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The Manor of Flitwick Priestley

Volume II of the Victoria County History for Bedfordshire was published in 1908 and gives details of the various manors in Flitwick. Domesday Book states that Nigel de Albini had one-and-a-half hides in Priestley and they were subsequently attached de Albini’s Barony of Cainhoe and then to the Pinkney family’s Manor of Datchet [Buckinghamshire]

About 1231 the manor was granted by Robert de Pinkney to Walter de Daventry and his family held it into the 14th century. In 1336, however, Lord of the Manor was William de la Marche. By 1342 it was Walter Joce of Hereford who released it in that year to Edmund Bulstrode. His son still held the manor in 1373.

De Grey
The de Grey family arms

By the 16th century the manor was in the hands of the de Greys, Earls of Kent, Sir Henry, who did not take the title of earl because of the impecuniousness of the family after the spendthrift ways of his half-brother, alienated the manor to the Crown in 1542.

Arms of the Dukes of Bedford

In 1560 the Crown granted the manor to Richard Champion and John Thompson. It may then have passed to the Sheldon and then to the Cuthbert families as stated by Samuel Lyson’s Magna Britannia volume for Bedfordshire published in 1806. Certainly in 1787 the manor was sold by Miss Egerton to the Duke of Bedford, who continued to own the manor into the 20th century. A succession of Law of Property Acts in the 1920s effectively abolished manors in all but name.