Skip Navigation

Welcome to Bedford Borough Council

Home > Community Histories > Flitwick > The Second Manor of Flitwick

The Second Manor of Flitwick

Dunstable Priory
The arms of Dunstable Priory

Volume II of the Victoria County History for Bedfordshire was published in 1908. This second manor of Flitwick was held by Dunstable Priory until 1537 when it leased the manor to Robert Hewet, his rent being to find green rushes for the churches in Flitwick and Dunstable at the feast of Saint Peter (29th June), straw for Flitwick church in winter and meat, drink and horsemeat at the manor court. The priory was dissolved by Henry VIII (1509-1547) in 1540 and its holdings forfeited to the Crown.

The Lownde family arms

In 1552 Edward VI (1547-1553) granted the manor to Thomas Cecil and Philip Boulde, who granted it to Simon Aynesworth, who alienated it to Thomas Lownde. Lownde died in 1557 and in 1559 Katherine disturbed Margery Hewet, Robert’s widow, in her continuing lease taking the profits on the grounds that straw had not been provided as agreed but 20d had instead been paid into the Dunstable poor-box.

Katherine Lowde’s daughter married John Whitworth and in 1567 conveyed the manor to John Lacy then alienated it to William Hewet. At this point there is some dispute as to the succession of the manor. The Victoria County History states that it passed from George Bury and Thomas Cheney to Robert  Honeywood. Notes [CRT130Flitwick13] suggest that in 1699 Thomas Cheyne conveyed the manor to his step-mother for £700 [LL1/87-88]. In 1703 the manor was mortaged to Michael Arnald [LL1/91-93] who conveyed it to Gustavus Sheldon in 1704 [LL1/94].

Arms of the Dukes of Bedford

In 1753 the manor was held by four women, great-granddaughters of Elizabeth Cotton, namely Elizabeth Bowdler, Jane Frances and Mary Cotton. In 1773 Elizabeth and Mary alienated their shares to John Fitzpatrick, 2nd Earl of Upper Ossory, from whom John, 6th Duke of Bedford, purchased in 1804. Jane and Frances’ share passed to Humphrey Dell, by whose will it was inherited by Jeffrey Fisher of Maulden in right of his wife. Their daughter Ann married George Brooks. The respective halves of the manor then, presumably, carried on in the possession of the Russell and Brooks families, respectively, until a succession of Law of Property Acts in the 1920s effectively abolished manors in all but name.