Chalfont (St. Giles)
CHALFONT (St. Giles), a parish, in the union of Amersham, hundred of Burnham, county of Buckingham, 3¾ miles (S. E.) from Amersham; containing 1228 inhabitants. The ancient manor of Vach, in this parish, is said to have been King John's dairy-farm, which he made a resting-place on some occasions. The parish comprises about 3600 acres; the surface is undulated, and the soil, consisting of chalk, gravel, and clay, is considered poor. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £19. 9. 4½., and in the gift of the Bishop of Lincoln: the tithes have been commuted for £790, and the glebe comprises 54½ acres, with a glebehouse. The church is of very great antiquity. Here are places of worship for the Society of Friends and Independents, in the cemetery attached to the former of which lie the remains of William Penn, founder of the colony of Pennsylvania. A school, now conducted on the national system, has been endowed by Sir Hugh Palliser with £30 per annum, and by Mrs. Molloy with £20 per annum; and there are eight almshouses. During the plague that raged in London in 1665, Milton resided at this place, where he completed his celebrated poem of Paradise Lost; the house in which he lived is now occupied by a poor family. Here are the remains of a monastery, whose chapel is attached to the mansion of Vach, which appears to have been so named from the manor, shortly after the Conquest; and in the park is a monument erected by the late Sir Hugh Palliser to the memory of Capt. Cook, the circumnavigator, upon which is a long inscription composed by Admiral Forbes.