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The Manor of How End alias Reddings Houghton Conquest

Volume III of the Victoria County History for Bedfordshire was published in 1912 and contains details of the manors of Houghton Conquest. The Manor of How End alias Reddings had its genesis in 4½ hides in Houghton Conquest ascribed to Adelize, wife of High Grandmesnil by the Domesday Book of 1086. In 1168 Parnell Grandmesnil married Robert de Beaumont, 3rd Earl of Leicester. Their son, Robert the 4th earl granted 1½ hides in Houghton Conquest to Reading Abbey which held the manor until dissolved by Henry VIII (1509-1547) in 1539.

Bruce family arms

Elizabeth I (1558-1603) made a temporary grant of the manor to her councillor and spy-master Sir Francis Walsingham and others and the rent of £9/13/7 was granted by James I (1603-1625) to Christopher Hatton and Francis Needham in 1610. In the same year he appointed as steward of the manor Edward, Lord Bruce.

Russell family arms

By 1657 the manor was in the hands of the Blofield family. In 1674 Nicholas Harkett alienated the manor to Nicholas and Nathaniel Lawson. By the beginning of the 18th century the manor was held by Charles Bruce, steward of the Honour of Ampthill. The Bruce family held the manor until 1738 when it was sold to the Duke of Bedford and the dukes held it into the 20th century. A succession of law of Property Acts in the 1920s effectively abolished manors in all but name