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Wooburn (including Bourne End and Wooburn Green)

"This is a large parish, bounded on the south by the river Thames. Its area is 2850 acres, and the number of its inhabitants is 2245. Rateable value, £7857. In old records the name of the place is spelt variously Waburne, Uburn, Ugburn, and Woburn. Langley says that the name describes the situation of the parish, a deep, narrow, and winding valley, with a rivulet running through it, and the sides covered with trees and bushes. It has also been suggested that the place derived its appellation from Wyeburn, the bourne, or streamlet of the Wye which runs through it. The parish is about four miles long, two broad, and fourteen in circumference. The commons were inclosed in 1802. There are 117 acres of woodland in the parish.

Woburn Village is considerable, and stands 3 miles W.S.W. from Beaconsfield, and 5 miles E. from High Wycombe. It is locally designated the Town to distinguish it from a somewhat larger village about half a mile distant, called Wooburn Green. The Wycombe Branch of the Great Western Railway (from Maidenhead) passes through Wooburn parish, and has two Stations here, only 1 1/2 miles apart. One of these is at Wooburn Green, and the other at Bourne End, called the Marlow Road Station. A weekly Market at Wooburn, which was held on Friday, and a Fair on the festival of the translation of St. Edward, were granted by King Henry VI.; but they have been long disused. Fairs for cattle are held on the Green every 4th of May and 12th of November; the first-mentioned fair was granted to the Lovell family, the others to Lord Wharton, in 1686."
[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 Returns of the Census of Religious Worship 1851", Legg E. ed., 1991, ISBN 0 901198 27 7.
"Dictionary of English Place-Names", A.D. Mills, Oxford University Press, 1997, ISBN 0 19 28131 3
"History and Topography of Buckinghamshire", Sheahan, James Joseph, 1862
"Magna Britannia: Buckinghamshire", Lysons S. and Lysons D., 1806.
"The Victoria History of the Counties of England: Buckinghamshire", Page W. ed., 1905-1928
"War Memorials and War Graves: Marlow and area, Volume 12", Peter Quick.

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Cemeteries

War Memorials

War memorials in Wooburn Green have been transcribed by Peter Quick, and published in a booklet entitled "War Memorials and War Graves: Marlow and area, Volume 12", available from the Buckinghamshire Genealogical Society.

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Census

In 1798 the Posse Comitatus listed 334 men between the ages of 16 and 60 in Wooburn.

In the earliest government census of 1801, there were 1401 inhabitants in 338 families living in 293 houses recorded in Wooburn.

Census Year Population of Wooburn
1801* 1401
1811* 1604
1821* 1831
1831* 1927
1841 1830
1851 2026
1861 2245
1871 2343
1881 2431
1891 2727
1901 3328

* = 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.

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 St Paul, Wooburn have been deposited in the Buckinghamshire Record Office in Aylesbury, and they hold the following years:

Event Dates covered
Christenings 1653 - 1987
Marriages 1653 - 1976
Banns 1754 - 1989
Burials 1653 - 1964

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

Event
Society Library*
Dates covered
Society Publications
Dates covered
Society
Christenings
1600 - 1888
Buckinghamshire Genealogical Society
Marriages
1600 - 1848
Buckinghamshire Genealogical Society
Marriages  
1600 - 1848
Buckinghamshire Family History Society
Burials
1600 - 1897
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 Wooburn showed the following numbers:

Church Attendance
Wooburn,
St Paul
300 - Morning General Congregation
110 - Morning Sunday Scholars
410 - Morning Total

400 - Evening General Congregation
108 - Evening Sunday Scholars
508 - Evening Total

Wooburn,
Wooburn Green Baptist
35 - Morning General Congregation

20 - Afternoon General Congregation

50 - Evening General Congregation

Wooburn,
Independent Bethel Chapel
127 - Morning General Congregation
90 - Morning Sunday Scholars
217 - Morning Total

90 - Afternoon Sunday Scholars
90 - Afternoon Total

150 - Evening General Congregation
150 - Evening Total

Wooburn,
Wesleyan Chapel
No data is given for 30 March 1851

Average attendance:

100 - Morning General Congregation
50 - Sunday Scholars

Wooburn,
Wesleyan Methodist
70 - Morning General Congregation
56 - Morning Sunday Scholars
126 - Morning Total

80 - Afternoon General Congregation
56 - Afternoon Sunday Scholars
136 - Afternoon Total

100 - Evening General Congregation
100 - Evening Total

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History & Descriptions

Wooburn was described in 1806 in "Magna Britannia" as follows:

WOOBURN, in the hundred of Desborough and deanery of Wycombe, lies about four miles and a half east of Great-Marlow. There were anciently two manors in this parish. The manor of Bishop's-Wooburn had been from time immemorial in the see of Lincoln, till the year 1547, when Bishop-Holbeach gave it to the crown in exchange: it was granted, in 1549, to John Russel, Earl of Bedford. Francis, the second earl, sold it about the year 1580, to Sir John Goodwin, whose ancestors had resided at Wooburn above 100 years, as tenants to the Bishops of Lincoln. Sir Francis Goodwin, (son of Sir John,) was several times knight of the shire. The dispute concerning the legality of his election in 1604, proved the cause of establishing the great constitutional doctrine, that the house of commons have the sole right of judging and deciding on the validity of their own elections and returns. Sir Francis was a particular friend of the celebrated John Hampden, and zealously concurred with his measures at the commencement of the disputes between King Charles and his parliament. His son, Arthur Goodwin, left an only daughter, Jane, married to Philip Lord Wharton, who became possessed in her right of the manors of Over-Winchendon and Wooburn, at both which places he occasionally resided. Soon after the revolution he had the honour of a visit at Wooburn, from King William; his son, who was some years afterwards created Marquis of Wharton, having been the person who drew up the address which invited that monarch to take possession of the British throne. The Marquis of Wharton was succeeded, in 1715, by his son Philip, who was created Duke of Wharton, in 1718: after the death of this nobleman, whose extraordinary abilities and more extraordinary eccentricities have been so well described by Pope, the manor of Wooburn having been before mortgaged to the celebrated Col. Chartres, who resided some time at the manor-house, was sold in 1732 to John Morse esq. whose niece and heir brought it in marriage to the Berties. In 1784 it was purchased of Albemarle Bertie esq. by Mrs. Rebecca Dupr», moth of James Dupr» esq. of Wilton Park, who is the present proprietor.

The old manor-house was a palace of the Bishops of Lincoln. Bishop Smith, the founder of Brazen Nose- College, died at Wooburn in 1513, as did his successor, Bishop Atwater, in 1520. Bishop Longland, confessor to King Henry VIII. who was a native of Henley, frequently resided at Wooburn, where he died in 1547, a few months before it was alienated from the see by his successor. The palace was pulled down in 1750: Mr. Langley, in his history of the hundred of Desborough, informs us that the old gallery, which was 120 feet in length, was in the time of the Whartons, hung with the valuable portraits of that family, which were afterwards in Sir Robert Walpole's collection at Houghton. He speaks of a small room adjoining the chapel, called Little-ease, for the confinement of Heretics, in which the unfortunate Thomas Chase, of Amersham, was barbarously murdered in 1506, being then a prisoner there on a charge of heresy. Bishop Smith, whose character has been severely handled on account of this and other cruelties exercised in his diocese, has been ably defended by the learned Dr. Churton, of Brazen-Nose College. Indeed Fuller, in his Church History, seems inclined to believe that these cruelties were not perpetrated by the directions or with the knowledge of that prelate, being very inconsistent with his general character.

The famous Marquis of Wharton, and the more famous Duke, as Granger calls them, are said to have expended incredible sums of money on the house and gardens at Wooburn. The gardens, which were much admired, are said to have been a continuation of terraces, of which scarcely a vestige remains. When the house was pulled down, Mr. Bertie fitted up one of the wings, which has since been enlarged and improved: it is now occupied by the Countess of Orkney.

The manor of Wooburn-Deincourt belonged to the ancient family of Deincourt, from the time of the Norman Survey till the year 1422, when it passed by a female heir to the Lovells. Upon the attainder of Francis Lord Lovell it became vested in the crown, and in 1513 was granted, for a term of years, to Sir William Compton, who occasionally resided at Wooburn. In 1597 it was granted in fee to Robert Spencer and Robert Atkins; not long afterwards it came into the Goodwin family, by the marriage of Sir John Goodwin, with Anne daughter of Sir William Spencer: since which time the two manors have been united. The ancient seat of the Deincourts and Lovells was near the church.

The manor of Lude,. Or Lyde, in Wooburn (called in the Norman Survey Lede) has passed with Bishop's-Wooburn, and is now the property of Mr. Dupr», who, in the inclosure act, is called also lord of the manor of "the Glory" in this parish.

The parish church is a spacious Gothic structure. The tower was built about the year 1480, as appears by the epitaph of John Goodwin, and Pernell his wife, who are called its founders. In the chancel are monuments of the families of Bertie and Wharton, among which is that of Philip Lord Wharton, who died in 1695.

The rectory, which was appropriated to the see of Lincoln about the year 1330, is now the property of Mr. Dupr», who is patron of the vicarage. Philip Lord Wharton gave a rent charge of 22l. 10s. per annum to the vicar, for preaching an evening lecture on Sundays. The parish of Wooburn has been enclosed by an act of parliament passed in 1802, when allotments of land, in lieu of tithes, were assigned to the impropriator and to the vicar, and an allotment to the poor for fuel.

There is an annual fair at Wooburn, for which Lord Wharton obtained a charter in 1686, on All-Souls day, O.S., now November 14th. A fair on the translation of St. Edward the king, now discontinued, was granted by King Henry VI. to Alice Lovell, lady of the manor of Wooburn-Deincourt.

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Names, Geographical

The derivation of the name Wooburn is not clear, but it is thought that it probably derives from the old english wag + burna and means'stream with its banks walled up, or with a dam', it is also possible that the first element of the name means crooked or winding.

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Photographs

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