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Roxton Manor

The Trailly family coat of arms
The Trailly family coat of arms

Volume III of The Victoria County History for Bedfordshire, published in 1912, gives the history of Roxton Manor as far as it was known at the time. The manor had its genesis in the land held at the time of Domesday Book in 1086 by William Speke or Espec. The overlordship was later held by the de Trailly family and later still by the Honour of Gloucester, the last mention of it being in 1518 when it was held by the Crown.

The first tenant of the manor known (Speke had no tenants in 1086) is Henry de Bowels in 1219. The family were still tenants of the manor in the latter part of the century but by 1302 the tenancy had passed to Alexander Bosun or Bosom. The family continued to hold the manor until 1447 when Margaret, widow of William Bosom died and the manor passed to Robert Olney, husband of her younger daughter Goditha.

The Mordaunt family coat of arms
The Mordaunt family coat of arms

The next mention of Roxton Manor is in 1518 when it was in the hands of Robert Throckmorton. His son George exchanged it to the Crown for other manors. In 1554 the Crown granted the manor to John, Lord Mordaunt whose family held the manor until 1624 when it was transferred to French apothecary Gideon de Lanie, de Laune or Delawne. He was a surgeon to Anne of Denmark, queen of James I (1603-1624) and Master of the Apothecaries' Society in 1637. He also held Netherbury Manor in Great Barford and died in 1659 when he was succeeded by his son William. The last mention of the Delawne family as holding the manor is in 1715.

By 1737 the manor was in the hands of William Metcalfe and his family held the manor for over a hundred years. By 1854 Charles James Metcalfe had conveyed Roxton Manor to Rev. Robert Delap of Monellan [Ireland] whose son James Bogle Delap held it into the 20th century. 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.