Halton Parish Church


The church of St Micheal is a completely modern structure 1813 by Henry Rhodes, restored and remodelled 1886-7.  Built from squared blocks of sarsen or greyweather stone, probably from near High Wycombe, the joints galletted with pieces of Flint.  Slate
roofs.  Consisting of a shallow Chancel, a Nave of 4-Bays with North & South Aisles, and a Western Tower.  It was built in 1813 and is faced with Heath Stone, and designed in a poor adaptation of 13th-century style. The Nave is separated from the Aisles by Arcades of 4-Bays with pointed Arches and Columns with foliate Capitals.  The windows are either Lancets or have simple tracery.  The Tower is a small one of 3-Stages with an embattled Parapet and contains a Stair to a Small Gallery, projected through the Tower Arch, which serves as an Organ Loft.  The seating, fittings, woodwork, &c., are all modern, except the Font, which is of late 18th-century date. It is constructed of white Marble inlaid with coloured Marbles and has a small square Bowl, ornamented with Grotesques, which is supported upon a twisted Stem.

The only trace remaining of the Old Church, which occupied about the same site, is some Stone Curbing laid down to the East of the present church, marking the lines of the Old Chancel.

In the Sanctuary, affixed to the North wall, is a Brass, removed from the Old Church, with the figures of a man in Armour, his wife, 4 sons, and 4 daughters. The inscription runs: ‘Orate p[ro] aīab[us] henrici Bradschawe Armig’i capit[a]lis baron sc[ac]c[ar]ii d[omi]ni Regis & Johane uxoris eius qui quidem henric’ obiit xxvij° die julie a° d[omi]ni mvciij A° Regni vii° Reg. E viti cui’ a[nima]e p[ro]piciet de[us].’
On another Plate is a Shield of Arms: Two bends and a Chief with a Fleur de lis between 2 roses dimidiated, quartering quarterly 1 & 4, Party bendwise a crosslet, 2 & 3, On a Cross 5 lozenges, the whole impaling a trellis. This is perhaps a memorial of a Fermor marriage.

The Tower contains 4-Bells, cast by John Briant of Hertford in 1814.

The Church Plate comprises a covered Cup of 1569, the foot of which was remade in the 17th century; an unmarked standing Paten and a Salver of 18th-century date and a Ewer of 1830.

The 1st Book of the Registers contains Baptisms from 1663 to 1728, Marriages from 1607 to 1724, with a gap between 1639 & 1654, and Burials from 1606 to 1773, with notes of Affidavits of Burials in Woollen from 1678. The 2nd Book contains Baptisms from 1729 to 1757, Marriages from 1744 to 1757 with a gap between 1751 & 1754, after which date the entries are in the form of the 1754 Printed Book, and Burials between 1729 to 1770. The 3rd Book contains Marriages with Banns between 1760 & 1812; and the 4th Baptisms from 1763, and Burials from 1783, both running to 1812.

The Church of Halton, like that of Monks Risborough, belonged to the Deanery of Risborough, in the Exempt Jurisdiction of the Archbishop of Canterbury.  The Exempt Jurisdiction was abolished in 1841, and Halton, like Monks Risborough, is now in the Diocese of Oxford.  The Church of Halton presumably came into the possession of the Monastery of Christchurch, Canterbury, as early as the Manor, but it is not definitely mentioned till the 13th century.  After the separation of the Monastic & Episcopal Possessions it passed to the Archbishops, who held the Advowson of the Church until the Reign of Henry VIII.  Archbishop Cranmer surrendered it with the Ratification of the Dean & Chapter of Canterbury to the King, and Henry VIII Granted it in 1565–6 to Sir Edward North and his wife Alice. Edward VI appears to have made reparation for the loss of the Advowson of Halton Rectory to the Archbishop of Canterbury, but it was itself never recovered. Sir Edward North sold it in 1548–9 to Henry Bradshawe and from him it passed to the Fermors.  In 1667 the Advowson was Quit-claimed by Henry & Richard Fermor to Henry & Francis Harris and the heirs of Henry, and the latter probably Presented in 1678.  John Harris was the new Rector, and in a list of Rectors he is said to have been presented by Francis Harris and admitted by Archbishop Sancroft, but owing presumably to some confusion the Archbishop is said elsewhere to have Collated to the Rectory himself in that year.  The right to Present to the Rectory passed for the next time to William Wilmer, who exercised his right in 1685.  Some years previously, however, in 1678Richard Fermor had Granted a Lease of the Advowson for 99 years, and the Lessee, Ambrose Holbech, Presented to the Rectory twice in 1691.  The Fermors recovered possession of the Advowson before 1719, and it was sold with the Manor to Sir Francis Dashwood and has since then been in the possession of the Lord of the Manor,  Mr Alfred de Rothschild being the then Patron of the Living.  The Rectors of Halton do not seem to have been in any way distinguished like many of the Clergy in Buckinghamshire. Two of them indeed seem to have had an unenviable reputation. In 1318  Philip de Walton was accused with several others of theft at Hulcott, and in the 17th century, John Latimer obtained a Grant of Pardon for the manslaughter of ‘Christopher Harper, his Servant, who was hurt through his Passionate & Indiscreet Correction but lived 9 months after.

In 1553, as appears from a Decree of Commissioners for Charitable Uses, 1630, Mrs Alix Bradshawe in her Will gave out of her Lands in Edlesborough & Dagnall 20s a year, of which 6s 8d was for the Poor of Halton.  See under Wendover.  The Annuity is paid by Earl Brownlow.
The poor of this parish are entitled to a moiety of the income of Mrs Joan Pradshaw’s Charity in Wendover.  In 1906 the sum of £16 12s. 6d. was received as the half share of the George Inn, Wendover.
Widow Turpin’s Charity consisted of a Rent-charge of 18s payable out of a Close called Turpin’s Spring, in this Parish, which is distributed in bread at the Church Porch on St Thomas’s Day.  An annuity of £1 is paid by Mr A C de Rothschild.
Edmund Lambert, MD, by Will dated 1st October 1866, Administration of which was Granted on 5th February 1878, left a sum of Ordinary Stock of the Great Western Railway, now represented by £100 like Stock, the Dividends to be applied for the Benefit of the Poor.  The Stock, together with a sum of 11s 4d Consols, is held by the Official Trustees, producing in 1907 £5 7s 6d.
The Incomes of these Charities are Administered together.  In 1906 £18 was distributed in money, £5 in blankets, & £1 in bread.

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