History and Gazetteer of Cambridgeshire, 1851

This parish covers an area of 2,000 acres, and its boundaries are principally formed by the parishes of Melbourne and Whaddon, on the south and west, and Orwell and Shepreth on the north and north-east.  The amount of assessed property is £1697; and its population in 1801 was 444; in 1831 643; and in 1841, 730 souls.  The soil is generally mixed with clay, and the principal landowners are John Hitch, Esq., B H Wortham, Esq., the  governors of St. Thomas’s Hospital, London, the dean and chapter of Ely, Mr Wm. Linton, Mr John Burr, and Mrs Ann Wright.

Manors – At the time of the Domesday Survey Hardwinus de Scalariis had a small manor here, which in the reign of Queen Elizabeth was in the family of Moore.   The convent of Ely had a manor here, which is probably united with the manor of Bury, in Melbourne and Meldreth, now belonging to the dean and chapter.  The Veyses had formerly a manor here still called after their name, which is now the property of Mr Wm. Linton.  The manors of Flambards and St. Lowe, both so called from their ancient owners, were united in the Tyrrells, and afterwards in the noble family of Petre, and now belong to Bicoe Hill Wortham, Esq.  The manor of Topcliffe was at an early period held by the Brampton family, under the priory of Ware: it was afterwards given to the hospital of Savoy, and passed with the endowments of that hospital on its suppression to the hospital of St. Thomas.  The manor of Sheene which had belonged to the Carthusian priory of that name, and afterwards to Jesus College, in Rotherham, was granted by Edward VI to Robert Chester: at a subsequent period it passed by sale to John Sterne, Esq. of Milton, whose daughter and heir brought it in marriage to Sir Wm. Ayloffe.  It was subsequently in the family of Pyke, and passed by purchase in 1812 to Mr Joshua Titch [Fitch], whose widow the late Mrs Ann Titch [Fitch], left it by will in 1848 to Mrs Ann Wright, wife of the Rev. A C Wright of Melbourne.

The village of Meldreth which is handsome and scattered, and nearly two miles in length, contains a few very good houses.  It is situate about four miles N by E of Royston.  At a hill nearly a mile from the village several stone coffins have been found.

The Church dedicated to the Holy Trinity is an ancient structure, consisting of a nave, side aisles, chancel, S. porch, and a fine embattled tower.  The benefice is a discharged vicarage in the deanery of Shingay, valued in the K. B. at £4 15s 10d, but returned at £224, nett, per annum.  The dean and chapter of Ely (who are also impropriators of the rectory) are patrons, and the Rev. Thomas Fogg, vicar.  The church was thoroughly repaired in 1841.  Here is a small Wesleyan chapel.

Worthy.  Andrew Marvell, father to the celebrated poet and patriot of the same name, was a native of this parish.

Barrett, Miss Martha
Course, Mrs Ann
Fogg, Rev. Thomas, vicar
Fordham, Mr Alfred
Howard, Mr Richard
Underwood, Mr Wm May
Waller, Mr William


Blott, William
Burr, John
Casbourn, James
Clear, Henry
Clear, William
Charter, George
Ellis, John H
Frost, James
Howard, Thomas, junior
Howard, Benjamin
Linton, William
Mutlock [Mortlock], Simeon (& corn dealer)
Palmer, George
Unwin, John
Wallis, Benjamin


Baker, Thomas, wheelwright & blacksmith
Canop, William, vict, Blue Bell
Fogg, Rev. Thomas, vicar
Harip, Aaron, blacksmith
Hale, Benjamin, wheelwright
Nathan, D., British Queen [Driver, Nathan]
Plum, James, carpenter
Searle, Joseph, beer retailer [The Sailor’s Return]
Wallis, Richard, grocer & draper
Wing, James, shoemaker
Wing, Thomas, baker
Wood and Adcock, tailors & drapers
Worland, Fred., shopkeeper
Worland, William, shopkeeper

Letters are received through the Royston Post Office.

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