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[From Samuel Lewis's Topographical Dictionary of England 1831.]

MELCHBOURN, a parish in the hundred of STODDEN, county of BEDFORD, 5 miles (E. S. E.) from Higham-Ferrers, containing 244 inhabitants. The living is a vicarage, in the archdeaconry of Bedford, and diocese of Lincoln, rated in the king's books at 5, and in the patronage of Lord St. John. The church, dedicated to St. Mary, contains several ancient monuments and brasses. Here was a preceptor of Knights Hospitallers, the revenue of which was valued at 241.9.10.; after the dissolution it was granted by Queen Elizabeth to the first Earl of Bedford : to this preceptory a market and a fair were granted, in 1264. Leland, the historian and antiquary, was a native of this place.

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