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The Manor of Culy

The coat of arms of the Harvey family of Thurleigh
The coat of arms of the Harvey family of Thurleigh

Volume III of The Victoria County History for Bedfordshire was published in 1912. It gives detailed histories for each of the manors in Wootton. The Manor of Wootton Culy appears for the first time in the historical record in 1474 when John Harvey died holding it. It seems to have been based around Keeley End. The Harveys, a Thurleigh family, held the manor into the 17th century.

Oliver Harvey conveyed the manor in 1617 to Sir Oliver Boteler and it remained in this family until 1765. In 1641 William Boteler was created a baronet, raising a regiment to fight for King Charles I (1625-1649) in the first Civil War. He was killed at the Royalist victory of Cropredy Bridge in 1644.

In 1765 Sir Philip Boteler sold the manor to Vice-Admiral Sir Samuel Cornish who seized Manila from the Spanish in 1762 and who was still the Lord of the Manor at his death in 1770. His estates passed to his wife’s nephew Admiral James Gambier. In the early 19th century Miss Polhill owned the Keeley Estate and the manor may have been sold to her otherwise there is no further trace of it.

The Cornish family coat of arms
The Cornish family coat of arms