A History of the County of Buckingham: Volume 3. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1925.
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THE BOROUGH OF BUCKINGHAM
The town of Buckingham is of undoubted antiquity, inasmuch as in the 10th century it was made the capital of the newly-formed shire of Buckingham. Previous to this date nothing definite can be stated of its history. There are no traces of settlements of early man in the neighbourhood; nor was it on any of the main or branch roads constructed by the Romans, though traces of their occasional presence have been found in the shape of coins and pottery. (fn. 1) Legendary history, indeed, associates Buckingham as early as the 7th century with the precocious St. Rumbold. (fn. 2) The name of Buckingham first occurs in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle under the date 915. At Martinmas of that year Edward the Elder went with his force against the Danes to Buckingham and remained there four weeks, and constructed 'burhs' on both sides of the river before his departure. (fn. 3) Buckingham is linked with 'Sclaftesege' (unidentified) in a burghal hidage compiled some time during this century. (fn. 4) According to the laws of Athelstan, each burh was allowed to have a moneyer, (fn. 5) and Ethelred II, who ascended the throne in 978, established a mint at Buckingham, some of the coins of which are still extant. (fn. 6) Coins were also minted here in the time of Cnut (1017–35). (fn. 7)
In Domesday Buckingham occupies its rightful position as county town with a separate entry at the head of the Survey, but it could not have been long before the unsuitability of its position as head-quarters for the transaction of county business was felt. This is very clearly shown by a glance at the map, where Buckingham is seen to be at the extreme north of a county which till the 16th century shared its sheriff with the neighbouring county of Bedford. When the difficulty of traffic at that period is considered, it is not astonishing to find that much of the county work, notably that of holding the assizes, (fn. 8) was done at Aylesbury situated in the centre of the county, and that Buckingham suffered a loss of dignity and position that was not recovered till the 16th century. The town, too, was developing along unexpected physical lines. The castle on Coturne Hill (as it is called in the 13th century) (fn. 9) had originally been the natural centre of development, but the Giffords and Braoses, its successive lords, were never in residence, and it apparently soon ceased to be of importance in the history of the town. West of the castle, too, the greater part of Buckingham formed part of the large prebendal estate which was farmed generally for absentee lords. (fn. 10) It is east of the castle, then, that the central point of the borough's social and economic life shifted, and the market-place, on which the main thoroughfares converged, became after the 13th century the most important place in the borough. The name of Buckingham is closely connected with the wool trade, and although this town does not appear (as has been erroneously stated elsewhere (fn. 11)) in the list of Staple Towns appointed by the statute of 1353, (fn. 12) the existence of a wool or drapers' hall in the market-place implies that the town was a centre of some activity for this industry. Indeed, at a much earlier date, in 1228, (fn. 13) Richard le Marchand and Richard le Mercier were amerced at Buckingham for selling cloth contrary to the assize, but at that time the cloth trade was more vigorous at Aylesbury and in the south of the county. Flemish weavers also settled here, of whom Nicholas and Gervase Webbe and Talban Fletyng obtained licence to dwell in the town in 1436. (fn. 14) An account of the profits arising from the borough preserved for the year 1473 throws interesting light on Buckingham at this date. (fn. 15) Castle Street, Well Street, East (now Bridge ?) Street are named. The Drapers' Hall in the market-place had seven 'bays' which were let out to traders, and there were twelve shops and thirty stalls or sheds in the square and its vicinity, besides two vacant places set apart for the sale of fish. Mention is made of 'le Comyn Bakehouse,' of a house called 'le Corner House' in Castle Street, of a tavern opposite the 'Chapel' (now St. John's Grammar School), and of the smithy of William Fowler. But there were already signs of decay in prosperity, for of the seven bays of the Drapers' Hall three-quarters of one only were let to three persons paying 2s. 6d. each, whilst eighteen of the thirty stalls in the market-place were unlet. This decline in material welfare appears to have continued into the next century, for in 1540, and again in the following year, Buckingham appeared in a list of towns whose houses had been allowed to fall into decay and whose inhabitants were commanded, under severe penalty, to rebuild and repair. (fn. 16) Ten years later the borough obtained its charter of incorporation and entered on a fresh lease of prosperity.
On 25 August 1578 Queen Elizabeth came in progress to the borough of Buckingham, and, according to a contemporary entry in the borough records, 'at the uttermost limit of the liberties of the said Borough, on the north part in the way named Toucester Way the bailiff and twelve principal burgesses received Her Grace whereupon Her Highness admitted the bailiff her lieutenant within the borough.' She then proceeded 'in most triumphant manner her sword royal and maces born and trumpets blown before her till she came to the mansion house of the Rectory or parsonage of the same borough (fn. 17) where her highness rested dinner time. And after dinner ended Her Highness proceeded forward,' the said bailiff attending her as far as Dudley Bridge. (fn. 18)
During this century there was a flourishing bell-foundry in Buckingham, which belonged to the Appowells, who were burgesses of this borough. (fn. 19) This foundry, which passed later to a member of the Newcombe family, Leicester bell-founders, was not closed until 1633. (fn. 20)
An interesting reference to Buckingham has been preserved relating to the summons made by the heralds in 1634 to the bailiff, commanding him to warn all knights and gentry of the county to appear 'at the sign of the cock at eight in the forenoon to make proof of their gentry,' whilst the bailiff was to bring the arms, ancient seals and badges of the corporation. (fn. 21)
As a town Buckingham suffered less during the Civil War than many smaller places in the county; it was never used as a garrison, but only as a temporary halting-place by the soldiers of both sides alternately. The corporation were in favour of the king, as were also Sir Alexander Denton, lord of Prebend End Manor, and Sir Richard Minshull, lord of Bourton Manor; whilst Sir Richard Ingoldsby, lord of Lenborough Manor, sided with the Parliament. On 22 June 1644 Charles I marched to Buckingham with 9,000 foot and 3,000 horse, (fn. 22) remaining in the town till 26 June. (fn. 23) His visit was not expected by the Parliamentarians, and so his troops were able to relieve the pressure of their entertainment by seizing 'many cart loads of wine, grocery and tobacco, which were passing, as in secure roads, from London to Coventry and Warwick; all which were very welcome to Buckingham.' (fn. 24) Cromwell also passed several weeks at Buckingham after the siege of Hillesden House, (fn. 25) but perhaps the most stirring local incident during the progress of the war was the plunder of Bourton House. Richard Minshull, then the owner, (fn. 26) was an ardent Royalist, and on 18 August 1642, on the occasion of his absence from home on the king's service, his house at Bourton was raided by the Parliament's soldiers under Lord Brooke:—
All is lawfull prize that comes to hand, Money, Plate, Jewels, many suits of Rich Hangings, Linnen, Bedding, they plunder from the Cabinet to the Larder . . . they breake open his Library and the place where he kept his Evidences: they seize on all the Bills, Bonds, Deeds, Evidences, Writings and Bookes. . . . Some of these they take away with them, some they teare in pieces, some they binde in bundles and make them serve instead of fuell both to heat ovens and to rost meat for their supper . . . they breake the Windowes, Doores, Wainscot, Seelings, Glasse, they take away all Iron Barres, Casements, Locks, Keyes and Hinges: They open his Wooll-house and barns and empty and all they enter the Dove-house, and like vermine destroy the Pigeons . . . they clap a strong guard on Sir Richards Lady, deny her a bed to lye on. (fn. 27)
With the Restoration Buckingham is found assuming its social position as county town. In or about 1670 the Trolley House, a large assembly room in Castle Street, was built by one Henry Robinson, and became the resort of the neighbouring gentry. (fn. 28) George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham, who had a seat near at Whaddon, is said to have visited it freely. Castle Hill was also levelled and converted into a bowling-green, while the same Henry Robinson started a stage coach to London which accomplished the journey and return in four days. (fn. 29) Pepys, who visited Buckingham on 8 June 1668, has not very much to say about it: 'A good old town. Here I to see the Church, which is very good, and a school in it: did give the sexton's boy 1s. A fair bridge here with many arches.' (fn. 30) Thomas Baskerville, who was here much about the same date, is more discursive. The town, he says, is pretty large, with good inns, and surrounds a green mound on which remain some ruins of a castle. There is no town hall for the judges to sit in for the assizes, and so sheds are erected for the purpose against the ruinous castle walls. (fn. 31) At this time, as a matter of convenience, the summer assizes had again been resumed at Buckingham, being still held at Aylesbury in the winter. (fn. 32) This plan was not approved of by the latter borough, which protested in vain that not only was Buckingham inconveniently situated, but that it had no gaol, that for the county being at Aylesbury. (fn. 33) Buckingham found, however, a powerful friend in Lord Cobham, who in 1748 not only secured the passing of an Act by which the summer assizes were fixed at Buckingham, (fn. 34) but also built and presented a gaol to the borough, the curious castellated building which is still to be seen at the north-east end of the market square. (fn. 35) This gaol is not the only building which Buckingham owes to private enterprise, for already Sir Ralph Verney (who sat for the borough between 1680 and 1689 (fn. 36)) had built the red brick town hall which now occupies the south-west end of the square. (fn. 37) In March 1725 the appearance of Buckingham was greatly altered, owing to the fire, which, breaking out near the Unicorn Inn, soon destroyed 138 houses out of the 387 which at this time composed the town. The damage was estimated at £40,000 and more than 200 families were rendered homeless. (fn. 38) In order to assist the poorer class Lord Cobham of Stowe built a row of cottages in the old Cow Fair at the north end of Buckingham, which, known as the 'Red Buildings,' existed until 1866, when they were pulled down. (fn. 39) But the townspeople appear to have done comparatively little themselves to restore and beautify their town, and even destroyed several large houses in order to sell the materials to build small tenements. Willis is inclined to attribute to this short-sighted policy the decay in the material prosperity of the town which is evidenced in the first half of the 18th century. (fn. 40) Castle Street, however, where the damage appears to have been greatest, (fn. 41) still retains several pleasing examples of houses built at this date.
Any history of Buckingham in the 18th century would be incomplete without reference to its historian and benefactor, Browne Willis. He sat as member for the borough, for which he had a peculiar affection, from 1705 to 1708, the casting vote for his election being that of a man brought from prison. (fn. 42) Though he retired from public life at this date, he never forgot the honour which the borough (always called by him the county town) had done in electing him as its representative, but tried to further its interests in every way, 'particularly,' says one of his contemporaries, 'in endeavouring to obtain a new charter, and to get the bailiff and burgesses changed into a mayor, by unwearied application to have the assizes held once a year there, and in procuring the Archdeacon to hold his visitation . . . and by promoting the building of a gaol.' (fn. 43) He also subscribed a large amount and collected more towards the repair of Buckingham Church, the steeple of which had fallen in 1699. Unfortunately his manners were odd, and often brought him into variance with those whom he was most anxious to serve. (fn. 44) He died in 1760 and his funeral was attended in state by the corporation. (fn. 45)
The 19th century witnessed very little change in the development of Buckingham, which, while keeping well abreast of modern improvements, has yet managed to preserve its character as a quiet country town, the centre of an important rural district, and what industries it has developed are influenced by the agricultural nature of its surroundings. Up to the middle of the century the tanyards, which have always been an important Buckingham industry, (fn. 46) still throve, (fn. 47) and there was also a wool-yard at the same period, though the wool trade of Buckingham had long ceased to be of importance. At the beginning of the century a quarry within the precincts of the borough, producing a dove-coloured marble, was worked for a short time. It was, however, very expensive to work, and on the abolition of the duty on foreign marbles the quarry was abandoned. Some of the gravestones in the churchyard are composed of this local marble. (fn. 48) Near the site of the quarry now stands a large factory for condensed peptonised milk, large supplies of milk being collected by motors from the neighbouring farms. The Castle Iron Works, started in 1857, had a brief career, which has been traced elsewhere. (fn. 49) The manufacture of Buckingham lace, too, which was a decaying peasant industry at the beginning of the 19th century, when the women were able to earn only 2s. 6d. a week, (fn. 50) has been successfully revived of late years.
In 1801 trading facilities were increased by the opening of a branch of the Grand Junction Canal at Buckingham; the event was the subject of much local rejoicing, 'a numerous party were entertained by the Marquess of Buckingham at the Cobham Arms Inn on this occasion and a liberal supply of beer was given to the populace.' (fn. 51) Since 1850, when a branch of the London and North Western railway from Verney Junction was opened at Buckingham, the canal has fallen into disuse and is rapidly becoming silted up. A further stage in modern progress is marked about this date by the publication of a local paper, the Buckingham Advertiser, which has appeared regularly since 1854, whilst in 1865 the Buckingham Express was also started.
There is nothing in the appearance of modern Buckingham to justify the strictures of Lipscomb, who says 'it presents neither interesting, picturesque nor attractive features. . . . It is nearly surrounded by the River Ouse; yet not one line has been written by those who have undertaken to describe it which can be construed into a favourable account of its situation.' (fn. 52) On the contrary, the approach and general view are exceedingly pleasing, with the winding river surrounding the town on three sides, and the red roofs of the prevailing 18th-century brick houses clustered round a central eminence on which the church stands embowered in limes. Many of the houses are inclosed in walled gardens, whose trees add to the picturesque effect, while the beautiful avenue of beeches and elms, 1½ miles in length, north-east of Buckingham, leading to Stowe Park, and Maids Moreton Avenue in the north-west add great variety and beauty to the scenery.
The market square, though less spacious and open than in earlier days, is still the most suitable starting-point for a description of modern as of ancient Buckingham. There is sufficient slope of the ground from west to east to give character to the square, at whose south-western extremity stands the Town Hall. This is a pleasing and simple brick building of late 17th-century date. It is of two stories with a hipped roof surmounted by a clock turret and a copper figure of the Buckingham swan. The lower story, which towards the square has a blank arcade pierced by a wide central doorway, is occupied by offices. The hall is in the lofty upper floor, approached by a fine original oak stairway. The effect of this building has been somewhat marred by cutting back the north end for the purpose of widening Castle Street. At the east end of the square is the lower part of an 18th-century structure with Roman Doric columns, formerly used as a town and county building, but now converted into a shop.
The old borough gaol, standing isolated at the north-east of Market Square, was erected in 1748. It is a rectangular stone building with corner turrets and embattled parapets and a semicircular gateway towards the square, which was added in 1839. The open space to the west is now occupied by picturesque 17th-century cottages used as shops, marking the site and still retaining the name of the ancient Bull Ring. The houses, chiefly shops, on the north and south of the square are of varying age, those of 18th-century type predominating, but some few of the 17th century, timber-framed with brick or plaster filling and thatched or tiled roofs, still exist. On the south side is the White Hart Hotel, an ancient hostelry, altered and enlarged during the last century. 'The Three Cups,' also an old sign, is near by. On the same side, nearer the gaol, is Christ's Hospital, rebuilt in 1897 on the same site as the old 16th-century almshouses.
On the north side of Market Hill is the chapel of St. John the Baptist, till recently used as the Latin school. It measures internally 16 ft. 6 in. by 37 ft. 6 in., and is built of stone rubble with a tiled roof; on what may be called the east gable, though the chapel is not correctly orientated, is a bellcote. The building probably dates from the latter part of the 12th century. It retains its original south doorway, which has a round arch of two enriched orders and a dog-tooth label, the cheveron moulded outer order being supported by modern detached shafts with original foliated capitals and enriched abaci. In the east wall is a five-light window with late 15th-century jambs and head, but modern tracery, and at the east end of the south wall is a late 15th-century traceried window of two lights which has been restored. The other windows, of which one at the south-west gives light to a west gallery, are modern. The chapel is plastered internally and has a dado of 18th-century oak panelling and an open timber roof, the eastern truss of which dates from the 15th century, though it has been somewhat mutilated, while the other trusses are of a later period. In the south wall is a 15th-century trefoiled piscina, the bowl of which is missing, and there is a locker in the north wall and a cupboard near the south doorway. The front of the gallery is made up of flat twisted balusters and 17th-century carved bench ends, one of the latter bears the name 'Thomas Grove Gent'; two are dated 1626 and 1652 respectively, while the central four have shields of the family of Ingoldsby and its alliances. (fn. 53)
The market square prolongs itself at its eastern extremity into High Street, which contains several 16th and 17th-century houses. High Street is a short and comparatively unimportant thoroughfare, for the principal development of the borough has taken place west of the market square where the main thoroughfares, West Street, Castle Street, and Bridge Street, converge. West Street, leading from the square on to the Brackley Road, is chiefly noteworthy as containing Castle House, which is a brick building with stone dressings, two stories in height with an attic, originally dating perhaps from the 15th century. It was considerably altered at the beginning of the 17th century and again about the end of that period, when the present front with moulded stone dressings was built. The original hall remains, though now subdivided, and retains its traceried brackets and cusped roof, the latter being now concealed by a ceiling. At the north-east of the lower part of the hall is an original moulded doorway. Here also is a carved oak mantelpiece, dated 1619, with a late 17th-century overmantel, and in one of the two oak-panelled rooms on the first floor is another early 17th-century mantelpiece. Built into the wall at the north end of the hall is a stone inscribed [see below], and there are two similar stones in the west wall of the east wing.
Castle Street, containing many fine specimens of 18th-century domestic architecture, leads to the Castle Hill, on which the parish church now stands among lime trees. Running at right angles to Castle Street and skirting the east base of the hill is a small lane whose name, Elm Street, commemorates a certain historic elm tree which for many centuries stood at its foot. Known as 'Cutterne Elme,' it is mentioned in 1574, (fn. 54) and is marked in Speed's map of 1610 and also, though not by name, in Jeffrys' map of 1788. Leading from Castle Hill on the west is Church Street, in which is situated Barton's Hospital, consisting of a group of almshouses founded by John Barton in 1431, rebuilt in 1701, as recorded on a contemporary stone now reinserted in the pediment of the present building, which was erected in 1910.
At the foot of Church Street is the old disused graveyard in which the church formerly stood, and in which is still preserved the stump of the old market cross of about 1400, moved here about 1858. (fn. 55) In this part of Buckingham, known as Prebend End, is the vicarage with grounds sloping back down to the Ouse. The building, which dates from the 17th century, is of stone with a modern plastered front. Its site may be identified with that 'croft called Walnut Yard,' granted for a vicar's house on the institution of a vicarage in 1445. (fn. 56) To the north of the vicarage are some early 17th-century stone cottages coated on the side towards the street with cement; that next the vicarage is of three stories with attics, and has three stone dormers on the east front and an original brick chimney stack of two diagonal shafts on the south gable. Adjacent to the vicarage is the ancient Prebend House, a two-storied brick building with tiled roofs dating from the 16th century, though somewhat altered subsequently. At the north end is a very picturesque twisted chimney built of brick in the Tudor period, which is a charming and well-preserved example of its type.
From the south-west end of the Market Square, Bridge Street, an irregular and narrow street with no particular architectural features, runs due south through the town on to the modern high road to London. The Ouse is here crossed by a stone bridge erected in 1805 by the Marquess of Buckingham. (fn. 57) The iron lattice footbridge adjacent replaces an ancient stone bridge, known in the 16th century as the Sheriff's Bridge, which was the old coach-road approach from London before the present high road was cut. Other bridges over the Ouse by which the borough is entered are the Lord's Bridge in Prebend End, a brick double-arched bridge erected in the middle of the last century, and Castle Bridge, built about the same time, by which the town is approached from Tingewick. Both these bridges mark the sites of ancient structures. Not far from Castle Bridge is the 'Conduit House,' built in the 17th century, and inclosing one of the ancient wells or springs dedicated to St. Rumbold. (fn. 58) On the west side of Well Street, (fn. 59) also recalling the saint, is Wycliffe House, an old stone building of two stories and attics with an 18th-century plastered front. The name of Podds Lane, which is found as early as the 14th century, is unfortunately disappearing, but Speed's map still enables one to identify it with Maids Moreton Road on the north-east of Market Square.
In Hunter Street and Mitre Street at the south of the town are some old thatched cottages; the Mitre Inn, which gives its name to the latter, is a half-timber and brick house of two stories and attics, dating from the 17th century. The new and growing part of Buckingham is in this quarter of the town, particularly in the neighbourhood of the Chandos Road, which was constructed about the middle of the 19th century as an approach to the railway station. On the south side of this road the new buildings of the St. John's Latin Grammar School were erected in 1908.
The parish and borough boundaries of Buckingham are conterminous, and include the hamlet of Bourton with a few farm-houses east of Buckingham. Gawcott is an ecclesiastical parish formed 4 Nov., 1862, with the hamlet of Lenborough and precinct of Prebend End These places are rural in character, and the entire area of the parish is 4,974 acres, of which 340 are arable, 1,972 permanent grass, and 16 woods and plantations. (fn. 60) The geological formation of the soil is cornbrash chiefly, with great oolite in the neighbourhood of the Ouse.
On the hill where stands to-day the parish church there formerly stood a Norman castle, the seat of the Giffards, which was erected shortly after the Conquest. (fn. 61) Comparatively little mention of it has been found, but an early tradition connects the castle with the story of Hereward, who is said to have been taken by the craft of Ivo Taillebois and lodged here for a time. (fn. 62) In 1279 under the heading of the castle William de Braose is said to hold 3 carucates of land in demesne with a free fishery. (fn. 63) Giles de Braose, his son, died seised in 1305 of a 'capital messuage called the Castle of Buckingham, worth nothing.' (fn. 64) In 1307 and again in 1312 the name of Buckingham appears in lists of castles to be defended and victualled. (fn. 65) In 1453 the site of the castle (where the courts of the manor were still held) was leased to Thomas Smythe, (fn. 66) and the accounts of the manor for 1473 include the cost of various tiles, tile pins, nails, &c., required for the repair of the cook's chamber, the stables, and 'le Garet' within the castle. (fn. 67) Camden speaks of the castle 'seated in the middle of the town upon a great mount, of the very ruins of which scarce anything now remains.' (fn. 68) Thomas Baskerville, who flourished under Charles II, also makes mention of the ruins. (fn. 69) On the erection in 1777–81 of the present parish church on Castle Hill all trace of the castle was finally lost (fn. 70) except the oval keep mound, which still stands, though fragments of foundations are from time to time discovered when digging on the site.
The earliest authentic mention of Buckingham borough occursc. 915 A.D., when Edward the Elder fortified it against the Danes. (fn. 71) Nothing remains of the 'burh' on the side of the river opposite to Buckingham save perhaps the name Lenborough, (fn. 72) and there is no trace of two separate settlements such as is found, for example, in Bedford (fn. 73) or other towns where both sides of the river were fortified. The boundaries of the parish and borough appear to have been conterminous from a very early date, and are set forth in the charter of 1553. They ran from a certain bridge called Dudley Bridge, situated in the west of the parish, to Thornborough bridge in the east, and from a certain stream (rivolo) on the north called 'Chackmore Broke' to a bridge situated on the south called 'Padbury Mylle Brydge.' (fn. 74)
Under the Confessor the borough, together with Bourton, was assessed at 1 hide, (fn. 75) which was also the assessment under the Survey of 1086. (fn. 76) Shortly after this latter date the borough was granted as part of Buckingham Manor to Walter Giffard, and the descent of the overlordship henceforward exercised within the borough is traced under Buckingham Manor (q.v. below). The lords of the manor held the borough of the honour of Gloucester by knight service, (fn. 77) nor does it appear that at any time a fixed fee-farm rent was exacted. In the 12th century the borough was occasionally called on to share in an aid; and again in 1234 the men of the manor of Buckingham were distrained for 6 marks owing from a tallage. (fn. 78)
Buckingham was not incorporated by charter until the middle of the 16th century, about which date it also was freed from that dependence on an overlord which had served hitherto as a check on its expansion. The first charter was granted by Queen Mary on the entreaty of the inhabitants of the borough and in return for their loyalty during the rebellion of the Duke of Northumberland, and is dated 27 January 1553–4. By this charter Buckingham was created a free borough under the name of the Bailiff and Burgesses of the parish and borough of Buckingham. The jurisdictional rights of the borough were recorded, its officers named, and its boundaries defined. (fn. 79) Under Charles II Buckingham, in common with many other boroughs, was compelled to surrender its charter, receiving a fresh incorporation in 1684 under the title of Mayor and Aldermen of the borough and parish of Buckingham. (fn. 80) Four years later the corporation were involved in a dispute with James II, and were obliged to pay £100 for the defence of their charter, (fn. 81) which they were obliged again to surrender. James II in 1688 restored to them all the liberties which they had enjoyed under the charters of 1554 and 1684. (fn. 82) The corporation afterwards availed themselves of the proclamation for restoring surrendered charters by resuming the charter of 1554, (fn. 83) under which they still continued to act at the time of the Royal Commission of 1835. (fn. 84)
The burgesses of Buckingham are mentioned twice in Domesday. Under the survey of the borough it is stated that there are in Buckingham twenty-six burgesses, while following the survey is a list of twenty-seven burgesses and their overlords. (fn. 85) Mr. Round considers that these may be regarded as two separate entries, and that the first represents those burgesses dwelling on the king's land, while the second refers to houses in the county town held by lords of Buckinghamshire manors. (fn. 86)
The burgess-ship was dependent on tenure within the borough, but does not appear to have been limited to an hereditary class. William Fowler, for instance, held upwards of twenty burgage tenements within the town, some of which were devised to him by will. (fn. 87) Nor does residence within the borough appear to have been necessary, at any rate previous to the 16th century. Thus John Saunders of Tingewick held half a burgage in Castle Street in 1473 which had formerly been held by John Walter of Adstock. (fn. 88) By the charter of incorporation of 1554 to 'depart and dwell without the said borough and parish' involved the loss of burgess rights. (fn. 89)
The rent of a burgage tenement in the 15th century was 7d., (fn. 90) and, as the total burgage rents vary at this time from 60s. to 70s., (fn. 91) it would appear that the burgess roll might include upwards of 100 names. Against this number must be placed the minimizing fact that one person might and did, as cited above in the case of William Fowler, hold several burgage tenements. A list of burgesses drawn up in 1549 gives nineteen names, including those of three widows of burgesses. (fn. 92) By the charter of incorporation of 1554 there was created a governing class of twelve principal burgesses, who were to be elected for life from the 'inhabitants' of the borough and parish, and who, in addition to the government of the borough, were to share with the bailiff the privilege of electing members for Parliament. (fn. 93) This latter privilege led to great political abuse, and was the occasion of much protest from the burgesses or freemen of Buckingham, as those outside the governing class but holding corporate rights are henceforward called. According to the report of 1835 there were no longer any freemen in the borough, (fn. 94) but Sheahan, writing some thirty years later, says that three freemen were then living. (fn. 95) The fees for election of principal burgesses in 1835 were £19 13s., including £9 for two barrels of beer for public distribution. (fn. 96) Under the Reform Act of 1835 the name of burgesses was altered to that of councillors and their term of office restricted to three years. (fn. 97)
Under the charter granted to Buckingham by Charles II in 1684 the twelve principal burgesses were superseded by twelve aldermen, each of whom was a 'Paterfamilias Anglice an householder' within the borough and parish, and held there either a free tenement of £5 or £100 in goods and chattels. (fn. 98) Their office is confirmed in the charter of James II of 1688. (fn. 99) Shortly afterwards the governing charter of 1554 was resumed, and with it the name of principal burgesses is once more applied to these officers of the borough. Under the Reform Act of 1835 Buckingham has as part of its governing body four aldermen holding office for six years.
The bailiff is the most ancient of the Buckingham corporation officers, and mention of him has first been found early in the 14th century, (fn. 100) though the office is doubtless considerably older. He was the head officer of the borough, writs were directed to him, (fn. 101) he presided over the portmotes, (fn. 102) and he was also responsible to the lord of the borough for profits arising from the overlordship. (fn. 103) The charter of incorporation of 1554, by which the borough obtained a great increase of self-government, also defines the office of the bailiff. His election was to take place yearly, on the feast of SS. Philip and James, and he was to be chosen by the inhabitants of the borough from two chief burgesses nominated by the remaining chief burgesses. On the occasion of the death or removal from office of the bailiff a fresh election was to be made within eight days. The bailiff on his election took an oath to execute his office faithfully. He presided over the various courts connected with the borough jurisdiction, writs for Parliamentary elections were directed to him, and he was also escheator, coroner and clerk of the market. (fn. 104) Under the Reform Act of 1835 the office of bailiff was abolished in favour of a mayor. (fn. 105)
It has been stated by Willis and other historians that as early as the 14th century Buckingham was governed by a mayor. This statement appears to rest on an entry in the Close Roll in which a writ is cited of a summons to attend Parliament directed to the 'Mayor and Bailiffs' of Buckingham. (fn. 106) The original writ has not been preserved, and the reference to the mayor is doubtless due to the carelessness of the scribe who drew up the list of towns among which it occurs. For a short period, however, in the 17th century the town was governed by a mayor. Under the charter of 1684 the governing officer was so called and was to exercise the same authority as had hitherto belonged to the bailiff. (fn. 107) Thomas Hillsdon was the first mayor, (fn. 108) and was followed by Hugh Ethersey in 1685, William Hartley in 1686, and Edward Purcel in 1687. (fn. 109) In this last-named year in pursuance of the policy of James II, by which he hoped to secure a Parliament which would pass the Declaration of Indulgence, three mayors within the course of three months were removed from office by Orders in Council. (fn. 110) On the resumption of the charter of 1554 which followed shortly afterwards the office of bailiff was restored, and that of mayor remained in abeyance until, under the Reform Act, it was once more restored.
The office of steward of the borough dates from the charter of 1554. (fn. 111) He was elected by the bailiff and principal burgesses, and shared with the former officer the presidency of the borough court of record. He also acted as justice of the peace, with power to appoint a deputy. (fn. 112) In 1835 the stewardship was held by the Duke of Buckingham. (fn. 113) Lord Addington is the present steward. The under-bailiff (whose duties in 1835 were combined with those of macebearer (fn. 114)) was a minor official also mentioned in the governing charter. His duties included the summoning of juries and the execution of processes. (fn. 115) He also attended the Corporation with the mace and acted as crier of the borough court. (fn. 116)
Buckingham Borough was not granted a recorder under either of its charters of incorporation, and the office does not appear before the 18th century. In 1835 the recorder was elected for life by the bailiff and burgesses; he received no salary and acted as justice of the peace and sat in the borough sessions. (fn. 117) The office is now abolished.
The town clerk, an important modern official, is not mentioned in any of the early charters. In 1835 he was appointed by the steward and acted as his deputy. (fn. 118) His duties then, as now, were to transact the law business of the corporation.
The lord of Buckingham Manor had rights of jurisdiction until the 16th century, when Buckingham became a free borough by incorporation. The rights included a view of frankpledge, burgess courts and portmotes. (fn. 119) The view was held annually, probably at the castle with the view for Bourton Manor. (fn. 120) The burgess court (curia burgencium) was held twice yearly, on the same day as and immediately preceding a portmote, (fn. 121) and appears to have been little more than a roll call of the burgesses, when defaulting suitors were fined. The portmotes were held every fortnight, and, as their name implies, were of ancient standing. An early 13th-century charter, by which John son of Richard Bretel confirmed to William Eschiret his messuage in Buckingham, was witnessed by the whole portmote. (fn. 122) The court was held by the bailiff, and a variety of cases arising from the local government of the borough were presented. Rolls of Portmote for the year 1453–4 are preserved at the Public Record Office, and there are also rolls for 1548 to 1553 preserved among the borough records. The entries are concerned with debts, admission to burgess tenements, the assize of bread and ale, and the regulation of trade. In 1552 butchers, townsmen as well as 'foreigners,' were ordered to sell their tallow 'roughe at the beame' for 20s. the stone, whilst tallow-chandlers were to sell their candles at 2s. 6d. the dozen, 'that is 2½d. a pound.' (fn. 123) In the same year it was ordered that after Shrove Tuesday no person was to bake any kind of 'kake' with butter within the borough precincts on pain of forfeiture of 20d. for every batch. (fn. 124) Under the charter of incorporation the portmotes were superseded by a court held every three weeks, where all causes not exceeding £5 could be tried. It was to be held before the bailiff, the steward, and three principal burgesses. (fn. 125) It was never much used and has been in disuse since 1818. (fn. 126) Buckingham also obtained under its charter the right to hold a view of frankpledge twice yearly, at Michaelmas and Easter, and a court leet. For this privilege the borough was to pay 20s. yearly to the Exchequer. (fn. 127) This court appears to have fallen into desuetude before the commission of 1835. At the present day petty sessions for the borough are held fortnightly.
The borough was allowed by charter of 1554 to have a common seal, (fn. 128) and the arms of the town were ratified by William Harvey Clarencieux in 1566. (fn. 129) There are two seals preserved among the municipal insignia, the older of silver and the other a modern brass one, both bearing the same device. (fn. 130) The insignia also includes a 17th-century silver-gilt mace and a mayor's chain and badge presented by Sir E. H. Verney, bart., in 1884. (fn. 131)
Although an ancient borough, Buckingham did not exert its privilege of sending representatives regularly to Parliament until the 16th century. A writ of summons to attend a Parliament is found cited on the Close Roll of 1353, (fn. 132) but neither the original writ nor any returns have been preserved. The next writ and return on record is that for 1529, when John Haselwood and Edward Sooll were elected members, (fn. 133) and from this date onwards elections were made regularly. Under the charter of 1554 (fn. 134) and also that of 1684 (fn. 135) the borough was confirmed in its right of returning two burgesses to sit in Parliament. Disputes have arisen at various times as to the mode of election. In 1660 Francis Ingoldsby, a defeated candidate, petitioned against the election of John Dormer, raising the point that with the freemen at large and not with the bailiff and twelve burgesses rested the right of election. The question was referred to the Committee of Privileges, who decided that under the charter of Mary the right of election was vested in the bailiff and burgesses only. (fn. 136) This limitation of the vote led to Buckingham later occupying a unique position as a rotten borough under the influence of the Dukes of Buckingham. In the election of 1678–9 we read that 'the Duke of Buckingham went himself to the town and made it his business to persuade the people not to choose Lord Latimer or Sir Richard Temple.' (fn. 137) In this case he was unsuccessful, though his defeated candidate, Sir Philip Tyrrel, laid a petition against Sir Richard Temple's election, complaining of undue returns made by the bailiff. (fn. 138) During the remainder of the 17th century repeated though unsuccessful attempts were made on the part of the freeholders to control the elections. (fn. 139) The Municipal Corporations' Report of 1835 revealed a very corrupt state of affairs in the borough, where, for at least thirty years, no greater number of electors than eleven had been polled. (fn. 140) The corporation, stated the report, was under the control and management of the Duke of Buckingham and had 'for a long time served as an instrument for enabling the patron of the borough to return two members and nothing more.' (fn. 141) It is further stated that a greater part of the income of the corporation was derived from £30 paid by the Duke of Buckingham as 'Rent of the Shambles in the Market House.' The shambles were of no profit to the duke, but the rent was very important in defraying the bailiff's expenses, mostly 'idle and unnecessary feasting,' as the report points out. (fn. 142) No change was made in the representation of the borough, however, until under the Act of 1867 Buckingham was limited to one member. Later, under the Redistribution of Seats Act of 1885, the representation of the borough was merged in that of the county. Amongst members who have represented Buckingham in Parliament occur the names of Henry Cary, Lord Hunsdon, who was returned in 1547, 1554 and 1555, Sir Edmund Verney, member in 1624, Sir Ralph Verney in 1680, Sir Richard Temple in 1697, 1708 and 1710, Browne Willis, the county historian, in 1705–8, Sir George Nugent in 1790–1800, Sir William Young in 1806, and Thomas Francis Fremantle, first Lord Cottesloe, in 1830–46. (fn. 143)
The history can be traced within the borough of various organized craft-gilds which by the 17th century had assembled themselves under four fellowships or societies, namely (1) the Mercers, which included 'Mercers, Grocers, Haberdashers, Linendrapers, Woollendrapers, Clothiers, Silkmen, Goldsmiths, Apothecaries, Salters, Ironmongers, Chandlers (honey or wax), and Hat or Capmakers'; (2) the Cordwainers, which included 'Shoemakers, Tanners, Glovers, Parchmentmakers, Sadlers, Collarmakers, Girdlemakers, Poynters and Poyntmakers'; (3) the Tailors, which included 'Taylors, Dyers, Fullers, Weavers, Smiths, Glasiers, Pewterers, Brasiers, Fletchers, Furbishers and Painters'; and (4) the Butchers, which included 'Butchers, Bakers, Brewers, Cooks and Millers.' (fn. 144) In short, though this list is compiled at a comparatively late date in gild history, it is evident that the Buckingham gilds comprised within their membership all the trades practised within the borough.
Of these companies the earliest mention is found in the 15th century and refers to the cordwainers, of whom five shoemakers and four tanners all held stalls in the market-place at a yearly rent of 12d. each. (fn. 145) The shoemakers carried on an active trade in the borough, as appears from various entries in contemporary documents. Thus in 1563 John Ashebie was fined 2s. 8d. at the bailiff's court for offering for sale three pairs of double-soled shoes whose inner soles were made of horse leather contrary to the form of the statute. (fn. 146) At the same court William Park was fined 8d. for selling shoes with an outer sole of bullock and an inner of horse leather. (fn. 147) This regulation of industry in order to produce good and carefully made articles was one of the two main objects of the gilds. The other was to keep the outsider or 'foreigner' from trading within the borough, save on payment of heavy fees. These two points are emphasized in the ordinances which were drawn up for the governance of the craftsmen of the borough by the bailiff and burgesses in 1573 and which are still preserved among the borough records. (fn. 148) By these ordinances two of the 'most discretest' men were to be chosen by the craftsmen as wardens of the gilds, taking their oath of office before the bailiff and burgesses. The wardens remained in office for one year, during which time they regulated the trade and finance of the gilds, presenting defaulters at the borough court. They had the right to summon independent meetings, at least two such meetings of the whole company to be held yearly. Any freeman or son of a freeman on entering the gild paid for his 'setting up' a gallon of good wine to the bailiff and burgesses and no more. Any foreigners wishing to 'sett open' their shop windows for the sale of goods had to pay the following fines: shoemaker and glovers £4 10s., tanner £3, parchment-makers and saddlers 40s.; girdle-makers, collar-makers and bottle-makers 30s. each. If a foreigner married the widow of a craftsman and wished to practise such craft, he paid the fine for permission either on his wedding day or within eight days. No foreigners were to be allowed to sell on market days until they had compounded for their freedom. The statutory ordinances concerning seven years' apprenticeship were also strictly to be enforced. In all cases where fines were levied for non-compliance, the money was to be divided in varying proportions between the borough and gild chests. These ordinances are witnessed by the bailiff, burgesses and 'the occupiers of the said mysteries and crafts,' from which it appears that there were at this time in Buckingham seven shoemakers, three glovers, one parchment-maker, two saddlers, one collar-maker, one tanner, and Thomas 'Taylor.' (fn. 149) A further set of ordinances, whose substance is much the same, has been preserved for the year 1663. The fees for the admission of foreigners to any of the four companies into which the crafts were then divided had been raised by this date. The fine for admission to the Mercers was £15, to the Cordwainers £9, and to the Tailors and Butchers £6 each. There were also two wardens for each company, and the number of traders in the borough had greatly increased, for under the heading of the Mercers' Company appear the signatures of twenty-seven members, under the Cordwainers' twenty-eight, under the Tailors' twenty-nine, and under the Butchers' thirty-three. (fn. 150) These ordinances were again placed on record in 1690, (fn. 151) but after this date, when the membership of the gild had become identical with the freedom of the borough, no further reference has been found to these trades gilds.
Buckingham has the right of holding within the borough markets and fairs, whose tolls until the 16th century belonged to the lord of the manor, (fn. 152) and have since formed part of the corporation revenues. In 1327 one-third of their value was said to be 13s. 4d., (fn. 153) and 16s. 2½d. is entered on the accounts of Buckingham Manor in 1473. (fn. 154) At this latter date the stalls were let at rents varying from 4d. to 16d., and two spaces in the market were reserved for the sale of fish. (fn. 155) In 1835 the tolls were leased out by the corporation for £33. (fn. 156) Under the charter of 1554 the market was held on Tuesday, (fn. 157) which day was changed in 1684 to Saturday, (fn. 158) when the market is still held. Of late years an additional market has been held on Monday. In the charter of incorporation of 1554 two fairs are mentioned, that held from mid-day of the feast of St. Matthew (21 September) till mid-day following, and a similar one held on St. Mark's Day (25 April). (fn. 159) In 1684 two fairs were held under the charter, on the Monday after Epiphany (6 January) and St. Mark's Day as before. (fn. 160) At the close of the 18th century ten fairs were held in Buckingham, on 10 January, 30 January, 6 March, 6 May, Thursday in Whitsun week, 10 July, 14 September, 2 October, the Saturday after 11 October, and 8 November. (fn. 161) In addition to these Sheahan mentions two others as being held in the middle of the last century, one on the second Monday in April and one on 13 December. (fn. 162) Four fairs are still held in the borough, on the third Saturday in June, the first Saturday in September, a pleasure fair on the Saturday after old Michaelmas Day, and on the Saturday following a hiring fair.
In accordance with the statute of 1496 regulating weights and measures, Buckingham as county town had the custody of the standard weights and measures for the shire. (fn. 163) These weights were made from a pattern sent down from London, and were kept in the custody of the bailiff. (fn. 164) In 1509 a note is found in the state papers of the return to Westminster of a bushel, a gallon, and a yard of brass which had been used for Buckingham. (fn. 165) In 1549 the weights and measures delivered to the newly-elected bailiff consisted of 'a brasyn Stryke, a brasyn Gallon, a brasyn yard brokyn.' (fn. 166)
In the survey of 1086 BUCKINGHAM MANOR, with which was included the borough, was assessed at 1 hide and belonged to the Crown. (fn. 167) It was granted shortly after this date to Walter Giffard, son of an earlier Walter Giffard who was a cousin of the Conqueror. (fn. 168) He was already an important landowner in the county, and probably acquired Buckingham on his creation as Earl of Buckingham, to which title he is said to have been raised by William II. (fn. 169) He died in 1102, and was succeeded by his son Walter Giffard, whose name, together with that of Ermengarde his wife, occurs in the foundation charter of Nutley Abbey. (fn. 170) On the death of the second Earl of Buckingham without issue in 1164 his lands were divided among his heirs, and Buckingham passed to Richard de Clare, who was great-grandson of Richard Fitz Gilbert by Rohais sister of Walter first Earl of Buckingham. (fn. 171) Richard de Clare granted Buckingham in dower on the marriage of his daughter (whose name has not been preserved) with William de Braose, jun. (fn. 172) A change here occurs in the method of tenure; whereas Buckingham Manor had hitherto been held of the Crown in chief as part of the Giffard Honour or honour of Gloucester, that honour is now intermediary between the Crown and the manor. From the 13th to the 16th century the Earls of Gloucester and Stafford, representing the honour, appear as overlords. (fn. 173) As regards the mesne descent, William de Braose, jun., held the manor until his death, which appears to have taken place prior to 1215. (fn. 174) He is described as junior to distinguish him from his more celebrated father and namesake, a rebel baron of King John. Dugdale's account of this family is confused, (fn. 175) and the chroniclers are contradictory in their statements, but it is alleged that as an outcome of his father's rebellion he and his mother were starved to death by order of the king. (fn. 176) He left a son John de Braose, (fn. 177) on whose death in or about the year 1232 the guardianship of his two sons passed to Peter de Rivall. (fn. 178) Margaret widow of John appears to have been reluctant to allow Peter to act, for in the following year her dower in Buckingham Manor was assigned to him until she should give up her sons. (fn. 179) William de Braose, the elder of the two, is mentioned as responsible for a debt of his father in 1245, (fn. 180) but did not obtain full possession of the manor till 1259, when his mother, who had married Walter de Clifford, (fn. 181) surrendered all claim in the name of dower in return for £40 yearly. (fn. 182) She was still alive in 1268, when a further settlement was made. (fn. 183)
In 1276–7 William de Braose claimed estover in Whittlewood Forest as appurtenant to Buckingham Manor. (fn. 184) His death took place some time before 1284, when his son William held the vill of Buckingham (fn. 185) and half the hamlet of Bourton. (fn. 186) He was succeeded by Giles de Braose, whose exact relationship to him has not been ascertained. (fn. 187) On the death of Giles in 1305 the manor passed to his son John, then aged three. (fn. 188) In 1325 John de Braose, together with Sara his wife, made a settlement of two parts of the manor on Robert Spigurnell, (fn. 189) the third part being still retained by Mary widow of William de Braose, (fn. 190) who died in the following year. (fn. 191) In 1328 John de Braose is found complaining that various persons had broken his tumbrel erected on his soil at Buckingham, carrying away the wood of which it was composed, and had assaulted his servant and felled his trees. (fn. 192) His name occurs again in 1335, when he granted a shop in the High Street to Peter Dove the tailor and Lora his wife, (fn. 193) and also in 1346. (fn. 194) It seems likely, however, that the return of 1387, which states that the honour of Gloucester has as tenant here 'John son of Giles de Braose, (fn. 195) is an error, and that the manor had already passed to John Frome, who held it in 1399, (fn. 196) and who had married Elizabeth daughter and heir of John de Braose. (fn. 197) John Frome died seised of the manor in 1404, which then passed to his daughter and co-heir Isabella wife of Bernard Missenden. (fn. 198) Isabella was a widow in 1409 with two daughters, Katherine, aged one year, and Alice, aged four days. (fn. 199) She married a second husband, John Cheyne, (fn. 200) who made a settlement of the manor in 1433 (fn. 201) and again in 1443. (fn. 202) William son of John Cheyne in 1446 released all right in the manor to Robert Heworth and Robert Marshall (fn. 203) (feoffees in the settlement of 1443), and an alienation then took place by which Buckingham passed to Humphrey Stafford, (fn. 204) created Duke of Buckingham on 14 September, 1444. (fn. 205) It was retained by the Dukes of Buckingham until, on the attainder of Edward Duke of Buckingham in 1521, it escheated to the Crown.
About this date the name of Buckingham Manor drops out, and in future grants the lordship is termed that of Buckingham Borough (which together with the site of the castle appears to have formed the sole extent of the manor). In 1522 Sir Henry Marny received a grant of Buckingham. (fn. 206) He died in the following year, (fn. 207) and was succeeded by his son John Lord Marny, on whose death without issue in 1525 the borough again reverted to the Crown. (fn. 208) A further royal grant was made in 1526 to William Carey. (fn. 209) His death took place in 1528, when his son and heir Henry Carey was under three years of age. (fn. 210) Henry Carey retained Buckingham in his possession until 1552, when he sold the borough to Robert Brocas. (fn. 211) He died seised in 1557, and Buckingham passed to his son Bernard Brocas. (fn. 212) An alienation to the corporation of Buckingham of his rights in the borough was made by Bernard Brocas, (fn. 213) as first appears from a memorandum in the Corporation Ledger Book under the date 1574, (fn. 214) stating that Bernard Brocas in 1572 had leased to William Brooke, glover, Adam Costardyne and others, apparently burgesses, tenements in Castle Street, Well Street and elsewhere at a nominal rent for 2,000 years. (fn. 215) The lease to the corporation reserved a quit-rent of 40s. yearly to the representatives of Bernard Brocas, the reversion of which was later purchased by the family of Temple of Stowe (fn. 216) (q.v.), from whom it passed by descent to the Dukes of Buckingham and Chandos, who were till recently considered lords paramount of the borough. (fn. 217) This rent is no longer paid. (fn. 218)
The manor of BOURTON was assessed with Buckingham at Domesday, (fn. 219) and continued to be held with that manor (q.v.) till the 16th century. It is not always distinguished from it by name in early documents, but enough records exist to show that it preserved a separate identity. In 1254–5 Walter de Clifford held II virgates in villeinage here in right of his wife Margaret. (fn. 220) William de Braose held the hamlet in 1284, (fn. 221) and his widow Mary held onethird in dower in 1326–7. (fn. 222) John Frome, lord of both manors, dying in 1404, left 100s. by will to his 'natives' of Bourton. (fn. 223) In the series of settlements by which Humphrey Duke of Buckingham eventually became possessed of Buckingham and Bourton the two manors are carefully distinguished by name, (fn. 224) and on his death in 1460 Bourton was assessed at 20 marks. (fn. 225) The accounts of this manor have been preserved for the year beginning Easter 1473. The rents of assize, besides 20s. from various tenants, included a pepper rent from Thomas More (which is to appear again later), and 6d. from John Helwell, representing the value of a pair of gilt spurs, which he paid for right of way to his mill in the lord's demesne. There were other rents of capons and cocks, while the Abbot of Oseney paid 4 bushels of corn (or 20d., its value) for the right of holding an annual view of frankpledge at Dadford. (fn. 226) There were also thirty tenants at will, some of whom held within the borough, in Castle End, Castle Street and Well Street, representing in part the district now known as Bourton Hold. (fn. 227) Until 1560 Bourton Manor continued to follow the same descent as Buckingham (q.v.), being alienated in that year by Bernard Brocas and Ann his wife to Nicholas West, Joan his wife and William West, their son. (fn. 228) Edmund West, a member of this family, died seised of the manor in 1618, leaving a son and heir Edmund, under eleven years of age. (fn. 229) His widow Theodosia subsequently married George Pratt, and in 1629, on the occasion of her son's coming of age, joined with both husband and son in a settlement of the manor by fine. (fn. 230) Already before this date meadow land, called Goosemead, part of Bourton Manor, had been purchased by Ferdinand Pulton, who already owned an estate in Bourton. (fn. 231) His son and heir Francis appears to have subsequently acquired the whole of the manor, which he alienated to Richard Minshull, member of an Essex family, who was lord of the manor in 1634. (fn. 232) A Royalist in sympathy, he was compelled to compound heavily for his estates under the Commonwealth. He resided at Bourton until his death in 1667. (fn. 233) His son Richard Minshull died in 1684, in which year his son and heir, also named Richard, suffered a recovery of the manor. (fn. 234) This Richard Minshull was, according to Willis, of extravagant habits, and lived in great splendour at Bourton. In 1692 he was already in money difficulties, being in arrears as assignee of the impropriate tithes of Bourton. (fn. 235) Early in 1699–1700 he settled the manor by fine on Charles Vallopp and others, probably as a mortgage. (fn. 236) In 1712 he was imprisoned as a debtor in the King's Bench, and died there 17 January 1729–30. (fn. 237) His daughter and heir Mary Minshull was still living in 1735. (fn. 238) The manor appears to have been sold shortly after to the Verney family, (fn. 239) by whom it was retained until at the beginning of the 19th century Andrew Douglas purchased it from the trustees of the late Earl Verney. (fn. 240) By the middle of the century it had passed to Mr. W. O. Hammond, (fn. 241) whose representative, Colonel W. Hammond, is still a principal landowner in Bourton.
The estate known as PREBEND END MANOR alias BUCKINGHAM WITH GAWCOTT MANOR formed part of the endowment of Buckingham Church at the time of the Survey. It then included land for four ploughs, a mill worth £10, meadow and wood for fences, worth in all £6 in Buckingham, (fn. 242) and i hide in Gawcott. (fn. 243) Until after the Reformation, when it became a lay fee, the manor belonged to the prebendaries of Sutton cum Buckingham in Lincoln Cathedral. Thus in 1254 Matthew, also Archdeacon of Buckingham, claimed jura regalia in a hide of land in Gawcott attached to his prebend. (fn. 244) Another early prebendary was Cardinal Neapolio, who appears to have held the prebendal stall for upwards of forty years, and whose name is found mentioned first in 1298. (fn. 245) He seems to have resided little in this country, for in that year the Abbot of Biddlesden is found resigning the 'chapel' of Buckingham (which he had leased for a term of years) into the hands of the cardinal's proctor, (fn. 246) and in 1303 the cardinal himself, 'staying beyond seas,' received a patent of protection. (fn. 247) In 1323 hue and cry was raised at Buckingham, and the bailiffs of the town arrested Richard de Kerdyf, who was concerned in a robbery of £25 12s., which Neapolio's proctor had collected. (fn. 248) Four years later the cardinal complained that John de Lenborough and others entered his close at Buckingham, carried away his goods and assaulted his servants, while he (the cardinal) was under the king's protection. (fn. 249) A further assault was complained of in 1331, when a cart laden with his tithe corn from Lenborough and Bourton, 160 lambs worth £20 and 40 swine worth 100s., from Gawcott, were carried away. (fn. 250) Neapolio is said to have survived till 1347, (fn. 251) but resigned his stall before that date, for in 1342 William de Kildesby was prebendary and received a grant of free warren in the manor. (fn. 252) About this date it included 3 carucates in demesne worth £10, meadow and pasture worth 10 marks, two water-mills worth £4, perquisites of courts worth 40s., oblations and lesser tithes worth £10, and two dove-houses worth 6s. 8d. (fn. 253) In 1376 the prebendal stall was again held by an absentee cardinal, and a petition was in consequence presented to Parliament. (fn. 254) Notwithstanding the king's edict against foreigners holding ecclesiastical preferments, the name of Peter Cardinal of St. George occurs as prebendary in 1388 and that of Henry Cardinal of Naples in the following year. (fn. 255) Richard Pate was prebendary at the Dissolution, when the clear value of Sutton cum Buckingham was £110 3s. 6d. (fn. 256) After it became a lay fee the manor was made the subject of temporary or life grants. In 1547 Edward VI granted it to Edward Duke of Somerset. (fn. 257) In 1569 Henry Seymour received a life grant, (fn. 258) which was renewed in 1595 for the lives of himself, Anthony Wingfield and Robert Johnson. (fn. 259) By 1609 it was again in possession of the Crown, and was in that year made the subject of a permanent grant to Sir Robert Brett, kt. (fn. 260) He sold it in 1613 to Sir Thomas Denton, (fn. 261) who together with his son Sir Alexander Denton, kt., made a settlement of the manor in 1628. (fn. 262) Sir Thomas Denton died seised in 1633, when Alexander, then aged thirty-seven and more, succeeded to the manor. (fn. 263) The family of Denton has been traced under Hillesden (q.v.), with the history of which manor that of Prebend End runs parallel, till the 19th century. Alexander Denton, jun., suffered a recovery of Prebend End Manor in 1676. (fn. 264) Edmund Denton, raised to the dignity of a baronet in 1699, succeeded his father Alexander in the preceding year, when he, too, suffered a recovery. (fn. 265) Like Hillesden, Prebend End passed by marriage to the Coke family, of whom William Coke held the estate in 1792, (fn. 266) and settled it by fine in 1824. (fn. 267) It was subsequently conveyed to John Farquhar, by whom it was sold to Richard Duke of Buckingham and Chandos during the second quarter of the 19th century, (fn. 268) in whose family it has since been retained. (fn. 269) The ancient prebendal house which was for many years owned and occupied by the Misses Baynes (fn. 270) is now the residence of Mr. Alfred Rogers.
In 1086 Walter Giffard already held BOURTON MANOR, assessed at 1 hide, (fn. 271) the remainder of the hamlet appearing with Buckingham as royal lands. The overlordship of this manor passed to the Giffard Honour, and follows the same descent as Whaddon (q.v.), whose lords became hereditary keepers of Whaddon Chase under the Earls of Ulster. (fn. 272) It was thus vested in the Earls of Oxford during the 13th and 14th centuries. (fn. 273)
Alric, a thegn, was tenant of the manor under Edward the Confessor, and from him it passed to Hugh, the Domesday tenant. (fn. 274) It is found later in the possession of a family who assumed the surname of Bourton, of whom Fulk de Bourton held a hide in Bourton by service of half a knight's fee in the middle of the 13th century. (fn. 275) Walter son of Fulk had succeeded his father in 1284. (fn. 276) His name occurs in 1302 (fn. 277) and again in 1314, (fn. 278) whilst in 1346 the name of 'Elia Fouk' is given as holding this fee. (fn. 279) In 1392 and again in 1398–9 John Page was in possession of this estate, of which no later mention has been found. (fn. 280)
In the survey of 1086 LENBOROUGH MANOR, assessed at 3 hides, belonged to Walter Giffard. (fn. 281) The overlordship thus became attached to the honour of Gloucester, and follows the same descent as that of the manors of Buckingham and Bourton (q.v.). The tenant of Walter at Domesday was one Ralph, who had been preceded in his holding by Towi, a man of Alricison of Goding. (fn. 282) References to the mesne lordship are exceedingly scanty at this early period, but it seems to have become vested some time during the 13th century in a family called Englefield or Inglefield. They had as sub-tenants the Langetots, of whom Ralph de Langetot held one-fourth of a fee in Lenborough in 1254–5. (fn. 283) Miles de Langetot held of the heirs of William de Englefield in 1284–6. (fn. 284) In 1314 Roger de Englefield held in Lenborough, (fn. 285) and in 1346 Miles de Langetot held the quarter fee which Ralph de Langetot formerly held of Philip de Englefield. (fn. 286) After this date no further trace has been found of the sub-tenants, but John de Englefield was holding here in 1398. (fn. 287)
Robert Englefield held the fee which represented this manor in 1460, (fn. 288) between which date and 1493 it passed to Ralph Ingoldsby, whose widow Agnes then died deised. (fn. 289) Her grandson Thomas son of John Ingoldsby succeeded to the manor. (fn. 290) He had two sons, John and Robert. (fn. 291) Lenborough Manor passed to the elder, whose son Richard Ingoldsby, (fn. 292) together with his wife Winifred (daughter of John Greenway of Dinton (fn. 293)), made a settlement of the manor in 1539 (fn. 294) and again in 1554. (fn. 295) Francis Ingoldsby their son married twice, and on his death in 1579 (fn. 296) the manor passed to Richard his son by his first wife Dorothy daughter of William Saunders. (fn. 297)
In 1613 Richard Ingoldsby settled Lenborough by fine (fn. 298) on the occasion of the marriage of his son Richard with Elizabeth daughter of Sir Oliver Cromwell and cousin of the Protector. (fn. 299) Richard Ingoldsby, sen., died in 1635, and his eldest son Richard entered into possession of the manor. (fn. 300) He was knighted shortly after, and of his numerous family Richard, Henry and George distinguished themselves in the Civil War on the Parliamentary side. (fn. 301) Settlements of the manor are found in his name in 1644 and again in 1651. (fn. 302) His death took place in 1656, (fn. 303) and his eldest son Francis succeeded him. Francis Ingoldsby was member for Buckingham in the Rump Parliament, and according to Willis he lived at Lenborough 'in too profuse a manner, his wife also, as it was reported, being extravagant and vain,' (fn. 304) whilst in the Harleian visitation he is entered as 'a prodigall sold Lethenborow came to be a pentioner in the Charterhouse,' (fn. 305) where he died in 1681. Before his death he made over the estate, which was deeply mortgaged, to William Robinson, his steward, who lived at Lenborough House till his death in 1696. (fn. 306) His kinsman William Robinson then sold the manor to John Rogers, (fn. 307) by whom it was in 1718 conveyed to Edward Gibbon. (fn. 308) He was the father of Edward Gibbon the historian, and the names of himself and his celebrated son occur in a settlement of Lenborough Manor in 1758–9. (fn. 309) He appears to have alienated the manor, which in 1815 was advertised for sale by an order in Chancery in which Elizabeth Margaret Goodrich and other infants, by their friends, were plaintiffs and Margaret Goodrich defendant. (fn. 310) It was subsequently purchased by Viscount Clifden, and is at present held by Lord Annaly. Lenborough House, which was the residence of the Ingoldsbys, was partly pulled down by Edward Gibbon, (fn. 311) and is now used as a farm-house.
In 1086 the Bishop of Bayeux held LENBOROUGH MANOR, extended at 7 hides. His tenant was Ernulf de Hesding, and the manor had previously belonged to Wilaf, a man of Earl Leofwine. (fn. 312) When the bishop's fee was forfeited to the Crown, it was broken up into baronies representing the holdings of his chief tenants, and Ernulf de Hesding's lands in Lenborough were later held by service of castle-guard at Rochester. Lenborough Manor was eventually acquired by Reading Abbey, but does not appear to have formed part of the original endowment of the abbey, as stated by Lipscomb and other historians. The earliest authenticated date of the abbot acquiring lands in Lenborough is 1202, when Philip de Dammartin and Lecia his wife (representing the overlordship) granted 3½ hides of land there to the abbot, who held by service of half a mark rent and 4s. 3½d. towards the ward of Rochester Castle. (fn. 313) The cartulary of the abbey has various undated 13th-century charters relating to Lenborough, from which it appears that Robert son of Alan de Lenborough granted 3½ hides to Reading, (fn. 314) and a similar grant from Alice de Kimbell made up the 7 hide Domesday manor. (fn. 315) The lands were also freed from all services due from them to the overlords by Ernulph de Chelesfield and Simon his son, and by Gilbert de la Pomeria and Lettice his wife. (fn. 316) In 1254–5 the abbot's tenants in Lenborough were Ralph Borstard and Richard de Kimbell. (fn. 317) Thirty years later Ralph had been succeeded by Robert de Eton, who held of the abbot by 58s. 8d. for all services, John de Kimbell holding the other part of the property for 6s. (fn. 318) The abbot's name is returned for this vill in the feudal assessment of 1316, (fn. 319) and he received an annuity of £3 3s. 4d. from Lenborough at the Dissolution. (fn. 320) The manor itself at some period previous to the 17th century became absorbed in that of the Ingoldsbys (q.v.). That this absorption took place seems to be proved by a document of 1636, which states that Sir Richard Ingoldsby died seised of the manor of 'Lenborowe alias Lethynburgh, Eaton and Kimbell in Lenborough.' (fn. 321)
A property in Buckingham known as BARTONS or LAMBARDS and including the Castle house, still standing in West Street, dates from the 14th century. (fn. 322) Originally of considerable extent, it appears to have been accumulated by the family of Barton, of whom William Barton is mentioned in 1385 as having acquired the lands of William Goddes in Buckingham. (fn. 323) Between 1398 and 1403 other grants of land here were confirmed to his sons, (fn. 324) John Barton, sen., and John Barton, jun. (fn. 325) By the will of John Barton, sen., dated 1431, he bequeathed all his lands in Buckingham to his brother John, his sisters Margaret and Isabel for their lives respectively with remainder to William Fowler and the heirs of his body. (fn. 326) The estate was charged with the support of a chantry priest and of a hospital for the poor. (fn. 327) William Fowler inherited this estate during his lifetime, and his property in Buckingham was very considerable, as appears from an inquisition held about this date, including not only burgage tenements acquired from the Bartons and others in East Street, West Street, Well Street and Castle Street, but also shops in 'le Draperie' and in 'le Shoprewe.' (fn. 328) He died in 1452, (fn. 329) and of his two sons, Richard, who became Chancellor of the duchy of Lancaster, succeeded to Bartons. (fn. 330) By his will, dated 1477, his brother Thomas Fowler was bequeathed a life interest in his 'dwelling-place at Bucks.' (fn. 331) To his son Richard, a minor, (fn. 332) he left all his plate, (fn. 333) &c., and in 1485 William Langtone and other trustees are found remitting to Richard Fowler and Elizabeth his wife all right in lands called 'Foulers', late of Richard his father. (fn. 334) He died in 1528, leaving the profits of his Bedfordshire manors to his son George, and all other manors not willed to his second son Edward Fowler. (fn. 335) Edward Fowler is said to have entertained Queen Catherine of Aragon here. (fn. 336) He died in 1540, and was succeeded by his son Gabriel, (fn. 337) on whose death in 1582 Bartons passed to his son Richard Fowler. (fn. 338) Gabriel by his will had enjoined his son after coming of age to sell the Buckingham property, which he described as a farm in the tenure of Raphael More, (fn. 339) and in 1590–1 Richard Fowler alienated the estate, then no more than 'a messuage and six acres of pasture' to Francis and Edward Dayrell, (fn. 340) by whom it was almost immediately transferred to John Lambert. In 1597–8 Theophilus Adams, who had received a grant of Barton's chantry brought forward a claim to this estate under a Crown grant, as of lands given to superstitious uses. He obtained a verdict in his favour, (fn. 341) but in 1607 John Lambert compounded and bought out his claim. (fn. 342) John Lambert died in possession in 1611, and was succeeded by his son William. (fn. 343) He died in 1626, (fn. 344) when his son John, then a minor, succeeded to a tenement called the Castle House, a messuage 'formerly Fowlers,' with 12 acres of pasture, an orchard near Podds Lane, two water-mills, a dove-house and various other lands and tenements in Buckingham and Gawcott. (fn. 345) John Lambert died while still a minor in 1632, and the Castle House passed to his sister May, then under fourteen years of age. (fn. 346) She married, firstly, John Crawley of Someries, Luton (co. Bedford), (fn. 347) secondly, Edward son and heir of Sir Harvey Bagot, bart. (fn. 348) In 1667 she and her husband, then Sir Edward Bagot, bart., alienated this property to Stephen Monteage, a citizen of London, who resided here until in 1680 he sold the Castle house to John Rogers and his son John. (fn. 349) Matthew son of John Rogers, jun., held the Castle House in 1735. (fn. 350) In the beginning of the 19th century it was in the possession of Philip Box, from whom it passed by purchase in or about the year 1835 to Thomas Hearn. (fn. 351) It remained in his family until within the last few years, when it was purchased by Mr. Herbert E. Bull from the executors of the late Henry Hearn. (fn. 352)
The Durants, early 13th-century tenants in Buckingham, gave their name to a property known in the 17th century as DURANTS MANOR, (fn. 353) situated in Bourton. Earliest mention of the family is found in 1228, when Durant son of Terri conveyed a messuage in Buckingham to Richard le Gras. (fn. 354) The name of Robert son of William Durant occurs later in the same century, (fn. 355) and from 1314 to 1325 the names of Richard Durant and Agnes his wife are found as holding land in Buckingham and Bourton. (fn. 356) Last mention of the family directly holding has been found in 1347, when Richard Durant's name once more occurs. (fn. 357) The property subsequently passed to Thomas More, who, according to Willis, inherited his property in Bourton by marriage with Alice Fowler. (fn. 358) No mention has been found of the Fowlers holding here, though they certainly acquired the Skerets' property, which follows the same descent as Durant, and is treated of below. In 1473 Thomas More held land by a capon rent worth 3d. in Bourton, which had formerly belonged to Thomas Durant, (fn. 359) It subsequently passed to his grandson Thomas More, who was holding in 1547. (fn. 360) On his death in or about the year 1550 he left two daughters and co-heirs, Alice wife of Giles Pulton and Joan wife of Thomas Brookes. Ferdinand son of Giles and Alice Pulton inherited his mother's share of the manor, and also acquired the Brookes's portion by purchase. (fn. 361) Ferdinand Pulton, whose name has gone down to posterity as the first private person to edit and compile statute law, (fn. 362) died at Bourton in Jan. 1617–18. (fn. 363) His son and heir Francis Pulton alienated this property to Richard Minshull with Bourton Manor. No separate mention of it is found after 1684. (fn. 364)
A further property known in the 17th century as SKERITTS MANOR originated in a similar fashion. The family of Eschyret or Skyret or Skeret held land in Buckingham from the days of King John, appearing as benefactors to Battlesden Abbey in that and the succeeding reign. (fn. 365) Gilbert Skeret and Joan his wife were engaged in a plea of dower in Buckingham in 1328, (fn. 366) and their descendants appear to have held by burgage tenure in Buckingham till early in the following century, when their property, at any rate within the borough, was purchased by John Barton, passing to William Fowler. (fn. 367) Their Bourton property is probably that which Thomas More held of Bourton Manor by the rent of 1 lb. of pepper in 1473, (fn. 368) for the tenure of this land is identical with that of Skeritts Manor as given in 1618. (fn. 369) From 1473 the descent is the same as Durants (q.v.), and like that estate mention is last found of Skeritts in 1684. (fn. 370)
Luffield Priory owned lands in this parish, which after the Dissolution are sometimes called BUCKINGHAM MANOR. Previous to that time only one reference has been found, when in 1291 the prior was assessed at 4s. in Buckingham. (fn. 371) The property appears to have passed with the site of the priory to the family of Temple, (fn. 372) and henceforward follows the same descent as Stowe Manor. John Temple died seised of 'lands' in Buckingham in 1603, (fn. 373) and in 1616 his son Sir Thomas Temple, bart., obtained a grant of free warren extending into Bourton and Buckingham, (fn. 374) whilst in 1621 it is first described as a manor. (fn. 375) It subsequently passed by descent to the Dukes of Buckingham and Chandos, (fn. 376) the present owner being the Baroness Kinloss, daughter of the last Duke of Buckingham and Chandos, who died in 1889. (fn. 377)
Oseney Abbey owned land in Bourton and Buckingham, which was granted by Robert le Mareschal in 1268–9. (fn. 378) Matthew de Stratton also granted land, the gift of Henry son of Robert, to Oseney, as appears in a confirmatory charter of 1320. (fn. 379) It seems likely that at the Dissolution this property, like Stowe, passed to the Temple family, (fn. 380) and so became part of the last-mentioned Buckingham Manor.
Other religious houses owning land in this parish were Biddlesden Abbey (fn. 381) and Chetwood Priory, which latter received a small grant of land in Lenborough from Sir John Chetwood in 1392. (fn. 382)
The Dayrell family owned land in Buckingham in the 15th century, which Paul Dayrell purchased in or about the year 1480 from John Hewett. (fn. 383) He died seised of four messuages here in 1491, (fn. 384) and his family continued to hold land in this parish until, as appears from an inquisition of 1634, Ferdinand Pulton, lord of Skeritts Manor, bought up some meadows in Bourton from Francis Dayrell. (fn. 385)
In 1086 one mill worth 14s. was attached to Buckingham and Bourton, (fn. 386) and was situated in the latter hamlet. In 1473 this mill was devised to John Wodward, who kept up the repairs, for £7 6s. 8d. (fn. 387) Katherine Atkyns, daughter of Robert Wodward, claimed an interest in two water-mills in Bourton in the middle of the 16th century, (fn. 388) whilst in the 17th century three water-mills were attached to the manor of Bourton. (fn. 389) A water-mill was also attached to the manor of Prebend End as part endowment of the church in 1086, when it was worth 10s. (fn. 390) In the 14th century this manor had two mills worth £4. (fn. 391) In the 17th century Lenborough had a windmill attached to the manor. (fn. 392)
Bourton and Buckingham Manors had also the right of free fishery between Piffordbroke and the millpond, and between Bynthill and Holt Close at the east end of the town. (fn. 393) Further mention is found of this right in the 17th century as attached to Bourton Manor, which also claimed free warren at that date. (fn. 394)
St. John's Hospital for the poor and infirm dates from the late 12th century, and was built by William Frechet, the permission of his overlord, John de Braose, being obtained later. (fn. 395) It ceased, however, to fulfil its original purpose, and the steward of John de Braose entered into and took possession of the building, (fn. 396) which was sold to Peter of the Mill (who was living in 1229). (fn. 397) On Peter's death it passed to John of the Mill, who sold it to Ernald le Ferur. (fn. 398) He in his turn sold the messuage and 10 acres of land which it comprised to Matthew de Stratton, Archdeacon of Buckingham, when its original purpose as a hospital was resumed, (fn. 399) and in 1279 mention is found of the master as holding I acre of land in Morton. (fn. 400) Matthew eventually granted the hospital to the master of the house of St. Thomas of Acon, London, by whom it was converted into a chapel and chantry and so remained. (fn. 401) In Feb. 1289–90 the master acquired licence to transfer his property in Buckingham to the Knights Hospitallers. It was then assessed at a carucate, 40 acres of land and 40s. rent, and included, besides the hospital already mentioned, land granted by John de Leys, William son of Reginald, Stephen le Tailur and others. (fn. 402) At the Dissolution the chantry, known as Matthew Stratton's chantry, was said to be dedicated to St. John the Baptist and St. Thomas of Acon. (fn. 403) Its revenues were then 69s. 4d. and its ornaments worth 48s. 4d. (fn. 404) In 1540 John Josslyn, the king's servant, received a grant of three tenements in Buckingham, part of this property, (fn. 405) and in 1553 a grant of the chapel was made to Thomas Reeve and Giles Isham. (fn. 406) Further grants are found in 1568 to Sir Thomas Newnham, and in 1590 to William Tipper and Thomas Dawe. (fn. 407) The chapel was later used for the Latin School founded here in the 16th century, (fn. 408) and the building has recently been handed over to the National Trust for the preservation of ancient buildings.
There was also in Buckingham a hospital for lepers dedicated to St. Laurence, whose history has been traced elsewhere. (fn. 409) An earlier reference than has yet been found to it may, however, be quoted in the protection granted for three years to the master and brethren in 1252, (fn. 410) and renewed at the close of that period. (fn. 411) This hospital disappears after the 14th century, but according to Lipscomb its site is marked by Christ's Hospital, founded by charter of Queen Elizabeth in 1598. (fn. 412) The object of this foundation was to provide a refuge for thirty-six maimed unmarried soldiers dwelling in Buckingham or the three hundreds. (fn. 413) In 1666 the endowment included a hospital house with a yard, orchard and close adjoining, two fairs, a wool-market and a wool-hall. It was managed by two governors, who received no allowance, and afforded shelter to 'seven antient women.' (fn. 414)
The church of ST. PETER AND ST. PAUL was erected on Castle Hill in 1777–81, partly on the site of Buckingham Castle. In 1776 the tower of the old church in Prebend End, which Willis had done much to preserve, fell, and, as the whole building was in a dilapidated state, it was pulled down and the materials were re-used to build the present church, which was added to and completely remodelled by Sir Gilbert G. Scott during the last half of the 19th century. It is built of limestone ashlar in the late 13th-century style, and consists of chancel with north vestry and organ chamber, nave of seven bays, north and south aisles, south porch and west tower, the disposition of the parts being taken as usual, though the building lies almost north and south. The tower is of three stages surmounted by a tall stone spire, and over the west doorway is a large shield with the Buckingham swan in relief upon it. At the east end of the south aisle are four 15th-century traceried bench ends re-used in desks, and one dated 1626 carved with two shields, one being Ingoldsby with three quarterings and the other Ingoldsby impaling a blank shield. In a glass case near the south door is a Latin Bible of the early 14th century, and in the north aisle are two oak chests, one made up of late 16th-century panelling and the other inscribed '1690 Will Howard. Edw. Snoxell C.W.' The tower contains eight bells cast by Chapman & Mears, London, in 1782.
The plate consists of a chalice and paten of 1639, two chalices renovated in 1896 in memory of Martha Sylvester, a chalice and paten, 'an offering of thanks-giving for the harvest of 1854,' three modern patens and a plated flagon, 1772, also a set of silver vessels for private celebration given by the Rev. Henry Crowe, vicar 1826. The register of baptisms and burials begins in 1561 and marriages in 1559.
Under Edward the Confessor Buckingham Church was held by Wulfwig Bishop of Dorchester, whose successor, Bishop Remigius, held at Domesday. (fn. 415) Together with King's Sutton and Horley it was appropriated as a prebend to Lincoln about the year 1090, (fn. 416) and until 1445, when a vicarage was instituted, (fn. 417) was a chapelry dependent on King's Sutton. The descent of the advowson is identical with that of the prebendal estate (q.v.), passing to the Dentons and Cokes. (fn. 418) It was in the possession of Thomas William Coke, created Earl of Leicester in 1837, (fn. 419) and was conveyed by him to John Farquhar, who sold it to Richard Duke of Buckingham and Chandos. (fn. 420) In 1862 the Rev. John Hart was patron of the living, (fn. 421) which now belongs to the Bishop of Oxford. (fn. 422)
Walter Giffard made a grant to the priory of Longueville of the tithes of his demesne in Buckingham, which was confirmed by Henry I between the years 1106 and 1107, (fn. 423) by William Marshal, Earl of Pembroke, in 1150, (fn. 424) and by a general charter of confirmation by Henry II in 1155. (fn. 425) Various settlements exist relating to tithes in Buckingham, Gawcott and Lenborough between the years 1654 and 1683. (fn. 426)
The tithes of Bourton, valued at £100, were separated from those of Buckingham and purchased by Sir Thomas Bennet, Lord Mayor of London in the reign of James I. (fn. 427) By the will of his son Sir Simon Bennet, dated 1631, they were devoted to charitable uses in Buckingham and the neighbourhood. (fn. 428)
There was an ancient chapel at Gawcott dedicated to St. Catherine, the Sunday after whose festival was still observed as a wake in the 18th century. (fn. 429) The site of this chapel was in 1586 granted to John Walton and others. (fn. 430)
In 1645, owing to the lack of good preaching, the vicar of Buckingham and other divines established a Saturday lecture for the inhabitants. (fn. 431)
The parish church of SS. Peter and Paul contained the shrine of Rumbold, Saint and Confessor, whose mother was the daughter of Penda, King of Mercia, and who was born at King's Sutton in Northamptonshire on I November 626. He died three days later, and expressed a wish that his body should remain there for one year, at Brackley for two years, and then at Buckingham for ever. According to tradition, in the third year after his death his remains were removed to a shrine at Buckingham, which was much resorted to by mediaeval pilgrims. (fn. 432) In the 15th century a chantry in the parish church was dedicated to this saint. First mention of it has been found in 1449. In that year, in response to a petition from the parishioners, who were in doubt as to the legality of their position, the king, in honour of the Holy Trinity, St. Mary and St. Rumbold, founded a gild of four wardens with brethren and sisters, having a common seal, with power to elect new members, to acquire lands, to plead and implead, and to meet in order to make statutes for their governance. (fn. 433) The parishioners were also licensed to found a chantry of one chaplain at the altar of St. Rumbold to celebrate divine service daily for the good estate of Henry VI and his queen and of their own souls. (fn. 434) At the suppression of the chantries the fraternity supported two priests and was worth yearly £21 7s. 3d. (fn. 435) Various grants are found later of lands belonging to the fraternity, to William Sawle and William Bridges in 1549, to Richard Heyborne and William Dalbye in 1550, and to Sir William Herrick and Arthur Ingram in 1607. (fn. 436)
A second chantry known as Barton's chantry, with which was included Barton's Hospital, was founded in 1431 under the will of John Barton, senior. (fn. 437) The endowment, which was derived from rent-charges on his lands (later known as Fowlers), went to find a priest to say daily mass for his and all other departed faithful souls, to provide a dwelling-place and 4d. weekly to six poor men or women who should pray daily for his soul, and to find yearly two wax candles, each weighing 3 lb., to keep an obit for himself, his father and his mother at his sepulchre. (fn. 438) At the suppression of the chantries the revenues of the chantry and hospital were worth £26 7s. annually, and the ornaments were worth 10s. (fn. 439) In 1585 Theophilus Adams obtained a grant of the chantry from the Crown, (fn. 440) and in 1597–8 a lawsuit ensued between him and John Lambert, at that time owner of Fowler's Lands, which estate Theophilus Adams claimed under the Crown grant as being lands given to superstitious uses. (fn. 441) In 1607 the case was settled by John Lambert buying out Adams' claim on the lands. (fn. 442) Meanwhile the six almshouses which composed Barton's Hospital appear to have been purchased by Mrs. Dorothy Dayrell, who died in 1583, who left them to the poor of Buckingham with an endowment of £5 4s. to provide the groat apiece to six poor people of the original endowment. (fn. 443)
The principal charities subsisting in the borough were by a scheme of the Charity Commissioners of 14 January 1896 amalgamated under the title of the 'General Charities' and placed under the management of a representative body of trustees.
Christ's Hospital, founded by Queen Elizabeth. The almshouses were rebuilt in 1897 at a cost of £843 7s. 9d., provided as to £500 out of the sale of land belonging to the charities of Agard and Dayrell (see below under the eleemosynary branch), and as to the balance out of sale of land belonging to Christ's Hospital, subject to replacement as hereinafter mentioned.
Also in 1885 Alderman James Harrison, by his will, bequeathed £100 consols towards building the hospital, and £100 consols for the inmates thereof; and in 1885 Stephen Cooke, by his will, also bequeathed £100 4s. 6d. consols, the dividends to be distributed amongst the inmates on 28 January each year.
Barton's Hospital, founded under the will of John Barton dated 1431 (see under advowson), consists of six almshouses in Church Street and is endowed with an annuity amounting to £6 19s. 7d. payable out of the Sackville estate.
Charity of Ann Ellis, founded by will proved 24 October 1841. The trust fund, amounting to £212 4s. consols, has by an order of the Charity Commissioners of 19 August 1898 been carried to an investment account with the official trustees, towards the replacement within the period of thirty years of the sum of £343 7s. 9d. advanced towards the rebuilding of Christ's Hospital as referred to above.
Charity of Mrs. Elizabeth Gray, who died in 1857, being a gift in her lifetime of £106 15s. 7d. consols, which by the same order has been carried to the same investment account. A sum of £128 12s. 2d. has already been replaced.
The scheme provides for the payment of 5s. a week to each of the almspeople and also for medical attendance, any deficiency to be made up by a contribution from the eleemosynary branch. In 1908–9 such contribution amounted to £136 (see below).
II. The educational branch, including the Royal Latin school and the Green Coat school. (fn. 444) These schools are now administered under the provisions of a scheme established by the Board of Education of 4 July 1904.
Sir Richard Temple's charity for apprenticing.
Endowment £400 consols, arising from the redemption in 1907 of an annuity of £10 formerly issuing out of the 'Old Wharf,' and £112 16s. 8d. consols, from recovery of arrears of the rent-charge, producing £12 16s. 4d. a year.
III. Eleemosynary branch, including the charity of Dame Penelope Osborne, will 1695, originally a legacy of £300 for providing six gowns of green cloth for aged men, with silver badges bearing the arms of donor's father, Sir Edward Verney. The endowment now consists of £480 consols, arising from the redemption in 1907 of an annuity of £12 charged upon the 'Old Wharf.'
Charity of Sir Simon Bennet, bart., founded by deed 11 August 1631, and will proved in the P.C.C. 3 September 1631, being an annuity of £20 issuing out of an estate called the Bourton Estate in the borough of Buckingham, for clothing aged men.
In 1629 Rev. Robert Higgins gave certain properties in Well Street, the rents to be applied in the clothing of poor widows. The trust fund arising from the sale in 1866 of the real estate now consists of £2,661 9s. 3d. consols, producing £66 10s. 8d. a year.
In 1686 Dame Mary Bagot, by will proved in the P.C.C. 9 July, bequeathed £100 to the corporation to be laid out in land, the rent to be applied about Christmas in gowns for five of the poorest widows. The trust estate now consists of 8 acres at Paulerspury let at £10 10s. a year.
Charities of Katherine Agard and Dorothy Dayrell, founded by deeds 22 and 23 July 1574, for the twelve poorest inhabitants in money and bread. The endowments consist of messuages in West Street and Well Street, of the annual rental value of £70, and £872 4s. 4d. consols, producing £21 16s. a year.
Charity of John Adkins (in Prebend End), for four widows and other purposes, mentioned in inquisitions by commissioners of charitable uses, 1676 and 1691, consisting of 7 acres of copyhold land at Gawcott let in allotments, producing £20 a year or thereabouts, and four cottages of the annual letting value of £18.
In 1908–9 the sums actually received in respect of the eleemosynary branch amounted to £258, of which £136 was contributed to the almshouse branch, £20 14s. distributed in doles in respect of Higgins' and Bennet's charities, £15 1s. 4d. in the distribution of meat in respect of West's charity, and £4 12s. 10d. in bread in respect of Agard's charity, £40 for the clerk's salary, and £10 for the surveyor.
The other charities comprised in the aforesaid scheme of 1896 consisted of a sum of £630 consols, constituting the endowment of the charity of Philip Box for an organist, and £400 consols, the gift of Alderman James Harrison, the dividends to be applied for the benefit of paralytics.
In 1878 John Anthony Coates, by a codicil to his will, bequeathed £178 12s. 2d. consols, the dividends, amounting to £4 9s. 4d., to be applied for the benefit of six aged men and six aged women of the Church of England.
In 1884 the Rev. Warwick Bamfylde Kennaway by will, proved 2 December, bequeathed £90 10s. 4d. consols, the dividends, amounting to £2 5s. 4d., being applicable as to one moiety for deserving poor over sixty years of age and as to the other moiety in support of the National school.
The Nursing Home in Castle Street was established in 1868 in connexion with the parish church. The present building, opened in 1887, was presented by the late Lord Addington. The institution is supported mainly by voluntary donations, amounting to about £500 a year. It possesses also the following permanent trust funds, namely—£572 17s. 8d. consols, the George De'Ath memorial; £110 3s. 7d. consols, Miss Stowe's legacy; and £112 13s. 5d. consols, Mrs. Robert Dewe's legacy, producing £19 17s. 10d. a year.