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The Second Manor of Shelton

The histories of manors in Bedfordshire are given in Volume III of The Victoria County History for Bedfordshire published in 1912. The History identified a second manor in Shelton, first mentioned in the 13th century as held by John de Croxton. The de Croxton family are last recorded as Lords of the Manor in 1303.

The Skeffington family coat of arms
The Skeffington family coat of arms

In 1346 Thomas le Rous was Lord of the Manor and in 1428 the Lord’s name was recorded as de Bycham. The next mention of the manor is in 1544 when it was in the hands of the Skeffington family from Leicestershire. The last of this family to hold the manor was John Skeffington. He died in a sword fight. His sister-in-law, widow of the previous Lord remarried a lowly groom and a quarrel arose between the two men which ended in their mutual deaths at licensed premises in Gray’s Inn, London, where they had gone to be reconciled! Skeffington devised the manor to Rev. William Bendish in his will.

The Saint John family coat of arms
The Saint John family coat of arms

Bendish died in 1629 and his son alienated the manor in 1637 to Sir Paulet Saint John  and his brothers Sir Henry and Sir Beauchamp. In 1668 Sir Paulet’s son, the 1st Earl Bolingbroke was Lord of the Manor and the manor remained in the hands of the Saint John family until the 19th century. The manor is last mentioned in 1832.