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The Manor of Potton Burdetts

Volume II of The Victoria County History for Bedfordshire was published in 1908 and contains histories of all the manors in Potton. The overlordship of Potton was held by the Earl of Huntingdon. This was because Potton was held in 1086 by Countess Judith, and her daughter Maud married the King of Scotland, David, who was also Earl of Huntingdon. The last Earl of Huntingdon, John le Scot, died without issue in 1237 and the overlordship of the various Potton manors was divided between his sisters Margaret, Isabel and Ada.

The Manor of Potton Burdetts was created by this division of the overlordship in 1237 and came into the hands of Ada. She married Henry Hastings and her descendant became Earl of Pembroke. The last reference to the overlordship is in 1507.

The Latimer family coat of arms
The Latimer family coat of arms

William Burdett held land in Potton in 1214, before the creation of the manor, and, presumably, was the first tenant under Ada's overlordship. The family's last connection with the manor was as early as 1291 when William granted the manor to William le Latimer, who also held Potton Regis Manor.

The Taylor family coat of arms
The Taylor family coat of arms

The Latimers held the manor until at least 1404 when Elizabeth, Baroness Latimer died. By 1507 the manor was held by John Taylor and Anne, his wife to whom it had been granted by Thomas and Richard Burgoyne. The manor remained with the Taylor family until 1575 when Catherine Taylor married Robert Brudenell.

The Brudenell family coat of arms
The Brudenell family coat of arms

In 1657 Robert, Lord Brudenell alienated the manor to Sir Roger Burgoyne. By 1774 the manor was held by George, Viscount Torrington and in 1795 he sold the manor to Southill brewer Samuel Whitbread. This family held the manor into the 20th century. A succession of Law of Property Acts in the 1920s extinguished all manorial incidents, courts and copyhold tenure of land. This effectively abolished manors in all but name.

The Whitbread family coat of arms
The Whitbread family coat of arms