Parishes: Leighton Bromswold

A History of the County of Huntingdon: Volume 3. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1936.

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'Parishes: Leighton Bromswold', A History of the County of Huntingdon: Volume 3, (London, 1936), pp. 86-92. British History Online [accessed 24 June 2024].

. "Parishes: Leighton Bromswold", in A History of the County of Huntingdon: Volume 3, (London, 1936) 86-92. British History Online, accessed June 24, 2024,

. "Parishes: Leighton Bromswold", A History of the County of Huntingdon: Volume 3, (London, 1936). 86-92. British History Online. Web. 24 June 2024,

In this section


Lecton (xi cent.); Leghton, Leghton upon Brouneswold (Brunneswold) (xiv cent.).

The parish of Leighton Bromswold contains 3,128 acres, about half of which is arable and half grass land. Salome Wood is a fairly large plantation in the north of the parish, and there are one or two coppices. The soil is heavy and the subsoil is Oxford Clay. The land is undulating and is watered by two brooks, the one flowing from the west through the north and middle part of the parish; and the other, the Ellington Brook, flowing eastward through the southern part of the parish, forms the boundary for short distances. Between these brooks is a high ridge of land known as the Bromswold. On this ridge and also northward of the northern brook the land rises to rather over 200 ft. above the Ordnance datum and from the ridge it falls about 100 ft. to the southern brook and about 70 ft. to the northern. The population is chiefly engaged in agriculture.

The village is on the ridge between the two brooks and contains some 17th-century timber-framed and plastered houses. The village street lies along the road to Old Weston, with Sheep Street branching off to the north-east to Duck End, and Leighton Hill to the south. The church stands at the south-east end of the village, with the Manor Farm, formerly called Church Farm, to the west.

South-east of the church is the site of the Prebendal Manor House. We may assume that the Prebendary of Leighton Manor always had a good manor house upon his estate, and it would seem that Henry Carnbull (1478–1506) rebuilt this house. Leland says: 'One Carneballe, prebendary there, dyd builde a peace of a praty House standinge within a Mote.' Gilbert Smith (1506–1548), the next prebendary, had a school there and later sold the manor, no doubt by a forced sale, to Sir Robert Tyrwhitt, and the Prebend of Leighton Manor then ceased to exist. This house probably stood somewhat south-east of the present Gatehouse; and in it Sir Robert Tyrwhitt and his successors, Sir Henry D'Arcy and Sir Gervase Clifton, lived. Sir Gervase Clifton (1591–1618) began to build a new house from the designs of John Thorpe. He probably altered the moat and formed the banks with terrace walks and bastion corners inside it, and in 1616 he built a new Gatehouse within an extension of the moat at the north-west side of the site. Whether he built any part of his new house is uncertain; some wrought stones were found in the west garden and in the moat in 1904, but it is very doubtful whether he actually built anything. Thomas Norton's map (c. 1660) shows a very fine house standing in the centre of the moated inclosure, but the sketches on old maps are generally only imaginative pictures, and this is no proof of the size or appearance of the house. Eighty years ago it was asserted that the house was still standing in 1750, and that people only recently dead could remember it and said that it was a red brick house with stone dressings; but it is probable that this was the old Prebendal house left standing while the new house was being built. John Thorpe's plan for the House and Gatehouse still remains in the Thorpe collection in Sir John Soane's Museum. It shows an entrance porch on the west, a great hall in the middle with open roof, screens and dais, and behind the hall a large room having the long gallery with three bay windows facing east above it. Northward of the hall was the great chamber on the first floor, and a great staircase at the north-west corner, projecting north from which was the chapel. Westward of the hall were kitchen, larders, etc., with a bakehouse projecting northward to correspond with the chapel. On the west side of the house was an inclosed courtyard with the Gatehouse on the western side.

Plan of Leighton Bromswold Gatehouse

The Gatehouse, which still remains, but converted into a Vicarage house in 1904, consisted of a central carriage way with a large arch at each end, and a room on each side of it; at the four angles were small square projecting turrets, those on the east containing staircases. The side rooms had a floor above them, and the whole was then covered by a flat lead roof, the angle turrets being carried up each with a small upper room and covered with pyramidal tiled roofs. At some period, probably soon after it was built, the rooms on each side of the carriage way were enlarged by extending them to the northern and southern faces respectively of the angle turrets—the foundations of the older walls and the beams in the floors above being found in 1904. The great arches were closed in and a floor was inserted across the carriage way. A large oven was built against the south-east turret. Some of the old walls were very rotten and had been much cut into to form doorways and other openings, while many of the windows had been blocked up. The arches of the carriage way are of stone with a frieze and cornice above them and flanked by Doric columns supporting ornamental pilasters once surmounted by stone crests. Parts of an open balustrading of the flat roof still remain on the west side. The windows in the four turrets are square-headed twolight windows with transoms; two or three other similar windows, but without transoms, remain, but most of the other windows were insertions of late date. The external appearance of the house has been little altered by the works of 1904; a low porch has been built across between the turrets of the west front, and a shallow bay window has been inserted in the great arch on the east front: on the north and south the rebuilt walls between the turrets have been taken down, and the central part of the house has been projected slightly in advance of the turrets on these sides. The Gatehouse had no ancient fireplaces, and only four modern ones; the two larger stone chimneypieces now in the house came from Stow Longa Manor House, which had recently been pulled down. The staircases were quite modern and of mean design; the turned balusters of the present staircase came from Stow Longa Manor House. A finely carved oak beam, now over the bay window of the middle room, was found in the house. Much of the old stone found on the site was used for the new work.

The village is about four and a half miles north-east from Kimbolton station on the Kettering and Cambridge branch of the London Midland and Scottish Railway.

In 1289 Reymund de Solerettis, a merchant of Figeac, while passing 'with his harness and men, between the Ascension and Whitsuntide,' was attacked and robbed by Vincent of London and Hugh 'whose surname the jurors know not.' (fn. 1) The merchant came in a dazed state to Coppingford and Upton and raised the hue and cry about midday, and 'the men of those towns followed the evildoers to Albrichelee [Aversley] wood whither he stated they had fled, but could not find them . . . because it was so dark that it was almost impossible to see.' Afterwards, however, the robbers were taken, and hanged at Lincoln. (fn. 2)

Nicholas Grimald or Grimbald (1519–62), the poet, is supposed to have been born in the parish.

William, treasurer of King John, in 1211 obtained a charter for a fair to be held on the feast of the Invention of the Holy Cross (3 May). (fn. 3) There were later two fairs, one on May Day and the other on 24 September. (fn. 4)

The following place-names occur in local records: Churchestreete, Plowewright's (xv cent.); (fn. 5) Knolle Hill, Bury lease, Sallam green (xvi cent.). (fn. 6)

An Inclosure Award was made in 1765–6 (6 Geo. III) and a Tythe Award in 1851.


The manor of LEIGHTON BROMSWOLD, which contained land for 19½ ploughs, belonged to Turchil the Dane in the time of Edward the Confessor; and presumably passed, like Conington (q.v.) and Sawtry, to his successor Earl Waltheof, and Judith his wife. (fn. 7) Waltheof (d. 1076) granted it to the cathedral church of St. Mary of Lincoln (founded in 1072), and this gift was confirmed by William I. (fn. 8) There were then 30 acres of meadow and 10 acres of underwood belonging to the manor. The demesne of the Bishop of Lincoln was worth £20, and 3 hides less one virgate of the land were held of him by three knights, the joint value of their holdings being 60s. (fn. 9)

Bishopric of Lincoln. Gules two leopards or and a chief azure with the Virgin and Child or therein.

It is said that Remigius, the first Bishop of Lincoln (1072–92), divided the estates of the church of Lincoln into prebends. Out of Leighton he formed two prebends; the one which became known as 'Leighton Manor' consisted of the manor of Leighton Bromswold, and the other, called 'Leighton Ecclesia,' comprised the rectory and advowson. (fn. 10) The manor of Leighton Bromswold was held by the prebendary of Leighton Manor until 1548. (fn. 11)

In 1230 the prebendal manor of Leighton Bromswold was held by William, Archdeacon of Wells and Canon of Lincoln, who in that year brought several actions to recover land in Leighton against William Terry, William the Baker, William de Salue and Richard, son of Agnes, alleging that Alean, his predecessor, had been seised of it in demesne in the reign of Henry II. (fn. 12) Probably the deforciants were representatives of Alean's feoffees, and their holdings may even have been those of the knights mentioned in Domesday Book; at any rate, they seem to have established their right to hold of the archdeacon as of his prebend. In 1231 William the Baker, whom Stephen Carpenter and Clarice his wife had vouched to warranty, acknowledged the right of the archdeacon to a quarter and three parts of a virgate, in return for which the archdeacon granted him the premises for life at a yearly rent of 6s., with reversion to the prebend. (fn. 13) William Terry and William de Salue, however, seem to have refused to agree to have their inheritance merged in the demesne.

During the second half of the 14th century the township of Leighton, like other parts of England, seems to have been in a disturbed state, for in 1356 Richard Buckeden of Leighton received a pardon of outlawry for his neglect to answer an indictment under the Statute of Labourers. It appears that he and others had come by night and broken 'the stocks which had been made by the King's mandate for the safe-keeping of delinquents against the statute, and that they threw them into a grave.' (fn. 14) In 1385, too, the bond men and bond tenants of the prebendary of Leighton withdrew their services and leagued themselves by oath to resist him. (fn. 15) It was, moreover, a Leighton man, John Veyse, who dared in 1406 to appeal the Abbot of Ramsey of treason; but he was hanged at Huntingdon on the abbot's acquittal. (fn. 16)

The manor remained in the hands of the prebendaries until 1548, (fn. 17) when it was conveyed by the prebendary, Gilbert Smyth, to Sir Robert Tyrwhitt the younger and his wife Elizabeth. (fn. 18) The manor remained in the possession of the Tyrwhitts and passed by the marriage of their daughter and heir Katherine to Sir Henry D'Arcy, who dealt with it by fine in 1569 and 1580. (fn. 19)

Cornwallis. Sable sprinkled with drops argent and a fesse argent with three choughs thereon

In 1591 it was settled on Katherine, daughter and heir of Sir Henry D'Arcy, on her marriage with Sir Gervase Clifton, (fn. 20) who was created Baron Clifton of Leighton Bromswold in 1608, and died in October 1618, his wife having died before him. (fn. 21) The manor had been settled in 1613 on their daughter Katherine (after her father's death suo jure Lady Clifton of Leighton Bromswold) on her marriage to Esme, Lord Aubigny, afterwards Baron Stuart of Leighton Bromswold and Earl of March, (fn. 22) who succeeded his brother in the Dukedom of Lennox in 1624, a few months before his own death. (fn. 23) Katherine survived him until 1637, when the manor passed to her son James, Duke of Lennox and Richmond, who died in 1655 and was succeeded by his son, Esme. (fn. 24) On the death of Esme as a child in 1660, Leighton Bromswold was inherited by his sister Mary, (fn. 25) who married Richard Butler, Earl of Arran, and died without issue in 1667. The Earl of Arran, having purchased the estate, settled it on Charlotte, his daughter by his second wife. (fn. 26) In 1700, when Charlotte married Charles, Lord Cornwallis, a fresh settlement was made of the manor, (fn. 27) which subsequently followed the descent of the Barony and, after 1753, the Earldom of Cornwallis. (fn. 28) In 1763 Charles, Earl Cornwallis, who was afterwards twice Governor-General of Bengal, and was created Marquess Cornwallis in 1792, was vouchee in a recovery. (fn. 29) The manor was apparently sold in 1786 and in 1789 was acquired by Lord Porchester and Thomas and Richard Brandon, and the Brandons presented to the church in 1790. (fn. 30) The estate was, it would seem, bought by the trustees of John Norris in 1793, and on the death of John Norris, presumably his son, in 1853 it was put up for auction and purchased by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, who still hold it.

A mill rendering 3s. is mentioned among the appurtenances of the manor in Domesday Book; (fn. 31) and references to the lord's windmill occur in 1247 (fn. 32) and 1444. (fn. 33) There is no mill now in the township.

Ten acres of underwood are mentioned as belonging to the manor in 1086. (fn. 34) At a later date Henry II is said to have afforested a grove at Saleue, to the great damage of the lord of Leighton; (fn. 35) and it was accordingly disafforested by Edward I after the perambulation of 1301. (fn. 36) In 1356 we hear that John, son of Thomas under the Hull, had been killed at a wrestling match in Salome Wood in 1335. (fn. 37) In 1364, however, John de Newenham, prebendary of Leighton, obtained from Edward III a grant of free warren in his demesne lands and licence to inclose Salome Wood, with the pasture adjoining, in order to make a park. (fn. 38) The prebendary complained in 1367 that William Payn and others had broken his closes and entered his free warren. (fn. 39)

Further inclosures were made during the 15th and 16th centuries, but these appear to have been made for the purpose of increasing the pasture land rather than enlarging the park. Henry Carnbull, prebendary in 1500, inclosed the pastures of Leighton Bromswold; and several of the tenants afterwards inclosed the crofts belonging to their tenements, though 'it was not denied that Tyrrwhyt had common at certain times of the year' in those crofts. (fn. 40) Tyrwhitt himself inclosed Salome field; but this was 'dysclosed and laid open and the field converted from pasture to tillage as of old' with his consent. At an inquiry before the Court of Requests in 1553 Philip Gill related how he with the vicar and another tenant had gone to Tyrwhitt as a deputation from the tenants to ask that a right of way might be excepted from the inclosure of Salome field for their cattle to reach Salome Green, and how Sir Robert declared that 'if any of the tenants were not satisfied with the inclosure . . . or that Knole Hill and Sallam Layse, which he had appointed in recompense for the common . . . was not sufficient recompense, he wuld hymself as he was true Christyan man and Knyght helpe to plucke up withe his owen hands thenclosure.' Apparently no objections to his proceeding were raised at that time, but he seems to have compensated the freeholders at the expense of certain copyholders, and this led to the difficulties which ended almost immediately in the 'dysclosure' of Salome field. (fn. 41)

The meadows around the site of Sir Gervase Clifton's Manor House still bear names which would indicate the former existence of a park here, such as the Vicarage Park (now glebe), the Great Park and Upper and Nether Park.

The district known as SALOME (Salne xiii cent.; Salene or Saleue, Salewe, xiv cent.; Salom, xv cent.) (fn. 42) included a wider area in the middle ages than the wood which now preserves the name. In 1230 William de Salue held of the prebend one and a half virgates of land in Salome and nearly half a virgate in Leighton, which William, Archdeacon of Wells, claimed as part of the demesne. (fn. 43) This William de Salue may perhaps be identified with the William, son of Roger de Salue, who held of Nicholas de Emberton in Great Gidding (q.v.). His kinship with Robert de Sales, whom the Archdeacon of Wells had claimed in 1229 as his native, (fn. 44) and with John de Sale or Salue who married Geva, the daughter and co-heir of Alice de Stilton, (fn. 45) is not clear. His family, however, continued to hold land both in Gidding and Leighton for over 200 years. Both John Salom the elder and the younger are mentioned at Gidding in 1443; (fn. 46) and one of them occurs at Leighton Bromswold in the following year. (fn. 47) The last reference to the family that has been found in local records is that to John Salom, who was a juror at the court of Gidding in 1486. (fn. 48)

A larger holding than that of William de Salue in 1230 was that of William Terry, who was concerned in a like lawsuit with William, Archdeacon of Wells, about two and a half virgates in Leighton. (fn. 49) He was apparently succeeded by Walter Terry, who held one hide of land there in 1253. (fn. 50) Walter granted it to Thomas Terry, who promised in return to maintain an inn (hospicium) for Walter in Leighton and to render a yearly rent of 2 marks, 7 quarters of wheat, and 7 quarters of barley, during Walter's lifetime. (fn. 51) The descent of the holding after this date is obscure, the evidence being insufficient to warrant its identification with the large freehold held in the 14th century by the Lorde family or any other in Leighton.

The freehold known in the 16th century as LORDES MANOR may probably be identified with the land held in 1378 by John Lord, (fn. 52) whose name first occurs in 1338. (fn. 53) In that year John le Lord received a pardon for the death of Robert le Clerk of Leighton, as it appeared that he had killed him in self-defence. This John was probably of an earlier generation and may have been the father of the John Lord who held in the reign of Richard II. In 1378 a rent of 6s. 2d. and 2 capons receivable from the tenement of Walter Julian was granted to John Stukeley and others by John Lord, who at the same time settled his land in Leighton. (fn. 54) In 1381 he granted to John de Herlyngton a rent of 30s. in Leighton, together with the service due from Thomas Cornwaille and his heirs for the tenement which John Lord had previously held. (fn. 55) The family continued to hold under the manor for at least sixty years; another John Lord is referred to at Leighton in 1444. (fn. 56) The last of the name to whom reference has been found, Henry Lorde, died on 19 April 1534, when his reputed manor in Leighton is described as being held of Thomas Wingfield as of his manor of Kimbolton. (fn. 57) His heir was said to be Richard Parell, the son of his sister Magdalen, aged eight; (fn. 58) but in 1548 Thomas Perell, the son of Henry's sister Maud, was found to be the heir (fn. 59) —probably Richard had died. The history of the freehold after this date has not been traced.


The church of ST. MARY consists of a chancel (46¾ ft. by 20¼ ft.), nave (58¼ ft. by 24 ft.), north transept (18¼ ft. by 20¼ ft.), south transept (17½ ft. by 20¼ ft.), west tower (15 ft. by 14 ft.) and north and south porches. The walls are of coursed rubble with stone dressings, except the tower, which is faced with ashlar, and the roofs are covered with tiles and lead.

Plan of Leighton Bromswold Church

The church is not mentioned in the Domesday Survey (1086). A chancel and an aisled nave were built about 1250, but this chancel was apparently rebuilt about 1310, and large transepts were added to the nave some forty years later. Probably the aisles were partly rebuilt and new windows inserted in them, and perhaps a clearstory added to the nave towards the end of the 15th century. At the beginning of the 17th century the church was in a ruinous condition, and apparently about 1606 a rebuilding was commenced; the south arcade and aisle were pulled down and the south wall of an aisleless nave and south porch built. The work, however, was stopped for lack of funds, and for twenty years the church was 'so decayed, so little, and so useless, that the parishioners could not meet to perform their duty to God in public prayer and praises.' (fn. 60) The nave was, of course, roofless, and it is said that the Duke of Lennox's barn was used for divine service. Shortly after 1626 the Rev. George Herbert completed the work by pulling down the north arcade and aisle and building the north wall of the new aisleless nave and the north porch; he re-roofed the whole church and put in the pulpit, reading desk, dwarf screen and seating. The west tower was built by the Duke of Lennox in 1634. (fn. 61) The church was restored in 1870.

The 14th-century chancel has a four-light east window with original jambs, but a late 15th-century depressed four-centred head; on the north side of it a 13th-century capital (now mutilated) has been built in as a bracket. The north wall has two original three-light windows with intersecting tracery in a two-centred head; a late 15th-century three-light window with a depressed four-centred head; and a 13th-century locker with trefoiled head and stone shelf. The south wall has three windows similar to those on the north; a small late 15th-century doorway; a blocked original doorway, only visible inside; a blocked low-side window; a reset 13th-century double piscina having one whole and two half semicircular intersecting arches with interpenetrating mouldings, carried on a central shaft and two detached jamb-shafts with moulded capitals and bases. The 13th-century chancel arch is two-centred, of two chamfered orders, the lower order resting on triple attached corbel-shafts with moulded capitals and modern corbels. The roof is modern, but the moulded principals of 1626 remain. The weathering of the earlier roof remains above the chancel arch.

The nave has, on each side of the chancel arch, the 13th-century respond column of the former arcades; they are semicircular with moulded capitals and bases. The 17th-century north wall has a reset late 15thcentury three-light window; a reset 14th-century archway to the porch, of two chamfered orders (probably the old arch between the aisle and transept re-used), the lower order resting on mutilated corbels, reset and altered in the 17th century; and a slight recess close to the west end, as for the inner splay of a window. The 17th-century south wall has features similar to those of the north wall. Both walls have splayed plinths, but those on the south appear to be of rather coarse workmanship and do not extend round the porch, while those on the north are finely wrought and are carried along the east and west walls of the porch.

The 14th-century north transept has a four-light east window with reticulated tracery in a two-centred head. The north wall has a late 15th-century threelight window with a depressed four-centred head. The west wall has, near its northern end, a blocked late 14th-century doorway; and at the southern end the weather stones of the early aisle roof remain.

The 14th-century south transept is similar to the north except that it has no doorway in the west wall. In the east wall is a rectangular shelf-bracket ornamented with ball-flowers and supported on a carved head. The south wall has a trefoiled-headed piscina and a rectangular locker.

The roofs of the nave and transepts are all of 1626, and have moulded beams, jack-legs with moulded pendants and panelled braces.

In the north transept are some 17th-century red and yellow glazed flooring tiles.

The 17th-century west tower is of Renaissance character; it has a two-centred tower arch of two moulded orders resting on square responds with moulded imposts. The west doorway has a semicircular arch with keystone, and above it is a plain rectangular tablet; above this is a window of two round-headed lights. In the stage above is a rectangular window surrounded by a simple architrave. The belfry windows are coupled round-headed lights. The tower has clasping buttresses carried up above the parapet and terminating in large obelisk-shaped pinnacles finished with balls. The tower itself has a modillioned cornice, an embattled parapet, and a flat lead roof. The stairs are at the south-west corner.

The 17th-century north porch has a mid 13thcentury north doorway, perhaps the old door of the former aisle in situ; it has a two-centred head of three orders, the two outer orders springing from detached jamb-shafts with moulded capitals and bases and the inner order continuous. The porch has no buttresses, but the plinth of the nave is continued along its east and west walls.

The 17th-century south porch has a mid 13thcentury south doorway, almost certainly rebuilt, as it does not seem to be quite on the line of the former aisle wall; it has a two-centred arch of three moulded orders enriched with the dog-tooth ornament, and resting on four detached jamb-shafts on each side, having moulded capitals and bases. The east wall has a plain square-headed 17th-century window. The porch has buttresses square at the angles, probably largely of 13th-century material re-used.

The font is made up of two 13th-century circular moulded capitals and a piece of circular shaft. The cover is largely modern, but has a 17th-century ball on the top.

There are five bells, inscribed: (1) + I.H.S. Nazarenvs rex Judeorvm fili Dei miserere mei + George Woolf Vicar I: Michell: C: W: W: N. 1720; (2) ABCDE FGHIKL MNOPQR. Thomas Norris made me 1641; (3) and (4) same as (2); (5) Esme Catherina. In 1552 there were four bells and a sanctus bell. (fn. 62) The bells were rehung, in a new frame, in 1902.

The dwarf screen under the chancel arch, and practically all the seating throughout the church, is of 1626, and has simple oak framing with some turned balusters and knobs; a modern screen in the south transept is made up of similar old material. A curved screen in the north-west angle of the tower is made up of old panelling.

The pulpit and reading desk, both with sounding boards, and also the Communion table, are of similar character. The modern lectern (1903) incorporates some oak balusters and knobs from the staircase of Stow Longa Manor House. There are two chairs in the chancel of c. 1700; a 16th-century chest in the south transept; and the north and south doors with their frames are of 1626.

On the tower floor is the matrix of a 15th-century brass with figure of a man and inscription plate.

In the north transept is an alabaster altar-tomb with mutilated effigies of Sir Robert Tyrwhitt, d. 1572, and Elizabeth (Oxenbridge), his wife, d. 1578. The sides are divided into panels with figures of a daughter and two infants, and shields of arms (1) Quarterly 1 and 4, three peewits; 2 and 3, a chief indented; (2) a lion rampant, within a bordure; and (3) the two coats impaled. Also in the north transept a mutilated alabaster effigy of Katherine, daughter of Sir John and Elizabeth, and wife of Sir Henry D'Arcy, d. 1567. Lying loose, close to these monuments, is a broken stone crest.

There are two lead rain-water pipes on each side of the chancel with elaborately shaped heads and decorated with crests, etc., one of them dated 1632; on the north transept two somewhat plainer pipes and heads, dated 1634; on the south transept two others, similar, but not dated.

There are the following monuments: in the chancel, to the Rev. Thomas Ladds, vicar, d. 1899; in the nave, to Ernest Cook, d. 1917, Wilfred Barwell, d. 1918; Lewis Robert Jellis, d. 1933; in the south transept, to Hugh Brawn, d. 1917; in the tower, floor slab to William Chapman, d. 1687.

The registers are as follows: (i) baptisms, marriages and burials, 4 November 1653 to 27 June 1716; (ii) the same 29 June 1716 to 12 December 1813, with exceptions as (v) and (vi) below, marriages end 9 April 1753; (iii) marriages 7 April 1755 to 2 September 1783; (iv) marriages 14 October 1783 to 18 October 1804; (v) baptisms and burials 8 October 1783 to 23 September 1791; (vi) baptisms 5 August 1788, and burials 7 November 1791 to 24 June 1797; (vii) marriages 13 October 1806 to 16 June 1812.

The church plate consists of a large silver cup engraved with the quartered arms of Catherine (Clifton), Duchess of Lennox, in a lozenge, and her crest, a bull's head rising out of a ducal coronet, both repeated twice, hall-marked for 1627–8; a silver cover paten for the same, engraved with the same crest, no date-letter; a silver flagon, inscribed 'Leighton Bromswold Church 1878,' hall-marked for 1878–9.


The church of Leighton Bromswold with the rectory and advowson passed with the prebend of 'Leighton Ecclesia' in Lincoln Cathedral from the time, it is said, of Bishop Remigius (fn. 63) (d. 1092) until 1839.

A vicarage was constituted about 1249, the vicar receiving all oblations, obventions, tithes of lambs, wool, cheese and milk, and fruits, the tithe of the lord's windmill and a year's hay for one palfrey, with the lesser tithes pertaining both to the church and the chapel at Salome (Salu') except herbage, pasture and pannage of the wood. Robert de Maperton, who was presented and admitted in that year, had permission to have fellow chaplains to serve the cure. (fn. 64) The prebend of Leighton Manor was valued at £46 13s. 4d. and the prebend of Leighton [Ecclesia] at £35 6s. 8d. and the vicarage at £4 13s. 4d. for Pope Nicholas's taxation in 1291. (fn. 65) The prebendal church was valued at 53 marks and the vicarage at 7 marks in 1428, the sum raised for the subsidy being £4. (fn. 66) In 1553 the prebend of Leighton Ecclesia was valued at £18 gross and £13 14s. net; (fn. 67) the prebend of Leighton Manor at £68 19s. 2d. gross and £57 15s. 1d. net; the vicarage at £7 and the chantry at £5 6s. 8d. (fn. 68)

The prebendaries of Leighton Ecclesia were in the habit of leasing the advowson, and consequently the right of patronage was frequently exercised by the owners of the manor and others as lessees. In this way it was held by the Tyrwhitts, Sir Gervase Clifton (fn. 69) and Sir Henry D'Arcy (1580), (fn. 70) Lord Cornwallis (1736), Thomas Brandon and others (1790), John Keysall and John Norris (1802). (fn. 71) In 1839 the patronage passed to the Bishop of Ely.

The chapel of Salen is mentioned in 1248 (fn. 72) and in 1299 the question arose as to its being a sanctuary. (fn. 73) In 1444 the sum of 16s. 8d. was paid 'pro le riggyng and redyng de la chapell, hall and le chaumbre' at Leighton Bromswold. (fn. 74) This is the last reference we have found to the chapel. The site is marked on a map by Thomas Norton (c. 1660) (fn. 75) as a square inclosure at the north-west corner of Elecampane Close near the south-west angle of Salome Wood. Near it is a spot marked St. Tellin (St. Helen) Well. The inclosure is still represented by a slight mound and ditch, and recent excavations by Dr. Garrood have disclosed the foundations of the chapel, tiles, glazed pottery, fragments of medieval painted glass, and a coin of Gaucher de Porcein (1314–1329); while a damp depression in the ground near by may represent the well.

There was a chantry at Leighton Bromswold apparently in the church, which was founded by Master Gilbert Smith, Archdeacon of Northampton, and endowed with a pension payable by the Priory of St. Andrew in Northampton. (fn. 76)

There are no charities for this parish.


  • 1. Cal. Inq. Misc. i, no. 1487.
  • 2. Ibid.
  • 3. Rot. Chart. John (Rec. Com.), 183; Browne Willis, Surv. of Cathed. (Lincoln), ii, 208.
  • 4. Lansd. MS. 921, p. 40.
  • 5. Mins. Accts. (Gen. Ser.), bdle. 880, no. 22.
  • 6. Ct. of Req. bdle. 20, no. 136.
  • 7. V.C.H. Hunts, i, 327.
  • 8. Ibid.
  • 9. V.C.H. Hunts, i, 341b.
  • 10. Browne Willis, Surv. of Catbed. (Lincoln), ii, pp. 46, 206, 208.
  • 11. See below.
  • 12. Maitland, Bracton's Note Bk. no. 411.
  • 13. Feet of F. Hunts, Trin. 15 Hen. III, no. 80.
  • 14. Cal. Pat. R. 1354–8, p. 356.
  • 15. Ibid. 1385–9, p. 88.
  • 16. Ibid. 1405–8, pp. 227, 481.
  • 17. Ibid. 1301–7, p. 517; 1307–13, p. 225; 1324–27, p. 53; 1367–70, p. 47; 1385– 1389, p. 88; Early Chan. Proc. bdle. 238, no. 13; Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. ii), lxxx, 98. The prebendaries mentioned are: Roger Blund, 1247; John of Caen, 1307; Philip of Barton, 1310; Raymond de Rosilliaco, 1324; John of Newenham, 1364 and 1367; Thomas Southam, 1385; Francis, Cardinal of Bordeaux, 1411; John Bremore, 1412; Henry Carnbull, 1500; Gilbert Smyth, 1528.
  • 18. Cal. Feet of F. Hunts (Camb. Antiq. Soc.), p. 138. For Tyrwhitt pedigree see Lincs Pedigrees (Harl. Soc.), pp. 1019–21.
  • 19. Cal. Feet of F. Hunts (Camb. Antiq. Soc.), pp. 160, 176.
  • 20. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. ii), cccclxxxiii, 83.
  • 21. Complete Peerage (2nd ed.), iii, 308–9; Chan. Inq. p.m. loc. cit.
  • 22. Ibid.
  • 23. Complete Peerage (2nd ed.), iii, p. 309.
  • 24. Ibid. p. 310.
  • 25. Ibid. Charles, their first cousin, by special remainder Duke of Richmond and Lennox, dealt with the manor by fine and recovery in 1661, but this was evidently for the purpose of a settlement (Feet of F. Hunts, Hil. 12 and 13 Chas. II; Recov. R. Hil. 12 and 13 Chas. II, ro. 97).
  • 26. Complete Peerage (2nd ed.), iii, 454.
  • 27. Feet of F. Hunts, Trin. 12 Will. III; Mich. 12 Will. III.
  • 28. Ibid. 4 Geo. I; Recov. R. Mich. 9 Geo. I, ro. 69.
  • 29. Ibid. Trin. 3 Geo. III, ro. 309.
  • 30. Cambs and Hunts Arch. Soc. Trans. iii, p. 139.
  • 31. V.C.H. Hunts, i, 341b.
  • 32. Rot. Rob. Grosseteste (Cant. and York Soc.), 295.
  • 33. Mins. Accts. (Gen. Ser.), bdle. 880, no. 22.
  • 34. V.C.H. loc. cit.
  • 35. Cartul. Mon. de Rames. (Rolls Ser.), ii, 299–307.
  • 36. Ibid.
  • 37. Cal. Inq. x, no. 331.
  • 38. Cal. Chart. R. 1341–1417, p. 188.
  • 39. Cal. Pat. R. 1367–70, p. 47.
  • 40. Ct. of Req. bdle. 20, no. 136.
  • 41. Ibid. Sir Robert's extreme willingness to meet his tenants' wishes suggests that his right to inclose may have been a little doubtful and he did not wish to come into court.
  • 42. Maitland, Bracton's Note Bk. no. 411; Cartul. Mon. de Rames. (Rolls Ser.), 305; Rent, and Surv. (Gen. Ser.), ptf. 8, no. 52.
  • 43. See above.
  • 44. Cal. Close R. 1227–31, p. 226.
  • 45. Feet of F. case 92, file 8, no. 141; file 9, no. 166.
  • 46. Rent. and Surv. (Gen. Ser.), ptf. 8, no. 52.
  • 47. Mins. Accts. (Gen. Ser.), bdle. 880, no. 22.
  • 48. Ct. R. (Gen. Ser.), ptf. 179, no. 73.
  • 49. See above.
  • 50. Feet of F. Hunts, Trin. 37 Hen. III, no. 199.
  • 51. Ibid.
  • 52. Cal. Pat. R. 1377–81, p. 253.
  • 53. Ibid. 1338–40, p. 115.
  • 54. Ibid. 1377–81, p. 253; Pat. R. 1 Ric. II, pt. 6, m. 7 d.
  • 55. Feet of F. case 94, file 31, no. 19.
  • 56. Mins. Accts. (Gen. Ser.), bdle. 880, no. 22.
  • 57. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. ii), lv, 74; xcix, 38.
  • 58. Ibid. lv, 74.
  • 59. Ibid. xcix, 38.
  • 60. Izaak Walton, Life of George Herbert.
  • 61. There appears to be no authority for the date 1634, although it is generally given. The tower was apparently built by James, 4th Duke of Lennox, 1624–55, the names of his father and mother being on the tenor bell.
  • 62. Ex. K.R. Ch. Goods, bdle. 3, no. 5.
  • 63. Browne Willis, Surv. of Catbed. (Lincoln), ii, p. 206.
  • 64. Rot. Rob. Grosseteste (Cant. and York Soc.), 295, 296.
  • 65. Pope Nicb. Tax. (Rec. Com.), 36.
  • 66. Feud. Aids, ii, 482.
  • 67. Valor Eccles. (Rec. Com.), iv, 20.
  • 68. Ibid. iv, 257, 258.
  • 69. Notes by Canon Noble from Doc. at Lincoln.
  • 70. Cal. Feet of F. Hunts (Camb. Antiq. Soc.), p. 176.
  • 71. Inst. Bks. (P.R.O.).
  • 72. Rot. Rob. Grosseteste (Cant. and York Soc.), 295.
  • 73. Linc. Episc. Reg. Bp. Sutton, Memo. fol. 221d.
  • 74. Mins. Accts. (Gen. Ser.), bdle. 880, no. 22.
  • 75. Add. MS. 18030 B.
  • 76. Valor Eccles. (Rec. Com.), iv, 258.