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Burdelys or Netherbury Manor Great Barford

Volume III of The Victoria County History for Bedfordshire, published in 1912, gives the histories of all the five manors in Great Barford as far as they were known at the time. Of these five manors only one, Veseys, or Vaseys, can be traced back to the Domesday Book of 1086.

The coat of arms of the Barony of Bedford
The coat of arms of the Barony of Bedford

The overlordship of the manor remained part of the Barony of Bedford until 1265 when the barony was divided between the three sisters of the last baron, John, who died at the Battle of Evesham, fighting for Simon de Montfort against King Henry III. Ela Beauchamp received the overlordship and she, in her turn, left three daughters as heirs, each of which received a ninth of the Barony. Her eldest daughter Ida, wife of John de Steingrave, received Burdelys Manor. Her heir was also a woman, her daughter Isabel who married Simon de Patishull and then Walter de Teye. Her son John de Patishull succeeded her in 1325. Again a woman inherited when his daughter Katherine succeeded her brother William. Her husband was Robert de Tudenham who died in 1362. The Tudenhams retained the overlordship of the manor until at some point it was acquired by Margaret, Duchess of Somerset who held it in 1480, the last mention of the overlordship which has passed down to us.

Brass of John FitzGefferie May 2010
Brass of John FitzGefferie May 2010

The Burdelys family, which gave its name to the manor, can be traced as far back as 1250 when William de Burdelys was succeeded by his brother Hugh as tenant of the manor under the overlordship of the Barony of Bedford. The manor then stayed in the Burdelys family until some time before 1347 when the last male heir died in infancy and the manor was given to one of his sisters Joan, wife of Gilbert atte Chamber. In 1390 Edmund atte Chamber conveyed the manor to John and Thomas Malyns of Bromham, the latter granting his half, in 1402, to John Morker. By 1480 the entire manor had passed to John FitzJeffrey of Clapham, who had succeeded his father and it remained in the FitzJeffrey family until 1561  when the manor, now called Netherbury, was transferred to Sir John Mordaunt of Turvey.

The FitzJeffrey family coat of arms
The FitzJeffrey family coat of arms

The Mordaunt family probably sold the manor in the early 17th century to Gideon Delawne or de Laune of Roxton, a French apothecary, who died owning it in 1659. The manor stayed in the Delawne family until at least 1715 but in 1737 was owned by William Metcalfe. At some time between 1847 and 1854 Charles James Metcalfe sold the manor to Rev. Robert Delap of Monellan [Ireland]. The manor remained in the Delap family until a succession of Law of Property Acts in the 1920s abolished manorial fines and incidents as well as copyhold land tenure, thus abolishing manors in practically all but name.