"MELCHBOURNE, a parish in the hundred of Stodden, county Bedford, 6 miles S.E. of Higham-Ferrers, its post town, and the same distance south-west from Kimbolton. It is a small village, entirely agricultural. It was formerly a market town under a charter granted in 1264 to the Knights Hospitallers, who had a preceptory here, which Queen Elizabeth gave to the Russells. The soil is chiefly a stiff clay. The impropriation belongs to Lord St. John. The living is a vicarage* in the diocese of Ely, value £120. The church, dedicated to St. Mary, has a tower containing four bells. The interior of the church contains two monuments to the Beauchamp family, also a brass to R. Paveley and wife, bearing date 1377. There is a school at Risley for the education of the children of this parish, which is supported by Lord St. John. Melchbourn Park, the residence of Lord St. John, is situated in a wooded park, in which are game preserves and fishponds. Leland, the historian and antiquary, was a native of this place. Lord St. John is lord of the manor.
by Colin Hinson ©2013
- The 1851 Census Index for Melchbourne can be found in the 1851 Index to Census of Bedfordshire, Volume 1, Book 1 available from the Bedfordshire Family History Society.
- Here are photographs of Churches etc. in the parish:
- The Church of St. Mary Magdalene, Melchbourne.
- There are photographs and a description of St Mary Magdalene on the Bedfordshire Parish Churches website.
- Church of England
- The church of St. Mary Magdalene, re-erected (with the exception of part of the tower) in 1779, on the site of an earlier Gothic church, is an edifice in the Classic style, consisting of chancel, nave, north porch and an embattled western tower containing 4 bells, rehung in 1891: the organ was presented by the late Dowager Lady St. John : there are two monuments to Col. the Hon. George St. John, Lavinia (Wolstenholme), his wife and four children, who were all drowned on their passage from Bombay, in 1802; and to Henry Beauchamp, baron St. John of Bletsoe, 1805; and a brass to Robert Paveley, dated 1377, also a brass to the late Lord St. John d. 2 Nov. 1887, and to Ellen Georgiana (Senior), his wife, d. 1890. The pulpit is of fine polished mahogany : there are sittings, for 400 persons., The register dates from the year 1706. [Kelly's Directory - Bedfordshire - 1898]
- Church of England
- The parish record transcripts for St Mary Magdalene are available on microfiche for the period 1706-1812 from the Bedfordshire Family History Society.
- A transcript of the Melchbourne parish entries from Samuel Lewis's 1831 Topographical Dictionary of England,
- A transcript of the Melchbourne parish entries from Samuel Lewis's 1835 Topographical Dictionary of England,
- A transcript of the Melchbourne parish entries from The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales, 1866-9
- Ask for a calculation of the distance from Melchbourne to another place.
You can see maps centred on OS grid reference TL027657 (Lat/Lon: 52.279861, -0.496034), Melchbourne which are provided by:
- Google Maps
- StreetMap (Current Ordnance Survey maps)
- Bing (was Multimap)
- OldMaps (Old Ordnance Survey maps.)
- Old Maps Online (Other old maps.)
- National Library of Scotland (Old Ordnance Survey maps)
- Vision of Britain (Click "Historical units & statistics" for administrative areas.)
- English Jurisdictions in 1851 (Unfortunately the LDS have removed the facility to enable us to specify a starting location, you will need to search yourself on their map.)
- Magic (Geographic information) (Click + on map if it doesn't show)
- GeoHack (Links to on-line maps and location specific services.)
- The BFHS Project in conjunction with Roll of Honour contains the Melchbourne War Memorial transcription for WW1 and WW2 with details of the men found on it