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From the picture in the National Portrait Gallery 






No land in all the world hath memories of 
nobler children.' 










M. M. V. 
CLAYDON, 1911 







Romans in Bucks. Cymbeline. Preaching of Christianity. 
Birinus. Modwenna. St. Osyth of Aylesbury. St. Rumbold 
of Buckingham. Edward the Elder and the Danes. Elfleda. 
Edward the Confessor, Nigel of Boarstall, Wulwin, and 
St. Wulfstan. 



The Bulstrodes. Domesday Book. Henry II and Becket at 
Brill. St. Hugh as Diocesan of Bucks. King John signs 
Magna Carta. Italian Archdeacons of Buckingham. John 
Shorne of North Marston. 



CRUSADES, 1270-1307 . 39 

Enthusiasm for the Crusades. Prince Edward and Eleanor 
sail for Tunis and Palestine ; his battles and wound ; their 
return home as king and queen. Conquest of Wales. 
Eleanor's death ; her funeral passes through Bucks. Ed- 
ward's Parliament at Ashridge. The Friars preach in 
Bucks another Crusade. 




Wycliffe at Oxford and at Ludgershall. ' The Black Death.' 
Poverty of the parish priests. Schemes of Church Reform. 
Wycliffe in London ; tried in St. Paul's ; tried at Lam- 
beth ; starts the 'Poor Preachers', and translates the 
Bible ; his teaching. Queen Anne of Bohemia. Burning 
of Lollards in Bucks. 


Agincourt. Education of Henry VI. Founding of Eton 
College ; studies, manners, diversions. Wars of the Roses. 
Edward IV wishes to transfer the College to Windsor. 
Second Charter. Cox and Udall. Founding of Thornton 
Grammar School. Edward IV meets Elizabeth Woodville 
near Stony Stratford ; their secret marriage. Court tailor 
of Wraysbury. Edward V at Stony Stratford ; waylaid by 
his Uncle Gloucester, and carried off to the Tower. 

CATHERINE OF ARRAGON, 1485-1536 ... 64 

Her childhood in Spain ; connexion with Bucks as Princess 
of Wales ; her regency. Flodden Field. Persecution of 
heretics. Colet and his School. Field of the Cloth of Gold. 
Lace-making in Bucks. Ann Boleyn, Jane Seymour, Anne 
of Cleves, and Katherine Parr. 


Change and Reaction. Church bells and bell-founders. 
Parish Registers. Bibles in English. Church ornaments. 
Effects of the Reformation on the School endowments at 
Eton College, Buckingham, Wycombe, and Amersham. 






The Queen at Ashridge, Colnbrook, Chenies and Sharde- 
loes. Sir Henry Lee. Pageants at Quarendon and Marlow. 
The Queen's progress and viands. Shakespeare in Bucks. 
The Chaloner?. Bishop Alley and Christopher Barker. The 
English Bible. Sir Marmaduke Dayrell. Haddon and the 
' Judicious Hooker '. 



The struggle between the Crown and the Commons. Bucks 
elections. Sir Francis Goodwin and Sir Christopher Pigott. 
Persecution of the Catholics under Elizabeth and James. 
Priest-finders. The Digbys of Gavhurst and the Gunpowder 
Plot. The Authorised Version" of 1611. Dr. Brett of 


The half-brothers. Sir Francis fights the Spaniards and 
joins the Moors ; dies in Sicily. Sir Edmund's more serious 
career ; in charge of Whaddon Chase ; Knight Marshal in 
Charles I's Court ; in Parliament and the Scotch War ; 
Standard-Bearer to the King ; killed at Edgehill. 

JOHN HAMPDEN, 1549-1643 . . . .110 

His home and forefathers ; educated at Thame and Oxford ; 
friendship with Eliot ; resists Ship-money ; attempted 
arrest of the five Members ; Hampden's death and funeral. 


Denton family. Hillesden House held by the Cavaliers ; 
taken and burnt by Cromwell. Capt. Abercrombie. Sir 
Alexander Denton's death in the Tower. 





HOUSE 119 

Denhara and Wither. Sir W. Campion defends Boarstall ; 
Col. Gage takes it ; second siege by Fairfax ; surrender of 
the Royalists. Sir Thomas Fanshawe. Sir John Dunham's 

JOHN MILTON, 1608-1674 . . 124 

Childhood in London; youth at Cambridge and Horton; 
blindness and adversity ; friendship with Ellwood ; settled 
at Chalfont. Paradise Regained. Samson Agonistes. 
Cowper's tribute to Milton. 


Bucks' Address to the Long Parliament. The Hermit of 
Dinton. Cromwell at Aylesbury after the Battle of Worces- 
ter. The Justice and the Innkeeper. Arrest of Sir Ralph 
Verney. The Major-Generals. The Mad Hatter. 


Rejoicings. The Ins and the Outs. Restoration of the 
Clergy ; their previous sufferings. Persecution of Noncon- 
formists, Dissenters, and Quakers. 


Philip, Baron Wharton, the Puritan Peer ; Edgehill ; the 
Restoration. 'Tom Wharton,' politician and sportsman; 
marries Anne Lee ; returned for Bucks in spite of Judge 
Jeffreys; made a Marquis. Philip, Duke of Wharton, 
Jacobite and Catholic ; his miserable end. 






The Russells of Chenies. Rachel Lady Russell. Lord 
Russell's trial and execution. James II and Jeffreys. 
William and Mary. Honours for the Russells. Lady 
Russell's old age and death. Atterbury of Milton Keynes ; 
devotion to the Stuarts; banished by George I; dies abroad. 
Jacobite lady at Newport Pagnell. 




The Poets of South and North Bucks ; both scholars and 
Nature-lovers. Gray's journey with Walpole ; life at Stoke 
Poges ; life at Stowe. Cowper's early sorrows and depres- 
sion; with Mrs.Unwin at Olney; a poet in middle life; fame 
and friendships. 

' WHEN GEORGE III WAS KING ' . . . . 181 

' Rule Britannia.' ' Farmer George.' The Grenvilles of 
Stowe and Wotton. Earl Verney. Edmund Burke. John 
Wilkes. Shelley at Marlow. Cobbett. 


Exiles of the French Revolution. Louis XVIII settles down 
at Hartwell House ; visits the Marquis of Buckingham at 
Stowe ; death of the Queen ; triumphal departure from 
Aylesbury ; chased from Paris and restored. Comte de 
Paris at Stowe. 





Thomas Scott's early hardships ; influence of the Wesleys ; 
the Bible Commentary ; his pecuniary troubles ; success of 
his book ; his old age at Aston Sandford. Thomas Scott, 
junior, Vicar of Gawcott ; his son Gilbert's artistic tastes. 
A Bucks village in the early nineteenth century. The 
Oxford Movement. Sir Gilbert Scott the pioneer of the 
Gothic revival ; his work in Bucks. 



Disraeli's long connexion with Bucks ; his home at Braden- 
ham. Vivian Gray. Wycombe elections. Marriage. M.P. 
for Bucks. Life at Hughenden. Agricultural dinners. 
Friendship with Queen Victoria, j 




The 14th and 16th Regiments of Foot. Bucks Militia. Sir 
Harry Calvert. First Staff College at Wycombe. The 14th at 
Waterloo. Volunteers and Yeomanry. General Sir George 
Higginson and the Crimean War. Indian Mutiny. Admiral 
Sir Edmund Fremantle and the Ashanti War. Admiral 
Pigott and the bombardment of Alexandria. Lord Ches- 
ham and the Bucks Yeomanry in the Boer War. 


Physicians of different types. John Smith. Thomas 
d'Oyley. Sir Thomas Clayton. John Radcliffe. Social 
prejudices. Lawrence Wright. George Bate. Martin 
Lluelyn. William Denton. Thomas Willis. Sir Samuel 
Garth. Friend and Mead. Robert Ceely. Sir Henry 
Acland. George De'Ath. Florence Nightingale in Bucks ; 
her Nurses at Claydon ; her Health Missioners ; her death 
and burial. 




JOHN HAMPDEN ..... . Frontispiece 



GARDEN '......... 57 



SIR EDMUND VERNEY ....... 105 

JOHN MILTON ......... 127 






EDMUND BURKE ......... 189 


LORD BEACONSFIELD . . . . . . . .217 




Lipscomb, History of Buckinghamshire (1831-47). 

Victoria County History, Bucks. 

Browne Willis, History of Buckingham and other works. 

Records of Bucks, Proceedings of the Bucks Arch. Society. 

Church Bells of Bucks, by A. H. Clocks. 

Memorials of Old Buckinghamshire, P. H. Ditchfield. 

Worthies of Bucks, \ 

Local Records, > Robert Gibbs. 

History of Aylesbury, > 

History of the Hundred of Desborough. Langley (1797). 

Aedes Hartwellianae, by Admiral Smyth. 

History of Wycombe. John Parker. 

History of Newport Pagnell. Ratcliff and Bull. 

History of Datchet. Osborne. 

History of Wendover. Dr. West, LL.D., C.C. 

History of Winslow. Arthur Clear. 

History of Bernwood. Rev. C. H. Tomlinson. 

History of Wraysbury, Horton, and Colnbrook. Gyll. 

History of Burnham Beeches. Heath. 

History of Denham. Lathbury. 

History of Westbury. Rev. R. Ussher. 

History of Farnham Royal. Carr-Gomm. 

History of Chalfont St. Giles. Phipps. 

History of Town of Cowper. Wright. 

History of Jordans and Chalfonts. W. H. Summers. 

Cowper, Poems and Letters. 

Gray, Elegy and Ode to Eton College. 

Verney Memoirs. M. M. Verney. 

MSS. in Museum (Library of Bucks Arch. Society) at Aylesbury. 

Notes on Historical Buckingham. J. T. Harrison. 

Old Country Life, \ 

Recollections of Old Country Life, [ by J. K. Fowler. 

Records of Old Times, ) 

Highways and Byways of Bucks. Clement Shorter. 

Bucks (Murray's Handbooks). Rev. P. H. Ditchfield. 

Bucks (Methuen's Little Guides). E. S. Roscoe. 


THE revival of pageants, and their success, has shown 
us how interesting local history may be made if the 
events connected with a town or county are illustrated in 
a series of striking scenes. 

No written words can arrest the attention of children as 
do these living pictures, but the pageants give us a hint 
that a set of historical vignettes and the lives of a few 
famous men and women may be more interesting than 
a connected history condensed within the limits of a school 

The recent remarkable progress in the Schools of the 
county, in Nature study and drawing from Nature, have 
made the Bucks child well acquainted with the trees, 
flowers, and birds of the neighbourhood, with the conditions 
of vegetable growth in the educational school-garden, and 
with the geography of the parish. 

It is desirable that this spirit of observation and of 
original research which appeals to every intelligent child, 
should be extended to the human interests of the com- 
munity past and present. Both the domestic and church 
architecture of Bucks are very interesting ; there are 
Jacobean manor-houses, now usually farm-houses, and 
admirable specimens of Queen Anne and Georgian houses in 
the market towns ; while the beautiful old cottages in the 
villages repay attention at least as much as the homes of 
the birds and the spiders. 

Brasses with mediaeval costumes, monuments in stone 
and marble, the parish registers, the porches, fonts, 
windows and bells in many of our village churches, offer 
points of historical interest generally unexplored by the 
children living in the parish. The study of social customs, 
the changes from hand to machine work, the growth or the 
decay of local trades, the prevalent names and surnames 


often confined to a small district, the dialect names for wild 
and garden flowers, rimes, proverbs and stories still to 
be gleaned from the older generation all this information 
to be gained not from books, but by the children's own 
observation, and where possible illustrated by their draw- 
ings, would give fresh zest to country life from the historical 
point of view, and new topics for school compositions. 

The bird and tree competitions and kindred efforts 
have sent the children to Nature, the Empire Day celebra- 
tions have widened their horizon ; but in our English 
counties, so full of historical associations, there is a rich 
inheritance of human and social interest still to be possessed 
by the young generation. 

Buckinghamshire does not at first sight offer any very 
dramatic material. Far from the heroism and adventure 
of the sea-coast, it is a county of rich pasture land, fine 
dairy cows, prime beef and fat ducks ; of hedgerow elms, 
oaks and beech-woods ; of gentle undulations, culminating 
in the considerable chalk-ridge of the Chilterns, bordered 
by the silvery Thames and intersected by the slow winding 

Aylesbury, Buckingham, Stony Stratford, Newport 
Pagnell, Amersham, Chesham, and Marlow are among the 
picturesque old market towns unspoilt by modern progress. 

Agriculture has always been the chief Bucks industry, 
but the railway has created a centre of skilled work at 
Wolverton ; Olney has a boot-factory ; and the old 
borough of Wycombe has a growing trade in chair-making. 
The nearness to London and the admirable sites for villas 
have given to part of South Bucks something of a suburban 
character ; Slough has an increasing population, but 
nothing can spoil the glorious beech-woods and the river 
scenery ; and Bucks can claim to be a typical rural county 
of the Midlands. 

Bucks possessed a royal residence under several of the 
Plantagenet kings, but when security from attack was no 
longer the chief consideration in the choice of a palace, the 
impregnable site of Brill had to yield to the charms of 

Bucks soldiers and sailors have distinguished themselves 
all over the world, but no great battle, since Saxon times, 


has been fought within its borders. In the Civil War there 
were sieges of private houses, and much marching and 
countermarching of the opposing forces over its meadows. 

Attached for centuries to the distant see of Lincoln, the 
county had no great abbey or cathedral or university, 
though in Eton College it has boasted of the most famous 
public school in England or in the world. 

It was, perhaps, the absence of king, abbot, and bishop 
which contributed to a spirit of sturdy independence, and 
made Bucks the home of many unpopular causes. Lollards, 
Calvinists, Quakers, Independents, and Baptists here early 
found a refuge, and according to Fuller, Bucks had ' before 
the time of Luther more martyrs and confessors than 
all England beside '. John Knox preached at Amersham, 
and Richard Baxter held there a theological field-day. 
John Bunyan served as a private soldier at Newport 
Pagnell. The old Catholic faith has had its confessors and 
martyrs ; the Throckmortons and their neighbours at 
Weston Underwood were unmoved by the Reformation; 
and Sir Everard Digby of Gayhurst was one of the authors 
of the Gunpowder Plot. 

Many learned and saintly divines and schoolmasters have 
been numbered amongst the Bucks clergy of the Church of 
England. Wycliffe, Hooker, and Sheldon have been among 
her parish priests ; Dean Colet endowed St. Paul's School 
from his property in the county ; Dr. Busby, the great 
Head Master of Westminster School, had property at 
Willen and relatives at Addington ; Brett, ' the learned 
Rector of Quainton ', was one of the translators of the Bible 
of 1611 ; Atterbury was born at Milton Keynes, of which 
his father was rector ; Newton of Olney, Scott, the com- 
mentator, of Aston Sandford, and Spencer Thornton, of 
Wendover, were distinguished in the Evangelical move- 
ment. When the Oxford Revival came,' Bucks possessed 
her own great architect in Sir Gilbert Scott, son of the Vicar 
of Gawcott, who gave ungrudgingly his time and money to 
the restoration of the old Gothic churches. 

It is the singular good fortune of this county that one of 
her country churches, and incidentally the village life which 
centred round it, have been described by such a poet as 
Gray, and her scenery and manners by so loving a student 

986-4 B 


as Cowper. Indeed it is remarkable how many poets and 
writers are connected with Bucks. Milton, the greatest of 
them all, dreamt of Paradise in the peaceful scenery of the 
Chalf onts ; Sir John Denham is associated with Boarstall ; 
Waller wrote under his oak at Coleshill ; Dryden at Denham 
Court as the guest of Sir William Bowyer ; Pope and 
Thomson were inspired by the ' paradise of Stowe '. At 
Beaconsfield, Crabbe found a haven of rest ; Shelley, ' the 
Hermit of Marlow ', wrote there, as also his friend Peacock ; 
Gibbon owned the manor of Lenborough ; Praed was 
member for Aylesbury ; Frank Smedley (a cripple from 
childhood), the brave author of Frank Fairleigh, wrote at 
Marlow ; Captain Mayne Reid:, the friend of boys, at 
Gerrard's Cross ; Shirley Brooks, the genial editor of 
Punch, was born at Brill in 1816 ; Sir Walter Scott was 
a constant guest at Ditton Park. 

Sir Isaac Newton frequently visited his relations at 
Lavendon Grange ; and it was from the quiet of a Bucks 
garden that Herschel found the planet Uranus. 

Captain Cook, who sailed round the world, used to stay 
at Denham Place ; Sir James Ross, the Arctic explorer, 
ended his life's long voyages at Aston Abbots ; Professor 
Richard Owen's boyhood was spent at Fulmer Place, in the 
house built by his great-grandfather. 

The political record of the county is a splendid one. Was 
not the table long kept at Datchet on which King John 
signed Magna Carta on the Island of Runnymede in the 
parish ? The same spirit that gained the Charter made 
Hampden resist the Ship-money, and sent 4,000 Bucks 
freeholders riding up to London with their own remon- 
strance. There were many devoted Cavaliers in the country 
houses, but the county generally sided with the Parliament ; 
and though Bucks men, wearied with uncertainty, rejoiced 
in the Restoration, they were up in arms against the 
encroachments of James II and won the famous election 
of 1685 against Judge Jeffreys, as is told. by Macaulay. 
Aylesbury supported her townsman Wilkes, when he stood 
for liberty of election ; Stowe gave two Prime Ministers to 
England in George and William Grenville ; Burke was both 
a Bucks M.P. and a resident in the county ; Canning was 
Member for Wendover, and in Victoria's days Bucks was 



proud in the possession of a Prime Minister who loved to 
identify himself with the county and its interests, and all 
England listened while Lord Beaconsfield poured forth his 
wit and wisdom at the Farmers' Ordinary at Aylesbury ; 
the Right Hon. W. H. Smith resided in South Bucks, and 
the Earl of Rosebery has a home at Mentmore. 

The Bucks regiments and the Militia, Yeomanry, and 
Volunteers have taken an honourable share in the story of 
the county and the empire ; and the first Staff College was 
started here. 

We have a long roll of Bucks Physicians and Surgeons ; 
Florence Nightingale spent some time at Claydon and 
worked with the County Council. 

Mr. A. Morley Davies, D.Sc., F.G.S., of Amersham, is 
preparing a School Geography of Bucks, dealing with its 
topography, natural history, and antiquities, as one of 
a series published by the Cambridge University ; in this 
volume, it is proposed to deal with the historical and biogra- 
phical associations of the county ; it is hoped that the two 
books may be used together in the schools as represent- 
ing two different aspects of local study. A list of books 
for wider reading on the subjects treated will be found 
at the end of the volume. 

B 2 

My thanks are due to the following authors and publishers for leave to 
quote from the books mentioned below : 

Messrs. LONGMANS. History of England, Part I, by York Powell and 

Tout ; Froude's Short Studies ; The Russells of Chenies. 
G. M. TREVELYAN. England in the Age of Wycliffe. 
Messrs. DENT. Froude's Life of Lord Beaconsfield. 
Rev. CHARLES MARSON. Hugh of Lincoln. 
Messrs. SMITH & ELDER. Dictionary of National Biography. 
Messrs. MACMILLAN. Oliphant's Literary History of the Nineteenth 

Century ; Lord Albemarle's Fifty Years of My Life. Lord Morley's 

Burke, English Men of Letters. 
Rev. Dr. J. C. Cox. History of Parish Registers. 

and the LIBRARIAN. Records of Buckinghamshire, published by the 

Society ; Gough MSS. in the Society's Library. 
THE EARL OF ROSEBERY. Lecture on The Grenvilles of Stowe, printed 

in Records of Bucks. 

ALFRED H. COCKS, Esq. The Church Bells of Bucks. 
Messrs. STANFORD and Rev. P. H. DITCHFIELD. Murray's Bucking- 

H. W. HOARE. Our English Bible 

Mrs. GREEN. J. R. Green, History of the English People. 
Messrs. METHUEN. France since Waterloo, by W. G. Berry. 
LADY RITCHIE. The Four Georges, by W. M. Thackeray. 
COUNTY HISTORY SYNDICATE. Victoria County Histories, Bucks, vols. i. 

and ii. 
Admiral the Hon. Sir EDMUND FREMANTLE. The Navy as I have 

known it. 
Right Hon. G. W. E. RUSSELL. Collections and Recollections ; Sketch 

of Louisa Lady de Rothschild, privately printed. 
J. R. H. FOWLER, Esq. Echoes of Old Country Life. 
D. H. SCOTT, Esq. Recollections of Sir Gilbert Scott, edited by bis son. 

The Hon. T. F. FBEMANTLE. MS. Notes on Bucks Military Matters. 

HENRY ALLHUSEN, ESQ. Information about Stoke Poges. 

S. D. CHIPPINGDALE, Esq., M.D. MS. Notes on By-gone Bucks 


Mrs. STANLEY LEIGHTON. MS. Letters of Sir Henry Williams Wynn. 
And also to Admiral PIGOTT, Rev. MACKWOOD STEVENS, and Rev. P. 



THE Roman occupation had done much for Britain. In 
Bucks, forests had been cleared, marshes drained, good roads 
like Akeman Street and Watling Street traversed the 
county ; many useful trees and shrubs were brought from 
abroad, and sheep-farming was introduced. The remains 
of gardens and villas belonging to rich Roman families have 
been found at High Wycombe, Foxcote (near Buckingham), 
and at Tinge wick ; Roman pottery and coins at Brill, 
Boarstall, Olney, Winslow, Steeple Claydon, and elsewhere. 
As early as the first century Christianity reached Britain, 
and from this old British Church sprang the early Celtic 
Churches of Ireland and Wales, who nobly repaid the debt 
they owed, by missionary work in the mother country, 
when Christianity had been wellnigh extinguished by wave 
after wave of heathen invasion by Saxons, Jutes, Angles, 
and Danes. 

The first six hundred years of our history are full of cruel 
wars ; ' in the early rough times of a nation's life, unless it 
can fight well, it has but a poor chance of living at all, in 
the struggle going on around it.' The names that remain 
to us are those of soldier-kings and leaders, and side by side 
with them the churchmen and missionaries, often women, 
who in gentler ways, but with equal courage, were labouring 
and dying to establish the kingdom of Christ. In Bucks 
the course of the Ouse and the range of the Chilterns play 
an important part in the fighting. There is a legend of 
a battle at Great Kimble in which the two sons of Cymbeline, 
the British chief, were killed ; he had a palace at Velvet 

The name of Cymbeline is great in legendary story. In 
Geoffrey of Monmouth's Chronicle, a storehouse of heroic 


tales, written about 1147, is a version of the story according 
to which Cymbeline was the grandson of Lud, the founder 
of London, still remembered in the name Ludgate Hill ; he 
was a great British soldier, brought up in Rome about 
the time of Christ ; he governed Britain well and justly. 
Cymbeline, or his sons, later resisted an invasion by the 
Romans, and then made an honourable peace with them. 
French romances and plays were founded on the story of 
Cymbeline, and Shakespeare took ' the slight suggestions 
of the old story for the shaping of his beautiful play ', in 
which the fighting between Romans and Britons is only the 
background to the picture of a faithful wife, Imogen, tried 
and true. 

Another battle was fought at Chearsley between the 
Saxons and Britons. Bucks was included in the Saxon 
kingdom of Mercia. In the seventh century Birinus, a 
Roman monk, was sent here by Pope Honorius to preach 
the Gospel ; he met with much success in the Midlands, 
baptized the King of Wessex in 635, and founded the see 
of Dorchester, to which Bucks belonged up to the time of 
the Norman Conquest. 

The name of Birinus or Berrin still lingers in the hills 
above Wallingford. He is said to have met with his death 
in the Chiltern woods by the bite of an adder and legend 
adds that no adder can live within sound of Dorchester 
bells, though they were unable to save their saint and 
founder. Modwenna, an Irish princess, was also preaching 
to the heathen in Ireland, England, and Scotland. A 
woman of the most fearless and holy character, learned in 
all the age could teach, she was said to have been a disciple 
of St. Patrick. She was accompanied on her missionary 
journeys by a band of Christian maidens, who suffered gladly 
all sorts of hardships ; reduced sometimes to eating the 
bark of trees ; often flying from violence, but everywhere 
making converts. Modwenna founded two famous monas- 
teries, as refuges for Christian women and as centres of 
worship, education, and missionary effort. One of these 
religious houses Modwenna ruled herself, the other was 
presided over by her friend, Edith, sister of an early King 
Alfred of Northumbria. One Lady Edith was the possessor 
of the town and manor of Aylesbury. A daughter, Osyth, 


was born at Quarrendon to Frithwald, King of Mercia, who 
had become a Christian, and the young princess was sent 
to these two good women to be educated. The legends 
connected with her name are somewhat slight and trivial, 
but we repeat them as they were told to the children long 
ago. Osyth was sent by Modwenna to Edith with a book, 
then a rare and precious treasure. As she crossed a bridge 
on her way, she was blown into the water and sank. Mod- 
wenna and Edith searched for her in much distress ; coming 
on the third day to the place where she was, they called her 
by name and she rose out of the water alive and well. Her 
parents married her to a Prince of the East Saxons, but 
with his consent she built a nunnery on some land which 
he gave her at Chich in Essex, and devoted herself to 
a religious life. A band of Danish pirates tried to make her 
renounce her faith ; on her refusal she was beheaded at 
a fountain to which she was wont to resort for bathing. 
Then she rose, took up her head, walked with it in her hands 
to the church at Chich, and knocked at the door. Her 
friends took her body and buried it at Aylesbury, near 
which her home had been ; but she appeared in a vision 
to a smith of that town, and asked that her bones might 
be moved to Chich, which was done after they had rested 
forty-six years at Aylesbury. St. Osyth was canonized, 
and her day was kept at Aylesbury on October 7. A 
holy well, dedicated to her, was shown at Quarrendon. 
A pretty, homely custom kept up her memory. When 
the housewife went to bed (much alive to the danger 
of fire in the old thatched cottages), she raked out her 
hearth, made a cross in the ashes, and prayed to God and 
St. Osyth to keep the house till morning safe from fire and 

The champion of heathenism in the seventh century was 
the famous Penda, King of Mercia, the last of the great 
Pagan princes. ' His ability and the unmitigated ferocity 
of the old Saxon spirit gave him an advantage over his more 
gentle and civilized neighbours.' 1 His daughters became 
Christian, and it was by the influence of women that Mercia 
at length abandoned the old paganism ; one daughter was 
said to be the mother of Osyth, another of Rumbold, or 
Rumwold, the baby-saint of Buckingham. Never, surely, 


was a saintly reputation founded on so short a sojourn in 
this wicked world as that of Saint Rumbold. According 
to the legend he was born on November 1, 623, at 
King's Sutton, was baptized, and died. During his life of 
three days he spoke many holy words, professed his faith 
in Christ, and gave orders about the disposal of his body. 
This was to rest one year at Sutton, two at Brackley, and 
then to remain at Buckingham for ever. The church at 
Buckingham was at that time a chapelry of King's Sutton 
church in Northamptonshire. 

The story of the infant confessor touched the imagination 
of the people. Many churches and wells were dedicated 
to St. Rumbold, and to these the blind and lame came in 
great numbers to be healed. The chief well in Buckingham 
seems to have been at the Prebend End of the town, and 
Church Street was formerly St. Rumbold Street ; he is still 
allowed to give his name to a lane. The south transept of 
the old church (destroyed by the fall of the spire in 1698) 
was called St. Rumbold's aisle, and so many pilgrims 
flocked to his shrine, that a large house was built for them 
to lodge in, to the west of the church, known as Pilgrims' 
Inn, and still standing towards the close of the eighteenth 
century. In 1477 Robert Fowler left a bequest for a hand- 
some new shrine to be made in marble, and a coffin or chest 
curiously wrought and gilt to contain the saint's little 
bones. When the church was pulled down in 1777 and 
a new church erected on the site of the Saxon castle, the 
coffin of St. Rumbold was discovered. 

After St. Rumbold's death Christianity spread fast. The 
Saxon kings of Mercia had a palace at Winslow ; Offa II 
founded the Abbey of St. Albans, and endowed it with his 
royal manor of Winslow. Many of the Danes under Alfred's 
influence became Christians, and were allowed to colonize 
a portion of the east of England, and to rule it by their 
own laws. Bucks was included in the Danelagh. But this 
peaceful absorption of the Danes did not come without 
a long struggle. 

Alfred's son, Edward the Elder, had to defend himself 
from a Viking fleet from Brittany in 915 ; when they were 
beaten off he attacked the Danish settlements on the Ouse, 
took Buckingham after a siege of four weeks, and fought 


and defeated the Danes at Bledlow (' the bloody Hill '), 
when the great Whiteleaf Cross is supposed to have been 
cut on the side of the chalk hill above Princes Risborough, 
as well as the smaller cross above Bledlow, to celebrate the 
victory ; though there are prosaic people who say that the 
crosses were only way-marks for guiding travellers. King 
Edward lodged a considerable time at Buckingham and 
built a fortress in 918, on the hill where the church now 
stands (still remembered in the name of Castle Street) ; he 
and his sister Elfleda or Ethelfleda, the Lady of the March- 
land, ' a woman godly, righteous, and wise ', were untiring 
in securing the safety and peace of the realm, in making 
good laws and building churches. 2 Holinshed tells us that 
the king suffered his sister Elfleda to govern the kingdom 
of Mercia during his life, ' and not without good reason, for 
by her wise and politic order, used in all her doings, he was 
greatly furthered and assisted. She did build and repair 
towns and castles and build bridges. . . . Finally, this 
martial Lady and manly Elfleda, the supporter of her 
countrymen, and terror of the enemies, departed this life 
at Tamworth about 919.' It has been said from the evidence 
in Domesday Book that the legal position of women was 
better under Saxon laws than it was at any later time till 
the close of Victoria's reign. Not only did women fill many 
high public offices, 3 but the wife's name appears side by 
side with her husband's as the ' lord ' of a separate estate 
both among landlords and ' thanes ', as in the instance of 
a female landowner at Tyringham during her husband's 
lifetime. Several Parliaments of the Mercian kings were 
held at Risborough. King Edward's second son, Edmund, 
the Deed-doer, recovered the Danelagh from the Danes, 
and made it part of the kingdom of England for ever ; his 
name, like his father's, must have been well known in 

The next king who has left his mark on the county is 
Edward the Confessor, crowned on Easter Day, 1042. ' He 
was a quiet, pious man, loving the Normans with whom he 
had been brought up, and their polished clerkly ways, much 
interested in Church matters, which he and his Norman 
chaplains settled in their own way, beloved by his people 
who for a short interval were at peace and happy. ' 1 Edward 


was much occupied with building a church, where now the 
choir of Westminster Abbey stands, but he had the old English 
love of field-sports, and he also built himself a hunting -lodge 
at Brill, overlooking the royal forest of Bernwood ; the office 
of Forester was held from that time forward by the Lords of 
Boarstall, about which there is a picturesque story. Nigel 
the Forester slew a great wild boar that had dared to inter- 
fere with the king's hunting, and he presented the boar's 
head on his knees to the king. Edward the Confessor 
granted to him and his heirs the custody of Bernwood, by 
the service of a horn entitled the Charter of the Forest. 
This Nigel built a house at Boarstall; the horn was 
handed down as an heirloom from one owner to another, 
and now belongs to Sir Lancelot Aubrey Fletcher, at 
Dorton House. In the old Boarstall House of Civil War 
fame the incident was represented on a carved wooden 

Another legend of Edward the Confessor is connected 
with Ludgershall. A Saxon yeoman, Wulmar, had a son 
Wulwin, surnamed Spillecorn. During a hard day's work 
felling timber in Bernwood Forest, Wulwin lay down under 
a tree and fell asleep ; the sun shone full on his face, and he 
became blind for seventeen years. He visited eighty-seven 
churches and prayed to the saints in vain ; he dreamt that 
the king could heal him, and having journeyed from 
Ludgershall to Windsor, and made his way with difficulty 
into the presence of the king, he told of his dream, and 
prayed for mercy. Edward, distrustful of his power, said 
he would be truly grateful if God chose by his means to 
take pity on a miserable creature. Then dipping his hands 
in water he placed them on his eyes, and the man cried out, 
' I see you, O King ! ' The story goes that Wulwin was then 
appointed to a place of honour in charge of the palace of 
Windsor, and that he survived his benefactor by many 

Edward's queen, Edith, owned the manors of High 
Wycombe, Amersham, and Little Marlow ; she was a great 
lady in the realm as the daughter of the powerful Earl 
Godwin, but they were childless, and the king's last years 
were troubled by questions of the succession. ' At mid- 
winter, 1065, King Edward came to Westminster to hallow 


the Minster he had built to the glory of God and St. Peter, 1 
and on Twelfth Night 

' There suddenly came 
Death the bitter ; and that dear Prince 
Took from the earth. The angels bore 
His soothfast soul into heaven's light.' 

' Edward's holy life that spoke him full of grace, and the 
gift of prophecy ascribed to him, gained him the title of 
Confessor, and made him for years the favourite saint of 
the south of England.' 

After his death and the few troubled months of Harold's 
reign, Norman influences were to dominate Church and 
State, but one more saint and the last of the Saxon prelates 
is connected with Bucks by legends. 

St. Wulfstan was Bishop of Worcester from the reign of 
Edward the Confessor to that of William Rufus. ' As he 
was journeying to the Court of London he lodged at a town 
called " Wicumbe ", and slept in an old house whose 
ruinous appearance threatened a speedy fall. And in the 
morning, when he was about to recommence his Journey, 
the building began to crack, and the rafters and beams to 
give way downwards. All the servants jumped out of doors 
in a fright, so panic-struck as to forget altogether that their 
master was alone within ; but once safely out of doors they 
remembered him, and shouted loudly for him to come out 
before the whole building fell down together ; but none was 
brave enough to go in and rescue him. But he, fortified 
with the buckler of faith, stood calm and immovable, and 
by virtue of his sanctity the impending destruction was 
suspended until the horses and baggage were safely got out 
and loaded ready for departure. Then the holy man went 
forth from the building, and immediately the whole house 
was violently shaken and fell with a terrible crash, walls 
and roof, into a chaotic heap of ruins.' Six years later he 
was at Wycombe again to consecrate a church, and was 
credited with the miraculous cure of a maid-servant afflicted 
with a grievous disease of the tongue and throat. ' Wulfstan 
was a pattern of all monastic and episcopal virtues as then 
understood.' 4 Through all the changes and troubles of the 
Norman Conquest he was beloved by the conquerors and the 


conquered. He devoted himself with the utmost humility 
and diligence to the welfare of the poor ; he rebuilt Wor- 
cester Cathedral in the great age of Norman architecture, but 
his words were remembered that ' the men of old, if they had 
not stately buildings, were themselves a sacrifice to God, 
whereas we pile up stones and neglect souls ' he laid the 
emphasis of life on worship and service. 

1 York Powell and Tout, History of England. 

* Holinshed's Chronicle. ' Victoria County History, Bucks. 

4 Diet. Nat. Biog. 


AFTER the Battle of Hastings, the lands of the English 
who had fought with Harold were given to Normans and 
Frenchmen, and manors in Bucks that had belonged to 
Edward the Confessor's queen were granted to Odo, Bishop 
of Bayeux ; all over the county foreign nobles and church- 
men held some of the best estates, but there was one fine 
exception to the general submission to the Conqueror. 

A Saxon family named Shobbington had been settled at 
Hedgerley for generations, and when a Norman lord was 
prepared to seize the land with a warrant from William, 
and the grant of 1,000 of the king's own soldiers, Shobbing- 
ton, the owner, was thoroughly roused. He got all his own 
people together, with his friends and neighbours the 
Hampdens and Penns, entrenched his house, and prepared 
for an obstinate resistance. 

The Normans sat down before the place to besiege it, but 
according to the picturesque family story the Shobbingtons 
made a sally in the night, mounted on fierce but well-broken 
bulls, surprised the Normans, and broke up the camp. 
King William, a brave man himself , could appreciate courage 
and daring ; he sent Shobbington a safe-conduct to come 
to Court, where he appeared riding on his bull, accompanied 
by his seven sons, and promised fealty if the king would 
confirm him in his estates, which William did, and he added 



the name of Bulstrode to his own in memory of his trusty 
mount, and the name gradually replaced that of Shobbing- 
ton. The Bulstrodes were well known in Bucks for many 
succeeding centuries. The story is a good one, but sur- 
names were unknown until long after this. 

As soon as he was settled in his new kingdom, William the 
Conqueror made the great inquest into the ownership of 
land and property, known as the Domesday Book, which 
was done so thoroughly that the people complained that 
there was not a yard of land, not one ox, nor one cow, nor 
one swine left out that was not set down in the king's rolls. 
From this survey we have accurate knowledge about the 
landowners and the produce of the county, more than 
eight hundred years ago. 

' There has been a complete shifting of the population 
from North to South Bucks in eight centuries ; Creslow 
had a larger population in 1085 than in 1901, while the 
population was lowest in the hundreds of Burnham, Des- 
borough, and Stoke.' 

By mapping out the townships and manors mentioned in 
Domesday as being laid waste, the march of William's 
forces after the Battle of Hastings has been traced. In 
Bucks the main army seems to have marched ' along 
the foot of the Chilterns through Risborough to Aston 
Clinton ; then through Waddesdon and Claydon to 
Buckingham, and by Wolverton to Olney and Lavendon.' 
Whether Aylesbury or Buckingham were touched does not 
appear, but Stowe was ' waste ' when the Bishop of Bayeux 
received it from the king. A right wing from Aston Clinton 
passed through Cublington and Linslade to the Brickhills ; 
another detachment went by Iver, Taplow, and Woburn. 
In Saxon times the manor of Aston Clinton was held by a 
lady named Wlwen ; a Norman knight, Edward of Salis- 
bury, took possession of her lands, and was standard- 
bearer to Henry I at the Battle of Brenonville in 1119, in 
which Walter Giffard, Earl of Buckingham, also dis- 
tinguished himself. He became Earl of Longville, and 
founded a Priory at Newton-Longville. William de Keynes, 
Lord of Milton Keynes, fought against King Stephen at 
the battle of Lincoln, and took him prisoner with his own 


The Norman kings continued to live at Brill as Edward 
the Confessor had done. Henry I was there and Henry II 
kept his Court in the palace in 1160, when Thomas a Beckett 
attended him as Chancellor, and again in 1162, the year 
when Beckett was made Archbishop of Canterbury. 

Henry and Beckett were great friends in those days, and 
they may well have loved Brill, with its extensive views 
over the green expanse of the forest of Bernwood at their 
feet, abounding with deer and all kinds of wild creatures. 
Beckett in youth had been ' a bold rider and keen sports- 
man, he was always a hater of liars and slanderers, and 
a kind friend to dumb beasts and to all poor and helpless 
folk '. l As for Henry, he is described as a lover ' of tem- 
perate fare and ceaseless exercise, for he rose at daybreak, 
passed most of his time on horseback, and when he came 
home in the evening would tire out his courtiers by standing, 
for he would never sit down save at council and at dinner. 
His ungloved hands were rough and scarred with work, his 
legs bowed with riding, and his voice harsh from shouting 
to his soldiers and his hounds.' It is one of the great 
tragedies of history that the conflicting interests of Church 
and Throne and the king's hasty words too hastily inter- 
preted, made Henry his friend's murderer, to his lifelong 
sorrow. We like to think of them at Brill in the early days 
riding about together and taking earnest counsel for the 
good of the realm. Henry was a great statesman and 
lawyer, ' he linked the old English free local moots, to the 
strong central Royal Court, by his plan of juries and 
judges in eyre, which have endured to this day, and made 
firm the foundations of the free constitution under which 
Englishmen and Americans are now living.' 

With the Norman settlement came the Conqueror's 
foundation-charter of the new cathedral of Lincoln, which 
was endowed with the old churches of Aylesbury and 
Buckingham and the manor of Wooburn, part of King 
Harold's property forfeited after the Battle of Hastings. 
Bucks formed part of the new diocese of Lincoln ; church 
building and re-building received a great impetus, and many 
fine Norman churches then built remain to this day. 

Sixteen years after the murder of Beckett, another great 
churchman, but of much gentler manners, the famous 


Hugh of Lincoln, became our bishop from 1186 to 1200. 
St. Hugh laboured throughout his diocese, to put down 
oppression and to promote peace and righteousness. He 
was the friend of three English kings, Henry II, Richard, 
and John, to whom he gave frank and fearless counsel. 
While he sternly rebuked vice, specially in high places, he 
was full of compassion for the criminal and the madman, 
and most tender towards lepers. These unfortunate 
creatures were seen in Bucks, as the leper squints in many 
of our churches testify. St. Hugh found them banished 
from all human care, wicked in many cases, as well as 
miserable. He taught them, washed their sores with his own 
hands, and would eat out of the same dish with them ; 
it was perhaps in consequence of his example that in 
Henry Ill's reign a Leper Hospital was established at 
Chipping Wycombe dedicated to St. Margaret and St. Giles. 

The bishops of Lincoln had several palaces in the county, 
at Fingest, Wooburn, and other places. At Wooburn their 
fine old moated Manor House retained till the middle of the 
eighteenth century ' its ancient character of feudal magnifi- 
cence '. As late as 1592 the church bell-ringers at Marlow 
were paid for ringing on St. Hugh's Day. 

Two recorded incidents illustrate the manners of the time. 
From Buckingham it was reported to the bishop that 
a certain dead man would walk ; 2 that he fell violently 
upon his wife and his brothers, that he walked even by day 
' terrible to all, but visible only to a few '. A meeting of 
the clergy was called, when it was decided to wreak all 
sorts of violence on the dead body. This the bishop 
forbade, and wrote a letter in his own hand absolving the 
unquiet spirit. ' It was laid upon the dead man's breast 
and thenceforward he rested in peace, as did his alarmed 
neighbours ; whatever we think of the tale we see the 
tender, reverent spirit of the bishop.' 

At Wycombe and Berkhamstead he found some pagan 
rites still surviving in the worship of wells and springs ; 
these customs he suppressed with a stern hand. He was 
looked upon as the enemy of all superstition, in his pas- 
sionate desire for truth. ' St. Hugh stood singularly apart 
from the men of his time in his appreciation of alleged 
miracles. He desired neither to hear about miracles 


wrought by others, nor would he allow them to be imputed 
to himself. A fine saying of his was remembered, " that 
the great miracle of the saints was their sanctity, and that 
this by itself was enough for guidance." ' His character 
was a rare combination of keen worldly wisdom and tact, 
with the deepest ascetic devotion. His most striking 
characteristic was perhaps his perfect moral courage.' He 
stood up for the people against the forest laws and the 
oppression of the royal foresters and gamekeepers. He 
thoroughly gauged King John's worthless character, and 
fought for the principles which triumphed soon after his 
death in the signing of Magna Carta. 

The portrait is not complete without mention of St. 
Hugh's love of children and animals, which both warmly 
reciprocated. All children, even babies, were drawn to 
him, and he loved to romp with them ; he put many of his 
baby-friends to school later on, and started them in various 

The blue-tits came out of the trees to perch on his 
shoulder. Soon after the bishop was installed, a large wild 
swan came to the ponds at his manor of Stowe, outside 
Lincoln, and drove off and killed the other swans he found 
there. ' The servants caught and brought him to the 
bishop's room. 2 The beast-loving man, instead of sending 
him to the spit, offered him some bread, which he ate, and 
struck up an enthusiastic friendship with his master. It 
would nestle its long neck far up into the bishop's wide 
sleeve, and ask him for things with pretty little chatterings. 
It would leave the water and stalk through the house 
walking wide in the legs ; it would not notice or brook any 
other man. If the bishop slept or watched, the swan would 
keep other animals at bay. When he went away the bird 
retired to the middle of the pool, and took his rations from 
the steward, but would have none of him when his friend 
returned. No length of parting, even for two years, made 
any difference. When the carts and forerunners arrived 
(with the household stuffs) the swan would push boldly in 
among the crowd, and cry aloud with delight when it caught 
the sound of its master's voice ; it would go with him 
through the cloisters to his room, upstairs and all, and could 
not be got out without force. It lived for many a day after 


its master had gone home. Floating conspicuous on the 
lake, it reminded orphaned hearts of their innocent, kind 
and pure friend, who had lived patiently and fearlessly, 
and taken death with a song the new song of the Re- 
deemed.' 2 The faithful swan became St. Hugh's attribute, 
and may be connected with the adoption of the swan as the 
arms of Buckingham and Wycombe, and as the County 
Badge, though it was afterwards associated with the great 
families of Mandeville and Bohun, who bore a swan on their 

King John and William, King of Scotland, the arch- 
bishops, abbots, and barons, all flocked to the bishop's 
funeral, ' no man so great that he thought himself happy 
to help carry that bier up the steep hill at Lincoln. Shoulders 
were relieved by countless hands, these by other hands ; the 
greatest men struggled for this honour. The cathedral was 
blocked with crowds, men came in streams to kiss his hands 
and feet, and to offer gold and silver.' 

In the words of an old poet 

' Staff to the Bishops, to the monks a treasure true, 
Counsel for schools kings' hammer such behold 
was Hugh ! ' 

King John stirred to some real regret at the funeral of 
St. Hugh, who had helped to crown him, is perhaps the 
pleasantest glimpse we get of this wayward and cruel man's 
character. He kept up the palace at Brill and a hunting 
lodge at Datchet, but he was much out of England, fighting, 
and losing his father's splendid heritage of Anjou ; hiring 
foreign mercenaries against his English barons, and alter- 
nately defying and abasing himself before the Pope of 
Rome. The key-note of Shakespeare's play is that King 
John acts at the bidding of expediency, not of right ' men 
false to their country make ill compacts with the enemy,' 
men false to themselves can never be true to their friends. 
In the tortuous story of the struggles between John, the 
French, and the Pope, our county had no share, but it is 
one of her chief historical glories, that it was in Bucks that 
the treacherous king was at last brought to bay. On 
June 15, 1215, on an island in the parish of Wraysbury, 
opposite Runnimede, the king, the archbishop, and the 

986-4 C 


barons met and signed the Great Charter of the Liberties 
of England. The massive oak table on which King John 
is said to have signed was long preserved at Datchet, and is 
now kept at Magna Carta Island. 

The story is given by Holinshed with many graphic 
touches ; the barons being come into the king's presence 
required of him ' first to appoint the use of those ancient 
laws unto them, by the which the kings of England in times 
past ruled their subjects ; secondly that he would abro- 
gate those newer laws, which every man might with good 
cause name mere wrongs, rather than laws . . . The barons, 
having obtained a great piece of their purpose, returned 
to London with their Charter sealed. Great rejoicing was 
made . . . the people judging that God had touched the 
king's heart and mollified it, whereby happy days were 
come for the realm of England but they were much 
deceived. The king having '^condescended to make such 
grant of liberties, far contrary to his mind, was right sorrow- 
ful in his heart ... he whetted his teeth, he leant now on 
one staff, now on another, as he walked, and oft brake the 
same in pieces, when he had done, and with such disordered 
behaviour and furious gestures he uttered his grief, before 
the breaking up of the Council, that the noblemen might 
well perceive . . . what would follow of his impatiency and 
displeasant taking of the matter.' 3 The king took imme- 
diate steps to break his plighted word ; the Pope supported 
him ; the barons in despair offered the crown to the eldest 
son of the King of France, and it was only John's miserable 
death in the succeeding year, that put a stop to a cruel 
civil war. 

In the eastern counties John had plundered many abbeys 
and religious houses ; in crossing the Wash he lost most of 
the booty and narrowly escaped drowning. After the 
wetting ' he fell into an ague the force and heat whereof, 
together with his immoderately feeding of raw peaches and 
drinking of new cider, so increased his sickness, that he was 
not able to ride, but was fain to be carried in a litter, 
presently made of twigs, with a couch of straw under him, 
without any bed or pillow, thinking to have gone to Lincoln. 
But the disease still so raged and grew upon him . . . that 
in the Castle of Newark, through anguish of mind rather 


than through force of sickness, he departed this life, the 
eve of the 19th of October, 1216, in the year of his age 
fifty and one '. 

(It is to the credit of the monks as gardeners that King 
John should have been tempted to excess by ' raw peaches ' 
about the middle of October ; they must have been cleverly 
stored, and were evidently a great delicacy.) 

John bequeathed his body to St. Wulfstan as he died, and 
it was duly buried in Worcester Cathedral. Well did 
Shakespeare draw the moral of the reign in the fine lines 
which conclude his play : 

' This England never did, nor never shall 
Lie at the proud foot of a conqueror 
But when it first did help to wound itself . . . 
Come the three corners of the world in arms 
And we shall shock them. Naught shall make us rue 
If England to itself do rest but true.' 

The long rule of Henry III saw the coming of the Friars 
who cared for the sick and the lepers, and taught the people 
many useful arts ; and the development of the Schools of 
Learning at Oxford, after the model of the famous University 
of Paris. Both these things had their influence on the con- 
dition of Bucks. 

The county had at least two learned men of her own in 
the thirteenth century, for whom a European reputation 
may be claimed, and both came from Wendover. ' Richard 
the Englishman,' as he was called abroad, was a distin- 
guished doctor, who studied medicine at Paris and prac- 
tised in Italy, 4 where he became so famous that he was 
appointed physician to Pope Gregory IX, who gave him 
on his death-bed a crucifix containing relics. His writings 
on anatomy and medicine were standard authorities in the 
profession ; some of his MSS. are at Oxford in the Bodleian 
and in the libraries of Balliol and Merton Colleges. Richard 
of Wendover seems to have ministered to the soul as well 
as to the body ; he was a canon of St. Paul's, and held other 
church preferment. When he died, in 1252, he bequeathed 
the Pope's crucifix to the Abbey of St. Albans. 

The other famous scholar, who styled himself Roger 
Wendover of Wendover, that we might have no doubt as to 

c 2 


his native place, interests us still more in the schools than 
the physician does. It is thanks to his industry in collect- 
ing and writing his Flowers of History that many of these 
old stories have come down to us. 

While kings and barons were busy fighting battles and 
making laws, and ' Gurth the swineherd ' and his fellows 
were earning a bare pittance by incessant labour, it was 
one of the great merits of the monasteries that they gave 
shelter to a class in the community with sufficient learning, 
taste, and leisure both to preserve the history of old times 
and to chronicle the events of the passing day. The Scrip- 
torium, or Record Office of the monastery, was one of the 
regular departments of a highly organized society, prac- 
tising all the arts of peace. Those brothers who were good 
scribes and artists were set to make copies of the Bible and 
of all sorts of famous books, religious and secular, with ex- 
quisite penmanship and brilliant illuminations. In addition 
to this, they kept the accounts of the monastery, and a 
record of events inside the walls, and of the life outside 
as it affected their interests. Scholars and historians were 
thus formed, and Roger of Wendover, a priest with a 
monastic training, achieved a considerable reputation as an 
industrious editor and compiler, and as an original chroni- 
cler. Roger was less happy in making history himself than 
in recording the deeds of other men. As Prior of Belvoir 
he gave universal dissatisfaction ; 4 accused of wasting the 
goods of the church, he was first reproved and then removed 
by his superior, the abbot. But once installed as the head 
of the Scriptorium of the great Abbey of St. Albans, soon 
after the signing of Magna Carta, he found his vocation, and 
did admirable and enduring historical work, till his death, 
in 1236. The garden of history from which he culled his 
Flowers has grown so prodigiously in extent and variety 
as to bewilder a modern gatherer of a modest posy ; but 
Roger of Wendover's name stands as an example of love 
and reverence for the past and as an encouragement of any 
honest endeavour to preserve and hand on its treasures. 

A curious little bit of thirteenth-century history may 
find a place here. Soon after St. Hugh's death, the Arch- 
deacon of Buckingham, Matthe de Stratton, made a 
journey to Rome and died there ; after which the popes 


appointed to be Archdeacons of Buckingham four Italians 
in succession, who hardly ever visited England and per- 
formed their duties by deputy. One of these deputies was 
John Shorne, probably the man whose name was the most 
venerated throughout England, though he was never 

In 1290 Master John Shorne, who had been Rector of 
Monk's Risborough, was appointed to the living of North 
Marston, which he held for some twenty-four years till his 
death in 1314. 5 He was renowned far and near for his great 
piety and miraculous powers ; ' his knees became horny 
from the frequency of his prayers.' He blessed the water 
of the ' Holy Well ' still shown at North Marston, and 
endowed it (as was believed) with healing properties. In 
those days and long after the Devil was a vivid personality, 
to be actually encountered and fought by the saints, and 
as St. Dunstan was said to have seized the Evil One with 
tongs, so Master Shorne caught the Devil and imprisoned 
him in his boot. For this reputed miracle he became an 
acknowledged saint. We are not told how the world was 
benefited while the Devil was kept in the boot ; and whether 
North Marston in particular was freed from lying, malice, 
and all uncharitableness ; but the story became widely 
known and was carved in wood and stone and painted in 
church windows. At North Marston, in 1660, and perhaps 
later, ' there was a picture in glass of Sir John Shorne, with 
a boot under his arm, like a bagpipe, into which he was 
squeezing a little figure of the Devil '. Two churches in 
Norfolk, Gately and Cawston, have representations of the 
Bucks saint ; his fame spread from Kent to Northumber- 
land, and in a poem of Heywood's, of the time of Henry VIII, 
a palmer, in telling of the holy places he had visited, classes 
Master John Shorne's shrine at Canterbury with St. Denis's 
at Paris and St. Mark's at Venice. But Shorne's chief 
shrine was at North Marston, where he died and was buried, 
and this became a famous place of pilgrimage ; and such 
rich offerings did the pilgrims leave behind them that in the 
degenerate days of the monasteries the monks of Windsor 
bargained with the monks of Dunstable about the removal 
of the saint's bones. In 1478 the Dean of Windsor actually 
obtained the Pope's license to remove the shrine and the 


relics to St. George's Chapel, Windsor ; ' the monks published 
and bruited abroad what a sovereign qualified saint was come 
among them against all diseases spiritual and temporal.' 

North Marston, however, continued to attract pilgrims, 
a stone image of the saint was there, and the Holy Well, 
famed for the cure of ague, then the most common form 
of illness in the county. An old rhyme says : 

' To Master John Shorne 
That blessed man borne 

For the ague to him we apply ' 

Such numbers of invalids came to the waters that houses 
were specially built to receive them, and a finger-post on 
Oving Hill directed travellers to the famous well, which 
was said to have this inscription on the wall : 

' Sir John Shorne, Gentleman born, 
Conjured the Devil into a Boot.' 

When the Lollards were being persecuted at Amersham 
some were condemned to perpetual prison, some thrust into 
monasteries, and others forced to make pilgrimage to the 
principal shrines in the county, St. Rumbold's, Sir John 
Shorne's, and the Rood at Wendover. The Vicar of 
Wycombe got into trouble ' as he met certain coming from 
Sir John Shorne's, for saying they were fools and calling 
it foolatry '. A century later all England came to be of 
the vicar's opinion. At the time of the suppression of 
the monasteries one of the Commissioners wrote to 
Thomas Cromwell that at Marston ' Mr. John Shorne 
standeth blessing a boot, into which they do say that he 
conveyed the Devil '. This figure, which seems to have 
been of wood, was, with other of the more valuable relics, 
packed in a chest fast locked and nailed and sent up by 
barge to London. In the next reign Bishop Latimer, preach- 
ing 'of the Popish Pilgrimages', denounced the 'running 
hither and thither to Mr. John Shorne, or to Our Lady of 
Walsingham ', and ' the Boot ' was amongst the relics most 
ridiculed by the Reformers. 

In 1876 a successor of John Shorne, as Vicar of North 
Marston, Dr. S. R. James, established a flourishing school 
there which he named Schorne College. 


The history of the North Marston shrine is that of many 
others. Visits are paid at first to the place where a good 
man lived and died by those who knew and loved him ; the 
custom spreads and a pilgrimage is authorized by the church, 
commended to the faithful, and imposed as a penance on 
heretics. Money (which has spoilt so many works of love) 
flows in and makes the shrine an object of greed and 
jealousy to rival monasteries, till the interests of the village 
are referred to the Pope at Rome ; the avarice of the 
Court and nobles suppresses and confiscates whatever 
remains of the shrine ; bishops denounce it, and Puritans 
deride, then the place and the saint fall into complete 
oblivion, till the modern historical spirit revives curiosity, 
and the locality is once more interested in a kindly, 
tolerant way in the story of its own bygone sanctity and 

1 York Powell and Tout, History of England. 
8 Rev. C. Marson, Hugh of Lincoln. 

3 Holinshed's Chronicle. 

4 Diet. Nat. Biog. * Records of Bucks. 


THE CRUSADES, 1270-1307 

ONE of the greatest movements of the Middle Ages 
of romantic and enduring interest is that of the Cru- 
sades. A holy man in France, Peter the Hermit, preached 
that it was God's will that Christians should unite to 
clear Palestine of its Mohammedan conquerors, who 
were putting the Syrian Christians to cruel deaths, and 
desecrating the holy places dear to believers all over the 

It seems to our practical age almost incredible, that at 
a time when travelling was so difficult and dangerous, men 
should leave their homes, drop their daily work, risk plague, 
imprisonment, and death in many forms, for so shadowy 
an object ; but thousands of all ranks, sewing a little cross 


of red cloth on their left arm, vowed to fight the Turks 
and free the Holy Land. 

The wonderful story of the Crusades is another proof 
that man does not live by bread alone, and that if the 
right appeal is made to the heart and the imagination, 
men and nations will throw up their material interests in 
the enthusiasm for a great unselfish cause. 

' To chase the pagans in those holy fields 
Over whose acres walk'd those blessed feet, 
Which fourteen hundred years ago were nail'd 
For our advantage on the bitter cross.' 

Thus Shakespeare puts the desire into the mouth of 
Henry IV, a century and a half later, when the inspiring 
motive of the Crusades was dying dow r n. But when 
Edward I was young, the deliverance of Jerusalem still 
seemed possible to soldiers of the Cross. Minstrels and 
wandering story-tellers recounted their wonderful exploits ; 
Crusaders who perished abroad were held in reverent 
memory ; then- cross-legged effigies may still be seen in 
some old churches, as in Hughenden, Cllfton-Keynes, and 
Ashendon, though their very names have often been for- 

We realize something of what a journey to Palestine 
meant in the thirteenth century by following the fortunes 
of Prince Edward, eldest son of King Henry III, with his 
Spanish wife, Eleanor of Castile. 

Henry III had been engaged in a long war with his 
barons, led by Simon de Montfort, a name familiar in 
South Bucks, where the de Montfort tombs are still to be 
seen in Hughenden Church. 

Edward, a much better soldier than his father, had been 
fully occupied in defending King Henry's life and crown, 
and while the fortune of war favoured first one side and 
then the other, the royal ladies and children took refuge 
in France. 

When peace was restored, the king's sons, Edward and 
Edmund, fired by the wish to follow then- great uncle, 
Richard Ccour de Lion, prepared to take up the Cross in 
1270. Edmund had lately married Aveline, hen-ess of 
William de Fortibus, Earl of Albemarle ; she was content to 

AND THE CRUSADES, 1270-1307 41 

stay behind, and died before his return ; but Edward's 
wife determined to accompany her husband. To all remon- 
strances Eleanor replied, that nothing should part those 
whom God had joined, and that the way to heaven was 
as short from Syria as from England or her native Spain. 
With her mother-in-law, Queen Eleanor of Provence, she 
made a pilgrimage to the chief English shrines to pray for 
the health of the children (two boys and a girl) whom she 
was to leave behind. A great gathering of the Estates of 
the Realm was held in Westminster Hall, when the barons 
kissed the hand of little Prince John and swore fealty to 
him as his grandfather's heir, in case his father should be 
killed in the Holy Land. 

They were a striking-looking couple ; Edward, like King 
Saul, was a head and shoulders taller than the people, 
famed in arms and in all manly exercises, wise in council, 
and strong-willed, with a wife who was in every respect 
his true and capable companion and helpmeet. Eleanor 
started first, and put all her energies into the preparations 
made in her husband's French dominions for the campaign. 

When Edward joined her at Bordeaux they sailed with 
a fleet to Tunis, where their ally, Louis, King of France, 
had turned aside from the main purpose of the Crusade 
to fight another army of Moors. They found the good 
king dead of the plague and his army much discouraged. 
Indeed, most of the leaders determined to go home again, 
but Prince Edward declared that if all left him, he and 
his groom Fowin would go on alone. So with his faithful 
wife and his own men in thirteen ships only he sailed for 

In those days wars had to cease in the winter, and they 
retired to Sicily. When the time came round again ' that 
kings go out to battle ', he landed in Palestine, raised the 
siege of Acre at Easter, 1271, fought and won a battle at 
Nazareth, and after much inconclusive fighting, wintered 
in Cyprus. Again he \vent to the fray and, accompanied 
by his wife, returned to Acre. Here he was nearly killed 
in his tent by the Emir of Joppa, who treacherously pre- 
tended to be the bearer of a letter. The old tradition 
that Eleanor sucked the poison from the wound we are 
no longer allowed to believe, but rather that her brother- 


in-law Edmund led her away weeping, while a surgeon cut 
out the poisoned sore. During the siege of Acre a daughter, 
Joanna, was born to them, and they lost the company of 
a faithful friend. The Archbishop of Liege, a former tutor 
of Edward's, was ministering to them in the camp ; he 
heard that he had been chosen to be Pope in his absence, 
and had to leave immediately for Italy. 

There was much sickness and suffering in the English 
camp, and a ten years' truce was at last concluded with the 
enemy. Edward and Eleanor returned to Sicily, where sad 
news met them of the loss of then* two little boys, and later 
of the death of Henry III. The new king and queen did 
not hurry home. They visited then* old friend, now Pope 
Gregory X, who gave them a great reception at Orvieto, 
and lingered in France, where a boy was born to them, 
called Alphonso after the queen's brother. As they passed 
through any famous town and heard of a sham fight or 
tournament going on, King Edward must needs stop and 
try his strength in the lists, in the spirit of a keen cricketer 
who would not willingly miss a great match, if he were in 
the neighbourhood. 

After then* return, the wars with the Welsh filled many 
troubled years ; Edward of Carnarvon, Prince of Wales, 
was the first of then* sons who survived his childhood, and 
he had a Welsh nurse. Five hundred years later, Gray, 
whom we claim as a Bucks poet, wrote the fine lament of 
the Welsh bard who had seen Wales finally subdued : 

* Ruin seize thee, ruthless King ! 
Confusion on thy banners wait.' 

King Edward and Queen Eleanor were present in Lincoln 
Cathedral in 1280 when the body of the great Bishop 
Hugh was lifted out of the tomb and placed in a new 
shrine, adorned with gold and jewels, in the Angel Choir, 
near where the modern memorial to the good queen herself 
now stands. 

In 1290, Eleanor fell sick of a fever, and Edward sent 
her to Harby in Nottinghamshire ; it was the last of her 
many journeys ; he joined her on November 20, and 
remained with her till her death on the twenty-eighth. 
She was called the ' Friend of the English, the peacemaker, 

Photograph by 8. Smith, Lincoln 

THE CRUSADES, 1270-1307 45 

the stay of the realm '. In life they had been inseparable. 
For thirteen days he followed her bier from Lincoln to 
Westminster ; and at each day's close they halted at some 
town where the clergy came out to meet the sad procession, 
and with prayers and dirges to place the coffin before the 
high altar of the principal church. At each resting-place 
the king put up later a beautiful stone cross in memory of 
the dear queen. One of the towns thus honoured was Stony 
Stratford, on the old Roman road of Watling Street, along 
which they proceeded to London. The last halt was at 
Charing Cross, which keeps to this day, in the midst of 
the bustle of a great railway terminus, the memory of the 
brave wife and ' dear Queen ' who made in faith the long 
journey ' as far as to the Sepulchre of Christ ', and lived 
to return, and to lay her bones in English earth, in the 
midst of a sorrowing people. 1 

The king granted his manor of Denham in South Bucks 
to the Abbot of Westminster, to provide that masses for 
her soul and singing by the whole convent should com- 
memorate the day of the queen's death, with solemn tolling 
of the abbey bells. He settled every detail of the memorial 
services with tender care. After they had been reverently 
performed, ' seven times twenty poor people were to be 
found and served with victuals, w r ithin the close of the 
Abbey, before and after which, each of the said poor people 
shall devoutly say the Lord's Prayer and Creed and the 
Magnificat for the soul of the said Eleanor, and for all 
the faithful departed.' 

Edward kept the next Christmas in Bucks, and held 
a Parliament at Ashridge, then within the borders of the 
county, where his cousin, Edmund Earl of Cornwall, had 
just founded a monastery of the order of Bonhommes 
(Good Men) and endowed it with a relic of the supposed 
blood of Christ, later the subject of much controversy. 
' A pleasanter place than Asheridge it hard were to finde,' 
sang an old poet, but any district which had to provide 
the court with food was sorely distressed and impoverished. 
The king's dainties were supplied by levies on the sheriffs 
of the adjacent counties and the bailiffs of the towns. 

1 The cross in the yard at Charing Cross is not, of course, an original 
Eleanor cross ; it was erected in the nineteenth century. 


While Yarmouth sent herring-pies, Sussex brawn, and 
Bristol conger-eels, the sheriffs of Bucks and Beds sent up, 
on one occasion, 428 hens for the royal table. William de 
Ailesbury held his manor on condition of finding 'litter 
of straw ' for the king's chamber, ' geese in summer and eels 
in winter ', as often as the king should come into the town. 

Edward I, unlike many of his successors, believed in 
Parliaments, and would always call on his people to help 
him in a difficult crisis. He took trouble to make elections 
free, ' forbidding any man to trouble them by force, craft 
or threat.' He was anxious for the safety of the high- 
roads, for setting watchmen in towns and villages, for the 
proper arming and calling out of the militia, and he forbade 
markets to be held in churchyards. Bucks sent up one or 
two county members to Edward's Parliaments, but only 
four boroughs were then represented : Amersham, Marlow, 
Wendover, and Wycombe. The king took some trouble 
to settle the grievances of the burgesses of Wycombe 
against their powerful neighbour Alan Bassett, concerning 
' outlying lands and mills, and the right to hold fairs and 
markets, and even the claim of the Lord of the manor 
to carry off the dung in the streets '. Such matters had 
come up in two previous reigns, with constant complaints 
of the wrongs done ' by the said Alan, to the said burgesses ', 
and though Edward I confirmed their liberties ' for ever ', 
yet the heirs of the said Alan and the said burgesses went 
on disputing for another 250 years orj more, till Queen 
Mary granted them a ' final charter ' in 1553. 

The king had a palace at Chenies in Bucks. His father, 
Henry III, had been building walls round Windsor Castle, 
and this noble pile gradually displaced the palace at Brill 
in royal favour. 

In 1292, the Friars were preaching another crusade, and 
Oliver Sutton, one of St. Hugh's successors as Bishop of 
Lincoln, sent his blessing through the Archdeacon of 
Buckingham to all who should assist the Friars in the 
county of Bucks, in getting recruits for the Holy War. 
The king was too busy with the Scottish war to help them 
then, but in his will he left a great sum of money to equip 
seven score knights for the Holy Land, where he wished 
his heart to be buried. 

AND THE CRUSADES, 1270-1307 47 

' Edward kept his full health and strength till within 
a few days of his death, though his life had been rough 
and restless. 1 ' His device was ' Keep Troth ', and he lived 
up to it. 

It is a matter of the deepest regret that Stony Stratford 
has lost King Edward's gift, the Eleanor Cross ; but he 
in life, and she in death, left their mark in the county. 

1 York Powell and Tout, History of England. 


JOHN WYCLIFFE (born about 1324, died 1384), the 
religious and social reformer, was born near Richmond in 
Yorkshire. On the opposite bank of the Tees was 
Barnard Castle, the owner of which, John Balliol, had 
founded in the preceding century the famous Oxford College 
called after him. To Balliol College the boy was sent as 
a scholar, with far-reaching effects upon Oxford and upon 
England. Wycliffe became a Fellow, and afterwards Master 
of Balliol, he was a learned Doctor of Divinity, and the 
greatest English preacher of his day. At that time the 
University teachers were only paid by being given church 
preferment ; Wycliffe held the living of Filhngham, which 
he exchanged for that of Ludgershall in 1368. Probably he 
did not reside here much, but Ludgershall was near enough 
to Oxford for Wycliffe to ride backwards and forwards 
between his parish and his college, and it was in the priest's 
chamber over the church porch that he is said to have 
written one of his famous books, Concerning the Civil Power. 
Buckinghamshire was permanently influenced by the teach- 
ing of Wycliffe and his followers, after he himself had left 
Ludgershall for Lutterworth in Leicestershire. 

During the lifetime of Wycliffe a great change passed 
over England. In his boyhood were the brilliant victories 
of Edward III and the Black Prince, followed by the 


exhaustion of the country which had lavishly poured out 
men and money for the long war with France ; and in the 
midst of a reign in many respects so glorious, fell ' the 
gigantic calamity of the Black Death ', a sickness which in 
1349 carried off from one-third to half the population of 

The Great Pestilence fell heavily on all the Midland 
counties ; in Bucks the religious houses suffered much, the 
Prior of Bradwell, and the Prioress of Ankerwyke, and 
seventy-seven of the parochial clergy died in that fatal 
year, 1349. 

When the plague was at last stayed, manufacturers were 
without workmen, farmers without labourers, and in spite 
of laws to keep down wages, the few men available would 
make their own terms, and the forced service of feudal 
times was superseded by free labour for wages, the 
herdsmen and ploughmen leading the way in the rural 

The great wealth of the church had constantly called 
forth the protests of reformers, but that wealth was most 
unequally divided. While the bishops and abbots enjoyed 
great revenues and were practically independent of the 
civil law, the parish priests were miserably poor. In many 
places the great monasteries had absorbed the tithes, and 
appointed as vicars illiterate men, who undertook the 
duties for next to nothing. 

The prelates and clergy did not refuse subsidies to the 
crown, but they already paid heavy taxes to the Pope, 
and ' the influence of Pope, bishop, and monk on parish 
work was very bad '. It was a complaint of the rich men 
of the time that the poor parish priest often took part in 
the popular tumults and risings which culminated in the 
Peasants' War. 

In 1374 Wycliffe and Gilbert, Bishop of Bangor, were 
sent to Bruges, as Royal Commissioners, to treat with the 
Pope's delegates about various points in dispute between 
England and Rome. 

It was a time of trouble and unrest. The old King, 
Edward III, was in his dotage, the Black Prince, whose 
last breath had been spent in defence of the privileges of 
parliament, was dead. Langland, the poet of the people's 


sufferings and wrongs, compared the Commons ' to an 
assembly of mice and rats who were consulting how to bell 
the cat, the old king, who was at perpetual war with them. 
But people were warned that worse times would come when 
the kitten, Richard II, was king, there would be no one to 
keep order, and anarchy would be let loose '. 

Wycliffe, pondering over these things as an English 
parish priest and a statesman, ' was the first to see that 
no effectual reform was possible unless it was undertaken 
by the lay power, and that enormous advantages would 
accrue to the State if the accumulated wealth of the mon- 
astic idlers could be used to relieve the heavy burden of 
ever-growing taxation " which was crushing the working- 
classes ".' He vigorously protested against the interference 
of Rome in English affairs. His name was known to all 
classes as the champion of the poor, and as the learned 
churchman who ' called upon the State to reform an un- 
willing clergy '. 

John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, the strongest of the 
king's sons, took up Wycliffe for political reasons, rightly 
valuing a man ' supreme in the arts of persuasion and 
debate ', and brought him from Oxford to preach at Paul's 
Cross and in the London churches. John of Gaunt was 
pledged to a crude scheme of church disendowment, which 
would have enriched the nobles without benefiting the 
nation at all. Courtenay, bishop of London, was much 
incensed and alarmed. At his instigation the gentle Arch- 
bishop Sudbury in February, 1377, summoned Wycliffe to 
appear before him at St. Paul's. There were many cross- 
currents of popular feeling. The citizens, who loved Wycliffe, 
had a quarrel with John of Gaunt, who was attacking the 
power of the Lord Mayor and the liberties of the city. As 
Wycliffe moved slowly up the crowded cathedral aisle of 
old St. Paul's, said to be the longest in Christendom, sup- 
ported by the royal duke and Lord Percy, and with a body 
of Oxford friars, the mob of London streamed in, and the 
strange trial began. 

It was chiefly a loud dispute between the peers and the 
Bishop of London, until the mob broke in and fought the 
duke's guard, and 1 'the prisoner was carried off by his 
friends, whether in triumph or retreat it was hard to tell. 

986-4 D 


What Wy cliff e thought of it all, we can never even guess. 
We do not know whether he wished the duke to go with 
him at all. In the roaring crowd of infuriated lords, bishops, 
and citizens, he stood silent, and stands silent still '. 

In June the old king died. The next year Wycliffe was 
summoned to answer eighteen articles of accusation before 
the archbishops in Lambeth Chapel, when the Princess of 
Wales, mother of the young king, sent an imperious message, 
forbidding the court to proceed against him, and the citizens 
broke into the chapel and set him free. He was still supreme 
at Oxford, then ' a centre of learning and thought, which 
has no parallel in importance to-day ' ; he provided the 
university in his Latin addresses with ' new views of 
religion and society ', while from the pulpit he taught the 
people in English ' doctrines which he had first put into 
shape for the learned '. It was not until his studies led him 
to deny the doctrine of transubstantiation in 1381 that he 
was branded as a heretic. ' John of Gaunt hurried down 
to Oxford to prevent him from ruining a fine political 
career by an insane love of truth.' Wycliffe had quite other 
plans in his head than his patron dreamt of, he refused to 
keep silence, and the alliance of the two men came to 
an end. 

Disappointed in all hope of political reform, and driven 
at length from his official position in the university, Wycliffe 
devoted himself to the deeper spiritual needs of England, 
and determined to fight ignorance and promote vital 
religion by translating the Scriptures and establishing an 
order of ' poor preachers ' to teach the common people. 
' He gathered round him a body of university men, 1 living 
together at Oxford, probably in some common hall, clad 
in long russet gowns of one pattern, with large pockets, 
going on foot through the country ' preaching in churches 
or in the open air to rich and poor a simple form of evan- 
gelical religion, and exaggerating their master's antagonism 
to the existing church order. 

Wycliffe's teaching put the Bible in quite a different 
position from that given to it by the mediaeval clergy. He 
began the great Protestant appeal to Scripture against 
church traditions and venerable abuses, and in consequence 
he thought it of the highest importance that the laity should 


be able to read the text for themselves. Parts of the Bible 
had been rendered into Anglo-Saxon and Middle English, 
and the learned might study it in Latin ; the Psalms were 
the treasure-house of the Church's devotions, but Wycliffe 
for the first time conceived and executed the great task of 
translating the whole Bible from Latin into the vulgar 
tongue. He himself undertook the Gospels, and probably 
completed the whole of the New Testament, while his 
friends and followers w r orked at the Old Testament ; the 
English Bible was completed before 1400, but parts of it 
were in circulation by 1381. In that year a sudden revolt 
in Kent under a priest, John Ball, was attributed to the 
spread of Wycliffe's opinions, and the cruel suppression of 
the Peasants' War and the treachery of the young king 
increased the bitterness of the rulers in church and State 
against ' the evangelical Doctor '. 

But the angel of death came mercifully to call Wycliffe 
before the terrible persecution of his followers began ; he 
was taken ill while at service in his own church at 
Lutterworth, in December, 1384, and he never spoke 

Wycliffe reverenced the sacraments, and loved the 
services of the church. He wrote of the Virgin as an 
example to all good women, but he held that the wor- 
ship of Mary and of the saints, the regard for relics, the 
supremacy of the Pope, and, above all, the doctrine of 
Transubstantiation were late additions to the beliefs of 
the primitive church. He denounced the sale of pardons 
and indulgences, and the whole system of extorting money 
for sins, while doing little to reform the sinner, ' as if grace 
could be bought and sold like an ox or an ass.' He preached 
a large tolerance, many centuries in advance of his age, 
pleading that Christ wished his commandments to be 
obeyed willingly and freely, and had appointed no civil 
punishment for the breach of them. His austere and 
simple life, his undaunted courage and plain speaking, 
everywhere attracted the common people. 

As the years went on the bitterness against Wycliffe's 
memory and his writings increased ; but, strangely enough, 
while his books were being ,burnt in England they were 
leavening a court and nation in the middle of the continent 

D 2 


of Europe. Anne of Bohemia, the much-loved wife of 
Richard II, herself a patroness of learning, was a link be- 
tween Prague and Oxford, and at least one young Bohemian 
noble, of her numerous suite, studying in our university, 
carried Wyclifife's works back with him to his own country. 
Queen Anne possessed the four Gospels in English ' not ', 
as Bishop Arundel said in his sermon at her funeral in 1394, 
* that this godly lady had these books for a show, hanging 
at her girdle, but that she seemed to be a studious occupier 
of the same '. It was so well known that John Huss derived 
his opinions from the English doctor, that the Council of 
Constance, which condemned Huss to death, thought it 
worth while actually to decree that Wycliffe's body, which 
had lain peacefully in the grave for over thirty years, should 
be dug up and publicly dishonoured. 

Wycliffe's preachers were mostly ordained priests of the 
church with Oxford degrees ; neither they nor their hearers 
were prepared to be considered as heretics, still less as 
martyrs. When called to account they were ready to argue, 
to explain, and if need were to recant ; they had the sup- 
port of many powerful laymen, and when released they 
went out again teaching, and distributing the Scriptures. 
But when under Henry IV and Henry V they were hunted 
out of the church, and the godly were bidden ' to shun and 
avoid ' a Wycliffite ' as a serpent which putteth forth most 
pestiferous poison V their congregations consisted more and 
more of poor working folk, and the ' Hedge-Priests ' them- 
selves became less and less educated. The contemptuous 
name of Lollard (an idle, lolling fellow) was given them, 
but the very fact that they were treated as a dangerous 
sect, inspired them with the consciousness that they had 
something worth holding by, they apologized no more, but 
kept firmly to their convictions. 

The Bishop of Lincoln, and Keeper of the King's Privy 
Seal, was John de Buckingham, born in that town, and for 
some timeJRector of Olney, but he does not seem to have 
taken any prominent part in the controversy. 

In 1397 Sir John Cheyne of Chesham Bois was condemned 
to death, with the Lollard chief, Sir John Oldcastle, but 
the sentence was commuted to perpetual imprisonment. 
Thomas Drayton, rector of Drayton Beauchamp, was 


excepted by name in a general pardon granted to Lollards 
in 1414. 

It was in this second generation that the Lollards gained 
a strong footing in Bucks from Oxford to the Chilterns. 
Foxe, who was collecting materials for his popular Book of 
Martyrs, in the first years of Elizabeth's reign, found at 
Amersham an old man and woman who had actually seen, 
as children, the burning of Lollards. 

Stories were whispered by cottage fires of the brave end 
of William Tylsworth, martyred in Stanley Close, his own 
daughter Joan being forced to carry and to light the 
faggots ; of Thomas Harding, Thomas Bernard, and James 
Morden, Amersham working-men, and of Joan Norman, 
who also suffered ; of Thomas Chase, and of Robert, the 
miller of Missenden, burnt at Buckingham, and of many 
another humble and honoured name. Christopher Shoe- 
maker, of Great Missenden, was accused of converting 
a neighbour by reading to him the words of Christ, from 
a book called Wickliffe's Wicket \ he was burnt to death 
in 1518. 

When power changed hands, the same intolerant spirit 
caused many an innocent Catholic to suffer. These bitter 
memories are recalled, not for the sake of reviling the 
persecutors, but because it is part of our proud inheritance 
as a county, that from generation to generation Bucks men 
and women met death in its most cruel forms, with quiet 
courage, rather than deny the truth, which was the whole 
of truth to them as they understood it. i 

The interest of Wycliffe's life to English churchmen lies 
in the fact that it was an English priest who strove to 
reform the Church of England from within, and that the 
Reformation which came back to us more than a century 
later from Germany and Geneva was of English descent, 
and returned to a land long since prepared to receive it, 
by the work of John Wycliffe, once Rector of Ludgershall. 

1 G. M. Trevelyan, Life and Times of Wycliffe. 



[HENRY IV's reign was full of political and social unrest, 
and Henry V began again the long strife with France. The 
war was very popular, as wars generally are, especially wars 
of aggression ; and under the leadership of the young king, 
one of the splendid figures in our island story, our county 
cheerfully provided men and money. At Agincourt 

* The men of Buckingham came on 
Under the Swan the badge of that old Town'. 

We have a very definite link in the county with Henry's 
queen, Catherine of France, the little French bride, with 
her broken English, familiar to us in Shakespeare's play of 
Henry V. The village of Long Crendon was assigned to 
her, 1 and her Great Steward, Walter Beauchamp, held 
several courts there up to the thirteenth year of her son's 
troubled reign. The Court-Rolls of the manor date back to 
Edward III, the Court-House was the recognized place for 
holding the manorial courts, and was the centre of the vil- 
lage life. In 1482 to 1488 the Dean and Canons of Windsor 
held courts at Crendon again, under Henry VII, so that 
the Long Crendon Court-House, besides its value as a speci- 
men of fourteenth-century domestic architecture, has many 
historical associations. On Henry's untimely death his 
conquests fell to pieces. The Red Rose of Lancaster was 
represented by a tiny rosebud, in Henry of Windsor, who 
became king at nine months old. The Privy Council were 
early busied about his education. The Lady Alice Boteler 
(whose family had lately founded the Grey Friars monastery 
at Aylesbury) was charged to teach him courtesy and good 
breeding, and the warrant running in the name of his two- 
year old majesty, allowed her ' to chastise us reasonably 
from time to time as the case may require '. 

When the king was seven years old, Richard Beauchamp, 
Earl of Warwick, who had travelled much in Italy, became 
his tutor, and the Court was filled with little boys, heirs of 


the peers of the realm, who were to be brought up with the 
king, perhaps in imitation of the Palace School, an educa- 
tional experiment, at Mantua, called the Home of Joy. 

To found a school or college was now the aim of the best 
men of the day, as their ancestors had endowed monasteries 
and priories. Archbishop Chicheley, said to have been 
Rector of Bletchley, who baptized Henry VI, founded 
a grammar school at Higham Ferrars and the College of 
All Souls, Oxford. 1 The Earl of Suffolk, one of the king's 
chief friends, had just given the Ewelme Endowment, the 
benefits of which have lasted to the present day ; many 
Bucks children getting higher education, and many excellent 
cottages having been built at Marsh Gibbon and elsewhere 
from the Ewelme funds. 

The young king, who loved learning, was therefore 
following the best examples about him, when at eighteen 
he wished to found ' The King's College of Our Lady of 
Eton beside Windsor '. He speaks of it ' " as a sort of first 
fruits of our taking into our own hands the government of 
our kingdoms ... it has become the fixed purpose of our 
heart to found a college . . . not far from our birthplace ".* 
The school was only a part of the foundation ; there were 
almshouses for poor and disabled men and a great church 
with clerks and choristers and provision for the teaching of 
music and part-singing. A Master in Grammar was to teach 
the twenty-five (afterwards seventy) poor scholars and all 
others whatsoever from any part of our realm of England, 
freely, without exaction of money.' 2 The model and 
mother of Eton was Winchester College, and the same rules 
applied generally to both. The beautiful chapel represents 
only the choir of the great church Henry had planned. The 
king laid the first stone of it himself in 1441, just before he 
went to lay the first stone of the sister college he was 
building, King's College, Cambridge, with its glorious chapel. 

The Eton scholars, elected between the ages of 8 and 
12, were taught reading, music, and grammar; the latter was 
defined as ' the key to the Scriptures, the gate to the liberal 
sciences, and to theology the mistress of them all'. Latin 
was understood all over Europe, and an Eton boy was 
expected to have a good knowledge of certain Latin authors, 
to write Latin prose and verse and to speak it in and out of 


college. 1 A letter of 1479 has preserved the kind of subject 
set for Latin verse : 

' Quare quomodo non valet hora valet mora ? 

Why, when the hour does not avail, does delay avail ? 
and the boy answers that you can see an example in the 
trees, everything cannot be done in a day but delay avails.' 
The discipline was severe. Religious instruction, accord- 
ing to one set of rules, was to be given before breakfast, the 
master reciting ' one little piece in Latin of the Lord's 
Prayer, the Creed, the Treatise of Manners, the Ten Com- 
mandments, the Seven Deadly Sins ... or some other 
proper saying meet for the Babies to learn '. The Treatise 
of Manners went into minute details and began with the 
lines (in Latin) : 

' Good manners for the table here we tell 
To make our scholars, gentlemen as well.' 

It contained the famous epigram, ' Remember that you 
eat to live, and do not live to eat ' ; the perfect manners for 
which Etonians are famous have therefore long roots in 
the past. 

The old English song-game of ' Nuts and May ' keeps the 
memory of the simple diversions which preceded by many 
centuries the cricket and football of our public schools, and 
even the earlier hoops and marbles. On May Day Eton 
boys were allowed to get up at four, to gather boughs of 
May to adorn the college windows, provided always ' that 
they do not wet their feet '. They were then also permitted 
to write their verses in English ' on the flowery sweetness 
of springtime '. In September the school went a-nutting, 
and nuts were given to the master and fellows. 

Thomas Alwyn (or Walwayn) of Newport Pagnell was 
head master from 1441 to 1442, but his name is obscured 
by that of William Waynflete, the great Winchester head 
master, transferred to Eton perhaps as provost, the 
founder of Magdalen College, who divided his energies 
between Winchester, Eton, and Oxford. 

It is a curious little bit of history that Cromwell was the 
last to give the annual royal gifts of game and wine to 
Eton College. 

[Copyright by the Fine Arts Publishing Co., Ltd., 
publishers of the large colour reproduction 

From the fresco in the Palace of Westminster by H. A. Payne 


And so Henry's foundation flourished, but the pious 
founder himself was struggling in a sea of troubles. ' Plague 
and bad weather and famine wrought misery which was 
heightened by the weak rule, which suffered wrongs and 
crimes to go unpunished and unatoned.' The Wars of the 
Roses completed the people's misfortunes. 

When Edward IV was proclaimed king he made a great 
effort, even in the founder's lifetime, to transfer the Eton 
endowments to Windsor, and to substitute the names of 
Edward and Elizabeth for those of Henry and Margaret. 
Bells, plate, and jewels were actually carried off to 
St. George's Chapel. The Provost Westbury bowed to the 
storm, but he and Waynflete, who had been specially charged 
by Henry to carry out his plans, gradually regained the 
favour of Edward and saved Eton College for the county, 
with a new charter. 

Henry's college continued to flourish, and in 1529, 
another Bucks man, Richard Cox, born at Whaddon and 
educated at Eton, became head master. Ascham's account 
of ' the best schoolmaster and greatest beater of his time ', 
long thought to be Udall, is now said to describe Cox, 1 who 
was undoubtedly a great head master ; the self-government 
of boys by boys flourished under his rule. Cox became 
tutor to Edward VI, suffered persecution and exile under 
Mary, and was Bishop of Ely under Elizabeth. His suc- 
cessor, Nicholas Udall, is better remembered as 'the father of 
English comedy'. He wrote plays for the Eton boys, and 
their acting and recitations w r ere so good that when later the 
Puritan spirit would have put them down, it was pleaded 
that there was no better training than this for a public 
speaker Eton that had begun by training priests and 
preachers was turning out orators and statesmen besides. 

The story of Eton forms a literature in itself, and is inter- 
woven with all the later history of England and the Empire. 
Reverting to the time of Henry VI we find another grammar 
school was founded in Bucks in the parish of Thornton, 
within a few years of the founding of Eton. 

The founder, John Barton, of Thornton Hall, was a suc- 
cessful lawyer and Recorder of London, who represented 
Bucks in the last Parliament of Richard II. Thornton 
Grammar School was a small Eton, ' in such proportion as 


the riches of a Recorder might bear to the resources of 
a Monarch.' l All essentials were the same the masses for 
the founder's soul, the grammar school free for all the 
children of the town, the scholars on the foundation, and 
the alms-folk. But whereas at Eton the services were 
conducted by a provost, ten fellows and ten chaplains, at 
Thornton the chaplain and head master were one and the 

Being founded under Henry VI it was thought prudent, 
as at Eton, to have a fresh license from Edward IV in 1468, 
in which Barton's Chantry is said to be founded by Robert 
Ingleton, another Thornton man. ' Sir William Abbot, 
Chantry Priest,' in Tudor times, seems to have been school- 
master up to the age of 86 ; he died in 1574. His successor, 
John King, was styled ' Schoolmaster of our Lady the Queen 
at Thornton '. Eton College and the tiny grammar school 
at Thornton, with its six scholars and six alms-folk, are the 
only grammar schools known to have existed in the county 
before the Reformation. 

It is a delightful bit of bygone Bucks history that while 
king, prelate, and peer were setting up great lamps of 
learning, the lawyer and the small country squire were 
lighting their own little candle in the village of Thornton, 
hereafter to transfer its light to Buckingham. And if the 
' spires and antique towers ' of Eton still venerate ' Her 
Henry's holy shade ', the scholars of the present flourishing 
Latin School at Buckingham may well make a pious 
pilgrimage to Thornton Church, to visit the tombs of the 
Bartons and Ingletons, their early benefactors under the 
Red Rose and the White. 

The tide of Civil War ebbed and flowed, no actual fighting 
took place in Bucks, but the roar of battle echoed from 
St. Albans in 1455 on the eastern border, to Northampton 
on the north in 1460. 

At the Battle of Wakefield, Sir John Tyringham of 
Tyringham was fighting for Henry VI, he was seized and 
beheaded with some other knights to avenge the death of 
Richard, Duke of York, though not personally responsible 
for it. 

In the spring of 1461 Edward IV was proclaimed king, 
Henry fled to the north, and Margaret to Flanders. In 1464 


Warwick, the kingmaker, who was anxious to strengthen 
the House of York, was negotiating a marriage between 
Edward and the sister of the crafty and powerful King 
Louis XI of France ; but Edward, who ought to have 
been with his soldiers in Yorkshire, lingered at Stony Strat- 
ford, a place intimately connected with him and his son at 
turning points in their fortunes. While hunting in Whittle- 
bury Forest he met Elizabeth (Woodville), the widow of 
Sir John Grey, who was killed fighting for the Red Rose in 
1461. Her father, Sir Richard Woodville, had been made 
Lord Rivers by Henry VI, and she had herself been lady 
of the bed-chamber to Queen Margaret. Seeing, however, 
that the fortune of war was with the White Rose, the lady, 
with her two little sons, waylaid the young king Edward 
in the forest and made a personal appeal to him, as her 
dower and their inheritance were forfeited or withheld. 
Elizabeth, Lady Grey, is described as a woman ' of a more 
formal countenance, than of excellent beauty . . . yet with 
her sober demeanour, sweet looks, and comely smiling, 
beside her pleasant tongue and trim wit, she made subject 
to her the heart of that great prince ' ; 2 and in May 1464 
they were married secretly at her mother's house at Grafton, 
Edward returning to Stony Stratford. A few days later he 
paid her a longer visit, and went on to York, as if nothing 
had happened. The secret was kept, till Warwick again 
pressed his French alliance, and Edward told his council 
that he was already a married man. The unpopularity of 
the alliance was increased by the honours showered upon 
the queen's relations, and the great marriages arranged for 
them. After Elizabeth's Coronation, William Paulet, of 
Wraysbury, was given the office of Tailor of the Great 
Wardrobe'; so the Court fashions, at least, were set by 
Bucks. He had for his wages I2d. a day, out of the manor 
of Langley Marish, which, with Wraysbury, was part of the 
queen's dower. The Woodvilles were fond of display, so 
perhaps it was not William Paulet's blame that fashions 
were so extravagant. Never had such ample sleeves swept 
the ground, nor headdresses soared to such a height, nor 
peaked cloth shoes attained to such a length of incon- 

Swans, always plentiful in the county, were considered 


as * the king's game '. Edward IV ordained that no one 
whose income was less than five marks might possess a swan. 
Owners marked their swans on the beak, the king's swans 
had ' the double-nick ', perverted into the double neck, 
which became the swan with two necks of the old sign- 
boards. The swan-upping, or taking up of the cygnets 
to mark them, was on the Monday following Midsummer 

In 1466 the unfortunate King Henry was captured, 
lodged in the Tower, but not unkindly treated ; Edward 
and Warwick quarrelled, and Henry was again proclaimed 
king in 1470, but Edward regained the throne by his victory 
at Barnet in 1471. His friend Montague and his enemy 
Warwick were slain there, and he buried them both in state 
at Bisham Priory ; Warwick had owned the manors of 
Newport Pagnell and Linford, forfeited by the Botelers. 
Edward reached London on May 21, and that night Henry 
died in the Tower, certainly by violence. ' His life had 
been so sorrowiul, and he himself had been so innocent of 
the wrongdoing that had brought civil war on in England, 
that many men held him for a martyr. He was a merciful 
man, long-suffering, mild of speech, and patient in his 
troubles ; pure and pious in his life, ever grieving over the 
sin and sorrow he could not stop.' 2 The next day Edw T ard 
knighted and rewarded many citizens who had stood by 
him, and among them Ralph Verney, of the Mercers' 
Company, afterwards Lord Mayor. The king gave him the 
forfeited lands of William Wandsworth, in Aylesbury, 
Bierton, and Burcote, and Sir Ralph Verney purchased 
the estate of Middle Claydon, and built himself a house 
there. North Bucks seems to have supported the White 
Rose, but families were cruelly divided. Sir Ralph's son, 
Sir John Verney, later sheriff for the county, married 
Margaret, named after the Queen of the Red Rose, whose 
father, Sir Robert Whittingham, died for King Henry at 
Tewkesbury. As the fortunes of war changed, the menaced 
households put forward, as in Stuart times, the services of 
any member of the family who had fought on the other 
side, to ward off ruin and death. An old crusader, Sir 
John Cheynie, died in 1468, aged 100. 

Richard Fowler, of Buckingham, the descendant of 


another crusader, rose into favour, and King Edward made 
him his Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster ; he was 
member for Bucks and a benefactor of his native town till 
his death in 1477. 

Thomas Lord Hungerford, of Stoke Poges, a brave 
supporter of the Red Rose, was put to death by Richard, 
Duke of Gloucester. His younger brother, Walter, narrowly 
escaped the same fate when Richard was king, but he 
managed to escape near Stony Stratford from the guards, 
who were taking him to the Tower, and fought bravely for 
Henry VII at Bosworth Field. 

Edward IV's troubled reign continued to be embittered 
by the feud between the king's brothers and the Woodvilles, 
and when the king died in 1483 in the prime of life, Holin- 
shed attributes to him a speech foreshadowing coming 
trouble ' The realm,' said the dying man, ' should always 
find kings and perad venture as good kings. But if you 
among yourselves in a child's reign fall at debate, many 
a good man shall perish, and haply he too and ye too, ere 
this land find peace again.' The queen took sanctuary in 
Westminster, with her second son Richard. The Prince of 
Wales was at Ludlow, under the care of his uncle, Earl 
Rivers ; the story is vividly told by Shakespeare in 
Richard III. The queen begged that her son might have 
a strong escort when he came up to London to be crowned, 
but she was overruled. A few days later the Archbishop of 
York announced to her 

' At Stony-Stratford they do rest to-night.' 

How the name must have brought back the happy and 
romantic days of her courtship and stolen marriage, when 
she was loved by a king for herself alone, in defiance of the 
maxims of prudence and high policy, and it was just at 
Stony Stratford that the great tragedy of her life began. 
Her young son was taken prisoner there by his uncle 
Richard, Duke of Gloucester, and she never saw him again ; 
her brother was put to death. 

Edward V slept at Stony Stratford, where his window in 
an old house is still shown, and Earl Rivers, with part of 
his suite, went on to Northampton ; the Dukes of Gloucester 
and Buckingham met them there. The next morning they 


took the way to Stony Stratford, ' where they found the king 
and his company ready to leap on horseback. They alighted 
down with all their company about them, in which goodly 
array they came to the king, and on their knees very humbly 
saluted His Grace, who received them in a very joyous and 
amiable manner, nothing knowing nor mistrusting as yet 
what was done.' 

That sadly interrupted journey ended in the Tower, 
where the king's brother joined him 

' Rough cradle for such pretty little ones.' 

The sad pity of their murder still stirs us, as it has stirred 
many hearts for 400 years ; an old song helped to keep 
their memory green 

' When these sweet children thus were laid in bed 
And to the Lord their hearty prayers had said, 
Sweet slumb'ring sleep, then closing up their eyes, 
Each folded in the other's arms then h'es.' 

Did the children of Stony Stratford sing it, one wonders, 
where they had once gathered, to see their boy-king ride 

1 Victoria County History, Bucks. * Holinshed's Chronicle. 


WHEN Henry VII arranged the marriage of his son 
Arthur, Prince of Wales, with Catherine of Arragon in 
1501, he chose the future Queen of England from the most 
celebrated reigning family in Europe. 

Spain, which in the reign of Henry VII' s grand- 
daughter Elizabeth, was the bitter enemy of England 
and the tyrannical suppressor of political and religious 
liberty, then stood as the champion of Christianity 
against Mohammedanism ; and the fight of centuries 
was brought to a climax by the expulsion of the Moors 
from Spain by Ferdinand and Isabella, the parents of 


Princess Catherine. Isabella was the most prominent and 
popular woman of her time. A queen in her own right, an 
accomplished scholar, an admirable wife and mother, her 
arrival in the field had often changed defeat into victory 
by the enthusiasm she inspired in the soldiers. She was 
idolized by her people and held as a Saint by the Church ; 
it was her help and sympathy that sent Columbus forth to 
the discovery of the New World, and thus gave to Spain 
the dominion of South America and the West Indies. 

Catherine's childhood was spent in most stirring scenes. 
Queen Isabella lodged in the Spanish camp with her four 
little girls during the long siege of Granada, and devoted 
all her leisure to their education. Catherine was a good 
Latin scholar, a student of the Bible in Latin, and was 
accomplished in needlework and all feminine arts. 

She was in Granada when the English king asked her 
in marriage for his son. Her father and her future father- 
in-law, both famous for their skill in driving a hard bar- 
gain, wrangled long over the disposal of her large dowry, 
but when this was settled Catherine was well received in 
England, and Henry VII gave her as Princess of Wales 
the rents of land in Steeple Claydon, Wendover, Wrays- 
bury, Bierton, and other Bucks villages, so that she was 
at once connected with the county. 

Arthur, Prince of Wales, died at Ludlow a few months 
later, and Catherine was left a widow at seventeen. She 
longed to return to her own country, but Henry VII, 
wishing to keep her fortune in England, obtained special 
leave from the Pope that she should marry his second 
eon Henry, now his heir. This marriage took place just 
after Henry VII died in 1509. 

The young king and queen made a magnificent progress 
through London. 1 The houses were hung with tapestry 
and cloth of gold, and maidens in white lined the streets 
holding palms of white wax in their hands, marshalled by 
priests in rich robes with fragrant incense in their silver 
censors. The bride herself was in white embroidered satin, 
her fine black hair hung down her back from under her 
golden crown, with brilliant jewels. She sat in a litter 
of glistening white stuff shot with gold and drawn by 
white horses. The next day was the coronation at West- 

986-4 E 


minster, followed by a long series of festivities. Henry VIII 
loved fine clothes and beautiful colours, and hunting and 
tilting and all sorts of exercise, music, dancing, and acting. 
He and his gentlemen once dressed up as Robin Hood 
and his Merry Men, and came suddenly into the queen's 
rooms to surprise her and her ladies. These were happy 
years for Queen Catherine, her husband loved and trusted 
her, and the Court was filled with interesting and clever 
men both English and foreign ; but she had the sorrow 
of losing two or more baby boys before the birth of her 
daughter Mary. In 1513 Henry VIII was at war with 
France and with Scotland ; and when he went off himself 
to France he left the queen, with full powers as Regent, 
to manage the kingdom in his absence. 

Catherine was said to be staying at Buckingham with 
Edward Fowler, in the fine old ' Castle House ' (rebuilt in 
1611), when she received the news 

'Of Flodden's fatal field, 
Where shivered was fair Scotland's spear, 
And broken was her shield ! ' 

The queen wrote to Wolsey that she had been ' horrible 
busy, making standards, banners, and badges ' 2 for her 
husband's soldiers, and she was very proud to have this 
news of victory to send him. A gallant Bucks soldier, 
Lord Scrope of Hambleden, was among the killed. An 
old yew now in the churchyard at Hughenden is said to 
have been planted in memory of Flodden Field ; the 
battle was felt to be very momentous, and Scott has 
immortalized it for us in Marmion. 

The Church in England, on the brink of the great up- 
heaval of Henry's later years, was zealously persecuting 
Protestants, with Catherine's full sympathy. Her mother, 
the pious Isabella, had established the ' Inquisition ' in 
Spain, and she was bringing up her daughter Mary in the 
same faith. During Catherine's regency Bishop Smith of 
Lincoln died in his palace at Wooburn in 1513. His 
character shows both sides of the cultivated and scholarly 
prelate of the day. He was a lover of learning and the 
founder of Brasenose College, Oxford, but the poor Protes- 
tants of Bucks found in him the most relentless of per- 


secutors. A torture-chamber called Little Ease adjoined 
the palace. Here in 1506 Thomas Chase of Amersham 
suffered and died under cruel torture with great fortitude ; 
to avoid inquiry he was said to have committed suicide, 
and was buried with every mark of dishonour in Norland 
Wood by the side of the road from Wooburn to Little 
Marlow. Thomas Man, of Amersham, a noted preacher 
who boasted that he had converted 700 persons to Lollard 
doctrines, was brought before Bishop Smith in 1511. He 
recanted and was imprisoned at the Abbey of Oseney, 
but escaping he resumed his preaching and was burnt as 
a relapsed heretic in 1518. Cardinal Wolsey was for a short 
time Bishop of Lincoln, and after Bishop Smith's example 
was planning the still more magnificent foundation of 
Christ Church College, Oxford. 

In Hambleden Church is a finely carved oak chest, with 
a variety of armorial bearings, said to have been fashioned 
out of the head and foot pieces of Wolsey's bedstead. 
Higher up this green winding valley, fitly called ' The 
Happy Valley ', is Fingest Church, whose solid Norman 
tower was already centuries old in Wolsey's time ; in 
a field adjacent the Bishops of Lincoln had a hunting-box ; 
and Woolleys, hard by, a place marked in the oldest county 
maps, is said to derive its name from the wolves that 
long lingered in the woods, still the haunt of many foxes and 
badgers. A grim tradition connects this country with a 
predecessor of Wolsey's at Fingest, Bishop Burghersh, who 
baptized the Black Prince, and was a great statesman in 
life ; but after death was condemned to wander round his 
park, a ghost in the dress of a keeper, until the common 
lands he had enclosed should be restored to the people. 

Queen Catherine had a Bucks chaplain, William How, 
of Wycombe, whom she sent on a mission to Spain, where 
he was made Bishop of Orense. He received an honorary 
degree at Oxford when he returned in 1526, and became 
chaplain to Henry VIII. 

Among the thinkers and students of the old faith was 
John Colet (about 1467-1519), the son of Sir Henry Colet, 
a rich Bucks landowner of the Mercers' Company, twice 
Lord Mayor of London. Lady Colet is mentioned in a 
Claydon will of 1509 as having lent 36 to Dame Margaret 

E 2 


Verney. Their son John was an enthusiastic scholar, and 
became a popular preacher. Henry VII made him Dean 
of St. Paul's in 1505. He never changed his simple Oxford 
habits, wore his black gown where his predecessors had 
been clothed in purple, and kept a frugal table. He was 
diligent in preaching and expounding the Bible, often in 
English ; he was full of reforming the Church, and was 
a close friend of More and Erasmus. He was yet more 
intent to raise the level of English education. He at once 
set himself to found a school which was to be managed, 
not by the dean and chapter, but by the Mercers' Com- 
pany, wishing ' to diminish ecclesiastical control while he 
increased the religious tone of the ordinary teaching and 
enlarged its scope '. 

The scholars were 153 poor children, the number of the 
fishes caught in the miraculous draft. Over the Master's 
Chair was a figure of the Child Jesus ' of excellent work, 
in the act of teaching ', whom the children coming and 
going saluted with a hymn ; over the figure were two lines 
in Latin 

'Children learn first to form pure minds by me, 
Then add fair learning to your piety.' 

To endow his school Dean Colet, after his father's death, 
transferred his large estates in Bucks, the Manors of 
Wotton and Weston Turville, &c., and lands in Aston 
Clinton, Wendover, Sherrington, Bierton, Wingrave, and 
Aylesbury, &c., to the Mercers ' for the continuance of 
St. Paul's School for ever '. 

While his scheme was taking shape in 1512, a Convocation 
of the Clergy was called to consider how best to put down 
the Lollard heresy ' lately revived '. Archbishop Warham 
asked the dean to preach the opening sermon in St. Paul's. 
Colet boldly denounced the corruption and ignorance of 
the clergy, and pleaded for the reform of the Church of 
England from within. The Lollards were amongst the 
most attentive members of his vast audience ; some, 
one hopes, had come up from the Chilterns ; their misdeeds 
were forgotten in the storm that fell upon the preacher. 
He was denounced as a heretic, and it seemed that he, 
and his school-theories, were to be violently swept away. 



5ut Colet had powerful friends, including the King (who 
sympathized with his efforts for the revival of classical 
learning), and he left nothing undone to secure the pros- 
perity of his foundation. 

Of his personal fate he was less mindful ; he died a devout 
Catholic, but though he was careful about the disposal of 
his books, he left no money for masses for his soul, indeed 
he had little left to bequeath. 

Colet's school is so prosperous at 400 years old that 
his passionate wish that it should last ' for ever ' seems 
far more probable now than it did in 1512. 

In 1517 there was a riot of the apprentices in London 
on ' 111 May Day ', which was so cruelly put down that 
many mothers saw their boys hung up to the signposts 
outside their masters' doors. 

The queen, hearing of their distress, hurried to the king, 
and taking his sisters with her, the dowager queens of France 
and Scotland, Mary and Margaret, they knelt together and 
with tears and earnest prayers obtained the pardon of the 
other lads, which intercession the people of London took very 
kindly, as several Spaniards, Catherine's countrymen, had 
been killed in the riot. Verses were written in her praise : 

'No sooner was this pardon given 
But peals of joy rang through the hall, 
As though it thundered down from heaven 
The Queen's renown amongst them all.' 

In the spring of 1520 Henry and Catherine went to 
a grand ceremonial meeting in France with the young 
king, Francis I, and his wife Claude, the heiress of Brittany. 
Amongst the list of those who went in their suite to the 
Field of the Cloth of Gold are many Bucks names, Sir 
Roger Went worth, Sir Adrian Fortescue, Lord Russell 
of Chenies, Sir Hugo Tyrrell, Sir John Hampden, ' Sir 
Ralph Verney and the three young esquires,' one of whom 
was the queen's cupbearer. So great was the extravagant 
display in armour, dresses, and tents, that gentlemen sold 
their estates to pay for their clothes. 

' many 

Have broke their backs with laying manors on them 
For this great journey.' 


Queen Catherine had ' a foot-carpet embroidered with 
pearls '. Amidst the tedious pageantry she had at least 
the happiness of meeting a good and charming woman in 
the French queen, Claude of Brittany ; they saw each 
other daily, and received the Communion kneeling side 
by side, from the hands of Cardinal Wolsey, afterwards 
Catherine's bitterest enemy. 

In the churchwardens' accounts of Wing is an inventory 
of the church goods in 1528, which includes a border of 
cloth of gold for the high altar, the gift of Sir Ralph Verney, 
who had evidently put some of his gorgeous trappings to 
pious uses after his return. This Sir Ralph married, as 
his second wife, Anne Weston, maid of honour to Queen 
Catherine, who gave her a marriage portion of 200 marks 
and the custody of a minor, Sir John Danvers. 

An old inn at Colnbrook, ' The Catherine Wheel/ has kept 
the proud tradition that Henry and Catherine stayed there 
on one of their journeys. A great man in the saddle and 
a lover of open-air sports, his burly figure, with his ready 
joke and fat smile, was everywhere well known and liked. 
The merry song to the king's own tune was sung in many 
a countryside 

' The Hunt is up, the Hunt is up, 
And it is wellnigh day ; 
And Harry our King has gone a' hunting 
To bring his deer to bay. 
Awake all men, I say again, 
Be merry as you may ; 
For Harry our King has gone a' hunting 
To bring his deer to bay.' 

Henry's knowledge of theology, his skill in music, his 
patronage of art and letters, his care for the navy, and his 
enlightened statesmanship, had won the praise of men 
like Sir Thomas More and Erasmus ; and foreign Courts 
envied England the possession of such a monarch. 

A dark, stormy sunset was to end this brilliant day. 
Queen Catherine outlived her royal estate and her domestic 
happiness. A younger and more beautiful woman sup- 
planted her in her husband's affections ; separated from 
her child, ' unqueened, yet like a queen, and daughter to 

[Copyright by the Fine Arts Publishing Co., Ltd., 
publishers of the large colour reproduction 

From the fresco in the Palace of Westminster by F. 0. Salisbury 


a king ', she spent some sad years of poverty and neglect, 
died at Kimbolton Abbey in the fifty-first year of her 
age, and was buried in Peterborough Cathedral in 1536. 
Catherine of Arragon is remembered in Bucks as the 
founder, or at least the patron, of the art of pillow lace- 
making, which continued to be a characteristic and flourish- 
ing industry for generations. Indeed, it was said in the 
eighteenth century to be ' the general employment of the 
female population of the whole county '. The. old art 
and the old Spanish patterns have been revived of late 
years by the North Bucks Lace Association, and her name 
is kept by ' Queen Catherine Road ' in Steeple Claydon. 

From the time of the cruel divorce of Catherine of 
Arragon, a blight seemed to fall on the Court and those 
connected with it. Sir Thomas Boleyn (who had suc- 
ceeded the Botelers as lord of the manor of Aylesbury) 
saw his beautiful daughter Anne hurried from the throne 
to the block, and his young son, a poet and diplomatist, 
was also beheaded in 1536. Sir Francis Weston, nephew 
of the Lady Verney who waited upon Catherine of Arragon, 
was executed at the same time. Jane Seymour, whom we 
may claim as a Bucks lady as she was born at Seymour 
Court near Marlow, and possessed the lordship of Swan- 
bourne, died when her child, the long desired Prince of 
Wales, was but a fortnight old ; it was remarked that she 
was the only wife for whom Henry wore black. 

In 1539 Sir Ralph Verney, who had been present at 
the baptism of Edward VI, was sent by the king to receive 
Anne of Cleves on her arrival. This unfortunate princess 
kept up her friendship with Sir Ralph in after years, she 
named his son Sir Edmund Verney, who was Knight of 
the Shire, as one of her executors, and left him ' a jug of 
gold with a cover '. A small deed in the muniment room 
at Claydon about a transfer of land is signed ' K. R. 
Katherine the Queen '. Katherine Parr was connected 
by marriage with several families in Bucks. Beachampton 
House, close down upon the Ouse, still dignified in neglect, 
is supposed to have been her residence. It was part of 
the dowry of the queens of England ; two stone gateposts 
mark the entrance to what was once a house of considerable 
extent ; a panelled drawing-room and a small richly 


carved staircase with the royal Tudor badges, on the 
verge of decay, traditionally connects Katherine Parr, the 
last of the long procession of Henry's queens, with the 

In Bucks the name of the great Tudor monarch has 
been handed down as the Blue-Beard of popular story ; 
and the managers of a village school recently objected to 
the hanging there of his portrait by Holbein, on the score 
that he had had too many wives. 

1 Miss Strickland, Lives of the Queens of England. 

2 Diet. Nat. Biog. 



FROM the marriage of Henry VIII with Anne Boleyn to 
the middle of Elizabeth's reign was a time of distracting 
changes in the order of public worship, and of much 
suffering, uncertainty, and unrest. ' Bell, Book, and 
Candle,' and all the familiar symbols of the old faith 
seemed to be thrown into the melting-pot ; and when 
the upheaval under Henry VIII and the still more drastic 
changes under the boy-king Edward VI were followed by 
the violent reaction under Queen Mary, ' men's minds,' as 
old Fuller puts it, ' stood at gaze, it being dead water with 
them which way the tide would turn.' 

The suppression of the monasteries and the disappear- 
ance of abbot and friar made less difference in Bucks 
than elsewhere, as there were no great abbeys here like 
St. Albans or Oseney over the borders ; yet the troublous 
times could not but be felt in every parish. The Bishops of 
Lincoln in the fifteenth century had complained bitterly 
of the Bucks portion of their diocese ; the clergy were 
poor, many churches ruinous, the monastic houses absorbed 
the great tithes of the livings under their care, and ' there 
was an undercurrent of heresy among the laity '. But 


when changes came, the great wealth accumulated in the 
monasteries and around the popular shrines, instead of 
being devoted to religion and education, was mostly 
absorbed by the king and the nobles. The chantry chapels, 
many of which had come to be used as parish churches, 
shared the fate of the monasteries. Glorious buildings 
were reduced to ruins, brasses melted down, stained glass 
broken in pieces, wall paintings scraped away, the bells 
' gambled for, or sold into Russia ', priceless libraries 
dispersed, the paper and parchment sold to grocers and 
soap-boilers, or sent abroad. 

The ship of the Church was labouring in heavy seas, 
storms were succeeding each other from opposite points 
of the compass, with a bewildering succession of sailing 
directions from Geneva and from Rome. During the 
reign of Edward VI, church plate and ornaments, often 
of great value, would be forbidden and sold for the king's 
use, and in a year or two later the churchwardens would 
be ordered to provide at their own expense the very things 
of which they had been deprived. Fonts were destroyed 
and basins used instead, and then again basins were strictly 

An odd bit of church property belonged to Great Marlow, 
which must have greatly offended the Puritans ; ' 5 pairs 
of Garters and bells, 5 coats and a fool's, with 4 feathers/ 
were let out to the Morris dancers of neighbouring villages. 

Mr. John Myers has written some interesting studies 
of the church plate of the county in the records published 
by the Bucks Archaeological Society. Many cups, made 
in 1569, are still used for the Communion. We may be 
thankful that the very changeableness of the time often 
delayed the destruction of ancient monuments. Amongst 
the most enduring of church possessions are the bells, 
and we have the advantage in this county of a learned and 
most interesting volume on The Church Bells of Bucks, 
by Mr. Alfred H. Cocks. He computes that we have more 
than 1,000 bells, of which nearly 100 date before the 
Reformation. 1 ' Within a radius of eleven miles round 
Buckingham there are nine bells, all apparently of the 
fourteenth century and of local manufacture. The single 
bell at Foscot, the trebles at Little Linford, and Barton 


Hartshorn and Thornton are amongst them, and the 
second at Beachampton.' 2 

The early bell-founders were called Potters ; there seem 
to have been local foundries at Newport Pagnell, Bow 
Brickhill, and Sherington as early as the reign of Edward I ; 
at any rate in the reigns of Edward VI and Elizabeth 
there was a flourishing bell-foundry at Buckingham, the 
very site of which has been forgotten. John and George 
Appowell were the Master Founders, and held good posi- 
tions in the borough ; they were succeeded by Bartholomew 
Atton and Robert Newcome from about 1590 to 1633, after 
which no bells were known to Jbe cast there. During the 
seventeenth and eighteenth centuries there was a famous 
foundry at Drayton Parslow, worked by several generations 
of the Chandler family, descended from Anthony Chandler 
(the blacksmith of that village in Tudor times). The 
Chandlers were followed in 1752 by Hall, who carried on 
their business, until the record appears in the parish 
register of the burial of ' Edward Hall, poor old Bell- 
founder, February 9, 1755 '. Thus many of our fine bells 
were of local make, and very individual in ornament and 
character. It is a matter for regret that this skilled work 
is no longer carried on in the county. 

The early bells bore pious inscriptions (as well as the 
founders' stamp), some of which were quaint and beautiful, 
such as ' Sonoro Sono Meo Sono Deo ' (with my sonorous 
sound, I sound unto God) ; ' Voco Vos Orate Venite ' 
(I call you come and pray) ; ' Vox Ego sum Vita'e ' (I am 
the Voice of Life) ; all taken from Bucks bells ; or on 
a later Tingewick bell in English, 

' When I ring or toll my voice is spent ; 
Men may come and hear God's word, and so repent.' 

Others had prayers to Christ, the Virgin, or the Saints, 
according to the dedication of the church they were made 
for. But even the bells suffered from the uncertainty of 
the times ; was it safer to pray, or not to pray, to Our 
Lady and the Saints ? So ' in the hottest time of the 
Reformation, 1534 to '36 ', and again in Mary's reign, 
the founders produced nonsense inscriptions, or ' Alphabet 
Bells ', on which letters are inscribed merely in alpha- 


betical order that they might not get into trouble with 
either side ; a cowardice unworthy of a noble craft. 

So much for the Bell : as to the Book we may say that 
England's best possessions came out of this time of storm 
and stress, the version of the Bible in glorious English, 
and the Book of Common Prayer. They too were alter- 
nately authorized and banished, and the Prayer Book 
suffered adversity until the Restoration of 1660. The fine 
old folio Bibles chained to the reading-desk were often 
centres of disturbance. 

At Chesham Bois, a tenant of the Cheyne family com- 
plained that he had been evicted, because he read the New 
Testament that the king had put into the churches. At 
Horton, a curate, who was preparing holy water, was 
so worried and irritated by a tailor of Colnbrook who 
read out the Bible in the church in a loud tone for the 
edification of himself and others, that he finally sent the 
tailor about his business, having vainly tried to moderate 
his voice. 2 

Before the Reformation, Latin service-books, missals, 
breviaries, &c., existed in the churches, somewhat varied 
according to the use of the particular diocese. Side by side 
with these service-books for the priests, from the four- 
teenth century onwards, were books for the religious 
teaching of the laity containing the Psalter, with public and 
private forms of prayer, in English and Latin known as 
Books of Hours, or Primers ; all these contributed materials 
to the Book of Common Prayer, which so happily preserved 
for us the forms of devotion that had been in use for 
centuries. A discovery of great interest was made in 
Addington Church during its restoration by the Rt. Hon. 
J. G. Hubbard, afterwards Lord Addington, who had 
bought Addington Manor. On August 5, 1857, the work- 
men came upon six books walled up in the north wall of the 
chancel in order to preserve them ; they were in perfect 
condition, and the initials T. A. were those of Thos. An- 
drewes, rector there during the first years of Elizabeth's 
reign. Browne Willis, writing about 1750, speaks of another 
find of older missals in the chancel wall which he thinks 
were hidden by Wm. Hall, the last rector presented by 
the Priors of St. John of Jerusalem, who died in 1546 ; 


these books were probably found in 1710, when the church 
was restored by Thomas Busby. The missals then found 
have disappeared ; but the books discovered in 1857 have 
been rebound and well cared for. One of them is 
Henry VIII's reformed Sarum Primer in Latin and English, 
printed by Petyt, 1541 ; only one other copy of this edition 
is known to exist, and is at the Roman Catholic college at 
Stonyhurst. The Prayer Book itself reflected the changes 
of the times ; in Cranmer's Litany of 1544 the old invoca- 
tions to the Virgin and the saints were retained with a new 
prayer against ' the Bishop of Rome and all his detestable 
enormities '. Then the archbishop himself was martyred, 
and both sets of prayers omitted. At Bletchley a Prayer 
Book of 1638 said to have belonged to Charles I, bound in 
red velvet with silver clasps; with a Bible and a copy of 
Eikon Basilike, was given to the Parish by Browne Willis. 
Another wave of change swept the Prayer Book itself from 
our churches, till it was finally restored and amended in 
1660 and 1662. 

Parish registers were started by an injunction of Thomas, 
Lord Cromwell, in 1 538 ; every parish was bound to provide 
a book and a locked coffer to keep it in, and every Sunday 
morning the clergyman was ordered to bring it out, and 
in the presence of the churchwardens to record in it ' all 
the weddings, christenings and buryings made the whole 
week before '. 3 This excellent scheme, which entailed little 
or no expense, has been called ' the one commendable 
action of this marvellously shrewd but absolutely un- 
scrupulous man '. The first books were of paper and 
perishable, afterwards parchment was enjoined ; a well- 
preserved register is the most valuable foundation for the 
history of a parish. Two Bucks registers (of Stoke Ham- 
mond and Old Wolverton) are among the oldest in England, 
and contain entries even before 1538. Other facts besides 
those enjoined were entered by degrees, as when a baby 
at Thornton was ' found hanging in a basket on the gates 
which open out of the great yard into the highway ', or 
a little black page-boy described as ' a Moor of Guinea ' 
was baptized at Middle Claydon (1689), several members 
of the Verney family standing as sponsors we get valuable 
sidelights in this way about the manners of the times. 


We learn when an epidemic caused a sudden increase in the 
burials. At Little Mario w in 1621, ' Mary the wife of 
William Borlase July 18, a gratious ladye she was, dyed 
of the plague as did 18 more ' ; at Stoke Poges in the same 
year, and at Lavendon and Newport Pagnell in 1666, 
the registers show a terrible plague mortality. The register 
at Little Brickhill preserves the fact that this village was 
once an Assize Town, and that forty-two criminals were 
executed and buried there between 1561 and 1620. At 
Chesham in 1589 is the burial of a pedlar ' slain in a fray by 
another pedlar ' coming in together to a fair, and the 
entries of a man (1591) and a widow (1603) both killed by 
falls out of a cherry-tree. From that register we also learn 
of the flourishing leather trade at Chesham in Elizabethan 
days, shoemakers, tanners, curriers, and glovers abounding. 
From the registers and from the less enduring tombstones, 
interesting study may be made of local names, and com- 
pared with those now on shop-fronts and in school registers. 
Often the family names persist in a small area, and are 
quite different from those a few miles off, and if Christian 
names were also noted and explained, we should not have 
the clipped forms, Lizzie, Maggie, Nelly, and such like, 
of the fine old English names Elizabeth, Margaret, and 
Eleanor which are links with a long past. 

To return after this digression to the reign of Edward VI, 
Of the candles, censers, crosses, and other ornaments, 
many had been sold before 1552, as at Hambleden ' for the 
relief of the poor and the comfort of the parish ', but there 
was no uniformity in the interpretation of rubrics. In 
June 1553 a letter was sent by the Privy Council to the 
gentlemen of the county, to recommend to them John 
Knox ; and the stern old Scotchman preached in Amer- 
sham Church ; a month or so later the open preaching of 
Calvinism was dangerous. On the death of Edward VI, 
Sir William Windsor of Bradenham, high sheriff, and 
Sir Edmund Peckham proclaimed Queen Mary in Bucks, 
and the county generally supported her against Lady 
Jane Grey. Lord Windsor, Lord Hastings, and the 
Peckhams raised 4,000 men for her service. In reward 
for this early support at a critical time, Queen Mary be- 
stowed municipal honours on the towns of Aylesbury, 


Buckingham, and Wycombe. Sir Edward Windsor, son of 
the sheriff, served with Philip at the siege of St. Quintin, 
in 1557, and did gallantly. 

One other aspect of the Reformation deserves to be 
considered its effect on the educational endowments of the 
county. When the Act of Edward VI, in 1584, abolished 
chantries and colleges, the old grammar schools lost 
most of their endowments ; in Bucks, Eton was strong 
enough to retain them, and was exempted from plunder. 
The other grammar schools were robbed of lands, and 
given fixed yearly payments, which prevented their in- 
come growing with the growth of wealth in the country, 
and by the fall in the value of money reduced them 
gradually ' from a fair living to a miserable pittance '. Eton 
College was ordered in 1553, just before the death of 
Edward VI, to convert the church goods ' from monu- 
ments of superstition to necessary uses ', which took the 
form of silver wine-pots, jugs and bowls for the buttery ; 
a little later the beautiful pictures in the chapel, painted 
in 1480, were ordered to be whitewashed by the college 
barber, ' so preserving them for rediscovery in 1848.' In 
1563, the court having left London for Windsor owing to 
the plague, a select company was dining in Sir William 
Cecil's chamber, of whom Roger Ascham was one. ' I have 
strange news brought me,' saith Mr. Secretary, ' that divers 
Scholars of Eton be run away from the School for fear of 
beating. Whereupon Mr. Secretarie took occasion to wish 
that some more discretion were in many Schoolmasters in 
using correction . . . who punish rather the weakness of 
nature than the fault of the scholar.' This conversation 
produced the retirement of the head master of Eton, 
and the writing of a famous book on education, Ascham's 
Schoolmaster ; but it is doubtful whether the rule of the 
rod was much, if at all, impaired. 

Sir Henry Savile, provost from 1596 to 1622, did much 
for the Eton College library ; he dispatched a carpenter 
to Oxford to see the fittings of the new Bodleian Library, 
and ' Joyce the waterman ' brought his books from London 
up the river. Savile even set up a printing-press at Eton, 
and produced there his magnificent edition of Chrysostom 
in eight folio volumes, at the cost of 8,000. 


Edward VI's Royal Latin School in Buckingham was 
held from the time of Edward VI to that of Edward VII in 
the old chantry chapel of St. John the Baptist and 
St. Thomas. The chantry was founded by Matthew 
Stratton, 2 who was Archdeacon of Buckingham 1223 to 
1268. It was rebuilt by John Ruding, Canon of Lincoln and 
Prebendary of Buckingham, 1471 to 1481. There was 
a painting over the altar of the Lamb, the Baptist's emblem, 
' but it was destroyed in 1688 by the schoolboys as a relic 
of popery ; ' underneath were Ruding's arms and his 
motto ' May God amend all ' . The chantry was suppressed 
by Henry VIII ; Browne Willis attributes the modern 
foundation to a bequest of Dame Isabel Denton in 1540, 
to which Edward VI added an annuity from the Exchequer. 
Records have lately been found of the existence of a school 
as far back as 1423, but its connexion with the modern 
school has not been traced. The Thornton Grammar School 
of the time of Henry VI was transferred to Buckingham 
in 1592 and the endowments were merged in one. The 
Buckingham Latin School had a chequered career, until 
the County Council started it again with new buildings 
(under the scheme of 1904) as a mixed school for boys and 

The Royal Grammar School, High Wycombe, was created 
in 1550 out of the endowment of a HospitaL of St. John 
the Baptist built about 1180 for a master, brethren and 
sisters. In 1551 the buildings were sold to the borough, 
the whole of the funds being devoted to the school. There 
is a quaint entry in the records, showing that the burgesses 
are content that the schoolmaster shall have ' the pleasure 
and profit of a Cow or twain . . . and 5 loads of wood 
yearly ' ; this settlement was upset by Queen Mary ; and 
when Elizabeth restored the endowment to the borough, 
it was saddled with an almshouse charity which detracted 
from school funds and complicated its accounts as its 
' pleasures and profits ' had to be divided. The first head 
master on the records was Gerard Dobson, an Eton scholar 
and Vicar of Wycombe ; he educated Edmund Waller the 
poet and politician, who gratefully remembered his teaching. 
The school is now extremely flourishing, and is rapidly 
outgrowing its old buildings. 

986-4 F 


The Challoner School at Amersham (1620), the Borlase 
School at Mario w (1628), and the Aylesbury Grammar 
School (1687), belong to a later generation, but they, with 
the modern County High School for Girls at High Wycombe 
(1901) and the County Secondary School at Wolverton 
(1902), are all working happily under the County Council, 
with an educational centre at Aylesbury. A secondary 
school at Slough will soon be added to their number. Some 
twenty elementary schools were endowed in Bucks between 
1648 and 1793. 

1 A. H. Cocks, Church Bells of Bucks. 

2 Victoria County History, Bucks. 

3 Rev. Dr. Cox, History of Parish Registers. 



No story of one of the Home Counties would be complete 
without the great figure of Queen Bess and her progresses 
and pageants. 

It seems curious that while English sailors and statesmen 
were then first dreaming that Britannia might rule the 
seas, and were disputing with Spain the mastery of a New 
World, the queen herself travelled so little, and her stately 
journeys often meant a removal from Chelsea to Greenwich, 
or from Hampton Court to Whitehall. At least we may be 
glad that she and her splendid court paid more than one 
visit to Bucks. Indeed, some years of her stormy girlhood 
were passed in the south of the county. 

Edward VI in 1550 granted to his ' dearly -loved sister', 
Princess Elizabeth, ' the Manor and Mansion of Ashridge, 
formerly the Religious House of the Bonhommes '. Here 
she lived in retirement until 1554, when on a suspicion of 
her being concerned in Sir Thomas Wyatt's conspiracy, in 
which some Bucks Protestants were involved, Queen Mary 
sent down to Ashridge to arrest her sister. 


Elizabeth was ill at the time, but was peremptorily 
carried off in a litter. She took another forced journey 
through Bucks in 1558, when brought from Woodstock ; 
in passing through Colnbrook the wheel came off her coach, 
and she spent the night at the George Hotel there. Sir Robert 
Dormer, to whom Henry VIII gave the Manor of Wing, 
after the dissolution of the monasteries, received Princess 
Elizabeth at Ascott House. 

One of the pleasant incidents of Elizabeth's reign was 
her life-long friendship for Sir John Fortescue of Salden, 
Mursley. His father was hastily beheaded by Elizabeth's 
father, about 1539, and Sir Adrian Fortescue's name has 
been recently included by the Pope in a list of the Catholic 
martyrs who suffered under Henry VIII, Elizabeth, and 
James I. The little boy of eight years old was brought up 
as a Protestant by his mother, and became a distinguished 
scholar. Queen Mary appointed him as tutor to the Princess 
Elizabeth. He was the same age as the princess, and her 
cousin, through the Boleyns ; they had the same love of 
learning, and were close friends. Elizabeth, on her acces- 
sion, made him Master of the Wardrobe, ' trusting him,' as 
was said, ' with the ornaments of her soul and body.' He 
was in parliament all through her reign, generally as member 
for Buckingham or for the county. He carried a motion 
that no member should enter the House with his spurs on, 
' for offending of others.' 

In 1589 Fortescue was made Chancellor of the Exchequer, 
and a member of the Privy Council, and became very 
wealthy. He built a great house at Salden, in the parish of 
Mursley, where he was reported to have a household of 
sixty servants, including his own butcher and baker, and it 
was the work of one man to open and shut the many windows 
and shutters daily. It was perhaps not completed in time to 
receive Queen Elizabeth, but James I and Anne, his queen, 
stayed here, with their elder children, Henry and Elizabeth, 
and Anne restored a decayed hospital at Newport Pagnell. 

Sir John Fortescue's love of literature lasted all his life, 
and he presented books to the new Bodleian Library at 
Oxford. In spite of his father's fate, he was a persecutor 
of the Catholics, and sat on a commission for banishing 
seminary priests and Jesuits. 

F 2 


Sir John died in 1607, and his monument is to be seen 
in Mursley Church ; his descendants went back to the 
Church of Rome, their Bucks property was sold, and in the 
eighteenth century Salden House was completely pulled 
down. Two coats of arms on painted glass were removed 
by Browne Willis to Fenny Stratford Church ; and a 
beautiful little manor-house close to the church at Swan- 
bourne still remains, which is said to have been built by 
Queen Elizabeth's friend, Sir John Fortescue, for his 

The queen, on her return from a visit to the University 
of Oxford, was entertained in 1566 by Edward, Lord 
Windsor, at Bradenham. 'Miles Windsor, kinsman to this 
Lord, spoke an oration to the Queen, which she noticed 
with much approbation to the Spanish Ambassador then 
present.' Arthur, Lord Grey, received the queen at Whaddon 
Hall in 1568. 

In 1570 she visited Francis Russell, Earl of Bedford, at 
Chenies ; he was an active member of her Privy Council, 
and had taken a large share in the religious settlement, and 
the drawing up of the new liturgy. Queen Elizabeth was 
also entertained at Shardeloes by William Tothill, who 
married a daughter of Sir John Denham. Joan, the eldest 
of their thirty-three children, brought the property to her 
husband, Francis Drake, in whose family the fine house 
and park has remained. Sir William Drake was a bene- 
factor of Amersham, where he built the market-house ; 
pictures of Elizabeth and of Sir Christopher Hatton still 
exist at Shardeloes. 

The most picturesque figure in Bucks at that time was 
Sir Henry Lee, who represented the county in parliament, 
as his father had done before him, and owned ' three goodly 
mansions ' near Aylesbury. As Queen Elizabeth's champion 
and a Knight of the Garter, he was a great man at court. 
He had served in four reigns, and foreign ambassadors spoke 
of him as a most accomplished ' man of arms ', who would 
' break a lance with great dexterity and commendation '. 
Every year on the day of the queen's accession, November 17, 
Sir Henry Lee ' presented him at the tilt ', and maintained 
' the honour of her sacred majesty ' against all comers. In 
the thirty-third year of her reign, when the queen and her 


champion were both ' by age overtaken ', he resigned his 
office, and in 1590 Elizabeth honoured her old friend by 
spending two days with him at Quarendon, where a famous 
masque was performed in her honour. 

A crowned pillar was set up in the grounds, in front of 
which the old knight piled his armour, and clad in black 
velvet with ' a buttoned cap of the country fashion ' on 
his head (' my helmet now shall make a hive for bees '), 
he besought the queen to accept his prayers in lieu of his 
arms, and to 

' vouchsafe this aged man his right- 
To be your bedesman now, that was your knight '- 1 

The fine house of Quarendon, with its gardens and the 
park that fed ' 3,000 sheep beside other cattle ', has entirely 
disappeared; only the little church remains, forlornly, in 
a bare field, and the gallant old challenger and bedesman 
is buried there. 

Another time Queen Elizabeth visited Yewden House, 
Hambleden, Bisham Abbey, and Marlow. Out of the 
beech-woods came a wild man with a club to salute her, 
with the god of the woods, Sylvanus, who wished Elizabeth 
' as many years as our fields have ears of corn, both infinite ; 
and to her enemies, as many troubles as the wood hath 
leaves, all intolerable '.* 

On a hill hard by sat Pan, and two virgins keeping sheep, 
and as they kept their sheep, they were virtuously sewing 
in their samplers for the queen would have no one to be 
idle. Pan came forward and paid her the most charming 
rustic compliments. ' Green be the grass ', he said, ' where 
your Highness treads ; calm the water where you row, 
sweet the air where you breathe, long the life that you live, 
happy the people that you love.' Lower down in the corn- 
fields Ceres appeared in a harvest-cart, having a crown of 
wheat-ears, and with some dainty verses presorted the 
queen with a jewel from ' the Lady of the Farm ', Lady 

All who took part in the welcome knew that they were 
acting to a most appreciative guest ; and the queen loved 
it all, and could take her share in music, poetry and wit, 
with the best of them. 


It was consistent with Elizabeth's love of outdoor sports 
and fresh air that she did not admire the sheltered sites in 
which the old manor-houses were generally built. A Bishop 
of London won the name of Mar-Elms by his complaisance 
in cutting down the thick trees that impeded the queen's 
view from the windows of Fulham Palace. At Hampden 
House her host, Griffith Hampden, cut the Queen's Gap 
through his park, to facilitate her journey from Oxford, 
and there is a story that when she complained overnight 
that she could not see the view for the trees, her loyal host 
and his. men set to work so early that the trees were down 
when she looked out of window in the morning. 

' In her progresses she was always most easy of approach ; 
private persons, magistrates, men, women, and children 
came joyfully without any fear to wait upon her.' The 
complaints of a farmer who had been too ruthlessly de- 
prived of his ducks and capons for her table, were kindly 
listened to. ' She never appeared tired, nor out of temper, 
nor annoyed at the most importunate suitor, not even the 
defeat of the Spanish Armada more won the hearts of her 
people, than the way she rode about the country and 
received their simple love and loyalty. 

' Renowned Queen of this renowned land, 
Renowned land, because a fruitful soil : 
Renowned land through people of the same : 
And thrice renowned by this her Virgin Queene 
So dear a darling is Elizabeth.' 

In a dialogue of 1591 it is pleasant to find the queen 
compared to ' a gentle mistress of children ' guiding her 
scholars' hands with her own to make them write fair 
letters, and giving the little ones all the credit, proving 
that there were gentle and patient teachers when theories 
of education were most severe. We have stories too of an 
even more famous wayfarer. 

Shakespeare passed through the woodlands of Bucks on 
his way from Stratford-on-Avon to London. There was 
a green track much frequented by strolling players and 
itinerants, which led from the Roman road of Akeman 
Street to Bern wood Forest through Grendon Underwood. 
This village, ' the dirtiest town that ever stood', though thus 

From the title-page of the Bishops' Bible 


maligned in winter, was lovely in its summer greenery. 
Here Shakespeare stayed in an old house, once the Ship Inn, 
then, as now, belonging to the family of the Pigotts of 
Doddershall, who have lived for centuries in the county. 
Here Shakespeare came across the ' ancient and most quiet 
watchmen ', whom he immortalized as ' Goodman Verges, 
and honest neighbour Dogberry '. The actor-poet outraged 
these worthies by passing a summer's night in the porch, 
or perchance in the church itself. They could only suppose 
that he came to rob the parish chest. He was arrested, 
with all the noise and importance he made such good use 
of in his comedy ; and when at his request the chest was 
opened and nothing was found to be missing, the con- 
stables ' thanked God that they were rid of a knave ', and 
he is reputed to have reproached them with making ' Much 
ado about nothing '. 

The sylvan scenes in the Midsummer Night's Dream are 
also said to belong to Grendon, and those who have wandered 
through these woods in spring know the ' faint primrose 
beds ' that Hermia loved, and feel the ' briars and thorns 
at their apparel snatch ', just as they did three hundred 
years ago ; we can find to-day ' a bank whereon the wild 
thyme blows ', the roses and ' sweet honeysuckle ', and the 
ivy still ' enrings the barky fingers of the elm '. 

These stories were collected on the spot by Aubrey, the 
antiquary, who lived within twenty-six years of Shake- 
speare's death, and claims to have met ' Master Constable ' 
at Grendon in 1642, in a green old age. 

Another of Shakespeare's comedies is connected with 
South Bucks ; in the Merry Wives of Windsor, Mrs. Ford 
orders her men to carry the basket of dirty linen in which 
Sir John Falstaff is hidden, ' to the laundress in Datchet- 

Grendon, in 1598, contributed ' beeves and muttons ' for 
the queen's household. But her best-loved pastures were 
those of Creslow (near Winslow), placed by a special deed 
of Elizabeth under ' the chief clerk of our kitchen for the 
benefit of our household '. 

The queen's bill of fare included, besides the choice 
Creslow beef and mutton, ' great birds as herons, swans, 
and bitterns,' down to the small teals, plovers, and baked 


larks. She had but little of vegetables or fruit on her 
table, but on New Year's Day, 1589, she accepted ' a fair 
pie of quinces ' as a present from her sergeant of the pastry. 

Almost at the end of her reign the queen was splendidly 
entertained at Stoke Court in South Bucks (the home of 
her old friend, Sir Christopher Hatton) by Sir Edward Coke, 
her Attorney-General ; a narrow green track out of the 
Hambleden Valley is still called Dudley's Lane, from her 
magnificent favourite, the Earl of Leicester. 

' Her Majesty and suite left Bradenham House on horse- 
back, passing through some of the loveliest bits of primeval 
forest of Walter's Ash, over Downley Common, through 
Tinkers Wood ; down Hobbes' Lane to Wycombe, where 
she was greeted right royally, and spent the night at 
Bassetbury House, belonging to John Raunce.' 

Among the illustrious men of the reign were the Chaloners, 
a Yorkshire family settled in Bucks. Sir Thomas Chaloner, 
author and diplomatist (1521-65), was granted the Manor 
of Steeple Claydon by Queen Mary, who inherited it 
from her mother, Catherine of Arragon, and as the family 
monument in the church records, ' he was a great soldier 
and scholar knighted by the Protector of Edward VI (on 
the field of Musselburgh). He was by Queen Elizabeth, for 
his bravery and learning, sent ambassador to the Emperor 
Ferdinand, and to Philip II, king of Spain.' The queen 
made a grant in maintenance of lamps in the church of 
Steeple Claydon. 

Dr. Robert Chaloner, Rector of Amersham (probably of 
the same family), founded free grammar schools both in 
Yorkshire and Bucks. His name still lives in the Chaloner 
School at Amersham, which after flickering down to a little 
company of four boys in the early nineteenth century, has 
been saved by a new scheme, and new buildings opened 
in 1905. Dr. Chaloner's school now receives girls as well 
as boys, and his endowment is supplemented by grants 
from the County Council. 

In Fulmer Church, which he built, is a fine altar tomb to 
Sir Marmaduke Dayrell, ' servant to the famous Queen 
Elizabeth in her wars both by sea and land, and afterwards 
in her household ... he was employed in matters of great 
trust for fifty years.' The name of these Dayrells has been 


kept by one of the Lillingstones, where the family lived 
from the time of King John until 1796, when the property 
was sold to the Robarts family. There is a fine fifteenth- 
century brass to an older Dayrell in the church. 

Walter Haddon (1516-71), born at Lillingstone Dayrell, 
and an Eton scholar, was a well-known statesman and 
writer at Elizabeth's court. He attributed to his mother 
all the learning that he had ; he translated the Prayer 
Book into Latin, and served the queen as ambassador at 
Bruges and elsewhere ; she made him her Master of Re- 
quests. Not being ' on progress ' she was seldom in the 
mood to look at the petitions he brought, and one day 
coming into her presence she called out to him bluntly ' Fie, 
sloven, thy new boots stink ! ' ' Madam,' replied Haddon, 
' it is not my boots which stink, but the old stale petitions 
that have been so long in my bag unopened ' ; an answer 
which one is sure Her Highness appreciated. 

Another Lillingstone Dayrell man of note was Richard 
Smith (1590-1675), one of the earliest book-collectors, 
a haunter of sales and second-hand bookstalls. He held 
an office of profit in the Poultry, which enabled him to 
indulge his taste. 

A name to be honourably remembered is that of William 
Alley (1510-70), born at Chipping Wycombe, and educated 
at Eton. He was a famous preacher and student, and 
opened his library to any needy scholars, ' whose com- 
pany and conference he earnestly desired.' Alley became 
Bishop of Exeter ; the queen, ' out of the great respect she 
had for him, sent him each New Year's Day a silver cup.' 
He was ' very courteous and gentle, at table full of honest 
speeches, with learning and pleasantness, and for exercise, 
a great player at bowls '. 2 Did the wits of the court call him 
Bowling Alley ? The bishop wrote the Poor Man's Library 
and a Hebrew Grammar, and made the translation of the 
Pentateuch for the magnificent new edition of the Scriptures 
in English known as the Bishops' Bible a black-letter 
folio printed in 1568. A simple and thoughtful portrait 
of the queen appeared on the title-page ; the book was 
supplied to the cathedrals, and every Church dignitary was 
ordered to keep a copy in his hall for the use of his servants 
and visitors. The impetus given to the printing of the 


Bible in English was one of the glories of Elizabeth's 
reign. In 1577, a new name, well known in South Bucks, 
that of Christopher Barker (1529-99) appeared among the 
privileged queen's printers. In 1588 Barker obtained an 
exclusive patent for the printing of English Bibles and 
Prayer Books. Between 1575 and 1599 more than seventy 
editions of the whole or parts of the English Bible were 
produced by this famous printer. To Christopher Barker 
we owe the first Bibles in roman type, instead of the earlier 
black letter. He is mentioned among the gentlemen of the 
county as sending one horse and one foot-soldier to the 
queen's muster at Tilbury, to repel the Spanish invasion. 
His country house was at Datchet, where he died ; there 
is a tablet to him in the church, and an entry of his burial, 
in the register ; but his gift to the church of one of his 
finely printed Bibles has disappeared. 

A famous scholar and writer, Richard Hooker (1544- 
1600), author of The Ecclesiastical Polity, was for a time 
a Bucks rector. He distinguished himself at Oxford by his 
learning, and still more by ' his dove-like simplicity '. He 
is described as ' an obscure harmless man in poor clothes, 
of a mean stature and stooping, and yet more lowly in the 
thoughts of his soul ; of so mild and humble a nature that 
his poor parish clerk and he did never talk, but with both 
their hats on, or both off at the same time '. 2 Hooker was 
an active and exemplary parish priest, but though he was 
a master and a creator of the great English prose of that 
day, he had no repute as a preacher ; ' his voice was low, 
stature little, gesture none at all, standing stone still in 
the pulpit.' It was as the champion and exponent of the 
Church of England, in his great book, that he earned the 
title of the ' Judicious Hooker '. 

A well-known tale of Isaac Walton's has made his in- 
cumbency of Drayton-Beauchamp historical. With charac- 
teristic shyness he committed the choice of his wife to 
a good woman who had provided him with a lodging, when 
he reached London, ' wet, weary, and weather beaten f , 
after a ride from Oxford. His landlady bestowed upon him 
her own daughter, Joan, whose chief portion was a shrewish 
tongue. Her loud commands Hooker meekly obeyed, and 
when two beloved pupils of his Oxford days, Sandys and 


Cranmer, came into Bucks to see him, they found him 
with the Odes of Horace in his hand, ' like innocent Abel 
tending his few sheep in a common field.' When their old 
friend took them into the house, ' their best enjoyment 
was his quiet company ', but this was soon broken into by 
the wife's voice calling upon Richard to come and rock the 
cradle, and so little peace did she give them, that they were 
forced to leave Hooker to his wife's company, and find 
' a quieter lodging for themselves '. 

But the visit had lasting effects ; the youths had powerful 
relations in the Church, and they gave them no peace till 
Hooker was made Master of the Temple, and Drayton- 
Beauchamp knew him no more. 

Three years after Hooker's death the great queen died. 
She left an enduring mark on our history and literature, 
even in the very preface of our English Bible, where we are 
told that it was the expectation of the enemies of England 
' that upon the setting of that bright Occidental Star, 
Queen Elizabeth of most happy memory, some thick and 
palpable clouds of darkness would so have overshadowed this 
Land, that men should have been in doubt which way they 
were to walk; and . . . who was to direct the unsettled State.' 

The estimates of her character and policy have differed 
widely ; here we may remember her as an accomplished 
and gracious lady riding about our green ways greeting, 
and greeted by her people. 

1 Nichols, Progresses of Queen Elizabeth. 

2 Diet. Nat. Biog. 


THREE events connect Bucks with the reign of James I : 
the constitutional struggle just beginning between the 
Crown and the Commons, the persecution of Catholics, and 
the translation of the Authorized Version of the English 

On January 11, 1604, writs were issued for the first 


Parliament of the new reign. King James, as his manner 
was, gave his subjects much good advice ; they were to 
select members who did not seek only to advance their own 
interests, who were not of turbulent humour or superstitious 
blindness ; no bankrupts or outlaws. The proclamation 
finally ordered that all returns should be made to the Court 
of Chancery, which should be the judge of the validity of 
elections. This last claim would have reduced the Commons 
to mere nominees of the Crown. 

Parliament met with the feeling that a crisis was at hand, 
and the first matter that brought the Commons into 
collision with the Crown was the right of the member for 
Bucks to take his seat. 

The election had been held at Brickhill, as the plague was 
bad at Aylesbury ; the gentry desired to elect Sir John 
Fortescue, Queen Elizabeth's old friend, but cries of 
' a Goodwin, a Goodwin ' from the freeholders secured the 
return of Sir Francis Goodwin. Sir Francis was in debt, 
and it was doubtful whether or not he came under the 
definition of an outlaw ; the Court of Chancery pronounced 
his election void, issued a fresh writ and declared Sir John 
Fortescue to be member for Bucks. The same claim had 
been made by the Crown in 1586, and defeated, but this 
time the Commons resolved to settle once for all the right 
to decide on the election of their own members. The House 
summoned Goodwin to the bar, and having heard his case, 
ordered him to take the oath and his seat, which he did 
accordingly. The Lords sent down a message to the 
Commons asking for information about the Bucks election ; 
the Commons refused to give it, as it was a private matter 
that concerned themselves alone ; pressed again by the 
king, they consented to a conference. With admirable 
prudence they confined their opposition to the main point, 
though the king had raised several others ' The Prince's 
command is like a thunderbolt,' said one member, ' and the 
roaring of a lion.' Mr. Speaker had a private interview with 
the king, lasting from 8 to 10 a.m. At length the king 
acknowledged that the Commons were the proper judges of 
the constitution of their own House, but asked them as 
a personal favour to annul both returns. This they con- 
sented to do, having obtained a letter from Goodwin that 



he was not anxious to retain his seat, and at the fresh election 
the choice fell on Sir Christopher Pigott, whom the king 
had lately knighted. Sir Francis Goodwin was elected the 
following year by the borough of Buckingham, and he was 
again chosen for the county in 1620. His granddaughter 
married Philip, Lord Wharton. 

It seemed as if a member for Bucks was destined to be 
a stumbling-block to the Stuarts. While Scottish affairs 
were being discussed in the next session (1606), Sir Christo- 
pher Pigott, without removing his hat or rising from his 
seat, was heard to speak in a loud voice. Called to order, 
he rose and began violently to abuse the Scots, whom he 
called thieves, murderers, and rogues ' They have not 
suffered above two kings to die in their beds these 200 
years,' he said, and ' our king hath hardly escaped them ' ; 
he continued with a torrent of invective. The astonished 
members stared at each other, but took no further notice, 
possibly agreeing with him, as the king's Scotch favourites 
were most unpopular. Three days later the House received 
an angry message from the king, ' that he did much mislike 
their neglect in not interrupting the speaker in the instant ', 
and commanded them to take immediate steps to bring the 
delinquent to justice. The Commons hesitated. ' They 
knew not,' they said, 'what way to censure him for it, 
freedom of speech in their House being a darling privilege.' 
They decided that Pigott was not accountable to any other 
authority, but proceeded to deal with him themselves with 
great severity. Sir Christopher disclaimed any intention 
of disloyalty, but he was made to kneel down and told by 
the Speaker, Sir Edward Philips, of Hogshaw, who was 
also his brother-in-law, that his offence was ' so apparently 
heinous . . . that the House would give no reason for their 
judgement ', but he was dismissed from his place as Knight 
of the Shire, and was to be kept in the Tower a prisoner 
during the pleasure of the House. 

In this sudden calamity the unfortunate man, ill and 
miserable, turned over in his mind what friend would stand 
by him. Martin Lister, member for Clitheroe, had lately 
hired Claydon, where he had been accused of cutting down 
old trees, and ploughing up old pastures, but Pigott was his 
neighbour, not his landlord, and to Lister he appealed. 


Lister represented to the House that Sir Christopher 
Pigott was ' sick of a burning fever and in danger of his 
life ', and presented a letter from him of humble apology. 
The Commons, possibly ashamed of the vehemence of their 
loyalty, released him within a fortnight of his arrest. He 
retired to Doddershall for the remainder of his life, to 
reflect on the imprudence of attacking a Scotchman, and 
Anthony Tyringham, fourth member for the seat, in two 
years, was chosen in his stead. Sir Thomas Crewe, member 
for Aylesbury, was Speaker in the last Parliament of the 

The changes that followed the Reformation had brought 
great hardships upon the families who refused to abandon 
the old faith. Many Catholics were perfectly loyal English- 
men, and the Dormers and the Throgmortons sent up man 
and horse for the defence of the queen and the realm, as 
cheerfully as the Hampdens, Pigotts, and Verneys. 

But when Jesuits and seminary priests educated abroad 
conspired against Elizabeth's life, and attempts were actually 
made to assassinate her, grave political, as well as religious, 
issues were involved. ' The Catholic whose zeal had been 
stirred up by the new missionaries was far more hostile to 
the Government that supported Protestantism than his 
father had been before him, and repression consequently 
tended to become more and more severe.' Among the most 
famous of the Roman Catholic families in Bucks were the 
Dormers of Wing, the Peckhams of Denham, the Digbys of 
Gayhurst, and the Throgmortons of Weston Underwood ; 
other names given as ' harbourers of priests ' were Gifford, 
of Steeple Claydon, and Mercer, of. East Claydon. Robert 
Gray, chaplain to the Catholic Lord Montagu, was wont 
to go with him to visit his son-in-law Sir Robert Dormer 
at Wing ; Gray was often imprisoned, and was credited 
with knowing all the priests and Jesuits in Bucks, and their 
haunts. Persecutions, fines, and rewards had developed an 
odious type of informer known as a priest-finder ; very 
little evidence was required against a Papist. Priests were 
concealed in private houses who for years never went 
outside the doors ; and to harbour or help a priest was 
enough to condemn a Protestant. As late as 1601 ' Thomas 
Hackshot, a stout young man of Mursley, was executed at 


Tyburn for rescuing a Romish priest out of the hands of an 
officer '. 1 

At Stoke Poges, in 1564, Mrs. Isabel Hampden had her 
house roughly searched and ransacked ; no priest was 
discovered, but ' a pathetic list remains among the State 
Papers, of the innocent books, pictures, and objects of 
devotion carried off ', including a letter from the Pope. In 
1586 the house of Sir Christopher Browne at Boarstall was 
suddenly entered by a magistrate and searched from 
7 a.m. to 6 p.m., the gates being guarded all the time. 
' Coffers, cupboards, closets, trunks, caskets, and secret 
places, were turned out ' ; men ' breaking open all locked 
doors for lack of keys ', making a bonfire outside of 
'papistical images and books', and leaving the house a 
wreck. 1 

In 1589 Thomas Belson of Brill, and his servant, Hum- 
phrey Pritchard, were both hanged at Oxford for helping 
a priest, George Nichols, who was hanged with them. 

The Pope and the English Catholics hoped much from 
the accession of James I, who, in advance of his age, was 
in favour of toleration, and began to negotiate a most 
unpopular peace with Spain. But the old round of plots 
on the one side, and executions on the other, began again 
before the first year of his reign was out, and in 1605 the 
old Recusancy Acts were enforced and the Catholics heavily 
fined. The Puritan party, on the other hand, thought that 
the king had not gone far enough. There was great indig- 
nation in the county when Father Roger Lee converted 
Mary Moulsoe, the heiress of Gayhurst, and her husband, 
Sir Everard Digby. Their fine house became a centre of 
Catholic intrigue ; Nicholas Owen, a Jesuit, skilled in 
devising hiding-places, made for the Digbys a movable 
floor, revolving on a pivot ; this being unbolted revealed 
a room below with secret ways in and out of it ; and clever 
cabinets and drawers in which papers 'might be concealed. 
The famous priest, Father ( Grard, "was Digby's great 

In the autumn of 1605 there was a Roman Catholic 
pilgrimage, to St. Winifred's well at Holywell, which began 
and ended at Gayhurst ; several members of the Digby 
family took part in it ; and Guy Fawkes stayed at Gay- 

986'4 G 


hurst. Sir Everard Digby, who had at first disapproved of 
the Gunpowder Plot, yielded to the fascination of its pro- 
moters, and threw himself headlong into it ; he was only 
five-and-twenty, and an enthusiastic convert. A country 
house was hired for him on the borders of Worcestershire, 
and he was to hold a great hunting match on the day of the 
meeting of Parliament, the 5th of November. As soon as 
news should be received that the king and the parliament 
had been blown up, Digby, with some members of the 
Hunt, were to seize the Princess Elizabeth, who was at 
Combe Abbey, within an easy ride. 

Tresham, one of the conspirators, betrayed the secret 
to his brother-in-law, Lord Monteagle, whose life he wished 
to save. When the news reached Sir Everard of the com- 
plete failure of the plot, he rode desperately for his life, but 
was captured, imprisoned in the Tower, tried in Westminster 
Hall, dragged on a hurdle to St. Paul's, and there, on 
January 30, 1606, he was hanged, and his body treated 
' with the usual ghastly barbarities '. On the scaffold, like 
the gallant youth that he was, ' he confessed his guilt, with 
a manly shame for his infatuation ', and exonerated Father 
Gerard of any share in the Gunpowder Plot. It had not 
yet dawned upon the pious on either side that ' men must 
agree to worship separately in peace, if they cannot agree 
to worship peacefully together.' The young widow, Lady 
Digby, retained her property, and brought up her two boys 
at Gayhurst ; but the house was, not unnaturally, viewed 
with suspicion. The eldest, Sir Kenelm, who was but three 
years old when he lost his father, grew up very handsome 
and accomplished ; he and his beautiful wife, Venetia 
Stanley, were great favourites at Court, and were painted 
by Vandyck. The younger son, Sir John Digby, was killed 
at the battle of Langport in 1645. There was an alarming 
report in later years, which spread far and wide in Bucks, 
started by a molecatcher's boy, who had heard it from an 
ostler, that Sir Kenelm had sent his mother great store of 
arms for a Papist rising, and that ' men should go over 
their shoe-tops in blood '. Lady Digby exposed the story 
by asking for a full inquiry, but it proves the strong local 
impression left by the Gunpowder Plot. The 5th of Novem- 
ber was ' remembered ' for years with special gusto at High 


Wycombe ; the four wards had rival bonfires, and skir- 
mishes with fireworks, after which the mayor and aldermen 
sat down to ' cold spareribs and apple-sauce ', and drank 
loyal toasts from a loving cup of spiced ale. 

Gayhurst was sold in the next century, by two Digby 
heiresses, to Sir Nathan Wrighte, Lord Keeper to Queen 
Anne, whose monument by Roubillac is in the church. 
Mr. W. W. Carlile, who was M.P. for North Bucks from 
1895 to 1905, now owns the house. The memory of the old 
possessor is still preserved in Digby's Walk, and by some 
humble creatures peculiar to the place. White, edible snails, 
tinged with red, are said to abound in the Gayhurst woods, 
descendants of those Sir Kenelm brought from the South of 
France, for his wife, Venetia, who was consumptive. 2 They 
are not appreciated by Bucks invalids, but a Pectoral Paste 
of Snails is often to be seen in French chemists' windows to 
the present day. 

From political conflicts and religious persecution we turn 
with relief to the best legacy which King James has left us, 
the Authorized Version of the English Bible of 1611. The 
celebration of the Tercentenary of its publication, both in 
England and in America, has reminded us afresh of its 
history, and of the credit due to the king for its initiation. 
At a meeting at New York, held in April, 1911, a letter was 
read from King George V which is of great historical 
interest, speaking as he does in the name of England and 
as a direct descendant of King James : ' I rejoice that 
America and England should join in commemorating the 
publication, 300 years ago, of that version of the Holy 
Scriptures, which has so long held its own among English- 
speaking peoples. Its circulation in our homes has done, 
perhaps, more than anything else on earth, to promote 
among old and young, moral and religious welfare, on either 
side of the Atlantic. The version which bears King James's 
name is so clearly interwoven in the history of British and 
American life that it is right we should thank God for it 
together. I congratulate the President and the people of 
the United States upon their share in this our common 

On the same occasion, our ambassador, Mr. James 
Bryce, reminded us that this great translation ' was, 

G 2 


like most great things, no sudden achievement of a 
group of gifted scholars, but the mature fruit of desires 
and purposes which had long been ripening in the minds of 
our ancestors '. 

.Indeed we may' t be said to have gained this treasure by 
a happy accident. The conference called at Hampton Court 
Palace in 1604 met to consider the complaints of the Presby- 
terians against the Prayer Book, one of which was that the 
extracts from the Bible were mistranslated. Dr. Reynolds, 
their leader, proposed that an altogether new translation 
should be undertaken. This was received unfavourably by 
churchmen, who had so lately been given the Bishops' Bible 
of 1568, but it laid hold of the king's imagination ; ' James 
was a born theologian, from his childhood he had been 
devoted to the study of the Bible, he had written a para- 
phrase of Revelation, and translated some of the Psalms. 
He well knew that Greek and Hebrew Scholarship had 
made great progress in the preceding thirty or forty years.' 3 
' The notion of directing in his own royal person a great 
national enterprise, such as the production of a translation, 
surpassing all its predecessors in fidelity and literary 
excellence, was as gratifying to his self-confidence and his 
vanity as it was congenial to his tastes.' 3 

jln this labour our county was honourably represented. 
When the company of forty-seven revisers began their work, 
the Prophets were entrusted to seven Oxford men, among 
whom was ' Brett, of a worshipful family '. Richard Brett 
(1567-1637) was known as the learned Rector of Quainton ; 
to which living he had been appointed in 1595. He was 
famous for special knowledge of the biblical languages and 
of other Eastern tongues. His daughter Elizabeth married 
William Sparke, who succeeded his father as Rector of 
Bletchley (where he was born), and was a member of the 
Hampton Court Conference. 

In the fine parish church of Quainton, so rich in brasses 
and sculpture, there is an interesting monument of the old 
translator. He and his wife, Alice, daughter of Richard 
Brown, sometime Mayor of Oxford, in full, close ruffs, and 
long lines of graceful drapery, kneel on each side of an ark- 
shaped box or desk, with smaller figures of their six sons 
and four daughters ; the background is a room in perspec- 


tive with two large open books on the wall, and pictures or 
framed needlework. 

[In a large box in the south aisle, of the same shape as the 
one on the monument, lie the mutilated remains of the fine 
folio of the Authorized Version of the Bible, presented by 
Brett to his church. It has been roughly handled by men 
and eaten by mice, but should not be beyond repair and 
loving restoration. Inscriptions in Hebrew, Greek and 
Latin on the wall commemorate in faultless syntax the old 
rector's private and public virtues, and at the last there is 
a bit of comfortable English doggerel which his wife probably 
felt brought her nearer to the man with whom she had spent 
thirty happy years than all the learned classical phrases. 

' Instead of weeping marble, weepe for him, 
All ye his flock, whom he did strive to winn 
To Christ, to Lyfe, so shall you duly sett 
The most desired stone on Doctor Brett.' 

It was the time for elaborately ingenious epitaphs. 
Francis Quarles, one of the most popular of Puritan poets, 
whose book of emblems was in every religious household, 
wrote some of his most famous memorial lines for the 
beautiful monument in Hambleden Church to Sir Cope 
D'Oyley, his wife (the poet's sister), and their children ; the 
description of the lady ends thus 

' In spirit a Jael, 

Rebecca in grace, in heart an Abigail ; 
In works a Dorcas, to the Church a Hannah, 
And to her spouse Susannah, 
Prudently simple, providently w r ary ; 
To the world a Martha, and to heaven a Mary.' 

1 Victoria County History, Bucks. 
* Murray, Handbook to Bucks* 
3 Hoare, Our English Bible. 




THE lives of two half-brothers, both landowners and well- 
known characters in Bucks, help us to understand the 
silent changes of outlook in English society from the reign 
of Elizabeth to that of Charles I. 

Mr. J. R. Green, who has given us our best picture of 
Puritan England, thus defines the difference : ' There was 
a sudden loss of the passion, the caprice, the subtle and 
tender play of feeling, the breadth of sympathy, the quick 
pulse of delight which had marked the age of Elizabeth ; 
but on the other hand life gained in moral grandeur, in 
a sense of the dignity of manhood, in orderliness, and 
equable force. Home, as we conceive it now, was the 
creation of the Puritan. ... A higher conception of duty 
coloured men's daily actions . . . the wilfulness of life, in 
which the men of the Renaissance had revelled, seemed 
unworthy of life's character and end.' * The elder brother 
in our story, Sir Francis Verney, showed all this wilfulness 
of life, and impatience of restraint. He belonged to the 
adventurous band of the great sea-rovers, who at the best 
were like Sir Walter Raleigh, and at the worst became mere 
swashbucklers and pirates. To these men the long war 
with Spain had opened a career of chivalrous adventure, 
such as the Crusades had given their ancestors ; and they 
were undone when King James proclaimed his unpopular 
treaty of peace. 

The younger brother, Sir Edmund Verney, with the same 
courage and knightly tradition, was burdened with deeper 
problems ; and could no longer draw his sword light- 
heartedly to cut through the tangled problems in Church 
and State that beset an English gentleman of the seven- 
teenth century. 

Sir Francis Verney, born 1584, was the eldest son of 
Sir Edmund Verney of Claydon. Educated at Trinity 
College, Oxford, he made a journey to the Holy Land, was 
entertained on his return by the English ambassador at 


Paris ; fought some famous duels, and was held to be one 
of the handsomest, best dressed, and most gallant gentle- 
men of his day. 

He had inherited his father's property in Herts, and the 
manor and advowson of Quainton, where his ancestress, 
Margaret Iwardby, Lady Verney, has a brass in the church. 

Sir Francis had no liking for the homespun duties of 
a country squire ; a marriage had been arranged for him 
in childhood by his masterful stepmother, with her daughter, 
Ursula St. Barbe. His dislike of ' ould Lady Verney ' ex- 
tended to his wife, and after an unsuccessful attempt to 
upset a settlement which gave the Claydon estates to his 
younger brother, he sold his Quainton property and re- 
solved to ' forsake the friends who had injured him, and 
the country which had refused him redress '. 2 

As the war with Spain, lately so glorious, had become 
unlawful, Sir Francis joined with the Giffards (another well- 
known Bucks family) in more or less piratical expeditions, 
in which even English ships were sometimes plundered. 
He also took part in a civil war in Morocco, where a reck- 
less band of young Englishmen lent their swords to the 
emperor, who was fighting a ' pretender ', as the emperors 
of Morocco have been doing ever since. 

By land and sea Sir Francis and his friends defied all 
virtuous efforts of King James to put them down. There 
is a legend that he was taken prisoner, and made to serve 
as a galley-slave, and died in great poverty and misery, 
having ' turned Turk '. The facts were sad enough : he 
caught a fever in Sicily, and was nursed by the brothers of 
the great Hospital of St. Mary of Pity at Messina, where he 
died in 1615, aged thirty-one. But the rich silk pelisses, 
slippers, and turban sent home by an English merchant, 
and still kept at Claydon House, contradict the report of 
his poverty, as his staff inlaid with crosses in mother-of- 
pearl disproves the improbable story of his apostasy. 

It was amongst such brave and restless spirits that 
' Rupert's Horse ' was to be recruited in the succeeding reign. 

Sir Edmund Verney, born in 1590, early lost his father, 
but he was brought up by his mother in all knightly exer- 
cises that might fit him for the camp and the court, in the 
love of outdoor sports, of art and music, and in the paths 


of domestic virtue and personal piety. As a youth he 
served with the army in the Low Countries, and visited 
the Courts of France, Italy, and Spain. 

In 1610 he was appointed to the household of Henry, 
Prince of Wales, in which Sir Thomas Chaloner of Steeple 
Claydon held the important post of tutor and chamberlain. 
Chaloner's sons, both M.P.s, were in later years to be 
among the Regicides, alienated, like Sir Edmund's son, by 
Charles's policy but in those days Chaloners and Verneys 
were enthusiastically devoted to the Stuarts, and to the 
end of his life Sir Edmund spoke of Prince Henry's early 
death as the greatest sorrow he had ever known. 

In 1612 Sir Edmund married Margaret Denton of Hilles- 
don, who made him very happy, and brought him twelve 
children. The next year he was appointed to the household 
of Charles, Prince of Wales, who was ten years his junior, 
and with whom he lived henceforth on terms of close 
intimacy, not even disturbed by Charles's inveterate habit 
of borrowing large sums of money from his friends. 

Sir Edmund's share in the mad journey to Spain in search 
of the Infanta scarcely concerns us ; on his return he took 
an active part in county business. George Villiers, Duke 
of Buckingham, the splendid court favourite, made him his 
lieutenant in charge of Whaddon Chase, a great tract of 
forest and moorland stretching then from Winslow to 
Bletchley, with leave to kill what game he would, and to 
reside in the Manor-House. The forest-laws, which the 
tillers of the soil had protested against ever since the 
Norman Conquest, were still obnoxious. The cottagers of 
Little Horwood (none of whom could sign their names) 
petitioned Sir Edmund to intercede for them with the great 
duke, and certified ' that the deer did much oppress them, 
lying down in their corn and grass ', also that ' their ancient 
rights to cut and fetch furzes from off the common land 
was now forbidden them '. There was much poverty and 
sickness, small-pox was rife, and there were outbreaks at 
intervals of the plague, brought down from the cities ; it 
was part of the duty of a country gentleman to arrange 
for those on his estate afflicted with scurvy to be brought 
to town to be touched for ' the King's Evil '. 

In 1624, Sir Edmund Verney was returned to Parliament, 

Vandyck pinx. 


From a picture at Claydon House 


and continued to represent Buckingham, Aylesbury, or 
Wycombe for the greater part of his life. When Charles 
became king, he made his faithful servant Knight-Marshal 
of the Palace, which involved a general supervision of the 
royal household, officers, and tradesmen, the regulation of 
markets held at the palace gates, and the maintenance 
of the Marshalsea Prison for the detention of prisoners. 
The Knight-Marshal had to pay the warders, and to recoup 
himself precariously by fees extorted from the prisoners. 

Sir Edmund was constantly riding up and down between 
London and Bucks ; as Deputy Lieutenant he had many 
unpleasant duties to perform, such as disarming the Roman 
Catholics and the constant levying of subsidies of doubtful 
legality. He was obliged to leave his large family chiefly 
to Dame Margaret's care, as his attendance in the House 
of Commons became more and more vital, but he kept up 
the most tender relations with his children and children's 
children, who were all accustomed to meet at Claydon. 

A letter of his has been preserved, written at one o'clock 
in the morning, when a little granddaughter was grievously 
ill, to announce to his son in London, that his ' sweet child 
was going apace to a better world '. 2 One cannot imagine 
Sir Francis Verney watching beside a dying child, any more 
than one can think of Sir Edmund as a buccaneer, and 
' shouting with the shouting crew '. 

On religious and political grounds, Sir Edmund was 
opposed to the policy of Laud and Straff ord ; he subscribed 
to bring Archbishop Ussher from Ireland to preach at 
Paul's Cross, and received him in his house ; he allied 
himself with Hyde and Falkland against the politics of the 
court and the queen. 

The Bucks members were notable men. Sir Miles 
Hobart, M.P. for Marlow, suffered imprisonment in the 
Tower for his freedom of speech ; Sir Peter Temple was 
shut up in his own house at Stowe for arrears of ship- 
money which he refused to pay ; Sir Edward Coke, of Stoke 
Poges, M.P. for the county, was the legal adviser of the con- 
stitutional party ; Whitelock, Goodwin, and Bulstrode, and 
younger men like John Hampden, were making their mark. 

Then the war with the Scots began in 1639 ; Sir Edmund 
was at Claydon tormented with sciatica, and still more 


troubled in mind at the king's policy ; but he prepared at 
once to meet him at York, looked to his armour, summoned 
his men, and made his will. He was anxious that, wherever 
he fell, he should be buried in the church of Middle Claydon, 
a provision which his eldest son and his faithful steward, 
Roades, willingly undertook to carry out. 

His letters were disquieting to those who loved and 
watched for him. ' Our Army,' he wrote, ' is but weak, 
our Purse is weaker, if we fight with these forces we shall 
have our throats cut, and to delay fighting we cannot for 
want of money to keep our Army together.' 

An inconclusive peace was made in the field, and the 
fight renewed in Parliament. In the midst of the tense 
excitement of Stratford's trial, Dame Margaret died in 
London, and her husband and son could scarcely get leave 
of absence for her hurried funeral at Claydon. 

When the Civil War broke out at last, King Charles 
called upon his old friend to be his standard-bearer. During 
the anxious weeks preceding, Sir Edmund had privately 
confessed to Hyde that he did not like the quarrel, and 
heartily wished the king would yield to what his people 
desired ' so that my conscience [he said] is only con- 
cerned in honour and gratitude to follow my master. 
I have eaten his bread and served him near thirty years, 
and will not do so base a thing as to forsake him, and 
choose rather to lose my life (which I am sure I shall do) to 
preserve and defend those things which are against my 
conscience to preserve and defend.' 3 

But the time for scruples had gone by ; Sir Edmund had 
been given what every soldier covets, the post of honour 
and danger, and he said as he accepted the charge, ' That 
by the grace of God (his word always) they that would 
wrest that standard from his hand must first wrest his soul 
from his body.' 

On August 22, 1642, the royal standard was raised at 
Nottingham, with trumpets blowing and all the pomp and 
panoply of war. But the country was slow to respond, and 
the standard itself was blown down by an unruly wind, 
nor ' could it be fixed again in a day or two till the tempest 
was allayed '. Men were depressed by this ill omen, but Sir 
Edmund was no fair-weather friend. 


On October 23 the first battle of the great Civil War was 
fought at Edgehill. Sir Edmund, who always felt the 
weight of his helmet, went bareheaded into the field. The 
struggle round the standard was ' furious in the extreme ; 
Sir Edmund adventured with it among the enemy that the 
soldiers might follow him. He was offered his life by 
a throng of his enemies if he would deliver it up ; he 
answered his life was his own, but the standard was his and 
their sovereign's, that he would not deliver it up with his 
life, and he hoped it would be rescued when he was dead.' 2 
Sixteen gentlemen fell that day by his sword, till according 
to tradition his left hand was cut off, still faithfully grasp- 
ing the staff of the standard. On one of the fingers was the 
ring with the king's portrait, given him by his master. 
The standard was recovered by Captain Smith, a Catholic 
officer of the King's Life-Guards, who may also have found 
and saved Sir Edmund's ring. 

The most diligent search, by orders of his devoted son, 
failed to discover his body. Sir Ralph had this poignant 
addition to his grief, that the affectionate relations of a life- 
time had been strained and difficult at the last. Sharing 
his father's political convictions without his personal 
obligations, he adhered to the Parliament. 

The news of the battle spread consternation : the old 
pathetic words, ' They shall be as when a standard-bearer 
fainteth,' seemed to describe the state of Claydon. Sir 
Edmund Verney had left home in his usual health, and his 
children and servants had watched the cavalcade starting 
cheerfully out of the old courtyard. 

There had been no funeral, no tangible proof of his death ; 
ghost stories were rife, and for generations it was believed 
that Sir Edmund's ghost, seeking its hand, haunted both the 
battlefield and his old house, with the surrounding spinneys. 

There is a strange allusion to Edgehill in the parish 
register of Little Brickhill, stating that a woman, Agnes 
Potter, of Dunstable, wounded in the battle, died there on 
her way home, November 30, 1642. 4 

1 J. E. Green, History of the English People. * Verney Memoirs. 

* Clarendon, History of the Great}Rebellion. 

* Cox, History of Parish Registers. 



JOHN HAMPDEN, 1549-1643 

IF one name stands pre-eminently for Bucks it is that 
of the statesman and soldier John Hampden, perhaps the 
most honoured memory left by the Civil War. Gray's 
epithet of a ' village Hampden ' is one which every boy 
should long to earn. A ' village Hampden ' would be 
simple, brave, and modest, the terror of the bully, the 
champion of the weak, steadfast in the right cause at any 
personal cost ; doing, and if need be suffering, in the 
village life what Hampden did and suffered for England. 

John Hampden, born 1594, was the eldest son of William 
Hampden of Great Hampden, who had considerable estates 
in the county, and died when his son was only three years 
old, in 1597. William Hampden was mainly occupied with 
country pursuits ; in his will ' his horses are carefully 
described and generally bequeathed by name '. He had 
owned the estate for six years only, after the death of 
his father, Griffith Hampden, in 1591, and had not had time 
to take as much share in public life as either his father or 
his son. His beautiful estate had belonged to the Hampden 
family from the time of the earliest authentic records, and 
it was one of the conditions of tenure that the Hampdens 
should maintain the ancient Whiteleaf Cross which stretches 
its hundred feet of whiteness, cut out of the green slope of 
the Chilterns. The present representative of the Hampdens, 
the Earl of Buckinghamshire, was the first chairman of 
our County Education Committee. Hampden House stands 
high amongst the fine beech-woods bordering the Chilterns, 
and was noted for its springs of pure water, and for the 
fine ale brewed in the old mansion. King John had been 
a guest in the house ; later on the Hampdens fought for 
the'Red Rose, and bore their share in making the history 
of the county and the kingdom. 

Queen Elizabeth's visit has been already mentioned. 
James I stayed with the Hampdens while John was a 
little boy ; it was a wonderful home to grow up in, with 
all its associations. Hampden's mother, Elizabeth Crom- 


well, was a remarkable woman ; she was the aunt of Oliver 
Cromwell, and lived through the reigns of six sovereigns ; 
she saw the estates of the realm turned upside down, the 
king brought to the scaffold, and her own family exalted 
to the highest place and power. But in spite of her great 
name and her great nephew, a Royalist she was bred and 
a Royalist she remained to the end of her long life of ninety 
years ; she was buried at Great Hampden in 1664. 

Her eldest son, John, seems to have inherited the best 
traditions of the Hampdens and Cromwells. He had the 
Puritan ideals of duty, self-restraint, and hard work, with 
their love and knowledge of the Bible, together with the 
wider culture, the refinement and charm of manner which 
distinguished the noblest of the Cavaliers. The boy was 
educated at Lord Williams's School at Thame, in the old 
buildings at the entrance of the long street. It is pleasant 
to think that Bucks boys, in that part of the county, 
still cross the border as he did to the excellent Thame 
Grammar School. Hampden loved books, and was a 
diligent scholar both at school and college. In spite of 
the influence of Laud, a few Oxford colleges ' retained their 
Puritan character ; in the cloisters and river walks of 
Magdalen, Hampden and his Buckinghamshire neighbours 
imbibed those principles which they afterwards maintained 
in arms, when they held the Chiltern Hills as the outworks 
of London against the Oxford Cavaliers '.* He had a good 
knowledge of law, but history was his favourite study. He 
carried about with him a History of the Civil Wars in 
France, a well-worn and much-read volume, little thinking 
that the same troubles were to befall his own country, 
and that he was to play so leading a part in them. He 
was called to the Bar and lived for a time in London, 
but on his marriage with Elizabeth Symeon of Pyrton, 
when he was twenty-five, he settled at Great Hampden. 
He sat as member for Wendover in the Parliaments of 
1625 to 1628, and it was largely owing to his efforts that 
this ancient borough regained its right to a representative. 
During the early years of Charles I he resisted the king's 
illegal acts both in and out of Parliament, and for his 
opposition to a forced loan of money he was kept a close 
prisoner in the gate-house at Westminster and elsewhere, 


to the serious injury of his health. Hampden's chief friends 
in the House of Commons were his neighbour, Sir Miles 
Hobart, and Sir John Eliot, both noble and fearless men, 
who suffered greatly for then* resistance to the Crown ; 
Eliot finally died from his long and rigorous imprisonment 
in the Tower, where he was denied even the solace of an 
open window. Hampden cheered him with constant letters, 
and undertook the care and education of his children. 
Sir Miles Hobart, who on a famous occasion had locked 
the door of the House and put the key in his pocket while 
the king's messenger was knocking for admittance, was 
released from the Tower, but died shortly afterwards by 
an accident in 1632. His monument in the church at 
Marlow shows him as a good-looking man in a ruff and 
slashed doublet, with long hair and nothing of the Puritan 
in his aspect. A bas-relief represents ' his four -horse 
coach running away down Holborn hill. The off -hind 
wheel is broken, the coachman gone, the horses galloping 
under no control. There are several interesting details, 
the wheelers' traces are hitched to the axles of the front 
wheels '. 3 

During the eleven years that followed the dissolution of 
Parliament in 1628, Hampden retired to his home, where 
he passed some happy years as an active magistrate and 
landowner, devoted to his wife and children, his books, and 
outdoor sports ; but he was not to be quiet long. In 

1634 he had the bitter sorrow of his wife's death, and in 

1635 began Hampden's resistance to the illegal levy of 
ship-money which has made his name so famous. ' Public 
affairs grew darker and darker ; the promises of the king 
were violated without scruple or shame,' and he made one 
more attempt to raise money without calling a Parliament. 
In 1636 Hampden chose to resist the payment of twenty 
shillings assessed on his land in the parish of Stoke Mande- 
ville. Burke quoted his action more than 100 years later, 
when the Americans were also resisting unjust taxation. 
' Would twenty shillings,' he said, ' have ruined Mr. Hamp- 
den's fortune ? No, but the payment of half twenty 
shillings on the principle it was demanded would have 
made him a slave.' 

This famous trial roused the interest of the whole country, 


twelve judges delivered their opinions ; Hampden had the 
support of Sir George Croke of Chilton, Chief Justice of 
the King's Bench, known as the Patriot Judge ; finally the 
decision was in favour of the crown, the raising of ship- 
money was declared lawful ; but the defeat immensely 
increased Hampden's popularity, as the judges' reasons 
1 left no man anything he could call his own '. 

In the Short and the Long Parliaments Hampden was 
member for the county 'there they sat, courtier and Puritan, 
the pick and choice of the gentlemen of England, by birth, 
by wealth, by talents the first assembly of the world.' 
There is a sheet of paper still preserved at Claydon House 
on which are the names of the Bucks members ' fair writ 
for sport ', 2 among them Hampden's firm round hand is 
conspicuous ; he soon became their leader. He is described 
at this time as ' a powerfully built man, with an abundance 
of crisp wavy hair falling almost to his shoulders, but 
brushed away from the forehead so that it did not conceal 
the height and breadth of a very striking brow. The 
features were good, the upper lip very short, the mouth 
firm but sweet, the jaw square and massive, the eyes 
singularly thoughtful '. Hampden was a silent rather than 
an eloquent member, but he followed the business with 
the closest attention, and the few words he sometimes 
contributed to the end of a debate always carried weight. 
He was diligent in the work of the committees, and became 
an authority on the procedure of the House. No report 
of the debates was then allowed to be published, but 
Hampden's friend and neighbour, Sir Ralph Verney, 
a careful, methodical man, would bring in small folded 
sheets of paper and a pencil, to make notes for his own 
information, which have since become of great historical 

On January 4, 1642, a private message was received 
at the House from the Earl of Essex that the king was 
coming down to arrest five members, of whom Hampden 
was one, and advising them to withdraw, which they did 
forthwith. ' As Charles stepped through the door which 
none of his predecessors had ever passed, he was, little as 
he thought it, formally acknowledging that power had 
passed into new hands.' Sir Ralph Verney, diligently 

986-4 H 


scribbling on his knee, recorded the Speaker's loyalty 
and the sovereign's discomfiture. The news caused an 
outburst of indignation in the county, 4,000 Bucks gentle- 
men and freeholders rode up to London to support and 
vindicate their member. War was becoming inevitable, 
and Hampden consulted with his cousin Cromwell how 
a force could be raised to defend the liberties of the realm, 
of ' such men as had the fear of God before them '. He 
undertook to raise and train a regiment of foot, and 
Colonel Hampden' s ' Green-Coats ', with their motto 
' There is no turning back ', became one of the best regiments 
in the Parliament's service. 

When war had broken out Hampden urged decisive action. 
In June 1643 the Parliamentary forces were scattered 
between Thame and Oxford, Prince Rupert saw his advan- 
tage and led a vigorous attack. On the 18th Hampden 
was wounded in a skirmish at Chalgrove Field. In mortal 
pain and in the bitterness of defeat he was seen ' to ride 
off the field before the action was done, which he never 
used to do, with his head hanging down, and resting his 
hands on the neck of his horse '. 

There is a story that he looked towards the house at 
Pyrton whence he had brought his bride Elizabeth, and 
would have gone there to die, but the enemy lay in that 
direction ; he turned his horse towards Thame, where he 
arrived ' almost fainting with agony '. He lingered on for 
six days, in terrible suffering borne with the greatest 
courage ; he wrote letters from his bed on public affairs 
of which his thoughts were full; received the Sacrament 
with great devoutness, and then he died. 

The broad street of Thame down which Hampden had 
so often run as a schoolboy was filled with his Green-Coats, 
and thence a long, sad procession of his own people singing 
the 90th Psalm bore their soldier and patriot home. The 
coffin was taken through the banqueting hall of the old 
house into the brick parlour he had specially made his 
own. Later, with arms reversed the soldiers carried him 
across the lawn to the parish church, and ' laid the body 
of John Hampden beside the tombs of his forefathers in 
the chancel, near the touchingly worded memorial he had 
dedicated to his first wife '. The county, the army, and 


the Parliament deeply mourned his loss ; ' a man,' they 
said, ' so religious, and of that prudence, judgement, 
temper, valour and integrity that he hath left few his like 
behind.' To the county he has bequeathed his name, to 
' village Hampdens ' his example. 

1 Diet. Nat. Biog. * Verney Memoirs. 3 Records of Bucks. 


THE Dentons of Hillesden were a family of Cavaliers, 
who suffered much for their loyalty to King Charles. The 
estate had been given by Edward VI to Thomas Denton, 
Treasurer of the Temple, M.P. for Bucks in 1554. 1 His only 
son Alexander, a very handsome youth, married an heiress 
in Herefordshire. When she died, at eighteen, with her 
first baby, Sir Alexander was broken-hearted ; life seemed 
over for him at twenty-three, and he put up a fine altar 
tomb with figures of himself, his wife Anne, and the little 
swaddled baby in Hereford Cathedral. Some years later, 
to the great joy of his parents, he married again Mary 
Martin, daughter of a Lord Mayor of London, and had a son 
Thomas. Dying at the age of thirty-one he was buried at 
Hillesden in 1574, and his family put up another memorial 
there, so Sir Alexander has monuments in two different 
counties, while Anne and her babe lie alone together. 

The son Thomas was an important country gentleman, 
a magistrate and an M.P., allied with his neighbours the 
Temples of Stowe, and the Verneys of Claydon. He left 
twelve children. His eldest son and successor, Sir Alex- 
ander, married Mary Hampden before the troubles began, 
and no family suffered more from divided affections and 
interests during the Civil War. 

Sir Alexander's eldest son John was a colonel in the Royal 

H 2 


army ; his brother-in-law, Sir Edmund Verney, had just 
laid down his life for the king ; his nephew and dearest 
friend, Sir Ralph Verney, took the Parliament side, and 
John Hampden, his wife's famous cousin, was ' their fore- 
most man in the House of Commons and in the field '. 
Sir Alexander was a gentle, affectionate man, loving his 
home and his children, who would gladly have kept out of 
all strife, but his sympathies were well known. 

In August 1642, just after the king's standard had been 
raised at Nottingham, Nehemiah Wharton, a Parliamentary 
soldier, marching towards Buckingham, boasted that he 
had shot a deer in the park of ' that malignant fellow ', 
Sir Alexander Denton, and feasted the troop to their great 

Hillesden House stood on a ridge close to a beautiful 
Henry VII church, a few miles from Buckingham, between 
Oxford, where the king lay, and Newport Pagnell, garrisoned 
by Colonel Luke for the Parliament. Colonel Smith, 
a native of Buckingham, took command of the place for 
the king in 1644, 1,000 labourers worked to dig trenches 
and throw up a mound for such small guns as they were 
able to spare from Oxford ; and the country people made 
a cannon out of one of the big elm trees and hooped it 
round with iron. The house was full of women and girls, 
Sir Alexander's sisters and daughters and nieces, besides 
the village people who came crowding in, with less than 
300 soldiers to defend them. 

Oliver Cromwell marched from Aylesbury with a large 
force, sleeping the night at the Camp Barn at Steeple 
Claydon. The garrison, surprised; could make no real 
defence, the church was carried, and then the house. 
Sir Alexander lost everything, even his money, which was 
kept behind a panel, and under the lead roof ; and the 
house was burnt to the ground. Cromwell went on to 
Buckingham ; the master of Hillesden, beggared, broken- 
hearted and a prisoner, was marched off to Padbury, where 
he spent a night of great discomfort, and then to Newport 
Pagnell. The Muster Rolls, lately recovered, show that 
at this very time, John Bunyan, aged sixteen or seventeen, 
was a soldier of the garrison there. The knowledge that 
he gained of the coming and going of troops and prisoners, 


and of the walls, gates and sally-port of Newport Pagnell, 
were reproduced in after years in his Holy War. Some 
twelve years later his first book was sold at Newport by 
Matthias Cowley, bookseller. 

Cromwell's soldiers were under stern discipline and were 
much less feared in Bucks than Rupert's troopers. The 
women and children were escorted across the fields to 
Claydon, weeping as they went, but they were not molested ; 
indeed, the tragedy ends with an exchange of courtesies 
and two love stories. When Colonel Smith surrendered, 
a Puritan soldier rudely knocked off his hat, he complained 
to General Cromwell, who assured him the man should be 
punished, and taking a new beaver from off his own head, 
he begged Smith to accept of it in the meantime. 

Captain Jeremiah Abercrombie (the Puritans loved Old 
Testament names), one of the attacking force, wooed and 
won on the march Susan Denton, Sir Alexander's sister. It 
was a strange introduction that the lover had helped to 
sack and burn his mistress's home. But in such troubled 
times a timid maiden lady, no longer very young, might 
well be glad of the protection of a husband, so the wedding 
took place at once, and they went off to Addington, where 
Captain Abercrombie had been quartered for several 
months in the old manor house, restored and added to 
a few years later, by Robert Busby the lawyer, whose 
family tombs are in Addington Church. 

Abercrombie was well known in these parts. He had 
been sent from the army at Newport Pagnell to get news 
and provisions in Winslow and the neighbourhood. He 
wrote to the Earl of Essex that he had found a party of 
Cavaliers in Winslow intent on the same business. ' Some 
10 men within the town, drinking, dancing, and sinking 
themselves, and some 44 with their colours at the town's 
end. I advanced towards them and they made no great 
haste, but at last I advanced with a full body upon them, 
they took heels and I followed, and they ran the hay way 
to Padbury Bridge. I confess they beat us at running, if it 
had been for 1,000, and ran into their den, which was 
Sir Alexander Denton's house.' (Each side accused the 
other of coming ' to rob the poor inhabitants '.) ' Here 
I shall remain in this house till I know your Excellency's 


pleasure, and shall ever remain your Excellency's at com- 
mand, to sacrifice his blood.' 

It was no empty boast ; a few months after his marriage 
Captain Jeremiah was killed in a skirmish ' with a party 
from Boarstall ' ; his widow was left with a turbulent baby 
Jeremiah, who was the plague and the pride of her old age. 

Meanwhile Sir Alexander Denton had been brought up 
to the Tower where his daughter Margaret was allowed to 
wait upon him. Colonel Smith, the defender of Hillesden 
was also confined there, and managed a difficult courtship 
of his fellow prisoner Margaret Denton. This marriage 
brought a ray of comfort to Sir Alexander, who had to bear 
another overwhelming sorrow ; his son John, wounded at 
Hillesden, had no sooner recovered, than he was killed at 
Abingdon in command of a Royalist force. He received 
thirty wounds at the last, ' that good young man whose 
very enemies lament him.' 1 

On the winning side there was an order made that in all 
the parish churches should be read ' A catalogue of remark- 
able mercies, conferred on the midland counties by the 
recent victories, including the taking of Hillesden House 
which victory enabled the Parliament to ease and comfort 
the poor inhabitants of the almost wasted county of 
Buckingham '. 

Sir Alexander Denton died of a fever on New Year's Day, 
1645, aged 48, just as his friends were expecting to accom- 
plish his release. 

Hillesden House was rebuilt, and a later Alexander 
Denton (1679-1740) was recorder and three times M.P. for 
Buckingham, till he became a judge, and in 1729 he 
was made chancellor to the Prince of Wales, afterwards 
George II. He married an heiress, Catherine Bond, and 
was so much beloved at Hillesden for his probity and bounty 
' that it was said that the best thing belonging to the place 
was its Master ' . 2 He was brought up at the Free School at 
Buckingham, which Isabel Denton had endowed, and 
showed his gratitude to the head master, Robert Styles, 
by giving him the living of Preston Bissett. He died 
childless, and his nephew, George Chamberlayne, suc- 
ceeded him as M.P. for Buckingham, and became his heir. 

In the eighteenth century the owner of Stowe bought and 



pulled down the mansion, a loss which the parish has never 
recovered, and the old church, with the bullet-holes in its 
door, stands amid a few cottages, the vicarage and the 
school, in the silence of green fields, with its fine avenue of 
elm trees, and its proud memories of old heroism. 

Verney Memoirs. 

Gough MSS. 



THE history of Boarstall has been intimately connected 
with that of the great forest of Bernwood ; the story of the 
original boar has been already told. 

In the reign of Edward III a court was held at Brill, at 
which poachers who had killed the king's deer were severely 
punished, and declared to be common malefactors ; at the 
same time the rights of the men of Brill, Boarstall, and 
Oakley to pasture their cattle in the forest, excepting only 
during the month that the fawns were born, was reasserted. 
Besides the deer, the king's hogs were privileged creatures 
in the forest, and had their duly appointed guardians, who 
eventually rose, in name at least, above their fellows ; 
while shepherd, cowherd, and woodman remained among 
the workers, the stye-ward rose to be steward, and at last 
to be a Stuart and a king. In the time of James I a com- 
mission was sent to cut the trees down, and to the free- 
holders whose cattle had ranged through the forest, small 
grants of land were made as compensation, partly from the 
crown lands, partly from those belonging to Sir John 

This Sir John Denham, a judge, had land in Surrey and 
Essex, as well as in Bucks, and held high judicial appoint- 
ments in Ireland. He was steward of Eton College and 
acted as their counsel. He was sheriff for Bucks in 1622, 


He with other judges had pronounced that Charles I could 
legally levy the ship-money ; and he was one of the judges 
before whom his neighbour John Hampden's case was 
tried. Sir John Denham was very ill of an ague, but he 
exerted himself to write an opinion in favour of Hampden, 
and then he died. He was succeeded by his son, Sir John 
Denham, in 1639, who was quite a famous poet in his day, 
' a slow, dreaming young man,' he was called at Oxford, 
' more addicted to gambling than to study.' 

When the Civil War broke out he was living in Surrey, 
and was made governor of Farnham Castle. He was there 
besieged and made prisoner, and had all sorts of ups and 
downs of fortune. While Denham was fighting for the 
king, a rival poet, George Wither, was a captain in the 
Parliament's army, and was pouring forth songs and broad- 
sheets in defence of his own side. They were bitterly 
opposed to each other. A jest of Sir John Denham's has 
come down to us. When Wither was taken prisoner by the 
Royalists, Denham begged Charles I to pardon him, ' For,' 
he said, ' while Wither lives, I shall not be the worst poet in 

Whilst Denham was busy fighting, intriguing, and writing 
poetry in the south, his fine house in Bucks was being forti- 
fied for the king, and held as an outpost of the forces at 
Oxford. The command of Boarstall was given in 1644 to 
Sir William Campion. Letters are still extant written by 
the king to this gallant young soldier. He had no sooner 
taken up the command of the garrison, than he was told 
to send his two brass guns to Oxford, as the king's army 
sorely needed them, and had no brass to cast more. He was 
next ordered to pull down the church, built in the early 
fifteenth century, and to send the bells to Oxford to be 
melted down ; to remove any cottages that might interfere 
with the defence of the tower, and to cut down the trees to 
make ' palisadoes '. He was to take every cart away from 
the farmers, and to use them for thirty days in strengthen- 
ing the fortifications. 

A little later the king needs great store of tow, hemp, 
and flax to make ' match ' for the cannon, and Campion is 
to search all the country round Boarstall, which is said to 
yield considerable supplies of these commodities. 1 He is 


congratulated in March at the success he has had over 
' the rebels ', but a little later, he was ordered to withdraw 
his men to Oxford, and abandon the place. This was soon 
found to be a mistake ; Boarstall was then garrisoned for 
the Parliament from Aylesbury ; their forces were so active 
in harassing the Royalists, and in levying contributions upon 
all the country round, that the king's men resolved to 
re-take it. Lady Denham during this interval seems to 
have lived again in her house by leave of the enemy ; there 
is an unexplained sentence that when the attack began, 
' Lady Denham, conscious of her disloyalty, stole away in 
disguise.' This siege has given Boarstall an honourable 
mention in Clarendon's History. Colonel Gage, who was 
held in great esteem, ' offered to undertake the reducing 
it, with a party of commanded men of the Foot, 3 pieces 
of Cannon, and a troop of Horse, who by the break of day, 
appeared before the place, and in a short time got posses- 
sion of the Church and the Out-houses, and then battered 
the house itself with his Cannon, which they within would 
not long endure, but desired a Parley. Upon which the 
House was rendered with the Ammunition and much good 
provision of Victual, and had liberty given them to go away 
with their arms and horses.' 

Whereupon the unfortunate country people were pil- 
laged once more by Colonel Gage's soldiers ' besides the 
Prey that they frequently took from the very neighbour- 
hood of Aylesbury'. Sir William Campion was again 
installed as governor, and Lady Campion came and lived 
there. Some skirmishing took place round Boarstall in the 
spring of 1645, and General Skippon had designs on the 
place, which was more seriously attacked by Fairfax in 
June. The challenge and the reply show the courtesies 
and etiquette of seventeenth-century warfare, between two 
gallant gentlemen. 

' Sir Thomas Fairfax to Sir William Campion. 

' SIB, I send you this summons before I proceed to 
extremities to deliver up to me, the house of Boarstall 
. . . with all the ordnance, arms, and ammunition therein 
for the use and service of the Kingdom, which if you shall 
agree unto, you may expect civility and fair respect, other- 


wise you may draw upon yourself those inconveniences, 
which I desire may be prevented. I expect your answer 
by this trumpet within one hour. 

Your Servant, 


' Sir William Campion to Sir Thomas Fairfax. 

' SIB, You have sent me a summons of a surrender of 
this house " for the service of the kingdom ". I thought 
that cant had been long ere this very stale, sufficient only 
to cozen women and poor ignorant people ; for your civili- 
ties, so far as they are consonant to my honour, I embrace 
. . . but I am ready to undergo all inconveniences what- 
soever, rather than submit to any, much less to those so 
dishonourable and unworthy propositions. This is the 
resolution of, Sir, 


' W. CAMPION.' 1 

Before the besieging force assaulted the place, Sir William 
asked one favour, that Lady Campion, who was in delicate 
health, should be allowed to go forth. This Sir Thomas 
refused with civil regrets, but added that if Lady Campion 
or any other gentlewoman fell into his hands, he would take 
care ' that the like cruelty may never be used by any of 
this army, which hath lately been executed by some of 
yours at Leicester '. 

The attack was made on June 6, and repulsed by the 
garrison with much courage ; Fairfax was ' beaten off with 
loss ', and retired to Brickhill, thence to Newport Pagnell 
and Sherrington, where he met Vermuyden from the north, 
and Cromwell from Ely, their combined forces numbering 
more than 13,000 men. The good news that Boarstall had 
held out was received by Charles just after the storm and 
sack of Leicester ; ' never,' says Dr. Gardiner, ' had Charles's 
prospects seemed brighter than when he was nearing his 
sudden and irreparable overthrow.' On June 14 the king's 
army was utterly defeated at Naseby ; in August the king 
himself passed through Boarstall on his road from Whig 
to Oxford. 


In the spring of 1646 Fairfax was again before Boarstall, 
summoning it to surrender. Sir William Campion writes to 
the king desiring to know his pleasure ; they have been 
' blocked up almost 8 weeks ', ' yet I would not part with 
my trust without orders '. * The king was in no position to 
help his faithful servant ; Oxford itself was being aban- 
doned, and the smaller garrisons were quite isolated. 
Campion heard that ' my Lord Wharton and others ' were 
much set against him by his obstinacy in defending a hope- 
less cause, and on June 3, 1646, Just a year after his former 
repulse, Fairfax, writing from Water Eaton, sends com- 
missioners to receive the surrender of the Boarstall garrison. 

Sir William Campion was killed at the siege of Colchester 
in 1648, aged thirty -four ; ' he was pious, valiant, constant 
to his prince, whose cause he chose, and whose service he 
died in.' 

After this Lady Denham returned to her home, and was 
able to show kindness to a Royalist, Sir Thomas Fanshawe, 
who was marched through Boarstall, as a prisoner, after 
the battle of Worcester. He refused the money she offered 
him, but greatly desired a shirt and some handkerchiefs. 
She fetched the latter, and two smocks of her own, being 
ashamed to offer them, but she had none of her son's at 
home, and begged him to take them. Sir John Denham 
meanwhile was travelling in France, Holland, and even 
Poland, to get money for the exiled royal family. At the 
Restoration he was made Surveyor-General of Works, 
a post previously held by Inigo Jones ; he is said to have 
designed Burlington House, Piccadilly ; as his deputy he 
secured the young Christopher Wren, who is credited with 
building the Manor House in Winslow, the classical church 
at Willen, Fawley Court, the Upper School at Eton, and 
the choir of Chicheley Church. 

Denham's after-life took him away from Boarstall, and 
the property passed later into the Aubrey family, who also 
owned the fine old house at Dorton. A picture at Dorton 
represents the only son of the house playing with a lamb. 
The child was accidentally poisoned, and the distracted 
father, in despair from the loss of his heir, pulled down the 
old house at Boarstall, which had withstood the shock of 
arms, and so many vicissitudes of fortune. 


The fine gate-house still remains, with its guard-room 
and moat. 

Sir John Denham is remembered by his poem on the view 
of London from Cooper's Hill, and his praise of the Thames 
with the famous concluding lines : 

' Thames, the most loved of all the Ocean's sons 
By his old sire, to his embraces runs 
Hasting to pay his tribute to the sea, 
Like mortal life to meet eternity. . . . 
could I flow like thee, and make thy stream 
My great example, as it is my theme ! 
Though deep, yet clear ; though gentle, yet not dull ; 
Strong without rage, without o'erflowing full.' 

1 Lipscombe, County History. 


WHILE Strafford and Falkland, Hampden and Cromwell, 
were quietly growing up in the country, whose fate they 
were to influence so greatly, a boy was born in London 
who was to serve England in quite a different fashion, and 
leave as glorious a name as the best of the fighters and law- 
makers John Milton. 

The poet's grandfather was a substantial yeoman, living 
at Stan ton St. John, between Brill and Oxford, who adhered 
to the old Catholic faith, and disinherited his son, John 
Milton, for joining the Church of England. The son went 
to London and became a scrivener, what we should call a 
solicitor, and being a man of probity and force of character 
made 'a plentiful fortune'. His little son, also named 
John, attended St. Paul's School, under the shadow of the 
old Gothic cathedral, and had a clever man, Thomas Young, 
as his private tutor. He had a sister, Anne, some years 
older than himself, and a brother, Christopher, seven years 
younger ; he therefore did lessons alone and very strenu- 
ously. He was considered clever and promising, and his 

JOHN MILTON, 1608-1674 


father spared no expense in his education, and gave him 
what was yet more precious, his constant sympathy and 
supervision ; the boy generally studied till midnight, in spite 
of headaches, and probably thus began to injure his eyesight. 
Old London before the fire was wonderfully picturesque ; 
in Milton's childhood Shakespeare was still alive, supping 
at the Mermaid Tavern, and producing his great plays at 
the Globe Theatre. ' It was a warm and happy home the 
boy grew up in. Peace, comfort, and industry reigned 
there. A grave Puritanic piety was the order of the house, 
religious reading and devout exercises were part of the 
regular life of the family. A regard for religion as the 
chief concern of life, and a dutiful love to the parents who 
so taught him, would be cultivated in Milton from his 
earliest years.' The interest in Bible-reading was stimu- 
lated by the new translations which were employing some 
of the best scholars of the time. Our Authorized Version 
in its fine, melodious English, appeared while Milton was 
a little boy. The scrivener who was a busy man at the 
head of his profession was not a slave to business ; he loved 
books and he loved music even more. He had an organ in 
his house and his songs and melodies were well known in 
musical circles ; the tunes still in our hymnbooks, York and 
Norwich, were written by him. John must often have 
listened to his father's organ-playing, and he was brought 
up to consider music and poetry as worthy of the most 
earnest study. The boy became a singer almost as soon 
as he could speak, and in his teens he was composing 
metrical versions of his favourite psalms. When Cornelius 
Jansen, a young Dutch painter, came over from Amster- 
dam, one of the first portraits he painted was that of the 
scrivener's son John, at ten years old, ' a grave intelligent 
little Puritan boy with close-cut auburn hair, and an 
expression of loveable seriousness.' As an elderly man 
Milton thus wrote of his recollected childhood 
' When I was yet a child, no childish play 
To me was pleasing ; all my mind was set 
Serious to learn and know, and thence to do, 
What might be public good ; myself I thought 
Born to that end, born to promote all truth, 
All righteous things.' 

126 JOHN MILTON, 1608-1674 

At sixteen, Milton was sent to Christ's College, Cambridge, 
the college of Latimer and Sir Philip Sidney ; lie was there 
for seven years, and his pure, austere life and great personal 
beauty won him the name of the Lady of Christ's. He 
matriculated Just at the time of Charles I's accession ; 
the plague was raging in London, where he spent his vaca- 
tions, and in 1630 there was so terrible an outbreak of it 
at Cambridge that ' the University was in a manner wholly 
dissolved ', most colleges being empty, the remaining men 
being close prisoners in their rooms ; Milton retained 
through life the greatest horror of the plague. The most 
notorious death was that of old Hobson, the Cambridge 
carrier, who for fear of spreading infection was forbidden 
his constant journeys to and from London. Milton wrote 
two kindly and humorous epitaphs over the old man, who 
in his eighty-sixth year died of the boredom of being idle 

' Ease was his chief disease ; and to judge right 
He died for heaviness that his cart went light ; 
His leisure told him that his time was come ; 
And lack of load made his life burdensome.' 

Milton's ode on Shakespeare's death, and his beautiful 
Christmas hymn, the Ode on the Nativity, were written 
during these Cambridge years. 

Changes had come about in his home, Anne Milton had 
married a Mr. Phillips, Christopher was at college ; his 
father and mother left London and bought a country house 
at Horton, which was to be John Milton's home for the next 
six years. Much of his greatest poetry was written in 
Bucks, first at Horton and afterwards at Chalfont St. Giles. 

In our day William Morris, the poet of The Earthly 
Paradise, loved to describe himself as ' the idle singer of an 
empty day ', and emphasized the fact that he aimed at 
beauty rather than moral teaching. Such a mood would 
have been impossible to Milton. In his mind the poet was 
a prophet and teacher whose highest aim should be ' to 
justify the ways of God to man ' ; this purpose became 
more and more serious, through the political stress of his 
manhood and the blindness and trouble of his old age, when, 
like Jeremiah, he felt himself to be living among a people 
who had wholly fallen from righteousness ; for him there 

From an engraving after the painting by Faithorne 

JOHN MILTON, 1608-1674 129 

could be no visions of an Earthly Paradise, his eyes blinded 
in this world saw Paradise Regained in ' a better country 
that is a heavenly '. 

The young poet who wrote such graceful and lovely 
poems at Horton, as Lycidas and the Allegro and Penseroso 
(the joyful and the grave view of life), was full of enjoyment 
of Nature and Art, but as quite a youth he had definitely 
set before him the ideals, that a poet must be of noble and 
lofty character, a man of ' labour and intent study ', and 
that a great subject could alone inspire a great poem. He 
would gladly ' leave something so written to after times, as 
they should not willingly let it die '. In Masson's Life of 
Milton there is a charming description of the beauty of 
Horton and the surrounding country with its woods and 
nightingales, the stream of the Colne, as yet unvexed by 
paper-mills, flowing through the village, and to crown all the 
distant towers of Windsor ' bosom'd high in tufted trees '. 

Young Milton had entered no profession, and he was 
always grateful to his father for the patience and sympathy 
which enabled him to prepare for life in his own way, in 
tranquillity of mind, amid the quiet, restful Buckinghamshire 
scenery, and with his beloved books. This time of prepara- 
tion included a journey to Italy, after the death of his 
mother in 1637 ; on his return he settled in London, where 
he took in pupils, his nephew Edward Phillips and others, 
and his household was a model of ' hard study and spare 
diet '. After the meeting of the Long Parliament the share 
he took in the political and religious controversies of the 
time made Milton deliberately give up poetry for what he 
felt to be his duty to his country. After the execution of 
the king he became Latin Secretary to the Council of State, 
which brought him into constant intercourse with Fairfax, 
Vane, and Cromwell, and all the members of the House 
most worth knowing. He sacrificed his failing eyesight to 
his diligent work in writing and reading dispatches, but he 
had gained a new experience, an insight ' In all things that 
to generous actions lead '. 

By the age of forty-three he was in total darkness, 
a calamity even greater to him than to most men, before his 
great poem long meditated was even begun. Just ' as the 
country had begun to reap the fruits of the costly efforts 

986-4 I 

130 JOHN MILTON, 1608-1674 

it had made to obtain good government ', Cromwell's death 
brought to an end with a crash all that Milton most cared 
for. Blind, a widower with three little girls, he became 
at the Restoration one of a proscribed and broken party, he 
had heavy money losses, and only just escaped with life 
and liberty. Milton resolutely turned his mind away from 
the politics of the Restoration ; driven from London by the 
Great Plague in 1665, he settled once more in Bucks at 
Chalfont St. Giles, and gave himself up to the completion of 
his poem, Paradise Lost, 

Those who knew him describe him as stately and cour- 
teous, though he could be very satirical. ' He would sit at 
his house door in a grey coarse cloth coat in fine weather 
to receive visitors ; indoors he was neatly dressed in black. 
He rose at four in summer and five in winter ; before break- 
fast the Bible was read to him hi Hebrew. Then he read or 
dictated till midday ; he took some exercise, walking, or, 
in wet weather, swinging ; he always had music in the 
afternoon, saw his friends in the evening, and went to bed 
after a pipe and a glass of water.' He was, of course, 
dependent on a reader and writer ; he would dictate twenty 
or thirty lines to any one who happened to be near him, 
sitting in an arm-chair with his leg over the elbow. 

Milton's conception of woman was the exact opposite of 
Shakespeare's ; women might be fair and mildly amiable, 
but he had never met (or never recognized) a Cordelia, 
a Portia, or a Hermione. He reaped as he sowed ; he had 
laid it down that 

' Nothing lovelier can be found 
In woman, than to study household good.' 

He expected no intellectual companionship or moral support 
from women, and he found none. In early days his young 
wife, Mary Powell, a foolish, frightened girl, left him to go 
back to her mother for two years, and only returned after 
a difficult reconciliation. Elizabeth Minshull, the wife of 
his last years, looked kindly after his creature-comforts, 
but the old blind man, who had never known or cared what 
he ate and drank, was distracted by the stupidity of his 
meagrely educated daughters, and found no satisfaction 
at home for his fierce intellectual appetite. 

JOHN MILTON, 1608-1674 131 

The two elder girls, much bored with his claims upon 
them, learnt gold embroidery as a means of support. 
Deborah, the youngest, was more dutiful to her father, but 
it must have been a dreary task to read out to him in foreign 
languages when she did not understand the meaning of the 
words. Happily volunteers were to be found who con- 
sidered it an honour to act as secretary, the most devoted 
being Thomas Ellwood, educated at the Thame Grammar 
School, who suffered much by joining the Bucks Quakers. 
He it was who found a house for Milton at Chalfont, and 
suggested to him to write a further poem on Paradise 
Regained. There is a pleasant tradition at Beaconsfield 
that Milton wrote a part of Paradise Regained in a grotto 
at Hall Barn in Edmund Waller's garden, a poet to whom 
fortune had been kinder. The last work of the poet- 
prophet was Samson Agonistes ' the record of an heroic 
soul totally defeated by an irreversible fate, and unflinch- 
ingly accepting the situation in the firm conviction of the 
righteousness of the cause.' ' The triumphant Royalist 
reaction of 1660 is singular in this, that the agonized cry 
of the beaten party has been preserved, in the intensest 
utterance of the most intense of English poets, Samson 
Agonistes.' * 

Milton received two sums of 5, and no more, for Paradise 
Lost, a work which placed him next to Shakespeare in 
English literature, and among the half-dozen famous poets 
of the world. His political partisanship delayed the 
recognition of his greatness ; Dryden at once appreciated it, 
but in the next century Dr. Johnson, in his grand manner, 
discovered much to find fault with in Milton's poems. 

Cowper, perhaps of all poets the least like Milton, was up 
in arms in his defence. ' Was there ever anything so 
delightful,' he writes, ' as the music of Paradise Lost ? It 
is like that of a fine organ, has the fullest and the deepest 
tones of majesty, with all the softness and elegance of the 
Dorian flute, variety without end and never equalled, 
except perhaps by Virgil. Yet the doctor has nothing to 
say . . . but something about the unfitness of the English 
language for blank verse . . . Oh, I could thrash his old 
jacket, till I made his pension jingle in his pockets.' 

That we may judge for ourselves how right Cowper was, 

I 2 

132 JOHN MILTON, 1608-1674 

we close with the beautiful lines that tell how Milton felt 

and met his great affliction. 

' Thus with the year 
Seasons return, but not to me returns 
Day, or the sweet approach of ev'n or morn, 
Or sight of vernal bloom, or summer's rose, 
Or flocks, or herds, or human face divine ; 
But cloud instead, and ever-during dark 
Surrounds me, from the cheerful ways of men 
Cut off, and for the book of knowledge fair 
Presented with a universal blank 
Of nature's works to me expung'd and rased 
And wisdom at one entrance quite shut out. 
So much the rather, thou celestial Light 
Shine inward, and the mind through all her powers 
Irradiate, there plant eyes, all mist from thence 
Purge and disperse that I may see and tell 
Of things invisible to mortal sight.' 

1 Diet. Nat. Biog., &c. 



AYLESBTJRY had had its full share in the fighting and the 
suffering of the Civil War. Cromwell, Fairfax, Luke, Fleet- 
wood, and others of the Parliamentary generals were 
familiar figures in the neighbourhood. Cromwell stayed at 
Dinton Hall with Simon Mayne after the battle of Naseby, 
and left his sword, still kept there. 

Prince Rupert had attempted to carry the town in 
a cavalry action known locally as the battle of Aylesbury. 
Chilton House narrowly escaped destruction, the village 
of Swanbourne was burnt down by the Cavaliers under 
circumstances of great cruelty. Winslow was pillaged, 
and brutal jests of the officers were remembered even more 


bitterly than material losses. On the whole the county 
sympathized with the Ironsides. In 1648 divers inhabitants 
of Bucks sent up their thanks to the Parliament for their 
unwearied labours for the public, and their great successes ; 
they gave their rulers some good advice, and affirmed their 
resolution to ' adhere unto and stand by them '. They 
received the thanks of the House ' for their constant good 
affections ', and the Speaker told them that their peti- 
tion was to be printed 'as a pattern for other counties'. 
Thomas Chaloner of Steeple Claydon, Thomas Scott of 
Aylesbury, Simon Mayne of Dinton, Richard Ingoldsby 
of Lenborough, Cornelius Holland of Creslow, Adrian Scrope 
of Wormsley, Richard Deane of Princes Risborough, Sir 
George Fleet wood, Sir Peter Temple of Biddlesden, and 
other Bucks men, signed Charles I's death-warrant. But 
the violence of the procedure and the patience of the sufferer 
sent a thrill of sorrow and pity throughout England. The 
black, masked figure of the king's executioner became the 
centre of many legends, and in Bucks it was whispered that 
the mysterious creature who lived in a cave at Dinton was 
the man. John Bigg, the Dinton Hermit, passed his life 
in savage solitude ; his clothes and his shoes (still preserved) 
were a marvel of clouts and patches kept together with nails ; 
he survived the Restoration and the Revolution, and when 
the Stuarts had been finally driven from England his bones 
were laid at Dinton, near those of his master, Simon Mayne, 
who died in the Tower of London in 1661. 

Among the Bucks regicides Colonel Richard Deane played 
the greatest part after the king's death. He was related to 
Cromwell and Hampden, and enjoyed the intimate friend- 
ship and confidence of the Protector. After some sea- 
faring experience and as a subaltern of artillery, he was 
made Comptroller of the Ordnance, and contributed 
greatly to the victories at Naseby and Worcester, in 
Scotland, and in Ireland. As admiral and general at sea 
he did much to improve the navy as he had before im- 
proved the artillery, and fought the Dutch with Blake 
and Monck. In a naval engagement off the North Fore- 
land in 1653 one of the first shots struck Deane, and he fell 
where he stood. Monck threw a cloak over his dead friend, 
and after a two-days' fight the Dutch fleet was routed. The 


highest honours were bestowed on the admiral's body : after 
lying in state at Greenwich he was buried in Henry VII's 
chapel in Westminster Abbey ; but in common with 
Blake, his remains were dug up again after the Restoration. 

Adrian Scrope lived to meet with a more tragic fate. 
He, too, distinguished himself in the Civil War, and raised 
a troop of horse for the Parliament ; he married Mary 
Waller of Beaconsfield, a cousin of the poet. In his beauti- 
ful old home, Wormsley, on the border-line of Bucks and 
Oxon., folded away hi the wooded slopes of the Chilterns, 
there is a fine portrait of Scrope by Walker. He was tried 
after the Restoration ; he is described as a comely ancient 
gentleman ; he defended himself with dignity and modera- 
tion, but he was hung with all insulting cruelty, which he 
bore, while life lasted, with cheerful courage. 

About the time of the king's execution the troops 
quartered in Bucks were being moved to Ireland. The 
cruel story of that war does not concern us, except that 
the officer in command of Ormonde's regiment at Drogheda 
was Sir Edmund Verney of Claydon (a younger son of the 
standard-bearer), who was treacherously murdered after the 
surrender of the town. The hopes of the Cavaliers revived 
when Charles II was crowned in Scotland and invaded 
England, but his army was entirely routed by Cromwell 
at Worcester on September 3, 1651. Cromwell's own letter to 
the Parliament calls this ' a crowning Mercy '. ' What the 
slain are I can give you no account . . . but they are very 
many because the dispute was long, very near at hand and 
often at push of pike ; there are about six or seven thousand 
prisoners taken and 158 colours.' An old account says 
that the Lord General ' marched up in a triumphant 
manner to London driving 4,000 or 5,000 Prisoners like 
sheep before him '. Among them was Sir John Packington, 
lord of the manor of Aylesbury, on whom a heavy fine was 
imposed and whose mansion at Aylesbury was demolished. 
Cromwell entered the town with the pomp and display 
of a conqueror ; all the troops quartered in the neigh- 
bourhood were assembled to make a great military 
spectacle ; the streets were filled with the unfortunate 
prisoners. Outside the town commissioners met him to 
convey to him the formal thanks of Parliament. ' Crom- 

From a picture at Wormsley, by permission of F. W. Fane Esq. 


well received the deputation with all kindness and respect 
and rode with them across the fields,' where Mr. Winwood, 
who was a-hawking, met them, and the Lord General went 
a little out of his way to enjoy the hawking,' a sport he was 
very partial to. ' They then came to Aylesbury where 
they had much discourse as they supped together/ and 
the next day the tragic cavalcade went on to London. 

After Worcester it seemed that the country was about 
to settle down, Cavalier and Roundhead together, with 
some mutual respect ; Richard Hampden was in Cromwell's 
Upper House ; the Speaker of Barebones' Parliament had 
become Provost of Eton. Sir Richard Temple had large 
parties to hunt the stag in the park at Stowe. Colonel 
Henry Verney, who had fought for the king, met Richard 
Cromwell and Claypole (Cromwell's son-in-law) at country- 
house shooting-parties ; Sir Ralph Verney returned from 
exile and began repairing his home and stocking his garden ; 
but Cromwell found it impossible to govern either with 
or without a parliament. Royalist plots against his life 
were many and avowed, and men began again to look 
askance at their neighbours. There was a curious instance 
of this at Aylesbury in 1655. 

Mr. Henn, an active justice of the peace and a seques- 
trator, noted two strangers who had ridden into the town, 
mud-splashed and travel-stained, and had put up at the 
White Hart Inn, an old gabled house on the site of the 
present market behind the Town Hall. How picturesque 
the Aylesbury inns were then we can judge by the old 
buildings of the ' King's Head '. 

The justice bustled in and, calling the host Gilvey, 
a well-known Cromwellian, plied him with questions about 
his guests, inspected the tired horses with their handsome 
trappings, and charged him to lock the stable-door that 
the strangers should not be able to get away till he had 
examined them in the morning. The host, not too pleased 
to have his guests interfered with, locked the door and 
put the key in his pocket, and the justice went home to 
supper. Later his guests sent for Gilvey and threw them- 
selves on his mercy ; they were two important Cavaliers, 
the Earl of Rochester and Sir Nicholas Armourer, who had 
come over to reconnoitre and to report to the king over the 


water. They told him that it would be quite easy to 
betray them to certain death, but what good would that 
be to him, they would rather trust themselves to his 
compassion. The host replied that he had given his word 
to detain their horses till the morning, and that his word 
must be kept ; but that if in the night they chose to steal 
two nags of his he should know nothing about it. The 
gentlemen gave him a gold chain and a pocketful of gold 
coins ; at midnight they got up, noiselessly mounted two 
horses in another stable ready saddled and bridled, and after 
creeping through the dark silent town, they galloped to 
London. Here Lord Rochester disguised himself by wearing 
a large flaxen wig and speaking French, and when pursuit 
was over they both rejoined Charles at Cologne. 

Meanwhile at Aylesbury there was blank dismay, the 
justice duly came in the morning, the key of the stables 
was safe in the host's pocket, there were the horses, but 
the bedroom, hastily searched, was found empty. The 
justice stormed and reported to the Government, who 
blamed him for not securing the men overnight the host 
had no explanation to offer. Years after, when Lord 
Rochester was on the winning side, he built a large room 
on to the White Hart Inn ; the host Gilvey was sent for 
to court by Charles II and had no reason to repent that he 
had kept the laws of hospitality unbroken. 

All over the county the Royalist squires and others who 
had never been Royalists were at the mercy of informers and 
panic-mongers. In the midst of his quiet and useful life 
Sir Ralph Verney was arrested in June 1655 : ' being now 
brought to Town,' he writes, ' with divers Lords and other 
persons of quality for we know not what . . . and though 
I must confess the Soldiers that took me at Claydon used 
me very civilly yet they took all the Pistolls and Swords 
in the house, and carried me to Northampton thence to 
Brickhill and London.' x He was confined in St. James's 
Palace and tried to make a joke of it. ' The Protector 
hath highly obliged me in sending for me from my own 
cottage to lodge me in his Palace, with a guard upon 
me day and night which is usual to none but Princes.' 
The shock was great to every one at Claydon. Will 
Roades, the steward who vainly tried to see his master 


again, sent him up a letter, full of pious consolation, together 
with a venison pasty. Mr. Stafford of Winslow and others 
of Sir Ralph's neighbours were also in confinement ; ' for 
these country gentlemen accustomed to do all their business 
on horseback it was most irksome and unwholesome to be 
penned up in London during the summer months, and one 
after another suffered in health.' l At the assizes at Bucking- 
ham, the judge hi his charge defended the Protector's 
action, and assured the Grand Jury that no innocent 
person would eventually suffer. 

They were kept until October, and released on what Sir 
Ralph termed ' barbarous conditions ' ; they promised ' to 
abstain from plotting against the Government, and to give 
information against those who did so '. 

The county was now divided into districts each under 
a major-general, who commanded the militia, with a body 
of commissioners who were charged to get returns of 
all property held by Royalists to be supertaxed to meet 
the heavy expenses rendered necessary, it was alleged, 
by their plots against the Government. 1 Sir Ralph had 
scarcely settled at home when he found himself, with forty 
others, summoned to appear before Fleetwood, the major- 
general at Aylesbury, sitting with half the gentlemen of 
the county as judges, to assess the other half, their friends 
and neighbours, as delinquents. ' For the community at 
large the danger lay in the growing habit of the executive, 
strong in military support, to deal out penalties at its own 
will and pleasure.' 

Dreadful heart-burnings ensued, some petitioned the 
Protector, only to be referred back to the major-general. 
Mr. William Smith of Akeley was one of the sufferers, and 
had to pay a tenth of his income. It would have comforted 
the Bucks squires who rode away from the ' George ' in 
Aylesbury with such unpleasant documents buttoned under 
their riding coats, could they have foreseen how soon these 
military tribunals were to be swept away when Parliament 
met. But the intense irritation they had caused, uniting 
men of opposite parties in a common grievance, did much, 
even in a county like Bucks, to reconcile the squires on the 
Puritan side to a Stuart Restoration. ' There were few 
indeed who would not have joined with Thomas Stafford 


in his daily petition to our Heavenly Father that He would 
grant us a speedy deliverance out of the power of the 
major-generals and restore us to the protection of the 
common law.' 1 

Colonel Richard Beke of Haddenham, descended from 
Queen Elizabeth's chief equerry, was a man of mark during 
the Protectorate ; he was the last man knighted by Richard 
Cromwell before the Restoration. He made his peace with 
the Stuarts and was M.P. for Aylesbury and later for 
Wendover ; he is buried at Dinton, where his old age was 

Out of this welter of conflicting opinions, religious and 
political, eccentric figures emerge, who seem like caricatures 
of the earnest men, suffering for righteousness' sake in both 
camps, yet utterly sincere. Such a man was Robert Crab, 
another Bucks hermit, born at Buckingham, of a much 
more intellectual type than John Biggs. 

He fought for seven years in the Parliamentary army ; 
he was a deeply religious man, a mystic, a fanatical vege- 
tarian, and devoted to animals, whom he could not bear to 
see ill-treated. From eating roots he took to a watery 
broth thickened with bran ; as a pudding he prescribed 
turnip leaves chopped up with bran ; he finally settled 
down to a simple regime of dock leaves and grass. He 
lived on three farthings a week, wearing ' a sackcloth frock 
with no band on his neck ' in a hut of his own building. 2 
Crab preached, disputed, and meditated, and while digging 
up his parsnips saw ' visions of the Paradise of God '. He 
dabbled in astrology and medicine, and had at one time 
120 patients. His diet rules gave great offence to well-fed 
ministers and physicians ; he was denounced at Chesham 
' as a witch ', and imprisoned for a time at Clerkenwell 
without any food at all, until a good dog brought him a bit 
of bread. He wrote his own life as the Wonder of the Age ; 
he published a violent theological book called Dagon's Down- 
fall, and another attacking the Quakers ; he foretold the 
Restoration and the coming of William III, and became 
a prophet of some repute. He removed himself and his 
hermitage in old age to Bethnal Green, where he died, and 
was buried in Stepney Church in 1680. 

But in spite of his various callings as soldier, doctor, 


prophet, author, vegetarian and hermit, Crab would have 
been long forgotten, had he not set up at Chesham, on 
leaving the army, as a ' haberdasher of hats '. He pros- 
pered greatly, but he persisted in praying behind his 
counter, and in 1651 he sold his shop and all his goods to 
give to the poor, and after such outrageous proceedings, 
won the immortal nickname of the Mad Hatter. He is, 
therefore, the undoubted ancestor of the fourth guest who 
took tea in Wonderland, with Alice, the Dormouse, and the 
March Hare ; and he furnishes us with a link between the 
troublous times of the Commonwealth in Bucks, and the 
most charming fairy tale of our own day. 

1 Verney Memoirs. 2 Diet. Nat. Biog. 


ONE of the most dramatic moments in English history- 
was the Restoration of the exiled Charles II on his thirtieth 
birthday by the acclamations of the nation that had defeated 
him in a hard fought fight and beheaded his father. 

The news from London roused the whole country ; ' such 
universal acclamations of wild and sober joy I never yet 
saw,' wrote Mr. Butterfield, Rector of Claydon, in those 
bright May days of 1660, ' we had our bonfire and bells 
ringing even at Claydon ; heaven and earth seem to con- 
spire to make a fair and fruitful spring of plenty and joy 
to this poor kingdom. The fields and pastures' begin to 
put on their best dress as if to entertain His Majesty and 
make him in love with his native soil.' l Men who had tried 
to be neutral no\V furbished up the rusty memory of a 
Royalist ancestor ; William Abell, the Squire of East 
Claydon, began making a collection for ' the poore King ', 
and Mr. Townshend, Rector of Radcliffe, stirred up the 
clergy to do the same ; but in a countryside so impoverished 
this was considered officious and uncalled for. The Bucks 
peers were resplendent in new robes, the Bucks squires 


trooped up to the coronation, and wrote home to less 
fortunate friends that the gallantry and lustre of this great 
solemnity ' no pen nor ink can express '. Ribbons and 
titles were lavishly bestowed. The defender of Hillesden 
became Sir William Smith ; Thomas Lee of Hart well, 
Richard Ingoldsby of Lenborough, Sir Ralph Verney of 
Claydon, and Henry Andrewes of Lathbury, were made 
baronets. Dr. James Fleetwood of Chalfont St. Giles was 
the first chaplain in ordinary to the king ; Captain Peter 
Dayrell received a knighthood in the order of the Royal 
Oak. The trained bands met at Winslow under Captain 
Edmund Stafford, with 'the Colours, Leading Staff, Partizans, 
Halberts, Muskets, and drums ' to be trained ' according 
to the modern discipline of war ', the county also raised 
a ' Volunteer Troop of Horse ' to meet at Aylesbury. Bell- 
ringing and fireworks were the order of the day, the theatres 
were re-opened, horse-racing, bull-baiting, and cock-fighting 
were again in vogue. One voice indeed was raised to warn 
the nation that we were ' losing by a strange after-game of 
folly all the battles we have won, all the treasure we have 
spent ', but no one heeded the blind prophet. Milton's 
political writings were ordered by the House of Commons 
to be publicly burnt, with whatever of contempt the action 
of the common hangman could bestow. f 

Many devoted Royalists had died before seeing the return 
of the Stuarts, for whom they had suffered so much. Among 
these was Sir Anthony Chester, of Chicheley (1593-1651), 
who fought at Naseby, and lent Charles I large sums of 
money. His fine house was defaced and ruined, and he fled 
to Holland, but crept back to die at home, and was buried 
at Chicheley with his forefathers. 

The loyal and long-exiled clergy returned to their bene- 
fices, the Prayer Book was restored to the churches, Sir 
Ralph Verney, and probably many other laymen, presented 
their parish priests with new surplices, trees were given 
to the church at Winslow 'towards the making of a 
gallery'. 1 

The country parsons of Bucks had suffered less than in 
other counties during the Presbyterian rule. Peel, Vicar 
of Wycombe, had been ' absolutely the first man of all the 
clergy whom the party began to fall upon ', and Oakeley, 


Vicar of Hillesden, had shared the imprisonment of the 
Dentons ; only nine clergymen seem to have been actually 
dispossessed, but there were many sad stories here as else- 

Matthew Bate, Rector of Maids Moreton and Leckham- 
stead, died in 1642, broken-hearted, after seeing his beautiful 
church at Maids Moreton wrecked by Colonel Purefoy and 
his soldiers. The parish register records that ' the windows 
were broken, a costly desk ... a spread eagle gilt, on which 
Bp. Jewell's works used to be laid, doomed to perish 
as an abominable idol & the Cross (which with its fall had 
like to have broke out the brains of him who did it) was cut 
off the steeple '. Lillingstone Dayrell Church was also 
injured by soldiers, who destroyed the font and did other 
damage. 2 

George Roberts, Rector of Hambleden, was one of the 
ejected clergy in 1642 ; he was sent for by the House of 
Commons as a delinquent, but fled to the king at Oxford ; 
he survived the Restoration by a few months only. A 
monument in Hambleden Church preserves the memory of 
his sorrows and of his restoration ' by the never to be 
forgotten mercy of His Majesty's return '. 

John Barton, Vicar of Aylesbury, was driven out in 
1645, but he received shelter at Wotton House, where he 
acted as chaplain to Mr. Grenville. 

John Gregory of Amersham (1607-1646), a distinguished 
linguist and scholar, had no such friend, and died in an 
obscure ale-house in the greatest poverty. 

Dr. Dillon of Shenley ' died in jail ; he was a person of 
great learning and of a good life and conversation '. 

John Fournesse was driven out of his living at Great 
Marlow, but reinstated after the Restoration. 

Anthony Tyringham, Rector of Tyringham, had a worse 
fate. He was robbed and wounded by soldiers in a brutal 
fashion near Whitechurch, so that when he reached Ayles- 
bury on a dark November night, ' the Surgeons were forced 
to cut off his arm.' ' He bore the loss,' writes a good 
Royalist,' with incredible patience and magnanimity, telling 
the rebels that notwithstanding all their ill usage of him he 
hoped he should live to see them hang'd.' He failed in 
his hope. 


Gilbert Sheldon was Rector of Ickford in 1636, which he 
held with another living ; he was a man of strong character 
and practical ability ; a personal friend of Charles I. 
Sheldon was turned out of his cure in 1647, and for a time 
imprisoned ; he remained in hiding in Derbyshire, and 
collected money for the royal cause. After the Restoration 
he was made Bishop of London, and then Archbishop of 
Canterbury, and set himself with great energy to help the 
poorer clergy, and to take up Laud's work in the church. 
He remained at Lambeth during the worst time of the 
plague, preserving numbers of poor people alive who must 
otherwise have perished ; he raised a fund for rebuilding 
St. Paul's after the fire, to which he gave largely. 

In 1676 the Archbishop had a religious census taken, 
from which it is possible to obtain returns for almost every 
Bucks parish. The population of the county was computed 
at 68,618, of whom only 364 were Romanists, 3,862 Non- 
conformists, and some 64,364 attended their parish churches. 
Sheldon never married, and delighted to devote his large 
income to ' public, pious uses '. He employed Sir Chris- 
topher Wren to build at a cost of 25,000 the Sheldonian 
Theatre at Oxford, in which on great occasions the Uni- 
versity degrees are still conferred. As he had comforted 
Charles I in his adversity, so he fearlessly rebuked 
Charles II and his wicked court ; his known generosity and 
disinterestedness gave him great influence in the country. 
In Bucks the former Rector of Ickford was known as a 
cruel religious persecutor, together with the Lord Lieute- 
nant, the Earl of Bridgwater, also an excellent man ; in 
their day, alas, persecution stood for religious zeal, and 
toleration was held to be indifference. Such men ' were 
creating day by day the martyrology of dissent '. 

Many of the ' intruded clergy ' had ministered in their 
parishes with great devotion for sixteen or seventeen years ; 
when, in 1662, the Act of Uniformity was passed, only a 
few conformed, the greater number left home and cure and 
went out penniless into the world as bravely as their pre- 
decessors had done, and became known as Nonconformists. 

So on both sides there was much suffering for righteous- 
ness' sake. A typical case was that of Samuel Clarke ; his 
father and grandfather were clergymen, and he was brought 


up for holy orders from the time he was a Cambridge 
undergraduate ; he worked at an annotated Bible, a well- 
known and useful book in its day. Refusing to take the 
engagement of fidelity to the Commonwealth, he was turned 
out of a fellowship ; he was afterwards appointed Rector of 
Grendon Underwood by Squire Pigott of Doddershall. 1 He 
was an excellent preacher, and loved his garden, his grape 
vines, and his books, but he was so much opposed to the 
arbitrary action of the Church after the Restoration, that 
he and his two sons resigned their livings in 1662, and 
subsequent persecutions drove him further from Epis- 
copacy. Philip, Lord Wharton, provided him a home at 
Winchendon, [where he never gave ' the least umbrage of 
suspicion '. But some years later he was seized in his old 
parish by ' Lord Brackley's Troopers ', and detained at the 
Red Lion Inn, Aylesbury, whence he appealed to Sir Ralph 
Verney, as a magistrate, to be either tried or released. He 
at length found a refuge at High Wycombe, where in Puritan 
phrase he founded ' a gathered church ' in his own house ; 
h.e died suddenly while leading the prayers of his people in 
1701, and was buried in the parish church. 

Mr. Nathaniel Vincent, ejected from Langley Marish, 
went up to London just after the great fire, and preached 
' to large multitudes in the ruins '. His popularity brought 
him into adverse notice, ' red-coat soldiers ' were sent to 
disperse his hearers ; once ' they rudely pull'd him out of 
the pulpit by the hair of the head after they had planted 
four muskets at the four corners of his pulpit, with which 
he seemed not terrified. He endured long periods of imprison 
ment, aggravated by severe attacks of ague, when he con- 
soled himself by writing A Covert from the Storm, a book 
' to encourage the Fearful in times of suffering '. 

John Gibbs, vicar of Newport Pagnell, being ejected 
from the living, remained on in the town, where a con- 
gregation gathered round him and held him in high esteem ; 
George Swinho, 'of St. Leonards, settled at Princes Ris- 
borough, where he too ministered to those who came to 
him. Mr. Bennet, ejected from Waddesdon, preached 
privately in Aylesbury. These and many more good men 
were lost to the Church. 

Matthew Mead, of a Soulbury family, held the Duncombe 

986'4 K 


living at Great Brickhill during the Commonwealth ; 
Cromwell promoted him to Shadwell, but being ejected in 
1662, he retired to Holland. In 1674 a great meeting- 
house was built for him at Stepney, to which he contributed 
four large pillars, the gift of the States General ; he died 
in 1699. 

The Dissenters were treated with still greater rigour. 
Benjamin Keach (1640 to 1704) was a well-known Baptist 
minister. He was born of poor parents at Stoke Hammond, 
and baptized in the parish church ; later, under the influ- 
ence of John Russell, a Baptist minister at Chesham, he 
was baptized again at fifteen, and worked as a tailor. At 
the age of nineteen Keach became a zealous preacher ; in 
1664 he was seized and imprisoned for preaching at Winslow, 
where he had found his wife, Jane Grove, and where he 
ministered in a humble little chapel in Pillars' Ditch. He 
had not long been released, when he was arrested again for 
writing and printing the Child's Instructor, a Baptist 
catechism. He was tried at Aylesbury before Sir Robert 
Hyde, sent to prison without bail, and sentenced ' to stand 
in the pillory at Aylesbury in the open market ', and again 
in the pillory at Winslow, where his ' seditious and veno- 
mous book ' was to be burnt before his face, and he was 
fined 20. 4 Another time, while he was preaching at 
Winslow, the little meeting-house was surrounded, Keach 
was seized, and with much violence and indignity tied 
across a horse, and so taken again to Aylesbury. The 
bitterness of the trial was increased by the knowledge that 
the Rector of Stoke Hammond, who had been appointed 
under the Commonwealth, and had just conformed, was the 
one to inform against him. In 1668 Keach took refuge in 
London, but he was a man of too much originality to please 
any authority. He published a collection of hymns and 
first introduced congregational singing in his chapel, which 
the London Baptist Association of 1689 condemned as 
' a carnal formality '. His brother, Henry Keach, a miller 
at Soulbury, had sometimes a meeting in his mill of one 
hundred, ' all mean people,' as their persecutors described 
them ; and from thence John Griffith and Jonathan 
Jennings were sent to Aylesbury Gaol. The name remains 
in Reach's Meeting House and burial ground at Winslow, 


one of the oldest dissenting chapels still existing in Bucks. 
His little persecuted flock met at Granborough, Oving, and 
North Marston in private houses, taught by John Hartnell, 
a thatcher of North Marston. 

There was a strange character, Richard Carpenter (1609- 
1670), born at Newport Pagnell, whose life was a pro- 
gression by antagonism. Sent by the Pope as a Benedictine 
to convert England, he became an Independent minister : 
after abusing the Church of England, to which he once 
belonged, and the Baptists against whom he wrote a 
pamphlet, in the coarse humour of the time, called ' Anabap- 
tists washt, and washt, and shrunk in the Washing ' ; he 
preached at Aylesbury with some ability and notoriety, 
and returned finally into the Roman fold. 

Churchmen and Dissenters agreed in hatred and persecu- 
tion of the Quakers. The historian, Lecky, calls them * an 
eccentric but most admirable sect which will always be 
remembered for its noble services to the causes of religious 
toleration and the abolition of slavery.' In later times 
they have been distinguished by their great benevolence, 
the quaint, quiet decorum of their manners, their austere 
morality, and their protests against wasteful luxury and 
ostentation. They refused to take oaths, to pay tithes, or 
to enter the army, and they also objected to things which 
seemed quite harmless to ordinary people. They would 
not use the names of the months or of the days of the 
week, because some of them were called after heathen gods ; 
they said thee and thou instead of you, and they would 
not take off their hats in salutation, or use any title of 

George Fox, the founder of the Society of Friends, was 
intended to be a clergyman, but he found no rest in the 
churches who were ' refuting and reviling each other ' 
He would sit with his Bible in an orchard, or walk about 
the fields thinking deeply and in silence ; he spent some 
time at Newport Pagnell, and wandered about this and 
other counties, where ' his strange face, his irremoveable 
hat, and his leather breeches were well known.' In 1657 
Isaac Penington heard Fox preach, and he and his wife, 
formerly Lady Springett, publicly joined the society. 
Penington was a man of good family and fortune, well 

K 2 


known in South Bucks. He lived first at Datchet, then at 
The Grange, Chalfont St. Giles, where the Quakers met for 
worship before the meeting-house at Jordans was built. 
A young man, Thomas Ellwood, lived in the house for 
seven years, as tutor to the children. Penington was a very 
clever man, and of transparent modesty and gentleness. 
In 1660 he was in Aylesbury Gaol with seventy other 
Quakers ; they were confined in a decayed building ' not fit 
for a dog-house ', which in the year of the great plague 
became a dreadful centre of infection. Penington, who had 
neither strong health nor high spirits, yet bore his suffer- 
ings and privations so gallantly, that he cheered up all his 
fellow prisoners. Mary Penington took a small house in 
Aylesbury to be near her husband in this anxious time. 
He had bitterly offended the Earl of Bridgwater by refusing 
to bow or to call him my Lord ; the Grange was confiscated, 
and when at last he was released by the Court of King's 
Bench, ' with the wonder of the Court that a man could be 
so long imprisoned for nothing,' he settled at Woodside, 
near Amersham. There were times when all the adult 
Quakers were in prison, and the meetings were kept up by 
the children. 

Thomas Ellwood, Milton's friend and reader, the tutor in 
Penington's family, was another of the Bucks Quakers. 
He, too, knew well the horrors of the Aylesbury Gaol ; he 
was sent there once with Penington and others for no 
offence but that of attending a Quaker's funeral at Amer- 
sham. He wrote an account of his own life and several 
religious books, and died at Hanger Hill, near Amersham. 
Wycombe Quakers Littleboy, Trone, Cock, Steevens, and 
others also suffered imprisonment ' in a loathsome dungeon 
in Frogmore Ward ', and Zachary, a Beaconsfield Quaker, 
was heavily fined for attending a service. 

Meanwhile a more famous man, William Perm, a scholar 
and statesman, the son of a distinguished admiral, had 
joined the Quakers and married Penington's stepdaughter, 
Gulielma Springett ; a maiden ' clothed ', it was said, 
' with soft and angelic radiance.' Perm's career belongs to 
the general history of the seventeenth century : he founded 
the Quaker State of Pennsylvania, the only settlement of 
Europeans in America made without force of arms, and 


with due regard to the rights of the natives. After his 
many long journeys, William Penn died in England, and 
was buried at Jordans, where his two wives and his 
friends, Isaac Penington and Thomas Ellwood, had been 
already laid. This little meeting-house of Jordans, with 
its graveyard, is the most sacred spot on earth to the 
Society of Friends, and is still visited by many pilgrims 
from America. 

In Newport Pagnell, where Fox preached, some honoured 
names are still connected with the Church he founded ; 
there are old meeting-houses at Buckingham and Olney ; 
there were little bodies of Friends in many of the villages, 
but their conscientious objection to paying tithes has 
caused their removal from the agricultural districts. 

In the course of years many extravagances of enthusiasm 
and many eccentricities of dress and manners have been 
abandoned, but the Friends have taught a quarrelsome and 
noisy world the beauty of peace and mercy, of patience, 
gravity, and silence. 

1 Verney Memoirs. 2 Lipscombe, County History. 

3 Diet. Nat. Biog. 4 Clear, History of Winslow. 



THE story of the three Whartons who are connected with 
the county as Baron, Marquis, and Duke is one of extra- 
ordinary contrasts and vicissitudes of fortune ; of wealth, 
talent, and popularity used and abused. 

From ' the good Lord Wharton ', the Roundhead of the 
Civil War, to his grandson the Jacobite Duke, who died 
outlawed and worn out at the age of thirty-two, the 
three generations of statesmen, soldiers, sportsmen and 
spendthrifts exemplified all that fortune could bestow of 
dignity and of misery. 


In Wooburn Church there is a gravestone to Arthur, 
' only son while he lived, to Philip Lord Wharton, born and 
died in 1641, aged 9 months ' 

' Let an infant teach the man 
Since this life is but a span 
Use it so, as thou mayest be 
Happy in the next with me.' 

The quaint doggerel is in grotesque contrast with the lives 
of the baby's brothers and nephew. 

The Whartons had been settled for generations in York- 
shire and Westmoreland, but Philip, fourth Baron Wharton 
(born 1613), lived in South Bucks, at Wooburn House, which 
he enlarged at great expense. 

There is a beautiful portrait by Vandyck of Philip Lord 
Wharton as a shepherd-boy, which has strayed away as 
far as to St. Petersburg. He was one of the handsomest 
men of his time, and was proud of his fine legs in dancing. 
He collected pictures, and was a lover of architecture and 
of gardening ; but, though his tastes inclined him to become 
a fine gentleman and a courtier, he threw in his lot with 
the Puritans, and incurred the special displeasure of King 
Charles and Strafford for his share in a petition against 
the billeting of soldiers in private houses. He was a pro- 
minent member of the House of Lords during the Long 
Parliament ; a friend of Cromwell, Hampden, the Good- 
wins, and the Verneys ; he was made Lord-Lieutenant of 
Bucks in 1642, and later in the same year took the field 
under the Earl of Essex for the Parliament, and fought at 
Edgehill. He was sent by Essex to give a report of the 
battle to a Committee of the Two Houses and the Lord 
Mayor in the City. With much frankness he acknowledged 
that his own regiment of young soldiers ran away, but 
saved their colours ; and he gave an account of the death 
of his friend and neighbour, Sir Edmund Verney, the 
standard-bearer. When the king was defeated, Wharton 
inclined to mercy, and strongly disapproved of his execu- 

His second wife (married 1637) was Jane, daughter of 
Arthur Goodwin, at whose death they inherited the fine 
estate of Winchendon ; she brought him many sons and 


daughters. He was in mourning for her loss at the time of 
the Restoration, ' but to give his black a look of joy on that 
occasion, his buttons were so many diamonds.' Though 
he welcomed Charles II, he was suspected by the Govern- 
ment, and his married daughter, Lady Willoughby de 
Eresby, crossing over the ferry at Lambeth, heard the other 
passengers discussing the Act of Grace, and saying that 
her father's name would be left out of it, though Sir Christo- 
pher Pigott and other Bucks Roundheads were included. 
Being a wise woman she held her tongue, but made her 
husband go at once to the king, and so earnestly did he 
plead his cause that Lord Wharton was pardoned, and very 

He loyally served King Charles, disagreed with James II, 
and was one of the first peers to welcome William III. He 
lived to be eighty-three, and to moralize on the shrunken 
condition of the legs he was once so proud of. He left money 
for 1,050 Bibles and catechisms to be given to the children, 
at Waddesdon and Wooburn and elsewhere, who had learnt 
by heart seven specified psalms ; the books were to be 
bound in calfskin and sheepskin to benefit the farming 

Thomas, first Marquess of Wharton, born 1648, was 
entirely unlike his father, though they were much attached 
to each other. His boyhood during the Commonwealth was 
passed abroad, ' amid Geneva bands, heads of lank hair, 
upturned eyes, and sermons three hours long,' but he broke 
away violently from all Puritan traditions. He was very 
popular and sociable, full of fun and wit, but quite unprin- 
cipled ; a sportsman, a gambler, and a keen fighting 
politician. He was elected M.P. for Wendover at the age of 
twenty -five, and married in the same year sweet Anne Lee 
of Ditchley, a considerable heiress, a cultivated and charm- 
ing woman, whose skill as a poetess won for her the admira- 
tion of Dryden and Waller, and the friendship of Bishop 
Burnet. ' Tom Wharton ' treated her with scant respect ; 
when their marriage contract was to be signed he put off 
starting till the last possible moment, and then drove 
twenty-two miles in two hours, rattling over shocking roads, 
and just saved the situation. His wife's dowry enabled him 
to cut a great figure at Newmarket and at Quainton and 


Newport races, and he prided himself in the possession of 
a famous racehorse, ' Careless,' * which Louis XIV had 
vainly tried to buy. His horses were magnificently lodged 
at Winchendon House, with carved mangers and racks, and 
stucco and gilded ceilings to the stables. The letters of the 
time are full of Tom and his brother Harry Wharton, their 
hard riding and driving, and feasting, their brawls and 
duels and practical jokes, but Tom Wharton had a more 
serious side, and was the popular hero of a famous Bucks 
election. He was a strong Protestant and Whig, and had 
brought up from the Commons to the Bar of the Lords the 
Bill to exclude James, as a Catholic, from succeeding to the 

The general election which followed the death of Charles II 
in 1685 was keenly contested in Bucks. Sir Ralph Verney 
and his cousin, Sir Richard Temple, who had won Bucking- 
ham for the Whigs in 1681, stood again for the two seats 
which, down to 1832, depended on the votes of thirteen 
burgesses ; the Tory candidates were Lord Latimer and 
Sir John Busby of Addington. At Amersham ' the town 
was full of Ale and Noise and Tobacco ' 2 ; at Aylesbury 
the Whig candidates were quarrelling among themselves. 
The roads, and even the green lanes, were alive with riders 
and rumbling coaches taking the numerous candidates 
about. In the picturesque manor houses by the wayside 
the gentry kept a supply of ' sherry-sack, sugar, and 
nutmeg' to give their friends a stirrup-cup as they rode 
past. But the borough contests paled before the excitement 
of the county election, in which all the influence of the 
Crown was to be pitted against that of the Whartons. 
Judge Jeffreys had bought Bulstrode Manor House, where 
in 1678 Charles II stayed with him and drank his health 
seven times in succession, and he was already notorious in 
the county. He took charge of the contest ; the Government 
candidate was Thomas Hackett, ' an unknown young 
gentleman of Newport Pagnell '. Sir Ralph Verney writes 
how ' my Lord Chief Justice like a torrent carries all 
before him ' ; ' this demi-fiend, this hurricane of a man,' as 
the election ballads call him. Macaulay has told the story 
how Jeffreys, finding the Whartons too strong at Aylesbury, 
adjourned the poll to Newport ' in the heart of Mr. Hackett's 

From a picture at Claydon House 


country ' ; and how the Whigs arrived to find every 
available lodging and stable engaged, and food and pro- 
vender bought up. They were compelled to tie their horses 
to the hedges and to lie in the open fields ; but Jeffreys had 
misjudged his men, the Bucks spirit was up, and Wharton 
and Lord Brackley were returned in triumph. 

After this the political influence of the Whartons was 
without a rival. Tom Wharton spared no expense at 
elections, kissed the babies, remembered all their names, 
and was considered a model candidate ! In later years his 
journeys through the county to Quarter Sessions resembled 
Royal Progresses. ' The bells of every parish were rung as 
he passed through, and flowers strewn along the road. ' With 
his versatile talents he dealt a shrewd blow at King James, 
writing a song known by its refrain of Lilliburlero, which, 
set to music by Purcell, was sung by the army, the town, 
and the country, and became such a powerful weapon on 
the popular side that Wharton boasted after the Revolution 
that he had sung a king out of three kingdoms ! 

He obtained high office under William and Mary ; he 
was Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland, and made Joseph Addison 
his secretary. 

Anne Wharton died soon after her husband's famous 
election ; she had occupied herself in writing religious 
poems and dramas ; by Bishop Burnet's advice she 
never sought for a separation ; she had no child to love 
her, and their splendid home was to her a sad and 
lonely one. 

Wharton's second wife, Lucy Loftus, brought him 
another large fortune ; William III, whom he entertained 
magnificently at Wooburn, stood sponsor, together with 
Princess Anne, to his only son, baptized at Winchendon. 
He had passed middle life when he succeeded his father in 
1696 ; he was made Marquess of Wharton for his political 
services, an honour he had enjoyed for two months only 
when his life and his plottings ended together in 1715. 
The most universal villain I ever knew ' was Swift's 
summary of his life, but Swift was his bitter enemy. Even 
his funeral (April 22, 1715) could not be carried through 
without a dramatic sensation. As the long black procession 
wound up the steep, green lanes to Winchendon, it was 


suddenly arrested by the strange darkness of a total eclipse. 3 
After the first moments of consternation, the country 
people must have felt that the sun had fittingly marked the 
greatness of the occasion, when Death ventured to remove 
the splendid Marquess of Wharton. 

His son Philip, a spoilt child of fortune, with the family 
ability and good looks, was created Duke of Wharton by 
George I, and then, out of mere perverseness, he intrigued 
with the exiled court at St. Germains. 

He deserted his young wife, and dissipated his great 
fortune in speculation and foolish extravagance. He sold 
his Buckinghamshire estates, and his grandfather's fine 
collection of pictures. He went abroad, dabbled in diplo- 
macy and soldiering, professed himself a Catholic, fought 
against his countrymen at Gibraltar, and was indicted for 
high treason. His last three years were spent in rambling 
about Europe in beggary, drunkenness, and absolute 
destitution. The doles he received from the Pretender were 
at once squandered or absorbed by a clamorous rabble of 
creditors. This English duke died miserably in a Franciscan 
convent in Spain, in 1731, and Pope drew his portrait in 
some famous lines : 

' Wharton, the scorn and wonder of our days ! ' &c. 

With the Duke of Wharton's death all his titles became 
extinct ; of the great house at Upper Winchendon, with 
its stately gardens and orange-trees, not a vestige remains ; 
but the Bibles and Catechisms, whose precepts were so 
flagrantly disregarded, are still given to the children in the 
name of the ' Good Lord Wharton '. 

1 Diet. Nat. Biog. 2 Verney Memoirs. 3 Gough MSS. 




ANOTHER great Whig family, contemporary with the 
Whartons, but with much finer traditions of public duty 
and of home affection, was that of the Russells of Chenies. 
When the head of the family settled at Woburn Abbey 
and became Duke of Bedford, the Russells were chiefly 
associated with another county, but Bucks still holds their 
graves. Froude, in his Short Studies, describes the Russell 
chapel at Chenies built in 1556, with its fine series of 
monuments ; for three centuries and a half the Russells 
have led the way in political and social progress. ' They 
rose with the Reformation. They furnished a martyr for 
the Revolution of 1688.' ' To know the lives of the dead 
Russells is to know English history for twelve generations.' x 

William Russell, Earl of Bedford, signed the Covenant in 
1645, but he retired to Woburn when the old landmarks 
were being submerged, and Charles I twice visited him 
there ; he is now chiefly remembered as the father of 
William Lord Russell (1639-1683), 'whom English con- 
stitutional history has selected to honour as its chief saint 
and martyr.' x His wife, Rachel Lady Russell, is one of the 
most beautiful figures in our history. The daughter of the 
Earl of Southampton, her mother's family, the de Ruvignys, 
were distinguished French Protestants, and were exiles in 
England on account of their faith. They were married in 
1669. Lady Russell refers to their home life as one of 
' sweet and full content '. In 1678 the ' Popish Terror ' 
disturbed all ranks of society, and caused Catherine of 
Braganza to be undeservedly suspected. Lady Russell 
writes from town to her husband at Woburn. (Her letters 
were left at the Brickhill post-office to be called for.) 
January 1, 1679. ' I ate porridge and partridge with my 
sister . . . made a dozen visits, and concluded at Whitehall, 
I learnt nothing there but that the Queen had cried heartily ; 
her eyes made it very visible, yet she was very lively.' 


Lord Russell sat long in Parliament as a silent member, and 
his marriage had brought him such unbroken happiness 
that neither he nor his wife wished to be involved in the 
intrigues which filled the last years of Charles II's reign. 
The king continued to be wonderfully popular, specially 
with those who knew him only from a distance, and in 
1681 High Wycombe, Aylesbury, Buckingham, Wendover, 
and Marlow vied with each other in swelling ' the glut of 
loyal addresses ' of the most fulsome flattery. 

Lord Russell had made a bitter enemy of the Duke of 
York by his opposition to any Roman Catholic coming 
to the throne, and when the Rye House Plot broke out in 
1683 he was suddenly arrested and tried for high treason. 
In this dreadful calamity Lady Russell's courage supported 
his own. She acted as his secretary during his trial, and 
left nothing undone to save him during the short interval 
between his sentence and his execution ; but she would not 
counsel him to make any unworthy denial of his principles 
to save his life, as some friends were urging him to do. 
Lord Russell depended upon her self-command, and this 
never failed him ; she helped him to part bravely with 
his children, and when they were gone she remained in the 
Tower to share his last evening meal, and they talked 
cheerfully together. At 10 o'clock she left him, he kissed 
her four or five times ; each anxious not to distress the 
other, they parted in composed silence. He sent her word 
in the morning that he had slept well, and hoped that she 
had done the same. He died nobly and patiently in the 
forty-fourth year of his age. His mother did not long 
survive him, and it fell to the young widow to care for 
her f ather-in-law, her little son, her two daughters, and 
her sister's motherless children. She devoted herself 
absolutely to the children's health and upbringing, and but 
rarely allowed herself any expression of the sorrow she 
always carried about with her. ' Yet secretly my heart 
mourns too sadly I fear,' 2 she writes to an old friend, ' and 
cannot be comforted because I have not the dear companion 
and sharer of all my joys and sorrows. I want him to talk 
with, to walk with, to eat and sleep with, all these things 
are irksome to me now ; the day unwelcome, and the night 
so too ; all company and meals I would avoid if it might be.' 


A sharp illness of her little boy made her realize that 
she had still something to lose, and that she had some- 
thing precious to live for when he grew ' exceedingly 
better '. 

Two years after Lord Russell's execution Charles II died, 
in February 1685. He was sincerely lamented in Bucks. 
Some of the country squires were anxious about their 
mourning, and whether black cloth or crape would be the 
more correct. They were assured that if they kept at home 
they might save ' the cost of blacks ', as the coronation of 
the new king would take place within three months ; and 
there were some loyal rejoicings on this occasion. 

But James II soon alienated his best friends. He offended 
the Bucks magistrates by dismissing their popular Lord- 
Lieutenant, the Earl of Bridgewater, who, as Lord Brackley, 
had won the famous election of 1685, and by appointing 
Jeffreys in his stead. Sir Thomas Tyrrell, Sir Thomas Lee, 
and Sir Ralph Verney were dismissed from the commission 
of the peace. Honours were heaped on the hated Jeffreys, 
now Lord Chancellor. James II and Mary of Modena went 
to dine with him at Bulstrode Manor, as Charles II had 
done before, where he was famed for his ' boisterous con- 
viviality ' When Jeffreys's son, aged thirteen, and of ' very 
low stature ', was married at Bulstrode to Lady Charlotte 
Herbert, only daughter of the Earl of Pembroke, ' 13 years 
of age and taller than her husband,' the Court and the 
Privy Council wore their wedding favours. 

In the summer of 1688 there were bonfires at Bucking- 
ham, and ' great acclamation of the people ' on the release 
of the seven bishops. In October Irish Catholic troops were 
being marched through Bucks to London, to the great 
displeasure of the county ; there were militia levies at 
Stony Stratford, and all the Buckingham trained bands 
were sent off to oppose the landing of the Prince of Orange. 3 
The next news frbm London was of strange confusion, 
' King, Queen, and Prince all gone, my Lord Chancellor 
and the Seal, and a world more gone or going.' There 
was great excitement in Buckingham when ' a calash 
dashed through with 2 gentlemen attended by 26 horsemen 
well armed and mounted', whose blue coats were lined 
with orange serge the new colour in English politics ; 

986-4 L 


and smart ladies were ordering orange silk for their petti- 
coats, and wore nothing but orange ribbons. The Lord 
Chancellor never returned to his Bucks home : he was recog- 
nized at Wapping disguised as a sailor, was with difficulty 
rescued from the mob and lodged in the Tower, where he 
died in April 1689, and was buried in the next grave to 

The Journal of Mr. Butterfield, Rector of Middle Claydon, 
shows how hardly the Bucks clergy were put to it to 
maintain the doctrines of passive obedience and non- 
resistance which they had been zealously preaching since 
the Restoration ; it was difficult to obey ' Nero ' when 
Nero was so bent on running away, but on the whole they 
shared the satisfaction of the laity in the Revolution. 2 

With better prospects of toleration the Quakers this 
winter opened their new meeting-house at Jordans, destined 
to be so famous. 

When the Convention met to offer the crown to 
William and Mary, Bucks again sent up all her stalwarts, 
most of whom, or their fathers, had fought for liberty in 
the Long Parliament. Among them was Sir William 
Scawen of Horton, three times M.P. for Bucks, a great 
merchant, and governor of the Bank of England. He 
emerged from his retirement to put his money, and his 
experience on ' 'Change ', at the service of the new sovereigns. 

In 1699 William III gave a large field at Boarstall, 
for the poor of Oakley and Brill, known as Poor Folk's 

Lady Russell had kept up an intimate correspondence 
with the Prince and Princess of Orange, whose respect for 
her was well known, and her influence was now sought 
by those who wished to stand well with the Court. One of 
the first acts of the new reign was to reverse the attainder 
of William Lord Russell; his father was made Duke of 
Bedford, his son became Marquess of Tavistock. Rachel 
Lady Russell saw her husband vindicated and his cause 
triumphant. She welcomed the friendship of Queen Mary 
for her married daughters, for herself she had nothing to 
ask. She had a great respect for William III, and when he 
died it was said that a letter from Lady Russell was found in 
his pocket. 



fc a 

M O 

S2 o 

a a 

H P 


Lady Russell lived to see her children's children and 
grandchildren, and retained her health and memory to her 
eighty-seventh year. There is a homely touch in a letter 
of hers in 1718 : ' Evening is creeping upon me, by the side of 
a grandchild, who was willing to take her dinner with me, 
her sister having taken physic, and she not loving boiled 

With her bright faith and long experience, she was the 
adviser and comforter of many. She was consulted as 
to the policy the Princess Anne should pursue at the 
time of her father's overthrow ; in family disagreements, 
especially between married couples, she was constantly 
implored to come and make peace. When the young 
heiress of East Claydon, Molly Verney, made a runaway 
match, it was Lady Russell who was appealed to, to per- 
suade her grandfather, Sir Ralph Verney, to forgive the 
culprit, and his last illness was brightened by her sympathy 
and prayers. 

Lady Russell had lived under five kings, two queens, 
and Oliver Cromwell ; she died in 1723 on a day she had 
always kept sacred, her husband's birthday, September 29, 
and she was laid beside him in the chapel at Chenies. 

Among the local occurrences of 1693 is noted the 
accidental drowning of Dr. Lewis Atterbury, on his journey 
home from London to Milton-Keynes, where he had been 
rector since 1657. An able man himself , he was the father 
of the famous Francis Atterbury, Bishop of Rochester 
(1662-1732), one of the most prominent of the Church of 
England divines at the close of the seventeenth and the 
early years of the eighteenth century, who took the opposite 
side to the Russells in the great controversies of the day, 
and, like them, suffered severely for his opinions. 

Born at the Rectory of Milton-Keynes and educated at 
Westminster, he had a brilliant career at Christ Church, 
and became one of the foremost preachers and con- 
troversialists of the High Church and Tory party. Atter- 
bury was a great favourite with both the Stuart queens, 
Mary and Anne ; he had a commanding figure and a 
graceful delivery. He became Dean of Carlisle and of 
Christ Church, then Bishop of Rochester and Dean of 
Westminster; he was a champion of the rights of the 


clergy in convocation, and a great debater and orator in 
the House of Lords. 

He officiated at the coronation of George I, but his 
heart was with the Stuarts ; and in 1720 he was arrested 
and accused of favouring a Jacobite rising. He was 
condemned, deprived of his ecclesiastical preferment, and 
banished in a very arbitrary manner, and in 1723 he left 
England never to return. 

He wrote to Pope from the Tower, bravely quoting his 
friend's fine lines : 4 

' Some natural tears he dropped, but wiped them soon ; 
The world was all before him where to choose 
His place of rest, and Providence his guide.' 

His life abroad was a sad one James was a master diffi- 
cult to serve ; and, less happy than Lord Russell, Atterbury 
lost a wife who was ' the inspiration of his youth and the 
solace of his riper years ' in the very crisis of his troubles. 
He died in France in 1732, and was privately buried in 
Westminster Abbey. 

Bishop Atterbury was an enthusiast when art, literature, 
and theology were sinking into the cold correctness of the 
Georgian period. His successor at Christ Church and 
Carlisle said of him, ' Atterbury comes first and sets every- 
thing on fire, and I follow him with a bucket of water.' 4 
What his friend said in jest was literally true of his political 
career : the Stuarts managed to extinguish every effort 
made to reinstate them ; it was a hard fate for so clever 
a man and so devoted a Jacobite. 

There were a few families in Bucks who sympathized with 
Atterbury's opinions. Thomas Phillips, of Ickford, lost 
a property in the county under his grandfather's will, by 
his devotion to the Roman Catholic faith. He became 
a Jesuit for a time, and obtained some foreign preferment 
through the influence of Prince Charles Edward. He 
wrote a life of Cardinal Pole, famous in its day ; he died 
at Liege in 1774. [His sister Elizabeth was abbess of the 
Benedictine nuns at Ghent. 

Another notable Jacobite was Mrs. Jane Symes, one of 
the Andrewes of Lathbury, who had acquired the manor in 
1599. Her father was high sheriff in 1706, and a friend of 


Browne Willis. As a young girl, her presence of mind had 
saved their Catholic neighbour, Sir Robert Throckmorton, 
from arrest, in the rebellion of 1715. Hearing that her 
father was required to search Sir Robert's house for 
arms, she ordered his carriage, hurried over to Weston 
Underwood, persuaded Sir Robert to give up to her his 
arms and whatever could compromise him, and concealed 
these things at Lathbury till the danger was overpast. She 
left the county for some years as the wife of a Somersetshire 
rector, with whose views in later life she disagreed ; but 
she had returned to Bucks on the death of Mr. Andrewes. 
Mrs. Symes had been a year in possession of Lathbury 
House^and of Lathbury Bridge, an important passage of 
the Oiise, when the Duke of Cumberland appeared with 
his army, in 1745, marching against Prince Charlie. The 
soldiers w r ere quartered in the church and in the town 
of Newport Pagnell, the surrounding fields were full of their 
artillery and baggage. The Ouse showed Jacobite sym- 
pathies, and was in full flood ; the mistress of the bridge 
had locked up its two portals, and in reply to the fierce 
duke's summons she sent him a bold message that she 
was in London and had taken the keys with her. The duke 
tried to get man, woman, or child to declare Lathbury 
House was held by Papists, that he might have an excuse 
to blow it up. But Newport Pagnell would not inform 
against an old neighbour. His soldiers at last broke open the 
bridge gates, and burnt Mrs. Symes's trees, hedges, and 
cornfields as they passed through her domain ; but she 
had at least the satisfaction of knowing that she had delayed 
the British army for an hour and a quarter on its way to 
quench the last Jacobite hope in the blood of Culloden 

1 Froude's Short Studies. 2 Verney Memoirs. 

3 Lady Russell's Letters. 4 Diet. Nat. Biog. 




IN Gray and Cowper we have two men, both amateurs 
of poetry rather than professional poets, neither of them 
a native of Bucks, but both finding their most inspiring 
subjects in the county ; Gray in the south, at Eton and 
Stoke Poges ; Cowper in the north, at Olney and Weston 
Underwood. It is a happy combination, of which any 
county might be proud. Their poetry was absolutely 
different ; Gray's verse was as restrained and compact as 
Cowper's was diffuse and expansive. Both were scholars 
and lovers of nature, content to study and describe what 
was actually before them ; wherein they differed from the 
highly artificial and courtly school of Pope and his imitators. 
Gray found material enough for his immortal elegy in the 
' ivy-mantled tower ' of a village church and its graveyard ; 
Cowper, in the slow, winding river, and the broad street of 
a small market-town. 

Thomas Gray was born in London in 1716, and was, like 
Milton, the son of a scrivener. He was educated at Eton, 
and in his ' Ode to Eton College ' he described, in after 
years, with the affection of a true Etonian, the joys of the 
playing-fields, and the river, and the ' earnest business ' 
of lessons ' that bring constraint, to sweeten liberty ' : 

' The thoughtless day, the easy night, 

The spirits pure, the slumbers light 

That fly th' approach of morn.' 

The strenuous games of cricket and football were shortly 
to come in, but the Eton of Gray's time was content with 
marbles, a hoop, and a ball, as he puts it poetically : 

' To chase the rolling circle's speed, 
Or urge the flying ball.' 

Gray was less happy at Cambridge, though alive to all 
the historical interests of the place. His fair complexion 
and refined, fastidious tastes won him the nickname of 


' Miss Gray '. He only wished to learn what he wanted to 
know, and not what the authorities desired to teach him. 

He had made friends with Horace Walpole at Eton, and 
Walpole invited him to journey with him as his companion 
through France and Italy. Their characters and fortunes 
were ill-matched, and they had a difference of opinion at 
Florence. ' Part they did,' is Dr. Johnson's trenchant com- 
ment, ' whatever was the quarrel, and the rest of their 
travels was doubtless more unpleasant to them both.' On 
Gray's return home in 1741 he lost his father, who had 
dissipated his fortune, and Gray, who never cared for 
money, was now reduced to a very modest income. He 
was much at Cambridge, and went on studying, for his own 
satisfaction, languages, literature, and natural history ; 
but his happiest days were at Stoke Poges. He had passed 
his vacations there, as an undergraduate, with his aunt, 
Mrs. Rogers. His widowed mother now settled herself at 
Stoke with her sister, Mrs. Antrobus, at West End Cottage, 
' a compact box of red brick, with sash windows,' Gray 
called it, and it was here, while living with the two gentle 
ladies, that his best work was done. Gray's travelling 
companion and contemporary, Horace Walpole, as the son 
of a great Prime Minister, was in touch with all the fashion- 
able and literary people of the day, and we are indebted 
to him for an intimate knowledge of those circles during 
the Georgian era. He had made it up with Gray, whose 
writings he commended to his many genteel friends. Gray, 
on his side, wrote a graceful little ode on the death of 
Walpole's cat, ' Drowned in a Tub of Gold Fishes.' 

About 1750, the 'Elegy in a Country Churchyard' was 
handed about in manuscript, and brought the author a 
pleasant friendship with Lady Cobham. Not far from 
Stoke Poges Churchyard stood an old Elizabethan manor- 
house, beautiful and interesting enough to inspire any 
poet's enthusiasm; In the early Middle Ages an heiress, 
Amicia de Stoke, had carried the property to Robert Poges, 
and the house had rolled up its historical memories century 
after century. It was full of dark turns and unexpected 
corners, of 

' Rich windows that exclude the light 
And passages that lead to nothing.' 


The Lord Keeper, Sir Christopher Hatton, whose dancing 
Queen Elizabeth so much admired, had owned the house 
and led the revels in it : 

' His bushy beard, and shoe-strings green, 
His high crown' d hat and satin doublet, 
Moved the stout heart of England's Queen 
Though Pope and Spaniard could not trouble it.' 

Another owner was Sir Edward Coke, Attorney-General, 
who spent at Stoke a miserable old age, ' alone on earth, 
suspected by his king, deserted by his friends, and detested 
by his wife.' Here Charles I had been brought as a prisoner 
in 1647, and at this door William III had been refused 
admittance by its stanch Jacobite owner, Robert Gayer. 
This wonderful house was in possession of Viscountess 
Cobham, who, having read the Elegy written by her near 
neighbour at the Cottage, earnestly desired to make his 
acquaintance. Two ladies who were her guests went out 
to find him, and the poet wrote a delightfully whimsical 
account of it all in the ' Long Story '. In a mock-heroic 
style he sketches the old house, with the portraits of 
the old ' Lady Janes and Joans ' looking down from the 

' In peaked hoods, and mantles tarnished, 
Sour visages enough to scare ye, 
High dames of honour once that garnished 
The drawing-room of fierce Queen Mary.' 

He tells how ' a wicked imp they call a poet ' was hunted 
down, caught, and dragged into the lady's presence ; how 
he protested he was neither a poacher nor a rifler of hen- 
roost or dairy ; and then comes the pleasant climax : 

' My Lady rose, and with a grace 
She smiled, and bid him come to dinner.' 

The instant success of the Elegy justified Lady Cobham's 
discernment ; it ran through eleven editions, and in 1757 
Gray was offered, and declined, the post of Poet Laureate. 
In 1768 he was made Professor of Languages and History 
at Cambridge, an unsolicited honour he greatly appreciated, 
though failing health constantly interfered with his duties. 


He had by this time lost the two who made his home ; 
he described Dorothy Gray in her epitaph as ' the careful, 
tender mother of many children, of whom one alone has 
the misfortune to survive her '. 

In striking contrast to Gray's quiet, studious life, Horace 
Walpole was laboriously playing at being young and 
sprightly in another part of the county. In June 1770 
Walpole met the Princess Amelia, daughter of George II, 
at Stowe, where she was being entertained by Earl Temple, 
and wrote a lively account of it. ' A Princess at the head 
of a small set for five days together did not promise 
well. However, she was very good-humoured and easy, 
Lady Temple is good-nature itself, my Lord was very civil 
. . . and I happened to be in such good spirits and took 
such care to avoid politics, that we laughed a good deal.' 
Walpole describes the long-drawn-out meals (Princess 
Amelia had the vast family appetite) ; the fishing in the 
park, the walks in the stately gardens, with visits to 
the Temple of Friendship, the Temple of Janus, and to the 
Doric Arch which Lord Temple had built in memory of 
a former visit of the princess's, with her name on one side 
and a medallion portrait on the other. He describes the 
beautiful landscape seen through it, and ' the over-bowering 
trees '. ' Between the flattery and the prospect, the Princess 
was really in Elysium ; she visited her arch 4 or 5 times 
a day and could not satiate herself with it.' He winds up 
with the account of a very characteristic evening party, in 
which the thickets and lake at Stowe were lit up to imitate 
the famous gardens of Vauxhall. ' With a little exaggera- 
tion I could make you believe that nothing was so delight- 
ful ... but the evening was more than cool, and the destined 
spot anything but dry. There were not half lamps enough 
and no music but an ancient militia-man, who played 
cruelly on a squeaking tabor and pipe. As our procession 
descended the vast flight of steps into the garden, in which 
was assembled a crowd of people from Buckingham and 
the villages, to see the Princess and the show, the moon 
shining very bright, I could not help laughing as I surveyed 
our troop, which, instead of tripping lightly to such an 
Arcadian entertainment, were hobbling down by the 
balustrades wrapped up in cloaks and great coats for fear 


of catching cold. The Earl you know is bent double, the 
Countess very lame ; I am a miserable walker, and the 
Princess, though as strong as a Brunswick lion, makes no 
figure going down fifty steps. Except Lady Anne, and by 
courtesy Lady Mary, we were none of us young enough for 
a pastoral.' 

In the church at Upton, which has disputed with Stoke 
Poges the honour of being the original scene of Gray's Elegy, 
is the tombstone of an old Bucks lady ' Sarah Bramstone 
of Eton, Spinster, a person who dared to be just in the 
reign of George II.' Imagination falters before the figure 
of this maiden lady writing her own epitaph, wrapped 
round with the cardinal virtues. But when we realize the 
artificial standards that prevailed in life and art, we may 
be thankful that Gray dared to be simple ' in the reign of 
George II '. He lived on into that of George III, and died 
in the fifty-fifth year of his age, in 1771. He was buried at 
Stoke Poges beside his mother. 

Gray's old house is now called Stoke Court, and is the 
home of Mr. Henry Allhusen, who has kindly given the 
following information : The present house consists of West 
End Cottage, with additions made by Mr. John Penn in 
1840, Mr. Darby in 1860, and by the grandfather of the 
present owner in 1871. Through all these changes many 
of the old rooms preserve their original shape, and tradition 
points to one as the poet's own room. An avenue of trees 
along ' Gray's Walk ' leads to an old summer-house on rising 
ground, whence he could see the ' distant prospect of Eton 
College '. 

The Manor House of the ' Long Story ' is now in the 
hands of a new owner, who is once more building it up. 
A sort of vestibule or short cloister remains on the north 
side of the church, by which the former owners of the 
manor had private access to their great pew. At the death 
of Lady Cobham, in 1760, the house was sold to Thomas 
Penn, second son of William Penn of Pennsylvania. His 
son John pulled down the greater part of it, and Wyatt 
erected for him a pretentious classical house, known as 
Stoke Park, and now used as a golf club. Quaint stories 
are told of John Penn, a confirmed bachelor, whose dislike 
of women was such, that his attached old housekeeper took 

his orders standing behind his back, where he could not 
see her. 

He had at least a real love for Gray, and put up, with 
the best intentions, a huge ' tea-caddy ' sarcophagus to his 
memory. The lovely meadow outside the churchyard, in 
which it stands, recalls a verse that has somehow dropped 
out at the end of Gray's Elegy : 

' There scattered oft, the earliest of the year 
By hands unseen, are showers of violets found, 
The red-breast loves to build and warble here 
And little footsteps lightly print the ground.' 

We turn to his younger contemporary, the poet of North 
Bucks, and find the two men, with great differences of 
temperament, had many tastes in common. 

William Cowper was the eldest son of the Rector of 
Berkhamstead, Dr. John Cowper, chaplain to George II. 
His mother was Anne Donne, a descendant of the poet and 
divine, who was Dean of St. Paul's in the reign of James I. 
Born in 1731, over the border in Hertfordshire, the chief 
work of his life was done in North Bucks, and his name 
will always be connected with Olney. He was a lovable, 
shy, and delicate child, and his very happy home was broken 
up by the death of his mother before he was six years old. 

Fifty years afterwards he was given her picture, and the 
sight of his mother's sweet face brought back to him most 
vividly the unforgotten incidents of his childhood at the 
Rectory. The scarlet cloak in which the gardener Robin 
drew him to school along the public way ; the visits his 
mother paid him after he had been tucked up in bed ; her 
smile, her kisses, the pretty embroidery she used to make ; 
and then the desolate day of her funeral. He remembered 
how he watched the black procession, 

4 And turning from my nursery window drew 
A long long sigh and breathed a last adieu ' ; 

how the maids promised that his mother would soon return, 
and how he went on hoping and being disappointed 

' Till all my stock of infant sorrow spent 
I learnt at last submission to my lot, 
And though I less deplored thee, ne'er forgot.' 

Cowper's ' Lines on his Mother's Picture ' all English 
children should know and love. 

After an unhappy time at a private boarding-school, he 
went to Westminster, to which many members of Parlia- 
ment sent their sons, and where he made friends witli men 
who were afterwards famous and in great positions. He 
played in the shadow of the Abbey, and was good at the 
new games of cricket and football. A harmless, gentle boy, 
he was well liked, but no one suspected that Cowper's 
name would be remembered when his brilliant school- 
fellows were almost all forgotten. 

After this he worked hi a lawyer's office, but he had 
neither good health, good spirits, nor any steady industry 
to make dull work tolerable. His brightest hours were 
spent at the house of his uncle, Ashley Cowper, with his 
charming cousins, Harriet and Theodora, who were merry 
girls, and very good to him. When his apprenticeship was 
over he did not make money enough to support himself at 
the Bar ; he was thriftless and listless, and tormented by 
gloomy thoughts and bilious attacks. 

Suddenly into this aimless existence fell a piece of good 
fortune Cowper was offered, by a relation, the place of 
Clerk to the Journals of the House of Lords. It was work 
to suit him, and well paid, but Cowper's happiness in the 
prospect was at once dashed to the ground, when he heard 
that he ' was bid to expect an examination at the bar of 
the House, touching his sufficiency for the post he had 
taken '. He worked himself up into such an agony of 
nervous terror, increased by the feeling of the ingratitude 
he was showing to the man who had appointed him, that 
his mind gave way ; he attempted suicide, then had a 
dreadful time of self -reproach and of religious depression. 

His friends naturally thought that he had missed the 
chance of his lifetime, and that he would never be more 
than a hopeless and useless invalid ; but they were mistaken. 
Cowper ' did more than get well ' his outlook on life was 
changed, a deep religious faith ' took the place of his 
anguish and despair '. 1 He left London for Huntingdon, 
and there made the friendship with the Unwin family, 
which had the most blessed influence on his future. Mrs, 
Unwin was a calm, strong character, well read, delightful 


From the picture in the National Portrait Gallery attributed 
to Romney 


in conversation, and, as Cowper said, ' more polite than 
a duchess.' She was mother and friend to the gentle, much- 
tried soul, ' from whom she wanted nothing but the tran- 
quil companionship which was his happiness.' 1 After 
Mr. Unwin's death ' the widow and her harmless lodger ' went 
to Olney to be near the Rev. John Newton, ' a man of 
strong character and ceaseless activity, whose own life had 
gone through all sorts of violent changes, and who was now 
preaching and teaching among the lace-makers and straw- 
plaiters of North Bucks.' Cowper became a kind of lay- 
curate to Newton, visiting the sick and dying, conducting 
prayer-meetings, writing for Newton's collection of Olney 
Hymns, and wearing himself out in the most exhausting 
work. He loved the poor and was a comforter of many, 
but his health broke down again, and only Mrs. Unwin's 
devoted nursing restored him to life and reason. After 
this Cowper recognized the need of a quiet routine. He 
lived out of doors, gardening, keeping tame animals, 
carpentering, taking long walks, enjoying the meadows and 
trees and the lazy meandering Ouse. Mrs. Unwin, on the 
look out for anything to occupy her invalid, encouaged 
him to write poetry. But it was a livelier influence, that 
of Lady Austen, a widow who came to live in Olney, which 
first stirred the poet of fifty to put forth his real powers of 
wit and wisdom. Lady Austen told him the story of John 
Gilpin's ride, and he wrote in one night the poem that 
made all England shake with laughter. She commanded 
him to write about her sofa, and in ' The Task ' he gave 
the most charming description of an English home at tea- 
time, the curtains drawn, the bubbling urn, the pleasant 
familiar talk of the family. ' Up to this time no one had 
ventured to make the fireside heroic, or set it in front of all 
that is happy and beautiful.' l 

Cowper woke up to find himself famous on the publica- 
tion of ' The Task '. Letters poured in from old friends 
and schoolfellows, and from new readers delighting in his 

This sympathy was very good for him, and in an unusual 
burst of high spirits he wrote : ' It is a noble thing to be 
a poet ; it makes all the world so lively. I might have 
preached more sermons than even Tillotson did, and better, 

986-4 M 


and the world would have been still fast asleep ; but 
a volume of verse is a fiddle that puts the universe in 

His love of Nature, his sympathy with the people, his 
happiness in small pleasures, and the trouble he took in 
his poems to share these with others, and to illustrate the 
beauty of common things, made a new departure in English 
literature. It was a saying of his, ' that a letter may be 
written upon anything or nothing just as that anything 
or nothing may occur.' 

Whether he described the postman blowing his horn, 
and clattering with his muddy horse up the long street 
of Olney ; or the pious old woman working at her lace- 
pillow ; or just his usual winter walk, he was studying 
from Nature. ' He saw with eyes as clear as truth itself 
what was before him in the soft, fresh, outside world ... he 
was bold to say what was in him, and to say it in his 
own way.' 

Another woman, Harriet, Lady Hesketh, one of the 
cousins who had made merry with him as a youth, greatly 
cheered his later years. She removed the poet and Mrs. 
Unwin from Olney to a better house in the adjacent parish 
of Weston Underwood belonging to Mr. Throckmorton, 
where for a time he was very happy, ' near to our most 
agreeable landlord, and his agreeable pleasure grounds.' 
' I am going to tell you a secret,' he wrote thence to Lady 
Hesketh, ' a great secret, that you must not whisper even 
to your cat. I am making a new translation of Homer.' 
This was his task at Weston, but it was much less con- 
genial to him than his own local subjects, and took up all 
his leisure. ' He who has Homer to transcribe,' he writes 
in a mock-heroic vein, ' may well be contented to do little 
else. As when an ass being harnessed with ropes to a 
sand-cart, drags with hanging ears his heavy burthen, 
neither filling the long echoing streets with his harmonious 
bray, nor throwing up his heels behind, frolicsome and 
airy, as asses less engaged are wont to do so I seldom 
allow myself those pretty little vagaries, of which I intend 
hereafter to enjoy my fill.' 

Shy and nervous as he was, Cowper kept in touch with 
public events in his retirement, and the influence of his 


writings was considerable. His advocacy was sought for 
the abolition of slavery, or when any oppression was to 
be brought to light. His description of the Bastille was 
quoted by Fox in Parliament ; he had a passionate love 
of liberty, religious, political, and personal, and his defini- 
tion of the relations between the King of England and his 
subjects is admirable for its good sense and balance : 

' We love 

The King, who loves the law, respects his bounds, 
And reigns content within them : him we serve 
Freely and with delight, who leaves us free : 
T' administer, to guard, t' adorn the state 
But not to warp or change it. We are his 
To serve him nobly in the common cause, 
True to the death, but not to be his slaves.' 

His wide sympathies made him an earnest friend of 
peace, and his are the famous lines : 

' But War 's a game, which were their subjects wise 
Kings would not play at.' 

Gray, in his reflections on the life and death of the Bucks 
labourers, perceived how much power and genius ran to 
waste for lack of education and opportunity : 

' Hands that the rod of empire might have sway'd 
Or waked to ecstasy the living lyre ; ' 

but he also saw their ' homely joys ' and compensations, 
and expected men's ' sober wishes ' never to soar above 
their ' destiny obscure '. Cowper's generation had been 
shown by the stern lessons of the French Revolution, that 
the toilers might not for ever submit to drudgery, hunger, 
and ignorance, but might claim and with violence a share 
in the higher inheritance of the race. 

During Cowper's lifetime, two working-men in Bucks 
managed to rise above their circumstances ; education 
would have helped to discipline the spasmodic energies of 
the one, and to smooth the needlessly arduous path of the 

James Andrews (1734-1817) was a stonecutter at Olney, 
fashioning such old gravestones ' with uncouth rhymes, 

M 2 


and shapeless sculpture decked ', as Gray was fond of 
deciphering in his country churchyard. But tiring of 
cherubs' heads, scythes, and hour-glasses, Andrews took up 
wood-carving and wood-engraving, with much success. 2 
From a log of wood of ' Shakespeare's Mulberry Tree ' he 
sculptured a bust of the poet, esteemed ' no mean like- 
ness ' 2 ; he painted pictures or made a pair of boots with 
equal facility. He then turned his attention to making 
musical instruments, telescopes, and microscopes, even 
learning to polish the lenses. Andrews carried on his 
experiments to the age of 83. 

George Anderson of Weston Turville (1760-1796), whose 
intense concentration of mind was a striking contrast to 
Andrews' versatility, was born in ' chill penury's ' lowest 
grade. Losing his father, he went out to field work as 
a child, with only such a smattering of elementary arithmetic 
as an elder brother contrived to give him. 2 A born mathe- 
matician, he thought in figures during his working hours, 
and scraped together such knowledge as he could get in 
his scanty leisure. At seventeen he saw some problems 
set in the London Magazine, solved them, and sent the 
answers with his village address. This led to the discovery 
of his genius : he was found threshing in a barn, whose 
walls were covered with triangles and parallelograms. 

He was too shy to wish for notice, but Dr. King, Vicar 
of Whitchurch, insisted upon sending him to Oxford, where 
he took his M.A. degree at Wadham College. After this, 
Dr. King's brother-in-law, Scrope Bernard, Esq., M.P., had 
him up to London ; he found work in the India Board of 
Control, and by his remarkable talent and industry rose 
to be their Accountant-General. While preparing the com- 
plicated accounts for the Indian budget of 1796, Anderson 
was seized with sudden illness and died, aged thirty-six. 

Four years later the Poet of Olney was taken. 

On the horizon of Cowper's life the clouds had gathered 
again. Mrs. Unwin died, and he sank into silence and 
melancholy till death released him in 1800 ; but the gentle 
spirit had given its message to the world, and that endures. 

1 Mrs. Oliphant, Literary History of the Nineteenth Century. 
1 Gough MSS. 




WHEN the young King George III came to the throne the 
long duel with France for supremacy in the East and West was 
coming to a victorious end. India was ours, and Canada ; 
and it was at Clieveden in Bucks, then the house of his 
father, Frederick, Prince of Wales, that Dr. Arne's famous 
patriotic song ' Rule Britannia ' was first heard in public in 
1763, when the nation was proud of all these conquests. 
During the first part of the reign the attention of England 
was engrossed with constitutional questions at home, until 
France again rudely challenged Britannia's right to rule the 
waves, and the protracted struggle began again which only 
ended at Waterloo. Through these sixty eventful years 
King George, with all his mistakes, never lost the affection 
of his people. 

His moderate abilities had received only the narrowest 
education, and he ascended the throne with lofty ideas of 
what was due to the Patriot King. Though his home life 
was a model of simplicity and he was content himself to 
sup off water-gruel, he lavished immense sums in controlling 
elections and corrupting members, till he had formed in 
Parliament a mercenary party, known as the King's 
Friends, ' as if (as was said at the time) the body of the 
people were the King's Enemies.' 

George III and Queen Charlotte were always kind to the 
Eton boys, and his birthday, the 4th of June, continues to 
be their Speech Day. Their good-natured, homely figures 
were well known in that neighbourhood ; and at Stowe the 
Queen's Temple was built in Queen Charlotte's honour. As 
Thackeray puts it ' Rain or shine the king rode every day 
for hours, poked his kindly red face into hundreds of 
cottages round about, and showed that shovel-hat and 
Windsor uniform to farmers, to pig-boys, to old women 
making apple-dumplings, to all sorts of people, gentle and 
simple. Our fathers read of these things with pleasure, 
laughed at the king's small jokes ; liked the old man who 


lived on plain roast and boiled ; who despised your French 
kickshaws ; who was a true hearty old English gentleman.' l 

Lord Rosebery, in his lecture on the Political Aspect of 
Buckinghamshire, has given us a splendid picture of the 
part played by the county in the political drama. ' The 
great epoch of Bucks,' says Lord Rosebery, ' was the 
eighteenth century. ... I claim for Bucks that she is the 
most famous of English counties in the field of politics 
during that period. . . . It is, I think, safe to say that there 
were more political combinations hatched in Bucks during 
the eighteenth century than in all the rest of England, 
except London and Bath. Why was this ? The reason 
seems to lie in the Palace of Stowe and its inhabitants 
Lord Cobham and the great house of Grenville. . . . Stowe 
and the Temples and the Grenvilles represent a race rooted 
in the county for centuries, a race which long controlled 
the county, and at one time threatened to absorb it. This 
political power began under the fostering influence of Lord 
Cobham, who was not only a politician but a field-marshal, 
and at Stowe were gathered that remarkable group known 
as the Cobham Cousins, Grenvilles, Lytteltons, and Pitts. . . . 
This powerful combination composed of one man of genius 
and several men of ability, all more or less impracticable, 
might have governed the country for a generation had they 
only been able to agree. That, however, was obviously out 
of the question ; and the Temple of Friendship reared by 
Lord Cobham to contain the busts of his friends had, long 
before it was finished, survived its purpose and meaning. 
But it was not one group of men that embodied the political 
power of the dynasty of Stowe, for it continued through 
long generations. There was the generation of Lord 
Cobham, then that of Temple, George Grenville, and Pitt, 
brothers and brothers-in-law, constantly at variance, con- 
stantly endeavouring to patch up a formidable and fraternal 
peace.' 2 

The great Grenville epoch of the history of England 
lasted for more than a century ' during the whole of that 
time there had been a Grenville finger in every political pie. 
During the whole of that time Stowe had been a political 
fortress or ambuscade, watched vigilantly by every political 
party ; the influence of Stowe had been one which the most 


powerful minister could not afford to ignore ; and the 
owner of Stowe had been the hereditary chief of a political 
group. Tons of correspondence survive to show the activity 
and power of that combination. 

And the temple in which all this power was concentrated 
was worthy of its trust. Its magnificent avenue, its stately 
but not overwhelming proportions, its princely rooms of 
reception, its gardens, its grottoes, its shrines, still breathe 
the perfume of the eighteenth century. In its superb 
saloons we seem to expect brocades and periwigs and 
courtly swords ; we seem to see the long procession of 
illustrious ghosts that in life were the favoured guests of 
the house Pope, and Thomson, and Glover, Vanbrugh and 
Chesterfield, Pitt plighting his troth to his Hester, Horace 
Walpole, and a world of princes an unrivalled succession 
of curious and admiring visitors from all parts of England 
and Europe. The house has lost its priceless collections, but 
no atom of its unpurchasable charm. Bare, but still beauti- 
ful, Stowe remains the central glory of Buckinghamshire.' 2 

George Grenville (the second son of Richard Grenville, 
of Wotton, and Hester Temple, the heiress of Stowe), M.P. 
for Buckingham, succeeded Lord Bute as Prime Minister 
in 1763 ; he was an able financier and administrator, and 
at once devoted himself to the task of devising fresh taxes, 
among others the famous Stamp Act, the first beginning 
of trouble with our American colonies. 

Lord Shelburne, afterwards Marquess of Lansdowne, who 
lived just outside the town of Wycombe, was a famous 
politician in the opposite camp. He advocated conciliation 
of the American colonists, but he was distrusted by his col- 
leagues, and hated by George III ; he was Prime Minister for 
a short time in 1783. He was a cultivated man and a patron 
of literature and art. Dr. Johnson used to stay with him. 
Lord Shelburne has left an amusing account of the political 
anxiety that Wycombe gave him. ' Family boroughs,' he 
said, ' cost much, by what I call insensible perspiration . . . 
it consists in paying a little, commonly a great deal too 
much, on every article . . . the rents of houses and lands 
must be governed by the moderation of voters. You must 
be forthcoming on every occasion not only of distress but 
of fancy, to subscribe too largely to roads ; to get livings 


and favours of all sorts from Government, without mention- 
ing a great deal of obscure hospitality, and a never-ceasing 
management of men and things. And after all, when the 
crisis comes, you are liable to be outbid by any nabob or 
adventurer. What can you say to a blacksmith who has seven 
children, or to a common labouring-man who is offered 
700 for his vote, or two misers who are offered 2,000, 
which are instances distinctly on record at Wycombe ? ' 

Lord Shelburne's house, then known as Loakes Manor, 
was sold in 1790 to Lord Carrington, who often received 
William Pitt there. The house was rebuilt and called 
Wycombe Abbey. About 1896 it was sold by the present 
Earl Carrington, the grandson of Shelburne's friend, to the 
Girls' Education Co., and under its famous head mistress, 
Miss J. F. Dove, M.A., the school has led the way in the 
Higher Education of Girls. Three prime ministers, besides 
Pitt, have stayed at Wycombe Abbey ; Disraeli in 1848, 
Gladstone in 1876, and the Earl of Rosebery in 1884. 

The leader of the Whig opposition in North Bucks was 
Ralph Verney, of Claydon, Earl Verney in the Peerage of 
Ireland. His family had a long political connexion with 
the county, and he fought many bitterly contested elections 
against the Grenvilles. He early recognized Edmund 
Burke's ability, and gave him his first seat in Parliament 
for Wendover, as he had already given William Burke a seat 
at Great Bed win. A Fellow of the Royal Society, he took 
much interest in the scientific improvement of agriculture, 
and Burke wrote that no man in England had been ' so 
indulgent, humane, and moderate a landlord on an estate 
of considerable extent or a greater protector to all the 
poor within his reach '. Lord Verney was a man of artistic 
taste and generous instincts ; he lent lavishly to his friends, 
and began to rebuild Claydon House on a magnificent scale 
from the designs of Adam. ' Three beautiful rooms and 
a broad marqueterie staircase remain, but his niece and 
successor pulled down the rest of the new wing, unfinished 
at his death.' 

Many stories are told of his hospitalities and extrava- 
gances ; of his patronage of literature ; of his black 
servants with silver trumpets ; of his debts and losses ; and 
in 1784 the attention of the whole country was fixed upon 

From the picture in the National Portrait Gallery 


the Bucks election contest between Stowe and Clay don. 
Cowper, in his ' snug parlour ' at Olney, described in one 
of his charming letters how he was canvassed by the Tory 
candidate ; how ' a mob appeared before the window, 
a smart rap was heard at the door, the boys hallo'd, and the 
maid announced Mr. Grenville '. How Cowper assured him 
that he had no vote, and Mr. Grenville civilly replied that 
he had a great deal of influence ; how in a moment the yard, 
the kitchen, and the parlour were filled with people ; how 
they frightened Puss, the tame hare ; how relieved the 
poet felt when ' the hero, with his long train of obsequious 
followers withdrew ', although he was allowed to be ' very 
young, genteel, and handsome '. The polling lasted sixteen 
days and Verney was defeated by twenty -four votes. After 
this came a financial crash, but while his trustees and 
lawyers were anxiously considering how small a pittance 
their magnificent client could live upon, another general 
election burst upon the country : ' the clamour for the 
popular candidate drowned all other cries ; Lord Verney's 
agent wrote that he would try to limit his expenses to 
12,000 or 15,000 (June 1790). Processions carrying his 
banners converged on Aylesbury from all the neighbouring 
districts, two hundred gentlemen breakfasted at Claydon 
House, "three hundred of the meaner sort" were fed with 
the remnants of the meal ; he was triumphantly returned, 
and the county rang with his praises.' 

Edmund Burke (1729-1797), though by birth an Irishman, 
was intimately bound up with the county history ; even 
when his parliamentary connexion was transferred from 
Wendover to Bristol he made his home here, and bought 
the estate of Gregories (now Butlers Court) in the parishes 
of Perm and Beaconsfield. Himself one of the great 
masters of English, he loved the place the better because 
it was associated with the poet Edmund Waller, who 
occupied the house called Hall Barn ; and he would take 
his guests to see Waller's Oak, and his grave with its 
fantastic little pyramid under the great walnut tree, in 
Beaconsfield Churchyard. Hall Barn has been rebuilt and 
enlarged, and is now the home of Lord Burnham. At 
Gregories Burke entertained a succession of interesting 
guests, and in his ' assiduous protection of neglected worth ' 


sheltered George Crabbe, at the lowest ebb of his fortunes, 
treated him as a member of his family, and enabled a famished 
apothecary to become a good clergyman and a popular poet. 
One of Burke's chief friends was Sir Joshua Reynolds. 
The great painter had received a commission from the 
Empress Catherine of Russia, and he was thinking over 
a subject in which the Infant Hercules should be strangling 
a brace of serpents. On arriving at Beaconsfield he saw 
a splendid little boy, named Rolfe, playing on Burke's 
lawn and at once made a study of him as Hercules. The 
child justified the name given him in 1786, and lived on 
as a portly farmer till 1850. As a Whig, Burke intensely 
disliked the policy of the Grenvilles, but they were personal 
friends, and there is a pleasant story of his writing one of 
his famous pamphlets at Claydon, and going with Lord 
Verney to Stowe, to talk it over with ' their friend the 
enemy '. After Burke's great speeches in the House of 
Commons and in Westminster Hall he loved nothing so 
well as to return to ' the calm shades of Beaconsfield, where 
he would with his own hands give food to a starving beggar, 
or medicine to a peasant sick of the ague, where he would 
talk of the weather, the turnips, and the hay with the 
team-men and the farm bailiff, and where in the evening 
stillness, he would pace the walk under the trees, and reflect 
on the state of Europe and the distractions of his country ' . 3 
In July 1797 Canning wrote to a friend, ' There is but one 
event, but that is an event for the world Burke is dead.' 
To complete the dramatis personae of county politicians we 
must include John Wilkes (whom the other actors would have 
called the villain of the piece), as he was closely connected 
with Aylesbury. The son of a wealthy distiller at Leighton 
Buzzard, he was educated at Aylesbury, at the school of 
Mr. Leeson,a Presbyterian minister, and it was at Aylesbury 
that at the age of twenty-two he met and married a mature 
heiress, Miss Mead, and there his only child was born. 
They lived at the Prebendal House, and he put up a tablet 
in the churchyard wall to William Smart his gardener. 
Wilkes was high sheriff for Bucks, and afterwards member 
for Aylesbury. His local reputation was bad ; he had 
never returned his wife's affection, and after some unhappy 
years they were separated, he keeping and squandering the 

Sir Joshua Reynolds, P.R.A. 
From the picture in the National Portrait Gallery 


greater part of her fortune. He joined a club of wild young 
men of fashion at Medmenham, to whom all sorts of blas- 
phemous and wicked practices were imputed, and as scandal 
loses nothing in the telling, Wilkes was looked upon as 
a wholly vicious and dangerous man. His singularly ugly 
face and his squint lent themselves to horrible caricatures ; 
and he was as much hated in good society as King George 
was beloved, yet by the irony of fate, Wilkes became ' un- 
wittingly the chief instrument in bringing about some of 
the greatest advances the constitution ever made '. The 
king's conscientious obstinacy and Grenville's finance lost 
us our American colonies, and their attempt to crush the 
member for Aylesbury made ' Wilkes and Liberty ' the 
accepted war-cry of reform all over the country. 

At that time what we mean by a newspaper was unknown, 
and parliamentary debates were private. Wilkes had 
started a paper called the North Briton, written with great 
ability, and in the forty-fifth number he made a violent 
attack on the king's speech in opening Parliament, which 
he called ' the most abandoned instance of ministerial 
effrontery ever launched upon mankind '. The court chose 
to take this not as a charge against ministers, but as a 
personal attack upon the king himself. As the paper was 
anonymous, a general warrant was issued against the whole 
staff of writers and printers, Wilkes was arrested and im- 
prisoned and a search-warrant was issued to seize his private 

The law-courts decided that all these three courses were 
illegal. The member for Aylesbury had to be released, 
and he republished the obnoxious forty-fifth number of the 
North Briton, the name of which became a household word. 

The House of Commons then expelled and outlawed 
Wilkes, who went abroad. These high-handed proceedings 
brought about the fall of the Grenville Ministry. The Whig 
Ministry of Lord Rockingham, which succeeded, was inspired 
by Edmund Burke, who was the Prime Minister's secretary ; 
by the intrigues of the king's friends they soon fell, but 
they had abolished general warrants. Wilkes then returned 
from abroad, was elected for Middlesex, and petitioned for the 
reversal of his outlawry. Except for the king's personal 
animosity this might have been granted, but Wilkes was 


imprisoned, expelled again for the old offences, re-elected, 
and expelled once more. After a long fight in which Wilkes 
stood for the liberty of newspaper reporting, as well as for 
the liberty of electors to choose their own representatives, 
he was made an alderman of the city of London, and later 
Lord Mayor, and having defied the summons of the House 
of Commons to appear at the Bar, he finally triumphed, and 
sat as member for Middlesex for many years. 

His struggles with the Government were keenly followed 
both by friends and foes in Aylesbury. He was an ex-officio 
trustee of the grammar school, and one of his libellers 
compared him in a song to the Dragon of Wantley : 

' But the Aylesbury men like fools, 
Thought John Wilkes a greater rarity ; 
They made him Trustee of the Schools 
And he swallow'd up the Charity.' 

His persecutions had drawn out much sympathy on both 
sides of the Atlantic, his friends paid his debts amounting 
to 17,000, but he had a genius for contracting fresh ones ; 
he became a popular idol, and his portraits were sold every- 
where. Wilkes had fine manners and much wit and humour ; 
his tender affection for his daughter was the best part of his 
character. ' He died as he had lived, insolvent.' An 
obelisk in Ludgate Circus commemorates his mayoralty, 
a tablet in Grosvenor Chapel marks the burial place of 
' John Wilkes a friend to liberty '. 

Younger than Burke and Wilkes, but still under King 
George, and belonging to the generation which was deeply 
influenced by the ideas of the French Revolution, Percy 
Bysshe Shelley is amongst the great poets who wrote in 
the county. He was educated at Eton, and was one of 
the few Etonians who resisted the spell and charm of the 
school, and was miserable there. Though all his life 
devoted to boating, he never cared for games, and was in 
revolt against all tradition and authority. He was as 
harshly treated at home as at Eton. Dr. Keate, the great 
head master in 1809, was then master of the lower school ; 
' he flogged Shelley liberally, and the scapegrace in return 
plagued him without stint.' This imaginative and nervous 
boy was very sensitive to kindness, and was capable of the 


most generous friendships ; he delighted in science, but 
there was no modern side to a public school then ; his ex- 
periments in chemistry led him into scrapes, and he left 
Eton with some abruptness in 1809. When we next find 
Shelley in Bucks he was only in his twenty-second year, 
his undisciplined character had brought much sorrow on 
himself and those dependent upon him, but he was already 
a master of English style in verse and prose, and full of 
unselfish enthusiasm and ideals. His friend, Thomas Love 
Peacock, whose novels of county society, Headlong Hall, 
Nightmare Abbey, and the rest, had a great run in their day, 
was living at Marlow. Shelley took Albion House at Marlow 
in 1815, and settled down there to write a long ambitious 
poem, The Revolt of Islam. In his preface Shelley reviews 
the hopes excited by the French Revolution, the panic 
produced by its excesses, with the violent reaction against 
freedom which was gradually giving place again to sanity. 
The object he set before him was to kindle ' a virtuous 
enthusiasm for those doctrines of liberty and justice, that 
faith and hope in something good, which neither violence, 
nor misrepresentation, nor prejudice can ever totally ex- 
tinguish among mankind. . . . There is no quarter given 
to revenge, or envy, or prejudice. Love is celebrated 
everywhere as the sole law which should govern the world '. 
' The poem was written,' as Mrs. Shelley tells us, ' in his 
boat as it floated under the beech-groves of Bisham, or 
during wanderings in the neighbouring country, which is 
distinguished by peculiar beauty. The chalk hills break 
into cliffs that overhang the Thames, or form valleys clothed 
with beech ; the wilder portion of the country is rendered 
beautiful by exuberant vegetation ; and the cultivated 
part is peculiarly fertile. With all this wealth of nature 
which, either in the form of gentlemen's parks, or soil 
dedicated to agriculture, flourishes around, Marlow was 
inhabited by a very poor population. The women were 
lace-makers and lost their health by sedentary labour, for 
which they were ill-paid. The Poor Laws ground to the 
dust not only the paupers, but those who were obliged to 
pay poor-rates. The changes produced by peace following 
a long war, and a bad harvest, brought with them the most 
heart-rending evils to the poor.' 4 

986-4 N 


Many a poet, fastidious and sensitive as Shelley, might 
have been content to write about these sufferings rocking in 
his boat under the ' interlaced branches ' of the beech-trees, 
on the river he loved so well. But Shelley's love for the poor 
was not a mere sentimental emotion, his active and ready 
help was ever at their service ; he had many pensioners 
among the poor lace-makers, and he caught opthalmia 
severely and repeatedly, in ministering to the very poorest 
in their miserable homes. He and his wife lived on the 
simplest fare, in order to have more to give away ; the poet 
did not touch meat or wine, nor keep a horse. He never 
wished his charity to be known, his gifts were made with 
the greatest delicacy, and there is a story of his walking into 
Marlow without his shoes, having given his own to a poor 

Shelley had taken his house for twenty-one years, but 
there was no permanence in his troubled career, and, to the 
grief of their poor neighbours, he and his wife left Marlow 
for Italy after three years' residence there. He did not 
forget the Thames on the banks of the Tiber, and he writes 
to his friend Peacock about the massive ruins at Rome, 
of the Baths of Caracalla : ' The perpendicular walls 
resemble nothing more than that cliff at Bisham Wood, 
that is overgrown with wood, and yet is stony and precipi- 
tous. You know the one I mean ; not the chalk-pit, but the 
spot that has the pretty copse of fir-trees and privet bushes 
at its base, and where Hogg and I scrambled up, and you, 
to my infinite discontent, would go home.' In the summer 
of 1822 came the news that this brilliant career had been 
suddenly closed by the capsizing of a sailing boat off the 
coast of Leghorn. Shelley's lyrics are amongst the most 
musical and exquisite in our language ; such as his Ode to 
the West Wind, To a Cloud, and To a Skylark. His life in 
Bucks is one of the many beautiful associations of our river 
scenery, specially as his love of Nature and his passion for 
liberty were combined with such practical sympathy and 
kindness as he showed to the poor of Great Marlow. 

We have another, and, on the whole, a more cheerful 
account than that given by Mrs. Shelley. Cobbett, who 
had an intense sympathy with country life, records in his 
Rural Rides a journey through South and Mid Bucks in 


1822. Labourers were getting from Ss. to 12s. a week, 
grass mowers 2s. a day, and as much beer as they could 
drink. They used roasted rye instead of coffee or tea, as 
it cost only f d. a Ib. Both men and women were at work 
in the fields, and the little children were locked out of doors 
for the day. The farmers were in very low water, though 
prices were high and the land excellent both for corn and 
pasture. He remarks on the good looks of the labourers in 
spite of their hard fare, and their energy in cultivating their 
own ' neatly kept and productive little cottage gardens ', 
seldom without flowers, ' an honour to England and which 
distinguishes it from all the rest of the world.' The little 
ones looked fat and well kept ; the girls somewhat large- 
featured and large-boned, ' like the girls of America, and 
that is saying quite as much as any reasonable woman can 
expect or wish for.' ' Wycombe is one of those famous 
things called boroughs, and by thirty-four votes sends 
Sir John Dashwood and Sir Thomas Baring to the " col- 
lective wisdom ".' But so little interest did the common 
people take in the matter that Cobbett's landlord at the Inn 
remembered Dashwood, but had forgotten ' the other '. 
Cobbett would not find much political indifference in 
Bucks at the present day. 

1 W. M. Thackeray, The Four Georges. 

1 Earl of Rosebery, ' The Grenvilles of Stowe,' in Records of Bucks. 

* Edmund Burke, by John Morley. English Men of Letters. 

* Mrs. Shelley's Preface to Shelley's Poems. 


THE first stirrings of the French Revolution were watched 
with interest and sympathy on this side of the Channel. 
France is the land of ideals, and those fine watchwords, 
Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity stirred the hopes of 
English reformers till the wrongs and sufferings of the 
French peasants were forgotten in the horrible carnival 
of violence and cruelty which overwhelmed the monarchy, 

N 2 


the nobles, and the Church, and threatened to extinguish 
all the old civilization of France in a sea of blood. 

A stream of miserable fugitives poured into England ; 
never since the Reformation had so many Catholic priests, 
monks, and nuns been seen amongst us. But the animosity 
which their coming would otherwise have excited was 
softened by the sense of their suffering and destitution ; 
and the county that had been hospitable to persecuted 
Lollards and Quakers showed a tolerant kindness to the 
fugitive Catholics. The Marquess of Buckingham took the 
lead in contributing and collecting money for the relief of 
the exiles, the Marchioness took charge of a whole convent 
of French nuns, and they paid for the printing of two 
editions of breviaries not otherwise obtainable in England. 
Edmund Burke took the deepest interest in the work of 
the committee for the relief of the French refugees, and at 
the end of his life he loved to visit the colony of French 
orphans at Penn, and to play with these fascinating little 

When Louis XVI, murdered hi 1793, had been followed to 
the grave by his only boy two years later, Louis, Comte de 
Provence, brother of Louis XVI, was titular King of France. 
Born in 1755 at Versailles, the most splendid Court in 
Europe, he early showed a ready wit in conversation and 
a love of literature and the classics ; his elder brother 
preferred handwork as a locksmith or watchmaker. While 
they were both children, a provincial deputation came to 
interview Louis XV, who received them with his grandsons 
standing by. The business over, one of the gentlemen 
began paying elaborate compliments to the Duke de Berri 
(afterwards Louis XVI) but the boy stopped him saying, 
' I'm not the clever one, it's my brother of Provence.' At 
the age of sixteen ' the clever boy ' was married to Maria- 
Josepha of Savoy, amid universal rejoicings at Versailles, 
and there seemed not a cloud on the horizon. When the 
storm burst Louis escaped to Austria, and spent some 
unhappy years wandering about Europe from Venice to 
Moscow, each Government in turn giving him peremptory 
notice to quit. He bore sorrow and poverty with fortitude, 
and indignantly rejected an offer of Napoleon's to sell his 
birthright for a large sum of money ; he returned the Order 


of the Golden Fleece to the King of Spain, with a spirited 
letter, when he heard that the same order had been given 
to Napoleon after the murder of the Due d'Enghien. At 
length, in 1807, he landed in England, and by the kind 
offices of the Marquess of Buckingham he obtained a resting- 
place in Bucks. 

Hart well House, which had belonged to the Lee family 
from the thirteenth century, is one of the beautiful old 
historical houses of the county, with its ample gardens and 
park and its fine trees. 1 This was rented by Louis XVIII, 
as Comte de Lille, from Sir George Lee for 500 a year, 
and was soon filled to overflowing with French exiles. His 
wife arrived from Russia, his brother the Count d'Artois, 
afterwards Charles X, came with his sons the Dukes of 
Berri and Angouleme (the latter married to Madame Royale, 
daughter of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette), accompanied 
by a number of priests and dependants. 

The ministers of George III were not anxious to receive 
Louis XVIII for fear of diplomatic complications, but 
both the king and the common people showed him a good 
deal of sympathy. The boat's crew which rowed him 
ashore at Yarmouth from the flagship Majestic returned 
the purse he had left them as a present with a quaint 
letter to their admiral : l ' We holded a talk about that 
there 15. that was sent us, and hope no offence, your 
honour ... we knows fast enuff that it was the true King of 
France that went with your honour in the boat and that 
he and our own Noble King bless 'em both, and give every 
one his right, is good friends now . . . and Mr. Leneve that 
steered your honour and that there King, says he won't 
have no hand in it, and so does the Coxen ... so we all one 
and all begs not to take it at all.' Eventually the generous 
feeling shown by the bluejackets was emulated by the 
Government, and a grant of 14,000 a year was made to 
the king and 6,000 to the Due d' Angouleme. Louis XVIII 
settled down to a quiet home life, he turned to his beloved 
books and found much comfort in Horace ; when he met 
any one in the grounds he would salute him with true 
French politeness, and would speak a few words in tolerable 
English. He would send for old Mr. Fowler to come and 
see him as the only Aylesbury man who was said to speak 


French. It pleased him to point out to visitors that on 
each side of the great doorway at Hartw ell was a fleur de 
lis, carved in stone, as if in anticipation of his coming. 
Once in about three weeks he dined in public, as had been 
the custom of the old French Court, and visitors were 
allowed to walk round the table. He was called the Sage 
of Hart well and was as popular in the country round as his 
brother was unpopular, with his haughty manners and 
perverse disposition. Madame Royale, ' the Orphan of the 
Temple,' was the most interesting member of the party, 
her terrible sorrows had left an impression of habitual 
sadness on her face and manner ; she was a devout Catholic 
with a tender sympathy for all sufferers. An early riser 
and an active walker, she, unlike Louis, avoided society 
and could not bear attracting attention. 

The farmers and market-gardeners round Aylesbury 
found excellent customers at Hartwell. There were usually 
from 140 to 200 persons in the house. The halls and 
galleries were subdivided by partitions, without any regard 
to their architecture, and whole families were stowed away 
in the attics. On the ledges and bows of the great roof 
were gardens in boxes, stocked with flowers and vegetables, 
the roof also became a pigeon-house and a poultry yard ; 
the ornamental parapet was freely cut away when it inter- 
fered with these new uses ; small windows were pierced 
in the walls ; every outhouse and cottage in the park was 
full of people. The household were very well conducted, 
and with the gaiety of their nation amused themselves 
with music and dancing and made the best of the situation. 
They carved little French mottoes on the old trees, which 
kept Quel plaisir and Toujours heureux on their bark long 
after the departure of the carvers. It was characteristic of 
French taste, that in the large drawing-room a beautiful 
portrait by Sir Joshua Reynolds of its former mistress, 
Lady Elizabeth Lee, was completely hidden away by an 
enormous mirror. 

In 1808 the Marquess of Buckingham entertained the 
royal party at Stowe, and invited the county to meet 
them. An account of the visit has been preserved in the 
lively letters of his nephew, Sir Henry Williams Wynn, 
afterwards British Minister at Copenhagen. 2 


'Stowe. January 12, 1808. Altho' I arrived here yesterday 
before three o'clock I was but just in time to see the reception 
of His Christian Majesty. They were all drawn up to receive 
him on the steps when I, by dint of vociferation prevailed 
upon the Post Boy to drive in the back way. The moment 
he entered the House the Band struck up and Ld. Bucking- 
ham conducted him into the State Apartments, where there 
was a cercle till he went to dress, which operation, 
being I suppose pressed by Hunger, did not last ten 
minutes, but dinner was not thereby accelerated as we did 
not get down till | past 6. ... The King seems a good' 
natured good kind of a man, but there is not certainly 
anything either in his appearance or manner very atten- 
drissant. The dinner party yesterday consisted of 44 
and is to-day to be augmented by 11 new arrivals. 
Among those yesterday were Lord and Lady Carysfort, 
Proby, Granville, Charlotte, and Fanny ; Mr. and Mrs. T. 
Fremantle ; Miss Wynn, Mr. and Mrs. Young, and a young 
Irish Heiress Miss O'Donnell, Ebrington, the two Nevilles, 
General Harvey, Neil Talbot, &c., &c. Lady Louisa 
Harvey, the Admiraland two daughters, Mr. and Mrs, 
Lloyd, Lady Temple, and the Due and Duchesse de Coigny, 
with two other Frenchmen arrive today. 

' The dinner, entre nous (altho' there are four French 
cooks in the house), was the worst I ever saw upon a 
Table, and worse served than anything I ever saw 
before. Lord Buckingham took care of the King and 
all the rest of the Blood were obliged to take care of 
themselves, without a servant literally to take away 
their plates, or a glass of wine within their reach. The 
table was covered with dishes, which were so cold that 
they were not eatable with the exception of a cold Pye 
which from its proximity to an immense fire, was warmed 
up again. After dinner Lord Buckingham got up and said 
" The King permits me to give for a Toast the Royal and 
Illustrious House of Bourbon and God bless them " upon 
which the King gave " God bless the King and Old England 
for ever " which Lord Buckingham repeated and said that 
the King allowed him to add " The True Peace of Europe 
founded on a strict alliance between the two sovereigns ". 
I fear that all the company will be noted down in Bona- 


parte's black Book and that we shall pay for it if ever 
we go to France. When the first toast was given the Band 
played Richard, 6 man Eoi ! after which the Master of the 
Band came up to Temple and asked him whether the 
Marseillais Hymn would not be a proper air to play. We 
did not of course sit very long after dinner, and by the 
assistance of cards and a little dancing we got on to near 
twelve o'clock when we all went to Bed. We have to-day 
been out with the Harriers but not had much sport. The 
King went with Lady Buckingham in the little Phaeton. 

' Tomorrow we are to shoot, and on Thursday the King 
and the other Princes are to plant a clump of trees, each 
man his own tree. On Friday there is to be a grand ball 
and on Saturday they are all to go away. . . .' 

' Stowe. January 14, 1808. We every day have the health 
of the Royal and Illustrious and he as regularly gives an 
appropriate Toast in return. Yesterday, after the planting 
we had the Toast, "and may then: Posterity last longer 
than the latest acorn of the latest Tree they have this day 
planted." To which the King replied in English, " Our 
Noble Landlord to whom our gratefulness is as rooted as 
the oldest Oak." . . . They all seem very much pleased with 
the attentions which are shewn them, and certainly as 
far as expense goes nothing can be finer than the manner 
in which Lord Buckingham has received them. 

' The whole set went out a Shooting yesterday, but 
whether it was that the Hares had been driven away, or that 
there were none, la chasse etait trls mauvaise. 

' I cannot say, that, with the exception of one or two, 
any of the family have prepossessed me very much in their 
favour. Old Cond6 is by far the best, the Duke d'Angou- 
leme seems a gentlemanlike man, but then one cannot easily 
forget how manfully he ran away from the Conde army. 
I cannot of course judge whether the King is pleasant in 
conversation, but one question he made does not tell 
much of his Historical knowledge. He asked me whether 
I understood Welsh as he wanted to know what the Prince 
of Wales' motto meant [Ich dieri]. . . . Sunday. All the 
Frenchmen went yesterday and to-day we are almost 
reduced to a family party, consisting however, of more 
than 20. . . . Nothing could have been more pleasant than 


the whole of this visit and everyone was sorry to see them 
go away. The King behaved during the whole time just 
as one would have wished, gracious with as much dignity 
as his porpoise-like figure would admit of. His last toast- 
struck me as particularly neat and well expressed for a 
Foreigner. " May the remembrance of our visit here, be 
as agreeable to all present as it will be soothing to us." . . .' 

The home life of Hartwell was sadly clouded in December 
1810 by the death of the queen after a short illness. They 
were a childless couple, attached to each other in a quiet, 
matter of fact way. The king's letters give a pathetic 
account of his loneliness after her death, and how the sight 
of a white camellia or of any other flower she had loved, 
awoke his grief afresh, ' like a drop of wormwood in food.' 
' I was not aware I loved the Queen so much as I now 
find I did,' he wrote very simply. 

In 1811 another storm-bound monarch, Gustavus IV, 
ex-King of Sweden, arrived at Hartwell, having lost all 
his personal property as well as his kingdom. The portly 
Louis, who enjoyed an after-dinner doze over a book, 
found his guest unduly restless. ' Quiet is what he professes 
to want,' wrote the Sage of Hartwell, ' but surely whirling 
about the world is not the means of obtaining that object. 
... I now had rather that he had not come.' x It seemed 
improbable that life should hold any dramatic surprises 
in store for the kindly old gentleman who had never been, 
except in name, a king. But one spring morning (March 25, 
1814) while mass was being celebrated in the dining-room, 
where Louis (not easily removable) was nursing his gout, 
his suite saw through the windows with silent excitement 
two post chaises with four horses apiece, and white flags, 
tearing up to the house. Napoleon had resigned, the Allies 
were entering Paris, and Louis, at last ' Desired ', had been 
proclaimed king. All was now bustle and stir, Louis signed 
a document in the library at Hartwell pledging him to 
observe the constitution, and the pen became a relic. 
Aylesbury, which had rather forgotten him, burst out into 
bunting and plaudits, the king alone, ' mobbed by visitors 
and pestered with addresses,' preserved his calm. 

In less than a month he started from Aylesbury to assume 
his crown amid great enthusiasm ; the white flag of France 


floated from the Town Hall, crowds cheered themselves 
hoarse, the Bucks Yeomanry escorted the king to Stanmore, 
where the Prince Regent met him with the state coach 
and cream-coloured horses, and they entered London in 
triumph. The Bucks Yeomen had given their money to 
one of their number to take care of, and this man had his 
purse stolen, so their share of the fun was a sorry one. 
The name of Bourbon Street still commemorates in 
Aylesbury this memorable day ; and at Versailles the 
king reproduced the queen's private garden at Hartwell 
to remind him of ' the happy, happy days he had spent 
in that charming county '. One serio-comic incident the 
next year connected Bucks with the fortunes of Louis XVIII. 
As Sir George Lee took leave of his royal tenant on the steps 
of Hartwell, he accepted a cordial invitation to visit him 
at home. Sir George reached Paris the following spring 
to find it in the throes of another convulsion. Napoleon 
had landed from Elba, and the poor old king was being 
bundled off at a moment's notice to the Belgian frontier, 
with profuse apologies to his baffled guest. Byron's sar- 
castic lines were justified : 

' Good classic Louis ! is it, canst thou say, 
Desirable to be the " Desire " ? 

Why wouldst thou leave calm Hartwell's green abode, 
Apician table and Horatian ode, 
To rule a people who will not be ruled, 
And love much rather to be scourg'd than school'd ? ' 

All England was stirred by the excitement of the 
Hundred Days' War. The Bucks regiment took the field 
again under Wellington at Waterloo. 

Louis was reinstated ; ' an old man in feeble health, 
posterity has done less than justice to his industry and 
sagacity. He ruled the country with a wise and delicate 
hand from his armchair, and in his armchair he died ' 
(September 1824). 3 

When Paris rose in 1830 and Charles X was finally 
overthrown, his former neighbours in Bucks were interested 
but not surprised to hear it. And when by another turn 
of Fortune's wheel the younger branch of the Bourbons 
had won and lost the throne of France again, the Comte 


de Paris, with his family, took refuge once more in the 
county, and it was at Stowe, where Lady Kinloss's ancestor 
had so hospitably entertained Louis XVIII, that he spent 
several quiet years and peacefully breathed his last in 

1 Capt. Smyth, R.N., Mdes Hartwellianae. 

2 MS. Letters of Sir Henry Wynn. 

3 W. G. Berry, France since Waterloo. 



THE life of Thomas Scott (1747-1821) known as ' the 
Commentator ' is an instance of an indomitable purpose 
that can surmount all difficulties. He had only seven years' 
schooling, but had set his heart on acquiring learning. He 
was working inLincolnshire under a harsh father of old family 
and narrow prejudices, at the dirtiest parts of a grazier's 
work, and his health was suffering from exposure to weather. 
He made a desperate attempt to become a candidate for 
ordination, but was sent back to the fields for want of his 
father's consent, and for lack of testimonials. He never 
gave up hope or study while he minded the beasts, and 
was at last ordained deacon in 1772, and priest the next 
year. He was appointed to the curacies of Stoke Goldington 
and Weston-Underwood, which began a long and honourable 
connexion of the Scott family with the county. 

Thomas Scott made acquaintance with John Newton, 
whom he succeeded at Olney, and lived next door to the 
poet Cowper. His income was but 50 a year ; he taught 
himself Hebrew, and acquired an intimate knowledge of 
the Scriptures in the original. He married at the age of 
twenty-seven, and was so zealous to give his sons the 
education denied to his own youth, that three of them, 
at least, took degrees at Cambridge, and entered the 


While his children were growing up, Thomas Scott re- 
moved to London ; and in 1788 a publisher proposed to 
him to write a Commentary on the Bible, to appear in 
numbers, for each of which he was to receive a guinea. 
Without any of the critical knowledge now available, he 
brought to this immense work an enthusiastic love of the 
subject-matter, and an infinite capacity for patient labour ; 
he collated words and phrases and compared Scripture with 
Scripture with minute care. In four years and a half he 
had accomplished his great task in 174 numbers ; and he 
was then faced with nothing but disaster. The publisher 
became bankrupt, and though the merit of the work was 
immediately recognized, Scott was saddled with a crushing 
burden of debts and lawsuits. 

Charles Simeon and other friends came to his aid, and 
his book went on selling in such large numbers that he 
was eventually solvent. He was given the Bucks living 
of Aston-Sandford, where in 1807 he undertook the training 
of students for the Church Missionary Society, and learnt 
Arabic in his old age. Meanwhile, his second son, another 
Thomas Scott, born at Weston-Underwood, was first curate 
at Emberton, and then Perpetual Curate at Gawcott. He 
married, in Bledlow Church, Euphemia Lynch of Antigua, 
connected with many old West Indian and Devonshire 
families, amongst others, with that of Sir Humphrey Gilbert, 
half-brother and companion-in-arms to Sir Walter Raleigh. 
Mr. Scott's aunt, Miss Gilbert, had been kissed as a child 
by John Wesley, ' the great saint of her memory ', a tradi- 
tion proudly passed on to her great-nephews ; another 
relation, a naval officer, brought to Gawcott a flag he had 
taken in the American War. 

Thomas Scott and Euphemia had a large family, the 
most famous of their sons being Sir Gilbert Scott, the 
architect. The Commentator had a peaceful and honoured 
old age ; he was the great light of the Evangelical party, 
and his Commentary had become a classic. His only 
daughter married a pupil he had prepared for Cambridge, 
the Rev. Samuel King, who had been curate of Hartwell 
during Louis XVIII's residence there, and was Rector of 
Haddenham, the next parish to Aston-Sandford, and the 
two men were constantly together. 


Scott's grandson, the architect, has left a lively account 
of the annual migration of the family from Gawcott to 
Aston-Sandford. ' The post-chaise was ordered from 
Buckingham to carry seven, my father and mother occupied 
the seat, three small children stood in front, two sat in 
the dickey behind, and the fat old post-boy rode postillion. 
My grandfather was a thin tottering old man ; very grave 
and dignified. He wore knee-breeches with silver buckles, 
black silk stockings, and a shovel hat. He had a black 
velvet cap except at church, when he donned a venerable 
wig. The barber who made it was a pious man, who 
himself put two sons into the Church. He walked over 
from Bisborough every Sunday to hear my grandfather 
preach, and a place was always kept for him at the dinner- 
table. Family prayers at the Rectory were formidable to 
a child : they lasted a full hour, several persons from the 
village attending them. . . . The whole household seemed 
imbued with the religious sentiment. Old Betty the cook, 
Lizzy the waiting maid, and old Betty Moulder, an infirm 
inmate, taken in on account of her excellence and helpless- 
ness, were all patterns of goodness ; and even poor John 
Brangwin the serving-man partook of the atmosphere of 
the Rectory. I visited him with three of my sons (in 1863) 
in an almshouse at Chenies, when he poured forth his 
recollections of my grandfather. It was Sunday, and we 
found him reading in his copy of the Commentary left him 
in my grandfather's will, and he had just had a cold dinner. 
" Muster Scott never had anyt&ing cooked o' Sabbath 
days," and he had followed his precepts for more than 
forty years after his death.' 1 

The old Commentator in his strenuous work had helped 
much abler men than faithful John Brangwin. Cardinal 
Newman, as an undergraduate, spoke of Scott as ' the man 
to whom, humanly speaking, I almost owe my soul ' ; he 
first planted deep in Newman's mind the doctrine of the 
Trinity and this disciple, who found salvation along a 
widely different road, always praised Scott's ' bold un- 
worldliness, and vigorous independence of mind ', and sums 
up his spirit in the maxims ' Holiness before peace ' and 
' Growth is the evidence of Life '. Another great thinker 
who differed as widely from Newman, as Newman did from 


Scott, the Judge, Sir James Stephen, ranked his writing in its 
deep sincerity as ' the greatest theological work of our age 
and country '. His Commentary was a mine freely worked 
by later Evangelical writers, and ' formed the basis of the 
devotional study of the Scriptures for two generations of 
Englishmen '. 

When Thomas Scott died, in 1821, Aston-Sandford Church 
was far too small to hold the sorrowing crowds that had 
assembled there ; they moved on to the next parish, and 
Daniel Wilson, afterwards Bishop of Calcutta, preached his 
funeral sermon in Mr. King's large church at Haddenham. 

At Gawcott, the third son, little Gilbert, was not specially 
considered in the large family circle at the Parsonage, and 
was left to grow up much as he pleased, with the happiest 
results. The hamlet had long been neglected, only a name 
and a few stones in a field recalled the fact that Gawcott 
had once had a chapel. An excellent man, John West, who 
had made his money as a lace-buyer, consulted the elder 
Thomas Scott in the first years of the nineteenth century 
about building a church in his native village. He had 
infinite difficulties to overcome, and opposition even from 
the Bishop, but at last a little church was built and conse- 
crated. Sir Gilbert, who was to do so much hereafter to 
create quite a different standard of taste, describes it as 
' absurdly unecclesiastical, with a roof sloping all ways, 
and a belfry such as one sees over the stables of a country 
house. The pulpit occupied the middle of the south side, 
the pews facing it from N."E. and West, the font was a wash- 
hand stand with a white basin '. Thomas Scott, the younger, 
was the first perpetual curate of the new church, and he 
hired the Vicarage at Buckingham, where the Vicar was 
non-resident. Later on he collected money to build a 
Vicarage, and to rebuild John West's church, which showed 
signs of falling to pieces after some twenty-five years, and 
himself designed the present edifice. His boy stood watch- 
ing the foundations being put in, and remembered his father 
telling a friend he was about to apprentice Gilbert to an 
architect ; the friend's remark that he would no doubt rise 
to the head of his profession, and his father's quick reply, 
' Oh, no, his abilities are not sufficient for that.' Happily 
the boy had better models within reach than Gawcott 

Geo. Richmond del. 



Church ; he constantly visited the fine perpendicular 
churches at Hillesden and Maids Morton, and brooded over 
them. At Tingewick he found some interesting Norman 
work, and Chetwode Church was a revelation to him of 
Early English architecture. 

As quite a little boy he was intensely happy, wandering 
about alone, with his pencil and sketch-book, loving Gothic 
architecture by instinct, without any idea that it could ever 
be used again. An early love of pictures, engravings, and 
sculpture was fostered by visits to Stowe, before any of its 
art treasures had been dispersed at the sale in 1848 ; the 
children were allowed to drive up the avenue with their 
mother, in a baker's cart, their father riding alongside ; and 
to picnic in the Grecian Temple of Concord and Victory. 

Buckingham possessed at that time in Mr. Jones a re- 
markable art-master, but of so humble and unambitious 
a character that he failed to do any high-class work of his 
own. He had been sent up to the Royal Academy in his 
youth by some of the Stowe family, and had been much 
noticed by Sir Joshua Reynolds a proud memory for all 
his later years of affectionate retrospect. Mr. Jones's visits 
twice a week were the great events of Gilbert Scott's boy- 
hood. He sat watching the garden-path till he could see 
' with heart-felt joy, his master's loose drab gaiters through 
the bushes ', and they would go off together to sketch the 
porch or the stair-turret at Hillesden. 

^Gawcott was full of ' odd, quaint characters ', well known 
and liked by the Vicar's children. There was Mr. Law the 
' perpetual churchwarden ', who lined the plate after 
charity sermons with a one-pound note out of his well- 
filled breeches pockets ; the old yeoman, Benjamin Warr, 
with his sturdy wife and twenty children, the sons six feet 
high, who made a brave show in church in their big, square 
pew ; John Walker, of Lenborough, the best dairy farmer, 
yeomanry-cavalier, singer, and Christian gentleman of the 
country-side, more than once mayor of Buckingham ; there 
was Tom O'Gawcott, a converted prize-fighter ; and some 
mad people, who were soothed like King Saul by the 
strains of the village fiddler. One of them, an old soldier, 
Cracky Meads, was always ready to show ' how fields were 
won ' with a bayonet he kept under his bed, to the terror 

986-4 O 


and delight of the children. There were well-known and 
accepted poachers, especially a tailor, who was ever ready 
to oblige the Vicar's lady with a hare. When the Vicar 
first came, full of missionary zeal, to reconnoitre the parish, 
he found a large hole dug across the road, and the men 
sitting round it, baiting a badger. All the women and girls 
made lace ; there was a vertical post in the cottages, 
revolving on an axis, with a wooden arm, to which baby 
children were secured, so that they could run round and 
round the kitchen, while the mother slaved at her lace- 
pillow. Mr. West, the church-builder, shared one room 
with his servants, all helping themselves out of one dish at 
dinner, placed in the middle of a round table. One old 
' peasant-lady ', Nanny White, kept a maid, and lived 
almost in state, and when the Vicarage children went to tea 
with her once a year, they were made to sit on old high- 
backed chairs with twisted pillars and cane backs, which 
came from the sale of the second great house at Hillesden, 
built after the siege, which had just been bought and pulled 
down by the Duke of Buckingham, to little Gilbert's 
intense regret. 

An old man kept a small private school in Gawcott ; 
most of the people could read, they had large gardens, and 
fat sides of bacon hung in the wood smoke of their wide 
old cottage chimneys. 

Gilbert Scott left Gawcott, without regret, at fourteen, 
quite unconscious of the deep impression these village 
scenes had made on his memory. After a hard apprentice- 
ship to the most uncongenial styles of architecture, he 
suddenly lost his father, and soon after received a com- 
mission to build several of the Union Workhouses required 
under the new Poor Law Act in 1834, of which two were at 
Buckingham and Amersham. 

His eldest sister was married to the Rev. J. H. Oldrid, 
who succeeded their father at Gawcott, and it was in his 
old home that Gilbert Scott met the cousin, Carry Oldrid, 
whom he married in 1838. Some arduous years of dis- 
tasteful commissions followed, when workhouses and cheap 
churches in the debased art of the time were all that the 
nation asked of this great artist. 

But the seed sown at Hillesden and Maids Morton was 


yet to yield a harvest ; in 1844 Scott achieved a European 
reputation by winning the open competition for a great 
church at Hamburg, with designs in fourteenth-century 
German Gothic. The Oxford Movement, which gradually 
brought about a revulsion of feeling against the half -pagan 
Georgian churches, and a reverent admiration of mediaeval 
services and architecture, found an interpreter in this 
truly Christian architect. From 1845 to the end of his life 
in 1878, designs for new buildings, restorations, and reports 
were constantly required of him. In the great days of his 
fame he gave of his best towards the restoration of many 
Bucks churches. He saved the fine tower of Aylesbury 
Church, which was ready to fall, and gave two small figures 
of saints for the south transept doorway ; he restored the 
churches in Middle and East Claydon, Chesham, Great 
Horwood, and others. He rejoiced to find everywhere that 
the consequence of such restoration was always a vast 
increase in the number of worshippers. In Hereford Cathe- 
dral he found a displaced monument to one of his old 
friends, the Dentons of Hillesden, which he restored with 
special interest, but the work that gave him the greatest 
pleasure was his appointment as the architect in charge of 
Westminster Abbey. 

He has himself told of the restoration of Hillesden, ' a 
church dearly loved by me, as that which first called forth 
my reverence for architecture . . . after nearly half a century 
I was called upon to survey the dear old church, with 
a view to its restoration. Decay, neglect and mutilation 
had been silently doing their deadly work. I undertook 
the work not professionally, but as a labour of love. . . . 
I had the privilege of myself replacing the exquisite fan- 
groining of the porch.' Much of the lost work was restored 
from the careful sketches Scott had made as a boy of 
eleven, and he found again scraps of stone -mouldings which 
he had himself hidden away in order to preserve them. 
The thought of the beautiful building, whose existence was 
indefinitely prolonged by his care, was one of the enduring 
joys of his life. In 1872 he completed the Albert Memorial, 
and was knighted by Queen Victoria ; he felt that this 
recognition lost half its value as his beloved wife could no 
longer share it with him. In the spring of 1878, in the 

o 2 


midst of much important work, with which his sons were 
helping him, Sir Gilbert Scott's health failed rather suddenly. 
In his last hours his. mind went back to Gawcott, and he 
remembered Mr. Churchwarden Law dining one Sunday at 
the Vicarage, and the delight of the children when, confused 
with many cruets, he solemnly sprinkled his meat with 
sugar ! 

It seems a far cry from Gawcott to Westminster, but it 
was in the Abbey that the great Bucks architect was fitly 
laid to rest. Dean Stanley, in his sympathetic sermon, 
spoke of him as ' one of those just, gentle, guileless souls 
who in their lives have lifted and in their memories may 
still lift, our souls upwards. It has been said that it was 
by a strange irony of fate that the great leader in the revival 
of mediaeval architecture should have been the grandson 
of that venerable commentator who belonged to the revival 
of evangelical religion. Yet in fact ... it was a fitting 
continuity ... in the deep sense of inward religion, that 
simple faith in the Great Unseen, the grandson who multi- 
plied and disclosed the secrets of the visible sanctuaries of 
God throughout the land, was not an unworthy descendant 
of the grandfather who endeavoured, according to the light 
of his time, to draw forth the mysteries of the Book of 

1 Sir Gilbert Scott, Recollections of my Life. 


BENJAMIN DISRAELI may be said to have been the most 
notable figure in Bucks during the Victorian era. 

His career exhibited very dramatic contrasts. The 
county which was so greatly to honour him in middle life, 
would have none of him in youth. In Bucks he received 
the first buffets and humiliations which beset the opening 
of a career that threatened to be only whimsical, eccentric, 
and vain. In Bucks his genius and patience won him 


a safe seat in Parliament, which he held as Prime Minister 
of England. From Bucks he took his title as a peer, and 
it was here, rather than in Westminster Abbey, that he 
chose to be laid to rest. From his grave at Hughenden 
sprang the Primrose League that has done so much to 
keep his memory green. Queen Victoria sent a wreath 
of primroses to his funeral inscribed as being ' his favourite 
flower '. 

Lord Beaconsfield's father, Isaac d'Israeli, was an 
antiquary and bookworm, who, honourably preferring 
scholarship and poetry to money-making, abandoned the 
counting-house in which he had been started. Before he 
was thirty he published a book, Curiosities of Literature, 
which at once made him a name. Descended from a long 
line of Spanish Jews, Isaac d'Israeli wished to be con- 
sidered an Englishman, and had his son (born in 1804) 
baptized into the Church of England. But the prejudice 
against the Jews, who were still excluded from English 
public life, was not lightly to be got rid of, and Mrs. 
d'Israeli would not risk the ill-treatment her son might 
meet with at Eton or Oxford. Benjamin was therefore 
brought up mainly at home ; he often worked twelve hours 
a day, devouring books, conscious of great powers, and 
passionately ambitious to use them. Isaac d'Israeli 
bought the fine Elizabethan Manor House at Bradenham, 
among pleasant beech woods and breezy commons. There 
is a story that Benjamin, aged fourteen, walking home 
with another boy to Bradenham by moonlight, confided to 
him that he meant ' to get himself talked about, to write 
a book, to make speeches, to get into Parliament and become 
a Privy Councillor '. His friend told him not to talk such 

In early manhood Benjamin Disraeli published an 
audacious and sparkling novel, Vivian Grey, the hero of 
which was admittedly his own portrait, and he succeeded 
admirably ' in getting himself talked about '. The ' per- 
fumed boy-exquisite who forced his way into the saloons 
of peeresses ' was always the subject of remark ; ' men held 
aloof but observant women prophesied that he had the 
makings in him of a great man.' The next item of his 
boyish programme was harder to achieve. In 1832 there 


was a vacancy in the neighbouring borough. Young 
Disraeli ' drove into High Wycombe in an open carriage 
and four, his hair was in long black curls, and he was 
dressed with his usual exuberance of laced shirt, flowered 
waistcoat and coat with a pink lining ' ; his opponent, son 
of Lord Grey, the Prime Minister, had arrived on his first 
visit ; Disraeli seized the opportunity for an impromptu 
address. ' All Wycombe was assembled,' he wrote to his 
sister ; ' I jumped upon the portico of the Red Lion and 
gave it them for an hour and a quarter, I can give you no 
idea of the effect ; a great many absolutely cried ... all the 
women are on my side and wear my colours pink and 
white.' l Colonel Grey himself confessed he had never 
heard a finer command of words ; they certainly did not 
lack force. Standing as a Radical, he described the Whigs 
as ' that rapacious, tyrannical and incapable faction, who 
having knavishly obtained power by false pretences, sillily 
suppose that they will be permitted to retain it by half 
measures '. Mr. Disraeli was badly beaten, and made an 
angry speech when the poll closed ; Colonel Grey was 
chaired round the town with musical honours. This was 
the first of three exasperating defeats in the same borough. 
When, in 1837 (as the Tory member for Maidstone), Disraeli's 
first florid speech in the House was greeted with scornful 
derision, there was ' something absolutely heroic in the alert 
defiance ' with which the new member faced the cruel storm 
of laughter. ' I shall sit down now,' he said, ' but the time 
will come when you will hear me.' His chief, Sir Robert 
Peel, called it ' anything but a failure ', and said that 
Disraeli was bound to make his way. He was clever 
enough to take a friend's advice that he should get rid of his 
genius for a session, speak shortly, and try to be dull. 

Two years later, in 1839, he married a rich widow, 
Mrs. Wyndham Lewis, much older than himself. Disraeli 
describes their first meeting, when he thought her the 
greatest talker he had ever known, a perfect ' rattle ', l 
and she told him that she liked ' silent, melancholy men ' ; 
but this oddly assorted couple became entirely devoted 
to each other, and enjoyed the happiest married life for 
thirty-three years. His great interest in social questions 
inspired more novels ; in Coningsby he treated of the 


hardships of the peasantry under the new poor-law ; in 
Sybil his vivid pictures of the misery and squalor of the 
workers in towns did much to promote the Factory Acts, 
and to hasten reform. 

In 1847 he at length represented Bucks in Parliament, 
and retained the seat as long as he wished to keep it. 
There was still some horse-play, but the laugh was now on 
his side. At one Bucks election a man in the crowd shouted 
' speak louder and quicker ' ; he stopped, and singling the 
man out, said very deliberately, ' I must speak slowly to 
drive what I have to say into your thick head.' ' You 've 
got it now, Joe,' said the crowd, and there were no more 
interruptions. A small house with one field called Hatch- 
man's, in the Hambleden valley, is pointed out as giving 
Disraeli his first title to a vote in the county. 

He was familiarly known as ' Dizzy ', the possession of 
a nickname being a sure sign of popularity. He was as 
indifferent to wealth as he was greedy of fame, but his 
wife's fortune and her careful economies, with the devotion 
of his friends, relieved him from any financial anxiety, and 
he could in his later life command large sums of money for 
his novels. 

When forming his Government as Premier in 1874, 
Disraeli gave the post of Secretary to the Treasury to 
Mr. W. H. Smith, who by his purchase of Greenlands, the 
old house of Bulstrode Whitelock, had become a Bucks 
country gentleman like his chief. In 1877 Smith Joined 
the Cabinet as First Lord of the Admiralty, an appointment 
which showed Disraeli's discernment of character. No two 
men could be more unlike, Smith was as slow and deliberate 
as the Premier was brilliant and dramatic ; Punch's 
affectionate nickname for Smith of 'Old Morality', expressed 
the reputation for integrity and good sense which he had 
acquired. The Rt. Hon. W. H. Smith became Leader of the 
House of Commons and Warden of the Cinque Ports, and was 
locally a great benefactor to South Bucks ; he will be re- 
membered not only as a politician of stainless character, but 
as a promoter and distributor of the cheap and wholesome 
literature in railway bookstalls and circulating libraries, 
by which so many readers have been created. After his 
death in 1891, which was hastened by strenuous devotion to 


public work, his widow was made Viscountess Hambleden, 
with remainder to his heirs. 

Disraeli's political career, his unfailing skill and good 
humour in opposition, his policy as Prime Minister from 
1874 to 1880, belong to the larger history of England ; but 
two points must still be mentioned, his life as the Squire 
of Hughenden, and his friendship with his Sovereign, 
' which none of his predecessors or successors have ever 

On his father's death in 1848 he succeeded to Bradenham, 
and he had purchased the adjoining estate and house of 
Hughenden, from whose doors he had been rudely shut 
out in his young electioneering days, and where he was 
later to receive Queen Victoria as his guest. He loved the 
historical associations of Hughenden, and the monuments 
in the church ; he was fond of telling how Simon de Mont- 
fort lived there, and had come out from this house to 
compel King John to jjjgj^Magna Carta. He revived the 
arms and motto of EisSpanish ancestors ' Forti nihil 
difficile '. 

He was fond of Bucks and proud of the place the county 
filled in history ; he would relate how the great rebellion 
4 was hatched in these hills, and whatever evidence of it 
still existed in the bosom of the Chilterns, was carefully 
removed when the Stuarts reappeared upon the scene '. 
Mrs. Disraeli loved to tell her guests of his favourite flowers, 
of his great love for trees, and birds, specially the garden 
songsters, the thrush, the black-cap, the goldfinch, and the 
whole tribe of warblers, and how he could not bear to see 
a dead bird or a fallen tree. 

' The calm of satisfied ambition ' was saddened in his 
later years by the loss of the wife who had loved him so well. 1 
' His chief pleasure was to be at Hughenden and often 
alone. 2 He would wander through the park or the Braden- 
ham woods, which in his youth had been the scene of so 
many ambitious and moody meditations. His trees, his 
peacocks, his swans, his lake and chalk stream were full 
of the memories of his married life. The cedars in his 
garden were raised from seed that he himself had brought 
from Palestine. He was on pleasant terms with his tenants 
and labourers, he visited them in their cottages, and was 

Lockharl Bogle pinx. 
From the picture in the National Portrait Gallery 


specially kind to old people and to little children. He 
would never allow that Bucks labourers were stolid ; he 
called them ' a stalwart race, shrewd, and open to reason '. 2 
No dust-heaps, or cess-pools, choked drains or damp floors 
were to be seen on his property. To such matters he looked 
with his own eyes, and said he was never so happy as 
when left to himself in these occupations. Three things he 
said were necessary to a good cottage an oven, a tank, and 
a porch. He was careful never to let game be a grievance, 
and the farmers willingly preserved for him ; he was a 
familiar figure among them in his leather gaiters, with 
a spud in his hand. His witty and satirical sayings were 
caught up and quoted ; as when he said that " an insular 
country subject to fogs, and with a powerful middle class, 
required grave statesmen ", or described the elderly occu- 
pants of the Liberal Front Bench as "extinct volcanoes".' 

In his last novel of Endymion, which brought him in 
10,000, he amused himself by describing, under the name 
of Hurstfield, the old hall at Bradenham, with its gable 
ends and lattice windows, its huge wrought iron gates, 
' the sylvan beauty of the old chase, and the romantic 
villages in the wooded clefts of the downs. The clumps of 
fine beech-trees, and the juniper which rose to a great 
height, gave a rich wildness to the scene, and sustained its 
forest character.' 

' The leader of the country gentlemen, he aspired to be 
a country gentleman himself, to be a magistrate to sit in 
top boots at Quarter Sessions and manage local business.' x 
At the magistrates' dinners his conversation was racy and 
original, he took pains to be kind and charming, and to 
draw out new men. He was a great believer in youth, 
he considered that ' Extreme youth coupled with cere- 
monious manners ' was the best recommendation for a 
rising politician ; and he said more seriously ' We live in 
an age when to be young and to be indifferent can be no 
longer synonymous. We must prepare for the coming 
hour. The claims of the Future are represented by suffer- 
ing millions, and the Youth of a Nation are the Trustees 
of Posterity.' His speeches at Bucks agricultural dinners 
were read all over England with delight, when in his 
character as a Bucks farmer, turnips and high politics were 


deftly combined. The impersonation was very literally 
carried out. Mr. Fowler, a devoted admirer, has told us 
how startled the county people were to see ' their beloved 
M.P. entering the showyard in full panoply of agricultural 
mail ... in a brown velveteen shooting-coat with a flapping 
waistcoat, with long dark brown leather gaiters drawn 
over his black trousers, a black billy-cock hat, and a blue 
bird's-eye silk handkerchief tied loosely round his neck, 
he carried a thick spud in his hand. Every one was scream- 
ing with laughter, as the genuine Bucks farmers were dressed 
in the best modern style '. 2 Something of a theatrical taste 
in dress clung to this remarkable man to the last. 

In 1880, when Mr. Disraeli had been made a peer after 
bringing back ' Peace with Honour ' from Berlin, he had an 
enthusiastic reception at Aylesbury on the eve of a general 
election. The crowds round the George Hotel and the Corn 
Exchange were so dense that his friends endeavoured to 
take him in by a back way, but every door was bolted 
and barred, and Lord Beaconsfield asked, with a twinkle in 
his eye, ' Have you no experienced burglar about here ? ' 
At last a gentleman stole an iron meat hook from the 
butchers' market, and wrenched open the door, and in this 
way the Prime Minister entered to make a great speech. 
There was wild enthusiasm inside as soon as he was recog- 
nized, political friends and foes vied with each other to 
make the old man welcome ; but the result of the elections 
was to drive him from office for the last time.. 

Lord Beaconsfield's friendship with Queen Victoria was 
a remarkable chapter in both their lives. He first showed 
his sympathy with the queen by a speech hi the House 
of Commons on the death of the Prince Consort, ' She who 
reigns over us,' he said, ' has elected amid all the splendours 
of Empire to establish her life on the principles of domestic 
love.' When he became leader of the House of Commons, 
the queen, to show her sympathy with the Government, 
consented to open Parliament in person. His opinion of the 
crown's relation to foreign affairs exactly coincided with 
her own. ' He did what no other Minister in the reign suc- 
ceeded in doing, hi private talk with her he amused her, 
as his social charm lightened the routine of state business. 
He briefly informed her of the progress of affairs, but did 


not overwhelm her with details.' In one of his trenchant 
phrases he compared his relations with the queen with those 
of his great predecessor ' Gladstone treats the Queen like 
a public department, I treat her like a woman.' In 1876 
Disraeli introduced the Royal Titles Bill proclaiming the 
queen Empress of India. The queen loved her Indian 
subjects, and the new title pleased her extremely. In 
the following August she honoured her minister by paying 
him a visit with Princess Beatrice, in circumstances of much 
publicity. The queen passed under an arch of chairs, 
the Mayor of Wycombe presented an address of welcome ; 
she remained at Hughenden for two hours and planted 
a tree on the lawn. 

A pretty story is told of Lord Beaconsfield in old age, 
which was current about 1878. 3 ' Sitting at dinner by the 
Princess of Wales (Alexandra) he was trying to cut a hard 
dinner-roll. The knife slipped and cut his finger, which 
the Princess, with her natural grace, instantly wrapped up 
in her handkerchief. The old gentleman gave a dramatic 
groan and exclaimed, "When I asked for bread they gave 
me a stone, but I had a Princess to bind my wounds." 

The queen called him to the peerage as Earl of Beacons- 
field, and in 1878 gave him the Order of the Garter. Lord 
Beaconsfield died in London, April 19, 1881. His funeral 
in Hughenden churchyard was a memorable occasion. 
The Prince of Wales and Prince Leopold, cabinet ministers, 
ambassadors, and county magnates mingled with the 
villagers who truly mourned his loss. Four days later some 
distant neighbours, who had driven over to pay a last 
tribute of respect, found that the queen herself had come 
down that afternoon privately, to lay a wreath of white 
camellias on the grave of him whom she called ' my dear, 
great friend '. She set up a memorial tablet to him in 
Hughenden church, with an inscription of her own penning, 
and the text ' Kings love him that speaketh right '. 

The queen wrote to an intimate friend ' His devotion 
and kindness to me, his wise counsels, his great gentleness 
combined with firmness ; his one thought of the honour 
and glory of the country, and his unswerving loyalty to 
the throne, make the death of my dear Lord Beaconsfield 
a national calamity and my grief is great and lasting.' 


During the lifetime of Disraeli, another Jewish family 
settled in Bucks, whose influence in the county has been 
even more enduring and far-reaching than his own, the 
great financial house of the Rothschilds. 

The banker, whose family controlled the finance of 
Europe, Lionel Nathan de Rothschild, had to fight for 
eleven years, with the help of Lord John Russell, for the 
right of a Jew to sit in the English Parliament. He gained 
his cause at last, and bought much property in the county. 
His eldest son, Baron de Rothschild, is our Lord- Lieutenant, 
and the generous supporter of all county institutions ; his 
cousin and son-in-law, Baron Ferdinand, bought the Wad- 
desdon estate, became member for Aylesbury, and often 
entertained King Edward VII at Waddesdon Manor; his 
grandson, Mr. Lionel de Rothschild, is member for Mid 

By the marriage of the Earl of Rosebery with Miss 
Hannah de Rothschild, the heiress of Mentmore, Bucks 
numbers amongst her landowners yet another Prime 
Minister, and a most brilliant writer and speaker. 

In 1851 a cousin, Sir Anthony, bought the estate and 
rebuilt the house of Aston Clinton ; he was High Sheriff of 
Bucks in 1861. His wife, Louisa Lady de Rothschild, sur- 
vived till 1910, in full possession of her remarkable faculties 
to her ninetieth year. 

The Rt. Hon. George W. E. Russell, sometime member 
for Aylesbury, continuing the friendship between his 
family and hers, has written a sketch of this beloved lady 
from which he allows a quotation. 4 ' Both in London and at 
Aston Clinton, Sir Anthony and Lady de Rothschild 
exercised a varied and brilliant hospitality, in which what 
was merely fashionable was agreeably relieved by the 
presence of such men as Disraeli, and Bishop Wilberforce, 
Thackeray . . . Robert Lowe, Delane, and Matthew Arnold. 
The mention of Thackeray's name suggests a pleasant 
reminiscence of that really kind-hearted man. Lady de 
Rothschild once remonstrated with him on the con- 
temptuous tone which in his writings he adopted towards 
the Jewish race. He promptly made amends by inserting 
the following paragraph in the second chapter of Pendennis : 
" I saw a Jewish lady only yesterday, with a child at her 


knee, and from whose face towards the child there shone 
a sweetness so angelical that it seemed to form a sort of 
glory round both." That child was Constance de Roths- 
child, afterwards Lady Battersea.' 

This influence extended far beyond her own little daugh- 
ters ; Lady de Rothschild was a builder of schools, and a keen 
promoter of education, she loved to hear children's voices 
and children's laughter all about her. ' Her conversation 
was like her person, exquisitely gentle and refined . . . her 
convictions were clear and resolute. She was gentle in 
speech, and firm in action. She was a life-long and en- 
thusiastic Liberal, a staunch Free -Trader and an ardent 
supporter of all movements which favoured National 
Temperance. ..." Evil speaking, lying and slandering," 
vulgar gossip, and malicious tittle-tattle could not live in 
her presence. She enthroned in the shrine of her inmost 
heart the highest ideal of life and duty, and that ideal 
seemed insensibly and unspokenly to purify the surrounding 
air, and to elevate the world in which she lived.' This is 
perhaps the finest instance one can recall, of a beautiful 
soul, unspoiled by ' great possessions '. 

1 J. A. Froude, Earl of Beaconsfield. 

2 J. K. Fowler, Echoes of Old Country Life. 

3 Rt. Hon. G. W. E. Russell, Collections and Recollections. 

4 Louisa Lady de Rothschild. 



AFTER the obligations of feudal tenure had fallen into 
disuse, and before the existence of a standing army, the 
gentlemen of a county still brought their own retainers 
into the field, or the Government desired the Lord- 
Lieutenants and their deputies to levy so many men. Thus, 
in 1588, the county sent its contingent to Tilbury for the 
defence of Her Majesty's person, when the Spanish Armada 
was expected, and raised men again in 1599, when Borlase, 


Pigott, and Hampden were captains of the foot-bands. In 
1592 thirty men were to be chosen from Bucks, sent to the 
seaside, and shipped to Jersey, to strengthen Elizabeth's 
forces in Brittany, under Sir John Norris. At the outbreak 
of the Civil War, Philip, Lord Wharton, raised a regiment 
for the Parliament, which fought at Edgehill, but these new 
levies were no match for the Cavaliers. James II began 
to organize a regular army in the great camp on Hounslow 
Heath, in 1685, when the Earl of Huntingdon raised the 
13th Regiment of the Line, ' composed of men of Bucking- 

Two regiments of foot more permanently associated with 
the county were the 14th, founded by Sir Edward Hales 
in 1685, and the 16th, by Colonel Archibald Douglas in 
1688. Both these men suffered for their fidelity to King 
James ; Douglas was superseded in command of the 
Regiment by William III ; and Hales, who became a Roman 
Catholic and accompanied King James in his first abortive 
flight, was long imprisoned in the Tower, and died in 
France. His Regiment, the 14th, distinguished itself in 
the defence of Gibraltar, 1727, at Culloden, in North 
America, and in Flanders. In a desperate fight at Famars, 
near Valenciennes, in 1793, with the Duke of York in 
command, the regiment was so fiercely attacked by the 
French revolutionary troops that it fell back for a moment, 
when Doyle, their colonel, dashed to the front, and calling 
to the drummers who were under fire to strike up ' Qa Ira ', 
the spirited revolutionary song, he cried out, ' Come along, 
my lads, let's break up the scoundrels to their own tune.' 
The effect was irresistible, ' the enemy found themselves 
running away before they could turn round ' ; and in 
General Orders after the battle, ' Qa Ira ' was given to the 
14th as their own special quick march. In an arduous 
crisis during the siege of Valenciennes, this same year, the 
whole regiment volunteered to go to the assault ; and when 
the news reached Winchester of the capture of the town, 
their friends in the Bucks Militia, who were encamped there, 
fired volleys of joy in the cathedral yard to celebrate their 

In praising men of war, a famous Bucks gunsmith must 
not be forgotten. John Griffin (1692-1766), blacksmith in 


the little village of Moulsoe, was credited with making the 
best muskets and fowling-pieces which could be had ; they 
sold for six or seven guineas. In his less martial moments 
Griffin invented the Mortice Lock and a mould for covered 

To return to the soldiers the 16th Foot had fought under 
Marlborough at Blenheim, Ramillies, and Malplaquet, had 
served in America and the West Indies, and was known as 
the Bucks Regiment, while, since 1782, the 14th had been 
called the Bedfordshire. 

In 1806 Sir Harry Calvert was made Colonel of the 14th, 
and the second battalion was reinforced by a fine draft of 
120 volunteers from the Royal Bucks Militia. At the same 
time, General Wynne raised a famous regiment of horse in 
Wycombe, which town sent ninety -six men to the war with 
Napoleon, from the borough and parish. The second 
battalion of the 14th served in the Peninsula under Sir John 
Moore, and the word ' Corunna ' was inscribed on their 
colours. When they returned home the men were collected 
at Buckingham and Aylesbury, at their colonel's request ; 
were henceforth known as the Buckinghamshire Regiment, 
and again received strong reinforcements from the county 
militia ; the 16th became the Bedfordshire. 

Sir Harry Calvert was a zealous army reformer, and as 
Adjutant-General from 1799 to 1821, and the intimate 
friend and adviser of the Duke of York, he was able to 
accomplish much. He supported the plans of Colonel John 
Gaspard le Marchant for training Staff Officers, then quite 
a new idea. By adapting the old Antelope Inn at High 
Wycombe, a college was started in 1799, with a Junior 
department at Great Mario w, under the Duke of York's 
patronage ; and in 1808 his brother, the Duke of Kent, 
reviewed the young gentlemen of the Military Academy 
at Marlow ', a fine old brick house, now the property of the 
Wethered family. 

In an early Victorian novel, Cyril Thornton, which gives 
an excellent account of army life in the first years of the 
nineteenth century, the hero is represented as joining the 
colours at Dublin, and when he is presented to the Duke 
of Kent, a great stickler for military correctness, the Duke 
asks him at once, ' Are you from Marlow, Sir ? ' 

986-4 P 


The Wycombe college did excellent service under le 
Marchant, and trained over 200 officers in nine years, 
including many of Wellington's staff ; the two colleges were 
amalgamated later, and transferred to Sandhurst. General 
le Marchant was killed at Salamanca in 1812, and Wellington 
thought that ' the success was dearly purchased by his loss '. 
Two gallant young cavalry officers of Wycombe, twin- 
brothers, William and Gillespie White, fell in this war, one 
at Salamanca, the other in Egypt, both holding the rank 
of Deputy Quartermaster-General ; they are commemo- 
rated in Wycombe Church. Other Peninsular veterans 
belonging to the county were General Sir James Watson, 
born at Chilton, who served under the Duke of York, and 
commanded the 14th Regiment at the capture of lie de 
France and Java, and died at Wendover in 1862 ; General 
Sir William Clayton, of Harleyford, who after serving in 
Spain and at Waterloo was member for Marlow for thirteen 
years ; and Colonel Hanmer, another of Wellington's 
officers, who was M.P. for Aylesbury, and died in 1868, at 
the age of eighty. 

We have a lively account of the share taken by Bucks 
men in the last campaign against Napoleon, in the Recollec- 
tions of the. Earl of Albemarle, who, as the youngest ensign 
in the army, carried the colours of the third battalion 
of the Buckinghamshire Regiment to victory at Waterloo 
in 1815. ' Fourteen of the officers and 300 of the men 
were under twenty years of age they were Bucks lads 
fresh from the plough, called at home " The Bucks ", but 
nicknamed " The Peasants ". Our Colonel, Lieutenant- 
General Sir Harry Calvert, bore the name of a celebrated 
brewer, and as the 14th was one of the few regiments with 
three battalions, we were also nicknamed Calvert's Entire. 
In my C.O., Colonel Tidy, I found a good-looking man, 
of spare but athletic figure, and frank, cheerful, and agree- 
able manners ... he was in high spirits at having procured 
for his regiment a share in the honour of the forthcoming 
campaign. They were drawn up in the square at Brussels 
to be inspected by an old General Mackenzie, who called 
out to them, " Well, I never saw such a set of boys, both 
officers and men " . Tidy asked him to modify the expression. 
" I should have added," said the veteran, repeating the 


charge, " that I never saw so fine a set of boys, both officers 
and men," and upon this he ordered the colonel to march 
them off the ground, to join a brigade to garrison Antwerp. 
Tidy would not budge a step ; and Lord Hill, happening 
to pass, he appealed to him My Lord, were you satisfied 
with the behaviour of the 14th at Corunna ? Of course 
I was, why ask the question ? Because I am sure you will 
save this fine regiment the disgrace of garrison duty. The 
duke himself was fetched to inspect the men, and when they 
left the ground it was to the colonel's defiant word of 
command Fourteenth to the front, quick march.' 2 And 
that was how the Bucks lads got their wish to share in all 
the honour and the suffering of those memorable days ; so 
well did they bear themselves in this their first trial, that 
they were reported in a divisional order as having displayed 
1 a steadiness and gallantry becoming of veteran troops ' ; 
they had the word Waterloo inscribed on their colours. One 
of the first officers killed that day was Colonel Sir Francis 
D'Oyley, a distinguished descendant of an old Bucks 
family, connected with Stone and Hambleden. 

A stranger after the battle picked up a fragment of a buff 
colour on the field and asked Colonel Tidy if he had lost it. 
' That officer, almost riding the questioner down in his 
wrath, replied, No, Sir, the 14th never lose their colours ! ' 
It was remembered that the Marquess of Anglesey, who 
commanded the cavalry, passed through Bucks after the 
Battle of Waterloo, where he had left one leg behind him, 
and slept at the George Inn at Little Brickhill, a busy hostelry 
in those old coaching days. A few years later the Duke of 
Wellington passed through Aylesbury on his way to Stowe* 
' The third battalion of the 14th was disbanded in 1816 ; 
the colours of the three battalions hang in the hall at 
Claydon House. Sir Harry Calvert died there in 1827 ; 
Calvert station, in the county, on the Great Central Railway, 
is called after him. 

In 1825 the 14th distinguished themselves in India under 
Lord Combermere at the siege of Bhurtpore, when they 
led one of the wings of the assault, and were chosen to 
garrison the fallen city. Matthew Morris, of Winslow, who 
died in 1849, had taken part in this siege and in all the 
battles in India to the end of that war. 

p 2 


The 14th kept the name of the county till, under the 
scheme of 1881, it received the title of the Prince of Wales's 
Own West Yorkshire Regiment, and Bucks recruits were 
attached thenceforward to the Oxfordshire and Bucking- 
hamshire Light Infantry Regiment, the old 52nd. 

The history of the Bucks Militia, Volunteers, and 
Yeomanry, is a long and honourable one. There were large 
levies from the county under five captains to resist the 
threatened invasion of the Spanish Armada from 1585 
onwards. There was much mustering of the militias during 
the Civil War, under the Commonwealth, and after the 
Restoration, in which the gentlemen of the county took an 
active share. In the early years of George III there was 
a revival of the Militia at Aylesbury, and John Wilkes 
became their colonel in 1762, but the next year he was 
dismissed by the king's desire, to the great regret of his 
brother officers and men, as Lord Temple expressed to 

In 1779, when the French fleet was threatening our 
coasts, a Volunteer Corps was formed at Aylesbury of 
150 light horsemen. A little later the Marquess of Bucking- 
ham raised and equipped a fine body of men, ' to be attached 
to their own county militia or to form a separate corps in 
case of invasion.' He gave the men ' brown cloaks with 
red collars made in London, and a leather roll as a cloak- 
case with a pocket for 2 shirts made in Buckingham '. 
The Bucks Militia was the first to volunteer for foreign 
service during the French war, as the Duke of Buckingham 
reminded its successors, who, in 1864, were taking part in 
a grand review at Stowe, where the old colours of his grand- 
father's corps are preserved. 

The excesses of the French Revolution, and the way in 
which the victorious French armies were overrunning Europe, 
caused great enthusiasm for the defence of the country ; all 
classes were touched by it ; even the ' mad dancing master 
of Newport Pagnell ', Christopher Towles, boasted that 
young gentlemen who began to dance with him at twelve 
years' old were so agile and intelligent that they mastered 
the firelock and sword-drill as recruits in a year, better than 
those who had been a dozen years with the colours. This 
advertisement delighted the poet Cowper, ' the author,' he 


writes, 'had the good hap to be crazed, or he had never 
produced anything half so clever.' 

Sir William Young, of Delafude, Bucks, whose father had 
been Governor of Dominica in the West Indies, commanded 
the 1st Regiment of Bucks Yeomanry, for whom he pub- 
lished a book of instructions in 1797, and wrote a song, once 
well known : 

' Yeomen attend, who sword in hand 
Stand forth your country's glory.' 

At the short-lived peace of Amiens in 1802 many Bucks 
volunteers were so imbued with the martial spirit that they 
abandoned civil life, and joined the 85th Regiment, which 
was raised at Buckingham in 1793. The Bucks Yeomanry 
attended the coronation of George IV and the funeral of 
the Duke of York. 

Ten years later they were needed for suppressing riots in 
1830 and 1831 ; they were accustomed to act with the 
hearty sympathy of their fellow citizens, but in this distaste- 
ful task they were hooted and assaulted. At Oxford the 
rioters they had taken prisoners were rescued by the 
people at the fair ; and at Aylesbury the yeomanry were 
withdrawn at 3 a.m. to avoid further provocation. They 
formed a guard at Wotton House and at Waddesdon, till 
the neighbourhood became quieter. 

In 1831, an old man, Hadland, died at Olney, aged 
eighty-three, who had served in the militia as a substitute 
for the poet Cowper. 

A long period of peace abroad succeeded the great French 
war, important reforms were carried at home, and the 
accession of a maiden queen was accompanied by many 
happy omens. 

Princess Victoria's first appearance in Bucks was as a girl 
of thirteen, when she passed through High Wycombe on 
her return from a visit to Oxford with her mother, the 
Duchess of Kent. In January 1845, the young Queen and 
Prince Albert were magnificently entertained at Stowe by 
the Duke of Buckingham, amid enthusiastic demonstrations 
of county loyalty. Mr. Nield, a gentleman who had lived 
in a miserly way at North Marston, died in 1852, and left 
his large fortune to the queen, who bought the Balmoral 


estate with it, and built the castle. She contributed 
a window to North Marston Church. 

The sudden outbreak of the Crimean War in 1854 was 
a rude shock to the hopes which had gradually grown up of 
a European peace that was never to be broken. The follow- 
ing reminiscence of this war was written specially for the 
children of Bucks, by an honoured Crimean veteran, 
General Sir George W. A. Higginson, G.C.B., of Gylderns- 
croft, Marlow, who was then acting as Adjutant of the 3rd 
Battalion of the Grenadier Guards, in which regiment he 
served for thirty years. During the Crimean War he was 
twice promoted for service in the field. He commanded the 
Brigade of Guards and the Home District, 1879-84, was 
Lieut .-Governor of the Tower of London, 1888-93. As 
Governor of the Borlase Grammar School, Marlow, he has 
taken a great interest in this and other local matters. 

General Higginson writes : 

'France and England united in the Crimean War in 
resisting the ambitious designs of the Emperor Nicholas I 
against the Turkish Empire, and for the first time in 
history a combined army of French and British soldiers 
was dispatched to attack and destroy the great naval 
arsenal of the Russians on the Black Sea, Sebastopol. 
After a siege which lasted thirteen months, and during 
which the allied armies suffered hardships and priva- 
tions which no pen could adequately describe, the great 
city was captured, the dockyard destroyed, and the supre- 
macy of Russia in the Euxine annihilated. Three notable 
battles were fought during the campaign, the first soon 
after the landing in the Crimea at the Alma River ; sub- 
sequently a cavalry action at Balaklava, and a few days 
later a desperate contest on the heights of Inkerman. In all 
three the British soldiers maintained the reputation which 
many years previously they had gained in the Peninsula 
and at Waterloo under the great Duke of Wellington. 
Many acts of heroism and devotion to duty have been 
recorded by historians and others. One special instance 
which illustrates the spirit of the private soldier fell under 
my immediate notice. The allied armies had landed in the 
Crimea on the 14th September, 1854, after a tedious voyage 
across the Black Sea, during which the cholera, a violent 


form of which terrible malady had caused many casualties 
in Bulgaria, still claimed many victims ; nor did the com- 
plete change of scene and circumstances which our enterprise 
in landing on a hostile shore involved relieve us from this 
dangerous foe. On the morning of the 20th we rose from 
our bivouac and all ranks fell into their places fully aware 
that before us lay entrenched the Russian army under 
Prince Menschikoff, and that a decisive battle was imminent. 
As the different companies of my regiment took up their 
ground of formation I noticed a private soldier (let us call 
him Private Johnson) still sitting on the ground, though one 
of the smartest and most trustworthy of our men. I called 
to him peremptorily to ' ' fall in " . Receiving no reply I went 
up to him and at once recognized, in the blue-grey colour 
of his face, that the cholera had already betrayed the earliest 
symptoms. In vain did he make every effort to rise. His 
limbs, already rigid, defied every effort he made, and as no 
transport or conveyance of any kind could be obtained, my 
commanding officer decided to leave the poor fellow, giving 
him his rifle, ammunition, and knapsack, yet feeling that 
he lay at the mercy of any roving Cossack or the fatal 
termination of his physical sufferings. The order to advance 
was given, and with many a sad parting glance we left our 
comrade, seated on his knapsack, whose condition appeared 
to be hopeless. The forward movement of so large a force 
was necessarily slow, and as the undulations of the ground 
rose and fell we could notice the poor fellow a solitary 
speck in the distance, until the sound of heavy firing in our 
front and the excitement caused by the prospect of imme- 
diate engagement with the enemy dispelled all other 
thoughts. Ere long we were in action, and after fording the 
River Alma were started on the formidable ascent of the 
hill from which the Russian batteries and battalions were 
dealing heavy and destructive fire on our ranks. A slow 
and steady advance, a final rush, and the breastwork and 
battery were captured amid the cheers of victory ; but the 
first man to spring through the nearest embrasure was our 
good comrade Johnson ! The fact did not come to my 
knowledge till the battle was over, and the search for those 
who had fallen had begun. Unhurt, yet evidently again 
under the reaction of his malady, he related how that, on 


hearing the first shots fired, and aware that the regiment 
of which he was so proud was about to be engaged, he con- 
trived by a mighty effort to rise to his feet and follow us 
with ever-growing strength of resolution. He joined the 
ranks just before the final rush, and surely a more noble 
feat of arms was never accomplished. He was carried with 
the sick and wounded to the ships, and so to Constantinople, 
where in the Scutari hospital, soon to be reorganized under 
the never to be forgotten care of Florence Nightingale, he 
recovered, and on returning to England retired into civil 
life. We had many bold and brave men in our ranks ; none 
who showed a more indomitable spirit than the private 
soldier of whom this incident is recorded.' 

In 1855, Mr. Stowe, The Times Commissioner, died in 
the hospital at Scutari, the son of Mr. W. Stowe, surgeon, at 

The 14th Regiment joined in the assault on Sebastopol, 
and at the close of the war a Russian gun was given to 
Eton College. 

A Bucks midshipman, Edmund Verney, was in all the 
naval engagements of the Crimean War under a splendid 
seaman, Captain McCleverty, in H.M S. Terrible, one of the 
(then) new paddle-wheel steamers, called by the Russians 
the Black Cat with the White Paws, in allusion to her black 
hull and two large white funnels. In the bombardment of 
Sebastopol, in October 1854, she fired the first shot and 
was the closest ship in-shore. The Terrible weathered the 
great November storm in the Black Sea, in which so many 
ships were lost, and took part in the various bombardments 
and assaults of Sebastopol, till in 1856 that bravely defended 
naval fortress lay in ruins, and the Russian Fleet at the 
bottom of the Black Sea. During the war Admiral Sir 
Charles Fremantle, son of Admiral Sir Thomas Fremantle 
of Aston Abbots, was in command of Balaclava Harbour, 
and devoted himself to the care of the sick and wounded of 
the Fleet. He kept a great store of novels for those well 
enough to read, and a constant succession of convalescents 
were entertained as his guests on board the Leander. 

Scarcely had England recovered from the Crimean War 
than the far more terrible news of the Indian Mutiny in 
1857 burst upon the country, and Edmund Verney served 


as a sub-lieutenant in the Shannon's Naval Brigade, which, 
under Sir William Peel, relieved Lucknow so gallantly. 
Verney was twice specially mentioned in dispatches, and 
promoted ; and brought the King of Oude's flag and other 
trophies home to Claydon. 

One of a family that has furnished many distinguished 
naval men to the county is Admiral the Hon. Sir Edmund 
Fremantle, fourth son of the first Baron Cottesloe, of 
Swanbourne. The grandson of one of Nelson's captains, and 
nephew of Sir Charles Fremantle before-named, he entered 
the Navy in 1849, and in the course of half a century of 
active service he has seen the great change from the wooden 
ship to the ironclad, from sails to steam. He has given us 
a series of pictures of the service in The Navy as I have known 
it, which he published in 1904. Sir Edmund Fremantle has 
served in all parts of the world, but the most exciting inci- 
dents in his career are connected with the Ashanti War on 
the West Coast of Africa, 1873-4, when as a Junior Captain 
in command of H.M.S. Barracouta he acted as Senior 
Naval Officer for some months at a very critical time. An 
army of some 40,000 Ashantis were threatening the English 
forts, and attacking the tribes friendly to us. ' They were 
lithe, active men who wore little clothing, darker in colour, 
and rather smaller than the coast tribes.' 3 They were 
brave fighters and well disciplined. The troops on shore 
were a West Indian Regiment and some Houssas, so the 
only white men available were the bluejackets and marines 
of the fleet. 

^ A war on the West Coast of Africa, in a climate more fatal 
to white men than the fiercest enemy, must always be an 
anxious undertaking. To march inland is to traverse foul, 
malarial swamps, and thick bush, where natives lie concealed 
like snakes in grass, in a damp heat which takes all the heart 
out of a man ; there are no proper harbours, and the ships 
at anchor roll incessantly, landing is dangerous owing to 
the surf, and in many places impossible. Under these 
perilous and difficult conditions the small body of sailors 
and marines, under Captain Fremantle and Colonel Festing, 
completely defeated a large force of Ashantis at Elmina, 
and this first engagement of the war had a great moral effect, 
and was won with very little loss on our side. There was 


a good deal more desultory fighting, and a few months later 
Sir Garnet Wolseley was sent out as General and Adminis- 
trator, and an advance was made through jungle and swamp 
to a village called Essaman, where Captain Fremantle was 
severely wounded in the arm. He was bandaged up, and 
remained in command of his sailors, and the village was 
carried. When the march was resumed, being faint from 
loss of blood, he was put into one of the few hammocks 
available, but passing his steward lying by the side of the 
path insensible from sunstroke, Captain Fremantle insisted 
upon yielding his place to him, and marched with his blue- 
jackets for the rest of the day. 

During the whole campaign, which ended in the taking 
of Coomassie by Wolseley, officers and men suffered terribly 
from fever, from the transport difficulty, and from the 
impenetrable nature of the country, but at last soldiers and 
sailors were able to return home. At Madeira the Barra- 
couia received the news of a vote of thanks accorded to the 
forces by both Houses of Parliament, in which Captain 
Fremantle was mentioned by name ; he received various 
honours from his sovereign . Admiral Sir Edmund Fremantle 
was Commander-in-Chief in the East Indies, in China, and 
at Plymouth, and retired in 1901, after fifty-two years on 
the Active List. 

The War in Egypt in 1882 was the occasion of an act of 
gallantry and humanity by a Bucks naval officer, which 
deserves to be remembered. The town of Alexandria was 
in an uproar, Arabi Pasha had revolted against the Khedive, 
and the foreign inhabitants were in terror. The English 
fleet was in the harbour awaiting events ; H.M.S. Monarch, 
commanded by Captain Fairfax, being at anchor nearest to 
the shore. Keen eyes on board noticed that the guns 
of the Egyptian forts were carefully pointed upon her ; so 
silently when night fell she slipped her cable, and took up 
another position. The next day, June 11, 1882, the storm 
burst ; there was fierce fighting in the streets, and boatloads 
of fugitives of all nationalities were anxious to take refuge in 
English ships. Our men-of-war were bombarding the forts, 
and a chance shell from H.M.S. Sultan, aimed at a fort, 
entered the lighthouse and exploded inside of it, tearing 
away the staircase and wrecking the middle of the tower. 


At sunset the white flag was hoisted over the town, and one 
after another the forts were silent ; but the famous light- 
house was dark, and all the ships coming along that shallow, 
dangerous shore were in peril of shipwreck. Then it was 
that the First Lieutenant of the Monarch, William Pigott, 
asked his captain's leave to go on a desperate errand. 
Choosing only one bluejacket, named Curry, whom he knew 
as a man of sure foot and cool head, and taking with them 
some rope and string, matches, hammer, and nails, the two 
men cautiously made their way up the broken masonry of 
the ruined lighthouse. It was an ascent of great difficulty 
and danger ; the stones tumbled about their heads and gave 
way under their feet ; Lieutenant Pigott as the lightest and 
nimblest of the two generally led the way, and by getting 
a rope to hold here, and making a spring there, they suc- 
ceeded in reaching the platform on the top, which was quite 
intact. They found the lamp trimmed and ready, mastered 
its mechanism, and in a very short time the friendly revolv- 
ing light was flashing out to sea again ; but the lamp 
needed tending as well as lighting, and for two nights and a 
day these gallant sailors stuck to their post. Communica- 
tions had been established by signal with the Monarch, 
a rope ladder was made on board, but no other man would 
attempt the ascent, and food was sent up the lighthouse by 
the rope which Pigott had lowered. It was long before it 
could be made safe enough for the Frenchman who had been 
in charge to venture up the tower again. Lieutenant Pigott 
was specially mentioned in dispatches, and promoted ; his 
chief anxiety was that his comrade Curry should receive 
his full share of the credit and rewards. In his old house 
at Doddershall near Quainton (which is entering on the 
ninth century of its existence as the home of the same 
family) Admiral Pigott has a great copper vessel in which 
Arabi's cartridges were made, and a clock whose works he 
picked up in a street of Alexandria, which had been blown 
out of their case and through a mud-wall without being 

In the Battle of Tel-el-Kebir in the following September 
(1882), General Philip Smith, of Wendover, commanded the 
Brigade of Guards. 

A 'great Bucks soldier, whose career is associated with 


the Egyptian campaigns, is Lord Grenfell, of Butler's Court, 
Beaconsfield. After serving in the Kaffir, Zulu, and Trans- 
vaal Wars, he distinguished himself in Egypt in 1882 and 
1884 ; and became Sirdar of the Egyptian Forces, 1885-92, 
and again in 1897-8 ; he has since commanded the 4th 
Army Corps in 1903-4. Lord Grenfell comes of a family 
distinguished for financial and administrative ability ; 
originally Cornish, but settled at Taplow since the end of 
the eighteenth century. 

The close of Queen Victoria's long and brilliant reign was 
darkened by the South African War, and she deeply 
mourned the loss of many young and gallant men. Once 
again Bucks was ready and eager to offer her best sons as 
soldiers of the Queen, and one of the most popular men in 
the county, Charles Compton William Cavendish, third 
Baron Chesham, commanded the Imperial Yeomanry in 
the Boer War. Born in 1850, and educated at Eton, he 
served first in the Coldstream Guards, then with the 
10th Hussars in India, and with the 16th Lancers. On his 
retirement in 1879, he joined the Royal Bucks Hussars, and 
in 1889 became their colonel. He was a born leader, with 
a fine presence ; he had the gift of remembering faces, and 
a charming courtesy of manner which endeared him to 
gentle and simple alike. As Master of the Bicester Hounds, 
from 1885 to 1893, Lord Chesham was as familiar a figure 
in North Bucks as he was round his own beautiful home at 

When the Boer War broke out his eldest son served as 
second lieutenant of the 17th Lancers. After the ' black 
week ' of disasters, in 1899, which filled so many English 
homes with mourning, it was to Lord Chesham that the 
Government turned to organize a new force of Imperial 
Yeomanry, which he did with conspicuous success. He 
went out to South Africa in January, 1900, in command of 
the 10th battalion, which contained two Bucks companies, 
and on arrival he was given the command of the whole 
Yeomanry Brigade. He was twice specially mentioned in 
dispatches by Lord Roberts and Lord Kitchener, as com- 
manding the force he had so largely created ' with dis- 
tinction and dash '. During this campaign Lord Chesham 
had the bitter sorrow of losing his son, Lieutenant C. 


Cavendish, who met a soldier's death at Diamond Hill near 
Pretoria, June 11, 1900. It does not appear that the father 
and son ever met during the war. 

On his return from the front he became Inspector-General 
of Yeomanry, and devoted all his enthusiasm and experience 
to this work. Lord Chesham is the only instance of a man 
being given General Officer's rank from the auxiliary forces. 
In July, 1901, King Edward made him a K.C.B., and the 
people of Buckingham and his old comrades gave him 
a magnificent reception, an address, and a sword of honour. 
Reference was made to Lady Chesham's services in nursing 
the wounded at Deelfontein. At a subsequent banquet, 
when replying to the toast of his health, he insisted that 
every Yeoman present should stand up also ; it was only 
with them, and as one of them, that he would accept any 
honours. Officers and men sprang to their feet amidst loud 
cheers. Lord Chesham recalled how on the march to 
Oliphant's Nek they fought every day for seven days, and 
had only one day's rest, and how having reached the top 
of the Nek they had two days' continuous fighting. 

This gallant life was ended in a moment by a hunting 
accident, in 1907, when Lord Chesham was still in the full 
vigour of his fifty-seventh year. 

On Beacon Hill, a grassy point of the Chilterns, a monu- 
ment has been erected to the officers and men who fell in 
the Boer War ; their names are also inscribed on a bronze 
tablet in the County Hall at Aylesbury. Outside this, and 
facing the Market Square, is a simple statue of Lord Chesham 
in hunting dress, as he was familiarly known among his 

1 Hon. T. F. Fremantle's MS. Notes. 

* Recollections of the Earl of Albemarle. 

3 Admiral the Hon. Sir E. Fremantle, The Navy as I have known it. 




No sketch of Bucks biographies would be complete 
without at least a glimpse at the long line of physicians 
and surgeons of the county who have been eminent for skill 
and devotion. 

We are accustomed in literature and art to the traditional 
figure of St. Peter with his keys of the world beyond but 
here and now it is the followers of St. Luke that stand on 
guard for us at the portals of Life and Death, therefore let 
us give them honour due. We have a long roll of names 
from Roger of Wendover (already mentioned) soothing the 
deathbed of a Pope in the thirteenth century, down to 
Sir Thomas Barlow, K.C.V.O., President of the Royal 
College of Physicians, now living at Wendover, who minis- 
tered to Queen Victoria and to Florence Nightingale in the 
helpless hours of old age and death. 

Alike in their devotion to the sick, the doctors have been 
men of very different tastes and ability. There have been 
philosophers and theologians who have recognized (like 
Shakespeare's physician in Macbeth) the strange influence 
of the mind upon health, or like Dr. John Smith (1630- 
1679), who wrote a Portrait of Old Age, which he called 
' a Sacred Anatomy of Soul and Body ', tracing the influence 
of each upon the other. 

A fine scholar of Elizabeth's reign was Thomas D'Oyly, 
M.D., of Greenlands, Hambleden, whose mother had been 
one of the Queen's Maids of Honour ; besides physic and 
astronomy he had studied languages, and was one of the 
authors of a dictionary and grammar, which became 
standard works for the study of Spanish. 

Some doctors were great men socially, like Sir Thomas 
Clayton, of the Vache, Chalfont, M.D. and M.P., who was 
Cromwell's nominee for Oxford in Barebones' Parliament, 
and used his power as a magistrate to throw Quakers into 
prison, as Elwood and his friends had good reason to know. 


Others, like William Parker, M.D., without powerful friends, 
were amongst the oppressed. As a Puritan, Dr. Parker 
was thrown into Aylesbury Gaol in 1665, when it was a hot- 
bed of the plague, but removed at last to Wycombe, by 
his wife's entreaties on his behalf. 

Others have been naturalists, like Dr. Martin Lister of 
Radcliffe (1638-1712), who collected one thousand varieties 
of shells, which he gave to the Ashmolean Museum ; and 
wrote a book about them, the drawings for which were 
made by his two daughters, Susannah and Anne. Some 
were astrologers, like Dr. Robert Napier (1589-1634), 
Rector of Great Linford, who was ready to deal with soul 
and body, to foretell his patient's fate, and to dispense 
amulets and charms. Many were book-lovers and book- 
collectors, like the versatile and universally accomplished 
Dr. John Radcliffe, physician to William and Mary and 
Anne; founder of the Radcliffe Library, the Radcliffe 
Observatory, and the Radcliffe Infirmary, who has this 
threefold claim on the gratitude of posterity. He was M.P. 
for Buckingham in 1713. 

A physician's fees in the seventeenth century were large, 
and the medicines compounded by his apothecary were 
very bulky and often incredibly nasty ; Mrs. Isham, one 
of the Dentons of Hillesden, complains of ' a stinking 
balsam as would choke a dog to take it '. 1 The physic 
arrives in great bottles marked Liquor A and Liquor B, 
and a lady in the Verney letters describes her husband as 
taking twenty pills, and feeling relief after the sixteenth.' 

Surgeons and apothecaries were held to belong to a lower 
social grade than physicians. There is an outrageous story 
told as late as 1721, of an irascible baronet, Sir John 
Wittewronge, of Stantonbury (1695-1743), son of the 
member for Aylesbury in 1702 and 1705, who picked 
a quarrel with a surgeon, Griffiths, at the Saracen's Inn, 
Newport Pagnell. He insolently announced that ' such 
fellows should not act the gentleman, the man being dressed 
like a physician, with a sword and other fopperies '. 2 The 
quarrel ended in the surgeon's death ; Wittewronge was 
outlawed for it, and proved his own extreme gentility by 
contracting heavy debts and dying in the Fleet prison. 
Dr. Laurence Wright, physician to Cromwell, who held 


a distinguished office in the College of Physicians, was 
desirous that his only son should make a fashionable 
marriage ; he was able to give him a large fortune, and the 
young man was ' tall, slender and handsome, gallant, civil 
withall, and religious '. Sir Ralph Verney recommended 
him as a suitor to his Royalist friend, Sir Justinian Isham ; 
but the father was of opinion ' that the gentry had need to 
make a bank and bulwark against that Sea of Democracy 
which is overrunning them ', [and the daughter would have 
nothing to do with ' a gilded pill '.* 

Probably in this case the prejudice was chiefly political, 
for, as a matter of fact, physicians were held in high esteem. 

George Bate, M.D. (1608-1669), has been called a medical 
Vicar of Bray. He was born at Maids Morton, and when 
he had become a famous London doctor, he was ever ready 
to help his Bucks neighbours, either professionally in con- 
sultation, or by lending money to the impoverished squires. 
He had amassed great wealth, and appreciated a good 
dinner ; indeed, when he announced his intention of dining 
at Hillesden, Edmund Denton sent over in great haste to 
borrow the Claydon cook and half a dozen pigeons. But 
he never lost his active figure ; ' as lean as a death's head 
or Dr. Bate ' was a saying among his friends. 

Dr. Bate had a large practice ' among precise and puri- 
tanical people ', and was Cromwell's physician, but when 
precise people went out of fashion, he prescribed for Charles H 
with equal good will. 

A more interesting character was Dr. Martin Lluelyn 
(1616-1682), a poet and a soldier before he studied medicine. 
His poems, ' Lluelyn's Marrow of the Muses ', 3 went through 
several editions. After fighting for Charles I he was ejected 
from the University of Oxford, and became a doctor. In 
this capacity he attended his fallen master to the last, as 
far as he was permitted to do so, and received his gloves 
as a souvenir. 

After the Restoration he both doctored Charles II and 
wrote verses about him. In 1664 he settled at High Wy- 
combe, in the Dial House, now occupied by Dr. Wheeler. 
He was much esteemed as ' an eminent and learned phy- 
sician, and as a man of singular integrity of life and manners, 
and of the most comely and decent gravity and deportment '. 


He became a county magistrate, and was Mayor of 
Wycombe in 1671. When the borough wished to approach 
the King in 1681, Dr. Lluelyn was felt at once to be the 
proper person to carry the loyal address to Windsor. He 
died and was buried at Wycombe. He left three clever 
sons : Martin, a soldier ; Richard, a barrister ; and George, 
a musician and composer, a friend of PurceU's, who took 
Orders, and adhering to his father's opinions, was called 
by the Whigs ' a Jacobitical, musical, mad Welsh parson '. 

In this most interesting seventeenth century, when the 
science of healing was making immense strides, the Bucks 
doctor of whom we know most is William Denton of Hilles- 
den (1605-1691). He kept up an intimate correspondence 
for some sixty years with his nephew, Sir Ralph Verney, 
and his letters, in a small, neat hand, concisely and often 
wittily expressed, are still at Claydon House. Dr. Denton 
was educated at Oxford ; he was connected by blood with 
most of the county families, and by ties of friendship with 
them all. ' Unwearied in his devotion to the sick and 
suffering, so little hardened by familiarity that he could 
never attend a death-bed without being deeply moved, 
the trusted adviser and reconciler in many dark hours of 
family history, with a large hopefulness and toleration 
born of his wide acquaintance with human nature, a caustic 
tongue, and a generous heart, he maintained the high 
traditions of his noble profession.' 1 The Wenmans, whose 
fine monuments are in Twyford Church, were amongst 
Dr. Denton's many patients. He talks of putting ' my Lord 
and my Lady into physic ', as one would refer to a spring- 
cleaning : ' My Lord was vomited to-day and until I have 
settled them both, I cannot with any conveniency stir any 

Dr. Denton's home was in London, but he was so 
often in request in Bucks, that he passed much time in 
what he called his ' Manors of Claydon, Hillesden, and 
Stowe '. He was anxious to be abreast of all the learning 
of his time, and desired to consult medical books from 
Rome, Messina, Spain, and the Low Countries. He got 
surgical instruments from Paris, ' the French know best 
how to polish them ' ; scissors from Brussels, and lancets 
from Florence, with handles of buffalo-horn. Quinine is 

986-4 Q 


very scarce and dear, the doctor gets what he can of it, 
but he is ready to find his materia medico, close at hand if 
need be. When a groom is ill at Claydon, and a valuable 
colt also, he gives the horse ' a groundsel purge ', and the 
man ' a stonecrop vomit ', both to be gathered in the old 
courtyard. Up to the age of forty-five Dr. Denton made 
his long journeys on horseback ; after that he took to 
a coach, which proved a perpetual trouble to him. Two 
or three extra horses are required in winter ' to pull him 
through the dirt from Aylesbury', ; the coachman gets an ague, 
or a horse falls lame ; and the coach has to be left behind at 
Claydon. ' If mouldy,' writes Dr. Denton to Sir Ralph, 
' I know you are so cleanly a person as to get it wiped.' 

Dr. Denton's activity lasted to the age of eighty-six ; 
he rejoiced in the accession of William and Mary, and wrote 
a treatise vindicating the Revolution of 1688. He was 
buried at Hillesden, ' Mr. Bank of Preston preached his 
funeral sermon ; ' his very epitaph has the joyful note which 
was so conspicuous in his life ' He was blessed with that 
happy composition of body and mind that preserved him 
cheerful, easy and agreeable to the last, and endeared him 
to all that knew him.' 

Dr. Thomas Willis, M.D. (1621-1675), was a devoted 
Royalist and churchman. Having made a fortune, he pur- 
chased Whaddon Hall. His only son, Browne Willis, was 
chosen as member for Buckingham in 1705, when he bought 
a cloak of blue cloth, which he continued to wear for fifty 
years. He became an antiquary and local historian, a 
zealous restorer of churches, and a well-known figure in 
Fenny Stratford and the neighbourhood. 

Sir Samuel Garth, M.D. (1661-1719), was a fashionable 
physician and poet, much sought after for his witty con- 
versation and literary talent. ' He was a great admirer 
of Marlborough, by whose sword he was knighted.' He 
owned the Manor of Edgcott, but preferred town life. 

Dr. Friend, M.D., F.R.S. (1675-1728), had property at 
Hitcham, which descended to his son. He was Chemical 
Professor at Oxford, and went with the Earl of Peterborough 
to Spain as physician to the army ; he published a History 
of Physic. He was patronized by Tories and Jacobites, as 
Mead (another famous doctor connected with Bucks) was 

From a picture at Claydon House 



by Whigs and Hanoverians, and a pleasant story is told 
of these professional rivals when party spirit was very 
bitter. Friend was an M.P. in 1722, and when Atterbury 
was imprisoned, he was also sent to the Tower on suspicion. 
Dr. Mead at once offered to attend Dr. Friend's discon- 
certed patients, at the risk of becoming unpopular with 
his own ; and handed over all their fees to Friend on his 
release. He became physician to Queen Caroline in 1727, 
and was buried in Hitcham Church. 

A great and beneficent figure at Aylesbury and the 
neighbourhood in Victoria's reign was the surgeon and 
sanitary reformer, Robert Ceely (b. before 1800, d. 1880). 
During a terrible visitation of cholera in 1832, his services 
to Aylesbury were quite invaluable. His cheerful and brave 
spirit made his presence the best cordial in sickness and 
trouble. With Dr. John Lee, of Hart well, and Sir Harry 
Verney, of Claydon, Mr. Ceely laboured for years to found 
a county hospital at Aylesbury ; and when it was estab- 
lished he gave his professional services ungrudgingly to 
make it a success. 

Sir Henry W. Acland (1815-1900), Bart., M.D., Regius 
Professor of Medicine at Oxford, was well known and 
beloved in Bucks. His services to science and medical 
education belong to the history of Oxford and of the pro- 
fession ; but he was a pioneer of the Rural Housing' Move- 
ment, and keen about district nursing and the sanitation 
of villages. As Master of Ewelme Hospital and Trustee of 
the Charity, he was able to transform Marsh Gibbon by 
building a series of first-rate cottages to replace some 
miserable hovels ; and his writings on village health and 
village life were widely read . Sir Henry was an accomplished 
musician and artist, and whatever he took in hand he 
impressed with a touch of genius, grace, and beauty. He was 
a close friend of John Ruskin and of Florence Nightingale. 

The last of these slight sketches of Bucks doctors must be 
devoted to the grateful recollection of a general practitioner 
in a country neighbourhood, who gave his remarkable 
abilities and all his strength to the public good ; and died 
worn out by work which asked neither for personal recog- 
nition nor reward, but only that it should bear fruit. 

George De'Ath (1861-1901) inherited his father's, Mr. 


Robert De' Ath's, large practice of some thirty years' stand- 
ing, in Buckingham. He had had the advantage as a boy 
of a wider outlook than his native town afforded. Like 
Cowper, he was educated at Westminster, and he took full 
advantage of the old privileges of the School in connexion 
with the Abbey and the Houses of Parliament. He loved 
music and architecture, and took the keenest interest in 
politics. His brilliant dramatic gift, and his skill as a 
speaker and debater were developed early, indeed he was 
known as the boy -politician, and many of his school friend- 
ships endured through life. He distinguished himself at 
Guy's Hospital, and at the age of twenty-five his father's 
sudden death threw upon him the whole responsibility of 
the laborious profession of a country doctor, in great 
request over a large area. 

He wrote with ease and grace, but his daily work gave 
him little leisure for anything outside it. He was passion- 
ately desirous of improving the condition of cottage homes, 
and of making Buckingham ' one of the healthiest, cleanest, 
and most attractive towns in the country ', and he used 
his influence as Medical Officer of Health, and Coroner of 
the Winslow Division with enthusiasm in this direction. 
A friend writes of him : ' The thing which always struck 
me about Dr. De'Ath was the untiring energy with which 
he dealt with problems of hygiene and sanitation. I do not 
know of any branch of medical and surgical work that he 
was specially distinguished in, but as an all-round prac- 
titioner he had no equal.' He gave much time and thought 
to rural district nursing, in connexion with the Nursing 
Home built by Lord and Lady Addington in Buckingham. 

Death came to him at the age of thirty -nine, hastened by 
the overstrain of continual work, but his example is one 
of those influences which raise and build up the whole 

Physicians and surgeons could not carry on their bene- 
ficent work effectually while the daily care of the sick was 
committed to casual and ignorant attendants. The raising 
of nursing into a skilled profession, demanding discipline, 
training, and the utmost devotion of educated women, was 
started by Florence Nightingale during the misery and con- 
fusion attendant on the Crimean War, when nursing by 


women outside a few Roman Catholic sisterhoods was as 
she said, ' unspeakable '. She would quote a saying of 
Lord Melbourne's. ' I would rather have men about me 
when I am ill. I think it requires very strong health to 
put up with women.' Her example and teaching created 
a new type of nurse, strong, capable, gentle, efficient, and 
silent ; and Miss Nightingale showed how worthy such 
a nurse was to be held in honour, and well rewarded. 
Indirectly Miss Nightingale's influence has entirely changed 
public opinion as to paid work for women. She would 
never recognize class distinctions ; a woman must be ' sober, 
honest, and truthful, without which there is no foundation 
on which to build ' , but with this foundation no gifts of genius, 
beauty, or wealth were too good to be dedicated to the service 
of the sick, and very specially of the sick poor. 

By the marriage of her only sister, Parthenope, to Sir 
Harry Verney, in 1858, Florence Nightingale found a second 
home at Claydon, and identified herself at once with the 
interests of the county. In 1861 the Buckingham and 
Winslow Volunteers met in Claydon Park, and soon after 
this Miss Nightingale wrote to Sir Harry Verney, October 8, 
1861 : 'It was whispered to me in Sydney Herbert's time 
that Buck-shire had been behindhand in her tribute of 
Volunteers. Is that the case now ? I hope not. But if 
so it makes those that have volunteered the more noble. 
If I might venture ... I would gladly ask you to offer them 
from me a pair of colours. Probably, however, they have 
these. If so, I can only offer them from the bottom of 
my heart the best wishes of one who has " fought the good 
fight " for the army, seven years this very month, without 
the intermission of a single waking hour.' Miss Nightingale's 
contribution eventually took the form of a cup to be shot for. 

In 1861 Lady Verney laid the foundation-stone of the 
Aylesbury Hospital, in which her sister Florence took 
a deep interest. In this same year a clergyman's daughter, 
Dorothy Pattison, fired by Miss Nightingale's example to 
do some public work, became the schoolmistress of Little 
Woolstone ; she took up nursing later on, and, as Sister 
Dora, became the heroine of the Black Country. 

The fund subscribed by the nation as a tribute to Miss 
Nightingale's work was devoted by her to founding a 


Training Home for Nurses, in connexion with the re -opening 
of St. Thomas's Hospital, in fine new buildings. Miss 
Nightingale kept up affectionate personal relations with 
the matron, sisters, and nurses of the Hospital, and it was 
long a yearly f6te in the Nightingale Home, when the 
probationers, with the Home Sister in charge, came down 
for a long day to the Claydons. A summer afternoon was 
spent in the woods, and they returned to Claydon House 
laden with wild flowers, to be welcomed by her whom they 
loved to call their ' Mother-Chief '. Her sympathy was to 
be the inspiration of many an arduous and devoted career 
of her probationers in after years, in hospitals and work- 
houses, in the slums of our old cities, and in nursing centres 
newly started all over the world. 

Later on Florence Nightingale's thoughts were more and 
more directed to the prevention of sickness, and the teach- 
ing of health, what she called the ' Civil and Military Science 
of Life and Death '. In 1892, in connexion with the Bucks 
County Council she started three qualified ladies as health 
missioners, to give instruction and advice to mothers on 
the care and preservation of health from infancy onwards. 
In these efforts she was warmly supported by Mr. Frederick 
Verney, Chairman of the Technical Education Committee, 
by Dr. George De'Ath of Buckingham, and by other medical 
men. Her sympathy with the cottage mothers was very 
close and tender, and her admiration of their devotion and 
self-denial most sincere. 

Miss Nightingale was full of sympathy for the experiment 
that was being tried in the Claydons of having Village Free 
Libraries on the rates ; she contributed 50 to buy books for 
Steeple Claydon, and threw her heart into all that could 
make rural life more interesting. ' Success will be slow,' 
she wrote in 1897, ' but what ripens too fast, what is forced, 
is not what lasts the longest. The people must always be 
the most essential part of our machinery.' 

Her love for all living things was specially shown to the 
birds in whiter ; the children at Claydon House were con- 
stantly bidden by ' Aunt Florence ' to hang up mutton 
bones for them in the frost. Urgent little pencil notes 
would come down to them when she was confined to her 
bedroom : ' The Tom-tits have sent to me a Deputation 


headed by the little one who, if it were to take off its clothes, 
would find a roomy dwelling in a walnut. They state that 
two gigantic black parties, called, they believe, rooks, have 
feloniously carried off their two best bones Haste for thy 
life, post, haste.' 

On May 12, 1910, Florence Nightingale reached her 
ninetieth birthday ; on August 13, 1910, she passed peace- 
fully away in sleep, at the London house, No. 10, South 
Street, Park Lane, which had for many years been her home. 

While a great memorial service was being held in St. 
Paul's Cathedral, thronged by nurses and soldiers and some 
of the chief people of the realm, her own directions as to an 
absolutely simple, private funeral were being carried out in 
the village churchyard of Wellow, Hants, where her parents 
are buried. 

Few of the conventional signs of grief were displayed ; 
a little band of about a dozen mourners stood round the 
grave, in heavy rain ; her own soft, white shawl was the only 
pall ; and the coffin was borne and lowered into the grave 
by Guardsmen in scarlet uniforms, whose dress and bearing 
always reminded her affectionately of Inkerman Day. 

Claydon was represented there by Mr. Frederick Verney, 
M.P. for North Bucks, and his nephew, Sir Harry Verney. 

' On England's annals, through the long 
Hereafter of her speech and song, 

A light its ray shall cast 

From portals of the past. 
A Lady with a Lamp shall stand 
In the great history of the land. . . .' 

And so the long procession passes on and out of sight ; 
king, queen, saint, bishop, crusader, martyr, poet, states- 
man, teacher, soldier, physician, nurse, serving the county 
in their generation bravely and well. 

The work changes and demands new workers, 

' Who follows in their train ? ' 
1 Verney Memoirs. * Gough MSS. 3 Diet. Nat. Siog. 

Abbot, Sir William, 60. 
Abel, William, 141. 
Abercrombie, Jeremiah, 117, 

Acland, Sir Henry, 245. 
Adam, Robert, 184. 
Addington Cburch, 77, 117. 

Manor, 17, 77, 152. 

J. G. Hubbard, 1st Baron, 
77, 246. 

Lady, 246. 
Addison, Joseph, 155. 
Akeley, 139. 
Akeman Street, 21, 86. 
Albemarle.Fortibus, Earl of, 


J. G. Keppel, 6th Earl of, 

Albert, Prince, 220, 229. 
Alfred, King, 24. 
Alley, William, 91. 
Allhusen. Henry, 172. 
Alwyn, Thomas, 56. 
Amelia, Princess, 171. 
Amersham, 16, 19, 26, 38, 46, 

63, 67, 79, 82, 84, 90, 143, 

148, 152, 210. 
Anderson, George, 180. 
Andrewes, Sir Henry, 142. 
Andrews, James, 17y-80. 

Thomas, 77. 

Mr., 166-7. 

Anglesey, 1st Marquess of, 


Ankerwyke, 48. 
Anne, Queen, 155, 165, 239. 
Antrobus, Mrs., 169. 
Appowel, George & John, 76. 
Armourer, Sir Nicholas, 137 . 
Arne, Dr., 181. 
Arundel, Bishop, 52. 
Ascham, Roger, 59, 80. 
Ascott, 83. 
Ashendon, 40. 
Ashridge, 45, 82. 
Aston-Abbots, 18, 232. 
Aston-Clinton, 29, 68, 222. 
Aston-Sandford, 17, 201-6. 
Atterbury, Francis, Bishop, 

17, 165-7, 245. 

Rev. Lewis, 165. 
Atton, Bartholomew, 76. 
Aubreys, the, 123. 
Aubrey, John, 89. 
Austen, Lady, 177. 
Aveline (Fortibus), Lady, 40. 
Aylesbury, 16, 18-19,23,29, 

30, 54, 62, t>8, 73, 79, 82, 84, 
40, 142-3, 145-8, 152, 158, 
187-8, 191-2, 197-8, 201-2, 
211,220, 222,225-9, 237, 239, 
242, 245, 247. 

William de, 46. 

Ball, John, 51. 
Bank, Rev. , 224. 


Baring, Sir Thomas/195. 
Barker, Christopher, 92. 
Barlow, Sir Thomas, M.D., 

Barnard Castle, 47. 
Barnet, 62. 
Barton Hartshorn, 75. 

John, 59, 60, 143. 
Bassetbury House, 90. 
Basset, Alan, 46. 

Bate, George, M.D., 240. 

Rev. Matthew, 143. 
Baxter, Richard, 17. 
Beachampton, 73, 76. 
Beacon Hill, 237. 
Beaconsfleld, 18, 134, 148, 187- 

8, 236. 

Beauchamp, Walter, 54. 
Beckett, Thomas a, 30. 
Bedford, W. Russell, Duke 

of. 157, 162. 
Bedwin, Great, 184. 
Beke, Richard, 140. 
Belsoii, Thomas, 97. 
Belvoir Priory, 36. 
Bennett, Mr., 145. 
Berkhamstead, 31, 173. 
Bernard, Thomas, 53. 
Bernwood, 26, 30, 89, 119. 
Biddlesden, 133. 
Bierton, 62, 65, 68. 
Biggs, John, 133, 140. 
Birinus (or Berrin), 22. 
Bisham, 62, 85, 193-4. 
Blake, Admiral, 133-4. 
Bledlow, 25, 204. 
Bletchley, 55, 78, 100, 104. 
Boarstall, 18, 21, 26, 97, 118, 


Boarstall House, 119-24. 
Bohuns, the. 33. 
Boleyns, the', 83. 
Boleyn, Sir Thomas, 73. 
Bond, Catherine, 118. 
Borlase, Capt., 223. 

Mary, 79. 

Borlase's, Sir William, 
School, 82, 230. 
Botelers, the, 62, 73. 
Boteler, Lady Alice, 54. 
Bourbon Street, 202. 
Bowyer, Sir William, 18. 
Brackley, 24. 

Lord, 145, 155. 
Bradenham, 79, 84, 90, 213, 

216, 219. 
Bradwell, 48. 
Bramston, Sarah, 172. 
Brangwyn, John, 205. 
Brett, Rev. R., 17, 100-1. 
Brickhills, the, 29. 
Brickhill, Bow, 76. 

Great, 146. 

Little, 79, 94, 122, 138, 
157, 227. 

Bridgewater, Earl of,' 144, 
148, 161. 

Brill, 21, 26, 30, 33, 46, 97, 
119, 124, 162. 
Brown, Alice, 100. 

Richard, 100. 

Browne, Sir Christopher, 

Buckingham, 16, 23-5. 29- 
31, 33, 36, 46, 53-4, 62, 66, 
76, 80-1, 95, 107, 116, 118, 
139-40, 149, 158, 161, 171, 
183, 205-6, 209-10, 225, 232, 
237, 239, 242, 246, 248. 

George Villiers, Duke of, 

John de, 52. 

and Chandos, 2nd Duke 
of, 210, 228-9. 

Marquess of, 196-9, 2CO, 

Marchioness of, 196, 200. 
Buckinghamshire, 1st Karl 

of, 110. 

Bulstrodes, the, 29. 
Bulstrode, Henry, M.P., 107. 

Manor, 152, 161. 
Bunyan, John, 17, 116. 
Burcote, 62. 
Burghersh, Bishop, 67. 
Burke, Edmund, 18, 112, 184, 

187-8. 191-2, 196. 

William, 184. 
Burnet, Bishop, 11, 155. 
Burnham, 29. 

Lord, 187. 

Busby, Dr. Richard, 17. 

Sir John, 152. 

Robert, 117. 

Thomas, 78. 
Butler's Court, 187, 236. 
Butterfleld, Rev. E., 141. 

Rev. W., 162. 

Calvert, Sir Harry, 225-7. 

Station, 227. 
Campion, Sir William, 120- 


Lady, 121-2. 
Canning, George, 18, 188. 
Canterbury, 30, 37. 
Carlile, W. W., 99. 
Carpenter, Richard, 146. 
Carrington, Earl of, 184. 
Carysfort, Lord and Lady, 

Cavendish, Hon. Lieut-Col., 


Cawston, 37. 
Cecil, Sir William 80. 
Ceely, Robert, 245. 
Chalfont St. Giles, 126, 130- 

1, 142, 148, 238. 
Chalgrove Field, 113. 
Challoner, 82, 90. 
Chaloner, Sir Thomas, 90, 


Thomas, 104, 133. 
Chamberlayne, George, 118. 



Chandler, Anthony, 76. 
Charles 1, 102, 107-8, 113, 115, 

119, 126, 142, 144, 150, 157, 

170, 240. 

II, 134, 138, 144, 151-2, 158, 
161, 240. 

Charles Edward, Prince, 

Charlotte, Queen, 181. 

Chase, Thomas, 53, 67. 

Chearsley, 22. 

Chenles,46, 84, 157,165,205. 

Chesham, C. C. W. Caven- 
dish, 1st Baron, 238-7. 

16, 140-1,146, 211,237. 

Bois, 52, 77. 
Chester, Sir Anthony, 142. 
Chesterfield, Earl of, 183. 
Chetwode, 209. 

Cheyne, Sir John, 52, 61 
Chich, 23. 
Chlcheley, 123, 142. 

Archbishop, 55. 
Chilterns, 16, 21-2, 29, 53, 

68, 110-11, 134, 216, 226, 237. 
Cbilton, 113. 
Chilton House, 132. 
Chipping Wycombe, 31, 91. 
Christopher, shoemaker, 53. 
Clarke, Samuel, 144. 
Claydons, 108-9, 113, 115, 134, 

138, 141, 184, 187-8, 245, 251. 
Claydon, East, 96, 141, 165, 


House, 67, 103, 184, 187, 
227, 233, 240-2, 248. 

Middle, 19, 29, 62, 73, 78. 
95, 142, 162, 211. 

Steeple, 21, 65, 73,90, 96, 
116, 133, 248. 

Claypole, John, 137. 
Clayton, Sir Thomas, 238. 

Sir William, 226. 
Clerkenwell, 140. 
Clieveden, 181. 
Clifton-Reynes, 40. 
Cobbett, Richard, 194-5. 
Cobham, Viscount, 182. 

Viscountess, 169-70, 172. 
Cock, Mr., 148. 
Alfred H, 75. 

Coke, Sir Edward, 90, 107, 


Colchester, 123. 
Coleshill, 18. 
Colet, Sir Henry, 67. 
Colet. John, Dean of St. 

Paul's, 17, 67-69. 
Colet, Lady, 67. 
Colnbrook, 70, 77, 83. 
Combermere, 1st Viscount, 


Cooper's Hill, 124. 
Cottesloe, Sir T. Fremantle, 

1st Baron, 233. 
Courtenay, Bishop, 49. 
Cowley, Matthias, 116. 
Cowper, Ashley, 173. 

Harriet, 173. 

Cowper, Theodora, 173. 

Rev. John, 173. 

William, 18, 131, 168-180, 
187, 203, 228-9, 246. 

Cox, Richard, 59. 
Crab, Robert, 140-1. 
Crabbe, George, 18, 188. 
Cranmer, Thomas, Arch- 
bishop, 78, 93. 
Creslow, 29, 89, 133. 
Crewe, Sir Thomas, 96. 
Croke, Sir George, 113. 
Cromwell, Elizal>eth, 110. 

Oliver, 56, 111, 113, 116, 117, 
122, 124, 129, 130, 132-4, 137, 
146, 150, 165, 238-40. 

Richard, 137, 140. 

Thomas, Lord, 38, 78. 
Cublington, 29. 
Cymbeline, 21, 22. 

Danelagh, 24-5. 
Danes, 21, 23, 25. 
Danvers, Sir John, 70. 
Darby, Mr., 172. 
Dashwood, Sir John, 195. 
Datchett, 18, 33, 34, 89, 92, 

Davies, Dr. A. Morley, 19. 
Dayrell, Sir Marmaduke, 90. 

Sir Peter, 142. 
Deane, Richard, 133. 
De'Ath, Dr. George, 245, 248. 

Dr. Robert, 246. 
Delafude, 229. 
Delane, Thomas, 222. 
Denham, 45, 96. 

Sir John, 18, 84, 119-124. 

Lady, 121. 

Court, 18. 

Place, 18. 

Dentons, the, 143, 211, 239. 
Denton, Sir Alexander, 115- 

Alexander, 118. 

Anne, 115. 

Edmund, 240. 

Isabel, 81, 118. 

John, 118. 

Margaret, 104. 

Mary (Hampden), 115. 

Mary (Martin), 115. 

Susan, 117. 

Thomas, 115. 

Sir Thomas, 115. 

Dr. William, 241-2. 
Digbys, the, 96. 

Dlgby, Sir Everard, 17, 97- 

Sir John, 98. 

Sir Kenelm, 98 9. 

Mary, Lady, 98. 

Venetia, Lady, 98. 
Dinton, 140. 

Hall, 132-3. 

Disraeli. Benjamin. Earl of 
Beaconsfleld, 184, 212-22. 

Mrs., 214, 216. 
D'Israeli, Isaac, 213. 

Ditchley, 151. 
Ditton Park, 18. 
Dobson, Gerard, 81. 
Doddershall, 89, 96, 145, 235. 
Donne, Anne, 173. 

- John. Dean, 173. 
Dorchester. 22. 
Dormers, the, 96. 
Dormer, Sir Robert, 83, 96. 
Dorton, 26, 123. 
Douglas, CoL A., 224. 
Dove, Miss J. F., 184.J 
Downley, 90. 

Dovle, Col., 224. 
D'Oyley, Sir Cope, 101. 

Sir Francis, 227. 

Thomas, M.D , 238. 
Drake, Sir Francis, 84. 

Joan, Lady (Denham), 

Sir William, 84. 
Drayton-Beauchamp, 52, 92- 


Drayton-Parslow, 76. 
Dryden, John, 18, 131, 151. 
Duncombe, family of, 145. 
Dunstable, 37. 

Ebrington, Lord, 199. 
Edgcott, 242. 
Edgehill, 109, 150, 224. 
Edith of Aylesbury, 22. 
Edward the Confessor, 25-27, 

the Elder, 24-5. 
Edward I, 39-47,76. 

II. 42. 


(the Black Prince), 47-8. 

IV, 59-68. 

V, 63, 64. 

VI, 59, 73 6,79,80-2 115. 

- VII, 81, 221, 222, 237. 
Eliot, Sir John, 112. 
Elizabeth, Queen, 53, 59, 76, 

77, 81-94, 96, 110, 140, 170, 

224, 238. 
Ellwood, Thomas, 131, 148, 


Emberton, 204. 
Essex, Devereux, 3rd Earl of, 

113, 117. 
Eton, 16, 55-6, 59, 60, 80 -1 , 91 , 

119, 123, 137, 168-9, 172, 181, 

192-3, 232, 236. 
Ewelme, 55, 245. 

Fairfax, Captain, R.N., 234. 

Sir Thomas, 121-3, 129, 

Falkland, Lucius Carey, 
Viscount, 124. 
Fanshawe, Sir Thomas, 123. 
Farnham Castle, 120. 
Fawkes, Guy, 97. 
Fawley Court, 123. 
Fenny Stratford, 84, 242. 
Festing, Colonel, 233. 
Fillingham, 47. 



Fingest, 31, 67. 
Fleetwood, Major-General, 
132, 139. 

Rev. James, 142. 

Sir George, 133. 
Fletcher, Sir L. Aubrey, 26. 
Fortescue, Sir Adrian, 69. 


Sir John, 83-4, 94. 
Foscott (Foxcote), 18, 75. 
Fournesse, Rev. John, 143. 
Fowler, Edward, 66. 

Richard, 62. 

Robert, 24. 
Fowler, J. K., 197, 220. 
Fox, Charles James, 179. 

George, 146. 149. 
Foxe, John, 53. 
Frenmntle, Hon. Sir Ed- 
mund, Admiral, 233-4. 

'Mr. and Mrs. T.', 199. 

Sir Charles, Admiral, 

Sir Thomas, Admiral, 232. 
Friend, M.D., 242, 24*. 
Fuller, John, 17, 74. 
Fulmer Place, 18, 90. 

Gage, Colonel, 121. 
Garth, Sir Samuel, 242. 
Gateley, 37. 

Gawcott, 17, 204-6, 209-10, 

Gayer, Sir Robert, 170. 
Gayhurst, 17, 96-7, 99. 
George 1, 156, 166. 


Ill, 172, 181-92, 197, 228. 
Gerard, Father, 97-8. 
Gerrard's Cross, 18. 
Giffards, the, 96. 
GifTard, Walter, 29. 
Gilbert, Sir Humphrey, 204. 

Miss, 204. 

Gladstone, W. E., 184, 221. 
Gloucester, Richard. Duke 

of, 63. 

Goodwins, the, 150. 
Goodwin, Arthur, 150. 

Sir Francis, 94-5, 107. 
Grafton, 61. 
Granborough, 147. 
Granville, 199. 

Gray, Dorothy, 171. 

Robert, 96. 

Thomas, 17, 42, 110, 168- 
178, 179-80. 

Greenlands, 215, 238. 
Gregory, John, 143. 
Grenfell, Lord, 236. 
Grendon-Underwood, 86-9, 

Grenvilles, the, 182, 184, 188, 

Grenville, Lady Anne, 172. 

Hester, 183. 

Rt. Hon. George, 18, 182, 

-Lady Mary, 172. 

Grenville, Mr., 143. 
Mr.Jun., 187. 

Richard, of Wotton, 183. 

Rt. Hon. William, 18. 
Grey, Arthur, Lord, 84. 
Grey, Colonel, 214. 
Grey, Elizabeth, Lady, 61. 

Sir John, 61. 

Lord, 214. 
Griffin, John, 224, 225. 
Griffith, John, 146. 
Griffiths, Surgeon, 239. 
Grove, Jane, 146. 

Hackett, Thomas, 152. 
Hackshott, Thomas, 96. 
Haddenham, 140, 204, 206. 
Haddon, Walter, 90. 
Hales, Sir Edward, 224. 
Hall Barn, 131, 187. 

Edward, 76. 

Rev. William, 77. 
Hambledon, 66-7, 79, 85, 90, 

101, 143, 215, 227, 238. 

Viscountess, 216. 
Hampdens, the, 28, 96. 
Hampden, Captain, 224. 

Great, 110-11. 

Church, 111. 

Griffith, 86, 110. 

House, 110. 

Isabel, 97. 

John, 107, 10-115, 124, 
133, 150. 

Mary, 115. 

Richard, 137. 

Sir John, 69. 

William, 110. 
Hanger Hill, 148. 
Hanmer, Colonel, 226. 
Harby, 42. 

Harding, Thomas, 53. 
Harleyford, 226. 
Harold. 27-8, 30. 
Hartnell, John, 146. 
Hartwell, 142, 204, 245. 

House, 197-8, 201-2. 
Harvey, General, 199. 

Lady Louisa, 199. 
Hastings, Lord, 79. 
Hatton, Sir Christopher, 84, 

90, 170. 

Hedgerley, 28. 
Henn, Mr., 137. 
Henry I, 29, 30. 


Ill, 31, 35, 40, 42, 46. 
^-IV, 40, 52 54. 

V, 52, 54. 

VI, 54, 62. 

VII, 37, 54, 64, 134. 
- VIII, 65-74, 78, 83. 
Herbert, Lady Charlotte, 


Rt. Hon. Sidney, 247. 
Herschell, 18. 

Hesketh, Lady (nte Cow- 

per), 178. 
Heywood, 37. 

Higginson, General Sir G. 

W. A., 230. 
Higham Ferrars, 55. 
Hill, Lord, 227. 
Hillesden, 104, 115-19, 142-3, 

209-11, 239-42. 
Hitcham, 242, 245. 
Hobart, Sir Miles, 107, 112. 
Hogshaw, 95. 
Holland, Cornelius, 133. 
Holywell, 97. 

Hooker, Richard, 17, 92, 93. 
Horton, 77, 126, 129, 162. 
Horwood, Great, 211. 

Little, 104. 
How, William, 67. 
Hughenden, 40, 66, 213, 216, 


Hungerford, Thomas, Lord, 

Walter, 63. 
Huntingdon, Earl of, 224. 
Hurstfleld, 219. 

Huss, John, 52. 

Hyde (LordClarendon),108. 

Hyde, Sir Robert, 146. 

Ickford, 144, 166. 
Ingleton, Robert, 60. 
Ingoldsby, Richard, 133, 142. 
Isbam, Sir Justinian, 240. 

Mrs. (Denton), 239. 
Iver, 29. 

Iwardby, Margaret (Lady 
Verney), 103. 

James I, 83, 93-102, 110, 119, 

II, 151, 158, 161, 224. 
James, Dr. S. R., 38. 
Jeffreys, Judge, 18, 152, 155 


Jennings, Jonathan, 146. 
Jewell, Bishop, 143. 
John of Gaunt, 49, 50. 
John, King, 18, 32-5, 216. 
Johnson, Dr. Samuel, 131, 

169, 183. 

Jones, Inigo, 123. 
Jones, Mr., 209. 
Jordans, 148-9, 162. 
Joyce the Waterman, 80. 

Reach, Benjamin, 146. 

Henry, 146. 
Keate, Dr., 192. 
Kent, 37, 51. 

Duchess of, 229. 

Duke of, 225. 
Keynes, William de, 29. 
Kimble, Great, 21. 
Kimbolton Abbey, 73. 
King, Dr.. 180. 

Samuel, 204, 206. 
King's Sutton, 24. 
Kinloss, Baroness, 203. 

Langland, Win.. 48. 
Langley Marsh, 61, 145. 



Lathbury, 142, 166-7. 

Martin, Mary, 115. 

Latimer, Bishop, 38, 126. 

Mary II, Queen, 162, 165. 

Lord, 152. 

Tudor, Queen, 46, 59, 66, 

Laud, Archbishop, 107, 111. 

74, 76, 79, 81-3, 90, 170. 

Lavendon, 29, 79. 
Grange, 18. 

Mayne, Simon, 132, 133. 
Mead, Dr., 242, 245. 

Leckhamstead, 143. 

Matthew, 145. 

Lee, family of, 197. 

Miss, 188. 

Lady Elizabeth, 198. 

Meads, ' Cracky,' 209. 

Sir George, 197, 202. 

Medmenham, 191. 

Sir Henry, 84. 

Melbourne, Lord, 246. 

Dr. John, 245. 

Mentmore, 19, 222. 

Father Roger, 97. 

Mercer, 96. 

Sir Thomas, 142, 161. 

Mercla, 22-4, 25. 

Leeson, Mr., 188. 

Milton, Anne, 124, 126. 

Leicester, Dudley, Earl of, 

Christopher, 124, 126. 


Deborah, 131. 

Leighton Buzzard, 188. 

John, sen, 124. 

Le Marchant, Colonel John, 

John (poet), 18, 124-32, 


142, 148, 168. 

Lenborough, 18, 133, 142, 209. 

Keynes, 17, 29, 165. 

Leopold, Prince, 221. 

Minshull, Elizabeth, 130. 

Lewis, Mrs. Wvndham, 214. 

Missenden, Great, 53. 

Lillingstone Dayrell, 91, 

Robert of, 53. 


Modwenna, 22, 23. 

Linford, Great, 239. 

Monk, General, 133. 

Linford, Little, 75. 

Monks Risborough, 37. 

Manor of, 62. 

Moumouth, James, Duke of, 

Linslade, 29. 


Lister, Anne, 239. 

Montagu, Lord, 62, 96. 

Dr. Martin, 239. 

Monteagle, Lord, 98. 

Martin, M.P., 95-6. 

Montfort, Simon de, 40, 216. 

Susannah, 239. 

Moore, Sir John, 225. 

Littlebov, 148. 

Morden, James, 53. 

Lloyd, Mr. & Mrs., 199. 

More, Sir Thomas, 68, 70. 

LJuelyn, George, 241. 

Morris, Matthew, 227. 

Dr. Martin, 240, 241. 

- William, 126. 

Martin, jun., 241. 

Moulder, Betty, 205. 

Richard, 241. 

Moulsoe, 225. 

Loakes Manor, 184. 

Mary, 97. 

Lollards, 17, 38, 47, 52-3. 
Long Crendon, 54. 

Mursley, 83, 84, 96. 
Myers, John, 75. 

Longville, Earl of, 29. 

'Lord Williams' School,' 

Napier, Dr. Robert, 239. 

111, 131. 

Napoleon Bonaparte, 196-7, 

Louis XVIII, 195-204. 

199, 201-2, 225-6. 

Lowe, Robert, 222. 

Nelson, Lord, 233. 

Ludgate Hill, 22, 192. 

Nevilles, the, 199. 

Ludgershall, 26, 47, 53. 

Newark, 34. 

Ludlow. 63. 

Xewcome, Robert, 76. 

Luke, Colonel, 116, 132. 

Newman, Cardinal, 205. 

Lutterworth, 47, 51. 

Newport Pagnell, 16. 17, 55, 

Lynch, Euphemia, 204. 

62, 76,79, 83, 116, 117, 122, 

Lytteltons, the, 182. 

145, 147, 149, 152, 167, 228, 


McCleverty, Captain, 232. 

Newton, Rev. John, 17, 177, 

Mackenzie, General, 226. 


Magna Carta, 34. 

Sir Isaac, 18. 

Maids Moreton, 143, 209-10, 

Longville, 29. 


Nichols, George, 96. 

Man, Thomas, 67. 

Nield, Mr., 229. 

Mandevilles, the, 33. 

Nigel of Boarstall, 26. 

Marlborough, Duke of, 225, 

Nightingale, Florence, 19, 


232, 238, 245-50. 

Marlow, 16, 31, 46, 73, 75, 82, 

Norland Wood, 67. 

85,107, 112, 148, 158, 193, 194, 

Norman, Joan, 53. 

225-6, 230. 

Norris, Sir John, 224. 

Little, 26, 67, 79. 

North Marston, 37, 38, 39, 

Marsh Gibbon, 55, 245. 

147, 229-30. 

Oakley, 119, 162. 

Rev. . 142. 
O'Donnell, Miss, 1!)9. 
Oldcastle, Sir John, 52. 
Oldrid, Carry, 210. 

J. H.,210. 

Olney, 16, 21, 29,52, 149,168, 

Orange, Prince of, 161-2. 
Ormonde, Earl of, 134. 
Ouse, 16, 21, 24, 73, 167, 177. 
Oving, 28. 
Owen, Sir Richard, 18. 

Packington, Sir John, 134. 
Padbury, 116, 117. 
Parker, Dr. William, 239. 
Parr, Catherine, Queen, 73. 
Paulet, William, 61. 
Peacock, Thomas Love, 18 

Peckham, Sir Edmund, 79. 
Peel, Rev. , 142. 

Sir Robert, 214. 

Sir William, 233. 
Penda, 23. 
Penington, Isaac, 147-9. 

Mary, 148. 
Penn, 187, 196. 
Penns, the, 28. 
Penn, John, 172. 

Thomas, 172. 

William, 148-9, 172. 
Peterborough, Earl of, 242. 
Philips, Sir Edward. 95. 

Thomas, 166. 
Phillips, Edward, 126. 

Elizabeth, Abbess, 166. 
Pigotts, the, 89, 96. 
Pigott, Captain, 224. 

Admiral William, 235. 

Sir Christopher, 95, 96, 

Squire, 145. 
Pitts, the, 182. 

Pitt, William, 183, 184. 
Poges, Robert, 169. 
Pole, Cardinal, 166. 
Pope, Alexander, 18, 166, 168, 


Potter, Agnes, 109. 
Powell, Mary, 130. 
Preston Bissett, 118, 242. 
Princes Risborough, 25, 133, 

145, 205. 

Pritchard, Humphrey, 97. 
Proby, the Hon. Granville, 


Lady Charlotte, 199. 

Lady Fanny, 199. 

Lord, 199. 
Purcell, 155, 241. 
Purefoy, Colonel, 143. 
Pyrton, 111, 114. 

Quainton, 17, 100, 103, 151, 
Quakers, 17. 



Quarles, Francis, 101. 
Quarrendon, 23, 85. 

Radcliffe, 141, 289. 

Dr. John, 239. 
Raleigh, Sir Walter, 102, 


Raunce, John, 90. 
Reuben, John, 81. 
Reynolds, Dr., 100. 

Sir Joshua, 188, 198, 209. 
Richard I, 31, 40. 

II, 52, 59. 

Ill, 63. 

Roades, William, 108, 138. 
Robert the Miller, 53. 
Roberts, the, 91. 

George, 143. 
Rochester, Earl of, 137-8. 
Rockingham, Lord, 191. 
Rogers, Mrs., 169. 

Rolfe, infant Hercules, 188. 
Rosebery, Earl of, 18, 182, 
184, 222. 

Ross, Sir James, 18. 
Rothschild, Anthony de, 222. 

Constance de (Lady Bat- 
tersea), 223. 

Baron Ferdinand de, 222. 

Miss Hannah de, 222. 

Lionel de, 222. 

Lionel Nathan de, 221 

Louisa, Lady de, 222, 223. 

Nathan Mayer de, 1st 
Baron, 222. 

Runnymede, 18, 33. 
Rupert, Prince, 114, 132. 
Ruskin, John, 245. 
Russell, Francis, Earl of 
Bedford, 84. 
- Right Hon. G. W. E., 222. 

John, 146. 

John, Lord, 222. 

Lalv, 85. 

Lord, 69. 

Rachel, Lady, 157-65. 

William, Lord, 157-62. 

St Barbe, Ursula, 123. 
Balden House, 83, 84. 
Sandys, Q2. 

Scawen, Sir William, 162. 
Scott, Sir Gilbert, 17, 204- 

Thomas, 17, 133, 203-6. 

Thomas, jun., 204, 206. 

Sir Walter, 18. 
Scrope, Adrian, 133, 134. 

Bernard, 180. 
Seymour Court, 73. 

Jane (Queen), 73. 
Shadwell, 146. 
Shakespeare, 40.89, 126, 130, 


Shardeloes, 84. 
Shelburne, Lord (Marquess 

of Lansdowne), 183, 184. 
Sheldon, Archbishop, 144. 

John, 17. 

Shelley, Percy Bysshe, 18, 


Mrs., 193-4. 
Sheuley, 143. 
Sherrington, 68, 76, 122. 
Shobbington, 28, 29. 
Shorne, Sir John, 37, 38. 
Sidney, Sir Philip, 126. 
Simeon, Charles, 204. 
Skippon, General, 121. 
Slough, 16, 82. 

Smart, William, 188. 
Smith, Bishop, 66, 67. 

Captain, 109. 

Colonel, 116-18. 
Dr. John, 238. 

General Philip, 235. 

Richard, 91. 

Sir William, 139, 142. 

Rt. Hon. W. H., 19, 215. 
Soulbury, 145, 146. 
Southampton, Earl of, 157. 
Sparke, Rev. William, 100. 
Springett, Gulielma, 148. 

Lady, 147. 
Stafford, Edmund, 142. 

Thomas, 139. 

Stanley, Arthur, Dean, 212. 
Stamnore, 201. 
Stanton St John, 124. 
Stantonbury, 239. 
Stephen, King, 29. 

Sir James, 206. 
Stoke, Amicla de, 169. 

- Court, 90, 172. 

Goldington, 203. 

Hammond, 78, 146. 

Mandeville, 112. 

Park, 172. 

Poges, 29, 63, 79, 107, 168- 
70, 172. 

Stone. 226. 

Stonyhurst, 78. 

Stony Stratford, 16, 45, 46, 
61, 63, 64, 161. 

Stowe, 18, 29, 32. 107. 115, 
118, 137, 171, 181-3, 187-8, 
199, 200, 203, 209, 227-9, 241. 

- Mr. W., 232. 

Mr., jun., 232. 
Stratford, Earl of, 107, 108, 

124, 150. 
Stratton, Matthew de, 36, 


Styles, Robert, 118. 
Sudbury, Archbishop, 49. 
Suffolk, Earl of, 55. 
Sutton, Bishop Oliver, 46. 
Swanbourne, 73, 84, 132, 233. 
Swift, Dean, 155. 
Swinho, George, 145. 
Symeon, Elizabeth, 111. 
Symes, Mrs. Jane, 166, 167. 

Tulbot, Neil, 199. 
Taplow, 29, 236. 
Tavistock, Marquess of, 162. 
Temples, the, 115, 182. 

Temple, Countess, 171. 

Earl, 171. 

Hester, 183. 

Lady, 199. 

Lord, 228. 

Sir Peter, 133. 

Sir Richard, 137, 152. 
Thackeray, 181, 222. 
Thame, 111, 114. 
Thames, 124, 193, 194. 
Thomson, James, 18, 183. 
Thornton, 59. 

Church, 76, 78. 

Hall, 59. 

School, 81. 

Spencer, 17. 
Throckmortons, the, 17, 96. 
Throckmorton, Mr., 178. 

Sir Robert, 167. 
Tidy, Colonel, 226, 227. 
Tilbury, 92, 223. 
Tillotson, Archbishop, 177. 
Tingewick, 21, 76, 209. 
Tothill, William, 84. 
Towles, Christopher, 228. 
Townshend, Robert, 141. 
Tresham, 98. 

Trone, 151. 
Twyford, 241. 
Tyburn, 97. 
Tylesworth, Joan, 53.- 

William, 53. 
Tyrell, Sir Hugo, 69. 

Sir Thomas, 161. 
Tyringhara, 25, 60, 143. 

Anthony, 96, 143. 

Sir John, 60. 

Udall, Nicholas, 59. 
Unwin, Mr., 177. 

Mrs. Mary, 173, 177, 178, 

Upton Church, 172. 
Ussher, Archbishop, 107. 

Vanbrugh, Sir John, 183. 
Vandyck, Sir Anthony, 98, 


Vane, Sir Harry, 129. 
Velvet Lawn, 21. 
Verneys, the, 78, 96, 115, 150, 

Verney, Sir Edmund, 73. 

Sir Edmund (Standard 
Bearer), 102-9, 116, 150. 

Sir Edmund, jun., 134. 

Sir Edmund Hope, 232-3. 

F. P., Lady, 247. 

Sir Francis, 102-3. 

Frederick, 248, 250. 

Sir Harry, 245, 247. 

Sir Harry C. W., 250. 

Colonel Henry, 137. 

Sir John, 62. 

Dame Margaret, 68, 107-8, 

Mary, jun., 165. 

Sir Ralph (Lord Mayor) 
62, 69. 



Verney, Sir Ralph, 70, 73, 
161.165, 240-1. 

Ursula, 10a 

2nd Earl, 184, 187-8. 
Victoria, Queen, 18, 25, 211, 

213, 216, 220-1, 229, 236, 238, 
Vincent, Nathaniel, 145. 

Waddesdon, 29, 145, 151, 222, 

Wales, Princess of (Queen 

Alexandra), 221. 
Walker, John, 209. 

Robert, 134. 

Waller, Edmund, 18, 81, 121, 
151, 187. 

Mary ,134. 
Wallingford, 22. 
Walpole, Horace, 169, 171, 


Walsingham.Our Lady of,3S. 
Walton, Isaac, 92. 
Wandsworth, William, 62. 
Warham. Archbishop, 68. 
Warr, Benjamin, 209. 
Warwick, Beaucbamp, Earl 

of, 54, 61, 62. 
Water Eaton, 123. 
Watling Street, 21, 45. 
Watson, Sir James, 226. 
Waynflete, William, 56, 59. 
Wellington, Duke of, 202, 

226, 227, 230. 
Wendover, 17, 18, 35, 38, 46, 

65, 68, 111, 140, 151, 158, 

184, 187, 235, 238. 

Richard of, 35. 

Roger of, 35, 36, 238. 
Wenman, Lord and Lady, 


Wentworth, Sir Roger, 69. 
Wesley, John, 204. 
West, John, 206, 210. 
Westbury, 59. 

Provost, 59. 

Weston, Ann (Lady Ver- 
ney), 70, 73. 

Sir Francis, 73. 
Weston-Underwood, 17, 96, 

167, 168, 178, 203, 204. 
Weston-Turville, 68, 180. 

Wethereds, the, 225. 
Whaddon, 59, 84, 104. 

Hall, 242. 
Whartons, the, 157. 
Wharton, Anne (Lee), Mrs., 


Arthur, 150. 

Harry, 152. 

Jane, Lady, 150. 

Philip, Lord (4th Baron), 
95, 123, 145,149-151.224. 

Philip, Duke of, 156. 

Thomas, 1st Marquess of, 

Marchioness of (Lucy 
Loftus), 155. 

Nehemiah, 111. 
Wheeler, Dr., 240. 
Whitchurch, 143, 180. 
White, ' Nanny,' 209. 
White, William and Gilles- 

pie, 226. 

Whiteleaf Cross, 25, 110. 
Whitelocke, Bulstrode, 215. 
Whittingham, Margaret, 62. 

Sir Robert, 62. 
Whittlebury Forest, 61. 
Wilberforce, Samuel, Bp., 

Wilkes, John, 18, 188-192, 


Willen, 17, 123. 
William the Conqueror, 28, 


Ill, 140, 151, 162, 170, 224. 

and Mary.155,162, 239,242. 

Rufus, 27. 
Williams's, Lord, School, 

Thame, 111. 
Willis, Browne, 77, 78, 81, 

84, 167, 242. 

Willis, Dr. Thomas, 242. 
Willoughby de Eresby, 

Lady, 151. 

Wilson, Daniel, Bishop, 206. 
Winchendon, 145, 150, 155, 


House, 152. 
Winchester, 224. 
Windsor, Sir Edward, 80. 

Edward, Lord, 84. 

Miles, 84. 

Sir William, 79. 

Wing, 70, 83, 96, 122. 
Wlnslow, 21, 24, 104, 117, 
123, 132, 139, 142, 14C, 227. 
Winwood, Ralph, 137. 
Wither, George, 120. 
Wittewronge, Sir John, 239. 
Woburn, 29, 68. 

Abbey, 157. 

Wolsey, Cardinal, 66, 67, 70. 
Wolverton, 16, 2t), 82. 

Old, 78. 

Wooburn, 30, 31, 66, 67, 151. 

Church, 150. 

House, 150. 
Woodside, 148. 
Woodstock, 83. 
Woodville, Elizabeth, 61. 

Sir Richard, 61. 
Woolleys, 67. 
Woolston, Little, 247. 
Worcester, Bishop of, 27, 35. 
Wormisley, 133. 
Wotton, 183. 

House, 143, 229. 
Wraysbury, 33, 61, 65. 
Wren, Sir Christopher, 123, 


Wright, Dr. Lawrence, 239. 

Wrighte, .Sir Nathan, 99. 

Wulwin, 26. 

Wyatt, Sir Thomas, 82. 

Wycliffe, John, 17, 47-53. 

Wycombe, 16, 21, 26, 27, 31, 
33, 38, 46, 67, 80, 81, 82, 90, 
107, 142, 145, 148, 158, 183, 
195, 214, 221, 225-6, 229, 
239, 240, 241. 

Abbey, 184. 
Wynn, Miss, 199. 

Sir Henry Williams, 198. 
Wynne, General, 225. 

Yarmouth, 46, 197. 
Yewden House, 85. 
York, Archbishop of, 63. 

Frederick, Duke of, 224- 
6, 229. 

Richard, Duke of, 60. 
Young, Mr. and Mrs., 199. 
Young, Thomas, 124. 
Young, Sir William, 229. 

Zachary, 148. 

Oxford : Horace Hart, Printer to the University. 


DA Verney, Margaret Maria 

670 (Williams -Hay 

B9V4 Bucks biographies