Maidenhead St Luke is an Ecclesiastical Parish and a market town in the county of Berkshire, created in 1720 from Cookham Ancient Parish.

Parish church:

Parish registers begin:

  • Parish registers: 1866
  • Bishop’s Transcripts: None

Nonconformists include:

  • Countess of Huntingdon Methodist
  • Independent/Congregational
  • Society of Friends/Quaker
  • Wesleyan Methodist

Parishes adjacent to Maidenhead

Historical Descriptions

The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales 1870

MAIDENHEAD, a town and two chapelries in Bray and Cookham parish, Berks. The town stands adjacent to the river Thames and the Great Western railway, at the boundary with Bucks, 6½ miles NW of Windsor. Its history was written to the length of a volume by Mr. Gorham, once incumbent of it’s chapelry, and afterwards vicar of Brampford-Speke; but it really contains little matter of any note. Its name, at some early period, was South Allington or Sudlington; and was afterwards changed popularly into Maidenhead, in consequence of some monkish exhibition at it of an alleged holy virgin’s head, commemorated by a window in the modern church. But the historical name, as occurring in several ancient records, was Maidenhithe or Maydenehythe; and is supposed to have been derived from a great wharf for timber, which existed on the adjacent part of the Thames, prior to the erection of a timber bridge in the 13th century. The bridge became a thoroughfare of much consequence, and made some figure in several public events. A chantry was established in the town by Margaret, second queen of Edward I.; and had, for one of its objects, the maintaining and repairing of the bridge. The corporation of the town also were authorized to exact a pontage upon all merchandise, and to take a tree annually out of Windsor forest, for the same object. A skirmish took place in the town in the time of Richard II.; the bridge was held by the Duke of Surrey; and Henry IV. had great difficulty in crossing. James I., after a day’s hunting, rode unattended into the town, and had a lndicrous encounter at the inn with the vicar of Bray and the curate of Maidenhead. Charles I., in 1647, after several years’ separation from his three children, was allowed to meet them at the Greyhound inn. A party of James II.’s Irish soldiers were posted at the bridge, in 1688, to impede or stop the advance of the Prince of Orange to the metropolis; but, at the mere sound of a Dutch march played by some of the townsmen, they ran off in a panic, and abandoned their cannon. The town, from its situation on the principal western road, was unavoidably subjected to annoyance from the troubles between the time of the Reformation and that of the Revolution; and a thicket to the W of it was so specially perilous that an extra salary was, for some time, given to the local clergymen, to compensate for the danger or cost of passing it. T. Pickman, the architect, was a native. The country around Maidenhead is highly cultivated, richly adorned with villas, mansions, and woodlands, and very picturesque. The views of the wooded slopes on the Bucks bank of the river are surpassingly beautiful.

The town consists chiefly of one long street, running from E to W; it extends from the bridge to Folly-hill; it is in the parish of Bray along the S side, and in that of Cookham along the N side; it underwent improvement, with the addition of new houses of a superior order, in years prior to 1840; and it so rapidly increased in years previous to 1865, that house accommodation became deficient, building operations were active, resolutions were taken to enlarge the town hall and to build a lecture hall and a corn-exchange, and a proposal arose to erect a large hotel. The town hall and the market-house were thoroughly repaired shortly before 1864. The bridge was rebuilt in 1772, by Sir R. Taylor, at a cost of £20,000; is a handsome structure; and comprises seven large semi-circular arches of stone, and three smaller arches of brick. The Great Western railway passes immediately S of the town; and sends off a branch along its W side, to a transit over the Thames, 3½ miles to the N, toward High Wycombe and Thame. The viaduct carrying the main line over the river, immediately E of the town, has two flat elliptical arches, each 128 feet in span, besides eight land-arches; and is constructed almost entirely of brick. Two stations serve for the town; the one on the main line, the Taplow and Maidenhead, 22½ miles from Paddington; the other on the Wycombe branch, the Boyne-Hill and Maidenhead, 24½ miles from Paddington. The church of St. Andrew and St. MaryMagdalen is a handsome modern structure, on the site of the chantry founded by Queen Margaret. The church of St. Luke stands in North Town; was built, in 1866, at a cost of £3,500; is in the early English style, of Charlbury freestone, with Bath-stone dressings; was left off incomplete, the tower and part of the nave remaining to be built; and comprises part nave, aisles, and chancel, with vestry and organ-chamber. The Independent chapel was enlarged and much improved in 1861. There are chapels for Baptists and P. Methodists. There are likewise a literary and scientific institution; a national school, supported by subscription; an infant school, under trustees; three school endowments, of £82, £81, and £18 a year; alms houses, with £48; a charity for clergymen’s widows, good servants, and the poor, with £218; and other charities, £394. The town has a head post office, a telegraph station, a county police station, a banking office, and four chief inns; and is a seat of petty sessions, and a polling-place. Fairs are held on Whit-Wednesday, 29 Sept., and 30 Nov. There are two large breweries, and a large corn-mill; and the latter is driven by the weir-water from a solid stone lock on the river, about ½ a mile above the bridge. The town was chartered by Edward III.; and is governed, under the new act, by a mayor, 4 aldermen, and 12 councillors. Corporation income, about £1,110. Pop. in 1851, 3,607; in 1861,3,895. Houses, 734. Pop. of the Bray portion, 1,865. The chapelries are St. Mary and St. Luke; the latter constituted in 1866. The living of St. M is a p. curacy, that of St. L. a vicarage, in the dio. of Oxford. Value of St. M., £172;  of St. L., £50. Patron of St. M., E. F Maitland, Esq.; of St. L., the Bishop.of O.

Source: The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales [Wilson, John M]. A. Fullarton & Co. N. d. c. [1870-72].

Leonard’s Gazetteer of England and Wales 1850

Maidenhead, on the Thames, 26 m. W. London, and 12 m. E. Reading. Market, Wed. P. 3340

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.

Aldridge William, Maidenhead, chinaman, July 29, 1834.

Beasley John, Maidenhead, Berks, upholsterer, Oct. 25, 1833.

Foster Thomas, Maidenhead, Berkshire, draper, April 15, 1826.

Francis Edwin, Maidenhead, Berkshire, coach maker, May 27, 1826.

Fuller James, Maidenhead, Berkshire, corn and coal merchant, May 24, 1842.

Lambell Richard, Maidenhead, Berkshire, saddler, Aug. 18, 1840.

Mackie Edward, Maidenhead, Berks, saddler & harness maker, May 30, 1826.

Noke Mark, Maidenhead. Berkshire, upholder, Nov 1, 1839.

Passmore Ephraim, Maidenhead, Berkshire, grocer, June 14, 1833.

Wharton George Alex., Maidenhead, Berkshire, wine merchant, Dec. 20, 1823.

Parish Records

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Wellington College Register 1859-1905

Abingdon Union Workhouse Census 1881

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Easthampstead Union Workhouse 1881

Great Faringdon Union Workhouse 1881

Hungerford Union Workhouse 1881

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Reading Union Workhouse 1881

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

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

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


England and Wales Census, 1841

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  • 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; Cookham
  • Province: Canterbury

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