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The Manor of Steppingley

Volume III of The Victoria County History was published in 1912. It contains a history of  the Manor of Steppingley. It was held by William Speke and his tenant William, son of Reginald in 1086 but for the next 130 years the manor is not present in the surviving historical record.

Woburn Abbey
The arms of Woburn Abbey

In the early 13th century the manor was in the possession of William, son of Richard who had it in 1219 from Gilbert, son of William de Den. William’s successor was Walter de Steppingley who was in possession by 1284. His family then held the manor until at least 1316 when John de Steppingley died leaving a daughter as heir, who married William Mordaunt. On her death John de Steppingley’s brother Henry claimed the manor and it may have been he who alienated it to Woburn Abbey, which held the manor until the abbey was dissolved by Henry VIII (1509-1547) in 1538 at which point it would have been transferred to the Crown.

Arms of the Bruce family

The Bruce family, Earls of Elgin were stewards of the manor in the 17th century and in 1677 Charles II granted a lease of the manor for ninety nine years to Robert Bruce, 1st Earl of Ailesbury. In 1771 John, 4th Duke of Bedford, obtained a lease of the manor until it reverted to the Crown in 1839.