Parishes: Wokingham

A History of the County of Berkshire: Volume 3. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1923.

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'Parishes: Wokingham', in A History of the County of Berkshire: Volume 3, ed. P H Ditchfield, William Page( London, 1923), British History Online [accessed 25 July 2024].

'Parishes: Wokingham', in A History of the County of Berkshire: Volume 3. Edited by P H Ditchfield, William Page( London, 1923), British History Online, accessed July 25, 2024,

"Parishes: Wokingham". A History of the County of Berkshire: Volume 3. Ed. P H Ditchfield, William Page(London, 1923), , British History Online. Web. 25 July 2024.

In this section


Wokyngham or Wokynham (xiii cent.); Ockingham, Okingham, Okyngeham, Oakingham, Wokinghame (xvi cent.).

Wokingham was formerly situated in two counties, most of the town being in Berkshire, a part of the town and about a sixth of the parish to the north-east of it, including the church and extending to Bill Hill, forming a detached part of Wiltshire. (fn. 1) This has now been annexed to Berkshire, (fn. 2) and the parish divided into the two civil parishes of Wokingham Within and Wokingham Without. The former has an area of 557 acres, of which 4½ consist of arable land and 140 of permanent grass, the remainder being occupied by the town, while the latter, with an area of 7,930 acres, has 2,005 acres of arable land, 3,171 of permanent grass and 1,039 of woods and plantations. (fn. 3) The soil is a rich loam with a subsoil of sand and gravel, and the principal crops are wheat, barley and oats. A number of the inhabitants find employment in the brick-fields, of which there are several in the district, and until the last century the manufacture of silk stockings and cloth formed one of the staple industries. This flourished as early as 1625, (fn. 4) and was still being carried on in 1813, (fn. 5) but has now quite died out.

The average height of the land is 200 ft. above the ordnance datum. An altitude of about 300 ft. is reached near Buckhurst, in the east of the parish. The main road from Reading to Staines and London enters Wokingham from the north-west and then runs east through the parish. Another road, which forms part of the eastern boundary of Wokingham, runs south to meet the Devil's Highway, which for a little way runs through the parish parallel with its southern boundary.

Wokingham is watered only by the stream called the Emm Brook, which flows through it from south-east to north-west. The town is supplied with water from an artesian well sunk 408 ft. in the upper chalk beds.

The parish church of All Saints lies to the east of the town just off the London Road. The present town hall, opened by Lord Braybrooke in 1860, is a modern Gothic building of red brick, at the junction of the London to Reading and Finchampstead roads. There is a fire station under the hall. The old town hall on the same site was taken down in 1858. (fn. 6)

The houses of Wokingham are mostly of red brick with tiled or slated roofs; one or two, however, are of 18th-century date, and there are also some half-timber houses, the most noteworthy being those in Rose Street, a road running westward from the parish church to the Reading Road. Near the town hall there are some ten or twelve of these cottages of some age, probably of the 17th century, with overhanging upper stories and tiled roofs. The Rose Inn has been made famous by the ballad of 'Molly Mog,' written in honour of the landlady's daughter when Gay, Swift, Pope and Arbuthnot were all there together, detained by the weather. (fn. 7)

The hospital at Luckley Green was founded under the will dated 1663 of Henry Lucas, secretary to the Earl of Holland, which provided that his executors should build an almshouse for old men, inhabitants of the forest of Windsor, in Berkshire or Surrey. His executors bought a plot of 1½ acres at Wokingham from Richard Palmer, (fn. 8) and built a hospital with a chapel and cubicles for the master or chaplain and sixteen pensioners, and inclosed the rest of the ground as a garden. Licence for the foundation was obtained in 1667. (fn. 9) It is managed by the Drapers' Company, who elect the master and pensioners. (fn. 10) The buildings are of brick with tiled roofs and consist of a main block of two stories with central pediment and lantern and two wings containing respectively the residence of the master and the chapel.

In the town there is a convent of French Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin, from Tours, to which a public chapel is attached.

The Baptist chapel dates from 1774, but was rebuilt in 1861, the Primitive Methodist chapel was built in 1857 and the Wesleyan chapel in 1870.

The Roman Catholic church of Corpus Christi, Shute End, was consecrated in 1911. In connexion with it is the iron church of the Holy Ghost in Wokingham New Road.

The town has a railway station on the Staines and Wokingham railway, which joins the London and South Western railway at Staines. The station also serves the Reading, Guildford and Reigate branch on the South Eastern railway.

The antiquities found in the parish have been dealt with in an earlier volume. (fn. 11) Among the distinguished inhabitants of Wokingham may be mentioned Thomas Godwin, Bishop of Bath and Wells (d. 1590) (fn. 12); 'Fred Lucas,' the Quaker, afterwards founder of The Tablet, the principal Roman Catholic paper of to-day; and Henry Lucas (d. 1663), founder of the Lucasian Mathematical Professorship at Cambridge and of the hospital at Luckley Green (see above).

Among place-names found in Wokingham are Wodecrithe (now Woodcray) and Infoldes More (fn. 13) (xiii cent.); a messuage called Bardhouse, (fn. 14) lands called Uppeynges, (fn. 15) Byddelsmor, and Frithland, a common called Coslowe and Shetham, houses in Peache Streate and Rothstreat, (fn. 16) Gurnard's Common, (fn. 17) Great and Little Gurnardes (fn. 18) (xvi cent.); a copyhold house called Whits by Limmer Hill (fn. 19) (xviii cent.); certain closes called Inner Sowthlands and lands called Welmers (fn. 20) (xvii cent.).

The principal residences in the neighbourhood are Heathlands, about 2½ miles from the town, which is the property of Mr. W. Howard Palmer, J.P.; Ashridge Wood, the residence of Mr. Vere Allfrey; Ravenswood, the seat of Mrs. Charles Smith, which stands in a well-timbered park (fn. 21); Keep Hatch, the residence of Mr. Denis de Vitré; Bill Hill, which is only partly in Wokingham and is the property of Mrs. Leveson-Gower; Buckhurst, a modern house belonging to Mrs. Murdoch; Cantley, formerly Mathew's Green, (fn. 22) belonging to Mrs. Raymond South Paley; Holme Grange, the seat of Mrs. Anderson Weston; and Mertonford, occupied by Mr. Henry Bilson Blandy, J.P.


Wokingham is an ancient borough, probably owing its origin to the market granted to the Bishop of Salisbury in 1219. (fn. 23) Its earliest existing charter was granted by Elizabeth in 1583. This recites and confirms certain privileges enjoyed by the town of Wokingham, 'parcel of our manor of Sonning,' from time immemorial, describing its courts as a leet held yearly about Easter and a court baron held every three weeks, both held before the steward of the manor of Sonning in the presence of the alderman of Wokingham. At the leet the officers of the borough were selected, viz., one alderman, two constables, two bailiffs and two aletasters, who were chosen by the steward of the manor of Sonning with the consent of the alderman of Wokingham, who was the governing officer of the town. The courts had cognizance of actions of debt and trespass and the profits were taken by the Crown. A market was held every Tuesday and fairs on St. Barnabas' Day and on 2 November. (fn. 24) In 1612 a charter of incorporation was granted by James I, which modified the constitution of the borough, incorporating it as a free borough under the style of the alderman and burgesses of the town of Wokingham. The governing body was to be an alderman, seven chief burgesses and twelve secondary burgesses, the latter forming the common council. The alderman was to be chosen on Wednesday in Easter week from the head burgesses by the alderman and common council. The other chief officers were a high steward, (fn. 25) a recorder or sub-steward, and a common clerk. A court of record was to be held every Friday before the alderman and recorder and three of the chief burgesses. The alderman, high steward and recorder were to be justices of the peace. The charter also provided for a gild merchant and a prison and confirmed the market and fairs. (fn. 26)

By-laws for the town drawn up in 1625 made a fine leviable on the inhabitants of the town refusing to fill the office of alderman, bailiff or constable. (fn. 27) By the same laws it was enacted that artificers might not take apprentices for less than seven years and that strangers or unfree men might not exercise any trade except the manufacture of malt for a man's own house and the sale of victuals and the trade of carpenter, mason, or bricklayer, and that a citizen of London who entered into partnership with an inhabitant was to pay 50s. to the corporation. With regard to the trade of silk stockings which had been established 'for setting poor people on work to maintain their living thereby, notwithstanding divers of said poor people very obstinately refuse either to work themselves, or suffer their children to be put to work in said trade or any other,' the by-laws provided that if any person not having a trade or private means should refuse to work in this trade he might be committed to the house of correction. Moreover, no person might set up the trade of silk knitter unless he had served apprentice for seven years, and no one in the trade might take more than three apprentices unless he kept journeymen and women for every apprentice above that number. In order to avoid the danger of fire in the town the inhabitants were ordered to remove their stores of turf, heath and peat from their kitchens and a statutory number of leather buckets, long ladders and iron hooks to be kept by the burgesses was laid down, whilst a further rule provided that chimneys should be made of brick or stone. Sunday closing was made compulsory for all shops except taverns, and these might serve travellers only during the time of divine service. The by-laws end with directions for the choosing of officers; the alderman, chief burgesses and other burgesses were to repair to church in their gowns and after divine service to go to the town hall for the elections. (fn. 28)

The charter of 1612 was the governing charter of the town in 1835. The only court then held was the court of quarter sessions held twice a year before the high steward, alderman, recorder and justice, or any two of them. The jurisdiction was over all offences not affecting life or limb, serious offences being reserved for the assizes. The county magistrates were not excluded, but were not in the habit of interfering. There was a lock-up house built in 1675, but prisoners for trial were confined at Reading. (fn. 29) The town had no property in the waste and its only income was from the tolls, the town hall and a few quit-rents. Freedom of the borough was by election to the corporate body, and freemen had formerly had privileges of trading enforced by by-law, but no freeman had been created since 1796 and there was no staple manufacture. The corporate jurisdiction as then observed extended over the town as far as it lay in the county of Berks., but not over the Wiltshire part of the town or over the outlaying parts of the parish in both counties. (fn. 30) Under the Municipal Corporations Act of 1882 the town was constituted a municipal borough with a governing body of a mayor, four aldermen and twelve councillors.

The weekly market on Tuesdays granted to the bishop in 1219 was confirmed in 1227 (fn. 31) and again in 1339. (fn. 32) The charter of 1583 mentions that it was customary for the alderman to appoint a deputy to collect the tolls and to have charge of the clock-house in the market-place. The alderman was himself clerk of the market. (fn. 33) In 1835 it was returned that the alderman had no salary and received the tolls to his own use. (fn. 34) The market, which was discontinued for a time and re-established in 1886, is still held, but has ceased to be famous for its poultry as in bygone days. (fn. 35) A weekly sale of cattle and other live stock is held.

Two yearly fairs to be held on the vigil, feast and morrow of St. Barnabas (10, 11 and 12 June) and All Saints (31 October, 1 and 2 November) respectively were granted in 1258. (fn. 36) The charter of 1612 added a new fair, to be held on Thursday before Shrove Sunday. The November fair was abolished in 1874. (fn. 37) The June fair was in existence (on 11 June) in 1792, (fn. 38) but has now fallen into abeyance. The fair on Thursday before Lent was still held when Lysons wrote (1806). (fn. 39) Two more fairs, held on Lady Day and Michaelmas Day, were established about 1780, then changed to 5 April and 10 October, but of these only the latter survived in 1806. (fn. 40) It is now held on All Saints' Day.

In the accounts of the Mayor and corporation of Reading for 1385, 1422, 1423 and 1427 mention is made of sums varying from 20d. to 15s. paid to the players and archers of Wokingham. (fn. 41)


Wokingham is not mentioned in the Survey of 1086. The Berkshire part of the parish formed a part of the manor of Sonning, then held by the Bishop of Salisbury. Wokingham proper has since remained a part of Sonning Manor (fn. 42) (q.v.), although in one or two instances it is referred to as a separate manor. (fn. 43)

The manor or farm of EVENDONS (Yevyndon, Evyndens, Endens, Indens, Hendons) appears to have been a part of the Bishop of Salisbury's manor of Sonning. The first mention of it which has been found occurs in 1316, when the Bishop of Salisbury was returned as lord of Wokingham-cum-Yevyndon. (fn. 44) It is uncertain how long it remained with the see, but it was alienated before 1561, when Thomas Cawood was holding it with Finchampstead East Court. (fn. 45) He made a conveyance in that year to Henry Hynde and Thomas Harrison, but apparently did not part with the whole of his interest, for he is found suffering a recovery in 1583. (fn. 46) Thomas Harrison, however, died seised of it in February 1602–3, (fn. 47) and it remained with the Harrisons (fn. 48) until 1661, when Richard Harrison conveyed it to Mary Potenger, widow, (fn. 49) from whom it passed eight years later to John Bucks and Mary his wife. (fn. 50) They retained it only until 1678–9, when it became the property of William Adderley, a cursitor of the Court of Chancery, (fn. 51) who was holding in 1693. (fn. 52) In 1775 the manor was held by Richard Ward. (fn. 53) Later it is said to have come to Sir Thomas Rich, who, when he sold Sonning to Richard Palmer in 1795, retained the manor of Evendons. After his death in 1806 (v. Sonning) it became the property of Mr. John Roberts. (fn. 54) He sold it in 1834 to Mr. William Lane, yeoman, who died in 1882, having bequeathed the estate to his son Edward subject to certain annuities and legacies. It was sold by mortgagees in 1896 to Mr. Edwin Ifould, from whom it was bought in the following year by Mr. John Francis Coston, the present owner. (fn. 55) The old manor-house was pulled down in 1837 when the present house was built.

The Bear Wood walk of the forest (see under Hurst) is partly in the parish of Wokingham and is described in 1693 as being 'upon the waste of the manor of Evendons.' (fn. 56) William Adderley, lord of the manor of Evendons, then petitioned to be allowed to fell timber of fifty years' growth in his wood of Bear Wood. (fn. 57)

The manor of ASHRIDGE or HERTOKE, with which the hundred of Ashridge descended, is locally situate in Berkshire, but from an early period was regarded legally as in the county of Wilts., and with the hundred was appurtenant to the manor and hundred of Amesbury. The hundred included portions of Wokingham, Hurst, Shinfield and Swallowfield. The origin of this legal and territorial anomaly may possibly be due to a transference of lands in Berkshire acquired by the Longespees, Earls of Salisbury, from the jurisdiction of the Berkshire County Court to their county of Wilts. and their hundred of Amesbury. Since these Berkshire manors were so far from Amesbury, the creation of a local subhundred with a court at Hertoke or Ashridge would have been not unlikely. In the late 15th century (fn. 58) and probably before, a court with a view of frankpledge was held at Hertoke, where the tithings of Farley and Great and Little Sheepbridge in Swallowfield, Odes, Broad Hinton, Hinton Hatch and Hinton Pipard in Hurst, Didenham in Shinfield, Buckhurst in Wokingham, and Beche, probably in the same parish, were all represented. Ashridge or Hertoke Manor proper would seem to have originated in an assart of Windsor Forest. A tract of 300 acres of woodland described as lying in Hurst was held in demesne by the Earls of Salisbury (fn. 59) after they had granted to sub-tenants lands in Hinton, Sheepbridge and elsewhere. In 1281 an inquest was held to find whether it would be to the king's damage for the Earl of Lincoln (who then held Ashridge in right of his wife) to bring 100 acres of it into cultivation. The jury returned that Ashridge lay between the Bishop of Salisbury's wood of Bisshopesbere and the Bishop of Winchester's wood of Billingbear, and that when the king hunted in the district he generally went through Ashridge Wood, so that the cultivation would be a damage. It was also deposed that the inhabitants of the royal vill of Binfield had common of pasture in Ashridge Wood. (fn. 60)

In 1400 a steward of the hundred was appointed by the Crown during the forfeiture of John Montagu Earl of Salisbury. (fn. 61) Through the marriage of Alice Montagu with Sir Richard Nevill the manor and hundred passed to the Nevills, afterwards Earls of Warwick, and later to the Crown. In the reign of Henry VII the hundred and manor are found as part of the duchy of Lancaster, (fn. 62) and the frankpledge court, as already stated, was then held at Hertoke. (fn. 63) The main value of Ashridge and Hertoke was in the woodland attached to the manor, and in 1526 Richard Turnour, (fn. 64) clerk of the Privy Seal, was appointed bailiff and wood-ward of the hundred of Ashridge in the earldom of Warwick. By 1561 woods (fn. 65) in the hundred and lordship of Ashridge had fallen to the queen, owing to the escheat of one Blackman, and in 1593 timber from the Ashridge woods was assigned for the repair of ships in the royal navy. (fn. 66)

Longespee. Azure six lions or.

Montagu. Argent a fesse indented of three points gules.

Nevill. Gules a saltire argent and a label gobony argent and azure.

The manor of Hertoke and hundred of Ashridge remained in the Crown until 1604, when James I granted them as part of 'Warwick's and Spencer's lands' to Philip Tise and William Blake, (fn. 67) who conveyed them to Sir Henry Nevill of Billingbear. (fn. 68) Nevill before his death in 1615 granted 'the manor of Hertoke and the ground called Ashridge' to Sir Ralph Wynwood and Sir Maurice Berkeley in trust for the payment of his debts and for providing for his children. (fn. 69) He, however, died seised of the manor of Hertoke, the hundred of Ashridge and the great wood of Ashridge in 1615 and was succeeded by his son Sir Henry. (fn. 70) At some proceedings taken against Sir Henry Nevill, Humphrey Newberry and others for encroachment on Windsor Forest a few years later it was deposed that Ashridge was not part of the forest of Windsor. (fn. 71) The lands claimed by Sir Henry Nevill were Broad Ashridge, Blare Close, Foxleyes, Herne and Rylands. He disclaimed any title to the lands called Ashridge, Rowgrove and Sellgrove, (fn. 72) which he said his father had conveyed to Sir Ralph Wynwood, kt. (fn. 73) It was deposed also that the land called Ashridge was included in the parish of Hurst by the parishioners in their perambulations, and moreover that 'a great letter H is here made in the ground upon the outbounds of the said wast ground called Ashridge neare to a place called Julian Taylors Crosse.' (fn. 74) According to another inquisition the lands called Ashridge lay in Hurst and Wokingham and contained 530 acres. (fn. 75) The hundred of Ashridge and the manor of Hertoke alias Ashridge followed the descent of Billingbear Manor in Waltham St. Lawrence, (fn. 76) and are now held by Lord Braybrooke. (fn. 77)

Neville, Lord Bray-brooke. Gules a saltire argent with the difference of a rose gules.

The manor of BEACHES (Beches, Breaches), originally part of the manor of Sonning, was held at the end of the 15th century by William Whitlock. (fn. 78) There is a tradition that the estate took its name from the De la Beche family (fn. 79) and came to the Whitlocks through the marriage of John Whitlock with Agnes heir of Robert De la Beche. (fn. 80) There seems, however, no evidence that any branch of the De la Beche family had lands at Wokingham. In 1327 a Geoffrey atte Beche was assessed for the largest sum among the residents of Wokingham. (fn. 81) He probably was a landowner and may have been the ancestor of Robert Beche of Wokingham living in 1441, (fn. 82) who perhaps is the so-called Robert 'de la Beche.' William Whitlock, according to a pedigree, was son of a John Whitlock of Wokingham and father of Richard Whitlock. (fn. 83) He apparently also had a son William, for in 1549 William son of William Whitlock sued his younger brother Richard (fn. 84) for unlawful entry into the manor. (fn. 85) Richard is said to have had a son John, (fn. 86) father apparently of William who in 1604 and 1620 was dealing with the manor. (fn. 87) In 1628 John Whitlock was alderman of the town and possibly held Beaches. (fn. 88) Richard Whitlock was in possession of the manor in 1644, (fn. 89) and his successor was another Richard, who was holding in 1688. (fn. 90) One of the parties to a deed executed by him at this date was Thomas Hawe, and the manor appears to have passed into his family. Richard Hawes, called of Wokingham, was appointed a regarder of the forest in 1695. (fn. 91) In 1729 Richard Hawe, brewer, of Richmond, co. Surrey, died, leaving the manor of Beaches to his wife for life with remainder in equal shares to her six nieces. (fn. 92) In 1754 John Twigwand and Anne his wife, who was presumably one of these heirs, held a fourth part (fn. 93) together with a similar share in an adjoining property called Mays or Mayswith (in Berkshire and Wiltshire), (fn. 94) while in 1762 Laetitia Sutton, widow, of Kensington, held another quarter, including the capital messuage called Holt House, and at that date executed deeds for the barring of the entail. (fn. 95) The share held by John Twigwand evidently remained in his family, since in 1813 an eighth of the manor was in possession of Thomas Henry Twigwand. (fn. 96) Lysons states in 1806 that Jeremiah Crutchley and William Lamplough held six parts of the manor, (fn. 97) while in 1809 George Henry Crutchley was returned as coparcener with William Lamplough. (fn. 98)

Whitlock. Azure a cheveron indented between three falcons or.

The front door of the manor-house of Beaches bears the date 1624 and the initials R. and E.H., which are believed to represent Richard Harrison and his wife. The house is now the property of Mr. Herbert Pearson, who bought it from Mr. F. C.C. Barnett. (fn. 99)

The reputed manor of BUCKHURST may be identified with the tithing of 'Bokehurste,' which was represented at the frankpledge court (fn. 100) at Hertoke or Ashridge in 1488, and therefore was reckoned to be in the county of Wiltshire. The manor was held in the 15th century by the family of Drew or Dru of Littleton Drew, Wiltshire. In 1453 Thomas Drew and Agnes his wife settled the manor in conjunction with their daughter Margaret and her husband Walter Samborne. (fn. 101) Margaret Samborne died in February 1494–5 seised of a tenement in Wokingham called The Cage. (fn. 102) The manor of Bucjhurst is not mentioned in her inquisition, but apparently no return was made for Wiltshire. It descended to her son Drew Samborne, who died in January 1506–7. (fn. 103) It then devolved on his granddaughter Margaret, the daughter of his son William, and by her marriage to William Lord Windsor passed into that family. (fn. 104) Lord Windsor died in 1558, leaving a son Edward, whose heir Henry Lord Windsor conveyed the manor in 1588 to Henry Samborne. (fn. 105) In 1611 the latter conveyed it to Thomas and Edward Barker, the former of whom died seised of it in 1630, when it passed to Edward to hold until William the son of Thomas, then aged seventeen, should come of age. (fn. 106) Henry Barker of Chiswick, who was dealing with the manor in 1660 (fn. 107), was presumably William's heir. Scory Barker of Chiswick, mentioned by Ashmole as impropriator of the tithes, (fn. 108) was probably holding this manor also at the end of the 17th century. In 1727 Henry Barker and Barbara his wife conveyed it to Daniel Beard and others. (fn. 109) In 1806 the manor was in the possession of Mr. Daniel Wheeler. (fn. 110) It passed to Sir Charles Broke Vere, bart., who sold it in 1834 to Samuel Day. In 1837 it was bought by Thomas Hopper, who by will of 1853 left his property to his daughter Jessalina Lady Smith. She sold it to Mr. Samuel Palmer, from whom it was purchased by his son Mr. W. Howard Palmer of Heathlands. (fn. 111)

Drew. Ermine a lion passant gules.

Samborne. Argent a cheveron sable between three molets gules pierced or.

In the 16th century the family of Norreys held an estate in Wokingham known as NORREYS MANOR. John Norreys founded a chantry in the church in 1443 and held lands in the parish at his death in 1466. (fn. 112) His son William Norreys died seised of a manor of Wokingham called 'Norres Manor' in 1507. (fn. 113) It subsequently descended in this family, passing in 1623, by the death of Francis Norreys Earl of Berkshire, the last male heir, to his daughter Elizabeth the wife of Edmund Wray. (fn. 114) She with her husband conveyed it in 1625 to John Peacock, in whose tenure it then was. (fn. 115) In 1674 Henry Peacock and Frances Peacock, widow, conveyed the manor to Richard Hawe, (fn. 116) and with Beaches (q.v.) it was divided among his heirs.

Norreys. Argent quartered with gules fretty or with a fesse azure over all.

A mill in Wokingham belonged in 1228 to Christian de Wudecride (Woodcray ?), to whom Alice daughter of Julian quitclaimed her right (probably as co-heir) in that year. (fn. 117)


The church of ALL SAINTS consists of a chancel 40 ft. 3 in. by 20 ft. 9 in., north chancel aisle 22 ft. 5 in. by 19 ft. 6 in. serving as an organ chamber, south chapel 25 ft. 9 in. by 18 ft. 9 in., north-east vestry, nave 70 ft. 7 in. by 26 ft. 8 in., north aisle 14 ft. 10 in. wide, south aisle 15 ft. 2 in. wide, south porch and a west tower 13 ft. 2 in. by 12 ft. 11 in. These measurements are all internal.

The building dates from about the end of the 14th century, to which date the nave, with its rather ill-proportioned arcades, may be ascribed. There was doubtless an earlier church on the site, containing work of the 12th century, but whether the present walls are on the older foundations is not certain. The south doorway is mostly of modern stonework in the style of the 12th century, but a few stones in its inner arch-order appear to be old and may have belonged to a doorway of that date, originally in the aisle wall. The tower was added about the middle of the 15th century. The rest of the building has been so completely modernized as to obscure the architectural history. The clearstory was probably raised in the 15th century, perhaps when the tower was built. The chancel and its aisles are entirely modern, and an old print shows the church apparently without a chancel. All the windows of the aisles are also modernized, and probably only the western lights are copies of their predecessors. Much of this work was probably done in 1864, when the building was restored. The external stonework of the tower was largely renewed in 1880.

The chancel, which is designed in the style of the 14th century, has an east window of five lights under a traceried head with a foiled rear arch. North of the altar is a trefoiled recess with a credence shelf, and the south wall is pierced by twin two-light windows. An arcade of two bays divides the chancel from the organ chamber, and to the east of it is a doorway into the vestry. On the south side is an arcade of two similar bays with the addition of another smaller one to the east, all opening into the chapel.

Each of the nave arcades has five bays, of which the easternmost and westernmost are wider than the three intermediate. The columns are circular and of unusual height; the bases are octagonal with a roll and hollow-chamfer mould; the circular capitals have shallow mouldings and an octagonal abacus. The arches of the end bays are four-centred, those of the intermediate bays being two-centred, and each is of two orders, moulded respectively with a double ogee and a swelled chamfer. The responds of the north arcade and the second pillar on the south are of stone and are modern, but the original columns are of chalk. The clearstory has five square-headed windows of two lights on each side, one above each arch, apparently all modern. The north aisle is lighted by three modern windows, each of three lights with tracery under a square head, in the side wall, and a pointed window of the same number of lights in the west wall. The windows of the south aisle are of the same number and design. The south doorway, between the second and third windows, is in the style of the 12th century, and has zigzag ornament in the outer order of the round arch; the only old stones are a few in the inner order, which has a plain edge roll. The porch has two small windows in either side wall and a pointed entrance archway.

The tower is of three stages with square angle buttresses and a stair turret in the south-east corner. The tower arch has attached shafts in the jambs with moulded bases and capitals; it is two-centred and of two moulded orders, with a casement between two double ogees. A gallery half-way up the arch is now used as the ringing floor. The west doorway has old jambs with a wide casement mould and a two-centred arch in a modern square head. The window above is almost all modern; it has five cinquefoiled lights under a traceried two-centred head. The second stage has a west window, wholly restored, of three cinquefoiled lights with a traceried four-centred head, and on the south side a clock dial. The bell-chamber has modernized windows of two cinquefoiled lights under four-centred heads. The parapet is embattled and the stair-turret which rises above it is finished by a tall pointed stone pinnacle.

The tower is built of square conglomerate blocks of a deep purple tint with stone dressings. The same material is employed in the clearstory walls. The rest of the building is of a grey squared rubble. The nave roof is of a low pitch, and appears to date from the 15th century, although one of the tie-beams bears the date 1631 between two shields (with charges including a cheveron) and the churchwardens' initials I.L. and T.S. It is divided into five bays by ornamental trusses with tracery between the tie-beams and rafters and traceried spandrels to the four-centred arches below the ties. The jacks are supported by modern stone head corbels. The principal rafters, purlins and ridge-piece are chamfered or simply moulded and the whole roof is painted and varnished. The aisles have modern lean-to roofs; these are covered with tiles, as are also those of the modern chancel and chapels. The nave and tower have lead roofs, that of the latter having a device cast in the lead with the date 1692 and the initials R.G. and R.P. surrounding a circle containing a winged dragon.

The octagonal font is of the 15th century, and the sides have traceried panels containing roses and other flowers, while its hollow-chamfered under-edge is carved with a sort of guilloche of bold design. The stem also has panelled sides, and the base is moulded. All the other furniture is modern. The high altar has a carved stone reredos, and the side altar one of oak panelling. An iron screen divides the chancel from the chapel, and the chancel arch is closed by an oak screen, as also is the lower archway below the gallery or ringing floor of the tower.

The ancient monuments are few. In the organ chamber is a small black marble slab with a Latin inscription to Thomas Godwin of Christ Church, Oxford, Dean of Canterbury and afterwards Bishop of Bath and Wells, who was born in Wokingham and died and was buried there in 1590. On the south wall of the south aisle is an undated Elizabethan mural monument with a brass inclosed in a round-headed panel of black marble, the arch being enriched by a guilloche. On the brass are the figures of a man and woman kneeling face to face at a desk, and over them a shield with the arms, apparently, of Daubeny. Below the figures is an inscription in English verse. Near the last is an undated 18th-century monument of classic design to Humphry Cantrel, sen., and Humphry Cantrel, jun., and on the north wall is one to Edward Cotton of Wokingham, who died in 1682. There are also other 18th-century and later monuments and gravestones. In the churchyard north of the tower lies a slab with the indents of the figures of a man and his wife with their children with an inscription. A date, 1525, carved at the foot of the slab, probably at some later period, appears to be the approximate date of the figures. The slab was used afterwards for one Thomas Goodwin, who died in 1718–19, and whose epitaph is cut in the top of the slab.

There is a ring of eight bells: the treble and second by Mears & Stainbank, 1903; the third by T. Mears, 1814; the fourth, cast by Samuel Knight in 1704, was recast by Mears & Stainbank in 1903; the fifth is by Samuel Knight, 1703; the sixth by T. Mears, 1814; the seventh and tenor, both by Samuel Knight, and dated 1704 and 1703 respectively. Besides these there is a small bell dated 1829, with no maker's name, and another small modern bell above the roof, to serve the clock.

The silver communion plate comprises a cup with a cover paten, a flagon, one large and two small alms-dishes, all of 1729, a cup and paten of 1876, a cup and paten of 1864, and a spoon of 1863. There is also a silver processional cross set with stones.

The registers previous to 1812 are as follows: (i) baptisms 1674 to 1747, burials 1674 to 1760, marriages 1675 to 1754; (ii) burials 1678 to 1732; (iii) baptisms and burials 1761 to 1812; (iv) marriages 1754 to 1765; (v) marriages 1765 to 1777; (vi) marriages 1777 to 1799; (vii) marriages 1799 to 1812.

The ecclesiastical parish of ST. PAUL was formed from All Saints' in 1863. (fn. 118) The church, built by Mr. John Walter of Bear Wood in 1864, is designed in the style of the 14th century. It consists of a chancel, south vestry, north and south chapels, a nave, north and south aisles and a north-west tower with a spire. The walls are of squared rubble with Bath stone dressings. The advowson belongs to Mr. Walter.

The ecclesiastical parish of ST. SEBASTIAN was formed from All Saints' and St. Paul's in 1871. (fn. 119) The church, which is at Heathfields, was built by public subscription in 1864, and is a small structure of brick with stone dressings, having a chancel, nave and a narrow aisle to the north, divided from the nave by wood posts. The roof is tiled, and above the west end is a small wood bellcote containing one bell and surmounted by a four-sided shingled spirelet. The advowson belongs to the Bishop of Oxford.


A chapel at Wokingham, subject to the mother church of Sonning, is mentioned in 1146. (fn. 120) The advowson belonged to the Deans of Salisbury, rectors of Sonning. The chapel in 1220 was held at farm by Philip the chaplain for 10 marks. (fn. 121) It had a cemetery and baptistery and received oil and chrism at Reading. The living remained in the gift of the Deans of Salisbury (fn. 122) until 1846, when the patronage was transferred to the Bishops of Oxford.

In 1443 Adam Moleyns, Dean of Salisbury, John Norreys and John Westende, chaplain, received licence to found a perpetual chantry at the altar of the Virgin within the church, to be called the chantry of St. Mary. (fn. 123) In 1548 the incumbent kept a grammar school within the chantry. The only article then remaining in the incumbent's custody was a chalice weighing 8 oz. (fn. 124) The chantry was granted in 1549 to Richard Ward and William Planner. (fn. 125) The endowment included rent from land in Bray.


The Municipal Charities.

—These charities, formerly administered by the corporation, were by a scheme approved by her Majesty in council on 24 June 1885, made under the Municipal Corporations Act, 1882, vested in seven 'trustees of municipal charities in the borough of Wokingham.' They include the charities of—

Thomas Wolley, founded by deed 1564, consisting of a rent-charge of 6s. 8d. issuing out of the Catherine Wheel Inn, Henley, which is distributed yearly among the occupants of Westende's almshouses, who in return present a nosegay to the distributor.

John Planner, will, proved in the P.C.C. 14 November 1606, consisting of a rent-charge of £3 issuing from the close called Millmead, situate near the Lucas Hospital, now belonging to the Marquess of Downshire, applicable in apprenticing children born in the town of Wokingham.

William Thare, will, 13 August 1628, whereby a rent-charge of £3 3s. issuing from three cottages in Denmark Street, and land containing 1 a. 1 r. 11 p. near the 'Three Frogs' in London Road, was granted for distribution amongst six decayed tradesmen, 10s. apiece, and 3s. for the expenses of the trustees. The annuity is paid out of the general income of the corporation, who hold the property charged.

John Merrywether, will, proved in P.C.C. 10 October 1633, whereby £200 was directed to be laid out in land, one moiety of the rent to be applied in the purchase of upper garments for poor people of the town. The trust estate consists of a house and 11 a. 1 r. 36 p. at Longmoor, Finchampstead, let at £16 a year of which £8 is expended in providing coats for poor men in Wokingham and £8 is remitted to the parish of Benson, Oxfordshire, for the like purpose.

George Staverton, by will dated 15 May 1661, proved in the P.C.C., gave out of his Staines house, Middlesex, a yearly sum of £6 to buy a bull, 'which bull he gave to the poor of Wokingham town and parish, being baited, and the gift money, hide and offal to be sold and bestowed upon the poor children in stockings of the Welsh, and shoes.' Until the year 1821 the baiting of the animal took place yearly on 21 December in the market-place. In that year the corporation determined upon discontinuing such a proceeding, which was accordingly omitted till Christmas 1835, when the mob broke open the place where one of the animals was kept in the night and baited it in spite of the efforts of the magistrates to prevent them. The present endowment consists of a dwelling-house and builder's yard at Staines, let at £35 a year, and £554 17s. 1d. consols, with the official trustees, arising from the sale in 1884 of 2 acres acquired under the Staines Inclosure Act, 1843, producing £13 17s. 4d. in dividends. The income is expended in beef, which is distributed on St. Thomas's Day.

Archbishop Laud's Charity.

—William Laud, Archbishop of Canterbury, by his will dated 13 January 1643–4, and proved in the P.C.C. 8 January 1661, directed (inter alia) that lands of the yearly value of £200 should be bought and settled to charitable uses, that is to say, £50 to Wokingham, £50 to Henley-upon-Thames, £50 to Wallingford, and £50 to New Windsor. In pursuance of the said will, and of a decree of the High Court of Chancery by a deed dated 2 October 1672, made between Sir John Robinson, kt., and two others of the one part, and Nathaniel Lord, Bishop of Durham (then Lord Bishop of Oxford) and seventeen others of the other part, certain fee-farm rents which had then been lately granted from the Crown were settled upon trust to pay yearly to the corporation of Wokingham the sum of £50, to be applied for the first year as marriage portions to three poor maids of eighteen years at the least, born in Wokingham, who had served one master or mistress for three years together at the least, and for the two succeeding years for binding apprentice at a premium of £10 each five boys of fourteen years of age born of honest poor people of the Church of England in the said town, with a preference to the fatherless, the like trusts to be observed in the case of the gifts of £50 to the other three towns. The following are the rents which form the share of Wokingham after deducting land tax, namely: a yearly rent-charge of £27 17s. issuing out of the manor of Aston Upthorpe, received from Lady Wantage, and a yearly rent-charge of £12 6s. 9d. issuing from lands in the parish of Aston Upthorpe, received from Mr. R. H. Valpy. The official trustees also hold £302 19s. 2d. consols, arising from accumulations, producing £7 11s. 4d. a year. In the administration of the charity the trusts of the deed are observed as strictly as practicable.

Mrs. Sarah Yarnold, who died 16 October 1831, by her will proved in the P.C.C., bequeathed a sum of stock, now represented by £1,620 consols standing in the corporate name of the aldermen and burgesses of Wokingham, upon trust that the annual income, amounting to £40 10s., should, subject to the repair of her husband's tomb in the churchyard at Ruscombe, be applied at certain prescribed days as to £10 thereof to the benefit of four industrious and deserving widows residing in that parish, as to £12 equally amongst four female servants who should have been in the same service for three successive years in the parishes of Hurst or Wokingham, to be called 'The Officers' Charity,' as to £3 to six poor married women residing within the liberty of Hinton in the parish of Hurst and being respectively in child-bed. The testatrix further directed that the residue of the dividends should be divided between two blind men and two blind women. The four poor widows of Ruscombe are selected by the vicar and parish council of that parish. There is considerable demand for the 'Officers' Charity,' but only a paucity of applications for the blind charity. The women's charity is applied on the recommendation of the churchwardens of Hinton, endorsed by the vicar of Hurst.

General Charities.

—The following charities were by an order of the Charity Commissioners of 13 February 1885 placed under one body of trustees under this title, namely, the almshouses, founded by John Westende, clerk, by deed poll 1 September 1451, described as eight eleemosynary (sic) cottages at the eastern end of Le Peche Street, which were further endowed by Ralph White, 1516, with a meadow at Patten's Ashe, and in 1565 by Edmund Baucheler with land known as Wimblehill Acre in Langborough Common Field, and by an allotment by the Ashridge inclosure award, 1814. (fn. 126) The trust property now consists of a block of five almshouses, rebuilt in 1859 by Commander Elliot Morres, one of the trustees, at his own expense, three almshouses known as the 'Women's Almshouses,' rebuilt in 1870 at a cost of £350, and two 'Jubilee Almshouses' erected in 1887, the cost being defrayed partly by a public subscription of £ and partly by Mr. T. M. Westcott, the then mayor; thirteen cottages let at weekly rents producing £120 or thereabouts yearly, and £433 0s. 11d. consols, producing £10 16s. 4d. yearly, arising from sales of land at Patten's Ashe, Langborough Field and the allotment above mentioned. The houses are at present occupied by four men and eight women and four in the Jubilee almshouses. (See also charity of Mrs. Elizabeth Mary Mollony, below.)

John Tickenor, by will proved in the P.C.C. 18 October 1603, trust fund, £66 13s. 4d. consols, arising from the redemption in 1858 of an annuity of 40s.

Ann Tickner and Mary Cotterell's eleemosynary charity, deed 1714, trust fund, £120 consols.

Richard Young: a sum of 25s. a year was formerly paid under a deed dated 19 July 1605, as the rent of an acre of land bounding upon land called Bills on the west and on the king's highway leading from Reading towards Binfield on the north, and distributed in bread in the month of February. The land was exchanged in 1791 for land belonging to the Hon. John Leveson-Gower, and the annuity in question was by deed dated 31 December 1792 charged upon a messuage and lands at Slowbridge in Wokingham. The rent-charge has for many years ceased to be paid.

Robert Challenor, D.D., by will proved in the P.C.C. 5 July 1621, consists of a rent-charge of 40s. payable out of a farm called Rowse's Farm, now the property of the Marquess of Downshire.

Robert Ball, founded by deed 10 December 1638, endowed with a rent-charge of £12, payable out of lands now belonging to Mr. Denis de Vitré. Grants are made to the nurse funds of All Saints' and St. Paul's parishes, also the relief of the poor fund.

Charity of Richard and Robert Whitlock, founded by deeds 1642 and 1667, trust fund, £800 consols, arising from the sale in 1856 of the real estate formerly belonging to the charity. The income of £20 a year is applied with the charity of Robert Ball above mentioned.

Bartholomew Bromley, by will proved 6 December 1656, whereby certain lands in Garsington, Oxon., were devised upon trust that the rents and profits should be employed for the charitable purposes therein mentioned, subject, however, to the yearly payment of £9 14s. to the parish of Winkfield for the like purposes. The trust estate consists of 23 a. 1 r. 27 p. allotted on the inclosure of the parish of Garsington, in 1813, (fn. 127) in lieu of lands originally devised, let for £34 10s., and £1,068 1s. 10d. consols arising from the sale in 1860 of 'Hallings' Closes,' derived from the same inclosure. The sum of £1 6s. 8d. is paid to the rector, as prescribed, for preaching sermons on 24 June and 24 August (St. Bartholomew's Day), on which day a distribution of bread is made in the market-place by the churchwardens and overseers, who receive 20s. allowed by the will for refreshments, whilst the remainder of the income is expended in tickets for bread, the recipients being mostly widows.

Jay's charity, by will date unknown but prior to 1664, formerly consisting of a cottage and 1 a. 1 r. in Langborough Field, which were sold in 1869, when the proceeds with accumulations were invested in £303 1s. 1d. consols.

Richard Palmer, by deed dated in 1664, charged certain meadow land in the parish of Finchampstead with £2 a year, to be paid to the sexton of Wokingham for ringing a curfew bell at eight o'clock every evening from September to March and in the morning at four o'clock, so that 'strangers might be informed of the time of night and receive some guidance in their way.' The rent-charge was paid by Mr. J. Walter, but was recently disputed. The expense is now borne by an anonymous donor.

William Monke, by his will proved in the P.C.C. 3 July 1669, charged certain property at Slowbridge with 52s. a year for the distribution of bread weekly. The land, subject to the rent-charge, now forms part of the Bear Wood estate belonging to Mr. J. Walter, who pays the charge.

John Brookbank, will proved in the P.C.C. 3 July 1669, trust fund, £104 2½ per cent. annuities, representing the redemption in 1899 of the charge created by the donor's will.

Thomas Hedger, by will, 1704, devised a messuage in Down Street and a parcel of land in Langborough Common Field, the rents to be applied in the distribution of bread, one-half among the poor of Wokingham and the other half among the poor of St. Nicholas Olave, London; also a piece of ground in Shute End, on which stood a house called Astwood House, the rent to be laid out in bread among the poor of Wokingham. The real estate now remaining is Astwood House, let at £30 a year, the other estate and certain lands allotted in respect thereof on the inclosure having been sold at different dates and the net proceeds invested in £1,016 1s. 1d. consols, of which £541 7s. 2d. consols belongs to Wokingham and the remainder to St. Nicholas Olave.

Richard Brackstone, by will proved in the peculiar of the Dean of Salisbury 2 May 1715, charged a close, known as Page's Croft, with 10s. a year, to be distributed in bread on St. Thomas's Day, which is paid by Mr. J. Walter, the present owner.

Richard Hawe, founded by will, 1727, proved in the P.C.C., trust fund, £1,135 13s. 7d. consols, arising from sale of lands allotted on the inclosure in lieu of land originally devised. This charity is administered with the charity next mentioned.

— Davis, date unknown, trust fund, £317 7s. 5d. consols, with the official trustees, arising from the sale in 1903 of 2 a. 2 r. on the road to Embrook. This charity is administered with Hawe's charity. There is also a sum of about £200 accumulating in the savings bank.

John Bateman of Eton, Bucks., who died in 1732, by his will directed £200 to be laid out in the purchase of land, one moiety of the rent to be applied for the benefit of the poor of Eton and the other moiety for the poor of Wokingham. The land was sold in 1855 and the proceeds invested in £549 9s. consols, one-half of which represents the share of Wokingham.

Richard Crutwell, by deed 1 December 1751 (enrolled), settled certain lands, augmented in 1833, the rents to be applied in gifts of upper garments among six ancient poor men and the residue in bread among poor housekeepers of the town. The real estate was sold in 1887. The endowment fund now consists of £894 18s. 5d. consols. There is also a sum of £120 accumulating in the savings bank arising from the sale of timber. Great-coats to the value of £1 each are distributed, £3 a year being reserved for distribution of bread weekly.

William Nash, by a codicil to his will (date not stated), bequeathed to the minister and churchwardens £200 stock, the income to be distributed at Christmas time in bread. The legacy is represented by £200 consols, the income of £5 a year being distributed by the rector and churchwardens of All Saints.

John Nash, by will proved in the P.C.C. in December 1819, left £300 consols, the dividends to be applied in gowns and aprons among twelve poor old women, attendants at divine service. The income of £7 10s. a year is expended in material for clothing of the value of 10s. to each recipient. A sum of £50 consols, derived under the will of the same testator, is held in trust locally, to keep in repair, &c., the family tombs in the churchyard.

The several sums of stock, unless otherwise stated, are held by the official trustees. The income of the 'General Charities,' irrespective of the Westende almshouses, amounts to £235 a year, or thereabouts, of which, after deduction of expenses, about £30 is expended under the head of 'relief of poor,' £17 in the distribution of meat, £40 for other objects defined by the trusts, and the remainder in the distribution of bread on St. Thomas's and St. Bartholomew's Days, and monthly or weekly.

Educational Charities. (fn. 128)

—The charities of Richard How, Thomas Martin, Ann Tickner and Mary Cotterell are regulated by a scheme of the Charity Commissioners of 19 May 1893. The land at Finchampstead (How's gift) was sold in 1904, and the proceeds invested in £600 consols, of which one-fourth belongs to this parish and one-fourth to each of the parishes of Binfield, Winkfield and Waltham St. Lawrence. The lands subject to the charge under the will of Thomas Martin were sold in 1901, and this charity is now represented by £786 0s. 8d. consols. The annuity of £5 granted by Ann Tickner and Mary Cotterell is paid by Mr. Denis de Vitré, the owner of Bean Oak Close in the tithing of Charwood, charged therewith. The annual income of these charges, amounting to £28 8s., is under the scheme applied in encouraging attendance at the public elementary schools by granting prizes or rewards, including articles of clothing, &c. The trustees are also empowered to grant exhibitions of a yearly value not exceeding £10 in each case at any place of education higher than elementary.

Charity of Martha Palmer—The endowments now consist of the Palmer School and master's house, the Old Maiden School with yard and shed let at £12 a year, the old infants' school adjoining let at £5 a year, and £100 consols.

Charity of Charles Palmer, M.D. —The trust fund now consists of £667 consols, arising from the redemption in 1864 of a rent-charge of £20; the dividends, amounting to £16 13s. 4d., are applicable under a scheme of the Board of Education of 25 August 1905 as to £4 for the purposes of any Sunday school in the ancient borough in which instruction is given according to the doctrines of the Church of England, as to £4 in prizes for religious knowledge for children in attendance at the Palmer's School and at a Church of England Sunday school, and the residue in exhibitions. The official trustees also hold a sum of £333 10s. like stock, representing the redemption of £10 a year bequeathed by the will of Dr. Palmer to the minister of the parish church for preaching a sermon on 15 February towards the promotion and encouragement of charity.

Elizabeth Parker, by will proved in the P.C.C. 19 September 1795, bequeathed £10 for the support of Sunday schools, invested in £15 consols.

Thomas Wilmot, by will 5 December 1796, proved in the P.C.C., bequeathed £5 a year for Sunday schools and £1 1s. for the minister. Under the direction of the Court of Chancery a sum of £201 13s. 4d. consols was set aside to provide for the legacies, a sum of £100 thereout was expended in 1846 in adding two class-rooms to the National school, reducing the amount of stock to £94 11s. 4d. consols.

The several sums of stock, unless otherwise stated, are held by the official trustees.

The Fuel Allotment. By an award 3 July 1817, under the Act for the inclosure of Windsor Forest, (fn. 129) allotments containing in the aggregate 120 acres or thereabouts were made to the churchwardens and overseers of the town and parish, which were sold at different periods, with the exception of 32 a. 2 r., situate on the eastern boundary of the parish, and the proceeds invested in £1,888 7s. 9d. consols, with the official trustees, producing yearly £47 4s. The land retained consists of rough pasture and heath, producing £6 a year. The net income is expended in coals and distributed on St. Thomas's Day.

Charity of Thomas Winder, founded by will proved in the P.C.C. 12 February 1651. By an order of the Charity Commissioners of 26 February 1892 the sum of £1,205 Great Northern Railway 3 per cent. debenture stock, arising from the sale of the real estate and from the sale of timber, being twenty-one sixtieths of the whole, was apportioned a the share of Wokingham (see also under Winkfield and Warfield). The yearly income, amounting to £36 5s., is, under a scheme of the Charity Commissioners of 30 May 1873, applied by the rector and churchwardens as follows: £1 yearly is paid to the rector for sermons on 5 November and St. Thomas's Day, 10s. to the clerk, £2 about the beginning of each year is divided equally among four poor persons, 2s. 6d. a week in bread among four poor helpless persons and the residue of the income mainly in medical and surgical assistance.

Charity of Mrs. Elizabeth Mary Mollony, founded by will and codicils proved at London 14 July 1857. The minister and churchwardens also hold a sum of £78 19s. 6d. in the savings bank, the interest of which, subject to the repair of certain tombs in the churchyard, is divided equally among the women in Westende's almshouses (see above).

The Lucas Hospital, founded by will of Henry Lucas, bearing date 11 June 1663, proved in the P.C.C., and by Letters Patent 18 January 1667, for a master and sixteen brethren, is under the management of the court of assistants of the Drapers' Company, London. The endowments of the charity are now as follows: the hospital buildings and gardens at Wokingham, in hand; Greenfield Farm in the parishes of Flitton, Flitwick and Pulloxhill, Beds., containing 52 a. 3 r. 34 p., let at £65 a year; land, Grange Mill, and two cottages in the parish of Harlington, Beds., and land adjoining, containing together 66 acres or thereabouts, producing yearly £108; £6,559 15s. 7d. consols standing in the corporate name of the Drapers' Company, arising from accumulations of income from time to time, and £3,134 3s. 7d. consols, with the official trustees, arising from the sale in 1874 of an allotment at Great Heath, Finchampstead, and from the sale in 1887 of the Hermitage Farm at Flitton, producing in yearly dividends £242 6s. 8d., making a total annual income from endowments of £415 6s. 8d. The Drapers' Company have in addition since 1890 made an annual contribution of £120 out of their corporate funds. The master and chaplain of the hospital, who must be a university graduate in holy orders, receives a stipend of £100, and each of the brethren, who are now twelve in number, receives £25 a year and 10s. a quarter for firing. They are selected in rotation from certain parishes in Surrey and Berkshire, and must be single men, either bachelors or widowers, and be labouring men who are past work and upwards of fifty years of age.

In 1703 Benjamin Griffine, by will proved in the P.C.C. 25 February, bequeathed 50s. per annum, payable out of Larmor's Meadow, Wokingham, for the maintenance of the Baptist minister of Wokingham and of the Baptist minister at Reading. The rentcharge was redeemed in 1899 by the transfer to the official trustees of £100 2½ per cent. annuities.

The Atkins Trusts: The minister of the Wokingham Baptist chapel also receives annually a sum of £3 7s., and the deacons of the same chapel the like sum of £3 7s. for the benefit of the poor of the congregation, &c., being one-fourteenth part of the dividends of £3,926 6s. 9d. consols, held by the official trustees, arising from the sale of lands by order of the Court of Chancery, settled by Abraham Atkins in 1786 for the benefit of fourteen Baptist chapels, of which Wokingham was one. The minister is further entitled to one-sixteenth part of the dividends of £3,533 13s. 4d. India 3½ per cent. stock, held by the official trustees, arising under the will of the said Abraham Atkins, dated 12 July 1791, left for the benefit of the ministers of sixteen Baptist congregations, of which Wokingham was one. The sum of £8 10s. 4d. is paid from this source.

The Wesleyan Methodist chapel and trust property in Rose Street, comprised in deeds 1820, 1869, 1871 and 1893, is regulated by a scheme of the Charity Commissioners of 30 June 1896. The property not actually used for purposes of public worship consists of two cottages separated by a passage from the chapel, let at weekly rents producing £12 7s. a year.


  • 1. See Lysons, Mag. Brit. (1806), i (2), 441; Parl. Accts. and Papers, 1835, xxvi, 2938.
  • 2. The names Wiltshire Farm and Wiltshire Road preserve the fact of the parish's ancient connexion with Wiltshire.
  • 3. Statistics from Bd. of Agric. (1905).
  • 4. E. Simpson, The Agreeable Historian, 1746.
  • 5. Lysons, op. cit. (1813), i (2), 198.
  • 6. Carrington, 'Ancient state of town of Wokingham,' Wilts. Arch. and Nat. Hist. Soc. Mag. x, 66. This was apparently the town house which was built for the borough about 1585 (Exch. Dep. Berks. Hil. 39 Eliz. no. 4). The old town hall was repaired in 1819 (Parl. Accts. and Papers, 1835, xxvi, 2938).
  • 7. Cooper King, Hist. of Berks. 243.
  • 8. In 1559 Richard Palmer alias Underwood of Wokingham, yeoman, grandfather apparently of the Richard of the text (Visit. of Berks. [Harl. Soc.], i, 255), bought an estate at Luckley Green called Redde Landes (Deed printed by Lyon, Chron. of Finchampstead, 261). The Palmers' Luckley property descended with their manor of Finchampstead East Court. Henry Fish Palmer lived at Luckley House after his marriage in 1728 (Lyon, op. cit. 128, 136).
  • 9. Pat. 19 Chas. II, pt. ix, no. 12.
  • 10. Ashmole, Antiq. of Berks. (1723), i, p. xliv. See below, under Charities.
  • 11. V.C.H. Berks. i, 166, 176.
  • 12. Dict. Nat. Biog.
  • 13. Add. Chart. 38646.
  • 14. Early Chan. Proc. bdle. 242, no. 40.
  • 15. L. and P. Hen. VIII, xx (2), 910 (21).
  • 16. Add. Chart. 38712, 38705, 38706, 38711, 38717; Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), cccviii, 120.
  • 17. Add. Chart. 38722.
  • 18. Ibid. 38725.
  • 19. Ibid. 38733.
  • 20. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), cccviii, 120; Add. Chart. 38635.
  • 21. Bigshot was one of the walks of the forest, and Ravenswood was the keeper's lodge. The inclosed land belonging to it was known as Bigshot Rayles. The last keeper of Bigshot Rayles was General Thomas Cox, who died in 1788 and was buried at Sandhurst. In 1809 the house was uninhabitable. It was bought by Sir Watkin Wynn, who repaired and enlarged it. About 1860 it was bought by Major Sawyer and later by Mr. Charles Smith (Parl. Accts. and Papers, 1809, iv, 285, 327; inform. from Capt. G. A. Kempthorne, R.A.M.C.). The name Ravenswood is modern. An earlier name was Hannican's Lodge, called from one Hankin or Hanykin, under-keeper in 1607, when Sir Charles Howard was keeper (G. M. Hughes, Hist. of Windsor Forest, 47; Harl. MS. 3749).
  • 22. Mathew's Green probably took its name from a 14th-century Wokingham family. John Mathew was assessed to the subsidy in 1327 at 6s. 1¾d. (Lay Subs. R. bdle. 73, no. 6).
  • 23. Rot. Lit. Claus. (Rec. Com.), i, 385; Pipe R. 3 Hen. III, m. 15.
  • 24. Pat. 25 Eliz. pt. ii, m. 12.
  • 25. The office of high steward was granted to Sir Henry Neville (Hist. MSS. Com. Rep. viii, App. i, 283b). The same office was granted to his descendant Richard Aldworth Neville in 1786, and the same day he was admitted to the freedom of the borough (ibid. 287b).
  • 26. Pat. 10 Jas. I, pt. v, no. 9; S. P. Dom. Jas. I, lxx, 17. The charter makes mention of the charter of Elizabeth and her predecessors.
  • 27. By-laws printed in Carrington, op. cit. 60; cf. Exch. Dep. Berks. Hil. 39 Eliz. no. 4. In 1793 councillors were fined 2s. 6d. for each meeting they missed and 5s. for not attending church (Berks. Arch. Journ. i, 114).
  • 28. Carrington, op. cit. 60 et seq. The by-laws were signed by two justices, one of whom was Sir James Whitlock.
  • 29. There was no police or gaol in the town, only one night watchman.
  • 30. Parl. Accts. and Papers, 1835, xxvv, 2938.
  • 31. Cal. Chart. R. 1226–57, p. 25; Rot. Lit. Claus. (Rec. Com.), ii, 174.
  • 32. Cal. Pat. 1338–40, p. 311.
  • 33. Pat. 25 Eliz. pt. ii, m. 12.
  • 34. Parl. Accts. and Papers, 1835, xxvi, 2938.
  • 35. Lysons, op. cit. (1806), i (2), 442.
  • 36. Cal. Chart. R. 1257–1300, p. 5.
  • 37. Lond. Gaz. 2 June 1874, p. 2867. It was then held on 2 and 3 Nov.
  • 38. Rep. of Roy. Com. on Markets and Tolls, i, App.
  • 39. Lysons. op. cit. i (2), 441.
  • 40. Ibid. 5. In the list of 1792 the dates are 23 Apr., 11 June (St. Barnabas), 10 Oct., 2 Nov. (All Saints).
  • 41. Hist. MSS. Com. Rep. xi, App. vii, 172–3.
  • 42. Testa de Nevill (Rec. Com.), 124, 126; Cal. Chart. R. 1226–37, p. 25; Exch. Dep. Berks. Hil. 39 Eliz. no. 4; Lysons, op. cit. i (2), 441.
  • 43. Ret. Lit. Claus. (Rec. Com.), i, 385; Cal. Chart. R. 1257–1300, p. 5.
  • 44. Feud. Aids, i, 47.
  • 45. Feet of F. Berks. Hil. 3 Eliz.
  • 46. Recov. R. East. 25 Eliz. m. 93.
  • 47. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), cclxxxi, 75.
  • 48. cf. Finchampstead East Court; Feet of F. Berks. Mich. and Hil. 10 Chas. I; Notes of F. Berks. East. 1659; Recov. R. East. 1659, m. 103.
  • 49. Feet of F. Berks. East. 13 Chas. II.
  • 50. Ibid. Mich. 21 Chas. II.
  • 51. Ibid. Hil. 29 & 30 Chas. II; Com. Pleas D. Enr. East. 31 Chas. II, m. 2.
  • 52. Cal. S. P. Dom. 1693, p. 62.
  • 53. Recov. R. Trin. 15 Geo. III, m. 233.
  • 54. Lysons, op. cit. (1806), i (2), 441.
  • 55. Deeds in possession of Mr. J. F. Coston.
  • 56. Cal. S. P. Dom. 1693, p. 62.
  • 57. Ibid. In 1809 the claim to part of the trees in Bear Wood was still asserted by the lord of Evendons (Parl. Accts. and Papers, 1809, iv, 285).
  • 58. Duchy of Lanc. Ct. R. bdle. 127, no. 1906.
  • 59. Cal. Pat. 1281–92, p. 185; Chan. Inq p.m. 20 Ric. II, no. 35; see also ibid. 2 Hen. V, no. 39; 7 Hen. VI, no. 57. Margaret Countess of Lincoln (Cal. Pat. loc. cit.) was daughter of William Longespee, Earl of Salisbury.
  • 60. Chan. Inq. p.m. 9 Edw. I, no. 74. Reference to the park at Ashridge is found in 1318 (Cal. Pat. 1317–21, p. 302).
  • 61. Cal. Pat. 1399–1401, p. 322.
  • 62. At this date Edward Earl of Warwick, son of George Duke of Clarence and Isabel Nevill, was a prisoner in the Tower. Apparently his estates were then in the king's hands (cf. Cal. Pat. 1476–85, p. 91).
  • 63. Duchy of Lanc. Ct. R. bdle. 127, no. 1906.
  • 64. L. and P. Hen. VIII, iv, g. 1860 (5).
  • 65. Cal. S. P. Dom. 1547–65, p. 512.
  • 66. Ibid. 1591–4, p. 367.
  • 67. Pat. 2 Jas. I, pt. xxiii, m. 24.
  • 68. Close, 2 Jas. I, pt. xi, m. 6. This branch of Nevills was descended from a younger son of George Lord Bergavenny (ob. 1491), who represented a younger branch of the family of Nevill to whom the Earls of Salisbury belonged (R. Daniel, Hist. of Nevill Family, 138, Table no. III).
  • 69. S. P. Dom. Jas. I, lxxxix, 134.
  • 70. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), ccclvi, 123.
  • 71. S. P. Dom. Jas. I, cc, 18.
  • 72. Ibid. 6.
  • 73. Ibid. lxxxix, 134. All of these lands were claimed by the king (ibid.).
  • 74. Ibid. ccii, 10.
  • 75. Ibid. xcix, 35.
  • 76. Feet of F. Div. Co. Trin. 31 Chas. II; Wilts. Hil. 4 Anne; Recov. R. Trin. 9 Geo. I, m. 197; Hil. 3 Geo. III, m. 317; Recov. R. East. 7 Geo. IV, m. 304.
  • 77. An award for inclosing lands in the manor was made in 1814 (Com. Pleas D. Enr. Mich. 56 Geo. III, m. 42; under Priv. Act, 50 Geo. III, cap. 84).
  • 78. Ct. of Req. bdle. 15, no. 59, and below. Lysons, op. cit. 1806, i (2), 441, describes Beaches as lying within the manor of Sonning. This manor may be connected with the tithing of Beche in the county of Wilts. (see above), although the manor and tithing were evidently not co-extensive. In 1488 the jury of the tithing presented William Whitlock for the state of his hedge at Mathew's Green (Duchy of Lanc. Ct. R. bdle. 127, no. 1906). Lands held with the manor in the 18th century are described as lying in Wiltshire (Com. Pleas D. Enr. Trin. 2 Geo. III, m. 81).
  • 79. Lysons, loc. cit.
  • 80. Ibid.; see Visit. of Berks. (Harl. Soc.), ii, 226.
  • 81. Wilts. Arch. and Nat. Hist. Mag xi, 53.
  • 82. a Cal. Pat. 1441–6, p. 129.
  • 83. Visit. of Berks. (Harl. Soc.), ii, 227.
  • 84. Apparently Richard the father of Sir James Whitlock, justice, who signed the by-laws of 1625, was nephew of this Richard (see above and cf. pedigrees of Whitlock).
  • 85. Ct. of Req. bdle. 15, no. 59.
  • 86. a The Whitlock pedigrees are confused. There seem to have been a John Whitlock of Wokingham and a Richard Whitlock of London, the latter living in 1633 (Visit. of Berks. [Harl. Soc.], ii, 225, 226, 227), and for lack of further evidence these have been called variously father and son and brothers. It seems to have been Richard brother of John Whitlock who was the father of Sir James.
  • 87. Feet of F. Div. Co. East. 2 Jas. I; Recov. R. Mich. 18 Jas. I, m. 17.
  • 88. Cal. S. P. Dom. 1628–9, p. 279.
  • 89. Feet of F. Berks. East. 20 Chas. I.
  • 90. Recov. R. East. 4 Jas. II, m. 205.
  • 91. a Cal. S. P. Dom. 1694–5, p. 460.
  • 92. Berks. Bucks. and Oxon. Arch. Journ. xv, 27.
  • 93. Feet of F. Berks. Trin. 28 Geo. II.
  • 94. cf. Com. Pleas D. Enr. Trin. 5 Geo. III, m. 20.
  • 95. Recov. R. Trin. 2 Geo. III, m. 172; Com. Pleas D. Enr. Trin. 2 Geo. III, m. 81–2; see also Recov. R. East. 5 Geo. III, m. 20.
  • 96. Recov. R. Trin. 53 Geo. III, m. 19.
  • 97. Lysons, op. cit. i (2), 442.
  • 98. Parl. Accts. and Papers, 1809, iv, 315.
  • 99. Berks. Bucks. and Oxon. Arch. Journ. xv, 27.
  • 100. Duchy of Lanc. Ct. R. bdle. 127, no. 1906.
  • 101. Feet of F. Div. Co. 31 Hen. VI, no. 34; cf. Southcote in Reading. In the fine there is a warranty against the heirs of Agnes.
  • 102. Cal. Inq. p.m. Hen. VII, i, 477.
  • 103. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), xxii, 22. The manor is here said to be held of the Bishop of Salisbury as of his manor of Wokingham. A later inquisition gives the manor as held of the lord of Ashridge, and certain other lands as held of the lord of Wokingham (ibid. dccxxxviii, 7).
  • 104. Recov. R. East. 3 Edw. VI, m. 331.
  • 105. Feet of F. Div. Co. East. 30 Eliz.; Add. Chart. 38634, 38635, 38637.
  • 106. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), dccxxxviii, 7. William Barker of Wokingham (d. 1549) had property in Chiswick (Berks. Arch. Soc. Journ. iii, 103; cf. Visit. of Berks. ii, 64).
  • 107. Com. Pleas D. Enr. Trin. 1660, m. 10; cf. Hist. MSS. Com. Rep. vi, App. 37b.
  • 108. Ashmole, op. cit. (1723), i, p. xxxi.
  • 109. a Feet of F. Wilts. Hil. 13 Geo. I.
  • 110. Lysons, op. cit. (1806), i (2), 442.
  • 111. a Inform. from Messrs. H. & G. Collins, solicitors for Mr. Palmer.
  • 112. Chan. Inq. p.m. 6 Edw. IV, no. 45.
  • 113. Ibid. (Ser. 2), xxiv, 76.
  • 114. L. and P. Hen. VIII, xvii, g. 1012 (11); Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), cxli, 1; clxxxviii, 7; Recov. R. Hil. 43 Eliz. m. 9; Cecil MSS. (Hist. MSS. Com.), xii, 554; Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), cccxcix, 153.
  • 115. Com. Pleas D. Enr. Trin. 1 Chas. I, m. 2; Feet of F. Div. Co. Trin. 1 Chas. I.
  • 116. a Feet of F. Div. Co. Trin. 26 Chas. II (see Beaches). The manor lay partly in Wilts.
  • 117. Feet of F. Berks. 12 Hen. III, no. 8b (case 7, file 9). For the spelling Wodecrithe see Add. Chart. 38649.
  • 118. Lond. Gaz. 28 July 1863, p. 3745.
  • 119. Ibid. 28 Mar. 1871, p. 1599.
  • 120. Sarum Chart. and Doc. (Rolls Ser.), 12.
  • 121. Reg. of St. Osmund (Rolls Ser.), i, 279, 305. He held it at farm of Master Hamo, the dean's nominee. A virgate of land in Wokingham was appurtenant to the chapel (ibid. 359, 356).
  • 122. Inst. Bks. (P.R.O.). A Parliamentary survey of the living taken in 1653 is printed by Carrington, op. cit. 79. A lease of the rectory had been granted by the dean to Thomas Barker (called of Chiswick, co. Midd.). cf. Hist. MSS. Com. Rep. vi, App. 37b; Ashmole, op. cit. (1723), i, p. xxxi.
  • 123. Cal. Pat. 1441–6, p. 190.
  • 124. Chant. Cert. 3, no. 5; cf. 51, no. 25; 7, no. 5.
  • 125. Pat. 3 Edw. VI, pt. vi, m. 13.
  • 126. Under Private Act of 50 Geo. III, cap. 84 (not printed).
  • 127. Under Local and Pers. Act of 51 Geo. III, cap. 85.
  • 128. See V.C.H. Berks. ii, 282, 283, 284.
  • 129. Local and Pers. Act, 53 Geo. III, cap. 158.