A History of the County of Northampton: Volume 5, the Hundred of Cleley. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 2002.
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The ancient parish of Passenham occupied some 3,250 acres in the extreme south of Cleley hundred, adjoining Buckinghamshire on the south-east, from which it was separated by the river Great Ouse. On the south-west the boundary with Wicken ran partly through fields near the Ouse but mainly along a tributary, Kings Brook. In the north-west Passenham abutted the detached Oxfordshire parish of Lillingstone Lovell (transferred to Buckinghamshire in 1832-44) (fn. 1) and on its northern side had an irregular boundary with Potterspury and a detached portion of Cosgrove (added to Potterspury in 1883). (fn. 2) For about a mile on the north-east Watling Street formed the boundary between Passenham and Furtho (or, for a short distance near the Ouse, Cosgrove).
The civil parish of Passenham was renamed Deanshanger in 1948 (without any change in boundary), and in 1951 the south-eastern portion of the parish was transferred to the newly established civil parish of Old Stratford. (fn. 3) Ecclesiastical parish boundaries were unaffected by these changes. (fn. 4)
The southern end of the parish, in the Ouse valley, lies about 220 ft. above sea level. From there the ground rises steadily to reach about 400 ft. in the north. The north and west of the parish is covered by Boulder Clay, but a large area of limestone is exposed in the Kings Brook valley, and the lowland in the south-east lies on gravel and alluvium. (fn. 5)
In 1301 50 households in the vill of Passenham (which must include Deanshanger, Puxley and Old Stratford) were assessed to the lay subsidy. (fn. 6) Almost exactly the same figure occurs in the 1520s, when there 19 households assessed to the subsidy in Passenham itself, 26 in Deanshanger, three in Puxley and two in Old Stratford. (fn. 7) A total of 137 households were assessed to the hearth tax in Deanshanger and Passenham in 1674 (when Old Stratford was assessed separately), including 44 charged in Deanshanger, 19 charged in Passenham, and 74 (not divided between the two, although most were probably in Deanshanger) discharged through poverty. (fn. 8) There were about 120 houses in the parish in the early 18th century. (fn. 9) The population was 685 in 1801, from which there was a steady increase to 1,149 in 1891, followed by a decline to 914 in 1931, the last census before the boundary change of 1951. The population of Deanshanger after the removal of Old Stratford and the hamlet of Passenham was 1,065 in 1961, which rose sharply to 2,707 twenty years later.
Apart from Watling Street, the only main road through the parish is that which leaves the Roman road just north of the point at which it crosses the Ouse at Stony Stratford (where the road to Northampton also branches off to the north) and runs south-west to Buckingham. Watling Street was turnpiked under an Act of 1707, (fn. 10) the road to Buckingham not until 1815. (fn. 11)
In 1800 a branch of the Grand Junction Canal was opened between Old Stratford and Buckingham, which ran along the Ouse valley through the parish, with wharves at three places in Deanshanger. (fn. 12) In decline by 1900 (fn. 13) and closed shortly before the Second World War, most of the bed of the canal was later reabsorbed into adjoining farmland, (fn. 14) although in the 1990s a society was formed to campaign for the rebuilding of the branch.
In 1887 the Wolverton, Stony Stratford & District Light Railways Co. Ltd., which early that year opened a 3 ft. 6 in. gauge steam tramway between those places, mainly to carry men to the railway works, obtained powers to extend the line alongside the road through Old Stratford to Deanshanger, ending on the Green near the Fox & Hounds. The hope was to attract both passengers (probably chiefly men going to Wolverton, with perhaps some general traffic to the shops at Stony Stratford) and goods, especially from E. & H. Roberts's ironworks, to which a spur was laid. (fn. 15) The extension was authorised to be opened to passengers and goods in May 1888, with a through fare from Deanshanger to Wolverton of 4d. (fn. 16) Within little more than a year, however, the company was compulsorily wound up and the entire line closed. (fn. 17) A new syndicate later reopened the portion from Stony Stratford to Wolverton but the extension, which had been built privately by the contractor, financed by a mortgage for £15,000 secured on the undertaking, and leased to the company, was sold off. E. & H. Roberts bought a waiting room at Old Stratford for £105 (fn. 18) and later acquired all the rails from Stony Stratford to Deanshanger for £210. (fn. 19) Edward Hayes, the Stony Stratford boatbuilder, attributed the failure of the company chiefly to the decision to build the extension to Deanshanger, through country 'not sufficiently populous for a tramway'. (fn. 20)
Landscape and Settlement.
Iron Age settlement has been found on the Boulder Clay in two places in the extreme west of the parish, in East Ashalls Coppice and West Ashalls Coppice, the latter also occupied in the Roman period. Some Iron Age pottery was also found on the site of a Roman villa on the river gravels south-east of Deanshanger excavated in 1957 and 1972, which was occupied between the 1st and 3rd centuries. (fn. 21) A hoard of between 50 and 60 silver and gilt bronze plaques and other objects, possibly associated with an undiscovered Roman temple, was found in a field between Passenham and Old Stratford in 1789. (fn. 22) Minor Roman discoveries have been made in several other places in the parish. (fn. 23)
In 921 Edward the Elder had the fortress at Towcester occupied and fortified. The same summer the Danes from Northampton and Leicester besieged Towcester but failed to take it. As a result, in the autumn Edward went with the levies of Wessex to Passenham and encamped there while Towcester was being reinforced with a stone wall. While there he received the submission of the Danes from Northampton. (fn. 24) Morton's suggestion that an almost square earthwork near the ford which crosses the Ouse at Passenham might be the site of Edward's camp has been shown to be mistaken: the site is probably that of a medieval moated predecessor to the 17th-century manor house nearby. (fn. 25) On various occasions since 1873 skeletons have been discovered at the rectory in Passenham, which have been speculatively linked with Edward's camp there, but the only pottery found in association with the burials has been dated to the 5th century. (fn. 26)
A charter of 937, believed in the past to refer to an estate whose bounds appear to correspond to those of the townships of Puxley and Deanshanger within Passenham parish, in fact relates to Water Newton (Hunts.). (fn. 27)
The Four Townships.
The earliest postRoman settlement in the parish was presumably at the site later occupied by St. Guthlac's church on the left bank of the Ouse about a mile upstream from Stony Stratford bridge. A village developed here, including a manor house, water-mill and a few other houses, on either side of a lane leading off the Buckingham road, but the main settlement in the parish, certainly by the 16th century, (fn. 28) was at Deanshanger, on the main road about a mile to the west, at a junction with the road to Wicken, where the Buckingham road crosses Kings Brook. From an original nucleus around a large green at the road junction, Deanshanger extended about a quarter of a mile to the west and north-west on the north bank of the brook, along a road which continued to Lillingstone Lovell to the west and Potterspury to the north. Whereas Passenham, both in the Middle Ages and afterwards, remained a close village, the whole township (apart from the glebe and some freeholds in Old Stratford) forming a single estate, Deanshanger was an open community, with no dominant landowner. (fn. 29)
Immediately north of the bridge at Stony Stratford, a village developed on either side of Watling Street and thus lay partly in Passenham and partly in Cosgrove, with a few houses in Furtho and a detached outlier of Potterspury. This settlement was known as For Stratford or West Stratford in the Middle Ages and later as Old Stratford. Although it had no separate administrative identity until 1951, its history is best considered separately, rather than as part of that of the various parishes in which it lay. (fn. 30)
In the north of Passenham parish a settlement named Puxley appears in Domesday Book divided into two small estates, and later in the Middle Ages one of the houses there was the residence of the keeper of Whittlewood, before Wakefield Lodge assumed that function. (fn. 31)
Throughout the 13th century the Crown gave frequent orders to local officials to cut timber in Puxley, for use either on royal building projects, for example for the chapel or other works at Silverstone (1249-52, 1271), (fn. 32) or to be given as gifts to local parish churches and religious houses, including the Friars Minor of Northampton for their chapel (1227), (fn. 33) the Hospitallers at Brackley (1229), (fn. 34) St. Andrew's priory, Northampton (1232 and 1244), (fn. 35) Daventry priory (1232), (fn. 36) St. John's hospital, Oxford (1232), (fn. 37) Missenden abbey (Bucks.) (1247), (fn. 38) the parish church of Wicken (1252), (fn. 39) the friars of Dunstable (Beds.) (1264), (fn. 40) St. John's hospital, Stony Stratford (Bucks.) (1265), (fn. 41) and Luffield priory (1266), (fn. 42) or private landowners, such as Ranulph, earl of Chester (1231), to repair his hall at Bugbrooke burnt in the war, (fn. 43) Robert Passelawe, archdeacon of Lewis (Sussex), to repair his hall at Swanbourne (1234) or for the church there (1249-50), (fn. 44) William de Ferrers for his hall at Potterspury (1235), (fn. 45) Paul Peyvre for his hall at Toddington (1238), (fn. 46) and Hugh Penne for his hall at Passenham. (fn. 47)
The settlement at Puxley appears to have expanded considerably between the end of the 11th century and the mid 14th, when the former Spigurnel estate there included 29 messuages, and 4½ virgates and 23½ acres of land. (fn. 48) In 1362 the Forester family had another 80 a. there. (fn. 49) There must have been a marked contraction in the later Middle Ages, since by the beginning of the 17th century Puxley was reduced to a handful of houses set in a fully inclosed landscape, (fn. 50) whereas there was still common-field arable there in 1384. (fn. 51) The open fields must have occupied some of the land shown as inclosures adjoining the surviving houses in 1610, although probably not all, since one of the closes is called a 'Sart' (i.e. assart). (fn. 52)
Part of this process of change occurred in 1500, when Sir Thomas Green inclosed 20 a. of arable, to the detriment of six tenants. (fn. 53) It may also be significant that of 15 freeholds purchased by the Crown in 1501-2, only three included a messuage as well as land. (fn. 54) From 1507 Puxley ceased to send a constable to the manor court at Passenham, because the vill was in the king's hands, whereas until then it had done so, although he had had little to present over the previous decade. (fn. 55) In 1543 the bailiff at Passenham complained that time out of mind the village and tenants of Puxley had paid a common fine of 2s. to the Duchy of Lancaster, which for the last 30 years had not been collected because all the tenements there were decayed and down. William Clarke held the whole village in farm but refused to pay the fine. (fn. 56) Clarke was at the time lessee of the former Warwick manor in Puxley, acquired by the Crown in 1487, (fn. 57) and was building up an estate nearby in Potterspury. (fn. 58) In 1566 all the houses and cottages belonging to the manor of Passenham at Puxley were decayed and even the number that had once existed had been forgotten. (fn. 59) There was similar uncertainty in 1591 as to which closes at Puxley belonged to the manor. (fn. 60) In the 1720s Bridges described Puxley as 'an hamlet of four mean houses . . . formerly a much greater number' (fn. 61) and by the end of the 18th century the parishioners had difficulty identifying the boundary separating Puxley from Passenham and Deanshanger, although they knew that it had once been a township in its own right. (fn. 62)
Passenham and Deanshanger each had their own open fields in the Middle Ages; Old Stratford did not, although the portion in Passenham had its own constable. (fn. 63) The fields of Deanshanger and Passenham, together with the common meadow along the Ouse belonging to the two townships, formed a continous block of land adjoining the two villages on all sides and occupying roughly the south-eastern third of the parish. Both townships still farmed most of their land in common at the beginning of the 17th century. At Deanshanger a total of 778 a. was divided between North Field (261 a.), South Field (409 a.), and an area to the west of the village simply called Deanshanger Field (108 a.); at Passenham the arable had contracted slightly since 1566 to 363 a., divided between Little Stow Field (232 a., between the village and Old Stratford), King's Hill Field (74 a., north of the Buckingham road), and Breach Field (57 a., between the main road and the Ouse). (fn. 64) The remaining open field at Passenham is said to have been inclosed by Sir Robert Banastre, (fn. 65) probably in the late 1620s, shortly after his purchase of the estate, when he certainly rebuilt the manor house, church and parsonge. (fn. 66) In 1651 the incumbent complained that an earlier lessee of the rectory had agreed too readily to part with some of the glebe at inclosure, to the permanent damage of the living and the 'ruin of the town'. (fn. 67) This suggests that as part of the process the settlement was reduced from the dozen or so houses there in the early 17th century on either side of the village street (fn. 68) to the handful still standing in the early 19th century, all on the south-west side of the street. (fn. 69)
Apart from the land belonging to the four townships, the rest of the parish lay within the royal forest of Whittlewood until the mid 19th century, when it was disafforested and inclosed. (fn. 70) A perambulation of 1299 excluded from the forest several adjoining townships but included others, among them Passenham. The former group thereafter became the out-towns of Whittlewood, which could pasture animals in the forest for four months of the year, whereas the in-towns had rights of common for seven months. (fn. 71) When Whittlewood was disafforested under an Act of 1853, both groups of parishes claimed compensation for loss of common rights and were allotted parcels of forest land in common, which in 1861 were divided between the freeholders of the parish in question. The allotments to Passenham, Wicken and Potterspury all lay within Passenham parish. (fn. 72)
In the 13th century the forest was divided into Wakefield and Hasleborough walks and the hay of Handley; at some later date Sholebrook, Hanger and Shrobb walks were created by the subdivision of Wakefield Walk. Each walk consisted of a mixture of coppices and lawns, through which ran a network of tracks. In the early 19th century Wakefield Walk contained 1,814 a., of which about 580 a. lay in the northwestern corner of Passenham. In the walk as a whole there were 20 coppices totalling 1,083 a. Hanger Walk, which was entirely in Passenham, to the north-west of Deanshanger fields, contained 518 a., of which 456 a. were divided into eight coppices. The whole of Shrobb Walk, containing 295 a., including five coppices totalling 252 a., also lay within the parish but was separated from the rest of the forest by Deanshanger North Field and the inclosed land around Puxley. (fn. 73)
Each walk, as well as the forest as a whole, had a keeper, who had a lodge as his official residence, as did the minor officials, the pagekeepers. From the late Middle Ages until disafforestation the keeper (or warden) of Whittlewood had a lodge at Wakefield, roughly in the centre of Wakefield Walk on the borders of Passenham and Potterspury-indeed the parish boundary actually passed through the house and buildings. (fn. 74) Shrobb Lodge stood to the west of Watling Street about half a mile north of Old Stratford, in the middle of Shrobb Walk, and was flanked on its eastern side by Shrobb Lawn. Hanger Lodge stood on the lane between Deanshanger and Puxley, at the eastern edge of Hanger Walk. For much of the 17th century it was the home of the Thorne family. (fn. 75) In 1647 Thomas Thorne was described as keeper of Whittlewood forest, (fn. 76) although he was probably one of the subordinate officers. Elsewhere in Passenham, at points at which roads entered the forest, Stollege Lodge, Cherry Tree Lodge and Briary Lodge (the latter straddling the boundary with Lillingstone Lovell) were occupied by page-keepers. Apart from Wakefield Lodge, which the dukes of Grafton rebuilt in the mid 18th century as a large mansion in landscaped grounds, the other lodges evolved into either farms (as at Shrobb) or smallholdings as the forest was cleared, but remained separate from other settlement in the parish. (fn. 77)
The Modern Parish.
An Act of 1772 (fn. 78) provided for the inclosure of about 1,100 a. at Deanshanger, but did not greatly change the topography of the area. The only major highway alteration made by the commissioners was to realign about half a mile of the road to Lillingstone Lovell immediately west of Deanshanger village. Two new farms were established after inclosure, both on land previously part of Deanshanger North Field, North Fields Farm and Puxley Glebe Farm.
The building of the canal to Buckingham appears to have prompted the opening of a new brickfield on its banks near Old Stratford (although there was a good deal of earlier brickmaking in the parish) and encouraged the establishment of an iron foundry in Deanshanger, which became the main employer in the village later in the 19th century. (fn. 79) Holy Trinity, a chapel of ease to St. Guthlac's, was opened at Deanshanger in 1854, (fn. 80) about the same time as a Primitive Methodist church and slightly after the Baptists built a meetinghouse there. (fn. 81) A new schoolroom was opened in 1859. (fn. 82) Passenham itself, by contrast, remained a small, entirely rural hamlet in the 19th century.
In the north of the parish, the inclosure and disafforestation of Whittlewood in 1855-61 led to the further clearance of woodland to the west of the lane from Deanshanger to Puxley, where a new north-south road was laid out across the new inclosures, roughly parallel to the older lane, although Wakefield Lodge itself continued to be flanked by woods on its southern and eastern sides. No new farmsteads were established on the disafforested area, although a new farm was created from land formerly comprising Shrobb Walk, with a new house and buildings erected close to the site of the old lodge. (fn. 83)
The Passenham Manor Estate was broken up by sale in 1911 and 1918, although the main house remained a private residence. (fn. 84) There was no new building close by, although after the First World War some houses were built at Old Stratford, along Deanshanger Road, on land which had previously belonged to the estate. (fn. 85) At Deanshanger, which had long been divided between numerous small owners and was unaffected by the estate sales of the early 20th century, over a hundred council houses were built between the two World Wars, mostly in Little London on the northern edge of the existing settlement. (fn. 86) E. & H. Roberts's foundry closed in 1928 and the site was taken over a few years later by a firm making lead and iron oxide. This business expanded considerably during and after the Second World War to become the major employer in Deanshanger, its works dominating the economy, topography and environment of the village until they closed in 1999. (fn. 87) The presence of the oxide works led to the building of more houses by the local authority in the 1950s, followed by private estates from about 1960, both chiefly to the north of the older settlement. (fn. 88) The closure and demolition of the works released 28 acres in the heart of the village for redevelopment, for which a mixture of residential, commercial and community use, as well as public open space, was planned. (fn. 89)
MANORS AND OTHER ESTATES.
Most of Passenham formed a large royal manor in 1086, which included some land at Puxley, on the edge of Whittlewood, where there was a second estate held by the bishop of Bayeux. The two Puxley manors have separate histories until both were purchased by the Crown at the end of the Middle Ages and annexed to the honor of Grafton in 1542. A manor of Deanshanger was granted out by the Crown in 1307 and also became part of the honor at its creation, although it was sold in 1599. Passenham itself remained a Duchy of Lancaster manor until it too was disposed of in 1623. Two religious houses had small estates in the parish, as did several lay owners whose main estates were centred elsewhere in the district.
The Manor of Passenham to 1623.
In 1086 the king held one hide in Passenham in demesne, and half another hide was held of him by Rainald, his almsman. (fn. 90) There was also half a hide at Puxley belonging to the royal manor of Passenham in 1086. (fn. 91) Passenham was later incorporated into the honor of Tutbury (Staffs.), possibly after the foundation of Cirencester abbey in 1131, to which the advowson of Passenham was given. (fn. 92) In 1242 William Earl Ferrers held half a fee in Passenham as parcel of the honor. (fn. 93) After his defeat at the battle of Chesterfield in 1266 Robert de Ferrers's lands were taken into the king's hands and granted to Edmund, the king's son. Robert later failed to recover his lands from Edmund, who became earl of Lancaster in 1267. (fn. 94)
Edmund was succeeded at his death in 1296 by his son Thomas, who in 1299, on the death of an undertenant, took Passenham into his hands as lord of Tutbury. (fn. 95) He heads the vill's assessment to the subsidy in 1301. (fn. 96) After his defeat and capture at Boroughbridge in 1322 Thomas was attainted and executed, and his lands forfeited. (fn. 97) In 1326 Thomas's lands were committed to his brother Henry during the king's pleasure. (fn. 98) Early the following year his brother was rehabilitated by Parliament and Henry's right to succeed to the earldom of Lancaster recognised. (fn. 99) In April 1327, the king having taken his homage, Henry had livery of his brother's lands, including Passenham, (fn. 100) which in 1332 was found to be parcel of the honor of Tutbury. (fn. 101)
Henry died in 1345 and was succeeded by his son of the same name, created duke of Lancaster in 1351. (fn. 102) At his death in 1361 Henry left two daughters and coheirs, Maud and Blanche, of whom the latter, the wife of John of Gaunt, received the honor of Derby, including Passenham. (fn. 103) John, created duke of Lancaster in 1362, later granted the manor of Passenham to his son Henry, (fn. 104) who succeeded his father as duke in February 1399 and Richard II as king in September that year, when all his honours merged in the Crown, although the estates of the Duchy of Lancaster continued to be administered separately from other Crown lands. (fn. 105) As late as 1664 the residents of Passenham sought and obtained a constat confirming their freedom, as tenants of a Duchy manor, from market and other tolls throughout the kingdom. (fn. 106)
In 1242 an undertenant named Henry Mauvesin held half a knight's fee in Passenham of the earl of Derby. (fn. 107) He appears to have been succeeded by William son of William de Passenham, who was in dispute with his mother, perhaps concerning dower, in 1252. (fn. 108) In 1261 he was convicted of unjustly disseising John Baligan of common pasture in Passenham which belonged to his free tenement there. (fn. 109) William died in 1278 leaving a son and heir of the same name who was judged to be of unsound mind and the manor was taken into the king's hands. (fn. 110) In 1279 Hugh son of Otto was granted the wardship of William de Passenham and his lands, and granted the lands themselves the following year. (fn. 111) Hugh afterwards granted Passenham and the wardship to Thomas de Suddington, rector of Passenham. (fn. 112) William died in 1298 and his youngest brother Henry attempted to enter and take seisin of the manor. (fn. 113) He was ejected by Thomas and Henry's ensuing action against him remained unsettled at Thomas's death in 1299, when Thomas earl of Lancaster took the manor into his own hands. (fn. 114) Thomas later granted the manor to Robert de Holland, who was lord of Passenham in 1316. (fn. 115) Two years later Robert and his wife Maud exchanged Passenham for the manors of Tintwistle and Mottram, the advowson of Mottram, and lands in Longdendale (Chesh.). (fn. 116)
After Thomas's lands were forfeited in 1322, Passenham was granted in 1325 to John de Shoreditch, king's clerk, with reversion to the king, subject to the king granting John lands and rent worth £40 a year should he resume the manor. (fn. 117) Claims to the manor by the heirs of William and Henry de Passenham (John de Woodville and Robert Kersebrook, the sons of their sisters Alice and Margaret respectively) and by Laurence Tresham, who claimed to be the heir of Thomas de Suddington, both failed. (fn. 118) In 1329 John de Woodville and Robert's son Henry Kersebrook renewed their suit against the lessee of the manor, Walter Blount, which also failed, (fn. 119) whereupon John, Henry and Alice the widow of Henry de Passenham finally renounced all their claims in Passenham, Puxley, Deanshanger and Stony Stratford. (fn. 120)
In c. 1350 Henry duke of Lancaster granted Passenham to Edmund de Ufford for his life (fn. 121) and in 1366 Duke John and his wife Blanche settled the reversion of the manor, still held by Edmund, on feoffees. (fn. 122) In 1415 Henry V settled much of the Lancastrian inheritance, including Passenham, on feoffees prior to his expedition to France. (fn. 123) Passenham formed part of the jointure estate of Elizabeth Woodville at her marriage in 1467 to Edward IV. (fn. 124) The following year Elizabeth granted the manor to her brother Anthony, Earl Rivers, (fn. 125) who was executed in 1483. (fn. 126) Two years later Passenham was among the estates specifically mentioned in the Act of Resumption, under which Duchy lands granted since 1455 were recovered by the Crown. (fn. 127)
The Manor of Passenham from 1623.
In 1610 Sir Robert Banastre, a Crown official from Shropshire, was one of three colessees of a moiety of the coppices and woodground in Whittlewood, (fn. 128) and appears to have settled at Passenham about that time. (fn. 129) In 1623 the manor was granted in fee to Sir George Marshall and Robert Cancefield to hold in free socage at a rent of £33 6s. 10½d., the annual value of the estate after deductions. (fn. 130) The following year they sold the manor to Banastre. (fn. 131)
By his first wife Banastre had a son Lawrence, who died in 1638, leaving a son Dynham, who died in infancy the following year, leaving his two sisters as coheirs. Lawrence Banastre's will was found to be void and a third of his estate was claimed by his widow, who had purchased the wardship of her two daughters. In 1640 it was agreed that Sir Robert Banastre should purchase the family's Northamptonshire lands to avoid a less satisfactory division of the estate and to raise funds to discharge Lawrence's debts and find portions for his daughters. (fn. 132) When Sir Robert Banastre died in December 1649 he left Passenham to his grandson Banastre Maynard, the son of Dorothy, his daughter by his third wife. (fn. 133) In about 1641 Dorothy had married William Maynard of Easton (Essex), who in 1640 succeeded his father as 2nd Baron Maynard. She died two months before her father; her husband, who made several settlements of the Passenham estate in 1666-77, (fn. 134) survived until 1699, when he was succeeded by Banastre, who himself died in 1718. His titles passed in turn to three of his sons, none of whom married. The youngest, Charles Maynard, in 1766 obtained a grant of a new barony and a viscountcy with special remainder which enabled a distant cousin, also named Charles, to succeed at his death in 1775. The 2nd Viscount Maynard died in 1824, again without issue, and was succeeded by his nephew Henry Maynard, on whose death without surviving male issue in May 1865 (four months after his son and heir apparent Charles Henry Maynard had died) all his titles became extinct. (fn. 135) He left two daughters and coheirs, of whom the elder, Frances Evelyn, inherited all or most of the family estates, including Passenham. (fn. 136) In 1881 Frances married Francis Greville, who in 1893 succeeded his father as Earl Brooke of Warwick Castle. (fn. 137)
Lady Brooke attempted to sell the Passenham Manor estate (840 a.) in 1911 in 11 lots. (fn. 138) Only the portion in Old Stratford was sold and there was a second sale in 1918 in six lots which included the Manor House, mill and three farms (700 a. in all). (fn. 139) The Manor House, Manor Farm buildings and the mill came back on the market in 1922, together with parts of the adjoining Haversham Manor estate (Bucks.). (fn. 140) In the 1930s and 1940s Passenham Manor and the lordship were owned by George Ansley. (fn. 141) In 1950 the estate was acquired by Commander and the Hon. Mrs. Lawson (the sister of the 2nd Lord Hesketh), who purchased additional land, including the former Crown farm at Shrobb, (fn. 142) and invested considerable sums in the development of the property. After their deaths the estate (773 a.) was offered for sale in 1985 by formal tender as a whole or in four lots. (fn. 143)
The fee farm rent of £33 6s. 10½d. reserved in the grant of 1623 was sold by the State in 1650 to Nathaniel Waterhouse. (fn. 144) In 1677 it was sold by Sir Hugh Cholmeley Bt. of Whitby (Yorks.), Roger Twisden and Elizabeth Cholmeley to James Pearse and Thomas Sisun of London. (fn. 145) They in turn sold to George marquess of Halifax in 1689, from whom it passed at his death in 1695 to his son William, the 2nd marquess. William died in 1700, leaving three daughters and coheirs, of whom the second, Dorothy, married the 3rd earl of Burlington in 1721. The earl's daughter and heiress Charlotte (sue jure Baroness Clifford) became the wife of the 4th duke of Devonshire, whose third son, George Augustus Henry Cavendish (created earl of Burlington in 1831), sold a large bundle of Northamptonshire quit rents in 1809 to John Heaton, including those in Passenham. (fn. 146) For reasons that are not clear, in the 1790s and 1800s Lord Maynard was paying the fee farm rents due from the manor, mill and three other premises in Passenham partly to Lord Fitzwilliam of Milton, near Peterborough, and partly to Lord George Cavendish. (fn. 147) In 1911 most of the charge on the manor (£25 out a total then stated as £33 8s. 1d.) was allotted to Manor Farm and the rest to the Manor House. (fn. 148) The house was still charged with £8 8s. 1d. when it was sold in 1922 but the rent had evidently been extinguished by 1985. (fn. 149)
The Manorial Buildings.
The site of the capital messuage belonging to the manor in the Middle Ages appears to be indicated by the remains of a moat at the eastern end of the village street at Passenham, where pottery said to date from the 12th and 13th centuries was found in 1967. (fn. 150) According to Bridges, what was in his day the parsonage, to the south of the church, was the original seat of Sir Robert Banastre after he acquired the manor in 1623, which he repaired, if not rebuilt. (fn. 151) Since the earliest portion of the later Manor House west of the church also dates from the early 17th century, (fn. 152) it seems likely that as part of his reorganisation of the estate (which included the inclosure of the open fields and an agreement with the incumbent to pay a composition in lieu of tithes) (fn. 153) Banastre built a new manor house and conveyed the old one to the rector and his successors.
The oldest portion of the Manor House is the front range of two storeys with gables to either side of a slightly recessed centre. The southeastern side of five bays is 18th-century and the house was altered again in the 19th century and in 1935, when an attic nursery was inserted and the house re-roofed, to designs by Sir Edwin Lutyens for George Ansley. (fn. 154) The house is of coursed squared limestone with plain tile roofs.
Alongside the house are two large barns, of stone with plain tile roofs, standing at right angles to each other. The smaller one is dated 1626 (and was thus built by Banastre); the larger one is said to be medieval. To the south of the house is a dovecote, also 17th-century but with 19th-century alterations, and again built of coursed squared limestone with a plain tile roof. Nearby is Manor Farm, an 18th-century building, altered in the 19th century, of brick and stone with a plain tile roof. (fn. 155) It was perhaps built when the Manor House itself ceased to be a working farm.
The Manor of Deanshanger to 1599.
A perambulation of Whittlewood of 1299 mentions Elias de Tingewick's garden and manor of Great Deanshanger, which clearly stood on the site later occupied by Dovehouse Farm. (fn. 156)
In 1307 Edward II granted to John de Haustede and his heirs the manor of Deanshanger, together with a piece of wood in Whittlewood and all the lands, rents and fees in Wick Dive, Wick Hamon, Passenham, 'Stony Stratford', Furtho, Puxley and Whitfield which the king had had of the gift of Elias de Tingewick, to be held for one-fortieth part of a knight's fee. He also granted that one messuage, 6½ acres of meadow and £4 6s. of rent in Deanshanger, Passenham, Wick Dive, Wick Hamon, 'Stony Stratford', Cosgrove, Furtho, Puxley, Whitfield, Heathencote, Whittlebury and Yardley Gobion, and in Maids Morton, Wolverton, Beachampton, Stony Stratford West and Leckhampstead (Bucks.), which Agnes, late the wife of Elias de Tingewick, father of the previously mentioned Elias, held in dower, should on her death remain to John and his heirs. If John died without heirs, all the premises were to revert to the king. (fn. 157)
In 1326 John had licence to enfeoff Stephen Gardiner and Agnes his wife in two messuages, 25 a. of land and an acre of meadow in Deanshanger, (fn. 158) one of a series of at least a dozen small purchases made there and in Wicken by Stephen between about 1315 and 1336. For most of that period Stephen and Agnes were said to be of Rickmansworth (Herts.) but in 1321-3 they were of Great Deanshanger, (fn. 159) perhaps as John de Haustede's tenant. Stephen was dead by 1340, when Agnes granted a small part of the estate to her son Robert. (fn. 160) The couple's heir seems to have been another son named John but by 1410 what appears to be the same estate was in the hands of Isabel Vesey of Roade, from whom it passed in 1419 to William Vesey, also of Roade. (fn. 161)
John de Haustede, who was summoned to Parliament in 1332-6, (fn. 162) died in the latter year, leaving his son William as his heir, to whom the manor of Deanshanger, including 33 a. of arable assart within Whittlewood, together with 74s. 10d. assised rent from free tenants and £4 3s. 4d. rent from free tenants for lands demised to them for life, passed. (fn. 163) William was dead by 1345, when the escheator was ordered to deliver two parts of the manor to Elizabeth, the daughter of John de Haustede and William's next heir, (fn. 164) saving to William's widow Anne her dower in the remaining third. (fn. 165) Anne survived until 1400, still holding a third of the manor, two cottages and 3 a., with an annual value of 40s., when the reversion was found to belong to John Cope, by virtue of a grant from Richard III in 1397, (fn. 166) in which the estate was described as consisting of the site of the manor, 132 a. of land, 18 a. of meadow, 6 a. of wood, yearly rent of 4s. 5½d. and a broad-hooked arrow, together with other premises in Wick Dive, Wick Hamon, Passenham, Stony Stratford, Puxley, Whitfield, Deanshanger and Heathencote, all of which (less Anne's third) John held for life by courtesy. (fn. 167) From this it appears that John had married Elizabeth Haustede.
John Cope died late in 1414, having earlier that year conveyed his Deanshanger estate to feoffees to the use of his wife Joan for her life, thereafter to his right heirs. (fn. 168) After his death, the estate was initially seized by the escheator since John had failed to secure licence for the alienation. (fn. 169) The premises were restored to the feoffees in February 1415 on payment of a fine of 5 marks, (fn. 170) and two years afterwards the escheator was ordered not to molest the feoffees. (fn. 171) The estate then consisted of the manor house, worth nothing beyond charges; a garden and dovecote worth 3s. 4d.; 132 a. of land, of which 80 a. were worth 4d. an acre and the remainder only half that, because the land was forested and stony; 18 a. of meadow worth 18d. an acre; 6 a. 1 r. of wood which was worth nothing because it was waste; rent of 4s. 5½d. and a broad-hooked arrow; and two cottages each with 1½ a. of land; all of which lay in Wick Dive, Wick Hamon, Passenham, Stony Stratford, Whitfield, Deanshanger and Heathencote, and continued to be held for 1/40th of a knight's fee. (fn. 172)
John Cope's heir at the time of his death was his son John, then aged 18, (fn. 173) who was evidently dead by 1434, when his mother Joan died and her heir was found to be her son Stephen, (fn. 174) who himself died in July 1445, leaving a son and heir named John, aged 10. (fn. 175) Later that year Stephen's feoffees were fined 26s. 8d. for acquiring without licence the manor of Deanshanger, with appurtenances there and in Puxley, Heathencote and Wicken. They were given licence to grant the estate to Stephen's widow Joan, with remainder to his next heir. (fn. 176)
When Edward Cope, the son of John Cope and his wife Anne, (fn. 177) died in 1510 he was found to be seised of the manor of Deanshanger and of three messuages, six cottages, 100 a. of land, 100 a. of meadow, 100 a. of pasture and 20s. rent in Deanshanger, Passenham, Wick Dive, Wick Hamon and Puxley, which he had recovered in an action against James Edy and Philippa his wife in 1491. The manor and other premises, worth £6 yearly, were held of the king as of the honor of Leicester and were parcel of the Duchy of Lancaster, but by what service was not known. In addition Edward died seised of a messuage and lands in the fields of Puxley, worth 5s. a year, held of the king in chief by the service of 1/40th of a knight's fee. Edward's heir was his daughter Anne, aged nine, who was in the custody of Thomas Lovett. (fn. 178)
By 1513, when her grandmother Anne Cope, the widow of John Cope, died, Anne was the wife of William Lovett. (fn. 179) William died without issue; by 1520, when they made a settlement of their estate, (fn. 180) Anne was married to John Heneage of Benniworth (Lincs.), the second son of John Heneage of Hainton (Lincs.). (fn. 181) In 1540 John and Anne surrendered their estate in Deanshanger, Wicken and Puxley to the Crown in exchange for a messuage called Bevis Marks in London and premises in Lincolnshire and Kingston-upon-Hull. (fn. 182) Two years later the former Heneage estae was annexed to the honor of Grafton on its creation. (fn. 183) The site of the manor and the demesne lands were then subject to a lease made in 1534 by John and Anne for 31 years at a yearly rent of £5 17s. 5d. to John Coles of Deanshanger and Alice his wife. By 1557 that lease had been assigned to Robert Fowkes, who surrendered in return for a new grant for 21 years at the same rent. (fn. 184) Ten years later the premises, together with all the former Snelshall priory estate in Deanshanger, were leased for 21 years in reversion to William Burnell. (fn. 185)
In 1583, with 16 years of the previous lease still to come, the Crown prepared particulars for a new lease in reversion to Robert Fowkes of the manor house and demesnes, together with premises in Wicken parcel of the manor of Deanshanger. (fn. 186) In the event, Fowkes's lease was not granted until 1588, when the term was for 21 years from 1604. (fn. 187) In the meantime, in April 1587 the queen granted the reversion in fee of the lands included in William Burnell's lease of 1567 and several other Crown leases in Deanshanger to Sir Francis Walsingham and Francis Mills. (fn. 188) In January 1589 Fowkes used his lease as security for a loan for £70 from Sir John Spencer of Althorp, on which he defaulted, and in March the following year Spencer assigned the lease to Thomas Watkin of Lincoln's Inn. (fn. 189)
The Manor of Deanshanger after 1599.
The Crown's interest in the Deanshanger estate ended in 1599 with the sale to Henry Best and Robert Holland of London for £2,379 19s. 8d. of the manor (yearly value £5 17s. 5d.) and rents of assize issuing therefrom previously paid to the Duchy of Lancaster, amounting to 3s. 4d. a year. (fn. 190) Best and Holland sold the estate almost at once to Josiah Ivory and Simon Lambert, (fn. 191) who in turn sold in 1603 to Ralph Winwood. (fn. 192) Twelve years later Sir Ralph Winwood, by then a Privy Counsellor and principal secretary to the king, sold the manor and another messuage in Deanshanger, previously owned by the Hospitallers, to Robert Lord Spencer, who already owned the former Snelshall lands in Deanshanger and the adjoining manor of Wicken, for £2,400. (fn. 193)
At the time of the purchase, the manor and demesnes at Deanshanger were leased to William Carpenter, (fn. 194) who in 1617 bought the house and some (but by no means all) of the Spencer estate in Deanshanger for £1,200. (fn. 195) The estate included the manor, two messuages, six cottages, one dovecote, eight gardens, eight orchards, 100 a. of land, 40 a. of meadow, 90 a. of pasture and 3s. 4d. rent in Deanshanger and Passenham. (fn. 196) Carpenter also obtained an inspeximus of the grant of 1599. (fn. 197)
By his will, made in October 1624, William Carpenter, then of Tickford in Newport Pagnell (Bucks.) left the Deanshanger property, described merely as a farmhouse and land, to his son Anthony, subject to the payment of £300 to his other son Richard, the Cambridge divine. (fn. 198) The estate was then worth about £29 a year. (fn. 199) Anthony Carpenter, who settled part of his Deanshanger estate on his second son John in 1652-3, (fn. 200) died in 1658 (fn. 201) and in 1661 his heir, also named Anthony, sold what was once again called the manor of Deanshanger to John Low. (fn. 202) He appears to have been acting as an intermediary for the Revd. John Palmer of Ecton, who in 1662 borrowed £1,240 from Carpenter secured on the manor of Deanshanger. (fn. 203)
Palmer died in 1679 (fn. 204) and the Deanshanger estate remained the property of his descendants until the early 19th century, passing first to his eldest son, also named John, who died in 1688, (fn. 205) then to his second son Thomas (1660-1715). (fn. 206) Thomas Palmer's two sons, Thomas (1695- 1732) and John (1696-1761), both died unmarried, (fn. 207) and his eventual heir was his third daughter Barbara (1704-70), who married the Revd. Eyre Whalley (1703-62). (fn. 208) From their son Palmer Whalley (1739-1803) (fn. 209) the estate passed to his third (but only surviving) son Thomas, who died in 1830, (fn. 210) leaving the Deanshanger estate to his son Thomas Palmer Whalley. (fn. 211)
In 1839 T.P. Whalley sold the farmhouse and buildings at Deanshanger, together with 127 a. of land, to John Gurney for £3,950. (fn. 212) Gurney died intestate the same year, (fn. 213) followed in 1845 by his son, also John Gurney, whose trustees sold the estate that year to John Kendall of Pury Lodge, Potterspury. (fn. 214) Kendall died in 1871, leaving the farm to his son William, (fn. 215) who himself died five years later, instructing his trustees to sell what was now called Dovehouse Farm. (fn. 216) This they did in May 1877 when the purchaser was Lord Penrhyn, who paid £7,649 for the house, buildings and 135 acres of land (an allotment of former forest land had been added to the estate in 1861). (fn. 217) Dovehouse Farm was thus reunited with the manor of Wicken, as it had been briefly in 1615-17. (fn. 218) The farm passed with the rest of the Wicken Park estate in 1944 to the Society of Merchant Venturers of Bristol, who sold the house and buildings for residential conversion in the early 1980s, the land having been amalgamated some years earlier with that of Dagnall Farm, about half a mile away. (fn. 219)
Dovehouse Farmhouse dates from the early 17th century, with a 19th-century extension and modern alterations. It is built of coursed rubble limestone beneath a plain tile roof, with brick end stacks on stone bases. The house is cruciform in plan, of two storeys and an attic, with a two-storey central porch containing a fine 17thcentury door. There are other early features inside and a substantially original roof, with ties and collars to the principal rafters and two tiers of wind-braced purlins. (fn. 220)
In 1876 the representatives of the late John Gurney of Towcester (the father of the purchaser of Dovehouse Farm in 1839) offered for sale what was then called Deanshanger Home Farm (333 a.), centred on the large house at the eastern end of the Green. The property had been acquired by the family in 1838. (fn. 221) Sometime around the middle of the 19th century the Gurneys had also bought the Green itself and other pieces of roadside waste in Deanshanger. (fn. 222) The purchasers in 1877 were Messrs. Montgomery and Grimsdick, who paid £21,000 for the estate. (fn. 223) By the turn of the century the farmhouse had become known as 'The Manor House' and was the home of J. N. Montgomery, (fn. 224) who described himself as lord of the manor of Deanshanger and whose permission was needed to hold Coronation celebrations and the like on the Green. (fn. 225) In 1973 the property was known as Manor Farm and remained the home of the Montgomery family. (fn. 226) The house dates from the early 18th century, and is of two storey and attics, six bays wide, built of coursed rubble limestone beneath a plain tile roof. (fn. 227)
The Lands of Snelshall Priory.
In the mid 13th century Snelshall Priory (Bucks.) received at least ten grants of land and rent in Passenham and Deanshanger (and other premises in Wicken) from Robert de Pyru, Ralph le Cheyne, Roger Luberd, William de la Green, Thomas le Despenser, Hugh son of Hugh de Stratford and Henry son of Walkelin. (fn. 228) In 1292 Snelshall's estate in Passenham, Deanshanger and Wicken was valued at £2 8s. 10d. a year. (fn. 229)
After the priory was dissolved the whole of this estate was granted in 1540 to John Josselyn and Anne his wife for their lives. (fn. 230) A fresh grant for life of the same premises was made in 1553 to Robert Eton (fn. 231) and from 1567 the estate, together with the site and demesne lands of the manor of Deanshanger, was leased in reversion, first to William Burnell and then to Sir Thomas Newnsham, both in 1567, (fn. 232) and later to Christopher Edmondes in 1573. (fn. 233) The reversion of all the leases from that of 1553 was sold in fee by the Crown in 1587 to Sir Francis Walsingham and Francis Mills, (fn. 234) who immediately conveyed their interest to William Gerrard of Harrow on the Hill, William Stubbs of Ratcliff (Mdx.), and John Willard of London. The following year the reversion passed to Richard Keterich and George Pugh, also of London, (fn. 235) who were acting as intermediaries for John Spencer, to whom they conveyed the estate a few months later. (fn. 236) By 1614 the Passenham and Deanshanger portion of the former Snelshall property was known as the 'Great Farm' (fn. 237) and in 1615 was included in Robert Lord Spencer's rental in the two townships, when there was an outgoing of 4d. a year due from the Snelshall lands to the Duchy of Lancaster. (fn. 238) This payment may have been in respect of a portion of the Snelshall lands in Passenham, Cosgrove and Wicken granted to John Mershe of London in 1576, who had discovered them as 'concealed lands', but which were evidently later reunited with the rest of the property. (fn. 239)
In 1632 William Lord Spencer sold what was then called Snelshall Farm in Deanshanger to Anthony Carpenter of Deanshanger (whose father had bought the manor of Deanshanger from Spencer's father in 1617), (fn. 240) together with six cottages in Deanshanger which were not part of the Snelshall lands, for £540. (fn. 241) At the time the farm was leased to William Fowkes for £24 a year, with the cottages producing a further £5. (fn. 242) The conveyance describes the farm as consisting only of the house, a home close and 13 a. of common field and meadow, whereas a fine to fortify the grant lists 60 a. of land and 10 a. of meadow. (fn. 243) In 1653 Carpenter provided for the division of the estate after his death between his eldest son Anthony, who was to receive 13 a. in Deanshanger North Field, and his second son John, who was to have the rest. (fn. 244)
In 1664 John Carpenter sold the farm, by then reduced to 47 a. of arable and also bereft of the six cottages, to John Oakley of Dagnall (in Wicken), who further divided the premises, by settling two cottages and a brick-kiln at the Hayes on himself for life and thereafter his heirs, whereas the rest of the farm was to pass to his wife Dorothy for life, then to their son Samuel. (fn. 245) In 1681-2 Samuel Oakley sold the farm (to which more land had apparently been added, since it now comprised 100 a. of land, 6 a. of meadow and 50 a. of pasture) to John Clarke, who two years later settled the property on trustees when he married Sarah Saxby. (fn. 246) After she was widowed, Mrs. Clarke conveyed the property to her son William in exchange for an annuity of £8 a year in 1719; (fn. 247) two years later William Clarke and his wife Penelope sold the farm to William Tompkins, a lace merchant of Passenham. (fn. 248)
In 1614 the main house on the Snelshall estate was described as the 'Great Farm'. (fn. 249) Since the plan of Whittlewood and adjoining villages of much the same date (fn. 250) shows only two houses in Deanshanger significantly larger than their neighbours, one of which is Dovehouse Farm, the other one, standing on a large plot at the north-east corner of the Green near the Hayes, must have been the Great Farm. The more recent history of this property has been traced from 1726 (when it was owned by Thomas Nichol) to the demolition of the farmhouse in the 1950s, but this title cannot apparently be linked to that which ends with the conveyance of 1721. (fn. 251)
The Hospitallers' Lands.
In the reign of Henry II, William Earl Ferrers (d. 1190) and his sister Letitia made several gifts to the Hospitallers' preceptory at Dingley. (fn. 252) Letitia's nephew Earl William (d. 1247) later confirmed her gift to the brethren of the mill of Passenham, as freely as in the time of Henry I and Robert de Ferrers, William's grandfather. (fn. 253) Later in the 13th century John Baligan held the mill and 15 a. of land in Passenham of the Hospitallers' manor of Blakesley; the brethren also had 3s. rent from another tenement, 2s. rent out of a messuage and virgate of land held by John de Wikemill, and view of frankpledge of certain free tenements in Passenham worth 6d. a year. (fn. 254) In 1330 the prior defended his view of frankpledge, claiming the privilege had been attached to the manor of Blakesley since time immemorial. (fn. 255)
When Queen Mary attempted to re-establish the Hospitallers in 1558, the order's possessions in Passenham included the water-mill, a rent of 4d. a year issuing out of the Church House in Deanshanger, and another tenement there in the tenure of Roger Palmer. (fn. 256) Palmer's tenement was leased in 1585 to James Scott for 21 years at 6s. 8d. a year; twelve years later the reversion was leased at the same rent for three lives to the sons of Richard Palmer, who was then the tenant. (fn. 257) The premises were included in the sale of the manor of Deanshanger to Henry Best and Robert Holland in 1599 (fn. 258) and in 1615 the farm, now known as the White House, was held of Robert Lord Spencer at will by William Newcome for £30 a year, subject to a chief rent of 7s., (fn. 259) the sum of the reserved rent specified in 1585 and 1597, plus the 4d. due from the Church House mentioned in 1558. Newcome's house was sold with the manor of Deanshanger to William Carpenter in 1617-18 (fn. 260) but was not included in any of the later conveyances of the manor. (fn. 261) The water-mill was added to the manorial estate at Passenham, apparently in the early 17th century. (fn. 262)
The Royal Manor at Puxley to 1542.
Henry II, in an undated charter, granted to his forester Broneman, for his faithful service, a demesne tenement named Puxley, which lay between the royal forest at Wakefield and the fee of Letitia de Ferrers at Passenham, with the houses, men and cattle there; a piece of demesne land called La Haye; and custody of Whittlewood forest, which was to be hereditary in him and his heirs. Broneman was to render 33s. 4d. for the keepership of the forest and 2s. for the tenements. (fn. 265)
After Broneman's death the keepership passed to his son Osmund and then from father to son to Alan, Hugh and another Hugh. (fn. 266) Agnes, the widow of the elder Hugh, surnamed de Stratford, was in dispute with Alan de Stratford concerning her dower in 1224-5. (fn. 267) In 1247 the younger Hugh de Stratford held 10 a. of land in Puxley, worth 2 marks a year, of the king by the service of guarding the forest of Whittlewood, and 2 a. 1r. in the same vill worth 2s., also of the king. (fn. 268) The younger Hugh died towards the end of Henry III's reign leaving a son and heir John (surnamed le Forester), who was a minor and thus the keepership of the forest passed to the Crown with John's wardship. (fn. 269) By 1278 the office had been granted to Elias de Tingewick. (fn. 270) He was succeeded by his son John, who was keeper by 1292. (fn. 271) John died in 1304, (fn. 272) when the king granted the office to Ralph de Gorges. (fn. 273) In 1314 Ralph sought to be reinstated to the keepership, from which he had been removed by the forest justices. (fn. 274) Seven years later Richard Damory, who had been appointed in his place, was removed and Gorges restored. (fn. 275)
By that period the keepership had become separated from the manor of Puxley, which in 1330 was held by John le Forester, (fn. 276) who was perhaps the son of John, son of Hugh de Stratford. The same year Almaric de Zouch obtained the keepership of Whittlewood for life, (fn. 277) and was succeeded later in Edward III's reign by Thomas Wake, Robert Seymour, Thomas Heath and John de Ipres. (fn. 278) In 1347 Thomas le Forester, claiming to be the heir of Broneman, the 12th-century keeper (he was presumably the son of John le Forester), obtained an inspeximus of Henry II's charter, (fn. 279) and also licence to settle a messuage and one carucate of land in Puxley and Lye, held of the king in socage for 2s. yearly by the charter of Henry II, to the use of himself and his wife Joan and their heirs. (fn. 280) Thomas died on Whit Sunday 1356, leaving two daughters, Joan aged five and Eleanor aged two, as his heirs. (fn. 281) His widow Joan was granted custody of the Puxley estate. (fn. 282) The daughters must have died within a few years of their father, for in 1361 another Thomas le Forester died holding what was described as a messuage (with a dovecote and a horse-mill out of repair), 80 a. of land and 44s. rent in Puxley and le Lye, held in chief for 2s. a year, when his coheirs were his two sisters Isabel, the wife of Richard Hartshill, and Lucy, the wife of Simon Rous, and John de Broughton, the son of his eldest sister Pauline, (fn. 283) between whom the estate was partitioned the following year. (fn. 284)
One portion of the manor was acquired within a few years by William Leicester and his wife Agnes, who in 1367 sold the estate to John Goodrich. (fn. 285) He bought another third (including a third of the advowson of the hermitage chapel at Old Stratford) from Richard and Isabel Hartshill in 1376. (fn. 286) By 1383 John had also acquired (or at least was claiming) the keepership of Whittlewood and obtained a confirmation and inspeximus of Henry II's grant to Broneman. (fn. 287) The following year, however, a commission was appointed to inquire whether the keepership really did pertain of right to the manor of Puxley, as John claimed, and, if so, how the two had become separated. (fn. 288) In February 1385 the commissioners found that the keepership was then occupied by Sir Thomas Green of Greens Norton, by demise from John de Ipres, and was held by Green for life by ratification of the king. The office had become separated from the tenancy of Puxley through the failure of the right heirs of the early 14thcentury John le Forester to bring a suit to ensure that the two continued to be held together. (fn. 289)
By 1393 the keepership and the manor were held by John Chamber, who that year obtained an inspeximus of the confirmation of Henry II's charter granted to John Goodrich in 1383. (fn. 290) They then reverted to the Green family and in 1417 Sir Thomas Green died seised of both. (fn. 291) From that time until the death of the last Sir Thomas Green in 1506 Puxley and the keepership descended with the family's home manor of Greens Norton. (fn. 292) In 1441 Sir Thomas Green's feoffees were fined for acquiring Puxley without licence (fn. 293) and in 1461 the family obtained yet another inspeximus of Henry II's charter. (fn. 294)
Sir Thomas Green's estates were divided in 1507 (confirmed in 1512) between his two daughters and coheirs, Anne, the wife of Sir Nicholas Vaux, later Lord Vaux of Harrowden, who died in 1523, leaving a son and heir Thomas Vaux, (fn. 295) and Maud, the wife of Sir Thomas Parr, who died in 1517 leaving a son and heir William, later marquess of Northampton. (fn. 296) Anne and Nicholas were to have the Northamptonshire manors, including Puxley, and a moiety of the keepership; Maud and Thomas were to have the other moiety. (fn. 297) Maud died in 1531 (fn. 298) and in 1534 the agreement was renewed between the two heirs, Thomas Lord Harrowden and William Parr. (fn. 299) In 1536, however, Sir Arthur Darcy conveyed to the king the whole of the former Green estates, which he purchased the previous year from Harrowden, who had previously bought Parr's share. (fn. 300) They were then annexed to the honor of Grafton on its creation in 1542. (fn. 301) In 1551 Northampton received a grant of various former Green estates within the honor, including land in Puxley. (fn. 302) He died without issue in 1571, whereupon Puxley reverted to the Crown and remained part of the honor of Grafton until it was granted out in 1673. (fn. 303) Thereafter this portion of Puxley formed part of the Wakefield Lodge estate until the sales of 1919-20. (fn. 304)
The Peveril Manor in Puxley.
In 1086 half a hide (less the fifth part of a hide) in Puxley, which in King Edward's time had been held by Almar, was held by William Peveril from the bishop of Bayeux. (fn. 305) By Henry I's reign the tenancy in chief had passed to the honor of Leicester (fn. 306) and appears to have passed thereafter by the same descent as the former Mortain fees in Cosgrove and Furtho. (fn. 307) Thus in 1236 the five little fees of Mortain in Cosgrove included one with land in Puxley; (fn. 308) in 1277 the earl of Leicester was said to have held the liberties of Puxley for the previous twenty years; (fn. 309) and in 1296 Edmund earl of Lancaster and Leicester died seised of the same five fees in Puxley, Cosgrove and Furtho. (fn. 310) In 1328 the estate was held of the heir of the earl of Warwick. (fn. 311)
In Henry I's time an undertenant named Robert Revell held six small virgates in Puxley of the earl of Leicester. (fn. 312) Another Robert Revell owed £100 for his lands in Cosgrove, Puxley and elsewhere in 1191. (fn. 313) Later in the 1190s his son Hugh Revell was in dispute with William Brown over land in Puxley, (fn. 314) as he was with Hugh Coco, his wife Agnes and her sister Alice in 1229. (fn. 315) Hugh Revell also occurs in two early 13th-century deeds relating to premises in Puxley. (fn. 316) In 1236 Roger Revell held the former Mortain fee in Puxley and elsewhere of Richard Keynes, (fn. 317) and by 1242 the tenancy had passed to another Robert Revell. (fn. 318)
The Revell estate in Puxley appears to have passed with their lands in Cosgrove to the Spigurnel family, who by 1328, when Henry Spigurnel died, held land of several lords in Puxley, Cosgrove and Furtho. (fn. 319) Henry's heir was his son Thomas but the estate passed initially to Henry Burghersh bishop of Lincoln, who died seised of lands in Puxley in 1341, when his heir was his kinsman Walter de Paveley. (fn. 320) Like Cosgrove, this portion of Puxley evidently passed, later in the 14th century, to the Beauchamps, earls of Warwick. In 1423 Richard Beauchamp, earl of Warwick, settled the manor of Puxley on his wife Isabel le Despenser at the time of their marriage, (fn. 321) and the estate reappears in late 15th-century lists of the earls' possessions in the county. (fn. 322) In 1487 Anne Neville, the dowager countess of Warwick, conveyed the family's estates, including Puxley, to the king. (fn. 323) In 1501-2 Henry VII enlarged the Crown estate in Puxley by making at least 15 purchases of small freeholds there. (fn. 324) Both the manor and these freeholds, like the former Green estate in Puxley, were annexed to the honor of Grafton on its creation in 1542, (fn. 325) although in later Crown leases the former Warwick lands continued to be distinguished from the other Puxley manor. (fn. 326)
The Honor of Grafton Estate in Puxley.
In the late 17th century and early 18th the honor (later Wakefield Lodge) estate at Puxley consisted of a farm at Puxley Green of 38 acres let to the Dickens family from 1696 (if not earlier) until at least 1757. (fn. 327) The 3rd duke of Grafton made at least six piecemeal purchases, totalling about 120 a., in and near Puxley, including land in Passenham, Potterspury and the detached portion of Cosgrove, between 1766 and 1783. (fn. 328) The 4th duke bought a further 38 a. in Passenham in 1817 using part of the Prizage Fund, (fn. 329) and some other land, partly in the detached portion of Cosgrove and partly in Passenham, was purchased in 1855. (fn. 330) When Whittlewood was disafforested at the same time, some of the forest land in Passenham was allotted to the 5th duke as part of his compensation for loss of office as ranger, and the estate purchased other land from the allotments made to the Crown, again using the Prizage Fund, including Hanger Lodge, Cherry Tree Lodge and Briary Lodge. (fn. 331)
Some of this additional land, close to Wakefield Lodge, was kept in hand, but some was let, with the result that by the 1890s the farm at Puxley had grown to 128 a. (fn. 332) Briary Lodge, a smallholding of 26 a. in the 1890s, (fn. 333) was included in the abortive sale of Wakefield Lodge in July 1920; (fn. 334) Puxley Green Farm (120 a.) and Hanger Lodge, a smallholding of 19 a., were included in the main auction in December that year. (fn. 335)
Shrobb Walk in Whittlewood.
In 1607 and 1610 the Crown sold assarts and purprestures in Whittlewood near Puxley and Shrobb to William Derson and Thomas Ely of London, who sold on at least one parcel to a local yeoman, William Bird of Puxley. (fn. 336) In the latter year Sir Arthur Throckmorton purchased about 300 a. of assarts and purprestures in Puxley and the adjoining detached portion of Cosgrove. (fn. 337) The fee farm rent reserved in the sale to Bird was prepared for sale in 1650. (fn. 338)
When Whittlewood was disafforested under an Act of 1853, the portion in Passenham was treated in one of four ways in an award made two years later. Some land, adjoining Wakefield Lodge, was allotted to the duke of Grafton, and some, including Shrobb Walk with its lodge, and the other lodges in the parish, to the Crown, in recognition of their respective rights in the forest. Similarly, a further area, including the eastern part of Hanger Walk, was allotted (in common) to the parishes of Passenham (which received 89 a.), Wicken (73 a.) and Potterspury (166 a.), which had successfully made claims to common rights in the forest (the other parishes with common rights were given allotments elsewhere in the forest). Finally, 176 a. on the western side of Hanger Walk was sold by auction in 1855 in eight lots (one of which contained the duke of Grafton's brickyard) to meet the expenses of inclosure. (fn. 339) In 1861 a further award was made, dividing the allotments made to the three parishes between individual freeholders. (fn. 340) This exercise, combined with the sale of 1855, created a number of small freeholds in the area which had previously formed Hanger Walk.
The Crown sold much of its allotment in Passenham, including the three smaller lodges, to the duke of Grafton within a year of the award of 1856. (fn. 341) Shrobb Lodge and the adjoining land previously forming Shrobb Walk, on the other hand, was retained. Since the house stood somewhat apart from the rest of the forest it appears to have enjoyed a rather higher status than Hanger Lodge both before and after disafforestation. In the late 17th century Shrobb was the residence of Thomas Willis of Whaddon (Bucks.), father of the Buckinghamshire antiquary Browne Willis. By the early 19th century it had reverted to being the home of the keeper of Shrobb Walk, but retained 'some traces of its former respectability'. (fn. 342) In 1857 the Crown built a new farmhouse and buildings on a slightly different site from the earlier lodge, and also a pair of cottages, and the holding, including the land previously forming Shrobb Walk, was let for some years to the Scrivener family. (fn. 343) At some date after 1911 Shrobb became part of the Passenham Manor estate and was included in the sale of 1985. (fn. 344)
The Furtho Family Estate.
The Furtho family of Furtho acquired a small estate in Passenham by piecemeal purchase during the 15th century, (fn. 345) which at the death of William Furtho in 1504 and of his son Anthony in 1558 was said to be held of the Duchy of Lancaster and to be worth 4s. 4d. a year. (fn. 346) Thomas Furtho made additional purchases in Passenham, Cosgrove and Furtho, including the old hermitage in Old Stratford and the former Snelshall priory lands at Brownswood Green. (fn. 347) In the early 17th century the family's estate in Passenham was said to consist of two assarts (Hanging Sart and Coxe Stocking), a house in Old Stratford, and an acre of land in the common fields. (fn. 348) After the death of the last Edward Furtho in 1621 (fn. 349) the Passenham lands appear to have been allotted with the family's home manor of Furtho in the share of the estate taken by his sister Anne and her husband Anthony Staunton of Great Brickhill (Bucks.), (fn. 350) who a few years later sold their portion to Sir Robert Banastre. (fn. 351) The premises would thus have been merged with the manorial estate at Passenham, which Banastre acquired at about the same time. (fn. 352)
Farming in the Middle Ages.
In 1086 there was one plough in demesne on the royal manor at Passenham and eight villeins, six bordars and one freemen had another five ploughs, although there was land for 12 ploughs in all. Similarly, on the royal demesne portion of Puxley, one sokeman had half a plough but there was said to be land for an entire team. On the bishop of Bayeux's estate at Puxley one villein and one bordar had half a plough between them, although again there was land for a whole team. The royal manor contained 30 acres of meadow and woodland a league in length and as much in breadth. (fn. 353)
Both Passenham and Deanshanger were predominantly arable in the Middle Ages. In 1278 Passenham had 243 a. of arable, 32 a. of pasture and 57 a. of meadow in demesne; (fn. 354) and in 1397 Deanshanger had 132 a. of arable, 18 a. of meadow and 6 a. of wood. (fn. 355) By contrast, Puxley had only 80 a. of land in 1363. (fn. 356)
By the beginning of the 15th century, if not earlier, the Duchy of Lancaster was leasing the manor house and demesnes at Passenham. John Cock took such a lease in 1402 and again, for 12 years, in 1411. (fn. 357) In 1420 John Deanshanger paid an annuity of £20 out of the manor to Maud, the widow of Thomas Curtis, (fn. 358) suggesting that John was then the lessee.
Farming in the 16th and 17th Centuries.
The Duchy continued to lease the demesnes at Passenham throughout the 16th century. In 1511 Richard Smith was granted a lease for 21 years at £8 a year on condition that he erect new buildings worth 10 marks within the first four years. (fn. 359) This he did and in 1524 surrendered his lease in return for a new grant to John Smith (presumably a relative) for 29 years (i.e. 21 years plus the unexpired term left in the old lease) at an increased rent of £8 3s. 4d. (fn. 360) John, by that date also known as John Fowkes, in turn surrendered in 1538 in return for a new lease for 30 years at the same rent as in 1524, (fn. 361) which later passed to William Cartwright, who married John's widow Emma. (fn. 362) In 1549 the manor was leased in reversion for 21 years to Henry Meverell, (fn. 363) and in 1572 for a further 30 years in reversion to Francis Southwell, (fn. 364) who immediately assigned to Henry Sadler, to whom a new lease in reversion was granted the same year. (fn. 365) In 1591 John Markham was tenant of the manor as Meverell's assign and had also bought up Sadler's reversion. (fn. 366) Sadler later assigned his lease to Edmund Fettiplace, who in 1595 was granted a new lease for 31 years, still at the old rent of £8 3s. 4d. (fn. 367) These grants did not include the perquisites of court: in 1600 Sir John Stanhope was granted the office of steward of the manor of Passenham. (fn. 368)
The nominal annual value of the manor during the reigns of Henry VII and Henry VIII was about £25. Besides the lease of the demesnes, most of the income came from rents of assize, fossilised at £11 7s. 2d. since Henry IV's time, and including 38s. 3d. from free tenants, £7 2s. 10d. from customary tenants, and 52s. 10d. from tenants at will. Commuted labour services were worth a further £4 8s. and perquisites of court between 12s. and 30s. a year. The Duchy made some effort to raise rents early in Henry VIII's reign, when increments rose from 32s. a year in 1504 to 77s. in 1518, although there was no attempt to increase them further. During the same period arrears, which stood at £12 in 1498, rose sharply from £20 to £47, and continued to increase thereafter, to £64 in 1528, £81 in 1538, and £93 in 1545. (fn. 369)
Besides the demesnes, the Duchy was also granting 21-year leases of other premises from at least Henry VIII's time. (fn. 370) In 1557 Humphrey Smith took a lease of all the tenements at Passenham previously held at will, (fn. 371) which led to a dispute, still in progress in 1566, as to whether some of them were in fact copyhold. (fn. 372) A similar argument arose in 1562 when the Duchy leased a parcel of the former Warwick estate which was claimed to be copyhold. (fn. 373) In 1563-4 six copyhold tenants surrendered in return for leases, (fn. 374) suggesting that the Duchy was trying to rid the manor of customary tenure. Another holding was converted in 1567, provoking a complaint that the tenement was a freehold that did not even belong to the Duchy manor. (fn. 375)
In 1566 there was still a mixture of copyholds and freeholds at Passenham itself, although in Passenham fields only 18 a. were said to be copyhold. At Deanshanger only one small close was copyhold and only 1 a. in the open fields. Altogether the manor included 467 a. of common arable and 123 a. of meadow in Passenham, 761 a. of common arable and 146 a. of meadow in Deanshanger, and 133 a. of inclosed land in Puxley, a total (including land occupied by cottages in Passenham, Deanshanger and Old Stratford) of 1,672 a. Passenham's common arable was divided between the East Field, the Field West the Way and the North Field; Deanshanger had a North Field, West Field, South Field and Nether Field. There were 38 tenants in the four vills within the manor (Passenham, Deanshanger, Old Stratford and Puxley), of whom the largest were the farmers of the two demesnes (William Cartwright at Passenham with 300 a. and Robert Fowkes at Deanshanger with 198 a.), followed by the tenant of the former Snelshall priory estate (116 a.). Six farmers had between 50 a. and 100 a. each and seven between 20 a. and 50 a. The glebe accounted for 121 a. and most of the land at Puxley (100 a.) was held by Sir Nicholas Throckmorton. At Passenham the tenants of the demesnes had evidently already begun to consolidate their holdings in the open fields in 1566, when William Cartwright had blocks of up to two dozen strips lying together, whereas there is no evidence of a similar process in Deanshanger. (fn. 376)
By 1570 the process of conversion from copyhold (and the resulting disputes) seems to have been over and 21-year leases continued to be routinely surrendered for renewal, as in the honor of Grafton, some years before the term of the previous lease had expired, into the early 17th century. (fn. 377) The Duchy did not follow the honor in granting terms of three lives towards the end of Elizabeth's reign, and there is only once instance amongst surviving Passenham leases of a term of 60 years. (fn. 378) Certainly by 1591 copyhold had entirely disappeared, leaving 12 freeholders paying a total of 19s. 6d. (plus 2 lb. of pepper and a red rose) and 14 leaseholders paying £14 16s. 2d., besides the £8 3s. 4d. due from the lessee of the manor house and demesne at Passenham. In all the manor was worth £24 13s. 10d. a year. No rent was being collected from 17 cottages recently built on ground inclosed from manorial waste, probably at Deanshanger, where a similar number of cottages were later held by trustees on behalf of the parish and used to house paupers. (fn. 379) There were then reckoned to be 805 a. of arable and meadow belonging to the manor. (fn. 380)
The Crown estate at Puxley outside the Duchy manor, and also the manor house and demesnes at Deanshanger acquired from John Heneage, were let on 21-year leases, as elsewhere within the honor. At Puxley the former Warwick lands were leased as a single holding to the Clarke family for much of the 16th century, (fn. 381) while the premises acquired from the Green family also formed one tenement, let for 28s. 4d. a year throughout the period in which the honor was in the Crown's hands. (fn. 382)
Farming in the 18th and 19th Centuries.
After Banastre's death in 1649 the manor of Passenham lacked a resident squire and was administered by officials on behalf of the Maynards, whose home was in Essex. (fn. 383) At least in the mid 18th century the 6th Lord Maynard showed concern for his tenants at Passenham, instructing his steward on several occasions to disburse money at times of unusual distress, for example in January 1758, when, in addition to problems caused by the dearness of corn, the lace trade suffered during a period of general mourning. (fn. 384) The estate had a gross rental of £728 in the mid 18th century, of which over a third (£270) came from the largest farm, presumably that centred on the manor house. There were two other substantial tenants, paying £136 12s. and £110, and three others paying £61 10s., £40 and £33; most of the balance of £24 10s. came from an estimated £20 a year from underwood cut in Brownswood. (fn. 385) Including some houses in Old Stratford and Brownswood (58 a., in hand), the estate extended to about 864 a. in the late 18th century, when it included two large farms (219 a. and 212 a.) and two somewhat smaller holdings (144 a. and 94 a.). (fn. 386)
Rents rose noticeably during the prosperous years of the wars with France. In 1792 the gross income was £827, of which £22 was from sale of underwood and the rest from rents; the net balance remitted to Lord Maynard's bankers was £650. Ten years later the corresponding figures were £1,062 (including £21 for underwood and £63 for the sale of saplings and bark) and £887. (fn. 387) In the early 1820s the gross rental was about £1,550, although there are no detailed figures to show how much of this was actually collected. By this period there were three large farms on the estate, let for £444, £338 and £320, two smaller holdings (one of them the mill) let for £183 and £90, and two blocks of accommodation land (£120 and £56). (fn. 388)
In 1766 Lord Maynard supported the proposed inclosure of Deanshanger: although he owned no land there, it would tend to improve the living, of which he was patron. (fn. 389) An Act was obtained in 1772 (fn. 390) and an award made the following year, which also commuted tithes on old inclosures in Deanshanger and Puxley whose owners wished this to be done. Some 903 a. were inclosed and allotted to 28 owners, including the rector of Passenham (who received 125 a.), the poor of Stony Stratford (13 a.) and Deanshanger (11 a.), and the 'Deanshanger Cottages' (2 a.). (fn. 391) Of the 24 others, twelve (including the 3rd duke of Grafton) received less than 20 a. each and eight between 20 a. and 50 a. Apart from the rector, the four main beneficiaries were the Revd. Palmer Whalley, the owner of the Deanshanger manor estate (133 a.), Stephen Gurden (132 a.), Richard Brown (88 a.) and Edward Bloxham, the Stony Stratford attorney (69 a.). (fn. 392) Overall the award illustrated the divided nature of landownership in Deanshanger, in marked contrast to Passenham, and the lack of any major owner, either resident or non-resident.
The tithes that were not dealt with under the Deanshanger award (essentially the Maynard estate and the portion of Whittlewood in the parish, together with a handful of small freeholds) were commuted for £316 15s. in 1844, when it was found that, apart from 918 a. of woodland, almost exactly a third of Passenham (266 a. out of 805 a.) was then arable. The Maynard estate was divided into two large farms (253 a. and 237 a.), two smaller holdings (146 a. and 51 a.), and four tenancies of under 20 a. (fn. 393)
There appears to have been little change on the estate in the later 19th century, either before or after the death of the last Lord Maynard, when it remained the property of a non-resident owner. (fn. 394) At the time of the Warwick sale in 1918, Manor Farm (270 a.) was let for £503 (about 37s. an acre), Northfields Farm (149 a.) for £220 (nearly 30s.), and Puxley Grange Farm (243 a.) for £312 (25s.), in each case on annual tenancies. The mill was let with Manor Farm, the Manor House itself was in hand, and a parcel of arable (33 a.) adjoining Puxley Grange was let with the farm for an additional £36. (fn. 395)
The water-mill at Passenham belonged to the royal estate there in 1086, when it was worth 13s. 4d. a year. (fn. 396) In the reign of Henry II, William Earl Ferrers (d. 1190) and his sister Letitia made several gifts of premises in Passenham to the Hospitallers' preceptory at Dingley. (fn. 397) These must have included the mill, since Letitia's nephew Earl William (d. 1247) later confirmed her gift thereof, to be held freely as in the time of Henry I and Robert de Ferrers, William's grandfather. (fn. 398) The mill was to be held of the brethren for 26s. 8d. yearly by Richard Baligan, whose family acquired it (together with 14 a. of land and 2 a. of meadow in Passenham) in two moieties in 1243-7. (fn. 399) Later in the 13th century John Baligan held the mill and 15 a. of land in Passenham as of the Hospitallers' manor of Blakesley at the same rent. (fn. 400) Another Richard Baligan conveyed the mill and other premises in Passenham to Roger and Alice Gardiner, whose son Stephen demised them to Henry IV. In 1414 Henry V granted them back to their other son John Gardiner, with remainder to John's sister Isabel. (fn. 401) In 1509 Richard Awchin was the miller at Passenham, (fn. 402) although a few years later it was let to a priest from Buckingham named John Rawlins. (fn. 403) When Queen Mary attempted to reestablish the Hospitallers in 1558, the order's possessions in Passenham included the mill, then in the tenure of Henry Turvey. (fn. 404)
The mill was a free tenement of the manor of Passenham in the later 16th century and was in the hands of Robert Fowkes in 1566. (fn. 405) It was not included in the sale of the manor to Sir Robert Banastre in 1623 (fn. 406) but appears to have been granted to him in fee at a later date, for in 1650 the fee farm rent of 26s. 8d. was prepared for sale, when the mill was occupied by Roger Turvey. (fn. 407) In 1756 Lord Maynard was complaining to his steward about the great expense incurred at the mill, noting that millers 'are at this time very thriving people', for whom gentlemen should not have to lay out large sums and receive no benefit in return. (fn. 408) The mill was let with 20 a. of land to Thomas Buckingham from at least the 1790s (when the rent was £40 a year) until the 1820s (when it was £90). The mill itself then had two wheels driving three pairs of stones; there was also a house, stable and a few other farm buildings. (fn. 409) George Gates was the tenant from the 1830s until his death in 1860, (fn. 410) when he was succeeded by William Webb. (fn. 411) James Rogers was the miller from at least 1885 until about 1910; (fn. 412) he was followed by William John N. Frost of Manor Farm, who was still operating the mill in 1914. (fn. 413) In 1918 it was offered for sale in working order, with two wheels driving four pairs of stones, together with a house and 22 a. of land. The premises remained subject to fee farm rents of 27s. 8d. and 2s. 8d., (fn. 414) which must include the sum sold off in 1650. The mill ceased to work shortly after the sale and was later converted to residential use. (fn. 415)
In 1511 a miller named John Allen was presented to the manor court by the constable of Deanshanger for taking excessive toll. (fn. 416) This appears to refer to a horse-mill which was certainly in use between the 1490s and 1540s (fn. 417) but had been dismantled by 1566; (fn. 418) no evidence has been found for a water-mill at Deanshanger.
In about 1549 John Fowkes alias Smith, who in 1538 had taken a 30-year lease of the manor of Passenham, (fn. 419) erected a windmill on some waste ground of the manor. After his death the lease passed to his widow Emma, who married William Cartwright. In 1561 they were accused of paying no rent for the mill, which was worth 5 marks a year. William and Emma claimed that the additional 3s. 4d. a year payable under the lease of 1538 was for the mill, but in fact that sum had been added to the ancient farm in the previous lease of the manor of 1524. (fn. 420) Both the windmill itself and Windmill Furlong were landmarks in Passenham field when the manor was surveyed in 1566. (fn. 421) The following year, when Thomas Fowkes took a 21-year lease of premises in Passenham which he had previously held by copy of court roll, the mill was added to the demise, at a rent of 3s. 4d. a year, and made subject to a detailed covenant concerning repairs. (fn. 422) Thomas later assigned to William Dyneley, who surrendered in 1577 in return for a new lease for 31 years. (fn. 423) By 1591 Dyneley had assigned to John Markham, who also had the lease of the manor house and demesnes. Markham was still paying 3s. 4d. a year for the mill, (fn. 424) which is shown on the early 17th-century map of Whittlewood, standing on the north side of the lane leading from Passenham to the main Buckingham road, (fn. 425) but appears to have no later history. A low mound in a field to the northwest of the village indicating its site could be discerned in the 1970s. (fn. 426)
In the late 15th century and early 16th the fishing in the Ouse from the ford at Passenham mill upstream as far as Calverton mill was let for 12d. ancient farm and as much again by way of increment. (fn. 427) In 1545 Robert Pigott, the lord of the manor of Beachampton (Bucks.), was presented in Passenham manor court for fishing with nets laid across the Ouse where it separated the two manors, instead of merely using rods from the Beachampton bank. His answer, when the matter passed to the Duchy Court two years later, was that the charge arose from malice on the part of some of the Passenham homage, who leased the Duchy's fishing rights there, that he had the right to lay his nets up to the middle of the river, and that he had offered 8s. a year for the Passenham side, whereas the Duchy had never received more than 6s. 8d. (fn. 428) The upshot was that Pigott secured the fishing in the manor of Passenham, initially from year to year, but from 1554 under a 21-year lease granted to him and his son Thomas at 8s. a year. (fn. 429) In 1591 John Markham, the tenant of the manor, had a lease of the fishing at Passenham ford and also held at will another fishery for 8s. year. This was presumably the stretch previously leased to the Pigotts, although confusingly the jurors stated that Thomas Pigott of Beachampton still held the fishing in the manor, but by what title they knew not. They also stated that the river yielded a 'reasonable store' of fish of different kinds. (fn. 430)
In 1600 John Ball of Deanshanger complained to the Duchy Court that although, as a tenant of the manor of Passenham, he was free of toll in all markets in England outside the Duchy, the deputy bailiff of Stony Stratford had cast down his stall in the market there, at which he sold fish, salt and suchlike goods, damaged his wares, and unfairly demanded toll from him. (fn. 431) Even in the late 18th century the Maynard estate was still letting the fishing in the river and the flags there for £4 10s. a year. (fn. 432)
Trades and Crafts.
Apart from the mill, Passenham (certainly from the 17th century) was too small to support any tradesmen. By contrast, Deanshanger, especially in the 19th century and probably before, was a mixed village whose economy was based on both farming and a wider range of industry than the usual village crafts. This was the result partly of the open structure of landownership, with numerous small freeholders able to establish businesses on their own property, and partly of the building of the Buckingham branch of the Grand Junction Canal through the middle of the village in 1800, which provided an easier means of transport, especially for heavy goods, than the main road from Old Stratford to Buckingham, turnpiked in 1815. The canal continued to operate throughout the 19th century with no direct railway competition. (fn. 433)
In the first half of the 18th century Deanshanger was the home of two brothers, Anthony Thomas and Edward Whitton, who were lace merchants, buying from local producers. (fn. 434) Anthony died in 1754; Edward appears to be identical with the substantial Northampton merchant of the same name who died in 1774. (fn. 435) They were the sons of Richard Whitton of Deanshanger, also a laceman, who died in 1741 and had previously lived at Wicken, where he was buried. (fn. 436) William Tompkins was also trading as a lace merchant in Passenham in the 1730s. (fn. 437) In the 19th century Samuel Cowley, who died in 1832 leaving personal estate sworn at under £200, and his son Amos were lacemerchants in Deanshanger. (fn. 438) Lacemaking survived in the village until about 1930; (fn. 439) the other ubiquitous domestic craft, shoemaking, continued up to the First World War. (fn. 440) A weaver named John Littleford was living in Deanshanger in 1744. (fn. 441)
Richard Bignell of Deanshanger described himself as a mercer in 1707. (fn. 442)
Brickmaking and Limeburning.
Evidence for brickmaking and limeburning dates from at least 1650, when Edward West was fined by the manor court for digging clay in the highways at Deanshanger. (fn. 443) In 1664 William West was living in one of two cottages erected on part of Deanshanger North Field at the Hayes, and had land adjoining on which he was making bricks and tiles and digging stone to make lime. (fn. 444) The limekiln was still in use in 1719 (fn. 445) but the brick kiln was replaced by a parish workhouse in about 1715, when William Clarke leased the property to the churchwardens and overseers. (fn. 446) At about the same date Edward West, perhaps William's son, was making bricks at Wolverton (Bucks.). (fn. 447) The row of cottages in Hayes Lane which replaced the workhouse in the 19th century were still called 'The Kiln' in 1925 and a quarry nearby continued to be worked until a few years before this date. (fn. 448)
In 1777 William Foxley was making bricks in the parish, (fn. 449) although where is not known. From the 1770s until 1805 the Grafton estate was paying first William and later John Colson to burn kilns of brick, tile and lime at Old Copse, on the edge of Whittlewood, (fn. 450) not far from the 18th-century kiln at Wicken Hurst. (fn. 451) After the younger Colson left, the kiln was refurbished and in 1807 taken over by Joseph Foxley, who also supplied charcoal for domestic use at Wakefield Lodge. (fn. 452) Foxley continued to operate the Old Copse kiln for the estate until his death in 1840 (fn. 453) and was succeeded from 1845 by William Ford. (fn. 454) At disafforestation the brickyard and the land on which it stood (on which Old Copse Farm was later established) were bought from the Crown by Willam Boyes, a Stony Stratford silk mercer. He died in 1896, when the estate passed to his only son William Osborne Boyes, who died in 1917. The following year his executors sold the farm to Samuel Smith of Potterspury. (fn. 455) In 1870 Thomas Bliss Foxley had the brickyard at Old Copse, (fn. 456) which remained in use at the turn of the century, (fn. 457) apparently still in the hands of Thomas Foxley. (fn. 458) It had closed by the time of the sale in 1918. (fn. 459) After the loss of the Old Copse kiln, the Grafton estate opened a replacement at Meanfallow in Paulerspury which remained in use until the First World War. (fn. 460)
Another brickyard, on the glebe between Deanshanger and Old Stratford, alongside the canal, (fn. 461) was occupied in the early 19th century by Thomas Freeman, who also rented a coalyard from Lord Maynard at Old Stratford. (fn. 462) Freeman was succeeded by Alfred Hailey in the 1850s (fn. 463) but the kiln was out of use by 1863. (fn. 464) William Rodknight was described as a brick- and tile-maker at Deanshanger in 1874, (fn. 465) as were John and Alfred Saunders in 1885 (fn. 466) and Alfred alone in 1894. (fn. 467)
All the brickmakers appear also to have been involved in limestone quarrying and limeburning. (fn. 468) In addition, William Hoare had a limekiln at Deanshanger in the 1830s and early 1840s, which by 1844 was in the hands of Richard Canvin. (fn. 469) By 1849 the business consisted merely of a coal-yard at a wharf on the canal, where the family remained until the Second World War. (fn. 470) John Rodknight was the tenant of another coal wharf in the 1850s, (fn. 471) to be followed by William Rodknight, who was there by 1870. (fn. 472) John Robinson had a limekiln at Deanshanger in the 1870s. (fn. 473)
John Pinfold of Deanshanger described himself as a potashman in 1806 and 1813, (fn. 474) although it is not clear whether his kiln was in the village, since a man of the same name had a potash business in Old Stratford in the 1760s and 1770s. (fn. 475)
Unusually, directories make no mention of a road carrier from Deanshanger or Passenham until 1931, when Percy Westley, who was also a furniture remover, was running a daily service to Wolverton, presumably by motor lorry, curtailed in 1936 to Wednesdays and Saturdays only, and extended in 1940 to include a service to Northampton as well as Wolverton. (fn. 476) On the other hand, since Deanshanger stood on the main road from Stony Stratford to Buckingham, several carriers between those towns must have passed through the village throughout the 19th century.
Ironfounding and Engineering.
After Richard Roberts had developed his family's original smithy into an iron foundry and engineering works, a new smithy was established elsewhere in the village, which was run by his youngest son Luke (1827-79) and later by Luke's son Eden John Roberts (1848-1920) and grandson Arthur Roberts. (fn. 477) Between the 1870s and the First World War the Burrows family (John, Harry and Frederick) had a threshingmachine hire business at Deanshanger, (fn. 478) while in 1877 a bicyle agent (George Roberts) was mentioned for the first time. (fn. 479) By 1885 that business was in the hands of Harry S. Roberts, (fn. 480) who in the 1890s described himself as a bicycle maker, (fn. 481) and in the following decade traded briefly as the 'Royal Condor Motor & Cycle Works', claiming to build Royal Condor motor cars, motorcycles and bicycles. In reality he had a bicycle repair shop near the Primitive Methodist chapel. (fn. 482)
The most important consequence of the opening of the canal through Deanshanger was the decision in 1820 (fn. 483) by Richard Roberts (1785-1854), whose family had been blacksmiths in Wicken in the 18th century, to develop a canalside smithy into an iron foundry and engineering works. In 1821 Roberts purchased the freehold of premises on the south bank of the canal towards the northern edge of the village, part of which he was already occupying as a smithy. (fn. 484) In 1843 he conveyed the property to his son John Roberts, ironfounder, and a few years later the works were described as a foundry worked by a small steam engine, with a blacksmith's shop. (fn. 485)
After John Roberts died in 1853, (fn. 486) a year before his father, the business was run by his widow Caroline, assisted by his elder son Edwin, who in 1859, aged 23, took charge of the firm. (fn. 487) During the 1860s Edwin Roberts extended the premises, including the purchase in 1868 of 5½ a. on the opposite side of the road from the original works, although only a small part of this was developed for industrial use. (fn. 488) In 1875 he took his younger brother Henry Roberts into partnership. (fn. 489)
In 1890 Edwin and Henry incorporated the business as E. & H. Roberts Ltd., with a nominal capital of £50,000, of which by 1894 £34,000 had been issued, a figure that remained unchanged for the rest of the company's existence. They themselves took 2,400 £10 shares in part-payment for the business, together with £6,700 in cash. Of the total purchase price of £30,700, £5,100 represented the value of the freehold premises (which included a former chapel in Buckingham used as a warehouse, bought in 1876, as well as the works at Deanshanger), £5,700 was for goodwill, £13,600 for stock, and £6,300 for debts. The company also took over the much smaller business of another member of the family, Albert Roberts, a builder's merchant, oil broker and general dealer, who received £1,845 (£1,500 for goodwill and the rest for stock), paid for mainly by the issue of 1,500 shares, plus £345 cash. The rest of the shares were all taken by other relatives: in 1894 there were 13 shareholders, but the controlling interest remained with Edwin and Henry, who together then owned 2,620 of the 3,400 shares. (fn. 490) The company's premises were generally known as Deanshanger Ironworks, but also from time to time as Britannia Ironworks. (fn. 491)
By 1900 two younger members of the family, Bertram Douglas Roberts and Rupert Percival Roberts, had been brought into the company, which was managed by four directors, Edwin, Henry, Thomas John Edwin and Albert Roberts. Edwin died in 1907 and thereafter Tom Roberts was managing director, with a small board made up of other family members. (fn. 492)
During its heyday, between the flotation of the limited company and the end of the First World War, E. & H. Roberts produced elevators, binders, mowing machines and other agricultural equipment, as well as doing general ironfounding, including manhole covers, gratings, railings, gates, window frames and kitchen ranges. They were also specialist hydraulic engineers, making windmills and pumps which were widely used by Potterspury rural district council for water schemes: (fn. 493) when the company ceased trading the local authority bought a quantity of spares from the liquidator. (fn. 494) Their best known product, however, was the Mephisto Prize Medal Gang Plough, which was depicted on the firm's billhead, where it was claimed to have been awarded 3,750 prizes. An example was permanently exhibited on the roof of one of the shops at the works. (fn. 495) Somewhat oddly, when the limited company was set up, both principals described themselves as engineers and brassfounders, (fn. 496) even though the firm were always regarded mainly as ironfounders.
The company remained almost entirely dependent on road carriage to Wolverton or the canal for transport, apart from the brief period (1888-9) when the Wolverton & Stony Stratford Tramway was extended to Deanshanger, with a spur running into their works. (fn. 497) Despite this handicap, the company developed an export trade, sending elevators to France, Algeria, South America and India, and ploughs to India and South Africa. (fn. 498) In 1885 Roberts employed about 75 men and boys, a figure which rose to between 100 and 150 in the years before the First World War. (fn. 499) Like the engineering industry generally, the company worked a twelve-hour day, 5½ days a week, before 1918, but were said to pay lower wages than the L.N.W.R. As a result tradesmen tended to move to Wolverton once they had finished their apprenticeship. (fn. 500)
As the only large employer in Deanshanger itself, E. & H. Roberts dominated the social as well as the economic life of the village in this period. The works had its own football and cricket teams, (fn. 501) and for a number of years the only names listed under 'Private Residents' in the local directory were members of the Roberts family. Both Edwin and Henry were active in public life and in particular led the Nonconformist cause in the village. (fn. 502)
For some years the business provided a comfortable living for its principals and a good return for the other shareholders. In 1904 it was agreed that three of the four acting directors should draw salaries of £300 a year (Albert Roberts received only £225), together with bonuses in proportion to the dividends paid. In the first ten years for which figures are available (1907-16) the company made an annual profit ranging from £2,130 to £3,413 around a mean of £2,688. The directors placed between £200 and £725 to reserves (which grew from £4,000 to £7,550 in these years), leaving an average of £2,340 available for distribution. If all this was paid out as dividend, the annual return on the £34,000 issued capital between 1907 and 1916 would have averaged 6.8 per cent before tax. (fn. 503) The existence of reserves of £4,000 in 1907 suggests that the company had been enjoying similar success for some years, probably since incorporation. In 1912 a major fire destroyed much of the works, which were rebuilt and re-equipped on more modern lines. (fn. 504) The fire made no impression on the company's balance sheet, nor on its profits, which reached their pre-war peak that year. (fn. 505)
The company's output is said to have expanded during the First World War, when women and girls were employed for the first time, (fn. 506) but most of this seems to have occurred in the last two years of the war and the first two years of peace. Annual profits for 1917-20 averaged £6,640, more than twice the highest pre-war figure. The directors continued to place only £300 a year to reserves, and appear to have distributed the rest, giving shareholders an average return of 18.6 per cent.
As a result of this policy, the impact of the post-war slump on the company was dramatic and, within a few years, fatal. Profits fell below £2,000 in 1921 and in each of the next two years the company made a trading loss of over £4,000. This was only converted into a profit on the balance sheet by liquidating the whole of the reserve fund, which stood at £9,150 in 1921. The position improved slightly in 1924 but in 1925 losses were again over £4,000. During the same period the company's overdraft, secured on the freehold premises, rose sharply from £4,200 at the end of 1920 to £9,400 a year later; it remained around £10,000 for the rest of the company's existence. In November 1926 the company borrowed a further £1,000 on a private mortgage but the following February the directors put the business into voluntary liquidation. Over the next twelve months the liquidator was able to pay the unsecured creditors 6s. 8d. in the £. (fn. 507) The premises and remaining stock were auctioned in 1929, (fn. 508) the liquidation was completed two years later, and the company was dissolved in 1933. (fn. 509)
The collapse of E. & H. Roberts caused considerable unemployment in Deanshanger, even though some men from the village worked at Wolverton. Some of those who lost their jobs left for the new car plants at Luton and Oxford, or even as far afield as Dagenham. (fn. 510)
The Oxide Works.
After the closure of the ironworks the parish council, supported by the R.D.C., wrote to the London Chamber of Commerce commending the site to companies in search of new premises, (fn. 511) and in June 1932 it was said that the works had been acquired by a biscuit manufacturer. (fn. 512) In fact, it was bought by an old-established firm of London zinc merchants, Morris Ashby Ltd., founded in 1867, (fn. 513) as the site of a joint venture with a German lithopone manufacturer, Abraham Wreschner of Berlin, (fn. 514) for whom Ashby had previously acted as English selling agents. Wreschner, as a Jew, was obliged to sell his business after Hitler came to power in 1933 and moved to England two years later to take charge of the newly established Morris Ashby Smelting Co. Ltd., in which Wreschner and Ashby each took half the issued capital of £1,500. (fn. 515) The former foundry site was attractive since it was available cheaply and was situated roughly halfway between the markets of London and Birmingham. The business relied entirely on road haulage from the start and the lack of a rail connection was unimportant.
The company initially made lead oxide, adding an iron oxide production line after about two years, and employed some 50 men before the Second World War. Colouring for the paint industry provided the main market for the company's products, which were sold by Morris Ashby. Both lead and iron oxides, especially the former, made an important contribution to the war effort and most of the company's employees were reserved from being called up.
At the end of the war the likely expansion of the oxide works was cited as a reason for choosing Deanshanger as the site of a new secondary school; (fn. 516) the company, whose name was changed to Deanshanger Oxide Works Ltd. in 1947, then had about 130 employees and was said to be drawing labour from a twenty-mile radius. (fn. 517) Abraham Wreschner was joined as a director in 1942 by his younger son Kurt Nathan Wreschner, whose brother Hans Jakob Wreschner became a director in 1964. All three men were naturalised in 1947. (fn. 518) Abraham died in 1953 but the family remained equal partners in the Deanshanger company with Morris Ashby Ltd., who by this period were also associated with other non-ferrous metal-processing businesses in Britain and overseas. Annual turnover at Deanshanger reached £1 million by the late 1960s and continued to rise to a peak of £8.0 million in 1979. Profits rose from £160,000 in 1968, the first year for which figures are available, to £1.5 million in 1979. About a third of the company's sales were exported, mostly to Europe, in the late 1960s and early 1970s, but this rose to about 50 per cent of a much larger total by the end of the decade. The company had 120 employees in the late 1960s and just under 150 by the end of the 1970s.
Turnover fell back to between £6 and £7 million in the early 1980s and profit to just under £1m. a year. Exports fell particularly sharply to below a third of total sales. In 1982 the company was acquired by Harrisons & Crosfield PLC, a large chemical business whose interests were then chiefly concentrated in Co. Durham. Although Kurt Wreschner remained on the board until 1985, the directors nominated by Morris Ashby retired after the takeover, and the new owners proceeded to reconstruct the company on more realistic lines, capitalising reserves to raise the issued shares to just over £2m. In 1983 the company was renamed Deanshanger Oxides Ltd. and for a time used the trading style 'Deanox'. The directors of Harrisons & Crosfield announced a substantial expansion programme at Deanshanger in the mid 1980s, a period in which turnover peaked at £13.5m. in 1987, with profits of £5.2m.; the average profit for the first six years after the takeover was £3.1m. on turnover of £11.1m. The number of employees rose from 135 immediately before the takeover to 168 by 1988. (fn. 519) During this period the company continued to manufacture dyestuffs and pigments and for a time Deanshanger claimed to be the second largest iron oxide works in the world.
Harrisons & Crosfield was renamed Elementis PLC in 1998. Early the following year the company closed its Deanshanger works, whose market for iron oxides had gradually been lost to cheaper producers in the Far East, where Elementis had purchased other businesses. The site of the works was cleared without delay for redevelopment with a mixture of users, including some fresh employment. By the time of the closure, however, the era had long passed when the community was in any sense dependent on the oxide works, even for male industrial employment. As early as 1960 it was found that about two-thirds of the working population in Deanshanger worked outside the village. (fn. 520) This degree of travelling prompted the local county councillor to call for the introduction of some light industry to the village, although with no prospect of success, since the Board of Trade would not grant industrial development certificates in an area with full employment. (fn. 521) The trend continued, however, with the growth of Milton Keynes, which soon provided its hinterland, including Deanshanger, with a much wider range of employment than in the days when most men had worked at E. & H. Roberts, the oxide works or Wolverton.
Passenham manor court sat twice a year in the late 15th century and early 16th, when routine leet business was conducted, together with a small number of copyhold admissions. At the beginning of that period Passenham, Deanshanger, Old Stratford and Puxley each sent their own constable to the court, but from 1507 (by which date the settlement was reduced to only a couple of farms) noone from Puxley attended. (fn. 522) Constables continued to be appointed for the other three townships (although not all were present at every court) and the two rural townships each had a hayward. (fn. 523)
At the beginning of the 18th century two initiatives probably reflect the large number of paupers in an open village such as Deanshanger. In 1708 seventeen poor householders, four from Deanshanger itself and the rest from Little London, a slightly separate hamlet to the north of the main part of the village, agreed to convey their freehold cottages for a term of 500 years (subject to their remaining tenants of the houses) to seven more substantial householders, who in return agreed to lay out such sums as were needed to defend the cottagers' title against the suit of Leonard Thomson of Stony Stratford. (fn. 524) The action had already been in progress for a year. (fn. 525) The parish thus came to own a number of small cottages, used by the overseers to accommodate poor families. Some new tenants were admitted in 1722 (fn. 526) and in the same year the surviving trustees of 1708 conveyed the estate to a new body of 13, (fn. 527) who in 1723 admitted three more new tenants. (fn. 528) A few years earlier, in 1715, the churchwardens and overseers took a lease for six years at 30s. a year from William Clarke of a newly erected workhouse in Hayes Lane, Deanshanger, built on the site of a former brick kiln. (fn. 529) The overseers then completed the fitting up of the building as a 'workhouse or hospital for the poor'. (fn. 530) Later in the 18th century the overseers rented other premises, which became known as 'the Hospital', in Church Lane, Deanshanger, which was still called Hospital Lane in 1843. (fn. 531)
By the 18th century the single constable serving the whole parish (assisted by a headborough) was clearly an official of the vestry, not the manor; in addition the vestry appointed two churchwardens and two overseers of the poor. (fn. 532) Unusually for a parish which remained one for poor relief, it was divided into two for highway purposes, with separate surveyors or waywardens appointed (from at least 1773) for Deanshanger (including Puxley) and Passenham (including part of Old Stratford). (fn. 533)
From 1807 the overseers were paying a subscription to keep paupers in Stony Stratford workhouse, presumably in addition to using the parish workhouse at Deanshanger and the cottages at Little London; as at Wicken, they were also setting pauper women on to make lace and keeping the proceeds when the lace was sold. (fn. 534) By 1830 the old 'Hospital' seems to have been given up, since a meeting of ratepayers resolved to convert a building adjoining the Green at Deanshanger into a workhouse (or house of industry) on the same lines as the one at Leckhampstead. A rent of £15 a year was agreed and the churchwardens and overseers arranged to advertise for a master and mistress. (fn. 535) The new house was soon in use (fn. 536) and in the early 1830s the Passenham overseers were recovering the cost of keeping paupers there who had settlements in Haversham and North Crawley (Bucks.). (fn. 537)
Under the 1834 Poor Law Amendment Act Passenham became part of Potterspury union and thus Potterspury rural district in 1894. Transferred to an enlarged Towcester rural district in 1935, the parish became part of South Northamptonshire district in 1974. (fn. 538)
Once the union workhouse at Yardley Gobion was opened, (fn. 539) the Passenham overseers presumably gave up the tenancy of their own house of industry. They were, however, by this date responsible for the 19 cottages at Deanshanger and Little London previously held by separate trustees, (fn. 540) which were transferred to the union on its establishment. Early in 1840 the Poor Law Commission agreed to the sale of the property, which realised £603 (£561 net), of which £118 was used to discharge Passenham's share of the cost of building the workhouse. (fn. 541) The cottages themselves were sold in small lots at £50 or £60 each to various local purchasers. (fn. 542) The £443 balance held by the union was returned to the parish in stages from 1858 for the building and subsequent extension of the school. (fn. 543)
The vestry became more actively concerned with church matters after the opening of the chapel of ease at Deanshanger in 1854; (fn. 544) on the civil side the main issue in the same period was the appointment of highway surveyors. Matters came to a head early in 1863 when quarter sessions divided the county (outside the boroughs) into 10 highway districts and listed Passenham and Deanshanger as separate parishes within the area of the new Towcester highway board. (fn. 545) A meeting of ratepayers in March that year appointed a waywarden for Passenham but refused to do so for Deanshanger until the parish officers explained the basis for the separate appointments. (fn. 546) The Passenham waywarden engaged John Parrott, the Stony Stratford attorney, to make enquiries: Parrott ran up a bill of nearly £70 obtaining copies of various documents, (fn. 547) of which the Deanshanger Inclosure Act of 1772 was held to be the authority under which that township maintained its own highways, supported by the evidence of separate accounts from 1773. (fn. 548) Since there was no power under the 1862 Highways Act to amalgamate two parishes, there was nothing the highway board could do, despite the inequity of a situation in which two townships of similar size (forming a single parish for poor and church rates) had, in one case, a mile and a half of highway to maintain and, in the other, seven miles. (fn. 549) The situation continued until 1879, from which year a rate was raised for the highway district as a whole, rather than individual parishes. (fn. 550)
During the 1880s the rural sanitary authority considered the need for a water supply scheme for Deanshanger. (fn. 551) The work went ahead in 1891; the following year an extension to Passenham was considered but not proceeded with. (fn. 552) When the question was raised again in 1898 it was decided instead to extend the supply to Little London. (fn. 553) Nothing was done to sewer Deanshanger in this period, where the outfall into the stream at the east end of the village was described as 'extremely foul' in 1897. (fn. 554) A joint committee of the parish council and rural district council considered a sewerage scheme in 1904 but no work appears to have been carried out. (fn. 555)
The Parish Council.
Passenham acquired a parish council of 11 members under the 1894 Local Government Act, which was chaired from its inception until his death in 1909 by Henry Roberts, (fn. 556) the largest local employer. Early enthusiasm to adopt both the Free Libraries Act and the Lighting & Watching Act (fn. 557) soon subsided: a proposal for a parish library was abandoned within three months, (fn. 558) and after street lighting had been discussed on several occasions, a vote of 60-0 against adoption at a meeting in April 1908 (fn. 559) put an end to the matter for several years. The council did encourage the introduction of evening classes into the village when they first became available in 1897, (fn. 560) although they would not help in establishing a children's playground at Old Stratford in 1912-13. (fn. 561)
After the First World War the need for council houses at Deanshanger became by far the most important issue facing the parish council, which in May 1919 sought at least 20 houses 'owing to the extraordinary shortage of accommodation'. (fn. 562) The R.D.C. agreed that Deanshanger's was the strongest case in the district (fn. 563) and tried to proceed as quickly as possible, albeit with only eight houses initially. A tender for the first two at £900 each was accepted in the summer of 1920 and the whole scheme (in Folly Road) was finished the following spring. (fn. 564) The council then found that they had to ask a rent of 12s. 6d. a week exclusive of rates, whereas cottages nearby were being let for 8s. 5d. inclusive. (fn. 565) Their rent collector managed to let six of the houses, (fn. 566) but there were still two voids in January 1922, when the council was forced to reduce the rent to 10s. (fn. 567) Five years later the council refused a request for a further rent reduction but agreed to carry out repairs and outside painting. (fn. 568)
In July 1928 the parish council asked the R.D.C. to build a further 16 houses at Deanshanger to relieve overcrowding. (fn. 569) After lengthy discussion, it was agreed to build four (and the same number in two other villages). (fn. 570) The scheme went ahead using concrete block construction, which led to immediate problems of damp penetration. (fn. 571) In 1930 12 more houses were built, in which electric light was installed. (fn. 572) The new houses could be let for only 4s. 6d. a week, which produced objections from the tenants of the older houses, whose rents were reduced to 8s. 6d. (fn. 573) Another scheme for 12 houses was approved in 1931, again with rents at 4s. 6d. a week. (fn. 574)
Shortly before Potterspury R.D.C. was abolished in 1935, the council decided to build a further 12 houses, this time under the 1930 Housing Act to rehouse people moving from unfit accomodation. (fn. 575) They also agreed to reduce the rents of those built under the 1924 Act to 3s. 1d. a week, and to install baths in the original row built under the 1919 Act. (fn. 576) Presumably largely as a result of this increased house-building, it became necessary to improve the water supply, and in March 1935 the R.D.C. sought loan sanction for £5,350 for a scheme covering Cosgrove and Old Stratford as well as Deanshanger. (fn. 577) Towcester R.D.C. maintained its predecessor's vigorous housing programme in Deanshanger, and in 1938 Lord Henley opened a new estate of 70 houses named 'Ridgmont' in commemoration of two particularly active parish councillors, Rupert Ridgway (later a county alderman) and W.N. Montgomery. (fn. 578) The village then had just over a hundred council houses. (fn. 579)
Apart from pressing the R.D.C. for more houses, the parish council also participated in the L.E.A.'s village library scheme from its inception in 1927-8. (fn. 580) When mains electricity reached Deanshanger in 1930-1, a lengthy struggle to adopt the Lighting & Watching Act was finally successful and by the autumn of 1939 Deanshanger and Old Stratford had street lighting. (fn. 581) The parish council's other main concern in the late 1930s was the continued lack of a sewerage system in Deanshanger, where the brook remained in a foul state. The R.D.C. were keen to proceed with a scheme but were defeated by the outbreak of war. (fn. 582)
Housing was again the main priority at the end of the Second World War. In September 1944 the parish asked for an initial allocation of 100 houses and began to collect names of prospective tenants. (fn. 583) The R.D.C. already had plans to extend Ridgmont and in 1948 another 58 houses were completed there, when it was noted that every ex-serviceman in the village who needed a home had been allocated one on the new estate. (fn. 584) In 1953 the R.D.C. announced plans for another 20 houses in Puxley Road, although the parish council considered twice that number were needed. (fn. 585) The immediate post-war years also saw the name of the parish changed from Passenham to Deanshanger (in 1948) (fn. 586) and the transfer of the Passenham portion of Old Stratford and about 600 a. of Deanshanger parish to a new civil parish of Old Stratford (in 1951). The Deanshanger council raised no objection in principle to the creation of the new council, although they were unhappy that the hamlet of Passenham itself was transferred to Old Stratford. (fn. 587)
By the early 1960s private housing estates were beginning to be built in Deanshanger, (fn. 588) although neither then nor in the 1970s (fn. 589) was the parish council opposed to such building. By the early 1990s the district council's policy was not to allow further large-scale development at Deanshanger but only piecemeal schemes, with which the parish council concurred. (fn. 590) The local council also opposed plans to extract sand and gravel from the south of the parish, (fn. 591) and were unconvinced of the need for either a golf course at Shrobb Lodge or a hotel and restaurant conversion at Passenham Manor. (fn. 592)
Although there is no reference to a church in Passenham in Domesday Book, the royal estate there had soke over part of Cosgrove. (fn. 593) This, and the dedication to the 8th-century Mercian saint Guthlac, suggest that the church at Passenham had once been the centre of a larger Anglo-Saxon parochia. Although from at least the early 17th century, if not before, most of the population of the parish lived at Deanshanger, rather than Passenham, (fn. 594) only in 1854 was a chapel of ease opened in the former village, which for the rest of the 19th century was served by its own curate. (fn. 595) Various schemes for uniting Passenham with either Cosgrove or Wicken were discussed in the 1950s, although nothing was done and at the time of writing Passenham, along with Wicken, remained the only single benefices in Cleley hundred. (fn. 596) Passenham was always served by rectors, who from 1948 lived at Deanshanger.
The advowson was granted to Cirencester abbey on its foundation in 1133, (fn. 597) an arrangement later disputed by an undertenant of the manor of Passenham, William de Passenham, who was forced to acknowledge the abbey's right to the advowson. (fn. 598) Cirencester continued to present to the living until the Dissolution. In 1382 the abbot pursued Thomas Ravenser for 36 marks of unpaid rent due for the living. (fn. 599) He was clearly unsuccessful and issued a further eight writs of venire facias against Ravenser between January 1386 and July 1388 for a sum of 48 marks. (fn. 600) The rent was not finally recovered until 1389 and the dispute was still in progress in 1463. (fn. 601)
The advowson was reunited with the lordship of the manor, then parcel of the Duchy of Lancaster, following the suppression of Cirencester abbey. The distinction between Duchy and Crown created problems in 1626, when it was found that the appointment of John Aris to the living was invalid because he had been presented by Charles I as king, not as duke of Lancaster. (fn. 602)
The advowson itself was leased in 1582 for 50 years to Francis Flower, (fn. 603) who assigned the lease to Sir Robert Banastre. In 1623 Banastre purchased the manor and advowson and both passed on his death in 1649 to his grandson Banastre Maynard, whose descendants continued to present to the living until 1930, when Lady Warwick (who retained the advowson when she sold the Passenham Manor estate in 1911) sold it to Sir Charles King-Harman, who was believed to be acting on behalf of a syndicate. (fn. 604) Only once during that period was the patronage exercised by someone other than a member of the Maynard family. Following the appointment of Francis Hutchinson to the bishopric of Down and Connor, the Crown exercised its right to present in such a situation and was challenged by Lord Maynard. (fn. 605) The Maynards apparently regarded the living as very much their private property: in 1860 the new incumbent, Henry Wood, made an agreement with Viscount Maynard to resign in favour of Maynard's grandsons, Horatio Capel and George Capel, should it be required for either of them, as it was in 1870. (fn. 606)
In 1940 Sir Charles King-Harman's executors were patrons of Passenham. (fn. 607) By 1953 the advowson had passed to the Martyrs' Memorial Trust, (fn. 608) whose successors, the Martyrs' Memorial and Church of England Trust, remained patrons at the time of writing. (fn. 609)
Income and Property.
The church was valued at £10 in 1291, not including the rent of £2 13s. 4d. owed to Cirencester abbey. (fn. 610) The living was valued at £40 in 1535, with no reference to synodal dues and procurations. (fn. 611) Whether the living was free from such dues is unclear, although several ultimately successful attempts were made subsequently to resist the claim in the 18th and 19th centuries. (fn. 612) The rent owed by Passenham to Cirencester formed part of a bundle of former Cirencester fee farm rents sold in 1650 (fn. 613) and in 1692 was settled by John Stork in trust for the poor of Middleton (Lancs.).
When the rectory was leased to Flower in the late 16th century about £30 a year was reserved to the incumbent. When Passenham was inclosed by Sir Robert Banastre, apparently in the 1620s, he agreed to pay a similar sum as a composition for tithes in the township. (fn. 614) In the early 18th century his successors as patron were also paying 4s. a year for tithes on Passenham mill, and a further 40s. was paid as a modus for tithes on Puxley pastures. (fn. 615) In 1758 it was noted that the payment of £30 varied slightly from year to year, since it was a composition, not a modus. (fn. 616) The living was said then to be worth between £200 and £300 a year. (fn. 617) On the eve of the inclosure of Deanshanger in 1773, Lord Maynard was paying £35 a year in lieu of Passenham tithes, the tithes of Deanshanger raised a further £75 2s. 9d., rent from the two farms into which the glebe was divided amounted to £101, and a further 5 guineas came from rent of meadow near Stratford Bridge, giving the living a gross income of £216, or about £137 after outgoings.
In the first full year after inclosure, when the tithes of Deanshanger were commuted and the rector received an allotment of 125 a. (8 a. in lieu of glebe and 117 a. for tithes) in addition to the 99 a. belonging to the living in Passenham, (fn. 618) the glebe was let for £235 16s., which raised the gross income to £270 16s., including the payment of £35 for Passenham tithes. In 1776, when rents on the Passenham Manor estate were raised following Lord Maynard's death, the rector successfully demanded payment of tithes in kind, which he then let to the tenants for £90 5s. a year, so that the net income rose to about £250. (fn. 619) In 1776 it was noted that the newly inclosed and extended glebe at Deanshanger was let at rack rent, although the rector was advised to spend at least £160 on a new farmhouse and buildings there. (fn. 620)
In 1800 some glebe land in Passenham was sold for the route of the Buckingham branch of the Grand Junction Canal and the proceeds used to buy £288 of stock. (fn. 621) In 1808 the living was valued at £463 16s. 6d., made up of £141 for Flowers Farm (99 a.), £156 for Puxley Farm (125 a.), and the tithes on 780 a. in Passenham. (fn. 622) In fact, Flowers Farm was let for £150 the same year, (fn. 623) and in 1814 Puxley Farm was let for £160, giving a total income from the glebe (including Ham Meadow and the Consols.) of £328 12s. 8d., with a further £170 6s. 6d. in tithes from Passenham. (fn. 624) The following year the 4th duke of Grafton conceded that tithe was payable on underwood from the coppices in that part of Whittlewood which lay within Passenham, (fn. 625) a claim which his father had resisted in 1771. (fn. 626) In 1839 the rector returned the income of the living as £540 gross, £434 net. (fn. 627) When Passenham tithes were commuted for £301 15s. in 1845, an additional £15 was added for tithes of land occupied by Grafton within Whittlewood. (fn. 628)
After commutation, the gross income of the living was £650 in the 1860s and 1870s, and £750 in the 1880s, (fn. 629) before falling sharply to £400 by the 1890s. (fn. 630) It recovered to £490 by 1920. (fn. 631) That year most of the glebe, consisting of Puxley Glebe Farm (98 a., let for £125), smallholdings at Flowers Barn Farm (44 a., let for £82), and three parcels of accommodation land (about 60 a., let for £118) was put up for sale; (fn. 632) the main farm failed to sell but was successfully put back on the market two years later. (fn. 633) The two sales realised £2,842. (fn. 634) In 1940 the net income of the living was said to be £546, including rent from the remaining 70 a. of glebe. (fn. 635)
The oldest portion of the former parsonage adjacent to the church at Passenham dates from the early 17th century and may have been built by Sir Robert Banastre. (fn. 636) It was extended and modernised by Loraine Loraine-Smith in 1838 and sold in 1946, (fn. 637) when a new house was built at Deanshanger.
Although John Aris's incumbency was notable for lasting only from October to December 1626, several of his successors enjoyed long periods as rectors of Passenham. John Hey, Loraine Loraine-Smith, and Viscount Maynard's grandson, George Capel, between them occupied the living for 133 years from 1779 to 1915. (fn. 638) Hey was a distinguished theologian, occupying the Norrissian chair of Divinity at Cambridge in 1780, 1785 and 1790; his lectures were published in 1796. (fn. 639) Francis Hutchinson, rector of Passenham between 1706 and 1727 and bishop of Down and Connor from 1720 to his death in 1739, as well as translating the catechisms into Irish, was also the author of works on Irish history and witchcraft. (fn. 640)
The Parish Church.
The church of St. Guthlac consists of a west tower, nave, chancel and south porch. The lower part of the tower and the nave are of the later 13th century. The nave has lancets on its north wall and two-light Geometrical windows in the south; the contemporary chancel arch is of two chamfered orders, with moulded capitals. The rest of the tower and the chancel, including its 'Gothic survival' east window, date from the rebuilding by Sir Robert Banastre in 1626, which produced an elaborate and substantially intact Laudian ensemble. Notable works of this period are the sumptuously carved choir-stalls dated 1628, the chancel wall-paintings of large figures in shell-arched niches, and the elaborate nave roof. A steeple on top of the tower is said to have fallen down in the 1620s, unless it was dismantled by Banastre. (fn. 641)
Between 1769 and 1776 Pulter Forrester spent about £750 on improvements to the glebe, parsonage and church, including £128 as his share of the cost of Deanshanger inclosure. (fn. 642) A new pulpit, reading desk and pew for Lord Maynard were installed in the chancel in 1769, and a gallery two years later. These improvements had the support of the parishioners of Passenham, although the farmers of Deanshanger threatened legal proceedings if they were assessed to a rate to pay for the work. In the event, so that the work could be completed quickly, Maynard advanced £150 as a loan, repayable by the parish over six years from a 6d. rate. (fn. 643) The 3rd duke of Grafton also made a contribution. (fn. 644) The pulpit appears to have been made up from reused Jacobean fragments, possibly from the previous pulpit; the gallery was supported on fluted Ionic columns taken from the rood screen, which was removed as part of the changes; and box pews were installed in the nave. (fn. 645)
A new font was given by the rector, Loraine Loraine-Smith, in 1834, (fn. 646) and in 1867 a stained glass window, the gift of Miss Day of Stony Stratford, was put into the chancel. (fn. 647) A plan in 1938 to form a baptistry at the west end of the south side of the nave, including the replacement of the font, was turned down by the diocesan advisory committee (fn. 648) and presumably abandoned after the outbreak of war.
In 1951, by which time St. Guthlac's had been effectively abandoned in favour of the church at Deanshanger, (fn. 649) Major Frank Markham of Stony Stratford drew attention to the importance of the 17th-century fittings at Passenham. (fn. 650) After the Lawsons came to live at Passenham Manor the following year funds were raised, helped by a grant from the Pilgrim Trust, for work to be done on both the structure and furnishings under the direction of Lawrence Bond. In 1962-6 the wall paintings were renovated by E. Clive Rouse and Ann Ballantyne. (fn. 651) Today the carefully restored, richly furnished and strikingly decorated interior remains an impressive monument to the faith and wealth of Sir Robert Banastre in the 17th century, Pulter Forrester in the 18th, and Cdr. and Mrs. Lawson in the 20th.
There is a monument to Sir Robert Banastre (d. 1649) in the chancel, consisting of a demifigure in an oval niche surrounded by a wreath. (fn. 652)
The tower contains five bells, the oldest of which is medieval and the others are dated 1585, 1624, 1635 and 1711; the most recent is signed by Richard Chandler of Drayton Parslow (Bucks.). (fn. 653)
Holy Trinity, Deanshanger.
The foundation stone of a chapel of ease at Deanshanger was laid on 28 April 1853 and the building consecrated on 9 November 1854. Designed by Benjamin Ferrey in Early English style with seats for 400, the church consists of a nave, north aisle, south porch, chancel and bell turret containing three bells. (fn. 657) It was described at the time of its opening as 'an excellent, though inexpensive, example of the small village church'. (fn. 658) In fact, the total cost was nearly £2,500, considerably more than the £1,777 originally estimated, and there was some resistance to a church rate to meet a shortfall of £477 after the bulding was finished, even though over half the cost (nearly £1,500) had been given by the Revd. Charles Perceval, rector of Calverton (Bucks.). (fn. 659)
In 1897 the organ was removed from the chancel and placed in the vestry, an arch being let into the wall between the chancel and the vestry. A new pulpit, to the design of E. Swinfen Harris jun., was also installed, as were seats to fill the gap in the chancel. (fn. 660) In 1906 a stained glass east window was installed to commemorate the golden jubilee of the opening of the church. (fn. 661)
Deanshanger remained a chapel of ease to Passenham at the time of writing, as it had been since 1854. A separate marriage register for Deanshanger was instituted in 1949, after Holy Trinity was licensed; (fn. 662) before then all three events were registered for the parish as a whole in a single series of volumes. (fn. 663)
In February 1798 John Foxley and William Hillyer of Deanshanger registered a house in the village in Foxley's possession as a meeting-house for Protestant dissenters. (fn. 664) Nothing more is heard of this congregation but in April 1824 a house in the possession of Gilbert Lyons and a man named Knighton was certfied as a meeting-house. (fn. 665) This building was assessed to rates from 1824 owards: (fn. 666) in the early 1830s William Clarke was the occupier, (fn. 667) although the premises are not specifically identified as a meeting-house in 1838 or later. (fn. 668) The Independent Sunday school attended by 12 children mentioned in 1840 (fn. 669) presumably belonged to this congregation. In 1851 the building was returned as a Independent licensed dwelling house, neither separate nor exclusive, containing 120 free sittings, with an average attendance of 60 at a weekly Sunday evening service. There was no Sunday school and the congregation was served by a minister from Stony Stratford, John Ashby. (fn. 670) It appears to have no later history.
The Baptist cause in Deanshanger probably dates from the registration in April 1832 of a house in the occupation of John Cox, (fn. 671) which was superseded the following year by a purpose-built chapel (fn. 672) on the north side of the Green, with 130 free sittings. On Census Sunday in 1851 there were 40 at the morning service, 78 in the afternoon and 100 in the evening, figures similar to those claimed as the average for the previous 12 months. The Sunday school had an attendance of 35 in the morning, 30 in the afternoon. The chapel was a branch of the Baptist church in Stony Stratford, whose minister, E. L. Forster, served also at Deanshanger. (fn. 673)
The chapel on the Green was replaced by a larger building (Union Chapel) in High Street, near the canal bridge, in 1898, (fn. 674) and in 1900 the old chapel was leased by the owner, Lord Penrhyn, to the rector and churchwardens for use as an infants' school, which it remained until 1939. (fn. 675) Union Chapel was still in use in 1973 (fn. 676) but was removed from the worship register seven years later. (fn. 677) At the time of writing the building was occupied by a mail-order bookselling business.
Deanshanger was missioned by the Primitive Methodists in the early 1840s but for some time the congregation lacked a suitable place in which to worship. This was remedied when they built a chapel on a freehold site on the western edge of the village near Dovehouse Farm, which was opened for worship on 2 December 1849, when it became part of the Buckingham branch of the Aylesbury circuit. The original building was of stone, with a slate roof, measuring 24 ft. by 18 ft. inside. It cost £120, of which only £20 was in hand at the time of opening, although funds continued to be raised the following year. (fn. 678) The building had seats for 150, of which 90 were free, and standing room for another 50. In 1851 the minister, John Wright of Buckingham, reported average attendances of 60 at the Sunday morning service, 130 in the afternoon and 150 in the evening; there was no Sunday school. (fn. 679) The chapel was enlarged in 1869 but demolished and replaced with a larger building, in brick, in 1892, which included a schoolroom. (fn. 680) In 1960 the chapel had accommodation for 120 in a single room; (fn. 681) it remained in use at the time of writing.
What appears to be another Primitive Methodist chapel in Deanshanger was registered in 1861 and removed from the register in 1876. (fn. 682)
In 1851 Anne Morris was noted as having ceased to be a communicant at Passenham because she had become a 'Mormonite', (fn. 683) although whether this was locally or in the United States is not clear. In 1857 the 'Old Meeting Room' (possibly that used by the congregation last heard of in 1851) (fn. 684) in Deanshanger, the property of Mary Bird, was registered for use by the Latter Day Saints. Its registration was cancelled in 1876. (fn. 685) According to local tradition, a Mormon mission visited Deanshanger in the late 19th century, as a result of which several people are said to have emigrated to join the sect in Salt Lake City. (fn. 686)
Bethany Room, Little London, was registered for undenominational Christian worship in 1921 and removed from the register in 1964. (fn. 687)
The Village School to 1925.
By his will dated 12 March 1708 (proved in 1715) John Swannell gave to his kinsman John Inwood a messuage in Deanshanger for seven years from the testator's decease, and thereafter to John's son Amaziah Inwood, who was to pay 50s. a year to the 'overseers of the poor of Deanshanger' (fn. 688) for the schooling of as many of the poorest children of Deanshanger to read and write as might be taught for so much money. (fn. 689) By the early 19th century the rent charge was being used to pay for the teaching of six poor children of Deanshanger, the master receiving 2d. a week for each child. There were also at this time two small private schools in the parish, each attended by another half-dozen children. (fn. 690) A gift of £5 for teaching six poor boys, included in the will of Thomas Nichol in 1726, appears to have been lost, although his bread charity survived. (fn. 691)
In 1820 the rector established a Sunday school in a rented room in Deanshanger, taught from 1826 until at least the early 1830s by Stephen Russell and his wife, who were paid £7 7s. a year. (fn. 692) From this a day school developed: in 1833 the Sunday school had an average attendance of 70, divided equally between boys and girls, while the day school, as in other villages where girls turned to lace-making at an early age, had 20 boys but only five girls. These schools were supported partly from Swannell's charity and partly from parish funds. (fn. 693) In 1840 the Sunday school had 60 pupils (25 boys and 35 girls) and the day school 36 (16 boys and 20 girls) aged between four and eight. The day school mistress was paid 5s. a week and the Sunday school master £3 3s. a year. The schools were held in two rooms, each accommodating 60 children, (fn. 694) in a converted house in the High Street. (fn. 695) The only other school in the parish (except at Old Stratford) was the Independent Sunday school attended by twelve children. (fn. 696) There were estimated to be about 40 children aged between four and 12 not attending any school, mostly girls employed in lace-making. (fn. 697) The schoolmaster in this period was Richard Lamburne, assisted by his wife Elizabeth. (fn. 698)
In 1858 the vestry considered a scheme for building a schoolroom and master's house at Deanshanger. Half the estimated cost of £400 was raised by the sale of stock held on behalf of the parish by the poor law union, which represented the proceeds of the sale of the former parish workhouse; the rest came from voluntary subscriptions. (fn. 699) In October that year a plot measuring 80 ft. by 41 ft. on the south side of Deanshanger Green was acquired, (fn. 700) and the following January plans prepared by an architect named Simpson were approved. (fn. 701) The stone-built schoolroom, measuring 41 ft. by 20 ft., which could be divided into two by a sliding partition, opened in the autumn of 1859. Behind was a small yard and offices, and beyond that a house and garden for the master. (fn. 702) The school was to be managed by the rector, churchwardens, overseers and a committee of those subscribing at least a guinea a year, together with a ladies' committee to oversee the girls' and infants' schools. The rector or his curate was ex officio chairman of the managers. The trust deed did not make any provision for religious instruction in the school, which was described as 'parochial', rather than a National school, (fn. 703) although Passenham joined the Northamptonshire branch of the National Society shortly after the new building was opened. (fn. 704)
The opening of the new premises did not solve the problems of discipline and poor teaching from which the school suffered in this period. In 1862 the diocesan inspector recommended the dismissal of the master, Richard Chibnall, and his wife, and the establishment of a separate infants' school, under its own mistress, with the older pupils under a master in a mixed school. (fn. 705) Five years later another report concluded that 'This school is very inefficient, and much below the average of Village Schools'. The school then had an average attendance of a hundred, taught by the Chibnalls and two pupil-teachers. (fn. 706) Chibnall and his wife were replaced from January 1868 by Bryan William Pywell and his sister Hannah Amelia. Pywell, who was 22 and had attended the diocesan training college at Peterborough for two years, leaving with a third class probationary certificate, was offered an initial salary of £55 a year, with house and coal, and the promise of one third of the grant once he had fully qualified. He took charge of the mixed school (about 40 pupils), while his sister, who was unqualified, taught 50 infants, assisted by a monitress. Both were expected to teach in the Sunday school, (fn. 707) and Pywell also taught a night school three nights a week during the four winter months, which had about two dozen pupils aged between 12 and 21. (fn. 708)
Following Pywell's appointment, the school came for the first time under government, as well as diocesan, inspection. (fn. 709) Both criticised the very poor discipline, which made effective teaching impossible; in 1868 H.M.I. reiterated the advice of the diocesan inspector that a separate infants' school should be established; and the following year the grant was docked. (fn. 710) In 1870 the Education Department withheld Pywell's certificate until his teaching of arithmetic improved. (fn. 711)
The passing of the 1870 Elementary Education Act forced the managers to enlarge the premises, since there were about 160 children aged 5-12 in the parish but the school had room for only 122. There were then 63 boys and 36 girls on the books, with an average attendance of 52 and 27, including 11 children aged over 12. (fn. 712) In November 1870 the ratepayers resolved to continue with a voluntary school and quickly accepted plans (again drawn up by Mr. Simpson) for an infants' school to be built at the back of the older schoolroom (creating in effect a double-pile building). The work was completed by August 1871 (fn. 713) at a cost of £250, of which £200 came from the sale of parish stock and the rest from Viscount Maynard's trustees, the 6th duke of Grafton and the county branch of the National Society, as well as several small donations. (fn. 714)
The school received slightly better reports from H.M.I. after the premises were extended, (fn. 715) although the Education Department noted in 1873 that the accommodation was barely sufficient for a school population estimated at 195, and insisted that the infants' school be run as a separate department by a certificated mistress. (fn. 716) Pywell, whose sister had already been replaced by a qualified teacher, left in 1873, to be succeeded by Sydney Albion Potter, on a salary of £75. (fn. 717) Potter, who brought some improvement to the school, (fn. 718) stayed for only two years, to be replaced by George Ostler, who began in January 1876, aged 20, after a year's training at Carmarthen College, with the same salary. The infants' mistress, Jane Sellis, who had trained as a pupil-teacher, was paid £50. The mixed school then had an average attendance of 46 (against 75 on the register) and the infants' school 29 (83 on the register). An evening class continued to be held four nights a week between November and April, teaching reading, writing and arithmetic to about 20 older boys. (fn. 719)
Both H.M.I. and the diocesan inspector noted a gradual improvement during the early years of Ostler's headship. (fn. 720) In 1880 the managers considered giving up the infants' school, (fn. 721) but instead decided to carry out improvements, funded by the sale of the remaining stock held by the poor law union, which in turn allowed the Local Government Board to bring the school fully under the Elementary Education Acts. (fn. 722) By the mid 1880s the mixed school had over a hundred on the books and an average attendance of between 60 and 70; the infants' school had an attendance of about 50, with 70 on the books. (fn. 723) Numbers increased after fees were abolished in 1891 (fn. 724) and three years later the mixed school was practically full, with an attendance of 110; there were 60 children in the infants' school. (fn. 725)
The managers' solution to this rise in numbers was to lease the former Baptist chapel on the opposite side of the Green from Lord Penrhyn for 99 years from Michaelmas 1899, (fn. 726) which was divided into two rooms and opened a year later (fn. 727) as an infants' school with accommodation for 89 pupils. The infants' school of 1871 became the main classroom in the mixed school, and the original school of 1858 was divided into two smaller rooms, providing a total of 178 places, only three more than the average attendance for January 1902. Ostler's salary was raised in 1900 to £105, without a share of the grant as previously, but still with a house. In 1902 he had two part-qualified women assistants in the mixed school; the headmistress of the infants' school, on a salary of £72 10s ., had one assistant and a monitress. Salaries totalled about £330 by 1902, out of a total expenditure of £400, of which £64 came from voluntary subscriptions and the balance from the grant. The managers had also met the cost of converting the Baptist chapel and altering the mixed school from subscriptions. They applied for non-provided status under the 1902 Act, the rector noting that, although the trust deed of 1858 contained no reference to religious instruction, in practice the rector and (when there was one) the curate at Deanshanger had always taught in the school. (fn. 728)
By this date the income of £2 10s. a year from Swannell's Charity was being used to provide prizes for good attendance and conduct. It had continued to be applied to general school funds (both before and after 1870) until fees were abolished, whereupon the overseers refused for several years to pay the money to the managers, (fn. 729) until a new scheme was devised by the Charity Commissioners in 1901, under which the income was to be used to provide prizes for children from the parish attending elementary schools. The charity was removed from the register in 1995, having ceased to exist. (fn. 730)
The Village School after 1925.
In 1925 the Board of Education's premises survey placed the mixed school on the list of those condemned as unsuitable for continued recognition and incapable of improvement; the infants' school, where numbers had fallen to 39, compared with accommodation for 94, was among those that might be improved sufficiently to retain recognition, possibly for smaller numbers. (fn. 731)
The managers appear to have realised at once that they could not continue as a non-provided school, (fn. 732) which the archidiaconal education committee reluctantly accepted, given the cost of improvements needed, (fn. 733) but it was not until September 1934 that the L.E.A. leased what now became Passenham Council Mixed School. (fn. 734) The Board of Education made a new scheme in 1933 protecting the position of the parish, which still owned the freehold of the building. (fn. 735) The infants' school remained in church hands until the headmistress, who had been there since the school opened in the old chapel forty years earlier, retired in 1939, when the children were transferred to the mixed school. (fn. 736) As soon as they secured possession of the main school, the L.E.A. went ahead with plans for a new classroom, plus cloakrooms and closets, in a brick-built wing at right-angles to the existing building, which was remodelled to provide three classrooms and an assembly hall. A room for the headmaster was added in the roof-space of the new wing. (fn. 737) The old schoolmaster's house behind the school was demolished and a new one built in Church Lane. (fn. 738) The parish council opposed the transfer of the school to the L.E.A., not because they wished to see it remain in church hands, but because they thought the old building was in such poor condition and so badly positioned for the needs of most of the population of the village that a new school should have been built on a better site. (fn. 739)
As extended, the school had accommodation for 192 children of all ages, compared with a roll of 100, which rose to 140 when the infants arrived in 1939. The L.E.A. insisted that this figure could be taught in four classes and that it would be sufficient to add one certificated teacher to the existing staff of three (head, one certificated and one uncertificated assistant), when the infants' school closed. Only after a threat of resignation by the managers did they concede the need for a monitress to help with the infants. (fn. 740) The number of pupils fell slightly during the war: in 1942 the school had 138 on the roll, but 12 of these were evacuees. (fn. 741)
Developments in the post-war years included the building of a canteen and new classrooms on the site of cottages demolished to the west of the existing buildings in 1949, (fn. 742) and the changing of the school's name to Deanshanger County Primary. (fn. 743) The L.E.A. refused to transfer children from Old Stratford to Deanshanger, as the managers wished, but did move the older children from Wicken. (fn. 744) Rising numbers placed pressure on staff and premises: at Deanshanger the infants' class reached 40 in 1949 and 49 two years later; (fn. 745) only in 1953 did the L.E.A. agree to an additional post. (fn. 746)
When Deanshanger Secondary Modern School opened in 1958, the primary school head, J. A. T. Brown, transferred as the first headmaster. (fn. 747) He was succeeded by Jack Gould, (fn. 748) who continued to face the challenge of rising numbers. There were 170 on the roll in 1961 and over 200 by the end of the following year. (fn. 749) The L.E.A. accepted that the position would worsen in the short term, until a new primary school at Old Stratford opened, after which Deanshanger would be remodelled. (fn. 750) Numbers peaked at 250 in 1966, (fn. 751) falling temporarily after Old Stratford opened that year, (fn. 752) but by 1970, when Deanshanger was finally enlarged, had passed 300. (fn. 753) The following autumn staffing rose to nine assistants (fn. 754) and in 1973 was increased to 12, (fn. 755) by which time there were about 400 pupils in the school. (fn. 756)
In the early 1990s the school was extensively remodelled, with new buildings erected to the west of those of 1858 and 1934. As enlarged, the school provided accommodation for 420 pupils; in 1993 there were 350 on the roll, drawn from Wicken and other villages as well as Deanshanger. (fn. 757)
As soon as post-war plans began to be discussed, the managers pressed for Deanshanger to be chosen as the site for one of the new secondary schools, taking children aged 11 or over from Yardley Gobion, Potterspury, Cosgrove and Wicken, as well as those of all ages from Old Stratford who then attended schools in Stony Stratford. They drew attention to the housing estates planned by Towcester R.D.C. and the likely expansion of the oxide works, (fn. 758) and strongly opposed the L.E.A.'s initial proposal to build a secondary school at Old Stratford. (fn. 759)
Northamptonshire Education Committee gave notice in July 1955 that it proposed to build a new secondary modern school at Deanshanger for about 300 children from Cosgrove, Grafton Regis, Old Stratford, Paulerspury, Potterspury, Wicken and Yardley Gobion as well as Deanshanger. (fn. 760) The school opened in September 1958 as a two-form entry secondary with 200 on the roll, which was expected to rise to 240 within a few years. (fn. 761) The headmaster of Deanshanger Primary School, J. A. T. Brown, was appointed as the first head, (fn. 762) where he remained until he retired in 1970 after 42½ years as a headmaster, which was believed to a national record for the 20th century. (fn. 763)
In its early years Deanshanger shared with Roade, the other new secondary school in the south of county, a persistent shortage of staff, but failed to achieve a similar growth in pupil numbers. (fn. 764) Not until 1968 was the school fully staffed for the first time. (fn. 765) It then had 236 children but numbers fluctuated between a peak of 265 in 1961 (fn. 766) and a trough of 205 in 1963, when the L.E.A. threatened to reduce the staffing. (fn. 767) With such small numbers the range of work remained limited. Shorthand and typing were started for the older girls in 1962 but only with the school clerk doing the teaching. (fn. 768) The size of the catchment area and frequent changes of staff meant that after-school clubs were difficult to sustain, and so Wednesday afternoons had to be used instead. (fn. 769) The school's first inspection, in 1964, led to a generally favourable report, although at times the school was failing to provide a full secondary education, mainly for lack of specialist subject teachers. (fn. 770)
From 1967, as a result of the merger of the grammar school and secondary school at Towcester, children in Towcester itself no longer took the 11+ examination, whereas those in Deanshanger (and other places from which Towcester Grammar School had traditionally drawn pupils) did, with those who failed continuing to go to Deanshanger Secondary School. The Deanshanger governors were unhappy at this and suggested that they should become either a middle school for 9- 13 year-olds, or an 11-16 comprehensive, with pupils who passed sufficient O Levels transferring to the sixth form at Towcester. Neither scheme was practicable: there was no room at Towcester for another 120 children and Deanshanger was too small to teach O Level courses. (fn. 771)
The following year, when the school began to enter a dozen or so children a year for C.S.E. exams, it was agreed that Deanshanger would eventually become an 11-16 comprehensive, but only after it had expanded to five-form entry. (fn. 772) In 1970 the L.E.A. demonstrated to the governors how, with the help of the raising of the school-leaving age to 16, Deanshanger would have 500 pupils by 1975, including two full classes staying for a fifth year. (fn. 773) In 1971 the head reported that he would 'cautiously introduce' O Levels that year but also complained that without new buildings the school could not become comprehensive, and without more staff he could not extend the range of courses, without which Deanshanger would continue to be compared unfavourably with the Sponne School at Towcester. (fn. 774) Parents in Deanshanger's catchment area were unhappy at the prospect of the school not becoming comprehensive until 1976, as was the head, who was faced with the problem of attracting and retaining staff. (fn. 775) In the event, in 1974 it was announced that Deanshanger would become a comprehensive school in September that year, when admission from its catchment area to Sponne would cease. (fn. 776)
CHARITIES FOR THE POOR
Anthony Carpenter's Charity.
By a deed of 16 December 1641 Anthony Carpenter of Newport Pagnell (Bucks.), the owner of the Deanshanger manor estate centred on Dovehouse Farm, (fn. 777) conveyed four cottages in Deanshanger to feoffees, who were to hold the estate to Carpenter's use during his lifetime, and thereafter to reserve a rent of 8s. on one cottage and 4s. on each of the other three. The 20s. thus arising was to be given annually by his trustees to 20 of the poorest families of Deanshanger, or to as many families as possible at a rate of 12d. each, should the income fall short of 20s. (fn. 778) Carpenter and his feoffees let one of the cottages for three lives at 5s. a year in 1655; (fn. 779) five years later the only surviving feoffee conveyed the entire property to eight new trustees. (fn. 780) The estate was re-enfeoffed in 1690, 1715 (when the cottages were still being let for 20s. a year) (fn. 781) and 1754. (fn. 782) By 1786, when new trustees were next appointed, the common rights previously attached to the property had been exchanged for 2½ acres of new inclosure and the cottages divided into six tenements. (fn. 783) There was a further transfer in 1811. (fn. 784)
By the early 19th century the cottages, which stood on the north side of the lower part of the Green in Deanshanger, had in effect become almshouses, maintained from the income derived from the charity's land elsewhere in the parish, which was let with an adjoining plot awarded to Jarvis's Charity at inclosure. There was generally no distribution of income to the poor by Carpenter's trustees as originally envisaged, (fn. 785) although in 1808 (exceptionally) 24 individuals each received 2s. 6d. (fn. 786) In 1823 the cottages were badly damaged by fire and four of the six had to be rebuilt, with the help of an insurance claim and loans that were not fully paid off until the 1860s. (fn. 787) The six cottages and the land (then used as allotments) were conveyed to the rector of Passenham and other new trustees in 1845. (fn. 788) The Charity Commissioners made a new scheme in 1866, under which the property was vested in the Official Trustee and the rector, churchwardens and two others became managing trustees. (fn. 789) Two of the cottages were rebuilt in 1872-3, again using money borrowed privately. (fn. 790) In 1888 the management of the charity was combined with that of Jarvis's and Nichol's charities under a single scheme. (fn. 791)
Daniel Allen's (commonly called Jarvis's) Charity.
By his will, dated 10 October and proved on 19 November 1683, Daniel Allen of Deanshanger bequeathed to Robert Jarvis and his wife for their lives his house and land (with the goods and chattels); after their death the real property was to pass to Joseph Jarvis for his life, and thereafter was left to the poor of Deanshanger. (fn. 792) The estate was enlarged by the purchase of another house and some land in Deanhanger in 1781 from Francis Clarke for £24. (fn. 793) Four years later the parish resolved that the rector and churchwardens should act as trustees for the charity, when the rector noted that the overseers had rented Clarke's house as a 'parish house' (presumably to accommodate paupers) and that they had put another tenant into a new cottage created from a former outhouse there. Allen's original house was also let to the overseers, who had installed an undertenant on condition that he would move to another house provided by the parish if they wanted Allen's house as a 'hospital' for the poor. (fn. 794) By the 1820s the two properties had been divided into five tenements, let to the overseers for £10 a year. (fn. 795) At inclosure, Allen's Charity received an allotment of 11½ a., which was combined with the adjoining 2½ a. awarded to Carpenter's Charity into a single field, let in the 1780s for £9 a year, (fn. 796) a figure which had risen to £14 7s. 6d. by the 1820s. (fn. 797) During this period the net income of Allen's Charity, after deducting expenses and the share due to Carpenter's Charity, was used to buy linen (or occasionally blankets) for poor people. In the 1780s recipients were confined to those who did not receive parish relief, but in 1800 this rule had to be relaxed, because so many of the poor were being relieved by the overseers. The rector specifically noted in 1787 that the linen was to be bought from three different shops in Stony Stratford. (fn. 798)
In 1823 the heir of the last surviving trustee of Allen's Charity under the deed of 1781 conveyed the estate (Daniel Allen's house at Honey Hill, divided into three, and Francis Clarke's house elswhere in Deanshanger, divided into two) to the rector and churchwardens, (fn. 799) who two years later insured the cottages for £50 each. (fn. 800)
In 1832 the tenant gave up the field belonging to Allen's and Carpenter's charities, which was converted into allotments, let at 3d. a pole (producing a total of £25), and became known as Poor's Field. (fn. 801) After 1834 the overseers were no longer allowed to subsidise the rent of paupers living in the cottages belonging to Allen's Charity, which instead were let for 30s. a year each, reducing the trust's income by 50s. overall. (fn. 802) Between the 1830s and 1860s at least 120 (and sometimes over 140) people received linen (or calico) shirts or shifts each year; by the end of the period the trustees were buying the material from a London wholesaler, rather than locally. (fn. 803) Income from the allotments fell back in the 1880s to about £20 a year, while the cottages continued to be let for between 20s. and 65s. each. (fn. 804) In 1885-6 the charity's total income was £34. (fn. 805) In 1888 the management of Allen's Charity was transferred to new trustees under the scheme which also included Carpenter's and Nichol's charities. The estate then consisted of the allotments plus four cottages. (fn. 806)
THOMAS NICHOL'S CHARITY.
Thomas Nichol of London, by his will dated 15 May 1726, charged his messuage and farm in Deanshanger with the payment of £13 4s. to various charities for the benefit of Abthorpe, Paulerspury and Deanshanger. Of the total rent charge, 22s. was to be laid out yearly in 12d. loaves on Easter Monday, to be given to as many ancient poor people of Deanshanger as constantly attended church to hear divine service. (fn. 807) The property charged was the large plot at the north-east corner of the Green, near the Hayes, which appears at an earlier date to have belonged to Snelshall priory. (fn. 808) By the 1770s the land had been divided (fn. 809) and the rent charge apportioned into two payments of 5s. 6d. and 16s. 6d. (fn. 810) The income was stil being spent on 'Easter Bread' in the 1880s, when the charity was included in the scheme that also provided for the management of Carpenter's Charity and Allen's Charity.
Part of the estate on which the rent charge was levied was broken up by sale in 1920, when the Charity Commission strongly urged that it be redeemed by the purchase of stock. (fn. 811)
Edward Whitton's Charity.
Edward Whitton, formerly of Deanshanger and later Northampton, by his will dated 18 December 1766, bequeathed the interest of £100 to be given in bread yearly on 5 January (his birthday) to poor people who did not receive alms or parish collection in Deanshanger, Passenham and that part of Old Stratford within Passenham parish. His executors laid out the capital in the purchase of £114 12s. 3d. of stock, vested in the rector and churchwardens of Passenham, and in the early 19th century the dividend of £3 3s. 8d. continued to be applied according to his will. (fn. 812) In 1871 the capital was transferred to the Official Trustee. (fn. 813)
Passenham was one of the former in-parishes of Whittlewood which established a claim to compensation for the loss of the right to collect broken or sere wood when it was disafforested. (fn. 814) Their share, £173 12s., was used to buy £189 9s. 4d. of stock, held initially by the rector and churchwardens, but transferred to the Official Trustee in 1893. (fn. 815) In the 1870s the annual income of £5 12s. was being used to buy coal for distribution to the poor at Christmas. (fn. 816)
Miss Priscilla Day's Charity.
Miss Day, by her will proved at Oxford on 29 January 1878, entrusted a sum to the rector and churchwardens of Passenham, the income from which was to be used for the benefit of poor widows and spinsters in Passenham and Deanshanger. The capital was used to purchase £208 17s. 6d. of stock, which in 1882 was transferred from the executors to the Official Trustee, together with a further £13 5s. 7d. of stock bought from arrears of dividends accumulated between the donor's death and the transfer, giving the charity a total endowment of £222 3s. 1d. (fn. 817) In the early years of the charity the income was distributed in bread. (fn. 818)
Passenham United Charities.
By the mid 1880s, when their total income was about £60 a year, (fn. 819) there was opposition among the Nonconformists of Deanshanger, led by Edwin and Henry Roberts, to the idea that the rector and churchwardens should remain trustees of all the parish's charities, nor was the rector's suggestion that he should act alone acceptable. (fn. 820) The rector claimed that only a small minority were unhappy with the running of the charities (which he insisted had always been managed impartially) and in June 1886 sent the Charity Commission a petition from those opposed to change, signed he said by nearly all the farmers in the parish, the shopkeepers in the village, and a large majority of working men, both Churchmen and Nonconformists. (fn. 821) The Commission wished to see a single scheme for all the charities, under which the trustees would be the rector and churchwardens, the duke of Grafton and one or two others; three of the charities, they observed, appeared to have no trustees at all. (fn. 822) In 1888 Allen's, Nichol's and Carpenter's charities were put into a single scheme, to be managed by the rector and eight others, including initially both Grafton and the Roberts brothers. All the estate (Carpenter's six cottages and 2½ a. of land, Allen's 11½ a. and four cottages, and Nichol's rent charge of 22s.) was vested in the Official Trustee. (fn. 823)
In practice, from 1888 six of the parish's seven charities (the three included in the new scheme, Whitton's, Miss Day's and the Whittlewood coal charity) were managed as one, and only Swannell's education charity remained outside what were known as Passenham United Charities. (fn. 824) In 1910 the Charity Commission insisted that a single trust, managed by the rector, four trustees nominated by the parish council every three years, and four additional trustees, holding office for life, be set up to manage all but the Whittlewood charity. They also clarified the beneficial area of each charity: Allen's, Carpenter's and Nichol's were for the poor of Deanshanger only, whereas Day's and Whitton's were for the whole parish. The scope of the charities was widened to include subscriptions to hospitals, coal and clothing clubs, nursing, and the suply of clothes, bedding, linen etc., with cash only being allowed for temporary relief. (fn. 825)
The administration of the charities changed very little between 1888 and the Second World War. Allen's (or Jarvis's Charity, as it tended to be known) had a gross income of about £40 a year in rent in the early 1890s, two thirds of it from the allotments (part of which was due to Carpenter's Charity). (fn. 826) In 1893 two of the cottages, standing in a plot of 570 sq. yards with a frontage of 28 ft. to the north side of the High Street, were sold by auction for £56, (fn. 827) and about six years later the others, at Honey Hill, were disposed of, leaving the charity with Poor's Field and £161 14s. 10d. in stock. (fn. 828) By the 1930s the allotments were partly unlet and the rent had fallen to about £12 a year, to which was added a dividend of £4. The money continued to be used to buy calico: in the 1930s about 120 people a year each received three yards of cloth. (fn. 829)
Carpenter's Charity retained its six cottages, let for about £25 a year in the 1890s, rising to £40 by the 1930s. Most of this went on repairs, with any surplus being used to buy meat and groceries, or to augment the money available to buy coal for the poor. (fn. 830) The Whittlewood charity (whose accounts were combined with Carpenter's) had £5 a year to buy coal, of which £4 12s. was allocated to residents of Deanshanger and the balance to Old Stratford. The three smaller charities (Whitton's, Nichol's and Day's) all continued to disburse their income in bread. (fn. 831) Part of the income from Allen's and Carpenter's charities was used to pay £3 a year to a clerk who managed all the trusts. (fn. 832)
In 1939 two of the six cottages belonging to Carpenter's Charity were demolished, in the hope that the other four could be mortgaged and reconditioned. The same year (although before the outbreak of war might have forced the issue) the allotment tenants were given notice to quit and the field let at £1 an acre to Montgomery of Manor Farm. At the first Christmas of the war it was agreed to pool the income from all the trusts (except Nichol's, but including the Whittlewood coal money) and give 47 people vouchers worth 7s. 6d. to buy groceries, meat or coal from any tradesman in Deanshanger. (fn. 833) For the rest of the war between 50 and 60 households received a voucher worth 12s. 6d. or 15s. each Christmas. (fn. 834)
After the war the trustees, faced with heavy bills for repairs and modernisation, tried unsuccessfully to sell the four remaining cottages in 1947, installed electric light in 1948, and finally disposed of the property for £210 in 1955. (fn. 835) Repeated efforts were made to secure a higher rent from Montgomery for Poor's Field, an issue which dominated several parish meetings in the 1950s: by 1961 he had agreed to pay £39 a year, although Rupert Ridgway claimed he had received an offer of £84. (fn. 836) In 1950 the wartime pooling arrangement was given up: the Whittlewood Charity was henceforth administered by the rector alone and Swannell's Charity was handed over to the headmaster of the primary school. (fn. 837) The income of the other charities was used to give vouchers (varying between 7s. 6d. and 15s.) to needy families, although the trustees took care to divide the money between Deanshanger and Old Stratford according to the beneficial areas of each charity as set out in 1910. (fn. 838) In 1969-70 the rector raised with the Charity Commissioners the problems that had arisen since the creation of Old Stratford civil parish, which lacked a representative on the Passenham trust but some of whose residents (although not those who lived in Cosgrove ancient parish) were eligible for help from some (but not all) of the charities for which he and his colleagues were responsible. (fn. 839)
Passenham United Charities, renamed the Passenham Relief in Need Charity, remained in existence at the time of writing, operating under a scheme of 1975. (fn. 840)