A History of the County of Huntingdon: Volume 2. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1932.
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Rorflea, Roflea, Raflea, Reflea (x cent.); Rauesle, Ravele Major (xiii cent.); Magna Rauele, Great Ravele, Raffleya (xiv cent.).
The parish of Great Raveley covers 1,781 acres of mostly clay land, rising from Great Raveley Fen in the north, where the height above ordnance datum is only 3 ft. 6 in., to 129 ft. at Top Road in the southwest corner of the parish. The greater part of the parish is high land where wheat and beans are grown; the pasture land covers less than a third of the area. There are some 32 acres of woodland. The village, in which there is no church, is built along a branch road to Wood Walton. At the south-east end on the top of the hill is the Manor House, a 17thcentury building now much modernised. Near here, facing the Huntingdon Road, is the pound. Lower down are the Methodist Chapel and the school. There are some 17th-century half-timbered cottages and the Three Horseshoes public house, which has a good chimney stack. At White House Farm, at the west end of the village, is an ancient barn. A short distance north-west of this farm is a square homestead moat within which stood the ancient manor house of Moyne's Manor (q.v.).
Raveley was given with Upwood by King Edgar to Ailwin, founder of Ramsey Abbey, who granted it to the abbey. (fn. 1) King Edgar in 974 confirmed to the abbey (fn. 2) Ailwin's gift of 'Upwood with its hamlet of Ravely.' This gift was confirmed by Edward the Confessor, by William the Conqueror in 1077, and by Edward III in 1334, and by several Papal Bulls. Great Raveley is included under Upwood in the Domesday Survey. An extent of Upwood, (fn. 3) assigned to the earlier part of the 12th century, states that there were in Upwood then, and in the reign of Henry I, 10 hides, each of 4 virgates, which evidently included Great Raveley. The manor of Raveley continued in the possession of Ramsey Abbey until the Dissolution, when it was granted together with the manor of Moynes, in 1542, to Sir Richard Williams alias Cromwell. From this date the manor of Great Raveley followed that of Moynes (q.v.).
The manor of MOYNES, or the land which it afterwards comprised, was apparently held in the 11th century by Edwin, who was perhaps the son of Ailwin, the founder of Ramsey Abbey. (fn. 4) In the early years of the 12th century, Abbot Rainald (1114–30) gave the lands which had belonged to Edwin in Raveley and lands at Gidding, Sawtry and Luddington to Hervey le Moine or the Monk (Monachus). Hervey had his inn or house at Ramsey, probably as one of the knights of the abbey, and also held lands at Upwood and Bradenach. (fn. 5) He was constantly in attendance at the abbey throughout the abbacy of Abbot Rainald (1114–30) as a witness to charters, and received a grant of land from Abbot Aldwin (1091–1113) which was confirmed by Henry I in 1116–18. (fn. 6) He had three sons, Oliver, Jordan and Alexander, (fn. 7) of whom Oliver succeeded him before the end of the reign of Henry I (d. 1135). (fn. 8) Oliver, known as Oliver le Moyne or Oliver the Knight, (fn. 9) had two sons, William his heir and Hervey, (fn. 10) who witnessed a grant of their father between 1154 and 1160. (fn. 11) Possibly Oliver le Moyne, one of the knights of Ramsey in 1166, (fn. 12) was the son of William, and it was probably he who received a grant of land in the meadows next his house at Raveley in 1214–16. (fn. 13) An Oliver le Moyne, junior, probably his son, was relinquishing his claim to assarted land at Raveley at this time. (fn. 14) Against an agreement between Abbot Hugh Foliot (1216–31) and Sir Oliver le Moyne as to the payment of half a mark yearly to the light of St. Mary, is a note that it was later payable by William le Moyne. (fn. 15) Sir William le Moyne of Raveley was elected to serve as one of the knights of Ramsey Abbey in 1245 (fn. 16) and was sheriff of Cambridge and Huntingdon in 1258. (fn. 17) He was still living in 1283 when an order was made as to his debts incurred while sheriff. (fn. 18) In 1276, described as William le Moyne, the elder, of Raveley, he conveyed to William le Moyne of Raveley, the younger, the manors of Raveley, Rowey (in Pidley), Sawtry, Gidding and Luddington. (fn. 19) In 1286 William, the son, with Alianora de Lovetot successfully maintained an action against his father for disseising him of his free tenement in Sawtry le Moyne. (fn. 20)
Sir William le Moyne of Raveley, kt., apparently the elder, and Juliana his wife were in 1285 dealing with property in Chesterton (Cambs.), and in 1303 Juliana alone made a feoffment as his widow. (fn. 21) Both the elder and the younger William le Moyne had possibly died before June 1293, when Robert, son of William le Moyne of Great Raveley, granted the manor of Great Raveley to Sir John de Lovetot the elder, Lady Julia(na) de Subiria [Sudbury], late the wife of William le Moyne, and to William, son of William le Moyne, Robert's brother. (fn. 22) The Moyne property evidently descended to this son William, as in 1297 he made an agreement with the Abbot of Ramsey about the attendance of his men at the Abbot's leet at Upwood. (fn. 23)
William le Moyne, described as of Raveley, was dealing with property at Raveley and elsewhere in Huntingdonshire, and appears as a party to charters about 1340. (fn. 24) He also held various offices and commissions (fn. 25) and in 1328 obtained a grant of free warren in his demesne lands of Sawtry, Great Raveley, Luddington, and Great Gidding. (fn. 26)
He was succeeded by his grandson (fn. 27) William, son of John Moyne, who apparently dropped the 'le' before 'Moyne.' In 1353 a grant of the manors of Great Raveley, Sawtry, Luddington, Gidding and Rowey was made by Nicholas de Stewkley, Gilbert his brother, and Hugh de Castre to William, son of John Moyne of Raveley, chivaler, (fn. 28) the said William having enfeoffed them previously of the same. (fn. 29) In 1365, as William Moyne of Great Raveley, he was engaged in litigation against Robert, son of John de Washingley. (fn. 30) Nicholas de Stewkley and others in 1371 made a grant at Raveley to Juliana, late the wife of John Mauduit of Werminster of the manors enumerated which they had by feoffment of Sir William Moyne of Great Raveley, kt., with remainder after her death to the said Sir William Moyne. (fn. 31) In 1379 Juliana, formerly the wife of Nicholas de Stukeley, granted a release of the same. Nicholas de Stukeley and William le Moyne made settlements of their properties while serving in Gascony and on their return. (fn. 32) In 1394 the manors were quitclaimed to Sir William Moyne (son of John Moyne) and Mary his wife by Maud Horewode, alias Bosam, who was the daughter of William Clairvaux and Juliana his wife, which Juliana was the daughter of William Moyne, father of John and grandfather of the grantee, Sir William Moyne. (fn. 33) The same manors were subject to settlement in 1404 and 1405. (fn. 34) These conveyances evidently followed on the death, in 1404, of Sir William Moyne of Great Raveley, (fn. 35) whose widow Mary dealt with his property in 1407. (fn. 36) Courts were held in the following years for Mary late wife of Sir William Moyne, 'chivaler,' and for Thomas Priour and Joan his wife, and John Tyndale and Joan his wife, (fn. 37) apparently representatives of the female line of Moyne descendants.
In 1413 Joan, widow of John Tyndale of Raveley, granted to Thomas Hore of Childerley and other feoffees the manor of Raveley, (fn. 38) and in the same year, John Hore and Joan his wife granted the manor of Raveley to Thomas Hore of Childerley and others, (fn. 39) a similar conveyance being made in 1415. (fn. 40) In 1421 Thomas Hore and his co-feoffees released to William Martyn the manor which they held by grant of John 'Hoare' and Joan his wife. (fn. 41) In 1427 Thomas Hore and other feoffees demised to John Hore of Childerley (Co. Cambridge) all lands, etc., that Roger Banastre of Wakefield (Co. York) held for life by demise of the said John Hore in Great Raveley. (fn. 42) Two days later, John Hore granted to John Wodehows and others the manor of Great Raveley and the reversion of the lands held by Roger Banastre, formerly belonging to Sir William Moyne, kt., to perform the will of John Hore in accordance with a certain agreement made between John Abbot of Ramsey and the said John. (fn. 43) Further settlements of the manor were made in 1427 on the second marriage of John Hore to Margaret widow of Sir Robert Butolyn. (fn. 44) John and Margaret died without issue, and Gilbert Hore, son and heir of John by his first wife, (fn. 45) entered the manor of which he enfeoffed Sir Edmund Ingoldesthorpe, kt., and others in 1443. (fn. 46) By 24 February, 1453, Gilbert Hore was also dead, and an agreement was entered into between John, son and heir of Gilbert, and Roger Keye, clerk, his executors and the Abbey of Ramsey in performance of the will of Gilbert for the grant of the manor of Great Raveley, etc., to the Abbey for the sum of £200 and the maintenance of a chantry and obits at the altar of St. Peter in the conventual church, for the souls of Gilbert and Margery his wife, of John Hore and Joan his wife, and Dame Joan his wife, of John and Thomas sons of Gilbert, and the friends of Gilbert. (fn. 47) The Abbey chronicle records that the 'manor called Le Moynes with appurtenances in Great Raveley and Sawtry' was obtained at his own expense for the Abbey by Abbot John Stow. (fn. 48)
The Abbey property in Great Raveley was henceforth known as the manors of 'Great Raveley and Moynes,' though in the latter half of the 16th century we find for a short time the name of Stukelys or Stewkelys Manor used instead of that of Moynes.
In 1535 the sum of £19 15s. 8d. was returned for 'Moynez manor and rents, parcel of the lordship of Upwood,' and £35 15s. 10½d. for the rent and ferm of 'Upwood cum Raveley Magna.' (fn. 49) In 1540 a grant in fee was made to John Sewster of Ashwell (co. Herts) among other monastic property, of lands in Raveley, Raveley Heath alias Wood, and Cotehill in Great Raveley (then in the tenure of the said John Sewster) for a rent of 20s., (fn. 50) and in 1542 the manors of Upwood, Great Raveley, Moynes, and Walton, previously the property of Ramsey Abbey, were with the rectories appropriate of Upwood and Raveley, and the advowsons of the vicarages there, granted to Sir Richard Williams alias Cromwell in exchange for the manors of Brampton and Hemingford and £731 0s. 7½d. (fn. 51) In June, 1542, Sir Richard Cromwell alias Williams and Frances his wife granted the manors of Great Raveley and Moynes to John Sewster. (fn. 52) John died on 20 March following, (fn. 53) when the manors passed to his son William, aged five, (fn. 54) whose wardship was granted in 1547 to William Clerc, the king's servant. (fn. 55) Grants of land and messuages in Great Raveley made during the minority of William Sewster include one by Martin Broughton, gent., and Catherine his wife to Lawrence Torkington in 1552. (fn. 56) In 1555 Lawrence Torkington of Great Stukeley and his wife Mabel granted to William Lawrence 'the Manor called Stukeleys in Great Raveley,' (fn. 57) and in 1558 the 'Manor of Stukeleys (fn. 58) with its appurtenances in Great and Little Raveley' was conveyed to William Sewster by William Lawrence and Margery his wife, (fn. 59) William being still a minor. (fn. 60) William Sewster died in 1568 and bequeathed 'Stuckley mannor in Great Raveley,' late in the tenure of William Lawrence, to his wife Alice for her jointure. (fn. 60) His son and heir Giles married Ann Turner. (fn. 61) In 1584, Giles Sewster settled the manors of Great Raveley and Moynes in the parish of Upwood. Giles, who died in 1605, was survived by his mother, then remarried to Edward Tulkarne, (fn. 62) but she died three months later. Samuel Sewster, son and heir of Giles, was then aged 13. (fn. 63) This Samuel Sewster, with other delinquents, was fined for not showing his light horses in 1640. (fn. 64) The manors were settled by Samuel Sewster and Robert his son and heir in 1646, (fn. 65) and by Robert and Anne his wife in 1659. (fn. 66) Robert Sewster of Great Raveley was knighted in 1664, (fn. 67) and was still lord of the manor in 1667. (fn. 68) His daughter and heir Frances married in 1667 Sir Algernon Peyton, bart., who died in 1671. (fn. 69) Their son, Sir Sewster Peyton, bart., was holding the manors of Great Raveley and Moynes in 1691. (fn. 70) In 1700 they were held by Philip Bell and Ann his wife, (fn. 71) sister to Sir Sewster. (fn. 72) Sir Sewster Peyton was Master of the Buckhounds to Queen Anne; he married Anne, second daughter of George Dashwood of London (who was the sister of George Dashwood of Peyton Hall, Suffolk, married to Sir Sewster's sister Algerina), and died on 28 December 1717. (fn. 73) His son and heir, Sir Thomas Peyton, bart., settled the manors in 1732.
Sir Thomas died without issue at Doddington in 1771, and was succeeded by his nephew, Henry Dashwood, who by Act of Parliament of the same year took the name of Peyton, and in the Inclosure Act for Raveley of 1786 was returned as Sir Henry Peyton, as lord of the manor. (fn. 74) He died in 1789, (fn. 75) and was succeeded by his son Sir Henry Peyton, bart. His son Henry Peyton was dealing with the manor in 1826, (fn. 76) during the lifetime of his father, who died in 1854. The manors since then have descended in the family of Peyton of Doddington, and Sir Algernon Thomas Peyton, bart., J.P., is now lord.
There is a tradition of a church at Great Raveley, but the only evidence of it is an entry in the King's Books of Henry VIII that a church had here been destroyed. Nothing has been found in support of this statement, and Great Raveley appears to have been always served by the chapelry of Upwood (q.v.). Divine service, however, is now held in the schoolroom at Great Raveley, which is licensed for the purpose. There was a proposal to unite Great Raveley to Little Raveley in the 17th century, but nothing was apparently done in the matter. The living is a vicarage annexed to that of Upwood, where the vicar resides.
The rectory appropriate and the advowson of the vicarage were granted at the Dissolution with the manor to Sir Richard Williams alias Cromwell, at the same time as the manor, rectory appropriate, and advowson of Upwood (q.v.). A lease of the tithes in both places was held by George Bedell in 1535 (fn. 77) and by Gabriel Throckmorton in 1542. (fn. 78) At the inclosure of Raveley in 1786 an allotment was made for tithes. Sir Richard Bickerton, bart., of Upwood was then rector impropriate, (fn. 79) and it was directed that in making allotments for the tithes of open fields, and out of old inclosures, nothing was to be done that would prejudice the manorial rights of Sir Henry Peyton, lord of the manor of Raveley.
The Inclosure Act passed in 1786 (fn. 80) for the parish of Raveley stated that the old inclosed grounds, open field lands, and two common pastures, one called the Heath and the other Low Common or Cow Common, contained by estimation 2,000 acres, and that Sir Henry Peyton, bart., lord of the manor of Raveley, was lord of the soil of the said commons, and owner of the greatest part of the old inclosed grounds, open field lands, and common rights in the parish.
Bank's Gift (Lost Charity). An annuity of £1 originating under a donation of a Mr. Banks in 1732, which was formerly paid out of land called the College Lane, has since the inclosure which took place about 1786 been paid by the occupier of land belonging to Sir H. Peyton, bart. The payment was distributed among poor widows, but no payment has been made since about the year 1836.
Poor's Allotment. By an award of the Inclosure Commissioners, dated 9 Dec. 1850, land containing about 3 acres was allocated to the Overseers of the Poor, the income to be used for supplying fuel for the poor of the parish. The land is now let in allotments producing about £1 0s. 6d. yearly, which is distributed in coal to about 20 recipients.