Historical notes about the Manor of Burystead in Elton, Huntingdonshire, UK
The site of the manor, which was known as the Burystead, was leased in 1535 by the abbot to John Sandys for a term of 70 years, for a rent of 25 quarters of corn to be paid at Elton mills. In 1551 Edward VI granted the rent of 25 quarters of corn to George Raylton to hold for 21 years at a rent of £8 6s. 8d. Before 1556 the lease of the site and demesnes seems to have passed to John Hixon, who left his lease to his wife Elizabeth during her widowhood, with reversion to his son Robert, provided that his brother-in-law Gregory Raylton approved of her tenancy. It seems probable that George and Gregory Raylton were identical. In 1568 Queen Elizabeth granted to Ralph Rawlinson, a groom of her wardrobe, the reversion of the rent of 25 quarters of corn, for 21 years, to take effect at the end of Raylton's lease in 1572, paying the same rent of £8 6s. 8d. She also granted him the reversion of the site of the manor, for 21 years, at a rent of £8 6s. 8d., also to take effect at the end of Raylton's lease in 1572, but it was afterwards noticed that there was a mistake, as Raylton had no lease of the site, and in 1589 or 1590 Elizabeth, widow of Ralph Rawlinson, obtained a new patent, correctly granting her a lease for 21 years, at the expiration of Sandys' lease in 1605.
In 1586 the Queen granted a lease to her servant Thomas Hickson, probably the son of John Hixon, of the rent of 25 quarters of corn for 21 years, to take effect in 1593, at the expiration of Rawlinson's lease. Finally, in 1589, she granted to William Kirkham, junior, the reversion of the site of the manor and the pasture for 25 bullocks at a rent of £8 6s. 8d. for 40 years, to take effect at the end of Elizabeth Rawlinson's lease in 1626.
From other evidence it seems clear that amongst the different lessees John Sandys, John Hixon, and Ralph Rawlinson occupied the site and demesne lands of the manor in turn, but in 1588 the actual farmer was Christopher Smythe, whose name does not appear in the leases which so far have been traced. In 1605, when the abbot's lease expired, the actual farmer was Peter Proby, who paid an annual rent of £8 6s. 8d. He had presumably bought William Kirkham's lease. At his death in 1625, he held a long lease which he left to his wife Elizabeth to hold for 40 years, if she lived so long, with reversion to his son Heneage Proby. The latter, in 1634, became the tenant of certain copyhold lands in Elton, which had previously been held by Sir Thomas Cheeke, receiving them from the steward of Sir Thomas Cotton, then lord of the manor. In 1640 he was described as Heneage Proby of Elton. In his will, dated 20 November 1663, no mention is made of any property at Elton and he was then living at Rans [alias Rands], in the parish of Amersham (Bucks). In any case, if he still was the lessee of the site and demesnes of Elton manor, they would fall in to his son as lord of the manor.
The Armorial Bearings of the Sapcote family.
Sable three dovecotes argent.
Victoria County History - Published 1932