DINTON, in the hundred of Aylesbury and deanery of Wendover, lies about four miles south-west of Aylesbury, near the road to Thame. The manor was anciently in the Munchensis. In 1464, having been forfeited by the attainder of Sir Robert Whittingham, it was granted to Sir John Montgomery and his heirs male: it was afterwards in the Verneys. The Maynes became possessed of it and settled at Dinton about the year 1606: upon the attainder of Simon Mayne, one of the regicides, who died in prison after conviction, and was buried at Dinton in 1661, this manor became forfeited, but was repossessed by the family probably through the indulgence of the crown, and was sold in 1727, by Simon Mayne, grandson of the regicide, to John Vanhattem esq. father of the late Sir John Vanhattem, who died in 1789. His son-in-law, the Rev. William Goodall, is the present proprietor. The hamlets of Westlington and Ford are attached to this manor.
The manor-house, now the seat of Mr. Goodall, is an ancient mansion, which was for many years the residence of the Maynes. Mr. Goodall has several papers relating to the history of the parish; a collection of extraneous fossils from Dinton and its neighbourhood, where they are found in great abundance; and some antiquities discovered in an arable field near the road to Thame, by labourers who were digging for the foundation of a castellated building erected by Sir John Vanhattem in 1769. The most remarkable is a small vessel of thin green glass, of a conical form, which is engraved in the 10th volume of the Archaeologia. The manors of Aston-Molins and Waldridge, in this parish, are in the hundred of Ashendon, and the manor of Morton, in the hundred of Desborough. The manor of Aston-Molins, formerly called Aston-Bernard, belonged anciently to the family of Fitz-Bernard, from whom it passed by purchase to the Blackets. In 1331, St John Molins, who held this manor by grand serjeanty, as marshal of the king's falcons, had a licence to embattle his house at Aston-Molins: from him the manor passed by female heirs to the families of Hungerford and Hastings. The family of Serjeant became possessed of it about the year 1606: it is now the property of Matthew Raper esq. whose ancestors purchased it of the Serjeants in 1720.
The manor of Waldridge belonged also to the Serjeants: it was afterwards the seat of Sir Richard Ingoldsby, who purchased it in 1651 of the Serjeants. It is somewhat singular, that Dinton should have been the residence of two of the judges of King Charles I. Sir Richard Ingoldsby and Simon Mayne; the former was pardoned and taken into favour after the restoration. Waldridge is now the property of the Marquis of Winchester, who married the heiress of the Ingoldsbys. The manor of Morton has been long held on lease by the Waller family, under the church of Winchester. The Lees of Hartwell, before their marriage with the heiress of that estate, were of Morton, and it is probable that they were lessees of the manor before the Wallers. The manor of Upton, in this parish, belonged to Lord Chief Justice Baldwin, and having passed by female heirs to the Borlaces and Wallops, is now the property of the Earl of Portsmouth. The manor of Blomer, in this parish, was formerly in the Hampdens, afterwards in the Claytons, and is now the property of the Earl of Chesterfield.
In the parish church are monuments for the families of Serjeant, Mayne, and Vanhattem. The south door has a very curious Norman arch.
The great tithes of this parish were formerly appropriated to the Priory of Godstow: when the act for inclosing this parish passed in 1802, it appeared that the vicar was entitled to a portion of the great tithes, and that Matthew Raper esq. the Rev. William Goodall, and George Franklin esq. were entitled to the remainder, excepting those of the hamlet of Upton; the great tithes were directed to be apportioned, and allotments of land made in lieu of them to the several proprietors; Mr. Serjeant's impropriate tithes were to remain unaltered, but he was at liberty to accept a corn-rent; The vicar had 40 acres allotted to him for his glebe, and a corn-rent in lieu of tithes; the vicarage is in the gift of the crown. Ford, a hamlet of this parish, had formerly a chapel of ease, which has been destroyed. There is an engraved portrait of John Bigg, an eccentric character, who was a native and inhabitant of this parish, and commonly called the Dinton hermit. In his younger days he was clerk to Simon Mayne the regicide, who acted as a justice of the peace: for many years before his death, which happened in 1696, he lived in a cave under ground. His method of mending his clothes, which he never changed, was by fastening fresh cloth or leather over the decayed parts: one of his shoes thus mended, till the leather became of more than tenfold thickness, is in Mr. Goodalls possession, the other is in the Bodleian library at Oxford.