Category Archives: News

The latest News.

1796 Supplementary Militia

During the Napoleonic era Britain faced invasion on a grand scale. Before 1793 men could join the Army or the militia, a kind of army reserve. Each county had to supply and pay a quota of men of eligible age 18-45. This was done by ballot. The men undertook active service in war and in peacetime had to do a month’s military training. In 1793 the Army numbered 45000 which were not nearly enough to repel a French Army of 100000. The Supplementary Militia Act of 1796 was brought in to raise more men. Recently the Society has been given a 1796 list of the quotas required from the Bedfordshire Hundreds (an administrative division in which Maulden came under the Redbournstoke Hundred). Maulden was obliged to provide 74 men, Flitwick 60 men and Ampthill 90 men).  By 1797 the invasion threat was so dire that a national census took place to see how many fighting men Britain could rely on.  The men of Britain volunteered on a scale never seen before to protect our shores from the French. When the threat of invasion declined the volunteers joined the militia or returned to their homes.

Open Evening 2010

In November we hosted a very successful Open Evening. Visitors saw displays of old photographs and articles,  lace making demonstrations and were able to see how our graveyard survey is coming along. Maulden Lower School kindly lent us photos and artefacts. We would like to thank everyone who lent us items for the exhibition and would also like to remind you not to throw away old photos etc in your keeping but pass them onto us. Even photos of unnamed people are useful as they show changing fashions etc and give us a challenge trying to date them!

The Malherbe family

A contact is researching the history of the Anglo-Norman family of Malherbe (also spelt Malerbe) that flourished between the 12th and 16th centuries in various English counties. They were particularly prevalent in Bedfordshire e.g. in Carlton, Bromham, Goldington and Kempston near Bedford; Houghton Conquest, Clophill and Stotford to the south, and the Brickhills, Hockliffe, Husborne Crawley and Tingrith toward Leighton Buzzard and Dunstable. 

Of particular note are the difficulties that arose when Robert Malherbe inherited the property at Hockliffe and Houghton c.1240 while under age and came under the custody of Roger de Scaccario. The Annals of Dunstable refer to the forgery of a charter in 1255 by Abraham, Jew of Norwich, in consort with Richard Earl of Cornwall that stated that Robert had alienated his lands to the Jews causing Richard, by command of the king (his brother Henry III), to eject the Malherbes and their overlord William de Beauchamp from these manors with much strife and the imprisonment of 28 men (possibly, including Robert). Apparently, this attempt failed and Robert’s nephew, John, inherited in 1251 but being ‘in great need’ in 1262 obtained the sizeable sum of 125 marks from Newnham priory in exchange for land at Stotford. Another John, possibly his son, was said to be in the wardship of Lord William Muntchensy (at the time of a bizarre wrestling match at Dunstable in 1283 in which both parties died – one of whom was a Muntchesny man).  

He would be grateful for any pointers to useful background information about these individuals or events and is also keen to find out more about the original mill at Bromham on the Ouse that was held by Gilbert Malherbe, the ‘miller of Bromham’, in 1342. He believes that the present one only goes back to the 17C.


Family History Enquiry

Last month I asked if anyone had any information about George William Braybrook who was born in Maulden in 1877. Further to this we are also interested in any info regarding  Mary Ann Braybrook, born 1856, who was married and lived in Maulden. On the 1881 census she was working as a “Bonnett Sewer” at Long Row, Ampthill and was a boarder at her place of employment.

Do you know anything about Long Row ?

Members Evening

We often have one evening where we ask our own members to take the floor. At a recent meeting, Peter Ayee gave us an update about SSAFA (Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen & Families Association). When he last spoke to the Society four years ago, 5 servicemen had been killed in Afghanistan – now the total is 230. As this is only one area of conflict involving our troops you can see that an association like SSAFA is badly needed. In addition, Keith Miles told two stories “The Luton Sack Murder” and the “Miracle Boy”, both of local interest.