A History of the County of Cambridge and the Isle of Ely: Volume 9, Chesterton, Northstowe, and Papworth Hundreds. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1989.
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Manors and other estates
. By 1086 the 5 hides held in 1066 by Goda, lord of Shingay, under Eddeva the fair, were held in demesne by Count Alan, lord of Richmond, as a berewick of Swavesey. (fn. 1) The manor was later held of the honor of Richmond until the 17th century, usually as 1 knight's fee. The Vere earls of Oxford were recorded as mesne lords until the late 14th century. (fn. 2) In the 1160s the manor of PAPWORTH EVERARDwas held in demesne by Everard of Beach. (fn. 3) It descended to his son Peter (fl. 1194-1228) (fn. 4) and by 1233 to Peter's son Peter (d. after 1235). (fn. 5) John of Beach, son or brother of the last, was lord in 1242 (fn. 6) and dead by 1251, when his widow Gillian received dower, including 66 a. of arable, which she still held in 1279. (fn. 7)
When John's son Henry died soon after 1253, (fn. 8) his estate was divided (fn. 9) between coheirs, probably his sisters Amice and Alice. Amice married Sir Simon de Lisle, whose son Philip (fl. 1250- 60) sold all his Papworth land (fn. 10) to John de la Haye. (fn. 11) About 1280 (fn. 12) John held I hide in demesne under Philip's son Sir Simon de Lisle. In 1289 Simon released his rights to the bishop of Ely. (fn. 13) Alice's share had passed by 1276 (fn. 14) to Maud, perhaps her daughter, wife of John of Soham, who occupied &frac1/2; yardland in 1279. In 1283 John and Maud exchanged a quarter of the manor for land in Suffolk with Richard de Gynes and his wife Margery. (fn. 15) In 1306 Richard settled much Papworth land in reversion upon his son Richard. (fn. 16) John de la Haye's son William, who held &frac3/4; fee there by 1302 (fn. 17) and was granted free warren over it in 1303, (fn. 18) sued Margery and the younger Richard in 1311-12 for lordship over their portion, allegedly granted to de la Haye by William Downe and his wife Mary. Probably by 1316, certainly by 1346, (fn. 19) that &frac1/4; fee had been reunited to the rest of the manor, which after William de la Haye's death in 1316 had descended to his son Sir John (d. 1340) and John's son William (d. s.p. 1349). William's heir, his sister Margaret, married Sir John Engaine (d. c. 1395), for whom free warren at Papworth was renewed in 1365. (fn. 20)
Engaine left as heirs two daughters, Mary, wife of William Blyton, and Joan, wife of Sir Baldwin St. George, between whom the Papworth manor was again divided. (fn. 21) Blyton's moiety descended by marriage to the Wimbishes of Nocton (Lincs.), (fn. 22) being held successively by Sir Thomas Wimbish (d. 1505), (fn. 23) his son John (d. 1526), (fn. 24) and grandson Christopher Wimbish (d. 1530). Christopher's widow Mary (fn. 25) still occupied it when their son Thomas died without issue in 1551. His sister and coheir Abraha and her husband Francis Norton (fn. 26) possessed that half manor in 1563. (fn. 27) In 1567 they sold it to William Malory of Papworth St. Agnes (fn. 28) (d. 1585). Malory's son and heir William (fn. 29) (d. 1611) settled it in 1606 upon the marriage of his son Sir Henry, (fn. 30) who in 1615 sold it to Thomas Thoroughgood, (fn. 31) already lord of the other half.
That half had descended from Sir Baldwin St. George (d. 1425) (fn. 32) to his grandson Sir William St. George (d. 1471) and great-grandson Sir Richard St. George (fn. 33) (d. 1485). Richard's son Thomas (fn. 34) settled it c. 1512 upon his eldest son George's marriage to Jane Mordaunt, who still occupied it when Thomas died in 1540. Thomas's son Francis (fn. 35) conveyed it in 1555 to Thomas Crawley, who in 1556 sold it to Francis's nephew Thomas Docwra. (fn. 36) In 1563 Docwra sold the half manor to Elizabeth Thoroughgood, (fn. 37) whose second husband George Grave held it in 1571. (fn. 38) Her son Adam Thoroughgood died holding it in tail in 1599. His son Thomas, (fn. 39) whose mother Agnes long held it in dower, (fn. 40) sold the whole manor in 1618 to John Morden (fn. 41) of Bishop's Stortford (Herts.).
Morden died without issue in 1637. In 1634 he had settled the manor upon his wife Agnes's daughter Anne and her husband William Morden, a London hosier (fn. 42) (d. 1651). William's son John, of age c. 1667, (fn. 43) released the manorial rights with the manor house and much land to Ambrose Phillips in 1668. John retained the Red Lion and the farm cultivated from it, (fn. 44) which descended after his death in 1695 to his son John (d. 1728), grandson Edward Morden (d. 1756), and great-grandson John Morden (d. 1783). That John's son Edward (d. 1812), (fn. 45) who from 1815 had 104 a. in Papworth, (fn. 46) left two sons. Both died young, without issue, John Atterbury Morden in 1826, William in 1839, having devised the estate to their mother Charlotte for her life. She died in 1861. (fn. 47) In 1865 the tenant in remainder, T. D. Housman, sold the Mordens' land to Octavius Duncombe, (fn. 48) with whose Elsworth estate it remained until 1901. (fn. 49)
The manorial rights released to Ambrose Phillips in 1668 may have been confused with those of the manor of Papley in Eltisley, sometimes also styled Papworth Everard; although that manor, including its land in Papworth, from 1815 8 a., sold in 1899, had belonged since 1593 to Emmanuel College, Cambridge, (fn. 50) it was ostensibly conveyed in 1659 by coheirs of the Marshall family to Phillips. (fn. 51)
Probably by 1677 (fn. 52) the manor had passed to the Huntingdonshire lawyer Sir Nicholas Pedley (fn. 53) (d. 1685), who left his estate at Papworth to his younger son John. (fn. 54) John sold it after 1706 (fn. 55) to Matthew Holworthy (d. 1728), from whom it descended with the Holworthy estate at Elsworth (fn. 56) until 1794, when Matthew's greatgrandson and namesake sold his Papworth property to Charles Madryll. (fn. 57) In 1799 Madryll settled all his lands for life upon his second wife Frances, granddaughter of the sculptor Sir Henry Cheere, Bt. When she inherited her uncle Sir William Cheere's fortune in 1808, Madryll took the additional name of Cheere. (fn. 58) He was M.P. for Cambridge from 1820 to his death in 1825. (fn. 59) Frances died in 1849. The Papworth Hall estate was owned successively by five of their eight sons: William Henry Cheere, the eldest (d. s.p. March 1867), the Revd. George (d. s.p.s. April 1867), the Revd. Frederick (d. s.p.m. 1872), Robert (d. s.p. 1876), and the Revd. Edward (d. s.p. 1891). After the death of their sister Frances in 1891, the Cheere estate was offered for sale in 1892. (fn. 60) The purchaser, James (or John) Musker, of a prosperous grocery family, sold it in 1896 to the company promoter and speculator Ernest Terah Hooley, (fn. 61) who bought up all the other land in the parish except the glebe. Despite his first bankruptcy in 1898, Hooley remained in possession, the legal title being vested in his wife, until he was first gaoled in 1911. The mortgagees then compelled a sale. Robert Davidson, the purchaser, sold the estate in 1916 to G. G. Stevenson, who sold it the same year. (fn. 62) The farmland was mostly acquired by local farmers, including F. W. Davison, whose 281 a. in the east remained in his family until the 1960s. (fn. 63) Papworth Hall and its 56-a. grounds were bought in 1917 by the Tuberculosis Colony, which in 1920 also acquired the 160-a. Home farm. (fn. 64) The Settlement bought another 120 a. between 1933 and 1945 and Firtree farm (c. 340 a.) to the west in 1940. In 1982, with almost 700 a., it was the largest landowner in the parish. (fn. 65)
The site of the manor house or manorial farmstead, occasionally mentioned from 1300 (fn. 66) and dilapidated in 1806, (fn. 67) is uncertain. It may possibly have stood within the circular moat, c. 65 m. in circumference and wet until c. 1930, east of the modern Hall. (fn. 68) No pottery or other traces of habitation were discovered during digging there c. 1970, (fn. 69) and that moat, though existing in 1815, (fn. 70) was most probably made only when the Hall gardens were laid out shortly before. Charles Madryll Cheere, resident from the 1790s, (fn. 71) was already extending the park by encroachments upon the Old North Road in 1799. (fn. 72) In 1808 (fn. 73) he began to build a new house to a design by George Byfield, who had lately designed the new Cambridge county gaol. (fn. 74) Between 1810 and 1813 Charles spent much of his wife's fortune on the house and on handsome Neo-Classical furniture. (fn. 75) The two-storeyed Hall, (fn. 76) little changed externally in 1982, is basically a square box of stuccoed brick, of three wide by seven narrow bays. To the south-west it has a portico on four giant Ionic columns, to the south-east a low semi-circular porch on Doric columns, and to the north-east two giant Ionic recessed columns. The architectural details mostly follow fashionable Grecian precedents. The ground floor comprises five large rooms: the entrance hall and an adjoining oval anteroom have screens of two columns in scagliola. Domestic offices and stables in plain grey brick stand to the north-west.
The Cheeres inhabited the Hall, usually employing an indoor staff of 11 or 12, (fn. 77) until 1891. In 1896 Hooley had it remodelled inside and expensively refurnished by Maples. Some fireplaces and panelling survived in 1982. Until his disgrace in 1898 Hooley used the Hall mostly for weekend entertaining to further his financial schemes. (fn. 78) After his furniture was auctioned in 1911, (fn. 79) the Hall was empty until occupied in 1918 by the Colony, which used it until c. 1933 for medical wards, building balconies between the giant columns, and later as its administrative headquarters. (fn. 80) The grounds, which in the 1890s comprised a 44-a. park and 13 a. of gardens, including an Italian garden inside the moat, an icehouse, and an aviary, (fn. 81) were from the 1920s largely occupied by the Settlement's hospitals and workshops.