Penn is a village and civil parish in the Chiltern District in Buckinghamshire, England, about 3 miles (4.8 km) north-west of Beaconsfield and 4 miles (6.4 km) east of High Wycombe. The parish, containing Penn village and the hamlets of Penn Street, Knotty Green, Forty Green and Winchmore Hill covers an area of 3,991 acres.
The parish name is originally Brythonic and means simply hill: Penn village stands on a particular promontory of the Chiltern Hills, and from the tower of the Holy Trinity Church in the village it is supposedly possible to see into not less than eight other counties. There is also a beacon hill with a signal post on it in the village boundary.
Segraves Manor, the principal manor in Penn, historically belonged to the Penn family. Sybil Penn, wife of David, was dry nurse and foster mother to King Edward VI and Lady of the Bed Chamber to his sister Queen Elizabeth I. William Penn (after whose father, Admiral Sir William Penn, Pennsylvania is named) erroneously believed himself to be a descendant of this family. However in 1735 the manor passed from the unmarried Roger Penn to his only heir and sister, who was married to Lord Curzon. Penbury Grove House was built in 1902 by the American engineer Horace Field Parshall to be a replica of Pennsbury Manor, William Penn’s house in Pennsylvania.
Penn Street, Knotty Green and Forty Green
Penn Street, Knotty Green and Forty Green are hamlets of the parish and lie within about a mile radius from the main village. Penn Street remains home to Earl Howe of the Penn-Curzon-Howe dynasty and the family's long historic influence on the village is evident all around Penn Street church. The churchyard contains a number of items from Gopsall, Lord Howe's other country house in Leicestershire. The Lych gate and Countess Howe memorial was moved from Congerstone 1919 when the family sold the Gopsall Estate. Penn Street and Knotty Green have large village commons, where cricket is played in summer by Penn Street Cricket Club and Knotty Green Cricket Club. Refreshments are served in The Squirrel in Penn Street and The Red Lion in Knotty Green, pubs facing the respective commons.
The Royal Standard of England, Forty Green
Among the many country pubs in the parish is the 900 year old Royal Standard of England in Forty Green. Claiming to be the oldest freehouse in England, a building was mentioned on the site of this inn in documents when Penn Church (of Quaker fame) was dedicated in 1213 and was then called the Ship Inn. In the seventeenth century when battles were fought in the nearby beechwoods between the Roundheads and the Royalists, the inn became the headquarters of the Royalists and was called The Standard by the soldiers as the building stood on a hill. The story goes that King Charles I hid there. Certainly after the Restoration of the Monarchy in 1660, Charles II gave permission for the inn to be renamed and it is believed it is still the only one in the country bearing the name of The Royal Standard of England.
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