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The Manor of Flamwells Houghton Conquest

Volume III of the Victoria County History for Bedfordshire was published in 1912 and contains details of the manors of Houghton Conquest. About 1240 a man named John Flamvill held one hide in Houghton Conquest. This was the genesis of the Manor of Flamwells. By 1286 Henry Flamvill held the estate. The last known Flamvill to hold it was Robert in 1377.

In 1461 Flamwells manor was held by John Byrling and his wife Alice who, the Victoria County History speculates, may have been a Flamvill. By 1528 the manor was held by Alexander Byrling, who settled the reversion of his estates on Robert Smyth in 1534. In 1560 William Smyth alienated the manor to Robert Taylor who transferred John Barber that same year. By 1620 the manor was held by Sir Edmund Wylde, who also had Britens Manor.

The Wylde family held the manor until the early 18th century as by 1742 it was in the hands of Thomas Hurley who, in his will of that year, left it to his brother-in-law Isaac Hughes. Hughes sold the manor to John Potter, Archbishop of Canterbury.

MacQueen family arms

The Potter family held the manor until Thomas Potter died childless and it passed to his half-sister, wife of Malcolm MacQueen who held it by 1810. In 1820 MacQueen alienated the manor to Thomas Mills and Robert Campbell. By the 20th century the land was in the possession of F J Thynne. The manor may have ceased to operate by this time but certainly in the 1920s a succession of Law of Property Acts effectively abolished manors in all but name.