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Imperial Gazatteer of England & Wales, 1866-9

Houghton Conquest, Bedfordshire

HOUGHTON-CONQUEST, a village and a parish in Ampthill district, Beds. The village stands near the Bedford and Watfoed railway, 2¼ miles NNE of Ampthill, and 2¾ NE of the Ampthill station of the Northwastern railway. The parish comprises 3,345 acres. Post-town, Ampthill. Real property, £4,953. Pop., 784. Houses, 179. The property is divided among a few, but belongs chiefly to the Duke of Bedford and the Rev. Lord John Thynne. Houghton Park estate belonged anciently to the Conquests; passed, in 1615, to the celebrated Countess of Pembroke, sister of Sir Philip Sidney; went afterwards, through several hands, to the Duke of Bedford; was sold, soon after 1794, to Lord Ossory; has returned to the Duke of Bedford; and is now united to Ampthill Park. The mansion on it was built by the Countess of Pembroke; is said to have been a handsome edifice; was reduced to a shell in 1794; and is now a ruin. James I. was entertained, in 1605, by Sir Richard Conquest, at Houghton-Berie, the remains of which were lately taken down. The living is a rectory, united with the rectory of Houghton-Gildable, in the diocese of Ely. Value, £648.* Patron, St. John's College, Cambridge. The church is old, and has a tower. There are a Wesleyan chapel, a free school, six alms-houses, and some other charities. Dr. Archer, chaplain to James I., and Dr. Zachary Grey, the commentator on Shakespeare, were rectors.

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