A History of the County of Buckingham: Volume 4. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1927.
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The parish of Oving has an extent of 990 acres, in which are included 138 acres of arable land, 803 acres of permanent grass, and 2 acres of woods and plantations. (fn. 1) The pasture land, which thus forms the bulk of the parish, is of an excellent quality and is well watered, since Oving is bounded on the east and west by streams which meet at the northern point of the parish, while various smaller springs rise in the higher land in the centre. The pasture was always important. In the 16th century the lords of the manors and some of their freeholders had laid together 100 acres from their respective lands in Oving, to be called the cow pasture and to be used as common for their mutual benefit. This land was later claimed as common of the manor of North Marston. (fn. 2) In 1607 a forty years' lease of this land, then reckoned at 120 acres lately ditched and hedged, was made to Silas Tyto. (fn. 3)
The soil of this parish is a sandy loam, on a limestone stratum in the higher parts and stiff clay in the valleys. The low land near the borders of the parish is from about 350 ft. to 400 ft. above the ordnance datum, save in the south-east corner, where it is higher. Towards the middle of Oving, more particularly in the south, the land rises considerably, and the village, standing on a hill, is about 500 ft. above sea-level. On the crest of the hill (529 ft.) is the meeting-place of five roads. The main part of the village lies around the road leading south down the hill; it is, however, rather scattered and much intersected by roads and lanes.
The church of All Saints is in the north-west; a Primitive Methodist chapel, rebuilt in 1809, lies beyond the village to the north. On the south of it is Oving House, a fine building dating from the 18th century, when it was built by Charles Pilsworth, M.P. for Aylesbury; it has been altered and enlarged by subsequent owners. (fn. 4) It was leased to Sir Digby Aubrey, bart., in the 19th century, and after his death in 1856 to G. H. Brettle. (fn. 5) Col. Caulfield Pratt was a tenant for some years. (fn. 6) It is now in the possession of Mr. Henry Yates Thompson.
South-west of the church is the manor-house, a timber building with brick infilling, of late Elizabethan date in its earliest parts; the brickwork is set in herringbone pattern, and inside the house the old ceiling beams and framework are to be seen. In the hall is a large open fireplace. The Black Boy Inn is of similar construction, but perhaps a little later in date, and there are several smaller houses in the village of 17th-century date.
Edwin, a thegn of King Edward, held the manor of OVING before the Conquest; it was afterwards part of the lands of the Bishop of Coutances and was held of him in 1086 by two knights, being then assessed at 10 hides and having woodland for 200 swine. (fn. 7) After the forfeiture of the bishop's lands this manor became part of the honour of Dudley, (fn. 8) belonging in the 12th century to the Paynel family, (fn. 9) to whose manor of Newport Pagnell it became attached, (fn. 10) the successors of the Paynels claiming to hold view of frankpledge in Oving in the 13th century. (fn. 11) The last mention of the overlordship occurs in 1611. (fn. 12)
Towards the middle of the 12th century Wigan of Wallingford had an estate here, (fn. 13) as in North Marston. He died about 1156, (fn. 14) and was succeeded by his brother Meinfelin (fn. 15) of Oving, who held here in 1167. (fn. 16)
Robert of Oving, who held two fees here about the middle of the 13th century (fn. 17) and was still seised as late as 1273, (fn. 18) may possibly have been a member of the same family, as, although Oving was held as one fee by Robert le Lord in 1284–6, (fn. 19) it had passed by 1302 to William Penros, who held it as 'Oving with Northmerston,' (fn. 20) and who may have been a descendant of Wigan of Wallingford's nephew, Alan Penros. (fn. 21) In 1316 a portion of Oving was held as dower by William's mother, Sara widow of Robert Penros. (fn. 22) William Penros still held in 1323. (fn. 23) In 1332 he granted his lands here to Thomas Tochwick and his heirs, making an agreement with Thomas and with Jane his wife (probably the daughter of William) whereby the grantees were to allow to William Penros during his life such meat and drink as they themselves used, and to find him a robe, 2 pairs of breeches of the price of 2s. 8d., 2 new shirts of the price of 3s., 4 pairs of shoes and a suitable bed. (fn. 24)
The Tochwicks were seised in 1346, (fn. 25) and in 1361 they settled the manor of Oving on themselves for life with reversion to their daughter and heir Jane, wife of Nicholas son of Richard Darches, and the heirs of Jane and Nicholas, the remainder, in default, being to Richard brother of Nicholas and his heirs. (fn. 26) Richard Darches, probably the son of the last-mentioned Richard, left a daughter and heir Joan, who married Sir John Dynham, kt., (fn. 27) afterwards Lord Dynham. The latter died in 1458 seised of a messuage and a carucate of land in Oving, held in his wife's right and worth 40s. yearly. (fn. 28) His son John died in 1501 seised of the manor of Oving and leaving as co-heirs his two nephews Sir Edmund Carew, kt., and Sir John Arundel, kt., sons of his sisters Margaret and Catherine respectively, and his two remaining sisters Lady Elizabeth Fitzwarren and Lady Joan Zouche. (fn. 29) The manor retained his name, however, and was known after this date as the manor of DINHAMS or DYNHAMS. In 1512–13 Sir Edmund Carew granted his fourth share to Sir Robert Throckmorton and others, (fn. 30) feoffees of Sir William Compton, who died seised of this portion in 1528. (fn. 31) In 1576 Sir William's grandson Lord Henry Compton (fn. 32) conveyed it to Ralph Redman, (fn. 33) who obtained the Arundel fourth from Sir John Arundel, kt., and Anne his wife in the following year. (fn. 34) Elizabeth Fitzwarren, who afterwards married Sir Thomas Brandon, kt., died seised of a quarter of the manor in 1516, leaving as heir her son John Bouchier (fn. 35); the Zouche family were still seised of their share in 1531. (fn. 36) Which of these portions passed to the Dormer family and which to the Westons is not clear, but in 1554 Ambrose and John Dormer conveyed a fourth to Thomas Redman, (fn. 37) father of Ralph, (fn. 38) who inherited it before 1559, (fn. 39) and in 1579 Jeremy Weston and Mary his wife conveyed their fourth, which was held in Mary's right, to Ralph Redman also, (fn. 40) thus completing his possession of the entire manor. The manor, which in Redman's time was estimated at 6½ virgates, (fn. 41) was settled on Owen Westall and Jane his wife, apparently the daughter and heir of Ralph Redman and Bridget his wife. (fn. 42) Jane survived both her husband Owen and her eldest son Ralph, and, afterwards marrying—Bosse, died in 1609, leaving her second son Thomas Westall as her heir (fn. 43); the latter still held Dynhams Manor in 1612, (fn. 44) but its further descent is uncertain.
The family which held Oving in the 12th and 13th centuries, taking their name from the place, appear to have subinfeudated a part of their holding while retaining the rest—probably one of the two fees which they had held at first. At the close of the 12th century this holding became divided into sevenths. In 1218–19 Castelusa, widow of William Cratard, quitclaimed a virgate of land here to Hugh Juvenis (fn. 45) and another virgate to John de Cruce or de la Croye, (fn. 46) and in 1270 William Juvenis and Hugh de la Croye held part of the demesne lands which had formerly belonged to Wigan of Wallingford in Oving. (fn. 47)
In 1254–5 Robert 'Austin' (probably Justin, vide infra) held a seventh part of the Abbot of Cirencester, (fn. 50) and this family still held land here in 1292. (fn. 51) Again, at the former date the Abbot of Oseney held a seventh part, of which he had been enfeoffed by William de Toreney or Torence, (fn. 52) son of Robert, confirmation of this gift having been made by William de Beauchamp, the overlord, and Ida his wife. (fn. 53) In 1291 it included a mill. (fn. 54) Half of a seventh part was held by the Abbot of Medmenham in 1254–5 of the gift of Godfrey de Gibwen. (fn. 55) At that date two at least of the tenants were definitely stated to owe various services to Robert de Oving, described as the 'lord of the said vill.'
About 1267–70 these seven parts were in the immediate possession of Walter Champion, Robert son of Robert, John de Bedford, Ralph de Sanford and Isabel his wife, Robert Justin, William Juvenis and Hugh de la Croye (fn. 56) (the three latter families having evidently retained their portions from the 12th century), who were all sued during those years by the Masters of the hospitals of Wycombe and Crowmersh. The Masters claimed the tenth shock of corn coming from 'the demesne lands which were of Wigan of Wallingford in Oving,' parts of which were held by the seven defendants, after the usual tithe had been paid to the parish church, according to Wigan's charter. (fn. 57) As a result of the suits the defendants agreed to pay the tithe or the equivalent. (fn. 58)
Ralph de Sanford and Isabel his wife, who had their own manorial court, (fn. 59) conveyed their part to Walter de Wimberville and Damerond his wife in 1271. (fn. 60) Walter afterwards granted it to the Abbot of Oseney, (fn. 61) when it became united to the abbot's other holding here. This composite estate, retained by the abbey until the Dissolution, (fn. 62) was granted as a manor in 1542 to the Dean and Chapter of Christ Church, Oxford, (fn. 63) and afterwards, in 1546, to Sir Anthony Lee and John Croke. (fn. 64) There is no further trace of it.
The moiety of a seventh part held in 1254–5 by the Abbot of Medmenham must have been augmented at a later date. In 1474 it was described as a manor and held directly of the manor of Newport Pagnell (fn. 65) by Maud widow of Robert Bothe and formerly wife of John Enderby, who died in that year. Her son and heir Sir Richard Enderby, kt., (fn. 66) died in 1487, holding the manor of the Abbot of Medmenham. (fn. 67) John Enderby, son of Richard, conveyed the manor in 1507 to the trustees of Thomas Pigott, (fn. 68) whose son Francis had married Enderby's daughter Eleanor, (fn. 69) and in 1510–11 the manor was quitclaimed to Pigott by Sir Edmund Lucy, kt., and Eleanor his wife, (fn. 70) who was probably the widow of John Enderby. (fn. 71) Thomas Pigott, who was a serjeant-at-law and held property in Whaddon (q.v.), died in February 1519–20 holding Oving, (fn. 72) which he left by will to his third (fn. 73) son Roger (fn. 74); Roger leased it in 1542 for ninety-nine years to his brother Thomas, whose son Thomas afterwards held the lease. (fn. 75) Roger Pigott died in 1562 and was succeeded by his son Francis, (fn. 76) who conveyed the manor in 1580 (fn. 77) to Henry Manfield. (fn. 78) From the latter the manor passed to Arthur Claver in 1594. (fn. 79) In 1623–4 Claver settled the manor (fn. 80) on the occasion, probably, of the marriage of his son Marmaduke with Simon Harborne's daughter Joan. (fn. 81) In 1675 the manor was held by Marmaduke's son Arthur, (fn. 82) who apparently conveyed it in that year to John Smith, Francis Nourse and others. (fn. 83) In 1677 Francis Nourse, John Nourse and Ralph Smith sold to Gerard Langbaine all their lands in Oving amounting to about 80 acres, for £1,240. (fn. 84) Langbaine died in 1692. (fn. 85) It was probably this manor which was held in 1714 by William Bennett, who conveyed it in that year to George Collins. (fn. 86) Henry Lovibond died seised of a manor here in 1727, (fn. 87) and his son Henry (fn. 88) and his nephew Henry Lovibond-Collins afterwards held. The latter sold in 1735 to Francis Tyringham, (fn. 89) whose sister and heir Parnell married Charles Pilsworth, who inherited Oving at her death in 1741. (fn. 90) Pilsworth, dying in 1748, left all his property at Oving to his second wife Elizabeth and her heirs. (fn. 91) She left it by will, proved in 1755, to her brother Sir Thomas Cave, bart., (fn. 92) and he sold it in 1756 to Richard Hopkins and Anne Maria Hopkins, window. (fn. 93) Richard Hopkins died in 1799, bequeathing this property to his nephew Richard Northey, who afterwards assumed the name of Hopkins. (fn. 94) He attained the rank of lieutenant-general in 1809, and still held in 1842, (fn. 95) being succeeded by his son William Hopkins Northey. (fn. 96) The latter's daughter married George Ives Irby, Lord Boston, (fn. 97) and in 1861 Lord Boston's property here, called the 'Oving House Estate,' was sold by auction for £20,324. (fn. 98) Baron de Rothschild was a purchaser to the extent of £13,120, (fn. 99) and Mr. Leopold de Rothschild is still an extensive landowner in the parish. Other buyers were J. Parrott, R. Paxton, Sir T. Fremantle, bart., and—Vines. (fn. 100) It seems, however, that the manorial rights have lapsed, as a dispute as to the right of lordship of the manor was opened at the beginning of the 19th century and has never been settled.
The church of ALL SAINTS has a chancel measuring internally 26 ft. by 16 ft., a nave 33 ft., 6 in. by 16 ft. 6 in., with north transept, south aisle and chapel 9 ft. 6 in. wide, and south porch and a west tower. A north aisle to the nave formerly existed. The proportions of the nave and chancel, and the fact that the latter bends southward from the axial line of the former, suggest that the chancel is a rebuilding. It dates from early in the 13th century, so that the plan of the nave is probably of the 12th century, through no details of that date are now to be seen. The church underwent a restoration in 1867.
The chancel has three lancet windows at the east and two in each side wall, all having original 13th-century stonework on their inner faces, while the external faces have been everywhere renewed in modern times. The south-east chapel of the nave overlaps the chancel, from the south-west angle of which an arch of c. 1330 opens to the chapel. The chancel arch is plain 13th-century work of two chamfered orders, but the jambs are apparently of later date and are of coarser workmanship, probably altered at the time of the insertion of the rood screen, which still remains in an imperfect condition. It is of 15th-century date, with three open traceried bays on each side of the four-centred doorway. The whole is a good deal repaired, but retains traces of old red and green colour; it is finished with a modern cornice.
The nave has in its north wall evidences of a former north aisle of late 13th-century date, in the remains of the arcade which opened to it; the aisle seems to have been destroyed in the 17th century and the arcade blocked, but the eastern bay has been reopened and forms the entrance to a modern north transept. The existing pillar of the arcade is octagonal, with moulded capital and base, and the arch of two chamfered orders. The blocked north doorway, of 13th-century date, has been reset on the line of the arcade when the outer wall of the aisle was pulled down, and to the west of it is a single trefoiled 14th-century light, similarly reset; it formerly had tracery in the head. The south arcade is of three bays, the two eastern of which, of similar date and character to the north arcade, are separated from the western bay by a blank wall. The latter bay is of late 15th-century date, showing a probable lengthening of the south aisle at this time. The nave has a clearstory of late 15th-century date, with one twolight window in the north wall and two in the south; externally their stonework is modern. The nave roof dates from the same period and is of three bays, low-pitched, with tie-beams, purlins, ridge, and moulded wall-plates. In the 17th century (1657 according to a date on the roof) braces were added below the tie-beams, springing from scrolled corbels, and one of the tie-beams is of this time. On the soffits of the second and third tie-beams are carved bosses, one with a lion's face and the other with a shield of the Passion, both contemporary with the beams.
The chapel at the east end of the south aisle has an east window of three trefoiled lights with net tracery, c. 1330, and on either side of it an image bracket. At the south-east is a contemporary trefoiled piscina recess with the broken remains of a projecting basin, and to the west of it a wide tomb recess with an ogee arch, trefoiled and moulded, in the head of which a small window opening of later date has been cut. Between the piscina and the tomb recess is a threelight window of 16th-century date, and to the west of the recess is a similar four-light window, of which only the trefoiled heads of the lights are old. A third south window is modern, and between it and the second window is the south doorway, of plain 13th-century work, having a pointed head of one chamfered order. Over it is a 14th-century porch, the moulded outer arch being original work on restored jambs, while above the arch is the date 1717, recording repairs at that time. There is a holy-water stoup, of 14th-century date, to the east of the inner jambs of the south doorway, and the door itself is old, with vertical chamfered fillets and wrought-iron strap hinges of the 15th century.
The tower is of three stages, with a south-east stair-turret and diagonal buttresses at the western angles. The whole appears to be of early 16th century date, but there is a good deal of modern work, including the embattled parapets. The belfry windows are single lights with round heads under square frames, and the cornice over them has gargoyles at the centres and angles of each face. In the ground stage is a three-light west window, nearly all modern, over a west doorway, both having low straight-sided arches, and the tower arch is four-centred, of two chamfered orders, dying out at the springing.
The font has a plain round bowl, which may be of the 13th century. The pulpit is of stone and modern. In the west end of the south aisle are four oak benches with panelled standards, of 15th-century character. No other old fittings remain, but in the east wall of the nave, south of the chancel arch, is part of an old wall-painting with a seated figure of Christ.
The church of Oving was in existence in the 12th century. (fn. 101) It was held, from an early date until the Dissolution, by the priory of St. John of Jerusalem in England, the priors of that foundation presenting rectors to the living as early as 1222 and until 1523. (fn. 102) The church was valued at £4 6s. 8d. in 1291, (fn. 103) and in 1535 at £11 1s. 10d., from which an annual pension of 53s. 4d. was paid to the Prior of St. John. (fn. 104)
After the Dissolution the living came to the Crown, in whom it has since remained, (fn. 105) presentation to the rectory being made by the Lord Chancellor. In 1902 the rectory of Pitchcott was annexed, (fn. 106) and since then the presentation has been alternately in the Lord Chancellor and the patron of Pitchcott, who is at present Mr. H. Yates Thompson of Oving House.
After an ecclesiastical visitation made in 1635 the commissioners returned that Oving parish had no copy of Bishop Jewell's works and no flagon to put wine in at the sacrament of the Lord's Supper. (fn. 107)
The Chantry Returns show that certain lands, of the annual value of 12d., had been given for the maintenance of a light in the church. (fn. 108) It was probably these lands which were granted by Queen Elizabeth in 1571 to Richard Hill and William James as 1 acre and 1 rood in North Marston, formerly given for the maintenance of a light burning before the image of St. Nicholas in the chancel of Oving Church, half an acre near Fulwell Hill given for keeping a light before the image of the Virgin Mary, also in Oving Church, and 1½ acres in Oving in the occupation of Edward Nicholls and Edward Meyer, churchwardens (fn. 109)
For the charity of William Hill, founded by will 1723, see Bierton. (fn. 110) The annual sum of £1 received from the trustees is distributed among the poor, and one overcoat is also given to one old man each year.