A History of the County of Buckingham: Volume 3. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1925.
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This parish lies among the Chiltern hills on the Oxfordshire border. The height above the ordnance datum varies from 305 ft. in the south-east of the parish to 713 ft. in the north-west, but the average is between 400 ft. and 500 ft. Of the 2,328 acres contained in the parish 818 consist of arable land, 838 of permanent grass and 342 of woods and plantations. (fn. 1) The soil is chalk and gravel, the subsoil very light, and the chief crops are wheat, barley and oats. There are gravel and clay-pits and a quarry at South End. The inhabitants find their principal occupation in turning chair legs and rails for the Wycombe chair factories. The road from North End to Fingest and Hambleden passes through the village in the south-east of the parish. To the west of it are the church, vicarage and school. The village contains about twenty cottages, chiefly built of brick and flint with tiled roofs, but also showing some examples of half-timber work of the 17th century. There are farms and a common at North End and South End near the western border and at Turville Heath midway between them. There is an elementary school at North End and a Primitive Methodist chapel at Turville Heath. To the west of the Heath stands Turville Park, the property of Mrs. Hoare-Nairne, but let to Mr. J. S. C. Bridge. The present mansion, commanding good views of the surrounding country, was built by William Perry, (fn. 2) high sheriff for the county in 1741, (fn. 3) who married Elizabeth, eventually sole heir of the Sydneys, Earls of Leicester. (fn. 4) General Dumouriez died there in 1823. (fn. 5) Later it was for many years the residence of Lord Chancellor Lyndhurst. (fn. 6) At the house is a well dated 1308, and a long lime-tree avenue across the property is now used as a public road. Turville Court, the residence of Mr. John M. Astbury, is a plain brick building occupying a central position in the parish. It was erected about 1847 (fn. 7) on the site of the manor-house built by Robert Doyley in 1635 (fn. 8) and has been recently enlarged. To the north-east of it is Churchfield Wood and to the south-west Idlecombe Wood, while to the north of these Turville Wood stretches along half the northern border of the parish. Some Roman copper coins, chiefly of the Middle Empire, were found in 1772 at North End, eight of which were in 1797 in the possession of Col. Innes of Ibstone House. (fn. 9)
The following place-names have been found in Turville: land called Stokkyns Grove claimed against the lord of the manor in 1545 by William Pitcher as his inheritance through his father and grandfather (fn. 10); a messuage and farm called Botlersmere (fn. 11) (xvi cent.); Strawberry Grove, Green Marsh and Crossleys (xvi (fn. 12) and xvii (fn. 13) cent.); Davers Wood and Staeyes (fn. 14) (xvii cent.).
Previous to the Norman Conquest Turbert, a man of Earl Algar, held TURVILLE alias TURVILLE COURT MANOR. (fn. 15) In 1086, when it was assessed at 5 hides, it was held by Niel Daubeney, (fn. 16) and so became attached to the barony of Cainhoe, Bedfordshire. (fn. 17) From 1283, however, it was held of the manor of Marston Moretaine in that county. (fn. 18) The last reference to this connexion which has been found occurs in 1428. (fn. 19) In 1525 it is stated that the manor of Turville was held of the Knights Hospitallers as of the manor of Widmere, Great Marlow. (fn. 20) Later in the century, however, the overlordship was not known to the jurors. (fn. 21)
The Turvilles or Marstons were the first tenants of the manor of whom mention has been found. Isabella de Turville or Marston, probably the widow of Niel de Marston (see advowson), sued Ralph son of John de Marston for her dower in Turville in 1226 (fn. 22) and was holding one fee there in 1235. (fn. 23) Ralph sued her for waste to his inheritance in 1247. (fn. 24) In 1283 Constance, who seems to have been the wife of John de Morteyn of Marston, (fn. 25) granted Turville Manor to her son Eustace in tail-male. (fn. 26) His son and successor Eustace left a son Thomas, (fn. 27) who in 1344 made a settlement of this manor on his wife Margaret and their children with continued remainders to his right heirs (fn. 28) and is named as holding the fee of Turville in 1346. (fn. 29) In 1401, Thomas Morteyn having died without issue, William Morteyn obtained seisin as lineal descendant of Eustace son of Constance by his younger son Roger. (fn. 30) A counterclaim as right heir of Thomas Morteyn was made in 1404 by Julia daughter of his brother Gilbert and wife of Alan Butler. (fn. 31) William Morteyn appears to have held the manor for life, (fn. 32) but Joan (evidently the same as Julia) was in joint possession with her husband Alan Butler in 1412. (fn. 33) The Butlers, who were of Great Badminton, Gloucestershire, (fn. 34) retained possession of Turville Manor and John Butler, who was appointed High Sheriff of Gloucestershire in 1505, (fn. 35) died seised in 1525. (fn. 36) He was succeeded by his grandson John (fn. 37) afterwards Sir John Butler, kt., (fn. 38) who in 1545 sold this manor to Sir John Williams. (fn. 39) He sold it to John Doyley, (fn. 40) who died seised in 1570. (fn. 41) On the death in 1577 (fn. 42) of his son and successor Robert (fn. 43) it passed to the widow Elizabeth for life by the terms of her marriage settlement. (fn. 44) She soon afterwards married Sir Henry Nevill. (fn. 45) Having survived her third husband, Sir William Periam, (fn. 46) she died in 1620. (fn. 47) After Lady Periam's death Edward and Thomas Goddard and Sir Thomas Hinton, who had purchased the reversion from John Doyley of Aldbourne, Wiltshire, (fn. 48) sold Turville Court Manor in 1621 to Robert Doyley, (fn. 49) who belonged to a collateral branch of the family. (fn. 50) He secured his title (fn. 51) against the heirs of Cope and John Doyley (fn. 52) by a suit in Chancery in 1622–3. In 1652, a year before his death, (fn. 53) Robert Doyley gave up Turville Court Manor in marriage settlement to his son Henry, (fn. 54) who died in 1664 leaving an infant daughter Mary. (fn. 55) A proviso in Henry Doyley's marriage settlement by which the heirs male of his father might take possession of the manor by paying £30 yearly for maintenance to his daughter during minority and a sum of £2,000 when she came of age, gave occasion to interminable Chancery suits. (fn. 56) Her mother, who was entitled to the mansion and £50 yearly from the manor for life, (fn. 57) strengthened her position by obtaining a release of his claim in 1665 from John Doyley, (fn. 58) brother and heir male to Henry. (fn. 59) In spite of legal difficulties Mary Doyley brought her inheritance to three husbands, Christopher Smith, (fn. 60) William Alexander (fn. 61) and Richard Pocock. (fn. 62) The last survived her by five years (fn. 63) and died lord of the manor in 1724. (fn. 64) His brother Roger's son, (fn. 65) William Pocock, appears in possession in 1725 (fn. 66) and died in 1740. (fn. 67) The executors of Sarah, William Pocock's widow, sold this manor in 1753 to John Osborne (fn. 68) the bookseller, who was sheriff of the county in 1759. (fn. 69) He was buried at Turville in 1775, (fn. 70) and after the death of his son John in 1799 (fn. 71) without issue the estate was entailed on his sister Letitia Alderhead and her daughters Sarah and Letitia. (fn. 72) They with their husbands Charles Walcot and Thomas Penn conveyed it in 1802 to James Wood. (fn. 73) It subsequently passed to Joseph later Sir Joseph Bailey, bart. (fn. 74) He died in 1858 (fn. 75) and was succeeded by his grandson Sir Joseph Russell Bailey, (fn. 76) afterwards Lord Glanusk, (fn. 77) who sold Turville Court Manor in 1901 to Mr. Thomas Hewitt of Grimsby, (fn. 78) the present owner.
A second manor in Turville, that of TURVILLE ST. ALBANS, was granted in 796 by Ecgfrid, King of the Mercians, to St. Albans Abbey, (fn. 81) which three years earlier had been founded by his father Offa. (fn. 82) Further information about the connexion of Turville with St. Albans Abbey has been given under the advowson (q.v.). The abbey was surrendered in 1539, (fn. 83) and among its former possessions Turville Manor with rectory and farms was valued in 1544 at £3 6s. 8d. a year. (fn. 84) A grant in fee of this estate was made in 1544 to John Marsh and Christopher Edmunds, (fn. 85) who obtained a licence to alienate it in 1547 to Sir John Williams. (fn. 86) The manor of Turville St. Albans appears to have been severed from the rectory (fn. 87) and sold to one of the Dormers. (fn. 88) It was in the possession of Robert Lord Dormer (afterwards first Earl of Carnarvon) (fn. 89) in 1621. (fn. 90) The Dormers being Royalists, evidently alienated some of their Turville estates during the Civil War, but they still retained an interest in this manor, belonging in 1704 to John Dormer (fn. 91) (afterwards seventh Lord Dormer). (fn. 92) The division of the manor into six parts, the local accounts of which were confused in 1797, (fn. 93) had certainly taken place before 1721, when two additional names occur as part owners of the advowson (q.v.). One-sixth of the manor now part of the Turville Park estate came to Timothy Perry by his marriage with Jane daughter and co-heir of John Ovey. (fn. 94) His grandson William Perry (fn. 95) succeeded in 1732 (fn. 96) and died in 1757. (fn. 97) His only surviving son Algernon, who took the name of Sydney, died in 1768 (fn. 98) without issue and Turville Park passed through the marriage of his sister Elizabeth Sydney, died in 1769 (fn. 99) to Bysshe Shelley (grandfather of the poet by his first wife). (fn. 100) He sold it with the consent of his son John Shelley Sydney (fn. 101) in 1796 to Thomas Butlin, (fn. 102) who on his death in 1817 is described as one of the lords of this manor. (fn. 103) Some time about this date the rights of the holder of one of the sixths appear to have reverted to or to have been bought up by the owners of the other portions, since the division of the manor is henceforward in fifths, two of which are represented by the Turville Park property. It was sold by Thomas Butlin's grandson John Rose Butlin about 1858 (fn. 104) and, passing through several hands, was purchased in 1863 by Mr. Cotterill Scholefield. (fn. 105) Ten years later, during his ownership, this estate covered 71 acres, valued at £306 15s. yearly. (fn. 106) He sold it in 1880 to Mr. Stafford O'Brien Hoare, Sheriff of Buckinghamshire from 1893 to 1894. (fn. 107) His daughter, Mrs. Hoare-Nairne, is the present owner. A second sixth part of this manor was evidently the property owned in Turville by Francis Styles in 1721. (fn. 108) He married Jane daughter of Robert Ovey of Henley-on-Thames. (fn. 109) She is probably Jane Winter, widow, owner in 1771 when the reversion belonged to Richard Ovey. (fn. 110) This property, like the Turville Park estate, augmented to two-fifths of the manor during the 19th century, consisted of some 290 acres of land, worth £235 13s. yearly in 1873. (fn. 111) It has remained in the Ovey family, the present representative being Mr. Richard L. Ovey of Henley.
The last sixth part of the manor traceable at the present day was held by Nathaniel Carter in 1721 (see advowson). He died in 1743. (fn. 112) His property in Turville passed from the Carter to the Stopes family between 1786 and 1797 (see advowson), represented in 1823 by William Aylmer Stopes. (fn. 113) Lord Camoys is the present owner, his rights extending over one-fifth of the manor.
The right of view of frankpledge belonged to the lord of this manor in 1621. (fn. 114) At this date the steward accepted an 'English gown' as satisfaction for a heriot due from a cottage and land. (fn. 115)
Two virgates of land in Turville held of Eustace de Morteyn by William de Hamelden in 1285 (fn. 116) were apparently granted by the latter in that year to Medmenham Abbey. At the Dissolution this property was worth 15s. 4d. yearly (fn. 117) in addition to the services of the customary tenants. In 1540 it was granted in fee to Sir Michael Dormer. (fn. 118) On his death it passed by the terms of his will to his son Geoffrey with remainder in tail-male to his sons William, John and Ambrose. (fn. 119) It has not been found possible to trace the later descent of this estate, which appears to have lost its identity when the manor of Turville St. Albans was acquired by the Dormers.
Some land in Turville was held by the Earl of Gloucester in 1254 when he was served with a writ as to his right. (fn. 120) From 1315, when Bartholomew de Badlesmere was granted free warren there, (fn. 121) to 1339, when it was extended at 116 acres of land and wood worth 16s. yearly, (fn. 122) this land follows the same descent as Hambleden Manor (q.v.). It reappears as Botlersmere Farm in the 16th century, being named as the only part of Turville [Court] Manor not owned by Sir Robert Doyley in 1577. (fn. 123) As such it seems to have been the property acquired from John Butler by Sir Michael Dormer between 1540 (fn. 124) and 1545. (fn. 125) The identity of Botlersmere Farm has not been preserved.
The parish church of ST. MARY THE VIRGIN consists of a chancel measuring internally 19 ft. by 14 ft. 6 in., north vestry, nave 43 ft. by 19 ft., north aisle, south porch and a west tower 12 ft. by 11 ft. 6 in.
The church probably dates from the 12th century, but of the original building the nave alone remains. About the middle of the 14th century the chancel was rebuilt; the west tower probably was added at the same time, but was entirely rebuilt with the exception of the tower arch early in the 16th century. (fn. 126) The south porch was probably added late in the 17th century and the north aisle or chapel in the 18th century. The entire church has been much restored and the north vestry is modern. The walling is of flint with dressings of clunch with the exception of the north aisle and south porch, which are built of red brick; the chancel is covered externally with rough-cast and the roofs are tiled.
The outer jambs and mullions of the three-light east window of the chancel may be contemporary with its rebuilding in the 14th century, but all besides this is modern. The two windows in the south wall are each of two lights with a traceried two-centred head. With the exception of the rear arch the eastern window has been almost entirely renewed, but the western window, though restored in part, is original 14th-century work. Between these windows is a much-restored doorway of the same date with an ogee head. At the south-east is a contemporary piscina niche with a trefoiled head; the basin has disappeared. The only feature in the north wall is a modern arch opening into the vestry. The square jambs of the chancel arch are of coarse limestone with 12th-century tooling, the arch itself, which is of a single two-centred chamfered order, dying into the jambs, being of 14th-century date. There is a small 14th-century trefoiled ogee light reset in the east wall of the vestry.
The 18th-century north arcade of the nave consists of two semicircular-headed arches; to the west of the arcade is a doorway with an external two-centred chamfered head of 13th-century date, but with a semicircular rear arch and jambs of the 12th century. The south wall has two modern windows, a late 14th-century single light with a cinquefoiled ogee head, and a blocked light possibly of 12th-century date, found in 1900 to the east of the south doorway. The latter is of the 13th century and has a two-centred head of two moulded orders.
The west tower is of two low stages with a late 17th-century embattled parapet of brickwork, a moulded plinth, diagonal western buttresses, and square buttresses to the east wall, a few of the lower quoins of which are of 13th-century date. The tower arch resembles the chancel arch, but is entirely of 14th-century date. The whole of the remaining detail of the tower is of the early part of the 16th century. The west doorway has moulded jambs and a depressed four-centred arch under a square head with an external label restored with brickwork; above it there is a square-headed window of two four-centred lights. The upper stage has in the south wall below the bell-chamber a single light with a four-centred arch in a square head, while the bellchamber itself is lighted on all four sides by squareheaded windows of two plain lights. The walls have been repairedi nternally with 17th-century brick-work. Upon the east side can be seen the original weathering of the nave roof, the eaves of which appear to have been lowered. The roof to the chancel is modern, but a few old sprockets remain under the eaves. The nave roof, which is probably of the 14th century, has collar-beams and tie-beams with king-posts from which the collar-beams are strutted.
The font has a 12th-century bowl of a deep cupshaped form mounted on a modern base. The lead lining of the bowl has the date 1746 scratched on it. A 15th-century bench is preserved in the vestry and five others of the same date remain in the nave. Fixed to the latter there are four posts or newels and a length of balustrading, parts of the 17th-century gallery taken down in 1900; the communion rails are formed from the same material.
Niel de Marston gave Turville Church to St. Albans Abbey, (fn. 127) and a vicarage had been ordained before 1218. (fn. 128) This gift was confirmed by Henry II, by Richard I in 1198 and by Edward I in 1301. (fn. 129) The church was valued at £8 yearly in 1291 (fn. 130) and at £11 13s. 9¼d. (subject to a payment of £1 13s. 4d. towards the abbot's pension) in 1535. (fn. 131) At the Dissolution part of the advowson passed with the rectory, of which John Doyley died seised in 1570. (fn. 132) This share follows the same descent as the manor of Turville Court (fn. 133) (q.v.). Mr. Hewitt has the right of presentation for one turn out of three. The remaining share in the advowson passed to the Dormers with the manor of Turville St. Albans, and was split up with that estate between 1640 (fn. 134) and 1721. At the latter date the St. Albans Manor interest was owned by Francis Styles and Nathaniel Carter, (fn. 135) and has followed the same descent as their share in this manor (q.v.). Mr. Ovey and Lord Camoys each present one turn in every three.
Cicilie Rools, as appeared from a tablet in the church, gave £200 for the poor for ever. A rent-charge of £8 issuing out of the Turville Court estate is distributed in money to about forty recipients in respect of this gift.
In 1822 Ann Butlin, by her will proved in the P.C.C., bequeathed £50 for the purchase of a stove for the parish church and £50 for coals for the same. The latter legacy is represented by £46 15s. consols.
In 1869 Benjamin Bartlett, by will proved 14 August, bequeathed £500 stock, now £500 consols, the annual dividends, amounting to £12 10s., to be applied for the benefit of the Church of England school at North End. His will provided that if it ceased to be a Church of England school the money was to be applied to the church school in Turville village. North End is now a council school and the money is used for Turville.
In 1885 Miss Elizabeth Tempro, by will proved at Oxford 20 March, bequeathed £894 8s. 2d. stock, the dividends to be applied towards church expenses and repairs and maintenance of the church. In 1900 the sum of £406 5s. 6d. stock was sold out to provide funds towards the restoration and enlargement of the church. By an order of the Charity Commissioners of 22 January 1901 the residue of the stock, namely, £488 2s. 8d. consols, was set aside with the official trustees to replace the amount sold in twenty-five years.
The same testatrix by her will likewise bequeathed £151 15s. stock, now a like sum of consols, the annual dividends, amounting to £3 15s. 8d., to be applied for the benefit of the poor. The distribution is made in money.
In 1896 Mrs. Harriet Beisly, by will proved at London 11 February, bequeathed a legacy, now represented by £352 7s. 5d. consols, the dividends, amounting to £8 16s. a year, to be distributed in coals at Christmas.
The same testatrix likewise bequeathed a similar legacy, also represented by £352 7s. 5d. consols, the dividends of £8 16s. to be distributed in coals at Christmas among the poor at North End. The charities are duly applied.