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A history of Buckden Towers from 1086

1515-1641


Although the period from 1514 onwards was a busy one for The Towers, by 1595 Bishop Chaderton had decided that he could no longer afford to run the Palace and he bought a smaller estate at Southoe, south of Buckden. 
His successor, however, returned to Buckden despite it having started to fall into disrepair.  More prosperous days for Buckden came during the episcopacy of John Williams (1625 - 1642).   The cloisters were repaired and refurbished and the stables and barns in the outer courtyard were rebuilt.  Improvements were also carried out to the grounds.

However, Williams who lived lavishly and became the holder of the title "Lord Keeper of the Great Seal" fell into disfavour with Charles I and Archbishop Laud over his conciliatory attitude towards the Puritans.   In 1637 he was accused of perjury, of revealing state secrets and of suborning false witness.  Fined £10,000 and deprived of his ecclesiastical revenues by the Star Chamber, he spent some time in the Tower of London.  Although Laud assumed jurisdiction of the See of Lincoln, he could not take away Williams' title of Bishop of Lincoln unless he resigned, which he refused to do.  A solicitor, Kilvert, was sent by the Star Chamber to administer the Buckden estate.  During the three years he lived there, Kilvert despoiled the Palace, sold the organ, books and pictures for ridiculously low prices and ruined the park by cutting down trees and killing deer.



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