Parishes: Hemingford Grey

A History of the County of Huntingdon: Volume 2. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1932.

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, 'Parishes: Hemingford Grey', in A History of the County of Huntingdon: Volume 2, (London, 1932) pp. 309-314. British History Online [accessed 18 May 2024].

. "Parishes: Hemingford Grey", in A History of the County of Huntingdon: Volume 2, (London, 1932) 309-314. British History Online, accessed May 18, 2024,

. "Parishes: Hemingford Grey", A History of the County of Huntingdon: Volume 2, (London, 1932). 309-314. British History Online. Web. 18 May 2024,

In this section


East Hemingeford, Emingeforde (xi cent.); Hamicheford (xii cent.); Hemmingeforde Turbervill, Turbelville, Trubbevill, or Trubelvill, Hemmingeforde Parva (xiii-xiv cent.); Hemygforde Grey, Hemingford Priors (xiv-xv cent.).

The parish lies extremely low, mostly at a level of 20–40 ft. above ordnance datum, and Hemingford Meadow in the north is liable to floods. The soil north of the Cambridge road is gravelly; to the south it is a strong loam. The crops grown are wheat, barley, and market garden produce. The area is 1,725 acres of land and 26 of land covered by water.

On the south side of St. Ives Bridge a suburb of St. Ives is growing up, but Hemingford Grey village lies in the opposite direction, away from St. Ives, and is still rural. At the northern end of the village, near the extreme north-western angle of the parish, where backwaters separate Houghton meadows from the main stream of the Ouse, stands its manor-house, the earliest secular building in the county, its mid 12th-century stone-built hall an important example of a scarce class of domestic architecture. The house is still surrounded by its moat on the three sides away from the river, near the right bank of which it stands. The main central block was probably built by Payn de Hemingford who died shortly after 1166. Here apparently he made his home, and it seems to have been the residence of his son William, of William Ruffus and of the Turbervilles who gave their name for a time to the manor. Reginald de Grey transacted business here, and in 1321 John son of Reginald de Grey had his chapel and chaplain in his house at Hemingford Grey, (fn. 1) but the subsequent owners and lessees were absentees until the 17th century when the Newmans and later the Mitchells from time to time lived here. The most famous inhabitants, however, were the Gunnings. John Gunning probably had a lease of the house from the Mitchells, and in it were born during the thirties of the 18th century his three beautiful daughters. Mary the eldest married the sixth Earl of Coventry, and Elizabeth became the wife of the sixth Duke of Hamilton and secondly of the fifth Duke of Argyll and the mother of four dukes and one courtesy earl. (fn. 2) There is an original window of two round-headed lights on the west side of the south front, and a doorway to this floor formerly approached by an external staircase is marked by a modern window. There are remains of original windows in the east and west walls. Another original window has recently been opened out in the west wall. Considerable alterations were made by the lessees of the manor in the 16th century when the central chimney stack and parts of the eastern additions were made. The north front and western additions were made apparently by the Mitchells in the 18th century.

The old rectory north east of the church, where the vicars apparently formerly lived, was built in or about 1697, when John Allen, the vicar, petitioned 'the well disposed gentlemen of the University of Cambridge and elsewhere' for assistance to rebuild the vicarage house, which had fallen into a state of ruin during 'the late rebellious times.' (fn. 3) It is a large brick house with tiled roof which has been enlarged at various dates. It contains some good original fittings. The house was sold in 1859 to John Lawrence (d. 1864), who undertook to repair the chancel of the church, (fn. 4) and is now the residence of Lieut.-Col. A. F. Watt, D.S.O.

A little to the east of the church is Madely Court, skirted on the east by Mill Lane, which leads to Hemingford Mills on the Ouse, and from which Meadow Lane branches north. Two mills at Hemingford and a fish pool were mentioned in Domesday Survey, and the mills at Hemingford have always been valuable and important. The village forms a triangle enclosed by Mill Lane on the east, the river on the west, and Hemingford Road on the south. At the juncture of Mill Lane and Hemingford Road is the smithy, which with the school to the west of it lies north of the Hemingford Road. Opposite them, and on the south side of the road, is the vicarage, built in 1854. Near by is the pound, from the west of which Pound Lane runs south and, as Long Lane, joins the Cambridge road. From a short distance south of the pound, Marsh Lane runs east to the Potton Road (the eastern boundary of the parish), which it joins about half a mile below the point where the latter meets the Hemingford road. Midway between is the St. Ives Union Workhouse, about half a mile from the Ouse and from St. Ives, where the road leads past Filbert's Walk to the Toll House on the river. There is a windmill on Hemingford Road about a quarter of a mile east of the village.

South of the Cambridge road is the Grove, with Brittens Farm farther south still, near the western boundary; and south of the junction of the Cambridge and Potton roads is Woolpack Inn, with Woolpack Farm to the south-west. The southernmost outlying farm is Linton's Farm, which has Topsfield Farm north-west of it.

Part of the causeway over the low-lying land leading to St. Ives Bridge was in the manor of Hemingford Grey, and reference to it is found at an early date. We find that the abbots of Ramsey paid yearly for its use a pair of scarlet hose, 2 lb. of pepper, 2 lb. of ginger, 1,000 eels and allowed common rights in the abbey wood. In 1238 Alice, widow of Ralph Turberville, agreed to alter this rent to 40 cartloads of underwood from the wood of St. Ives, 1,000 eels and half a mark and a further payment for her life of 20 cartloads of wood. (fn. 5) The rent was again changed by John de Grey and his son Reginald in 1249–50 to 2 marks and John and Reginald gave an undertaking to maintain the causeway. (fn. 6) A yearly payment of 26s. 8d. by the lords of Hemingford Grey in 1625 for 'Hemingford Grey causey,' (fn. 7) no doubt represents a charge in lieu of maintenance. A new bridge built by the Duke of Manchester in 1822 replaced the ancient causeway.


HEMINGFORD GREY (East Hemingford) was not included in the grant of Hemingford by Earl Ailwin to Ramsey Abbey, but was given to the abbey in 1041–2 by Hardecnut and his mother Aelfgiva as 11 hides in Hemingford, for the salvation of their souls and the soul of King Cnut. The grant was confirmed (1052–6) by Edward the Confessor at the prayer of Abbot Alfwin. The abbot leased Hemingford with 5 hides in Yelling to Ulfwin son of Alfwin for life, (fn. 8) and later these hides were held under the abbey by Aluric the sheriff who was killed at the Battle of Hastings, when the abbey resumed them. By 1086, however, these lands had been seized by Aubrey de Vere, who held them immediately of the Crown. (fn. 9) Ramsey Abbey never relinquished its claim to the manor, which continues to be entered on its feodaries, and Aubrey de Vere's descendants Earls of Oxford were time after time distrained at the court of the Honour of Broughton for neglecting to give military service for their lands at Hemingford. (fn. 10) The overlordship of the Earls of Oxford is recorded as late as the end of the 14th century. (fn. 11)

Vere. Quarterly gules and or with a molet argent in the quarter.

The tenant under Aubrey de Vere in 1086 was Ralf son of Osmund, who was also tenant in chief of another hide in Hemingford Abbots (q.v.) which is entered as waste. (fn. 12) Ralf son of Osmund was succeeded by his son Payn de Hemingford (fn. 13) who endowed the Priory of St. Melan at Hatfield Broadoak (co. Essex) with tithes from Hemingford and Yelling and was owing the service of a knight in 1166. (fn. 14) He died probably shortly after this date, when Nichola, daughter of his son William, was granted in marriage by Henry II (d. 1189) to William Ruffus, the King's servant. (fn. 15) William Ruffus and Nichola had three daughters, namely, Emma, who married Bartholomew de Legh, Alice who married Ralph de Turberville (fn. 16) (d. before 1238) and Isabel who married Berengar le Moyne. There were several settlements as to Hemingford and Yelling among the co-heirs, (fn. 17) but Ralph de Turberville and Alice, from whom the manor took the name of Hemingford Turberville, held it for a time. By 1242–3, however, Emma de Legh held in Hemingford and Yelling three fees which probably represented the whole property. (fn. 18) Her daughter and heir Nichola de Legh had married Roger de Cauz, (fn. 19) and their daughter Emma (fn. 20) married firstly John de Segrave, who died about 1230, when her marriage was granted to her father-in-law Stephen de Segrave. (fn. 21) She married secondly John de Grey, and was probably dead before 1256, when the manor was settled with other lands on her second husband and their son Reginald. (fn. 22) John de Grey died in 1266 and was succeeded by Reginald his son, who was summoned to Parliament as Lord Grey [of Wilton]. In 1286 he proved his descent from Ralf son of Osmund and maintained his claim to view of frankpledge in the manor. (fn. 23) He died in 1308 and was succeeded by his son John, (fn. 24) who in 1311–12 settled the manors of Hemingford Turberville and Yelling on himself for life with remainder to his younger son Roger in tail with contingent remainder to John son of Ralph Basset of Drayton and Ralph brother of the said John. (fn. 25) He died in 1323, his son Henry being his heir, but Hemingford and other lands passed under the settlement of 1311–12 to his younger son Roger, (fn. 26) who in 1351 became Lord Grey of Ruthin. Roger, died seised of the manor of Hemingford Grey in 1353 and was succeeded by his eldest surviving son Sir Reginald de Grey (fn. 27) (d. 1388), who settled the manor on his wife Eleanor (d. 1396). His son Reginald, as heir general of John de Hastings last Earl of Pembroke through his grandmother Elizabeth daughter of Sir John de Hastings, Lord of Abergavenny, (fn. 28) styled himself Lord Hastings. He died in 1440 and was succeeded by his grandson Edmund, son of John de Grey, who in 1465 was created Earl of Kent and died in 1490. His eldest surviving son George, second Earl of Kent, was heavily in debt to the crown, and Hemingford Grey was among the manors seized by Henry VII. The earl's debts were the subject of proceedings in Chancery by his second son Sir Henry Grey, after the death of his brother Richard in 1523, against Thomas Howard Duke of Norfolk, Charles Somerset Earl of Worcester and others. (fn. 29) Sir Henry died in 1562 without ever assuming his peerage dignities owing to poverty and without recovering possession of Hemingford Grey. This manor was granted to the king's favourite Edmund Dudley who was seised of it at the time of his execution in 1510. (fn. 30) In the same year it was granted for life to Elizabeth Grey Countess of Kent, with the issues of the manor from 1508. (fn. 31) The manor was restored before 1533 to Edmund Dudley's son John (afterwards created Duke of Northumberland), and he and his wife settled it in 1534. (fn. 32) In the same year it was reported that John Dudley had sold the manor of Hemingford Grey to Sir Richard Williams alias Cromwell; the sale, however, was not effected until 1537. (fn. 33) In 1542 Cromwell exchanged Hemingford and Brampton and other lands with the crown for Upwood and other manors. (fn. 34) The site of the manor was then in lease to William Dale and later to George Harrison for fifty years. A further lease in reversion of the site of the manor, then in the occupation of William Rushe, was made by the crown in 1570 to Sir George Howard for thirty years. (fn. 35) In 1574 the manor was granted for life to Helen Marchioness of Northampton, widow of William Parr Marquess of Northampton. (fn. 36) This grant included the messuage called the Dolphin with the close belonging to the same and all fisheries in the river from the Bridge of St. Ives to Hemingford Grey Mill and all other fisheries round the said close leased in 1566 to Thomas Collins, the fishery in the Dane Ditch or Old Ree, and holts of willows and osiers with a close called Baylis Acres leased in 1568 to Justinian Cock. The Marchioness of Northampton married Sir Thomas Gorges, who obtained a lease of the site of the manor in reversion after the death of his wife (which occurred in 1635) for 41 years. (fn. 37) In 1625 Charles I, in completion of the intention of his father, granted the fee of the manors of Hemingford Abbots and Hemingford Grey to Edward Ramsey and Robert Ramsey at the respective fee farm rents of £45 15s. 3½d. and £37 10s. 5½d. payable after the death of the Marchioness. The grant was made at the nomination of John Earl of Holderness, to whom the fee farm rents were granted. (fn. 38)

Grey of Wilton. Barry argent and azure with three roundels gules in chief and the difference of a label argent.

Grey, Earl of Kent. Barry argent and azure with three roundels gules in chief.

The leases and leases in reversion and mortgages led to litigation in the Court of Chancery. It appears that John Martin of Ely in 1584 lent money on security of a lease of the manor to Robert Sisson, the assignee of the lease of 1570 to Sir George Howard. In 1601 Cicely Martin, John's widow, brought an action against Robert Sisson senior, Robert Sisson junior, Thomas Sandyll, Thomas Cleybarne and Arthur Clarke to recover the loan. (fn. 39) It is not clear what happened at this time, but the Martins appear to have obtained the interest of the Ramseys, and before 1635, either by inheritance or purchase, the Martins had been succeeded by the Newmans. John Newman and Elizabeth, his wife, and Christopher Newman, brother of John, were holding the manor at that date. (fn. 40) In 1650 Joan, widow of Christopher Newman, brought an action against John Newman and Christopher his son for dower from lands in Hemingford Abbots settled on her by deed to which Edward Martin and Mary his wife and John Martin and Martha his wife, kinsmen of the said Joan, were parties. (fn. 41) The manor of Hemingford Grey was settled by Martin or Mark Newman and Richard Newman in 1689 (fn. 42) and in 1698 it was conveyed by Mark Newman, and Elizabeth his wife, Richard Newman, William Pyke, clerk, and Margaret his wife, Richard Crawley and Thomas Gilbert to Thomas Newman. (fn. 43) Thomas Newman died in 1715 at the age of 90, (fn. 44) but before September 1704 the manor had passed to Cornelius Denne, merchant of London, (fn. 45) and he and his wife Elizabeth were dealing with it in 1708. (fn. 46) In 1711 the manor, then in the occupation of John Townesend, and the capital messuage, then in the occupation of Mary Newman, spinster, were seized by the sheriff for debts owing by Cornelius Denne to the crown. In 1721 the manor, with free fishery, free warren, court leet, court baron, view of frankpledge, fairs, markets, and tolls, was sold by the crown, together with half the manor of Hemingford Abbots, to James Mitchell of Fowlmire (co. Camb.). (fn. 47) William Mitchell of Hemingford was sheriff of Cambridge and Huntingdon in 1737 and 1755. Knight George Coote Mitchell settled the manor in 1798 (fn. 48) and was returned as lord of the manor in 1801. (fn. 49) The manor remained in the Mitchell family, and in 1877 the joint owners of the manorial rights were Miss Mitchell and Capt. Douglas in right of his wife, Miss Mitchell's sister. Capt. Douglas died in 1892 (fn. 50) and was succeeded by his son Lieut.-Col. Sholto Douglas, the present lord of the manor.

The 4 hides in Hemingford worth 40s. in 1066 and 20s. in 1086, were entered in the Survey among the lands of Eustace the sheriff, (fn. 51) and must have been partly represented by ⅓ of 2 parts of a knight's fee in Hemingford held in 1242–3 of the barony of Lovetot by William de Coweye (Cueye). (fn. 52) It was evidently included in the knight's fee in Thirning, Hemingford, Offord, and Graffham, conveyed by Nigel de Amundeville in 1257 to Richard de Clare, Earl of Gloucester and Hertford. (fn. 53) This knight's fee was held by the Moynes as under-tenants and descended with the Gloucester fee whose history is given under Offord. (fn. 54)

The 10 virgates in Hemingford of which Thomas le Moyne in 1219–20 levied a fine with Ralph de Turberville apparently continued to be held by the Moynes under the Greys with the Coweyes or Coes. Yvo le Moyne was with William de Coweye and Felicia his wife in 1235–6 engaged in dealings with Walter de Denford and Sara his wife in connection with a carucate and a third of 2 carucates in Graffham and Hemingford, (fn. 55) and a carucate of land in Hemingford was then conveyed by William de Coweye and Felicia to Robert de Beaumes, Walter de Denford and his wife Sara, and Henry de Codeham. (fn. 56) Felicia de Coweye in 1280–1 conveyed a 'manor of Hemingford Tribelville' to Ralf de Coweye (fn. 57) and was included among the free tenants of Reginald de Grey in 1279 as holding land, including 'I acre in the manor,' of him, for which fee she paid 5s. yearly to the hundred of Toseland. (fn. 58) In 1286 it was returned that all the vill of Hemingford was of the fee of Reginald de Grey except 3 hides which Ralph de Coweye held. (fn. 59)

In 1203, 1204, and 1205 Robert de Saham and his wife Nichola, Robert de Bloy and others, were dealing with lands belonging to Robert de Saham's free tenement in Hemingford, (fn. 60) and in 1205 two hides of land and a third of 3 mills in Hemingford appear to have been acquired from Robert de Saham by Robert de Bloy, (fn. 61) who in 1218–19 made a conveyance of 6 virgates to Reginald Morel. (fn. 62) In 1225–6 Wiscard le Bloy (presumably the heir of Robert), whom Reginald Morel vouched to warranty, conveyed to Lucy, widow of Robert le Bloy as dower, a third of a messuage and 6 virgates of land, etc., in Hemingford. (fn. 63) For a disseisin of John de Swyneford of 9 messuages, 240 acres of land, 20 acres of meadow and 60s. rent in Hemingford Turbervile in 1315 (fn. 64) John de Sudbury was imprisoned first in Canterbury and then in Huntingdon but released on payment of a fine of 50s. in 1316. (fn. 65) John de Swyneford and his wife Agnes were dealing with a messuage and carucate of land in Hemingford Turbervile in 1316. (fn. 66)

Two mills rendering £6 and a fishpool rendering 6s. were held by Aubrey de Vere with the 11 hides entered among his lands in the Domesday Survey. (fn. 67) The Hemingford mills appear to have been a frequent cause of dispute. It was complained in 1279 that Reginald de Grey, by making a pool between Hemingford and Huntingdon to divert the waters of the river to his mills at Hemingford, had made it impossible for ships and boats to proceed as far as Huntingdon Bridge. (fn. 68) Sir Robert Cotton is quoted as ascribing the decay of Huntingdon to this action. (fn. 69) The injury done to Hemingford, Huntingdon, and other towns by obstructions caused between the towns of St. Ives and Huntingdon by 3 mills was the cause of a petition to Parliament in 1376. (fn. 70)

In 1534 Sir Richard Williams alias Cromwell leased to John Keche of Huntingdon, yeoman, for term of his life, and to his executors for 7 years after, 4 watermills in Hemingford Grey with all dams, etc., called 'Dame Rewes,' the Green before the door of the mills, and fishing in the dams, etc., and made a fresh lease in 1540 in reversion to Peter Smyth of London, gent., servant of Sir Richard, in consideration of his faithful service. Sub-leases to George Coleshill, citizen and merchant of London, and later by his widow Susan Coleshill to Thomas Wolley of Kempston (co. Bedford), to Roger Tetlow and to Richard Isacke followed and were in 1573 the subject of Chancery proceedings instituted by Robert Aprice, executor of Roger Tetlowe, against William Ibbott of Hemingford Grey, Richard Keye, and Nicholas Isacke of Downham, co. Norfolk, yeoman. (fn. 71) The four watermills, the 'Dame Rowe,' the Green, and the fishery were, as parcel of the manor (exchanged with the king by Sir Richard Williams) in the occupation of Peter Smyth at a rent of £22, granted in 1610 to Edward Ferrers of London, merchant, and Francis Phelips of London, gent., (fn. 72) and excepted out of the grant to the Ramseys of the manor (q.v.). The mills next appear as the property of Sir Robert Gorges, kt., who in 1615 seems to have sold them to Robert Hudson, and they were again in 1619 the subject of Chancery proceedings instituted by Edmund Gostelowe against Robert Hudson, Robert Cordell, and Thomas Heaton of Hemingford Grey. (fn. 73) Five watermills in Hemingford Grey were in 1631 conveyed by Robert Hudson and his wife Jane and others to Henry, Earl of Manchester. (fn. 74)

A windmill, lands, tenement, and free fishery in Hemingford Grey were in 1698 conveyed by Thomas Carmon and his wife Susan and others to John Nutting, clerk, William Pope, John Cranwell, Thomas West, and John Atlee. (fn. 75) In 1707 lands, tenements and a free fishery in the Ouse in both Hemingfords were conveyed by John Atlee and his wife Martha, and William Household and his wife Mary to Elizabeth Cockayne, spinster, and John Harkness. (fn. 76) A windmill and land in Hemingford Grey were in 1702 conveyed by Robert Martin and his wife Anne and Thomas Harris and his wife Anne to Roger Pecke and John Blinkhorne. (fn. 77)

Besides the fisheries held with the manor and mills it was presented in 1279 that Reginald de Grey, John Clarel, and the men of Huntingdon and Godmanchester fished from the high bank of the river from 'Grimmesdich to Hemigfordheved.' (fn. 78)


The Church of ST. JAMES consists of a chancel (27½ ft. by 16¼ ft.), modern north vestry (14 ft. by 7 ft.), nave (42¾ ft. by 15 ft.), modern north aisle (14 ft. wide), south aisle (13¼ ft. wide), west tower (12½ ft. by 12½ ft.), and modern south porch. The walls are of rubble with stone dressings and the roofs are covered with slates and lead.

The church is not mentioned in the Domesday Survey (1086), but in the 12th century there was a church with a north aisle and perhaps a central tower, and of this the two western bays of the nave arcade still remain. Early in the 13th century a south aisle was added and the chancel rebuilt, and rather later in the century a complete reconstruction took place involving the pulling down of the central tower and formation of two arches in its place, and a lengthening of the aisles. The aisles appear to have been widened in the 14th century, and towards the end of the same century the west tower was added and the western arch of the nave arcade rebuilt, and finally, c. 1500, the clearstory was added. The spire was blown down in 1741, when the stump was levelled off and finished in its present form. The church was restored in 1859, involving the rebuilding of the north aisle and porch and the addition of the vestry, and the tower was restored in 1914. (fn. 79)

The early 13th-century chancel has a modern threelight east window; in the north wall are two original single-light windows, a 14th-century doorway, two original lockers, and a small recess; in the south wall are an early 14th-century two-light with a segmental head, a modern two-light, and an early 14th-century double piscina having trefoiled heads with intersecting mouldings carried on jamb-shafts and a central shaft. The chancel arch is modern.

The nave has a north arcade of three bays, of which the 12th-century middle arch is semi-circular and the two others (the eastern 13th and the western 14th century) are two-centred and of two chamfered orders; they stand on two circular columns, the western with scalloped cap and the eastern is a composite column 12th-century on the west and 13th century on the east, and the eastern respond is also 13th century. Of the 13th-century south arcade, the two western arches are semicircular, and the eastern two-centred similar to that on the north. The columns are circular and the eastern respond is similar. Eastward of both arcades is a short length of wall having a tall recess with a four-centred arch, and pierced with a small modern opening. The clearstory has four early 16th-century two-light windows on each side, and the contemporary roof is of low pitch and of simple form.

The modern north aisle has three two-light windows in the north wall and a single light at the west. The east wall has a door leading into the modern vestry, which has a two-light window and a door in its east wall.

The early 13th-century south aisle has a three-light window, practically all modern, and a 13th-century bracket in its east wall; two two-light windows, a single light window, a doorway mostly modern but incorporating part of a 14th-century arch, and a 14th-century piscina in the south wall; and two carved head-stops, of c. 1500, have been built into this wall. The west wall has a modern single-light window. The roof contains some fragments of early 16th-century work.

The late 14th-century tower has an arch to the nave of two moulded orders, the inner resting on attached shafts with moulded caps and bases. The west doorway is of two continuous moulded orders, and above it is a three-light window. Above this are small lights in the south and west walls; and the belfry windows are two lights, that on the south much distorted. The tower is finished with an embattled parapet behind which rises the stump of a spire. Both parapet and spire are now finished with stone balls at the angles, added after the fall of the spire in 1741.

The font is modern.

There are six bells, inscribed: (fn. 80) (1) Grata sit arguta resonans campanula uoce. Tho: Eayre de Kettering Campanarius 1724; (2) I.H.S. Nazaraenus Rex Judaeorum fili Dei miserere mei 1724 Gloria Patri filio & Spiritui Sancto; (3) Edward Arnold, St. Neots, fecit, 1782; (4) I.H.S. Nazrene Rex Judaeorum fili Dei miserere mei Gloria Patri filo Dei et Spirtui Sancto 1724; (5) I.H.S. Nazarene Rex Judaeorum fili Dei miserere mei Gloria Patri filio et Spiritui Sancto 1724; (6) I.H.S. Nazaraene Rex Judaeorum miserere mei. John Baxter Benefactor William Gare C. W. Gloria Deo soli, 1724. Rehung by W. Eaton, of Tichmarsh, Northants, in 1882.

There are the following monuments: In the chancel, to Gruffin Lloyde, d. 1682; the Rev. James Johnson, Vicar, d. 1727; Mary Jane, wife of the Rev. James William Geldart, d. 1830; the Rev. Peregrine Edward Curtois, Vicar, d. 1899; floor slabs to John Lacy, d. 1676; Catherine Johnson and Catherine Parnell, her daughter, d. 1709; the Rev. James Johnson, d. 1727; Sophia Gunning, d. 1737, and Lizzy Gunning, d. 1752, daughters of John Gunning; Mrs. Matilda (Gore) relict of Charles Green, d. 1787, and Charles William, son of Charles and Ann Green, d. 1788; the Rev. Charles Green, Vicar, d. 1803, and Ann, his wife, d. 1793; and window to John Lawrence, d. 1864.

In the nave, to Elizabeth, daughter of John West, d. 1694, Robert her brother, and Elizabeth West, her mother, d. 1694; William Margetts, d. 1774, and Elizabeth his wife, d. 1776, Thomas Margetts his son, d. 1815, John Margetts, of St. Ives, d. 1795, and Margaret, wife of Thomas, d. 1835; the Rev. Joseph Staines Banks, Vicar, d. 1848, and Ann, his wife, d. 1839; and War Memorial, 1914–18.

In the north aisle, to B. G. Newell, d. 1812; and Susan Chittenden, d. 1899; and floor slab to Sarah, relict of John Rowley, d. 1721.

In the south aisle, to Matthew Elmes, d. 1716, and Ann (Wilkin on) his wife, d. 1754; the Rev. Holland Hughes, Vicar, d. 1723; William Margetts, d. 1802, and Ann his wife, d. 1789; Margaret Rayner Rankin, wife of Lieut. Col. Sir Thos. Pate Rankin, & dau. of Wm. Margetts, d. 1826; Thomas Margetts, d. 1843, and Frances his wife, d. 1846; and Arthur Knights, d. 1901; floor slabs to William Mason, d. 1659; and the Rev. Holland Hughes, Vicar, d. 1723; and windows to Mary Rachael wife of the Rev. J. W. Geldart, d. 1890; and Ernest Alfred Ebsworth, d. 1905.

The registers are as follows: (i) Baptisms, marriages and burials, 8 Aug. 1673 to 20 Oct. 1793; marriages end 12 Dec. 1753; (ii) baptisms and burials, 2 Feb. 1794 to 27 Dec. 1812; some loose paper leaves containing births and burials, 1773 to 1805, some of which are omitted in the register; (iii) the official marriage book, 6 Oct. 1754 to 27 July 1812; the usual modern books.

The church plate consists of: A silver cup, hallmarked for 1684–5; a silver standing paten, similarly hall-marked; a silver standing paten, hall-marked for 1891–2; a plated flagon.


The church was evidently held originally with the lands in Hemingford which formed part of the barony of Lovetot and was bestowed on the priory of Huntingdon by Eustace de Lovetot when he refounded that house. (fn. 81) It was confirmed to the priory by Pope Eugenius. (fn. 82) When the vicarage was ordained, a pension of ½ mark was reserved to the sacrist of Huntingdon. (fn. 83) In 1291 the church was distinguished from that of Hemingford Abbots by the title of Hemingford Priors. (fn. 84) At the Dissolution, the rectory, appropriated to the priory of Huntingdon, was returned as owing £17 yearly of spiritualities in Hemingford Grey; the vicarage was valued at £10 yearly. (fn. 85) A pension of 60s. yearly from Hemingford Grey and Yelling was paid to the prior of Hatfield (co. Essex).

The rectory was leased for 41 years by the prior of Huntingdon from 1540 to Richard Wynde, and by Queen Elizabeth in 1567 to William Muschamp for 21 years at a rent of £17 upon expiration of that lease, the advowson of the vicarage being reserved. (fn. 86) A grant of the rectory was made in 1600 to the Bishop of Ely and his successors. (fn. 87) In 1650 the trustees for the sale of Bishops' lands granted to Michael Heneage of Battersea and Edward Green of London, goldsmith, the site of the rectory and parsonage house, lands, etc., which had been leased by the late bishop to William Greene for 21 years from 1636, and were then in the occupation of Richard Langley. (fn. 88) The Bishop of Ely obtained restitution at the Restoration, and was appropriator at the passing of the Inclosure Act, (fn. 89) the Rev. Charles Greene being lessee under the bishop, as well as incumbent.

The advowson, held by the priory of Huntingdon until the Dissolution, has since that date been held (possibly in lease) by various persons, (fn. 90) by Trinity Hall (fn. 91) and Clare Hall, (fn. 92) Cambridge, the Rev. Peregrine Curtois, A. R. Whiteway, (fn. 93) and Mrs. Watt, now patron.

In 1321 John son of Reginald de Grey gave lands in Papworth St. Agnes to find a chaplain to celebrate daily in his chapel in his manor of Hemingford for the souls of Maud his mother and all faithful departed. (fn. 94)


Gravel Pit Fund. The endowment of this charity consists of a sum of £156 0s. 3d. 2½ per cent. Consols held by the Official Trustees representing the sale of gravel pits in about the year 1845. The income, amounting to £3 18s. annually, is expended in the maintenance and repair of the roads of the parish.

Workhouse Charity. This charity is comprised in an indenture of lease and release dated 22 and 23 December 1778 and consisted of a building used as a workhouse. The endowment now consists of 3 cottages, land and £1 per annum, being the ground rent of the Reading Room. The income, amounting to £24 5s. in 1926, is expended in repairs, etc., and in repaying a loan of £150 borrowed in 1911 under the authority of the Charity Commissioners for the purpose of building one of the above-mentioned cottages.

Town Land. This consists of about 4 acres of land in the parish now let to Mr. G. Darlow at a yearly rent of £10. This sum is received by the churchwardens and applied towards church expenses.

Robert Langley by will dated 14 August 1556 charged his pasture ground lying in the delphs in the Isle of Ely with a payment of 25s. a year. This rentcharge is regularly paid by Mr. A. E. Wright in respect of land belonging to him at Haddenham. Of this sum £1 is distributed to the poor of the parish and 5s. to the bellringers.


  • 1. Cal. Pat. 1321–4, p. 14.
  • 2. Complete Peerage (new ed.) i, 210 n.
  • 3. Archd. of Hunts (Liber A, Beds. Co. Mun. A, B, C 11) fol. 93.
  • 4. Norris, Hemingford Grey, p. 49.
  • 5. Anct. D. (P.R.O.) A 1194–5.
  • 6. Cartul. Mon. de Rames. (Rolls Ser.) ii, 331.
  • 7. Pat. R. 1 Chas. I, pt. 3, no. 2.
  • 8. Chron. Abb. de Rames. (Rolls Ser.) 152–3.
  • 9. V.C.H. Hunts. i, 352, 354.
  • 10. Select Pleas, Manorial Cts. (Selden Soc.) ii, 57–84; Ault, Ct. R. of Ramsey, pp. 7–77.
  • 11. Chan. Inq. p.m. 12 Ric. II, no. 23.
  • 12. V.C.H. Hunts. i, 353.
  • 13. Plac. de Quo Warr. (Rec. Com.) 301.
  • 14. Add. Ch. 28325, 28337.
  • 15. Plac. de Quo Warr. loc. cit.
  • 16. Cal. Cur. Reg. ii, 252.
  • 17. Cal. Feet of F. Hunts. (Camb. Antiq. Soc.) 5, 8; Bk. of Fees, i, 333.
  • 18. Bk. of Fees, 921.
  • 19. V.C.H. Beds. iii, 104; Maitland, Bracton's Note Bk. no. 246.
  • 20. V.C.H. loc. cit.; The Complete Peerage (2nd ed.) vol. vi, pp. 171, 172.
  • 21. Cal. Pat. 1225–32, p. 412.
  • 22. Feet of F. Div. Cos. case 283, file 14, no. 318.
  • 23. Plac. de Quo Warr. (Rec. Com.) 301.
  • 24. Chan. Inq. p.m. 1 Edw. II, no. 54.
  • 25. Cal. Close, 1323–7, pp. 76–7.
  • 26. Ibid. 398–400.
  • 27. Chan. Inq. p.m. 27 Edw. III, no. 58; 12 Ric. II, no. 23.
  • 28. Complete Peerage (new ed.), vi, 156.
  • 29. Early Chan. Proc. bdle. 512, nos. 31, 32, 51, 54. See also L. and P. Hen. VIII, vol. iv (pt. i), no. 977, 1309.
  • 30. Excheq. Inq. p.m. lxiii, 3.
  • 31. Pat. R. 2 Hen. VIII, pt. 1; L. and P. Hen. VIII, i (pt. i), g. 519 (61).
  • 32. Recov. R., Hil. 25 Hen. VIII, ro. 329; Feet of F. Hunts. East. 26 Hen. VIII.
  • 33. L. and P. Hen. VIII, vii, 1542; xii (i) 1263.
  • 34. Ibid. xvii, g. 220 (95); Pat. R. 33 Hen. VIII, pt. 6.
  • 35. Chan. Proc. (Ser. ii) cclxxxi, 16.
  • 36. Pat. R. 16 Eliz. pt. i.
  • 37. Ibid. 3 Jas. I, pt. 16; Complete Peerage.
  • 38. Pat. R. 1 Chas. I, pt. 8, no. 21.
  • 39. Chan. Proc. loc. cit.
  • 40. Feet of F. Hunts. East. 11 Chas. I. John Newman of Hemingford Grey was in 1630–1 fined for not taking up his knighthood (Norris, Hemingford Grey, p. 27).
  • 41. Chan. Proc. (Ser. ii) cccclv, 24.
  • 42. Feet of F. Hunts. Trin. 1 Will. & Mary.
  • 43. Feet of F. Hunts. East. 8 Will. III.
  • 44. M.I. in churchyard.
  • 45. Pat. R. 8 Geo. I, pt. 6, no. 14.
  • 46. Feet of F. Hunts Mich. 7 Anne.
  • 47. Pat. R. 8 Geo. I, pt. 6, no. 14.
  • 48. Recov, R.Hil. 38 Geo. III, ro., 343.
  • 49. Inclosure Award. Local and Pers. Acts, 41 Geo. III, cap. 33.
  • 50. Walford, County Fam.
  • 51. V.C.H. Hunts. i, 350.
  • 52. Bk. of Fees, p. 923.
  • 53. Cal. Feet of F. Hunts. (Camb. Antiq. Soc.) p. 30.
  • 54. Chan. Inq. p.m. 46 Hen. III, no. 6; 8 Edw. II, no. 68; 46 Edw. III, no. 62; 10 Ric. II, no. 38; 22 Ric. II, no. 46; 4 Hen. IV, no. 41; 38 & 39 Hen. VI, no. 59. It may be assumed that 13 messuages, 10 virgates of land, etc., and 1/6 of a mill in Hemingford and Gilling, which Geoffrey de Suthorp and his wife Roesia conveyed to Reginald de Grey in 1277–8 formed part of this fee: Cal. Feet of F. Hunts. (Cambs. Antiq. Soc.) 39.
  • 55. Cal. Close, 1234–7, pp. 195, 343.
  • 56. Cal. Feet of F. Hunts. (Cambs. Antiq. Soc.) 16.
  • 57. Ibid. 39.
  • 58. Rot. Hund. (Rec. Com.) ii, 679.
  • 59. Plac. de Quo Warr. (Rec. Com.) 301.
  • 60. Cal. Cur. Reg. R. ii, 194; iii, 225, 284.
  • 61. Ibid. 265.
  • 62. Cal. Feet of F. Hunts. 6.
  • 63. Ibid. 10.
  • 64. Abbrev. Plac. (Rec. Com.) 320.
  • 65. Cal. Close, 1313–18, p. 244; Cal. Fine R. 1307–19, pp. 269, 271.
  • 66. Cal. Feet of F. Hunts. (Cambs. Antiq. Soc.) 58.
  • 67. V.C.H. Hunts. i, 352.
  • 68. Rot. Hund. (Rec. Com.) ii, 601.
  • 69. Cambs. and Hunts. Arch. Soc. Trans. iii, 223.
  • 70. Rot. Parl. (Rec. Com.) ii, 371.
  • 71. Chan. Proc. (Ser. ii) vi, 56. Another suit, George Phyton and his wife Mary (daughter of George Coleshill) v. Henry Perry and Richard Price, was also brought in connection with this case (Cal. Chan. Proc. r. Eliz. (Rec. Com.) ii, 332).
  • 72. Pat. R. 8 Jas. pt. 33.
  • 73. Chan. Proc. (Ser. ii) cccx (19).
  • 74. Feet of F. Hunts. Mich. 7 Chas. I.
  • 75. Ibid. Mich. 10 Will. III: with appurtenances in Hemingford Grey, Yelling, and Fenstanton.
  • 76. Ibid. Mich. 6 Anne.
  • 77. Feet of F. Hunts. Trin. 1 Anne: with appurtenances in Hemingford Grey, Holywell, and Needingworth.
  • 78. Rot. Hund. (Rec. Com.) ii, 601.
  • 79. a Besides the high altar, there were altars of the Blessed Virgin, St. Nicholas and St. Katherine and a Sepulchre light (Wills, Archd. Hunt. Reg. i, 159; iii, 32; vii, 8, 43).
  • 80. The spelling of the inscriptions is as is here given.
  • 81. Dugdale, Mon. Angl. vi, 79.
  • 82. Ibid. 80.
  • 83. Rot. Hug. de Welles (Cant. & York Soc.) i, 189.
  • 84. Pope Nich. Tax. (Rec. Com.) 36b.
  • 85. Valor Eccles. (Rec. Com.) iv, 253.
  • 86. Pat. R. 9 Eliz. pt. 7; 29 Eliz. pt. 2.
  • 87. Ibid. 42 Eliz. pt. 9.
  • 88. Close R. 1651, pt. 63, no. 28.
  • 89. Loc. and Pers. Act. 41 Geo. III, c. 33.
  • 90. Cambs. and Hunts. Arch. Soc. Trans. iii, 120–1.
  • 91. Presented 1674, 1700, 1724, 1744, Instit. Bks. P.R.O.; patrons 1801 (Inclosure Act).
  • 92. Instit. Bks. P.R.O. 1687.
  • 93. Cambs. and Hunts. Arch. Soc. Trans. iii, 120–1.
  • 94. Cal. Pat. 1321–4, p. 14.