A History of the County of Leicestershire: Volume 5, Gartree Hundred. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1964.
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Lubenham lies two miles west of Market Harborough on the main road to Rugby, and the River Welland forms the southern boundary of both parish and county. Thorpe Lubenham, lying south of the river in the civil parish of Marston Trussell (Northants.), is said to have been formerly partly in Lubenham and partly in Marston Trussell ancient parishes; (fn. 1) it has been reserved for treatment with Marston Trussell. The area of the civil parish of Lubenham is 2,617 a. In 1924 and in 1935 two small parts of the parish were transferred to Market Harborough Urban District, which adjoins to the east. (fn. 2) The land rises from the valley of the Welland to the edge of the Laughton Hills in the north-west corner of the parish, and the soil, which largely derives from alluvium and boulder clay, is devoted to both pasture and arable farming. With regular bus services on the main road, the village is to some extent a suburb of Market Harborough.
The older part of the village, with the parish church and the remains of the manor-house, lies south of the road from Market Harborough to Rugby, towards the river. A triangular piece of land, formerly the village green, which was divided into allotment gardens probably about 1850, lies on the north side of the main road where two minor roads lead northwestwards to Foxton and Laughton. East of the allotment gardens, a narrow strip of land, on which the post office stands, is considered to be part of the green. There are several isolated farm-houses in the parish. Lubenham Lodge, a late-18th-century farmhouse converted into a hunting box in 1932-3, lies in the north-west corner by the side of the Grand Union Canal, constructed in 1808-14. (fn. 3) The construction of the railway from Rugby to Peterborough, opened in 1850 (fn. 4) and following the Welland valley, involved a slight alteration in the course of the river immediately south of Lubenham village. There is a railway station west of the village where the line crosses the main road. It was still open to passenger traffic in 1958. An airfield was built in 1941-2 north of the village, partly in Lubenham and partly in Foxton parish. It was used by the R.A.F. until 1946, when the residential quarters were taken over by the National Assistance Board and later by the Ministry of Housing and Local Government in order to house displaced persons. Polish families were still living there in 1958. The former runways and hangars were converted in 1948 into a vehicle depot for the R.A.O.C. (fn. 5)
The houses of the village, most of which are of red brick, stand on the north side of the village green and on the edges of three ancient inclosures south of the main road. (fn. 6) A largely unaltered timber-framed house formerly stood on the south side of Main Street. (fn. 7) It was of three bays, the central living room having a wide hearth with a lath and plaster hood above it and a staircase beside it. A carved bracket to the main ceiling beam was dated 1668 with initials M. W. C.; there is little doubt that this date applied to the whole framed structure. The upper rooms were originally open to the roof and the roof trusses consisted of curved principal rafters running from the tie beams and crossing at the apex to support a ridge piece. A surviving house of similar date forms part of No. 42 The Green and includes an unoccupied range at the rear of No. 41. This house retains original wattle-and-daub work and two mullioned windows. There is a carved bracket in the living room and a plastered chimney hood. The roof trusses are similar to those of the demolished house described above; the curved principals are easily mistaken for partly concealed crucks and may actually be cruck blades re-used. Church Walk and School Lane contain other small timber-framed houses, and similar cottages in Church Lane and Rushes Lane were demolished in the present century. (fn. 8)
The former manor-house, standing on a moated site south-east of the village, was a brick building of two stories, H-shaped in plan. It was largely demolished about 1774 and only its south wing survives. (fn. 9) The house was probably built in the later 16th century, but both its plan and the fact that it had no attics suggest that it may have been a re-modelled timber-framed structure of medieval date. Before its demolition the central block contained a hall and cross-passage, divided by a 'strong wainscot partition'. The north wing housed the great and small parlours with a great staircase between them. A similar tripartite arrangement can be recognized in the surviving south wing although it now consists of two tenements; here the staircase separated the kitchen from the pantry and dairy. Original beams and a wide hearth remain in the kitchen and there is a four-light window with ovolo-moulded mullions of late-16thcentury type in the west gable. Early in the 18th century the south front of the wing was rebuilt in ironstone and, after the rest of the house had been demolished, additions were made on its north side. Traces of the moat are still visible; its south-west corner was filled in by material from excavations for sewerage works in 1936. (fn. 10)
The appreciable number of freeholders in the village from the 16th century onwards (fn. 11) is reflected in the existence of many medium-sized houses. Most of these were rebuilt or re-modelled in brick in the 18th century. Some have dates picked out in vitrified headers, together with the initials of their owners. The roofing material at this period appears to have been thatch, generally replaced by slate in the 19th century and later. The White House at the corner of School Lane is a 17th-century house, rebuilt in the 18th century but preserving its earlier internal arrangement. A building with a similar history is the former smith's cottage at the east end of the green which retains its thatched roof; the adjoining smithy, now disused, dates from c. 1800. Manor Farm (No. 11 The Green) is a typical medium-sized house of the early 18th century, built of brick with stone dressings. The roof is hipped and the windows, which have heavy glazing-bars and stone key-blocks, are symmetrically placed about a central entrance. The Vicarage (fn. 12) on the north side of the green is an ironstone building of two stories and attics, dating in part from the earlier 17th century. A long wing, forming the east side of the house, is of this period. It retains a central axial chimney, original windows with ovolo-moulded mullions, a wide hearth in the kitchen, and a first-floor stone fire-place with fourcentred head and moulded jambs. The south end of this wing was re-faced in the later 18th century when additions were made to the west, probably on the site of part of the old house. The whole front was remodelled and given a hipped roof and central doorway. The 18th-century block was altered internally and extended northwards in the 19th century. The dining room ceiling has reset carved wooden bosses of c. 1500, perhaps of ecclesiastical origin. A garden door, also reset, is dated 1774 with initials T.B.
The Coach and Horses Inn on the south side of Main Street has a long ironstone front dated 1700 with initials J. S. A. This front is of fine ashlar masonry with mullioned and transomed windows of three and five lights. A large gabled dormer has ornamental kneelers and a central finial. In 1816 the inn had two projecting wings at the back (fn. 13) and the present rear and side walls are apparently of modern brickwork. The only other inn, the 'Paget Arms', dates from about the middle of the 19th century, its forecourt probably designed for use when meets were held in the village. In 1820 an inn called the 'Red Cow' was in existence. (fn. 14) Scattered houses to the north-west of the green are of the early and mid-19th century. The smithy in Rushes Lane dates from c. 1900. At the east end of the village is a large stuccoed house built in the late 19th century by Joshua Perkins, a local manufacturer and grazier. (fn. 15) Formerly his family lived at The Hollies in Main Street where the garden communicated with his manufactory in School Lane. The former factory building was used as an agricultural depot in the Second World War. (fn. 16) It is adjoined by a row of 19th-century workmen's cottages.
On the north side of the churchyard, the Tower House, formerly called Lubenham Cottage, is an 18th-century farm-house in red brick which was much enlarged in the Gothic style to serve as a hunting box. B. J. Angell (fn. 17) probably built the stable block about 1850 and altered the southern façade facing the church, but the inscriptions there, 'J.C. 1771' and 'B.J.A. 1852', were apparently added some time after this rebuilding, perhaps by J. B. Angell who added the western part of the house and the tower at the north-west corner in 1862. The interior contains elaborate woodwork and a painted ceiling, probably of c. 1862. (fn. 18) Residents who used the house primarily for hunting were in 1895-1912 (fn. 19) Henry Trueman Mills, later of West Langton Hall, in 1916 (fn. 20) Lord Ludlow, in 1922 (fn. 21) Capt. John Alexander, and in 1928 (fn. 22) Commander F. J. Alexander. Another 18thcentury house which was later converted into a hunting box is Gore Lodge, or 'The House that Jack built', in School Lane. John Benedict Gore, resident there in 1875, (fn. 23) was doubtless responsible for the alterations and for the quadrangle to the north of the house.
The village hall is a wooden building erected in 1927 through the efforts of a local branch of Women Unionists. (fn. 24) At the west end of the village seven pairs of Council houses were built on the Laughton road in 1919, followed by more pairs on the Foxton road. Council houses erected after the Second World War include two pairs of Swedish timber houses in Westgate Lane and brick houses in Paget Road and School Lane.
The original house on the site of Papillon Hall, which stood on a hillock near the western boundary of the parish, was built about 1620 by David Papillon (1581-1661), a French Huguenot architect and military engineer. (fn. 25) It was a two-storied stone house, octagonal in plan, with a cross-shaped slated roof, and surrounded by a moat. (fn. 26) In 1670 George Papillon (d. 1684) was still living in Lubenham although the family had moved to Kent. (fn. 27) During the 18th century Papillon Hall was occupied by graziers and later as a hunting box. John Jordan, a grazier, perhaps one of the Jordans of Gumley, was living there in 1761. (fn. 28) In 1798 it belonged to Charles Bosworth of Brampton (Northants.). (fn. 29) Mary, widow of George Bosworth (d. 1830), married John Breedon who let the hall to a grazier, Thomas Marriott, but she was living there herself in 1863. (fn. 30) C. W. Walker of Burwash (Suss.) in 1892 and A. C. Isham (d. 1897) in 1895 were residents at the hall, probably for hunting. (fn. 31) In 1901 Mrs. Emma Bellville of Stoughton Grange gave the house to her son Frank A. Bellville (d. 1937). (fn. 32) Sir Edwin Lutyens was employed in 1903 to rebuild the house. He incorporated the old building in his design and laid out the ground-plan in the shape of a butterfly. (fn. 33) The house was requisitioned during the Second World War and Mr. Rupert Bellville could find no purchaser after 1945. It was therefore demolished in 1951, (fn. 34) but some of the outhouses were converted into a small farm.
The earthwork east of the village, which has been called Lubenham Camp, has not been satisfactorily explained. It consists of a rectangular enclosure between the main road and the river and adjoins the former moated site of the manor-house. (fn. 35) It has been at various times wrongly described as a Roman camp. (fn. 36) A section made through the mound alongside the river, which had been called the southern rampart, has demonstrated that it originated from the dredging of a new cut of the river, probably in the early 17th century. (fn. 37) The remainder of the enclosure may have been medieval and associated with the manor-house.
In 1086 Lubenham was a fairly large village, with a recorded population of 45. (fn. 38) In the poll tax returns of 1381 138 persons were listed. (fn. 39) In 1563 the village contained 60 households, and in 1603 261 communicants were returned. (fn. 40) A plague in 1604 is supposed to have killed 100 people. (fn. 41) There were 89 households in 1670, 193 communicants in 1676, (fn. 42) and about 80 families in the early 18th century. (fn. 43) In 1801 the population was 504. It increased to 680 in 1891, but had fallen to 597 by 1921. The growth of the village as a suburb of Market Harborough is represented by the rise from 614 in 1931 to 1,167 in 1951. (fn. 44)
In 1086 Lubenham was divided into three fees which probably corresponded to the holdings of three Saxon tenants in the time of King Edward. The first fee, 8 carucates, was held under the Archbishop of York, the second, 7 carucates, under the Countess Judith, and the third, 2 carucates, under Robert de Todeni, lord of Belvoir. Robert, the demesne tenant of the York fee, held of Walchelin, and had enfeoffed a knight of his own; Robert de Buci held his fee in Lubenham from the Countess Judith as part of a larger estate at Foxton and Gumley; Osbern held of Robert de Todeni. (fn. 45) Later reference to this three-fold division has not been discovered until c. 1220, when the fees of Ralph Trussell, John le Poer, and Henry de Brampton were returned. (fn. 46)
The fee, which in 1086 belonged to the Archbishop of York, was part of the Trussell family estate in Marston Trussell (Northants.), Theddingworth, and Husbands Bosworth. Ralph Trussell of Lubenham, who may have succeeded Henry Trussell there, (fn. 47) married Eleanor daughter of Roger of Helpston about 1202. (fn. 48) By 1240 the heirs of Ralph Trussell had been succeeded by those of Nicholas de Baud and Peter de Wolwardington. (fn. 49) Until the early 15th century the lordship of this fee was divided between two families, Baud of Little Hadham (Herts.) and Corringham (Essex), (fn. 50) and Wolwardington of Wolverton (Warws.). The descent of their holdings in Lubenham corresponds to that of their manors elsewhere. (fn. 51) The Wolwardington heir married into the Waldegrave family. John Waldegrave in 1421 sold his land in Lubenham to William Tresham and others. (fn. 52) Thomas Baud in 1442 sold his share of this fee to Thomas Palmer (d. 1474) of Holt. (fn. 53) The latter was succeeded by William Nevill, his son-in-law, and this manor remained the property of the Nevill family until the death of Thomas Nevill in 1571. (fn. 54) It has not been traced further. Probably the considerable number of freeholders in the late 16th century, yeoman families like the Hartshornes, the Putts, and the Neales, owed their land to the division of this fee. (fn. 55)
The land in Lubenham which in 1086 was held by Robert de Buci under the Countess Judith was given, presumably by Earl Simon, the countess's son, to Robert son of Vitalis, also called Robert of Foxton, who included Lubenham church and tithes from his fee there in a gift to Daventry Priory (Northants.) made before April, 1109. (fn. 56) The overlordship of this holding in Lubenham probably followed that of Foxton (fn. 57) at least until 1346 when it was said to have been held of the honor of Huntingdon under Mary de St. Paul, Dowager Countess of Pembroke (d. 1377). (fn. 58)
Robert of Foxton's gift to Daventry was confirmed by several of his successors, including Henry de Oiry, (fn. 59) the husband of Robert's great-great-granddaughter Beatrice. The latter was also married to Richard of Middleton, (fn. 60) whose son John in 1247 claimed 5s. yearly and suit at the court of Foxton for ½ knight's fee held of him in Lubenham. (fn. 61) By at least c. 1300 the Boyvilles of Stockerston were established as intermediate lords (fn. 62) between the lords of Foxton and the demesne tenants, and the Foxton lordship appears to have lapsed at some date after 1316. (fn. 63)
Robert of Foxton's tenant in Braybrooke (Northants.), in Henry I's reign, was Ivo de Braybrook. In a division of de Braybrook lands, those in Lubenham were taken by Robert de Braybrook (fn. 64) and they were confirmed to him by the Crown in 1208. (fn. 65) In about 1220 the demesne tenant was John le Poer, (fn. 66) but by 1247 he had been replaced by John and Lettice de Mallesours. (fn. 67) The full extent of the early Mallesours holding is not known but it was increased in 1333 when Sir Thomas Mallesours bought a messuage and a carucate of land from John de Harebergh. (fn. 68)
At his death in 1361 Sir Thomas left a daughter and heir Anne, who was then a minor. (fn. 69) By this date the descent of the overlordship referred to above is difficult to trace and it is not clear to whom the wardship of Anne Mallesours and the custody of her father's lands then properly belonged. In 1362 both lands and wardship were seized by Edward, Prince of Wales, of whom, it was stated, Sir Thomas had held in chief in Lubenham. (fn. 70) This seizure was challenged by Sir John Boyville, (fn. 71) the intermediate lord, and in 1369 an indenture of accord was drawn up between him and Roger Prestwiche (d. 1388), who had meanwhile married Anne Mallesours, by which mutual recompense was agreed upon. (fn. 72) In 1391 Sir John Boyville was said to have held the manor at his death in 1377 of John, Duke of Lancaster. (fn. 73) The last reference to the Boyville lordship appears to be that made in 1455 in the plea of John Boyville (d. 1467) (fn. 74) alleging the abduction of Richard, son and heir of John Prestwiche. (fn. 75)
The Prestwiche family were resident lords of the manor for five generations. (fn. 76) Rose, daughter of William Prestwiche, married William Digby of Eye Kettleby after the death of her first husband in 1499. Their eldest son John married Mary, daughter of William Parr of Orton. She survived him and married secondly Henry Brooke, a retainer of John, Duke of Northumberland. (fn. 77) In 1553 Brooke appears to have made an agreement with his step-son William Digby by which he acquired this manor in Lubenham. (fn. 78) By his will, dated 1558, Brooke provided for the daughter of a previous marriage, but had apparently no children by Mary. He was succeeded at Lubenham by his cousin Roger Brooke, and his nephew Andrew Brooke. (fn. 79) By 1569 Sir Basil Brooke, Andrew's son, was in possession. (fn. 80) Both Sir Basil and his son Sir Thomas were in financial difficulties and the records of the late 16th century suggest frequent mortgages of the property. (fn. 81) In 1608 Sir Basil stated that he possessed the manor-house and 13 farms which yielded an annual income of £300. (fn. 82) In 1624 Sir Thomas Brooke sold his manor in Lubenham to Sir Randolph Crewe (1558-1646), Chief Justice of the King's Bench, of Crewe (Ches.), (fn. 83) but was later accused of trying to defraud the Crewes by secret leases. (fn. 84)
As the Crewe family were absentee owners, the old manor-house was leased to local farmers. In 1733 John Crewe sold the manor of Lubenham to Samuel Wright (d. 1735), of Newington Green (Mdx.). (fn. 85) John Wright (d. 1761), son of Andrew Wright of Creke (Northants.), was named the heir in Samuel Wright's will. He was succeeded by his son John Wright (d. 1807), and grandson Thomas. In 1827 the latter mortgaged the manor to Richard Mitchell who gained possession. (fn. 86) Mitchell was ruined by the failure of a Leicester bank, Clarke & Philips, in which he was a partner. (fn. 87) Lubenham manor was sold by auction in 1843 and passed to another banker, Thomas Paget of Humberstone. (fn. 88) In 1862 his son T. T. Paget (d. 1892) succeeded. In 1958 the owner was Mr. R. T. Paget, Q.C., the son of T. G. F. Paget (d. 1952). (fn. 89)
The fee held by Osbern under Robert de Todeni, lord of Belvoir, in 1086 is difficult to trace. In the 13th and 14th centuries it was held by a family called Brampton under a mesne lord called Colville. (fn. 90) In 1353 William de Ros of Belvoir died seised of a knight's fee in Lubenham held by Thomas Holegood. (fn. 91) In 1495 William Grey died seised of a manor in Lubenham worth £4 a year held of Lord Ros. (fn. 92) Thomas Grey his son was mentioned in a tax list of 1524. (fn. 93) This holding has not been traced further.
By 1414-15 Catesby Priory (Northants.) had acquired property in Lubenham worth c. £2 yearly. (fn. 94) In 1553 messuages and land in Lubenham, including 'courses and faldages' of sheep and 4s. yearly rent and service from lands, formerly belonging to the priory, were included in a grant to James Greenwood and Dunstan Clarke. (fn. 95)
In 1086 Robert, the demesne tenant of the Archbishop of York's fee, held 8 carucates. He had 2 ploughs in demesne, with 2 serfs and 2 bondwomen; 6 villeins and 4 bordars had 3 ploughs. A knight held 3 carucates from Robert; there was one plough in demesne, and 5 villeins and one bordar had 1½ plough. There were 36 a. of meadow, and the total value of the fee had increased from 20s. before the Conquest to 40s. Robert de Buci held the 7 carucates of the Countess Judith's fee. He had 2 ploughs and 3 serfs in demesne, and 8 villeins, 3 bordars, and 2 Frenchmen had 4 ploughs. There were 20 a. of meadow, and the value of the fee had increased from 10s. to 60s. Osbern held the 2 carucates of Robert de Todeni's fee, comprising land for 3 ploughs. He had 1½ plough in demesne, and 6 villeins and 2 bordars had one plough. There were 10 a. of meadow, and the value of the fee had increased from 10s. to 20s. (fn. 96)
In 1327 William Baud, who succeeded to half the Trussell fee in 1315, secured the grant of two weekly markets, on Wednesday and Saturday, and a yearly fair at Whitsuntide for his manor in Lubenham. Baud's market was opposed by local gentry, particularly Richard de Loterington of Thorpe Lubenham, and Ralph Mallesours, who had to answer two cases of malicious damage to stalls and wares and assault on market officials and customers in 1330 and 1335; the first of these was said to have caused the loss of the market's profits, valued at £40. (fn. 97) Baud was a former adherent of Thomas of Lancaster, and this opposition may have had belated political motives. John Mallesours, father of Ralph, had been concerned with similar assaults upon the property of Hugh Despenser, Earl of Winchester. (fn. 98)
From the late 16th century onwards a striking feature of the village is the large number of freeholders with small estates. This may be due to the break-up of the Baud-Wolwardington manor. Inclosure of the open fields took place in two stages: first in 1600-1 by agreement between the freeholders, and secondly by Act of Parliament in 1766. As the first stage of the inclosure was reported in the 1607 commission it is possible to picture the village in the early years of the 17th century. (fn. 99) About 1600 there were 30 farms, 17 belonging to independent freeholders (fn. 100) and the remainder held under the lord of the manor, Sir Basil Brooke, who lived in the manorhouse, which, according to Brooke, supported 30 persons.
In 1608, before the Star Chamber, Sir Basil Brooke explained the circumstances of the 1600-1 inclosure. His motive was poverty. He had little else to maintain his household except Lubenham manor-house and the rents of 13 farms, which brought him an income of £300 a year. He considered his income insufficient because of his many children and the burdensome offices that he undertook. In 1600 he agreed upon inclosure with 17 freeholders, who were to receive land in the proportion of 16 a. for every 15 a. of their former holdings. In this process 3 of his farms-120 a. of arable-were converted to pasture; 51 a. were converted by 18 of his tenants; and 3 smaller farms belonging to freeholders were broken up. (fn. 101) After inclosure, therefore, Brooke still maintained 10 arable farms. When Sir Thomas Brooke, his son, sold out to the Crewes in 1624, the property included 10 messuages and 6 cottages. (fn. 102) The annual value of the property in the early 18th century was £700. (fn. 103)
The parish was finally inclosed by Act in 1766. (fn. 104) The area involved was 960 a. (the area of the parish was c. 2,700 a.), (fn. 105) estimated at 31 yardlands. The total area concerned in the award was just over 1,233 a. The lord of the manor and impropriator, John Wright (d. 1807), received over 168 a. in compensation for great and small tithes and over 17 a. in lieu of glebe, which with his own personal allotment made a total of over 282 a., the largest allotment in the award. (fn. 106)
In 1781 42 per cent. of the total area of the parish was owner-occupied. (fn. 107) After the inclosure there seems to have been extensive conversion to pasture. Only 200 a. of arable were reported in 1801, though 600 a. were arable by 1852. (fn. 108) In the absence of the inclosure map it is only possible to guess the boundaries of the open fields. They lay for the most part north of the main road from Market Harborough to Rugby, and it is likely that the roads to Laughton and Foxton, which meet at Lubenham Green, were the boundaries separating the three fields. In the 17thcentury glebe terriers the fields were called West or Old Mill Field, Middle Field, and East or New Mill Field. The terriers give the false impression that the parish was completely open. (fn. 109)
According to the 1831 Census Returns, out of 148 men in Lubenham over 20 years of age only 71 were employed in agriculture-17 farmers and 54 labourers. Of the rest 27 were employed in manufacture and 29 in the retail trade. (fn. 110) The chief manufacture of the place was started by Joshua Perkins & Son probably about 1840. Perkins began by making black silk plush for hats, but by 1850 he was also a beer retailer, and by 1860 he had become a manufacturer of a curious combination-carriage and livery lace, and ketchup and pickles. The business does not seem to have lasted very long into the 20th century. (fn. 111)
In the 19th century the number of farmers and graziers in the parish was about 14 or 15. (fn. 112) In the 20th century it had dropped to 8, (fn. 113) prominent among whom was H. C. Ashton, who tenanted Manor Farm from Major Guy Paget. In 1928 the property was described as one of Leicestershire's famous grazing farms, extending over nearly 3,000 a. and supporting about 1,700 bullocks. (fn. 114)
A mill was included in the property claimed by members of the Swynford family from the Mallesours in the late 13th century. (fn. 115) There was a watermill attached to the manor of Thomas Nevill in Lubenham in 1503. (fn. 116) The windmill which belonged to the manor of Sir Thomas Brooke was conveyed to the Crewe family in 1624. (fn. 117) It was still in existence in 1659. (fn. 118) The high ground immediately north of the village is called Mill Hill and may indicate the site of the windmill.
During the 18th century the Easter vestry elected annually 2 churchwardens, 2 overseers of the poor, 2 surveyors of the highways, and a constable. (fn. 119) In 1816 a parish meeting was called to discuss the need for resurveying the lands of the parish for more equitable rating assessments, and it was decided to engage two surveyors. (fn. 120) Their map, dated 1816 and showing the measurements of every field in the parish, was hanging in the church in 1958.
In 1820 the parish established a select vestry under the Sturges Bourne Act. (fn. 121) The composition of the vestry varied from year to year, but it always included the vicar, churchwardens, and overseers, with between 8 and 15 others. The general Easter vestry continued to elect the same officers as in the 18th century, but by 1868 the surveyors of the highways had been replaced by a waywarden. (fn. 122) In 1832 the select vestry decided to set aside a separate 'labourers' rate' to be remitted to those employing labour and fixed a maximum wage of 10s. a week. (fn. 123) In 1865 it applied to the Poor Law Board for permission to pay for an improved water supply from the parochial funded property, but was not successful. (fn. 124) However in 1868 it decided to constitute itself a sewer authority under the provisions of the Sanitary Act of 1866 and immediately set about cleaning the parish pond, erecting a new pump with an improved water supply, and laying drains. In 1869 the Poor Law Board agreed to allow the cost to be defrayed from the parochial funded property, worth £105. The sanitary committee of the vestry included the vicar, churchwardens, overseers, and 6 others. (fn. 125)
In 1859 the vestry rejected a proposal to establish new rules for the management of the 'Village Green' or 'Township', which had been divided into allotment gardens belonging to the lord of the manor. (fn. 126) After the bailiff of the manorial court had met the inhabitants in 1868, however, the vestry agreed to elect a 'Township' management committee which henceforward reported to the general Easter vestry. (fn. 127) The committee arranged the plots, each of 200 sq. yds., on an area of 4 a. The green was still divided into gardens in 1958.
Two levies of 2d. in the pound raised £35 14s. in 1762-3, and the overseers' accounts for the same year contain the first known references to a workhouse in Lubenham. (fn. 128) There were 70 adults and 116 children receiving out-door relief in 1802-3, and only 10 persons in the workhouse. (fn. 129) The overseers are known to have farmed the organization of outdoor relief. For instance, in 1818 they contracted with Thomas Wright to pay him for a whole year all the weekly payments then being made to 23 poor families, on condition that he maintained them in employment. (fn. 130) In 1836 the parish was included in the Market Harborough Union. (fn. 131) The union in 1848 sold former parish property consisting of 6 cottages with a weaver's shop, and a garden on which a cottage had once stood; (fn. 132) this had perhaps been part of the parochial funded property (see above).
Lubenham church is first mentioned in 1109, when Robert son of Vitalis, lord of Foxton, gave the church and tithes from his fee in Lubenham to St. Augustine's Priory, Daventry (Northants.). (fn. 135) This gift probably included the advowson, but by 1200 the house was no longer considered sole patron of the living; the prior then retained a claim to a pension, tithes, and a fourth turn of the advowson which produced several legal disputes. It is not clear how the advowson was transferred from the priory to Ralph Trussell who was recognized as patron between 1200 and 1220. (fn. 136) By 1247 the Trussell fee had been divided between the Baud and Wolwardington families, but the advowson was held in common. In 1285 it was agreed that presentations to the living should be made alternately, first by a Baud and then by a Wolwardington. But in 1364 William, son of John Baud, alienated his right of presentation by enfeoffing John Tamworth with a rood of land to which the advowson belonged. By 1387 this rood had come into the hands of Warin Waldegrave, a great-grandson of Peter de Wolwardington, and heir to the other half of the Trussell fee, who therefore possessed the whole right of presentation. (fn. 137) His nephew and heir John Waldegrave alienated the advowson for a term of years, but when he sold his half of the Trussell fee in 1421 he expressly reserved for himself the rood to which the advowson belonged. (fn. 138) By 1476 the advowson belonged to the heirs of Thomas Palmer (d. 1475) of Holt, who had acquired Baud's half of the Trussell fee, and in 1478 they conveyed it to the trustees of William, Lord Hastings (d. 1483). (fn. 139) In 1481 the latter was licensed to grant the church of Lubenham, presumably with the advowson, to Sulby Abbey (Northants.) with provision for appropriation and the ordination of a vicarage. (fn. 140) This house appropriated the rectory, took tithes, and claimed a beast as a mortuary fee. (fn. 141)
After the Dissolution the rectory and advowson of Lubenham were granted in 1549 to two London merchants, John Maynard and Richard Grymes. (fn. 142) Various members of the Grymes family presented to the living until about 1835. (fn. 143) On the next presentation in 1842 the patron was Richard Mitchell, lord of the manor. (fn. 144) Since then the advowson has descended with the manor. (fn. 145)
After many disputes the Prior of Daventry in 1215 appears to have surrendered his right to a pension from Lubenham rectory (fn. 146) but he was being paid £2 a year in 1291. (fn. 147) He also continued to take tithes from the fee which came into the hands of the Mallesours family. (fn. 148) In 1317 and 1320-3 the priory was involved in litigation to secure its right to these tithes against the rector's claim, and in 1370 the prior and two fellow monks were accused of besieging and breaking into the Rectory. (fn. 149) A 14th-century Daventry account book valued the prior's rights in Lubenham at 33s. 4d. a year. (fn. 150) Wolsey included Daventry Priory in dissolutions authorized for the foundation of his college in Oxford, and a portion of tithes in Lubenham was included in Wolsey's endowment in 1526 (fn. 151) and in Henry VIII's endowment in 1532, (fn. 152) but it does not appear in the final foundation of Christ Church in 1546. Tithes from the fee in Lubenham which was held from the lords of Belvoir (fn. 153) were granted before 1220, probably in the early 12th century, to the Abbot of St. Albans. (fn. 154) These were valued at £1 13s. 4d. in 1291. (fn. 155)
The rectory of Lubenham was valued at £12 a year in 1254 and at £18 in 1291. (fn. 156) In 1650 it was worth £130. (fn. 157) After the royal grant of the rectory and advowson in 1549 the Grymes family secured the whole of the rectory and it was subsequently divided among them. The profits of the rectory were in the hands of John Poultney and others in 1647. After several changes of ownership, the Wrights, lords of the manor, owned the great tithes by 1735. (fn. 158) At the inclosure in 1767, John Wright as impropriator received allotments of 168 a. for tithes and 17 a. for glebe. (fn. 159) In 1845 the remaining rectorial tithes were commuted for £9 10s. 6d., payable to Thomas Paget; in addition rent-charges totalling £240 9s. were awarded to various freeholders from their own lands, but these were extinguished shortly afterwards. (fn. 160)
In 1535 the vicarage endowed by Sulby Abbey was worth £8 5s. a year, with 16s. 6d. in tithes. (fn. 161) The vicar's stipend in 1650 was £12; in 1649 and 1652 it was increased by £50 a year from the sequestered rectory. John Wright (d. 1761), lord of the manor, increased the stipend to £20 a year and after a further addition the whole sum was secured upon the allotment for tithes given to the impropriator at the inclosure in 1767. (fn. 162) The living received several augmentations during the 18th and 19th centuries. From Queen Anne's Bounty it was allotted £200 in 1767, £200 in 1809, and £200 in 1844, the last to meet two gifts of £100 each. In 1818 it received £1,200 from a parliamentary grant. (fn. 163) The endowment of £10 from the Common Fund granted in 1859 (fn. 164) was exchanged for land in the parish in 1863. (fn. 165) The benefice received two further small augmentations in 1884 and 1910. (fn. 166) The old parsonage house which stands to the east of the church is a small twostoried brick cottage carrying the initials J.W. and the date 1737. The Vicarage which replaced it used to belong to H. E. Bullivant (d. 1899), a former vicar. In 1869 he was licensed to use his house as the Vicarage, (fn. 167) and it remained with the parish after his death.
A chantry in Lubenham church is first mentioned in 1270 when Gregory of Lubenham was presented to it by the rector, Hugh de Binington, who had endowed it with some unspecified property. (fn. 168) In 1570 property in Lubenham formerly belonging to the chantry, which amounted to 2 messuages, 1 cottage, 3½ virgates, 14 roods, 7 leasows, 3 closes, and a croft, was granted to Nicaise Yetsweirt and Bartholomew Brokesby. (fn. 169) The chantry may have occupied the north chapel of the church which later became the vestry. (fn. 170)
Thomas Reynolds (1752-1829), a noted antiquary who contributed to Nichols's History of Leicestershire and the Gentleman's Magazine, was Vicar of Lubenham from 1787 to 1800. (fn. 171) He was the son of Joseph Reynolds, Rector of Marston Trussell (Northants.), and Elizabeth, daughter of John Wright (d. 1761), lord of Lubenham manor. (fn. 172) During the greater part of the 19th century the living was held by father and son in succession, Henry Bullivant (1785-1842), and Henry Everard Bullivant (1817-99), who were also rectors and patrons of the adjoining parish of Marston Trussell. (fn. 173)
The church of ALL SAINTS stands on the south side of the village, close to the river. It is constructed of ironstone dressed with limestone, and consists of chancel, clerestoried nave, north chapel, north and south aisles, south porch, and low embattled west tower which is thought to have once carried a spire. (fn. 174)
It is difficult to follow the different stages in the complex history of the fabric, but the oldest features, two circular piers in the north arcade of the nave, date from the late 12th century. One of them has a contemporary square abacus and foliage capital. Walling at the east end of the south nave arcade may also be part of the Norman church. The addition of north and south chapels on either side of the chancel probably dates from the early 13th century; the south chapel was subsequently taken down. The north chapel is divided from the chancel by a semicircular archway, and traces of the corresponding arch into the south chapel remain in the south chancel wall. Openings from the aisles into the chapels were of slightly later date. The main reconstruction of the nave and the building of the south aisle (later truncated at its west end) appear to have taken place in the later 13th century. The south arcade, of one wide and two narrower pointed arches, is of this period, as is the south doorway in the aisle. The partial re-modelling of the north arcade and the rebuilding of the north aisle soon followed, and this work was still apparently in progress during the early 14th century. There is a single lancet at the west end of the aisle and part of an early-14th-century window in the north wall. The north doorway has a semicircular arch which might be assumed to date from c. 1200, but its jambs appear to be part of the later masonry of the aisle wall. The north arcade consists of three pointed arches, the narrower central arch supported on the original Norman piers. The east respond of the arcade and the chancel arch are both of late-13th-century date. The same is true of the sedile and piscina in the north chapel; a large grotesque corbel head on which one side of the sedile arch rests may be reset. An elaborate early-14thcentury recess in the north wall of the chancel, which possibly served as an Easter sepulchre, has a richlymoulded pointed arch springing from moulded responds with capitals; it is surmounted by crockets and a finial, now defaced. The arch is flanked by octagonal crocketted features, while an inner arch has cusps terminating in carved heads. A squint between chancel and north chapel, set under the blocked earlier arch, has damaged tracery of 14thcentury date on the side facing the chapel.
The tower was added late in the 13th century, the original arch into the nave and some lower rubble courses remaining. The capitals and responds of the arch have keel mouldings. In the 14th century a plinth was inserted and the tower rebuilt up to the level of the present clerestory; the masonry suggests that the early tower may have collapsed and that the rebuilding was carried out in two phases. The diagonal buttresses are of c. 1400.
The demolition of the south chapel probably took place in the later 14th century when two windows with ogee-headed lights were inserted in the south wall of the chancel. At the same time the east end of the south aisle was rebuilt; a window in its east wall, now blocked, has reset 13th-century corbels. The east window of the chancel was replaced in the 19th century, but its hoodmould and parts of its 14thcentury jambs remain. Diagonal buttresses at the east end of the chancel are probably of the same date. Rood-loft door openings survive on each side of the chancel arch and part of the medieval screen was, in 1960, lying in the chancel.
In the 15th century several important alterations were made to the church, including the demolition of the westernmost bay of the south aisle. The remaining window in the aisle, a 19th-century copy of the original, is of Perpendicular type. A similar window, now restored, was inserted in the blocked arch at the west end of the south arcade. At about the same time or slightly earlier the nave clerestory was added. The walls of the chancel were raised in the 15th century and the 'low side' window in the south wall of the chancel was partly blocked. A small cusped opening was cut through the wall nearby. The upper stage of the tower, with embattled parapet and two-light belfry windows, was probably added c. 1600. At about this time the north chapel, which had become a private burial chapel after the dissolution of the chantry, was virtually rebuilt and a 14th-century window reset in the north wall; a door and other windows are of the 17th century.
The tower was repaired in 1727 and 1795, (fn. 175) and the west door was probably inserted in 1727. The south porch was rebuilt by H. M. Stratford of Marston Trussell Hall in 1862. (fn. 176) The openings between the north chapel and the chancel and aisle, which had been blocked probably while the chapel served as a schoolroom, (fn. 177) were unblocked in 1859. (fn. 178) The three-light window at the west end of the wall of the north aisle, in the Perpendicular style, was given by B. J. Angell in 1862. (fn. 179) The nave roof may have been repaired c. 1860. (fn. 180) The east window of the chancel was installed in 1900, (fn. 181) and the church was restored and re-roofed in 1934-5. (fn. 182)
A Corinthian-styled oak reredos in the chancel together with altar rails and side panelling were in situ as late as 1865, (fn. 183) but part of this furnishing was in 1960 lying in the south aisle. The altar is a 17thcentury oak table with massive turned and carved legs. On either side of it are two 17th-century chairs, one of which was placed in the church in 1812. (fn. 184) The pulpit and box pews probably date from the repair of the church in 1810-12 (fn. 185) when a gallery was constructed at the west end of the nave. Four supporting posts survive from this structure, cut flush with the pew tops. (fn. 186) The pulpit, a three-decker with tester and panelled back, has a lower reader's desk. In 1812 a large pew on the south side of the chancel was occupied by Thomas Wright, lord of the manor, and his servants; pews at the west end of the north aisle were allotted to the parish workhouse and female servants. (fn. 187)
The south aisle is almost entirely filled by a large pew of probable Jacobean date which originally had a balustraded screen above its panelled sides. Only the door into the pew retains its balusters and there are signs that the pew was reduced in size c. 1812. It is the property of the owners of Thorpe Lubenham Hall and at the east end of the aisle is a funeral hatchment of F. P. Stratford (d. 1841) of the hall. The aisle is said to have been maintained by the owners of the hall. (fn. 188)
Two medieval bench-ends with linenfold panels have been re-used in the north chapel, where there is a quantity of reset panelling of the 17th and 18th centuries. The large carved chest with traceried panels may have originally been placed there by the Revd. Henry Everard Bullivant who was a collector of antiquities. (fn. 189) Fixed desks remain from the school held in the chapel. The organ, partly occupying the west end of the chapel, is said to be over a hundred years old; (fn. 190) on the back of the organ hangs a map of Lubenham dated 1816. Loose bench-ends with poppy-heads lie in the nave. A charity board dated 1810 hangs in the north aisle, and there is a Hanoverian coat of arms above the chancel arch. The present octagonal font dates from the 19th century and has occupied its present site since at least 1849; the medieval font was then said to have been destroyed when alterations were made in 1812. (fn. 191)
In the chancel are mural tablets to the Bullivant family: the Revd. John Bullivant (d. 1803) and his wife, Henry Bullivant (d. 1842), and Henry Everard Bullivant (d. 1899). There are tablets to the Wright family of late-18th-century date, and in the nave above the north arcade is a small tablet to George Bosworth of Papillon Hall (d. 1830) and his wife.
The church plate includes a silver cup and cover paten, both of about 1575, and a pewter dish and flagon of about 1635. (fn. 192) The silver flagon and paten given about 1895 have since disappeared. (fn. 193) There are five bells, the tenor of 1624 and four others all cast in 1724, of which two are by Thomas Eayre of Kettering. (fn. 194) All were re-hung on a new framework in 1922. (fn. 195) The parish registers date from 1559. The registers of burials are complete; those of baptisms and marriages both lack entries from 1683 to 1691.
Mr. Weston, 'curate', presumably the vicar, was ejected in 1662. (fn. 196) Later, nonconformity in the parish was associated with John Shuttlewood (d. 1689) (fn. 197) and Walter Hornby (d. 1687). (fn. 198) Shuttlewood after his ejection from Ravenstone in 1662 was an itinerant preacher and later conducted a dissenting academy at Sulby (Northants.). In 1672 he was licensed to preach at Lubenham and to use his house there as a meeting-place. (fn. 199) Hornby was licensed to preach at Shawell in 1672. (fn. 200) His daughter married Henry Hartshorn who in 1669 was said to be the leader of the Anabaptists in Lubenham and Saddington. Hartshorn's house at Lubenham was licensed as a meeting-place in 1672, (fn. 201) but only one dissenter was reported in 1676. (fn. 202) There were about 20 Independents and 10 Baptists in Lubenham at the beginning of the 18th century. (fn. 203) Application was made to use Papillon Hall as a place of worship in 1761, and Samuel Glover's house in 1768. In 1825 and 1828 ministers from Market Harborough applied to use houses in Lubenham. (fn. 204)
A chapel to be used by both Independents and Baptists was erected in 1837 at a cost of £220. (fn. 205) This was replaced by an Independent chapel in 1878. (fn. 206) J. B. Haddon, by will proved in 1881, bequeathed over £400 in trust for the benefit of this chapel. (fn. 207)
The north chapel or vestry of the church 'was used many years as a parish school' in the 18th century. (fn. 208) The school seems to have been recognized by the National Society in 1815, (fn. 209) though it was reported in 1819 that the two schools in Lubenham were supported only by voluntary contributions. (fn. 210) The two 'schools' were apparently separate departments, for boys and for girls, of the parish school. The north chapel of the church remained a schoolroom for the boys and the girls were housed elsewhere in the village. Both schools were open to children from neighbouring villages if their parents paid 1s. a week. In 1819 there were 70 boys and 36 girls in attendance; (fn. 211) in 1833 40 boys and 26 girls. (fn. 212) In 1815 the trustees of Alderman Newton's charity in Leicester, wishing to dispose of surplus profits, began to make a series of annual payments, which included £26 to the parish of Lubenham for educating and clothing boys at the school. (fn. 213) In 1957 the school still benefited from this charity in the form of school prizes. (fn. 214)
In 1857-8 Lubenham National School replaced the old parish school. A school and a schoolmaster's house were built with the aid of a parliamentary building grant (fn. 215) and with voluntary subscriptions collected by the vicar, H. E. Bullivant. (fn. 216) The average attendance rose from 71 children in 1871 (fn. 217) to 113 in 1906. (fn. 218) By 1910 the number had fallen to 88, and in 1924 it was decided to confine the school to children under nine years of age by sending the older children to Market Harborough. (fn. 219) There were 60 infants and juniors in attendance in 1933, (fn. 220) and 74 in 1957. (fn. 221) In 1945 Lubenham (C. of E.) School accepted 'controlled' status under the local authority. (fn. 222)
Thomas Shipley, by will dated 1711, and Agnes Neal and an unknown donor at unknown dates gave three yearly rent-charges of 10s., 5s., and 4s. respectively on land in the parish which in 1837 were all spent on a distribution of bread among the poor on St. Thomas's Day by the churchwardens and overseers. (fn. 225) In 1930 these three charities apparently still had 13s. 6d. on account. (fn. 226) The distribution of bread had ceased long before 1957. (fn. 227)
Henry Hartshorn, (fn. 228) at some date before 1729, directed that three bibles a year should be given to the poor by the owner of two houses in the village. (fn. 229) In 1957 it was thought that the distribution of bibles had ceased when the houses were demolished c. 1900. (fn. 230)
About 1854 John Buswell Smith left £10, the annual income on which, 6s., was to be distributed among the poor. The money was still being distributed in 1862-3 but nothing further is known of the charity. (fn. 231)