Burnham is a village and civil parish that lies north of the River Thames in the South Bucks District of Buckinghamshire, England, on the boundary with Berkshire, between the towns of Maidenhead and Slough. It is served by Burnham railway station in the west of Slough on the main line between London Paddington [station] and Reading. The M4 motorway passes through the south of the parish.
Burnham was once a very important village. The road from London to Bath (now the A4 road) passed through the extensive parish of Burnham and as a result, in 1271, it received a Royal charter to hold a market and an annual fair. However, when the bridge crossing the Thames in Maidenhead opened the road was diverted away from Burnham, which fell into relative decay. The market was then transferred to Maidenhead.
Today the village is mostly contiguous with Slough and green-buffered within its own areas. The civil parish has a population of 11,630 [estimate of 2005] and the village of Burnham is the nucleus of the parish. The parish of Burnham once included the hamlets of Boveney and Britwell. Cippenham and East Burnham are still within the parish.
The Church of England parish church of Saint Peter dates in part from the 12th century but has been substantially expanded, refurbished and altered, with major restorations in 1863–64 and 1891 and the construction of the Cornerstone Centre in 1986.
Burnham Beeches is an area of of protected ancient woodland and covers most of the parish north of the village.
The detached portion of the parish of Dorney, visible on the map, is Dorneywood, an eighteenth-century Georgian house, rebuilt after a fire in 1910, whose modern purpose is that of country home for a senior member of the Government, usually a Secretary of State or Minister of the Crown.
Birth, marriage and death certificates can now be ordered online from Buckinghamshire County Council. The full postal address is Buckinghamshire Register Office, County Hall, Walton Street, Aylesbury, HP20 1YU.
The Centre for Buckinghamshire Studies (County Hall, Walton Street, Aylesbury, HP20 1UU) holds
In Buckinghamshire, as with other counties in England and Wales, the location of offices where Births, Marriages and Deaths were registered has altered with other changes in local government. A list of the location of Registration Offices since civil registration began in 1837 has been prepared by GENUKI (Genealogy: United Kingdom and Ireland). The table also gives details of when each Registration Office was in existence. In the case of Buckinghamshire, the same registration offices were used for the censuses since 1851.
Nineteenth Century Local Administration
English Jurisdictions is a webpage provided by FamilySearch which analyses every ecclesiastical parish in England at the year 1851. It provides, with the aid of outline maps, the date at which parish records and bishops transcripts begin, non-conformist denominations with a chapel within the parish, the names of the jurisdictions in charge: county, civil registration district, probate court, diocese, rural deanery, poor law union, hundred, church province; and links to FamilySearch historical records, FamilySearch Catalog and the FamilySearch Wiki. Two limitations: only England, and at the year 1851.
During the 19th century two bodies, the Poor Law Union and the Sanitary District, had responsibility for governmental functions at a level immediately above that covered by the civil parish. In 1894 these were replace by Rural and Urban Districts. These were elected bodies, responsible for setting local property assessments and taxes as well as for carrying out their specified duties. Thses districts continued in operation until 1974. Urban districts for larger municipalities were called "Municipal Boroughs" and had additional powers and obligations.
Poor Law Unions, established nationally in 1834, combined parishes together for the purpose of providing relief for the needy who had no family support. This led to the building of '"union poorhouses" or "workhouses" funded by all the parishes in the union. The geographical boundaries established for the individual Poor Law Unions were employed again when Registration Districts were formed three years later. In 1875 Sanitary Districts were formed to provide services such as clean water supply, sewage systems, street cleaning, and the clearance of slum housing. These also tended to follow the same geographical boundaries, although there were local alterations caused by changes in population distribution.
Online Historical References