Place:Fenny Stratford, Buckinghamshire, England

Watchers
NameFenny Stratford
TypeTown
Coordinates52°N 0.717°W
Located inBuckinghamshire, England
See alsoNewport Pagnell Rural, Buckinghamshire, Englandrural district of which the parish was a part 1894-1895
Fenny Stratford Urban, Buckinghamshire, Englandurban district of which it was the central part 1895-1974
Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, Englandunitary authority which the parish joined in 1974
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog


the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Fenny Stratford is a constituent town of Milton Keynes, ceremonial county of Buckinghamshire, England and in the Civil Parish of Bletchley and Fenny Stratford. Originally an independent town, it was included in the Milton Keynes "designated area" area in 1967. From 1895 it formed an urban district with Bletchley, until 1974 when it became part of the borough of Milton Keynes (since 1997 a unitary authority). It is located at the south east edge of the city and is its gateway to northbound travellers on the A5.

Prior to the introduction of urban and rural districts at the end of the 19th century, Fenny Stratford was part of the Newport Hundred and the Newport Pagnell Poor Law Union.

Contents

History

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

The town name is an Old English language word that means 'marshy ford on a Roman road'. The Roman road in this case is the Watling Street. There are traces of the Roman settlement Magiovinium on the edge of the present day occupation. (Possibly the oldest known gold coin in Britain was found here, a gold stater of the mid-second century BCE). The town was recorded in manorial rolls in 1252 as Fenni Stratford, though previously it was just known as Stratford: the prefix being added to distinguish the town from nearby Stony Stratford.

Being an ancient market town, Fenny Stratford was the location of a weekly market for many years until 1665 when the town was badly hit by the bubonic plague. As a result the main road that ran through the town was diverted away from it, and the market died as a result. The market was never reinstated: the town was very much in ruins by the early eighteenth century, and had by this time joined with both Bletchley and Simpson, being commonly considered a hamlet of the former.


the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

On St Martin's Day 1724 the first stone was laid of the new parish church of Fenny Stratford, marking a fresh start in the town's history. Browne Willis, a historian of the day, had raised the funds for the reconstruction. The Church was built on the site of the old Chantry Chapel of St. Margaret and St. Catherine at Fenny Stratford. He erected the church as a memorial to his grandfather Dr. Thomas Willis, a famous physician, who lived in St. Martin's Lane in the parish of St. Martin-in-the-Fields in London, and who died on St. Martin's day, 11 November 1675. To perpetuate his own memory, Browne Willis arranged for a sermon to be preached at St. Martin's Church on each St. Martin's Day, for which a fee was payable. During his lifetime, he also celebrated the occasion with a dinner attended by local clergy and gentry, an event which has continued to the present day.

The Fenny Poppers

The Fenny Poppers are six small ceremonial cannon which date from this time and are still fired ceremonially (with blank charges) today.

There is no record of their first use. In 1740, Browne Willis bought a house in Aylesbury Street, Fenny Stratford and the rent from this was used to pay for the sermon and gunpowder. Following his death in 1760, the traditions were carried on and later documented.

All six Poppers were re-cast by the Eagle Foundry, Northampton in 1859, after one of them burst. It is these that are still in use today and they were recently examined and x-rayed to ensure there are no cracks. During their long history, many sites have been used for this battery. These include; the Canal Wharf, land behind the Church, St, Martin's Hall, the Churchyard and now the Leon Recreation Ground that was once part of the lands belonging to the Chantry.

The Poppers each weigh about 19 pounds (8.5 kg). The , 6" by 1¾" (152 mm x 44 mm) will take one ounce (28g) of gunpowder, which is plugged with well-rammed newspaper. They are fired three times on St. Martin's Day (11 November); noon, 2.00pm and 4.00pm precisely. There is of course no connection with Remembrance Day (also 11 November). In 1901 they were fired to mourn the death of Queen Victoria; the 81 salutes were heard as far away as Olney. On 1 January 2000, at 11.00am the Poppers were fired to mark the beginning of the Second Millennium. At 2.00pm on 4 August 2000, a salute of six Poppers was fired to celebrate the 100th birthday of the Queen Mother. On 5 June 2012 six of the Poppers were fired at 14:00 for Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee.

The Diesel Engine

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

The world's first successful heavy oil engines were invented and built by Herbert Akroyd Stuart in Fenny Stratford. There is a plaque commemorating this at the westerly end of Denmark Street in Fenny Stratford opposite The Foundry public house – though the location of Akroyd Stuart's workshop is usually given as "Bletchley", which is a larger town adjoining Fenny Stratford. These engines were precursors to what is now known as the Diesel engine: Rudolf Diesel based his designs (1892) on Akroyd Stuart's proven inventions (1890) of direct (airless) fuel injection and compression ignition. An experimental model was tried out at the offices of the Fenny Stratford Times Newspaper, and the first production models were installed at the nearby Great Brickhill Waterworks where they were in operation from 1892 to 1923. (It has been argued that engines of this type might have become known as "Akroyds", had Diesel not been a rather paranoid person not prone to giving other inventors credit.)

Research Tips

Maps

  • An outline map of the current civil parishes of Buckinghamshire (post 1974 and omitting Milton Keynes unitary authority) is provided by the Boundaries Commission.
  • Another map which gives no source, appears to have been drawn to show the county in the late 19th century and labels the parishes directly. However, the map does not show towns and villages (unless they are parishes using the same name) and some parishes have been found to be missing from this map.
  • A map provided by the Open University (a British university based in Milton Keynes) gives the locations of the old civil parishes and the new communities that make up Milton Keynes. It can be expanded to read the labels.

Registration Offices

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

  • Church of England and Nonconformist churches including registers of baptism, marriage and burial.
  • Around 35,000 wills proved by the Archdeaconry of Buckingham.
  • County and District Councils (lists of councillors, minutes of meetings, etc).
  • Quarter and Petty Session courts.
  • Landed estates of families including the Aubrey-Fletchers, Hampdens, Carringtons and Fremantles.
  • Historic maps including OS, tithe and inclosure maps
  • A wide range of local history books, some for loan.
  • Pamphlets and articles of local history interest.
  • Local newspapers
  • Computers for access to family history resources like Ancestry and FreeBMD.
  • Published material is listed in the Library Catalogue.
  • Catalogues to some of our manuscript material is available through Access to Archives, part of The National Archives (TNA). Their database contains catalogues describing archives held locally in England and Wales and dating from the eighth century to the present day.

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

  • GENUKI for Buckinghamshire provides a lot of material on the county history from a variety of aspects. The maps of the hundreds are reproduced from 19th century publications and show the topology as well as the locations of the various parishes. There is also a schematic map covering the whole county. GENUKI does not contain much information about the 20th century and beyond.
  • Local History Online provides a list of local historical organizations. Each of these societies and organizations has its own website.
  • The FamilySearch Wiki on Buckinghamshire 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. The data does not cover the post-1974 period.
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Fenny Stratford. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with WeRelate, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.