A History of the County of Cambridge and the Isle of Ely: Volume 6. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1978.
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The village of Whittlesford stands by the river Cam or Granta, 7 miles south of Cambridge. The parish, roughly rectangular in shape and 1,976 a. in extent, (fn. 1) is bounded on the south by the RoystonNewmarket road, formerly a branch of the Icknield Way, and on part of the west by a brook rising at a place called Nine Wells. The eastern boundary follows various branches and former channels of the river. The northern boundary with Little Shelford was undefined until inclosure, the land being partly intercommonable. (fn. 2) The parish lies mostly between 50 and 125 ft. above sea level, and has little sharp relief. The subsoil is mostly chalk, with alluvium along the river, but there is a gravel rise near Stanmoor Hall in the north-west quarter of the parish, and south of the village, where gravel lies over the chalk, the ground also swells gently to over 100 ft. The level northern part of the parish is drained by small streams and water-courses mostly leading north-east into the river.
The parish was cultivated until its inclosure c. 1810 on a traditional three-field system, and was thereafter mainly devoted to mixed arable farming. Large areas of common pasture and meadow remained until inclosure along its northern and eastern edges. There was also some woodland, mostly between the Cambridge road and the river. (fn. 3) The manor in, probably, the 17th century contained £400 worth of timber, (fn. 4) and in the 19th the Whittlesford estate included from c. 65 a. to 100 a. of wood. (fn. 5) In the late 19th century low-lying and boggy land west of the village called Middlemoor, used as pasture until inclosure, was left to be overgrown with trees, and a belt of trees was established along the western boundary with Thriplow. (fn. 6)
Whittlesford had 33 inhabitants recorded in 1086, (fn. 7) there were c. 105 tenants in 1279, (fn. 8) and 33 persons paid tax there in 1327. (fn. 9) In 1377 142 adults paid the poll tax. (fn. 10) In 1477 there were c. 75 men over 12 in the village, sharing 43 surnames. (fn. 11) In 1525 49 persons paid the subsidy, (fn. 12) and there were 49 families in 1563. (fn. 13) There were 73 households taxed in 1664 and 88 in 1674, (fn. 14) and in 1676 there were said to be 200 conformists. (fn. 15) In 1728 58 families comprised 244 people, besides 5 dissenting families. (fn. 16) In 1801 the population was 416, and it grew steadily throughout the 19th century, reaching 579 in 1841 and 875 in 1891. The growth was sustained by the establishment of small-scale industries in Whittlesford and Sawston. By 1901 numbers had begun to fall, and c. 1920 the civilian population was only c. 720. Between 1931 and 1951 there were c. 800 inhabitants in the village, but the population had risen to 1,012 by 1961 (fn. 17) and 1,190 by 1971. (fn. 18)
The village stands almost in the centre of the parish, along two sides of a triangle of roads. The north-east side is formed by a road running from Cambridge to Duxford and beyond, roughly parallel with the river. To the north-east, amid rivermeadows and former manorial closes, the church and the moated side of the former manor-house stand slightly detached from the village. A lane west from them crosses the Cambridge road to become the main village street, the south-east side of the triangle, which runs along the northern edge of the gravel rise. It was formerly called South Street (fn. 19) but in 1973 High Street, continuing after a bend to West End. Half-way along West End, near the former parsonage, it once widened into a small green. (fn. 20) Before inclosure most of the dwellings in the village lay along that street, where many timberframed and thatched cottages, not all in good repair, survived in 1973. Among the larger old houses were Markings Farm, an L-shaped 17th-century house, and one red-brick Georgian house with segmentalheaded windows and a classical doorcase. Along the Cambridge road north-west of the cross-roads, formerly called North Street, there were in 1810 a few scattered cottages. Its south-western side, however, was mainly occupied by large farmsteads, (fn. 21) as at the Grove, formerly Grove House Farm, where a Georgian front block has been added to a 16thcentury timber-framed house, and Rayners Farm at the north end, an L-shaped house of c. 1500 with prominent chimney-stacks, which retains two original timber-mullioned windows and fireplaces, perhaps 17th-century, with shafts supporting rude pediments. (fn. 22) By 1810 a few houses, including one cottage with a bulky stepped chimney-breast, stood at the junction with the Cambridge road of Whippletree Lane, later Middlemoor Road, which led to West End, but along most of that road there were no buildings then or later. (fn. 23) Under Charles II the village contained c. 80 dwellings, (fn. 24) but in 1801 only about 60 houses. By 1831 there were 113 dwellings and in 1851 135, (fn. 25) of which c. 60 were in South Street and c. 30 in North Street. (fn. 26) Building later progressed more slowly, so that there were by 1900 only c. 180 houses compared with 160 in 1861. Except for farmsteads built after inclosure at Wells, Stanmoor Hall, and Hill farms, settlement was still largely confined to the old village site. Later there was ribbon development along the road south to Whittlesford station and Duxford. Almost 40 houses were built between 1921 and 1931 and over 80 between 1951 and 1961. (fn. 27) Council houses were built at the north-western and south-western corners of the village, and a larger council estate was laid out between Church Lane and Mill Lane. In 1962 there were c. 90 council houses. (fn. 28)
The village formerly contained several public houses, the oldest and most prominent being the Waggon and Horses, recorded from 1810 to 1937. In 1851 there were five other beer-retailers, in 1904 seven, and in 1937 six named public houses. (fn. 29) The inns at Whittlesford Bridge are mentioned above under Duxford.
Like most neighbouring villages, Whittlesford lay off the main routes of the area, standing about a mile from the Royston-Newmarket road, a turnpike from 1770 to 1874, (fn. 30) to which it was connected by the road south from Cambridge. A minor road leading west from the village towards Thriplow was stopped at inclosure; another towards Newton was straightened. (fn. 31) The London-Cambridge railway, completed in 1845, crosses the south-east corner of the parish. Whittlesford station, opened in 1845 and rebuilt between 1877 and 1890, (fn. 32) was still in use for passengers in 1973.
Robert Maynard, an agricultural tool-maker, founded in 1866 a Working Man's Institute, furnished with a lecture hall and reading and bagatelle rooms. (fn. 33) It closed between 1922 and 1925, to be replaced by 1929 with a new village institute, to which H. G. Spicer of Sawston added c. 1930 a reading room and library. (fn. 34) The Whittlesford Co-operative and Industrial Society, established c. 1891, merged between 1922 and 1929 with the Sawston Co-operative Society. (fn. 35) Its shop had closed by 1973. During the First World War a hospital for the wounded, taking up to 1,000 patients, was set up at Whittlesford and remained in use until 1919. (fn. 36) Barracks for Duxford airfield, under construction in 1918, remained in use until 1961. (fn. 37)
The village feast was held in the 18th and 19th centuries on St. Barnabas's day. (fn. 38) It was revived as a neo-Victorian festivity in 1971. (fn. 39) Traditional ceremonies on Plough Monday, Shrove Tuesday, and Mayday were still being celebrated by the youth of the village in the mid 19th century. (fn. 40) Camping close, opposite the Victorian vicarage, is said to have been used for the game of camping, a rough kind of football common in East Anglia. (fn. 41)
Manors and Other Estates.
Before the Conquest Earl Gurth, King Harold's brother, owned the manor comprising almost all the township. By 1086 it had been given to the Countess Judith, the Conqueror's niece and Earl Waltheof's widow. (fn. 42) Part of her Cambridgeshire lands, called the barony of Kirtling, and including WHITTLESFORD manor, passed to her younger daughter Alice (or Adelize) who married Ralph de Tony (fn. 43) (d. 1126). Alice's heir was their son Roger de Tony (d. by 1162). The overlordship of the manor, which by the late 12th century had been subinfeudated to a junior branch of the Tony family, descended with that barony in its main line to Robert de Tony (d.s.p. 1309). Robert's sister and heir Alice (fn. 44) married Guy de Beauchamp, earl of Warwick, (fn. 45) and Kirtling manor with its dependencies descended with the earldom of Warwick until its forfeiture in 1499. (fn. 46) In 1500 Whittlesford was said to be held of the Crown as of the barony of Kirtling, (fn. 47) and after 1534 (fn. 48) of the lords North, owners of Kirtling manor. (fn. 49)
Like the barony of which it was held, (fn. 50) Whittlesford manor was not held by knight service, but nominally in free socage, although its tenure approximated to a military serjeanty. Its tenants were obliged to attend the lord of Kirtling when he went to the wars in the king's company. (fn. 51) In 1279 that service was due to Ralph de Tony (d. c. 1295) from Hugh fitz Otes, who had been interpolated as mesne lord between Ralph and Sir John de Akeny, tenant in demesne, who was said to hold of Hugh for 1/20 knight's fee. (fn. 52) By 1400 the military duty had been changed into the yearly render of a sparrow-hawk or 2s. to the earls of Warwick, (fn. 53) which was still due in the 16th century. (fn. 54) Occasionally in the 15th century, however, Whittlesford was said to be held as ¼ knight's fee. (fn. 55)
Whittlesford was probably among the lands given by Roger de Tony (d. by 1162) to his younger son Roger (d. by 1185) whose son Baldwin de Tony (fn. 56) held it in 1206. (fn. 57) Baldwin died after 1215, (fn. 58) and by 1228, perhaps by 1217, all his lands had come to Roger de Akeny, (fn. 59) who held Whittlesford c. 1235 and died c. 1240. (fn. 60) Although Roger left daughters as his heirs, (fn. 61) all his East Anglian lands, including Whittlesford, had passed by 1241 to Baldwin de Akeny, (fn. 62) who in 1267 received a grant of free warren in Whittlesford, and survived until 1272. (fn. 63) In 1279 Whittlesford was held by Baldwin's son Sir John de Akeny, (fn. 64) who was dead by 1293 when his widow Alice apparently held the manor. She died after 1300, (fn. 65) and was followed by their son Baldwin de Akeny (fl. 1311). (fn. 66) He is said to have married Joan, whose second husband William Howard (fn. 67) held Whittlesford, presumably in right of her dower, in 1316 and 1327 (fn. 68) and died in 1328. (fn. 69) In 1331 Baldwin's son John de Akeny sold the manor to Roger Wateville and his wife Margery. (fn. 70) Roger probably died the next year, (fn. 71) and Margery was occupying the manor-house in 1346. (fn. 72) A John Wateville was living at Whittlesford c. 1340. (fn. 73)
By 1358 the manor probably belonged to William Muschet of Fen Ditton, who died after 1362. (fn. 74) In 1365 and 1368 it was held by Sir Richard Muschet (fn. 75) (d. after 1371), (fn. 76) and in 1374 by Sir John Muschet. (fn. 77) In 1378 it was settled on Sir George Muschet. (fn. 78) Probably c. 1394 Sir George sold it to Joan, widow of Roger, Lord Scales (d. 1388), (fn. 79) and her second husband, Sir Edmund Thorp, who held it in her right in 1401. (fn. 80) Joan died in 1415, having devised it for life to her husband, killed in France in 1418. The manor had been entailed by Joan's will successively on her grandson, Robert, Lord Scales (d.s.p. 1419), and her two daughters by Thorp, Joan, wife of Sir John Clifton (d. 1447), and Isabel (d. 1436), who married Philip Tilney (d. 1453). (fn. 81) Joan Clifton probably held Whittlesford until she died without issue in 1450. (fn. 82) Philip Tilney, who had taken orders by 1444, may have arranged that it should pass to his younger son Robert, (fn. 83) whose title was apparently disputed by Thomas, Lord Scales (d. 1460), Robert Scales's brother. In 1451 Thomas entailed the manor on Robert Tilney, (fn. 84) who held it until his death in 1500. His son and heir Robert, aged 9 at his father's death, (fn. 85) died in 1542. After a dispute 120 a. of the demesne was assigned as dower to his second wife Audrey, (fn. 86) who held them with her second husband William Johnson until c. 1590. (fn. 87) Robert Tilney's son and heir John, being much indebted, (fn. 88) sold the manor in 1552 to William Hawtrey. (fn. 89) Sir John Huddleston of Sawston used his influence at court to oblige Hawtrey to sell it to him in 1555. (fn. 90) Huddleston died holding the manor in 1557, (fn. 91) and it descended with the Sawston estate in the Huddleston family (fn. 92) until the early 18th century. Its income was sometimes assigned to junior members of the family. (fn. 93) In 1735 the court of Whittlesford was held in the name of Henry Howard, Lord Morpeth (later earl of Carlisle), (fn. 94) probably as trustee for Richard Huddleston (d. 1760), who is said to have sold the manor (fn. 95) to John Stevenson of Newton, to whom the earl conveyed it in 1745. (fn. 96) Stevenson's son Robert sold it in 1765 to Ebenezer Hollick, (fn. 97) a prosperous miller. (fn. 98) Hollick, who died in 1792, entailed the estate, which he had enlarged to over 700 a., on his brother William's son Ebenezer, (fn. 99) who after further purchases of c. 300 a. owned over half the parish after inclosure. (fn. 100) He went bankrupt in 1825 (fn. 101) and died in 1828. His heir was his daughter Ann Blunkett Hollick, who died unmarried in 1864 leaving her land to her half-sister Caroline's son, Joseph Hollick Tickell, a lawyer. (fn. 102) Tickell sold almost all the Whittlesford estate in 1877 to Major Christopher Pemberton, (fn. 103) but retained the lordship of the manor which he left on his death in 1883 to his son Joseph Harkness Tickell. (fn. 104) The latter died in 1915 and his son Capt. J. A. Tickell in 1941. Capt. Tickell's son, J. H. de la T. Tickell, (fn. 105) kept the Tickell Arms, the principal village inn, in 1973. (fn. 106)
Major Pemberton was dead by 1885. (fn. 107) In 1888 most of his Whittlesford land passed by foreclosure of a mortgage to W. R. C. Farquhar (d. 1901), and was sold by Alfred Farquhar in 1909 to G. R. C. Foster. (fn. 108) When Foster sold the remaining 820 a. in 1919 the estate was broken up: the Cambridgeshire county council bought c. 440 a., (fn. 109) and H. G. Spicer c. 90 a., including land called the Lawn and the Park, which he still owned in 1937. (fn. 110) By 1960 the Lawn had been acquired by the South Cambridgeshire R.D.C., which built many council houses there in the 1960s. (fn. 111)
The medieval manor-house presumably stood within the rectangular moat which remained, overgrown with trees, in 1972, south-east of the church. (fn. 112) The house, in decay in 1514, (fn. 113) was repaired or rebuilt by Robert Tilney (d. 1542). Its windows once contained glass with the arms of Howard impaling Tilney. (fn. 114) In the late 18th century it was demolished, and a new house, called Whittlesford Lodge, was built, probably c. 1785, by the younger Ebenezer Hollick (fn. 115) by the south-west side of the moat. It was of red brick, three bays by five, in the Georgian style. Irregular rooms at the back, on a different level, were said to derive from the older house. A range of stables stood near by. (fn. 116) The Lodge, empty since 1828, was demolished in 1858. (fn. 117) The Tickells only occasionally lived in the village, in converted cottages. (fn. 118)
In 1086 Girard, Count Alan's tenant at Duxford, held ½ yardland and the soke of another 1¼ yardland at Whittlesford of the count, and Hardwin de Scalers had another yardland previously held by a man of Earl Gurth. (fn. 119) No more is recorded of those properties.
In the early 13th century Barnwell priory owned 120 a. there, held of Whittlesford manor, of which Prior Lawrence (1213–51) enfeoffed Stephen le Cheyney for 20s. fee farm. Stephen's son William divided the land among many under-tenants, who were holding of Adam le Cheyney in 1279, and from whom the priory had difficulty in recovering the service due in 1290. (fn. 120) Another 120 a. had been granted before 1233 by John le Cheyney, tenant under the Akenys, for life to Baldwin de Freville, (fn. 121) who still held that carucate in 1250, when William le Cheyney claimed to be his lord. (fn. 122) In 1272 William conveyed 115 a. to Maud Devereux, who in 1276 conveyed a carucate in Whittlesford to Thomas de Sollers. (fn. 123) In 1278 Thomas and Simon de Sollers granted it to Adam and Henry of Kirkcudbright, (fn. 124) who in 1279 held of Simon as tenant of Adam le Cheyney 122 a. in demesne and c. 105 a. occupied by free tenants. (fn. 125) The later descent has not been traced, but the estate may have included the 92 a., called a carucate, held in the 15th century by five generations of the Gedding family. (fn. 126)
In 1279 Ickleton priory owned 34 a. at Whittlesford. (fn. 127) In 1505 Pembroke College, Cambridge, acquired from the executors of John Ward c. 35 a. which Ward had acquired or possessed since 1472, (fn. 128) and in 1547 bought from Robert Lockton c. 55 a. called Bewlies which Thomas Lockton had acquired in and after 1448 and which his son and heir Walter had released to his younger brother Thomas in 1472. (fn. 129) For the combined estate of 90 a. the college received at inclosure 57 a. It still held 60 a. in 1873. (fn. 130)
Before John Tilney sold the manor he had already in 1546–7 sold Whittlesford mill and c. 100 a. to Henry Veysey who in 1557 conveyed the 100 a. to the brothers Richard and Robert Symons. (fn. 131) Robert was later said to have acquired half the demesne, having in or after 1578 bought out John Rogers, purchaser of another part (fn. 132) and died in 1611 possessed, besides the lease of the impropriate rectory, of c. 230 a. which passed to his son Robert (fn. 133) (d. 1622). The younger Robert's son and heir Thomas (fn. 134) occupied that estate c. 1630, (fn. 135) but apparently disposed of it between 1644 and 1654. (fn. 136)
The impropriate rectory, held by St. Mary's college, Warwick, (fn. 137) included, besides the great tithes, c. 31 a. of land. (fn. 138) In 1552 the Crown granted a lease in reversion from 1563, (fn. 139) which was acquired by Roger Ascham, Queen Elizabeth's tutor. His wife Margaret was probably daughter of Thomas Howe, lessee of half the rectory since 1551, and two of his sons were born at Whittlesford. Ascham died in 1568. (fn. 140) Margaret, who later married Thomas Rempston, and her sons Giles and Thomas Ascham received a fresh lease in 1579. (fn. 141) By 1599 Giles and Thomas had under-let the rectory for 60 years to Robert Symons (d. 1611). (fn. 142) In 1608 Thomas Ascham assigned half his interest under a fresh Crown lease, granted in 1600, to Symons, (fn. 143) on whose behalf the freehold of the rectory, sold by the Crown in fee farm, was bought in 1610. (fn. 144) Symons's son Robert sold all his interest in 1622 to Thomas Ventris, (fn. 145) who purchased the other half-share of the head-lease in 1624, so re-uniting the rectory. (fn. 146) The fee-farm rent, equal to the old reserved rent, was bought from the Crown by Heneage Finch, earl of Nottingham (d. 1682), to endow an alms-house at Ravenstone (Bucks.), (fn. 147) to which it was still paid in the 19th century. (fn. 148)
Thomas Ventris settled half the rectory on his daughter Mathew, who in 1630 married Thomas Dod, to whom Ventris, when he died in 1637, left the other half, subject to the life-interest of his second wife Ellen, (fn. 149) whom Dod bought out in 1646. (fn. 150) Before Dod died in 1670 (fn. 151) he had settled the rectory on his younger son Thomas, who dying without issue in 1667 left it to his elder brother Edward (fn. 152) (d. 1678). Edward's son and heir Thomas (fn. 153) sold the estate in 1707. (fn. 154) By 1711 it had come to Felix Calvert (fn. 155) (d. 1713), whose heir was his son Peter (d. 1772). Peter's son Peter Calvert, dean of Arches, died without issue in 1788, and the estate was sold (fn. 156) in 1789 to Thomas Thurnall whose family had leased it since 1723. (fn. 157) At inclosure Thurnall was allotted 18 a. for glebe and c. 275 a. for the rectorial tithes, until then received in kind. (fn. 158) He was succeeded in 1818 by his son Henry John Thurnall (d. 1866). (fn. 159) The estate was sold in 1872 to Robert Maynard and Allen White, who divided it, White taking 146 a., sold again in 1885, and Maynard 139 a., (fn. 160) including the old parsonage farm-house, where the Dods had lived in the 17th century. It was a three-bay building, brick-fronted to the high street, timber-framed with three gables behind. Maynard demolished it in 1872, and built a new house there, later called Ascham House. (fn. 161) After Maynard's death in 1883 four of his children sold his land to the fifth, Albert (d. 1915), whose son R. J. Maynard sold it in 1920 to the Cambridgeshire county council. (fn. 162) The council was thereafter the largest landowner in Whittlesford, owning c. 765 a. in 1973. (fn. 163)
Almost the whole township, 11¼ hides out of 12, was in 1066 and 1086 included in a single manor. Five hides lay in demesne, and 13 villani and 15 bordars shared the rest. There were also 5 thralls. The demesne had only 2 plough-teams, and the villani with 9 teams evidently did most of its ploughing. Whittlesford's yearly value increased slightly after the Conquest, from £15 to £16 in 1086. (fn. 164)
By 1279 only just over 2 hides remained in demesne, the tenants occupying allegedly 91/8 hides, of which c. 750 a., besides 55 a. of glebe, was held freely and c. 305 a. in villeinage. The arrangement of the free holdings was complex, with tenancies and subtenancies sometimes on two or three levels. Of the five major tenants immediately under Sir John de Akeny, Barnwell priory held c. 130 a., mostly held under it by Adam le Cheyney. Henry Lacy held c. 70 a., Baldwin de Romilly c. 75 a., and John Gopil 40 a. Each of those larger holdings, like the 22 or so remaining free holdings, also directly held of Akeny, were split up into small parcels whose actual occupiers combined them with holdings of other fees. The outcome was that, besides 1 large holding of 122 a., 11 of 20–60 a. amounted to c. 360 a., 10 of 10–15 a. covered 116 a., and 45 of under 10 a. contained only c. 150 a. between them. The rents paid, mostly between 1d. and 4d. an acre, but reaching up to 12d., had evidently been fixed over a long period. Few freeholders owed boonwork.
The villein tenements were more regularly arranged. Eight half-yardlanders had 15 a. each, and 24 other villeins 9 a. each. The former owed 76 works a year, and sent 4 men to 4 harvest-boons, the latter only 32 works, and 4 harvest-boons with 2 men. Both classes also performed three averages, and had to mow, carry the hay, reap, and cart manure. The 9 cottagers were to send 1 man to the harvest, and help to stack the lord's hay, cover his house, and make his pond. All the customary tenants were said then to be the lord's neifs. (fn. 165) By the late 14th century only one family of bondmen, subject to such dues as leirwite, remained in the village, though others paying chevage lived in the neighbourhood. (fn. 166) The customary land had by 1400 been farmed to its tenants at rents then amounting to £23 7s. 6d. a year. (fn. 167) Later the standard rate was 1s. an acre. (fn. 168) Entry fines were nominally uncertain, (fn. 169) but in the 16th century were in practice twice the yearly rent. (fn. 170) In the 1390s the lord employed 4 carters and ploughmen and a thresher, (fn. 171) and a shepherd in 1400. Even for the harvest tenantlabour was not called on. In 1400 the lord hired 32 men with 16 carts to clear his crops in one day. They were paid by the acre besides receiving a substantial harvest supper. That year c. 198 a. of the demesne had been sown, including some closes near the manor-house. The crops included c. 100 a. of dredge and 32 a. of barley, but only c. 20 a. of wheat and 15 a. of oats. The lord used only part of his several meadow and pasture, and farmed the herbage of the rest, also selling 12 ricks of hay. He had in 1400 only 6 sheep but c. 40 pigs. (fn. 172) The demesne, already once leased c. 1396 to a Cambridge burgess, was by 1407 at farm to its former bailiff. (fn. 173) It was usually farmed thereafter. (fn. 174) By 1463 almost 200 a. of the demesne had been leased to 22 tenants in parcels of up to 20 a., mostly for 1s. an acre, and two villagers were jointly farming the remainder. Only a few orchards and meadows remained in hand. (fn. 175)
Meanwhile the copyholders' properties grew larger as their numbers fell. Of c. 500 a. held in copyhold in 1488 one man, a former farmer of the demesne, occupied c. 80 a. and 7 others with more than 30 a. each another 250 a. Ten smaller tenants with 10–20 a. had c. 140 a. In 1514 c. 21 copyholders, who also possessed several of the 27 free tenements, occupied 416 a., and most of 183 a. of leased demesne land. (fn. 176) In 1525 28 men were taxed on land and goods, and only 21 on wages, but of £140 of movables in the parish £94 was owned by only 9 men. (fn. 177) Among the most prosperous families were those of Symons and Rande. In 1462 five members of the Symons family together held over 70 a. and leases of c. 50 a. of demesne. (fn. 178) In 1525 Robert and Richard Symons together had goods taxed at £36. (fn. 179) That family later acquired part of the demesne and the lease of the rectory. (fn. 180) William Rande, lessee of the rectory in the 1520s when he lost 600 quarters of corn in a fire in the barn, (fn. 181) left 160 a. of arable at his death in 1552. (fn. 182) In 1578 there were 48, mostly small, free tenements, but only 20 copyholders. (fn. 183) At inclosure c. 200 a. were allotted for copyhold. (fn. 184)
From the 13th century the arable lay in three main fields, (fn. 185) Bridge field in the south-east, Stonehill field in the south-west, and Holmes field, called in the 18th century Bar field, (fn. 186) in the north-west. In the angle between the high street and the Cambridge road was a smaller field called Ryecroft, some 43 a. In 1809 the open fields were said to include c. 1,500 a. out of 2,470 a. in the parish, (fn. 187) but the local acre was a three-rood acre. (fn. 188) In the 14th century a triennial rotation was followed. In 1341 it was alleged that the whole lenten crop had perished, (fn. 189) and the winter field and the lent field, presumably including the barley field and pease field, were frequently mentioned in court records from the 14th to the 16th century. (fn. 190) The predominant crop was apparently barley rather than wheat. One man in 1631 had 55 a. of barley growing compared with 26 a. of wheat and rye. (fn. 191) Saffron was also grown from the 16th century to the late 18th. (fn. 192)
The lords of the manor had extensive closes around the manor-house, used either for arable, as in 1400 when 32 a. were sown, (fn. 193) or for grass. The village had much meadow and pasture, amounting in 1809 to 600 a., by local measure, besides 70 a. of Lammas meadow. The meadows lay mostly beside the river, and the largest block of permanent common adjoined the northern border. (fn. 194) Some of the commons were held in severalty by the lord for part of the year. (fn. 195) The commons were extensive, and although in the 15th century the number of beasts that could be commoned for each tenement was restricted, (fn. 196) no fresh stints were laid down in the 16th century or later. Inhabitants were forbidden to set up by-herds of their own, and a common herdsman was employed. (fn. 197) The lord was to keep a free bull and boar. (fn. 198) In the 18th century sheep were not allowed on any common until cattle had had some days feeding there. (fn. 199)
Of the lord's right to fold 400 sheep, half passed with the land sold in 1551 to the Symonses, (fn. 200) whose successors still enjoyed it in 1578, when another fold for 100 sheep was attached to the former Chesterford chantry lands. The lord's fold took the copyholders' sheep; (fn. 201) those of the freeholders were folded by turns on the land of the four principal freeholders, who for that right paid a rent to the lord and the shepherd's wages. (fn. 202) Of the sheepwalks for 880 sheep 740 belonged c. 1800 to the lord, whose tenant actually kept in 1802 734 sheep, which yielded 609 lambs. (fn. 203) There were altogether some 840 sheep c. 1795, (fn. 204) and some 700 Leicester sheep on one of Hollick's farms in 1808. (fn. 205)
The manor farm, which c. 1550 probably did not exceed 240 a., (fn. 206) was later enlarged. A holding that was apparently the demesne included, probably c. 1670, 300 a. of arable and 60 a. of pasture, forming a single farm, besides 80 a. let in parcels, and sheepwalk for 400 sheep. (fn. 207) In the late 18th century Ebenezer Hollick and his nephew and namesake substantially enlarged the estate, swallowing many smaller farms and leaving the farmsteads derelict. (fn. 208) In 1809 the nephew claimed to own 178 a. of closes and over half the arable, and only c. 15 other landowners were left including Pembroke College and its lessee William Blow, the last two each having c. 100 a. The land was not consolidated: a farm of 155 a. lay in 158 places. (fn. 209) The traditional rotation was still largely followed on the 1,000 a. (by national measure) of open fields. The 941 a. sown in 1801 (presumably local measure) included 426 a. of barley, 200 a. of wheat, 122 a. of pease, and 90 a. of rye, but only 32 a. of turnips and 2 a. of potatoes. In the 1790s, however, cinquefoil was being sown on the thinner soil to improve the yield of grass for mowing. (fn. 210)
An inclosure Act was obtained in 1809, (fn. 211) not without opposition from the impropriator and Hollick's former tenant Blow, (fn. 212) and the land was probably divided and inclosed the same year. (fn. 213) The award was executed in 1815. (fn. 214) Of the 1,969 a. of the parish, the open fields and commons covered 1,617 a. and old closes 302 a. (fn. 215) Over half the land allotted, c. 885 a., went to Ebenezer Hollick. The lay rector received c. 300 a., and the vicar 72 a. Pembroke College obtained 57 a. and the chantry estate c. 45 a. Blow had 69 a., Story Barns 52 a., and two others 77 a. together. The remaining 20 allottees had barely 80 a. between them. (fn. 216)
The 19th century saw a considerable concentration of both ownership and occupation. In 1812 out of 71 persons rated ten, including Hollick and Thurnall, were farming almost the whole parish. The smaller farmers usually combined land from several smaller landowners. (fn. 217) The Hollick estate was usually divided into two or three large farms. Thus c. 1850 Stanmoor Hall farm included c. 600 a., West or Marking's farm 128 a., and John Rayner's farm 114 a. (fn. 218) The last two were combined by 1877 to cover c. 220 a. (fn. 219) In 1919 the manorial estate, c. 515 a., excluding only Rayner's farm, was let to a single tenant. (fn. 220) Meanwhile Robert Maynard, besides purchasing half Parsonage farm, (fn. 221) had bought c. 120 a. of the lesser allotments made in 1815, and William Blow's land and other property amounting to 104 a. had been acquired by the Cambridge banker Ebenezer Foster (d. 1875). (fn. 222)
Most inhabitants made their living by farming in the early 19th century. About 1830 there were 110 farm-labourers and 14 farmers, of whom only 2 employed no labour. (fn. 223) In 1851 out of 10 farmers 4 with a total of c. 350 a. employed 62 men, and the 6 with c. 325 a. another 21. (fn. 224) Farming was and remains mainly of a standard mixed arable type. About 1900 Hill farm was described as mainly a sheep farm. (fn. 225) Numbers of turkeys were also reared for the London market and driven up before Christmas in flocks of 800–900. (fn. 226) The village contained usually 6–8 farms in the late 19th century, (fn. 227) but 10–12 from the 1920s (fn. 228) after the county council had purchased 815 a. for letting to smallholders. In 1973 its property was divided into 10 larger and 3 part-time holdings. (fn. 229)
In 1206 Baldwin de Tony was granted a weekly market on Tuesdays in his manor at Whittlesford. (fn. 230) In 1242 his successor Baldwin de Akeny complained that the bailiffs of Cambridge were taking toll at Whittlesford Bridge which should rather belong to him in right of his market. (fn. 231) By a compromise the lords of Whittlesford later collected the bridge tolls on Tuesdays, a practice still followed in 1578 and 1770, (fn. 232) long after the market had expired. In 1267 Baldwin de Akeny was granted a market on Mondays and a three-day fair from 23 to 25 August, (fn. 233) but by 1460 the market, said to be on Tuesday, the fair, at Trinity, and its pie-powder court were all yielding nothing, although the bridge tolls produced 12d. a year, (fn. 234) and renders were still due from some tenements for admission to the market green. (fn. 235) In 1800 the village was still said to have been a markettown. (fn. 236)
Three mills belonged to the manor in 1086, (fn. 237) but in 1279 there was only one. (fn. 238) Besides the corn-mill, to which suit from the tenants was still exacted c. 1420, (fn. 239) a fulling-mill was in use in the 1390s but not in 1400. (fn. 240) The corn-mill, recorded in 1462, was in decay in 1514. (fn. 241) John Tilney alienated it to Henry Veysey in 1546, but in 1553 William Hawtrey re-united it to the manor, (fn. 242) with which it descended until c. 1700. (fn. 243) By 1760 Ebenezer Hollick had bought it from a Mrs. Creek and converted it to produce oil from linseed, rape, and mustard. Cattle-cake was made as a by-product. (fn. 244) After the younger Ebenezer Hollick died in 1828 Charles Thurnall (d. 1889) carried on the business until the 1880s, employing 20 workmen in 1851. In 1861 the mill was producing linseed-oil, oil-cake, and artificial manure. (fn. 245) It later reverted to being a corn-mill, managed from the 1890s by Wisbey & Son, and from 1922 until after 1937 by Fred. Smart & Co. (fn. 246) The mill and millhouse belonged in 1968 to Sir Hamilton Kerr, who in 1970 gave it to be used after his death by the Fitzwilliam Museum. (fn. 247) The mill-house was evidently built by Ebenezer Hollick in 1763. (fn. 248) It has a fivebay front in red brick with segmental headed windows and prominent voussoirs. The front of the former oil-mill across the river is disguised with large ogee-headed windows.
Two large maltings built by Richard Blow in 1773 survived until 1852. (fn. 249) Charles Thurnall kept a brewery in 1851, (fn. 250) and there were four breweries in 1888. (fn. 251) Among tradesmen out of the ordinary were a watch-maker from 1858 and a timber-merchant c. 1900. (fn. 252) The main sources of non-agricultural employment at that period, however, were the Sawston paper-mill, (fn. 253) where 24 Whittlesford people, mostly women, worked in 1841 and 91 in 1861, (fn. 254) and the works established by Robert Maynard in 1834, near the centre of the high street, to produce agricultural implements. (fn. 255) In 1861 he employed 30 men. (fn. 256) After Maynard's death in 1883 the business was carried on by his son Robert and later his grandson R. J. Maynard. By 1904 an iron-foundry was attached to the works. (fn. 257) In the mid 1950s, after R. J. Maynard's death, the works were closed, and in 1959 the buildings were sold to Phoenix Tinsel Products Ltd., which in 1973 made artificial Christmas trees, decorative lighting, and display goods there. (fn. 258) St. George's works, possibly another agricultural tool factory, was recorded in the 1930s. (fn. 259) From 1929 the village contained a small artificial fertilizer factory, owned by Packard & Fison of Ipswich. (fn. 260) By 1970 part of Hill farm was occupied by CIBA Agrochemicals Ltd., and a large building was being erected in 1972 as the headquarters for their marketing and technical development. (fn. 261) The largest employer of labour from the parish in the 1960s was still the Sawston paper-mill. (fn. 262)
Under Edward I the lord of Whittlesford claimed view of frankpledge, the assize of bread and of ale, estreats, a pillory, tumbrel, and gallows, but by what warrant was unknown. Suit owed from the township to the county court and sheriff's tourn had been withdrawn since 1265. (fn. 263) In 1488 ½ a. was held by serving as hangman. (fn. 264) Court rolls survive, with gaps, for 1391– 1422, 1461–82, 1514–23, and 1553–1618. (fn. 265)
In the late 14th century and the 15th an annual court leet was held on Trinity Monday, and a separate court baron in the autumn or winter. From the mid 16th century courts leet and baron combined were usually held only once a year, sometimes at longer intervals. (fn. 266) In 1391 it was declared that only villeins by birth, not customary tenants, owed suit to the court baron. (fn. 267) The combined court conducted the usual business of minor jurisdiction, agricultural regulation, and transfer of copyhold land. Its by-laws were said to be made with the assent of the whole vill, or of the lord and all free and customary tenants, but in practice business was conducted oligarchically. (fn. 268) In 1564 a man was amerced for revealing the secrets of the chief pledges and homage. (fn. 269) The election of constables, (fn. 270) ale-tasters, (fn. 271) and haywards (fn. 272) was occasionally recorded. In 1519 the court prohibited dice, cards, and other unlawful games on weekdays, (fn. 273) and in 1574 forbade householders to lodge outsiders as inmates. (fn. 274) It was still making orders about common rights in 1766. (fn. 275)
The churchwardens were occasionally mentioned from 1479. (fn. 276) By 1578 they were cutting and lopping willows growing on common land for the benefit of the whole township. (fn. 277) In the late 17th century the parish was apparently managed by a small vestry of five or six, including the churchwardens and constables, who themselves nominated the overseers. (fn. 278) In the 1720s the parish employed a book-keeper to record expenditure on its property. (fn. 279) In the early 19th century the parishioners elected both churchwardens. (fn. 280)
A poor-box had been placed in the chancel, as prescribed by recent legislation, by 1548. (fn. 281) By c. 1600 the former guildhall was being used as a poorhouse or workhouse, to which a superintendent was appointed in 1635. Its able-bodied inmates were set to spinning, and wool was also distributed to poor people to spin into yarn at home. (fn. 282) Putting the poor to work had ceased by 1652, when the overseers were distributing cash to several poor people occasionally throughout the year. (fn. 283) At first the town lands produced enough revenue to support those applying for relief, and rates were needed only to pay for apprenticeships, but by 1680 rates were being regularly levied to meet expenditure that rose from c. £10 a year in the 1660s to c. £40 about 1700, and occasionally almost to £70. (fn. 284) In 1724 the parish bought turf in large quantities, presumably as fuel for the poor. The poor were still sometimes employed in the 18th century, as in 1764 on moving stones. (fn. 285) The guildhall was again in use as a workhouse by 1776, when it had 40 inmates (fn. 286) who cost c. £50. By 1784 expenditure on the poor had reached almost £130. (fn. 287) In 1803 37 people were on permanent relief: the 19 in the workhouse, then being farmed, cost £206, and 18 outside, with, presumably, 18 others occasionally relieved, cost £156. Those outside the workhouse earned c. £5. (fn. 288) The parish also sold rye to the poor at reduced prices, and augmented wages. (fn. 289) By 1813 only 5 or 6 people were in the workhouse and 38 on permanent outside relief, but the cost had risen to £766 because 120 others received occasional support. That number had been cut to 15 by 1815, but expenditure was still almost £520. (fn. 290) Of some £350 spent c. 1830 almost half, £172, went to the sick and aged and widows and children, and c. £60 for occasional relief, while c. £85 was paid to paupers working for the parish. (fn. 291) In 1829 12 unemployed men and boys were doing roadwork. (fn. 292) In 1835 the parish was merged in the Linton poor-law union, (fn. 293) and in 1934 was transferred with the rest of Linton R.D. to the South Cambridgeshire R.D., (fn. 294) being included in South Cambridgeshire in 1974.
The church at Whittlesford, recorded by 1217, (fn. 295) had evidently been founded before the manor was subinfeudated, by one of the main line of the Tonys, with whose manor of Kirtling the advowson descended until the late 14th century. (fn. 296) The church, though a rectory c. 1275, (fn. 297) had previously been sometimes served by vicars, one of whom left land at Sawston to his son's mother. (fn. 298) By grant of Thomas, earl of Warwick (d. 1401) in 1385 (fn. 299) and a papal bull of 1390 the church was appropriated in 1392–3 to St. Mary's college, Warwick. A vicarage was ordained, the advowson being assigned to the college, (fn. 300) which retained it until its dissolution in 1544. (fn. 301) The Crown then exercised the patronage (fn. 302) until 1558 when at the instance of Bishop Thirlby the Crown granted the advowson to Jesus College, Cambridge, (fn. 303) which retained it in 1972. (fn. 304)
The rector had 40 a. of glebe in 1279, (fn. 305) and his church was valued at 25 to 30 marks in the earlier 13th century (fn. 306) and 40 marks in 1276 and 1291. (fn. 307) In 1393 the vicar had 12 a. of glebe and the small tithes and offerings, with plough-alms (elemosina sulcorum) and 'a devotion called certeynes', besides the tithe of the water-mills. (fn. 308) Later he obtained a pension of 2 marks charged on the rectory, which had also to pay 26s. 8d. to a deacon (later confused with a dean) to serve in the church. (fn. 309) The vicar was charged in 1392–3 with repairing the chancel, (fn. 310) but by the 17th century that burden had been transferred to the impropriator. (fn. 311)
The vicar received c. 1800 £30 a year for his small tithes under an ancient modus. (fn. 312) He also had 13s. 4d. from Whittlesford mill. At inclosure he was allotted 65 a. for tithes and 7 a. for glebe. (fn. 313) The vicarage had 76½ a. in 1887, (fn. 314) and still retained 78½ a. in 1972. (fn. 315)
In 1393 the vicar was assigned a hall and chamber in the rectory house, apparently near the church, and a grange and dovecot nearby. (fn. 316) The vicarage house was said in 1728 to be very small and indifferent, (fn. 317) and vicars did not usually live there in the later 18th century. (fn. 318) In 1836 it was called a mere cottage. (fn. 319) By 1851 it had been sold and by 1894 demolished. A new house in North Street (fn. 320) was built in the 1870s. (fn. 321)
The vicarage was worth £10 in 1535, (fn. 322) £23 in 1650, (fn. 323) and c. £27 in 1728. (fn. 324) From 1813 Jesus College substantially increased the income by paying rent for land at Willingham, whose proceeds went to the vicar, (fn. 325) so that he received £170 a year c. 1830. (fn. 326) Further contributions by the college of £200 a year, granted in 1867 and 1872, (fn. 327) raised his income to c. £350 by 1877, (fn. 328) but the glebe brought in only £82 in 1887 and 1897. (fn. 329) When the college's support ceased soon after 1900, the income fell to c. £207. (fn. 330)
In 1351 Henry Cyprian granted land worth 5 marks a year for a chaplain to sing mass at the Virgin Mary's altar in Whittlesford church. Three successive chaplains held that chantry until 1393, when, because no licence in mortmain had been obtained, it was supposedly forfeited to the Crown. (fn. 331) The township apparently recovered the land, which was held in 1432 by feoffees and, having been converted to other purposes, escaped confiscation at the Reformation. (fn. 332) Some 110 a. in Whittlesford called chantry land c. 1540 belonged not to Cyprians but to a chantry at Great Chesterford (Essex), suppressed by 1549. (fn. 333) In 1279 3½ a. were held of the church by providing bread and wine for the Easter Sunday mass. (fn. 334) In 1520 assized rents of c. 5s. were due from of old for the sepulchre light. (fn. 335) In 1500 John Newton left 12 a. to the church for an obit. (fn. 336)
A guild in honour of St. John the Baptist was founded shortly before 1389, when it raised 50s. to repair the church. (fn. 337) The south chapel was called St. John the Baptist's c. 1500. (fn. 338) In 1525 the village guild had a stock of £3. (fn. 339) After the Reformation the parish retained possession of its guildhall, using it as a workhouse, poorhouse, or schoolroom. The building, standing north-east of the cross-roads, is a timber-framed early-16th-century building, having a jettied upper storey with brackets and a carved bressumer and one medieval doorway. In 1966 the parish council sold the building, (fn. 340) which was being renovated in 1972.
Rectors were occasionally recorded from the mid 13th century. Edmund of London, rector 1296–1316 or later, was a pluralist and in the king's service. (fn. 341) Thomas Machye, vicar 1496–1508, had been a fellow of King's and headmaster of Eton, and his successor had a degree in civil law: (fn. 342) in the early 16th century the church was probably served by the curates who witnessed parishioners' wills. (fn. 343) Although Jesus College became patron in 1558, it did not begin to appoint ex-fellows as vicars regularly until 1597. (fn. 344) Between 1600 and 1640 the vicars usually served through curates, one of whom remained in office for over 10 years after being charged with fathering an illegitimate child. (fn. 345) Robert Symons (d. 1622) left a rent-charge of £10 a year from Borough mill, Sawston, for a sermon at Whittlesford every other Sunday. (fn. 346) By the 18th century the vicar had appropriated the money as part of his stipend. (fn. 347)
Robert Clarkson, vicar from 1638 and a fellow of Jesus, was ejected in 1644. (fn. 348) His successor John Swan, not a Jesus man, said to be a good preacher in 1650, (fn. 349) retained the living, in plurality with Sawston, until his death in 1671. (fn. 350) Thereafter until 1807 only two vicars were instituted, (fn. 351) and the living was usually held by sequestration, (fn. 352) perhaps on account of its poverty. In 1792 the incumbent was reckoned as one of the diocese's ten poorest vicars. (fn. 353) In the late 17th century and again from c. 1780 to 1806 the ministers were frequently styled curates. Except from 1771 to 1807 they were usually Jesus men, and frequently fellows. (fn. 354) When one fellow was legally prevented c. 1728 from holding the living, a nominal vicar was instituted, under whom he served the cure. (fn. 355) The sequestrators often did the duty by deputy. Over 20 clergymen signed the register as curates between 1725 and 1747. (fn. 356) Later the ministers usually lived in college, and went out on Sundays to read the service. In 1728 there were two Sunday services, and c. 35 attended the three communion services. In 1775 and 1807 the minister performed only one service, alternately morning and evening, and only c. 20 came to communion in 1807. (fn. 357)
Fellows of Jesus continued to hold the vicarage until 1844, and were still non-resident, occasionally employing curates and not holding more than one service a week until after 1840. In 1825 a congregation of ten at communion was thought unusually large, and some parishioners refused to pay church rates. The prevalence of dissent meant that many did not go to church. In 1836 the congregation seldom exceeded 200; (fn. 358) on Census Sunday 1851, when there were again two services, the afternoon service was attended by 142, besides 78 school children. (fn. 359) The vicars went on living at Cambridge until the 1870s. In 1873 245 people were said to go to church, and the monthly communions had up to 22. (fn. 360) A. C. Jennings, vicar 1877–86, quarrelled sharply with his most prominent parishioners, especially the Maynards, and would not act with them on parish matters. He also alienated Edward Towgood, owner of Sawston paper-mill, who had previously brought his workmen to Whittlesford, but thereupon led them back to Sawston church. (fn. 361) In 1897, although there were c. 60 communicants, only a third of the inhabitants were considered steady church people. (fn. 362) In 1937 it was said that fewer than 250 inhabitants attended church. (fn. 363) E. C. Sherwood, vicar 1933–45, who had served 27 years as a headmaster, turned the large Victorian vicarage house into a training house for ordinands styled St. Andrew's Theological College. Some of its students helped as curates. Sherwood moved the college briefly to Pampisford c. 1946. (fn. 364)
The church of ST. ANDREW, so called in the later Middle Ages, (fn. 365) received the additional name of ST. MARY, patron of the chantry, after the 16th century. (fn. 366) In the late 19th century it was thought to bear the name of St. Barnabas, on whose day the village feast was held. (fn. 367) The church consists of a chancel with south chapel, central tower, and nave with south aisle and porch, and is built of field stones with ashlar dressings. Until stripped c. 1910 the walls were plastered externally. (fn. 368) The Norman church comprised only a nave, central tower, and chancel. The thick north wall of the nave survives, with one round-headed window, and the lower stage of the tower, with four such windows. The south window is surrounded by linear carvings of grotesque creatures. In the 13th century the chancel was rebuilt, with a row of lancets, mostly later blocked, in its north wall; a south aisle, divided from the nave by a three-bay arcade, was added alongside the nave and tower. The nave walls were heightened, and its roof raised, bringing a tower window inside the church. Square openings over the nave arcade may represent clerestory windows of that period. In 1352 the high altar was reconsecrated, (fn. 369) probably after further remodelling, in which two Decorated windows were inserted in the north wall of the nave. The west window, of the same period, formerly contained the arms of Wateville. (fn. 370) The porch was built by Henry Cyprian (fl. 1350). (fn. 371) About 1390 the church, especially its roof, was said to be ruinous. (fn. 372) In the early 15th century new windows were inserted in the south aisle, and the tower was given new arches to the nave and chancel and a taller belfry stage. The tower bore the arms of Scales and, allegedly, Beauchamp. (fn. 373) Its new belfry windows cut off the tops of earlier ones. It is surmounted by a short leaded spire, which was missing in the early 19th century. (fn. 374) By 1500 a two-bay chapel had been built south of the chancel; (fn. 375) the original screens between chancel and chapel survive. (fn. 376) The east windows are probably early-16th-century, that of the chancel once containing the arms of Tilney impaling Playters. (fn. 377) Bequests for glazing the church were made in 1521. (fn. 378)
The plain square font is 13th-century. There are remains of medieval decorative painting in the blocked lancets in the chancel. Fifteenth-century seating, with carved fronts and bench-ends, remains in the nave, and a contemporary desk with poppyheads in the chancel. Fragments of one or more alabaster retables were found in 1876, walled up in the south chapel. (fn. 379) Insets in the nave formerly contained brasses to John Newton (d. 1500) and his two wives. (fn. 380) There are wall-tablets to Mary (d. 1690), wife of Thomas Dod, and William Westley (d. 1723) who endowed the village school.
After the Reformation the south chapel, called c. 1665 the lord's chapel, fell into disrepair. In 1638 the church was overcrowded with prominent parishioners' pews. (fn. 381) In 1783 many windows were decaying and blocked with plaster, their mullions gone. (fn. 382) In 1873 the church contained reserved pews for 87, benches for 117, and a large pew for 90 children at the west end. (fn. 383) The high pews, except for the manorial pew under the tower which survived until 1913, were swept away when the interior was cleaned and restored between 1875 and 1882. (fn. 384) The roofs and external fabric were thoroughly restored between 1905 and 1922. (fn. 385)
The church was well equipped with vessels and vestments in the early 14th century. One vestment had been given by the countess of Warwick, the patron's wife. (fn. 386) In 1552 both chalices and patens were silver gilt. (fn. 387) The plate is of the 19th and 20th centuries. (fn. 388) There were four bells and a sanctus bell in 1552. (fn. 389) There were five bells in 1742 and in the 19th century, (fn. 390) cast in 1631 (by Miles Gray), 1672, 1708, 1730, and 1793. (fn. 391) They were rehung in 1905, and after 1922 there were said to be six. (fn. 392) The registers begin in 1559 and are virtually complete. (fn. 393)
In 1728 there were 5 dissenting families (fn. 394) in Whittlesford, and in 1783 2 or 3 dissenters who worshipped at Fowlmere. (fn. 395) Dissent increased after Ebenezer Hollick (d. 1792) bought the manor. He was a trustee of a Baptist chapel in Cambridge, and allowed the Baptist congregations of Cambridge and Saffron Walden to use the river at Whittlesford for adult baptism. In 1767 c. 40 people, in the white gowns that Hollick kept for the purpose, were dipped near the mill by Andrew Gifford. (fn. 396) The Hollicks remained Baptists and declined to be buried in the churchyard, building a family monument just outside it. (fn. 397) They probably worshipped at Cambridge, (fn. 398) but their principal tenant, William Blow, had his house licensed for dissenting worship in 1800, and in 1809 a building owned by Ebenezer Hollick was similarly licensed. (fn. 399) In 1825 over half the population were Baptists, most of them born and bred in that sect. (fn. 400)
They had then no regular teacher, (fn. 401) and after Hollick died in 1828 they came under the influence of the Duxford Independent church. In 1851 its minister was serving a chapel at Whittlesford, where he reported a congregation of 250 at his evening services. (fn. 402) Whittlesford was a preaching station of Duxford in 1860, when an Independent chapel was registered at Whittlesford. (fn. 403) By 1872 (fn. 404) the Duxford minister was holding monthly communion services in a barn. About 112 people probably attended in 1873, and 250 were chapel-goers in 1877. (fn. 405) About 1875 a congregation, with its own lay pastor, independent of that at Duxford, was established, and a new chapel had been built by 1878. (fn. 406)
Religious dissent was encouraged by the Maynards, (fn. 407) the principal employers in the parish, and in 1897 two-thirds of the inhabitants were dissenters. (fn. 408) In 1903 the congregation had a new red-brick chapel with 325 sittings built by the Duxford road. The old one was used as a Sunday school until it was burnt down in 1918. (fn. 409) The chapel had 80 members and 115 children in its Sunday school in 1905. (fn. 410) Its membership later declined from 96 in 1916 to 41 in 1955, but recovered, as population grew, to 58 in 1968. (fn. 411) By 1970 it was sharing a minister with Sawston and Little Shelford. (fn. 412)
There were a few Methodists in the parish in 1807. (fn. 413) George Barker, who bought the old vicarage, built on the site a Primitive Methodist chapel, which still existed in 1873 (fn. 414) and may have been used by the Independent congregation in the 1870s. (fn. 415)
About 1601 the curate was acting as schoolmaster. (fn. 416) A schoolmaster recorded in 1605 was called a card-player and a fencer, who would not go to church. (fn. 417) The parish had no established school until the 18th century, when William Westley, a Cambridge butcher born at Whittlesford, left by will proved 1723 c. 66 a. at Hempstead (Essex) in reversion to endow a C. of E. school at Whittlesford for 30 boys and 15 girls from poor families, from Duxford and Sawston if there were too few in Whittlesford. (fn. 418) A master was to teach the boys reading, writing, and accounting, and a mistress to teach the girls reading, sewing, and knitting. The surplus income was for apprenticing, books, and clothing the children.
After Westley's widow died in 1737 the land was conveyed in 1741 to trustees, who hired the guildhall as a schoolroom; no Scheme was approved until the 1760s, when the last surviving trustee's heirs tried to appropriate the income. Ebenezer Hollick (d. 1792) had recovered the estate in Chancery by 1768, and in 1771 a Scheme in accordance with Westley's will was made. The endowment produced c. £45 a year in 1771, and £70 in 1825, (fn. 419) including the hire of a schoolroom, the guildhall having been converted by 1770 into a poorhouse. In the early 19th century the boys' and girls' schools were usually held in separate cottages. (fn. 420) In 1854 the boys' schoolroom was in a ruinous shed, once a blacksmith's shop. (fn. 421) About 1810 the master was a bad-tempered onearmed ex-marine, (fn. 422) and the veteran in office in 1854 was thought unlikely to merit a certificate. (fn. 423) In 1825 the boys were taught reading, writing, and arithmetic, the girls sewing and knitting. (fn. 424) Numbers rose from 30 boys and 30 girls in 1818 (fn. 425) to 40 and 42 in 1846. (fn. 426) In 1833 the parish contained two other schools, with 24 pupils paid for by their parents, and one evening school with 10 pupils. (fn. 427)
P. C. M. Haskin, vicar from 1844, wished to reform the charity school, but was long frustrated by the aged trustee, Ebenezer Hollick, 'an old infidel chartist'. About 1854 Haskin sought a Scheme by which the management of the school, freed from the detailed prescriptions in Westley's will, was transferred to the churchwardens, and subscribers. Under the Scheme funds from Westley's endowment, later supplemented by a parliamentary grant, were used to buy a site and build a school-house, completed in 1859, in which a National school, including an infants' department, was then opened. (fn. 428) In 1860 its staff of four included one certificated teacher. (fn. 429) In 1873 there were c. 90 boys and girls, besides 47 infants. The endowment probably yielded £50 of the cost, the remainder being raised from subscriptions and school-pence. (fn. 430) Financial difficulties c. 1888 were met by a voluntary rate, (fn. 431) but that resource had failed by 1897, when the endowment produced only £15 and subscriptions £56. (fn. 432) Attendance at the school, including the infants, declined steadily from a peak of 174 in 1884 to 105 c. 1904, and 75 c. 1927. (fn. 433) The school estate was sold in 1922 for £875, the interest being usually spent thereafter on building repairs. (fn. 434) The school was re-organized in 1930 into junior mixed and infants' departments, the older children being sent to Sawston village college. (fn. 435) Whittlesford school, still C. of E., was moved in 1972 from its old site on the high street to new buildings off Mill Lane, accommodating 300. (fn. 436)
Charities for the Poor.
Whittlesford's principal charity (fn. 439) was formed by combining Cyprian's lands and Swallow's charity. Cyprian's lands, formerly the endowment of a chantry, amounted in 1517 to c. 70 a. (fn. 440) It is not known how the endowment escaped confiscation or was used before 1625, when it was agreed that the money should no longer be used to pay taxes or the king's carriage, but should meet the common charges of the inhabitants. (fn. 441)
Nicholas Swallow, by will proved 1557, left his house and croft, after his widow's death, for the common charges of the town and 20 a. for a dole to the poor at Christmas and Easter. (fn. 442) The trustees entered on 22 a. in 1558. From 1591 to c. 1608, by agreement, they received only a £2 rent-charge for the land, but vindicated their proper title in 1624.
In 1649 Cyprian's and Swallow's lands were settled on the same trustees. In the late 17th century they yielded together c. £6 a year, usually distributed by the overseers. (fn. 443) The combined lands, called the town or poor land, amounted to 94 a. in 1767 and were let for c. £35, (fn. 444) of which £7 was in the 1780s given in cash to the poor at Christmas and Easter, and the remainder used for poor-relief. (fn. 445) In 1815 35 a. were allotted to the charity for general purposes, and 10 a. for the poor's distribution. (fn. 446)
In 1837, when the income was no longer used to relieve the poor-rates, £16 was indiscriminately distributed in cash doles, 2 guineas subscribed to Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, and the rest mainly used for selling coal at reduced prices. In the 1850s up to £20 a year was given in cash among c. 140 families (fn. 447) in proportion to the number of their children. In 1880 122 families, about two-thirds of the population, each received 1¼ cwt. of cheap coal and up to 3s. in money. The charity farm was let from 1789 until c. 1892 to members of the Maynard family, (fn. 448) to which several trustees belonged. In 1880 the vicar complained of favouritism and nepotism, and a Scheme imposed in 1881 made tenants and suppliers ineligible as trustees. In 1900 £9 out of £100 income was spent in doles and £50– 60 in selling coal at half-price to c. 100 people.
A Scheme of 1911 combined the other parish charities with the town lands charity, the income to be spent partly on such public purposes as building cottages and lighting roads, partly in subscriptions to hospitals and provident societies and on apprenticeships, limiting the amount to be spent on doles to the aged poor to £30 a year. In 1925 two cottages were built on the Charity land, and over £40 a year was subscribed to the local coal club. In 1960 the yearly income was c. £180, of which £73 was spent on charitable purposes. After 1968 the old charity farm-house and other cottages were sold, and the proceeds went towards building 15 houses, mostly bungalows, completed in 1971, in Swallow's Close, to be let to young married couples and pensioners. Of £240 yielded by the land in 1970 c. £75 was used for charity, the balance paying mortgages on the new houses.
John Tharbye, by will proved 1617, left a rentcharge of £2 a year for the poor. The charity was known as Scutches after the property charged. (fn. 449) In 1783 it was distributed at Christmas and Easter, (fn. 450) and in 1837 with Swallow's money. Whittlesford also benefited from Lettice Martin's dole, (fn. 451) receiving in 1786 13s. 4d. (fn. 452) and in 1837 £1 6s., distributed to poor widows, and holding £52 17s. worth of stock in 1911, when Scutches and Martin's charities were merged with the town land charity. Scutches rentcharge was redeemed for £30 in 1970.
Land allotted for common rights attached to the guildhall, called the town house in 1837 when it was considered to be a charity, was then let by the parish officers who applied the rent in relief of the rates. Land called Askams, owned by the Huddlestons, then rendered to the township 1 qr. of malt in place of its aftermath. The beer made from the malt was drunk by those beating the bounds of the parish on Ganging Monday. Payment ceased c. 1850. (fn. 453)