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The Manor House History

The following historical data has been taken from: AC Chibnall, 'Sherington - Fiefs and Fields of a Buckinghamshire Village', Cambridge University Press, 1965. It summarises the key events that have occurred during the Manor's 900 year history, from its origins as the principal Sherington manor, through its time as a secondary manor (Cave's Manor) and up to the 20th Century.

Note: further information relating to the period after 1850 is available from other sources, such as the Censuses of 1851 to 1901 and trade directories. This information is given on the first Manor web page.

    Principal Sherington Manor
1066 After the Norman Conquest, King William I gives the whole of Sherington to Geoffrey de Mowbray Bishop of Coutances, who is still in charge at the time of the Domesday book in 1086.
1088 After the death of King William I, Geoffrey (along with his nephew Robert de Mowbray, Earl of Northumberland) supports Duke Robert, rather than William Rufus (William II), to be King of England. However, they are pardoned by William Rufus.
1093 Robert de Mowbray takes over the estates, including Sherington, on his uncle's death.
1095 Robert rebels against William Rufus again and his estates are confiscated by the Crown.
c.1100 Little is known of this period. It is possible that the moat had already been dug by this time to defend the Manor House, but there is no definitive information.
c1130 Sherington has been handed over to Ralph de Carun, probably during the later years of King Henry I. He has possession of Sherington at the start of King Stephen's reign in 1135, but by 1140, his son and heir William de Carun is in control, and in that year William gives the church to Tickford Priory. It is thought that the Carun family takes its name from Cairon, on the River Seule, France. Cairon is only about 10 miles from Ryes in Calvados, where Eudo the Dapifer's father, Hubert de Rie, lived. Eudo had been a close friend of King William the Conqueror since childhood and would have drawn his supporters from that area. One of Eudo's tenants (in Clifton, Tempsford and Southill with Sandford) was a William de Carun.
1135-1153 King Stephen's reign is a period of anarchy and the civil wars lead to much destruction in the area. Sherington is unlikely to have escaped as it is only 5 to 6 miles away from several local castles, and the Manor House may have been badly damaged despite the moat.
1155-1185 Around this time, William de Carun apparently moves the principal Manor House to a new site north of the church. The old moated manor is then subsequently sold off to Emma le Vineter (also known as Emma de St Mark). The St Mark family also own property in Lavendon. The single Sherington estate has now become split.
    Secondary Manor (Cave's Manor)
1254 John de Cave purchases the freehold of the manor and the two closes to the south of it from William de Vineter of Stony Stratford and his wife Emma for 60 marks. John is from South Cave in Yorkshire, where he has a small estate in Drewton. It is possible he was connected in some way with Fountains Abbey, as in 1234 Roger (a monk from Fountains) took over at Woburn Abbey and John de Cave appears to have been part of his team, as he became rector of Battleden, just south of Woburn. John also served the judge Roger de Thurkelby, also from Yorkshire.
1261 John de Cave dies. His heir is his brother Simon (vicar of Carnaby, Yorkshire) who moves from Yorkshire. He dies in 1269.
1270 Simon is succeeded by his brother Robert de Cave. Robert gives his old family holding in Drewton to his third son Nicholas, as his eldest two sons John and Hugh are already in minor orders, and moves south. Robert de Cave's wife is Sybil, who is the third of five daughters of Hugh de Verly of Woughton-on-the-Green.
c. 1279 Robert de Cave, his son Thomas and his brother William form a prominent firm of lawyers. Robert's son (also called Robert), another William and a Geoffrey de Cave replace the original members as they die or retire. William and Geoffrey continue until 1311. Robert's two eldest sons, John and Hugh, are also lawyers, as well as being clerics.
1280 Robert lets the Manor for 10 years to his brother William, who in turn lets it to John de Thorntoft (also from Yorkshire).
1289 John de Thorntoft dies and in 1290 his executors, William de Thorntoft and his brother Robert complain that the Manor is seized by Robert de Cave with the help of his sons John and Nicholas, Roger Fitz John and other local men.
1289In August, King Edward I returns from Gascony to find discontent at home, and the subsequent investigations bring disgrace to many in the legal profession, including John de Cave, who is sent to the Tower of London in 1290. He is later released with fines totaling 600 marks instead, later reduced to 300 marks.
1291 Around Easter, Robert de Cave is murdered by Hugh, son of Henry Middleburg, whilst away in Northumberland. John de Cave, as his heir, assigns the Manor to his mother Sibyl de Cave as dowry.
1318 Sibyl has died and her eldest son John (who as rector of Narborough in Leicestershire is not living in Sherington), gives it to his third brother Richard, a King's yeoman.
1319-20 Richard de Cave is Sheriff of Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire. In autumn 1320 he becomes one of the two Burgesses for Bedford borough.
1321 After the confusion of the civil war, when his land is confiscated, Richard petitions for its return, claiming he fought with the Bishop of Ely in the defence of the Isle of Ely.
1322 November, Richard attends Parliament at York and in March 1329 the Parliament at Winchester. A few months later he goes abroad with King Edward II.
1333-5 Again in Parliament, and the Manor is let to the Bishop of Lincoln.
c.1353 Son, John, is owner. He has financial and legal problems because of his father's debts. Attempts are made to recover a fine of 43 13s 4d owed by Richard de Cave in 1327 as a result of a fraud. On 16 July 1353, a court rules John is not liable for his father's debt.
c.1390 John de Cave, Richard's grandson, a London draper, becomes owner. The house is let to Richard Buckingham.
1429 Thomas Bekyngham is either owner or tenant.
1443 Hugh Horsington is tenant of the Manor House (annual rent 2 shillings).
1449 Released to Humphrey, Duke of Buckingham, John Heton, Robert Olney and other co-feofees including John Maryot.
1455 By now it has passed to Richard Maryot. He is a Justice of the Peace and also has a house or chambers near Fleet Street in London.
1491 Richard Maryot dies. He is buried in Sherington church. In his will, he bequeaths '6 marc' for rebuilding Sherington Bridge in stone. He also donates a cow or heifer to each poor householder in Sherington, on condition they (and their calves) weren't to be sold within 6 years. Richard's heiress is his daughter, Jane. Richard's wife, Katherine (née Katherine Tate), retains use of the moated Manor House for the rest of her life. Sir Humphrey Catesby (of Whiston, Northants) is estate manager. Sir Humphrey is the husband of Katherine's daughter, Joan.
1503 On Sir Humphrey's death, passes to his grandson/heir, Anthony Catesby. The running of the estate is delegated to Thomas Chibnall until Thomas Catesby, his son, is old enough to take over c. 1530.
1522 In the Muster Survey, the value of the land is 25 (Katherine Maryot 20 and Anthony Catesby 5). The values of Katherine Maryot's and Thomas Cateby's goods are both 13 6s 8d.
1525 Anthony Catesby and Thomas Catesby are taken to the Mercers' Court for over-stocking the common with sheep and cattle, respectively.
1562 Thomas Catesby comes before the Government Commission of Enquiry for enclosing 22 acres.
1568 Complaints are made about Thomas Catesby and Edward Ardes enclosing 60 acres to form a large close for pasture (was le Hoo Park), obstructing a common way called Mill Lane.
1571 Thomas Catisby dies. His son (Thomas) exchanges the house for that of Ecton, Northants as it is adjacent to his main estate at Whiston. The Ecton house belongs to William Mountgomery, whose family had owned it since the early 12th Century.
1580 The manor and demesne now consists of 224 acres (44 pasture, 140 arable, 4 meadows and 36 woods).
1599 In the Sherington Subsidy Roll, the value of William Mountgomery's land and goods is assessed at 8, and he pays tax of 32 shillings.
1601 8 March, given to Sherington Mountgomery for his forthcoming marriage. However, William and his wife Margaret retains an annuity of 13 6s 8d and a life interest in part of the property: the bedchamber, the chamber above it, the adjoining privy, the little chapel chamber (all in the house itself), the dove house, the little stable, an orchard, Park Close (2 acres), Grove Close (6 acres), the right to fish in the river and 15 acres of demesne land to be cultivated by Sherington on their behalf.
1602 10 December, Sherington Montgomery marries Anne Smith, sister of Humphrey Smith who is a grocer in London.
1610 William Mountgomery dies.
1612 Sherington Mountgomery sells off much of his demesne lands, and only keeps sufficient for a gentleman's farm.
1627 Sherington Mountgomery dies. Inherited by Ann, wife of Richard Halford (of Edith Weston, Rutland). She sells it to William Norton (of Hinxton, Cambs). In Sherington's will, rent of 8s 4d from Water Lane Farm (tenant Edward Lord) was vested in trustees for the poor of the village. This charity was recorded at the Commonwealth Commission of Inquiry in 1653 and is also mentioned later in the Cave-FitzJohn Court Roll of 1708.
1641 Brett Norton inherits from his father. He is a Justice of the Peace and in the period 1650-1670 is involved in various actions against the Quakers.
1650 The estate now consists of 107 acres of arable land, 34 pasture, 4 meadow, 40 woods, with 4 cow-commons.
1662 The Hearth Tax Roll records Brett as having 11 hearths.
1680 Inherited by Owen Norton, also justice of the Peace, but is mortgaged in 1688.
1700 The mortgagees take possession and the Manor is sold to Thomas Pargiter (of Passenham, Northants). The estate consists of 108 acres of arable land, 34 pasture, 4 meadow and 40 woods.
1708 Thomas Pargiter holds a Court Baron. 15 cottages are recorded as being on Cave-FitzJohn Manorial waste (numbered 167 to 175 on the 1796 Enclosure Map, on the south side of Church Road and the Knoll). They pay an annual rent of 1s each.
1712 Thomas dies. Inherited by daughter Susannah, wife of James Smith (of Denshanger, Passenham, Northants).
? Inherited by their sons. First, by eldest son Thomas Smith who is owner in 1750. Then by younger son Dryden Smith who is a shipbuilder in Wapping. Dryden dies in 1770.
    Current Building
1770 Inherited by his son, also called Dryden and also a shipbuilder, who demolishes it and builds the current house outside the moat. The original house site is converted to a garden.
1797 At the time of Enclosure, Dryden Smith is still owner, and the tenants are William Barker and George Griggs.
1810 Inherited by Dryden's son, James Smith.
1817 On 21 January, James Smith is taken to the Mercers' Court because his new 90 yard long garden wall encroaches onto the road (then called Calves Lane, now Crofts End) to a depth of 2 yards. He also allegedly enclosed 20 perches of Calves Green, opposite the Manor House, with a post and rail fence and planted trees. The Jury decides it is Mercers' Manor waste. However no action is taken, and it comes to court again several times over the next few years.
1828 Sold to Dr John Cheyne (note: Chibnall spells his name 'Cheney'), physician general to the army in Ireland, for 4500.
1836 Cheyne dies and it passes to the trustees for his wife Sarah. She lives in Ireland and the tenant is John Ball.
1856 Alfred Umney, London solicitor, purchases the house and most of Cheyne's estate for 4500. Alfred's father (William Umney) was a Sherington mat-maker.
1859 The Mercers again take action about the garden wall and Calves Green problem (see 1817) against Alfred Umney, but on legal advice withdraw their claim since no manorial map existed that could prove their case.
1862 Alfred is still owner, and his tenant is John Bass. The estate is 76 acres.
Note: the 1861 census lists Alfred at the Manor House and John Bass (farmer of 240 acres) on the Turnpike, so it appears that John Bass was simply farming the land, not renting the house.
c.1886 Alfred's widow, Georgeana, dies and the house passes to son-in-law George Nelson.
? Col. Owen Williams becomes owner.
1945 Williams' trustees start to dispose of the estate piecemeal.
1962 P. Perrottet is now owner of the Manor House, whilst Manor Farm is owned by John Cook.

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Latest Revision: 18 February 2008