Sunday, 21 November 2021

O. A. BROWNE - XXX Corps - Eighth Army

Omar Alfred Browne (Lance Corporal No. 6912447) - 2nd Battalion The Rifle Brigade - 7th Armoured Division - XXX Corps - Eighth Army

At the time Omar was born, on February 26th 1916, his father Alfred was serving on the Western Front with 2nd Battalion, Grenadier Guards. In fact Alfred was destined to be killed the following year and it is unlikely that he ever saw his baby son. When he had married Esther they made their home in Violet Villas, Boveney Newtown. He was killed on July 31st 1917 during the Third Battle of Ypres in Belgium and left a widow with an infant daughter named Hetty and baby Omar. Esther married again and as Mrs Wicks had another daughter, Gladys, in 1922.

Omar attended the Eton Wick Infant School when he was five, and on April 10th 1923 he registered for school at Eton Porny. Because his father had been a professional soldier Mrs Wicks decided he should complete his education at an army school. He left Eton Porny on January 21st 1927 and six days later, one month short of his 11th birthday, he went to the Duke of York School in Kent. It was here Omar joined the band, and it was here he developed a dislike of brass buttons. The band was to result him becoming an accomplished musician and able to play six different instruments. With his stated dislike of brass polishing he decided against a career in the Grenadiers, as his father had chosen, and instead joined the Rifle Brigade as a bandsman. On April 1st 1931, when he was 15 years three months, he reported to Devonport, as number 6912447, 2nd Battalion, Rifle Brigade.

Omar Browne (foreground, centre) in a funeral party at Halm between the Wars.

In September 1933 the Battalion sailed from England for Malta where they served for more than four years, until in December 1937 they embarked for Meerut in India. In 1939 they sailed to the Middle East, and as part of the 23rd Infantry Brigade served in Palestine and Trans Jordan. By this time Omar had grown from a, boy into a fine soldier, who loved many sports, including football, hockey, cricket and swimming. With the threatening upset of war the Battalion moved to the Egyptian frontier. Italy entered the war with Germany against the British, and with possessions in Libya, immediately struck east toward Egypt and the Suez Canal.

To counter these moves the British entered Libya, and the important harbour of Tobruk, situated along the strategic coast road, fell to Australian forces in January 1941. Cyrenaica fell to British troops, and Tripoli itself was threatened. With the rapid collapse of the Italian army the Germans dispatched strong armoured units under the command of Erwin Rommel, to halt the British advance. At this time a political decision was taken in London to send many of the much needed troops from the Middle East in support of Greece and Crete. The German drive to take Tobruk and ultimately the distant prize of Suez was sustained and very determined. The harbour garrison held out against the enemy although the Germans did become established in the desert and along the coast at distances as advanced as up to 70 miles east of Tobruk, effectively isolating the British garrison there other than by sea.

Omar was now in the Support Group, with the 7th Armoured Division, XXX Corps, of the Eighth Army, and as a bandsman was almost certainly serving as a stretcher bearer or other medical service assistant. On November 19th 1941 the 7th Armoured Division and Support Group struck north from the desert to take Sidi Rezegh, approximately 30 miles south east of Tobruk, while other Eighth Army units attacked Sollum and Bir el Gobi. Sidi Rezegh was captured a couple of days later but changed hands yet again the following day. Fighting was particularly fierce, involving tank battles and many casualties, as the Germans strove to take Tobruk and the British strove to relieve it. The 21st and 22nd November was perhaps the climax of the battle, when the XXX Corps was obliged to disengage, having lost two thirds of its armour.

Omar died in the Sidi Rezegh battle on November 21st 1941 at the age of 25 and is buried in the Knightsbridge War Cemetery, Libya, which is situated 15½ miles west of Tobruk and a few miles from Acroma. The cemetery contains 3,649 burials, including 10 soldiers whose graves could not be positively identified. The Knightsbridge War Cemetery was so named because a strategic point of the "box" desert defences in the area had been known as Knightsbridge. Graves and small battlefield burial places were concentrated at Knightsbridge after the war.

At the time of researching Omar (1995) the cemetery was not very accessible on account of strained diplomatic relations between our respective countries. Consequently a recent photo of the grave obtained through the C.W.G.C. looks tidy but lacking the customary beauty of plants.

Omar Browne was the only serviceman of W.W.II from Eton Wick whose father had been killed in the previous world conflict. Both were professional soldiers, and both are commemorated on the Eton Wick Memorial. Omar also commemorated on the W.W.II plaque on the wall of the Village Hall. In each instance his name is spelt as Browne (with an "e"). His father, Alfred, is commemorated as Brown (without an "e") except at Eton where he Browne.

Omar Browne's page on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website.

This is an extract from Their Names Shall Be Carved in Stone  
and published here with grateful thanks to the author Frank Bond.

Monday, 15 November 2021

Tough Assignment - 50 Years and Missionary Work

The mid 1930's was a period of change and increasing expenses.

These last two years had been very expensive ones for the chapel, for as well as the new Hall and all its attendant costs there had been a considerable increase in the ordinary expenses of running the chapel. The most crippling of these had been the quarterly quotas to the Circuit Funds which were first imposed in December 1933 at £8, and then increased to £10 per quarter a year and a half later. In 1935 the chapel was also redecorated throughout, both inside and out and there were several other new incidental expenses and increases. All of this meant that annual expenditure, and therefore income, doubled from 1933 to 1934, and then again, the following year. 

Annual expenditure stayed above £80 for the rest of the 1930s - a far cry from the 1920s average of a mere £13 per annum. The chapel keeper now had far more to do, and her salary had been substantially increased. The extension had brought other added expenses, such as water rates, increased insurance, and higher gas bills. More money was paid out to various funds, and small repairs to the chapel together with the necessary purchase of items of furniture and fittings were frequently recorded in the account book. Never again was income or expenditure to revert to the low figures of the pre-extension years, and at first sight it comes as a surprise to find the chapel ceasing to collect pew rents in 1938. Such rents had long been recognised as a regular source of income, but the idea was now considered old fashioned and undemocratic. Financially they were no great loss for they brought in less than £2 per year, and the 'envelope system' of voluntary contributions which was introduced a few years later proved more satisfactory. 

In 1936 the chapel was fifty years old and the anniversary was celebrated with a summer garden fete (held at Bryanston, the home of Mr and Mrs Chew) a jubilee service and an evening lecture. The Rev. Dr. Dinsdale Young of Central Hall, Westminster, was the chief speaker and he attracted members and ministers from the whole Circuit as well as a crowd of other people. He was a large man in stature and personality and one of the most well known and loved Methodist preachers. More than this he was recognised nationally as a superb speaker in an era that still set great store by such talent. It was both an honour and a delight that he was willing to preach at Eton Wick. 

The chapel was certainly showing no loss of vigour. Small it might be, but its members were ready, willing and able to serve their Lord and the wider community of the Circuit and neighbourhood. The first of the new groups or organisations which appears to have been started about this time was Christian Endeavour. It had been formed about 1929 and consisted of some dozen young people who met on a weekday evening for bible study, prayer, discussion and talks given by their own members.

Members of the group, were expected to be active Christians, willing to help at services and to prepare themselves for becoming local preachers. It was an inter-denominational organisation and some of them did preach at various churches in the district, Baptist and Congregational as well as Methodist. 

In the end, although several of the young men and women served the chapel in many capacities, only one of them became a local preacher. This was Bill Templeman, an ICI scientist (described in 'The Times' as one of the makers of the 20th century) who found Christianity at Eton Wick and also a wife in Mabel (the eldest daughter of Mr and Mrs Chew). He later became Circuit Steward of the Windsor and Maidenhead Society. 

Missionary work had almost certainly long been a concern of the chapel, but it is not until the 1930s that we have any details of the work, by which time it would seem to have become a more organised activity. Since the mid-thirties there have always been secretaries concerned with the activities and collections made for Home Mission, Overseas Missions and the Junior Missionary Association (JMA). The first recorded officials were Miss Winifred Jewell (Overseas Missions, 1934), Miss Sylvia Chew (JMA 1934) and Mr Arthur Morris (Home Missions 1936). The Sisterhood was still functioning and was now under the presidency of Mrs Chew. Its programme was changing as the work sessions and readings were replaced by talks given by invited speakers. Class meetings also continued, though there appears to have been only one class at this time. Mrs Chew was the leader, assisted by Arthur Morris in 1935 and Harry Cook from the year after. In 1936 Mr Morris distributed tracts to 250 houses in the local area hoping thereby to achieve some small measure of good influence. There was also a Women's Work Committee and secretaries to the chapel's prayer union, Bible reading group and Temperance and Social Welfare. With so small a chapel membership, those that were active and willing served in many capacities! 

Perhaps the most vital work of the chapel, took place in the Sunday School. Classes were held twice each Sunday and the numbers of scholars stayed comfortably in the sixties with nine or ten teachers and sometimes two or three helpers as well. The surviving minute book of the teachers' meetings begins in 1939 when there were four classes for boys, five for girls and two for the infants. But perhaps the most fascinating details given in the minutes are those concerning prizes. It was resolved that year that scholars making: 

100 or more attendances should receive prizes valued at 1s 3d (6½p)

90 to 99 attendances should receive at prizes 1s valued  (5p) 

75 to 89 attendances should receive at prizes 9d valued (4½p) 

60 to 74 attendances should receive at prizes 6d valued (2½p) 

Every child who sat the scripture examination was to receive an extra 6d and there was to be a special prize for the scholar with the highest marks, and another for the boy or girl who had the highest attendance record. That summer, the last before the war, the Sunday School outing was to Hayling Island. Tea was taken at the Grotto Café and 1,000 half price tickets for amusements were purchased from Butlins!

Thursday, 11 November 2021

Eton Wick Remembers The Fallen

East Face

Henry Ashman  1993  21/08/1915  Gallipoli
Cyril Ashman  746  26/10/1917  Passchendaele
George Baldwin  16671  24/04/1918  Amiens 
George Bolton  7993  24/09/1915  Loos
Alfred Brown  11811  31/07/1917  Ypres
Ernest Brown  T/202287  24/10/1917  Passchendaele
Angus Bruce  19160   27/03/1918  Arras
Thomas Bryant  9813  11/11/1914  Ypres
Fredrick Buckland  G/3615  17/12/1914  illness
Arthur Bunce  39794  17/07/1917  Ypres
Albert Caesar  12472  01/09/1914  Villers

Omar Brown  6912447  21/11/1941  Libya
Clifford Chew  116439  24/3/1945   Luxembourg
William Farmer  1603478  10/4/1944  United Kingdom

North Face

Frank Church  3760  19/07/1916  Somme
John Clark  630936  23/04/1917  Roeux
Fred Colbourn  185017  31/10/1918  illness
Horace Dobson  32908  15/07/1918  illness
Charles Godwin  2556  08/06/1918  Arras
Charles Hammerton  5335  09/10/1916  Somme
Henry Hill  K/18991  03/09/1917  Chatham air raid
Robert Hobrough  40782  30/09/1917  Passchendaele
Arthur Iremonger  7937  25/12/1915  Loos
Ernest Jordan  33180  20/08/1916  Iraq
Charles Miles  K/25314  09/07/1917  HMS Vanguard
Harry Quarterman  7570  30/10/1918  Asfold POW camp

John Flint  T/I27600  19/5/1943  Italy
William George  1529768  14/11/1942  Egypt
Richard Hood  5385945  13/5/1944  Italy
Thomas A McMurray  105151  17/6/1940  France

West Face

Henry Moss  M2/097873  21/10/1918  Roisel
James Newell  1232  11/04/1917  Arras
Joseph Newell  9534  24/05/1917  Turkey POW Camp
Walter Payne  12050  12/03/1916  Ploegsteert Woods
George Percy  34891  15/04/1918  Outtersteene Ridge
Herbert Pithers  24307  28/02/1917  Ancre
Arthur Richardson  10060  02/05/1915  Gallipoli
Joseph Springford  94017  15/02/1918  Passchendaele
Isaac Springford  197731  02/07/1918  Orpington
Albert Stallwood  4176  24/10/1918  Wassigny
Peter Knight  30958  26/10/1915  Aegean Sea

William Prior  5434  22/8/1947  England
William Pates  1152080  15/1/1943  France
Albert Prior  7689948  12/11/1943  Burma
George Prior  14603226  13/12/1947  England

Wreaths laid on the Memorial 14th November 2021
Photograph courtesy of Councillor Samantha Rayner

This is an extract from Their Names Shall Be Carved in Stone  

and published here with grateful thanks to the author Frank Bond.

Monday, 8 November 2021

Photographic History - Village Characters - George Batt, Verger


George Batt, Verger 

In 1993, to mark 60 years of faithful service to the village and St John's Church, George received a certificate from Neville Thorman, secretary of the Churchyard Fund Committee. George has served as choirboy and choirman, Sidesman, Church Warden, and has held the post of Verger for many years. The occasion was the 20th anniversary of the Churchyard Fund Committee. 

This article was first published in A Pictorial History of Eton Wick & Eton.

Monday, 1 November 2021

Eton Wick Youth Club 75th Anniversary

The Former Youth Club Member who attended the 75th anniversary celebration. 

A report by Helen Branscombe-Davies

Thank you to all the past members of Eton Wick Youth Club who came along to the 75th Anniversary event yesterday evening at the Village Hall.

Dorothea Vaughan
Almost to the day, 75 years ago, our Youth Club was formed in the shadow of World War 2. It was revolutionary in at least two ways. Firstly, it was a mixed club with both sexes replacing the young men only club established pre-war by village benefactor Toddy Vaughan. Secondly, the age limit was set at 21 which meant conscripted men were eligible. The Youth Club was established with Dorothea Vaughan, Toddy's widow, as President so Eton Wick was an early supporter of gender equality.

Our Youth Club has since had an illustrious history with well over 1,000 young villagers being members over the 75 years and all based at our ancestral home, the Eton Wick Village Hall.

Today, in the shadow of the pandemic, youth clubs face different challenges in a different world. After 75 years the Eton Wick Youth Club is currently dormant with possibilities for a future relaunch being assessed. Last night we acknowledged the past and shared fond memories of the youth club throughout the decades. We look forward to embracing the future which could be as part of a Community Hub in our Village with activities supporting a great variety of age and interest groups.

We realised too late into the evening that we should have organised a register of attendees with names and dates of Youth Club attendance. If you are able to help us, put together this information then please leave a message in the comments box at the end of this article, thanks.

Several past Youth Club members brought photographs of activities that they remember and are shared with this article. The cups and trophies will be cleaned, and I will post a photo when they are all restored.

EWYC - Adelphi Slough -1956

May 1957
Barrie Watts as May Queen with
Alan Quartherman and Barry Hood as his
attendants.Tony Clark as the Mayoress.

May 1957

Youth Club Football Team - Undated

Youth Club Camps

EWYC Camp1956

EWYC Camp1957

EWYC Camp1959

EYWC Zennor Arms 1959

EWYC Camp year unknown

EWYC Camp year unknown


Lands End 5th August 1966

"Socially in my green years I tried to serve youth, and in my grey years, the seniors. In the late 1940s I developed an interest in village youth football that led me to being the Youth Club Leader from 1951 to 1961 and then the Chairman. This resulted in 'Wicko' Carnivals 1967-81 initially to raise Youth Club funds for a building project."

Monday, 25 October 2021

Old Days of Eton Parish - Eton Before and After the Norman Conquest


In all the books published about Eton, the great College and School naturally form the absorbing centre of at-traction. Very little attention has been paid to the history of Eton itself, and yet there is much about it which many would like to know. It would be interesting to trace its first beginnings, as a town and parish; to discover what people first settled there, what their occupation was, and what brought them there.

It would be a matter of interest, to find out whether the place was inhabited at all in the days of the ancient Britons, or only in the days of the Anglo-Saxons or the Normans; whether the first settlers were Christians; and, if so, what spiritual provision was made for them.

But we have to curb our curiosity. The materials to help us to any complete knowledge are somewhat scanty and uncertain. Eton seems to have no Roman or British remains, nor any buildings old enough to throw light on those very remote times. Buckinghamshire is not like some counties, fortunate in possessing the records of ancient chroniclers.

Until about the year 1030, no written records are forthcoming, and for many years later only sundry scraps of information are available.

But something may be learnt from the study of names and existing customs; enough at any rate to form strong circumstantial evidence.

First, as regards names, there is hardly any trace of Danish influence in this corner of the county, but the neighbourhood abounds in names with the well-known Saxon termination of 'ham' or 'home.' Burnham, Farnham, Wexham, Cippenham and many others will at once occur to our readers. Another common sign of Saxon settlement is the termination ' ton,' as in Upton, Horton, Cole Norton, and Eton itself. We shall see presently how this throws light on its early history.

Field Map by H. Walker 1839

Then within the limits of the parish itself, many of the old names of the fields bear distinct witness to Saxon origin. A glance at the map of Eton Parish reveals several: 'shot' (e.g. two acre shot), butts' (e.g. wheat butts), Mill ‘furlong' or furrow long, ‘ward,’ ‘croft,' even 'acre' itself, are Saxon words; and what we still call 'eyots' and ‘weirs' were Saxon terms too, though ‘weir' had then a wider significance, and was used also for wattled baskets and other such contrivances for catching fish.

Further we find the same evidence accorded by certain institutions and customs, which, although slightly modified and altered in name under Norman rule, were undoubtedly Saxon, and were firmly established before either Danes or Normans appeared.

There are three such in Eton. The first of these is the existence of Common lands, of which Long Common and Little Common are samples. These commons take us back to the times of the earliest settlers, when, besides the wooden hut and the enclosed plot of ground (described as a 'close,' see map for many examples) which each settler cultivated as his private holding, there were certain pasture lands or woods which the community or tribe shared together, and into which they could turn their cattle or pigs under certain agreed conditions.

But apart from these Common lands, which of course exist in most parts of England, much of the meadow and cultivated land in Eton is open and unenclosed, and subject to what are known as Lammas rights.

These rights entitle householders, according to their rate, to graze so many head of cattle on these fields from the 1st of August to the 31st of October.

This too is an institution which has come down from the seventh century. The name Lammas ' has its origin in the first day of the grazing season, viz. Lammas Day. It is derived from Hlaf-masse, Loaf-mass, or Bread-feast. The day was observed in Saxon times as a day of thanksgiving for the first fruits of the harvest; a loaf made of the new corn was offered at the Mass, as even in those days the Holy Eucharist was popularly called.

These Lammas rights have been jealously guarded by the inhabitants both in ancient and modern times. But for these, much of the open land in Eton would long ago have been in the hands of speculating builders and covered with bricks and mortar.

It is said, by good authorities, that the open or Lammas meadows were generally in old days allotted to tenants in strips, ' butts ' or shots ' as they were called. Another glance at the map shows how this custom prevailed as regards both meadow and plough land, and how in several instances the old names are preserved. It is also interesting to know that to this day very many of these old divisions of the land are still in use, and parts of fields are leased as separate holdings, although there is no visible boundary mark.

There is also a third institution closely connected with the two already mentioned, namely the Manorial system.

It is doubtless the case that the term ' Manor,' as well as most of the quaint old-world names connected with it, are of Norman invention, and the whole Manorial system with its Courts was developed somewhat under Norman rule but the best historians seem agreed that the system itself existed in substance in Saxon times and is hardly distinguishable from it. The lord in those days was called 'thegn' or 'thane,' the 'manor' was then the 'ham' or 'tun' (the township), or in Latin villata 'rendered in French ville.'

Many ratepayers, in response to a formal summons, attended a Court Leet, or General Court Baron, and a View of Frankpledge,' held by the Lord of the Manor or his steward in the dining-room of the Manor House of Eton; but it is as likely as not, that, in obeying this now very occasional summons, they have little realised that they were taking part in proceedings which were going on a thousand years ago, and some four or five hundred years before the College was founded.

Nowadays the Court and its jurors are only concerned with such small matters as the swearing in a new Bailiff or appointing someone to the office of Hayward, or possibly the amending some by-law or fining some offender for the breach of the same, but in early days this Court was of real importance to the whole village community. It was part of their system of local government.

The assembled freemen or land-holders met under their thegn or reeve, and determined whether some would-be settler should be admitted to the privileges of the Manor or Township, and what strip of land should be allotted as his holding. The jurors had to witness every surrender of land and every new tenancy, and to see that the terms were duly carried out. They were sureties responsible for the general good conduct of all on the Manor and for the good order kept. Some of what we now call petty police cases were brought before the Court, and the local Court assisted the Court of the Hundred and the Shire Court in enforcing their regulations.

Many other matters also were managed by the Court, as e.g. the keeping up of fences and dykes, the arrangement of crops, etc., to be planted in particular fields.

But what concerns us now, is that the existence of these three institutions is circumstantial evidence for there having been a settled population in Eton in Anglo-Saxon times. Moreover, the fact that a large portion of the land held by the Lord of the Manor is subject to Lammas rights, and that his Court is still charged with the due maintenance of both Lammas and Common rights, seems to show that these rights were fully established in the parish before Norman days and were accepted as part of the territorial system which prevailed throughout Wessex.

In other words, we may safely infer that Eton begins its history somewhere far back between the seventh and tenth centuries. At any rate, long before the Conquest we may picture in the higher ground of the parish (perhaps near the Manor Farm, Eton Wick, or in Northfield near Cole Norton) a cluster of small homesteads, occupied by agricultural folk who lived for the most part a peace-able life, who ploughed with their oxen their own strips or plots of land, or at stated times worked on the land of their thegn. These would meet together in their little community to discuss and settle matters which concerned their common benefit, and, at long intervals, would be called to arms by their thegn to join in resisting the inroads of some marauding foe.

It may be conjectured that this colony was known as Cole Norton or North tun; 'town' or 'tun' in Anglo-Saxon being the name given to the enclosure or hedge which surrounded the homestead of the thegn and his dependents.

But what of the town of Eton itself? Old maps and engravings, as well as information which belongs to the time of the Foundation of the College, make it clear that the river and its tributaries present a very different appearance to what they did even in the fifteenth century. The main stream has considerably shifted its course. Several of the streams have been diverted, some have disappeared altogether. Going back still further, we may conjecture something of this sort. If we could have taken a bird's eye view of the southern corner of the parish nearest the river, or even if we could have looked down on it from the chalk hill on the Berkshire bank, which in later days was crowned with the Round Tower, we should have noticed several intersecting streams and a cluster of islands, and especially a stream of some width flowing out of Cuckoo Weir stream and passing along the lane  on the north side of South Meadow into Barns Pool, re-entering the main stream to the left of the College Eyot.

On the principal island thus formed, we may conjecture that one of the early warrior-chieftains chose a sited for his homestead which would command the river and be secure from sudden attack, while his retainers built their log huts or cottages round him, protected by his fenced enclosure or tun; and out of this small nucleus the ' town ' little by little grew.

In old documents Eton is very variably spelt. It most often appears as Eyton, sometimes as Eiton, in Domesday Book it is Ettone, and we sometimes find Etone or Eaton.

The first spelling suggests that the name properly signified the Island Town, or the Town on the Eyot, and that this name was in course of time extended to the rest of the parish.

When the parish first appears in the pages of chroniclers, it was in the division of Bucks which was known as the Hundred of Burnham, but it seems to have been afterwards, either wholly or in part, transferred to the Hundred of Stoke.

Most of the land in very early days was probably, like the country on the opposite bank of the Thames, thickly wooded, but by the time of the Domesday Survey, taken by the order of William the Conqueror in 1086, Eton already was a place with some resources and importance of its own.

The land had been largely cleared and was partly in pasture and partly cultivated, although there were still woods and copses large enough to feed 200 swine on mast and acorns. There were two water-mills valued at a rent of 20s. in the money of that day. One is supposed to have stood at Cuckoo Weir, and what is known as Deadman's Hole may have been caused by the washing of the mill-stream. The other mill stood in what is now the Playing Fields, perhaps near the gate which now opens on to the College Eyot. There were also large fisheries, yielding a rent of 1000 eels.

In the time of Edward the Confessor, 1050, there was an ancient Saxon Palace at Old Windsor (near the Priory). It was here that the royal family resided; hence the property acquired by the King in the neighbourhood. The Manor of Eton was one of such holdings. It belonged to his wife, Queen Eddid or Eadgyth, and on her death (1075) reverted to the Crown. A little later, the Conqueror granted it to Walter son of Other, who was appointed Warden of the Forest, and also was the first Governor or Constable of the Castle Keep, which was just then erected on half a hide of land in the Manor and Parish of Clewer, as a suitable military post to command the neighbourhood.

This Walter, who afterwards took the title of Baron Windsor, had on his Manor fifteen 'villeins,' tenants under their lord of strips or portions of land and working between them six plough teams, also four 'bordars' or cottagers, who held their cottages and gardens on condition of supplying the lord with poultry and eggs. He had besides attached to his land four servants or serfs. The two mills, some of the fisheries, and woodlands mentioned above, belonged to this Manor.

There was also a second Manor in this parish held of the King by Walter son of Pont; he had thirteen villeins, five bordars and seven servants, whose lands were not geldable, i.e. not subject to tax. He had two fisheries and 148 acres of pasture land.

In addition to some rent, these thegns had to aid in building forts and castles and maintaining bridges in their jurisdiction and to provide a certain number of men for the King's army.

The building of the Keep was followed by the building of some other parts of the Castle, and Henry I. is said to have held a Courts there for the first time in 1110.

What communication there was between Eton and the Castle, except by ferry, is uncertain. But, as for many years yet there was no town on the Berkshire side of the river, we may presume that the presence of the Court and garrison helped considerably to the development of the trade of Eton. At any rate it had become sufficiently large and prosperous for a weekly market, which was held on Mondays. For this, King John granted a charter to Roger de Cauz in 1204.

Of the two manors mentioned above, one only survives under the designation of the Manor of Eton cum Stockdales and Colenorton. From the titles of its Courts and their powers, it would seem to have been a Manor of consider-able importance in the neighbourhood. The other Manor is represented by what is now Crown land and by what was in later years acquired by the College.

OLD DAYS OF ETON PARISH by The Rev. John Shephard, M.A. was published in 1908 by Spottiswoode and Co Ltd. The text is has been copied from the original book that is now out of copyright.