A History of the County of Buckingham: Volume 2. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1908.
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The parish of Haddenham lies in the Vale of Aylesbury towards its western limit. Its boundaries are formed on all sides, except the east, by the River Thame and its tributaries, the Dad Brook on the north, the Ford Brook on the south, and the Thame on the west. There are two mineral springs in the parish, one at Dadbrook and the other at Manor Farm. The parish is fairly level, lying at an altitude of between 250 ft. and 300 ft. above the Ordnance datum; there is little timber, and the land is in parts bleak and exposed. The subsoil is partly gault and partly Portland beds. (fn. 1) There are 1,596¼ acres of arable land and 1,214½ acres of permanent pasture. (fn. 2)
Besides agriculture, the inhabitants are occupied in duck and poultry breeding, and at the Haddenham brick works. Two branches of the road from Thame to Aylesbury pass through the parish, the village of Haddenham lying across the line of the southern branch. There is a station on the Great Central Railway a short distance from the village, and a branch of the Great Western Railway passes through the parish.
The village is large and straggling, having at its south end, known as Church End, a large green with a pond, and the church on the south side of the green. There are a few good Georgian houses and many thatched cottages. The larger houses in the parish, Scotsgrove House, Grenville Manor House, and the Hall are of no architectural interest. At the north-east angle of the churchyard is an old house, which has in its ground-floor rooms some early 17thcentury panelling, and the upper story, which partly overhangs, was originally one large room with an open roof. It may have been the church house. Stud partitions have, however, been inserted in the first floor dividing it up into several bedrooms, and the house has, especially to the south, been greatly modernized.
In the Domesday Survey the manor of HADDENHAM appears under the name of 'Nedreham,' and Cuddington was also probably included in it. (fn. 3)
It had been held in the time of King Edward by Earl Tostig, but William the Conqueror had given it to Archbishop Lanfranc. It was assessed at 40 hides and valued at £40, and there were said to be eight days' hay (per viiito dies fenum) for the 'ferm' of the archbishop. (fn. 4)
William II gave the manor, at Lanfranc's request, (fn. 5) to the church of St. Andrew, Rochester, the grant being confirmed by the archbishop. (fn. 6) On the latter's death in 1099 a dispute arose between the king and Gundulf, Bishop of Rochester, concerning Haddenham, the king demanding that £100 should be paid before the grant was confirmed, and the bishop protesting that he did not even possess so large a sum. (fn. 7) It was finally agreed that Gundulf should, at his own cost, fortify the enceinte of Rochester Castle with a stone wall, (fn. 8) in return for which William gave the manor to Rochester Cathedral. (fn. 9) Gundulf introduced the rule of St. Benedict at Rochester, (fn. 10) and Haddenham appears amongst the lands of the reformed monastery, being mentioned in confirmatory grants by Archbishops Anselm (fn. 11) and Theodore. (fn. 12)
Haddenham remained in the hands of the Prior and Convent of Rochester, without intermission, until the Dissolution, except for a short period early in the reign of Edward III, when, owing to the deposition of John, then Prior of Rochester, the escheator of Buckinghamshire took the manor into the king's hand. (fn. 13) In December 1333, he was ordered not to intermeddle further with the manor, but apparently the command was not obeyed, for in March 1334 a further order was sent that he should 'amove the King's hand without delay,' and restore the issues of the manor to the Prior of Rochester. It was stated at the same time that the manor had never been out of the control of the monastery since the grant of William II. (fn. 14) In May 1539, the Prior of St. Andrew's, Rochester, obtained a licence to alienate the manor to Sir Edward North, (fn. 15) who apparently exchanged for it some lands in Suffolk and Cambridgeshire of the yearly value of £40. (fn. 16)
The king confirmed this exchange, but three years later, in 1543, he obtained possession of the manor from Sir Edward North and his wife Alice. (fn. 17) The manor was from time to time leased out by the Crown until the reign of James I. (fn. 18) A Mr. Anstell is the first lessee mentioned, but in 1583 he had been succeeded by Richard Beake, who had married Colluberry Lovelace. (fn. 19) Another Richard Beake, (fn. 20) his son, held the remainder of his lease, but in 1618 it was said to be defective, and a new lease for forty years of the mansion house and the site of the manor was made. (fn. 21)
James, however, granted the manor to Henry Prince of Wales in 1611. (fn. 22) On the death of the prince it was sold to Francis Poulton and Thomas Plumpstead, who held the manor, site and mansion house, lands, rents, &c., at a feefarm rent of £115 15s. 10d. (fn. 23) This rent was granted to Prince Charles in 1617 for the term of ninety-nine years. (fn. 24) Poulton in 1616 (fn. 25) sold the manor to Sir John Dormer and John Wakeman. In 1625 Sir Robert Spiller held it and settled it on his son Sir Henry. (fn. 26) The latter made a settlement of three manors in 1642, (fn. 27) after his death on another Henry Spiller, probably his eldest son, and then in tail male on the ten sons of Henry Spiller, with various other remainders and a power of revocation in the case of the manor of Haddenham. In 1645, however, Sir Henry Spiller, being imprisoned at Gloucester by the Parliamentarians, was approached by the attorney of the Earl of Pembroke, who proposed a marriage between the earl's son James Herbert and Jane, the granddaughter of Sir Henry. (fn. 28) Sir Henry obtained leave to go to London to discuss the matter, but could come to no satisfactory arrangement with the earl and would not consent to the marriage. Hence he was sent to the Tower, and while there the marriage took place without his consent.
It is not clear what settlements were finally made, but when Sir Henry Spiller died in 1649, (fn. 29) James Herbert and his wife entered on the manors and kept them, in spite of the persistent efforts of Henry Spiller to recover possession under the settlement of 1642, efforts that were still continued in 1690. (fn. 30) The Herberts, however, had, in 1675, conveyed the manor to Peregrine Bertie (fn. 31) and Charles Bertie, who in the same year conveyed it to Lord Danby, the high treasurer, and his son and heir, Edward Osborne. (fn. 32) It remained in their hands until 1709, when it was conveyed to John Whishaw together with the manor of Kingsey. (fn. 33) Haddenham passed from John Whishaw to Thomas Falkner in 1737, (fn. 34) but in 1751 it appears to have been held by Sir Philip Wenman, bart., Viscount Wenman in Ireland. (fn. 35) His daughter and heiress, Sophia, married William Humphrey Wykeham, of Swalcliffe (co. Oxon.), in 1768. (fn. 36) She was succeeded by her son, William Richard Wykeham, whose lands passed to his daughter and heiress Sophia, created Baroness Wenman in 1834. She died unmarried, and the family estates passed to her cousins. The eldest, Philip Wykeham, died unmarried, and by his will his estates passed to his eldest nephew, Mr. Wenman Aubrey Wykeham-Musgrave, of Thame Park, (fn. 37) the present lord of the manor of Haddenham.
In the 13th century it was claimed that Haddenham had of old belonged to the king's manor of Brill, and so formed part of the ancient demesne of the Crown. (fn. 38) In the technical sense the claim does not appear to be tenable since Lanfranc held Haddenham at the time of the Domesday Survey, but there may have been some connexion between the two manors under the Saxon kings. In the time of Edward the Confessor the king held Brill (fn. 39) and Earl Tostig, the brother of Harold, held Haddenham. (fn. 40)
In 1254 the township of Haddenham was reckoned as 40 hides and assessed at £40, (fn. 41) being accounted of the same size and of the same value as at the time of the Domesday Survey. (fn. 42) In the taxation of 1342 it was assessed at 50 marks, but it was able to pay only 46½ marks, as owing to the dryness of the season the hay crop was unusually small. (fn. 43)
In 1295 the Prior of Rochester received a grant of a weekly market, and of a yearly fair to be held on the eve, day, and morrow of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and of free warren in both Haddenham and Cuddington. (fn. 44) At the dissolution of the monasteries the manor and rectory of Haddenham were valued at £92. (fn. 45)
In 1210–12 Richard de Haddenham held land of the bishop, (fn. 46) which was afterwards apparently known as GRENVILLE'S MANOR; some years later it was in the hands of Geoffrey son of Richard, who may be identified with Richard de Haddenham. (fn. 47) Various members of the same family are mentioned in documents relating to Haddenham. A John de Haddenham (fn. 48) was murdered about 1274. John, son of William de Haddenham, acquired land in the parish in 1286, (fn. 49) and was the bishop's tenant of his family lands in 1302–3. (fn. 50)
Geoffrey de Haddenham, the son of John de Haddenham, is mentioned in 1316, (fn. 51) but he had died before 1337, leaving apparently only daughters to succeed to his lands. (fn. 52) His widow Christina held part of these in dower in 1337, the reversion to her lands being the right of Joan, the widow of Richard de Grenville, of Wotton. (fn. 53) His wife is said to have been a daughter of Lord Zouche of Harringworth, but if so it does not appear what right she could have in this land. (fn. 54)
In 1346 John Sergeant, John Marshall, and Agnes and Nicholaa Grenville held the lands that once had been held by John, son of William [de Haddenham]. (fn. 55)
Joan, the widow of Richard de Grenville, in 1337 held the reversion of 13 messuages, 2 tofts, 339 acres of land, 30 acres of meadow, and 30s. rent in Haddenham, and released her right in them to William de Grenville. (fn. 56) He and his wife Margaret obtained a quitclaim from Ralph Cras of White Waltham and his wife of tenements in Haddenham in 1347, (fn. 57) but he had died before 1351. (fn. 58)
The Grenvilles held this land with apparently no interruption until the 16th century. In 1536 Edward Grenville died seised of tenements in Haddenham, leaving Edward, then a boy of eleven, as his heir. (fn. 59) The latter sold this land in 1548 to William Wright, of Winchester, (fn. 60) and ten years later it was again sold to Thomas Rose of Waddesdon and John Goodwin of Upper Winchendon. (fn. 61) On 10 December 1569 it was conveyed to Robert Rose, John Ross, and Robert Morse jointly, (fn. 62) but Robert Rose seems afterwards to have obtained possession of the whole. The Grenvilles' land by this time was known as 'Grenville's Manor.' These purchases seem to have been confirmed to Robert Rose in 1571, (fn. 63) when a quit-claim was obtained from Edward Grenville, Richard Grenville and his wife Mary, and William Wright and his wife Elizabeth. Robert Rose, by his will dated 1598, left the manor to his son Edward, (fn. 64) and died in 1606–7. (fn. 65)
The descendants of Robert Rose have owned the manor since 1569. It seems to have descended to Thomas Rose, who died in 1715, and was buried at Haddenham. Some time after this date the manor passed to another branch of the same family, to which the present owners of Grenville's Manor belong. This family resided for more than 200 years at another house in the village. (fn. 66)
Robert Rose, the father of the present owner, Joseph Rose, came into possession of Grenville's Manor on attaining his majority in 1826. (fn. 67)
The Haddenhams held their land of the Bishop of Rochester by military service, as three-fourths of a knight's fee. (fn. 68) Robert Rose at the time of his death in 1606–7 held one messuage and 89 acres of land, (fn. 69) presumably Grenville's Manor, of the king as of his manor of Haddenham in free socage by fealty. (fn. 70)
Appurtenant to the manor is the right to fish, hawk, or fowl throughout the whole parish of Haddenham. (fn. 71) Previous to the inclosure of the common fields of the parish the owners of Grenville's Manor paid a dog-rose yearly for this right. It was placed on the front entrance gate of the manor place each Midsummer Day. (fn. 72)
BIGGESTROP appears to have been a hamlet or farm in Haddenham, held of the Bishop of Rochester. In 1210 Mathias at Biggestrope held this land in Haddenham. (fn. 73) He seems to have died shortly after this, since his land, early in the reign of Henry III, was held by Adam de Spaldington, probably holding in wardship. (fn. 74) Geoffrey de Biggestrope was the tenant in 1302, (fn. 75) and the same name again occurs in 1346, (fn. 76) but after that date this land is not mentioned again in any document.
A freehold farm called Bigstrup Farm, in the parish of Haddenham, was advertised for sale by public auction in 1797. It appears to have then been in the possession of the owner of the manor of Upton, in the parish of Dinton, (fn. 77) and a farm in the parish still bears the same name. The land was held in 1210 for the service due from a fourth part of a knight's fee, (fn. 78) but in the 14th century the service had been considerably reduced. (fn. 79)
Two mills are mentioned in the Domesday Survey, and were worth 20s. (fn. 80)
A water-mill in Haddenham was granted for forty years to Richard Beake by James I. (fn. 81)
The church of OUR LADY consists of a chancel 16 ft. 10 in. by 35 ft., with north chapel 17 ft. 6 in. by 14 ft. 2 in., and small south vestry; a nave 20 ft. by 58 ft.; north and south aisles 10 ft. 6 in. wide; north porch, and west tower 12 ft. 6 in. square within the walls. There is some evidence of an aisleless nave earlier than the end of the 12th century, but the general character of the church is of later date, and apparently due to a complete rebuilding begun in the opening years of the 13th century, and carried on slowly, the tower being the latest part of the work, and belonging to the latter part of the century. The chancel arch has half-round responds with capitals of very late Romanesque detail, that on the south having small scallops, c. 1200, and the other being perhaps a clumsy later copy of it. Its bell sets back from the face of the respond, and the carving on it may be of very much later date. The responds have been thrust outwards, but the pointed arch, of two chamfered orders, shows no signs of dislocation, and is either a rebuilding or a successor of the original arch.
The aisles were probably rebuilt and widened in the 14th century; and the north porch is of the same date. In the 15th century the north chapel and the western bays of both aisles were rebuilt, and the rood-stair at the east end of the north aisle is also of this time. The original south chapel has disappeared, but parts of its east wall exist in that of the vestry now on its site.
The proportions of the church are very good, both nave and chancel being fine and lofty; the latter has no buttresses, and its eastern angles, quoined with large stones, give a great effect of height.
The walls of the chancel have been lately repointed on the outside, but within retain their old plastering in a very perfect condition, with a masonry pattern in red lines, which has been treated to represent courses of Purbeck marble, or something of the kind, round the windows. Little of this particular detail remains, as the dressings of the windows have been unfortunately cleared of the plaster with which they were from the first covered.
In the east wall are three modern lancet windows, with tall detached banded shafts on the inner face, and in each of the side walls are two lancets, much shorter and narrower. The heads of those on the south are cut out of unusually large single stones, which make a permanent centring for the relieving arches, but the north windows are treated in a more ordinary manner. At the north-west and south-west of the chancel pointed arches of two chamfered orders with half-round responds and plainly-moulded capitals open to the north chapel and south vestry; the roll string, which runs round the chancel below the window-sills, is level with the capitals of the arches. In the east wall, behind the altar, is a large rectangular recess which doubtless served as a place to keep some of the church possessions, and on either side of the altar are smaller recesses, with arched heads, that to the south having at the back a wooden beam, and in it a sinking which may have served as the base of a flue.
The north chapel has an east window of three cinquefoiled lights with tracery, of 15th-century date, containing a good deal of contemporary glass, mostly in jumbled fragments. The tracery lights are in better condition, and have St. Bartholomew and St. Matthew in the two middle lights, with St. John Baptist and St. Paul on either side, and seraphs in the outer lights. The canopies in the main lights are in fairly perfect condition, but all the rest of the centre light is filled with fragments, many of which are inscribed with parts of the Apostles' Creed.
The north window is of the same character, but of four lights, with a transom in the tracery above, and at the north-west is a small four-centred doorway with a square label and carved spandrels. In the south wall is a very beautiful 13th-century piscina, with a moulded trefoil arch and engaged shafts set in a panel of diapered stonework surrounded by a moulded string. Over the arch is a label enriched with small dogtooth ornament, now unfortunately much clogged with whitewash.
The south vestry is modern, but its east wall is apparently on the line of that of the former south chapel, and in its east window of 14th-century type a few old stones are re-used. On the south is a modern doorway, and the arch opening to the chancel is filled with a 15th-century screen, the upper panels of which have open tracery with cusps ending in carved heads. The sill of the screen is a re-used beam with churchwardens' names and the date 1709.
The nave is of four bays, the arcades having circular columns with moulded capitals and bases, and clustered responds with three shafts. The bases all show the characteristic hollow moulding, but the capitals are of several different sections, and some have been cut back and re-worked. The arches are pointed, of two chamfered orders, and have a filleted label. There is no clearstory and the ceiling is a plaster cove of 18th-century date.
The north aisle is lit by three three-light windows. The first two are of 14th-century date with trefoiled heads and flowing tracery. Between these is the north door, of late 14th-century date, the head and jambs continuously moulded with a double ogee. West of the second window is a square-headed 15thcentury window of three cinquefoiled lights with tracery over, while in the west wall is a small re-set and restored 14th-century trefoil light. At the east end of this aisle are the remains of the rood-stair, with both upper and lower doorways. The north porch is of late 14th-century date with an embattled parapet, and has east and west windows of two trefoiled lights with a quatrefoil over.
The south aisle has at the south-east a much-restored five-light 15th-century window, with a straightlined head, the tracery being quite modern. Beneath it is a 15th-century piscina with a trefoiled head and a stone shelf. West of this window is the south door, of late 14th-century date with a continuous moulding and an external label. The two remaining south windows and the west window correspond to those in the same positions in the north aisle.
The tower is an unusually fine specimen of its period, and is of three stages with corner buttresses to the ground stage and a stair in the south-west angle. The tower arch is of three chamfered orders, the two outer dying into the two square orders of the jambs, while the inner is supported upon almost completely detached round shafts with circular capitals. The west door is of three continuous chamfered orders with a label, and above it are three modern lancets within a shafted 13th-century recess with a moulded two-centred head. There are narrow moulded lights in the second stage, except on the east side, where the pitch of the original roof rises to the base of the belfry stage. The belfry stage is arcaded on each face with five moulded arches springing from circular shafts with capitals and bases. The first, third, and fifth arches on each face are blind, but the second and fourth have window openings filled with luffer boards. Above is a line of corbels carrying a plain parapet.
The roof of the chancel is modern and of the same pitch and height as the old roof. That of the nave is hidden by the coved ceiling already noted, and is of lower pitch than the original roof. The roof of the north chapel is of 15th-century date with moulded timbers and wall brackets carried by carved corbels.
The font stands close to the western pillar of the south arcade, and is of late 12th-century date, with a tapering circular bowl on a moulded base, resting on a pentagonal block of stone. The bowl has a band of foliage, in which is a dragon, round its upper part, and has tall and narrow scalloped ornament below.
There is a considerable quantity of old woodwork re-used, including some bench ends with fleur-de-lis finials. On one of the latter is carved a plough and the letter A, and on another a tun, from which springs a small spray of foliage, and the letters W and R. There are also some remains of 15th-century screens, one length between the tower and the nave, and others between the north aisle and chapel and between the chancel and vestry. The lower panels are solid, and the upper pierced with traceried heads of normal type. The double door in the north porch bears on an upper rail the initials G. W. and T. G. and the date 1637, and has had an ingenious arrangement of weights and pulleys to keep it closed.
On the south wall of the chancel is a small marble monument to John Marriott, 1677, ornamented with wreaths and cherubs' heads and a cartouche bearing the Marriott arms impaling Ermine six roundels. In the north chapel is another wall monument to Richard Beake, 1627, with the Beake arms impaling Ermine on a bend three cinquefoils. Near this is preserved a funeral helmet. In the same part of the church are the remains of some brasses. One is the figure of a priest wearing a long-sleeved cassock and fur almuce with, beneath, the inscription: 'Hic jacet Thomas Nassh quondã Vicari' de Haddenam qui obiit xiii° Die Marcii Anno Dni M° cccc° xxviii° Cujus aie ppiciet' deus ame[n].' Another is also the figure of a priest of early 15th-century date, in mass vestments, wearing an apparelled amice and albe and a fanon. Below is an inscription belonging to another brass: 'Here lyeth Gyls Woodbryge xv xx and ix and Elizabeth his wife which the four day of August changyd ther lyffe.'
The church plate consists of a chalice of 1706 inscribed with the churchwardens' names and the date 1707, a standing paten inscribed as the gift of John Marriott in 1716, and a plated flagon and salver.
The first book of the registers contains baptisms and marriages from 1653 to 1726 and burials 1653–78; with a gap. The second contains baptisms and burials 1727–32; the third, baptisms 1762–96, and burials 1761–95; the fourth continues the baptisms and burials to 1812, and the fifth and sixth are the marriage registers 1754–91 and 1791–1812.
In the Domesday Survey the church was held of Archbishop Lanfranc by Gilbert the priest, the large glebe consisting of three hides of land, which were sufficient for one plough. (fn. 82) It was granted to the Priory of St. Andrew Rochester in the charter of William Rufus, (fn. 83) and after Lanfranc's death the grant was confirmed. (fn. 84) It appears that Ernulf, Bishop of Rochester (1115–25), gave the church of Haddenham, with its lands and tithes, to the priory for the maintenance of the lights in the church. (fn. 85)
The vicarage was ordained by Bishop Hugh of Wells (1209–35). (fn. 86) The chapels of Cuddington and Kingsey belonged to the church. A separate vicar was appointed for Kingsey, the vicar of Haddenham being responsible, however, for providing a chaplain at Cuddington. (fn. 87) The rectory of Haddenham was excepted in the grant of the manor made by Rochester Priory to Sir Edward North. (fn. 88) It thus fell into the king's hands at the dissolution of the priory in 1540, (fn. 89) but in 1541 the king granted it, with the advowson of the vicarage, to the newly constituted Dean and Chapter of Rochester, (fn. 90) who are the patrons of the living at the present day.
In 1559, however, the rectory and advowson were granted by the Dean and Chapter, on a lease of 180 years, to John Fytche at £88 1s. 2d. per annum. (fn. 91) This lease came into the possession of Simon Mayne, by mesne assignments. (fn. 92) Possibly the lease was in the possession of Richard Beake, the firmor of the manor under Elizabeth, and his widow, Colluberry by name, married Simon Mayne. (fn. 93) His son, the regicide, held the lease, which was forfeited to Charles II on his accession. (fn. 94) Various petitions were made for the remainder, one indeed from the Dean and Chapter of Rochester, (fn. 95) but it was granted in 1660 to Richard Lane. (fn. 96) In some way, however, it was recovered by the son of the regicide, who presented to the vicarage in 1684, 1689, and 1732. (fn. 97) The lease terminated, however, before 1749, when the Dean and Chapter themselves presented. (fn. 98)
The chapel of St. Mary in Haddenham was granted by Queen Elizabeth in 1559 to Sir George Howard, with half an acre of land called the 'Lamp halfacre.' (fn. 99) The Lady Chapel in Haddenham was granted in 1585 to John Walton, (fn. 100) but whether it was the same chapel that had appeared in the earlier grant is not clear.
One branch of the Rose family were amongst the earliest of Buckinghamshire Quakers, and meetings were held for many years at Grenville's Manor. Their descendants possess a distraint warrant for church tithe made on Edward Rose, junior, in 1649. (fn. 101) A meeting-house was licensed in 1711, but in 1813 there were no regular services held there. (fn. 102) The Quakers' burial ground still exists. A Baptist chapel was built in 1810, and there is also a Wesleyan chapel in the parish
John Hart of Cotesford, county Oxford, by his will, proved in the P.C.C. 15 May 1665 (among other charitable gifts) devised to the churchwardens and overseers a yearly rent-charge for ever of £3 to be issuing out of his lands and premises of Easington in the said county, for the binding of one poor, honest, godly boy to some good trade.
The Alms Corn Charity.—The table of benefactions mentioned that the poor were entitled to receive one quarter of wheat, and two quarters of barley to be paid annually out of the great tithes every Good Friday. The charity is paid in kind by the representatives of the late Henry Bode, esq., and was in 1906 divided amongst thirty-eight persons.
The Church Land, containing 2 r. 37 p., is let at £2 a year, which is carried to the church expenses. The Poors' Land adjoining, containing 26 p., the rent of which was carried to the poor rate, was sold under an order of the Poor Law Board.
In 1813 Joseph Franklin by will left £50 a year to be laid out in bread for the poor at Christmas for ever. A sum of £1,666 13s. 4d. consols was set aside to produce the annuity. The stock was, by the costs in a chancery suit, reduced to £1,352 9s. 2d. consols, which was transferred in 1859 to the official trustees. The annual dividends, amounting to £32 16s., are duly distributed in bread.
The Rev. John Willis by will, proved in 1855, left £900 consols, the dividends to be applied in the distribution of coal. In 1902 the trustees were authorized by the Charity Commissioners to purchase 11 a. 1 r. 26 p. of land, situate in Dollicott Field within the manor of Haddenham for the sum of £650, to be provided, together with the cost of the enfranchisement of the copyhold portion, out of the trust fund, which was thereby reduced to £80 8s. 8d. consols (with the official trustees).