A History of the County of Cambridge and the Isle of Ely: Volume 8. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1982.
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The parish (fn. 1) lay on the southern bank of the river Cam or Rhee 8 km. north-west of Royston. It covered 1,023 a. until 1957 when it was united with the neighbouring parish of Shingay as Shingay cum Wendy, covering 725 ha. (1,791 a.) in 1971. (fn. 2) The eastern boundary (fn. 3) follows the Old North Road and the northern boundary the river. The western boundary with Shingay followed the North Ditch. Apart from a strip of alluvium along the river the parish lies mostly on the Gault, with an island of Lower Chalk south-east of the village, above 23 metres. (fn. 4) The extreme south-east of the parish also lies on the Lower Chalk. That part was included after 1937 in Bassingbourn airfield. (fn. 5) The rest of the parish is level and low-lying and the northern edge, along the river, was in the late 18th century liable to flooding. (fn. 6) The loamy soil produced rich pasture land which had been inclosed by the late 17th century and which fed sheep and dairy cattle until ploughed from the later 19th century.
Seventeen inhabitants were recorded in Wendy in 1086 (fn. 7) and 14 contributed to the subsidy there in 1327. (fn. 8) Twenty-six people contributed to the wool levy in 1347, (fn. 9) and probably half of the 166 adults recorded in Wendy and Shingay in 1377 lived in Wendy. (fn. 10) Numbers were perhaps already falling by 1524 when 22 people paid the subsidy there, (fn. 11) and only 16 households were recorded in 1563. (fn. 12) The two parishes had c. 50 adults in 1660, (fn. 13) and 37 communicants in 13 households in 1674 and in 1676, (fn. 14) most of whom were presumably in Wendy. (fn. 15) Numbers had risen by the mid 18th century when Wendy had c. 100 inhabitants. (fn. 16) In 1794 there were c. 20 families there, (fn. 17) and numbers gradually rose in the 19th century from 109 in 1801 to 154 in 1851, falling slightly to 127 in 1891 and then more rapidly to 66 by 1931. In 1971 there were 103 inhabitants in the united parish of Shingay cum Wendy. (fn. 18)
There was only one centre of settlement in Wendy parish, near to the river c. 1½ km. from the Old North Road. Close to the village were two moated sites. The church stood in the centre of the settlement until its demolition c. 1950. The walled churchyard was still maintained in 1979 when the old school building was used as a church. From the early 19th century Road Farm on the eastern boundary, and Hall Farm, later engulfed by the airfield, stood outside the village.
The village lies along the road from the Old North Road to Shingay and Steeple and Guilden Morden, the only road to cross the parish in modern times. Until the early 19th century it seems to have run south of its modern course through the village, leaving the church to the north. In 1827 both the old and new courses were in use, but by 1836 the road followed the modern line. There then remained a small green near Church Farm. (fn. 19) In 1850 a road ran south-east from the western end of the village to Bassingbourn; it survived in 1919 (fn. 20) and was presumably closed by the development of Bassingbourn airfield, as was a track leading to Hall Farm. A road between Vine and Road farms probably disappeared in the late 19th century. (fn. 21)
The Cox family kept an inn at Wendy, the Windsor Arms next to the church, at least from 1809 until 1851. (fn. 22) No inn has been recorded since then. There was a shop in Wendy at times during the 19th century. (fn. 23)
Manors and other Estates.
In 1066 Eddeva held 4¾ hides in Wendy, 1 hide being held of her by 6 sokemen. By 1086 all her land there was held of Count Alan by Odo his chamberlain. (fn. 24) The overlordship of Alan's honor of Richmond is recorded until the 16th century. (fn. 25) By 1130 Odo had been succeeded by his son Robert the chamberlain who held land in Wendy. (fn. 26) Robert's sons George and Niel both died without issue and in 1191 Niel was succeeded by the representatives of his sisters. Those sisters probably numbered five. (fn. 27)
One sister, Avice, apparently married a member of the Engaine family. (fn. 28) Part of a fee in Wendy was held c. 1230 by William Engaine, probably of Waresley (Hunts.). Agnes, widow of his son Robert (fl. 1249), (fn. 29) in 1262 gave a third of a manor in Wendy, which she claimed as dower, to the Knights Hospitallers, (fn. 30) whose preceptory of Shingay held land in Wendy of the honor of Richmond in 1276 and later. (fn. 31) It descended with Shingay manor (fn. 32) until c. 1645 when it was bought with Wendy rectory by Thomas Chicheley and united with the other Wendy manors. (fn. 33)
Tiffany, another sister of Niel the chamberlain, married Tibbald son of Fulk (d. c. 1199) whose son Fulk held part of the Richmond fee in Wendy in the early 13th century. (fn. 34) Fulk was dead by 1221 (fn. 35) and c. 1230 his son Ralph held land in Wendy later known as FITZRALPHS manor. (fn. 36) Ralph's son, also Ralph, was taken at Kenilworth in 1265 and his confiscated land was granted to William Giffard. (fn. 37) Part of that land apparently remained with Giffard and descended with his other Wendy lands, (fn. 38) still being said in 1420 to be held of FitzRalphs. (fn. 39) Ralph FitzRalph, however, regained the rest of his Wendy estate and in 1299 settled it on his brother William who held the manor c. 1302. (fn. 40) Most of William's Cambridgeshire lands were settled on his elder son Ralph, (fn. 41) but the Wendy manor passed with lands in Hertfordshire to his younger son William FitzRalph, also known as William Bradfield, who held FitzRalphs in 1316. (fn. 42) William was succeeded by his son, also William, by 1346. (fn. 43) The younger William left two daughters, but his heir male was another William FitzRalph (fl. 1383) whose son, also William, held the manor in 1412. (fn. 44) The latter was dead by 1427 when his heirs, his cousins John Hughesson and Elizabeth, wife of John Clerk of Ardeley (Herts.), quitclaimed their rights to John Clerk of London and Thomas Clerk. (fn. 45) By 1428 FitzRalphs had passed to John Tyrell. (fn. 46) It was presumably sold by him to Robert Clopton and by 1465 was held with other Wendy manors. (fn. 47)
In 1299 the manor was held of the FitzRalphs by William of Brompton for life, (fn. 48) and passed presumably from John of Brompton (d. 1340) to George of Brompton (fl. 1347). (fn. 49) Part of the Wendy estate was later known as BROMPTONS manor. (fn. 50)
Another of Niel's sisters, perhaps Ivette, married Conan; by 1201 their son Henry had quitclaimed his lands in Cambridgeshire to Henry son of Hervey of Ravensworth. (fn. 51) That Henry's younger son John held land in Wendy c. 1230, perhaps of his elder brother Ranulph, and that land presumably descended with Cherry Hinton successively to John's sons Henry and John (d. by 1283). (fn. 52) By 1302 it was probably held as ¼ fee by John Coleman, and in 1346 by his son also John. (fn. 53) The latter may be identified with John Wodehouse, lord of part of Wendy in 1347. (fn. 54) By 1428 Coleman's ¼ fee was held by John Tyrell. (fn. 55) It had perhaps been subinfeudated. Cherry Hinton eventually passed to William of Brompton and in 1340 John of Brompton's Wendy lands included 15 a. held of John Wodehouse. (fn. 56) The ¼ fee presumably descended from the 15th century with Tyrell's other lands in Wendy. (fn. 57)
Beatrice, another of Niel's sisters, married first Richard de Cormeilles (d. 1177) and secondly Robert de Lisle (fl. 1206). Her rights in Wendy descended to her son Walter de Cormeilles (d. c. 1217). (fn. 58) Walter's heirs were his five daughters, and Wendy passed to Sibyl who married first Ralph Belet (fl. 1212) and secondly Hugh Giffard (fn. 59) who held part of a fee in Wendy c. 1235. (fn. 60) Hugh's sons, Walter, archbishop of York (d. 1279), and Godfrey, bishop of Worcester (d. 1302), were succeeded by John, son of their brother William Giffard, probably the William who had acquired FitzRalphs in 1265. (fn. 61) John was succeeded in 1319 by his son John, a rebel in 1322 (fn. 62) who died holding the Wendy land in 1327. His heir was his son, also John Giffard, a minor, (fn. 63) who died before 1346 when ⅓ fee in Wendy was held by his brother William. (fn. 64) William's land seems to have passed by 1347 to Geoffrey Seman. (fn. 65) In 1351 Seman gave a messuage and 2 carucates in Wendy to the king who immediately regranted them to King's Hall, Cambridge. (fn. 66) By 1381 however that land, later known as GAMBONS manor, had passed to Cecily wife of William Gambon (d. 1394). (fn. 67) Their son Richard died in 1400 while still a minor. His son, also Richard, (fn. 68) died in 1420 leaving as heir his uncle John Gambon (fn. 69) who in 1428 held the Giffard fee in Wendy. (fn. 70) John Gambon probably sold the manor to Robert Clopton (fn. 71) and from 1465 it passed with the other Wendy manors. (fn. 72)
Land near Lordship Close, the moated site northeast of the village, was in the mid 19th century known as Gammons Grove: it was presumably the site of Gambons manor house. (fn. 73)
Another estate in Wendy probably descended from a fifth sister of Niel's. In the early 13th century Roger senz Manche (sine manica) held part of the Richmond fee there (fn. 74) and in 1212 claimed rights in the advowson of Wendy along with Ralph Belet. (fn. 75) Roger's estate in Wendy apparently descended to Alice senz Manche (or Mauntel) who held part of a fee there c. 1235. (fn. 76) By 1302 her land may have passed to Eleanor, daughter of Bartholomew Thornton and wife of Ralph FitzRalph, who held ½ fee there. (fn. 77) In 1336 and 1346 her second husband John de Regges held her land in Wendy. (fn. 78) After his death it presumably descended from Eleanor's son Richard FitzRalph and with the manor of Shepreth eventually passed to the Tyrell family. (fn. 79)
By 1428 John Tyrell and John Gambon held most of the land in Wendy, (fn. 80) and by 1445 both their estates had been acquired by Robert Clopton, lately mayor of London (d. 1448). (fn. 81) Wendy seems to have been settled on Clopton's daughter Alice who married Henry Chicheley (d. 1490) and held Bromptons, FitzRalphs, and Gambons manors with him by 1465. (fn. 82) They were succeeded by their son Henry (d. 1518), whose wife Elizabeth held Wendy as dower, and then by Henry's brother William. Wendy had been settled in 1516 on the marriage of William's son Thomas (fn. 83) (d. 1558) and it descended with his Wimpole estate (fn. 84) to Thomas's son Clement (d. c. 1576) and grandson Thomas (d. 1592), having been settled for life on the latter's wife Anne who later married Thomas St. John. (fn. 85) Thomas Chicheley's son, also Thomas, died in 1616 and his son Sir Thomas Chicheley came of age in 1635. (fn. 86) Having acquired the rectory estate and the Hospitallers' Wendy estate c. 1645 he sold the whole parish to Sir Thomas Wendy in 1655. (fn. 87)
Sir Thomas Wendy died in 1673, and under his will the estate passed, after the life interest of his widow Lettice (fl. 1692), to the descendants of his sister Susan, wife of Thomas Stewart. (fn. 88) Her daughter Sarah died unmarried c. 1697 (fn. 89) and Sarah's moiety passed to her great-nieces Letitia, who died soon after, and Mary Kemp. The other moiety had passed from Elizabeth Stewart, wife of Sir Robert Kemp of Finchingfield (Essex), to Letitia her daughter by a second marriage to Robert King of Great Thurlow (Suff.). Letitia (d. by 1699) married Sir Robert Kemp of Gissing (Norf.) who in 1707 held her moiety of Wendy and in 1716 settled it on his daughter Mary, who had already inherited the other moiety, and her husband Sir Edmund Bacon of Garboldisham (Norf.). (fn. 90) In 1722 they sold the re-united estate to Edward Russell, earl of Orford (d. 1727). Wendy then descended with Shingay manor (fn. 91) to Letitia and Samuel Sandys. (fn. 92) On her death in 1779 Lady Sandys left Wendy for life to her daughter Letitia, who by will proved 1784 left it to her sister Anne Bethell, with remainder to their brother Edwin, Lord Sandys. (fn. 93)
Lady Sandys's sister Catherine Tipping had married Thomas Archer, and their daughter, also Catherine, married Other Lewis Windsor, earl of Plymouth (d. 1771), to whose second son, Thomas Windsor, Edwin, Lord Sandys, left Wendy on his death in 1797. (fn. 94) Windsor died in 1832 leaving Wendy in trust for the two youngest sons, John (d. 1856) and Joseph (d. 1870), of his sister Elizabeth, wife of Gore Townsend, for their lives and then to their nephew William, second son of Harriet Townsend and Sir Grey Skipwith, Bt. In 1850 the whole parish except for the vicarial glebe belonged to the Townsend trustees and from 1870 to Capt. William Skipwith. (fn. 95) After the latter's death without surviving issue in 1907 Wendy was held by representatives of his brothers' families who sold the land in 1919 to its farmers. (fn. 96)
Traces of a moat remain around Vine Farm, built on the site of the former great house. In 1674 that house, the home of the dowager Lady Wendy, had 10 hearths. (fn. 97) By the late 18th century it was used as a farmhouse, and was being demolished piecemeal as building materials were needed. (fn. 98) Known in 1836 as Wendy Old Farm, (fn. 99) by 1851 it had been divided into tenements, (fn. 100) and it was said to have been later demolished. The present Vine Farm, however, a timber framed structure of 17th-century origin, is probably part of the great house, remodelled in the 19th century and again in the 20th. Thomas Windsor started to build a house north of Vine Farm but the work never progressed beyond the foundations. (fn. 101)
In 1250 Warin of Bassingbourn held 1 yardland in Wendy of Sibyl of Croydon. (fn. 102) In 1348 Sir Warin of Bassingbourn, not a descendant, died holding 30 a. in Wendy of the honor of Richmond. (fn. 103) It was perhaps the estate of c. 40 a. in Wendy held by Sibyl's successor Sir William Heron of that honor in 1379 (fn. 104) which descended with Croydon manor and was last recorded in 1545. (fn. 105)
In 1066 Goda held 1 yardland in Wendy of Earl Alfgar. By 1086 it was held by Alured of Hardwin de Scalers. (fn. 106) In 1208 it was in dispute between the two branches of the Scalers family. (fn. 107) It may be identified with the yardland that Maud of Dunton held there c. 1235. (fn. 108) It has not been traced later.
In 1306 Walter Langton, bishop of Coventry and Lichfield (d. 1321), was granted free warren on his demesne lands including Wendy (fn. 109) where he held land in 1316. (fn. 110) In 1318 Thomas Langton was one of the highest taxpayers in the parish, (fn. 111) but the family does not occur there later.
In 1552 the Crown sold 40 a. in Wendy given for an anniversary in Bassingbourn church. (fn. 112)
In 1086 Odo's estate of 4 hides and 3 yardlands had 2 demesne plough teams and 4 servi, while 6 villani and 5 bordars had 4 plough teams. The estate included sufficient meadow and woodland. It had fallen in value from £10 in 1066 to £6 before rising again to £8, but Alured's yardland, worked by 2 bordars, had retained its value. (fn. 113)
In 1328 the later Gambons manor had 80 a. of demesne arable and 4 a. of meadow (fn. 114) and the Hospitallers' demesne was of a similar size in 1338. (fn. 115) By 1420 Gambons demesne included 110 a. of arable, 10 a. of pasture, and 4 a. of meadow. (fn. 116) Only 69 sheep were recorded on Odo's demesne in 1086, (fn. 117) but by 1347 there were up to 700 sheep in Wendy over half of which were on the demesnes, the largest flock belonging to Gambons manor. (fn. 118)
By 1328 the 4 villeins and 8 cottars holding of Gambons seem to have commuted their labour services for money payments. There were also some free tenants. (fn. 119) In the mid 15th century Robert Clopton's estate was let to farm, (fn. 120) and by 1524 there seem to have been 7 substantial yeomen in the parish as well as c. 10 men taxed on £1 worth of goods and 5 wage labourers. (fn. 121) In the mid 16th century the parish was divided between six main farms, as it was a century later. (fn. 122)
By the mid 17th century although the arable still lay in open fields some strips within them seem to have been inclosed, disturbing the customary cow and sheep commons. (fn. 123) There were also pasture closes in the north near the river. (fn. 124) By the later 17th century most of the parish had apparently been inclosed. (fn. 125)
In the 16th and 17th centuries the major arable crop was barley, and wheat, oats, and pease were also grown. Cattle were important in the local economy by 1599 when a lack of fodder caused much hardship. Some farms kept dairy cattle in the 17th century, and in 1718 a dairyman was recorded in Wendy. (fn. 126) In the late 18th century, besides being known for the dairy cattle kept on its rich pastures, the parish supported a flock of c. 650 sheep. (fn. 127) The arable was then cultivated on a four-course rotation including a fallow and producing barley, oats, wheat, peas, beans, and clover and tares. (fn. 128)
In the early 18th century there were four large farms and a smaller dairy farm, (fn. 129) and in the early 19th century there were five farms; the smallest, South farm, seems after c. 1831 to have been absorbed in Hall farm which, with Vine, Road, and Church farms, occurs throughout the 19th century. (fn. 130) Vine farm was held by the Jackson family from before 1811 until 1873, and the Russell family held Road farm from 1814, later acquiring Hall and Vine farms. (fn. 131) Hall farm, in the south, was the largest, covering c. 300 a.; Vine farm included c. 260 a. in the middle and north, Road farm c. 200 a. in the east, and Church farm c. 150 a. in the north and around the village. (fn. 132)
In 1850 there were only c. 270 a. of arable, all in the south part of the parish, and c. 670 a. of meadow and pasture. (fn. 133) By 1875, however, much of the grass had been ploughed up and Hall and Vine farms, then leased together, had c. 345 a. of arable and only 154 a. of pasture. The arable was farmed on a five-course rotation producing corn, turnips and other roots, grass, peas, and beans. (fn. 134) Shepherds were recorded in the 1860s (fn. 135) and Hall and Vine farms still kept c. 200 sheep in the late 19th century, besides a small dairy herd. (fn. 136) In 1907 Road farm had c. 150 sheep and 40 cattle. (fn. 137) The area of grass continued to decline, and by 1919 there was twice as much arable as pasture in Wendy. Vine farm then had c. 105 a. of pasture and 156 a. of arable but the other farms had a lower proportion of grass. (fn. 138) Only a quarter of Vine farm was pasture by 1932 but it was still described as suitable for dairying. (fn. 139) From 1950 most of Wendy has belonged to Mr. Sydney Bath who in 1979 farmed over 1,000 a. there and in Shingay from Church Farm. The main crops were then wheat, barley, and potatoes, and there was no dairying. (fn. 140)
The parish has always been entirely agricultural and any craftsmen such as the tailor recorded in the late 14th century and the carpenter in the early 18th have served the agricultural community. (fn. 141) Throughout the 19th century almost all the inhabitants were employed on the land, carpenters and dressmakers being the only other recorded workers. (fn. 142) In the 1870s coprolite digging provided employment for a few men, (fn. 143) but by the 1890s the lack of employment was driving many young people to leave the parish. (fn. 144) In the 1960s the only local employment was still in farming. (fn. 145)
Two mills were recorded at Wendy in 1086 (fn. 146) and there was a miller in 1286. (fn. 147) There was a water mill on the FitzRalph estate in the 14th century (fn. 148) and a miller was recorded in 1568, (fn. 149) but no mill has been traced later.
In 1275 Wendy owed suit at the tourn of the honor of Richmond, but the preceptory of Shingay, which held land of that honor, had withdrawn from its tourn some years before. (fn. 150) In 1334 the tourn was held in Wendy and the vill was represented by three customary tenants. The honor had assize of bread and of ale there, and regulated watercourses, besides hearing cases of assault. (fn. 151) It still held a court and view of frankpledge in the 15th century. (fn. 152)
In the mid 17th century the vestry appointed a constable and presumably, as in the early 18th century, a surveyor of highways, an overseer of the poor, and a churchwarden. In 1665 the constable was put in charge of the town stocks. (fn. 153) In 1773 three poorhouses were rented from the lord by the parish, (fn. 154) and in the late 18th and early 19th century the overseer paid rent for a cottage known as the townhouse. He also distributed some weekly doles, besides food, clothing, fuel, and medicine. The poor rate rose from 1s. 6d. to 2s. 6d. in the £ between 1789 and 1809 when c. £90 was spent on the poor. (fn. 155) Few people received permanent relief and Wendy's expenditure on the poor, which fluctuated between c. £47 and c. £112, was always amongst the lowest in the hundred. (fn. 156) In 1831 labourers were apportioned among the farmers so that there was generally no unemployment, and land was let free to them to grow potatoes. (fn. 157) In 1834 one inhabitant was helped to emigrate to America, and in 1836 widows and children unable to work still received cash payments. (fn. 158) In 1834 Wendy joined the Royston poor law union (fn. 159) and in 1894 the Melbourn rural district. (fn. 160) In 1934 it became part of the South Cambridgeshire R.D. (fn. 161) In 1956 it was united with Shingay (fn. 162) and in 1979 the parish of Shingay cum Wendy was part of the South Cambridgeshire district.
Robert the chamberlain gave Wendy church to the monks of Ely whom he had established at Denny before 1159, and with Denny it was transferred to the Knights Templars by c. 1170. (fn. 163) It was probably appropriated by 1278 when Ely priory was granted an annual payment of 4 marks from the Templars' lands in Wendy and elsewhere. (fn. 164) After 1311, following the suppression of the Templars, Wendy church passed with their Denny land to the Hospitaller preceptory at Shingay. (fn. 165) The rectory and the advowson of the vicarage thereafter descended with Shingay manor until c. 1645 when they were sold to Thomas Chicheley, and then with Wendy manor until the early 19th century. (fn. 166) The rectory estate was then indistinguishable from the lands of the united Wendy manors: the great tithes were formally merged with those lands in 1850. (fn. 167) From the 1830s the advowson belonged to trustees of Thomas Windsor's settlement, who by 1891 had granted it to the Church Patronage Society (fn. 168) with which it remained.
In the mid 12th century the prior of Barnwell claimed Wendy church, but no other connexion with Barnwell has been traced. (fn. 169)
The church was valued at 12 marks in the early 13th century, at 29 marks in 1254, and at £16 13s. 4d. in 1276. (fn. 170) A vicarage was ordained by 1278 and in 1291 was worth £4 13s. 4d. (fn. 171) From 1312 the vicar received an augmentation of 2½ marks; (fn. 172) in 1453 the living was worth no more than 12 marks (fn. 173) and in 1535 £5 10s. 9d. (fn. 174) The vicar also received a payment of 20s. a year from Bassingbourn rectory, still made in the late 17th century. (fn. 175) By 1650 the vicarage was worth £22 a year (fn. 176) and in the mid 18th century c. £50. (fn. 177) By c. 1830 its annual income was £200 (fn. 178) and despite an augmentation in 1828 it was still £200 in 1873. (fn. 179)
In 1308 the corn tithes of Wendy with the glebe corn yielded £15 13s. 4d. (fn. 180) In the early 17th century the vicar received 38s. 4d. a year from the rectory estate, apparently in lieu of small tithes, and 7 bushels of wheat from the farmers, in addition to all tithe hay and dues called garden penny and plough penny. (fn. 181) In 1683 it was agreed that the vicar should receive £40 a year in place of all tithes, (fn. 182) a payment recorded in the late 18th century. (fn. 183) In 1851 the vicarial tithes were commuted for a rentcharge of £140 10s. (fn. 184)
In 1637 the vicar had c. 5 a. of glebe and in 1656 besides 4 a. of arable he had 4 cow and 10 sheep commons. (fn. 185) In 1688 the 4 a. were leased to the rectory estate, the vicar retaining the vicarage close and an orchard and the grass from c. 5½ a. of inclosed pasture. (fn. 186) In 1828 Thomas Windsor and Queen Anne's Bounty gave the living £2,400 worth of land amounting to c. 23 a.; (fn. 187) in 1850 there were 32 a. of glebe, mostly north-east of Church farm, (fn. 188) and 30½ a. in 1887. (fn. 189) It was sold in the mid 20th century. (fn. 190)
The vicarage house once stood in Dovehouse Close, perhaps that in 1850 called Vicarage close north of the lane leading to Vine Farm. By 1637 a new house had been built east of the church. (fn. 191) In 1674 it had seven hearths. (fn. 192) By the 1780s it was in poor repair, (fn. 193) and was rebuilt by Thomas Windsor, probably soon after 1828 when the Queen Anne's Bounty estate included four rooms adjoining the house. (fn. 194) The new house, with gothic bow-windows, was probably extended later in the 19th century and was sold in 1949. (fn. 195)
A rector of Wendy was recorded in 1226 (fn. 196) and vicars occur from the late 13th century. (fn. 197) From the 16th century the vicar of Wendy also served Shingay. (fn. 198) A curate was recorded in the 1540s when the vicar was also resident, (fn. 199) but the cure was vacant in 1560. (fn. 200) George Leathley served at Wendy for 49 years from 1576 (fn. 201) and Seth Pavy, a member of the Cambridge classis in the 1650s, was minister from 1625 to 1663. (fn. 202) In 1669 Sir Thomas Wendy was said to be instrumental in opposing dissent in the parish, and by 1676 there were no Protestant nonconformists and only one Catholic there. (fn. 203)
Thomas Ashburner, vicar 1719–35, was licensed for non-residence because of the poverty of the living. (fn. 204) In 1775 the vicar was also non-resident but he kept a curate at Wendy as did his successor Henry Rigby, vicar 1777–1819, who lived at Salisbury. (fn. 205) In 1775, and in 1807 when the curate lived at Bassingbourn, there was one Sunday service at Wendy and thrice-yearly communions with c. 7 communicants. (fn. 206) By 1825 the curate held two Sunday services. (fn. 207) G. W. E. Philips, an American who was vicar from 1827 to 1866, himself held from the 1830s 2 or 3 Sunday services and 6 communions a year with c. 35 communicants. He personally catechized the Sunday school children, and also employed a curate. (fn. 208) In 1851 c. 150 people attended the morning and 240 the afternoon services. (fn. 209) By 1873 there were monthly (fn. 210) and by the 1890s weekly communions, and there were then, as well as a Sunday school, a bible class and a choir. (fn. 211)
From 1943 Wendy with Shingay was held with Croydon with Clopton and later with other neighbouring parishes. From 1974 it was served by the Shingay team. (fn. 212)
The church of ST. MARY, so called in 1537, was later known as ALL SAINTS. (fn. 213) Little is known of the medieval church, part of which may have dated from the early 12th century. (fn. 214) In 1522 Sir Thomas Sheffield, preceptor of Shingay, rebuilt the chancel, and perhaps the whole church. His arms and a St. John's cross remained in the east window in 1684. (fn. 215) That church apparently had a steeple. (fn. 216) It was in poor repair in 1561 (fn. 217) and in 1638 the chancel was decayed and unsafe. It was then ordered that two steps be made for the altar, and high seats in the chancel be taken down. (fn. 218) In 1644 William Dowsing ordered the steps to be levelled again and removed a cross from the chancel. (fn. 219)
By 1734 the church was ruinous and a faculty was obtained to rebuild it. (fn. 220) The new church, completed by Samuel Sandys in 1737, was a small stuccoed stone building, 45 ft. by 22 ft., with a Venetian east window, three round-headed windows in each side, and a bell turret at the west end. Some monuments from the previous church were incorporated in the building. (fn. 221) It remained in good repair until the 1830s, (fn. 222) but by the 1850s cracks had appeared in the walls and two buttresses built against the west end failed to stop its deterioration; by 1863 the church was too dangerous to use and a nearby barn was licensed for worship. The old building was taken down and a new church was opened on the same site in 1866. Built to the design of R. R. Rowe it incorporated in its west wall the Sandys arms and perhaps the clock from the previous church. The new church was in the Early English style, of ashlar with stone dressings. It had a chancel with south vestry, a three-bay nave with a bell turret at the west end, and a west porch. The double hammer beam nave roof was that from All Saints in the Jewry, Cambridge, taken down in 1865. The new font was a replica of one found during the excavation of the old foundations. (fn. 223) The porch was rebuilt in 1871. (fn. 224) Despite efforts to ensure that the new church was built on adequate foundations it too was cracking within 80 years, and it was demolished c. 1950. (fn. 225) Services were subsequently held in the mission church at Shingay until 1972 when the old school in Wendy was converted and consecrated as a church. (fn. 226)
A silver cup and two patens, all dated 1676 and probably given by Lady Wendy (d. 1696), survived c. 1960. (fn. 227) In 1552 the church had recently sold a bell and three remained. (fn. 228) The single modern bell from the last church was, after 1950, taken to Church Farm from where it was stolen in 1970. (fn. 229) The registers start in 1550. (fn. 230)
There was a schoolmaster at Wendy c. 1720. (fn. 234) There was no school there in 1807 (fn. 235) but 11 girls and 9 boys were taught in 1818 at a reading school, (fn. 236) perhaps the Sunday school where in 1825 children from Wendy and Shingay were taught to read the scriptures. (fn. 237)
In 1828 Thomas Windsor built a school in Wendy and in 1832 he granted it to trustees with a rent charge of £30 a year to pay a teacher to instruct poor children in reading, writing, and the principles of the established church. In 1833 it was attended by 10 boys and 15 girls. (fn. 238) In 1846 c. 50 children attended the day school and a further 30 a Sunday school. (fn. 239) By 1873 there was also an evening school. (fn. 240) The school was rebuilt in 1875 when c. 38 children attended it. (fn. 241) Numbers remained at c. 30 until the 1890s, (fn. 242) falling thereafter to 19 by 1902. (fn. 243) In 1904 the school was closed and the children were temporarily transferred to Wimpole and Guilden Morden. (fn. 244) The Wendy and Shingay District Church of England school was reopened in 1906 (fn. 245) with accommodation for 50 boys, girls, and infants. Attendance remained at c. 23 until 1926 when the seniors were transferred to Bassingbourn. In 1927 the average attendance was 13, and in 1931 the remaining children were transferred to Bassingbourn and the school was closed. (fn. 246) The building, at the east end of the village, has been used since 1972 as a church and village hall. (fn. 247)
Charities for the Poor.
From the late 18th century the interest on £2 given to the poor was distributed by the churchwarden. It had been lost by 1863. (fn. 248)