The Manor of Sawtry Moyne

Historical notes about the Manor of Sawtry Moyne, Huntingdonshire, England, UK


The Manor of Sawtry Moyne (a.k.a The Manor of Sawtry Bellers)

Domesday Sawtry - Land of St Benedict of Ramsey

In SAWTRY the Abbot of Ramsey had 7.5 hides and half a virgate to the geld. [There is] land for 12 ploughs. There are now 2 ploughs in demesne, on 2 hides of this land; and 12 villans and 3 bordars having 5 ploughs. There is a church and a priest, and 12 acres of meadow, [and] woodland pasture 2 furlongs long and 1 furlong broad. TRE as now, worth 100s.

(Note: Demesne - Land retained by the Lord of the Manor for his own use and TRE - Tempora Regis Eduardis - In the time of King Edward the Confessor.)

The manor of Sawtry Moyne (at one time called Sawtry BELLERS), or the lands of which the manor was formed, was one of the earliest endowments of the Abbey of Ramsey, being apparently given by Ailwin, the founder of the abbey. The manor was held in demesne by the abbey in 1086, when 7.5 hides and half a virgate of land were attached to it as well as a considerable amount of woodland. Between 1120 and 1130 Abbot Reginald granted it with lands in Great Raveley, Luddington and Gidding, to Hervey le Moyne in fee farm at a rent of £4 a year. His successors, however, performed the military service due and held Sawtry Moyne and Luddington as one knight's fee. In 1278, Sir William le Moyne also paid an annual rent of 40s. to the abbey, and it was probably this rent which appears as still received from the manor in 1510–11. The Moynes owed suit twice a year to the honour court of Broughton, the head of the Ramsey barony. In the 13th century one of the manorial tenants held 2 virgates of land by the service of doing the suit due from the manor to the county court and court of Norman Cross Hundred. The manor followed the descent of Great Raveley (q.v.) until the death of Sir William le Moyne in 1404. He had succeeded his grandfather, William le Moyne, before 1353, when the first of his many settlements of the manor had been made. One of the feoffees was Nicholas de Stukeley, second husband of Sir William le Moyne's aunt, Juliana le Moyne. She had married as her first husband William Clarevaux of Upwood, who died before 1347, leaving their son and heir William, then of age, and a daughter Maud. Stukeley died before 1379, when his widow made a quitclaim of all her right in the manor. In 1371, it had been granted by feoffees to Juliana, the widow of John Mauduit of Warminster, Wilts, with reversion to Sir William le Moyne. The relationship of this Juliana to Sir William does not appear. She had married Mauduit by 1332, when she was apparently still a minor. He died in 1364, and his widow in 1379. Their heir was their granddaughter Maud, by the latter date the wife of Sir Henry Green. The manor of Sawtry Moyne reverted under the grant of 1371 to Sir William le Moyne, who about 1387 married Mary, widow of Thomas de Alberton and of Thomas de Kingston. She had been in the service of Queen Philippa and was a Hainaulter by birth, but had evidently retired from the court, as arrangements were made for her annuity of 20 marks to be paid from the issues of the counties of Cambridge and Huntingdon, instead of at the Exchequer. There seems to be no record of her own family, although the arms on the brass of Sir William have been identified as those of the Somayne family.

In 1387 he settled Sawtry on himself and his wife and their heirs and assigns, and in 1394 obtained a quitclaim of her right in the manor from his widowed cousin Maud Horewood alias Bosam, the daughter of William Clarevaux and Juliana.

On his death in 1404, his widow succeeded to the manor, and her feoffees obtained a quitclaim of all their right in it from Thomas Priour and his wife Joan by a fine levied in 1405, to which William Clarevaux senior and Robert Langton were also parties. On her death in 1411 or 1412, Sir William's inheritance was divided into three pourparties, the lands of the Moynes' manor being divided presumably between three heirs, whose relationship to Sir William does not appear, nor have their names been found except in the case of Robert Langton, to whom the manorial rights appear to have passed. He answered for the whole knight's fee in 1428, and in the same year gave a quitclaim of another share of Sawtry Moyne over which there had been litigation. It passed into the hands of various feoffees to use. In or shortly before 1438, Sir Nicholas Stukeley, Sir Thomas Wauton, knights, and others granted Moyne's manor to John West junior, Thomas Rede and others, who then enfeoffed Thomas Calys clerk, Robert Snow and others. In 1441, Sir Richard Sapcote held the court of the manor and was described as lord of Sawtry, but he may have been merely a feoffee to use. In 1461, John Bellers was lord of the manor. In 1471, Bellers granted it to feoffees to use, who transferred it to other feoffees, probably in connection with its acquisition by Ramsey Abbey, Abbot John Stowe having obtained licence from Edward IV. Before 1510–11, Moyne's manor was granted to the Abbey of Sawtry to hold at a rent of £4 a year. Both manor and rent came to the Crown on the dissolution of the two abbeys, and in 1537 Henry VIII granted the reversion of the manor, which was held on a lease from Sawtry Abbey by William Symcote, to Sir Richard Williams, alias Cromwell. He died seised of the manor in 1544, and it passed to his son Sir Henry Cromwell and grandson Sir Oliver in turn. Oliver sold it in 1608 to William Lord Cavendish, afterwards Earl of Devonshire. The manor was sequestrated during the Commonwealth, but was afterwards recovered and the Duke of Devonshire was lord of the manor in 1818. It passed into the possession of the Hon. Charles Cavendish, great-grandson of the 4th Duke of Devonshire, who was created Baron Chesham in 1858. His great-grandson, the fourth Baron Chesham, was lord of the manor in 1919, when he sold the estates.

Cavendish Arms

The Armorial Bearings of the Cavendish family

The Armorial Bearings of the Cavendish family

Sable three barts' heads caboshed argent with their attires or.

The manor was acquired by 1924 by Sir Arthur George Dilley, kt., the present owner.

Another portion of the estate which was probably inherited by Joan, wife of Thomas Priour, consisted of 3 acres of meadow and 40s. rent, which were separated from the lordship of Moyne's manor, but had been in the possession of Sir William le Moyne. With the manor of Great Raveley, they were granted by Joan, widow of John Tyndall, in 1413 to Thomas Hore, of Childerley (Cambs), and other feoffees. She probably married John Hore, of Childerley, and the meadow and rent passed with Great Raveley (q.v.), and were bought by John Stowe, Abbot of Ramsey, in 1453.

The share, which presumably passed to William Clarevaux, the son and heir of Juliana le Moyne, by her first husband, seems to have passed with Moyne's manor in Great Gidding (q.v.).

In 1278, the Hospital of St. John the Baptist at Huntingdon held 1 virgate of land in the manor of Sawtry Moyne. In Henry VIII's reign the value of the lands of the hospital there was returned as 6s. 8d. a year. At the time of the Dissolution of the Monasteries the hospital was refounded as St. John's Hospital and Grammar School, and the endowments were not seized; it was probably some of the same land which was still in possession of the hospital in 1779 and 1917.

Domesday Sawtry - Land of the King's Thegns

In SAWTRY Aethelwine [had] half a carucate to the geld. [There is] land for 6 oxen. His wife holds it now of the king, and has 1 plough there, and 2 acres of meadow. TRE as now, worth 10s.

(Note: Demesne - Land retained by the Lord of the Manor for his own use and TRE - Tempora Regis Eduardis - In the time of King Edward the Confessor.)

A half-hide of land, probably in Sawtry All Saints, was held in Edward the Confessor's reign by Alwin, one of the king's thegns. His wife still held it in 1086,  but shortly afterwards Eustace the Sheriff, or possibly Walter de Beaumes, the sheriff's tenant in Sawtry Beaumes (q.v.), seized it. Apparently the Abbey of Ramsey claimed this land, and William Rufus, before 1091, ordered its restitution to Abbot Herbert. It was probably this half-hide which Abbot Reginald (1114–30) granted to Roger, son of Mowin. Possibly he was the ancestor of the Mowin family, who appear at Sawtry in the 12th, 13th and 14th centuries, and do not seem to be identical with the Moynes. It is possible that their holding may be identified with Sawtry Place, which in 1447 was granted by Richard Couper and John Steuenys to William Wynkylle and William Spenser, who in turn in 1463 granted it to Lionel Louthe, of Sawtry St. Andrew.

William Moyne obtained a grant of free warren in his demesne lands in Sawtry in 1328.

A windmill was attached to the manor in 1278, and is mentioned in 1510–11.

It is not certain whether the view of frankpledge for the manor of Sawtry Moyne was held either by the Abbey of Ramsey or by their sub-tenants. After the dissolution of Ramsey and Sawtry Abbeys, Sir Richard Cromwell held a view of frankpledge for the tenants of the manor as early as 1544, and his son held the court in 1588. In 1285 the Abbey of Thorney claimed to hold a view of frankpledge and waifs in Sawtry Moyne in right of the Hundred of Norman Cross.

Victoria County History: Huntingdonshire Printed 1932