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The Manor of Wootton Shelton

Volume III of The Victoria County History for Bedfordshire was published in 1912. It gives detailed histories for each of the manors in Wootton. This manor can be traced back to a holding of three hides in Shelton held by Albert de Lorraine in 1086. Though Shelton today is part of Marston Moretaine, Domesday Book stated that it “was and is a member of Wootton”.

This manor came, probably by 1276, into the possession of Cauldwell Priory in Bedford who held it until dissolved by King Henry VIII (1509-1547) in 1536. Four years earlier the priory had leased the manor to William Wheeler for twenty years and the Crown renewed his lease. By 1595 the manor had been obtained by John Matthew who thus became Lord of the Manor.

In 1625 William Matthew and Sarah, his wife, conveyed the manor to Roger Pemberton. The manor remained in this family until 1784 when it is last mentioned in their possession. By the end of the 19th century a man named Dimmock was Lord of the Manor but he mortgaged the manor which was later taken into possession by the mortgagee. A succession of Law of Property Acts in the 1920s extinguished all manorial incidents, courts and copyhold tenure of land. This effectively abolished manors in all but name.