Notes on Lathbury


Description of Lathbury from J. J. Sheahan, 1861

Lathbury parish is bounded by the river Ouse on all sides, excepting on the N.W., where it adjoins Gayhurst. Its area is 1,294 acres; population, 147 souls; and its rateable value is £1,913. The soil is chiefly of a gravelly nature, with a limestone bottom. The village is small but neat, and lies about one mile N from Newport Pagnell.

Bunstye, in this parish, was once a place of consequence, and gave name to the ancient hundred of Bonestou.

Mansel Dawkin Mansel, Esq., who succeeded to the possession of one moiety of the manor, on the death of Jane Symes, in 1799, married Elizabeth Brown, in the some year, and was High Sheriff of the county in 1800. He rebuilt the mansion-house, where he resided until the 11th of August, 1823, when, in the 60th year of age he committed suicide, in a fit of temporary derangement. His widow died on the 25th of the same month, and both were buried at Lathbury. They had issue three sons. The chief proprietors of Lathbury at present are Lady Hood (Lady of the Manor), Colonel Long, and Lord Carington.

The manor house (Lathbury House) was rebuilt in the beginning of this century on the site of a mansion which was erected in or about the reign James I., by Sir William Andrews, Knt. It is a handsome building of stone, situated a little to the S.W. of the church, fronting the northern part of the town of Newport Pagnell; and has a handsome lawn, good gardens, shrubberies, &c. The river Ouse flows in a fine stream , and affords a pleasing object from the windows. In the grounds is a famous horse-chestnut tree, under which it was reported, two troops of horse found shelter in a storm. Mr. Andrews, son of Sir H. Andrewes, Bart., is said to have planted this tree with his own hand.

The Living is a Perpetual Curacy in the patronage of the Deans and Canons of Christ Church, Oxford, and the Incumbency of the Rev. Henry Bull. It is valued in the King’s Books at £5. 6s. 8d., and now worth about £300 per annum. The tithes were commuted in 1842. The advowson appears to have been given to the Abbey of Lavendon by the Bidun family. After the Reformation, the King granted the Rectory and advowson of the Curacy to Christ Church, Oxon. The College always grants the Incumbent a beneficial lease of the great tithes, so that the Incumbent is the Rector.

Dr. James Chelsum instituted to this living in 1780, distinguished himself as a defender of Christianity against the attacks of Gibbon, the historian, See Gentleman’s Magazine (vol lxxii.; also vols. xlvi. and lxi).



Lathbury Parish (Pop. 172)

One Sunday School of 10 males and 9 females, who receive instruction at the expense of the parish.