers, glovers, haberdashers and other tradesmen. (fn. 20) Part of the market-place was set a part as a 'woman's market,' (fn. 21) but it is not clear whether there was any distinction as to wares.
It is as a 'thoroughfare town' that Newport Pagnell has always been most distinguished, (fn. 22) and it has always contained a great number of inns. (fn. 23) Of these the most important was the 'Saracen's Head,' which existed in the 15th century and was the headquarters of Our Lady's Gild. (fn. 24) It seems to have stood in the High Street next to the 'Swan,' and three shambles were attached to it. (fn. 25) The Parliamentary Committee for Newport received the rents of sequestered lands here in 1643. (fn. 26) The 'Saracen's Head' was still the chief inn in 1830. (fn. 27) The George Inn is mentioned in the 16th century, (fn. 28) and the Swan Inn, which is now the most important, in 1543. (fn. 29) The latter was evidently rebuilt shortly before 1681, (fn. 30) and was again very largely rebuilt in the 18th century. Internally a good 17th-century staircase remains. The town hall of Newport, which was adapted from the premises of the British school in 1899, (fn. 31) stands in the middle of the High Street towards its southern end. There seems to have been no previous town hall; courts were held in the bailiffs house in the early 17th century. (fn. 32) There is now a police station at the southwestern end of the town.
At the north-east end of the High Street is the church of SS. Peter and Paul, surrounded by a graveyard which extends to the banks of the Lovat. The vicarage, which stands on the south side of the High Street a little distance to the west of the church, is a 17th-century building of brick, two stories in height, with an attic. The exterior has been modernized, and additions have been made at the rear of the house. The 17th-century staircase, however, survives with some other fittings of late 17th-century date. Nearer the church, on the opposite side of the street, is a three-storied 17th-century house of brick with a gabled attic. The attic and the floor beneath it oversail the lower stories, which have modern bay windows. An old staircase with twisted balusters communicates with all the floors. Church Passage, a narrow street running in front of the church and down into St. John's Street, is the 'Church Lane' of 1545. (fn. 33) Along the edge of the churchyard are seven almshouses, built by John Revis in 1755. (fn. 34) The four earlier almshouses, mentioned in the reign of Henry VIII and in 1608, have ceased to exist. There are now six almshouses on the site, which is near the town hall. (fn. 35) There was a school-house in or near the churchyard in the 16th century. (fn. 36)
Mill Street running west from the northern end of High Street connects it with the manorial mill on the banks of the Ouse. Two mills in Newport are mentioned in the Domesday Survey. (fn. 37) In 1480 there were two water corn-mills called North Mill and Gayhurst Mill and two fulling-mills. (fn. 38) North Mill was on the present site, Gayhurst Mill on the Ouse opposite Gayhurst House, nearly a mile north-west of the town. (fn. 39) Three mills under one roof on the present site were rebuilt shortly before 1622. (fn. 40)
The street called St. John's Street is possibly the 'Hawestret' in which Fulk Paynel gave to the priory of Tickford tenements extending 'to the bridge of Tickford on the east side.' (fn. 41) It took its present name from the hospital of St. John Baptist and St. John the Evangelist, near Tickford Bridge, founded before 1240 (fn. 42) and refounded in 1615 as Queen Ann's Hospital. The hospital was rebuilt in 1825 and again in 1891. (fn. 43) The only relic of the structure of 1625 is a beam, now built into the wall of the present building, which has the following inscription painted upon it: 'Alyou good Chrystianes that heere dooe pas by give soome thynge to thes poore people that in St. John's Hospital doeth ly An° 1615.' No. 26 in the same street, a two-storied house with an attic, is of early 17th-century date, while No. 3, a plastered two-storied house on the opposite side, bears the inscription: 'This house belongeth to Queen Ann's Hospital and was rebuilt by Madam Tasker, a citizen in St. Giles, Cripplegate, London, Anno Dom. 1690.' From St. John's Street, Silver Street (apparently the 'Little Silver Street' of Henry the Eighth's reign (fn. 44) ) runs south to the low ground called Marsh End. The 'marsh of Newport' appears to have included most of the land in the parish to the south and west of the town. (fn. 45) 'Mables Lane' in Marsh End is mentioned in 1615. (fn. 46)
On the other side of the Lovat St. John's Street becomes Tickford Street, and Priory Street runs north from it to where Tickford Abbey stands on the banks of the Ouse and on the site of the old priory. Some fragments of the priory buildings, ranging in date from the 12th to the 15th century, have been reset in the walls of the modern mansion and its outhouses. Priory Street is presumably the 'Monechustret' of the 12th century. (fn. 47) The King's Arms Inn in Tickford Street incorporates a late 16th-century building, two moulded ceiling beams of which remain. The brick front bears a panel inscribed: G II 1690. Tickford Park, a mansion in the south-east of the parish, stands in what was once the deer park of the Paynels (fn. 48) and the later lords of the manor of Newport. (fn. 49) It was granted in 1592 to Thomas Crompton and others, (fn. 50) who seem to have sold it to Sir John Fortescue. (fn. 51) Alice Fortescue his widow and Francis his son and heir sold it, with its deer and the stone walls inclosing it, to Henry Atkins in 1620. (fn. 52) It was disparked before 1757. (fn. 53) It is now the property of the Marquess of Lincolnshire, and is occupied by Mr. Donald Frazer.
An Inclosure Act was passed for Tickford Fields in 1807. (fn. 54) Bury Field, (fn. 55) a meadow to the north of the town of Newport, is still uninclosed. The neighbouring Portfield was inclosed in 1795. (fn. 56)
South of the town is the farm of Caldecote, about a quarter of a mile from the west bank of the Lovat, and probably on the site of the manor-house which existed here in 1426 and 1750. (fn. 57) The sluices for Caldecote Mill still remain, and as in 1543 (fn. 58) the bridge which here crosses the stream is called the Caldecote Mill Bridge. The mill here was mentioned in the Domesday Survey, (fn. 59) and was an important possession of Tickford Priory. (fn. 60) It was 'greatly in Tickford Park, Newport Pagnell, from a Picture of about 1895 decay' at the Dissolution, (fn. 61) but existed down to the 19th century. (fn. 62) It was finally destroyed by fire and was not rebuilt.
Newport Pagnell has been associated with few great events in national history. It had several royal visits in the 13th century. (fn. 63) During the Civil War it was occupied by the Royalists, who attempted to fortify it by filling trenches from the rivers, (fn. 64) and on their retreat in 1643 by Skippon and his forces. (fn. 65) A Parliamentary garrison was established here, (fn. 66) the governor of which in 1644 was Sir Samuel Luke, (fn. 67) the original of Butler's Hudibras. (fn. 68)
The history of Dissent in the town begins in 1659, when John Gibbs was ejected from the vicarage for refusing to admit the whole parish to communion, and founded the Independent Church. (fn. 69) Besides the Independents, the Baptists, Wesleyans and the Society of Friends have chapels at the present day.
In 1814 Newport was connected by a cutting with the Grand Junction Canal at Great Linford. (fn. 70) The canal was used until it was purchased in 1864 by the London and North Western Railway Company for the purpose of constructing in its place a branch railway to Wolverton. (fn. 71) The station is at the south-west end of the town, where the old wharf stood.
The manufacture of bone lace, which gave the town considerable importance in the 18th century, (fn. 72) existed in 1611–12, when various persons are mentioned in the bishop's visitation as having travelled to sell it on the Sabbath Day. (fn. 73) It declined greatly about 1830, owing to the introduction of machinemade lace, (fn. 74) revived about twenty years later, and became extinct about 1884. (fn. 75)
There is no evidence as to the origin of the borough of Newport Pagnell. Burgage tenure existed in 1086, and the name of the vill shows that at that date a market was already in existence. (fn. 76) In the time of Fulk Paynel (before 1138) and probably earlier the borough area was marked off from the 'foreign' by boundary crosses. (fn. 77) From a document of much later date (fn. 78) it appears that there were four of these crosses. The only one of which the site has been definitely fixed was at the junction of Priory Street with Tickford Street. (fn. 79) Another stood in the west part of the borough. A natural site for a third would be the North Bridge. Within the area so marked out stood the burgage tenements, of which there were fifty-three in 1245 (fn. 80) and thirty-four in 1543. (fn. 81) The occupiers of the tenements could alienate them at will on payment of a fine to the lord. (fn. 82) They owed suit at the borough court or portmote, first mentioned in 1245, (fn. 83) though probably much older, and they had certain rights of pasture, probably of very early origin, in the Bury Field, a part of the lord's demesne. (fn. 84) They held no land in common, however, (fn. 85) and can hardly be said to have had in the 13th century any communal existence. The courts and the administration and profits of the market and fair were in the hands of the lord. By means of his yearly view of frankpledge and the fortnightly portmote he exercised royal jurisdiction. Newport had been free from suits of counties and hundreds, view of frankpledge and aid of the sheriff since the early 12th century at least. Gervase Paynel lost these privileges by his association with the rebellion of Prince Henry against his father in 1173–4, but they were restored to the custodians of the manor during the minority of Ralph de Somery's heirs. (fn. 86) They were confirmed to William de Beauchamp in 1222, (fn. 87) and were granted to Walter de Kirkham in 1230, (fn. 88) with the additional right of tallaging the manor to his own use whenever the king tallaged his demesnes. In 1255 William de Beauchamp claimed 'the ancient customs of the borough' as Gervase and Hawise Paynel had held them. (fn. 89) He had pillory, tumbril, and gallows, (fn. 90) and instances of men imprisoned in his gaol and hanged by the order of his court occur in 1262. (fn. 91) In 1286 the king's attorney claimed that the view of frankpledge ought to be held twice a year and in the presence of a servant of the king (fn. 92); but Roger de Somery must have succeeded in establishing the independence of his court, which he continued to hold only once a year. (fn. 93)
During the 13th century and part of the 14th the profits of the market and fair, the pleas and perquisites of court, and the rent of the burgesses all appear separately among the revenues of the manor, (fn. 94) of which the borough was merely the urban part. Between 1338 and 1479, however, some development in the direction of municipal organization took place. In 1380 a grant of pontage was made to Thomas Cowe, Robert Bewes, John Taillour and Simon Swet, evidently principal inhabitants of the town. (fn. 95) A similar grant was made to the 'bailiffs and good men' in 1394. (fn. 96) The burgesses of Newport Pagnell were evidently responsible as a community for the upkeep of their bridges, and there is evidence to indicate that for this purpose they formed themselves into the gild or fraternity of St. Mary. The burgage called 'The Saracen's Head,' which in February 1483–4 was granted by Richard Read and Ralph Hobbes for the maintenance of the bridges, amendment of the highways, and the relief of the poor, (fn. 97) was said in 1543 to be held by the township (villata) of Newport, (fn. 98) while from a grant of 1586 it appears that, as already stated, this inn was the headquarters of the gild. (fn. 99) Other references to the gild occur in 1487 and 1509, (fn. 100) but unfortunately they throw no light on its connexion with the other institutions of the town. It is probable, however that at about the time of its formation the townsmen acquired the privilege of electing a bailiff of their own to farm the market dues and act as their representative in dealing with the bailiff of the lord. Such an official was certainly in existence in 1479–81, when the tolls of the market were accounted for at £3, (fn. 101) the sum for which successive bailiffs farmed them. (fn. 102) All the courts of the borough also existed at that date, (fn. 103) and it may be assumed that it had already reached that stage of development which is illustrated by the Court Rolls of 1545 and minutely described in a survey of 1608. (fn. 104) These documents show that a yearly view of frankpledge for the borough area was held in Pentecost week. (fn. 105) To this court all the inhabitants owed suit except those in the fee of Tickford, and here they elected two constables and two 'scrutators' or 'tastators' of the market. (fn. 106) The rest of the borough business was done at the court called 'unbodmot,' held four times in the year, on the Mondays after St. Michael the Archangel, the Epiphany, the Annunciation, and St. John the Baptist. (fn. 107) At the first of these the bailiff was elected from among the burgesses and sworn in for the coming year. At the Epiphany unbodmot two townsmen (fn. 108) were chosen ale-tasters and another townsman constable. (fn. 109) All the burgesses were bound to appear at the unbodmot, and the officers of the lord came to deal with offences committed within the borough and to make ordinances for its good government. (fn. 110) The assize of bread and ale was proclaimed there and breaches of it were presented by the tasters. (fn. 111) The portmote, held once a fortnight on Monday, was in the nature of a police-court. Here breaches of the peace, assaults and bloodshed were punished, and all actions settled which involved a smaller sum than 40s. (fn. 112) Any inhabitant who in such an action pleaded in another court than the portmote was subject to a penalty of 40s., payable to the lord. (fn. 113) It was only the profits of this court, however, which in 1608 belonged to the lord; it is evident that the burgesses believed the judicial authority to reside in their own body. It was the burgesses, they said, who from time immemorial had been accustomed to hold pleas in the portmote, (fn. 114) and the bailiff and burgesses and other inhabitants claimed to have by prescription a supply of timber from the lord's steward for the repair of the pillory, cucking stool, stocks, pinfold and common bushel. (fn. 115) Fines and amercements were collected by the bailiff of the borough and paid to the bailiff of the lord. (fn. 116) The control of the market and fair must also have been in the hands of the bailiff of the borough as farmer of the tolls. (fn. 117) The yearly value of these must have greatly exceeded the £3 he paid to the lord. (fn. 118) It was among the duties of his office, however, to provide dinner for the steward, the jurors and suitors on all the court days, 'taking nothing from the steward and 2d. from each of the others.' (fn. 119) All courts were held in his house. (fn. 120)
The constitution above described represents the highest point of independence reached by the burgesses. A few years after the date of the survey their position was challenged. The manor had been annexed to the honour of Ampthill in 1542, and during the 16th and early 17th centuries was in the hands of lessees under the Crown and under Ann consort of James I. (fn. 121) These lessees were not disposed to reduce their profits by respecting the ancient customs of the town, and about 1615 they began to claim the entire issues of the market and fair, besides any profits arising from the letting of ground for stalls and booths. The inhabitants, 'supposing that the town of Newport was a corporate town consisting of Bailiff and Burgesses, and that they had power to make choice of a Bailiff who was to enjoy the profits of the premises under the yearly rent of £3,' resisted this claim. (fn. 122) By an order of 1615 the Court of Exchequer decreed that the waste grounds of Newport Pagnell were the property of the lord of the manor, and that his representatives alone had the right to let them for the erection of stalls. This verdict evaded the question of the election of a bailiff and his right to farm the tolls, and the matter was raised again in 1623, when a bailiff was elected according to custom. Another order was obtained ruling that the tolls belonged to the lord's lessees. (fn. 123) The pleadings of an action in Chancery in the following year show that the claims of the burgesses were based entirely on prescription, and that they had no charters to show. Their opponents admitted the custom, but treated its validity as doubtful, and claimed that the matter was disposed of by the Exchequer Decree. (fn. 124) Nevertheless, another action of trespass was brought by the burgesses in 1632, under the leadership of their elected bailiff, John Thorpe. (fn. 125) Before it was concluded, however, a meeting took place between the counsel of the parties. 'Copies of record' were produced, and the burgesses were convinced that the profits of the fairs and markets had always been the property of the lord and had been included in leases of the manor. (fn. 126)
This decision was presumably the end of any claim on the part of the burgesses to corporate privileges. They were successful, however, in retaining their individual rights to make profit of the ground before their houses by erecting stalls and letting them to traders. In 1657 and 1685 attempts were made to acquire these profits for the representative of the lord. (fn. 127) A payment of 2d. for each stall on private property appears about 1812 among the tolls taken by the lord of the manor, (fn. 128) so it is evident that his exclusive right to let ground for the erection of stalls had not been maintained.
The officer responsible for the good order of the market-place was still called the bailiff of the town in 1670, when he was presented at the view of frankpledge. (fn. 129) It seems certain, however, that after the defeat of 1633 he was appointed by the lord and not elected by the burgesses. No later mention of a bailiff has been found, (fn. 130) and the courts of the borough also disappeared. In 1720 Newport Pagnell was described as 'neither a borough nor a corporation, though bigger than many towns that are so.' (fn. 131) The yearly view of frankpledge of the manor provided the machinery of government for the town during the 18th century. Here four constables, two ale-tasters, two flesh-tasters, two bread and butter weighers, two leather sealers and a bellman were elected and sworn in. 'Field-tellers' for the Bury Field were also appointed, and orders were made with regard to the repair of the streets and bridges. (fn. 132) The town was 'very dirty and ill-paved' in 1768. (fn. 133) After 1818 the view was held once every two years till 1830. (fn. 134) In 1897 an urban district council was formed under the Local Government Act of 1888. The functions of the portmote passed probably at an early date in the 18th century to the fortnightly petty sessions.
The market day at Newport was Saturday from the earliest date at which there is any record of it. (fn. 135) In 1847 there were markets both on Wednesday and Saturday, and the market day is now Wednesday. A fair on St. Luke's Day (18 October) and the six days following was established before 1245. (fn. 136) A new fair on the vigil and feast of St. Barnabas (11 June) and the eight days following was granted in 1327, (fn. 137) and seems to have been the only one in existence in 1608. (fn. 138) In 1720 the fair days were 11 April, 11 June, and 6 November. (fn. 139) In the middle of the 19th century there were six fairs: on 22 February, April, June and December, 21 March, and 29 August. Only that on 22 June has survived.
In 1086 William Fitz Ansculf held in demesne or in service lands assessed at 103¾ hides in Ellesborough, Hampden, Ditton, Stoke Poges, Hoggeston, Soulbury, Stewkley, Cheddington, North Marston, Swanbourne, Marsh Gibbon, Newport Pagnell, Caldecote, Little Woolstone, Bradwell, Linford, Tyringham, Chicheley, Tickford, Hardmead, and Milton Keynes, with half a hide in 'Stanes' Hundred, 2 hides in 'Lamva' Hundred, and 4 hides in Moulsoe Hundred, probably representing Great and Little Crawley. (fn. 140) His lands in Buckinghamshire became known as the honour of Newport Pagnell, which included fourteen knights' fees in 1210–12. (fn. 141) The honour descended with the manor of Newport Pagnell, but as early as 1230 it was regarded as part of the more important barony of Dudley, (fn. 142) and it is not separately mentioned after the 14th century. The lords of Newport Pagnell had view of frankpledge in the manors held of them, and records exist of courts held for Chicheley, Crawley, Astwood, Emberton, Little Linford and North Marston in the reign of Henry VIII. (fn. 143) Constables for Chicheley, Emberton, Astwood and Caldecote were appointed at the court leet of Newport in the 18th century, and in 1789 the same constabularies were still paying certainty money to Newport Pagnell. (fn. 144)
The Paynels and Somerys had a castle in this parish of which very little is known. (fn. 145) The fortified mount known as the 'battery,' which marks its site, may be seen in the churchyard near the junction of the Lovat with the Ouse. (fn. 146) It was probably thrown up in the 12th century as a fortification in that disturbed time, and was afterwards disused. It had apparently no masonry defences, and such buildings as existed were of timber. The meadow on the opposite bank of the Lovat has been known as Castle Mead since the 12th century. (fn. 147) In 1272 the lord of Newport Pagnell had a capital messuage here with a dove-house and garden, (fn. 148) which probably took the place of the castle. This house was possibly identical with the manorhouse called 'Waterhall,' which belonged to the St. German family in the 15th century, but in 1543 was surveyed with the demesne lands as the capital messuage of the manor. (fn. 149)
The tenant of NEWPORT before the Conquest was a thegn of the Confessor called Ulf. In 1086 a manor here assessed at 5 hides and worth £20 was held by William Fitz Ansculf. (fn. 150) With his barony of Dudley (fn. 151) it passed to Fulk Paynel, who perhaps married his daughter and heir. (fn. 152) From the Paynel family the place took its name. Fulk's son Ralph and grandson Gervase (fn. 153) successively held the manor; the last-named was in possession from at least 1154, (fn. 154) and was dead in 1193–4. (fn. 155) His son Robert (fn. 156) having predeceased him, his sister Hawise was his heir. (fn. 157) Her son Ralph by her husband John de Somery (fn. 158) paid a fine for seisin of his uncle's lands in Staffordshire in 1198–9. (fn. 159) Newport, however, remained in his mother's hands till her death in 1207–8, when Ralph paid £100 for seisin. (fn. 160) He died about 1215, (fn. 161) his widow being Ida daughter of William Longespee Earl of Salisbury. (fn. 162) It was to William Earl of Salisbury that the custody of the son and heir of Ralph was granted. (fn. 163) In 1216 a grant was made to Ralph Earl of Chester of the manor of Newport Pagnell to hold as it had been held by the Earl of Salisbury. (fn. 164) Soon afterwards, however, it must have been assigned as dower to Ida, who with her husband William de Beauchamp, Baron of Bedford, held it from 1220. (fn. 165) William died in 1260 (fn. 166) and Ida before July 1270. (fn. 167) On her death the manor reverted to the Somery family.
The son of Ralph de Somery, Ida's first husband, was William, also called Percival, whose son and heir Nicholas died without issue in 1229. (fn. 168) The heir of Nicholas was his uncle Roger, (fn. 169) to whom a fair in Newport was granted by Henry III before 1245, (fn. 170) in spite of the rights of Ida de Beauchamp. (fn. 171) In 1245 an extent of the borough was made, in which it was described as the possession of Roger de Somery's son Roger. (fn. 172) In 1270 the latter was in full possession, and had a confirmatory grant of his market and fair. (fn. 173) He died in 1272–3, when his son Roger was a minor. (fn. 174) On the death of the latter in 1291 the manor was granted to Hugh de Vere till John de Somery son of Roger should come of age. (fn. 175) John died in possession in 1322, (fn. 176) and his inheritance was divided between his sisters Margaret wife of John de Sutton and Joan widow of Thomas Botetourt. (fn. 177) Newport Pagnell, which was held by Lucy, widow of John, in dower, became the property of Joan. (fn. 178) She had a grant of a new fair in 1327, (fn. 179) and was dead in 1338. (fn. 180) Her son John paid a fine to have livery, though still under age. (fn. 181) He had licence in 1358 to settle the manor on himself and his wife Joyce with remainder to his son John and John's wife Maud, daughter of John de Grey of Rotherfield, and their heirs. (fn. 182) The younger John predeceased his father, and on the death of the latter in or about 1386 his heir was Joyce daughter of John and Maud and wife of Sir Hugh Burnell. (fn. 183) Maud, who survived and married Sir Thomas Harcourt. (fn. 184) held the manor for life under the settlement. (fn. 185) In 1386 Sir Hugh Burnell and Joyce executed a new settlement of the reversion, by which Hugh was to have Newport Pagnell and Little Linford in fee simple if after the death of Joyce her heirs disturbed him in the possession of Weoley in Northfield, Worcestershire, and other manors; otherwise he was to hold for life only. (fn. 186) The heirs of Joyce in 1407 were her aunts, Joyce wife of Adam de Peshale, Maud and Agnes Botetourt, and her cousins Maurice Berkeley and Agnes and Joyce Wykes. (fn. 187) Adam and Joyce de Peshale settled a third of the manor in 1409 on themselves in tail-male with remainder to William de Birmingham and Joan his wife and the heirs of Joan. (fn. 188) Hugh Stranley and his wife Joyce dealt with a third in 1418. (fn. 189) Ultimately, however, the heirs of Joyce Lady Burnell obtained Weoley, (fn. 190) and Hugh Burnell consequently acquired Newport Pangnell in fee; he granted it in or about 1420 to Joan de Beauchamp Lady Bergavenny and others, apparently to her use. (fn. 191) Joan died in 1435, leaving her lands to her grandson James Ormond, subsequently fifth Earl of Ormond and Earl of Wiltshire. (fn. 192) The feoffees who had held Newport jointly with Lady Bergavenny delivered seisin to James Ormond in 1445. (fn. 193) He was attainted as a Lancastrian and his estates were forfeited in 1461. (fn. 194) This manor was granted to Richard Nevill Earl of Warwick in 1462, (fn. 195) and to George Duke of Clarence ten years later. (fn. 196) The Duke of Clarence died in February 1477–8, and the manor reverted to the Crown. (fn. 197) In 1485 Thomas Earl of Ormond, brother of James, was restored to the family estates (fn. 198); his brother and predecessor John had already been restored in blood. (fn. 199) In 1494 Thomas had a release of the manor from Fulk Birmingham. (fn. 200) In 1496 William Berkeley and Anne his wife released their claim. (fn. 201) Thomas Ormond died in 1515, leaving daughters and co-heirs Anne and Margaret, of whom the former inherited Newport Pagnell. Her husband was Sir James St. Leger, by whom she had a son George. (fn. 202) Anne died in 1533. (fn. 203) The manor had been settled in 1519 on John son and heir of George, (fn. 204) who before 1542 granted it to the Crown. (fn. 205) It was annexed to the honour of Ampthill, and John received lands in Devonshire in exchange. (fn. 206) Edward VI granted Newport to his sister Elizabeth, and James I assigned it to his consort Ann. (fn. 207) In 1627 it was granted in fee to Sir Francis Annesley, kt. and bart., to hold of the manor of East Greenwich. (fn. 208) Sir Francis was created Viscount Valentia in 1622 and Lord Mountnorris in 1629 and died in 1660. (fn. 209) His son and successor Arthur was made Earl of Anglesey in 1661. (fn. 210) Arthur was succeeded in 1686 by his son James, (fn. 211) whose son, another James, argent and azsure a bend succeeded him in 1690 and gules. made a settlement of half the manor in 1701. (fn. 212) The second James died in January 1701–2, and his brothers John and Arthur succeeded him in turn. (fn. 213) The latter, who held the manor from 1710 to 1737, (fn. 214) was followed by his cousin Richard, who died in 1761. (fn. 215) Arthur son of Richard was created Earl of Mountnorris in 1793. (fn. 216) He lived till 1816, (fn. 217) but must have granted Newport Pagnell to his son George, who was lord of the manor in 1793. (fn. 218) In 1810 it was sold to Charles Marius Hardy, the Earl of Mountnorris, as well as his son, being a party to the conveyance. (fn. 219) On the death of Charles Marius Hardy in 1827 the manor became the property of his son Charles Henry. (fn. 220) The heir of the latter was his sister Maria Newby, (fn. 221) on whose death in 1871 it was divided among her three daughters. (fn. 222) In 1904, after the death of the survivor, Elizabeth Newby, it was sold by their representatives to Mr. Henry William Whiting, who sold it in 1905 to Mr. J. M. Knapp, the present owner. (fn. 223)
There were two fees in Caldecote at the time of the Domesday Survey, both of which afterwards went to form the property known as CALDECOTE MANOR. (fn. 224) The first, consisting of 3 hides and a virgate, had been held by two men of Ulf, and in 1086 was in the hands of William Fitz Ansculf, the tenant of Newport Pagnell. (fn. 225) Of that manor it was subsequently held. (fn. 226) The mill and some land were granted by Fulk Paynel to the priory of Tickford. (fn. 227) The rest was held of Gervase Paynel for a quarter of a knight's fee in 1166 by William de Lovent. (fn. 228) Henry de Lovent was the tenant about 1255, (fn. 229) Robert son of Adam in 1272, (fn. 230) and John de Lovent in 1291. (fn. 231) In 1314 this or another John de Lovent released two messuages, four tofts, 50 acres of land, and 8s. 5d. rent to Nicholas de Eure or Iver, who regranted them to him for life. (fn. 232) Nicholas de Eure was the tenant of the second Domesday fee, with which this holding was now united. That fee, which had belonged before the Conquest to Gonni, a man of Alvric son of Goding, was held in 1086 by Suerting of Lewin of Nuneham, and was assessed at 2½ hides. (fn. 233) It seems to have been annexed during the 12th century to the manor of Meppershall in Bedfordshire, with which it was held by serjeanty of the larder. (fn. 234) It was alienated in the early 13th century to Deudo (Deodatus) de Caldecote, who paid 22s. per annum for the serjeanty, did service for a tenth part of a knight's fee, and was quit of a yearly feast which he had owed to Ralph de Meppershall. (fn. 235) The fee was henceforth held in chief by these services. (fn. 236) In 1251 Deudo conveyed it to Isabel de Eure, receiving in return a grant of it for life. (fn. 237) Isabel was perhaps his daughter; one of her descendants subsequently stated that Deudo was his ancestor. (fn. 238) She was the widow of Robert de Eure, and her son John was under age in 1247. (fn. 239) In 1255 Gilbert de Eure and Isabel de Eure were said to hold Deudo's fee in Caldecote. (fn. 240) It seems probable that Isabel had married again, and that Gilbert de Eure was her second husband, the Gilbert de Stratford who held land in Caldecote by serjeanty in 1271. (fn. 241) Between 1307 and 1316 the tenant was Nicholas de Eure, (fn. 242) whose acquisition of the first fee in the vill has already been mentioned.
Nicholas de Eure was still living in 1322. (fn. 243) His son John (fn. 244) died in possession of Caldecote in or about 1340, (fn. 245) leaving a son John, who did homage in that year (fn. 246) and settled land in Caldecote on himself and his wife Cecily in 1343. (fn. 247) His son and heir was Nicholas, who succeeded him in 1356. (fn. 248) The next recorded tenant of Caldecote, here for the first time called a manor, is Thomas Caldecote, who died in 1426 in possession of the holding of the Eures. (fn. 249) As he also had their land in Calverton, (fn. 250) it is possible that he was himself a Eure who had taken the name of his manor. Thomas had a son and heir William, a minor, who did not live to come of age. (fn. 251) His heir in 1439 was his kinswoman Margaret, wife of Thomas Hanchett. (fn. 252) Thomas Hanchett, apparently her son, (fn. 253) died in possession of the manor in 1509, his heir being his son William. (fn. 254) The latter died in March 1514–15 and his son Andrew, a minor, a year later. (fn. 255) The heir of Andrew was his brother John, (fn. 256) who in 1541 sold Caldecote to John White. (fn. 257) John White died in possession in 1572, leaving a son and heir Thomas. (fn. 258) Laurence son and heir of Thomas (fn. 259) was succeeded on his death in 1600 by his son Thomas. (fn. 260) The latter had a son, another Thomas, (fn. 261) evidently the Thomas White who died lord of the manor of Caldecote in 1670. (fn. 262) His son Thomas made his will in 1678 and was succeeded by a son William. (fn. 263) In 1691 William White conveyed the manor to Richard Elborow, a mortgagee. (fn. 264) By his will, dated in the following year, he named Sir William Roberts and James Tyrell his executors. (fn. 265) From Richard Elborow and James Tyrell the manor was purchased in 1695 by Roger Chapman. (fn. 266) Roger died in 1702, and his son Thomas Chapman was the owner in 1734. (fn. 267) Thomas sold Caldecote in 1744 to John Pardoe, who in 1747 conveyed it to Sir Edward Turner. (fn. 268) The latter sold it three years later to William Backwell, a banker of Pall Mall, (fn. 269) who in 1757 acquired from the trustees of Sir Richard Atkins the mill and land in Caldecote which had been granted to Tickford Priory by Fulk Paynel, and had since followed the descent of the priory of Tickford. (fn. 270)
William Backwell died in 1770, having left Caldecote to William Harwood, (fn. 271) who took the name of Backwell in 1770 (fn. 272) and died in possession about 1815. (fn. 273) The manor then passed to William Adair of Trowse Newton, Norfolk, who had had some interest in it since 1800. (fn. 274) His widow Charlotte left it in 1843 to her nephew Charles Hawkins, (fn. 275) whose trustees sold it in 1858 to William Whitworth. (fn. 276) The present owner is Mr. Henry William Whiting, who purchased the manor from William Whitworth in 1908. (fn. 277)
Like Newport Pagnell, TICKFORD MANOR belonged to Ulf before the Conquest and to William Fitz Ansculf in 1086, when it was assessed at 5 hides and worth £5. (fn. 278) It passed with his other lands to Fulk Paynel, who early in the 12th century (fn. 279) founded here a cell to the abbey of Marmoutier, and granted it the site of the house and 'all the land on each side of Monechustret … and the lands and tenements in the street called Hawestrete … and the lands and tenements before the gate of the house … and a meadow called le Castelmede.' (fn. 280) This land formed the manor of Tickford, where in 1311 the prior was said to have had view of frankpledge from time immemorial. (fn. 281) In that year Edward II granted him in addition the privileges of pillory and tumbril. (fn. 282)
The manor remained the property of the priory, which survived the suppression of alien houses by Henry V, (fn. 283) and finally surrendered in 1524. (fn. 284) It was granted to Wolsey for his college at Oxford, (fn. 285) and on his forfeiture was assigned to Henry the Eighth's College. (fn. 286) After the surrender of the latter in 1545. (fn. 287) Tickford remained in the possession of the Crown until it was purchased from Elizabeth in 1600 by Henry Atkins, M.D., afterwards king's physician. (fn. 288) He died in 1634 seised of the manor, which had been settled on the marriage of his son Henry with Annabel Hawkins. (fn. 289) The younger Henry died in 1638, his heir being his son Richard, a minor. (fn. 290) Richard was created a baronet in 1660 and died in 1689. (fn. 291) His son Sir Richard died in 1696, (fn. 292) leaving a son Henry, lord of the manor in 1711. (fn. 293) Henry's son and grandson, both called Henry, succeeded him in turn. (fn. 294) The last Henry was succeeded in 1742 by his brother Richard, (fn. 295) who in 1749 cut off the entail on the estate. (fn. 296) He died in 1756, (fn. 297) leaving Tickford and other mortgaged premises to Sir William Bowyer and William Stonehouse in trust for sale. They conveyed the manor in 1757 to Henry Uthwatt of Great Linford, (fn. 298) who died in that year, leaving this manor to be sold to pay the mortgages on his Linford estate. (fn. 299) His devisees sold it in 1764 to Sir William Hart. (fn. 300) In 1775 William Nevil Hart, son of Sir William, (fn. 301) conveyed it to Joseph Jaques. (fn. 302) On the death of Joseph Jaques it became the property of his widow, whose second husband, Frederick Hendrick Van Hagen, held it in her right in 1807, (fn. 303) and was presumably the person of that name who died at his seat at Brampton Place, Bexley, Kent, in 1808. (fn. 304) Henry Van Hagen was the owner in 1830 (fn. 305); he died in 1832. (fn. 306) In 1862 Lord Carrington held the estate on lease from Mrs. Van Hagen. (fn. 307) It is now the property of his son the Marquess of Lincolnshire.
The site of the priory was sold separately as 'the Abbey Farm' by the trustees of Sir Richard Atkins in 1757 to John Hooton. (fn. 308) John Hooton of Tickford Priory died in 1761, leaving sons John and Thomas. John inherited the estates and died in 1764, having devised them to his brother. (fn. 309) Thomas Hooton died in 1804, (fn. 310) his heir being his daughter Sarah, wife of Philip Hoddle Ward. (fn. 311) Sarah Ward died in 1831, (fn. 312) and the estate was sold between that date and 1847 to William Powell. (fn. 313) In 1869 Oliver Massey was living at Tickford Abbey, which belonged to his wife in 1877. Mr. P. Butler, the next owner, died in 1898, and his son, Colonel W. J. C. Butler, now holds the estate.
The church of ST. PETER AND ST. PAUL consists of a chancel measuring internally 37 ft. by 18 ft. 6 in., north vestries and organ chamber, nave 94 ft. by 25 ft., north aisle 11 ft. wide, south aisle 13 ft. 4 in. wide, north and south porches, and west tower 15 ft. 6 in. square. The tower is built of ashlar and the other parts of the church of rubble, and the roofs are covered with lead and tiles.
The east wall of the nave, which is 5 ft. 4 in. thick, probably incorporates the remains of the central tower of an early cruciform church, but all other parts of the structure were entirely rebuilt in the middle of the 14th century, and the present nave, aisles, and porches are of that period. Early in the 16th century the clearstory was added to the nave, the chancel and a large part of the north wall of the north aisle were rebuilt, and the whole church was reroofed. At the same time the tower at the west end of the nave was begun, but it appears to have taken a considerable time to complete, for legacies towards the 'Newport steeple' are recorded as late as 1549. (fn. 314) The organ chamber was built in 1867 and the vestries were added in 1905. The church was restored in 1828; much of the window tracery has been renewed, particularly in the chancel, where the stone mullions had been removed in the 18th century and replaced by iron frames, and galleries have also been erected in both aisles.
The chancel is lighted from the east by a threelight traceried window with a depressed head; the two windows in the north wall, which are each of two lights, are of the same character, and there are three similar windows in the south wall. All of them are largely modern, though some of the internal jambs and arches, now coated with paint, may date from the early 16th century. Below the middle window on the south is a moulded doorway with a four-centred head, and opposite to it on the north is a similar doorway, now opening into the vestries. At the south-east is an ogee-headed piscina niche of the 14th century, with grooves for a wooden credence shelf; the bowl has been partly broken away. The chancel arch, which is acutely pointed and of three continuous chamfered orders, probably dates from the reconstruction of the chancel in the early 16th century.
The north and south arcades of the nave are each of six bays with moulded arches supported by clustered pillars and responds with moulded capitals and bases, the bases considerably restored. The eastern bay on each side is slightly narrower and more acutely pointed than the others, and is separated from the adjoining bay by a short length of wall; this arrangement is often found in transeptal churches, and may indicate the existence of transepts here before the 14th-century reconstruction and for some time during its progress. At the south-east corner of the nave is a pointed doorway to a turret stairway leading to the roof and forming the only approach to the upper stages of the tower. There are no traces of an entrance to the rood-loft in this stairway, though a large hole in the masonry of the interior suggests an unsuccessful attempt to discover a doorway. It is probable that the rood-loft crossed the nave between the short lengths of wall above referred to, but the approach to it has been obliterated. This assumption is strengthened by the existence here of two head corbels, which occur on the string-courses below the clearstory windows and indicate the position of the rood beam. The clearstory is lighted from either side by a long range of windows, each of three cinquefoiled lights under a four-centred head, and all considerably restored. At the west end of the nave is a lofty pointed arch to the tower of early 16thcentury date. It is of three chamfered orders continued without break down the jambs to large splayed stops.
The north aisle is lighted from the north by five traceried windows with four-centred heads, the easternmost of five and the others of three lights. These all date from about 1520, when that part of the wall west of the east bay was rebuilt, and four of them occur in the new part, but the large window was inserted in the older and thicker portion of the wall. The east wall adjoins the modern organ chamber, in which some parts of an old window have been reset. In the west wall of the aisle is a blocked pointed window which is now covered with ivy.
The north porch has a sexpartite vault with hollowchamfered ribs springing from corbels on which the chamfers die. It is lighted by two small windows, one on either side of the southern bay, that on the west having a pointed head and the other an almost flat head, probably the result of an alteration made when the adjoining aisle wall was reconstructed. The entrance doorway with its two-centred drop arch is original, but the pointed doorway to the aisle is modern. The vault has been slightly repaired. Above the porch is a parvise, which is lighted by a modern square-headed window, but has in each of the east and west walls an original single light now blocked.
The south aisle has been considerably restored, and its tall traceried windows, of which there are five in the south wall and one at each end, are mostly modern. The south doorway is a good example of mid-14thcentury workmanship, having a pointed head with elaborate mouldings, some members of which develop into cusping both in the external and rear arches. Much of the stonework of the head, which is inclosed within a square label with plain spandrels, has been renewed. The chapels of our Lady and St. Nicholas, referred to in some early 16th-century wills, (fn. 315) probably occupied the east ends of the nave aisles, which were originally built as transepts. It was in the chapel of our Lady, probably that on the south, that the Burgess chantry was founded in 1318. (fn. 316) The piscina here has disappeared, but in the south wall between the first and second windows from the east there are three sedilia with cinquefoiled heads and traceried spandrels, all under one square label, which is enriched with ball-flower and four-leaf ornament. These sedilia are divided by clustered shafts, and, though considerably restored, date from the mid-14th century.
The south porch is of one story and has an external doorway similar in character to the south doorway of the aisle, but mostly modern. On the east and west walls is a rich internal wall arcade, with no divisions below the arches. The timber roof of the porch is of the 15th century.
The nave has a richly moulded low-pitched roof of the early 16th century, with foliated bosses at the intersections of the timbers. The wall-posts are connected to the beams by curved brackets and are supported by stone corbels carved as angels holding shields, while in front of each of the posts is a carved wood figure, two of the figures representing angels and the others saints, including the twelve apostles. There are also carved figures of angels at the centres of the tie-beams and at the feet of the intermediate rafters. The lean-to roofs of the aisles are of the same character and period, and have carved wooden figures at the lower corners. Tie-beams and wallplates of the Tudor period have also been re-used with the modern timbers of the chancel roof.
The tower is of three stages, strengthened by clasping buttresses, and is surmounted by an embattled parapet with pinnacles at the angles and at the centre of each face. The west doorway has a pointed head and continuous mouldings. Above it is a four-light window with modern tracery under a four-centred head. Access to the upper stages is provided by a doorway on the east side of the tower leading from the nave roof, the roof being gained by the turret stairway at the south-east of the nave. The bellchamber is lighted on each side by two tall windows, each of two trefoiled lights under a pointed head. All this work has been considerably restored, and the parapet and pinnacles are modern.
The font is modern. A brass figure of a civilian of about 1440, now much worn, is nailed to the doorway of the turret stairway at the south-east of the nave. On the wall above this doorway is a tablet to Thomas Jenkins (d. 1705) and Mary his wife. In the south aisle are mural monuments to John Revis, apothecary (d. 1765), 'who did in his life time erect seven alms houses in this churchyard for 4 men & 3 women for ever and at his death gave a generous endowment to this his native Town,' and Elizabeth and Ann his daughters; Thomas Taylor (d. 1719); Chapman Taylor (d. 1705) and Rebecca his sister (d. 1706); Roger Chapman (d. 1702), Rebecca his wife (d. 1697) and Felicia Dumas, their daughter (d. 1698), with a shield of arms, a lion standing, impaling a cheveron cut off at the ends, a crescent for difference; John Rogers (d. 1726), with a shield of arms, a cheveron between three harts; and Thomas Foster (d. 1775) and T. G. Foster, his son (d. 1792). A floor slab to Sir Richard Atkins of Clapham, Surrey (d. 1696), has been placed against the north wall of the chancel; it has a shield of arms and the Ulster badge. In the tower are a floor slab to John Barton (d. 1701) and Mary Barton (d. 1699), and an early 16th-century slab with matrices for brasses. In the parvise are preserved an oak ironbound chest of about 1600 with incised panels, a chest with richly carved panels of about 1650, and an 18th-century chair, and there is a 17th-century table in the vestry. At the east end of the south aisle are two chained books, Foxe's Actes and Monuments and Works of John Jewell, both 17th-century editions and incomplete.
The tower contains a ring of eight bells, a small bell by Anthony Chandler, inscribed 'A.C. 1671,' and a clock bell, added with the chiming apparatus in 1887. Five of the ring were recast in 1749 by Thomas Lester of London, one was added in 1769, one in 1816, and one in 1819, but the whole ring was again recast in 1911.
The communion plate consists of a cup and cover paten of 1708; a paten of 1637, dated 1638; and a flagon of 1694 inscribed,' The Gift of Dame Rebecca Atkins Widdow.'
The registers begin in 1558.
The church of Newport Pagnell, with a hide of land, was among the possessions with which Fulk Paynel endowed the priory of Tickford. (fn. 317) It was appro priated to the priory, and a vicarage was ordained at the beginning of the 13th century. (fn. 318) The prior undertook to provide a dwelling-house for the vicar and a deacon to assist him, besides maintaining him at the table of the priory, paying him a yearly stipend of 20s., and allowing him a certain proportion of the offerings of parishioners. (fn. 319) The revenues of the chapel of Little Linford, not mentioned in the ordination, also became part of the endowment of the vicarage; in 1265 the prior and convent, who had withdrawn these revenues from the vicar, were ordered to restore them. (fn. 320)
Except for intervals during which the possessions of Tickford as an alien house were in the king's hands, (fn. 321) the priors continued to present till the dissolution of the priory in 1524. (fn. 322) The rectory and advowson then followed the descent of the manor of Tickford till the surrender of Henry the Eighth's College in 1545, (fn. 323) after which date the advowson remained in the possession of the Crown. (fn. 324) It was transferred in 1859 to the Bishop of Oxford, the present patron, in exchange for the advowson of the vicarage of Sutton with Seaford, Sussex. (fn. 325)
The rectory followed the descent of the manor of Tickford till the sale of the estates of Sir Richard Atkins. (fn. 326) It was purchased in 1758, with the exception of the tithe of certain meadows, by John Dighton. (fn. 327) The tithes were in various hands in 1795, when they were largely commuted for allotments under the Inclosure Award. (fn. 328)
Richard Burges had licence in 1318 to endow a chaplain in the church of Newport Pagnell to celebrate daily for his soul and the souls of John de Somery and Lucy his wife. (fn. 329) In 1546 the Commissioners for Chantries reported that the assistance of the priest so maintained was very necessary to the vicar. (fn. 330) Nevertheless the endowments of the chantry were granted in 1589 to Walter Copinger and Thomas Butler. (fn. 331)
A chapel of St. Nicholas existed in the church, probably in connexion with the gild of St. Nicholas mentioned in the 13th century. (fn. 332)
A chapel was attached to the hospital of St. John the Baptist, founded here shortly before 1240. (fn. 333) The advowson belonged to the lords of the manor. (fn. 334) Various grants of the chapel and its endowments were made by Elizabeth. (fn. 335) In 1615 it was given to the refounded hospital. (fn. 336)
The Town Lands Charities are regulated by a scheme of the Charity Commissioners of 22 March 1898.
They include the charities of—
1. William Kitchell, founded by will 1558, consisting of a rent-charge of 13s. 4d. issuing out of Redhouse Close;
2. Beatrice Holiday, endowments, comprised in deeds of 1499-1500 and 1524-5, now consisting of a house known as the Old Workhouse, two closes in Fishers Wick, a close adjoining Bury Field, let at rents amounting together to £28, and two rent-charges of £6 and £2 issuing respectively out of a house in St. John Street and a messuage now used as a Church Institute and Masonic Hall;
3. Richard Read and Ralph Hobbs, founded by deed, 3 February 1483–4, endowed with 8 a. 2 r. 18 p., known as Ashway Hill Close, and a rent-charge of £25 5s. issuing out of three houses and shops in the High Street;
4. Alice Cropthorne, founded by deed, 4 November 1530, included in Ashway Hill Close;
5. John Sybley, founded by deed 6 February 1504-5, consisting of a close in Fishers Wick containing 1 a. 2 r. let at £8 a year;
6. Richard Blood, founded by deed 20 April 1599, consisting of two houses in the High Street and a cottage in Church Passage, annual rental value £50;
7. A rent-charge of 3s. 4d., stated on a benefaction board in the church to issue out of Goose Half Acre in Water Leys;
8. Gift for the relief of the poor, and for the amendment of the church, highways and bridges, consisting of 3 a. or. 8p., known as London Road Land, allotted on the inclosure in 1808 in lieu of lands in Tickford Fields belonging to the trustees from time immemorial. The land is let at £6 a year;
9. Fifteen almshouses in Bury Street, built from time to time, which are let to various tenants, and produce £10 16s. 8d. yearly.
A sum of £101 4s. 4d. consols, derived from the sales in 1887 and 1888 of two pieces of land, is in course of accumulation by the official trustees.
By the scheme one-fourth part of the net income is made applicable for the repair and maintenance of the parish church, and for the maintenance of the services and furniture, one-fourth part for the repair of North Bridge and Tickford Bridge, one-fourth part for the repair of the highways, and the remaining fourth part for the benefit of the poor. In 1911 a sum of about £90 was divided equally among these objects; the proportion assigned to the poor was applied in gifts of money and coal, £10 being given to the Good Samaritan and Nursing Society.
Queen Ann's Hospital, formerly the Hospital of St. John the Baptist, was in existence as early as the reign of Henry III, but was re-established by a charter granted by King James I and his consort Queen Ann, dated 29 June 1615. The endowments consist of two houses, four cottages, allotments called Foxgate Piece containing 10 acres, allotments containing 13½ acres, a grass field containing 2½ acres, and a garden containing 2 acres. A sum of £4,300 16s. 2d. consols is also held by the official trustees, representing proceeds of sales from time to time. The aggregate income amounts to about £300 a year. The hospital is divided into three upper tenements occupied by three women, and three lower tenements occupied by three men, each inmate receiving 2s. weekly with an allowance of 10s. for firing at Christmas; £5 is expended every other year on a coat for each man and a gown for each woman. After deducting the expenses and medical attendance a moiety of the surplus income is paid to the master.
The four charities next mentioned are also under the administration of the governors of Queen Ann's Hospital.
1. Thomas Kilpin by his will, proved 17 October 1677, devised an annuity of £2 for distribution on 2 February each year among twenty poor families. The annuity is charged on a house in the High Street.
2. Jane Goodman by her will bequeathed to the Rev. John Sharp, afterwards Archbishop of York, £300 to be disposed of for charitable purposes. A sum of £80, part thereof, was expended in 1691 in the purchase of 4 a. 1 r. in Little Crawley, which is let at £10 a year, the rent being applied in apprenticing. There is an alternative trust at the discretion of the governors for the benefit of a minister's widow of Newport Pagnell.
3. Robert Collison by his will, proved at Oxford 25 April 1860, bequeathed £1,845 stock, now consols, with the official trustees, the annual dividends of which, amounting to £46 2s. 6d., are applicable as to £45 in providing food, fuel and clothing for the poor, preference to be given to such as are attentive to their religious duties, and as to £1 2s. 6d. for distribution among the inmates of Queen Ann's Hospital.
4. The Atterbury and Christie Educational Foundation consists of the rent-charge of £10 issuing out of the Delapre estate at Great Houghton, Northamptonshire, devised in 1730 by the will of the Rev. Lewis Atterbury, LL.D., and the rent of the house situate in the Paggs, Newport Pagnell, built by Samuel Christie as a workhouse. The house is let at £9 a year. (fn. 337)
The Bread Charities.—Elizabeth Davey by her will, proved in the P.C.C. 3 July 1699, devised land in Tickford Fields for providing £5 4s. yearly for a weekly distribution of bread, in respect of which about 7 a. were allotted on the inclosure; they are now let at £10 a year.
Mark Slingesby by will, dated 2 July 1677, devised an annuity of £5 4s. for providing twenty-four penny loaves weekly for the poor. The annuity was redeemed in 1905 by the transfer of £208 consols to the official trustees.
Edward Whitton by his will, dated in 1766, bequeathed £100, the interest to be expended in bread on 5 July yearly, now represented by £130 2s. 7d. consols.
James Leverett by his will, dated in 1783, bequeathed £300, the interest to be distributed every Sunday in bread, now represented by £300 consols.
William Underwood by his will, dated 1793, bequeathed £200, the interest to be distributed in bread yearly on New Year's Day, now represented by £321 5s. 8d. consols.
The several sums of stock are held by the official trustees, and produce £23 19s. 8d. in yearly dividends, which with the income of Elizabeth Davey's charity are distributed in bread.
Widow's Acre.—There are about 3 acres in Bury Meadow called Widow's Acre, stated in the Parliamentary Returns of 1786 to have been given by a donor unknown for the use of poor widows. The herbage is sold yearly, and realized in 1911 the sum of £4 10s., which was distributed in gifts of 1s. 6d. to poor widows.
A sum of £266 1s. 3d. consols also held by the official trustees, represents a legacy by the will of George Knibb, proved in the P.C.C. 15 December 1826, the annual dividends of which, amounting to £6 13s., are divisible equally among four poor widows of respectable tradesmen, such widows being members of the Church of England.
Mrs. Martha White—as appeared from a tablet in the church—charged a close in Dunton Bassett (co. Leicester) with 20s., of which 10s. was to be given to the vicar for preaching a sermon on Good Friday, 2s. 6d. to the clerk, and 7s. 6d. to fifteen poor persons who should receive the sacrament on that day. The annuity is duly received and applied.
The almshouses founded by John Revis for the accommodation of four poor single men and three poor single women are endowed as follows: A farm at Marston Moretaine, containing 80 a., comprised in deeds, 3 May 1757 and 1 May 1758, let at £67 a year; £1,000 consols, representing a sale in 1866 of two messuages in Newport Pagnell, comprised in the said deed of 3 May 1757; £1,000 consols bequathed by the founder's will, dated in 1763, for the benefit of the inmates; a further legacy of £350 consols, the interest to be applied in keeping the property in repair and in distributing bread of the value of 10s. weekly for twenty weeks; and a further legacy of £150 consols, the interest to be applied in the payment of £1 1s. to the vicar for a sermon on 13 July yearly, 5s. to the parish clerk, 2s. 6d. to the sexton, and the residue to provide a dinner to the governors on 13 July. The several sums of stock were in 1863 transferred to the official trustees, and in 1910 the sum of £83 9s. 7d. consols was sold and the proceeds invested in the purchase of a fee-farm rent of £2 11s. 4d. charged upon a farmhouse, &c., at Marston Moretaine, leaving a sum of £2,416 10s. 5d. consols with the official trustees, producing £60 8s. yearly. The land is subject to tithe amounting in 1912 to £16 15s. 4d. The sum of £10 is distributed to the poor in bread, and £74 4s. was in 1912 paid to the inmates, the fixed payments above mentioned being duly made.
The official trustees also hold a sum of £225 consols, derived under the will of Robert Collison above referred to, the annual dividends, amounting to £5 12s. 4d., being distributable among the inmates of the almshouses on 25 January yearly.
This sum is part of Robert Collison's bequest of £1,125 consols, now held by the official trustees, and producing £28 2s. 6d. yearly, which has been apportioned as directed by the testator as follows:—£225 stock, or £5 12s. 4d. yearly (being one-fifth part), for poor residing in the Feoffee almshouses on 25 January, as mentioned above; £225 stock for the benefit of an organist; £225 stock for the National school, and £450 stock (being two-fifth parts) for Sunday school children. By a scheme of the Board of Education of 9 September 1910 the annual dividend on the last-mentioned sum of stock, amounting to £11 5s., is made applicable in prizes of not more than £1 or less than 2s. 6d. to girls attending a Church of England Sunday school and in attendance it a public elementary school.
Nonconformist Charities.—The charities in connexion with the Congregational Chapel are administered under a scheme of the Charity Commissioners of 4 December 1906. They include (1) the almshouses founded in 1843 by Charlotte Beaty, and endowed by a codicil to her will, proved in the P.C.C. 10 August 1850. The almshouses, four in number, are situate in Union Street, having as endowment two cottages of the yearly rental value of £13 13s., and £1,604 1s. 9d. consols held by the official trustees, producing £40 2s. yearly. The income is directed by the scheme to be applied in the upkeep of the almshouses and in providing stipends for the inmates, who in 1911 received £39 16s. (2) Charlotte Beaty also by her will bequeathed £166 13s. 4d. consols, and (3) Amelia Ann Higgins by her will, proved in the P.C.C. 9 February 1825, bequeathed £833 6s. 8d. consols. (4) Charities for the minister and poor. The trustees are also possessed of two messuages, being Nos. 75 and 77 High Street, comprised in deeds of lease and release, dated respectively 27 and 28 August 1828, of the yearly rental value of £36 10s., and £658 15s. 8d. consols. The three sums of stock, amounting together to £1,658 15s. 8d. consols, are held by the official trustees. By the scheme the sum of £609 2s. 4d. consols (part thereof), producing £15 4s. 8d. yearly, together with the rents of the two houses in the High Street (subject to a provision of a repair fund) has been apportioned for the benefit of the minister. The balance of the stock, amounting to £1,049 13s. 4d. consols, is by the scheme apportioned for the benefit of the poor, and the annual dividends, amounting to £26 4s. 8d., are made applicable in supplying clothes, fuel, tools, medical aid and food to the poor of the congregation and in augmentation of the stipends of inmates of the almshouses.