A History of the County of Cambridge and the Isle of Ely: Volume 6. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1978.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.
The village of Duxford (fn. 1) (formerly Duxworth) (fn. 2) comprised until 1874 two ecclesiastical parishes, but is and probably always has been a single secular township. It lies about 7 miles south-east of Cambridge, a little below the point where the river Cam or Granta emerges from the uplands of north-west Essex. The parish covered 3,239 a. until 1965 when 8 ha. (20 a.) were transferred from Chrishall (Essex). (fn. 3) The parish is roughly in the shape of a trapezium, tapering to a point at its south-west corner. On the east it is bounded by the river, on the north-west by a modern road following the line of a branch of the Icknield Way; (fn. 4) on the south-east it is divided from Ickleton by old furlong boundaries running along the crest of Pepperton Hill and down the eastern side of the hill to the river. The procession balk along that boundary was mentioned in 1654. (fn. 5) The north-west part of Duxford is virtually level and lies mostly between 100 and 150 ft. above sea level. To the south-east the ground rises to over 300 ft. at the summit of Pepperton Hill. The soil of the parish, except where a strip of alluvium and gravel runs along the river, lies mostly over the chalk, which on the top of the hills is mingled with boulder clay. There was little woodland in Duxford before the 19th century. In several leases made soon after the inclosure in 1823 the landowners reserved the right to plant, (fn. 6) and two large belts of trees were later laid out across the western half of the parish, besides groves around the farmsteads there and other isolated plantations of which the largest was Chrishall Grange plantation. They served partly as windbreaks, partly to improve the shooting. In 1925 the Chrishall Grange estate was said to have some of the best partridge-shooting in the area: 515 brace had been shot in a day, besides pheasants and hares. (fn. 7) The parish was formerly devoted mainly to arable farming, being until inclosure cultivated in three fields. After 1918 much of its northern half was occupied by an R.A.F. airfield, and by 1972 three factories had been established around the village.
The village itself stands where the river approaches nearest to the road running along its left bank. On the land between road and river there stood in the Middle Ages four manor-houses. On the other side of the road two streets led westwards towards the fields. Each street had its own church, St. John's being midway along the northern street while St. Peter's stood opposite the eastern end of the southern one; the sites of the manors tithable to each church were similarly opposite, respectively, the northern and southern streets, thus producing or reflecting a certain duality of settlement in medieval times. The two streets were connected by an intricate network of lanes, and a small green lay just south of St. John's church. As late as the 1820s most of the houses in the village lay west of the main road, along those streets and lanes, where several older timberframed, thatched houses, some with overhangs, some refronted in brick, survived in 1972. In 1823 there were, apart from Temple Farm and mill, only four houses east of the road. (fn. 8) Only after inclosure were some farmsteads built away from the village.
Duxford contained c. 80 houses in the 1660s, (fn. 9) and 105 inhabited dwellings in 1801. That number had increased to 133 by 1821 and to 188 by 1841, but thereafter did not grow much before the 1930s. (fn. 10) Extensive new building in the mid 20th century raised the number of houses to 284 by 1951 and 369 by 1961. (fn. 11) The new housing estates, including some council housing, (fn. 12) lay mostly north and south of the original village, which was in 1971 scheduled as a conservation area. (fn. 13)
Duxford has been one of the more populous parishes in the hundred. In 1086 37 people were enumerated there. (fn. 14) Excluding the owners of manors there were c. 100 landholders in 1279 (fn. 15) and 44 taxpayers in 1327. (fn. 16) In 1377 104 people were assessed to the poll tax (fn. 17) and in 1525 57 persons to the subsidy. (fn. 18) In 1563 the parish contained 58 families. (fn. 19) In 1676 there were 166 adults. (fn. 20) In 1728 70 households included c. 240 persons. (fn. 21) There were some 87 families c. 1794. (fn. 22) The population increased steadily from 494 in 1801 to 670 by 1831 and 844 in 1851, reaching a peak of 881 in 1871. By 1901, when 18 houses were empty, it had fallen to 685, and after the First World War fluctuated around 740. The presence of the R.A.F. during and after the Second World War temporarily boosted the population to 1,469 in 1951, when the civil population probably amounted to 916. In 1961 it was 1,122, and in 1971 1,557. (fn. 23)
In early times Duxford lay between two branches of the Icknield Way. It was linked (fn. 24) to the southern one, passing through Ickleton, by a road called in the 17th century Walden way, whose ancient route survived the inclosure, and to Hinxton by a road which wound across the meadows and crossed the river by a ford still in use in 1972. Westwards from the village various field-ways, called in the 17th and 18th centuries, from south to north, Chrishall or Littlebush way, Crowley way, and Royston way, ran to a track along Duxford's western boundary. After inclosure they were replaced by a single straight private road. The road along the northern boundary, called formerly London way, forms part of the main Royston–Newmarket road. It was a turnpike from 1769 (fn. 25) until 1874. (fn. 26)
The main road crossed the river at Whittlesford Bridge, which probably replaced an earlier ford. By the 13th century the bridge was in the charge of the burgesses of Cambridge, who took tolls there for its repair but did not always apply the proceeds for that purpose. (fn. 27) From the 15th century the toll was farmed. It was suppressed under the turnpike Act of 1769. (fn. 28) A small hamlet, said in 1279 to be in four parishes, (fn. 29) had by the mid 13th century grown up by the bridge. (fn. 30) It centred on the hospital built south of the road in Duxford, (fn. 31) which probably provided accommodation for travellers. In the 16th century that function passed to an adjacent inn, called the White Lion until the 18th century and later the Red Lion. (fn. 32) Its original timber-framed structure has been much renovated, but is still visible on its west front. Inside there were carved medieval beams, and an elaborately carved Jacobean table was formerly shown. (fn. 33) The inn had a prosperous trade. The innkeeper John Pecke (d. 1588) left £150 to his sons. (fn. 34) A successor, John Dove, used to hire out the pasture closes around the inn to drovers bringing cattle from East Anglia towards Royston. One dissatisfied drover, who had removed his custom to the Falcon, across the road in Whittlesford, alleged in 1618 that Dove also assisted highwaymen on Newmarket Heath. (fn. 35) James I probably stopped at the Lion in 1619 on his return from a horse-race at Newmarket, (fn. 36) and in 1622 the inn was said to be very commodious for royal servants and other travellers along that road. (fn. 37) In 1686 it had 15 beds and stabling for 38. (fn. 38) Tithe audit dinners for Duxford were held there until 1902, (fn. 39) and the inn, styled since 1904 the Red Lion Hotel, (fn. 40) was still flourishing in 1972. When the Great Eastern railway line from London to Cambridge was opened in 1845 (fn. 41) a station was established on the boundary with Whittlesford, west of the bridge and inn. It was still open for passenger traffic in 1972. A small settlement, 3 or 4 houses, existed near the bridge in 1675, (fn. 42) but grew little before c. 1900. In 1891 10 a. near the station were sold for building, in 1924 another 35 a., and by the 1920s (fn. 43) lines of fairly large houses had grown along both sides of the road between the inn and the crossroads. In 1961 a new road, partly raised on a causeway, was completed, by-passing on the south the inn and station and the old bridge, (fn. 44) which had been rebuilt in brick replacing a wooden structure c. 1790. (fn. 45)
Duxford village itself contained, and contains, several public houses. The Three Horseshoes was recorded from 1786, (fn. 46) the King's Head from 1841, (fn. 47) and the Plough from 1851 when there were 6 other beer-retailers. (fn. 48) The King's Head closed after 1908, but most of the others survived in 1972. (fn. 49)
In 1279 a fair was said to have belonged to Whittlesford Bridge hospital for many years. (fn. 50) It was not recorded later. Various Maying and harvest customs were recorded at Duxford in the 19th century, (fn. 51) but later declined. A friendly society founded in 1806 (fn. 52) had 71 members in 1815. (fn. 53) The village had a resident doctor from the 1840s until 1904. (fn. 54) A veterinary surgeon lived in the village between 1871 and 1879, and a dentist in 1908. (fn. 55) The Victoria Institute, founded with a parish lending library by the rector in 1887, (fn. 56) remained open until the 1930s. (fn. 57) During the Second World War it was taken over by Aero Research Ltd. for making glue and was subsequently derelict until converted into a shop in 1964. (fn. 58)
The R.A.F. airfield at Duxford was established by 1918 on land south of the main road (fn. 59) taken over from Temple and Lacy's farms. It occupied 138 a. in 1920, when four large hangars had already been erected south of the road. (fn. 60) The barracks were mostly built north of the road in Whittlesford parish. From 1920 to 1924 the airfield was used for a flying training school, and from 1924 as a fighter station, up to three squadrons being stationed there. In 1934 new headquarter buildings were constructed and in 1935 George V reviewed the R.A.F. from there. In 1940 Duxford was the centre of an R.A.F. sector, which during the Battle of Britain was especially concerned with air defence over the east coast. In 1942–3 the airfield was transferred to the U.S. Air Force, concrete runways being laid down; after its return to the R.A.F. in 1945 it continued to be used by fighters, being usually occupied by two squadrons, until its closure in 1961. The disused runways were subsequently used for gliding and for motor-racing. (fn. 61) The site, c. 540 a., (fn. 62) was still owned by the Ministry of Defence in 1972. From that year the hangars were used by the Imperial War Museum to store and display historic aircraft. (fn. 63)
Manors and Other Estates.
Theodred, bishop of London (d. 942 × 951), left an estate at Duxford to the king as part of his heriot. (fn. 64) In 1066 Ulf, a thegn of King Edward, held 4½ hides there, and Herulf who owned 1¾ hide and Ingwar who owned ½ hide were also King Edward's men. Of the 13 sokemen who occupied another 4¼ hides, 11 were also commended to the king, the other two being men of Earl Alfgar and of Eddeva the fair. Eddeva herself had 6 hides, and Archbishop Stigand 3½ hides. (fn. 65)
After the Conquest Ulf's estate came to Robert de Todeni, lord of Belvoir (Leics.), of whom it was held in 1086 by Gilbert the bearded. (fn. 66) Robert's honor of Belvoir passed through two heiresses to the house of Albini Brito, whose male line expired in 1244, whereupon its heiress brought the honor to the lords Ros, ancestors of the earls, and later dukes, of Rutland. (fn. 67) Their overlordship at Duxford is not directly recorded after 1086, but the Colvilles, who were tenants by c. 1200 of the estate there later called TEMPLE manor, probably held it originally of the honor of Belvoir, as, from the 12th century, they held their Leicestershire lands at Muston and Normanton. (fn. 68) William de Colville, who probably held land in Cambridgeshire by 1177, (fn. 69) may have obtained Duxford upon his marriage (fn. 70) to Maud, the eldest daughter and eventual coheir of Ralph de Albini (fn. 71) (d. c. 1192), (fn. 72) who held 15 knights' fees of his brother William de Albini in 1166. (fn. 73) William de Colville died c. 1179 and was succeeded by his son William, (fn. 74) who was deprived of his lands by King John but was restored in 1217. (fn. 75) Having quarrelled with his eldest son Roger, (fn. 76) William before his death in 1230 (fn. 77) granted much of his land to younger sons and religious houses. He gave 2 carucates and a mill at Duxford to the Knights of the Temple, and 120 a. to Tilty abbey (Essex), (fn. 78) besides endowing the hospital that he founded at Whittlesford Bridge with 1 yardland and another mill. (fn. 79) Roger and his descendants, the lords Colville, (fn. 80) retained only the overlordship of the Temple manor. In 1279 his grandson Roger was erroneously said to hold it of the honor of the counts of Aumale (fn. 81) of which his ancestors held their seat at Castle Bytham (Lincs.). (fn. 82) Under Roger the local preceptor of the Temple held in 1279 more than 4 hides in demesne. (fn. 83) The manor was taken into the king's hands in 1308 when the order was suppressed, (fn. 84) but was relinquished in 1313 for the benefit of the Knights Hospitallers. (fn. 85) Duxford, however, was claimed as an escheat by Roger's son, Edmund de Colville, who occupied it until his death in 1316, when his heir was a minor. (fn. 86) The Hospitallers secured the cancellation of such claims in 1324, (fn. 87) and were by 1333 in possession of Duxford Temple manor, (fn. 88) which became a dependency of their preceptory at Shingay. (fn. 89)
In 1540 the Crown granted the lands of the forfeited preceptory to Sir Richard Long, (fn. 90) who in 1541 settled them jointly on himself and his intended wife, Margaret Kitson. (fn. 91) He died in 1546, (fn. 92) and by 1548 Margaret had married John Bourchier, earl of Bath, with whom she held Duxford until their deaths in 1561. (fn. 93) The manor then passed to Long's son Henry, (fn. 94) who died in 1573, leaving his lands to his daughter and heir Elizabeth, (fn. 95) wife of Sir William Russell (d. 1613), Lord Deputy of Ireland 1594–7, created Lord Russell of Thornhaugh 1603. (fn. 96) Elizabeth, having quarrelled with her son Francis, died in 1609 having directed her feoffees to sell Duxford to pay certain legacies. (fn. 97) Francis paid the legacies, and in 1619 the feoffees conveyed Temple manor to him. (fn. 98) In 1627 he succeeded to the earldom of Bedford, (fn. 99) and in 1637 sold the manor to William Webb and his son William. (fn. 100)
In 1649 the Webbs conveyed Duxford to John Lamott and Maurice Abbott. (fn. 101) By 1657 Maurice Abbott the younger (fn. 102) (d. 1659), a lawyer, (fn. 103) owned the estate; he was succeeded by George Abbott, probably his brother. (fn. 104) George, who purchased Lacy's manor in 1671, (fn. 105) died between 1696 and 1698 and was succeeded by his son Maurice, (fn. 106) who owned both manors until his death in 1720. (fn. 107) Maurice's son Robert was lord there between 1722 and 1725. (fn. 108) Between 1725 and 1736 Francis Shepherd owned the manors, (fn. 109) which by 1739 had come to Nathaniel Rogers (d. 1743), who was succeeded by his sisters Lucy (d. 1746) and Elizabeth and Elizabeth's husband James Barry. The Barrys sold the manors in 1759 to Richard Crop, (fn. 110) who died in 1796 leaving them for life to his wife Mary (d. after 1806) and thereafter to his great-nephew Charles Long. (fn. 111) Long, created Lord Farnborough in 1826, died without issue in 1838 (fn. 112) leaving his Duxford estate to his brother Beeston's son, William Long (fn. 113) of Hurts Hall, Saxmundham (Suff.), who died in 1875 and was succeeded by his son William Beeston Long. On W. B. Long's death without issue in 1892 his lands passed to his nephew William Evelyn Long (d. 1944). W. E. Long in 1937 retained the nominal lordship of Temple and Lacy's manors, which presumably passed to his son W. G. Long, (fn. 114) but had sold the land in Duxford attached to them in 1906 to James Binney of Pampisford Hall (d. 1935). (fn. 115) Binney offered Temple, Lacy's, and Barker's farms for sale in 1920 and Temple farm again in 1932, (fn. 116) but in 1933 still owned land in Duxford which passed to his son R. C. C. J. Binney, (fn. 117) who in 1946 sold Temple mill. (fn. 118)
The Templars' manor-house, where the preceptor dwelt, included in 1308 a hall and chamber, a chapel equipped for services, and a grange and other farm-buildings. (fn. 119) It probably stood in the area, called in 1823 Temple close, (fn. 120) around the modern Temple Farm. Traces of a rectangular moat still remain between the farm and the river. (fn. 121) The 16thcentury core of the existing farm-house is probably the larger part of a medium-sized house, which was considerably extended and altered in the 18th and 20th centuries.
By 1086 5¾ hides at Duxford, formerly owned by Archbishop Stigand and Herulf, were held in chief by Eustace, count of Boulogne. (fn. 122) He was soon afterwards deprived by William II, who granted the Duxford manor to Hugh de Envermeu, who in turn exchanged it with Westminster abbey for lands in Lincolnshire. Henry I restored Duxford to Count Eustace, compensating Hugh who gave back to the abbey its former estate. (fn. 123) The overlordship of Duxford subsequently remained with the honor of Boulogne. (fn. 124) In 1086 the manor, except for ½ hide held at farm by Guy of Anjou, had been held in demesne by Count Eustace's follower, Arnulf, son of the lord of Ardres (Pas de Calais). (fn. 125) Arnulf, who had succeeded to Ardres by 1100, obtained his brother Geoffrey's share of their English lands in exchange for land in Flanders, (fn. 126) and died c. 1137. His eldest son Arnulf was murdered c. 1139 and his younger son Baldwin, lord of Ardres, died on crusade c. 1147 without issue. (fn. 127) Their sister and heir Adeline married Arnold of Merck, (fn. 128) on whose death c. 1176 the lands passed to Baldwin, count of Guisnes 1169–1206, who had married Arnold's daughter Christine. (fn. 129) In 1200 Count Baldwin exchanged manors at Duxford and Trumpington with William Marshal, earl of Pembroke, for land in Flanders. William granted the Duxford manor the same year to Roger d'Abernon in exchange for an estate at Abernon (Calvados). (fn. 130) Roger's family subsequently held the Duxford manor, thenceforth called D'ABERNONS, of William and his heirs. (fn. 131) The mesne lordship of D'Abernons manor may later have been included in the purparty of the coheirs of Eve Marshal, wife of William de Braose (d. 1230), for it was assigned in 1252 to her daughter Eleanor's husband Humphrey de Bohun (d. 1265). (fn. 132) By 1260 it had settled in the purparty of Roger Bigod, earl of Norfolk, son of Eve's sister Maud. Duxford was dependent on the leet of his manor at Great Chesterford (Essex), inherited from the Marshals. (fn. 133) The lordship remained with the Bigods and their successors, earls and dukes of Norfolk, until the 15th century. (fn. 134)
Roger d'Abernon, tenant from 1200, was living in 1203 and possibly in 1215. (fn. 135) He was succeeded by Walter d'Abernon, probably his brother, (fn. 136) who held Duxford when he died in 1220 leaving a minor heir (fn. 137) Ingram, who died without issue in 1234. (fn. 138) Ingram's heir Jordan, son of Walter's brother William, released his inheritance to his uncle Gilbert (d. 1236), who in return granted him D'Abernons manor to hold as ½ knight's fee. (fn. 139) Jordan still held it c. 1242, (fn. 140) but it passed later to the descendants of Gilbert, whose son John died after 1270. (fn. 141) John's son, Sir John d'Abernon, held Duxford in 1279 (fn. 142) and in 1327 was succeeded by his son Sir John (fn. 143) (d. 1343). Despite a settlement made in 1340 on his son John's son William (fn. 144) the manor was included in the dower of the elder John's widow Alice, (fn. 145) who soon afterwards married Sir Adam Swinburne, who held the manor with her in 1346. (fn. 146) Swinburne died after 1352, (fn. 147) and Alice after 1363. (fn. 148) Meanwhile William had died in 1358, and the manor passed to Elizabeth, one of his two daughters, wife of Sir William Croyser, (fn. 149) steward to John of Gaunt, (fn. 150) who died in 1388. (fn. 151) In 1390 Elizabeth married John Grey and D'Abernons was settled on them for their lives. (fn. 152) John Grey died in 1391. (fn. 153) By 1398 Elizabeth's lands had passed to her son William Croyser (d. 1415). (fn. 154) William's heir, his daughter Alice, (fn. 155) c. 1434 married Sir Henry Norbury. (fn. 156) Norbury died in 1455 and Alice in 1464, (fn. 157) and their lands passed to their son Sir John Norbury, (fn. 158) who in 1485 exchanged his manor at Duxford for estates in Surrey with Sir Edmund Shaa, lord mayor of London 1482–3. (fn. 159)
Shaa died in 1488, and D'Abernons passed to his widow Gillian (d. 1494) for life (fn. 160) and then to Catherine, one of his two daughters, who married Sir William Browne (fn. 161) (d. as lord mayor of London, 1514). Their son William (fn. 162) died in 1549, leaving his land to his son Thomas (fn. 163) (d. 1567). Thomas's son John Browne was a minor, (fn. 164) and John's mother Jane, who had by 1573 married Henry Mildmay, held D'Abernons manor until 1599. (fn. 165) In 1590 John Browne had sold the reversion to Dr. Thomas Legge, master of Caius College, Cambridge, (fn. 166) who in 1599 conveyed the manor to trustees for the college. (fn. 167) From 1610 (fn. 168) the college possessed the estate as part of the Frankland benefaction, (fn. 169) and still owned the manor and land, together with 212 a. bought in 1891, in 1972. (fn. 170)
D'Abernons manor-house probably stood originally in a close north of St. Peter's church, which belonged to Caius College in 1654 and 1825. (fn. 171) In 1631 the demesne included a house north of the church, from which it was presumably farmed. (fn. 172) In 1648 the college bought from Thomas Symons of Whittlesford a messuage and croft between St. John's churchyard and vicarage, (fn. 173) which remained the farmstead for all its Duxford property until after inclosure.
The 6 hides owned by Eddeva at Duxford in 1066 had, like her other lands, passed by 1086 to Count Alan of Brittany, of whom they were held by Gerard the Lorrainer. (fn. 174) That land continued to be held of the honor of Richmond, (fn. 175) under which it was held from c. 1200 by the Furneaux family, lords of Barham manor in Linton, and their successors there. (fn. 176) Thus in 1219 the fee at Duxford was held of Michael de Furneaux, (fn. 177) and in 1279 of Simon de Furneaux, probably his son. (fn. 178) Under those mesne lords the fee had by 1200 been divided into two parts, each held for ½ knight's fee, probably by partition between coheirs, for the two demesnes resulting were almost exactly equal. (fn. 179) One part was held c. 1200 by Robert of Soham, who was dead c. 1211 when his widow Nichole claimed dower in one carucate from his son and heir Warin (fn. 180) (d. 1235). Warin's son and heir Ralph (fn. 181) was dead by 1271 when his lands were held by Basile of Soham. (fn. 182) She soon after married Baldwin St. George, with whom she held that ½ fee in 1279, when William Mortimer, of whom Baldwin held land at Kingston, was interpolated as mesne lord under Simon de Furneaux. (fn. 183) The interest of Baldwin and Basile presumably descended in the St. George family. (fn. 184) Under them Ralph of Duxford held in 1279 2 hides in demesne for a fee-farm of 100s., (fn. 185) and remained tenant until c. 1290. By 1294 he had been succeeded by his son Baldwin, who was tenant c. 1303, (fn. 186) and died after 1317. (fn. 187) Baldwin dispersed part of his land, some 30 a. of which eventually passed to Sir John d'Abernon (d. 1327) and was incorporated in D'Abernons manor. (fn. 188) In 1346 Baldwin's ½ fee was said to be occupied by Nicholas Rising (fl. 1321–46) and his coparceners. (fn. 189) Its subsequent fate has not been traced.
The other half of the Richmond fee, later LACY'S manor, may have been held in John's reign by Hugh son of William of Duxford, (fn. 190) whose lands in Cambridgeshire and elsewhere were confiscated by the king in 1216 and restored in 1217. Hugh had a son named Gaudin. (fn. 191) About 1235 the ½ fee at Duxford was said to be held by Gaudin's heirs. (fn. 192) By the 1270s it had come to Sir Henry Lacy, who held 2 hides in demesne there in 1279. (fn. 193) He died after 1297. (fn. 194) His widow Alice had by 1302 married Ralph le Bret of Duxford, with whom she held c. 100 a. at Duxford in dower. (fn. 195) In 1307 Henry's son and heir Robert Lacy granted his brother Henry 100 a. there with the reversion of Alice's dower. (fn. 196) Robert held the manor in 1316 (fn. 197) and died c. 1328, and his widow Maud held it in dower (fn. 198) until 1341 or later. (fn. 199) In 1350 his son Thomas sold the manor to Sir Adam Swinburne, (fn. 200) who then occupied D'Abernons manor by marriage. (fn. 201) Swinburne also acquired in 1352 a claim to the overlordship of the Duxford land held of the Scalers barony from Sir Thomas Scalers of Whaddon. (fn. 202) Lacy's manor later passed to the son of Sir Adam's brother Thomas, Sir Robert Swinburne (fn. 203) (d. 1391). (fn. 204) Sir Robert had apparently settled it on his widow Joan, and his son and heir Sir Thomas after disputing the settlement released the manor in 1397 (fn. 205) and died without issue in 1412 as mayor of Bordeaux. (fn. 206)
When Joan died in 1433 the heirs to the Swinburne lands in Essex and Cambridgeshire were Sir Thomas's sisters Margery and Alice. (fn. 207) Duxford apparently came to Catherine, Margery's daughter (fn. 208) by Nicholas Berners (d. 1441). (fn. 209) Catherine had married Sir Thomas Fynderne, (fn. 210) a Lancastrian, whose lands were confiscated in 1461 (fn. 211) and who was executed in 1464. (fn. 212) A grant of his lands in 1462 to Thomas St. Leger (fn. 213) did not mention Duxford, which Catherine may have retained as her inheritance until 1471 when, after her son William had fought against the Yorkists at Barnet, her property also was apparently confiscated and granted to Robert Ratcliffe. (fn. 214) William Fynderne's attainder was reversed in 1477, and his East Anglian lands were restored to him. (fn. 215) He held Lacy's manor at his death in 1516, having survived his son William, and devised its revenues for 80 years to the master of Clare College, Cambridge, subject to payments for supporting an alms-house at Little Horkesley (Essex), with remainder to the descendants of his grandson Thomas Fynderne (d.s.p. 1524), and, if they failed, to Thomas's cousin Sir Thomas Elyot (d. 1546). (fn. 216)
Clare College was accordingly occupying Lacy's in 1546. (fn. 217) In 1554 it leased the manor for 54 years to Thomas Wendy who in 1557 conveyed the lease to Thomas Bedell. (fn. 218) Thomas's father James Bedell had already in 1549 obtained the reversionary interest from Richard Puttenham, Elyot's nephew and heir. (fn. 219) Since Thomas Bedell was under age, the freehold and the lease were in practice united in the hands of James Bedell when he died, having survived Thomas, in 1575. He left Lacy's manor and other freehold lands in Duxford to his next son John. (fn. 220) By 1578 John Bedell had conveyed the manor to Dr. John Symyngs (d. 1588) and his wife Elizabeth, (fn. 221) who were styled lords until 1587 (fn. 222) when they conveyed Lacy's to James Thurgar and Peter Kendall. (fn. 223) Thurgar and Kendall were perhaps acting as feoffees for Robert Taylor, who had in 1581 executed a conveyance of the manor to Symyngs and his wife, (fn. 224) and who entered upon it in 1588. (fn. 225) In 1600 Taylor sold the manor to Robert Symons the younger of Whittlesford, (fn. 226) who died in 1622 leaving it to his eldest son Thomas. (fn. 227) Thomas mortgaged it heavily between 1634 and 1654, when he sold it to James Thompson and Richard Pettit. (fn. 228) By 1659 Lacy's had come to Dr. Richard Love, master of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, from 1632, who at his death in 1661 left the manor to his wife Grace. (fn. 229) In 1671 she and her younger son John sold the manor to George Abbott, (fn. 230) already owner of Temple manor, with which Lacy's manor subsequently descended. (fn. 231)
Lacy's manor-house probably stood originally in the moated inclosure between the river and the road, north-east of the east end of St. John's street. The surrounding close was called Lacy's in 1823, (fn. 232) and an adjoining one Dovehouse close in 1654. (fn. 233) By the 18th century the demesne was being farmed from a house north of St. John's street, built in the 16th century and later enlarged.
The fourth manor in Duxford, later called BUSTELERS, was derived from the 4¼ hides which Pain held in 1086 of Hardwin de Scalers, lord of Caxton. (fn. 234) The tenancy-in-chief descended in the branch of the Scalers family settled at Shelford, passing by marriage in the 13th century to the Frevilles. (fn. 235) In 1352, however, Sir Thomas Scalers of the Whaddon branch claimed to dispose of the Duxford overlordship. (fn. 236) Under the Scalers family the mesne lords of Duxford were the owners of the manor which in 1086 Pain had held of Hardwin at Boxworth, (fn. 237) later Overhall manor, Boxworth. (fn. 238) Thus in 1166 the mesne lord was probably William son of Roger. (fn. 239) About 1220 wardship of the Duxford land belonged to Henry son of William of Boxworth, (fn. 240) who was followed by his son William of Boxworth (fl. 1235–58). (fn. 241) In 1279 the manor was held of William's son Henry of Boxworth, (fn. 242) who died c. 1302. (fn. 243) Henry's son William held his lands in 1316, (fn. 244) and had been succeeded by 1346 by another Henry (d. by 1374), (fn. 245) who claimed wardship of Bustelers manor c. 1366. (fn. 246) In 1427 that manor was held of Roger Lovett, then lord at Boxworth, (fn. 247) in the 16th century of the Huttons who had succeeded to Overhall manor, (fn. 248) and in 1601 of Sir John Cutt, then owner of Overhall. (fn. 249)
The manor was by 1200 held in demesne under the lords of Boxworth by the Goiz family. (fn. 250) It may have belonged to Robert le Goiz, who had in 1166 held ½ knight's fee of Stephen and another of Hugh de Scalers. (fn. 251) He was perhaps succeeded by his son Robert le Goiz (fl. c. 1200). (fn. 252) After 1200 Robert's brother Andrew le Goiz, (fn. 253) a pluralist clergyman, resigned his orders and livings in order to inherit the family lands. He was dead by c. 1220. About 1223 the succession of his son Andrew, a ward of Henry of Boxworth, was challenged by the younger Andrew's elder brother John, born while their father was still in orders. Henry, whom John had disseised at Duxford, was then restored, and in 1227 the dispute was settled by a compromise, by which Andrew, then of age, was to hold Duxford of John as 1 knight's fee. (fn. 254) Andrew probably died between 1257 and 1259. (fn. 255) By 1272 his land had come to his son William, (fn. 256) who held more than 1 hide at Duxford in 1279 (fn. 257) and died after 1287, when he granted all his land there to Mr. Robert Fileby at farm for life. (fn. 258) William had been succeeded by 1299 by his son John, (fn. 259) who held the manor in 1316 (fn. 260) and died after 1327 (fn. 261) without issue. John had sold the manor or its reversion to Sir William le Busteler of Hildersham, from whom his brother Andrew le Goiz unsuccessfully claimed it in 1330. (fn. 262)
Sir William was succeeded probably c. 1334 by his son Sir Robert le Busteler. (fn. 263) Robert died in 1366, whereupon his lands at Duxford and elsewhere passed to coheirs descended from his five sisters. One of them, John Hanchach, was then a minor. The other four coheirs sold their rights soon afterwards to Robert Parys, who successfully resisted the Crown's claim to occupy the lands because of Hanchach's minority. (fn. 264) When Robert Parys died c. 1377 (fn. 265) Bustelers went to his elder son Nicholas Parys, who held it in 1412 (fn. 266) and died in 1425. (fn. 267) It then passed to Nicholas's nephew Henry Parys (d. 1427), who also purchased from his uncle's executor the fifth of Bustelers (fn. 268) which had been forfeited by Hanchach for his part in the Peasant's Revolt in 1381 and acquired by Nicholas. (fn. 269) The reunited Bustelers manor descended in the Parys family with its lands at Linton and elsewhere (fn. 270) until the last heir male, Philip Parys, died in 1672. Under his will Bustelers passed for life to his mother Anne and her second husband Sir Joseph Colston (fn. 271) (d. 1675). It was sold in 1677 to Sir Thomas Sclater, Bt., (fn. 272) already purchaser of the other Parys estates with which it descended eventually to Thomas Sclater King. (fn. 273) On King's insolvency it was sold by order of Chancery to Lord Montfort, (fn. 274) who by 1771 had resold the Duxford estate to Richard Trott, the lessee since c. 1754. (fn. 275) Trott died in 1788, leaving that estate to Edmund Fisher, a minor, son of his daughter Sarah and Edmund Fisher, rector of Duxford St. Peter. (fn. 276) The younger Edmund, vicar of Linton 1800–44, died holding the manor in 1851, (fn. 277) and was succeeded by his son Edmund (d. 1881), also a clergyman. (fn. 278) From 1883 the estate belonged to Mrs. Fisher, presumably the last Edmund's widow, (fn. 279) in 1903 to Edmund's grandson, Capt. E. N. Fisher (d. 1909), (fn. 280) and in 1920 to Mrs. G. M. Fisher, who was said still to own the manor in 1937. (fn. 281)
The original site of Bustelers manor-house was probably inside the moat in a close just south of St. Peter's church, owned by Edmund Fisher in 1823, but by that time the demesne was being farmed from a 17th-century house near the west end of the high street, on the north side, then as later called Bustelers Farm. (fn. 282)
Robert Gernon was said in 1086 to own ½ hide at Duxford, previously owned by Alfric Campe. It had no inhabitants, and may have been attached to Gernon's neighbouring manor in Fowlmere, which Alfric had also owned. (fn. 283) The estate is not subsequently recorded under Duxford, and was presumably included in Fowlmere, where Gernon's land later passed to the Munfitchets, and through their coheirs to the Plaiz family. (fn. 284)
Warden abbey (Beds.) probably owned by 1200 land at Duxford given by Robert le Goiz, for which his grandson Andrew owed the abbey rent in 1234. (fn. 285) Its daughter house, Tilty abbey (Essex), also had land at Duxford by 1200, given by Ralph de Banks, Andrew le Goiz, and others. (fn. 286) By 1230 it had also received 120 a. from William de Colville. (fn. 287) In 1279 it held c. 137 a. of the Richmond fee, 70 a. of Temple manor, 50 a. of D'Abernons manor, and 34 a. of William le Goiz. (fn. 288) It retained that land as a dependency of its grange at Chrishall (Essex) until its dissolution, when it also owned a tenement and 42 a. in Duxford called Maugers, farmed separately. (fn. 289) All that property was sold by the Crown in 1544 to Edward Elrington and Humphrey Metcalfe, (fn. 290) who in 1547 sold Chrishall grange to Edward Meade. (fn. 291) Meade settled it in 1574 on his younger son Edward and died in 1577. (fn. 292) The younger Edward sold Maugers in 1592 and the grange lands, c. 300 a., in 1594 to Robert Taylor, then lord of Lacy's manor. (fn. 293) In 1601 Taylor sold Chrishall grange alone to Edward's kinsman Sir Thomas Meade. (fn. 294) Sir Thomas died in 1617 leaving his lands to his son John, (fn. 295) on whose death in 1638 the grange came to John's son Thomas (fn. 296) (d. 1678). (fn. 297) Thomas and his son John mortgaged it in 1676, (fn. 298) and following various assignments of those mortgages it came after 1696 to Nicholas Pollexfen, on whose marriage it was settled in 1704. (fn. 299) After further mortgages Chrishall grange had by 1717 come, perhaps through James Smith as mortgagee, to John Hanchett of Heydon (Essex). He died in 1724 and his son John in 1737. (fn. 300) John Hanchett of Chrishall grange mortgaged the estate in 1743 to Thomas Hanchett of Ickleton and died c. 1756, whereupon his lands were divided between his daughters. The grange went to Anne, wife of James Watson, who still held it in 1769. (fn. 301) It was later acquired by the Brand family which had held Chrishall manor with land in Duxford since 1754. (fn. 302) In 1822 the Chrishall grange estate belonged to Thomas Brand, Lord Dacre, who was allotted 303 a. in Duxford at inclosure. (fn. 303) He died without issue in 1851 and the estate descended in his family, as did Great Carlton manor, to Thomas William, Viscount Hampden, (fn. 304) who offered the Chrishall grange estate for sale in 1925. (fn. 305) Its land in Duxford then as earlier was farmed from Chrishall grange in Fowlmere. (fn. 306)
In 1279 72 a. held of D'Abernons manor belonged to the rectory of Chrishall (Essex). (fn. 307) That church had belonged since 1068 to the canons of St. Martin's-le-Grand, London, (fn. 308) by whom it had been appropriated by 1254. (fn. 309) The impropriate rectory, with other possessions of St. Martin's, was annexed by Henry VII to Westminster abbey in 1503, (fn. 310) and passed to its successors, the dean and chapter of Westminster, with whom it remained until the 19th century. (fn. 311) The rectory still owned 50 a. in Duxford in 1654 and some land in 1749, (fn. 312) but apparently nothing in 1823. In 1279 another 15 a. were held of Walden abbey (Essex), by the Templars, under whom it mostly belonged to free tenants. (fn. 313)
Whittlesford Bridge hospital, endowed with ½ yardland by William de Colville, (fn. 314) owned at its suppression 38 a., which were sold in 1548 to Thomas Tyrell of London. (fn. 315) In 1563 the land was acquired from Henry Mordaunt by Robert Twyford, (fn. 316) who in 1566 sold it to James Bedell, lord of Lacy's manor. (fn. 317) In 1590 James's son John sold it to Robert Taylor, (fn. 318) who still held it, with Maugers land, at his death in 1609. His heir was his son Thomas. (fn. 319) The estate was later mostly merged in Lacy's manor, which included Maugers land c. 1670 (fn. 320) and the Lion inn by the site of the hospital in 1759. (fn. 321)
At inclosure the largest non-manorial estate in Duxford was that of the Hitch family. Thomas Hitch had held at his death in 1724 over 153 a., which passed successively to his sons James and Richard. (fn. 322) When Richard died in 1753 his heir was his cousin John Hitch. (fn. 323) John's son, the Revd. James Hitch, (fn. 324) owned 369 a., by customary measure, at Duxford at his marriage in 1790, and acquired in 1793–4 another 126 a. once owned by the Amey family. (fn. 325) All was leased to his kinsman Richard Hitch (d. 1816). (fn. 326) At inclosure in 1823 James was allotted 256 a. for the former estate and 71 a. for the latter, called Jacobs farm. (fn. 327) The larger estate passed, when James died in 1824, to his daughter Alicia, who was dead by 1830, when the 71 a. were sold to James Barker. The 256 a. were sold by order of Chancery in 1842; (fn. 328) most was acquired in the 1860s by John Alfred Oslar, (fn. 329) after whose death in 1888 212 a. were sold by his widow to Caius College, (fn. 330) the owner in 1972. (fn. 331) Oslar had also acquired in 1862 James Barker's estate, (fn. 332) besides land formerly owned by the Robynet family, which had been prominent in the parish since the 15th century. (fn. 333) John Robynet, the last male of the family, died in 1809 and his representatives sold his land, for which 94 a. were allotted at inclosure, in 1864 to Thomas Scruby, a collateral relative, (fn. 334) whose heirs sold it to Oslar in 1874. (fn. 335) In 1891 Oslar's widow sold c. 150 a. not bought by Caius College to Rear Adm. V. A. Montagu (d. 1915), (fn. 336) who sold it in 1911. (fn. 337)
Of about twenty ploughlands in Duxford in 1086, 9 were in the demesnes and 10¼ were occupied by 11 villani and 20 bordars. The villani had 9¼ plough-teams between them, but the demesnes were understocked, with only 5 teams. The value of the estates in the vill had fallen since 1066 from £27 6s. 8d. to £20 5s. On the Scalers fee the yield fell by half from £5, but on Robert de Todeni's land income had been raised from the £5 7s. when he received it to £7 10s., almost the former value. (fn. 338)
By 1279 (fn. 339) almost half of the 2,300 a. of arable recorded was included in the demesnes of the five manors. The Lacy and Duxford manors each had c. 246 a., the Goiz manor c. 146 a., D'Abernons c. 240 a., and the Temple manor 508 a., besides 28 a. held of other manors. Some other lords also held land of other manors. Of c. 1,300 a. held of the manors, c. 396 a. belonged to Tilty abbey and other religious houses, and the peasantry occupied under 900 a., including only 120 a. belonging to free tenants. The largest free holdings, being halfyardlands, may have been enfranchised villein tenements. Two of 15 a. were held only on life-tenure, and another on D'Abernons manor owed 7 harvestboons. Twenty-eight cottagers shared 23 a. About 700 a. was occupied by villeins of whom 40 held half-yardlands, standard on all five manors, of 14 a. and a 1-acre messuage, and 9 others had 9-acre holdings. The nominal equality of acreage recorded in 1279 may, however, have concealed substantial variations in size. In the same year a half-yardland leased for life actually included 21 a., (fn. 340) and in the 15th century the size of half-yardlands held of D'Abernons manor varied between 16 a. and 40 a. (fn. 341) In 1279 D'Abernons manor had the largest amount of villein land, c. 335 a.; Temple manor had c. 130 a., the Goiz manor 135 a., and the two Richmond fees only 100 a. between them, not equally divided.
The villeins' services showed much similarity on each manor; those on the Richmond fees being almost identical, while those on the Goiz and Temple manors resembled each other closely. No weekworks were exacted, except on Temple manor where three a week were due from Michaelmas to Midsummer. Otherwise the villeins on each manor had to spend some, usually two, days hoeing, to mow the lord's meadow and reap 6 a. to 8 a. of his corn, to do 12 averages, and, except on the Richmond fees, to plough 3 a., harrow for 3 days, and carry 4 a. to 6 a. of corn. They also sent 3 men to do 4 or 6 harvest-boons, except on D'Abernons manor, where 2 were sent to 8 boons. The tenants of 9 a. owed services only marginally reduced. The cottagers had to attend the harvest-boons, but mainly paid rent.
The Templars' manor, in hand when it was confiscated in 1308, then employed permanently a messor, a carter, 6 ploughmen, a shepherd, a swineherd, and a cowboy; for the harvest it also recruited a reap-reeve, stackers, and a cook. Its villeins' services, amounting to perhaps 2,000 works a year, were still important. Only 563 of 1,510 works due over 9 months were commuted. In 1309 the principal crops sown were 80 a. of wheat, 60 a. of maslin, 50 a. of barley, 32 a. of dredge, and 41 a. of oats, but only 9 a. of peas. The wheat and the malted barley were mostly sold, while the maslin and peas provided pottage for the hired servants and acreloaves for the harvesters. There was a flock of c. 110 sheep and a small herd of milking cattle. (fn. 342) In 1338 the estate was managed by a bailiff; the customers' works, valued at only £4, had perhaps been commuted. (fn. 343) D'Abernons manor was also in hand in 1337. Sir John d'Abernon (d. 1327) had actively extended his holdings at Duxford, buying up part of the Duxford manor (fn. 344) and small parcels from lesser freeholders. (fn. 345) By 1304 he was leasing Lacy's demesne. (fn. 346) He also converted some of his villein half-yardlands into life-tenancies. (fn. 347) In 1336–7, though c. 140 works were sold, others were still exacted. The villeins still did their three ploughings, after Michaelmas, Christmas, and Easter, besides mowing and carrying the harvest. Men were sent to a harvest-boon by 37 customary tenants. The manorial staff comprised a reeve, a messor, and four others. Crops included wheat and maslin, of which 22 a. and 42 a. were sown. (fn. 348)
The customary holdings were eventually converted into rent-paying copyholds. On D'Abernons manor copyholders were in 1482 paying rents, usually of 10s. for a half-yardland and 6s. 8d. to 10s. for a 9-acre 'wareland'. (fn. 349) Excluding the demesnes copyhold still greatly exceeded freehold at inclosure, when 812 a. were allotted for copyhold and only 278 a. for freehold. (fn. 350) By custom recorded in the 16th century and still nominally in force in the early 20th, copyholds were inherited by the youngest son. (fn. 351) In the 14th century the demesnes were leased to farmers, that of Bustelers by 1366 (fn. 352) and the Hospitallers' by 1381, when their manorhouse was attacked by a band of rioters led by John Hanchach and their farmer lost goods worth over £20. D'Abernons manor-house was also attacked, and some court rolls were burnt there. (fn. 353) Its demesne was on lease by 1387. (fn. 354)
In 1340 it was said that 240 a. were out of cultivation, and that the spring corn had perished. (fn. 355) By 1300 the arable was divided into three fields west of the village, stretching east and west. (fn. 356) The southernmost, Stock field, (fn. 357) covering by local measure c. 1,115 a., included the 'strong, brown, wet earth' on top of Pepperton Hill, which gave it the later name of Blackland field. (fn. 358) North of it was Middle field (c. 1,155 a.), and beyond that North field (c. 915 a.), called by the 17th century Moor field, (fn. 359) probably after the village moor, also called Duxford heath, (fn. 360) at its western end, said c. 1794 to contain 20 a. (fn. 361) By the 17th century c. 100 a. at that end of the parish were included in a separate field attached to Chrishall grange, which with Chrishall rectory owned most of the strips there. (fn. 362) In early modern times the main crops were barley, wheat, rye, peas, and oats. (fn. 363) Sown land leased by a Duxford yeoman c. 1595 included 80 a. of rye and 20 a. of barley, but only 5 a. of wheat. (fn. 364) Even on Temple manor, less wheat (60 a.) than barley (80 a.) was sown when it was leased in 1565. (fn. 365) About 1675 lentils were being sown with barley and rye in one field. (fn. 366) In 1714 c. 30 a. in the open fields had recently been inclosed and sown with sainfoin. (fn. 367) Saffron was also grown from the 15th century. (fn. 368)
The land between the river and the road through the village consisted partly of large closes around the manorial sites, partly of common meadow. In the 17th century c. 46 a. were included in the Midsummer and Lammas meadows. (fn. 369) The 40 a. of meadow c. 1794 were liable to flooding. Horses and cattle then grazed there without stint. Sheep were fed on the moor (fn. 370) and the fallow field. They had been important in the economy since 1086, when there were 429. (fn. 371) Half-yardlands let c. 1300 by Sir John d'Abernon had sheep-walk for 40 to 60 sheep, (fn. 372) and a farm leased in 1358 included sheep-walk for 200 sheep. (fn. 373) D'Abernons and Lacy's manors each had sheep-walk for 300 sheep in the 17th century. (fn. 374) In 1272 Sir John d'Abernon claimed that the abbot of Tilty was bound as his tenant to send 200 sheep to Sir John's fold every other night and furnish a shepherd to keep them. The abbot compromised the lawsuit by paying £10 and releasing his own right of common over d'Abernon's land. (fn. 375) The abbey's Chrishall grange possessed fold-course for 400 sheep in Duxford in the 16th and 17th centuries, (fn. 376) and was said c. 1794 to have sheep-walk there two days a week. (fn. 377) The abbot and other outsiders such as the prioress of Ickleton were sometimes alleged in the 15th century to be charging Duxford's commons with their sheep when they should have been by custom in severalty. (fn. 378) In 1611 a manor court prohibited taking in outsiders' cattle on the commons, (fn. 379) but no stint was recorded and most pasture regulations were concerned with restraining pigs and horses. In 1683 the parsons were directed to fulfil their ancient duty of keeping a parish bull and boar, and their common rights were suspended until they should. (fn. 380) There were some 1,200 sheep in Duxford c. 1794, (fn. 381) and 2,500 in the 1830s. (fn. 382) In 1861 the parish had seven shepherds. (fn. 383)
By 1500 there had probably been some concentration of wealth and landownership among the peasantry. In 1482 the half-yardlands on D'Abernons manor were occupied by only 7 tenants, compared with 17 in 1279. (fn. 384) Of £235 of taxable wealth in the parish in 1524 £87 belonged to 5 men taxed at over £10, including 2 with £26 each, while 31 others were taxed on goods worth only from £2 to £8, and 19 men only on their wages. (fn. 385) In the early 17th century c. 18 yeomen owned land in the parish, 11 of whom belonged to only 5 families, those of Robynet, Rutland, King, Swan, and Rayner, (fn. 386) which flourished there from the 16th to the 18th centuries. (fn. 387) The four demesne farms continued to dominate the parish, including in 1654 c. 1,400 a. out of c. 3,000 a. by local measure, excluding the Chrishall grange field. Bustelers demesne then amounted to 198 a., that of Lacy's to 241 a., that of D'Abernons to 405 a., and Temple manor's to 515 a. Much demesne land lay in larger blocks than the single-acre strips of a peasant holding. Temple manor's was largely composed of blocks of 5 a. and more, including one of 40 a. at the west end of Moor field, adjoining a 24-acre block owned by D'Abernons manor. Of 109 a. of closes in the village 51 a. belonged to the demesnes. (fn. 388) Temple manor was said to have included 522 a. of arable in 1632, (fn. 389) D'Abernons manor 429 a. in 1631, (fn. 390) Lacy's manor 262 a. in 1650, (fn. 391) and Bustelers manor c. 240 a. in 1553. (fn. 392)
The demesnes were frequently let to the more substantial yeomen: John Trope, lessee of D'Abernons c. 1482, also held 40 a. of copyhold of it. (fn. 393) Maugers farm, 42 a. of the Tilty estate, leased from 1528 for 50 years to John Robynet, (fn. 394) was held by John's kinsman James Robynet in 1643. (fn. 395) Richard Lounde died in 1546 leaving the leases of Temple, Lacy's, and D'Abernons manors to his eldest son Richard. (fn. 396) Later the owners of some manors began to accumulate head-leases of others. James Bedell, lord of Lacy's, was from c. 1565 leasing Temple manor from Henry Long, and was also bailiff and perhaps lessee of D'Abernons. Bedell and his widow Elizabeth in turn sublet to local men, Lacy's by 1578 to another James Robynet, Temple in two parts. (fn. 397) About 1649 Thomas Symons of Whittlesford, a colonel in the parliament's service and owner of Lacy's, obtained somewhat informally a lease of D'Abernons from the master and fellows of Caius College shortly before their ejection. Their successors complained in 1657 that Col. Symons had paid neither his own rent nor that which he had collected as bailiff, and had let the farm buildings and land fall into ruin. (fn. 398) The college regularly let its farm after 1600 on 20-year beneficial leases. (fn. 399) By c. 1750 the combined Temple and Lacy's estates, c. 800 a., had been divided into four farms, of which Lacy's farm covered 290 a. of arable, and Temple farm c. 260 a. (fn. 400)
Inclosure was proposed in 1813, (fn. 401) and an Act obtained in 1822. (fn. 402) The allotment of land was apparently completed by 1823, (fn. 403) but the award was not formally executed until 1830. (fn. 404) The area allotted consisted of arable and common amounting to 2,983 a. There were also 147½ a. of ancient closes. Since the tithes were not commuted, only 56½ a. were allotted for glebe. Of the land allotted over two-thirds, 2,123 a., went to the four largest landowners. Charles Long, Lord Farnborough, received 708 a., Caius College 407½ a., and Lord Dacre 303 a. adjoining Chrishall grange in Fowlmere. For Bustelers estate, much enlarged since 1654, Edmund Fisher was allotted 704½ a., including 215 a. for copyhold. Those four estates included together 292 a. copyhold, over which the manorial lords mutually relinquished their quit-rents and incidents. Of the remaining land 520 a. was allotted for copyhold, 278 a. for freehold, out of which 328 a. went to the Hitch and 94 a. to the Robynet estate. Of the remainder J. L. Johnson received 81 a., and five local families with between 20 a. and 50 a. each shared 141 a. Five other people with 10 a. to 20 a. had 64½ a. between them, and 34 others with under 10 a. 78½ a. Just over 36 a. (included above) was allotted to 24 persons for common rights.
After the inclosure most of Duxford was included in a few large farms. Furthest west lay the Chrishall grange estate. Next came 604 a. of the Fisher estate, farmed from Duxford Grange, where a farmstead and cottages had been established by c. 1840, although the house is later, and then 338 a. owned by Caius College, farmed from College Farm, also built out in the fields by c. 1840. (fn. 405) From 1820 to after 1834 College farm was let to Edmund Fisher the younger. Beneficial leasing of it was ended in 1867, and the college divided its Duxford estate in two. Thereafter 68 a. were run from its old farmhouse in the village and 348 a. from the new farmhouse. The two were sometimes distinguished as East and West College farms. (fn. 406) East of the college land the Long estate curving west and north of the village was by 1831 divided into Temple farm, including 335 a. on the north side of the parish and the mill and 38 a. of pasture by the river, and Lacy's farm, with 42 a. of closes and 303 a. of arable west of the village, where a farmstead but no farm-house was built; it was called Barker's after William Barker, tenant in 1831. (fn. 407) Both later lost land to the airfield. (fn. 408) The Hitch property, mostly acquired by Caius College in 1891, (fn. 409) lay south-west of the village.
In the early 19th century the population consisted mostly of the tenant-farmers and their labourers. In 1821 116 families were supported by agriculture, and only 14 by crafts or trade. (fn. 410) There were several smaller farms of under 100 a. In 1831 15 farmers employed labour and 8 worked their own plots unaided. (fn. 411) In 1851, out of 14 named farmers, 12 occupying 100 a. or less had altogether 490 a. One was also a baker, another a carrier. (fn. 412) There were 10 farmers in Duxford in 1858, 7 in 1888, 5 in 1916. (fn. 413) In 1905 the parish included 2,478 a. of arable and 207 a. of pasture. (fn. 414) There were 6 farms in 1937, Temple, Lacy's, East and West College farms, Duxford Grange, and Hills farm, (fn. 415) the former Hitch land. In 1972 arable farming predominated.
There were c. 100 adult labourers in 1851, and c. 105 in 1871, when the farms provided employment for at least 66 men and 30 boys. (fn. 416) From the mid 19th century some new occupations were becoming available, besides those of the traditional village craftsmen such as blacksmiths, carpenters, and wheelwrights. There were 7 oil-millers in 1841, 10 shoemakers in 1851, and 11 gardeners in 1871. Many women engaged in dress- and bonnet-making, and by the 1860s others went to work at the Sawston paper-mill. Several men worked on the railway, (fn. 417) and a coal-merchant traded from Whittlesford Bridge station. (fn. 418) There was a small cycle-makers' by 1904, and a threshing-machine owner from 1922. (fn. 419) A company making waterproof materials, Impervious Packages Ltd., was in the village in 1929 but had gone by 1933. (fn. 420) The village smithy was still open in 1967. (fn. 421) In the late 20th century, as the numbers required in farming declined, some residents commuted to Cambridge, or even to London, while others worked in the factories established at Duxford. (fn. 422)
There were three mills in Duxford in 1086, one on Count Eustace's manor, held at farm by Guy of Anjou, two on Robert de Todeni's. (fn. 423) Those two descended with that manor until William de Colville granted one with the manor to the Templars, (fn. 424) the other, presumably, to the hospital, which in 1279 owned a water-mill in Duxford, (fn. 425) not afterwards recorded. The Templars' mill, standing by the river east of Temple Farm, was in hand in 1307, when its miller was a hired servant and the corn from its tolls went directly into the manorial grange. (fn. 426) In 1338 it yielded 1 mark a year. (fn. 427) In 1609 the parish contained a windmill. (fn. 428) Temple manor still owned its mill from the 16th century onwards. (fn. 429) In the early 19th century it was sometimes let with Temple farm, as to William Thurnall in 1831. (fn. 430) Thurnall (d. 1842) ground on a large scale, sending much of his flour along with malt and seed to London. (fn. 431) By 1871 the mill employed three men and a boy. (fn. 432) It was working in 1937, (fn. 433) but had apparently been closed when the house and mill were sold in 1946. (fn. 434) They were later converted into a private house. (fn. 435) The existing mill buildings were put up in 1811. (fn. 436)
Near the mill in 1836 William Thurnall set up a bone-mill worked by a water-wheel, with which he produced fertilizer from the mound of bones he had accumulated 30 ft. high. The bone-milling, still conducted beside the river in the late 1840s, (fn. 437) was afterwards transferred to a new works (fn. 438) using steam power, north of the village by the Whittlesford road. In 1858 the Cambridge Manure Company, as it was styled, was managed by William's son Charles. In 1860 the business was taken over by Bird Brothers, who retained it, at first using also locally dug coprolites, until 1914. In 1900 they were producing bonemanure, gelatine, and glue, and a subsidiary, the Cambridge Chemical Co., set up by 1892, made chemicals and disinfectants. After a fire in 1914 the business was acquired in 1919 by Eastern Counties Bone Products Ltd., who still owned the factory, styled Birds Chemical Works, in 1972. They then employed ten men, and produced principally organic fertilizers and animal feeds.
The largest factory in Duxford is that of CIBA (A.R.L.) Ltd., formerly Aero Research Ltd., which produces adhesives, especially wood glues, based on synthetic resins. (fn. 439) The company was established south of the village c. 1934 by N. R. A. de Bruyne, a scientist from Trinity College, whose interest in designing monoplanes led to research into synthetic materials and later to making aircraft glues. 'Aerolite' cement, manufactured at Duxford from 1939, was much used in aircraft during the Second World War, when the factory had over 200 employees. After the war the firm was merged with CIBA of Basle (Switzerland), whose 'Araldite' adhesive began to be produced at Duxford in 1950 in a new factory that was enlarged in 1958 and 1965. A new factory for making 'Aeroweb' was built at Duxford in 1963, and another in 1970. Extensive laboratories were also built there from 1958 onwards. In 1970 CIBA itself merged with GEIGY, also of Basle.
In 1948 de Bruyne founded another company at Duxford, Techne (Cambridge) Ltd., which in collaboration with scientists from Cambridge and elsewhere develops and manufactures precision instruments for laboratories, using particularly pneumatic control. It began its operations at Temple mill, and in 1950 bought the former rectory, its headquarters in 1972. Among its main products are laboratory water-baths, thermoregulators, gelation timers, viscometers, and fluidized baths. (fn. 440)
Several suits rendered to the county and hundred courts in the early 13th century (fn. 441) were later withdrawn. About 1260 the earl of Gloucester removed that owed from Andrew le Goiz's fee. (fn. 442) After c. 1250 the abbot of Tilty withdrew that due from his lands. Henry Lacy and Ralph of Duxford had done their suits to a court of the honor of Richmond held at Babraham, apparently since Peter of Savoy possessed the honor. One halfyardland was held of Ralph by suit to that court. (fn. 443) In the 1270s Henry Lacy conceded that an agreement about land at Duxford should be enforced by the local steward and bailiff of that honor. (fn. 444) The Templars withdrew suit owed from the Colville lands, and claimed in 1279, under their charter from Henry II, to have on their manor view of frankpledge, the assize of bread and of ale, estreats, and a tumbrel, which they had set up c. 1275. (fn. 445) The earl of Norfolk claimed in 1279 and 1299 to have by prescription on D'Abernons manor view of frankpledge, the assize of bread and of ale, infangthief, a gallows and tumbrel, and estreats, as appurtenances of his manor at Great Chesterford (Essex). (fn. 446) In practice he was instead paid 5s. at a yearly view of frankpledge held for the tenants at Duxford, (fn. 447) and attempts by the earl's officers to distrain for his dues there were sometimes violently resisted. (fn. 448) In 1334 brewers and ale-tasters from Duxford were still being amerced by a court of the honor of Richmond held at Linton. (fn. 449)
The court of D'Abernons manor was regularly styled only a court baron in the 15th and 16th centuries, and confined itself to tenurial business and to regulating agricultural practice. Court rolls survive for 1401–17, 1439, 1495–1502, 1536–7, and 1550, and from 1558 to 1648, followed by court books extending to 1910. (fn. 450) Temple manor's court should have had leet jurisdiction, and was normally styled a view of frankpledge in conveyances from the 17th century, (fn. 451) as was that of Lacy's from c. 1600. (fn. 452) In practice, however, neither attempted to exercise leet jurisdiction, and concerned themselves mainly with rules about commoning and admissions to copyholds. Court rolls for Lacy's are extant for 1563 to 1602, and court books for both manors from 1671 to the 1920s. (fn. 453) Bustelers court baron can be traced only in surviving copyhold title-deeds. (fn. 454)
In 1596 Lacy's court elected two constables and a hayward. (fn. 455) In 1683 two constables were chosen at Temple manor court, (fn. 456) and in 1722 two others at Lacy's, as was also for several years a hayward. One constable was said then and in 1766 to be for St. John's, the other for St. Peter's parish, (fn. 457) but in general the administration does not seem to have been divided on parochial lines. The two churches may have had separate churchwardens, perhaps until the early 19th century, (fn. 458) but for all secular purposes Duxford was governed as a single unit. A single poor- and church-rate was levied, (fn. 459) and in 1834 a single vestry was administering the whole village. It consisted of the churchwardens, overseers, and assembled parishioners. (fn. 460) In 1724 the overseers bought a cow and a hog to support two widows. (fn. 461) The poor-rates increased from £57 in 1776 to £138 c. 1785 and £408 in 1803, when c. 30 were on permanent relief, (fn. 462) as in 1815, when their support cost £589. (fn. 463) Such expenditure, though reduced for a year or two to under £400, had again reached £550 in 1818, and except in the mid 1820s was until 1834 usually well over £500. (fn. 464) In 1830 the parish had only six men out of work, and was selling coal to the poor at a cheap rate. (fn. 465) From 1835 it was part of the Linton poor-law union, (fn. 466) in 1934 passed from the Linton to the South Cambridgeshire R.D., (fn. 467) and in 1974 was included in South Cambridgeshire.
Duxford is an instance (fn. 468) of a single township anomalously containing two parish churches, each with its own incumbent. The duplication probably arose from the separate foundation before c. 1200 (fn. 469) of churches at the northern and southern ends of the village by the lords of the two manors to which the two advowsons were at first annexed, that of St. John's belonging to Lacy's manor, that of St. Peter's to Bustelers. To which church inhabitants were liable to pay tithe was determined principally by tenure. St. John's received tithe from the lords and tenants of Lacy's and Temple manors, whose chief messuages stood opposite the east end of St. John's Street, St. Peter's from those of Bustelers and D'Abernons, whose manor-houses once stood on each side of St. Peter's church. (fn. 470) There is no record of any formal territorial division of the cure of souls. Parishioners seem usually to have attended whichever church was nearest to their own dwelling, and in modern times to have worshipped in both at different hours, until St. John's church became disused after the benefices were united in 1874.
The advowson of St. John's church belonged by 1279 to Sir Henry Lacy, (fn. 471) and descended with Lacy's manor in his family until the 1340s. A plan to appropriate the church to Ipswich priory (Suff.) in 1344 (fn. 472) fell through, and in 1346 Sir Thomas Lacy sold the advowson to Elizabeth de Burgh, (fn. 473) who was licensed in the same year to appropriate the church to her new foundation of Clare College. (fn. 474) A vicarage was established; the college was given the patronage and presented regularly, except in 1690 when the bishop of St. Asaph presented on behalf of the Crown through lapse. (fn. 475) The advowson of St. Peter's was owned in 1279 by William le Goiz, (fn. 476) and passed with Bustelers manor through the Bustelers to Robert Parys and his descendants. (fn. 477) The Crown's claim to present in 1370 by right of wardship was successfully resisted. (fn. 478) Although recusants the Paryses continued to present for a time after the Reformation. In 1602 Bishop Heton of Ely requested Philip Parys to present one of his chaplains. (fn. 479) The Crown presented in 1596, (fn. 480) and again by lapse in 1616 following Philip Parys's death. Charles Parys's guardian, Sir John Cutt, presented in 1618. (fn. 481) Although an Act of 1605 transferred recusants' patronage to the universities, it was not until 1642 that Cambridge University was able to present its own nominee. (fn. 482) Meanwhile in 1638 Parys had granted the advowson to George Carleton. (fn. 483) In 1665 Francis Westrope presented for that turn. (fn. 484) In 1686 George Flack acquired the advowson from Thomas Smith, Robert Flack, and John Rayner and their wives, (fn. 485) and in 1688 it was conveyed by Dr. Humphrey Ridley, his wife Sarah, and Thomas Buckworth to Thomas Harris, (fn. 486) whom Sarah Harris presented later that year. (fn. 487) In 1704 Harris sold the advowson to Thomas Tenison, archbishop of Canterbury, (fn. 488) who upon his death in 1715 bequeathed it to Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, directing that the rectory be given to a master or fellow of that college. (fn. 489) The college sold the advowson in 1868 to Clare College, (fn. 490) which retained the patronage of the united benefices until c. 1966, when it was exchanged with the bishop of Ely. (fn. 491)
In 1279 St. John's church possessed a messuage and glebe of c. 60 a. (fn. 492) On the appropriation Clare College took the great tithes and c. 22 a. of glebe, while the vicar received c. 40 a. of glebe with a house, the small tithes including those of hay, and a pension of 40s. charged on the rectory. (fn. 493) The rector of St. Peter's had in 1279 a glebe of 1 yardland, (fn. 494) said in 1638 to amount to c. 16 a. (fn. 495) He retained his full share of all the tithes, great and small, of Duxford.
From the 16th century Clare College normally leased St. John's rectory and great tithes on a beneficial lease for £8 a year, (fn. 496) at first to local farmers such as the Rutlands, tenants from 1577 to 1610. (fn. 497) By 1645 the lease had come to Dr. Richard Love, later lord of Lacy's manor; (fn. 498) in 1674 and 1681 it belonged to Love's widow Grace, and in 1714 to his son-in-law Archbishop Tenison. (fn. 499) After Tenison's death Clare College bought the lessees' interest and annexed it to Blythe's benefaction, (fn. 500) trustees for which sublet to local farmers. From 1770 to 1793 Edmund Fisher, rector of St. Peter's, was undertenant. (fn. 501)
Although the tithes were earlier divided between the two churches according to which manor a piece of land was held of, by the 17th century the great tithes were sometimes paid in cash at 4s. to 6s. an acre, and when taken in kind might be gathered promiscuously and later divided by the bushel between the rector of St. Peter's and the impropriator, presumably equally, (fn. 502) so that the ancient distinction of the parishes was being forgotten. In 1654 a survey made by order of Chancery determined to which manor each plot of land belonged and to which church it was consequently tithable; the tithe of land not known to belong to a manor was to be divided equally between the two churches. (fn. 503) Thenceforth each parson could collect the tithes due to him in kind independently, as was apparently being done in 1674 and 1714. (fn. 504) About 1795 the tithe of corn was being commuted at 2s. 6d. an acre. (fn. 505) During the Napoleonic wars the village farmers leased from Clare College its great tithes for £290 a year. (fn. 506)
Under the inclosure Act of 1822 each allotment was divided for tithes in the same proportion as the property for which it was allotted had previously owed tithe to the two churches. (fn. 507) St. John's church thereby received tithe from 1,462 a., St. Peter's from 1,424 a. (fn. 508) Following the inclosure Clare College's collection of tithes in kind caused sharp disputes. (fn. 509) The tithes were finally commuted in 1839, those of each church being valued at £500 a year. Of St. John's tithe-rent-charge £354 was assigned to Clare College, £146 to the vicar. (fn. 510)
At inclosure Clare College was allotted c. 11 a. for glebe, the vicar of St. John's 35 a., and the rector of St. Peter's c. 11 a. (fn. 511) The vicarial glebe was sold in 1919, and that of St. Peter's between 1944 and 1960. (fn. 512)
Clare College possessed no farmstead in Duxford, but only a tithe-barn which stood a little east of St. John's vicarage. (fn. 513) The latter, probably on the original site of the parsonage, stands a little south of St. John's church. In 1783 it was a thatched house in good repair, (fn. 514) but by the 1830s was described as an old lath-and-plaster building, occupied only by interloping paupers. It was demolished c. 1844, and the vicar, John Clark, built a new brick house with a loan from Queen Anne's Bounty. (fn. 515) After the benefices were united the vicarage was let until its sale in 1919, (fn. 516) and the rector lived at St. Peter's rectory. That had in 1638 comprised a house, barn, stable, and other farm-buildings. (fn. 517) The house stood near the edge of the village, south-west of St. Peter's church. It was said in 1783 to have been occupied for the last 100 years by poor families, although then in tolerable repair. (fn. 518) By c. 1822 W. H. Markby, rector 1819–66, had rebuilt it as a square grey-brick house in Regency style, with the help of the patron. (fn. 519) The new house was sold in 1950, (fn. 520) and in 1972 the rector lived in a house in Moorfields Road. (fn. 521)
St. John's rectory was taxed at 15 marks in 1217, 16 marks in 1254, and 25 marks in 1291. (fn. 522) After the appropriation the vicarage was worth £13 3s. 4d. in 1535 (fn. 523) and £20 in 1650 and 1728. (fn. 524) In 1812 Queen Anne's Bounty gave £300 and John Clark, the new vicar, £200 to augment the living. (fn. 525) About 1830 it was worth c. £170 a year. (fn. 526) Clark claimed in 1837 that he had raised the income to £195. (fn. 527) Shortly before the union of the benefices the vicarage brought in £180 net. (fn. 528)
St. Peter's church was taxed at 20 marks in 1217, 18 marks in 1254, and £25 6s. 8d. in 1276. (fn. 529) In 1535 it was worth £21 6s. 8d., (fn. 530) in 1650 £90, and in 1728 £110. (fn. 531) About 1830 it yielded c. £430, in 1851 £511, and c. 1870 £404 net. (fn. 532)
The free chapel or hospital of St. John the Baptist (fn. 533) at Whittlesford Bridge, founded by William de Colville (d. 1230), (fn. 534) survived until the Reformation. Its patronage was vested in the bishops of Ely, (fn. 535) although in 1397 the Crown claimed to present, following the attainder of Thomas, duke of Gloucester. (fn. 536) The office of master, rector, or warden was by the 14th century a sinecure, sometimes held in plurality. (fn. 537) At the hospital's suppression, c. 1548, it was said that the tiled chapel was in decay and no services had been held there for over 7 years. There was then no dwelling-house. (fn. 538) The chapel, built of field stones with dressings of freestone, has an undivided chancel and nave. Only a few fragments of walling survive from the 13th-century structure, which was rebuilt in the early 14th century. The western end may have been designed for domestic occupation. For many years the chapel was used as a barn for the adjoining Red Lion inn. (fn. 539) Between 1947 and 1954 it was restored by the Ministry of Works, which rebuilt its west end, for preservation as an ancient monument. (fn. 540)
William de Colville charged Temple manor with 5 marks a year for a chaplain, still being paid in 1339. (fn. 541) Some 21 a. or 35 a. in Duxford, given for obits, was confiscated under Edward VI and sold in 1548 and 1550. (fn. 542) The village contained in the early 16th century two guilds, of St. John and St. Peter, the latter recorded in 1489. One was presumably attached to each church. (fn. 543) Robert Stythe, vicar of St. John's (d. 1552), left money for a drinking at his burial 'after the custom and manner of the town'. (fn. 544) St. John's guildhall stood on a site given before 1536 by Thomas Farnham to the churchwardens, (fn. 545) who retained it after the guilds were suppressed until 1583 when it was taken into the lord's hands because they could produce no title-deeds. (fn. 546)
The incumbents of both livings (fn. 547) were apparently resident in the parish in the early 13th century. (fn. 548) In the 1270s Walter Barbedor, presumably of the family with land at Hinxton and Ickleton, held St. John's. (fn. 549) His successor John Lacy was involved in 1309 in a riot and robbery at Ickleton. (fn. 550) John Hinxton, the last rector at St. John's, aided an attack by the earl of Oxford on John Segrave's park at Great Chesterford (Essex). (fn. 551) His contemporary at St. Peter's sometimes acted as a royal purveyor. (fn. 552) Robert Candlesby, rector there from 1400, obtained a licence for three years' absence, (fn. 553) perhaps for study. Few incumbents of either church, however, had attended university before the late 15th century, when St. Peter's began to be held by absentee graduates. (fn. 554) John Ward, formerly master of the bridge hospital, held that rectory from 1500 in plurality with Snailwell, where he died in 1526, and paid a parish priest to do the duty at Duxford. (fn. 555) Ward's successor, William Capon, master of Jesus College 1516–46, was also a pluralist and nonresident, employing a priest at Duxford. (fn. 556) On the poorer living of St. John's Thomas Wentworth, vicar 1446–89, (fn. 557) studied canonlaw while incumbent, and later served as official to the archdeacon of Colchester. (fn. 558) The vicars may have been usually resident. (fn. 559)
From 1564 to 1567 the two livings were held together by George Chatburn, vicar since 1561, (fn. 560) but the joint incumbency was not continued. For many years the better living, St. Peter's, was usually, as before, held by non-residents. Fulk Lloyd, rector 1567–96, a pluralist although no graduate, lived in Wales, leaving Duxford to a curate, (fn. 561) as did the later rectors Robert Tinley, 1606–16, archdeacon of Ely, and Henry Smith, 1618–42, master of Magdalene College. (fn. 562) The vicars of St. John's were more probably resident. John Lambert, 1572–1621, who from 1588 also held Weeting (Norf.), built up a small estate in Duxford and left £13 for the poor there. (fn. 563) His successor William Archer, fellow of Clare College since 1606, was approved by the puritans in 1650, and despite his age retained his living through the Interregnum until his death in 1665. (fn. 564) George Chamberlain, presented to St. Peter's rectory by Cambridge University in 1642, was captured by Waller at the siege of Hereford, and had suffered sequestration by 1646. (fn. 565) By 1650 he had been replaced by Samuel Mills, considered an able preaching minister. (fn. 566) Mills joined the Cambridge Presbyterian classis in 1658 (fn. 567) but accepted episcopal ordination in 1660. (fn. 568)
The union of the two benefices had been suggested in 1650. (fn. 569) In 1659 an inquiry promoted by the parishioners of St. Peter's resulted in an order that the two parishes be united, (fn. 570) with St. Peter's as the parish church. The patrons and parishioners of St. John's resisted the union on the grounds that neither church could by itself contain all the village's inhabitants and that whereas St. John's stood in the more inhabited part of the town and had the larger churchyard St. Peter's was smaller, was much out of repair, and stood on the outskirts. (fn. 571) The parish registers support the implication that St. John's had then the larger congregation. (fn. 572) The planned union was forestalled by the Restoration, but rivalry between the congregations apparently persisted. In 1675, after disputes between them, the bishop directed that Henry Wastell, a new vicar who was apparently serving both churches, should alternately read the service and preach in one church on Sunday morning and in the other in the afternoon, since the parishioners could easily attend either. (fn. 573)
Thomas Harris, presented to St. Peter's in 1688 and to St. John's also in 1690, held both livings until his death in 1738. (fn. 574) After Harris's death Corpus Christi College regularly presented its members as rectors, and Clare began to appoint to the vicarage its own fellows or members, who were usually nonresident. (fn. 575) The vicarage was served by the rectors of St. Peter's, who were often formally appointed as curates and usually lived, as Harris had in 1728, in the vicarage. (fn. 576) In 1775 Edmund Fisher, rector 1761– 1819, normally held services in St. Peter's on Sunday morning and in St. John's in the afternoon for an identical congregation. (fn. 577) In 1807 the curate acting for Fisher, then resident at Linton, did the same. At communion, held four times a year in each church, the number of communicants had recently increased to 35. (fn. 578) John Clark, vicar 1811–52, was at first resident, but in 1825 was assisting the sick vicar of Hinxton, while the rector served both Duxford churches, which then had 30 to 50 communicants. (fn. 579) Clark later withdrew to a Suffolk curacy, leaving Duxford to his colleague, whom he paid as his curate there. (fn. 580)
From c. 1845 the bishop began to insist that both incumbents reside, (fn. 581) and St. John's had its own curate by 1851, when services were still held for the whole village alternately in each church. Morning congregations might amount to 75, afternoon ones to 150, besides 100 Sunday-school children. (fn. 582) After Clark's death a new proposal of 1852 to unite the two livings was abandoned because the inhabitants opposed the intended demolition of St. John's church. (fn. 583) The proposal was revived in 1867, and Corpus Christi sold its advowson to Clare in 1868. Bitter opposition by the majority of the parishioners, led or instigated as in 1852 by William Long, the principal landowner, prolonged the debate (fn. 584) until the union was finally made in 1874. (fn. 585) H. J. Carter, vicar since 1865, was presented to the rectory also. (fn. 586) In 1877 he had a regular congregation of 550, and many chapel-goers also attended church occasionally. He held three services on Sundays at St. Peter's and communion every six weeks, obtaining an average attendance of 40. (fn. 587) In 1897 there were 98 communicants, and Carter thought that about two-thirds of the inhabitants were church-goers. (fn. 588) Former members of Clare College continued to be presented as rectors until the 1940s. (fn. 589) In the 1960s the size of the congregation was said to be keeping pace with the growth of the village's population. (fn. 590)
The church of ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST, so called by c. 1260, (fn. 591) consists of a chancel with north chapel, central tower, and nave with north aisle and south porch. It is built of field stones and clunch. The original fabric of the chancel, nave, and lower part of the tower is 12th-century. The tower is divided from the chancel and nave by Norman arches, of which that to the nave has to the west triple shafts and a billet moulding. The original walls retain internally traces of early medieval painted decoration. The south doorway has also a round arch, but the tympanum under it contains a cross with stepped arms recalling early AngloSaxon design. (fn. 592) In the 13th century the tower was raised, and a lancet inserted in the south wall of the chancel, which was probably extended eastwards soon after. The east window, probably of the mid 14th century, retained until c. 1640 glass with the arms of Clare, de Burgh, and Mortimer, associated with Elizabeth de Burgh, and in the lower lights the kneeling figures of a lady and a knight bearing the arms of Lacy countercharged. (fn. 593) The north chapel with its Decorated windows was probably built in the 14th century, perhaps by the man buried under a slab with an inset for the brass of a knight. (fn. 594) The north aisle, with the arch from it to the tower, was built in the 15th century, when also the windows of the nave and the south tower window were inserted. The much-repaired south porch was also erected in that period. Stone screens dividing the tower from chancel and nave survived at chestheight in 1742. (fn. 595) The nave roof was once covered with wainscot on which painted figures of saints were still visible in 1742. (fn. 596) Some early-16th-century pews survive under the tower, and in the 1920s the north chapel still contained other stalls with carved and panelled heads, perhaps once part of a screen. (fn. 597)
The chancel windows were out of repair in 1577. (fn. 598) In the 17th century the chancel east window was replaced with one of four lights, with straight mullions and no tracery. In 1644 William Dowsing destroyed several inscriptions and 50 pictures. (fn. 599) The pulpit was probably 17th-century. It formerly stood near the tower on the north side, (fn. 600) but in 1972 was lying upside-down in the nave. The chancel floor formerly contained inscribed brasses to two vicars, Thomas Wentworth (d. 1489) and John Lambert (d. 1621). (fn. 601) From the mid 17th century to c. 1847 the north chapel was boarded off from the chancel to form a schoolroom. A door was broken through the north wall and a brick chimney built up through the east window. (fn. 602) In 1685 the chancel was found to be dangerously cracked, and the communion rails were ordered to be restored, (fn. 603) but although the present rails with twisted balusters are of that period, they were not recorded in 1742. (fn. 604) In 1783 the chancel windows had recently been cleared of plaster and reglazed. (fn. 605) A west gallery inserted probably in the 18th century survived in 1916. (fn. 606) The church was very dilapidated in the 1860s, (fn. 607) and after the union of benefices it was soon disused except for funerals, and became increasingly derelict. (fn. 608) In 1959–64 the north aisle and chapel received a new roof and stone floor. (fn. 609) The leaded wooden spire on the tower has a curve, popularly ascribed to an attempt to attach to it a flagstaff for the Diamond Jubilee of 1897. (fn. 610)
In the 13th century the church was reasonably equipped with books and ornaments. (fn. 611) In 1552 it had two chalices. The tower then contained three bells (fn. 612) and six in 1742 and 1783. (fn. 613) There were said to be five in the late 19th century, (fn. 614) but six remained in 1916 in an old frame designed to hold only three. (fn. 615) They included one of 1564 with a black-letter inscription, one by Miles Gray of 1632, one of 1699, and three of 1777 by Edward Arnold of St. Neots. (fn. 616) In 1949 they were removed to St. Peter's church. (fn. 617) In 1575 James Bedell left £2 to buy a clock for St. John's church, to strike on its great bell. (fn. 618) In 1783 St. John's was said to have registers starting in 1538, (fn. 619) but in 1825, (fn. 620) as in 1972, none were extant before 1684.
The church of ST. PETER, so called by 1275, (fn. 621) consists of a chancel, aisled and clerestoried nave, and west tower. It is built of flint and field stones with ashlar dressings. The tower is 12th-century and has two round-arched belfry-windows in each face. It opens to the nave by a wide, low arch. The chancel retains one 12th-century window in the north wall. Later a lancet window was inserted there. About 1310 new work on the south side of the church was begun by Robert Gose, a local farmer; the parishioners agreed to complete and maintain it. (fn. 622) It may perhaps be linked with a 14th-century window in the chancel. The three-bay nave was rebuilt in the late 14th or 15th century, its arcades and windows and the chancel arch being Perpendicular in style. The font is probably 12th-century. The nave retained in 1852 a late medieval roof, much defaced. (fn. 623) The chancel had before 1742 contained eight stalls on each side, by then removed in favour of pews, and was divided from the nave by a painted screen, since removed. (fn. 624) The partly defaced canopied niches on each side of the east window of each aisle perhaps once contained the images of the Virgin, St. Peter, St. Catherine, and St. Margaret mentioned in early-16th-century wills. (fn. 625) There were formerly monuments to Richard King (d. 1646), founder of the village school, and Thomas Harris, rector 1688– 1738. (fn. 626)
The church was in decent repair in 1593, (fn. 627) but was alleged by the parishioners of St. John's to be out of repair in 1659. (fn. 628) In 1665 the east window was ordered to be cleared of plaster and reglazed, (fn. 629) and in 1685 the chancel was cracked. (fn. 630) In 1728 the tower was partly repaired in brick. A tall spire was removed because of its weight and the present short one substituted. (fn. 631) In 1783, although the fabric was sound, some windows were again blocked with plaster, and much seating was broken. (fn. 632) In 1852 some windows lacked mullions. (fn. 633) The church had 250 sittings in 1851, (fn. 634) but was in little better state than St. John's c. 1870. (fn. 635) After the benefices were united it was chosen as the sole parish church, and was very thoroughly restored between 1884 and 1891 under the direction of Ewan Christian. The stonework was largely renewed, a small vestry built north of the chancel, the internal fittings mostly replaced, and the sanctuary decorated with marble and mosaic by Powell of White Friars. (fn. 636) In 1968–70 the tower was partitioned off as a vestry, and a new organ installed. (fn. 637)
The church was well supplied with books in the 13th century. (fn. 638) It had two chalices in 1552; the plate includes a cup and paten of 1808. There were 4 bells and a sanctus bell in 1552 and in 1742, (fn. 639) but in the 19th and 20th centuries the tower contained only one bell, from the set cast by Edward Arnold in 1777, (fn. 640) until the bells from St. John's were installed in 1949. (fn. 641) The registers were said in 1783 to begin in 1558, (fn. 642) but in 1828 (fn. 643) and 1972 only those from 1684 survived. Bishops' transcripts for both parishes date from 1599. (fn. 644) Both churchyards were closed in 1879, and a new cemetery north of St. John's Road was given by the rector. (fn. 645)
Duxford had few dissenters before the late 18th century. Only one was recorded in 1676. (fn. 646)
In 1783 the three or four protestant dissenters in the parish went to a meeting at Fowlmere. (fn. 647) The Congregational church at Duxford (fn. 648) owes its origin to the labours of John Berridge, (fn. 649) who preached there frequently between 1760 and his death in 1793. It is said that Thomas Brown, a shepherd, had preached even earlier. Itinerant preachers sent by Berridge were supported by such Duxford farmers as John Rayner of Temple Farm. About 1792 Berridge's Duxford followers, disappointed in the absentee rector's choice of curate, seceded from the parish church. They were backed by several of the more substantial farmers, such as Rayner, James Robynet, and Richard Hitch; and one, James Teversham, offered for their meetings a barn in Mill Lane which was licensed in 1792. (fn. 650) Weekly lectures by neighbouring ministers were begun at once. The new congregation soon called as minister Benjamin Pyne, who bought a site on the main street on which a chapel was built, and licensed in 1794. (fn. 651) Pyne remained minister until 1831 and died in 1833. His congregation was drawn partly from such neighbouring villages as Hinxton, Ickleton, and Whittlesford. (fn. 652) A continuous series of ministers succeeded him, there being twelve between 1832 and 1922, and a manse was built in St. Peter's Street between 1848 and 1854. In 1859 a schoolroom and vestry were built in front of the chapel. (fn. 653) Pyne House, built by Pyne next to the chapel, was also bought c. 1888.
In 1851 the chapel, with 480 sittings, had a congregation of 350, besides 80 Sunday-school children. (fn. 654) In 1877 its congregation averaged 250, some of whom also went to church. (fn. 655) About a third of the population were said to be dissenters in 1897, but not all assiduously attended the chapel, (fn. 656) which in 1899 had only 75 full members. There were then 10 teachers and 7 lay preachers. Membership fell from 89 in 1905 to 59 in 1925, including Hinxton and Ickleton, and afterwards fluctuated between 40 and 50. In 1967–8 Duxford chapel had 46 members. (fn. 657)
Schoolmasters were recorded at Duxford in 1581 and 1596. (fn. 658) Richard King, vicar of Wasenham (Norf.) a native of Duxford, (fn. 659) by will proved 1646 bequeathed £300 to endow a school there, and from 1648 his son Robert's executors paid £16 a year for a schoolmaster. Agreements to pay the £300 or settle land worth £17 a year on trustees for the school and other charitable purposes were confirmed in 1657; (fn. 660) later it was said that only £120 was actually paid, with which 24 a. at Duxford was bought. (fn. 661) By 1659 a schoolroom had been established in St. John's church. The schoolmaster's salary was then £16 a year. (fn. 662) John Stallan, schoolmaster in 1679, was alleged to neglect teaching according to King's bequest (fn. 663) but died in office in 1701. (fn. 664) In 1728 16 children were being taught at the school, whose income was £6 or £7 a year. (fn. 665)
In 1783 a decent schoolmaster had, besides £9 from the land, money allowed him by the principal inhabitants. (fn. 666) In 1818 he received £27 a year and was teaching 35 children. (fn. 667) At inclosure in 1823 King's charity was allotted 19 a., (fn. 668) which yielded in 1837 £26 a year; the master, in office since 1815, was said to be efficient, and was teaching c. 35 boys, still in St. John's church. All but 12 very poor pupils paid money for heating to encourage regular attendance. Children from other parishes were admitted on payment. (fn. 669) In 1833, however, the school had had only 20 pupils, while 3 other day-schools had between them 36 pupils, paid for by their parents. (fn. 670)
In 1837 the schoolmaster also taught a church Sunday school (fn. 671) which was started in 1796 and had c. 60 pupils in 1825. In 1847 there were 70 pupils and the school was associated with the National Society. (fn. 672) In that year a new National day-school was built with the aid of grants on ground east of St. John's church given by Clare College. It included separate schoolrooms for girls and boys, and a master's house; (fn. 673) £20 a year was to come from King's endowment, £45 from school-pence. (fn. 674) In 1860 there was a certificated teacher with 2 apprentices. The school received four more building grants between 1860 and 1876, (fn. 675) and was supposed to have accommodation for 169 pupils from 1880. (fn. 676) By 1914 it was divided into mixed and infants' departments. (fn. 677) Attendance averaged 76 c. 1852, fell to 54 in 1868, but rose to 143 in 1897. (fn. 678) Thereafter it fell steadily, except between 1914 and 1918, to 90 in 1927. (fn. 679) From 1930 the older children went to Sawston village college. (fn. 680) Attendance in 1938 was only 38. (fn. 681) In 1960 a new school was opened further west along the street. (fn. 682) In 1971 Duxford school was still a Church of England maintained school. (fn. 683)
A dissenting Sunday school had c. 80 pupils in 1833 and 1851. (fn. 684) Some dissenters' children from Duxford may have attended the British school at Ickleton: (fn. 685) in 1877 20 children went to schools outside the parish. There was then a night-school in Duxford attended by some 40 young men and boys. (fn. 686)
Charities for the Poor.
In 1562 Lettice Martin of Chrishall (Essex) left lands whose income was to be divided among certain parishes in northwest Essex and south-east Cambridgeshire, including Duxford, whose share was to be 6s. 8d. (fn. 690) Following disputes and lawsuits over the administration of the charity in the 18th century (fn. 691) the amount distributed among the parishes was increased. In 1775 Duxford received 13s. 4d., distributed to the poor on Lady day, (fn. 692) and in 1815 (fn. 693) and 1837 £1 6s., given to the poor and aged. Later the charity was normally administered with Bedell's charity, mentioned below. When the land was sold in 1901 and stock bought, £52 17s. of it was allotted to Duxford, where £1 6s. was still being distributed in doles in the 1940s.
James Bedell by will proved 1574 charged his copyhold lands with supplying red and white herrings to the poor of both Duxford parishes during Lent. He also directed that £4, of which £3 should be for St. Peter's parish, be put out as loans for 3-year periods, in the same way as money already supplied by Clare College for St. John's parish. (fn. 694) That loan charity was lost but the herring charity survived, and had by the 18th century been changed into a £3 rent-charge, used to buy 1,000 red and 500 white herrings which in 1775 and 1807 were distributed to the poor on Good Friday. (fn. 695) In 1837 the distribution was made in November. About 1860 the churchwardens abandoned the vexatious task of handing out herrings piecemeal to the village poor, and distribution ceased until, under a Scheme of 1867, the rent-charge was vested in trustees to provide needy and deserving inhabitants with food, clothing, or other assistance. In the 1940s the £3 was given out in 2s. doles. Subsequently distribution became less regular.
Richard King's will of 1646, besides endowing the school, also provided 10s. a year for the poor of St. Peter's on Ash Wednesday and 10s. for a commemoration sermon. It also directed that the schoolmaster pay £1 a year each to two poor widows. (fn. 696) Those charities had lapsed by 1837, but the revival of the latter was recommended. Payments were accordingly being made to poor widows c. 1900 in cash or credit at the village shop. In 1904, after the school charity had come under the Board of Education, the payment of £2 was constituted a separate eleemosynary charity, but it continued to be managed by the educational trustees, who supposed that the £2 was charged only on the letting of shooting rights over the charity land. When the shooting was no longer let distribution also ceased until 1949 and afterwards occurred at irregular intervals.