Clewer was part of the Ripplesmere Hundred and the Windsor Poor Law Union. The parish was located in the Windsor Rural District 1894-1974, and since that date in the Royal Burgh of Windsor and Maidenhead (both the administrative district and the unitary authority).
Dedworth is a village in the northwest corner of the parish of Clewer.
The name Clewer comes from the word 'Clifwara' meaning 'Cliff-Dwellers' and is named after those who lived below the hill on which Windsor Castle was built. Historically, Clewer pre-dates New Windsor and still exists as a separate ecclesiastical parish. A Saxon settlement existed there, and it is thought that the settlement of Clewer may have grown up at a place where the river Thames could be forded. A wood-and-thatch Saxon church is believed to have existed on the site of the present church. The surviving font is thought to be Saxon, and is presumed to have belonged to the earlier church. Until the 1850s this font was in an improbable position at the west end of the north aisle and it is likely that it had never been moved from its position in the earlier Saxon church.
By the time of the Norman Conquest, there was a Manor of Clewer, mentioned in the Domesday Book as Clivore and recorded as having a church and mill. It was from here that William I took the lands on which he built his fort, which became Windsor Castle. The Manor of Clewer continued to receive a rent of 12 shillings per annum from the Crown, for this land, until the sixteenth century. The present St Andrew's Church is of Norman construction and it is traditionally believed that William I habitually attended mass there, as there was no chapel within the original castle. It has a 14th-century chantry chapel to the memory of the second wife of the hero of the Hundred Years' War, Sir Bernard Brocas. The family lived in the sub-manor of Clewer Brocas until rebellious activities obliged then to retreat to obscurity at Beaurepaire in Sherborne St John.
Online Historical References
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.