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Eaton-Socon (St. Mary)

EATON-SOCON (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of St. Neot's, hundred of Barford, county of Bedford, 1½ mile (S. W.) from St. Neot's; containing, with the hamlet of Wyboston, 2600 inhabitants. It is bounded on the east by the river Ouse, and comprises 7322a. 3r. 23p., of which a small portion is arable and woodland, and the remainder chiefly pasture and meadow. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £20. 13. 9.; net income, £439; patron and impropriator, the Duke of Bedford. The tithes were commuted for land and corn-rents in 1795. The church is an ancient structure, in the early and decorated English styles, of which it displays some elegant and interesting details. Here was anciently a castle, the residence of a branch of the family of Beauchamp; also a priory for Augustine friars, founded by Sir Oliver Beauchamp and his son Hugh, the only remaining portion of which is the refectory, now converted into stables.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, seventh edition, published 1858.