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BEING THAT PART OF LINCOLNSHIRE WHICH
IS WEST OF TRENT.
IN the Preface to a work like the present, which is confined to so small a portion of the County of Lincoln, it will hardly be thought necessary that I should enter into the discussion of those matters of antiquarian learning, with which the most celebrated topographers have introduced their works to the public, and to which I cannot add any further information.
I shall, therefore, confine myself to matters of a local nature; and merely observe, for the sake of perspicuity, that, in every part of England, the history of property divides itself into two parts, the lay property and the ecclesiastical. The lay property, for the most part, lies in the hands of some Lord Paramount, who held of the Crown, as it is termed, in capite, or in some lord subinfeuded by him, and in his tenants, whether copyhold or freehold.
In the Isle of Axholme there was, after the Conquest, but one Lord Paramount, Geoffrey de Wirce, who held of the King all the Manors which it contained,-Epworth, Owston, Haxey, Belton, Althorpe, Luddington, and Croule * What became of him we do not know ; but, when this fee was soon afterwards granted again by the Crown, Nigel d'Albini, whose son and successor took the name of Mowbray, obtained Epworth, Belton, Owston, Hay and part of Althorpe; to which was afterwards added the Ma of Wroot, a place of which no mention is made in Doomsday Book. One of the Mowbrays subinfeuded the Prior of Newburgh, wh: House he had founded, with a small Manor in Haxey, called Manor of Haxey Hall Garth; and gave the little township of Keadby to the Knights Templars, which was also made a separate Manor. The Manors of Croule and Luddington were given to the Abbey of St. Germains, at Selby. Amcoats was originally part of the Manor of Croule, but at what time it became a distinct Manor, or who was the original subinfeudatory, I am not able to say. Richard d’Amcotts is returned in the reign of Edward the Second, as possessed of a small property there.
again * Doomsday Book.
This Manor of Epworth and Westwood remained in the family of Mowbray for upwards of three centuries ; nor is it
difficult to perceive, from the records of the kingdom, in some measure at least, how, at different periods during the feudal times, other owners obtained possessions within this fee. It appears, from the Patent Rolls, that the Mowbrays had the royal confirmation to several grants of lands which they had made ; but it
the marriage portions, given at different times with the daughters of the Lord, which caused so large a portion of his broad lands to pass into fresh families; and which, after remaining in their possession for a longer or shorter time, were again disposed of in portions, to suit the convenience of purchasers. Part only