- source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
- source: Family History Library Catalog
Compton Beauchamp is a hamlet and civil parish formerly in the Faringdon Rural District in Berkshire, England. Following the boundary changes which occurred in 1974, the whole of Faringdon Rural District was transferred to Oxfordshire where it is now located in the Vale of the White Horse administrativ district.
The village is 3 miles (5 km) southeast of Shrivenham at the foot of the Berkshire Downs. The parish includes the hamlets of Knighton and Hardwell. Nearby is the Iron Age hill fort of Hardwell Castle.
Compton Beauchamp was in the Shrivenham Hundred, and in the Faringdon Poor Law Union.
- the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia
Compton's toponym is derived from the Old English cum meaning "valley" and tun meaning "farm" or "settlement". Its manor was held by the Beauchamp family in the 13th century.
The moated Compton Beauchamp House was the home of the King's Councillor, Sir Thomas Fettiplace, from about 1507. His only daughter, Elizabeth, the wife of Sir Francis Englefield, had no children and the property passed to her Fettiplace cousins who took little interest in the property. In 1589 it was sold to an in-law, Sir Henry Poole. The old house had deteriorated and Poole appears to have pulled it down and replaced it with the present house in about 1600. Early in the 18th century a Palladian facade was attached to the eastern entrance front of this small Tudor manor house. The house was rented in the later 19th century by the jurist James Bacon and in 1940 by Singer Manufacturing Company heiress Daisy Fellowes.
- GENUKI's collection of maps for Berkshire. For basic reference are the two online maps Berkshire Parishes and Berkshire Poor Law Union areas. These locate the individual parishes and indicate the urban and rural districts to which each belonged. There are many other maps listed, some covering specific parts of the county.
- Wikipedia's outline map of the unitary authorities, shown on many of their Berkshire pages, shows how the new divisions of government relate to the former districts. It has to be remembered that the county was reshaped in 1974 with the urban and rural districts of Abingdon and Faringdon and part of Wantage going to Oxfordshire, and the Borough of Slough (with Eton) coming in from Buckinghamshire. Every attempt is being made to indicate here in WeRelate the civil parishes, towns and villages for which these transfers occurred. Currently there are maps to be found on place pages that deal with civil parishes that transferred from Buckinghamshire into Berkshire. It is planned to provide maps within WeRelate for places that transferred from Berkshire to Oxfordshire.
- The extensive collection provided by Genmaps is provided free of charge online.
Online Historical References
- Berkshire Record Office. The Berkshire Record Office [BRO] was established in 1948 to locate and preserve records relating to the county of Berkshire and its people, and anyone who is interested in the county's past. As well as original documents, catalogues and indexes, there is a library at the Record Office.
- Berkshire Family History Society Research Centre. "The Berks FHS Centre can help you - wherever your ancestors came from. There is a Research Centre Library open to all."
- West Berkshire Museum, Newbury, housed in a building with an interesting past, but is currently closed for redevelopment. No information on their collections.
- The GENUKI provision for Berkshire has been updated more recently than that for some of the other counties. A member of the Berkshire Family History Society is credited with this revision.
- The FamilySearch Wiki on Berkshire explains the jurisdictions relating to civil affairs, parishes and probate (wills and testaments) for each parish in the county and also outlines when these jurisdictions were in existence. Alterations required to cover the post-1974 period have not been carried out for every parish concerned.
- The Berkshire section of The Victoria History of the Counties of England, in four volumes, is online and provides an extensive history of the county, parish by parish, up to the end of the 19th century. Parishes are arranged in their original "hundreds", a fairly archaic scheme of dividing counties into reasonably sized sections.
- Local History Online is a compilation of websites from Berkshire local history clubs, societies and associations.
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.
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