Lord of the Manor

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In 1387 John Vavasour was the Lord of the Manor[1]

Francis Thompson was the Lord of the Manor in 1737.[1]

The Land Tax records for 1781 include an entry for the late Mr Meyer, Esq. the Lord of the Manor[1]

Abraham Maude of Rylstone (1813 - 22 Mar 1876)[2] was Lord of the Manor in 1874.[1] William Maude (1781 - 25 Sep 1860) was Abraham's father[3] ?also Lord of the Manor?

The Lord of the Manor in 1893 was Col W W Maude, 4th Battalion, West Yorkshire Regiment and he was also the principle land owner. He died in 1929 (??).[4]

This conflicts with the William Wade Maude memorial record at Find A Grave that says W W Maude 1843 - 6 May 1933. A photo of the memorial confirms this date.

In 1899, the moor was purchased for £7000 by the far-sighted Bradford Corporation from the Lord of the Manor, Colonel William Wade Maude of Rylstone near Skipton.[1]

From the mills to Lord of the Manor[5]

There is an air of nobility these days about Bradford-bred historian and writer Philip Baxter.

That's because the 69-year-old semi-retired lecturer's fascination with St John's Church has led him to inherit the ancient title of Lord of the Manor of Baildon.

His Lordship, a former Bradford Grammar School pupil, now holds one of the oldest titles in England, one which dates back to the Norman Conquest.

At one time the title would have meant the right to hold markets or fairs on the land, the right to mine and quarry within the manor, fishing rights, timber rights and the rights of free warren, free chase and free forest.

Now it is largely ornamental, but Mr Baxter said he was "incredibly proud" to have inherited the 700-year-old title, along with a diploma and a silver insignia from the Manorial Society of Great Britain.

Mr Baxter said: "Sadly all the moor land which once came with the title has been sold off, probably to Bradford Council.

"My only remaining right is a say in the appointment of the vicar, which is more than other Lords of the Manor who, today, are left with absolutely nothing.

"My family in Baildon dates back four centuries and I have lots of family, mainly cousins, still living in Baildon, so I am delighted to inherit the title."

His journey to nobility began last year when he was researching a book - Baildon Church History.

Historically, the church and the Lords of the Manor have always been linked, because the Lord owned most of the surrounding land. So as part of the research Mr Baxter contacted the then Lord of the Manor, whose family, the Maudes, have held the title for the last two centuries.

Previously it has been held by the Baildon family, who gave their name to the village and built their family seat, Baildon Old Hall, on the edge of the settlement.

Mr Baxter, who lived in the vicarage in Baildon before moving to Wiltshire, said: "I told the current Lord of the Manor I was going to write a book about the manorial history of Baildon and he said I seemed more interested in the title than him, so why should he not pass it to me.

"I am particularly proud because my family is not a noble family. We are working class people from Baildon. My ancestors worked around the mills and I was in the textile industry. It makes a nice change to now be Lord of the Manor."

Battle over the Manor[6]

Battle lines have been drawn in a feud over who has the right to use a 700-year-old noble title.

A war of words has erupted between two local historians about who is the Lord of the Manor of Baildon, a rank of nobility dating back to the 12th century.

On one side is Philip Baxter, a 69-year-old semi-retired lecturer, whose fascination in local church history led him to inherit the title from its former owner - he claims.

And on the other, Frank Baildon, 66, a direct descendent of the Baildon family which inhabited Baildon Hall until the 17th century.

Mr Baildon says it is, in fact, he who is bona fide Lord of the Manor, because he was given the title by the widow of the last-known Lord.

Both claim to have documentation backing their claims and currently neither is prepared to back down.

"I don't think it will be pistols at dawn," said Mr Baxter.

"But I have said to Frank that if he does want to take this further we will go to a solicitor. I have to say that the title has been designated in proper legal fashion to me."

He says he has a legal covenant, signed by solicitor Stephen Butcher, who dealt with the affairs of the late Major Michael Hammond-Maud, the last undisputed Lord of the Manor of Baildon.

Mr Baildon, however, says he has a letter from the Major's wife, Sonia Hammond-Maud, giving her blessing for him to take the title in 2004.

Mr Baildon, of Hazel Heads, Baildon, said: "Mrs Hammond-Maud said she had no idea of the title but said she was very pleased to pass it on to me because she was in her 80s and in poor health.

"I can trace my family history right back to the 900s. We are descendants of Francis Baildon, who left Baildon Hall in the 1600s.

"I think Philip has researched the church history of Baildon church and he has found Mr Butcher in Rylstone, near Skipton, and he has assumed that he was the Lord of the Manor of Baildon, but he was not, so it was not his title to pass on.

"Philip has also registered it with a manorial society but he has no right to, as far as I can see."

But Mr Baxter, a former Bradford Grammar School pupil, who lives in Salisbury, Wiltshire, hit back: "Frank has assumed that when the former Lord of the Manor died the title passed to his widow. But that is not the case, as with any nobility.

"Should the Queen die, the Duke of Edinburgh will not become the King. Major Hammond-Maud's widdow has no legal right to say anything about it."

At one time the title would have meant the right to hold markets or fairs on the land, the right to mine and quarry within the manor, fishing and timber rights and the rights of free warren, free chase and free forest. Now it is largely ornamental and all of the land which once came with the title has been sold to Bradford Council.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Bradford Historical & Antiquarian Society. The Lost Villages of Baildon Moor
  2. Abraham Maude memorial record
  3. William Maude memorial record]
  4. Baildon Hall Club History
  5. T&A 17th February 2008. From the mills to Lord of the Manor
  6. T&A 22nd February 2008. Battle over the Manor