Parishes : Shalstone

Pages 223-226

A History of the County of Buckingham: Volume 4. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1927.

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Celdestane, Celdestone (xi cent.); Scheldestone, Shaldeston (xiii, xiv cent.); Saldistone (xiv cent.); Shalleston (xvi, xvii cent.).

This parish covers 1,382 acres, of which 355 are arable, 897 permanent grass and 71 acres woodland. (fn. 1) The soil is clay and the subsoil clay and limestone. The slope of the ground falls from 442 ft. above the ordnance datum in the north to 319 ft. in the south, where the land is liable to floods from a tributary of the Ouse.

The village stands some little distance off the Buckingham and Banbury road. It is small and irregular, and contains some 17th-century farm-houses built of stone with tiled roofs. The church is situated at the south-east, with the rectory, a good building of stone with a tiled roof, on the north side of the churchyard. It is thus described in 1639, 'The Parsonage, built Part Stone Part Timber and Thatcht, hath a Hall, Parlour, two Butteries, five Chambers boarded, Kitchen and Dairy, and little Room adjoining; a Barn of seven small Bays, a Stable, a Cow House, Hogstye, a Garden and two Orchards and a Close adjoining of an Acre. (fn. 2) The school, which was built in 1852 by Mrs. Fitz Gerald, then lady of the manor, is a white brick building with Bath stone dressings. A spring in the centre of the village serves as a drinking fountain, and was covered in with stone in 1851. (fn. 3)

Shalstone House, the residence of the lord of the manor, Rear-Admiral Richard Purefoy Purefoy, M.V.O., R.N., is approached from the south end of the village by an avenue of trees. The house was originally built in the 17th century, probably by George Purefoy, who died in 1661, but was altered and enlarged in the 18th century and later. It is a plastered stone building of two stories with attics. There is an original 17th-century oak staircase, and in a turret is a bell bearing the inscription 'G. Purefoy of Wadley armiger me placet 1656.' The house stands in extensive pleasure grounds running south to the main road. Shalstone was inclosed in 1768 under an Act of Parliament of 1767, when 500 acres of land were found to be commonable. (fn. 4)


There were two holders of land in Shalstone at Domesday, the Bishop of Bayeux, who held a manor of 5 hides, (fn. 5) and Robert Doyley, who held one of 4 hides. (fn. 6) Both these holdings became subsequently merged in one SHALSTONE MANOR, which was held by knight service of the honour of Wallingford. (fn. 7) In 1284–6 Edmund de Salenewe appears as intermediary lord, (fn. 8) and in 1330 his descendant John (here called de Aula) conveyed the knight's fee in Shalstone to Ewald Strange and Alice his wife. (fn. 9) In 1628 the manor was said to be held of the heirs of William Cauntelow. (fn. 10)

Previous to 1086 two thegns called Godric and Wila had held the Bishop of Bayeux's manor, while Azor son of Toti held that of Robert Doyley. (fn. 11) At the Survey the bishop himself held Shalstone in demesne, while Robert Doyley's tenant was called Robert. (fn. 12) By the beginning of the 13th century both manor and advowson (which throughout follow the same descent) had been acquired by a family called Bainel, of whom William Bainel presented to the church of Shalstone in 1230, (fn. 13) and about the same date was said to hold by knight service here. (fn. 14) This William Bainel appears to have been succeeded by one of the same name, whose widow Alice held a fourth part of the manor in dower in 1280, (fn. 15) and whose son and heir Nicholas Bainel (fn. 16) at that time made a transfer to William de Aete and Juliana his wife. (fn. 17) In 1284–6 William de Aete is returned in the feudal assessment for Shalstone. (fn. 18) He was succeeded by John de Aete, presumably his son, who in 1296–7 brought an action for unjust disseisin against Nicholas Bainel. (fn. 19) He won his case as heir to Juliana Aete, in whose favour, according to evidence brought forward, the transfer of 1280 was made. (fn. 20) John de Aete was succeeded by Laurence de Aete, who was dispossessed, possibly during his minority, by Philip la Zouche, whose name appears as representing Shalstone in 1302 and again in 1316. (fn. 21) In or about the year 1313 Laurence de Aete brought an action against Philip la Zouche, William Tuchet, Nicholas le Hundreder, Robert de Dunton, parson of Shalstone, Philip his son and many others for illegal disseisin, and was awarded the manor and 100 marks damages. (fn. 22) In 1317 he complained against persons unnamed (but who may be identified with the above) for carrying away his goods by force at Shalstone. (fn. 23) In 1324 Laurence appears to have secured his right in the manor, (fn. 24) and is found, together with Mariana his wife, making a settlement by fine. (fn. 25) In the same year he borrowed from Christina, Elizabeth and Eleanor, daughters of Giles de Lisle, the sum of £200, the non-payment of which was in 1330 the subject of a special inquisition into the value of Shalstone Manor. (fn. 26) Laurence de Aete is mentioned in 1335 as patron of the living (fn. 27) and in 1346 as holder of a knight's fee here. (fn. 28) The next member of this family of whom documentary evidence has been found is Alan Aete, (fn. 29) who acted as justice of the peace for the county between 1381 and 1385, (fn. 30) while in 1391 'Alan Eyete of Shaldeston' is named as one of the parties concerned in a settlement of the manor of Hanworth in Middlesex. (fn. 31) Alan Aete was dead by 1418, (fn. 32) in which year William Purefoy, who had married his daughter and heir Marian, (fn. 33) presented to the church, the record stating that Alan Aete had presented the last parson in virtue of his lordship of Shalstone. (fn. 34) Shalstone Manor passed to the Purefoys, with whom it remained in the direct descent for more than 300 years. William Purefoy died in 1466, leaving a son Philip, (fn. 35) who died in 1468, (fn. 36) and by his will, dated 26 March 1468 and proved 18 June 1470, he directed that after suitable provision had been made for his widow Isabel the residue of his estate (not specified) was to go to his son John with remainder settlements on his sons Nicoll and William and his daughter Alice. (fn. 37) Isabel widow of Philip Purefoy married again before 1475, in which year, together with her second husband John Denton, (fn. 38) she presented to the parish church. (fn. 39) She was still alive in 1497, (fn. 40) but in 1517 Nicholas Purefoy, who may be taken to be the 'Nicoll' of Philip Furefoy's will, was in possession of Shalstone. (fn. 41) Nicholas Purefoy, who was married three times, had a numerous family, of whom Edward, his eldest son by his first wife Alice, daughter of Thomas Denton, (fn. 42) succeeded to Shalstone Manor on the death of his father in 1547. (fn. 43) Edward Purefoy died and was buried at Shalstone in 1558. (fn. 44) John Purefoy, his eldest son and heir, next held Shalstone for twenty years. (fn. 45) His death took place in 1579, and by his will, bearing date 4 May 1579 and proved 25 May in the same year, after making suitable provision for his widow Ann, he made his brothers William and Richard his residuary legatees. (fn. 46) Shalstone Manor then became the property of William Purefoy, who in the following year, 1580, on the occasion of the marriage of his son Edward Purefoy to Joyce Purefoy, eldest daughter of George Purefoy of Drayton (co. Leic.), (fn. 47) made life settlements on Edward and Joyce and Ann widow of John Purefoy, with remainder to the heirs of Edward and Joyce. (fn. 48) William Purefoy died in 1595, his son Edward having predeceased him, (fn. 49) and Shalstone Manor passed to George son of Edward Purefoy, a child of eleven. (fn. 50) Joyce widow of Edward Purefoy, who had a life interest in the manor, died in 1596. (fn. 51) Her son George Purefoy is found making settlements in 1605 (fn. 52) (probably on attaining his majority), in 1613, (fn. 53) in 1617, (fn. 54) and in 1619. (fn. 55) He married Mary, youngest daughter and co-heir of Sir Valentine Knightley of Fawsley, and after her death in 1617 took a second wife Dorothy, sister of Lord Denny and widow of William Purefoy or Purvey of Wormley (Herts.). (fn. 56) George Purefoy died in 1628 and was succeeded by his son, also George Purefoy, (fn. 57) who according to Willis removed his home to Wadley in Faringdon, but 'often retired from thence thither, and exercised great Hospitality and charity at both his seats.' (fn. 58) He made a settlement of the manor with his son George Purefoy in 1650, (fn. 59) and on his death in 1661 it passed to his third son, Knightley Purefoy, (fn. 60) who held it in that year. (fn. 61) Knightley died and was buried here in January 1691–2, as appears from a memorial tablet in the chancel of the parish church. (fn. 62) Henry Purefoy, his only son, married Elizabeth daughter of Leonard Fish, (fn. 63) whose name appears in a recovery of the manor suffered by his son-in-law in 1694. (fn. 64) Henry Purefoy died in 1704, (fn. 65) and the manor passed to his son Henry Purefoy, 'a Gentleman possessed of many excellent qualities, and fond of Retirement. He conversed more with Books than men.' (fn. 66) He died a bachelor in 1762, and under the conditions of his will Shalstone Manor passed, after the death of his mother Elizabeth Purefoy, to George Huddleston Purefoy Jervoise, (fn. 67) his cousin, being great-grandson of Mary sister of Knightley Purefoy. (fn. 68) His name is given as lord of the manor in the Inclosure Award of 1768. (fn. 69) He was a clerk in holy orders, and at the time of his death in 1805 was rector of Shalstone as well as lord of the manor. (fn. 70) His eldest son, George Purefoy Jervoise, inherited the estate, (fn. 71) and on his death in 1847 Shalstone Manor passed by will to his niece, the wife of Thomas Fitz Gerald, with remainder to her third son, Richard Purefoy Jervoise Fitz Gerald. (fn. 72)

Purefoy. Sable three pairs of mailed and clasped hands argent.

Thomas Fitz Gerald died in 1860, aged eighty-two, (fn. 73) and his widow is returned as landowner in this parish in 1873. (fn. 74) She was alive in 1886, (fn. 75) but predeceased Richard Purefoy Fitz Gerald, her son, who died in 1895, and was succeeded by his son Richard, who assumed the name of Purefoy by royal licence in 1900. (fn. 76) Rear-Admiral Richard Purefoy Purefoy, M.V.O., is the present lord of the manor.

Luffield Priory owned a small property in Shalstone in 1291. (fn. 77) The prior is named as a tenant here in 1316. (fn. 78) After the Dissolution Luffield property is occasionally stated to extend into this parish. (fn. 79) This estate may be possibly represented by Oldwick, formerly extra-parochial, (fn. 80) but now included in Shalstone parish. It consists of a single farm in the possession of the lord of Shalstone Manor.


The church of ST. EDWARD THE CHURCH CONFESSOR consists of a chancel with vestry, nave with aisles, western tower and south porch.

The church was rebuilt in 1828, the only old detail remaining being the octagonal piers and responds of the arcade of three bays on the north side of the nave, which are of the 15th century. A restoration was undertaken in 1862, and in 1889 the vestry with organ was added by Mrs. Fitz Gerald as a memorial to Captain Keane Fitz Gerald. The fittings are modern. On the east wall of the north aisle is a brass with a figure and inscription commemorating Dame Susan Kingston (d. 1540), 'a vowess,' daughter of Richard Fettiplace of East Shefford (Berks.) and widow of John Kingston of Childrey (Berks.). She wears a mantle, veil and wimple, and a ring on her right hand. There are other monuments to the Purefoy and Jervoise families.

Shalstone Church from the South-east

There is a ring of five bells, all by G. Mears & Co., and dated 1862. The tenor has an inscription stating that the bells were given by the five sons of Thomas and Eliza Fitz Gerald.

The plate includes a cup of 1571.

The registers begin in 1538.


The advowson of the parish church has always followed the same descent as the manor, the first mention being found of it in 1230. (fn. 81) In 1291 Shalstone is entered at £5 6s. 8d., (fn. 82) and at the Dissolution the rectory was valued at £9. (fn. 83) At the dissolution of the chantries an obit was endowed with lands and a tenement in Shalstone. (fn. 84) By the Inclosure Award of 1767 the rector received an allotment in lieu of all tithes save those paid by Richard Taylor, whose lands were to continue tithable. (fn. 85)


The Jervoise Coal Charity, founded by will of Mary Purefoy Jervoise, proved 18 February 1842, and by will of George Purefoy Jervoise, proved 25 January 1848, is endowed with a sum of £800 consols with the official trustees, the annual dividends of which, amounting to £20, are applicable in the distribution at Christmas in bread, fuel, or money. The distribution is usually made in coal.


  • 1. Statistics from Bd. of Agric. (1905).
  • 2. Browne Willis, Hist. and Antiq. of Buckingham, 265.
  • 3. Sheahan, Hist. and Topog. of Bucks. 301.
  • 4. Blue Bk. Incl. awards, 13.
  • 5. V.C.H. Bucks. i, 237.
  • 6. Ibid. 258.
  • 7. Testa de Nevill (Rec. Com.), 243b.
  • 8. Feud. Aids, i, 79.
  • 9. Feet of F. case 19, file 78, no. 9. Ewald was overlord of Stratton Audley, which was also held of this honour.
  • 10. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), ccccxlv, 54. It would seem as though Philip la Zouche, who had a lawsuit with the lord of the manor in 1324, in some way represented the overlordship, for the Zouches were certainly the heirs of William Cauntelow (see V.C.H. Beds. iii, 370, where the pedigree of the Zouches is given).
  • 11. V.C.H. Bucks. i, 237, 258.
  • 12. Ibid.
  • 13. R. of Hugh of Wells (Cant. and York Soc.), ii, 79.
  • 14. Testa de Nevill, loc. cit. The name is here given as Beauvel.
  • 15. Feet of F. case 17, file 46, no. 11.
  • 16. Assize R. 1309, m. 50 d.
  • 17. Feet of F. case 17, file 46, no. 11.
  • 18. Feud. Aids, i, 79.
  • 19. Assize R. 1309, m. 50 d.
  • 20. Ibid. Mention is made of one Cecilia de la More, who has not been identified, as holding the manor in 1250.
  • 21. Feud. Aids, i, 100, 108.
  • 22. Abbrev. Plac. (Rec. Com.), 347.
  • 23. Cal. Pat. 1317–21, p. 93.
  • 24. Abbrev. Plac. loc. cit.
  • 25. Feet of F. case 19, file 75, no. 20.
  • 26. Chan. Inq. on Debts, 4 Edw. III (1st nos.), no. 44.
  • 27. Willis, loc. cit.
  • 28. Feud. Aids, i, 126.
  • 29. Cal. Close, 1377–81, p. 103. Willis calls him son of Lawrence, but he is more likely to have been grandson.
  • 30. Cal. Pat. 1381–5, pp. 86, 142, 248, 356, 500, 587.
  • 31. Ibid. 1388–92, p. 379.
  • 32. Willis, who had access to family documents, mentions a deed of 1415 by which Alan Aete secured a pension of 20 marks out of Shalstone Manor with remainder settlement on his daughter and her heirs (Willis, op. cit. 265).
  • 33. Visit. of Warws. (Harl. Soc.), 255.
  • 34. Harl. MS. 6952, fol. 57. Willis, however, states that it was Alan Aete who presented in 1418 (Willis, loc. cit.).
  • 35. Chan. Inq. p.m. 6 Edw. IV, no. 5.
  • 36. Ibid. 8 Edw. IV, no. 29.
  • 37. P.C.C. 31 Godyn. He left 6s. 8d. to the church of Shalstone.
  • 38. Visit. of Warws. (Harl. Soc.), 97. She was the daughter of John Brome of Baddesley (co. Warw.).
  • 39. Willis, loc. cit.
  • 40. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), xii, 42. This inquisition is on John Denton, who held a messuage and 4 virgates here of Isabel Denton as of her manor of Shalstone.
  • 41. Leadam, Dom. of Incl. 1517 (Royal Hist. Soc.), i, 203. The visitation calls him the son of John, a younger brother of Philip Purefoy (Visit. of Bucks. [Harl. Soc.], 200).
  • 42. Visit. of Bucks. loc. cit.
  • 43. Willis, op. cit, 267, quoting parish registers.
  • 44. Ibid.
  • 45. Visit. of Bucks. loc. cit. Willis does not mention him.
  • 46. P.C.C. 22 Bakon. Ann Purefoy, who was his second wife (Visit. of Bucks. loc. cit.), received among other personal effects sixteen milch cows and their calves, a bull, five hundred of the best sheep, twelve best drawing oxen, six best plough horses, 'a grey ambling nagge which she useth to ride on,' a grey trotting gelding, the great white mare's colt, and a dun trotting 'balde nagge.'
  • 47. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), ccxlv, 91.
  • 48. Feet of F. Div. Co. Mich. 22 & 23 Eliz.
  • 49. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), ccxlv, 91.
  • 50. Ibid.
  • 51. Ibid. ccxlviii, 19.
  • 52. Feet of F. Div. Co. Mich. 3 Jas. I.
  • 53. Ibid. Hil. 10 Jas. I.
  • 54. Ibid. Trin. 15 Jas. I.
  • 55. Ibid. East. 17 Jas. I.
  • 56. V.C.H. Northants Fam. 185.
  • 57. Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), ccccxlv, 54.
  • 58. Willis, op. cit. 263.
  • 59. Com. Pleas Recov. R. Mich. 1650, m. 11.
  • 60. P.C.C. 60 May.
  • 61. Recov. R. Trin. 13 Chas. II, m. 123.
  • 62. Lipscomb, Hist. and Antiq. of Bucks. iii, 73.
  • 63. Willis, loc. cit.; Lipscomb, op. cit. iii, 71.
  • 64. Recov. R. Trin. 6 Will. and Mary, m. 82.
  • 65. Willis, op. cit. 267, quoting parish registers. By his will dated 16 July and proved 9 August 1704 he made his father-in-law, Leonard Fish of Chancery Lane, and his cousin Richard Jervoise trustees for his son Henry, then under fifteen. His widow Elizabeth was to have Morgan's Farm in Shalstone (P.C.C. 168 Ash).
  • 66. Lipscomb, op. cit. iii, 75, quoting mural tablet.
  • 67. Lysons, Mag. Brit. i (3), 628. The legatee was son of Richard Jervoise, son of Thomas, son and heir of Mary Purefoy (The Ancestor, iii, 7–8). Remainder was to George's brother Tristram Jervoise with contingent remainder to four other people, all to take the name of Purefoy (P.C.C. 24 St. Eloy).
  • 68. The Ancestor, loc. cit.
  • 69. Priv. Act, 7 Geo. III, cap. 66.
  • 70. Lipscomb, op. cit. iii, 73; Lysons, op. cit. i (3), 698.
  • 71. Lipscomb, op. cit. iii, 71. He appears in a settlement of 1791 (Recov. R. East. 31 Geo. III, m. 132).
  • 72. Sheahan, op. cit. 302. See under charities, below.
  • 73. Sheahan, loc. cit.
  • 74. Ret. of Owners of Land, 1873, Bucks. 8.
  • 75. Burke, Landed Gentry (ed. 7).
  • 76. Walford, County Families (1913), 977.
  • 77. Pope Nich. Tax. (Rec. Com.), 47.
  • 78. Feud. Aids, i, 108.
  • 79. Recov. R. Trin. 13 Will. III, m. 208; Feet of F. Bucks. Trin. 13 Will. III.
  • 80. Luffield was formerly extra-parochial.
  • 81. See manor. See also Inst. Bks. (P.R.O.).
  • 82. Pope Nich. Tax. (Rec. Com.), 41.
  • 83. Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), iv, 239.
  • 84. Chan. Cert. 5, no. 9.
  • 85. Priv. Act, 7 Geo. III, cap. 66.