Leighton-Linslade Past Times: including Billington, Eggington, Heath & Reach and Stanbridge
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Manorial History - Stanbridge Manor

Stanbridge manor was formed from part of the demesne of the royal manor of Leighton, and was held of the Crown by the serjeantry of looking after two of the king's falcons and of paying £4 annually to Newham Priory. However, before 1258 the care of the falcons was changed to the payment of £3 into the Exchequer for the service of the chief falconer. By 1439 this service was represented by the hundreth part of a knight's fee.

The payment to Newham Priory continued until Newham's dissolution in 1535 when it was escheated to the Crown.

The manor is first mentioned in 1166, and was bestowed on Audufus de Gatesden, or Gaddesden, and descended with this family until the 16th century. The early relationship between the family members who held the manor is not clear in the documents. In 1204 it was owned by William de Gatesden, and in 1240 Peter is mentioned in connecction to some land. By 1247 John de Gatesden held the manor. On his death in 1258 the manor passed to his daughter Margaret, who married another John de Gatesden. In 1291, when this latter John died, Stanbridge manor became the property of the daughter Joan. She carried it in marriage to Richard Chamberlain, who in 1314 settled it on his son John and his wife Joan (eventual heir of John Morteyn). After Joan's death Richard married for a second time to Aubrey, and in 1324 he settled the manor on his son Richard (later knighted) and Margaret his wife. From 1373 until the end of the 16th century the manor was held with that of Tilsworth (inherited by Sir Richard Chamberlain from his cousin John Morteyn).

At the end of the 16th century the manor had become the possession of the Fowler family, and in 1601, Richard Fowler sold Stanbridge manor to John Iremonger, who held it until his death in 1613 when the estate passed to his son John. Similarly on John's death in 1635 the estate was inherited by his son John. John was then succeeded by Humphrey Iremonger, who suffered during the Civil War because of his support for the Royalist cause. He died in 1659, leaving twelve children. The eldest son William, died without any children, and so in his will he left Stanbridge to his sisters Martha, Judith, Margaret and Frances and to his brothers Thomas, Humphrey and John. In 1678, the brothers and sisters combined to alienate the manor to Ralph Baldwin. By 1747, the estate was in the possession of Ralph's eldest son Thomas, but the reversion was vested in his brother William. During the subsequent fifty years the manor is believed to have descended via inheritance, and in 1767 the Reverend John Pitman was in possession. He sold it to Thomas Gurney, and by the 19th century his wife was the lady of the manor. In the 19th century the manorial rights were acquired by the Hanmer family, lords of the manor of Leighton.