Prior to Edward The Confessors' death in 1066, he had promised his lands to William Duke of Normandy, but on his deathbed he changed his mind and promised the throne to his brother-in-law Harold Goodwinson, Earl of Wessex. Harold succeeded on 5th Jan 1066 and became King Harold II. William was furious and launched an invasion fleet across the Channel .A fierce battle ensued ( the Battle of Hastings) at which William won a decisive victory , costing Harold his life. When Edward The Confessor married Queen Edith in 1045 , her dowry contained the Manor of Milton Keynes village, which she held until her death in 1075. Although, once William was installed as King he rewarded relatives and supporters with land, Queen Edith was allowed to keep her lands. However, the Manor of Water Eaton (which included Fenny Stratford and Bletchley) was given to Geoffrey, Bishop of Coutances. Later, this Manor was given , along with almost all of North Bucks, to Walter Giffard, Lord of Longueville in Normandy in recognition of his services as commander of Williams army at Hastings.
One of the first written references to Milton Keynes village is in the Domesday book of 1086.Walter Giffard is noted to have held ' half a hide of land in Mideltone ' as it was known then. Godric Cratel was given the land of eight and a half hides after the Battle of Hastings but at the time the Domesday book was completed he was noted to have held the lordship of the Manor. Ownership of the village land stayed with the crown until the 17th Century. There is no further record of Milton Keynes village lordship for over one hundred years. The de Berevilles appeared to have held the title.
The Domesday Book with its casket in which it was kept once the record was complete.
The de Berevilles held the Manor prior to 1154, when Henry II ascended to the throne. On his accession , Henry gave the Manor along with Amabel de Bereville, the daughter and heir of its' former owner,to Hugh de Keynes (cahaines). This was largely as a reward to Hugh for the services that the de Keynes family had rendered to the Empress Maud in the recent Civil War between her and King Stephen. One William de Keynes is credited with the capture of King Stephen at the battle of Lincoln in 1141, but King Stephen refused to surrender to a mere Knight and the Earl of Gloucester had to be summoned to accept his sword as his sign of surrender. Records suggest that Hugh held the Manor until near the end of the reign of King John (1216). After Hughs' death, his wife Amabel continued to hold the Manor until 1222 (on her death). Their son Luke de Keynes inherited the Manor at this time.
In order to distinguish the Manor from others with a similar name in the neighbourhood, the family name of Keynes was added to the original name of Middleton to make Middleton Keynes. This later changed to become Milton Keynes. Today the village itself is known as Milton Keynes Village and the region it occupies is Middleton.
The photograph here shows the medieval fishponds, which in the 1300s were known as the pondwykes, with a new housing development under construction in the background.
Luke de Keynes held this Manor until his death in 1262.His son John de Keynes became the 3rd Lord of Middleton Keynes of this family. After his death , John's wife Maud held the Manor, their 2nd son Robert then acquired it on his mothers death. By 1302 the Manor was held by Philip deAylesbury by marriage to Margaret de Keynes. In 1349 when Philip died his grandson John inherited the Manor (as Philip's son Thomas was already dead). John married, and his son became ,Sir Thomas de Aylesbury the next Lord of the Manor.

On the death of Sir Thomas the Manor was split and a third given to his widow Katherine (de Pabenham) including The Knights Chamber. In 1422 Margaret widow of John de Aylesbury was given a third of the remainder. Margaret's portion of land reverted to the Chaworths and Staffords on her death. In 1436 Katherine's portion also went to the Staffords giving them control of the whole of Middleton Keynes Manor.

Queen Eleanor and the Black Death
In the late thirteenth century Edward I("Longshanks") was King of England. When his wife of 35 years died her body was brought from Nottingham 'en route' to Westminster Abbey for burial. The cortege stopped twelve times : a cross was erected at each stop. Unfortunately the Queen Eleanor cross of Stony Stratford disappeared during the Civil War (1646). Edward II became King in 1307 and reigned until 1327 when he was deposed by parliament in favour of his son and murdered at Berkeley Castle. Edward III then ascended. In 1332 Parliament was divided into two houses for the first time (Lords and Commons) Visit our Birds Family page to see some plans of Carpentry undertaken within the houses of parliament

The Black Death of 1349 devastated the population of north Buckinghamshire. In Stantonbury a third of the population died , including the vicar. King Edwards own daughter Joan also caught the Black Death and died. In 1337 Edward declares war on France and so begins The 100 Years War.