Bromham (St. Owen)
BROMHAM (St. Owen), a parish, in the hundred of Willey, union and county of Bedford, 3 miles (W. N. W.) from Bedford; containing 314 inhabitants. This place is situated on the banks of the Ouse, over which is a neat bridge of 25 arches (including 22 across the meadows) on the line of road from Bedford to Newport-Pagnell. It is recorded that, in the years 1399 and 1648, the waters of the river had so far deserted their channel, that persons walked in its bed for nearly three miles in this part of its course. The parish comprises 1798 acres, the soil of which, in the northern part, is a heavy clay, and in the other parts a light sand, resting on a deep gravel; an excellent coarse building-stone is quarried, beneath which is a thin stratum of a softer stone, suitable for sculpture, and which hardens upon exposure to the air. The females are employed in making pillow-lace. The living is a vicarage, with that of Oakley annexed, valued in the king's books at £8; net income, £336; patrons, the Provost and Fellows of Eton College: there is a good glebe-house, built in 1831, with 18 acres of glebe. The church is pleasantly situated in the centre of the Park, the village standing partly round it, in the form of a crescent; it was built in the reign of Edward IV., and the interior was neatly restored in 1844, at a cost of £100. In 1825 the tower was struck by lightning, which forced out two of the southern windows. This edifice contains some handsome monuments to the families of Trevor and Dyve, of which latter was Sir Lewis Dyve, commander for Charles I. of the Newport-Pagnell district in the civil war. When about to be executed after the king's death, Sir Lewis threw himself from a great height into the Thames, and escaped by his skill in swimming. He was the great antagonist of Sir Samuel Luke, of Cople Hall, now a farmhouse, where Dr. Butler wrote Hudibras. There is a day and Sunday school; also a library of three hundred volumes, presented by Lord Trevor to the vicar and parishioners.
Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, seventh edition, published 1858.