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The Manor of Potton Rectory

Volume II of The Victoria County History for Bedfordshire was published in 1908 and contains histories of all the manors in Potton. The Manor of Potton Rectory seems to have originated as early as 1094 when Simon de Senlis granted land to Saint Andrew’s Priory, Northampton. In 1392 the Prior enfeoffed the manor to the Friars Minor by Aldgate, London along with the advowson of Potton.

The Burgoyne family coat of arms
The Burgoyne family coat of arms

The Friars Minor were dissolved by King Henry VIII (1509-1547) in 1539 and the manor was seized by the Crown. Queen Elizabeth I (1558-1603) leased the manor to Richard Williams in 1579 and in 1591 she sold it to Rowland Litton for £679/12/6. By 1608 the manor was in the hands of John Burgoyne, who held the Manor of Potton Regis and that family held it until the middle of the 18th century.

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

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.