Lord Duxford (Guy Davies) is a descendant of Mervyn Davies (former king of Powys) Lord Duxford's ancestry dates back to 616 and the battle of Chester. After the exodus of the Romans in the 5th century A.D., the ancient Britons were left in possession of Western England, (present day Wales and Cumbria), while the Germanic invaders, the saxons, Jutes and Angles continued a determined invasion from the south-east of England. It was the year 616, and the Battle of Chester, that the Celts were divided, and Wales, through still a group of kingdoms, came to be a distinct nation.
Rhodri Mawr (Rhodri the Great). was the first welsh warrior/leader. In 855, through skilful alliances and practical marriages, he became the King of Powys and much of the rest of Wales. He died in 893, giving Wales to his three sons, Anward who became King of North Wales, Cadalh who became King of South Wales and Mervyn who became King of Powys (Mid Wales). Bearers of the name were first found in Flintshire (Sir y Fflint) a historic county, created after the defeat of the Welsh Kingdom of Gwynedd in 1284, and located to the north-east. Wales, where the Davies family held a family seat from ancient times. They were descended from Cynrig Efell, Lord of Eglwysegle the twin son of Madog ab Maerdadd, the great grandson of Bleddyn ap Cynvin, Prince of Powys, head of the honourable and worthy third Royal Tribe of Wales, who was traitorusly murdered in 1073 by the men of Ystrad Tywi, after he had governed Wales for 13 years. Lord Duxford, among many contemporary bearers of his name include Sir Peter Maxwell Davies (1934) English Composer; Sir Henry Walford Davies (1869-1941) British Director of music Mrs. Elizabeth Agnes Mary Davies, who was a second class passenger aboard RMS Titanic and survived the sinking.
Theodred, bishop of London, left an estate at Duxford to the king as part of his heriot. In 1066 Ulf, a thegn of King Edward, held 4½ hides there, and Herulf who owned 1¾ hide and Ingwar who owned ½ hide were also King Edward's men. Of the 13 sokemen who occupied another 4¼ hides, 11 were also commended to the king, the other two being men of Earl Alfgar and of Eddeva the fair. Eddeva herself had 6 hides, and Archbishop Stigand 3½ hides.
After the Conquest Ulf's estate came to Robert de Todeni, lord of Belvoir (Leics.), of whom it was held in 1086 by Gilbert the bearded. Robert's honor of Belvoir passed through two heiresses to the house of Albini Brito, whose male line expired in 1244, whereupon its heiress brought the honor to the lords Ros, ancestors of the earls, and later dukes, of Rutland. Their overlordship at Duxford is not directly recorded after 1086, but the Colvilles, who were tenants by c. 1200 of the estate there later called TEMPLE manor, held it originally of the honor of Belvoir, as, from the 12th century, they held their Leicestershire lands at Muston and Normanton. William de Colville, who probably held land in Cambridgeshire by 1177 obtained Duxford upon his marriage to Maud, the eldest daughter and eventual coheir of Ralph de Albini (d. c. 1192), who held 15 knights' fees of his brother William de Albini in 1166. William de Colville died c. 1179 and was succeeded by his son William, who was deprived of his lands by King John but was restored in 1217. Having quarrelled with his eldest son Roger. William before his death in 1230 granted much of his land to younger sons and religious houses. He gave 2 carucates and a mill at Duxford to the Knights of the Temple, and 120 a. to Tilty abbey (Essex), besides endowing the hospital that he founded at Whittlesford Bridge with 1 yardland and another mill. Roger and his descendants, the lords Colville, retained only the overlordship of the Temple manor.
In 1279 his grandson Roger was erroneously said to hold it of the honor of the counts of Aumale of which his ancestors held their seat at Castle Bytham (Lincs.). Under Roger the local preceptor of the Temple held in 1279 more than 4 hides in demesne. The manor was taken into the king's hands in 1308 when the order was suppressed, but was relinquished in 1313 for the benefit of the Knights Hospitallers. Duxford, however, was claimed as an escheat by Roger's son, Edmund de Colville, who occupied it until his death in 1316, when his heir was a minor. The Hospitallers secured the cancellation of such claims in 1324, and were by 1333 in possession of Duxford Temple manor, which became a dependency of their preceptory at Shingay.
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In 1540 the Crown granted the lands of the forfeited preceptory to Sir Richard Long, who in 1541 settled them jointly on himself and his intended wife, Margaret Kitson. He died in 1546, and by 1548 Margaret had married John Bourchier, earl of Bath, with whom she held Duxford until their deaths in 1561. The manor then passed to Long's son Henry, who died in 1573, leaving his lands to his daughter and heir Elizabeth, wife of Sir William Russell (d. 1613), Lord Deputy of Ireland 1594–7, created Lord Russell of Thornhaugh 1603. Elizabeth, having quarrelled with her son Francis, died in 1609 having directed her feoffees to sell Duxford to pay certain legacies. Francis paid the legacies, and in 1619 the feoffees conveyed Temple manor to him. In 1627 he succeeded to the earldom of Bedford, and in 1637 sold the manor to William Webb and his son William.
In 1649 the Webbs conveyed Duxford to John Lamott and Maurice Abbott. By 1657 Maurice Abbott the younger (d. 1659), a lawyer, owned the estate; he was succeeded by George Abbott his brother. George, who purchased Lacy's manor in 1671,died between 1696 and 1698 and was succeeded by his son Maurice, who owned both manors until his death in 1720. Maurice's son Robert was lord there between 1722 and 1725. Between 1725 and 1736 Francis Shepherd owned the manors, which by 1739 had come to Nathaniel Rogers (d. 1743), who was succeeded by his sisters Lucy (d. 1746) and Elizabeth and Elizabeth's husband James Barry. The Barrys sold the manors in 1759 to Richard Crop, who died in 1796 leaving them for life to his wife Mary (d. after 1806) and thereafter to his great-nephew Charles Long. Long, created Lord Farnborough in 1826, died without issue in 1838 leaving his Duxford estate to his brother Beeston's son, William Long of Hurts Hall, Saxmundham (Suff.), who died in 1875 and was succeeded by his son William Beeston Long. On W. B. Long's death without issue in 1892 his lands passed to his nephew William Evelyn Long (d. 1944). W. E. Long in 1937 retained the nominal lordship of Temple and Lacy's manors, which presumably passed to his son W. G. Long, but had sold the land in Duxford attached to them in 1906 to James Binney of Pampisford Hall (d. 1935). Binney offered Temple, Lacy's, and Barker's farms for sale in 1920 and Temple farm again in 1932, but in 1933 still owned land in Duxford which passed to his son R. C. C. J. Binney, who in 1946 sold Temple mill.
By 1086 5¾ hides at Duxford, formerly owned by Archbishop Stigand and Herulf, were held in chief by Eustace, count of Boulogne. He was soon afterwards deprived by William II, who granted the Duxford manor to Hugh de Envermeu, who in turn exchanged it with Westminster abbey for lands in Lincolnshire. Henry I restored Duxford to Count Eustace, compensating Hugh who gave back to the abbey its former estate. The overlordship of Duxford subsequently remained with the honor of Boulogne. In 1086 the manor, except for ½ hide held at farm by Guy of Anjou, had been held in demesne by Count Eustace's follower, Arnulf, son of the lord of Ardres (Pas de Calais). Arnulf, who had succeeded to Ardres by 1100, obtained his brother Geoffrey's share of their English lands in exchange for land in Flanders, and died c. 1137. His eldest son Arnulf was murdered c. 1139 and his younger son Baldwin, lord of Ardres, died on crusade c. 1147 without issue. Their sister and heir Adeline married Arnold of Merck, on whose death c. 1176 the lands passed to Baldwin, count of Guisnes 1169–1206, who had married Arnold's daughter Christine In 1200 Count Baldwin exchanged manors at Duxford and Trumpington with William Marshal, earl of Pembroke, for land in Flanders. William granted the Duxford manor the same year to Roger d'Abernon in exchange for an estate at Abernon Calvados Roger's family subsequently held the Duxford manor, thenceforth called D'ABERNONS, of William and his heirs.The mesne lordship of D'Abernons manor may later have been included in the purparty of the coheirs of Eve Marshal, wife of William de Braose (d. 1230), for it was assigned in 1252 to her daughter Eleanor's husband Humphrey de Bohun (d. 1265). By 1260 it had settled in the purparty of Roger Bigod, earl of Norfolk, son of Eve's sister Maud. Duxford was dependent on the leet of his manor at Great Chesterford (Essex), inherited from the Marshals. The lordship remained with the Bigods and their successors, earls and dukes of Norfolk, until the 15th century.
Roger d'Abernon, tenant from 1200, was living in 1203 and possibly in 1215. He was succeeded by Walter d'Abernon, probably his brother, who held Duxford when he died in 1220 leaving a minor heir Ingram, who died without issue in 1234. Ingram's heir Jordan, son of Walter's brother William, released his inheritance to his uncle Gilbert (d. 1236), who in return granted him D'Abernons manor to hold as ½ knight's fee. Jordan still held it c. 1242, but it passed later to the descendants of Gilbert, whose son John died after 1270.John's son, Sir John d'Abernon, held Duxford in 1279 and in 1327 was succeeded by his son Sir John (d. 1343). Despite a settlement made in 1340 on his son John's son William, the manor was included in the dower of the elder John's widow Alice, who soon afterwards married Sir Adam Swinburne, who held the manor with her in 1346. Swinburne died after 1352, and Alice after 1363.Meanwhile William had died in 1358, and the manor passed to Elizabeth, one of his two daughters, wife of Sir William Croyser, steward to John of Gaunt, who died in 1388, In 1390 Elizabeth married John Grey and D'Abernons was settled on them for their lives. John Grey died in 1391. By 1398 Elizabeth's lands had passed to her son William Croyser (d. 1415). William's heir, his daughter Alice, c. 1434 married Sir Henry Norbury. Norbury died in 1455 and Alice in 1464, and their lands passed to their son Sir John Norbury, who in 1485 exchanged his manor at Duxford for estates in Surrey with Sir Edmund Shaa, lord mayor of London 1482–3.