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Bermondsey’s Lord of the Manor to sell ancient title

The Lordship of Bermondsey is to be auctioned in the City this month.

Lord of the Manor Robert Draysey, an antique dealer who now lives in Cornwall, has asked international property consultants Strutt & Parker to include the title in its next special auction at which six feudal Baronies, thirty-four Lordships Of The Manor and two Seignories in the Channel Isles will be offered for sale.

Bermondsey was held by Saxon King Harold and after his death at the Battle of Hastings the title passed to William the Conqueror. His son William Rufus in 1094 gave it to the Cluniac monastery which had been founded in Bermondsey in 1082. The Abbot and monks took responsibility for reclaiming the marsh land and protecting the village from the river by banks and dykes.

The Lordship of Bermondsey remained with the Abbey until the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII. On New Year's Day 1538 the King seized the Manor of Bermondsey for himself.

Today the lord of the manor can call him or herself Lord or Lady of the Manor. However the title is not a peerage and there is no property involved. But according to Jonathan Chaplin, of Strutt & Parker, certain privileges such as the rights to markets or fairs might hold true today.

"It is for potential buyers to check out" he says.

The lordship was included in a sale last year but failed to reach the asking price. This time it is hoped that bidding will start at around 50,000.

Strutt & Parker's Lordships of The Manor auction will be held at Ironmongers' Hall in the Barbican on Wednesday 26 November at 2pm.

• A catalogue (20) can be obtained from Strutt & Parker, Coval Hall, Chelmsford, Essex, CM1 2QF (01245 258201).

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