A History of the County of Huntingdon: Volume 2. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1932.
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Stantun, Stantone (xi cent.), Staunton, Stanton Gisbrit de Gant (xiii cent.), Fenstanton, Fennystanton (xiv cent.).
Fen Stanton lies on the Cambridgeshire borders of the county on the south side of the river Ouse. As its name implies, it is for the most part on lowlying land, liable to floods, which rises somewhat to the south. The area is 2,565 acres of land and 16 acres of land covered by water. The soil is of clay, gravel, or fenny loam, producing wheat, barley, potatoes and chicory.
The village is on the Roman road from Cambridge to Godmanchester, here called the High Street, and about a mile from the Ouse. It was originally, it would seem, a nucleated settlement off the high road, the church and early village lying on rising ground about a quarter of a mile north of the road. From the church, by-roads, along which the village has grown, run down to the Roman road. The main part of the village is the High Street, on the south side of which are several 17th-century timber-framed houses. At the west end of this road, where it is crossed by the road called Hilton Road on the south and Chequers Street on the north, is the old Clock House. This is a square brick building with rusticated quoins built at the end of the 17th century as a lock-up. In the upper story is a clock. The slate roof is surmounted by a timber cupola with round arches, containing a bell cast by Thomas Norris in 1660 or 1666. On the south side of Hilton Road, which here branches off to the south-west, are two 16th-century houses, timber-framed, with tiled roofs. The earlier, which is nearer the village, has a central block with wings on each side, the north-east wing having a projecting upper story supported on brackets. The other, known as the Gables, is built on an H-shaped plan, and has a projecting upper story to the street. There are some 17th-century timber-framed cottages in Chequers Street, towards the east end of which is the Manor House, a good 17th-century brick house with shaped gables at each end and a brick porch of two stories, now the residence of Miss G. M. Peet. Some of the internal fittings are original. This was the house in which Lancelot Brown, generally known as 'Capability Brown,' lived after he obtained the manor from the Earl of Northampton in 1768. Brown started life as a working gardener and had a great reputation for laying out gardens after the then new style of landscape gardening, and later practised as an architect. He amassed a considerable fortune, and was sheriff for Huntingdonshire in 1770. It is said that Brown received the manor of Fen Stanton from the Earl of Northampton in payment for his work in improving the gardens of Castle Ashby. (fn. 1) He died in 1783, and there is a monument to him and his wife Bridget in the church. He was succeeded by his son Lancelot, who was member for the county. Not far from the Manor House, in Church Lane, is a 16th-century timber-framed house with projecting upper story and a fine chimney stack of four shafts. To the west of the village is the Manor Farm, a good 18th-century brick house with stone dressings and a slate roof. From its design and fittings it was evidently intended for a private residence.
The parish runs in a sharp point up to St. Ives in the extreme north-west, the Potton Road dividing it from Hemingford Grey on the western side. In this projecting portion there are two disused corn mills and a disused windmill, the gas works and residential houses.
There is a Congregational chapel and a Calvinistic Baptist chapel. Fen Stanton Literary Institute, established in 1856, is now a boys' club. It was rebuilt in 1880 by Thomas Coote, who also presented the parish with a cemetery of an acre.
The manor of STANTON cum HILTON or FEN STANTON, assessed at 13 hides, was held in the time of Edward the Confessor by Ulf, but before 1086 it had been given by the Conqueror to his nephew Gilbert de Gant, son of Baldwin of Flanders. (fn. 2) Gilbert was succeeded by his son Walter (d. 1139) from whom the manor descended to Gilbert, his son, who married Hawise, daughter and heir of William de Romare, Earl of Lincoln, and through her took the title of earl. He left a daughter Alice, who married Simon de St. Liz, Earl of Huntingdon, on whose death without issue the manor passed to her uncle, Robert de Gant. Gilbert, son of Robert (fn. 3) succeeded before 1205, (fn. 4) but his lands were seized for his rebellion in adhering to the Barons. It would seem that the manor was at this time granted to Alan de Dinant, the king's champion in France, as in 1206 Agnes de la Roche (de Rupe) held it in dower of the inheritance of Alan and was then engaged in a dispute with her sockmen of Stanton regarding their services. (fn. 5) She probably married Gilbert de Pecche, who was holding a knight's fee in Stanton in 1210–12. (fn. 6) Before 1216 she seems to have married again, as Daniel de Bures and Agnes, his wife, were then holding the whole vill in chief. (fn. 7) Agnes and her son, Eudo de Roche, granted a rent of 15s. 5½d. out of the manor to the Priory of Legh (co. Devon). (fn. 8) Eudo died beyond the seas without an heir, and the manor is said to have escheated to the crown, (fn. 9) but in 1226 Richard Marshal, later Earl of Pembroke, did homage for the manor, in right of his wife Gervaise, daughter of Alan de Dinant. It would come to them after the death of Agnes de la Roche, who then held it in dower of the inheritance of Gervaise. (fn. 10) In 1228 Gilbert de Gant claimed 8 hides in Stanton against Agnes, who pleaded she only held in dower. (fn. 11) The Gants did not regain possession. Richard Earl of Pembroke forfeited his lands for rebellion and Gervaise died without issue, so that on the death of Agnes the manor seems again to have escheated to the crown. In 1234 Henry III granted it, as lately belonging to Agnes de Roche, to Stephen de Segrave for the service of one knight's fee. A few months later Stephen forfeited for rebellion, and in the same year the king granted the manor to his sister, Joan Queen of Scotland, for life, at the rent of a sore sparrow hawk. (fn. 12) The queen evidently built a house here, as in 1235 the king gave her 20 oaks and other timber from the Forests of Weybridge and Sapley for the purpose. (fn. 13) The site of this house is probably marked by the homestead moat at Grove House. In 1237, with the king's permission, she granted some 112½ acres of the demesne, 9 virgates and other lands and certain villeins and their sequels, 22 croftmen (crofmanni), a meadow at Hilton, 29 acres of the marsh of Stanton, and 15 acres of meadow in Hay, to the abbey of the Blessed Place at Tarent (co. Dorset), together with her body for burial in the abbey. (fn. 14) She died in 1238, when the manor was restored to Stephen de Segrave. (fn. 15) In 1240 the abbess and nuns of Tarent demised to Stephen all that they had in demesne in the manor as set out above, retaining the 9 virgates of the villenage of the manor. (fn. 16) An exchange of their lands in Fen Stanton and Hilton was made by the abbess of Tarent in 1240 and 1242, with Robert de Pavely and his wife Parnel, (fn. 17) for lands in Tarent Keynes.
Before 1276 the manor had been restored to Nicholas, who held it of the king in chief for service of ⅓ knight's fee. (fn. 20) Simon de Stanton, who was at this time a free tenant of 3 carucates of land in the vill, (fn. 21) made a conveyance of a mill, lands, etc., in Stanton, Hilton, and elsewhere in 1286 to Nicholas de Segrave, (fn. 22) who in 1292 as Nicholas de Segrave the elder, received a grant of free warren in his demesne lands at Stanton. (fn. 23) He was summoned to Simon de Montfort's parliament of 1264 and died seised of the manor of Fen Stanton cum Hilton in 1295 and was succeeded by John, his son. (fn. 24)
John was summoned to parliament as Lord Segrave (fn. 25) and was returned in 1303 as holding Stanton with the soke. (fn. 26) In 1315 he had a grant of a weekly market in his manor of Fen Stanton on Thursdays, and of a fair there yearly on the vigil and day of the Apostles Peter and Paul and six following days. (fn. 27) He was holding Stanton cum Hilton in 1316, then assessed as one vill, (fn. 28) and died in Gascony in 1325. His death was quickly followed by that of his son and heir Stephen (fn. 29) (Constable of the Tower), whose son John (aged 9) was found to be the heir of his grandfather before the year was out. (fn. 30) The manor of Fen Stanton, with the members of Hilton and Wisbeach, was assigned in dower to Christine, the widow of John de Segrave the elder in 1326, (fn. 31) and in 1327 a rent of 4s. out of it was allotted to Alice, the widow of Stephen, and mother of the heir, who was then in the custody of the king's uncle, Thomas de Brotherton, Duke of Norfolk, (fn. 32) the 5th son of Edward I. Young John Lord Segrave had married the duke's only daughter and eventual heiress, later to be suo jure Countess of Norfolk, in 1338, and the manor and advowson of Fen Stanton with the exception of one-twentieth of the same were settled upon her in 1344. (fn. 33) John Lord Segrave died in 1353, leaving as his heir a thirteen-year-old daughter Elizabeth, married to John son of John de Mowbray of Axholm. (fn. 34) Part of the manor had been settled on John Lord Segrave's widow Margaret, (fn. 35) who had married Walter de Manny. (fn. 36)
The death of Walter de Manny was followed by orders in 1372 for the delivery to his widow Margaret of the manor (one-twentieth and the advowson excepted) which he had held for life (fn. 37) and in 1377 she petitioned successfully, as Margaret Marshall, Countess of Norfolk and Lady Segrave, for exemption of her towns of Everton and Fen Stanton as parcel of the earldom of Norfolk and lordship of Segrave, from pontage dues unjustly demanded in respect of Huntingdon Bridge. (fn. 38) She was created Duchess of Norfolk in 1397 (fn. 39) and died in 1399. (fn. 40) Her grandson and heir, Thomas Mowbray Earl of Nottingham and Duke of Norfolk, (fn. 41) died in the same year and was succeeded by his fourteen-year-old son Thomas, who received maintenance from the manor. (fn. 42) Thomas was beheaded in 1405 for joining in the Scrope conspiracy, when his brother John succeeded (fn. 43) and in 1428 as Duke of Norfolk was assessed as holding ½ knight's fee and ¼ knight's fee in Stanton which John de Segrave formerly held. (fn. 44) The third duke died seised of the manor in 1432, (fn. 45) and was succeeded by his son John, whose aunt Constance, as Countess Marshal, was holding a rent from the manor as dower at her death in 1437. (fn. 46) John 4th Duke of Norfolk made a settlement of the manor on his son John, and Elizabeth wife of the latter, daughter of John Talbot first Earl of Shrewsbury, and died in 1461. (fn. 47) The fifth and last duke obtained leave in 1475 to grant a five years' lease of the manor to meet the costs incurred by him 'in this your grete viage Royall beyond the Sea agen your auncient ennemye of Fraunce,' (fn. 48) and died seised of it in 1476. (fn. 49) His heir was his four-year-old daughter Anne, (fn. 50) wife of Richard Duke of York, younger son of Edward IV. The manor and advowson then held in dower by his widow Elizabeth were settled upon this youthful couple in 1477, when the prince was created Earl of Nottingham and Duke of Norfolk. (fn. 51) Anne died without issue in 1481. (fn. 52) Her heirs were the issue of Isobel daughter of the first Duke of Norfolk, who had married James Lord Berkeley, and the issue of Isobel's sister Margaret, wife of Sir Robert Howard, i.e., William Lord Berkeley, created Earl of Nottingham in 1483, and John Howard, created Duke of Norfolk in the same year. An agreement as to the division of the Mowbray estates between these co-heirs (fn. 53) left Stanton cum Hilton in the hands of William Earl Marshal and Earl of Nottingham, who in 1488 settled the reversion of the manor after the death of the Duchess Elizabeth on his wife Anne. (fn. 54) Before Elizabeth's death in 1507 a distress was taken on lands in Conington (co. Cambridge) parcel of her manor of Stanton, by the Duchy of Lancaster authorities, which she disputed on the ground that the manor was held of the crown, not of the duchy. (fn. 55) William Earl Marshal and Earl of Nottingham, to whom the manor was confirmed by Act of Parliament, (fn. 56) had died without surviving issue in 1492 and the manor was at a later date adjudged to his heir, his brother Maurice Lord Berkeley, whom he had attempted to disinherit, but to whom seisin was delivered in 1504. (fn. 57) He predeceased the Duchess Elizabeth, dying in 1506, (fn. 58) and was succeeded by his son, also Maurice, Lord Berkeley, who in 1524 died seised of the manor, which was subject to certain charges and returned as held of the heirs of Sir John Hastings, kt. (fn. 59)
The manor continued to be held by the Berkeleys, and was in 1573 settled by Henry Lord Berkeley. (fn. 60) In 1600 it was sold by Henry Lord Berkeley, his wife Jane, son and heir Thomas, and the latter's wife Elizabeth, Ambrose Cooper, and John Smyth, to Sir John Spencer, kt. (fn. 61) Sir John Spencer died seised of it in 1610, when it passed to his daughter and heir Elizabeth, wife of William Lord Compton. (fn. 62) She settled it in 1613, and died in 1632, (fn. 63) her husband, created Earl of Northampton in 1618, having predeceased her in 1630, in which year his son Spencer, as Earl of Northampton, was dealing with the manor. (fn. 64) Spencer was slain in 1643, and he and his son James, who then succeeded him, distinguished themselves in the Royalist cause. The manor remained in the Northampton family (fn. 65) until conveyed in 1768 by Spencer Earl of Northampton to Lancelot Brown, with all rights, including a yearly sum of £5 payable out of certain tolls and rates upon the navigation of the Ouse. (fn. 66) Lancelot Brown, the celebrated 'Capability Brown,' died in 1783 and was succeeded by his son Lancelot, M.P. for the county. He died in 1801 and the manor passed to his brother Admiral John Brown, who died in 1808, when it went to another brother, Rev. Thomas Brown. Thomas died about 1815 and was succeeded by his son, Rev. Lancelot Robert Brown, at whose death about 1869 it went to trustees for his two daughters. Between 1871 and 1885 the trustees sold the property in lots, when the manorial rights appear to have been lost. (fn. 67)
By the Inclosure Act an allotment was made to persons having rights of common in Long Meadow and Fen Stanton Fen (about 300 acres) then divided; and also of a part of Hall Green, a common in Fen Stanton, in lieu of rights of common.
George Symcote (or Symcotts), lessee in 1545 of the rectory, bequeathed a property of 10 messuages, 3 dovecots, lands, rents, etc., in Fen Stanton to his wife Mary for life or while unmarried, with remainder to John, William and other sons. His widow Mary leased it to her son John, who then leased it to Richard [Cox], Bishop of Ely, and afterwards to Anthony Stapleton, (fn. 68) to whom John Symcote and his wife Phillis or Felicia made a conveyance of a messuage, lands, etc., in Fen Stanton in 1563. (fn. 69) In the following year a fresh conveyance to Anthony Stapleton was made by John Symcote and his wife. (fn. 70) A Chancery suit was brought against John Symcote of London, merchant, and William Symcote, in connection with this lease. (fn. 71) In 1575–6 the younger brothers of John Symcote, William, Jonas, and George, conveyed this property to Richard Arkinstall and Thomas Awder. (fn. 72)
A free fishery was held with the manor (q.v.). In 1279 it was returned that the lord had common of fishery with the abbot of Ramsey with one 'Sagen' from the bridge of St. Ives to Swyftsweir (fn. 73) in the Ouse. The several fisheries held within the manor, and in the demesnes of the abbot of Ramsey and others by the Dukes of Norfolk, are referred to in the inquisition taken after the death of the third duke in 1432. (fn. 74)
The Church of ST. PETER AND ST. PAUL consists of a chancel (50½ ft. by 25 ft.), nave (44½ ft. by 15½ ft.), north aisle (59 ft. by 13 ft.), south aisle (59 ft. by 11½ ft.), west tower (11 ft. by 14 ft.) and south porch. The walls are of rubble with stone dressings and the roofs are covered with tiles, slates and lead.
Although mentioned in the Domesday Survey (1086) nothing remains of this early church except a few stones reused in the walling. There was evidently a rebuilding in the first half of the 13th century, of which period are the responds of the chancel arch, the plinth of the west respond of the north arcade, and the north, south and part of the east arches of the tower; and, apparently, a south porch was also built. Early in the 14th century the south aisle and porch were rebuilt, and in 1345–52, the then Rector, William Longthorne, rebuilt the chancel, while at the extreme end of the century the tower was practically rebuilt and finished with a spire. In the next century another reconstruction involved the rebuilding of the nave arcades with a clearstory and roof above them, enlargement of the chancel and tower arches, building of strong buttresses to stiffen the tower piers, and finally, about 1500, the rebuilding of the north aisle, new windows in the south aisle, and new roofs to the aisles and porch. The galleries were pulled down and the church generally restored in 1860.
The fine 14th-century chancel built by William de Longthorne, rector, 1344–1352, who lies buried in its midst, has a large and magnificent east window of seven lights with a large circle and flowing tracery in the head. The side windows, three on each side, are three-lights with flowing tracery. In the south wall there is also a doorway, and triple graduated sedilia with piscina forming a fourth and eastern bay. The chancel arch is of the 15th century but is supported on 13th-century responds reset, with 15thcentury caps to the jamb shafts. The roof is modern.
The 15th-century nave has an arcade of three bays on each side, having arches of two moulded orders resting on columns formed of four semi-octagonal shafts with moulded caps and bases. The contemporary clearstory has four two-light windows on each side. The roof is original but much restored; it has some carved figures and bosses.
The north aisle, c. 1500, has no window in its east wall, but the north wall has three three-light windows and a blocked doorway, and the early 16th-century west window has four lights. The contemporary roof has large figures of feathered angels at the feet of the intermediate principals.
The early 14th-century south aisle has a two-light window of c. 1300 in the east wall. In the south wall are three early 16th-century three-light windows, a 14th-century doorway, a plain locker and a stoup. In the west wall is a 14th-century three-light window. The roof, c. 1500, is generally similar to that of the north aisle. (fn. 75)
The west tower has a 15th-century eastern arch, of three orders, but the outer order on the west is of 13th-century work up to the springing of the two side arches; the respond piers are stiffened by large 15th-century buttresses on the north and south sides respectively, each with a low half-arch at the base. On the north and south the tower stands on 13th-century arches. The west door and the three-light window above it and all the other features of the tower and spire are of late 14th-century date; the stage below the belfry has a quatrefoil in a square on the south side, and a square-headed two-light window in the west wall; the belfry windows are of two lights. The octagonal broach spire has two tiers of lights, the lowest on the cardinal faces.
The 14th-century south porch, which is set at a curious angle with the aisle, has a reset outer archway of two orders, the outer of 13th-century date with moulded label enriched with the dog-tooth ornament, and the inner of 14th-century date, the whole resting on 14th-century responds. Above the arch is a reset 13th-century Vesica-shaped window. Each side wall has a 14th-century two-light window.
The roof is of c. 1500.
The font is modern, octagonal, with tracery panels in the sides.
There are five bells, inscribed (1) Thomas Norris made me, 1636; (2) Joseph Eayre fecit, 1771; (3) Anno Domini 1603; (4) Merorem mestis letis sic leta sonabo, 1620; (5) Thomas Norris made me, 1636. The third bell is a rough casting by an unknown founder; the fourth by William Haulsey. The bells were rehung by Messrs. Taylor & Co., of Loughborough. There were five bells in 1724. (fn. 76)
The oak pulpit is octagonal and has two tiers of panels of elaborate linen-fold pattern made up with modern framing, and having some small crocketed pinnacles from the destroyed rood-screen fixed on the angles. Other tracery from the screen has been worked up in the modern lectern.
In the churchyard is the base of the 14th-century churchyard cross.
On the chancel floor is a large slab of Purbeck marble, 6 ft. 10 in. by 3 ft. 10 in., with matrix of the demifigure of a priest and marginal inscription in Lombardic letters:—
✠ HIC JACET DOMINVS WILELMVS DE LOVGTHONE QVONDAM RECTOR HVIVS ECCLESIE ET FVNDA[TO]R ISTIVS CA . . . . E.
The registers are as follows: (i) Baptisms, marriages and burials, 1612 to 18 March 1739/40; (ii) baptisms, marriages and burials, 11 April 1740 to 13 March 1800; marriages end 3 Feb. 1754; (iii) baptisms and burials, 23 Feb. 1800 to 10 January 1813; (iv) the official marriage book 17 May 1754 to 18 Aug. 1811.
The church plate consists of: A tall silver-gilt cup engraved with Elizabethan ornament and inscribed 'This cuppe was made the third day of December Anno Dom[ini] 1619 for the parish of ffenistaunton In Huntington. sheir, Gregory Lindesey and william Frigge then beinge churchwardens,' and on base '22 oz.' hall-marked for 1619–20; a silver chalice engraved '✠ Agnus Dei miserere nobis,' and inscribed on base 'For SS. Peter and Paul's Church, Fenstanton, 1884' hall-marked for 1883–4; a silver paten similarly inscribed and hall-marked; a silver box inscribed 'The gift of Haylock Watson to the Church of St. Peter and St. Paul, Fenstanton, 1885' hall-marked for 1885–6; a silver mounted mother-of-pearl baptismal shell, hall-marked for 1914–15.
There are the following monuments: In the chancel, to Launcelot Brown, d. 1783, Bridget his widow, d. 1786, Launcelot Brown their elder son, d. 1802, John Brown, second son, d. 1808, and Mary widow of Admiral Brown, d. 1834; Peter Cowling, d. 1786; Frances (Fuller) wife of Launcelot Brown, d. 1792; Mary Elizabeth Cowling, d. 1799; Peter Cowling, d. 1824, Mary Elizabeth his wife, d. 1847, and the Rev. Peter Launcelot Cowling, d. 1848; and glass windows to the Rev. Stanley Walton, Vicar, d. 1875; Ann, widow of Haylock Watson, d. 1880; Mary Anne Cowling, d. 1884; and Richard, Sarah Jane and Richard Booker Hewlins (n.d.). In the north aisle, to John Mann, d. 1867. In the south aisle, to Martin Rawling Osborne, d. 1846, Mary (Allpress) his wife, d. 1832, John Allpress her father, d. 1833, Anna Maria Osborne their daughter, d. 1834, Charlotte Osborne, 10th daughter, d. 1854, Allpress Osborne, 5th son, d. 1856, Martin Allpress Osborne another son, d. 1899, Susan (Rowlandson) wife of the last, d. 1899; Ann Bruskill Rowlandson, d. 1908; and War Memorial 1914–18.
A church and priest are entered under Gilbert de Gant's manor of Stanton in the Domesday Survey (1086). (fn. 77) Before the end of the 12th century the advowson had passed to the family of Stanton. It was held by Leonard [de Stanton] who was succeeded by his son Richard, and he by his brother Robert de Stanton, who was dealing with land in Hilton in 1204. (fn. 78) From Robert the advowson passed to his son Gilbert, who gave it to Geoffrey de Sulingry, parson of the church. In 1229 a dispute arose as to land in Stanton which Walter Morel and others claimed against Gilbert son of Robert de Stanton, Gilbert asserting that the land belonged to the free alms of the church. A duel had previously been fought between Robert, father of Gilbert, and Walter. The land was finally adjudged to be the lay fee of Gilbert. (fn. 79) The advowson probably escheated to the crown, for the Stantons seem to have followed their overlords the Gants in rebellion. In 1236 it was granted by Henry III to his sister Joan, Queen of Scotland, (fn. 80) and passed with the manor to the Segraves. It was held in dower in 1265 by Amabilia, widow of Gilbert Segrave, who married Roger de Somery. The advowson followed the descent of the manor until 1352, when King Edward III recovered it in an action against John de Segrave and William de Overton, clerk. (fn. 81) The patronage remained with the crown until 1393, in which year it was granted to Thomas Earl Marshal and Earl of Nottingham, (fn. 82) who in the following year alienated it to the dean and chapter of the king's free chapel of St. Stephen in the palace of Westminster, stipulating for a yearly dole to poor parishioners, and the ordination of a vicarage. (fn. 83)
At the Dissolution the College of St. Stephen, Westminster, was receiving £26 13s. 4d. yearly in tithes from the rectory, (fn. 84) and the presentation was made by them in 1544. (fn. 85) About 1560 the advowson passed into the possession of Trinity Hall, Cambridge, who granted it to the Bishop of Ely in 1928.
The parsonage house, then in the hands of Thomas de Segrave, parson, was enlarged in 1323, when John de Segrave, the elder, alienated in mortmain for the purpose a messuage in the manor held in chief adjoining it. (fn. 86) After the parsonage had been bestowed on the College of St. Stephen, Westminster, this was evidently at first used as the vicarage, but in 1437, on the plea that it was so large and needed repair, the college granted a messuage near the church to the vicar and his successors for a vicarage. (fn. 87)
After the Dissolution the rectory, with the chapel of Hilton appropriated to it, was granted by the College of St. Stephen at Westminster in 1545 (the advowson of the vicarage excepted) to George Symcote for 21 years, (fn. 88) and in 1566 a grant of a fresh lease from the expiration of that term was made to Henry Trafford for 31 years at a rent of £6 13s. 4d. (fn. 89) A grant for their lives at a rent of £26 13s. 4d. was made in 1582 to Thomas Martyn, with remainder to Henry Martyn, and further remainder to Thomas son of Thomas Martyn; (fn. 90) and in 1599 a fresh grant of the same was made to Sir John Spencer, kt., at the same rent. (fn. 91)
A lease of the parsonage was the subject of proceedings by Thomas Howell of Westminster, yeoman, against Thomas Brightfelde and Thomas Ward, executor of Joan Abbot the mother of Thomas Brightfelde, who had apparently married the plaintiff in order to secure renewal of a lease of the premises she had held under the College of St. Stephen. (fn. 92) The executors of John Ward brought an action against James Feake, citizen and goldsmith of London, husband of Parnell, a daughter of John Ward, to recover possession of a lease of the parsonage to enable them to maintain Leonard, son of John Ward, at the 'Grammar school of Powles' in London. (fn. 93)
Thomas Carter, by will dated 3 August 1617, gave to trustees ½ acre of fen in the Rey Furlong in Fen Stanton, the rent to be distributed amongst the poor of the parish. This property at some subsequent time became combined with the Town Estate and has since been lost.
Town Estate. (fn. 94) The origin of this charity is unknown, and the property consisted of land in Conington known as Friesland, containing 57 acres, the Meadows, containing 24 acres, and the Bull Yard containing 20 pls., both in Fen Stanton. The land known as Friesland and the Bull Yard have been sold under the authority of the Charity Commissioners and the proceeds invested in the purchase of 5 per cent. War Stock in the name of the Official Trustees. The endowment of the charity now consists of the Meadows and £471 13s. 8d. 5 per cent. War Stock, together with a sum of Consols accumulating at compound interest. The income of the charity, amounting to about £70 per annum, is applicable for any public purpose for the benefit of the inhabitants of the parish not being an ecclesiastical or educational purpose. The trustees consist of nine persons appointed by the Parish Council of Fen Stanton.
Edward Martin by will dated 13 July 1717 gave to the poor of the parish a yearly sum of £2 out of the rents of his close called Old Dole Close. The endowment now consists of a rentcharge of £2 per annum issuing out of a farm in Fen Stanton which is distributed to poor widows.
Church Estate. The endowment of this charity consists of grassfield containing 14 acres and let to the Huntingdon County Council on a seven-years lease which expired on 11 October 1926 for £37 per annum. The rent is applied to church expenses.