A History of the County of Cambridge and the Isle of Ely: Volume 10, Cheveley, Flendish, Staine and Staploe Hundreds (North-Eastern Cambridgeshire). Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 2002.
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The manor of QUY, usually from the mid 15th century called HOLMHALL, (fn. 1) embraced almost the whole parish by the 20th century. It derived from a holding of 3¾ hides, possessed in 1066 by two sokemen of the abbot of Ely and in 1086 by Picot the sheriff, (fn. 2) whose successors later held the manor as 1 knight's fee of the see of Ely. (fn. 3) The bishop's overlordship was recorded into the early 16th century. (fn. 4) In 1185 and later the lords of that manor also held 1 knight's fee in Quy of the king. (fn. 5) That fee was probably based on the ¾ hide held in 1066 under the king by Godric the deacon, which Aubrey de Vere had by 1086 seized and given to his man Rainald; (fn. 6) most of that land was presumably later added to Quy manor. (fn. 7)
Picot's lands in Quy, which passed to a cadet line of his family, descended from Henry Picot (fl. before 1135) to his son Aubrey (fl. 1150-70). (fn. 8) Aubrey's son Robert Picot, of age c. 1185, (fn. 9) died c. 1218, when his lands passed to two sisters and coheirs. Quy manor was assigned to Agnes, wife of William of Heybridge (fn. 10) (d. 1235 × 1238). (fn. 11) His daughter and coheir Maud, widow of John de Trailly (d. 1235) of Yalden (Beds.), (fn. 12) married secondly William la Zouche of King's Nympton (Devon), lord of Quy by 1242. Zouche held Quy by the curtesy until his death in 1272, when Quy descended to his stepson John de Trailly, (fn. 13) who died later the same year, leaving as heir his son Walter. (fn. 14) John's widow, a lady named William, held Quy in dower until c. 1280. (fn. 15)
Walter de Trailly, lord by 1282, (fn. 16) died in 1289, leaving a minor son John (d. 1304), whose mother Eleanor retained Quy in dower (fn. 17) until 1315. (fn. 18) John's son Walter, of age in 1323, (fn. 19) died, recently knighted, soon after 1346. (fn. 20) His widow Elizabeth had the manor house by 1348. (fn. 21) His son John (d. 1360) was in turn succeeded by his son Sir John, (fn. 22) of age in 1365. (fn. 23) When he died in 1400, Quy passed to his son Reynold Trailly. Sir John's widow Joan (d. 1432) retained for life the third of the manor held of the king in chief. (fn. 24)
When Reynold died childless in 1401 his heir was Margery, daughter of his grandfather John's daughter Catherine Pabenham and wife of Sir William Hugford (d. 1404), of Higford (Salop). (fn. 25) When Margery died in 1409, their son William Hugford was already dead. In 1412 Sir Humphrey Stafford occupied the manor as guardian of William the son's young daughter Margery (d. 1413). The younger William's sister and eventual heir Alice married first Sir Thomas Lucy (d. 1415) of Charlecote (Warws.), lord in 1413, (fn. 26) secondly in 1415 Richard Archer, who initially retained Quy by the curtesy after Alice died in 1420. (fn. 27) Her eldest son William Lucy, of age in 1425, (fn. 28) who had livery of Joan Trailly's third in 1433, (fn. 29) had already alienated his rights and reversions at Quy in the mid 1420s.
John Ansty from Fen Ditton (fn. 30) was said to hold Quy manor in 1428. (fn. 31) With his son John Ansty of Teversham he received Joan Trailly's dower from William Lucy in 1434. (fn. 32) He and his son and grandson, all named John, often served as sheriff, escheator, J.P., and M.P. for Cambridgeshire until the 1470s. (fn. 33) The eldest John Ansty probably died, aged almost 80, in 1455. (fn. 34) His son John (d. 1460) devised the Quy manor to his son John (fn. 35) (d. 1477), (fn. 36) whose son John Ansty (IV) died in 1501. (fn. 37) In 1516 his son Robert conveyed the manor, called Holmhall, to feoffees for Sir Richard Cholmeley of Thornton (Yorks.). (fn. 38)
At his death in 1521 Sir Richard left it to his illegitimate son Roger, subject to a life interest for his widow Elizabeth, (fn. 39) whose second husband Sir William Gascoigne of Cardington (Beds.) was still in possession in the mid 1530s. (fn. 40) Sir Roger Cholmeley, a successful lawyer and, 1540-53, a judge, (fn. 41) who occupied Quy by the 1550s, (fn. 42) at his death in 1565 left Holmhall manor to his daughter Frances's husband Sir Thomas Russell of Strensham (Worcs.) until her son John Russell came of age in 1573. (fn. 43) After John Russell died in 1593, Holmhall was included in the jointure of his widow Elizabeth (fn. 44) (d. c. 1623). John had sought to disinherit their son Sir Thomas in favour of the lords Russell of Thornhaugh, who possibly occupied the Holmhall estate c. 1625, (fn. 45) but Sir Thomas had recovered it by his death in 1632. His son and heir Sir William Russell, cr. Bt. 1627, (fn. 46) sold it in 1633 to Robert Lawrence, established at Quy since 1605, (fn. 47) who had been buying much land there from the 1610s. (fn. 48)
Lawrence settled the manor in 1635 on his daughter Sarah and her husband John Child, a lawyer, (fn. 49) and died in 1650. (fn. 50) Sarah died in 1671, her husband in 1672, and their son and heir John Child in 1684. (fn. 51) In 1685 his widow Elizabeth sold Holmhall manor to Sir Paul Whichcote, Bt. (d. 1721). (fn. 52) His son Sir Francis, after an expensive county election campaign in 1722, sold the Quy estate (fn. 53) to the bankers Thomas and James Martin, who were brothers. In 1726 Thomas sold his interest to James, (fn. 54) who, when he died childless in 1744, devised that estate back to Thomas for life. (fn. 55) Between 1737 and c. 1800 the Quy estate was enlarged from c. 1,062 a. by the purchase of c. 215 a. from the Serocolds of Cherry Hinton and others. (fn. 56) In 1761 Thomas (d. 1765) settled the whole estate on his brother John's eldest son John, of Overbury Court (Worcs.), who died in 1794. In 1771 John had settled the reversion on his brother Joseph's son Thomas (fn. 57) (d. 1821). Thomas's eldest legitimate son (fn. 58) James Thomas Martin, of age in 1827, (fn. 59) owned c. 1,120 a. of the parish after inclosure in 1840, (fn. 60) but sold his whole Quy estate in 1855 to the Cambridge solicitor Clement Francis, whose family firm had helped arrange, and had possibly foreclosed on, the heavy mortgages on it. (fn. 61)
Clement died in 1880 and his widow Sarah, who had a life interest, in 1897. (fn. 62) The estate then passed to their eldest son Thomas Musgrave Francis (d. s. p. 1931). It descended to the son of his brother, Maj. Wolstan Francis (d. 1941), who had farmed much land in Quy from the Mill house since the 1890s. The major's son, John Clement Wolstan, died, aged 90, in 1978, and his son and successor, John Clement Godfrey Francis, in 1989, when Quy came to his son, Mr. R. M. Francis, the owner in 1990. (fn. 63) By 1870 the Francises owned c. 1,200 a. in and around Quy, (fn. 64) in 1910 1,285 a. of the parish. (fn. 65)
The manor house, called Quy Hall by 1726, (fn. 66) probably stood by the 1180s near its existing site (fn. 67) amid extensive grounds beyond Quy Water at the north end of Quy village street. In the 1450s it included a hall and parlour, with a great chamber and a parlour chamber. It was probably timber-framed in two storeys: its gatehouse was blown down c. 1535, when a lessee occupied the house. (fn. 68) It was gradually rebuilt from the late 16th century onwards, (fn. 69) and incorporates sections of a late 15th-century roof on collar beams. The original house, into whose three-bayed central hall an upper floor may later have been inserted, had projecting gabled end-wings and at the south-east end a three-storeyed tower, perhaps for the staircase. In the early 17th century its north-eastern front had the centre filled in to provide a first-floor gallery, whose three transverse roofs were given Dutch gables; the two side ones bear segmental pediments, the central gable a triangular one. In the 1660s the house had 10 hearths. (fn. 70) By the 1780s it included a hall, two parlours, a study, a billiard room, and at least four bedrooms. (fn. 71) Some doors and doorcases of c. 1740 survive inside the house. Probably in the late 18th century, certainly by 1810, the south-west front towards the garden was remodelled and sashed to give a five-bayed centre and two-bayed projecting wings, with three-stage towers at each end, all embattled. (fn. 72) Thomas Martin and his son, who often resided from the 1790s, (fn. 73) had the stables to the east rebuilt in grey brick and after 1839 removed an old farmstead from near the north front. (fn. 74)
Between 1869 and 1871 Clement Francis had the house substantially reconstructed to designs by William White. The south-west front was taken down and its west wing virtually gutted. (fn. 75) The whole house was refaced in red and yellow brick, vividly banded, and also in the gables diapered. On the north-east front the shape of the previous gables was retained, but on the south-west five new gables, three in the centre, over mullioned windows replaced the castellated design. The offices were housed in a slightly lower 3-bayed extension, also gabled, with a bellcote to the south-east. (fn. 76) Much of the interior work from the rebuilding of c. 1870, including massive woodwork and painted decoration after medievalizing designs by Thomas Gambier Parry, remained in 1990 in the principal rooms.
In the 18th and early 19th centuries the gardens covered 17 a. between the hall and Quy Water. (fn. 77) After 1840 the course of that stream was altered, reusing a parallel former millstream, (fn. 78) to create a narrow island surrounded by a moat. In the 18th century an avenue of trees, called by 1840 the View, (fn. 79) had been laid out to provide a vista from the hall to Stow End. Work on the gardens was in progress in 1845. (fn. 80) The park had apparently been considerably extended northwards by 1820, (fn. 81) probably then or later incorporating closes leased from Magdalene College, Cambridge, acquired by exchange in 1846. (fn. 82) It eventually stretched each side of Quy water as far as the Stow road, covering c. 135 a. from the late 19th century. (fn. 83)
William of Quy, perhaps descended from Geoffrey of Quy (fl. 1160), in 1235 and 1242 held ½ knight's fee in Quy of that part of Quy manor held in chief of the king. (fn. 84) His successor John of Quy was a rebel in the 1260s. (fn. 85) In 1279 John of Quy, rector of East Hatley, held the fee in reversion during the dower of a widow Felise. (fn. 86) John son of William of Quy was tenant c. 1284 and Roger of Quy in 1302, but the fee had apparently been alienated by 1346. (fn. 87) A Walkelin of Quy had held over 80 a. in 1279, 100 a. in 1307, which his family retained into the 1320s. (fn. 88)
The manor of STOW, later DENGAINES, was derived from 4½ hides, assessed under Quy in 1086, most of which before 1066 was possessed by men of Ramsey abbey (Hunts.), Godric the deacon (2 hides) and Aelfric the monk (1½ hide). With a hide occupied by four sokemen of King Edward that land was appropriated by 1086 by Picot the sheriff. (fn. 89) Picot's successors had no rights over it later, and the abbey's lordship was still recognized in the 1340s. (fn. 90) By 1200 that manor belonged to a cadet branch, seated at Waresley (Hunts.), (fn. 91) of the Northamptonshire Engaines, (fn. 92) whose main line was believed in 1279 and 1302 to have a mesne lordship over the Stow manor. (fn. 93)
Robert de Engaine (fl. 1199-1210) and his mother Avice held Stow by 1207. (fn. 94) Robert's son William, who succeeded him by 1223, (fn. 95) held ½ knight's fee in Stow of the abbey c. 1235 (fn. 96) and died after 1243. (fn. 97) Robert de Engaine, his successor by 1249, (fn. 98) was dead by 1261, when his widow Agnes claimed dower in Stow manor. (fn. 99) Robert's son William, under age in 1269, (fn. 100) who held the manor with 120 a. in 1279 and 1284, (fn. 101) settled it in 1293 on himself, his son Richard, tenant c. 1302 (d. after 1310), and Richard's wife Parnel, (fn. 102) who held it as a widow in 1316. (fn. 103) Richard's son John D'Engaine, lord of Stow from 1326, (fn. 104) granted the manor in 1329 for life to Nicholas Southmere for rent. (fn. 105) John D'Engaine the son in 1350 settled the reversion of his manors in Stow and Teversham on William D'Engaine of Teversham, perhaps his second son, and his wife Alice. Having released Stow to William in 1352, (fn. 106) John died in 1363. (fn. 107)
In 1376 Sir William Papworth arranged the entail of the Engaines' manors in Teversham and Stow on another William D'Engaine, who was possibly dying, and his wife Joan, perhaps Papworth's daughter. Papworth also secured a reversionary life interest for his own wife Alice, presumably the elder William D'Engaine's widow. (fn. 108) Papworth and Alice were in possession between 1381 and 1403, (fn. 109) when Papworth ceded Teversham to feoffees for Thomas, son of William, Dengaine. (fn. 110) Thomas owned it until he died after 1439, (fn. 111) perhaps after 1453 (fn. 112) when Stow was entailed on the second marriage of his son William, settled in Norfolk, to Alice Hore, still lady of the manor in 1492. In 1479, after William's death, the reversion was settled on their son Henry Dengaine and his wife Anne. (fn. 113) Henry died after 1486. (fn. 114) In 1528-9, when the widowed Anne held both Stow and Teversham manors for life, she and her son Henry Dengaine sold their rights to Thomas Woodhouse of Waxham (Norf.). (fn. 115) Woodhouse sold most of the demesne in 1537 to the judge Sir Roger Townshend of Raynham (Norf). (fn. 116) In 1538 Townshend conveyed both Dengaines manors in exchange for Pattesley (Norf.) to Gonville Hall, Cambridge, (fn. 117) which was incorporated in 1557-8 into Caius College, Cambridge. (fn. 118) In the 17th century the college owned c. 145 a. in the parish. (fn. 119) At inclosure in 1840, when its claim to manorial status was disregarded, Caius was allotted 125 a., which it retained as Dengaynes farm until its sale in 1914. (fn. 120) The county council, which then bought the farm for letting as smallholdings, still owned it in the 1980s. (fn. 121)
John D'Engaine's manor house apparently stood at Stow near the church c. 1325. (fn. 122) In 1534 Thomas Woodhouse sold the site with 20 a. in 1534 to two farmers. (fn. 123) The modern Dengaynes Farm, built in 1872 and rebuilt in 1964, stands on former open-field land. (fn. 124)
One hide at Stow, held in 1066 under Eddeva the fair by Grimbold the goldsmith, was by 1086 held of her successor Count Alan, lord of Richmond by his chamberlain Eudes. (fn. 125) Its tenure of the honor of Richmond as ¼ knight's fee was reported until the early 15th century. (fn. 126) It probably descended with the Chamberlains' manor in Great Wilbraham until that manor was divided among coheirs in the 1190s, (fn. 127) and perhaps passed from one of them to Brian fitz Alan of Bedale (Yorks. N.R.), the tenant c. 1235, who died after 1242. (fn. 128) Brian's son Alan was killed c. 1267. (fn. 129) Alan's son Sir Brian FitzAlan (d. 1305) held 60 a. at Stow in 1279, (fn. 130) but later assigned it for life to his younger brother Sir Tibbald (d. s.p. 1308). The next heirs were Brian's daughters, including Maud (or Agnes), whose guardian Sir Miles Stapleton of Yorkshire married her by 1317 to his younger son Gilbert. (fn. 131) The FitzAlan fee, though supposedly held in 1346 by John Grey, lord Grey of Rotherfield, husband of Maud's sister Catherine, (fn. 132) presumably came to Gilbert's son Sir Miles (d. 1364), whose son Sir Miles, (fn. 133) of Ingham (Norf.), died holding land at Stow of the honor of Richmond in 1419. His son Sir Brian Stapleton had apparently alienated it before he died in 1439. (fn. 134)
It was probably that estate which Edward Inglons sold in 1529 as 'Inglons' manor with 200 a. in Stow cum Quy to the lawyer John Hinde. (fn. 135) At his death in 1550 Sir John Hinde supposedly held c. 500 a. with a water mill in Quy of Holmhall manor. His son Sir Francis (fn. 136) sold c. 85 a. in Quy in 1589 to Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. (fn. 137) The college retained Brians, later called 'Byrons', farm, 127 a. before, and 140 a. after, inclosure in 1840, (fn. 138) until its sale in 1964. (fn. 139) From 1712 until the 1820s the college farm was held on beneficial leases by successive lords of Quy manor, (fn. 140) from 1741 together with c. 80 a. in Quy, (fn. 141) which Dr. James Duport (d. 1679), master of Magdalene College, Cambridge, had bought in 1673 and devised to his college. (fn. 142) In 1910 Magdalene sold its farm to T. M. Francis. (fn. 143) Between 1667 and 1737 Jesus College, Cambridge, had acquired c. 25 a., (fn. 144) sold in 1920 to its tenants, the Ambroses. (fn. 145)