[Transcribed information from A Topographical Dictionary of England - Samuel Lewis - 1835] (unless otherwise stated)
"MELCHBOURNE, a parish in the hundred of STODDEN, county of BEDFORD, 5 miles (E. S. E.) from Higham-Ferrers, containing 244 inhabitants. The living is a vicarage, in the archdeaconry of Bedford, and diocese of Lincoln, rated in the king's books at £5, and in the patronage of Lord St. John. The church, dedicated to St. Mary, contains several ancient monuments and brasses. Here was a preceptory of Knights Hospitallers, the revenue of which was valued at £241. 9.10.; after the dissolution it was granted by Queen Elizabeth to the fivst Earl of Bedford; to this preceptory a market and a fair were granted, in 1264. Leland, the historian and antiquary, was a native of this place."