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The Manor of Canons

The Monoux family coat of arms
The Monoux family coat of arms

Newnham Priory in Bedford owned a manor in Wootton which became known as Canons Manor after the priory was dissolved by King Henry VIII (1509-1547) in 1541. The land making up the manor seems to have been in Church End and Bourne End and the earliest reference to it is in 1291 when the manor was worth £2/4/ 3½. By 1535 this had risen to £15/7/3.

In 1542 the Crown annexed the manor to the newly created Honour of Ampthill. The value now was only £10/10/8¾. In 1612 the manor was granted to John Eldred and William Whitmore but by 1623 the manor had been acquired by Richard Button who also purchased Studleys Manor. His daughter married Edmund Wingate, a mathematician who had been tutor to Henrietta Maria, Charles I’s queen, in Paris.

His son Button Wingate conveyed the manor to Henry Chester of Astwood [Buckinghamshire] in 1657 for £1,920. The manor was described as including the parsonage or vicarage as its mansion as well as an adjoining close. The parsonage had lately been divided into two and was partly in Button Wingate's occupation [AD2313-2314]. In 1662 Chester granted the reversion of the manor, which was mortgaged, to London merchants Robert and Thomas Yarway [AD2317].

In 1663 the Yarways settled the manor on trustees as part of a settlement on the marriage of Robert Yarway with Elizabeth Smith [AD2321]. They also mortgaged the manor to pay for portions for Elizabeth's seven daughters by her previous marriage [AD2322]. In the same year William Yarway mortgaged the manor to Richard Dawson of London [AD2324] and he then assigned the mortgage to Sir Henry Coningsby of Shenley [Hertfordshire] in 1671 [AD2324]. In 1673 Coningsby assigned the mortgage to Thomas Aram of London [AD2325].

In 1680 Aram assigned the mortgages on the manor to Sir Lewis Monoux [AD2328-2329], Coningsby [AD2327]assigned his interest in the manor to Monoux at the same time and in 1683 William Yarway released his right to the manor to Monoux [AD2330]. Canons Manor was merged into the other manors in Wootton acquired by the Monoux family at various dates so that the last mention of it is in 1729.