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Sokes Manor alias Laurence Place Wyboston

Volume III of The Victoria County History for Bedfordshire, published in 1912, gives a detailed history of the manors in Wyboston as far as it was then known. The manor later known as Sokes Manor or Laurence Place may have had its genesis in the largest of the six land holdings in Wyboston recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 - that of Nigel de Albini, standing at nine hides, one virgate, held from de Albini by a man named Pirot. No reference to any overlordship is found after 1428. In 1066 twelve sokemen (men who could hold a court and receive fines in much the same way as lords of the manor) had held this land and one of these families seems to have continued to hold the manor. William, son of William Sok, is mentioned as owning land in Wyboston in a charter of King John (1199-1216).

In 1330 William le Sok claimed to have exercised a view of frankpledge (in other words held a manor) in Wyboston from time immemorial. Eight years later he, with his sons John and Simon, were accused of interfering with a man named Robert de Redeware as he tried to arrest a man named William de Wymington. The last mention of the family name locally is in 1346. In 1428 it was stated that it was not known who owned William le Sok's manor.

The manor does not reappear in the historical record until 1617 when, as Soke's Manor, it was conveyed by Anthony Garnons and Christina. His wife, to Edmund Moore, who alienated it, in 1619, to Sir Thomas Penruddocke and others.

The Howard family coat of arms
The Howard family coat of arms

In 1641 the manor was held by William Howard, Viscount Stafford, Lord of the Manor of Wyboston and the two were subsequently held together. It seems as if they were alienated in the late 1650s and by the early 18th century were in the hands of the Whetham family. The last mention of the manors was in 1796 when held by Arthur Whetham.