[From Samuel Lewis's Topographical Dictionary of England 1831.]
MELCHBOURN, a parish in the hundred of STODDEN, county of BEDFORD, 5¼ 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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