Bray is an Ancient Parish in the county of Berkshire.

Other places in the parish include: Holyport

Parish church: St. Michael

Parish registers begin:

  • Parish registers: 1652
  • Bishop’s Transcripts: 1607

Nonconformists include:

  • Countess of Huntingdon Methodist
  • Independent/Congregational
  • Primitive Methodist
  • Wesleyan Methodist

Parishes adjacent to Bray

Historical Descriptions

The Parliamentary Gazetteer of England and Wales 1851

Bray, a parish, in itself a hund., union of Cookham, county of Berks; 2 miles south by east of Maidenhead, on the southern bank of the river Thames, and intersected by the Great Western railway. It comprises the divisions of Bray, Touchen, Mater-Oakley, and part of Maidenhead. Living, a vicarage, formerly in the archd. of Berks and dio. of Salisbury, now in the dio. of Oxford; valued at £25 4s. 4½d.; gross income £520; in the patronage of the bishop of Oxford. The vicarial tithes, the property of the vicar, were commuted in 1814. There are three daily schools, one of which is endowed with £21 per annum, three Sunday schools and a day and Sunday school, in this parish. Here are eighteen free tenements, given for the use of the poor by Sir John Norris. In 1627, William Goddard, Esq., founded and endowed here an hospital, called Jesus hospital, and placed it under the direction of the Fishmongers’ company in London. The inmates are 40 in number, 6 of whom must be free of the Fishmongers’ company. One poor person of this parish is entitled to a place in Lucas’s hospital. Other charities connected with this parish produce about £250 per annum. Bray was famous for a time-serving vicar, who, during the reigns of Henry VIII., Edward VI., Mary, and Elizabeth, changed his religion so as to retain his charge, being twice a protestant, and twice a papist. This unprincipled conduct having attracted notice, he is said to have defended himself on the ground that his ruling principle was “to live and die vicar of Bray.” About three quarters of a mile from this place stands Monkey island, a picturesque spot in the river Thames, fancifully decorated by the third duke of Marlborough for the accommodation of angling parties. Pop., in 1801, 2,403; in 1831, 3,480. Houses 703. Acres 8,900. A.P. £17,950. Poor rates, in 1837, £1,102.

Source: The Parliamentary Gazetteer of England and Wales; A Fullarton & Co. Glasgow; 1851.

Leonard’s Gazetteer of England and Wales 1850

Bray, 1m. S. Maidenhead. P. 3722.

Source: Leonard’s Gazetteer of England and Wales; Second Edition; C. W. Leonard, London; 1850.


Below is a list of people that were declared bankrupt between 1820 and 1843 extracted from The Bankrupt Directory; George Elwick; London; Simpkin, Marshall and Co.; 1843.

Hawkins John, Holyport, Berkshire, late Maidenhead, farmer, July 8, 1842.

Parish Records

Berkshire Archives & Family History Groups

Berkshire Record Office

Berkshire Family History Society

GENUKI Berkshire


England, Berkshire, Reading, Cemetery Records, 1843-1959

Newtown Road Cemetery

Berkshire BMD

Berkshire Gravestones

Find A Grave Berkshire

West Berkshire War Memorials

Calendar of Berkshire Wills

Wellington College Register 1859-1905

Abingdon Union Workhouse Census 1881

Bradfield Union Workhouse 1881

Cookham Union Workhouse 1881

Easthampstead Union Workhouse 1881

Great Faringdon Union Workhouse 1881

Hungerford Union Workhouse 1881

Newbury Union Workhouse 1881

Reading Union Workhouse 1881

Wallingford Union Workhouse 1881

Wantage Union Workhouse 1881

Windsor Union Workhouse 1881

Wokingham Union Workhouse

Berkshire Enclosure Maps

Berkshire History

Records for England

Births and Baptism Records

England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975

Great Britain, Births and Baptisms, 1571-1977

England and Wales Birth Registration Index, 1837-2008

United Kingdom, Maritime Births, Marriages, and Deaths, 1787-1933

Marriage Records

England Marriages, 1538–1973

Great Britain Marriages, 1797-1988

England and Wales Marriage Registration Index, 1837-2005

United Kingdom, Maritime Births, Marriages, and Deaths, 1787-1933

Death Records

England Death Records, 1998-2015

England Deaths and Burials, 1538-1991

Great Britain Deaths and Burials, 1778-1988

England and Wales Death Registration Index 1837-2007

United Kingdom, Maritime Births, Marriages, and Deaths, 1787-1933

England and Wales, National Index of Wills and Administrations, 1858-1957

England and Wales, Prerogative Court of Canterbury Wills, 1640-1660

Non-Conformist Records

England and Wales Non-Conformist Record Indexes (RG4-8), 1588-1977


England and Wales Census, 1841

England and Wales Census, 1851

England and Wales Census, 1861

England and Wales Census, 1871

England and Wales Census, 1881

England and Wales Census, 1891

England and Wales Census, 1901

England and Wales Census, 1911


United Kingdom, Merchant Navy Seamen Records, 1835-1941

War and Conflict

Great Britain, War Office Registers, 1772-1935

United Kingdom, Chelsea Pensioners’ Service Records, 1760-1913

United Kingdom, Royal Hospital Chelsea: Discharge Documents of Pensioners 1760-1887 (WO 122)

United Kingdom, Maritime Births, Marriages, and Deaths, 1787-1933

United Kingdom, Militia Service Records, 1806-1915

United Kingdom, World War I Service Records, 1914-1920

United Kingdom, World War I Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps Records, 1917-1920

Newspaper Archives

British Newspaper Archive, Family Notices

British Newspaper Archives, Obituaries


  • County: Berkshire
  • Civil Registration District: Cookham
  • Probate Court: Court of the Archdeaconry of Berkshire
  • Diocese: Pre-1836 – Salisbury, Post-1835 – Oxford
  • Rural Deanery: Reading
  • Poor Law Union: Cookham
  • Hundred: Bray
  • Province: Canterbury

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