Place:Freeby, Leicestershire, England

Alt namesFredebisource: Domesday Book (1985) p 161
Friebysource: common usage until 1816
TypeTownship, Civil parish
Coordinates52.783°N 0.8°W
Located inLeicestershire, England
See alsoFramland Hundred, Leicestershire, Englandhundred in which the parish was included
Melton Mowbray Rural, Leicestershire, Englandrural district of which it was part 1894-1935
Brentingby and Wyfordby, Leicestershire, Englandcivil parish absorbed into Freeby in 1936
Saxby, Leicestershire, Englandcivil parish absorbed into Freeby in 1936
Stapleford, Leicestershire, Englandcivil parish absorbed into Freeby in 1936
Melton and Belvoir Rural, Leicestershire, Englandrural district of which it was part 1936-1974
Melton District, Leicestershire, Englanddistrict municipality covering the area since 1974
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog
the following text is based on an article in Wikipedia

Freeby is a village and civil parish in the Melton District of Leicestershire, England, about three miles east of Melton Mowbray. The parish has a population of about 300.

As well as the village of Freeby the parish now includes the villages/civil parishes of Saxby, Wyfordby, Brentingby and Stapleford.

Brentingby and Wyfordby had become a "joint parish" by 1866 and was completely absorbed into Freeby in 1936. Saxby and Stapleford were also absorbed in 1936.


The village was until 1866 a township and a chapelry of Melton Mowbray parish. At the time of Edward the Confessor it was known as "Fretheby" and "Fredebi". It was referred to as "Frieby" as late as 1816. All the properties, except the United Reformed Church, still belong to the Freeby estate. It was granted as a manor to Hugh Despencer in the 13th century and is still a manor estate. The estate later passed to Lord de Ros, presumably at the demise of the Despensers. (Hugh the elder was hanged in Bristol in 1326 for his aid to Edward II who had fled the invasion of Isabella and Mortimer: Hugh Despenser the Younger was, after trial, hung, drawn and quartered later the same year). In 1568 the lord of the manor of Freeby was Edward, 3rd Earl of Rutland. Thirty years later the manor passed to Thomas Hartopp of that ancient family of Leicestershire. Sir John Hartopp, 3rd Baronet (1658) became Member of Parliament for Leicestershire (1678-1681), employed the non-conformist Isaac Watts and left an endowment for the education of dissenting ministers.

The estate was sold by Sir J. W. Cradock Hartopp, Bart., to Daniel Thwaites (of the Lancashire Thwaites brewery) upon whose death in 1888 it passed to his only daughter, Elma Amy, the wife of Robert Yerburgh, M.P. The estate was part of many others owned by Mrs Yerburgh and under management of the Woodfold Estates Company Management. Mrs. Yerburgh died in 1946 and from 1955 the estates and brewery were managed separately from adjacent offices at Eanam, Blackburn in Lancashire.

Local Administration

The parish was part of Melton Mowbray Rural District from 1894 until 1935 when the rural district was abolished and replaced by the Melton and Belvoir Rural District which covered a larger area. A year after the introduction of the new rural district its parishes were reorganized and reduced in number from 68 to 25.

In 1974 a new nationwide organization of local government was introduced in which rural and urban districts were replaced by "non-metropolitan" districts. In the northeast of Leicestershire this meant little save for the fact that the principal town of Melton Mowbray, formerly a separate urban district, was now governed by the same body (Melton District or Borough) as the rural area that surrounded it.

Research Tips

  • The map on the place-page for Melton Mowbray Rural District illustrates the location of the various parishes and the geographical and administrative changes that occurred in 1936.
  • From this Findmypast page you can browse the Leicestershire parishes which have parish register transcripts online.
  • From this Ancestry page you can browse the Leicestershire parishes which have parish register transcripts online.
  • For both of the above sites, a subscription is charged. Transcriptions of these records may also be available free of charge on the FamilySearch website.
  • A further collection of online source references will be found on the county page for Leicestershire.

This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Freeby. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with WeRelate, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.