A History of the County of Buckingham: Volume 3. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1925.
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Wingrave is a parish of 2,884 acres, including 507 acres of arable land and 2,255 acres of permanent grass, but no woodlands. (fn. 1) The slope of the land above the ordnance datum varies from 256 ft. in the south of the parish to 428 ft. in the village. The soil is clay and gravel. The village is situated on a hill in the centre of the parish overlooking the town of Aylesbury. The church stands in the middle of the village. The ancient custom of strewing it with grass on the first Sunday after St. Peter's Day (29 June) is still observed. To the north-east of the church is the vicarage, and to the south-east are the school and Wingrave Old Manor House, the residence of Mrs. Stewart-Freeman, a 17th-century brick house with tiled roof, which has been modernized in recent years. Slight remains of a moat can be seen. There are a few other 17th-century buildings, but all have been much altered. In this part of the village there are also a recreation ground, an infants' school, and Independent and Primitive Methodist chapels.
Windmill Hill Farm, lying to the south-east of the church, is a timber-framed house dating probably from the 16th century. It is now entirely covered with plaster externally and has 19th-century additions, but retains the base of an original brick chimney stack. Mitchel Leys Farm to the south of the church is a red brick house of late 17th-century date. The front has three gables, the centre one bearing the date 1668. The original windows are now blocked, and modern ones have been inserted. Church Farm, to the south of the village, is an ancient building of two stories, altered in the 16th century and again in the 18th century. Maltby's Farm, to the south-east of the village, is another 17th-century house of brick and timber altered in the following century. Floyds and Straws Hadley are other farms on the outskirts of the village. The greater number of the cottages are at Niep End, on the road leading north-west past the disused corn-mill.
The large hamlet of Rowsham lies in a valley about a mile south-west by footpath from Wingrave on the road between Aylesbury and Leighton Buzzard. There are some good residential houses and one or two 17th-century cottages of brick and timber and tiled roofs, a Congregational chapel, a brewery, and Mercers' Farm, part of the endowment of St. Paul's School, of which the Mercers' Company are trustees. Burbage Manor House, which stood nearly in the centre of the hamlet, was taken down in the early 18th century. (fn. 2)
In 1759 Susanna Hannokes, an elderly woman of Wingrave, was accused of bewitching a neighbour's spinning-wheel. She was weighed against the church Bible, but outweighing it was honourably acquitted of the charge. (fn. 3)
This parish was inclosed in 1797. (fn. 4)
The following place-names have been found: Aycroft, Ballwey, Dudwell, Galowes Layes, Hykstrede Jeffrey, Long and Short Madythe, Merewaterlayes, Netyn Hill, Long and Short Rede, Spyrewell, Wooland, Wotebrache, Younderkynchyll (fn. 5) (xvi cent.).
Before the Conquest Brictric, a man of Queen Edith, held, and could sell, WINGRAVE MANOR, and in 1086 it was assessed at 5 hides, and belonged to Miles Crispin. (fn. 6) In the 13th century it was held as a knight's fee of the honour of Wallingford. (fn. 7) Wingrave remained part of this honour for the next three centuries, (fn. 8) and was later transferred to the honour of Ewelme. (fn. 9) Its last mention in this connexion occurs in 1720. (fn. 10)
In 1086 Wingrave Manor was held under Miles Crispin by Niel, (fn. 11) probably the ancestor of William and Robert Pipard, who held respectively in 1166 six fees and one fee of the honour of Wallingford. (fn. 12) William Pipard was holding in Wingrave in 1235 (fn. 13) and 1236. (fn. 14) He died about 1267 and his son and heir Edmund (fn. 15) in 1272. (fn. 16) He was succeeded by his brother Thomas, (fn. 17) who died in 1283. (fn. 18) His son and heir William was still a minor at his death in 1301. (fn. 19) John Pipard, his uncle, was next in the succession, (fn. 20) and was still holding in 1316. (fn. 21) His namesake had succeeded before 1346. (fn. 22) William son of this John Pipard (fn. 23) was jointly enfeoffed with his wife Margery, who held Wingrave Manor at her death in 1364. (fn. 24) It passed to their daughter and co-heir Margaret, wife of Sir Warin Lisle. (fn. 25) He died seised in 1382, (fn. 26) when his heir was his daughter Margaret, wife of Sir Thomas de Berkeley, (fn. 27) fourth Lord Berkeley, (fn. 28) and to them Wingrave Manor was shortly afterwards conveyed. (fn. 29) He died in 1417, his wife having predeceased him, and the manor passed to their daughter and heir Elizabeth, wife of Richard Earl of Warwick. (fn. 30) It was conveyed to their daughter Elizabeth and her husband Sir George Nevill, (fn. 31) afterwards Lord Latimer, (fn. 32) in 1444. (fn. 33) He died in 1469 (fn. 34) and she in 1481, when Wingrave Manor passed to her grandson Richard Lord Latimer. (fn. 35) His death occurred in 1530, and his son John Lord Latimer (fn. 36) sold this manor in 1538 to Thomas Lord Cromwell, (fn. 37) who immediately transferred it to John, (fn. 38) afterwards Sir John, Gostwick, kt. (fn. 39) He sold it in 1544 to John Rock, (fn. 40) who died seised in 1547 in the minority of his son and heir John. (fn. 41) The widow, Joan Rock, married George Eton, who acted as her son's guardian. (fn. 42) John Rock obtained livery of his father's estates in 1567 (fn. 43) and licence to alienate Wingrave Manor to Thomas Hyde in 1569, (fn. 44) the transfer taking place in the same year. (fn. 45) In 1570 Thomas Hyde was succeeded by his son George, (fn. 46) and he in 1580 by his brother Robert, (fn. 47) who owned this manor in 1582. (fn. 48) It was evidently sold by Robert Hyde before his death in 1607 (fn. 49) to Sir Robert Dormer, and follows the same descent as Wing Manor (fn. 50) (q.v.) until after 1826. Before 1862 it had been transferred to Baron Anthony de Rothschild, (fn. 51) at whose death in 1876 it descended to his nephew and heir Baron Nathan de Rothschild, the present owner.
Maud Pipard granted four messuages and 2 virgates of land in this manor in free alms to Pinley Priory, Warwickshire. (fn. 52) The prior enfeoffed Ralph D'Eiville, on whose death before 1283 the property was taken into the hands of Thomas Pipard. (fn. 53) A writ of mort d'ancestor restored Ralph's inheritance to his son, Thomas D'Eiville, who enfeoffed John and Maud le Waleys. (fn. 54) The latter in 1288, after her husband's death, complained that they had been wrongfully ejected in the king's name as guardian of William Pipard. (fn. 55) She appears to have been reinstated in accordance with the finding of inquisitions in 1288 (fn. 56) and 1289, (fn. 57) but the later descent of this holding is indistinguishable from that of the manor.
The right of view of frankpledge appertained to this, the principal manor in Wingrave, during the 16th century, (fn. 58) but no later reference to it has been found. Court Rolls of various dates between 1543 and 1582 are extant. (fn. 59) One dated 1552 records a muster of twenty-one copyholders with their names and details of their holdings, and also states that customary holders might let their lands to farm for three years in accordance with ancient custom. (fn. 60) Reference to the court baron occurs in the later 18th century. (fn. 61)
In 1086 Gunfrey de Cioches, or Chokes, held another manor in WINGRAVE assessed at 6 hides. (fn. 64) Before the Conquest Suen, one of King Edward's thegns, had held it with option of sale. This land (from the name of its tenant) (fn. 65) appears in the next century as one and a half fees of the honour of Chokes, (fn. 66) a Northamptonshire barony. (fn. 67) It passed to Gunfrey's son Anselm, (fn. 68) who was holding under Henry I, and was succeeded by his son Robert. (fn. 69) The last of this family, Peter de Chokes, was Sheriff of Northamptonshire in 1205. (fn. 70) Their barony passed to Robert, advocate of Arras and lord of Béthune (hence it is sometimes called his fee), (fn. 71) and from him to Robert de Gynes, (fn. 72) who was holding in 1235. (fn. 73) His charter granting the manor to Ingram, lord of Fienles (later Fenes or Fiennes) was inspected and confirmed in 1248. (fn. 74) In 1284 Isabel de Fiennes held the overlordship of the one and a half fees in Wingrave which in this century are named as extending into Rowsham, (fn. 75) but before 1458 the honour of Chokes had passed to the Crown, (fn. 76) and in the 16th century its interest in Wingrave can be traced in the rights pertaining to the king's castle of Northampton, reference to which occurs in connexion with Wingrave in 1526. (fn. 77) A grant of Northampton Castle with all fees of Chokes was made to Gilbert North and his heirs in 1629. (fn. 78)
The Gorhams, a Northamptonshire family, held a mesne lordship of one and a half fees of the honour of Chokes in Wingrave and Rowsham during the 13th century. (fn. 79) Their rights appear to have been subordinate at first to those of Richard Marshal, who surrendered his claims in 1208 to Henry de Gorham, (fn. 80) and later to the Lisles, for in 1233 William Lisle enforced his supremacy over William de Gorham. (fn. 81) In 1266 a later William Lisle granted his rights in these fees to Richard de Hanrede. (fn. 82)
Wibald is named as tenant of Gunfrey de Cioches in Wingrave Manor in 1086. (fn. 83) Henry de Pinkney was holding in the time of Henry II (fn. 84) and Robert de Pinkney before 1190. (fn. 85) Robert de Hersi, who appears to have obtained a decision in his favour in 1195, (fn. 86) put in a counterclaim in 1199 which was disallowed because he was said to be with the king's enemies. (fn. 87) In 1223 Henry, son and heir of Robert de Pinkney, (fn. 88) quitclaimed his land in Wingrave and Rowsham for a sparrow-hawk or 2s. yearly on Lammas Day (1 August) to Gilbert de Brente, (fn. 89) who was holding in 1235. (fn. 90) In 1281 Roger le Brabazun conveyed this land (10 librates) to Benedict de Rolleston and his wife Denise, (fn. 91) but the immediate tenants in 1284 were Nicholas Fermbaud (who paid 45 marks to Benedict de Rolleston during this year, probably in respect of this transfer) (fn. 92) and William de Okholt. (fn. 93) In 1292 Nicholas Fermbaud with Amicabel his wife obtained a grant of free warren in their demesne lands of Wingrave. (fn. 94) Nicholas Fermbaud was succeeded by another Nicholas, probably the one holding in 1316. (fn. 95) His son Thomas (fn. 96) held half a fee in Wingrave in 1346, (fn. 97) and to him and his wife Alice in that year Maud, widow of Thomas Wingrave, granted a messuage and land, (fn. 98) which appears to have merged with the land they already held to form BURY MANOR. It seems to have been his widow Maud who in 1365 claimed land in dower in Wingrave against his son Thomas Fermbaud. (fn. 99) The latter died in 1389 in the minority of his son and heir Thomas, (fn. 100) who gave proof of age in 1409 (fn. 101) and died in 1429 or 1430. (fn. 102) Isabel, his daughter and heir, died without issue, when Bury Manor passed to William Oxbridge, grandson of the Thomas and Alice Fermbaud previously mentioned by their daughter Joan. (fn. 103) He had been succeeded by his son Thomas Oxbridge before 1465, when through a misapprehension this manor was taken into the king's hands (fn. 104) as part of the forfeited estates of Sir Edmund Hampden. (fn. 105) Shortly afterwards it was granted to Richard and Thomas Croft for life. (fn. 106) After an inquiry in 1469, however, the manor was restored to Thomas Oxbridge. (fn. 107) By agreement with him in 1485 (fn. 108) and later with his successor, John Oxbridge, Bury Manor came to Sir Henry Colet, (fn. 109) who died seised in 1505. (fn. 110) In 1510 it was included in the lands which his son John Colet, Dean of St. Paul's, (fn. 111) was allowed to grant to the Mercers' Company (fn. 112) as part of the endowment of St. Paul's School and as such they have retained it, (fn. 113) the old name being lost in that of Mercers' Farm in Rowsham.
The land held by William de Okholt in 1284 was held under Nicholas Fermbaud as intermediary. (fn. 114) John de Okholt succeeded as heir in 1285 (fn. 115) and quitclaimed in 1295 a portion of his land in Wingrave and Rowsham to Nicholas and Amicabel Fermbaud. (fn. 116) This land appears to correspond to EDMUND'S MANOR, named in 1465 as part of the forfeited estates of Sir Edmund Hampden and with Bury Manor granted in that year for life to Richard and Thomas Croft. (fn. 117) This seems to have been an earlier name for BURBAGE MANOR, of which William Hampden died seised in 1525. (fn. 118) His son and heir John (fn. 119) succeeded to Great Hampden Manor in 1553, (fn. 120) and the descent of both manors is identical until 1597, (fn. 121) when on the death of William Hampden, Burbage passed to his brother Edmund. (fn. 122) He, then Sir Edmund Hampden, kt., conveyed it in 1608 to George Brooks, (fn. 123) who transferred it in 1626 to William Pratt, (fn. 124) and he in 1645 to William Abraham. (fn. 125) This manor came later into the possession of Thomas and Richard Beringer, who conveyed it in 1697 to John Deacle. (fn. 126) He died in 1723, (fn. 127) and was succeeded by his nephew John Deacle, the owner in 1735. (fn. 128) He was represented by the Rev. John Deacle in 1787 (fn. 129) and 1797, (fn. 130) whose family were still connected with Wingrave in the early 19th century. (fn. 131) Before 1862 the distinctive name of Burbage survived only as a memory.
Another manor in Wingrave arose out of the endless subdivisions in the 13th century of the manor held in 1086 by Gunfrey de Cioches. In 1219 Ralph de Puteham and his wife Denise, formerly wife of Robert de Pinkney, quitclaimed half a hide and 12 acres of land in Wingrave in frankalmoign to Woburn Abbey. (fn. 132) In 1282 Benedict de Rolleston granted it exemption from services in respect of lands held of his fee in Wingrave and Rowsham. (fn. 133) Woburn Abbey continued in possession (fn. 134) until its dissolution in 1538, when this land was transferred to the Crown. (fn. 135) In 1539 as WINGRAVE MANOR it was granted in fee to John Gostwick, (fn. 136) and was sold by him in 1544 to John Rock. (fn. 137) It follows the same descent as the principal manor of Wingrave (q.v.), but was retained by Robert Hyde, and passed at his death in 1607 to his brother Nicholas, (fn. 138) afterwards Sir Nicholas Hyde, bart., of Albury in Hertfordshire, who died in 1625. (fn. 139) Bridget daughter and heir of his son and successor Sir Thomas Hyde, bart., who died in 1665, (fn. 140) married in 1682 Peregrine Osborne, afterwards second Duke of Leeds. (fn. 141) Their grandson Thomas, fourth Duke of Leeds, (fn. 142) sold the Wingrave estate in 1776 to Sir Robert Salusbury Cotton and Robert Winn, trustees under the will of Sir Thomas Salusbury of Offley Place, Hertfordshire. (fn. 143) It appears to have been in respect of this property that John Tirel-Morin claimed manorial rights in 1797. (fn. 144)
Another small subdivision of the original manor equal to one-third of a knight's fee was conveyed in 1284 by Benedict and Denise de Rolleston to Nicholas Fermbaud. (fn. 145) In 1285 Walter de Berkhampstead appears to have put in an unsuccessful claim against the donors on behalf of his tenant Nicholas de Bosco. (fn. 146) Nicholas Fermbaud's claim was disallowed in 1290, (fn. 147) and in 1302 Nicholas de Bosco was holding with under-tenants. (fn. 148) In 1346 unspecified tenants were holding of William de Berkhampstead. (fn. 149)
In 1086 one and a half hides in Wingrave belonged to the land of the Count of Mortain. (fn. 150) It was later held of the small fee of Mortain (fn. 151) of the honour of Berkhampstead. (fn. 152) In the 17th century the view of frankpledge was held at Wingrave for all the estates appurtenant to the honour in this county. As Duke of Cornwall, George Prince of Wales claimed rights in Wingrave in 1797. (fn. 153)
The Count of Mortain's tenant in Wingrave in 1086 was Alan. (fn. 154) The Wedons were holding in the 13th century. Laurence de Wedon is said to have withdrawn his suit previously made to the county and hundred before 1276. (fn. 155) In 1284 Ralph de Wedon's (fn. 156) tenant William de Lingyure was holding for the service of half a fee. (fn. 157) This land with other lands held of the honour of Wallingford made up a manor (fn. 158) later called ROWSHAM. It apparently corresponds to the knight's fee in Rowsham held by John Broc of Hundridge and his tenants in 1302 (fn. 159) which Ralph de Wedon and his tenants were holding in 1346. (fn. 160) The descent of this manor is the same as that of Wedon-in-the-Vale in Hardwick (q.v.) until it was obtained in 1377, after the death of John de Cobham, (fn. 161) by William of Wykeham, Bishop of Winchester, by grant of Thomas de Hynton. (fn. 162) Wykeham was only allowed to retain some small pieces of land in Wingrave, (fn. 163) since Rowsham Manor, in common with the other estates of John de Cobham, reverted to the Crown. (fn. 164) When this manor reappears in the next century it was held by William Broc, whose ancestors had been connected with Wingrave and Rowsham for at least two centuries. (fn. 165) He died in 1476 seised jointly with his wife Anne by feoffment of Thomas Bergh. (fn. 166) From this date Rowsham Manor follows the same descent as that of Hundridge in Chesham (q.v.) until 1536, (fn. 167) when it diverged for a time. In 1552 it was held by Richard Morice in right of his wife Margaret with reversion to Sir Robert Dormer. (fn. 168) Before 1575 it had passed to Sir William Dormer of Wing, (fn. 169) whose son Robert acquired the principal manor of Wingrave (q.v.), with which Rowsham has since descended.
The church of SS. PETER AND PAUL consists of a chancel 40 ft. 6 in. by 14 ft., a chapel on the north side 8 ft. by 3 ft., south vestry, south organ chamber, nave 54 ft. by 18 ft. 6 in., north aisle 11 ft. wide, south aisle 9 ft. 6 in. wide, west tower 13 ft. 6 in. square, and a south porch.
The church dates from the latter part of the 12th century, and was probably built by William son of Alured de Wedon just before he gave it to St. Albans Abbey. It then consisted of a chancel, with a chapel on the north side, and a nave. In the following century the chancel appears to have been lengthened and the tower was built. Late in the 14th century the north and south aisles were added. In the 15th century the chancel walls were raised and the clear-story added to the nave, a number of windows being inserted during the same period. The church was thoroughly restored in 1887–8, when the vestry and organ chamber were added, and in 1898 the upper part of the tower was rebuilt.
The walls are of rubble with stone dressings. The roof of the chapel on the north side of the chancel is of modern stone; the roofs of the chancel, organ chamber, and south porch are tiled and the remainder are covered with lead.
The east window of the chancel is of the 15th century, but has been much restored. It is pointed and composed of three cinquefoiled lights with tracery. Built into the wall on either side is a small 12th-century stone capital. At the east end of both the north and south walls is a lancet, part of the 13th century alterations, having on the outside a label with dog-tooth ornament continued as a string-course. The lancet on the south side is blocked. To the west on the north side is a 14th-century window having two trefoiled lights with tracery in a segmental head. The late 12th-century doorway into the north chapel is pointed and continuously chamfered. At the west end is a 14th-century low-side window. There are now in the south wall a window and a doorway of the 14th century, both much restored, the former of three trefoiled lights with tracery in a pointed head; the latter, now leading to the vestry, has a pointed head and jambs continuously chamfered. At the west end of the wall is the entrance to the modern organ chamber. Both the north and south walls retain portions of their original wall arcades. That in the north wall is of four bays with pointed arches springing from circular shafts which have carved capitals and moulded bases; the drop arch of the easternmost bay was inserted at the same time as the window above. In the second bay is a small rectangular opening in the wall, rebated externally. The remains of a similar arcade in the south wall are only fragmentary. This wall has in addition, near the east end, a double aumbry, of which the western compartment has its opening divided into two by a mullion. Near to it is a 13th-century piscina, much restored. The pointed chancel arch has two chamfered orders, the inner springing from corbels and the outer continuous. It has been altered and restored at some date, but may be originally of the 14th century.
The chapel to the north of the chancel has plain walls and a pointed vault, much restored. On the south wall and the vaulting is a painting, probably of 13th-century date, representing two angels holding scrolls, above which are fragments of other figures.
The nave arcades are each of five bays, and date from the latter part of the 14th century. The arches are pointed and of two orders, springing from octagonal columns and semi-octagonal responds with moulded capitals and bases. Above each arcade are five much-restored 15th-century clear-story windows, each of three trefoiled lights. The three windows in both the north and south walls of the aisles have each three cinquefoiled lights beneath a drop arch and date from the 15th century. At the east end of the north aisle is a 14th-century window of two trefoiled lights with tracery in a segmental head. In the north wall a modern doorway has been inserted between the two western windows, and on the same wall is a painted inscription, probably of the 16th century, relating to a charity. In the east wall of the south aisle is a modern arch to the organ chamber, and at the east end of the arcade, on the south side, is a moulded stone bracket. In the south wall is a 15th century pointed doorway with continuous moulding, and at the east end of this wall is a 14th-century piscina with a restored trefoiled head.
The tower, of which only the ground story is original, is of three stages. The arch is two-centred and of three orders. The outer order springs from attached shafts and the inner two from semi-octagonal responds, with moulded bases and capitals enriched with foliage. The north respond has traces of original colouring.
The roofs of the chancel and nave are for the most part modern, but the former retains part of its 15th-century moulded cornice, and in the latter are two old tie-beams and twelve carved brackets. These are probably of 15th-century date, and consist of wooden figures of men standing on stone corbels. The roof of the north aisle is of 15th-century date and has moulded principals carved at the lower ends with the figures of angels holding shields.
The chancel contains a brass inscription to Penelope Cleaver (d. 1657), and on the north wall is a tablet to William Cleaver (d. 1742), with shields of arms. On the south wall of the nave is a tablet to Thomas Dixon, a former vicar (d. 1846), and on the east wall of the north aisle one to Mary Anne Granville (d. 1779). In the south aisle are tablets to Samuel Theed (d. 1676); to Thomas Cleaver (d. 1700); to Richard Woolley, a former vicar (d. 1792), and to Anne Woolley, his daughter (d. 1818). The floor slabs are as follows: in the nave to Samuel Theed (d. 1676); to Richard Rose (d. 1682) and Alice his wife; to Thomas Cook (d. 1700); to Simon Cleaver (d. 1700); to Samuel Cook (d. 1709); to John Theed, with arms (d. 1762).
The former chancel screen, which was for some years in a wagon shed at Manor Farm, north of the church, is now preserved in the ground stage of the tower, resting against the wall. It is of late 15th-century date and has a central opening with a four-centred head and carved spandrels and three bays on either side. The upper panels have cinquefoiled ogee heads and tracery, the lower panels being closed and plain. The cornice, middle rail, and mullions are moulded, and nailed to the lower part are two linen-fold panels of the following century.
In the vestry is an oak chest dated 1684, a 17th-century table and panelling which incorporates some 17th-century work, decorated with a small painted leaf on each panel. The modern organ case also incorporates some panels of about 1500, several of which are carved with vine enrichment and others with linen fold.
There is a ring of six bells: the treble and fourth are by Lester & Pack, 1760; the second is inscribed 'John Theed 1618, W[illiam] W[akefield]'; the third is by Joseph Carter, 1608; the fifth, originally by Chapman & Mears, 1783, was recast in 1900 by Mears & Stainbank, who in the same year made the tenor. The original tenor is a 15th-century bell by John Danyell inscribed 'Intonat de celis vox campana Michaelis.' It is now cracked and lies in the ground story of the tower. There is also a sanctus by Anthony Chandler, 1678.
The registers before 1812 are as follows: (i) all entries 1550 to 1611 and a few entries of baptisms and burials of 1643, 1644, 1647, 1649, 1668 and 1669; (ii) all entries 1675 to 1697; (iii) baptisms 1679 to 1710, burials 1680 to 1713 and marriages 1695 to 1709, but not in regular order; (iv) baptisms 1710 to 1726, burials 1742 to 1762, marriages 1715 to 1726; (v) baptisms 1724 to 1773, marriages 1727 to 1752; (vi) burials 1713 to 1742, and a few entries of 1754 to 1756; (vii) baptisms 1773 to 1812.
There are three volumes of Foxe's Acts and Monuments, bound in 1696 in leather, with brass mounts and staples for securing with chains, also a book on the Defence of the Apologie of the Church of England.
William son of Alured de Wedon gave Wingrave Church to St. Albans Abbey (fn. 170) in the later 12th century. (fn. 171) It was probably about this time that William de Wedon's gift was confirmed by Robert Archdeacon of Buckingham. (fn. 172) In 1200 Ralph de Wedon claimed the advowson on the ground that his grandfather Alured had made the last presentation. (fn. 173) His grandson John renewed the claim in 1250, when the Abbot of St. Albans asserted the right of his abbey in virtue of the original gift and of four presentations (fn. 174) and gained the suit. (fn. 175) The abbey retained this advowson, valued at £16 13s. 4d. in 1291 (fn. 176) and at £10 0s. 0¾d. in 1535, (fn. 177) until the Dissolution, (fn. 178) when it passed to the Crown. It was reserved from the Crown leases of the rectory in the 16th century, but included in the grant of 1606 to Thomas Marbury and Richard Cartwright. It was shortly afterwards transferred to Chancellor Egerton, (fn. 179) better known as Lord Chancellor Ellesmere, who was created Viscount Brackley in 1616. (fn. 180) On his death in the following year one to his heirs was his granddaughter Mary, wife of Sir Thomas Lee, kt., (fn. 181) and Sir Henry Lee, bart., of Quarrendon died seised of this advowson in 1631. (fn. 182) It remained in his family for some years, (fn. 183) but before 1673 had passed to John third Earl of Bridgewater, (fn. 184) representative of the direct male descent from Lord Chancellor Ellesmere. (fn. 185) The descent has since followed that of Cheddington advowson (fn. 186) (the right of presentation of the Earl of Carnarvon in 1678 (fn. 187) being of a temporary nature) to Earl Brownlow, (fn. 188) by whom the advowson was conveyed in 1910 to the Bishop of Oxford.
A licence to appropriate the rectory of Wingrave was made to St. Albans Abbey in 1257 (fn. 189) and confirmed by Robert Archdeacon of Buckingham. (fn. 190) At the Dissolution Thomas Duncombe was lessee for a term of fifty-six years dating from 1535. (fn. 191) In 1571 the Crown granted a new lease for twenty-one years to John Duncombe, (fn. 192) and another in 1575 to Benedict Duncombe, (fn. 193) which was cancelled for a fresh lease in 1580. (fn. 194) In 1583 he obtained a further lease for three lives in survivorship. (fn. 195) In 1589 the Crown also granted a lease for twenty-one years, in reversion on the death of the last survivor, to Richard Beamond and Miles Barker. (fn. 196) In 1606 the rectory was granted in fee to Thomas Marbury and Richard Cartwright, (fn. 197) the fee-farm rent of £17 being granted a few years later to Queen Anne, wife of James I, in jointure. (fn. 198) Later in the century the rectory had passed to Thomas and Richard Beringer, and descended with Burbage Manor (q.v.). The present lay rector is Mr. Leopold de Rothschild of Ascott House, Wing.
The chapel of St. Lawrence at Rowsham annexed to Wingrave Church was dismantled in the 16th century. (fn. 199) It consisted of one bay, and was granted in 1574 to Christopher Fenton and Bernard Gilpin. (fn. 200) It appears to have been still standing in Church Field at the beginning of the 18th century, and fragments of it were still to be found in the neighbouring farm in the 19th century. (fn. 201)
A tenement and half an acre of land called the Knoll House in Wingrave, held in copyhold by Thomas Broc in the time of Henry VIII, (fn. 202) was given for the maintenance of a light in the church. (fn. 203) It was granted in 1589 to Sir Edward Stanley. (fn. 204) The name survives in 'The Knolls.'
In 1548 4 acres of land in this parish, worth 1s. 9d. yearly, maintained a light in Aylesbury Church. (fn. 205) This land was included in 1552 in a grant to Sir Edward Bray, John Thornton, and John Danby. (fn. 206)
The charity of Thomas Pratt, founded by deed 18 November 1614 for poor of this parish, Cheddington, Mentmore, and Wing, is regulated by schemes of the Charity Commissioners of 24 April 1868 and 2 July 1886. The trust estate consists of 16 a. 3 r. 29 p., known as the Town Land Farm, allotted on the inclosure in 1798 in respect of the lands originally charged, and let at £41 16s. a year; also £329 15s. 9d. consols with the official trustees, producing £8 4s. 8d. yearly, arising from the sale in 1876 of half an acre. Under the scheme each of the parishes of Wingrave, Mentmore, and Wing is entitled to a four-thirteenths part of the net income, amounting in 1908 to £16, which, after deducting a yearly sum of 10s. for the poor of the hamlet of Betlow and Adwick in the parish of Tring (Herts.), is distributed in doles of money and to provident clubs, £1 1s. being paid to the Royal Bucks Hospital, Aylesbury. The parish of Cheddington is entitled to one-thirteenth of the net income.
In 1720 William Grace by his will charged a piece of meadow land, called the Ham, with an annuity of 40s. for the instruction of the poorest children between the ages of seven and nine. The charity is regulated by a scheme of the Charity Commissioners of 7 November 1899, and is applied in giving rewards of the value of 5s. each. This charity is regarded as a substitution of a devise for a similar purpose by the will of James Grace, dated 2 March 1712.
In 1744 Francis Mortimer by his will charged 4 acres of land lying in the North Field with 20s. yearly to be laid out in a coat for the poorest man, with the initials F.M. thereupon. The rent-charge is regularly paid and applied.
Elizabeth Theed, as appears in the Parliamentary Returns of 1786, devised land for the poor. The property consists of about an acre of land, adjoining the land belonging to Pratt's charity, producing £2 11s. a year, which is distributed in doles of from 2s. to 3s. each.
The same returns mention that Sir Richard Goddard and — Abraham gave land to the poor. A rent-charge of £1 8s. issuing out of a farm in Wingrave is received in respect of this charity and applied in doles.
The Church and Clock Estate, otherwise Bailey's House Gift, consists of certain allotments awarded on the inclosure, containing together about 2 acres, including half an acre belonging to the charity of Brooks and Cox mentioned in the Parliamentary Returns of 1786, of the annual rental value of £5 2s.; also a blacksmith's house and shop let at £10 a year, and a wheelwright's shop, &c., let at £16 a year. The rents are applied in repairing the church clock and ornamenting the church.
Further, 3 roods of land were awarded under the Inclosure Act for land left for the purpose of furnishing rushes for the church on the village Feast Sunday, being the first Sunday after St. Peter's Day. The rent, amounting to £2 10s. a year, is carried to the churchwardens' account.
In 1824 Joseph Lucas, by deeds of lease and release dated respectively 6 and 7 August, granted an annuity of £20 out of Rowsham Farm and other lands to be distributed at Christmas time in sums of 5s. and 2s. 6d. to a certain number of widows and aged poor. The annuity is applied in money doles, including gifts to the church cleaners.
In 1868 Moses Lovett, by his will proved 16 July, bequeathed £700 consols, the dividends to be paid half-yearly to the organist of the parish church. The stock is standing in the names of Edward M. M. Lucas and three others. Out of the dividends, amounting to £17 10s. a year, £2 is paid to the organ-blower, £3 for tuning, and the balance to the organist.
In 1869 Miss Catherine Lucas, by her will proved 16 April, bequeathed £300, the income to be applied towards the salaries of the master and mistress of the Church of England school or in augmentation of the funds of the school. The sum of £320 17s. 1d. consols, representing the legacy, is standing in the names of John Charles Blake and three others, producing £8 0s. 4d. a year.
The same testatrix also bequeathed £200, the interest to be distributed in money or kind. The sum of £213 6s. 8d. consols, representing the legacy, is held by the same stockholders, the dividends, amounting to £5 6s. 8d., being applied in money doles to about fifty poor persons.
In 1887 the Rev. John Molesworth Butt, by his will proved at Oxford 6 December, bequeathed £200, the income to be applied in aid of sick poor. The legacy, less duty, was invested in £181 2s. 4d. consols, and the annual dividends, amounting to £4 10s. 4d., are duly applied.
The same testator further bequeathed £100, the income to be applied for the Sunday school. The legacy, less duty, is represented by £90 11s. 2d. consols, and the annual dividends of £2 10s. are applied in prizes, treats, and expenses in connexion with the Sunday school.