The Manor of Colne

Historical notes about the Manor of Colne, Huntingdonshire, England, UK


Abbot of Ely Arms

The Armorial Bearings of the Abbot of Ely.

The Armorial Bearings of the Abbot of Ely.


Domesday Colne - Land of the Abbot of Ely

In COLNE the Abbot of Ely had 6 hides to the geld. [There is] land for 6 ploughs, and in demesne [he had] land for 2 plough apart from the 6 hides. There are now 2 ploughs in demesne; and 13 villans and 5 bordars having 3 ploughs, and 10 acres of meadow. There is woodland pasture 1 league long and a half broad, and as much marsh. TRE worth £6, now 100s.

(Note: Demesne - Land retained by the Lord of the Manor for his own use and TRE - Tempora Regis Eduardis - In the time of King Edward the Confessor.)

The manor of COLNE was included in the charter of Edward (1042-66) confirming to the monastery of Ely the gifts of King Edgar (959-75), St. Ethelwold (c. 908-984), and King Ethelred 'the Redeless' (978-1016). (fn. 5) The manor appears in the Domesday Survey (1086) among the lands of the Abbot of Ely, 'who had there 6 hides which paid geld and 2 carucates in demesne.' There was wood for pannage a mile long, and about the same quantity of marsh land. The value had fallen from £6 to 100s. The chief manor was retained by the Bishop of Ely on the division of the lands of the monastery between the bishop and the prior about the time of the creation of the bishopric in 1109, and continued to be held by the bishops of Ely and their successors as parcel of the soke of Somersham. Its descent follows that of Somersham.

Colne Arms

The Armorial Bearings of the Colne family.

The Armorial Bearings of the Colne family.

Sable a fesse between two cheverons argent.


The manor of COLNE, alias COLNES DUNHOLTS, alias DRURYES, which extended into Bluntisham, Earith and Somersham, was at an early date held by the family of Colne. Nicholas de Colne witnessed an Ely charter of 1175-8, and in 1230 Henry de Colne levied a fine with Hugh, Bishop of Ely, of lands in the soke of Somersham. Henry was sheriff of the county in 1236, and an extent of his lands was made in 1245. It was probably John son of this Henry who was holding a manor here in 1279, and his descendant John son of Hugh de Colne and Agnes his wife held under a settlement of 1347. Apparently this John granted land to his brother Henry and John his son in 1354. John de Colne, the elder, holding under the settlement of 1347, had issue William, Baldwin, Geoffrey and Hugh. William, the heir, had two sons Henry and Richard. Henry, who inherited the manor, had two sons John and Henry. From this John the manor descended to his two daughters, Helen and Agnes, of whom Helen inherited the manors of Colne and Caxton (co. Camb.). She married John Dunholt, and their son John had, by his wife Rose, a son John. The last John Dunholt was, by his wife Margery, father of two sons John and Richard. John, the heir, had two sons, Thomas and Peter, on whom the manor was settled in 1529. On the death of Thomas without issue, Peter having predeceased him, the manor went to Peter's daughter Alice.

In 1546 she sold it to Randall Lynne or Lyne of Graveley (co. Camb.), who undertook to pay her an annuity for life. Within a year she married William Tadlowe and died childless in 1559. Her heirs were John Burges son and heir of Richard Burges son and heir of [Anne ?] sister of Thomas Dunholt, and Margaret Lynne (then aged five years), daughter and heir of Richard Lynne and Alice, another sister of Thomas. Both Richard and Alice died in 1559, and Margaret their daughter seems to have died shortly afterwards in infancy. It appears from an action brought by John Burges, the heir of Alice Tadlowe, against Elizabeth Lynne, apparently widow of Randall Lynne, that John Burges had entered the manors of Colne and Caxton, after the deaths of Richard Lynne and Alice, under the settlement of 1529.

In 1593 his son and heir Thomas Burges brought an action against Audrey Burges, widow, Simon Watson and Maria his wife, John Crantwoe, Downhill Burges and Richard Rolfe for detaining evidences of the manor. He settled the manor in the following year, and in 1598 he conveyed it to William Smith. The descent is not clear at this date. Smith was purchasing property in the parish, which appears to have fallen into thirds among coheirs and was eventually acquired by the Drurys, from whom it took one of its names. William son of Richard Drury is said to have had an interest in the manor in 1632, possibly through one of his wives Mary Brown and Catherine Winde. He lived to a great age and died about 1690. Before his death, in 1681, his sons Richard and William Drury acquired from Richard Carter and Mary his wife, a third of the manor of Colne, alias Colnes Dunholts, alias Druryes. Richard Drury, the son, who was sheriff of Cambridge and Huntingdon in 1676, married Priscilla Glapthorne, and died in 1692. Possibly his daughter Priscilla married Michael Beaumont, clerk, for in 1697 Michael Beaumont and Priscilla his wife conveyed a third of the manor to Thomas Archbishop of Canterbury for 99 years if Priscilla should so long live, evidently for the purpose of a settlement. Eventually the whole manor was acquired by Richard Drury son of Richard and Priscilla by conveyances from his brother Glapthorne Drury and the Beaumonts. Richard died in 1738, and the manor passed to his son Thomas Drury of Colne, who as Thomas Drury of Overstone (Northants) was created a baronet in 1739 and died in 1759. His only son Thomas died young, and his elder daughter Mary Anne married John, second Earl of Buckinghamshire, and died without male issue in 1769. The younger daughter Jocosa Catherine married Brownlow, first Lord Brownlow of Belton, and died in 1772, also without male issue.

Drury Arms

The Armorial Bearings of the Drury family.

The Armorial Bearings of the Drury family.

Argent a chief vert with a tau cross between two molets pierced or therein.


In 1790 John Earl of Buckinghamshire, Lord Brownlow and the representatives of the coheirs joined in selling the manor of Dunholts alias Druryes to John Kipling. In 1793 it was purchased from Owsley Rowley of St. Neots and Anne and William King by George Maule, probably on behalf of Isaac Sharpless, who was succeeded by his son Joseph Sharpless. The manor was sold to George Game Day in 1841 by Joseph Sharpless. Day died in 1858, when it passed to George Newton Day, who died in 1890. It then went to his widow, Mrs. Elizabeth Mary Day, on whose death in 1916 she was succeeded by her son, Mr. George Dennis Day, the present owner.