ELLESBOROUGH, in the hundred of Aylesbury and the deanery of Wendover, lies under the Chiltern hills, about two miles and a half south-west of Wendover.
The Pakington family claimed the paramount lordship of this parish, as having belonged to their ancestor, Lord Chief Justice Baldwin, and before him, to the families of Cantilupe, Zouche, and De la Pole: this claim was given up when a farm in the parish was purchased of the Parkingtons in 1770, by the Russel family, in the description of whose property in this parish the manors of Zouches and Poles are enumerated.
The manor of Checkers, in Ellesborough, took its name from one of its ancient lords, John de Scaccariis, (or of the Exchequer,) from whose family it passed to the Hawtreys, and from the Hawtreys to a younger branch of the Crokes. John Thurbane, serjeant at law, became possessed of it in consequence of his marriage with a co-heiress of Sir Robert Croke. Joanna, the sole heiress of Serjeant Thurbane, married the gallant Col. Rivett, who received his death's wound at the battle of Malplaquet, after returning to the field from which he had before been carried off as dead. His widow married John Russel esq. third son of Sir William Russel bart. great grandfather of Sir George Russel the late proprietor of Checkers, whose grandfather, Mr. Charles Russel, married Mary Joanna Cutts Rivett, the only child of his mother-in-law by her first husband. The old mansion, called Checkers, situated in a very romantic spot, amidst hills covered with beech and other trees, was built by the Hawtreys, whose arms are in the hall windows. In this house are some good family portraits, among which are Oliver Cromwell, from whom the Russels were lineally descended, Lady Claypoole, and other persons connected with the family. Sir George Russel, the last heir male of the Russels of Chippenham, in Cambridgeshire, died on 25th April 1804; his estates devolved to his aunt, Mrs. Mary Russel, with remainder to her cousin-german, the Rev. John Russel Greenhill D.D. Checkers is now the property and seat of Robert Greenhill esq. to whom it has been given up by his father and cousin. The manor of Grove or Seyton was successively in the families of Egleton, Horton and Bristow. It was the property of the late Sir George Russel, whose brother purchased it of the Bristows. The manor of Mordaunts at Bockmer-end in this parish, belonged also to the late Sir George Russel. The reputed manor of Apsley in this parish, belonged to the Sheppards of Rolrich, in Oxfordshire; it was afterwards in the Ledwells; John Mackaness esq. barrister at law, having purchased it of that family, has lately sold it to James Humphreys esq. of Lincoln's Inn.
In the parish church, which, like that of Edlesborough, stands on a small insulated eminence, resembling an ancient fortress, are some monuments of the Crokes. In 1803 an act of parliament passed for the inclosure of this parish, when allotments of land were assigned to the rector, who was only entitled to a moeity of a considerable portion of the great tithes, and to Joseph Wells gent. who had the impropriation of the other moeity: the remainder of the tithes belonged for the most part to the proprietors of the lands from which they issued; an allotment was made to trustees for the poor; the Woodlands still continue titheable. The Rev. Mr. Wells, brother of the impropriator, is patron and incumbent.
Many Roman coins have been found in this parish; the castle-hill has been spoken of elsewhere.
[Correction/Addition at the end of Magna Britannia states "By the death of the Rev. Richard Wells and his brother Joseph Wells, gent. joint impropriators, the Rev. Dr. Joseph Wells, son of the former, is become impropriator, patron, and vicar, of the parish of Ellesborough."]