1200AD - 1800AD

Beginnings to 1200AD | 1200AD - 1800AD |1800AD - 1930AD | 1900's


1203: King John visits the Priory at Dunestaple, and licenses a new annual fair, St Fremund to be held on 10-12 May.

1204: King John hands over 'site and garden' where the King once had gardens, to the Priory.

1216: King John at the Priory while troops are camped around. Before his death, King John gives Luton and Bedford to a mercenary soldier "Falkes be Breaute". He has a home in London "Faukes-hale", later transposed as Vauxhall.

1221: Priory produces a set of bye-laws, one of the first of its kind in England, laying down rules about markets.

1223: (November) Following a dispute with Hugh de Gurnay, the Prior takes complaints to Westminster. At the King's court at Westminster the Prior is awarded a third share of all the woodland in the village and meadow at Houghton (including a third of land at Buckwood), and an enclosed farm near Chalgrave, called 'Caldecot', south of the Edeway.

1226: The Prior, Richard, builds a manor house at Caldecot, (Calcutt Farm) near Houghton Regis, diverting a stream to form a moat around it.

1227: King Henry III demands £100 to renew the Priory charter, leading to civil disobedience when the Priory attempted to collect two-thirds of this fee from local businesses.

1230: Prior demands further high taxes, causing more upset, leading to some Dunstable townsfolk purchasing 40 acres nearby and the establishment of the new town at Eaton (now Eaton Bray). About this time Houghton had North and South Fields, with these fields cropped in alternate years.

1230: Henry III gives land opposite Priory (in the south-west of the Dunstable crossroads) to Dominican Black Friars.

Link to full size map

1250: A Matthew Paris map has "Dunestap." marked as the confluence of meeting routes across the British Isles. Paris was a Benedictine monk of St Albans responsible for Chronica Majora

1264: Two men steal sheep from the Prior at Sewell, and are hanged at Pascombe Pit on Dunstable Downs.

1265: The tournament ground (now the sewage works in north of Houghton Regis) would have been a popular spot, but during King Henry's time tournaments were made illegal.

1273: Milicent (de Gurney) inherits land at Thorn, a portion of Houghton Manor, which then passes to her second husband Eudo la Zouche of Harringworth.

1274: Edward I often stayed at Kingsbury for hawking expeditions on the downs. 'John the Cook' sparks another quarrel between Eudo la Zouche and the Prior. Eudo (or Eudo la Zouche) got his bailiff to forcibly remove the felon from the prior's prison in Dunstable and threw down the Prior’s gallows at Edessuthe (Blow’s Downs), asserting that he had jurisdiction and not the prior. He then set up his own gallows below Pudele, later Gibbet Arch, beyond Puddle Hill.

1276: In March, King Edward I and Queen Eleanor visit the Priory. Priory gets cloth gifts. Friars get cash.

1280: Enquiry reveals that the poor canons have borrowed 100 shillings from the shrine of St Fremund to buy food.

1285: Edward I commands of Dunstable and Houghton people "... each one of you according to his estate and capability shall cause those roads to be filled in and mended..."

1292: the Prior of Dunstable ferreted rabbits at Buckwood (*).

1295: John de Sewelle established a right to hunt at Buckwood (*).

13th/14th Century: The original Saxon Church at Houghton is replaced by "All Saints", but inconclusive as to when and by whom. The main door is 14thC. Chancel, naive, and aisles 13th/14thC. The porch is 15th/16C. The manor at Sewell was built 13th/14th century, as was Manor Farmhouse, whose first flooor was believed to have been used as a chapel (source).

1287: KYNGESHOUTON - Name for the area mentioned in the Assizes

1290: 12th and 13th December, Queen Eleanor's coffin rests at the Priory.

1295: From 1295 until 1386 the whole of Bedfordshire is represented in Parliament by one representative.


1309: The taxable population at Houghton is nearly twice that of other local villages. It had 60% fewer taxpayers than Dunstable, but only 50% less tax.

1309-1332: Some cold wet winters, lost harvests, cows and pigs perished in the fields, possibly through foot and mouth disease.

1323: "the canons were granted rights of free warren in their demesne lands in Houghton." (source #1).

1324: The Manor and Lordship of Thornbury is owned by William la Zouche. He settles the reversion of Thornbury onto his second son, William (ref).

1330: Most judgements in the manorial courts are in favour of the prior and the prior’s view of  rankpledge (dividing up responsibility in the manor into groups of ten men) is admitted
on payment of a fine.

1333: William la Zouche releases his claim on Thornbury and it returns to his father.

1334: William la Zouche settles Thornbury on his late son’s eldest son, William. His son, Eudo, having died in Paris in 1325/6.

1340: Fighting in France; over 2,000 h.a. of Houghton downland was left uncultivated. People of the Houghton area in poverty. When the tax collectors came they found a small population who had "neither seed to sow, nor oxen to plough" (#5).

1347: Black Death (bubonic plague) on the Continent arrives in Britain carried by black rats; up to half the local population may have perished, having caught the decease through coughing and sneezing.

1349: Black Death reached its peak between March and August; 54 out of 123 clergy die in Bedfordshire. (O'Dell)

1352: William la Zouche succeeds his grandfather and is summoned to Parliament as Lord Zouche of Haringworth.

1353: First mention of  'Houghton Regis' in  Calendar of Inquisitions post mortem (source).

1381: Peasants Revolt. Businessmen storm Priory gate and forced a new charter.

1382: The Manor and Lordship of Thornbury, William la Zouche,  passes to his son, also called William.

1385: REGIS appears in writings added after the variant names in use for "Houghton".

1386: From this year until 1653 the whole of Bedfordshire returns two persons to Parliament.

1389: William la Zouche is one of the “evil councillors” banished from the court of Richard II.

1396: William  la Zouche dies and his son, William la Zouche, inherits Thornbury (ref)


c1400: A new grange with stone foundations, slate roof, wooden beams and strong boundary wall with foundations is built in Houghton village probably at the behest of Abbot John de la Moote (1396–1401) (Possibly the Tithe Barn pictured above - similar barns were built in 1374 at Kingsbury, St Albans 1397/8 at Croxley Green).

1405: 3rd November, Henry IV stays at "Old Royal Palace" Dunstable.

1413: William la Zouche of Thornbury participates in the French wars and is made Lieutenant of Calais.

1415: William la Zouche of Thornbury dies and the Thornbury title is inherited by his son, William. At date unknown, William’s son dies without issue and his son William inherits.

15thCentury: All Saints church gets a tower, and lead roof replaces the thatch or shingle roof. At this time the church at Houghton Regis is said to be 'most adorned' with figures of the Saints, Anne, Anthony, Christopher, Clement, John, Katherine, Margaret, Mary, Magdalen, Nicholas, Swithin, Thomas.(#5)

1461: Margaret of Anjou camps unpaid and unfed soldiers around the area, before and after the battle of St Albans.

1468: William la Zouche of Thornbury dies leaving a son and heir John la Zouche who is only a minor. His mother, who remarries, is wife to Gilbert Debenham, now holds Thornbury in trust.

1470: John la Zouche’s mother dies and he becomes Lord of Thornbury. He is the last person known to use the title.

1485: Lord of the manor at Houghton, John la Zouche of Eaton, loses his estates, including the manor at Thornbury, having fought alongside the losing King Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth.

1490: Henry VII grants new ownership of the Zouche estates, including Thornbury, to Sir Reginald de Bray.


1515: By the will of rich businessman William Dyve of Sewell, funds are provided for a chantry for a chaplain at Sewell, and an additional priest at All Saints to teach 6 poor children. The chantry is situated at the eastern bay of the south aisle of All Saints church (ref FWB). The site of the chantry chapel in Houghton is "where the road from Chalton runs into the green" (see #1). Other funds are provided for Dunstable.

1533: 'Dunstaple' is short of beds as civil servants and clergy arrive to debate at the Priory whether Queen Catherine's marriage to King Henry VIII was legally binding.

1536: A document at the death of Sir John Dyve refers to Sewell as a manor for the first time. The property then passes to his grandson William until 1592.

1537: Henry VIII stays at the White Horse, Dunstaple, rather than at the Priory. The Dominican Friary closes.

1538: Houghton Regis Parish Registers start. Richard Why, the 'brotherhoode P'ste" at Houghton buried 3 February.

1539: Dissolution of the Priory.

1540 and 1541: Henry VIII at Dunstable. "Willis’s Mitred Abbeys” records that he wishes to make Dunstable a cathedral city.

1541: Calcutt is included in the manor of Houghton after being purchased from the widow of one of Sir Reginald de Bray's successors, (Urian Brereton and his wife Joan, widow of Edmund Lord Bray). Rectory of Houghton and the church land are bought by George Cavendish, close companion to Thomas Wolsey.

1548: Chaplain-teacher at Houghton was John Couper, received an annual salary of 26s. 8d to teach 6 poor children in East Street's chantry school. He later becomes vicar of Houghton and Dunstable. Edict issued at King's Council to destroy "vain" things, especially in churches.

1552: Church wardens at All Saints tell Commissioners that they have recently been robbed to explain why the possessions they could show are so meagre. All Saints church now had 4 bells. Spelling "HOWGHTON REGIS".

After 1558: In Queen Elizabeth I's time, adults had to attend church, or pay a fine of one shilling.

1560: Queen Elizabeth I grants the manor of Caldecote to Thomas Reve and George Evelyn (not taken up?).

1566: The descent of the manor of Houghton parted from Eaton, being sold by Sir Edward Bray to Lewis Montgomery and Jane his wife(ref). The Houghton Manor then falls through family descent and trustees, and is eventually sold by John Earl of Bridgewater to Henry Brandreth in 1653/4.

1574: 13 May, "young man founde slayne at Puddell Brydge with his legs bounde and sore wounded upon his hed and face" - parish register. Bray family sell all their estate, including Thornbury, to Sir Walter Sandys who hold it until 1615.

1579: A grant of Caldecote manor is made to Edward Downing and John Walker.

1580: A 5th bell at All Saints bears the year 1580 (recast 1899).

1582: Between July and December 40 deaths in the Dunstable/Houghton Regis area are attributed to plague.

1588-1605: Rev Roger Rogers is vicar, but unqualified to preach.

1590: John Pare has come into the ownership of Caldecote and alienates (transfers) ownership to Francis Bevell.

1598 Land in Sewell Field in Houghton Regis is described as being owned by the Bell Inn, Luton [C145].


1603: 340 communicants registered, population estimated at 550.

1605: A survey was carried out (a terrier or terrour) of all possessions belonging to Rectorie for village of Houghton Regis. Site of vicarage lay between Robert Pedder land to the north and tenement of Richard Andrew to the south

1613: Owner of Calcutt Farm, Joseph Medgate, and others are involved in a struggle for right to not conform to the King Edward VI Book of Common Prayer. Joseph and Thomas Medgate levy a fine in relation to the lordship but it is not known how they came to own Caldecote.

1615: Manor of Houghton passes from Sandys, and later to 1st Earl of Bridgwater.

1625: Nonconformists minister paid £20 per annum for next 7 years at the Priory Church, Dunstable. Cholera in the area.

1632: Joseph Medgate, buried in Houghton.

1639: Joseph Medgate son, Thomas, sells Caldecote Manor (Calcutt Farm) to John Smith.

1642: The manor of Sewell, inherited by Royalist Sir Lewis Dyve, is sold to Sir John Strangeways. Hostility between Parliamentarians and Royalists. Eleanor Cross (erected in 1311), a gift to Dunstable, after Queen Eleanor's death, is believed to have been destoyed by Parliamentary soldiers.

1643-1657: Vicarage at Houghton Regis is empty - William Pedder is at war.

1644: Royalist soldiers in the area, enter the church at Dunstable firing pistols, shooting the minister in the pulpit, wounding some congregation members, and leaving behind bullet holes, still present today, in an unused door at the side of the main door of the Priory church.

1645: Owner of Red Lion, Dunstable, is shot dead by Royalists as they try to take his coach horses.

1651: The rectory is sold to William Bowyer for £4,677-10-0.

1652: Henry Brandreth, a rich London merchant, buys Sewell (source #1 says this was in 1658 #5, 1652). Sir Lewis Dyve, a Royalist supporter, had earlier forfeited the hamlet to Parliament.

1653/4: Brandreth purchased much land in the area including the Manor of Houghton, and the church of Houghton Regis. (The descent of the church over the previous 500 years is tracked in #1).

1654: By the will of Thomas Whitehead a house for schooling is set aside near the village green. Thomas Whitehead stipulates that the school be made up of 15 boys from poor families in Houghton and 5 boys from poor families in nearby hamlets (Sewell, Thorn, Calcutt). Other money is to be invested in land to provide an income for the school to keep going. Rev Daniel Clithero, Vicar of Totternhoe, is appointed for the first 2 years and the school is known as Houghton Regis Free School.

1654: John Smith passes Caldecote Manor (Calcutt Farm) to his son John (also called Smith). From 1654-1656 there are 5 representatives in the First and Second Parliaments of the Protectorate from the whole of Bedfordshire.

1656: 29th May, a petition before Oliver Cromwell says that the £20 a year collectable from 200 persons in parish of Houghton Regis is hardly worth the labour of collecting, so parish had not been able to afford a preacher.

1657: Rev James Paddon's usher uses the Free School school house. Rev. James Paddon at Houghton Regis Free School until 1704.

1658: John Littlejohn paid as vicar of Houghton for one year.

1659: The Bedfordshire consituency returns 2 representatives to Parliament. Until 1831 the parties returned are either "Whig" or "Tory".

1661: Cholera in the area. Caldecote Manor (Calcutt Farm) sold by John Smith to John Lawrence. This is the last reference to the manor or lordship of Caldecote (ref.). After the Restoration of the Monarchy Sir Lewis  Dyve gets Sewell manor back, but appears to reach compromise with Brandreth and the manor of Sewell is handed to John Fisher and Henry Parr.

PATRICK, JOHN (1632–1695), educated at the school of Houghton Regis, and admitted to Peterhouse, Cambridge, on 7 Aug. 1661, and was among the foremost champions of the protestant against the catholic cause in the days of James II (ref.)

1662: A Bill in Parliament to repair Watling Street in county of Bedford; but not passed into an Act.

1664: Caldecote Manor (Calcutt Farm) is sold by John Lawrence to Andrew Campion, a clerk. William Strange, by will, charges his lands in Houghton with an annuity of £10 for the use of the aged poor frequenting divine service.

1666: Caldecote Manor (Calcutt Farm) sold by Andrew Campion to John Hockley.

1668: Shortage of regal coinage, and local people issued their own coins for local use. "On its face was a Greyhound and Hare between crossed pipes and a tobacco roll. This suggests that Daniel Fossey may have been a publican running, for example, a pub called ‘The Greyhound’. He may also have been a coffee shop proprietor or a tobacconist dealing in the recently imported Tobacco. Pipe tobacco was shipped over from America or transported from Turkey. It was a luxury item available to a few." -
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1668: In negotiation of marriage of his daughter Alice, Henry Brandreth(1) received a communication from Ann Massingberd, "Sir, I received yours. Since you have been informed of my son's estate in land, I shall tell you that for his wife's portion I shall expect £4,000 at least." The reply was: "Madam: in answer of yours, whoever gives £4,000 with his daughter will expect £1,200 p.a., at least, unless there is some defect of nature or morals." (B. Mag. ix, 201-4)

1669: John Crook leads 40 regular Quaker assemblies in Sewell (Newman's Farm?). Quaker belief is that they are answerable only to God, and soon became a target for persecution after Charles II restoration to the crown.

1671: Hearth Tax population calculation for Houghton Regis was 450, probably excluded Upper Houghton.

1673: In March Henry Brandreth(1) dies. Date on the 6th bell at All Saints is 1673.

1678: Quakers refuse to attend parish churches and lease land at Sewell for burial ground and a meeting house. Rectory transferred to John Elwes. Bowyer transferred rectory to John Elwes

1683: Nehemiah Brandreth, son of Henry(1), marries Rebecca Price (an avid recipe collector) in Covent Garden, and then live at the Manor House in Houghton (site unknown, but believed to be around present day Park Avenue). Their eldest child, Henry(2), marries Mary Chibbald, who in turn go on to have 4 children, including Henry (3).

1689: Straw hat makers for Herts, Beds and Bucks petition Parliament against a Bill that would have made it compulsory to wear woollen hats. Late 1600s, many of Houghton Regis's residents, particularly women and children, were employed in straw-plaiting for the hat trade in Luton. Following the Toleration Act of William and Mary, the Quaker House at Sewell is registered.

1691: March: Rectory at Houghton Regis is bought from Elwes by Alice Smythe, daughter of Henry Brandreth(1) from John Elwes.

1692: Thomas Smythe dies; Alice Smythe living at Ware. Alice next moves to the Manor House at Houghton to live with Nehemiah and Rebecca Brandreth. Alice purchases for £1750 land across the Village Green, and proceeds to have Houghton Hall built. Alice marries William Milard who is later knighted.

1696: In lieu of unpaid tithes Rev James Paddon sends men to impound a cow valued at £4 10s by Daniel King; and unthreshed corn valued at £12 was 'stolen' from Simon Merry's barn.

17thC: Before the end of the century Nehemiah Brandreth, son of Henry Brandreth(1), has resumed possession of the Sewell manor.


1700: Houghton Hall is built and completed for Alice and William Milard.

1704: Usher Francis Paddon takes over the Houghton Regis Free School school house until 1731.

1706: Pike or pole is placed accross Watling Street near Sewell Turn. "Puddlehill Trust" starts to adminster road betwen Bull Inn, (in Houghton until boundary changes in 1907) and Hockcliffe (Ogilby's map of 1675 refers this as "Hockley in the Hole").

1707: William Francis is gaoled for 19 months for refusing to pay a groat (4 old pence) to vicar Christopher Eaton at Easter. Local Baptist leader, William  Brittin, yeoman of Houghton Regis togther with others, purchase land at Tile Kiln Close, Dunstable (map p.11).

1710: Sir William Milard dies.

1729: Alice Milard dies, childless; Houghton Hall passes to her nephew, Nehemiah Brandreth(2).

1732: Land in Caldecote (i.e. Calcutt Farm) is in the hands of Justus and Ann Gerhard.

1739: Henry Brandreth (3) inherits the old manor house at age 16, and later marries his cousin Rebecca Beech of Redbourn.

1732: Caldecote Manor (Calcutt Farm) is in the hands of Justus Gerhard and Ann his wife.

1737: “Indictment of John Olncy, of the parish of King's Houghton, for laying in, upon, and over a certain rivulet or brook called Seywell Dryness Brook, otherwise called Cross Ih'ook, in the said parish of King's Houghton, several large pieces of wood and timber whereby the common and usual course of the stream of the said rivulet or brook was stopped and obstructed, by which stoppage and obstruction the common footway, leading from the parish of King's Houghton aforesaid, to the parish of Tilsworth on the north-east part of the said rivulet or brook and near or thereto adjoining, was overHowetl, and the meadows, pastures and commonable places near the said brook in the parish of King's Houghton were entirely overflowed and drowned.” (County records)

1740: “10th July. Certificate signed by Samuel Che . . . , John Cooper, 111 S. Marsom, and Thomas Cooper, that a newly-erected house at Thorne, in the parish of King's Houghton, near the messuage of John Bunker, is intended to be used as a place of worship for Protestant dissenters.”  (County records)

1746: Thoswithan, eldest son of Nehemiah Brandreth(2) inherits the 'mansion house' of Houghton Hall.

1749: 1st April, an orchard belonging to the late John Bunker near to Thorn Green is sold for 10 shillings to a group of local people to form a Baptist Chapel and burial ground, independent of the Kensworth Baptists. Henry Brandreth (3), age 26, sells home and estate to Duke of Bedford.

1750: William Cox buried, 'a dealer in straw hats'.

1750: Gabriel Tompkins, leader of a band of highwaymen, who robbed the Chester Mail coach near Hockliffe in 1746 was executed in March and his body hung in irons from a gibbet near Chalk Hill as a deterrent to potential future criminals (Smugglers page iv, http://www.mayfieldbonfire.co.uk/).

1750: "The manor (of Houghton) remained in the hands of the Brandreth family until 1750, when Henry Brandreth sold it to the Duke of Bedford." (see http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=42453#n51). Henry Brandreth (3), age 26 and ill, has no issue, and sells his estate to the Duke of Bedford, but continues to live at Houghton Hall. 19thC estate maps show a coach house near the foot of Drury Lane; the old manor house is believed to have been nearby. Weathercock erected on All Saints church.

1751: Mr Thos. Bunker is Pastor at Thorn Baptist Church.

1752: Thoswithan Brandreth, at Houghton Hall, dies, leaving a widow, Mary nee Buckeridge, 2 daughters and a son, Thoswithan(2). Richard Arnott, servant to Brandreth family for 40 years, dies and commemorative mural tablet is placed in the eastern bay of All Saints church.

1756: Sundial on south wall of All Saints church is repainted.

1760: Houghton Regis parish, along with Eaton Bray and Totternhoe parishes, was under attack by Marshe Dickinson, a Dunstable justice, for failing to upkeep the road of Icknield Way. Assessment of a fine of £50 to each parish if the road was not made good. (County records)

1762: A map is drawn up to show land plots in Houghton Regis parish. The map is copied in 1766 and is now available at Bedford Records Office. (Sample pictures here )
1762 map, copied in 1766, available at Bedford PRO. No commercial copying.

1765: Thomas Jefferys' map shows Puddlehill and Maidenbower divided by Watling Street.

1767: Marquess of Tavistock, founder of the Dunstable Hunt, died following a hunting accident at Houghton Park in 1767 (ref - p380.)

1768: May 21st, Rev. Edmund Wodley inducted into real and actual Possession of the Vicarage of Kings Houghton.

1771: The Poor Rate in Houghton Regis was 1 shilling and 6 pence in the pound and amounted to £188-14s-0d

1772: May - Sheep stolen, believed the property of Andrew Cooper of Dunstable, sheep retained in HR; John Marks of Caddington on charge.

1773: John Lesley and family arrived at the Free School house; remain until 1815. A supporting garden is developed for the school, and other income is generated from clerical work.

1775: Mr William Butfield ordained as Pastor at Thorn Baptist Church (15th Feb) serving until death in 1778. Christopher Tower of HR was nominated as a Sheriff by the Lords of the Council at the Exchequer.

1777: Six farms being sold belonging to the late John Dickenson situated round about south Bedfordshire.
A footway starting at Mill Hill was to be diverted:
County records

1780: All Saints' Church clock was lower than it was in 1937 (Ref: FWB)

1781: Mr David Evans is Pastor at Thorn Baptist Church.

1782: The Poor Rate in Houghton Regis was 2 shillings and 6 pence in the pound and amounted to £323-11s-11d

1782: An alternative coach road is opened on the west side of 'Chalk Hill', around the hill, at a cost of £16,000, thereby avoiding Puddlehill's steep incline that had required seven or eight horses to pull a coach up it. The new route follows the curve of the old Soch (salt) Way. The toll gate at the northern end of the route, also serves the route over the hill.

1784: A new road is made from Dunstable to Luton; the previous route had run from Dunstable to Leagrave.

1786: “Certificate of the conviction of Arthur Rocke of the parish of Woburn, carrier, for unloading from his waggon certain wares, goods or merchandize before the same came to the weighing engine at Puddle Hill tollgate in the parish of Houghton Regis, in order to avoid payment of toll.” County records

1787: Thoswithan Brandreth(2), dies in Houghton leaving debts and estate to Henry Brandreth(4). Mr Robert Fawkner is Pastor at Thorn Baptist Church.

1787: £50 worth of goods stolen from Manchester coach at Houghton Regis (CRO QSR 1787/39); for this John Armsden was sentenced to be transported for 7 years. Toll gate known as Puddle Hill Gate was to be let by auction: Income above expenses was said to be £860. J. Lesley was the clerk of the Militia Meetings.

1788: Toll gate known as Puddle Hill Gate was to be let by auction; Income above expenses was said to be £785. A person was sort  for the "keeping, maintaining and employing the Poor" of the parish.

1789: August - Mr, Daniel Willis, jun. of Adam's-Court, Old Broadstreet, London married Miss Brandreth of Houghton Regis. Mansion house, believed to be Houghton Hall, is advertised for lett for a period of three years.

1790: 16 April, a new Baptist Chapel opens in Houghton village centre, converted from two cottages in Houghton High Street, as Thorn was too far to travel especially in cold weather.

1791: April - 134 acres site of arable land and meadow ground let to Mr Joseph Anstee and Mr John Eames, plus a cottage and tenement barn and orchard are advertised for let. Puddle-Hill Gate toll is offered to let by auction at the Sugarloaf Inn, Dunstable, said to have an income after expenses of £790.

1792: Henry Brandreth(4) of Houghton Hall, aged 22, marries Dionosia Turner, a wealthy landowner, who is able to sell those estates in Devon and Cornwall, and restore the Houghton estate that had by now fallen into debt. Nov - Thomas Fossey, a farmer of HR, was among those signing a petition in Leighton Buzzard agreeing to use the Winchester Bushel at market "and not by the customary measure".

1793: A proposal is made to make a navigable cut (canal) from Puddle-Hill, HR, to join the Grand Junction Canal at Slapton, Bucks.

1794: Jul - Puddle-Hill Gate toll is offered to let by auction at the Sugarloaf Inn, Dunstable, said to have an income after expenses of £1235. Nov - William Deeves Goodge, a bricklayer,  brought a mare to the King's Arms HR without bridle or saddle, and was placed in gaol at Bedford on suspicion of having stolen it.

1796: Feb-A man, believed to be a Shrewsbury volunteer, was found dead near the road at Chalk Hill turnpike. April- 'inclosure act": "An Act for dividing and allotting the Common and Open Fields, Common Meadows, Commons, and Wastelands, within the Parish of Houghton Regis, in the County of Bedford" describes the main roads of the town that we know today. The poor harvest lead William Mead, curate of Houghton Regis, and others, to sign a pledge to reduce their consumption of wheat by at least one third, and called upon the recommendation to be adopted by all persons throughout Great Britain.

1797: Puddle-Hill Gate toll is offered to let by auction at the Sugarloaf Inn, Dunstable, said to have an income after expenses of £1344. Aug - Wm. Cumberland advertises that a mare has been stolen, offers a 100 guinea reward.

1798: Mr Thos. Claypole is Pastor at Thorn Baptist Church. Puddle-Hill Gate toll is offered to let by auction at the Sugarloaf Inn, Dunstable, said to have an income after expenses of £1350.

1799: Land is enclosed, and 1 and half acre of land at Chantry farm, on Sundon Road, is owned by the Whitehead school (site of today's Parkside Drive from Chequers pub roundabout goes through the old farm site). In June, Puddle-Hill Gate toll is again offered to let by auction at the Sugarloaf Inn, Dunstable, said to have an income after expenses of £1356  In July Mr Thomas Gibbs married Sarah Brandreth, daughter of the late Thomas Wihan Brandreth. 

Benjamin Knibbs, tollkeeper at Puddle-Hill Gate, is beaten by a horseman with his horsewhip. (C.R.O. QSR 1786/105):
County records

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