A History of the County of Buckingham: Volume 4. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1927.
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This parish covers 3,045 acres, of which 501 are arable, 2,435 permanent grass, and 87 woods and plantations. (fn. 1) The soil is gravel and clay, and the subsoil various. Wheat, barley, beans and oats are the principal crops. The land reaches its highest level of 472 ft. above the ordnance datum in the north of the parish.
The greater part of Stowe is taken up by the grounds and park attached to Stowe House, which is approached from Buckingham by a public avenue of elm and beech nearly 2 miles in length, leading up to the entrance lodge known as the 'Corinthian Arch.' Though subject to many alterations and additions throughout the 18th century, Stowe House has preserved a unity and directness of plan which entitle it to a place among the foremost examples of the 'grand manner' of design in England. The walls of the northern side of the central portion, including the hall with the suites of smaller rooms on either side, and parts of the state drawing room, saloon, and music room, are probably those of the house as rebuilt by Sir Richard Temple in the last half of the 17th century. The house must then have consisted of a rectangular building of brick with stone dressings, having four pavilions at the angles; the offices were probably contained in the basement, above which were two principal floors, a third floor being contained in the roof. There are now no means of judging whether the east and west wings containing the kitchen and chapel were part of this scheme, but more probably they form part of the great alterations and additions which were made to the house and grounds by the first Viscount Cobham between 1697 and 1749, when the plan began to assume its present form. The 'orangeries' at the extreme east and west of the house may also belong to this period.
In the set of engravings published by Rigaud and Baron in 1730, and republished in 1739, are good views of the north and south fronts, showing the first stage of transition. The principal alteration to the north front consisted in the addition of the still existing Ionic portico and flight of steps, the wings being connected with the central block by corridors concealed by blank screen walls, each divided into seven bays by pilasters and having a pedimented niche in each bay. The order was continued round the wings, which were each of two stories, and had hipped roofs crowned by small lanterns. The attic windows of the central portion were masked by a stone balustrade, the pavilions at the angles rising one story above the level of the crowning cornice. Low walls following the lines of the present colonnade screened the wings and offices. The view of the south front shows a central pedimented portico in two stages, perhaps a survival of the late 17th-century facade. The wings and connecting corridors appear as on the north front. For these alterations Kent, who painted the ceiling of the hall and designed many of the temples in the gardens, was probably responsible.
The next stage in the development of the house is well illustrated by an engraving of the two elevations published in 1750. (fn. 2) The principal additions shown are the galleries connecting the two wings, and the south-eastern and south-western extensions to the wings, which were now transformed to an L shape. To the period between 1730 and 1750 must also be ascribed the lateral additions to the central block containing the two principal staircases, which do not appear in the Rigaud and Baron engravings. By 1763 (fn. 3) the south elevation, which had till now remained as in the engravings of 1730, was remodelled, the old portico being replaced by a tetrastyle Ionic portico 'approached by a noble flight of steps designed by Signor Barra.'
The magnificent south facade was completed as it now stands in the years between 1769 and 1775, when, with one or two exceptions, the final stage in the evolution of the plan appears to have been reached. (fn. 4) The walls of the central block were carried up to include the attic floor, and the whole of the south side was taken down, the original saloon or 'stucco-gallery' being extended southwards to form the present oval saloon, while the former drawing room and dining room were prolonged on either side to form a recessed loggia behind the hexastyle Corinthian portico, which now replaced Barra's Ionic portico. The galleries and wings were refronted, the latter being partially raised to the height of the central portion of the house and given a Corinthian pilaster order to correspond. Internally the eastern gallery was divided into two to form a new drawing room and dining room, the enlarged rooms on either side of the saloon becoming the state drawing room and music room, while the chapel wing was squared up by the addition of a library and ante-library with a bedchamber and dressing room at the north-east. The Ionic colonnades on the north front must also belong to this period of reconstruction. (fn. 5) About 1801 the partition between the two rooms newly formed in the eastern gallery was removed, and the apartment was fitted up as a library, (fn. 6) the former library now receiving the name of the Grenville drawing room. A few years later part of the basement beneath was rearranged as the Gothic library and ante-chamber, approach to which was obtained by a new staircase designed in the same manner on the south side of the east corridor; the corridor itself being considerably widened on the north. 'The Egyptian Hall' in the basement beneath the entrance hall on the north front was probably formed about the same time. (fn. 7)
The design of the south front, one of the finest examples of the later Renaissance in England, is said to have been largely due to Lords Temple and Camelford. (fn. 8) The elevation of the projecting central block is in three bays corresponding to the internal divisions, the great hexastyle Corinthian portico and recessed loggia, approached by a flight of twenty-three steps, occupying the middle bay. The rooms on either side are each lighted by three grouped windows under an entablature supported by Ionic columns, the group being contained within a large and shallow arched recess, the head of which, filled by a sculptured medallion, serves to mask the blank wall of the upper floor, which is lighted only from the sides. The entablature of the portico is continued upon the front elevation and round the sides, stopping at the outer angles of the staircase projections; it is crowned by a balustrade and supported by Corinthian pilasters flanking the windows. The basement is rusticated, and is lighted by a single arched opening on either side of the portico steps and by a similar opening in each return. The low elevations of the galleries connecting the wings, which are of one story only above the rusticated basement, have engaged colonnades of the Ionic order with a plain window in each intercolumniation. Both wings have three triple windows like those on either side of the portico, but the central window of the group is sham in every case; the walls are crowned by entablatures supported by Corinthian pilasters of the same height as those of the central block, and are surmounted by balustrades with central panels flanked by allegorical figures. Upon the panel on the west wing is inscribed: 'Richardus comes Temple F.'; on the east wing: 'Anno Salutis 1775.' The facing is of stone, with the exception of the return walls and the galleries, which are cemented, only the basements and dressings on these faces being of stone. Balustrades of iron with stone pedestals surmounted by copper urns inclose flower-gardens extending the whole length of the principal portion of the house on either side of the portico steps. Low ranges of mean design, containing bedrooms and offices, extend from either end of the main building to the 'orangeries.' The Ionic portico, tetrastyle in antis, forms the central feature of the north elevation, which has stone dressings, its original brickwork being coated with cement. A somewhat top-heavy appearance is given to this front by the added third story. The windows are all square-headed with moulded architraves, and beneath the steps of the portico is a sunk porte-cochère giving entrance to the 'Egyptian Hall.' The wings are screened by the quarter-circular Ionic colonnades which sweep out from either end of the principal block and join the pilastered walls of the office-courts.
The north doorway beneath the portico opens directly into the hall, a rectangular room with a coved and flat painted ceiling representing King William III, as Mars, presenting a sword to the first Lord Cobham. A stone staircase on the east side leads down to the 'Egyptian Hall.' Over a shallow arched recess in the west wall, originally occupied by a fireplace, is a bas-relief of Caractacus before the throne of Claudius, and on the east wall is another, the subject of which is the tent of Darius. At the southern ends of these walls are doorways opening to lobbies communicating with the two principal staircases. The eastern staircase is of stone with wrought-iron balusters, and the ceiling and walls are painted. A doorway in the south wall of the hall, immediately opposite the entrance, leads into the splendid domed saloon or 'marble hall.' The plan is an ellipse 60 ft. by 43 ft., and light is obtained from the glazed eye of the dome. A colonnade of sixteen Doric columns of scagliola in imitation of Sicilian jasper surrounds the walls, and above the entablature, round the drum of the richly coffered dome, is a frieze in bas-relief representing a triumphal procession and sacrifice, the work of Signor Valdré, who modelled the figures from ancient examples. At the four cardinal points are doorways, the other intercolumniations being occupied by semicircular-headed niches, while above the niches and doorways, close under the entablature, are rectangular panels with military trophies modelled in bas-relief. The floor is laid with Carrara marble in squares of 4 ft.
The doorways of all the rooms on either side are placed in an axial line with the east and west doorways of the saloon, so that the whole length of the house can be commanded at one view. The south doorway opens into the loggia beneath the great south portico; above the doorway externally is a frieze representing a sacrifice to Bacchus, and on the sides of the loggia are bas-reliefs of Hercules and Antaeus and Hercules and Cacus, while at the foot of the twentythree steps ascending to the portico is a pair of lions, modelled from those at the Villa Medici. The west doorway leads directly into the state drawing room, now called simply the drawing room, the decoration of which is contemporary with the saloon. The doorcases and fittings are all of the best type of late 18thcentury design, the fireplace being of white marble with panels of porphyry. At the northern end of the room is a semicircular recess with engaged Corinthian columns supporting an entablature with an enriched frieze and cornice, which is continued round the walls of the room. The ceiling has a plain cove and is decorated in the Adam manner. The music room, which opens out of the opposite side of the saloon, corresponds in arrangement with the drawing room, but the decorations, by Valdré, are more elaborate. The Corinthian columns of the recess at the northern end are of scagliola, in imitation of Sienna marble, and have gilded capitals and bases, while the walls are painted after the style of Raphael's Loggia. The ceiling has panels with classical subjects, and the chimneypiece is of white marble with Rosso Antico panels and ormolu ornaments. The 'Egyptian Hall' beneath the entrance hall is a pretty piece of early 19th-century archaeology, the design being founded upon the remains of one of the small temples of Tintyra.
Adjoining the drawing room on the west is the state gallery, now the dining room, a fine apartment measuring 70 ft. 6 in. by 25 ft. It remains as described in the 1763 edition of Seeley's Guide; on the south side is a range of seven windows, while on the north side are two chimneypieces of white and Sienna marble, and above them are carved wood overmantels in the early 18th-century manner, painted in white and gold. These still retain the bas-reliefs in wood described in the Guide as 'a goddess conducting Learning to Truth' and 'Mercury conducting Tragic and Comic Poetry to the hill of Parnassus.' The doorways, which are placed at the northern ends of the east and west walls, have carved architraves and broken pediments supported by consoles, and each is matched by a sham doorway at the opposite end of the wall. The five pieces of tapestry with which the room is hung were made at Brussels for Lord Cobham, and represent the triumphs of Ceres, Bacchus, Venus, Mars, and Diana. A richly ornamented entablature runs round the walls, above which is the elaborately gilded and painted ceiling containing panels with 'emblematical paintings in clare-obscure.' The doorway on the west opens into the small dining room, formerly the state dressing room; the principal feature here is the white marble chimneypiece, above which is a remarkably fine carved wood overmantel framing a portrait of Lord Cobham. The work is of the same date as the state gallery. The tapestries on the walls illustrating Marlborough's campaign in Flanders were hung in 1763 in the old saloon, or stucco gallery. (fn. 9) The last of the suite of rooms on this side of the house, now called the Duchess's drawing room, was originally the state bedchamber. The decorations were designed by Barra, who also designed the state bed now in the state bedchamber at the opposite end of the house. The plan of the room may be described as cruciform, the four corners being filled by small closets. The ceiling of the central portion of the room is ornamented with the star and collar of the order of the Garter and is supported by four engaged Corinthian columns. The lacquered panels and fittings in the Chinese closet at the south-west angle were presented to Lord Cobham in 1747 by Frederick Prince of Wales; they were first placed in a corresponding closet in the east wing, but were removed here when the south front was altered. On the north side of the two dining rooms is a service corridor terminating on the west in a circular staircase belonging to the late 18th-century period of reconstruction.
Returning to the east side of the house, the first room beyond the music room is the library, an excellent example of the restrained and simple style of the early 19th century. The Gothic library in the basement beneath is charmingly designed in the best 'Fonthill' manner. The three rooms on the south front of the east wing are all of the late 18th century, and, though good examples of the period, present no outstanding features of interest. They are now known as the blue drawing room, the green drawing room, and the state bedchamber. The lastnamed room was used by Queen Victoria when she visited Stowe in 1845.
The chapel on the north side of the wing measures 37 ft. by 20 ft. 10 in., and is lighted by two semicircular-headed windows in the west wall, a third light being now blocked, and one high up in the north wall. The floor is at the basement level, but the principal seats are placed in a gallery at the south end entered from the service corridor on the principal floor. The walls are lined with cedar panelling in two stages, with Corinthian pilasters and entablatures and applied limewood carvings of fruit, foliage, and flowers, in the Grinling Gibbons manner. The entablature of the lower stage is continued across the front of the gallery, which is supported by Corinthian columns. Above the altar, partly blocking the north window, is a large panel carved with the royal arms as borne by the Stuarts. The communion rails have twisted balusters, and the pulpit bears the date 1707. The panelling was bought by Lord Cobham in 1720 at the sale of Stow, near Kilkhampton in Cornwall, the seat of the Earl of Bath, and the wood is said to have been taken out of a Spanish prize which was brought into Padstow.
Of the celebrated gardens which constitute a small park of 400 acres, a brief description of the more noteworthy features must suffice. They were first laid out by Bridgeman in 1713 under instructions from Richard Viscount Cobham, and beyond the softening down of some of the formality of the original scheme have been little altered since his day. Lancelot Brown, better known as 'Capability Brown,' came into Lord Cobham's service in 1737 and remained till 1750, but it does not appear that he added to the lay-out of the grounds. (fn. 10) The principal entrance on the Buckingham side is the lodge known as the Corinthian arch, an uninspired composition said to be due to Lord Camelford, and consisting of a central archway flanked on the south side by Corinthian pilasters, and on the side towards the house by half columns of the same order. The two pavilions on either side of the drive, a little to the north of the Corinthian arch, were originally designed by Kent, but were altered by Barra. The pavilions at the Boycott entrance, though altered by the same hand, remain as good examples of Vanbrugh's ponderous style. The Temple of Bacchus, a rusticated rectangular building coated with stucco, and the domed Rotunda with its circle of Ionic columns, show him in a somewhat lighter mood. Of Kent's designs, the best is the Temple of Concord, an adaptation of the Maison Carrée in terms of Ionic. The Temple of Venus, which overlooks the large lake from the head of a glade at the south-west angle of the gardens, is another pleasing composition. About 1790 a portico was added to Kent's building, then known as the Queen's Temple and dedicated to Queen Charlotte in commemoration of the king's recovery. Lord Cobham's pillar was the work of Gibbs, but the pedestal and lions were added by Valdré in the latter half of the 18th century. The Bourbon Tower commemorates the visit of Louis XVIII and the princes of the house of Bourbon who visited Stowe in 1808. (fn. 11)
In 1712 Stowe village consisted of thirty-two houses and a population of 180, (fn. 12) but owing to the encroachments of the owners of Stowe Park it has practically disappeared, the parish church standing within the park grounds. The greater number of the inhabitants are now to be found at Dadford, formerly Dodford, a prosperous hamlet of some size in the west of the parish. In Dadford are the vicarage and the schools and a few thatched cottages, one or two of which are of the 17th century.
Boycott, which until 1844 (fn. 13) was in Oxfordshire, is another hamlet in the south-west of Stowe. Lysons speaks of it as depopulated and inclosed in the Marquess of Buckingham's grounds, (fn. 14) but it was detached from the park on the acquisition of Boycott Manor by Charles Higgens in the middle of the last century. On a slight eminence in Boycott overlooking a beautiful view of the park he built a house in the Elizabethan style, which is now the residence of Mr. Thomas Close Smith. At the present day there are also brickworks and a smithy in Boycott. A third hamlet, at one time of some importance, is that of Lamport, which gives its name to a few cottages in the east of the parish. The Dayrells had an ancient seat here now used as a farm-house.
The following place-names have been found in 13th-century documents connected with this parish: Akemannedich, Buggerode, Cruchweie, Dolemedes, Ekenstub, Kerswell, Melpethelmull, Rokesmore, Rumhull and Smeyehull (fn. 15); Le Parrokes in the 14th century (fn. 16); Anlowefeld, Greystob, Rokesmor, Smethenhull, Wythgonepole, in the 15th century. (fn. 17)
The property later to be known as STOWE MANOR was held before the Conquest by Turgis, a man of Baldwin son of Herluin. In 1086 it was assessed at 5 hides under the lands of the Bishop of Bayeux. (fn. 18) Robert Doyley and Roger de Ivri held Stowe as tenants of the bishop in 1086. (fn. 19) Some years previous to this date they had together founded a college of secular canons in the church of St. George in the castle of Oxford, (fn. 20) and Stowe was early added to its endowment, as appears from a confirmation charter of Henry I dated about 1130. (fn. 21)
Within the next twenty years the college was absorbed by Oseney Abbey, (fn. 22) which in 1278–9 held 3 hides in Stowe. (fn. 23) Oseney Abbey continued to hold the manor, in which it exercised view of frankpledge and full manorial rights down to the Dissolution. (fn. 24)
On the suppression of the religious houses a scheme was set on foot to form a bishopric of 'Oseney and Thame,' with a cathedral at Oseney, and in 1542 was carried into effect, the name of the bishopric being altered to Oxford. (fn. 25) Stowe Manor, as belonging to Oseney Abbey, formed part of the endowment of the bishopric both at this date (fn. 26) and on its reconstruction in 1547. (fn. 27) In 1590 the Bishop of Oxford conveyed the manor to Queen Elizabeth, (fn. 28) who in the same year granted it to Thomas Crompton and others. (fn. 29) They immediately alienated Stowe to John Temple, Susan his wife and their son Thomas Temple. (fn. 30) John Temple died in 1603 seised of Stowe Manor, which then passed to his son Thomas Temple. (fn. 31) He was knighted in the year of his father's death, and in 1611 was created a baronet, being one of the first four instituted to that order. (fn. 32) In 1617 he obtained a grant of free warren in his manor. (fn. 33) Sir Thomas Temple, bart., died in February 1636–7, and was succeeded by his son Peter, (fn. 34) who made a settlement of his property in this parish and elsewhere in the year following his father's death. (fn. 35)
He took the side of Parliament during the early part of the Civil War, (fn. 36) but though appointed one of the judges for the king's trial he did not attend, and on the execution of Charles I threw up his commission in the army. (fn. 37) He represented the neighbouring borough of Buckingham in Parliament from 1640 until his death, which took place at Stowe in 1653. (fn. 38) Two years before his death he had inclosed a park at Stowe, and stocked it with deer bought from Lord Spencer. (fn. 39) His son and heir Sir Richard Temple, bart., made a settlement of the manor in 1655. (fn. 40) He was returned as member for the borough in 1659, and represented the county from 1660 till his death in 1697. (fn. 41) He was buried at Stowe, his son Sir Richard Temple, bart., inheriting. He, who had greatly distinguished himself in the Flemish wars, was created in 1714 Lord Cobham of Cobham. (fn. 42) Four years later he was created Viscount Cobham, with a special remainder (which also applied to his estates in Stowe) to his sisters Hester Grenville and Christian Lyttelton and the heirs male of their bodies. (fn. 43) Cobham was the friend and patron of literary men, among whom Pope and Congreve, both of whom were frequent visitors at Stowe, have celebrated him in verse. The latter is distinguished by a funeral monument erected to his memory in Stowe grounds. (fn. 44) Lord Cobham died and was buried at Stowe in 1749, and in accordance with the settlement of 1718 his sister Hester became suo jure Viscountess Cobham, being created in the same year Countess Temple. (fn. 45) She died in 1752, her titles and estates passing to Richard Grenville, her son and heir. (fn. 46) Grenville's history, as friend and brother-in-law of Pitt, is closely bound up with the political life of his times. After the death of his brother George Grenville in 1770 he retired from public life, and amused himself with the improvement of his house and gardens at Stowe, 'a sort of mania with the family.' (fn. 47) He entertained Princess Amelia here at least three times. On the occasion of her first visit in 1764 'Lady Temple, Sir Richard Lyttelton and the Duchess of Bridgewater are all wheeled into the room in gouty chairs.' (fn. 48) A second visit which she paid in 1770 has been commemorated in the letters of Horace Walpole, who formed one of the party. (fn. 49)
Earl Temple died in 1779 as the result of a carriage accident, and as he left no issue George son of his brother George Grenville succeeded him as next Earl Temple, Viscount Cobham and Baron Cobham. (fn. 50) In 1784 he was created Marquess of Buckingham, and acted as Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland from 1787 to 1789. (fn. 51) On 15 March 1789, when the news of the king's recovery was made public, there were great festivities at Stowe. The Marquess of Buckingham died in 1813, his successor being his son Richard Temple-Nugent-Brydges-Chandos-Grenville, who, in addition to his father's titles, was created Earl Temple of Stowe, Marquess of Chandos and Duke of Buckingham and Chandos in 1822. (fn. 52) He was a great personal friend of George IV, (fn. 53) and the steward of the household in 1830. On his death in 1839 his son Richard Plantagenet became second Duke of Buckingham and Chandos and inherited the Stowe estates. Queen Victoria, accompanied by the Prince Consort, paid to the duke in August 1845 a three days' visit. (fn. 54)
By unfortunate land speculations and other means the duke managed within eight years of his accession to lose the greater part of his fortune, and a sale, in order to satisfy his creditors, was held at Stowe in 1848, and lasted thirty days. (fn. 55) His son the Marquess of Chandos also joined with his father at this date in cutting the entails of the estates immediately attached to the dukedom, (fn. 56) but though there was a great dispersal of his landed property at this time (fn. 57) Stowe itself did not pass away from the family. The Duke of Buckingham and Chandos died in July 1861, and his widow, who had obtained a separation from him in 1850, died on 28 June 1862 at Stowe House, (fn. 58) which remained empty for some time after her death. (fn. 59) Richard Plantagenet Campbell, the third and last duke, their son and successor, died in 1889. The place was then leased to the Comte de Paris, who died here in 1894. (fn. 60) The Baroness Kinloss, daughter and heir of the last Duke of Buckingham and Chandos, in 1912 conveyed it to her son, the Hon. Richard G. G. Morgan-Grenville, who was killed in action in 1914 and was succeeded by his brother Louis.
Two entries relating to Dadford are found in Domesday, but the holdings mentioned were subsequently united to form DADFORD MANOR, owned by the Abbot of Biddlesden. Both were assessed at 2 hides, but the more important was that held by Roger de Ivri, which was already styled a manor, and had belonged to Lewin, a man of Burgered. (fn. 61) Roger de Ivri's lands later became attached to the honour of St. Walery. (fn. 62) The second Domesday holder in Dadford was Lewin of Nuneham, who succeeded two thegns, Ravai and Ulward. (fn. 63) His land in Dadford was later attached to the honour of Giffard, and the dual overlordship of St. Walery and Giffard is in consequence found exercised in the united manor. (fn. 64)
Hamard was Roger de Ivri's tenant in 1086, and Hugh son of Gozer that of Lewin of Nuneham at the same date. (fn. 65) Two families are later found making grants to Biddlesden Abbey, and it appears from the cartulary of that abbey that a family called Leigh succeeded Hamard, (fn. 66) while another family calling themselves Dadford succeeded Hugh son of Gozer. (fn. 67) The grants to Biddlesden of land in Dadford were made as early as the first half of the 12th century, (fn. 68) made as early as the first half of the 12th century, (fn. 69) by the middle of which Biddlesden held half the vill of Dadford in free alms, (fn. 70) the other half being said to be held by Oseney. (fn. 71) In the Hundred Rolls of 1278–9 the abbot's property in Dadford is carefully extended; that portion which he held in pure alms 'of the gift of Thomas of St. Walery' included 4 hides in demesne, 8 acres of assart, 6 acres of wood, while thirteen cottagers on the estate paid rents in money and services. (fn. 72) The land held of the Giffard Honour was extended at a hide, of which one half was in demesne, 4½ acres of assart with seventeen cottagers and four free tenants. (fn. 73) In 1291 the property (including Gorral Grange in Biddlesden) was assessed at £7 14s. 8d., (fn. 74) and at the Dissolution was returned at £10. (fn. 75) It was retained by the Crown for some years, being made the subject of temporary leases. (fn. 76) It was finally transferred to Edward Heron and others in 1587, (fn. 77) and was by them immediately sold to John Temple, (fn. 78) afterwards lord of Stowe Manor, with which it has since descended.
Under Edward the Confessor Suen Suert, a man of Earl Edwin, held 3½ hides in Lamport (Landport, Langport), which by 1086 had passed to Walter Giffard, who then held LAMPORT MANOR, valued at 40s. (fn. 79) Walter Giffard's lands here became attached later to the honour of Crendon, Crendon manor being the head of the honour of Giffard or Gloucester in this county. (fn. 80) In both this and the remaining manor of Lamport the honour of Gloucester claimed the right to a view of frankpledge. Mention is found first of the honour in the early 13th century, (fn. 81) and continues to the second quarter of the 17th century. (fn. 82)
Berner was the tenant of Walter Giffard in Lamport in 1086 (fn. 83); the next tenant of whom mention has been found is John son of Maurice or John Moriz, who in 1227 acquired from William son of Reginald for 5½ marks half a fee in Lamport, (fn. 84) which he held in demesne in 1254. (fn. 85) His successor, Andrew Moriz, made a grant of this property to the Abbot of Oseney (who already had rights of pasture extending into Lamport) (fn. 86) in 1268. (fn. 87) In return for 2 carucates of land to be held in pure alms the abbot was to provide Andrew Moriz for life with an annual pension of 2 silver marks and 12 quarters of oats. A suitable lodging was to be provided for him within the abbey, and he was to receive daily the corrodies of two canons, of one free servant and of a groom: to wit, two loaves called great loaves, one brown loaf, one salted loaf and one coarse (grossum) loaf, 2 gallons of best ale, one of second quality and one of third quality; from the kitchen he was to have daily what would fall to two canons, one free servant and one groom of the abbot's stable. Andrew Moriz was also to receive yearly 6 cartloads of brushwood, 6 quarters of charcoal, 3 cartloads of straw, 4 cartloads of hay, 1 stone of tallow, and four cheeses worth 1s. After Andrew's death the abbot was released from all claim to the above allowance. (fn. 88) Andrew Moriz's grant to Oseney was confirmed at various times, (fn. 89) and in 1278–9 the abbot was said to hold 3 hides in Langport, of which I hide and 6 acres of wood were held in demesne, 8 virgates were held by ten villeins; there were five cottages, and one tenant of 1 virgate. The manor also owed scutage and hidage. (fn. 90) Oseney Abbey continued to hold Lamport Manor down to the Dissolution, (fn. 91) from which time onwards its descent follows that of Stowe Manor.
The origin of a second LAMPORT MANOR in this parish is to be sought in the 2½ hides of land which Rawen, a man of Wulfwig, Bishop of Dorchester, held here in the reign of the Confessor. (fn. 92) It was held in 1086 by Manno the Breton, who was also lord of the manor of Wolverton. (fn. 93) Lamport Manor is in consequence later found attached to the barony of Wolverton, (fn. 94) of which overlordship last mention is found in 1619. (fn. 95)
Girard held of Manno the Breton at Domesday, (fn. 96) and his successors took the name of Langport. The earliest of them were Robert de Langport and Jordan his son, benefactors to Luffield Priory, in the 12th century. (fn. 97) Ralph de Langport, son of Jordan, flourished c. 1202, (fn. 98) and in 1236 John de Langport was making settlements of land here. (fn. 99) He was shortly after followed by Ralph de Langport, (fn. 100) and for upwards of 200 years this same family continued to hold the manor. It has not been possible to trace the relationship of the various members, but the following names have been found mentioned. Ralph de Langport occurs in 1254, 1278, 1284 and 1302 (fn. 101); Richard de Langport occurs over more than one generation in 1314, 1346, 1350 and 1386 (fn. 102); Thomas de Langport held between 1392 and 1438. (fn. 103) Thomas de Langport appears to have died shortly after this date, leaving two daughters and co-heirs, Eleanor wife of John Dayrell, (fn. 104) and Margery wife of William Newnham. (fn. 105) Dealing first with that half of Lamport which passed to the Dayrells, we find it descending with Lillingstone Dayrell Manor until the middle of the 16th century, when Francis Dayrell, younger son of Paul Dayrell, removed to Lamport. (fn. 106) Edmund son of Francis Dayrell, called Edmund Dayrell of Lamport in 1615, (fn. 107) died seised of a capital mansion here in 1633. (fn. 108) His son Abel conveyed the half-manor to John and Edmund Dayrell in 1642, (fn. 109) and the Dayrell family appears to have remained in the parish until the middle of the 19th century. (fn. 110) They built a house on their estate near Stowe House, which in 1862 was in the occupation of James Bennet, farmer. (fn. 111)
In 1447 the other half of Thomas de Langport's manor was held by Thomas Wykeham and Agnes his wife, in right of Agnes, who was possibly Thomas de Langport's widow. At that date they granted a twenty-year lease to John Percival at a rent of 43s. 4d. (fn. 112) In the same year they conveyed their right in Lamport to Ralph Ingoldsby and Agnes his wife, (fn. 113) the latter holding land, which may be taken to represent the half-manor, at her death in March 1492–3. (fn. 114) The property reappears in 1531 as the property of Nicholas de Wahull, whose father Fulk had married Anne daughter and co-heir of William Newnham, (fn. 115) and of Margery, who was, according to the Harleian visitation, the co-heir of Thomas 'Longports.' (fn. 116) The descent of this manor after its acquisition by the Wahulls follows that of Chetwode, no separate mention of it being found later than the 16th century. (fn. 117)
The entry for BOYCOTT MANOR in Domesday occurs under Oxfordshire, where Reinbald is recorded as holding 1 hide of the king in Boycott which had formerly belonged to Blachemann. (fn. 118) This hide went to form part of the original endowment of Cirencester Abbey, founded by Henry I in 1117, (fn. 119) the grant being termed the holding of 'Reinbald the Priest.' (fn. 120) Cirencester Abbey retained Boycott until the latter half of the 13th century, when the abbot alienated the manor (so described) to the Abbot of Biddlesden. This transfer is recorded in the Biddlesden Cartulary, but is undated. (fn. 121) It must, however, have taken place between 1264–5 (in which year the Abbot of Cirencester made a life grant of the mill) (fn. 122) and 1276, when the Abbot of Biddlesden was already in possession, for in this latter year he was fined for making a false claim of ancient demesne within the manor. (fn. 123) In 1526 the abbot granted a forty-nine years' lease of Boycott to Agnes widow of Lewis Ap Rice, (fn. 124) but before 1529 her rent was in arrears and the abbot brought an action against her. The rent was said to be payable on Christmas Day, but not tendered, 'considering the solempnite of the seyd fest,' till St. Thomas's Day. (fn. 125) At the Dissolution the manor, of which Agnes Ap Rice still held the unexpired lease, became the possession of the Crown, and was granted in 1543 to Henry Cartwright. (fn. 126) He died seised in 1556, his heir being his grandson Henry, son of Thomas Cartwright, a minor. (fn. 127) He came of age in 1564, (fn. 128) and three years later acquired royal licence to alienate the manor (fn. 129) to Thomas Tyringham. (fn. 130) He died in 1595, when Boycott Manor was stated to be held by his son Anthony Tyringham and Elizabeth his wife. (fn. 131) In 1615 Anthony Tyringham was succeeded by his son Thomas, (fn. 132) who made various settlements of Boycott Manor between 1621 and 1627. (fn. 133) Its later history is scanty. In 1700 John Miller conveyed the manor by fine to Mary Walford, widow, (fn. 134) and in 1718 one of the same name made a similar settlement on Edmund Halsey. (fn. 135) When Willis wrote c. 1735 the manor seems already to have been acquired by the lord of Stowe Manor, for he speaks of Boycott as a decayed hamlet, of which part was included in 'the spacious gardens of the Lord Cobham.' (fn. 136) It certainly formed part of the Stowe property later, (fn. 137) and was retained by the lord of the manor probably till the dispersal of his property in 1848, when it passed to Charles Higgens. A further alienation took place in 1899, (fn. 138) the present owner of the Boycott estate being Thomas Close Smith.
The Abbot of Oseney owned an estate in Dadford which formed part of the Domesday holding of Lewin of Nuneham and his tenant Hugh, son of Gozer, (fn. 139) for in 1278–9 it is described as being held of the honour of Giffard. (fn. 140) It appears to have been granted to the abbey by William son of Ralph de Langport, (fn. 141) and consisted of a hide held in demesne, 9 acres of assart, 4 acres of wood, and rents and services of eight cottagers. (fn. 142) At the Dissolution these lands were granted to the Bishop of Oxford, (fn. 143) with the manor of Stowe, to which they have since remained attached.
The priory of Catesby had a small grant of land in Dadford which was given to the prioress in 1252 by John de la Leigh and Christina his wife. (fn. 144) It was leased to Richard son of John March of Dadford in the 15th century, (fn. 145) and at the Dissolution was granted to John Giffard. (fn. 146) In 1540, together with Gorral Grange in Biddlesden (q.v.), it was confirmed to George Giffard. (fn. 147)
Willis, who had an opportunity of examining the Luffield register, quotes numerous grants of land in Lamport by the Langports. (fn. 148)
In 1512 William Tyler obtained a grant for thirtyfour years of the Luffield property in Lamport, which had been previously leased by the Abbot of Westminster to Sir Richard Empson for forty years. (fn. 149) These lands and rents henceforward follow the same descent as Luffield (q.v.), becoming finally merged in Stowe.
Some time early in the 13th century the Prioress of Studley in Oxfordshire acquired 2 virgates of land in Lamport which she held there in 1278–9. (fn. 150) In 1577 this land was the property of Laurence Abbott, who had inherited from his father, Thomas Abbott. (fn. 151)
The church of the ASSUMPTION OF ST. MARY THE VIRGIN consists of a chancel measuring internally 29 ft. by 15 ft. 6 in., north chapel 27 ft. by 14 ft. 6 in., nave 39 ft. by 19 ft., north aisle 9 ft. wide, south aisle 8 ft. 6 in. wide, west tower 10 ft. square, and a south porch 8 ft. by 7 ft. 6 in.
The earliest detail in the building is the late 13thcentury nave arcade, but the aisle to which it opens appears to have been rebuilt late in the 15th century, when the south aisle, added in the last half of the 14th century, was also rebuilt, the nave clearstory constructed, and the south porch added. The west tower was built in the first half of the 14th century, and the chancel in its present form dates from c.1350. The north chapel was added in the 16th century, when the arcade was pierced in the north wall of the chancel. The church has been restored and the upper stage of the tower has been rebuilt. With this exception the whole of the walls are roughcasted externally; the roofs are covered with copper, that of the chancel being externally of semicircular form.
The east window of the chancel, which is of mid14th-century date, is of three trefoiled ogee lights with poorly designed reticulated tracery. The north wall is occupied by the arcade of two bays opening to the north chapel. The arches are depressed and the jambs and soffits are divided into panels, in which small shields are set at intervals. The two modern windows in the south wall have each three trefoiled lights with tracery in a flat segmental head. The chancel arch, contemporary with the rebuilding of the chancel, is of three pointed orders, the two inner orders dying into the responds, while the outer order is segmental and continuously moulded with the jambs. The innermost order has plain chamfers, the two outer orders being hollow-chamfered. The north chapel is lighted by five original early 16th-century windows, four in the north wall, and one in the east wall, each being of three plain lights under a depressed head. Beneath the east window is a modern doorway, while a depressed arch of original date opens on the west to the north aisle.
The north and south arcades of the nave are each of three bays with pointed arches of two chamfered orders, and octagonal piers and responds with moulded capitals and bases. The mouldings of the capitals and bases of the piers and responds on the north side, however, show that this arcade is of late 13th-century date, while the mouldings of those on the south side indicate that the south arcade is about a century later. The 15th-century south porch has an outer entrance with an elliptical head within a square containing order. The clearstory windows, six on either side, have depressed four-centred heads and were originally each of three lights, but their tracery has been removed.
The north aisle has a 15th-century north doorway with a window on either side of it. Both are of the 15th century, but are now without tracery; the eastern window has a four-centred head and appears to have been originally of three lights, while the western window, which has a pointed head, was of two lights. At the east end of the aisle is a late 14th-century piscina with a trefoiled head. In the east wall of the south aisle is a pointed 14th-century window of three trefoiled ogee lights with reticulated tracery in the head. The two south windows are like the corresponding windows of the north aisle, and between them is a square-headed 16th-century doorway. At the east end is a piscina like that in the north aisle.
The tower is of three stages with diagonal western buttresses, and later buttresses against the west wall added to give additional support. The crowning parapet is plain and each stage is slightly recessed. The tower arch is pointed and of three chamfered orders, the innermost order springing from semioctagonal responds with moulded capitals; it is now covered by a modern gallery and partly blocked. The west doorway has a pointed head inclosed by an external label with head-stops, and is of three orders continuously moulded. Above the doorway externally is a fine and elaborately wrought niche with a trefoiled ogee arch supporting a pyramidal canopy finished with a finial and crockets, the whole being flanked by pinnacled pilasters. The upper part of the niche is sculptured with a crucifix between the figures of St. Mary and St. John, and below are three image brackets. The intermediate stage of the tower is lighted by small square-headed windows on the north and south, while the rebuilt upper stage has pointed two-light windows designed in the style of the 14th century.
Used as a reredos in the chancel is an early 17thcentury overmantel carved with the Stuart royal arms. The other fittings are of little interest.
In the chancel is a brass, with figure, to Alice Saunders. The inscription plate is broken, but the date is probably 1461. In the north chapel is an elaborate monument of black and white marble to Martha daughter of Sir Thomas Temple, and wife of Sir Thomas Penyston, bart., who died in 1619. Upon the monument is her recumbent figure, with the effigy of an infant daughter at the feet. This daughter, Hester, who died in 1617, is further commemorated by a floor slab of slate inlaid with marble bearing her figure and a shield of arms. Outside, to the east of the south porch, is a muchdecayed 14th-century effigy of a man in civil costume.
There is a ring of five bells: the treble is inscribed, 'James Keene Made This Ring 1654'; the second bears only the date 1660; the third is inscribed, 'William Sptcher (sic) Churchwarden 1654'; the fourth, 'Robart Knight Churchwarden 1654'; and the tenor, 'Richard Keene mad me 1665.' There was a small sanctus bell, now lost, without inscription.
The plate consists of a cup and almsdish given by George Marquess of Buckingham in 1811, a paten and flagon given by Richard Duke of Buckingham in 1837, and a small paten without inscription.
The registers begin in 1568.
The church of Stowe formed with the manor part of the endowment of the college in St. George's Church, Oxford Castle, first mention being found of it in the confirmation charter of 1130. (fn. 152) It has always followed the same descent as the manor of Stowe, (fn. 153) the living, which is a vicarage, being at the present day in the gift of the Master of Kinloss.
The rectory also follows the same descent as Stowe Manor.
The Comte de Paris left £60 to the deserving poor of this parish, the interest upon which is distributed annually. The trustees are the vicar and churchwardens.