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Stony Stratford

"Stony or Stoney Stratford is a small market town on the northern verge of the county, separated from Northamptonshire by the river Ouse. It is situated 8 miles N.E. from Buckingham, 6 miles W.S.W. from Newport Pagnell, 2 miles from the Wolverton Station of the London and North Western Railway, 7 miles N.W. from Fenny Stratford, and 52 miles N.W. from London. The town comprises the parishes of St. Giles and St. Mary Magdalen, and has little land (about 78 acres) belonging to it, besides that on which the houses are built. The rateable value of St. Giles's or the West Side, is £2058; and that of St. Mary's, East Side, is £1450. The present population of the West Side is 1356; and the population of the East Side is 649, making a total of 2005 souls. The number of the inhabitants here in 1851 was 1757; and in 1841, ten years previous, it was exactly the same. In 1811 the population was 1488."
[History and Topography of Buckinghamshire, by James Joseph Sheahan, 1862]

Map showing the location of the parish


Bibliography Church History Names, Geographical
Cemeteries Church Records Photographs
Census History & Descriptions

Bibliography

The following reference sources have been used in the construction of this page, and may be referred to for further detail. Most if not all of these volumes are available in the Reference section of the County Library in Aylesbury.

"Buckinghamshire Contributions for Ireland 1642", Wilson J., 1983.
"Buckinghamshire Returns of the Census of Religious Worship 1851", Legg E. ed., 1991, ISBN 0 901198 27 7.
"History and Topography of Buckinghamshire", Sheahan, James Joseph, 1862
"Magna Britannia: Buckinghamshire", Lysons S. and Lysons D., 1806.
"The Place-Names of Buckinghamshire", Mawer A. and Stenton F.M., 1925.
"The Victoria History of the Counties of England: Buckinghamshire", Page W. ed., 1905-1928
"War Memorials and War Graves: Milton Keynes & Wolverton area, Volume 6", Peter Quick.

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Cemeteries

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Census

In Stony Stratford in1642, there were the following numbers of people named in the tax returns for contributions for Ireland:

In 1798 the Posse Comitatus listed the following numbers of men in Stony Stratford between the ages of 16 and 60: West Side - 182, East Side - 97.

In the earliest government census of 1801, the following population statistics were recorded for Stony Stratford:

Census Year Population of
Stony Stratford
West Side, or,
St. Giles
Population of
Stony Stratford
East Side, or,
St. Mary Magdalen
1801* 893*** 528
1811* 968 520
1821* 969 530
1831* 1053 566
1841 1227 530
1851 1256 501
1861 1356 649
1871 1186 790
1881 1216 727
1891 1160 859
1901 1395 958

* = No names were recorded in census documents from 1801 to 1831.
** = Census documents from 1911 to 2001 are only available in summary form. Names are witheld under the 100 year rule.
*** = The population figure given in the Magna Britannia does not agree with that from the Victoria County History.

Microfilm copies of all census enumerators' notebooks for 1841 to 1891 are held at the Local Studies Libraries at Aylesbury and Milton Keynes, as well as centrally at the PRO. A table of 19th century census headcount by parish is printed in the VCH of Bucks, Vol.2, pp 96-101.

Availability of census transcripts and indexes.

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Church History

Details of the stained glass in the church can be found on the following web sites (the site includes many photos):

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Church Records

The original copies of the parish registers for Stony Stratford have been deposited in the Buckinghamshire Record Office in Aylesbury, and they hold the following years:

Event Dates covered
Christenings 1618 - 1926
Marriages 1618 - 1963
Banns 1754 - 1967
Burials 1618 - 1968

St. Mary, or, Wolverton St. Mary
Event Dates covered
Christenings 1864 - 1927
Marriages 1867 - 1967
Burials 1871 - 1968

Copies or indexes to the parish registers are available from societies as follows:

St Giles
Event
Society Library*
Dates covered
Society
Marriages
1653 - 1754
1813 - 1837
Buckinghamshire Genealogical Society

St Mary Magdalen
Event
Society Library*
Dates covered
Society
Marriages
1715 - 1738
Buckinghamshire Genealogical Society

* = material held in a Society library is generally available for loan to all members either via post, or by collection at a meeting

An ecclesiastical census was carried out throughout England on 30 March 1851 to record the attendance at all places of worship. These returns are in the Buckinghamshire Record Office and have been published by the Buckinghamshire Record Society (vol 27). The returns for Stony Stratford showed the following numbers:

Church Attendance
Stony Stratford,
St Giles (includes St Mary's
parish - the church of which
was burnt in 1740)

The data is for 26th Oct. 1851

225 - Morning General Congregation
140 - Morning Sunday Scholars
365 - Morning Total

345 - Evening General Congregation
100 - Evening Sunday Scholars
445 - Evening Total

Stony Stratford,
Baptist Chapel
190 - Morning General Congregation
120 - Morning Sunday Scholars
310 - Morning Total

130 - Afternoon General Congregation
124 - Afternoon Sunday Scholars
254 - Afternoon Total

240 - Evening General Congregation
240 - Evening Total

Stony Stratford East,
Independent Chapel
91 - Morning General Congregation
49 - Morning Sunday Scholars
140 - Morning Total

41 - Afternoon General Congregation
49 - Afternoon Sunday Scholars
90 - Afternoon Total

90 - Evening General Congregation
90 - Evening Total

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History & Descriptions

Stony Stratford was described in 1806 in "Magna Britannia" as follows:

STONY-STRATFORD, in the hundred and deanery of Newport, is a market town 52 miles from London, lying on the great road to Chester and Liverpool. Till of late years the east side of Stony-Stratford, was in the parish of Wolverton, and the west side in Calverton. They are now two distinct parishes called St. Mary Magdalen, or the east side of Stony-Stratford, and St. Giles, or the west side. A market at this town was granted to the Veres in 1460: in 1663, Simon Bennet lord of the manor of Calverton, procured a charter for a market on Friday (which is the present market day), and four fairs; April 9, the Wednesday and Thursday in Whitsun-week, the Friday before Michaelmas, and All Saints day. A fair on the festival of St. Giles had been granted to the Veres in 1257, and another on the festival of St. Mary Magdalen in 1290. Browne Willis speaks of four fairs as held in his time at Stony-Stratford, April 11; Thursday in Whitsun-week, July 22, and Nov.1: there are now only three fairs: August 2 (being the festival of St. Mary Magdalen O.S.) for toys, &c. Oct. 11, and Nov. 12. The town has twice sustained much injury by fire; the first time was in the year 1736, when 53 houses were burnt down: a more destructive fire broke out on the sixth of May 1742, which consumed 113 houses and the church of St. Mary Magdalen, which has never been rebuilt: the tower, which escaped the flames, is yet standing. The damage was estimated at 10,000 l; the sum of 4293 l. was collected towards the loss by a brief, and nearly 3000 l. by subscriptions. According to the returns made to parliament under the Population Act in 1801, there were then 106 houses in the East-side parish containing 528 inhabitants, of whom 261 were males and 267 females; in the West-side parish 193 houses, containing 1125 inhabitants, of whom 5455 were males and 580 females.

At this town King Richard the Third, then Duke of Gloucester, accompanied by his friend the Duke of Buckingham, took possession of the person of the unfortunate young monarch Edward V. who was then with his attendants at an inn, and in his presence arrested Lord Richard Grey and Sir Thomas Vaughan.

The church of St. Giles on the west side of Stony Stratford, was originally built as a chantry chapel in 1451, and was endowed in 1482. The tower was not erected till some years afterwards, as appears by the will of John Edy, who in 1487 left a sum of money towards its building. This church (excepting the tower) was rebuilt in 1776 by Mr. Hiorne of Warwick: it exhibits a bad imitation of the Gothic style of architecture. The benefices of St. Giles and St. Mary Magdalen in Stony Stratford were consolidated in 1776: they were before two distinct curacies, in the patronage of the Bishop of Lincoln.

A gild at Stony-Stratford founded by John Edy and others was incorporated in the year 1481. There are several charities belonging to the town; the most important is one of 70 l. per annum for apprenticing children.

The cross erected at Stratford in memory of Eleanor Queen of Edward I. was demolished in the great civil war: it stood at the lower end of the town.

An act of parliament for paving and lighting the streets of Stony-Stratford, passed in 1801.

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Names, Geographical

The name of Stony Stratford is composed of two parts. The first, 'Stony' derives from the old english word stanig, and means 'stony'. The second part, 'Stratford' derives from the old english words stræt + ford, and means 'ford on a Roman road'. Hence Stony Stratford means 'Stony ford on a Roman road'

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Photographs

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