THAME, a parish and market town in the hundred of Thame, county Oxford, 12 miles E. of Oxford, 10 S.W. of Aylesbury, and 45 N.W. of London. It is a station on the Oxford and Aylesbury branch of the Great Western railway. This place, which is of great antiquity, is situated on the Thames, adjoining the vale of Aylesbury, and comprises, besides the town of Thame, the hamlets of Moreton, North Weston, Priestend, and Thame Park. Roman coins have been found here. It was the Thama of the Saxons; Oscytel, Archbishop of York, died here in 972. At the Norman conquest it was given to the bishops of Lincoln, who founded a Cistercian monastery here in 1138, and of which there are still some remains in the grounds in Thame Park. After the Dissolution the manor was given by Edward VI. to the Protector Somerset, and subsequently to Lord Williams, from whom it passed to the Berties. In the civil war of Charles I. several skirmishes took place here, and John Hampden died at a house till lately the “Grey Hound Inn,” whither he was brought home wounded from Chalgrove Field. It is the seat of a Poor-law Union, new county court, and superintendent registry district. The town consists chiefly of two long streets, with a market-place nearly in the centre of the High-street. The public buildings are the townhall and market-house situated in the market-place, a union poorhouse situated at Priestend, a savings-bank, and commercial branch bank. The population in 1851 was 3,260, and in 1861, 3,245. The employment of the people is agricultural, there being no other trades carried on, except chair and fan making. The living is a vicarage* in the diocese of Oxford, value £240, in the patronage of trustees. The church, dedicated to St. Mary, is a cruciform structure with a tower erected in 1138, and formerly a chantry chapel founded by the Quatremains of Weston. The interior contains several emblazoned windows and brasses, the earliest dating 1420, also monuments and effigies of the Quatremains, Sir J. Clarke, Lord Williams, and the Dormers of Place House, now taken down. Adjoining the church are the refectory, chapel, and other parts of the prebendal house founded in 1241 by Bishop Grossetete, and now converted into the dwelling house of T. J. Clifford, Esq. The Wesleyans, Primitive Methodists, Baptists, and Independents have chapels. There is a free grammar school, built and endowed by Lord Williams, at which many distinguished men have been educated, as Dr. Fell, Anthony a Wood, John Hampden, Lord Chief Justice Holt, Sir George Crook, Pocock, the traveller and Orientalist, George Hetheridge, and others. There are, besides, National schools, partially endowed by funds left by the Earl of Abingdon, British and Foreign, and infant schools. The charities produce about £200 per annum, besides an almshouse for five poor men and one woman. Tuesday is market day. Fairs are held on Easter Tuesday, the Tuesday previous to Whit-Sunday, and the first Tuesday in August, for cattle, horses, and pigs, and a statute fair on the 11th October.The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868) Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2003
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