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Hughenden, Buckinghamshire

Historical Description

Hughenden, a parish in Bucks, about 2 miles N from High Wycombe station on the G.W.R. It has a post office under Wycombe; money order and telegraph office. High Wycombe. Area, 5828 acres; population of the civil parish, 1765; of the ecclesiastical, 910. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Oxford; net yearly value, £192 with residence, in the gift of Coningsby Ralph Disraeli. The church, which dated from Norman times having fallen into decay, was almost entirely rebuilt in 1874-75 in rough flint with dressings of stone. It contains a brass of the 15th century and several monuments of the De Montfort and Wellesbume families, but its chief interest is found in that it contains the grave and numerous interesting memorials of the late Earl of Beaconsfield. The Earl, when Benjamin Disraeli, purchased in 1847 the manor of Hoghenden with the manor house, which remained his seat until his death, 19 April, 1881, and his body was laid in his family vault at the eastern end of the De Montfort chapel. Since his death the interior walls of the chancel have been beautifully decorated, some exceedingly handsome stained windows inserted, and other valuable gifts have been bestowed upon the church as tributes to his memory. Among the latter must be mentioned a monument in white Sicilian marble, erected by Her Majesty the Queen, which contains, together with a profile portrait and the arms of the deceased earl, the inscription following:-" To the Dear and Honoured Memory of Benjamin, Earl of Beaconsfield. This Memorial is placed by his Grateful Sovereign and Friend, Victoria R.I. ' Kings love him that speaketh right'-Proverbs xvi. 13. February 27, 1882." By command of the Queen the banner and other insignia of the Garter were removed from St George's chapel, Windsor, and were placed over the seat formerly occupied by the Earl in the chancel of the church. The font of the church is late Norman. There is a singularly beautiful alabaster and marble pulpit with carved figures erected in 1892 to the memory of Mr Searight, through whose munificence the church was rebuilt There are a Baptist and two Primitive Methodist chapels, and several useful charities. The manor belongs now to Coningsby Ralph Disraeli, devisee of the late Earl. The manor house is a mansion of brick and stone in the Jacobean style, standing in a well-wooded park of 140 acres, and commanding a fine view of the Wycombe valley. It contains some interesting portraits and a library of some value.

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England & Wales, 1894-5

Administration

The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.

Ancient CountyBuckinghamshire 
Ecclesiastical parishHitchenden St. Michael 
HundredDesborough 
Poor Law unionWycombe 

Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.


Church Records

The parish register dates from the year 1559.


Churches

Church of England

St. Michael and All Angels (parish church)

The parish church of St. Michael and All Angels, which dated from Norman times, having fallen into decay, was almost entirely rebuilt in 1874-5; it consists of chancel, with chapel, nave of three bays, north aisle, south porch and an embattled tower at the northwest angle, with low pyramidal roof and containing 8 bells, two of which date from the 15th century, and two from the reign of Charles II., the remaining four having been cast in the reign of Queen Victoria; the bells were restored in 1927: the roof throughout was renewed; the chancel has been entirely re-arranged and is separated from the nave by an open wrought-iron screen: there are memorial windows to Sir William Norris Young, 5th bart. lieut. 23rd Royal Welsh Fusiliers, killed at the Alma, Sept. 20th, 1854, aged 21, and his brother, Sir George John Young, 6th bart. B.A. who also died in the Crimea, Oct. 22nd, 1854, aged 19; to Lucy, wife of T. J. Reynolds esq.; Mr. and Mrs. Norris, of the Manor House; James Williams, his wife Henrietta Catherine: Annn, wife of James Walker Williams, of High Wycombe, and to James and Sarah Elizabeth Searight and their son James: in the north aisle is a stained window given by Sir Samuel Wilson to commemorate the escape of Queen Victoria from an attempt on her life at Windsor, March 2nd, 1882; in the chapel are several extremely interesting monuments to the de Montfort and Wellesburne families, and including one on the south side of a recumbent cross-legged knight in chain armour, carved in stone and supposed to represent Richard, son of Simon de Montford: at the east end against the wall are two rudely carved figures in armour, one of whom holds a mace, and also the effigy of a knight of the 14th century: on the north side is the figure of a warrior holding in the right hand a sword and in the left a cross, and at the south-west angle a cadaver in a shroud, on the breast of which rests a figure emblematic of the departing spirit; this effigy is generally known by the name of the "Fasting Monk;" the identity of the figure is not certain, but it is thought that it may represent Almeric, fourth son of Simon de Montfort, who was a priest and chaplain to the Pope: there is one good brass to Robert Thurloe, priest, 1483; a monument to John Lane, 1621, with kneeling effigy, and other memorials to Ellen (Merret ), wife of the Right Hon. Henry, 1st Earl Conyngham, 1816, by G. Gerrard R.A.; to the family of Widmer, 1782-1803, former owners of Rockhols, and to Sampson Roe, 1786: since the death of the Earl of Beaconsfield, April 19th, 1881, the interior walls of the chancel have been decorated, several stained windows inserted, and other valuable gifts bestowed upon the church as memorials to that illustrious statesman; of these, the first, in order of time, consisted of two bells, presented by Robert Warner esq, and dedicated August 20th, 1881, thus completing the peal of 8 bells: the east window was erected by Lord Rowton, the 1st Baron Rothschild and Sir Philip Rose, 1st bart. In the chancel, and near to the seat formerly occupied by Lord Beaconsfield, is the monument erected by Queen Victoria; this is of white Sicilian marble, with a central quatre-foiled panel, inclosing a profile portrait in relief of the late Earl; above are the arms of the deceased peer, and below, on a tablet surrounded by a wreath of oak leaves, wrought in marble, is an inscription. By command of Queen Victoria, the banner and other insignia of the Garter from the Earl of Beaconsfields stall in St. George's chapel, Windsor, were removed to Hughenden, and placed over the seat formerly occupied by him in the chancel, which is marked by an inscribed brass: the family vault of Lord Beaconsfield, in which his body is laid, is at the eastern end of the De Montfort chapel, which adjoins the chancel, and outside the church and against the church wall are three granite slabs commemorating Mary Ann Disraeli, Viscountess Beaconsfield, wife of Rt. Hon. B. Disraeli, d. Dec. 15th, 1812; James Disraeli esq. third son of Isaac Disraeli, d. Dec. 3rd, 1868, and Sarah, relict of James Brydges Williams, d. Nov. 11th, 1863, who bequeathed her property to the Earl, and was here interred by her own wish: in 1892 a pulpit of marble and alabaster was erected as a memorial to James Searight esq. previously mentioned: the stone font is Late Norman and dates from about the 13th century: in 1920 a stained glass window, in memory of those connected with the parish who fell in the Great War, 1914-18, was installed in the north aisle: there are 324 sittings.


Civil Registration

Hughenden was in Wycombe Registration District from 1837 to 1974


Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Hughenden from the following:


Land and Property

The Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Buckinghamshire is available to browse.


Maps

Online maps of Hughenden are available from a number of sites:


Newspapers and Periodicals

The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following Buckinghamshire papers online:


Visitations Heraldic

A full transcript of the Visitation of Buckinghamshire, 1634 is online

DistrictWycombe
CountyBuckinghamshire
RegionSouth East
CountryEngland
Postal districtHP14
Post TownHigh Wycombe