A Topographical Dictionary of England. Originally published by S Lewis, London, 1848.
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Bruton (St. Mary)
BRUTON (St. Mary), a market-town and parish, in the union of Wincanton, hundred of Bruton, E. division of Somerset, 12 miles (S. E.) from Wells, and 110 (W. by S.) from London; comprising, with the chapelry of Wyke-Champflower, the tything of Redlynch, and part of Discove, 2074 inhabitants, of whom 1885 are in the town. This place takes its name from the river Bri or Bru, which rises in the adjoining forest of Selwood. Prior to the Conquest it was distinguished for an abbey founded by Algar, Earl of Cornwall, in 1005, for monks of the Benedictine order; upon the ruins of which, William de Bohun in the time of Stephen erected a priory for Black canons, which was raised into an abbey in the beginning of the reign of Henry VIII., by William Gilbert, the prior, by whom it was almost rebuilt: it was dedicated to the Blessed Virgin, and its revenue, at the Dissolution, was £480. 17. 2. The abbey, after its suppression, became the residence of the lords Fitzharding and Berkeley, who sold the manor to the Hoare family, in 1777; the remains have been converted into a parsonage-house, and the other vestiges consist of the altars, the tomb of the last abbot, and an ancient well. The town is pleasantly situated at the base of a steep hill, and along the side of a romantic combe, watered by the Bru, over which is a stone bridge: it consists principally of one well-paved street; the houses are in general neatly built. The manufactures were once considerable, but are now confined chiefly to stockings and machinery; about 250 persons are employed in silk-throwing. The market is on Saturday; the fairs are on April 23rd, and Sept. 17th. The townhall, a spacious building, of which the lower part was used for the market, and the upper contained a large court-room where the petty-sessions were held, is now converted into tenements.
The parish is situated on the road from Bath to Weymouth, and comprises by measurement 3713 acres; stone of good quality for building is quarried to a considerable extent. The living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £138; patron and impropriator, Sir H. R. Hoare, Bart., whose tithes have been commuted for £130. 8. The glebe comprises 20 acres. The church is a spacious and handsome structure chiefly in the later English style, with a square embattled tower crowned by pinnacles and elaborately decorated, and two porches, having over the entrance the arms of some of the abbots. The roof is of open timber frame-work, richly carved and of elegant design; the chancel is of modern erection, and in the Grecian style: the tomb of Prior Gilbert is preserved. There is a chapel at Wyke-Champflower, and another at Redlynch; and the Independents have a place of worship. The free grammar school was founded by deed dated Sept. 24th, 1519, by Richard Fitzjames, Bishop of London, Sir John Fitzjames, chief justice of England, and Dr. John Edmonds, who endowed it with estates now producing altogether £280 per annum: it has four exhibitions, of £50 per annum each, to either of the universities. An hospital for fourteen aged men, the same number of women, and sixteen boys who are also educated and apprenticed, was founded about 1618, by Hugh Saxey, auditor of the household to Queen Elizabeth and James I., who endowed it with estates at present worth £1381. 11. per annum. The buildings, which were completed about 1636, form a spacious quadrangle near the west end of the town, and are in the Elizabethan style: in one of the wings is a neat chapel, with a schoolroom below it; and over the entrance to the hall is the bust of the founder: the eastern side of the quadrangle was rebuilt some years since. Many marine shells and fossils have been dug up at Creech Hill, where was an encampment, and on which also a beacon formerly stood: human skeletons and skulls have been found at Lawyat; and at Discove, the remains of a tessellated pavement were discovered in 1711. The benevolent founder of the hospital, the two Fitzjames's, the Earl of Falmouth, who was killed in a naval engagement in 1665, and Dampier, the celebrated navigator, were born here.
BRYAN-MAUND, a township, in the parish of Bodenham, union of Leominster, hundred of Broxash, county of Hereford; containing 153 inhabitants.
Bryanston (St. Martin)
BRYANSTON (St. Martin), a parish, in the union of Blandford, hundred of Pimperne, Blandford division of Dorset, 1½ mile (N. W. by W.) from BlandfordForum; containing 144 inhabitants. It is situated on the river Stour, which forms its northern boundary; and comprises 1691 acres. The soil is generally chalky, but fertile; the surface is varied, and the lower grounds are subject to occasional inundation from the river, on whose banks are some tracts of fine meadow-land. The living is a rectory, united to that of Durweston, and valued in the king's books at £8. 11. 5½.: the tithes have been commuted for £177.
BRYANTS-PIDDLE, a tything, in the parish of Aff-Piddle, union of Wareham, hundred of Hundred's-Barrow, Wareham division of Dorset, 9¼ miles (E. by N.) from Dorchester; containing 64 inhabitants.
Bryngwyn (St. Peter)
BRYNGWYN (St. Peter), a parish, in the union of Abergavenny, division and hundred of Raglan, county of Monmouth, 1½ mile (N. W.) from Raglan; containing 306 inhabitants. The parish is situated near the left bank of the river Usk, and intersected by the old and new roads from Monmouth to Abergavenny. It contains by estimation about 1250 acres, of which 513 are arable, 688 pasture and meadow, 10 woodland, and the remainder roads, waste, &c.; the surface is boldly undulated, and from some elevated portions, especially from a place called Camp Hill, very beautiful views are obtained: the soil consists of different combinations of clay and gravel. Petty-sessions for the division of Raglan are held on the third Monday in each month, at Cross Buchan, in the parish. The living is a discharged rectory, valued in the king's books at £4. 8. 9., and in the gift of the Earl of Abergavenny: the incumbent's tithes have been commuted for £164, and the glebe consists of about 39 acres, with a good parsonage-house, enlarged and considerably improved by the rector, the Rev. W. Crawley. A. Jones, Esq., is impropriator of the tithes of five farms, which have been commuted for £66. The church is an ancient structure.
Bryning, with Kellamergh
BRYNING, with Kellamergh, a township, in the ecclesiastical parish of Warton, parish of Kirkham, union of the Fylde, hundred of Amounderness, N. division of the county of Lancaster, 2¾ miles (S. W. by W.) from Kirkham; containing 152 inhabitants. So early as the reign of Edward I., these two places appear to have been considered as one township; and in Edward IV.'s reign the Bethun family held lands in both. Kellamergh gave name to a family when it was usual to pass lands without dating the deeds of conveyance, or before the 18th of Edward I.: that manor was subsequently held by a grant from the crown, by the Middletons, who also held "Brenninge." The township comprises 1043a. 1r. in equal portions of arable and pasture; the surface is rather level, and the soil principally a strong clay. The tithes have been commuted for £164 payable to the Dean and Chapter of ChristChurch, Oxford, and £35. 19. to the vicar.
Bubbenhall, or Bobenhall (St. Giles)
BUBBENHALL, or Bobenhall (St. Giles), a parish, in the Kenilworth division of the hundred of Knightlow, union, and S. division of the county, of Warwick, 5½ miles (S. S. E.) from Coventry; containing 262 inhabitants. In the time of Edward I., John Fitzwith was lord of the manor, which came afterwards by marriage to John Beauchamp, who was the first person created a baron, in England, by a patent, temp. Richard II. 1387; he was attainted of treason the same year, and was hanged, drawn, and quartered. From the 29th of Elizabeth the manor was possessed by the family of Wootton, with whom it continued during several reigns. The parish comprises 1114 acres, of which 78 are woodland, and the rest chiefly arable; it is partly bounded by the river Avon on the north. The living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £70; patron, the Bishop of Worcester.
BUBNELL, a township, in the parish and union of Bakewell, hundred of High Peak, N. division of the county of Derby, 2¾ miles (S. E.) from Stoney-Middleton; containing 128 inhabitants. The great tithes of the township have been commuted for £169 payable to the impropriators, and £7 payable to the Dean and Chapter of Lichfield.
Bubwith (All Saints)
BUBWITH (All Saints), a parish, in the union of Howden, Holme-Beacon division of the wapentake of Harthill, E. riding of York; consisting of the seven townships of Breighton with Gunby, Bubwith, Foggathorpe, Gribthorpe, Harlthorpe, Spaldington, and Willitoft; and containing 1370 inhabitants, of whom 524 are in the township of Bubwith, 6½ miles (N. N. W.) from Howden. The parish is bounded for about a mile on the west by the navigable river Derwent, and is intersected by the road between Selby and Market-Weighton; in the township are about 1300 acres of well-cultivated land, entirely of level surface. The village is situated close to the river, over which is a stone bridge of ten arches, built in 1793, at a cost of £2000. A corn market, established a few years ago, is held every Wednesday. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £15. 2. 11.; net income, £102: it is in the alternate patronage of the Crown and the Dean and Chapter of York, the latter being appropriators. The church, partly in the Norman and partly in the early English style, has a square tower. There are places of worship for Wesleyans and Primitive Methodists. Nicholas de Bubwith, Bishop of Bath and Wells, who was one of the English prelates that were present at the council of Constance, in the year 1415, was a native of the parish.
Buckby, Long (St. Lawrence)
BUCKBY, LONG (St. Lawrence), a parish, in the union of Daventry, hundred of Guilsborough, S. division of the county of Northampton, 5 miles (N. E.) from Daventry; containing, with a part of the hamlet of Murcott, 2145 inhabitants. It comprises by measurement 3470 acres. The soil is generally a rich loam, alternated with some portions of sand and gravel; the surface is pleasingly undulated, and the lower grounds are watered by several brooks. The river Nene has its source within three miles; the Grand Junction canal passes through the parish; and the Crick station on the London and Birmingham railway, is about two miles and a half distant from the town. The town is above a mile long, with a market square, and there are a few good houses. Shoes are made to a great extent; a market is held every Tuesday, and two fairs annually. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £10, and in the patronage of the Bishop of Lichfield, with a net income of £150, and a house; impropriators, Sir James Hay Langham, Bart., and the bishop, who has leased his portion to J. King, Esq. The tithes were commuted for land in 1765 and 1771. The church is a plain modern structure with an ancient embattled tower. There are places of worship for Particular Baptists and Independents. The Rev. Langton Freeman, in 1783, gave £400, which were laid out in land at present yielding £20 per annum, for the endowment of a school, now conducted on the national system. Near Mr. Allen's house is a large artificial mound, evidently of Roman formation.
Buckden (St. Mary)
BUCKDEN (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of St. Neot's, hundred of Toseland, county of Huntingdon, 4 miles (S. W. by W.) from Huntingdon; containing 1209 inhabitants. In the reign of Henry I., the manor was granted by the abbot of Ely to one of the bishops of Lincoln, whose successors always resided here, till this part of the diocese was transferred to the see of Ely: the episcopal palace is a venerable structure, still standing. The parish is situated on the great north road, and bounded on the east by the navigable river Ouse; it comprises 3039 acres, the surface of which is in general flat. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £8; net income, £171; patron, the Bishop of Lincoln. The tithes were commuted for land and a money payment in 1813; the glebe contains 76 acres, with a glebe-house. The church has a tower surmounted by an elegant spire, and contains the remains of Bishops Barlow, Sanderson, and Green. There is a place of worship for Wesleyans. William Burberry, in 1558, bequeathed property now producing £120 per annum, for distribution among the poor.
BUCKDEN, a township, in the parish of Arncliffe, union of Skipton, E. division of the wapentake of Staincliffe and Ewcross, W. riding of York, 20 miles (N.) from Skipton; containing 387 inhabitants. This township, which consists of the village, and several hamlets extending along a narrow valley to the sources of the river Wharfe, comprises 12,969 acres, whereof 2802 are common or waste; and includes the ancient forest of Langstroth, which was the favourite hunting-ground of the Percy family, and was well stocked with roebuck and fallow-deer. It appears to have formed part of the royal demesnes in the reign of Edward II., who granted to Edward de Percy the privilege of free warren in all his lands of Buckden; and for a long time it was the subject of much litigation between various parties who claimed that privilege. The deer were destroyed in the time of Charles II., and the land disafforested. A fair for cattle is held on the 12th of October. The impropriate tithes have been commuted for £270. 3. 1., payable to University College, Oxford; and there is a glebe of 17 acres.—See Hubberholme.
Buckenham-Ferry (St. Nicholas)
BUCKENHAM-FERRY (St. Nicholas), a parish, in the union and hundred of Blofield, E. division of Norfolk, 9 miles (E. S. E.) from Norwich; containing 60 inhabitants. It comprises 908a. 1r. 14p., of which 133 acres are wood and water, and the remainder arable and pasture in nearly equal portions; the village is pleasantly situated on the river Yare, over which is a ferry. The Norwich and Yarmouth railway passes through the parish. The living is a discharged rectory, with that of Hassingham consolidated, valued in the king's books at £6, and in the gift of Sir W. B. Proctor, Bart.: the tithes have been commuted for £130, and the glebe comprises 37 acres, with a house. The church contains portions of the early, decorated, and later English styles, and consists of a nave and chancel, with an ancient octagonal tower: in the year 1824, the Rev. T. Beauchamp put in a splendid east window of stained glass, containing representations of St. Nicholas, the Four Evangelists, and others. The Romans are supposed to have had a minor station here, relics having been discovered in the vicinity. There is a farmhouse, built of part of the materials of the old manor-house formerly the property of Sir W. Godsalve, to whom Queen Elizabeth, having crossed the ferry here, paid a visit: the parlours are boarded with wainscot, and a carved mantel-piece is ornamented with the arms of the Godsalve family.
Buckenham, New (St. Martin)
BUCKENHAM, NEW (St. Martin), a town and parish, in the union of Guiltcross, hundred of Shropham, W. division of Norfolk, 5 miles (S. E. by S.) from Attleburgh, and 96 (N. E. by N.) from London; containing 716 inhabitants. This place owes its origin to William D'Albini, Earl of Chichester, who, disliking the situation of a castle which had been built at Old Buckenham about the time of the Conquest, demolished that structure, and erected another here, in the reign of Henry II. The new castle was pleasantly situated on an eminence to the east of the former, and consisted of a keep, two round towers, a grand entrance tower, and a barbican, inclosed with embattled walls surrounded by a fosse. Its owner, who had view of frankpledge, and the power of life and death, obtained from Henry many privileges for his new burgh, among which were those of holding a mercate court, the assize of bread and ale, and a market; and the lord of the manor still claims the right of officiating as butler at the coronation of the kings of England. The town is pleasantly situated; the houses are neatly built, and there is an ample supply of water. The market (on Saturday) has fallen into disuse; the fairs for horses, cattle, &c., are on the last Saturday in May, and Nov. 22nd and 23rd, and a statute-fair for hiring servants is held a fortnight before Old Michaelmasday. A high bailiff is chosen annually at the "Portman" court, and a court baron and court leet are held by the proprietor of the manor. The parish comprises about 330 acres, 80 of which are uninclosed common, and the rest chiefly arable. The living is a perpetual curacy, and has a net income of £115: it is in the patronage of the Inhabitants, who pay a yearly modus of 3½d. in the pound on the rental in lieu of tithes. The church is an ancient and handsome structure, containing portions of several orders of architecture, and has a square tower with six bells: the north aisle was rebuilt in 1749, by the aid of several distinguished families; the chancel is separated from the north aisle by a richly carved screen, and contains some interesting monuments. There are places of worship for Methodists.
Buckenham, Old (All Saints)
BUCKENHAM, OLD (All Saints), a parish, in the union of Guiltcross, hundred of Shropham, W. division of Norfolk, 3 miles (S. S. E.) from Attleburgh; containing 1255 inhabitants. This was anciently a place of considerable importance, and is supposed to derive its name either from Boccen, a beech-tree, and Ham, a dwelling-place; or from an allusion to the bucks, or deer, that thronged the adjacent forests. It was given by the Conqueror to William D'Albini, whose son of the same name married the widow of Henry I., became Earl of Chichester, and founded a priory for Augustine canons, in honour of St. James the Apostle, about the middle of the twelfth century. At the Dissolution, the establishment consisted of a prior and eight canons, whose revenue was estimated at £131. 11. Here were three guilds, dedicated respectively to St. Margaret, St. Peter, and St. Thomas the Martyr. The parish comprises 4820a. 1r. 7p., of which 3703 acres are arable, 1050 pasture, 49 wood, and 18 water: the common was inclosed in 1790. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of the Inhabitants, with a net income of £102: the tithes have been commuted for £1527. 18. The church has a thatched roof, and an octagonal tower with five bells. There are places of worship for Baptists, Sandemanians, and Primitive Methodists.
Buckenham Parva or Tofts (St. Andrew)
BUCKENHAM PARVA or TOFTS (St. Andrew), a parish, in the union of Swaffham, hundred of Grimshoe, W. division of Norfolk, 6 miles (N. E.) from Brandon; containing 77 inhabitants. It comprises by admeasurement 650 acres, of which about one-fifth is wood and plantation, and the remainder arable and pasture land in equal portions. The estate belongs chiefly to the Hall, a large handsome mansion in a spacious park, built in the reign of Charles II.: the road from London to Watton passes through the park. The living is a discharged rectory, valued in the king's books at £3, and in the patronage of the Rev. T. Newman. The church has long been demolished, together with the village of Buckenham.
BUCKENHILL, a township, in the parish of Woolhope, union of Ledbury, hundred of Greytree, county of Hereford, 8½ miles (N. by E.) from Ross; containing 137 inhabitants.
Buckerell, or Bokerell (St. Mary)
BUCKERELL, or Bokerell (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Honiton, hundred of Hemyock, Honiton and N. divisions of Devon, 3 miles (W.) from Honiton; containing 360 inhabitants. This place was anciently the property of the Pomeroys, of Bury, and was given, in the reign of John, by Sir Henry Pomeroy to his second son Sir Geoffrey, from whom, by marriage of his descendant in the female line, it was conveyed to the Fulfords and Gwynnes, of Ford Abbey. A hamlet in the parish, now called Weston, but anciently Weringstone, was a manor belonging to Dunkeswell Abbey, and, after the Dissolution, was granted by Henry VIII. to John Drake, merchant. The surface of the parish is intersected by a semicircular ridge of hills; and near Godford Cross is a rill of water, which has its rise under Wulphere Church, so designated from the Saxon chieftain of that name, whose stronghold was Hembury Fort. Hembury-Fort House, originally built by Admiral Graves, was once called Cockenhayes, and a Roman road leading to it is still known as Cockenhay-street; it is situated directly under the ancient fort, and forms an interesting feature in the landscape. Deer Park, which occupies the site of an old lodge and chace, after the Conquest was held by Matthew de Buckington, from whose crest (a buck) and the rill previously noticed, the parish is supposed to have derived its name. The village is pleasantly situated near the banks of the Otter; a pleasure fair is held there on the first Monday in September. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £10. 0. 2½.; patrons, the Dean and Chapter of Exeter; impropriator, J. Northcote, Esq. The vicarial tithes have been commuted for £135. The church is an elegant structure in the later English style, and contains a richly carved oak screen separating the nave from the chancel, some monuments to the family of Admiral Graves, and the Gwynnes of Ford Abbey, and an elegant tablet to the memory of Elizabeth, late wife of the Rev. E. E. Coleridge, the present incumbent, by whom the church, to which an aisle was added in 1839, has been restored and beautified. A vicarage-house was built in 1829. Andrew Buckerell, mayor of London in 1232 and for five successive years, was a native of the parish.
Buckfastleigh (Holy Trinity)
BUCKFASTLEIGH (Holy Trinity), a markettown and parish, in the union of Totnes, hundred of Stanborough, Stanborough and Coleridge, and S. divisions of Devon, 2¾ miles (S. W. by W.) from Ashburton; containing 2576 inhabitants. This place, which was formerly of considerable importance, derived its origin and name from a Cistercian abbey, founded about the year 1137, and the abbot of which had the power of inflicting capital punishment within his domains, which were very extensive, comprehending some estates at or near Kingsbridge. The district is remarkable for the salubrity of its air and the variety of its scenery. The town contains many houses built with the materials of the ruined abbey, and consists principally of one narrow street, in the upper part of which is the market-house, a mean building, obstructing the thoroughfare. Its present prosperity is derived from the woollen manufacture in the immediate neighbourhood, in which more than 500 persons are employed; and within the parish are strata of limestone, of which the larger blocks are wrought into mantel-pieces on the spot, and the smaller burnt into lime: copper-works have been also established. The market, though scarcely deserving the name, is still held on Friday; and fairs for live-stock are held on the third Thursday in June and the second Thursday in September.
The parish comprises 4379 acres, of which 1072 are common or waste. The living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £19. 1. 0½.; net income, £155; patron and incumbent, the Rev. Matthew Lowndes; impropriator, the Earl of Macclesfield. The church, situated on an eminence, nearly half way between the town and the remains of the abbey, comprises a nave, chancel, and transepts, with chapels on the north and south sides, and a tower of very ancient date, which has an embattled and projecting parapet, and is surmounted by a spire. There are places of worship for Independents and Wesleyans. About three-quarters of a mile from the town are the picturesque remains of the abbey, which was surrendered to the crown in 1538, when its revenues were estimated at £466. 11. 2.: they consist principally of an ancient gateway, supposed, from the great antiquity of its style, to have been the entrance to the original establishment, and part of the abbot's tower, of more modern erection, near which has been erected a mansion in the style of an ancient Norman castle, with two wings and four embattled towers. Within the limits of the parish are the remains of two encampments supposed to be either of Saxon or Danish origin, the larger of which, called Hembury Fort, commands the banks of the river Dart, which bounds the parish on the east.
BUCKHOLT-FARM, an extra-parochial liberty, in the union of Stockbridge, hundred of Thorngate, Romsey and S. divisions of the county of Southampton, 5 miles (S. W.) from Stockbridge; containing 11 inhabitants. It comprises 1050 acres of land; and is crossed by the Roman road from Salisbury to Winchester. The tithes, belonging to the Dean and Chapter of Sarum, have been commuted for £160.
BUCKHORN-WESTON, a parish, in the union of Wincanton, hundred of Redlane, Shaston division of Dorset, 8 miles (W. by N.) from Shaftesbury; containing 460 inhabitants. It comprises by computation 1700 acres: the soil is mostly clay, but fertile, and the meadows on the banks of the river Cale are luxuriantly rich. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £10. 1. 3., and in the patronage of Lady Stapleton: the tithes have been commuted for £310, and the glebe comprises 63 acres. In the chancel of the church is an ancient statue, supposed to be that of the father-in-law of Gascoigne, lord chief justice in the reigns of Henry IV. and V.; the gallery of the church is said to have been painted by Sir James Thornhill.
BUCKHOW-BANK, a township, in the parish of Dalston, union of Carlisle, ward, and E. division of the county, of Cumberland, 5½ miles (S. S. W.) from Carlisle; containing 636 inhabitants. The village lies on the eastern bank of the river Caldew, and there are several cotton-mills within the township, in connexion with the manufacturers at Carlisle. The soil is very favourable to the growth of wheat.
Buckingham (St. Peter and St. Paul)
BUCKINGHAM (St. Peter and St. Paul), a parish, and the head of a union, in the hundred and county of Buckingham, 17 miles (N. W.) from Aylesbury, and 57 (N. W. by W.) from London; comprising the borough and markettown of Buckingham (which has a separate jurisdiction), the chapelry of Gawcott, the hamlets of Bourton, Bourtonhold, and Lenborough, and the precinct of Prebend-End; and containing 4054 inhabitants, of whom 1816 are in the township, or principal district, of Buckingham. This place is of great antiquity, and is supposed to have derived its name from the Saxon Bucca, a "stag" or "buck," ing, a "meadow," and ham, a "village;" being surrounded with extensive forests well stocked with deer. In 915, Edward the Elder fortified both sides of the river, where the town is situated, with high ramparts of earth, to protect the inhabitants from the incursions of the Danes; the remains are still visible. In 941, the Danes perpetrated dreadful outrages in the neighbourhood, and in 1010 took possession of the town as a place of safety. In the reign of Edward III., Buckingham sent three representatives to a council of trade held at Westminster, at which time it was a considerable staple for wool; but upon the removal of that mart to Calais, its prosperity declined, and it finally became one of those decayed towns for which relief was granted by parliament, in 1535. About this period the assizes, formerly held here, were removed to Aylesbury; but in 1758, Lord Cobham obtained an act for holding the summer assizes at Buckingham. In 1644, Charles I. fixed his head-quarters at the place; and Sir William Waller, after the battle of CropredyBridge, and Fairfax, after his defeat at Boarstall House, in this county, took up their stations here. In 1724, the inhabitants suffered severely from an accidental fire, which destroyed several entire streets, and many of the houses have not yet been rebuilt. Her Majesty and Prince Albert visited the town in January, 1845.
BUCKINGHAM is pleasantly situated on a peninsula formed by the river Ouse, which nearly encompasses the town and is crossed by three stone bridges, two of them of great antiquity: that on the London road is a neat structure of three arches, erected about the year 1805, by the Marquess of Buckingham. It is divided into three districts, viz., the Borough, Bourton-Hold, and the Prebend-End, the first of which contains the principal streets: the houses in general are built of brick; the streets are paved but not flagged, and are lighted with gas. The trade chiefly consists in the sorting of wool, the tanning of leather, and the manufacture of lace; and before the introduction of that manufacture into Nottingham, where machinery is used, lace-making afforded employment to a large portion of the female inhabitants. In the vicinity are several limestone-quarries, and a quarry of marble of a darkish brown colour and exceedingly hard, but which, as it can neither endure the weather nor retain a polish, is not now worked. The river affords facility of conveyance; and there is a canal, which joins the Grand Junction at Cosgrove: an act was passed in 1846 for the formation of a railway from Brackley, by Buckingham, to the Oxford and Bletchley line. The market is on Saturday, and there is also a very good market, exclusively for calves, every Monday. Fairs, chiefly for the sale of cattle, sheep, and horses, are held on Old New-Year's day, the last Monday in January, March 7th, the second Monday in April, May 6th, Whit-Thursday, July 10th (a wool-fair), September 4th, October 2nd, the Saturday after Old Michaelmas-day (which is also a statute-fair for the hiring of servants), November 8th, and December 13th.
The town was first incorporated by Queen Mary, in 1554, and another charter was granted by Charles II.; but it having been surrendered, the charter of Mary continued to be the governing one, until the passing of the Municipal act, by which the government is vested in a mayor, four aldermen, and twelve councillors, assisted by a recorder, town-clerk, and other officers. The jurisdiction extends over the town and parish, and the total number of magistrates is nine. The borough has constantly returned two representatives to parliament since the 36th of Henry VIII.: the right of election, prior to the act of the 2nd of William IV., cap. 45, was vested exclusively in the bailiff and twelve principal burgesses, but, by that act, was extended to the £10 householders of an enlarged district of 18,265 acres. The mayor is returning officer. A court of quartersessions was granted in 1836. There was also, until lately, a court wherein any action might be brought, provided the amount sought to be recovered did not exceed £20; but this court has been superseded by the county debt-court of Buckingham, established in 1847, which has jurisdiction over the registration-districts of Buckingham and Winslow. The town-hall is a spacious and convenient brick building, nearly in the centre of the town. The old borough gaol, a square stone edifice, was built by Lord Cobham, in 1758; it has been lately enlarged, and, by internal improvement, adapted to the system of classification.
The parish comprises by computation 4680 acres: the soil is a good loam, alternated with gravel; the surface is rather hilly, and the surrounding scenery pleasingly varied. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £22; patron, the Duke of Buckingham; impropriators, the landowners: the present net income, £200, is about to be considerably increased by means of the Tithe Commutation act, under which certain ancient payments in lieu of tithes have been found invalid. The old church, having been for many years in a very dilapidated condition, fell down on March 26th, 1776, and the present edifice was erected in 1781, at a cost, it is said, of £7000, in addition to the old materials. It does not occupy the site of the former church, but that of an ancient castle, supposed to have been built by one of the earls of Buckingham subsequently to the Conquest, and the foundations of which are occasionally discovered. The structure has a square embattled tower surmounted by a well-proportioned spire. The interior is handsomely fitted up in the Grecian style: the altar is ornamented with a good copy of Raphael's Transfiguration, over which is a beautifully painted window, presented by the late Duke of Buckingham, on his elevation to the dukedom, and said to have cost £1300; and at the west end is the finest-toned organ in the county. At Gawcott is a separate incumbency. There are places of worship for Independents, the Society of Friends, and Wesleyans. The free grammar school was instituted by Edward VI., who endowed it with the revenue of a dissolved chantry in the town; the master is appointed by the corporation. The schoolroom was the chapel of a chantry founded in 1268, by Matthew Stratton, Archdeacon of Buckingham, and dedicated to St. John the Baptist and Thomas à Becket: the original entrance, a Norman arched doorway, is still remaining; and there are in the chapel some remains of seats put up in the old church in the reign of Edward VI., very curiously carved. The union comprises 29 parishes or places, of which 28 are in the county of Buckingham, and one in the county of Oxford; and contains a population of 14,239. Buckingham gives the titles of Duke and Marquess to the family of Temple, whose magnificent seat is at Stowe, about two miles to the west.