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The Manor of Westhey and Faldo

Arms of the Butler family
Arms of the Butler family

Volume II of The Victoria County History for Bedfordshire, published in 1908 outlines the history of all the manors in the Flitt Hundred. The Faldo family held the Manor of Faldo in Higham Gobion in 1245, Ralph Butler, Lord of the Manor of Higham Gobion being overlord. Faldo lay around Faldo Farm, a detached portion of the parish of Higham Gobion now in the civil parish of Barton-le-Clay.

The Faldo family were also known as de Keynes and continued to hold the manor until 1366 when William de Keynes died leaving his four aunts as co-heiresses. One of these, Alice, who married first Roger Foliot and then Ralph FitzRichard settled two quarters of the manor in 1389 where it is, for the first time, referred to in conjunction with the Manor of Westhey. No further mention survives of the manor until 1613.

 Arms of the Bray family
Arms of the Bray family

Westhey was held by Ralph and Alice FitzRichard in 1389 and by 1408 by Richard and Elizabeth Hamelyn. In 1485 it is recorded as the property of Thomas Bassingbourn who alienated it to Sir Reginald Bray of Eaton Bray in 1500. By 1559 Westhey was held by William Aprice, grandson of Isaac and Jane Aprice or ap Rhys who probably had the manor from Jane's son Sir Edmund Bray. The Aprices must also have had Faldo Manor as in 1613 Robert Aprice alienated the Manor of Westhey and Faldo to Francis Crawley.

 Arms of the Aprice family
Arms of the Aprice family

By 1656 the manor was held by Samuel Crowch as he sold it in that year to Anthony Samwell Whipsnade, in 1662, alienated it to Thomas Halfpenny. Thomas' son of the same name was Sheriff of Bedfordshire in 1685. Bernard Halfpenny alienated the manor to Sir George Byng, Lord Torrington whose grandson George held it in 1762 after which there is no further reference to the manor in the historical record, though the manor house survives as Faldo Farm. This, by 1919, was in the ownership of Baroness Lucas of Crudwell whose family probably purchased it in 1871.

Arms of the Byng family
Arms of the Byng family