The Way We Were: A virtuous legacy, by John Taylor

People feeling poorly after getting the black death during the middle ages
People feeling poorly after getting the black death during the middle ages

Despite the isolated location of the community, in 1349 the rector of Battlesden was amongst the multitudes claimed throughout the land by the Black Death.

However, in 1666 the village seemed to have escaped the Great Plague, despite travellers being diverted there during the epidemic from the Watling Street at Hockliffe.

Instead they would detour via Woburn, Woburn Sands, Wavendon and Broughton, and so on until Newport Pagnell.

Then in 1774 a serious outbreak of smallpox occurred in the village. Much assistance, plus the sum of £10, was given to the parishioners by Julianna Page, a lady “well known for her boundless charity.”

She died in 1780 and was buried at Battlesden, where an altar-shaped tomb in the churchyard carried this inscription:

“Here Lieth the Honourable Juliana Page widow of Thomas Page Esqr of Battleden died July 2nd 1780 on the 79th year of her age.

“Her virtues are recorded in the breast of those to whom she was known.”

It had been by a special Act of Parliament that Baron Bathurst sold the manor to Sir Gregory Page, Baronet of Wricklemarsh, for £38,000.

From his descendents the manor would then be acquired by the ninth Duke of Bedford in 1885.