Wendover is mentioned between 965 & 971 in the Will of Ælfheah the Ældorman of Hampshire & Wiltshire, who owned land in ‘Ægelesbyrig‘ (Aylesbury) and ‘Wændofron‘ (Wendover). The Manor Wendover Borough and Wendover Forrens, was held by Edward the Confessor, and after the Norman Conquest it remained in the possession of William I, and therefore formed part of the Ancient Demesne of the Crown. It was assessed throughout the 11th century at 24 hides, but the Farm of the Manor was raised from £25, by Tale, in the time of the Confessor to £38, Assayed, in 1086. There were at the later date 2 Sokemen holding 1½ hides of land. Additions to Wendover Manor were made after the Conquest by Ralph Taillebosc, who possibly held the Office of Sheriff of Buckinghamshire. In ‘Wandene,’ which has been identified with Wendover Dean, Lewin of Neweham held ½ a hide both before and after the Conquest, but in the Reign of the Confessor, it was not attached to the Royal Manor. Again, another ½ hide was held by 3 men who could sell their Land, but in 1086 it had been added to the Farm of Wendover. The Manor of Wendover remained in the King’s possession until Stephen Granted it in 1151 to Hugh de Gurnay, one of his active supporters, by whom it was held until after the expedition of Henry II to Toulouse. The King then Granted the greater part of Wendover to Faramus of Boulogne, who was already in possession at Michaelmas 1158. He is said to have received it in exchange for the Castle of Dover. Faramus was succeeded by his daughter and heir Sibyl de Tingres, the wife of Ingram de Fiennes, who paid the Farm of the Manor in 1185. Ingram went on the 3rd Crusade and was killed at the Siege of Acre in 1190. His name, however, appears as paying the Farm of the Manor until 1194, when it seems to have Escheated to the King. In 1199 his Widow Sibyl paid a Fine for possession of the Manor and for Licence to marry whom she would. She held it in 1200, but the following year Hugh de Gurnay, the son of the former Lord of the Manor, brought an action against the heirs of Ingram de Fiennes to recover it. The result of this Suit is not given, but Hugh was banished shortly after this date and Sibyl retained Wendover till 1208, possibly the date of her death. In the following year Hugh de Gurnay, who had been Pardoned at the request of Otto, King of the Romans, the King’s nephew, paid a fine for the Manor of Wendover, which he held in 1215. He supported the Barons against King John and his Lands were forfeited, but he seems to have died a little later. After the accession of Henry III, William de Fiennes, the son and heir of Ingram & Sibyl, obtained Wendover. Hugh son and heir of Hugh de Gurnay obtained restitution of his lands in 1222, but before this Fiennes had had difficulty in obtaining the Homage & Service of a Tenant of the Manor enfeoffed by the Gurnays. In 1220 he did not hold the whole Manor, and there was considerable litigation over the matter. In 1223, however, a compromise was reached by which William de Fiennes Granted Hugh de Gurnay certain Lands, Rents & Services in the Manor, to hold of the Lords of the Manor, for the Service due from 1 Knight’s Fee. William died before 1243 and was succeeded by his son Ingram, who Granted Wendover in 1251 for 3 years to Peter of Savoy. Ten years later he obtained a confirmation of the Grant of the Manor from Henry III. After his death before 1284, his Widow Isabel held it of his son and heir William. The latter died Seised in 1301 and was succeeded by his son John, who, however, lived on his French Fief of St Omer in Picardy. He gave Wendover to his brother Robert, the King’s Yeoman, who demised it in 1314 to Edward II for 10 years, but shortly afterwards regained possession of the Manor from the King. Roger Mortimer of Wigmore, one of the Chief supporters of Thomas of Lancaster in his attack on the Despensers, was the brother-in-law of John & Robert, having married their sister Margaret. Robert supported him and in consequence lost his Lands & Goods. After the successful attempt of the King to crush the Mortimers, Robert joined his brother at St Omer. Mortimer was imprisoned in the Tower, but escaped in 1323, and he also sought refuge in Picardy. There the King wrote to both John & Robert de Fiennes commanding them to give up the Rebels. John made his Peace with the King, but neither he nor Robert seems to have recovered the Manor of Wendover since they followed their French allegiance in the Wars that were shortly to begin. The Manor remained in the Crown until 1339, when Edward III gave it to Sir John de Molyns. The latter Settled it the following year on himself, his wife Gille and their sons John & William in Tail, but it appears to have been forfeited already to the King on account of Sir John’s Bankruptcy. His Lands were restored to him in 1345, and he gave certain Manors including Wendover to his son William for his life. His lands were again forfeited, but in 1359 William de Molyns obtained a release of those Manors in which he had a life interest, on condition that he found ‘competent maintenance‘ for his father and mother.
William seems to have held Wendover peaceably for a few years, but about 1364 Robert de Fiennes claimed it under the Treaty with King John of France. He did not succeed, however, and in spite of the Grant to William de Molyns the Manor reverted to the Crown. The King Granted the Manor in 1371 to Alice Perrers, who finally forfeited her Lands on the accession of Richard II. Her husband, Sir William Windsor, sheltered her after the sentence of Banishment pronounced on her by Parliament, and some years later obtained a Grant of much of her Property; but Wendover in spite of a Petition made in 1381 was not restored. In that year Richard II Granted the Manor to his half-brother Thomas Holland. In 1384 he Granted it to Queen Anne for her Dower, and in 1385 temporarily to Chancellor Michael de la Pole, but it was again in his hands in 1387. In 1388 it was given to Edmund Duke of York in Fee-Tail-Male. The Duke held it till his death in 1402, when he was succeeded by his son Edward.
The 2nd Duke died in 1415 and Wendover passed to his nephew Richard, who became the leader of the Yorkist Party. His Property was forfeited under the Act of Attainder of 1459 but came into the possession of his son Edward IV on his accession. Edward gave it to his mother for her life and Richard III afterwards confirmed the Grant, but Henry VII resumed the Manor in 1495 and assigned it to his wife Elizabeth of York as part of her Jointure. It passed to Henry VIII, who obtained a Quitclaim from his aunts, Katherine Countess of Devon & Anne the wife of Sir Thomas Howard, both daughters of Edward IV. The King Granted Lands & Rents in Wendover to Catherine of Aragon, and afterwards the Manor was given to her, (to Jane Seymour, Anne of Cleves, & Catherine Howard in succession. On the Execution of Catherine Howard it reverted to the Crown and was not alienated till 1564 when Queen Elizabeth Granted the Manors of Wendover Borough & Wendover Forrens to Sir Francis Knollys and his wife Katherine. The following year she also Granted them the Fee-Farm Rent due from the Manors. Before 1575 the Wendover Manors passed, probably by Sale, to William Hawtrey of Chequers. It is not clear to which William Hawtrey this refers, as a father and son of this name succeeded one another in the 2nd half of the 16th century. The son, who was Knighted in 1591 before Rouen by the Earl of Essex, left 3 daughters and heirs, Mary the wife of Sir Francis Wolley, Bridget wife of Sir Henry Croke and Anne wife of John Saunders. Wendover was assigned to the eldest daughter Mary, who held the Manors in 1613. She died leaving no descendants, and her lands before 1638 were divided between her niece Elizabeth wife of Sir Walter Pye and Sir Henry Croke. Sir Walter Settled his Moiety in that year on his wife Elizabeth and his heirs, but after her death in 1640 a further Settlement appears to have been made and the Wendover Manors became the Property of Sir Walter only. His Estates were sequestered during the Civil War, but he sold Wendover Borough & Forrens to George Gosnold & Robert Style, who resold them to John Baldwin before 1650. Ten years later they were purchased from him by Richard
Hampden of Great Hampden (qv). The Hampdens held the Manors until the middle of the 18th century, when the Borough (q.v.) was acquired by Earl Verney, the Hampdens, however, retaining the Paramountcy of both Manors. After Lord Carrington had bought the Borough, he obtained also the life interest in the Manors of Thomas 2nd Viscount Hampden, who then owned the Hampden Estates, and finally obtained the Paramountcy of the manors from the Earl of Buckinghamshire, who succeeded to the Estates in 1824. Lord Carrington conveyed the Manors to his brother Samuel, whose grandson the Rev Albert Smith was now Lord of the Manor of Wendover.
The following Customary Payments made by the Tenants of the Manor are mentioned in different documents: Medesilver (13thC), Christmasyeld & Bensed. The Lords of the Manors of Wendover held very important Franchises. The Grant to Faramus of Boulogne included Sac & Soc, Toll & Team, Infangthief and other Liberties, and in the 13th century Ingram de Fiennes held the View of Frankpledge, for which he paid 20s to the Sheriff and ½ a Mark to the King’s Bailiff, but he afterwards ceased these payments, since he obtained a Charter omitting them. He also had the Assizes of Bread & Ale, the return of Writs & Gallows. Sir John de Molyns obtained still greater privileges in 1340, but they do not seem to have been renewed in the Brant to the Duke of York in 1388, only the View of Frankpledge being specially mentioned.
An Estate which obtained the name of Bradshaw’s Manor was purchased from Henry VIII by Henry Bradshaw, Chief Baron of the Exchequer. He was probably the son of William Bradshaw of Wendover, to whom there is a Brass in the Church, though Bradshaw’s Manor was apparently not the Family property, but the land of the Priory of St Mary Overy in Wendover Forrens obtained by him in 1540. The Right of Free Warren which he exercised in Wendover Forrens Manor was presumably Appurtenant to Bradshaw’s Manor. Henry died Seised of the Manor in 1553, and it passed with Halton Manor, after the death of his son Benedict and one of his daughters, to the surviving daughter Bridget wife of Thomas Fermor. The name Bradshaw’s Manor does not appear after her death in 1578, but probably the Lands belonging to it are to be identified with the Property in Wendover belonging to the Lords of the Manor of Halton. In 1641 Sir Richard Fermor paid a lay subsidy for lands in Wendover, which were in the possession of Henry Fermor in 1671. In that year Henry bought the Fee-Farm rent of £4 8s 7d, due from his Property in Wendover, from Richard Hampden, then Lord of the Wendover Manors. In 1795 Sir John Dashwood, who was Lord of Halton Manor, was also a Landowner in Wendover.
The Abbey of Missenden obtained Grants of Land in Wendover in the 12th & 13th centuries. In the Index of the Abbey Cartulary Charters from the Lords of the Manor of Wendover, Faramus of Boulogne, Sibyl his daughter, William de Fiennes and Hugh de Gurnay are enumerated, but they have been lost from the Text. In spite of this the Charters of smaller Tenants of Wendover are recorded. At the Dissolution the Monastery held land in Wendover worth £1 15s 4d a year and the greater part of this was Granted in Fee in 1540 and 1543 to Sir Michael Dormer.
He died in 1545 Seised of Lands in Wendover, and it seems probable that these may be identified with the Manor of Martins or Mayertone Manor, which was held of the Manor of Wendover Forrens by Fealty & Rent. Sir Michael’s heir was his son Thomas, and though he made Settlements on his other sons in Tail-Male as well, the reversion of Mayertorne Manor seems to have passed shortly after to his nephew Sir Robert Dormer. The latter died Seised of this reversion in 1552, and the Manor remained with his descendants till the 2nd half of the 17th century. Charles Earl of Carnarvon, the last of the eldest branch of Sir Robert’s heirs male, sold it in 1670 to Thomas Lewis, a London Alderman. In 1712 it belonged to Francis Lewis, from whom it, like West Wycombe, passed to the Dashwood Family, who purchased Halton Manor in 1720. Mayertorne Manor was bought by Matthew Raper before 1795. His son Matthew succeeded him and died in 1826. Mayertorne was afterwards held for many years by Mr Lanford Lovell of Hampshire and was purchased about 1860 by Mr Tubbs, whose son’s Widow Mrs Tubbs was the recent Owner.
The Manor of Wyvelsgate, which was held of the Manor of Wendover Forrens by Fealty, Suit of Court and a Rent of 11s 4d, is 1st mentioned in the 15th century, but the name Wyvelsgate appears in 1223 & 1315–16. In 1414 Roger Cheyne of Drayton Beauchamp held Rents in Wyvelsgate and a Fulling-Mill in Wendover. Most probably this Estate formed a large part of the Manor, which belonged in 1493 to Robert Bulstrode and his wife Margaret as part of her inheritance. They sold the Manor to Abraham Sibylles, who died before the accession of Henry VIII, leaving his son Isaac, then a Minor, as his heir. Isaac obtained Livery of his Inheritance in 1518, but died in 1526, when he was Seised of 46s 8d Rent in Wyvelsgate, no Manor being mentioned. His heir was his sister Anne, the wife of John Cheyne of Kent. She does not appear in the pedigree of the Cheyne Family, but apparently, she died leaving 2 daughters as her heirs, Anne wife of John Poyntz and Frances wife of John Asteley. The Poyntzes released the Manor in 1542, and the Asteleys in 1545, to Henry Bradshaw. From him, it seems to have passed to George Baldwin, who died Seised of Wyvelsgate Manor in 1576. He was succeeded by his son Ralph and by Henry Baldwin, presumably his grandson, in turn. The latter had succeeded before 1620–1, when James I Granted him Free Warren in his Manor and Lordship of Wyvelsgate. He was living in 1633–4, when a Ralph Baldwin is also mentioned. The Manor seems to have come before 1641 into the possession of William Hakewill, to whom reference has already been made in the history of the Parliamentary Franchise of the Borough (qv). He died in 1655, and both he and his wife Elizabeth daughter of Sir Henry Woodhouse are buried at Wendover. William Hakewill, probably his son, held the Manor in 1672 and was succeeded by Gresham Hakewill. In 1672 William & Gresham Hakewill released it to John Collet & William Hill of Wendover, and in 1676 Gresham Hakewill and his wife Katherine, together with William Hill, Sr, and Thomas Ligoe further released it to John Rose. In 1724 it was in the possession of Edward Martin, who with his wife Frances sold Wyvelsgate to Thomas Holloway and his wife Anne.
Holloway still owned it in 1737, but it afterwards came into the possession of the Collet Family. Possibly the Collets had possessed it since 1672, in which case the interest of Martin & Holloway must have been that of Lessees, or again John Collet may have had a Mortgage on the Manor which was afterwards foreclosed. Before 1770 it was in the possession of Robert Collet, the last direct male descendant of a Family which had been connected with Wendover for several Centuries. He settled it on his sister’s Family, and at his death, it passed to his nephew Richard Stratford, who took the name of Collet in addition to his own. In 1862 it was in the possession of Robert S Collet, but the Collet Estate was afterwards sold and broken up. The House called The Hale is said to have been the Residence of the Collets in the 14th century, and according to one account was the birthplace of Sir Henry Collet. In the 16th & 17th centuries it belonged to the Lords of Wyvelsgate Manor and was not regained by the Collets till they obtained the Manor.
The Hale – Hale Lane
The history of the Fee obtained by Hugh de Gurnay in Wendover, in Settlement of the dispute between his family and the Fiennes as to the possession of the manor, can be traced for several centuries. On his death, about 1238, it passed to his daughter Juliana the wife of William Bardolf, but all the land was sub-infeudated at the time of her death in 1295, and her descendants held the Fee in Mesne Lordship. The Bardolfs held it until the death of Thomas Lord Bardolf in 1407–8. He took part in the Earl of Northumberland’s rising against Henry IV, and died of wounds received at the Fight of Bramham Moor. He was attainted after his death, and presumably the Rents & Services due to him from Wendover lapsed to the Crown, since they do not appear among the possessions recovered by his heirs.
The Manor of the Hale can be identified with one of the Tenements from which these Services were due. In 1223 the rent from ½ a hide of land held by Edmund of the Hale was assigned to Hugh de Gurnay in his share of Wendover. This perhaps did not include all the Land afterwards known as the Manor, but it is evidence that the Hale was held of Gurnay. Some years later Judlemus de Evermia and Lady Joan Mumby(?) each held half a Fee of his heir, but it seems impossible to identify which half was afterwards held by the Vache Family. In 1294 Richard Vache held lands in Wendover, and in 1329–30 Matthew Vache held ½ a Knight’s Fee there. His son Richard obtained a Grant of Free Warren in his Demesne Lands in Wendover in 1363. The Vache Lands passed, on the death of Sir Philip Vache, c.1408, to his daughter, the wife of Richard Lord Grey de Wilton. In a Settlement made in 1442 Wendover le Hale and certain Lands in Aston Clinton are described as being ‘the same Manor of Weston Clinton,’ ie, as Vaches Manor in Aston Clinton, but in the following year Reginald Lord Grey de Wilton held a separate view of Frankpledge for Wendover with le Hale. It appears to have followed the same descent as Vaches Manor in Aston Clinton at this time, coming into the possession of Sir Henry Collet, Alderman and twice Lord Mayor of London, whose family are said to have been living at the Hale before this time. Sir Henry died in 1505 and his lands passed to his only surviving son John, Dean of St Paul’s, who held, a year or 2 later, lands worth £10 4s 2d a year in Wendover and Vaches Manor in Aston Clinton & Wendover worth £7 13s 6d a year.
On the Foundation of St Paul’s School byDean Collet, Lands adjacent to the Hale were given to the Mercers’ Company, the Trustees of the School, and they were shortly involved in considerable Litigation with their Wendover Tenants. The Mercers still held this Property in the 19th century, but the Manorial Rights had been retained by the Collets and were alienated by Mr Robert Stratford Collet in 1880 to Mr Alfred Charles de Rothschild.
The Fitz Niel family held land in Wendover during the 13th & 14th centuries. Robert Fitz Niel acquired land from Roger le Someter in 1287 which was held of Wendover Manor. The land followed the descent of the Manor of Fenel’s Grove in Great Kimble (in Aylesbury Hundred, qv), the last mention of it being after the death of Sir Michael Dormer in 1545.
Two Mills are mentioned in Domesday, attached to Wendover Manor and worth 10s yearly, and known later as the Upper & Nether Mills. In 1295 they were worth £10 yearly, while in 1417 their value had decreased to £1 13s 4d. In the 16th century, they were leased for £6. Sheahan mentions 2 Mills which have since disappeared. The Nether Mill stood on the site of the present Watermill. Another Watermill, called Clerks Mill, was also attached to Wendover Manor and is mentioned in 1411 and again in 1555. A Fulling Mill is mentioned in Wendover in 1296 and again in 1414 when Roger Cheyne died Seised. Two Mills known as Poyntz Mills were attached to Wyvelsgate Manor (qv) in the 16th century.
The Hospital of St John Baptist for a Warden and an unknown number of Brethren existed in Wendover in the late 13th century. In 1311 the Brethren obtained an Indulgence from Bishop Dalderby. The Warden held land in the Borough & Forrens of Wendover until the Reign of Henry VIII, when the Hospital presumably was dissolved. In 1554 land formerly held by the Hospital was unlet in the hands of the Lord of the Manor. Nothing more is known of the Hospital, but it seems probable that it may have been connected with the Chapel of St John Baptist, which formerly stood on the Tring Road. The Chapel seems to have belonged to the Borough (qv), its Property being administered by the Burgesses, but it was dissolved as a Chantry Chapel in 1547. Ten years later an Inquisition was held on the Property of this Chapel, which consisted of a Messuage & Lands valued at 59s a year, which was received by the Warden of the Chapel, for the Salary of a Priest to celebrate Divine Service in it. It then seems to have been in the occupation of William Wyre, which continued in spite of a Grant of the Chapel and its Estate to George London in 1558 for 21 years. The reversion was Granted by Queen Elizabeth in 1562 to Robert Moulton & William Barrell and their heirs. The rent of 59s was not paid by William Wyre to the Grantees, and apparently as the result of a complaint on their part his Widow Katherine and her 2nd husband William Girdler were afterwards called upon to Account for the Issues of the Estate. The Woods belonging to the Chapel were mentioned in 1573. The Chapel Lands, containing 12 acres, however, are mentioned as paying Tithes to the Impropriator of the Rectory in 1680. The Chapel, which had long been disused, was pulled down and on the Site the Infants’ School was built.