Milbrook, Bedfordshire

Excerpt from a letter written by Ezra Stiles,

First Stiles Family Historian

Sir: I having a little curiosity to know if any Coat of Arms belongs to that Branch of the Family of Stiles from which I am descended, and finding in your Name you have combined the names of Francis & Henry, which have from the Beginning been preserved in the Family in America, I tho't it probable we might both descend from Branches which concur in the same stem or common Ancestor, after receding to some Distant & remote Descents. For this Reason, Sir, I take the liberty to address myself to you, requesting that you would do me the favor to give me the information I ask. I am descended from one of four Brothers, who came to New England 1634, I suppose from Milbrook, near Ampthill, in Bedfordshire; for tho' Henry Stiles, the oldest Br., was then Carpenter & Citizen of London, yet his Br. Tho. Stiles was of sd Milbroke, Husbandman, as I find by some Fam. Memoirs. This Tho. procured & sent to Henry a copy of Baptisms, I suppose from Chh. Records of Milbroke, Feb. 15, 1634:

Henrie Stiles, baptized 27 Nov. 1593---came to N. E. 1634.
John Stiles, " 25 Dec. 1595--came to N. E., fr. whom I am
Christr Stiles, " 28 Mar. 1600
Ffrancis Stiles, " 1 Aug. 1602---came to N. E.
Tho Stiles, " 7 Feb. 1612--came to N. E.
Marie Stiles, " 12 Mar. 1591
Joane Stiles, " 13 Jan. 1604.
Elizabeth Stiles, " 23 Dec. 1607.

Milbrook, by Henry Reed Stiles

Second Stiles Family Historian

Milbrook, (according to the report made to Parliament in 1801, of the number of houses, families and persons in each parish of Bedfordshire), had 67 inhabited houses; uninhabited houses, none; families, 71; persons, 327.
Gorton's Topographical Dictionary thus describes it in 1829:
Millbrook, Co. Bedford, P. T. Ampthill, 1 m. W. Pop. 405. A parish in the hundred of Redborne Stoke; living, a rectory in the arch-deanery of Bedford and diocese of Lincoln; valued in K. B. 9, 16s. 3d.: church dedicated to St. Michael- patron Lord Holland.

Milbrook Village Street. Milbrook Village Bldg

Modern day description of Milbrook by Bedfordshire County Council

Milbrook village has been described as one of the most beautiful villages in England. It's name is derived from the brook running to the north of the village, and the former mill that was finally demolished in the 18th century.
The whole village used to belong to the Duke of Bedford. The cottages, most of them dating back at least 100 years, were tenanted by farm workers.
The village is associated with John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress - the wooded valley near the church is reputed to be his "Valley of the Shadow of Death".
Several ghosts have been sighted in the village. One is an invisible horseman known as Galloping Dick, who descends Milbrook Hill.

Saint Michael's Church

Sketch of St. Michael

Early sketch of St. Michael's Church on hill overlooking Milbrook

St Michael's Church St Michael's Church

Saint Michael's Church as it looks today
Left picture large view
Right picture large view

Saint Michael's Church, is built of local sandstone and clunch (a tough clay). The tower dates from the 14th century and stands some 360 ft above sea level. It has been said that the Wash can be seen from the top of the tower.

Copyright © 2000, E. Stiles
"Photo Gallery"
Amptill, Bedfordshire