Extracts from: "The Story of Haversham" by Rev. Samuel Hilton, M.A. Rector of Haversham

Difficulties of the Rector. 1309

The lot of the Rector was not always a path of roses, even in the Middle Ages. Although William de Ledcomb had been the Rector for 18 years, the new Lord of the Manor did his utmost to make things unpleasant for him. A Commission was appointed in 1309, on complaint by William, parson of the Church of Haversham, that John de Olneye, John le Hare, Robert le Long and Nicholas le Someter with others at Haversham, Co. Bucks., assaulted and imprisoned him, and forbade the inhabitants of Haversham to give him tithes, fire or water, or to speak with him, assaulted his servants, took away his plough oxen and other cattle from the common pasture there, and kept them without food, so that many of them died, prevented his servants from saving his hay and his corn, and with the cattle of the said John de Olneye depastured the herbage of his meadow and his corn.”

No reason is given for this violent hostility. Had the fault been entirely on Mr. Ledcomb’s part it would no doubt have been recorded. It is not surprising to discover that Mr. Ledcomb resigned two years later.

At the same time, Sir John did not have things all his own way, for he too had to make a complaint “touching a breach of the park at Haversham.” Feelings ran very high in those days.


A still more serious affair occurred 48 years later. The parson of 1357, Robert Sturmy, was attacked by William Golds, the bailiff of Newport Pagnell, and in defending himself against Golds, Sturmy accidentally killed him! Again no reason is given why the bailiff should have been so violent, but it is satisfactory to know that the Rector was pardoned, and that he was not obliged to resign in consequence. He died in office in 1361.

Buckinghamshire Inquests & Indictments 1373

Haversham, Tuesday 27 December 1373

Vills: Gayhurst, Little Linford, Hanslope, Castle Thorpe and Haversham.

Jurors: Simon Rous, John Olyver, John Edy, John Atte Welle, Thomas Rode, John Gybbessone, John Moxham, John Tayllour, Walter ate Yate. Simon Loughton, Peter Webbe and John Webbe.

On Sunday 25 December 1373, immediately after the first hour, John Ruffun [?] of Haversham found Geoffrey Fysshere dead in a toft called Pleystow (pledges: Simon Rous, John Olyver). Neighbours: John Edy (pledges; John Olyver, John Tayllour); John Atte Welle (pledges Thomas Rode, John Webbe); John Webbe (pledges: John Terry, John Edy); John Terry (pledges; John Webbe, Simon Loughton).

Verdict; On Sunday 25 December 1373 Geoffrey Fysshere and John Bagge junior of Haversham were playing together at Haversham in a toft called Pleystow. It happened that Geoffrey ran towards John, and John’s knife, in its sheath, accidentlly wounded Geoffrey in the leg, so that he died at once. Value of knife ½d., for which Haversham is responsible.

Centre for Buckinghamshire Studies

Buckinghamshire Quarter Sessions



*R. v John Dempsey, Hanslope?, Assaulting Samuel Lovell, with another person not in custody. Witness: Samuel Lovell, labourer, Haversham, John Dorrell, day labourer - Battams, John Greaves Not guilty.

FILE - Interleaved volume containing notes on the cases, made by the presiding Justices in Quarter Sessions. - ref. QS/JC/5 - date: (Midsummer Session 1821 - Michaelmas Session 1824)
item: Midsummer 1821 [no ref. or date]

R. v Thomas Barley Haversham, Grand larceny - stealing a leaden pipe. Witnesses: Jonathan Herbert, Haversham, blacksmith. James Herbert, son of Jonathan. Benjamin Bates, constable of Stony Stratford at time of offence. John Lyons, Clerk of Old Stratford Wharf. Not guilty - it was found that jury had mistaken christian name and the son (Thomas) had been accused instead of the father (James).

[from Scope and Content] R. v James Barley Haversham, Stealing lead Witness: John Lyons, wharfinger at Old Wharf, Stony Stratford. Guilty

FILE - Interleaved volume containing notes on the cases, made by the presiding Justices in Quarter Sessions. - ref. QS/JC/6 - date: (Easter Session 1821 - Epiphany Session 1824)

item: Midsummer Session, 1821 [10 July] [no ref. or date]

R. v Thomas Barley, Haversham, Stealing 1 leaden pipe, valued at 6/-, 43 lbs. lead value 6/-, property of Jonathan Herbert. Witnesses: Jonathan Herbert, blacksmith. James Herbert, son of above. Benjamin Bates, constable of Stony Stratford. John Lyons, clerk at Old Stratford Wharf, and wharfinger. Guilty.

R. v James Barley, Haversham, Stealing 1 leaden pipe value 6/-, property of Jonathan Herbert. Witnesses: Jonathan Herbert, vide preceding trial, James Herbert, vide preceding trial, Benjamin Bates, vide preceding trial, John Lyons, vide preceding trial Guilty - to be imprisoned in House of Correction to hard labour for 12 months.

item: Easter Session, 1822 [no ref. or date]

R. v Thomas Chester, Haversham, Stealing a drag, property of Edward Ratcliffe Witnesses: Edward Ratcliffe, labourer of Haversham, Wm. Ratliffe, son of last witness Guilty - to be imprisoned in Common Gaol three months at hard labour

FILE - Similar volume - ref. QS/JC/6A - date: 1825 - 1828

item: Epiphany Session, 15 January 1828 [no ref. or date]

R. v William Jones, Joseph Jones, Whaddon, Breaking and entering a barn within the curtilege of a dwelling house belonging to John Chapman, and stealing 20 bushels of barley 80/- and 5 sacks value 10/- on 30 Nov. 2nd Count - stealing said barley and sacks Witnesses: John Chapman, farmer at Whaddon, S. Holman, jun. Haversham, son of miller, Samuel Holman, miller at Haversham Mill, William War, constable of Bletchley, Mr. Moore, clerk to Mr. Congreve Guilty - six months' hard labour

Victorian prisoners

Aylesbury Gaol in the 19th Century

Forename Surname Age Place of Birth Place of Residence Crime Photo
John Clarke
Haversham Newport Pagnell -
Haversham Haversham Poaching

Wolverton Express December 29th 1939

Stony Stratford Petty Sessions


A Haversham defendant who had a “joke” played upon him by a friend in having his cycle lamps extinguished had to pay 10s.
He was Frank George Bates, Wolverton Road, Haversham, and he was summoned for riding a bicycle without a front or rear light. He pleaded guilty.
The facts were stated by Supt. F. Bryant. Defendant said he put his lights on the cycle whilst in the Wolverton Railway Works, and whilst the cycle laid against the wall a person turned the lights off. He went out with the rest of the men and did not notice the light were not on “ I had not gone ten yards before being stopped by Constable Stewart”, he said.
Bates said that the fellow who did it had sent a letter to the magistrates:
The Clerk: You should have brought him here. Supt F. Bryant: I admit that is quite correct, but we have to protect the public.
The Chairman, in announcing a fine of 5s. on each summons, said it was up to the defendant to see the lights were on.