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
According to traditions recorded in the early 12th century, the manor of CROWLANDS was given to Crowland abbey (Lincs.) by Thurcytel, presumably on becoming abbot shortly after 971. (fn. 1) In 1066 the monastery held 11 hides of the 26hide vill, (fn. 2) and the manor remained in its hands until the Dissolution in 1539. (fn. 3) The Crown sold it in 1563 to Francis Hinde of Madingley (kt. 1578). (fn. 4) By the time of Hinde's death in 1596 he had also bought Lisles manor and half of Sames, (fn. 5) and the three descended together to his son William Hinde (kt. 1603, d. 1606), (fn. 6) whose widow Elizabeth (fn. 7) held them with her third husband Sir Arthur Capell until her death in 1625. (fn. 8) Sir William Hinde's brother and heir Edward sold his reversionary interest in 1615 to the Cambridge carrier Thomas Hobson, (fn. 9) who took possession in 1625. By will proved 1631 Hobson left his Cottenham estates to his grandson and heir, also Thomas Hobson (d. 1667), (fn. 10) who was succeeded by his widow Catherine. (fn. 11) Catherine outlived her second husband John Pepys (d. 1692) and died in 1703. (fn. 12) The manors then passed to her widowed daughter Catherine Winde, (fn. 13) a lunatic whose estates were immediately committed to her daughter Alice, wife of John Dacres. (fn. 14) Dacres died in 1704 or 1705. Alice married George Rogers, (fn. 15) and inherited the estate when her mother died in 1721. By will proved 1728, she left Cottenham to the antiquary Roger Gale, a great-nephew of her grandmother's husband John Pepys. (fn. 16) Gale sold them in 1737 to Edward Snagge (d. 1739), who was succeeded in turn by his cousin George Snagge (d. 1753) and George's widow Ann. Ann died in 1770, when under the wills of George and of his devisees, Ann's sisters, one third of the manors passed to his sister Mary Mart and two thirds to Ann's nephews and niece Richard, Thomas, and Ann Bacchus. (fn. 17) Manorial courts were held jointly until 1784 by the Bacchuses and William Finch Ingle, who had presumably bought Mary's third and was from 1778 called William Finch Finch, and from 1784 solely by Finch. (fn. 18) The estate was divided before 1776, when the Bacchuses offered 560 a. for sale. (fn. 19) It was later broken up and by 1837 was divided among five owners. (fn. 20)
Finch had the manorial rights, including rights of common and fishery, and a little land. (fn. 21) Under his will, proved 1826, (fn. 22) his son the Revd. Henry Finch sold them in 1828 to Thomas Musgrave, (fn. 23) afterwards archbishop of York (d. 1860). After Musgrave's widow Elizabeth's death in 1863 (fn. 24) the manors were held successively by his nephews C. B. Musgrave (d. 1881) and the Revd. V. Musgrave (d. 1906). (fn. 25) The next lord of the manors was Thomas Musgrave Francis of Quy Hall (d. 1931), who was followed by his nephew and heir J. C.W. Francis (d. 1978). (fn. 26)
The medieval manor house of Crowlands stood within a rectangular moat 36.5 by 42.5 m. (120 by 140 ft.) south of Broad Lane. A larger moat adjacent on the north-west side, 114.5 by 76 m. (375 by 250 ft.), presumably surrounding the outbuildings, was destroyed in the 20th century. (fn. 27) The hall was mentioned in 1267-8. (fn. 28) The house and farm buildings, then under lease, were extensively rebuilt in the mid 1450s: they included a hall, kitchen, bakehouse, granary, great barn, sheephouse, and kilnhouse. (fn. 29) Then or later the house was moved from the moated site towards High Street, where in 1987 stood a late 17th-century farmhouse of two bays, with 19th- and 20th-century extensions. No 15thcentury work has been found in that house, (fn. 30) but discarded medieval masonry, allegedly of a 14th-century doorway, was discovered nearby in 1904. (fn. 31) By 1731 the smaller moated site was evidently in use as a garden. (fn. 32) From the mid 17th century the lords lived at Lisles manor house. (fn. 33)
ELY abbey's Cottenham estate, from which the manors of Lisles, Burdeleys, Pelhams, and Sames, and the rectory manor all derived, was built up in the late 10th and early 11th century. Land was given by Ufi of Willingham between 996 and 1001 and by Leofwine son of Aethulf between 1002 and c. 1016. (fn. 34) An estate left by Athelstan Mannesson (d. 986), either to his son Godric or to Aethelwine, ealdorman of East Anglia, evidently also came to Ely. (fn. 35) In 1066 Ely had a manor of 10 hides, besides nearly 5 hides held by sokemen. (fn. 36)
After 1166 a bishop of Ely granted the 10 hides to be held as ½ knight's fee by the Lisles. (fn. 37) Robert de Lisle was in possession by 1201 (fn. 38) and the manor of LISLES descended with Rampton Lisles in the families of Lisle, Windsor, and Scrope (fn. 39) until 1570, when Henry Scrope, Lord Scrope, sold it to Francis Hinde, lord of Crowlands manor. (fn. 40) In 1576 Hinde acquired an outstanding life interest in the manor, (fn. 41) which thereafter descended with Crowlands.
No record has been found of a medieval house. The later Lordship House was built west of the northern bend in High Street perhaps after the amalgamation of Lisles with Crowlands manor in 1576; by the mid 17th century it was the normal residence of the lords. It had 7 hearths in 1662 and 14 in 1664 after new building by Thomas Hobson. (fn. 42) In 1731 it comprised a hall range with central doorway and short gabled cross wings and four large chimney stacks along the rear wall; it was timber-framed and of two storeys with attics throughout. (fn. 43) It was later reduced in size and divided into tenements, but in 1910 retained panelling and an oak staircase. It was demolished in 1937. (fn. 44)
The land held in 1066 by the abbot of Ely's sokemen was lost after the Conquest to Picot the sheriff. (fn. 45) Ely evidently reasserted its lordship over Picot's successors the Peverels c. 1135, (fn. 46) since in the 13th century Burdeleys and Pelhams manors were held of the Peverels' successors, the Pecche barons of Bourn, under the bishop of Ely. (fn. 47)
The manor of BURDELEYS, later called Harlestones, was held by the Burdeleys family from the mid 12th century or earlier and descended with Burdeleys manor in Comberton. (fn. 48) The family's tenants at both places were the Cottenham family, known holders being Aubrey of Cottenham c. 1166, (fn. 49) Walter of Cottenham (fl. 1195-1215), John of Cottenham (fl. 1260) in 1235, Gilbert of Cottenham (fl. 1272, (fn. 50) d. by 1279), and Gilbert's widow Alice, who held Cottenham as ½ knight's fee in 1304. (fn. 51)
The overlord Geoffrey de Burdeleys (d. 1324) took the manor into his own hands before 1317, (fn. 52) and his son John (d. 1329) granted life terms to Thomas Pateshull (d. by 1335) and John Francis (d. 1337). (fn. 53) On Francis's death, (fn. 54) custody of the manor and of John de Burdeleys's son and heir John was granted to Walter Creyk, (fn. 55) who held the manor in 1346. (fn. 56) John de Burdeleys died in 1347, still a minor, and his estates were divided between his two sisters, Cottenham being assigned to Elizabeth, wife of Thomas Marshall. (fn. 57) On Elizabeth's death in 1361 her heir was her sister Joan, wife of John FitzJohn. (fn. 58) By 1374 the land dealer Roger Harleston had bought the manor. (fn. 59) When he died between 1388 and 1390 it did not descend with his other property to his son Ives, (fn. 60) being held in 1392 by Henry Harleston, (fn. 61) possibly a younger son of Roger. Giles Harleston was lord in the 1410s and his son Henry in 1429 or shortly afterwards. Manorial courts were held in the mid 1460s by Margaret Harleston, perhaps Henry's widow, and from 1478 to 1494 by John, Henry's son and heir. (fn. 62) John Harleston's daughter and heir Agnes married Thomas Scroggs, (fn. 63) and their son Francis Scroggs held courts for the manor between 1529 and 1534. Thomas took as his second wife Joan Browne, who on his death in 1538 married Walter Bridges. Walter and Joan were evidently sole holders of Harlestones by 1540 and held courts for it until 1553; Joan, widowed, held a court in 1559 and her son William Bridges in 1560. (fn. 64) William sold Harlestones in 1561 to trustees for Christ's College, Cambridge, his half-brother Alexander Scroggs releasing his interest. (fn. 65) The college owned 200 a. of land and two common rights, and after inclosure in 1847 had 214 a. (fn. 66) Following sales of 67 a. in 1958 and 1960 it retained 147 a. in 1987. (fn. 67)
Harlestones manor house stood at the west corner of the green. Roger Harleston's house there, which had a chapel in 1374, (fn. 68) was destroyed by the rebels in 1381, when lead and timber were sold. (fn. 69) Its successor was completely rebuilt by the lessees in 1866 as Manor Farm, a large house in red and blue brick. (fn. 70) It was sold by the college in 1958. (fn. 71) A barn dated 1657 was being converted into dwellings in 1987.
Pelhams manor, also held from the bishop of Ely, was said in 1279 and 1293 to be held by Walter Chamberlain, lord of Chamberlains manor in Landbeach, as intermediate lord and in 1294 by his son Henry, (fn. 72) but in 1299 it was found to be held of Geoffrey de Burdeleys. (fn. 73) Apart from a claim by the Chamberlains in 1328 (fn. 74) no further reference to any intermediate lordship has been discovered.
The manor was held by 1201 by Peter of Pelham, who in 1235 held it from the bishop of Ely as ½ knight's fee. (fn. 75) In 1279 it belonged to Walter, son of William of Furneux Pelham (Herts.), who was succeeded in 1293 by his young son William. (fn. 76) William Pelham retained the manor in 1346. (fn. 77) In 1364 John, vicar of Pelham, and others, presumably feoffees, granted it with 76 a. of arable and marsh to the prior and convent of Ely, (fn. 78) with whose possessions it passed to the dean and chapter in 1541. (fn. 79)
The dean and chapter had leased the manor to John Pepys of Cottenham by 1570, (fn. 80) and Pepys's descendants, lords of the manor of Impington Ferme Part, remained lessees and occupiers until the 1780s, holding courts in their own names. (fn. 81) Anne Pepys (d. 1805) gave up the lease between 1782 and 1784, (fn. 82) after which the lease passed through the hands of several nonresidents until the 1840s. (fn. 83) After inclosure the estate comprised only 27 a. of land and the manorial rights. (fn. 84) The farmer Robert Ivatt, lessee by 1846, was succeeded on his death c. 1860 by trustees for his son R. M. Ivatt, of age c. 1873. (fn. 85) The manor was sold in 1887 to William Peed of Histon Manor, (fn. 86) and again after 1898 to the Scott family, who retained it until the 1920s. (fn. 87) William Pelham had a house at Cottenham in 1333, (fn. 88) presumably in Pelhams Cross close on Lamb's Lane just south of Lordship House; (fn. 89) no later reference to it has been found.
The manor of SAMES, also held of the bishop of Ely, may have evolved from the freehold estate of the Walsh family. Hugh Walsh was later said to have lived in the 1190s and to have been succeeded by his son Roger and grandson Hugh Walsh, who was a resident freeholder in 1228 and had died by 1247. Hugh's son Roger was alive in 1253 and was succeeded before 1272 by his brother Simon. (fn. 90) In 1279 Simon Walsh had 1 hide of land of the liberty of Ely as part of Lisles manor, besides 10 a. freehold of Burdeleys manor and 10 a. freehold of the rectory. (fn. 91) He lived to 1293 or later. Cecily Walsh held land in Cottenham as a free tenant in 1328 and Simon Walsh was recorded in Cottenham in 1329, (fn. 92) but no later reference to the family has been found.
Sames was first recorded as a manor in 1389, named from the Soham family associated with Cottenham from the late 13th century. (fn. 93) The manor was in the hands of John Windsor of Rampton in 1389, (fn. 94) who was said in 1392 to hold it of the bishop of Ely by knight service. (fn. 95) The descent in the early 15th century is unknown, but by 1458 the manor was held by Thomas Burgoyne (d. 1470), (fn. 96) who was buying freehold land in Cottenham in 1461. (fn. 97) Sames descended with Burgoyne's manor of Impington (fn. 98) to his eldest son John, (fn. 99) and like Impington was divided in two on John's death in 1505.
One half of Sames (fn. 100) passed with Impington to Thomas Green and Ambrose Jermyn, who sold it in 1549 to John Playforth. (fn. 101) It was acquired before 1596 by Sir Francis Hinde, (fn. 102) and afterwards descended with Crowlands manor. The other came to the younger Thomas Thursby, who probably sold it with his half of Impington in 1579 to John Pepys of Cottenham. By will proved 1589 Pepys left half Sames to his son Thomas, (fn. 103) but in 1596 it was still held by his executors. (fn. 104) No later reference to that half has been found, and no record of a manor house is known.
The RECTORY estate in Cottenham was reckoned a manor by 1265. (fn. 105)
Thomas Jackenett in 1470 gave 68 a. of openfield arable and fen and four common rights to the hospital of St. John, Cambridge. (fn. 106) With the hospital's other endowments the estate passed to St. John's College on its foundation in 1511. (fn. 107) After inclosure in 1847 the college owned 129 a., (fn. 108) of which 51 a. were sold in 1873, 75 a. in 1962, and various small plots of land and houses between 1953 and 1969, leaving in 1987 only a 2-a. paddock. (fn. 109)
King's College, Cambridge, in 1562 bought a 38-a. farm with three common rights recorded from 1320. After inclosure it comprised 96 a., (fn. 110) sold in 1928. (fn. 111) Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, bought 5 a. of pasture in the early 18th century, (fn. 112) for which 7½ a. were allotted in 1847. (fn. 113) It remained part of the college's Landbeach estate in 1987. (fn. 114)
A small estate, c. 25 a. after inclosure, was part of the glebe of Thriplow between 1739 and 1845. (fn. 115)
Thomas Hobson's workhouse charity in Cambridge, founded in 1628, (fn. 116) owned three commonable houses and 60 a. of land, possibly given by its founder. After inclosure in 1847 the charity held 105 a., (fn. 117) of which 61 a. were sold in 1959, leaving 44 a. in 1985. (fn. 118)