[Transcribed information from A Topographical Dictionary of England - Samuel Lewis - 1831]
(unless otherwise stated)
"HOUGHTON-CONQUEST, a parish in the hundred of REDBORNESTOKE, county of BEDFORD, 2¼ miles north-east from Ampthill, containing 651 inhabitants. The living is a rectory, with which that of Houghton-Gildable was united in 1637, in the archdeaconry of Bedford, and diocese of Lincoln, rated jointly in the king's books at £25.18.9., and in the patronage of the Master and Fellows of St. John's College, Cambridge. The church, dedicated to All Saints, contains several monuments to the Conquest family; besides one to the memory of Thomas Archer, rector of the parish, who made a curious entry in the register respecting his own coffin, dated in 1623, and another to that of Dr. Zachary Gray, editor of Hudftas, and a commentator on Shakspeare, also incumbent of this parish. There is a place of worship for Wesleyan Methodists. This place derives the adjunct to its name from the family of Conquest, lords of the manor prior to the thirteenth century, whose mansion, ornamented with grotesque carvings, is now a farm-house: here James I. sojourned two days, in 1605, on a visit to Sir Edmund Conquest. A free school and almshouses for six poor persons were, founded and endowed by Sir Francis Clerke, in 1632: the salary of the master is £16, and the almspeople receive £8 per annum, whihc is divided amongst them. In 1691, Edmund Wylde, Esq. bequeathed £140 to be expended in land, desiring the rental to be applied to the repair of these premises, and the surplus to be given to the poor people: there are twenty-two scholars. Houghton Park house, now destroyed, was a celebrated seat of the family of Bruce, Earls of Elgin and Aylesbury."