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Higham Gobion

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[Transcribed and edited information from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland - 1868]

"HIGHAM-GOBION, a parish in the hundred of Flitt, county Beds, 6 miles south-east of Ampthill, and 7 west of Hitchin. The village consists of a few farmhouses. The tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £300. The living is a rectory* in the diocese of Ely, value £350. The church is dedicated to St. Margaret. It contains a monument to Dr. E. Castell, the Orientalist, and author of the "Lexicon Heptaglotton." There is a village school."

"HIGHAM BURY, a single house in the parish of Higham Gobion, county of Bedfordshire, 4½ miles west of Higham Gobion, 2 miles south west of Pulloxhill. This house is in a detached portion of the parish."

[Transcribed from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland 1868]
by Colin Hinson ©2013




Church History

  • Church of England
    • The church of St. Mary or St. Margaret is a plain but good example of the Decorated style, consisting of chancel and nave, and a low embattled modern tower containing 1 bell: in the chancel is a good monument of free-stone and black marble with a Latin inscription, to Dr. S. E. Castell S.T.P. placed by himself in the year 1674, and at the foot a line in Arabic, which has been translated : "Living, here he chose to be buried, in hopes of a better place than this:" there are two other minor memorials and two brasses to the Boteler family, dated, 1602 and 1603: there is a Perpendicular rood screen, and the chancel retains sedilia and piscina, also of this date: there a was formerly a north aisle, the arcade of which is now built up in the north wall: the church was restored in 1880, at a cost of over £1,700. The register dates from the year 1558. [Kelly's Directory - Bedfordshire - 1898]

Church Records

  • Church of England

Description and Travel

  • Higham is supposed at one time to have been a market town and a place of importance, and foundations of buildings are often discovered : it derives it's additional name from the family of Gobion, who possessed this manor from a very early period, till in the year 1200, it passed by marriage to the Botelers., in whose possession it continued for many generations, and their arms are still to be seen over the parlour fire-place in the manor house, now a farm. Sir Henry Boteler died in 1608, leaving a son, Sir John; in 1639 William Langley esq. became possessed of this estate, and was in 1641 created a baronet, being described as of Higham Gobion: his son, Sir Ralph, sold the manor in 1657 to Arabella, Countess of Kent, from whom it descended to the present proprietor, Earl Cowper K.G., P.C. Ralph de Gobion, Abbot of St. Albans, belonged to this place. The house was the residence of the learned Dr. Stephen Edmund Castell, rector here from 1674 to 1684, prebendary of Canterbury, professor of Arabic at Cambridge University, and author of the "Lexicon Heptaglotton," which occupied him for 17 years, and cost in its production no less than £12,000: he lived here in retirement until he fell a victim to his intense application to study, which a short time before his death deprived him of his eyesight; many of his MSS. were left to the University of Cambridge and to St. John's and Emmanuel Colleges, but 500 copies of the famous Lexicon bequeathed to his niece, who regarded them as lumber, were stowed away in a garret and destroyed by rats. During the last few years several interesting Roman antiquities, such as coins, millstone, cinerary urns and an amphora have been discovered near to the manor house, and are in the possession of Mr. J. Trustram. Higham Bury is the seat of Edward Joseph Jekyll esq. J.P. [Kelly's Directory - Bedfordshire - 1898]



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Military History

  • The BFHS Project in conjunction with Roll of Honour contains the Higham Gobion War Memorial transcription with details of the men found on it.