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The Manor of Wootton alias Bosoms

The arms of the Barony of Bedford
The arms of the Barony of Bedford

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 was the principal manor in the parish, tracing its history back to the manor held by Albert de Lorraine as recorded by the Domesday Book of 1086. Later in the 11th century the manor was acquired by the de Beauchamp family, who became Barons of Bedford, probably during the reign of William II Rufus (1087-1100).

The manor remained part of the Barony until the death of John de Beauchamp at the Battle of Evesham in 1265, fighting for Simon de Montfort against King Henry III (1216-1272). The manors of the former barony, including the Manor of Wootton, were vested in John’s three sisters Maud, Ela and Beatrice, however, the manor had been assigned to Isabel, wife of Simon de Beauchamp, John’s deceased elder brother as part of her dower rights, she died in 1295, the three sisters then divided the manor between them, as they did the other manors which comprised the former barony.

Maud was the eldest sister and her third of the original manor continued to be known as the Manor of Wootton. She married Roger de Mowbray and, after his death, Roger Lestrange who died in 1311 when the manor passed to Maud’s grandson John de Mowbray. In 1320 the manor was conveyed to Roger Marshall and that family held it until 1374 when Thomas de Mowbray died childless and his lands passed to his sister Maud, wife of Walter Merwe. Maud died in 1418 and the manor passed to her cousin William Bosun, hence why the manor was also known as The Manor of Bosoms.

William Bosun died in 1424 leaving two daughters, the eldest of whom was Margaret, wife of William Burgoyne, who inherited the manor which remained in the Burgoyne family until they alienated it, probably in the early 16th century because in 1514 it was held by Edward Langley, who sold it in that year to George Monoux, citizen and alderman of London. The Monoux family then held the manor until the last mention of it in 1770. The mansion seems to have been at Bourne End Farm [AD2636].

The Monoux family coat of arms
The Monoux family coat of arms