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England & Wales Hardwicke Marriage Index
Marriages 1754 - 1837
Horsenden St Michael


The Parish

The parish of Horsenden lies in southern Buckinghamshire roughly 7 miles southeast of the Oxfordshire market town of Thame. Horsenden is located just under a mile south of the B4009 road which skirts the edges of the Chiltern Hills from Dunstable to Watlington. Horsenden is a tiny place consisting merely of a small group of farms & cottages surrounding the church, in reality today's Horsenden is a mere extension of neighbouring Princes Risborough. Horsenden is also peculiar in the size and shape of its parish which consists of a narrow strip of land barely metres wide but extending from the Vale of Oxford clays up onto the tops of the chalk hills of the Chilterns. The purpose of this strange shape was to grant an share of each of the land types to the parish so a varied mixture of arable and pastoral, both cattle & sheep, pertained. Horsenden is drained northwestwards by a small stream which merges with the Cuttle Brook and then the River Thame before curving back south to meet the Thames, from that point matters turn east passing through the capital to the North Sea. Horsenden is sited at around 100 metres above the sea but views to the southeast are dominated by the nearby Chiltern Hill which top out at 236 metres at Windnill Hill. Horsenden's thin strip of land occupied only just over 500 acres making it one of the smallest rural parishes in its county, within that acreage fewer than 50 parishioners could be supported. In Domesday times tiny Horsenden was surprisingly shared by 3 landholders with Count Robert of Mortain holding the lion's share of 5 ploughs, a meadow and a mill.

The Church

In this peculiar parish it is also appropriate that its church is also peculiar, here the church of St Michael is a remnant of a former and much grander one. The church stands at the northwestern end of Horsenden Lane together with a few cottages. What remains is the former chancel of a much larger church, the latter's nave having been demolished in 1765; where that nave once stood a short and stubby western tower was erected in a mock of the traditional church layout. The main block of the church, that former chancel, is, at least, medieval and dated by Pevsner to the late-Perpendicular period of the 15th century. As already mentioned the church acquired its tower in the 18th century and this work was followed in 1855 by a more thorough restoration and again in 1869 when a 2 metre extension eastwards was completed. Horsenden Lane ends in a turning circle with space for one or two cars to park, the entrance is through a shady tree-tunnel, a theme which is continued in the churchyard which requires considerable ingenuity by the photographer to find appropriate angles such are the constraints of the many trees.

The Records

Register No Covering Dates Deposited With Register Style Quality Standard Comments
21st May 1754 - 4th December 1810
Buckinghamshire Archives - Reference - PR106/1/2
Plain, ruled & margined book containing combined Banns & Marriages
Grade 2 Register - not a perfect read but with a low likelihood of misreads
2 17th February 1818 - 27th March 1837 Buckinghamshire Archives - Reference - PR106/1/3 Standard Rose style preprinted and prenumbered Marriage register Grade 3 Register - there are sufficient quality issues with this register to indicate that some misreads will occur albeit few in number Poor handwriting may result in  a misread

Princes Risborough St Mary
Princes Risborough St Mary
Princes Risborough St Mary
Saunderton St Mary
Princes Risborough St Mary
Saunderton St Mary
Bradenham St Botolph
Princes Risborough St Mary

Register Reference Date Groom Forename Groom Surname Groom Status Groom Abode Bride Forename Bride Surname Bride Status Bride Abode
1 21/05/1754 John BLACKWELL Widower Great Kimble Elizabeth FINCH Widow
2 27/09/1762 John COVENTRY Single Monks Risborough Sarah BOWLER Single
19/01/1764 Charles BOWLER
Princes Risborough Elizabeth GOODY

04/08/1765 John HEYBORN
Princes Risborough Mary FRIPP

04/09/1769 William CONQUEST
Monks Risborough Anne MANNING

08/01/1776 Joseph CROOK
Monks Risborough Mary STRAFFORD

14/08/1789 William FENNER

Rebecca MEAD

10/12/1792 Bernard TOPCOATE

Elizabeth FRY

29/05/1798 Harry HEASE
Princes Risborough Ann RUSSELL

17/09/1809 Francis Valentine KRUG Single
Catherine CLARK Single
04/12/1810 William GIBBS Single Bledlow Martha WALKER Single
1 17/02/1818 Thomas AYRES Single Princes Risborough Anne CROOK Single
2 27/12/1825 Moses BARNETT Single St Mary Bryanston Sq, St Marylebone, Middlesex Elizabeth CROOK Single
3 15/05/1834 John SHORNE Single Princes Risborough Harriet HECTOR Single
4 03/12/1835 James St George BURKE Single St Margaret, Westminster, Middlesex Anne Eliza GRUBB Single
5 27/03/1837 John SHORNE Single
Mary SAUNDERS Single

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