Bisham (All Saints)

BISHAM (All Saints), a parish, in the union of Cookham, hundred of Beynhurst, county of Berks, 4½ miles (N. W.) from Maidenhead; containing 659 inhabitants. The parish comprises 2341a. 3r. 35p., of which 1662 acres are arable, 231 meadow and pasture, and 385 woodland and coppice; the soil is gravelly, with a small portion of chalk, and the surface in general hilly. On the north flows the river Thames, the banks of which are adorned with interesting scenery and many pleasing seats. The rolling of copper into sheets, and the making of copper-bolts for the navy, and of pans and other vessels in copper, are carried on to a considerable extent. Temple mills, esteemed among the most complete and powerful of the kind in the kingdom, received their name from having been in the possession of the Knights Templars, who established a preceptory here on receiving a grant of the manor from Robert de Ferrariis, in the reign of Stephen. This institution, on the dissolution of the society, was succeeded by an Augustine priory, founded in 1338 by William de Montacute, Earl of Salisbury, and the revenue of which, in the 26th of Henry VIII., amounted to £327. 4. 6. It was surrendered in 1536, was re-founded by the king for a mitred abbot and thirteen Benedictine monks, and was finally dissolved on the 10th of June, 1538. The abbey was frequently visited by Henry VIII., and also by Elizabeth, who resided here some time, a large state apartment being still called the Queen's council-chamber: a very small portion only of the conventual building can be traced in the mansion which now occupies its site. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £7. 13. 1.; net income, £156; patron and impropriator, George Henry Vansittart, Esq. The church contains some costly monuments of the Hoby family, who resided in the abbey from the time of Elizabeth till about the year 1780: one of them, in beautiful preservation, was brought in the sixteenth century from Paris, where Sir Thomas Hoby died ambassador to that court.

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

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