The Manor of Broughton

Historical notes about the Manor of Broughton, Huntingdonshire, England, UK


King Edward the Martyr (975–979) gave the Abbey of Ramsey two hides in BROUGHTON and Aednoth, a Ramsey monk, obtained for his abbey another hide there from Aethelwold, Bishop of Winchester. Aethelred the Unready, who succeeded his brother, the martyr, in 979, granted the abbey 9 hides in Broughton, while Aetheric, Bishop of Dorchester, who was buried at Ramsey in 1034, also gave three hides. These gifts were confirmed by Edward the Confessor, who further bestowed all his land there with sac and soc. On 29 December, 1077, William the Conqueror confirmed to the abbey 3 hides in Broughton.

In 1086 we learn from the Domesday Survey that the abbot had 4 hides in Broughton which paid geld. There were in the time of King Edward 5 hides of sokemen's land which paid geld, but the land and the soke had been given to Abbot Ailwin for services rendered to Edward the Confessor while he was in exile in Saxony. The sokemen claimed the privileges already referred to. At the time of the Survey there were a priest and a church and a mill, 10 acres of meadow, and wood for pannage 3 furlongs long and 2 in breadth. In the time of King Edward the manor had been worth £9, and was then worth £10. Eustace, the Sheriff claimed 5 hides; the abbot paid geld for a hide.

An extent of Broughton of the 12th century shows that the abbot held 9 hides, each of 6.5 virgates, which he held in the time of Henry I; that 2 hides were in the court; and that Richard Foliot (Fluilet) had a free hide, probably the abbot's hide already mentioned.

An inquisition of 1252 states that there belonged to the manor a wood called Broughton Wood, with rights of common shared with Raveley. Rights of common were also exercised in the marshes of Ramsey, Warboys and Wistow. There seems to have been 22 freeholders and 56 customary tenants, some of whom owed service with horse and carriage for conveying the lord to London, Shillington in Bedfordshire, or 'elsewhere in such remote parts.' There was a windmill at which all the villeins of Broughton, Warboys, Caldecote, Woodhurst and Old Hurst owed suit.

In 1279 the Abbot of Ramsey held in demesne 4 carucates of land and 5 acres of meadow within the manor, 4 acres in the meadows of St. Ives, and 4 acres in the meadows of Houghton, belonging to his manor of Broughton; the manor with its garden contained 5 acres, and there was a windmill.

In 1539 the Abbot of Ramsey surrendered his monastery and possessions, including Broughton, which was granted with the site of the abbey to Richard Williams, alias Cromwell, and was leased by him and his descendants. From this date the manor followed the descent of Ramsey until the middle of the 17th century, when the estate of Sir Oliver Williams, alias Cromwell, having become hopelessly involved, William Hetley, of Brampton, Sir Oliver Williams, alias Cromwell, of Ramsey, Henry Cromwell, of Ramsey, the elder son and heir apparent of Sir Oliver, and Henry, son and heir apparent of Henry Williams, alias Cromwell, and James Ravenscroft, of Alconbury Weston, by deed dated 17 July, 1651, conveyed to Sir Robert Barkham, of Waynfleet (co. Lincoln), and Anne Huxley, of Edmonton (co. Middlesex), spinster, the manor of Broughton with the capital messuage and the messuage or farm called Horley Farm, in the occupation of John Desborowe, for the sum of £4,650, paid by James Huxley, of London. Possibly this was only a mortgage, as the name of Sir Henry Cromwell appears on the headings of the Courts held for the manor down to 1666. A rent-charge on the Cromwell estates was partly payable from the Manor of Broughton.

Jenkinson Arms

The Armorial Bearings of Jenkinson of Walcot.

The Armorial Bearings of Jenkinson of Walcot.

Azure a fesse wavy argent charged with a cross formy gules with two stars or in the chief.


The manor, however, seems to have passed to James Huxley, perhaps by foreclosure, for in 1678 his daughter and co-heir Jane, the wife of Sir Nicholas Pelham, and Elizabeth, the wife of Robert Cresset, of Upton Cresset, conveyed the manor to Robert Jenkinson, bart., of Walcote, in Oxon. Sir Robert died in 1709–10, and apparently left the manor to his younger son, Banks Robert Jenkinson, who held a court at this time. He succeeded to the title on the death of his elder brother in 1717, but before his death in 1738 he had parted with the manor to John, tenth Lord St. John of Bletsoe, who, with Elizabeth, his wife, held a court in February, 1736–7. Lord St. John died in 1757, and his widow, Elizabeth, held the manor. At her death in 1769 it passed to her two unmarried daughters, Elizabeth and Lettice, and after the death of the former in 1780 it was held by Lettice alone. At her death in 1791 it went to her nephew, Henry St. John, son of Capt. the Hon. Henry St. John, who dealt with the manor in that year, and in 1800, with Katherine, his wife, conveyed it to Sir Henry Dalrymple and John Thomas Batt, probably on behalf of Charles Pinfold, of Walton Hall (co. Bucks), who held a court at the house of Joseph Scratton, being the manor house, on 4 November in that year, and with Charles John Pinfold settled the manor in 1827. Charles Pinfold died in 1857, and his granddaughter, Fanny Maria Pinfold, inherited his property. She died in 1902 and left the manor to Miss Seagrave, a relation on her mother's side, who in 1903 sold Broughton to Mr. George Frederick Beaumont, on whose death on 1 June, 1928, the manor passed to his widow, Mrs. Amy Beaumont, and his two sons, Horace Frederick and John Lionel, the present owners.

St. John Arms

The Armorial Bearings of St. John of Bletsoe.

The Armorial Bearings of St. John of Bletsoe.

Argent a chief gules with two molets or therein.


Victoria County History - Huntingdonshire - Printed in 1932