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Hyde Manor Studham

The Victoria County History for Bedfordshire, published in 1910, identifies the land held by Robert de Tosny at Barwythe in 1086 as being the later Manor of La Hyde. Alexander de Stodham held the manor in the reign of King Henry II [1154-1189]. Jordan de Stodham seems to have succeeded his father Alexander. He left four daughters who, with their respective husbands granted the manor to Robert de Stodham in 1202, though the manor house and advowson of the church remained with the four sisters. Another Jordan de Stodham conveyed land in the parish to William de Eltesdon in 1232 and 1236 and in the latter year the Prior of Dunstable granted William a chantry to his chapel at Barwythe.

The Eltesdons were still holding the manor in the 1280s and seem either to have adopted the surname de Stodham thereafter or to have conveyed the manor to that family because in 1295 Thomas de Stodham died seised of a rent paid by a tenant for 240 acres which is later called the Manor of La Hyde in Barworth and which was held as a sub-manor of Studham Manor in that year. Thomas granted the manor to Richard atte Hill and his son Thomas, with a devise to Sir Henry Spigurnell of Thomas atte Hill died childless. In 1309 Spigurnell was granted a right of free warren in the manor - the right to maintain a warren and its rabbits both for food and fur and in 1312 Thomas atte Hill conveyed the manor to him.

The manor remained with the Spigurnell family until 1386 when William died childless and the manor passed to his father's sister, Lucy, wife of William Alberd. Lucy died in 1391 and left a daughter Amy or Anne, who married John Kyrkham and died without heirs in 1427 and the manor seems to have descended to John Brecknock as husband of Lettice who settled the manor on him. He died in 1476 and the manor descended to his two daughters Alice, wife of Robert Radclyff and Margaret, wife of William Lucy. In 1549 William Lucy, great-grandson of William and Margaret conveyed his half of the manor to Sir Robert Dormer and it is likely that this half was then merged with the Manor of Studham.

Alice Radclyff had had a daughter by her first marriage to John Smith and she married Thomas Cavendish. Alice also had a third husband, Alexander Quadring by whom she had a son, Richard and on her death the manor devised to her husband for his life then to the two children, Alice Cavendish and Richard Quadring. As it happened both children died before their step father and father respectively and their shares descended to Thomas Cavendish the husband of one and John Smith, son of Margaret Lucy by a second husband. Thomas Cavendish died in 1524 and his quarter share of the manor descended to his son George, friend and biographer of Henry VIII's chief minister Cardinal Wolsey. George died in 1561 and the Victoria County History assumes that his quarter joined with that of John Smith and, presumably was sold by Smith because in 1544 John Shepharde of Offley [Hertfordshire] granted the manor John Sibley of Ayot Saint Lawrence [Hertfordshire].

The Sibley family then held Hyde Manor as a sub-manor of Studham Manor until 1737 when Edward Sibley died and left two daughters, Elizabeth, wife of Rev. A. Smith, curate of Markyate [Hertfordshire] and Anne, wife of John Bentley. Seemingly before her marriage Anne Sibley, spinster, conveyed the manor to Thomas Nicoll and William Jarman and it subsequently became sole property of Edward Nicoll, High Sheriff of Bedfordshire in 1794.

By the 20th century the manor was part of the Ashridge Estate of the Earls Brownlow. A succession of Law of Property Acts in the 1920s extinguished manorial fines and incidents (income from land) and copyhold tenure, rendering manors obsolete in virtually all but name.