LITTLE BRICKHILL, in the hundred and deanery of Newport, is nearly two miles distant from Fenny- Stratford, on the road from London to Liverpool. This village, although distinguished by the name of Little, has been a place of much more consequence, if not more populous, than Great Brickhill; having been formerly a market, and as assize town. The market, which was on Thursdays, seems to have been originally granted in 1228, to John de Gatesdon, confirmed in 1267, to Philip Lovel; in 1319, to Humphrey Lord Audley, and in 1441, to Humphrey Stafford, Earl of Buckingham. The charter of 1228 grants a fair for three days, at the festival of St. Mary Magdelen; that of 1267, a fair for three days, at the festival of St. Giles; that of 1319, a fair at the decollation of St. John the Baptist; and that of 1441, two fairs, one on the festival of St. Philip and St. James, the other on that of St. Luke: the only fair now held, is on the 18th of October. The assizes for the county appear to have been occasionally held at this town, from an early period. During the reign of Queen Elizabeth, and King James I. Little-Brickhill seems to have been considered as the assize town, and is so called in Saxton's map, published in 1574. Between the years 1561 and 1620, the names of 42 executed criminals appear among the burials in the parish register: the last time the assizes were held at Little-Brickhill was in 1638. The gallows is said to have been on the heath, about three furlongs out of the town, on the road to Woburn.
The market of Little-Brickhill has been long discontinued; it is probable that the town fell to decay on the assizes being removed: of late years, however, it has again increased in population. Browne Willis states the number of houses, in 1758, to have been 69; their number in 1801, as returned to parliament, was 84, of which four were uninhabited, that of the inhabitants, 385. Little-Brickhill is still a post town, being the stage between Woburn and Stony Stratford.
The manor of Little-Brickhill was anciently in the Giffards, Earls of Buckingham, from whom it passed by female heirs to the Lovells, Audleys, and Staffords. Having been seized by the crown, in consequence of an attainder, it was granted to Lord Marney, and afterwards to William Carey esq. Mr. Carey's son sold it to the Brocas family, from whom it passed by purchase to the Abdys, about the year 1636: Sir Anthony Abdy, about the year 1696, sold it to Sir Charles Duncombe, in whose family it continued many years: it is now the property of George Henry Rose esq.
A chapel adjoining the parish church was blown down by the high wind in 1703. The great tithes, which were appropriated to the abbey of Combwell, in Kent, are now annexed to the see of Canterbury, under which Mr. Philip Mills is, or was lately, lessee. The archbishop is patron of the benefice, which is a perpetual curacy. This parish has been inclosed by an act of parliament, passed in 1796, when allotments of land were assigned in lieu of tithes, and an allotment to the poor for fuel.