Besselsleigh (St. Lawrence)

BESSELSLEIGH (St. Lawrence), a parish, in the union of Abingdon, hundred of Hormer, county of Berks, 4 miles (N. W.) from Abingdon; containing 106 inhabitants. It takes its name from the ancient family of Bessels, an heiress of which conveyed the estate by marriage to the Fettyplaces; and Sir Edmund Fettyplace sold it, about 1620, to Wm. Lenthall, master of the rolls, and speaker of the house of commons in the Long parliament, from whom it has descended to Kyffin J. W. Lenthall, Esq. The old manor-house was pulled down about fifty years since: Cromwell, who was a frequent visiter, usually concealed himself in a room to which the only access was by a chair let down and drawn up with pulleys. The parish comprises 872a. 1r. 21p. The living is a discharged rectory, valued in the king's books at £4. 17. 3½., and in the gift of Mr. Lenthall: the tithes have been commuted for £230, and the glebe consists of 26 acres. Sir John Lenthall, son and heir of the speaker, and governor of Windsor Castle, was buried in the chancel of the church in 1681.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, 7th edition, published in 1848.

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