History of our Manor
Land and Valuation - A.D. 1086
The Name of the Manor
The History of the Lordship: before 1551
Ivinghoe Manor: It is recorded in Domesday Book as being assessed for 20 hides and being valued at £18. The land in Ivinghoe was very fertile and provided the Bishops with an abundance of produce as well as timber from their considerable woodlands. Wheat crops, barley, oats, peas and beans were all grown here and in 1318 the Bishop received protection for the corn which was being sent from the Manor to London. In the same year he was granted a charter of a weekly market to be held every Thursday. The unusual survival of such a long run of detailed manorial records makes it possible to find out much more about Ivinghoe in the medieval period.
The Fictitional History: The fief of Ivanhoe in the Romans
Sir Walter Scott took the title of his novel, and of its hero, from the feudal title of Sir Wilfred of Ivanhoe, in moder english Ivinghoe. "The name of Ivanhoe," he says in his Introduction, "was suggested by an old rhyme. All novelists have had occasion at some time or other to wish, with Falstalf, that they knew where a commodity of good names was to be had. On such an occasion the author chanced to call to memory a rhyme recording three names of the manors forfeited by the ancestor of the celebrated Hampden for striking the Black Prince a blow with his racket when they quarrelled at tennis :-
"Tring, Wing and Ivanhoe,
For striking of a blow,
Hampden did forego,
And glad he could escape so."
The Fief of Ivanhoe
A "fief" or Lordship would be the plot of land granted to a faithful person, probably knight, in return for service to the Lord. In Ivanhoe Sir Wilfred received his fief from King Richard, who, though the reader knows he is back in England in the disguise as the Black Knight, is thought to be captive still, So Prince John has assigned the fiefdom to Front-de-Boef. John justifies the possession of the fiefdom by saying his followers have been with him, doing his bidding, rather than abroad where he could "neither render homage nor service when called upon."
The Lordship 1551-Today
Edward VI granted Ivinghoe manor to Sir John Mason in 1551 but in 1553 it was restored to Winchester who retained it until 1558 when it was returned to the Mason family. It was held for short periods of time by Charles Glenham (1586-1589) and Lady Jane Cheyne (1589-1603). Since then the manor has belonged to the owners of the Ashridge estate (VCH). By 1862 Sheahan says both this principal manor and the Rectory Manor were held by the Brownlows of Ashridge and the court-leet was being held each year in the King’s Head. The last of the Egerton family to hold the manor was the 53th Lord of Ivinghoe to which succeded the actual 54th lord of the Manor : dr. Marco Paret