Parishes: West Wycombe

A History of the County of Buckingham: Volume 3. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1925.

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'Parishes: West Wycombe', A History of the County of Buckingham: Volume 3, (London, 1925), pp. 135-140. British History Online [accessed 21 June 2024].

. "Parishes: West Wycombe", in A History of the County of Buckingham: Volume 3, (London, 1925) 135-140. British History Online, accessed June 21, 2024,

. "Parishes: West Wycombe", A History of the County of Buckingham: Volume 3, (London, 1925). 135-140. British History Online. Web. 21 June 2024,

In this section


Wicumbe (xi cent.); West Wycumb (xiii cent.); Haveringedune alias West Wycombe (xiii–xvii cent.).

West Wycombe is a large parish on the Oxfordshire border, having an area of 6,542 acres. Of this acreage 2,999 acres are arable and 1,262½ permanent grass. (fn. 1) The slope of the land varies from 290 ft. above the ordnance datum in the valley of the Wye, in the middle of the parish, to 600 ft. in the north and east. The soil is chiefly chalk and the principal crops produced are wheat, barley and oats. The parish is well wooded, having some 1,100 acres of woods and plantations, (fn. 2) mostly consisting of beech. West Wycombe is watered by the River Wye, a tributary of the Thames, which rises in Lang, or Long, Meadow on the West Wycombe estate and flows east through the park to High Wycombe.

The village of West Wycombe is approached from the south-east by the Oxford road from High Wycombe, the northern side of which is becoming rapidly built over with small modern houses, so that the distance between the suburbs of High Wycombe and the village of West Wycombe is rapidly lessening. On the south side of the road the scenery is rural. The River Wye pursues a winding course through meadow and pasture land interspersed with an occasional old farm-house or cottage with beech-clad ridges in the rear. Almost on leaving Wycombe the landscape ahead of the long, straight road is dominated by the huge circular earthwork inclosing the church and churchyard of West Wycombe, and surmounted by the large 18th-century mausoleum of the Dashwood family. (fn. 3) South-west of the road is another important earthwork, Desborough Castle, popularly known as the Roundabout. This is a well-preserved example of a prehistoric ring-work, inclosing an area of 1 acre. (fn. 4) Since it gives its name to the hundred, it probably marks the meeting-place of the early hundred court or folk-mote. Little additional information to what is already known has been found; its site was included within the manor, and is occasionally mentioned in manorial rent rolls. Thus in 1350 'John atte Castel' died from the pestilence, (fn. 5) and in 1389 tenements called 'Dustleburgh,' formerly held by his father Hugh, were entered into by William de Wydindon on payment of a fine of 105s. 2d. (fn. 6) Occasional mention is found besides of such place-names as Chasteleye, Castle Field, Castel Garden, Dusteburgh Meadow.

On Naphill Common, in the north-east of the parish, are the remains of an earthwork, probably a plateau fort, and at the west corner of West Wycombe Park, south of the village, is a mound which is possibly a tumulus.

The Great Western station stands on the north of the road as we approach the village from the east. Beyond the station an interesting 18th-century signpost (whose statement that the distance 'from the City' is 30 miles, 'from the University' 22 miles and 'from the County Town' 15 miles, is corrected by a modern signpost near by) marks a fork in the road, a branch of which here runs north to Bradenham. The main road skirts the foot of the hill, turning in a westerly direction into the straggling street which composes the village of West Wycombe. On the north side is the vicarage, built in the late 18th century by Lord Le Despenser in the Italian style. On the south side the houses back on to the grounds of West Wycombe House. In Chapel Street is a good early 18th-century house and in Church Lane stands the old vicarage, afterwards used as a National school but now in private occupation. Returning to the main street, on the north side of the road is the Church Loft, a good example of a late 15th-century timber-framed building with a projecting upper story and a gateway at the west end leading into Church Lane. It has a turret with a bell and clock, the latter projecting into the street over the gateway. Inside, the fine open timber roof on the first floor is worth notice. On the same side of the road is a good 18th-century house of some size, approached from either side by a flight of stone steps. The 'George and Dragon,' an important-looking hostelry, and the 'Black Boy' (which has recently been restored) on the opposite side of the road, are both old houses, the latter being of the 17th century.

At the west end of the village, on the south side of the road, are the entrance gates to West Wycombe House, the seat of Sir John L. Dashwood, bart., situated on rising ground in a park of 300 acres, and commanding a fine view of the surrounding valley. The house was originally built by Sir Francis Dashwood (d. 1724), but greatly enlarged and embellished a little after the middle of the 18th century by his son Lord Le Despenser, who employed Borgnis, an Italian artist, to paint the ceilings. (fn. 7) The house is built in the Palladian style with a Doric portico on the entrance front and at the side a colonnade in two stages of the Tuscan and Corinthian orders, slightly broken forward in the middle and crowned by a pediment. Lord Le Despenser also laid out the gardens by a curious arrangement of streams, bushes and plantation to represent the female form, (fn. 8) as can be seen in the engraving of them by William Woollet. (fn. 9) The present arrangement of the grounds is by Repton. The Wye as it passes through the grounds has been widened into a lake.

Besides those in the main street already mentioned there are several old houses elsewhere in the parish, as, for example, Myze Farm, three-quarters of a mile to the south-west of the village, probably built in the second half of the 17th century, and Ham Farm, 1½ miles west of the village, an L-shaped house of about the time of Charles I, much altered and partly rebuilt. Chorley Farm, half a mile north-west of the village, is a two-storied brick and timber house on a flint base. It was probably erected in the earlier half of the 17th century. The two-storied house of the same period at Wheeler End Common, known as Laurel Cottage, has been much altered externally, but in one of the rooms there still remains some plaster-work of the 17th century with the crest of the Drakes. Huckenden Farm, to the west of this common, is a refaced late 16th-century house. At Sands on the road to Lane End is Bottom Farm, a rectangular house of the earlier part of the 17th century, and an example of a brick house of the end of the same century may be found in Mill End Farm, which lies east of the village midway between High Wycombe and West Wycombe.

The isolated position of the church of St. Lawrence with the mausoleum (which is described elsewhere) has given rise to much comment, including the spiteful remark of John Wilkes, who writes (c. 1765), 'I returned by West Wycombe and passed a day in viewing the villa of Lord Le Despencer, and the church he has just built on the top of a hill, for the convenience and devotion of the town at the bottom of it. I must own the noble lord's gardens gave me no stronger idea of his virtue or patriotism than the new built church did of his piety.' (fn. 10) This statement was based on a misconception, for Lord Le Despenser built his church on the site of an older one. Perhaps some solution of the curious position chosen may be found if it is remembered that the church was originally built not to supply the needs of the present village only, but of the numerous tithings (of which the village was only one) into which the widely scattered manor was divided. (fn. 11) The hill which was chosen for the site of the church was not in the tithing of Wycombe, but in that of Haveryngdon, as is proved by a patent of 1393 in which Robert Hemyngford makes complaint that William Saunderton and others came armed to West Wycombe, lay in wait to kill him, and assaulted and threw him down from the top of a hill called 'Haveryngdoune' (fn. 12); and here it is not out of place to note that Haveryngdon, whose use as an alternative name to West Wycombe has been much discussed by local historians, is only used in documents relating to the church or matters ecclesiastical. (fn. 13)

West Wycombe House

Just below the east end of the church is the great mausoleum erected in 1763 by Lord Le Despenser as a burial place for his family. It is hexagonal in plan and has columns of the Tuscan order supporting an entablature. Inside are niches which contain monumental urns to the memory of various members of the Dashwood family and others.

Half-way up the hill is a cave excavated by the same Lord Le Despenser; it penetrates for nearly a quarter of a mile into the chalky cliff, and the entrance is marked by an artificial ruin. (fn. 14) In this cave, which attracts many curious sightseers, it is said some of the Medmenham mysteries and orgies were held after the dissolution of the club at the abbey. (fn. 15)

There are a number of outlying districts in this parish which are discussed under the manor (q.v.). To these may be added Wheeler End Common in the west and Naphill Common in the north-east. In 1832 a small part of the parish in the south was taken to form Lane End, since 1867 an ecclesiastical parish. (fn. 16)

Mention has been found of 'the men of West Wycombe' in 1382, when they received pardon for allowing two thieves, 'lately arrested and delivered into their custody,' to escape. (fn. 17)

Among the names of persons connected with West Wycombe may be mentioned those of Joseph Brookbank, the author of many religious and pedagogic works, who was minister here in 1650, (fn. 18) and of Charles Lloyd, Bishop of Oxford from 1827, who was born at Downley in this parish in 1784. (fn. 19)

The following place-names have been found in documents connected with this parish: Borwey, Childebury, Chornore, Coleshort, Laburweye, Portweye (xiii cent.); Asherugg, Chasteleye or Castelfield, Swetyng (xiv cent.); Bradenhamstret, Castlefeld, Impeheys, Padeby, Pillesdich, Portwey (xv cent.); and Alfrenches, Harewardisland, Sweynlond, Young-thurstons land and Yngeslond (xvi cent.).


Under Edward the Confessor WEST WYCOMBE MANOR, assessed at 19 hides, was held by Stigand, (fn. 20) probably as Bishop of Winchester, and not after he became archbishop, for it remained with the Bishops of Winchester until 1551. (fn. 21) In this year Bishop Poynet surrendered West Wycombe Manor and other property to the Crown in return for lands elsewhere. (fn. 22) A royal grant was made in the same year to Sir Henry Seymour, (fn. 23) and Sir Robert Dormer appears as his tenant here in 1552. (fn. 24) In 1558 the name of West Wycombe appears in a list of manors restored by Philip and Mary to the see of Winchester, (fn. 25) but the grant was never carried into effect as far as this manor was concerned, and the Seymours continued to hold, having as their tenants the Dormer family, who for long had held under the Bishops of Winchester. (fn. 26) In 1598 Sir John Seymour and Susan his wife transferred West Wycombe to Thomas Flemynge, solicitor-general, (fn. 27) and he in 1600 again alienated it to Robert Dormer. (fn. 28) His grandson Robert Dormer was created Earl of Carnarvon in 1628, (fn. 29) and his family (whose descent will be found traced under Wing) continued to hold West Wycombe until the year 1670. (fn. 30) In that year Charles Earl of Carnarvon transferred the estate to Thomas Lewis, (fn. 31) an alderman of London, who married Elizabeth daughter of Francis Dashwood, a Turkey merchant. (fn. 32) Thomas Lewis retained it till 1698, (fn. 33) when he alienated it to his brothersin-law Samuel and Francis Dashwood. (fn. 34) In 1706 in return for £15,000 paid to George son of Sir Samuel Dashwood, kt., and 5s. paid to his widow Anna, Francis Dashwood acquired complete control of the manor. (fn. 35) He was created a baronet in the following year (fn. 36) and built West Wycombe House, where he died in 1724. (fn. 37) He was succeeded by his son Francis, by his second wife Mary eldest daughter of the Earl of Westmorland. (fn. 38) The name of this Francis Dashwood has been handed down as the founder of the Dilettante Club and the ringleader in a series of blasphemous orgies, the scene of which was Medmenham Abbey, near Marlow. (fn. 39) He held office under the Bute Ministry in 1762–3 as chancellor of the exchequer and on the death of his maternal uncle John seventh Earl of Westmorland and Lord Le Despenser succeeded to the latter barony. (fn. 40) In the same year he was made lord-lieutenant of the county. He was much in residence at West Wycombe House, which he greatly enlarged and embellished and whose grounds he designed and laid out in the classical style. (fn. 41) He died here in 1763, aged eighty-three, leaving no legitimate issue, (fn. 42) and West Wycombe then descended to his brother and heir male, Sir John Dashwood-King, bart., who was the son of the first baronet by his third wife and had assumed his mother's surname of King by Act of Parliament in 1742. (fn. 43) He died in 1793 and was succeeded by his eldest son Sir John Dashwood-King, bart., (fn. 44) and West Wycombe has since descended in the male line. (fn. 45) The lordship of the manor at the present time is vested in the trustees of the late Sir George Henry Dashwood, bart., who hold on behalf of the present baronet, Sir John Lindsay Dashwood, who succeeded to the title in 1908.

Dashwood, baronet. Argent a fesse between two gimel bars gules with three griffons' heads or on the fesse.

A view of frankpledge (fn. 46) was held twice yearly at Easter (Hock tide) and Martinmas. (fn. 47) No rolls have been preserved earlier than the reign of Henry VII.

At a court held in 1505 Robert Rokemyng of Bokar tithing and Thomas More of Brookend, both aged twelve years, were presented and took the oath. (fn. 48) This is interesting in connexion with the custom prevalent in the adjacent borough of High Wycombe of admitting inhabitants to sell lands and serve on juries at that age. (fn. 49)

Preserved among the Bishop of Winchester's documents (now in the hands of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners) are rent rolls of this manor dating from the year 1207 onwards and forming from their continuity a valuable addition to economic history. The wool from the sheep and lambs pastured on the downs is an important item on most of the accounts. In 1251 an entry occurs of 53s. 9d. for sheep's wool and 6s. 6¾d. for lambs' wool, (fn. 50) and in 1502 the manor was stocked with 313 sheep and eighty-four lambs. (fn. 51) The pannage for pigs, worthless in the 16th century, was a valuable asset in the earlier accounts. It was worth 50s. 5d. in 1251, in which year occurs an entry of 72s. for cheese which appears to have been largely made both in this manor and Morton. (fn. 52) Other entries in the rolls concern the upkeep of the house and dairy, the wages of the various bailiffs, shepherds and warreners employed, the profits from the dovecot (which in 1324 contained 200 doves), (fn. 53) from the courts held there, and such items as are usually found on manorial accounts. The annual value of the manor remained at about £40 up to the 15th century, but rose to £64 at the beginning of the 16th century. (fn. 54)

The Black Death appears to have visited West Wycombe severely, for in 1350 appears a special section in the rental of the manor inscribed 'deficit of rent on account of the pestilence,' under which upwards of forty names occur. (fn. 55) Here as elsewhere the pestilence appears to have effected a permanent loss of rent to the lord, for in 1389 the same reason for a deficit is still recorded. (fn. 56)

The manor and parish were coterminous, and from the earliest time the estate was divided for administrative purposes into ten tithings as follows:

The tithing of Bokar, still marked by Booker hamlet and common in the south of the parish, is named in the early 13th century and also in the transfer of the manor in 1706. (fn. 57) The tithings of Brook and Brookend have disappeared, but probably lay adjacent to one another, and may be identified with Mill End, the ancient seat of the Darells, for Thomas Darell, miller, of Brook, was fined at the bishop's court in 1505. (fn. 58) A fourth tithing is that of Downley, still existing in the north-east of the parish. A fifth, and one of the most important, is Haveryngdon, for here the church was built. (fn. 59) It lay adjacent to the tithing of Wycombe, and Averyngdown Farm still preserves the memory of the old name at the present day. Sheahan suggests that there was a manor of this name, (fn. 60) identifying it with the land held in this parish by the Bishop of Bayeux, (fn. 61) but nothing has been found to support his statement. Here as in most of the tithings a family took the name of de Haveryngdon in the 13th and 14th centuries. (fn. 62) In 1505 Morton is given as a tithing of the manor, but it has a separate manorial history which is discussed below. The tithing of Totirigg, now known as Toweridge, north of Booker, is mentioned in very early surveys. Sheahan again suggests a small manor or farm held for many generations by the family of Darell. (fn. 63) They certainly held land in various parts of this parish as early as the 14th century, for in 1350 Hugh 'Daierel' paid a fine of 2s. for land here belonging to his mother Alice. (fn. 64) Joanna daughter of William Darell paid a small fine for a toft and land in Haveryngdon in 1450. (fn. 65) Thomas Darell the miller's name occurs between 1505 and 1540 (fn. 66) and John Darell's about the same date. (fn. 67) In 1550 Hugh Darell and Elizabeth his wife owned 'Yngesland' in Wycombe tithing. (fn. 68) In West Wycombe Church there is a tablet to the memory of Hugh Darell of Mill End, who died in 1667, which states that Hugh's ancestors had held Mill End for upwards of 400 years. (fn. 69) Thomas Darell, high sheriff for the county in 1771, (fn. 70) is said to have sold Toweridge Farm, now part of the manor, to Sir John Dashwood-King, bart., in 1794. (fn. 71)

Chapel Lane, Outer Boundary of West Wycombe Park

Of the remaining tithings, Wyning or Vyning Major and Minor are not found mentioned after the 16th century, and were probably in the south of the parish, for in 1540 tithing-men from Vyning had to repair the eastern hedge of Wydindon Park. (fn. 72) The tenth tithing found in West Wycombe Manor was Wycombe, and is represented by the village of to-day.

Included in the bishop's manor of West Wycombe was WYDINDON PARK, of considerable area, situated in the extreme south of the parish, where it is still marked by Widdington Park Wood. Pasture from this park is mentioned in a rent roll of 1350, (fn. 73) and in 1540 Robert and John Hobbs, from the tithings of Bokar and Vyning, were summoned to repair the hedges on the east side of the park. (fn. 74) It is mentioned in the transfer of the manor from the Earl of Carnarvon to Thomas Lewis in 1670 and also in the transfers of 1698 and 1706. (fn. 75)

A family calling themselves de Wydindon, who were tenants in West Wycombe Manor from the early 13th to the late 14th century, are worthy of note. In 1223 Ralph de Wydindon acquired lands and rent here from William de Morton. (fn. 76) In 1241 William de Wydindon's name first appears, (fn. 77) and in 1252 he demised to Philip Basset his land and wood of 'Okregge' for seven years. (fn. 78) In return Philip Basset promised to keep William in his service if he wished, or procure him service in the house of 'some good man' for that time, providing him with food and clothing as one of his own esquires and supplying him with another horse if his own died. (fn. 79) This grant was made perpetual in 1254, Philip Basset rendering a sore sparhawk in return for the quitclaim. (fn. 80) In 1286 the name of Richard de Wydindon is found in suits concerning land in West Wycombe, (fn. 81) and in 1334 John de Wydindon amongst others received pardon for the death of Richard Batyn, who was arrested for counterfeiting the privy seal, as he acknowledged, and was pursued and slain at Abingdon. (fn. 82) During this period the name of Wydindon frequently appears among the bishop's tenants, and has been last noted in 1389, when William de Wydindon recovered tenements late of Hugh his father. (fn. 83)

In 1086 the bishop's manor included three mills worth 20s. and a fishery of 1,000 eels, (fn. 84) and mention is subsequently found of mills attached to the manor. In 1251 a mill called 'Wythdich' was farmed for 66s. 8d. (fn. 85) and in 1307 for £4 6s. 8d. (fn. 86) In 1311 Robert son of Robert le Clerk (possibly the bishop's bailiff) acknowledged the right of Geoffrey le Dusteburgh (Desborough) and Christina his wife to a messuage and two mills in West Wycombe. (fn. 87) In 1400 mention is found of the fish-pond of 'Pitmill,' (fn. 88) and in 1457 a mill called 'Margery Mill,' rented by John Pusey for 44s. 7d. in this parish, was stated to be in a very ruinous state. (fn. 89) This mill is mentioned again in 1502, 1520 and 1550. (fn. 90)

There appears to have been a paper-mill attached to the manor from the 17th century, mention being found of such in extents of the manor between 1686 and 1745. (fn. 91)

In 1086 William held half a hide of the Count of Mortain, later to be known as MORTONS MANOR. (fn. 92) Under Edward the Confessor a sokeman of Stigand held the land as part of West Wycombe Manor without power to sell or alienate. (fn. 93) It appears to have reverted shortly after to the Bishop of Winchester as appurtenant to his manor of West Wycombe, for its name is found in the earliest rolls of his possessions. (fn. 94) It follows the same descent as West Wycombe (q.v.), but no separate mention of it has been found after the middle of the 16th century, (fn. 95) neither has any trace of its name been retained in the parish. Mortons held no separate court of its own, but was included in the view of frankpledge held at West Wycombe. The value of the manor from the 13th to the 16th century remained fairly stationary and was about £20. (fn. 96) In the year 1350, that of the Black Death, it is recorded that the pannage for pigs at Mortons was worthless and that there was no fruit in the garden. (fn. 97)

A third holder of land in West Wycombe at the time of the Survey was the Bishop of Bayeux, of whom Roger held half a hide. (fn. 98) No further mention has been found of it, but as it was attached to the manor without licence to sell or alienate it seems likely that it became absorbed in it.


The church of ST. LAWRENCE was formerly the parish church, but since the erection of the modern church it has only been used during the summer. It consists of a chancel 46 ft. by 18 ft., nave, and a west tower 14 ft. by 12 ft., these dimensions being internal. It is built of flint, with modern brick dressings to the chancel and nave and stone dressings to the tower. The tower is coated with cement and the roofs are tiled.

The 18th-century alterations have almost entirely obscured the evidence of the historical development of the building, but it is probable that the walls of a 13th-century chancel and nave with aisles and a 14th-century tower yet survive. In 1763 Francis Lord le Despencer destroyed all the old details of the church and reconstructed it in the classical style of the day. He completely altered the chancel and converted the nave into a large room by taking down the arcades and heightening the walls of the aisles. He also added the present bell-chamber to the tower.

In the east wall of the chancel are traces externally of a 15th-century window and a circular light over it. The jambs of an early south doorway can also be seen. The nave is lighted by five round-headed windows on each side, and is treated internally in the classical style of the 18th century with pilasters having Corinthian capitals. The chancel and nave ceilings are decorated with paintings by Borgnis, that in the former representing the Last Supper. The floors are paved with marble.

The tower is supported by diagonal buttresses at its western angles and is surmounted by a large ball which is said to be capable of seating ten people. The doorway in the west wall and the west window above it are both insertions of 1763. Part of the original tower arch taken down at that date has been reset in the ringing chamber. This chamber is lighted by small windows in the west and south walls, the internal jambs of which may be of the 14th century. The north, south and west walls of the same story have each, high up, an original pointed opening from which the tracery has been removed. The uppermost stage, an addition of 1763, is lighted by tall unglazed openings.

All the fittings belong to the 1763 alterations, the font having an oak stand, around which is carved a serpent. There is a brass to John Syot, a former vicar (about 1475), and a slab with inscriptions to Richard East and Emma his wife (d. 1583) and their four sons; a shield in the same slab with three horses' heads razed is probably of a later date. There are also monuments to Hugh Dayrell of Millend (d. 1667) and Elizabeth his wife (d. 1655); to Francis Lord le Despencer (d. 1781) and Antonina his daughter; Sir John Dashwood King (d. 1793); to George Dashwood (d. 1801), by Nollekens, and to other members of the Dashwood family.

There are six bells: the treble by Lester & Pack, 1756; the second by Henry Knight, 1621; the third by Joseph Carter, 1581; the fourth by Henry Knight, 1620; the fifth by Lester & Pack, 1762; and the tenor by Thomas Mears, 1828.

The plate consists of two chalices, two small and one large paten, all given to the church by Sir Francis Dashwood in 1717.

The register begins in 1581.

The church of ST. PAUL, which stands in the village, consists of a chancel and nave, and was built in 1875 by Elizabeth Lady Dashwood.

The church of ST. JAMES, Downley, was erected in 1872 and enlarged in 1876, and is in the hands of trustees.

There are in West Wycombe three Wesleyan, one Congregational and three Primitive Methodist chapels.


The church of West Wycombe or Haveryngdon was attached to the manor and was held by the Bishops of Winchester till the beginning of the 15th century. (fn. 99) In 1415 Henry Bishop of Winchester obtained a licence to grant the advowson of the church to the Prior and convent of Bisham, who were to appropriate the church in mortmain. (fn. 100) A perpetual vicarage was to be reasonably endowed and money to be distributed yearly to the poor parishioners according to statute. (fn. 101) This appropriation finds further confirmation in the Lincoln Episcopal Register in 1520. (fn. 102) At the dissolution of the religious houses West Wycombe became Crown property, although almost immediately a scheme was formed to refound Bisham Priory (with West Wycombe as part of the new endowment), which proved abortive. (fn. 103) A life grant of both rectory and advowson was made to Anne of Cleves in 1540–1. (fn. 104) After this date the history of the rectory and vicarage ceased to be identical. The vicarage was included in the grant of the manor to Sir Henry Seymour in 1551, (fn. 105) and follows the same descent till the middle of the 17th century. (fn. 106) It then reverted to the Crown, who is found as patron between 1660 and 1723. (fn. 107) At this latter date Sir Francis Dashwood, bart., exchanged the living of Abberton, Essex, for that of West Wycombe. (fn. 108) The living has since followed the descent of West Wycombe Manor (q.v.), and is at present in the gift of the trustees of the late Sir George Henry Dashwood, bart. (fn. 109)

Returning to the rectory, it is found to be the subject of various temporary grants at the close of the 16th and beginning of the 17th century; in 1576 it was granted to Richard Easte, (fn. 110) with a renewal in 1584. (fn. 111) In 1590 a further grant was made to Thomas Easte, (fn. 112) and yet another in 1606–7 to Francis Anderson. (fn. 113) Shortly after it appears to have passed to the lords of West Wycombe Manor, who owned it in 1647, (fn. 114) and with which property its history is henceforward identical.

In 1251 the expenses of the manor included those entailed by enlarging the 'chapel' by 10 ft., putting in new windows, whitewashing, &c. (fn. 115) West Wycombe Church, here called 'Haveringdune' only, was assessed with Morton at £26 13s. 4d. in 1291 (fn. 116) and at the Dissolution at £12 0s. 0¾d. (fn. 117)

In 1389 a licence was granted by the Bishop of Lincoln to build a chapel either at Morton or at Grove 'for the ease of the inhabitants.' (fn. 118) When in possession of West Wycombe Church it was the custom of Bisham Priory to lease the parsonage, as appears from a suit between William Este and Thomas Wodford, whose father Robert had acquired a lease in 1510, which he transferred to the plaintiff for a sum of money and 10 quarters of barley. (fn. 119)


Eleemosynary charities.

In 1589 Thomas Huntt gave £1 yearly, issuing out of land at Plomer Hill, for the poor.

In 1670 Hugh Hobbs by his will charged 2 acres of land at West Wycombe with 40s. a year for poor widows and aged people.

In 1866 Edmund Lambert, M.D., by his will; administration to which was granted in 1878, gave £100 Great Western Railway ordinary stock, now held by the official trustees, the dividends to be distributed in bread, coals and other necessaries every Christmas. The income from this charity, which in 1910 amounted to £5 10s., together with that of the two preceding charities, is distributed in money in equal amounts to about one hundred recipients.

The official trustees also hold 11s. 4d. consols in respect of Dr. Lambert's charity, arising from sale of letter of allotment.

For charity of Katherine Pye see under Princes Risborough. (fn. 120) The sum of £4 is received from the trustees annually and divided equally between two poor widows or superannuated maids, and a sum of from £7 to £8 a year as the share of the net residue applicable for educational purposes in this parish. See also under Bradenham.

The Primitive Methodist chapel at Wheeler End, comprised in deed of 22 June 1861, is regulated by a scheme of the Charity Commissioners of 18 December 1908.


  • 1. Statistics from Bd. of Agric. (1905).
  • 2. Ibid.
  • 3. V.C.H. Bucks. ii, 26.
  • 4. Ibid. 24.
  • 5. Eccl. Com. (various), bdle. 36, no. 159360.
  • 6. Ibid. bdle. 43, no. 159396.
  • 7. Neale, Views of Seats.
  • 8. Inform. supplied by Mr. Vansittart.
  • 9. Dict. Nat. Biog.
  • 10. C. Shorter, Highways and Byways in Buckinghamshire, 194.
  • 11. Besides the tithings enumerated under the manor there are signs of other small centres of population, Chalvely and Fylenden, in the 14th century (Feet of F. Bucks. 9 Edw. II, no. 31; 14 Edw. II, no. 9, 10, &c.), still surviving in Chorley Farm and Upper and Lower Fillendon Wood.
  • 12. Cal. Pat. 1391–6, p. 356. An attempt on William Saunderton's life was made in 1404, which William Haule, Mayor of Wycombe, is said to have abetted (ibid. 1401–5, p. 437).
  • 13. Pope Nich. Tax. (Rec. Com.), 33; Cal. Papal Letters, v, 86; Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), iv, 252.
  • 14. Sheahan, Hist. of Bucks. 935.
  • 15. Ditchfield, Memorial of Old Bucks. 27.
  • 16. See Marlow.
  • 17. Cal. Pat. 1381–5, p. 152.
  • 18. Dict. Nat. Biog.
  • 19. Ibid.
  • 20. V.C.H. Bucks. i, 233a.
  • 21. See p. 137.
  • 22. Acts of P.C. 1550–2, p. 359.
  • 23. Ibid. 350; Pat. 5 Edw. VI, pt. v.
  • 24. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), xcv, 5.
  • 25. Pat. 4 & 5 Phil. and Mary, pt. vii.
  • 26. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), clxx, 2; Feet of F. Bucks. East. 22 Eliz.
  • 27. Feet of F. Bucks. Mich. 40 & 41 Eliz.
  • 28. Ibid. Hil. 43 Eliz.
  • 29. G.E.C. Complete Peerage, ii, 157.
  • 30. Feet of F. Div. Co. Trin. 8 Chas. I; Mich. 1653; Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), dcclxxvii, 105; Com. Pleas Recov. R. Hil. 16 Chas. I, m. 36; Recov. R. Hil. 1653, m. 9.
  • 31. Feet of F. Div. Co. Mich. 22 Chas. II; Gibbs, Loc. Rec. i, 228.
  • 32. Sheahan, op. cit. 932.
  • 33. Feet of F. Div. Co. Hil. 24 & 25 Chas. II; Recov. R. Trin. 2 Jas. II, m. 69.
  • 34. Close, 9 Will. III, pt. ix, no. 5.
  • 35. Ibid. 5 Anne, pt. xii, no. 11.
  • 36. Pat. 6 Anne, pt. iv.
  • 37. Sheahan, op. cit. 932.
  • 38. G.E.C. Baronetage, v, 3.
  • 39. Dict. Nat. Biog.
  • 40. G.E.C. Baronetage, v, 3; Gibbs, Loc. Rec. ii, 137. In 1745 John Earl of Westmorland's name appears as vouchee in a recovery of the manor (Recov. R. Mich. 19 Geo. II, m. 367).
  • 41. Verulam MSS. (Hist. MSS. Com.), i, 243.
  • 42. G.E.C. loc. cit.
  • 43. Ibid.
  • 44. Langley, Hist. of Desborough Hund. 410.
  • 45. G.E.C. loc. cit.; Sheahan, loc. cit.
  • 46. Hund. R. (Rec. Com.), i, 23, 46; Plac. de Quo Warr. (Rec. Com.), 83.
  • 47. cf. Eccl. Com. Rolls.
  • 48. Eccl. Com. Ct. R. 155657.
  • 49. cf. Hist. of High Wycombe Borough.
  • 50. Eccl. Com. (various), bdle. 24, no. 159291.
  • 51. Ibid. bdle. 5, no. 155851.
  • 52. cf. note 50.
  • 53. Mins. Accts. bdle. 1142, no. 24.
  • 54. Eccl. Com. (various), bdle. 5, no. 155851.
  • 55. Ibid. bdle. 36, no. 159360.
  • 56. Ibid. bdle. 43, no. 159396.
  • 57. Close, 5 Anne, pt. xii, no. 11.
  • 58. Eccl. Com. Ct. R. 155657.
  • 59. See above.
  • 60. Sheahan, op. cit. 934.
  • 61. V.C.H. Bucks. i, 236a.
  • 62. See rent rolls of manor; Feet of F. Bucks. 14 Edw. III, no. 8, 12, 15.
  • 63. Sheahan, op. cit. 934.
  • 64. Eccl. Com. (various), bdle. 36, no. 159360.
  • 65. Ibid. bdle. 52, no. 159441.
  • 66. Eccl. Com. Ct. R. bdle. 85, no. 1, 2, 3.
  • 67. Chan. Proc. (Ser. 2), bdle. 37, no. 34.
  • 68. Eccl. Com. (various), bdle. 12, no. 155889.
  • 69. Sheahan, op. cit. 936.
  • 70. P.R.O. List of Sheriffs, 10.
  • 71. Sheahan, op. cit. 934.
  • 72. Eccl. Com. Ct. R. bdle. 85, no. 3. Finny Farm in the adjacent parish of Fingest may recall this tithing.
  • 73. Eccl. Com. (various), bdle. 36, no. 159360.
  • 74. Eccl. Com. Ct. R. bdle. 85, no. 3. In 1638 members of the Hobbs family were still holding a capital messuage and land in West Wycombe (Chan. Inq. p.m. [Ser. 2], dcclxxix, 13).
  • 75. cf. history of manor.
  • 76. Feet of F. Bucks. 7 Hen. III, no. 4.
  • 77. Ibid. 25 Hen. III, no. 2.
  • 78. Oakridge is now in Chepping Wycombe, on the extreme western border, where it abuts on West Wycombe.
  • 79. Anct. D. (P.R.O.), A 391.
  • 80. Ibid. A 392, 393; Feet of F. Bucks. 38 Hen. III, no. 3; Unknown Co. 38 Hen. III, no. 26.
  • 81. Feet of F. Bucks. 14 Edw. I, no. 39, 40.
  • 82. Cal. Pat. 1330–4, pp. 494, 503. His name recurs in 1348 (Anct. D. [P.R.O.], C 428).
  • 83. Eccl. Com. (various), bdle. 43, no. 159396.
  • 84. V.C.H. Bucks. i, 233a.
  • 85. Eccl. Com. (various), bdle. 24, no. 159291.
  • 86. Ibid. bdle. 28, no. 159323.
  • 87. Feet of F. Bucks. 5 Edw. II, no. 20.
  • 88. Eccl. Com. (various), bdle. 45, no. 159405.
  • 89. Ibid. bdle. 1, no. 155827.
  • 90. Ibid. bdle. 5, no. 155851; bdle. 8, no. 155865; bdle. 12, no. 155889.
  • 91. cf. history of manor.
  • 92. V.C.H. Bucks. i, 243b.
  • 93. Ibid. Owing to the similarity of name the early history of Mortons in West Wycombe has been treated under Moreton in Dinton (V.C.H. Bucks. ii, 278. The first paragraph under Moreton Manor, Dinton, should be deleted).
  • 94. Eccl. Com. (various), bdle. 22, no. 159270.
  • 95. It is mentioned in the Patent of 1558 (Pat. 4 & 5 Phil. and Mary, pt. vii).
  • 96. Eccl. Com. (various), bdle. 24, no. 159291, 159323.
  • 97. Ibid. bdle. 36, no. 159360.
  • 98. V.C.H. Bucks. i, 236a.
  • 99. Cal. Pat. 1232–47, p. 329; 1258–66, pp. 36, 39, 132; Cal. Papal Letters, v, 86.
  • 100. Cal. Pat. 1413–16, p. 339.
  • 101. Ibid.
  • 102. Line. Epis. Reg. Wolsey and Atwater.
  • 103. L. and P. Hen. VIII, xii (2), g. 1311 (22).
  • 104. Ibid. xvi, p. 717.
  • 105. Pat. 5 Edw. VI, pt. v.
  • 106. cf. manor, above.
  • 107. Inst. Bks. (P.R.O.).
  • 108. Langley, op. cit. 431.
  • 109. Inst. Bks. (P.R.O.); Clergy Lists.
  • 110. Pat. 19 Eliz. pt. vi.
  • 111. Ibid. 27 Eliz. pt. vii.
  • 112. Ibid. 33 Eliz. pt. xvii.
  • 113. Ibid. 4 Jas. I, pt. xviii.
  • 114. Cal. Com. for Comp. 1643–60, p. 1785.
  • 115. Eccl. Com. (various), bdle. 24, no. 159291.
  • 116. Pope Nich. Tax. (Rec. Com.), 33.
  • 117. Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), iv, 252.
  • 118. Linc. Epis. Reg. Bp. Buckingham, pt. ii, m. 361 d.
  • 119. Star Chamb. Proc. bdle. 19, no. 107; bdle. 34, no. 47.
  • 120. V.C.H. Bucks. ii, 267.