Chenies

CHENIES, anciently Isenhamsted, or Eastmansted (St. Michael), a parish, in the union of Amersham, hundred of Burnham, county of Buckingham, 4 miles (E. by N.) from Amersham; containing 625 inhabitants. This parish once belonged to the family of Cheynes, lords of the manor; and the old manor-house, which was much improved in the reign of Henry VIII., by Lord Russell, into whose family it had come by marriage with the Cheynes', is still in tolerable preservation. The parish comprises about 1400 acres, nearly all belonging to the Duke of Bedford: the surface is hilly, and the soil a gravelly loam, resting on chalk. The manufacture of paper is carried on extensively. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £12. 16. 0½., and in the gift of his Grace: the tithes have been commuted for £411. 6. 8., and the glebe comprises 30 acres, with a glebe-house. Attached to the church is a chapel, built in 1556 by Anne, Countess of Bedford, pursuant to the will of her deceased lord, John, Earl of Bedford, and containing many very interesting and some superb monuments of the Russell family, especially one to Lord William Russell, beheaded in 1683, and who lies interred in the vault beneath, with his heroic wife, Lady Rachel: in the vault are upwards of fifty coffins, with inscriptions bearing dates from 1591 to the present time. There is a place of worship for Baptists. An almshouse for ten poor persons was founded and endowed in 1603, by Anne, Countess of Warwick, daughter of the second earl of Bedford. John Russell, ancestor of the Duke of Bedford, was raised to the peerage in 1538–9, by the title of Baron Russell of Chenies, which his descendants continue to bear.

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

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