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Gemys Jempsis or Stanford Manor Stagsden

Volume III of The Victoria County History, published in 1912, details all the manors in the parish of Stagsden. The Domesday Book of 1086 recorded for landowners in Stagsden. The largest holding was that of Hugh de Beauchamp, later created Baron of Bedford and the whole parish, except Gemys, Jempsis or Stanford Manor was later attached to the Barony of Bedford. Gemys manor had its genesis in three hides and three virgates recorded in Doemsday as being the possession of Bishop Odo of Bayeux. He was half brother of William the Conqueror (1066-1087) and de facto regent in England during William's absences. He was created Earl of Kent but fell from grace in 1082. On his death in 1097 his lands reverted to the Crown which remained the manorial overlord.

Odo's tenant in 1086 was Herbert, son of Ivo. The Gemys family first occurs in Stagsden in the historical record in 1233 when William de Gemys held a capital messuage (usually a term for a manor house) and land. The manor stayed in the Gemys family until 1428 when it passed to William Gemys' daughter Joan, wife of Nicholas Ravenhill. She was succeeded, in 1447, by her daughter Agnes, wife of James Fynaunce. In 1469 her son John alienated the manor to John Stanford.

The Mordaunt family arms
The Mordaunt family arms

John Stanford died in 1493 and the manor was divided between his daughters Elizabeth, wife of Sir William Cornwallis and Margaret, wife of George Harvey. Elizabeth's share was conveyed to William Gascoyne and others in 1528. The Victoria County History states: "It probably became absorbed in Dylywyk Manor". Margaret's share was conveyed in 1544 to Lord Mordaunt. The manor remained in the Mordaunt family until 1710 when it was purchased by Sir Thomas Trevor of Bromham.

Trevor, Lord Hampden - arms
Trevor, Lord Hampden - arms

Sir Thomas was appointed Chief Justice of Common Pleas on the accession of Queen Anne (1702-1714) and, in 1712, was created Baron Trevor of Bromham. he died in 1730 and was succeeded by his eldest son who died without issue in 1754 and was succeeded by his brother John. He also died without male issue in 1764 and his half brother Robert succeeded. He assumed the name and arms of the Hampden family and was created Viscount Hampden in 1776. Gemys Manor is mentioned about this time as still having a separate identity apart from Dylywyk, Bosoms and Burdelys Manors which had become aggregated as Stagsden Manor.

Viscount Hampden's son died childless in 1824 and his heir, his brother John, died in the same year. Stagsden Manor of which, presumably, Gemys then provided a part, then passed to George Rice Rice, son of George, 3rd Baron Dynevor. In 1873 the manor was purchased by the Crown from Lord Dynevor's estate.