Eton is an Ancient Parish in the county of Buckinghamshire.
Parish registers begin:
- Parish registers: 1594
- Bishop’s Transcripts: 1813
Nonconformists include: Independent/Congregational
- Clewer, Berkshire
- New Windsor, Berkshire
- New Windsor Holy Trinity, Berkshire
- Upton cum Chalvey
The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales 1870
ETON, a town, a parish, a sub-district, and a district in Bucks. The town stands on the verge of the county, on the river Thames, and on the Windsor loop-line of the Great Western railway, separated only by the Thames from the town of windsor. It has fertile and salubrious environs; blends with Windsor, and its park, in one landscape; is famous for its school or college, the greatest in the kingdom; and lifts the beautiful chapel of that institution into conspicuous view, seen near and far rising above massive elms. It consists chiefly of one long street; has, of late years, undergone much improvement; has sewage-works, formed in 1869, at a cost of about £8,000; and contains many fine houses. An iron bridge, erected in 1823-4, connects it with Windsor. Another bridge, called Baldwin’s or Barne’s Pool-bridge, a relic of the 13th century, connects it with the precincts of the college. Broadgreen meadows, the playfields of the college, extend along the Thames; are shaded by elms, and intersected by Chalvey-brook; and have a magnifi-cent view of Windsor Castle. The parish church has disappeared, and is now represented by the college chapel; but a chapel of ease was built in 1855, at a cost of about £8,000; and this is in the decorated English style, and has a tower and spire 160 feet high, figuring prominently in views from the meadows and the railway. The town has a post office under Windsor, and two chief inns; and it formerly had a weekly market, and also a fair on Ash-Wednesday. A famous boat-fete is held on 4 June and on the last Saturday of July; starts from the Brocas, a large meadow above the bridge; goes 3 miles up, to Surley Hall; and takes the character of an aquatic procession and regatta. Another famous fete, called Eton Montem, was held triennially on Whit-Tuesday, at Salt Hill, from at least the time of Elizabeth till 1847; but has been abolished. Boating, swimming, and diving are much practised by the scholars; swarms of boats are on the river; and prizes are given to preeminent swimmers. A free school, unconnected with the college, and endowed by Mark Antony Porney, has £153 a year; a fund for repairs of Baldwin’s bridge, and other public purposes, has £157; a poors’ estate yields £126; and an alms-house and other charities have £113. Pop. of the town, in 1861, 2,840. Houses, 537. The town and its environs are thus sung by the poet Gray:- “Ye distant spires, ye antique towers, That crown the watery glade, Where grateful science still adores Her Henry’s holy shade; And ye, that from the stately brow Of Windsor heights, th’ expanse below, Of grove, of lawn, of mead survey; Whose turf, whose shade, whose flowers among, Wanders the hoary Thames along His silver winding way.” The college was founded in 1441, by Henry VI. It originally had endowments for a provost, 10 priests, 4 lay clerks, 6 choristers, 25 poor grammar-scholars, and 25 poor old men; but it now has, on the foundation, a provost, a vice provost, 7 fellows, 3 conducts, a head master, a lower master, about 35 assistant masters, 70 king’s scholars, and 10 choristers; and also is attended by numerous oppidans, commonly between 700 and 800, the sons of noblemen and wealthy commoners. It possesses scholarships at King’s college, Cambridge, becoming vacant at the rate of about 7 in two years; 2 scholarships at Merton college, Oxford; 3 exhibitions, from a fund by the Duke of Newcastle in 1829, each of the value of £50 and tenable for three years; an annual prize of £50, established by Prince Albert in 1842, for pre-eminence in modern languages; and the patronage of 40 livings. The buildings are partly old, partly new; and they aggregately form a grand, venerable mass, overtopped by their magnificent chapel. The old buildings were begun in 1441, and finished in 1523; and they comprise two quadrangles, a larger and a smaller, communicating by a beautiful gateway. The larger quadrangle has, in the centre, a bronze statue of Henry VI.; on the E, in front as yon enter, a picturesque dark -red clock tower, of similar character to the gatehouses of St. James’ and Hampton-Court palaces; on the N, the lower schools and the long chamber, of red brick and battlemented; on the W, the upper school, supported on an arcade; on the S, the chapel, of similar appearance to the chapel of King’s college, Cambridge, consisting of ante-chapel, chapel, and north porch, forming a very fine specimen of late per-pendicular English, measuring 175 feet in length, including a nave of 104 feet by 32, with a north aisle, and a choir of seven bays, and 80 feet high, the interior beautifully restored in 1848-60, and fitted up with dark-oak stalls and seats, and containing an octagonal Caen stone font, a brass lectern, a statue of Henry VI. by Bacon in 1786, and a number of monumental brasses The smaller quadrangle is surrounded by a cloister; and contains the hall, for the scholars on the foundation, with a dais for the dignitaries, the library, which is very rich in both manuscripts and books, and the provost’s lodgings, which have portraits of Queen Elizabeth, Sir T. Smith, Sir H. Saville, Sir H. Wotton, and Jane Shore. The new buildings were erected in the present century; they stand contiguous to the northern side of the old buildings; they are in the Tudor style, of red brick, with stone dressings; they have, at one angle, a tall tower of pleasing design; they contain, in their original extent, the dormitories and the boys’ library, the latter with nearly 6,000 volumes; and they include also a range of schoolrooms, erected in 1862, at a cost of £10,000. Among the provosts have been Bishop Waynflete, William Westbury, Roger Lupton, Sir Thomas Smith, Sir H. Saville, Thomas Murray, Sir H. Wotton, Dr. Steward, Francis Rouse, Richard Monk, and Richard Allestree; among the king’s scholars, John Hales, Bishop Pearson, Bishop Fleetwood, Earl Camden, Dean Stanhope, Sir. Robert Walpole, and Sir William Draper; and among the oppidans, Edmund Waller, Harley, Earl of Oxford, Lord Bolingbroke, the Earl of Chatham, Lord Lyttleton, Horace Walpole, Gray, West, Wyndham, Fox, Canning, Fielding, Lord Howe, Marquis Wellesley, the Duke of Wellington, and the historian Hallam.
The parish comprises 783 acres. Real property, £18, 951. Pop., 3, 122. Houses, 604. The living is a rectory, annexed to the provostship of the college. Value, not reported.
Source: The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales [Wilson, John M]. A. Fullarton & Co. N. d. c. [1870-72].
Old days of Eton parish : being historical sketches of the town and parish of Eton from the time of Edward the Confessor to accession of Edward VIII, with topographical chapter and map of the parish Author: Shephard, John
The Eton school lists, from 1791 to 1850, every third after 1793 : with short notes and a list of provosts, fellows, head and lower masters, and assistants, from 1791 to 1862 Author: Stapylton, H. E. C.
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- County: Buckinghamshire
- Civil Registration District: Eton
- Probate Court: Court of the Archdeaconry of Buckingham, Court of the Peculiar of the Provost of Eton
- Diocese: Pre-1845 - Lincoln, Post-1844 - Oxford
- Rural Deanery: Pre-1845 - None, Post-1844 - Burnham
- Poor Law Union: Eton
- Hundred: Stoke
- Province: Canterbury