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Parish of Sherington

Sidney F. Morgan wrote the following article in October 1977.

This was known as SERINGTONE given by William the Conqueror to Bishop Constance and later as SHERRINGTON with owners known as De Sherrington 800 years ago. Later owners were the Tyringham family when the Linford family were owners 500 years ago they sold to the Reynes family of Clifton Reynes: Sir John Chester of Chicheley became owner in 1710. The Mercers Company of London also had a farm here.

In June 1645 the parliamentary Army was encamped here. Edward Fuller of Watford 300 years ago left a sum of money for this parish whereby the Rector would receive 1 to preach a sermon on 27th March each year in memory of this man, another ten shillings for Church wardens and 26 floor people to receive half crown each.

Population of Sherington 100 years ago was 826, and the School in Parsons Lane with 40 children was maintained by the Rector. There were 12 farmers, 3 shops, 3 pubs, 4 carpenters 2 wheelwrights , 2 tailors, 2 blacksmiths, 1 mason, 1 butcher, 1 lace dealer, 1 dressmaker, 1 matting dealer, 1 fellmonger. Yes! Times have changed! In early days of last century the wage of an agricultural worker was 8s 6d weekly with, if lucky, milk and small beer (3 pints daily). Beer was 3d a gallon. Pork 8d a lb, cheese 9d and Tea 8d a lb. Rent 35 shillings per annum.

In bygone days local residents considered it advisable to have a black tom cat in the house - reason -tail came in handy to rub your eye if you bad a stye on your eyelid. Roasted onion in your ear cured ear-ache. Blacksmith served as dentist. I have seen a dentist in Olney Market place, pulling out teeth providing you purchased from him some tooth powder. Surgery in olden days was in the hands of a Barber Surgeon, and you could have your hair, corns or throat cut there. Basins of blood were shown in their windows.

You could get drunk for one penny and dead drunk for 2d - fortunately history does not always repeat itself! In olden days hospitals were rough and ready - four and perhaps six in one bed. Think of some people you would like to be in bed with and some you would hate as bedfellows.

The Parish Church, dedicated in honour of St. Laud, a French Bishop, has a fine tower 62 ft. high. The Parvise, or small room above the Porch, was used in former times as a Library or Record Office and sometimes as a School. The Court of the Hundreds and the Law Courts were also held there. The Priest sometimes lived there in centuries past. The Independent Chapel was erected in 1882. The Rector of Clifton Reynes was hanged in the 17th Century for sheep stealing. Nowadays anyone can kill any number of people and be rewarded with so called life imprisonment which means freedom again in a few years!

500 years ago, and since then, food, clothes, tools and furniture were all produced at home but very different to our homes today. Bread was from rye or barley grown, reaped, and ground locally. Fleeces and skins were dressed and woven into garments. Woods and forests provided ideal homes with wooden huts. The bride was bought from her kinsman with money or cattle. Serfs were the lowest class and they could be slain by the masters' hand or sold to another. Next to him was the Boor - he was bound to work two days weekly for his lord at his death the whole of his belongings became possessed by the lord. Rate of pay sixpence for ploughing and harrowing one acre of land. Whole days washing and shearing sheep - one half penny. Do you ever hear any gossip in Sherington? In some places it spreads much quicker than measles!! Anyone in favour of the old custom whereby women found guilty of spreading false information were forced to wear gossip's bridle for a certain period - a steel frame with a bit in the mouth to hold the tongue. I have seen a bridle in a horse's mouth but never in a Sherington woman's - but I have seen more gossipers than bridles in my travels.

King George the Sixth and the Queen (now the Queen Mother) have spoken to me of passing through Olney and Sherington many times. Queen Elizabeth has also travelled this way.


This is one of two brief histories of Sherington as seen through the eyes of two senior residents of the village, Philip Smith and Sidney F Morgan, available on the web site after transcription by Norman Arnold in March 2005. For a much fuller and in depth history of the village, the book written by Professor Chibnall 'Sherington - Fiefs and Fields of a Buckinghamshire Village', will answer all or most questions that the reader would wish to ask. Also the complementary book by the same author 'Beyond Sherington', gives an insight into the growth of the Sherington Parish.

Philip Smith's History of Sherington - Back to Village Events


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Latest Revision: 24 October 2007