[From Samuel Lewis's Topographical Dictionary of England 1831.]
TILBROOK, a parish in the hundred of STODDEN. county of BEDFORD, 1½ mile (N.W. by W.) from Kimbolton, containing 297 inhabitants. The living is a rectory, in the archdeaconry of Bedford, and diocese of Lincoln, rated in the king's books at £13. 10., and in the patronage of Lord St. John. The church is dedicated to All Saints. Charles Higgins bequeathed £300 in support of a Sunday school, which sum, together with subscriptions, produces £20 a year.
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The name came from Old English meaning 'dung-brook' a place for watering cattle.
In 1645 the parishioners of Tilbrook complained that their rector, Savage, used part of the prayerbook, bowed at the name of Jesus, and preached against his parishioners who "went to hear other men preach, and said they were like daws that did fly from steeple to steeple".
In 1803 invasion threatened but the Bedfordshire militia were in the south-west so the county had to find other means to take extra-precautions. The parish returns show the number of waggons and carts to be produced for the emergency. This required filling in forms by the local farmers of which some became impatient as it was now the busy summer. William Baker of Tillbrook wrote on 6th August 1803 "I cannot spare time, for our wheat is mildewing very fast at this time, but when we have got our harvest I and my men are at your searvast."
As the large estates were consolidated in the mid-nineteenth century Lord St. John sold his property at Radwell and Tilbrook in favour of purchases in Bletsoe and Riseley.
Local government reorganisation in 1896 saw Swineshead transferred from Huntingdonshire to Bedfordshire in exchange for Tilbrook.
Some earlier records are held in Herts and Diocese of St Albans.
For more details see the information on GENUKI Huntingdonshire.
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Updated on: 18 February 2001
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