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Houghton-Conquest (All Saints)

HOUGHTON-CONQUEST (All Saints), a parish, in the union of Ampthill, hundred of Redbornestoke, county of Bedford, 2¼ miles (N. by E.) from Ampthill; containing 746 inhabitants. This place derives the adjunct to its name from the family of Conquest, lords of the manor prior to the thirteenth century, whose mansion, ornamented with grotesque carvings, is now a farmhouse: here James I. sojourned two days, in 1605, on a visit to Sir Edmund Conquest. Houghton Park House, now destroyed, was a celebrated seat of the family of Bruce, earls of Elgin and Ailesbury. The living is a rectory, with that of Houghton-Gildable united in 1637, valued together in the king's books at £35. 18. 4., net income, £599; patrons, the Master and Fellows of St. John's College, Cambridge. The church contains several monuments to the Conquest family, and one to Dr. Zachary Grey, incumbent here, and editor of Hudibras. There is a place of worship for Wesleyans. A free school and some almshouses were founded and endowed by Sir Francis Clerke, in 1632.

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