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The modern name is Puddington; on some of the communion plate it is Poudington; 17 Edward II, 12 Richard II, Podington, and often so spelt at this day . In Domesday it is called Podintone. Haneuwich = Hinwich is also mentioned in Domesday. It is a hamlet half a mile from Puddington,and is mentioned in the Will of William Sayre as the place of his residence. Sharnbrook the residence of William Sayre (will 1519), is 3^ miles S. W. of Puddington, and Harold, hereafter mentioned as the residence of a Sayre, is 4 miles from Puddington.
In 1778 there were 21 houses in Hinwich, with a population of 116. There were only eight freeholders then in the hamlet.
In Puddington at that date there were 51 houses with 305 inhabitants. Labourers were paid one shilling a day, including one mess of milk in the morning, and as much beer and as often during the day as they pleased. Land was worth twelve shillings an acre and Cottages rented for thirty shillings.
The Vicar of Puddington was hanged at Woburn by Henry VIII, together with the Abbot of the Convent, for " withstanding the measures of the King."
The number of " dissenters" in 1782 did not exceed six or eight, and they had no meeting house.
The following extract is from a work (" The Ecclesiastical and Architectural Topography of England," published under the sanction of the Central Committee of the Archaeological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland.— Bedfordshire. Oxford and London: John Henry Parker, 1848, 8vo.) which, though published only fifty years ago, is quite rare. No copy was found in the British Museum.
Podington, or Puddington, St. Mary, This church consists of a nave and aisle, a chancel, and a west tower, and is chiefly Early English. In the chancel is a good moulded Early English piscina, and the chancel-arch springs from chamfered corbels. In the north wall are four sepulchral arches now blocked up with mural monuments to the memory of the Childs and Paynes. The naveaisles are on round piers of Transition-Norman character, moulded with zigzag lines, those on the north differing from those on the south. The font is circular 1 Norman, covered with a zigzag moulding, and is engraved in Lysons; there is an Early English north doorway, a south doorway and porch, Perpendicular, and a Decorated western tower, with modern buttresses and a good crocketed octagonal spire. A view of the church is engraved by Lysons; and another in the Collections towards a History of Bedfordshire, containing an account of the parish and of Luton and Dunstable. 4to, 1782.— H. A. and H. K. B. [in the " Introduction"]. The monumental brasses (of the county] are numerous. Poddington possesses specimens, nearly all of interest.
Our line of known direct ancestry therefore begins with William Sayre, of Hinwich, parish of Podington, in the hundred of Willey and in the county of Bedford. His wife was Alice Squyre. He died in 1564, his will being dated 1562 and proved 1564. The will of his widow was dated April 20, 1567, and proved June 2d of the same year.
1 THOMAS, m. Margery .
2 ALICE, m. Robert West.
1 John West.
2 George West.
3 AGNES, m. William Makernes.
William Makernes, Jr.
4 WILLIAM, m. Elizabeth .
He died prior to 1581.
4 Francis, m. Elizabeth Atkins.
The marriage of Francis Sayre and Elizabeth Atkins is recorded in the parish register of Leighton Buzzard, November 15, 1591. The records of this place begin in 1562, and continue till 1615, when there is a break until 1640. A careful search of these records was made for the birth of Francis Sayre and of his wife, Elizabeth Atkins, but neither was found recorded. Francis was probably bom at Podington, the records of which do not begin until 1602.
From Lysons's "Magna Britannia," Vol. I, p. 103, we take the following description of Leighton Buzzard, the birthplace of Thomas Sayre, the Emigrant Ancestor:
Leighton Buzzard, in the hundred of Manshead and deanery of Dunstaple, is a market town on the river Ouse on the borders of Buckinghamshire, forty-one miles from London [and about thirty miles south of Hinwich, the old-time home of the Sayres]. It is supposed to have been the Lygianburgh of the Saxon Chronicles, which was taken from the Britons by Cushwulph in 571. It has been conjectured that the addition of Bussard or Buzzard is a corruption of Beaudesert, which name indeed occurs in some old papers, but in the most ancient records the name of the town is written Leighton-Bosard, and sometimes Busard or Buzzard. The family of Bosard or Bossard, from which it seems to have derived its additional name, were of consequence in the county, and knights of the shire in the reign of Edward II and Edward III. The market, which is on Tuesdays, is one of the most ancient in the county; the tolls were valued at seven pounds per annum at the time of the Norman Survey (Domesday). In the market-place is a beautiful Gothic cross of a Perpendicular form, with figures of kings, etc. The number of houses in Leighton parish (exclusive of the hamlets), according to the returns made to parliament in 1801, was 376; that of inhabitants, 1963.
King Henry II granted a manor in Leighton to the abbess and Cistercian nuns of Font-Everard in Normandy, who established a cell of foreign monks in this parish at a place called Grovesbury, the prior of which was procurator-general for the concerns of the abbey of Font-Everard in England. In 1316 this manor was held under the abbess by Mary, the king's sister, who was a nun of Ambresbury.