Skip Navigation

Welcome to Bedford Borough Council

Home > Community Histories > Ravensden > Knights of St. John of Jerusalem

Knights of St. John of Jerusalem

This page was compiled by Trevor Stewart

Knights Hospitaller

The arms of the Knights of St. John (Hospitallers)

A small estate in Ravensden was held by the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem, who acquired land from the tenants of William de Ferrars. This gift was confirmed to them in 1199.  In 1253 Henry III bestowed upon them a view of frankpledge, confirmed by Edward I in 1280, and this charter was produced by the prior in justification of his claim in 1287, when he was said to have only two tenants in Ravensden; the view of frankpledge at that time held twice a year at Bedford.  In 1330 the prior’s right to hold the view was again contested.  In 1540, on the dissolution of this religious order, the lands which had been held by the prior as part of the Shingay [Cambridgeshire] Preceptory, among them the Ravensden estate, were granted to Sir Richard Long.  The Ravensden property is not separately mentioned after this.