Chesham (St. Mary)
The parish comprises by computation 12,650 acres, which, excepting about 500 of wood and 143 common or waste, are chiefly arable: the surface is in general hilly, and the soil on the high lands abounds with flint and chalk, which latter is obtained for manure. The living is a discharged vicarage, formerly consisting of the medieties of Chesham-Leicester and Chesham-Woburn, each valued in the king's books at £13. 1. 5½., but consolidated in 1767; patron, the Duke of Bedford. The great tithes have been commuted for £2326, and the vicarial for £550; there are 2½ acres of vicarial glebe. The church is an ancient cruciform structure, with a square embattled tower surmounted by a low spire: in the chancel is a monument from an elegant design by Bacon, to the memory of Nicholas Skottowe, Esq. At Latimer is a chapel of considerable antiquity, which has lately been rebuilt; it is supposed to have been endowed by the Cavendish family. There are four places of worship for dissenters, two of which are for Baptists. A chalybeate spring was discovered in 1820. At Asheridge, a college for a rector and twenty brethren was founded in 1283, by Edmund, Earl of Cornwall; the revenue of which, at the Dissolution, was £447. 18.
Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, seventh edition, published 1858.