History and Topography of Buckinghamshire
comprising A General Survey of the County
preceded by an epitone of the Early History of Great Britain
by James Joseph Sheahan
Pages 600 to 603 are devoted to Sherington. The following is a transcription of these pages.
SHERRINGTON, or Sherington, is a parish of 1,780 acres and about 800 inhabitants. Its rateable value is £2,301. The soil is chiefly clay, the sub-soil galt. The Village, which is a large one, is situated about 2 miles N. from Newport Pagnell, and 3 miles S. from Olney, and on the road between those two towns. It is divided into two parts—the church, and the greater portion of it being seated on an eminence, the remainder in a hollow. In the latter portion are several good brick houses, some of which are of modern date and in the Gothic style ; and these impart an air of respectability to this part of the place. Sherrington Bridge, which crosses the Ouse, is a handsome structure of three large and two small arches. The women and children make pillow-lace in this and the neighbouring parishes. The open fields in Sherrington parish were inclosed under an act passed in 1796.
Serintone was given to Geoffrey, Bishop of Constance, in Normandy, by William the Conqueror. The lands of this prelate were forfeited in the reign of William Rufus, for his adherence to Robert, Duke of Normandy (See p. 396); and thus Sherrington became vested in the Crown. The manor was afterwards held by a family that took its surname from it. William de Sherrington paid scutage for it in 1161 (8 Henry II.), and he died possessed of it in 1188. To him succeeded the family of De Carun, called also De Sherrington, who held it until the reign of Edward II. It was in the possession of Roger Carun in 1312 (6 Edward II.); of Ralph Basset, in 1325 ; of Henry Grey, in 1396 (19 Richard II.); in the family of Linford for a considerable period; and in 1476 (15 Edward IV.) it was in the hands of the Tyringhams. About the year 1678, it passed in marriage with Elizabeth, daughter of Sir William Tyringham to John Backwell, Esq., who, about 1694, sold it to Roger Chapman, Esq., attorney, of Newport Pagnell. On the death of the latter, in 1701, the estate descended to his eldest son and heir, Thomas Chapman, Esq. ; and was afterwards purchased by the family of Praed, of Tyringham. William Backwell Tyringham, Esq., is its present owner.
A second manor in this parish, dissevered, it is presumed, from the principal manor, just noticed, was possessed by the Bassets in the reign of Edward I. Ralph, Lord Basset, died seised of it in 1316. It passed by marriage from the Bassets to the Greys, in which family it continued until 1505, when Edmund, Lord Grey, alienated it. This estate was afterwards successively in the families of Marriot, Montgomery, and Norton. The last-named family had it in the time of King Charles I. About 1690, it came in marriage to the Pargiters ; and about 1710, on the death of Thomas Pargiter, Esq., to the Smiths, of Passenham, Co. Northampton. In the Inclosure Act of the 36th of King George III. (1796) Dryden Smith, Esq., is mentioned as lord of this manor; and his successor, James Smith, and his mortgagee alienated the manor to the late Dr. Cheyne. In 1857 the Trustees of this Dr. Cheyne sold to Alfred Umney, Esq., (its present owner) "the Manor House, gardens, orchards, farm, and buildings adjoining, including the manor or reputed manor of Sherrington, with its Courts Baron, rights, royalties, quit-rents, and other emoluments." Mr. Umney possesses also another farm in Sherrington.
Another manor or reputed manor here, belonged to the Linfords, the last of whose family died in 1468. From the Linfords this property came to the family of Reynes, of Clifton Reynes, and was carried in marriage by an heiress of that family to Thomas Lowe, Esq. From the Lowes it passed by marriage to the Adams family, who conveyed it, about 1710, to Sir John Chester, of Chicheley. It now belongs to Major Chester.
The Mercers' Company of London have a farm here given by Dr. John Colet, Dean of St. Paul's, in 1519, to that body, in trust for charitable uses ; and in addition to the landowners already mentioned, the Devisees of the late Josiah Smith, Esq., Thomas Twichel, Esq., and Mr. Thomas Borton, jun., have estates here.
The Manor House, the property and residence of Alfred Umney, Esq., is a large ancient building, much modernised, and situated at the southeast end of the village.
In the month of June, 1645, a portion of the Parliamentarian army, under Fairfax, are said to have encamped at Sherrington (See page 464).
The Benefice, which is a Rectory, is valued in the King's Books at £20 0s. 2½d., and according to the Clergy List, now worth £631 per annum. Patron, the Bishop of the Diocese; Rector, the Rev. Alexander King. Before the reign of King John this church was given by William de Sherrington to the Abbey of St. Martin, at Tours, and the Prior and Convent of Tickford (a Cell to that house—See page 458) presented to the Rectory.
Among the Rectors were the following :—Thomas de Luda, admitted in 1303, and who died in 1319, was Prebendary and Treasurer of Lincoln. Walter de Staurence, 1327, was Vicar-General to Bishop Burgherst, Archdeacon of Stowe, and afterwards Treasurer in the Cathedral of Lincoln. William Barrow, LL.D., 1406, was consecrated Bishop of Bangor in 1418 ; and was translated to Carlisle in 1423. He had been a Canon of Lincoln, Rector of Helmdon, and Chancellor of the University of Oxford. He died at Rose Castle in 1429, and was buried in his own Cathedral in a chapel in the south aisle of the choir, with his effigy in his episcopal habit. By his will he left £20 to a priest to sing for his Soul in St. Catherine's Chantry there. Richard Mawdley, collated in 1518, was afterwards Archdeacon of Leicester. John Martin, 1581, became Prebendary of Bedford Minor, in Lincoln Cathedral. John Pretyman, who, during 31 years, was Rector of this parish was a Prebendary of Lincoln. He died in 1842, in his 57th year.
The Church, which is dedicated in honour of St. Laud, a French Bishop, stands on an eminence, and is a handsome edifice, composed of a chancel, a lofty clerestoried nave, two side aisles, a south porch, and a fine tower between the chancel and nave. The general style of architecture is good Decorated. There are some fine three-light windows on the south side. The east window is Decorated, but the west window, and those on the south side of the chancel are good Perpendicular. The tower, which is of the latter style, has good double windows on each face of the upper stage, an exterior stair-turret, and is embattled, and reaches the height of 62 feet. It contains a clock, and five excellent bells. The nave and aisles are covered with lead, the chancel with tiles. The porch is handsome, and has a vaulted and groined roof with a large boss in the centre, and a chamber or parvise above it.* Its side walls exhibit an arcade of semi¬circular arches, which are very much disfigured with repeated coats of white-wash. The holy water-stoupe and stone sediles remain. The handle of the porch door is stamped with the arms of the See of Bangor, a former Rector, who contributed towards the building of this church, having become Bishop of that See as before stated. The arches of the nave are semi-circular and very good ; those on the north side being supported by round piers, and those on the south by octagonal : in both cases the capitals are moulded and good. The tower is supported on four arches. The clerestory is lighted by eight windows of three lights each. The west window of the nave is a noble one of five lights. The roofs are of ancient oak, and in their original condition. That of the north aisle is supported on corbals of wood carved to represent angels bearing shields. The pulpit, with its canopy or sounding-board, are of oak ; the font is octagonal and enriched with figures in niches ; and the pews are of deal and high-backed. In the nave is a handsome pendant brass chan¬delier for twelve lights inscribed, "The gift of George Rose, Sherrington, 1783." The chancel arch is supported by demi-octangular columns or pilasters. The east window of the chancel is of three lights. In the south wall are the three seats or stalls for the priests (sedilia) graduating in height towards the east. They are separated by mullions or pilasters, and their richly sculptured canopies are under an arch. The piscina is blocked up. In the chancel and nave are several boards upon which are inscribed texts of scripture.* The Parvise, or small room above the porch of a Church, was used in former times as a Library or Record Office, and sometimes as a School. The Court of the Hundred and the Law Courts were also held within the Parvise. The priest sometimes dwelt in those chambers, and fire-places are frequently found in them.
A stone near the communion-table is inscribed to the Rev. Ignatius Fuller, who was Rector of this church for 64 years, and died in 1711, aged 86. He was inducted into this living in 1647, and possessed it in those troublous times ; but conforming at the Restoration of Charles II., he took out the King's title in 1661. He was a native of this county, and reputed a Socinian. His wife, and other members of his family, are also buried here. There are also memorials of the families of Ponge, Smith, Norton, Mareot, Pargiter, Barton, &c. There are tablets to the two last Rectors, viz., the Rev. Alexander Cromleholme, who presided over the parish for 29 years, and died in 1810, aged 74 ; and the Rev. John Pretyman, 31 years Rector, who died in 1842, as before stated.
The Rectory House stands about 400 yards south from the church, and is a large building. It is surrounded by neat gardens and pleasure-grounds. The School, situated in Parson's Lane, is a very neat red brick structure. It is supported by the present Rector, and attended by about 40 children. There is a Lending Library here for the working classes, and the books are kept at the school.
The Independent Chapel was erected in 1822, and is a neat edifice of red brick.
Fuller's Charity.—The following is a copy of a tablet in the church : —" Extract from the will of Edward Fuller, late of Watford, in the county of Hertford, dated 4th August, 1705.—I give and bequeath, and direct my executors to lay out, the sum of 120l., or what other sum will be sufficient for that purpose, in the purchase of a rent-charge of 5l. per annum, free from all charges and deductions, to be vested in such trustees as my executors shall direct, for the use of the parish of Sherrington, to be issuing out of lands in or near Sherrington as may be, which rent-charge shall be paid and disposed of in manner following : viz. 20s. per annum to the minister of the said parish of the time being, and he to preach a sermon for the same on the 27th March yearly for ever ; and 10s. yearly to be expended on the minister and churchwardens of the said parish on the day of preaching of the said sermon. Twenty-six half-crowns to be given to 26 poor and necessitous persons of the said parish, such as the minister and churchwardens in their discretion should think fit, to be paid yearly on the day of preaching the said sermon ; and 5s. on the same day to the clerk of the said parish for the time being yearly for ever."
This rent-charge issues out of property belonging to three different persons, in the following proportions : a yearly sum of £2 10s. is received from an estate at Latimers ; another yearly sum of £1 5s. is paid out of a cottage and an acre of ground in the parish of Sherrington ; the residue, £1 5s. issues out of two small closes of pasture in this parish.