[Transcribed and edited information from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland - 1868]
"BLETSOE, a parish in the hundred of Willey, in the county of Bedford, 6 miles to the north west of Bedford, its post town. It lies on the banks of the river Ouse, and was the site of a castle belonging, in the 14th century, to the Pateshulls and Beauchamps. The living is a rectory* in the diocese of Ely, of the value of £316, in the patronage of Lord St. John, of Bletsoe. The church is dedicated to St. Mary. It contains the tombs of the St. John family, with monuments to Sir John St. John, and Frances, Countess of Bolingbroke. The remains of the ancient seat of the Lords St. John, of Bletsoe, is now a farmhouse. The parochial charities produce about £13 per annum."
"BOURNE END, a hamlet in the parish of Bletsoe, county of Bedfordshire, 2½ miles north of Bletsoe."
"NORTH END, a hamlet in the parish of Bletsoe, county of Bedfordshire, 1 mile north of Bletsoe."
The church of St. Mary is an ancient cruciform structure, chiefly in the Decorated style, and was restored in 1868, at a cost of about £1,700: it consists of chancel, nave, north transept, or St. John chapel, small south transept, south porch and a central tower with plain parapet containing a clock and 5 bells, all cast in 1786 : there are three sedilia on the south side of the chancel, and a double piscina in the north transept, which also contains some fine monuments of the family of St, John, Earls of Bolingbroke; the first on the south wall consists of a panelled base, supporting two Corinthian columns, on which rests a slightly projecting flat canopy, surmounted by a quartered shield; within are kneeling figures of Sir John St. John, 1559, and Margaret (Waldegrave), his wife and 9 children: on the east wall is another monument, elaborately carved, with cornice, pediment and arms, to Frances, Countess Bolingbroke, 1678, and there are many others of the family down to 1887: there are also memorials to several of the late rectors, and to Arabella, wife of C. C. Vivian esq. 1673: in June, 1882, a reredos was erected to the memory of St. Andrew Beauchamp, 14th Baron St. John, d. 27 Jan. 1874: the east window was placed to the Rev. the Hon. Edmund Tudor St. John and late rector, who died 30 Sept. 1884, and there is another to St. Andrew, 15th baron, d. 2 Nov. 1887: the reredos occupies the whole width of the chancel, and under canopies on each side is an arcade of four arches: on the north wall of the nave is a painting of St. George and the Dragon: a new organ has been placed in the church, at a cost of £200, raised by subscription: there are 190 sittings. The register dates from the year 1582. [Kelly's Directory - Bedfordshire - 1898]