TAPLOW, in the hundred and deanery of Burnham, lies near the Bath road, about a mile and half from Maidenhead. The manor, which it is probable had belonged to some religious house, was held on lease under the crown in the reign of King James I. by Sir Henry Guildford: soon afterwards it became the property of the Hampson family who probably had a grant of it in fee. Thomas Hampson esq. of Taplow was created a baronet in 1642. The heirs of Sir Dennis Hampson sold this manor about the year 1700 to the Earl of Orkney, a distinguished officer in the Duke of Marlborough's wars. His eldest daughter who was married to William O'Brien Earl of Inchiquin, succeeding him in his honours and estates, became Countess of Orkney in her own right: she had two daughters, the elder of whom, the late countess of Orkney, was the first wife of her cousin Murrough, Earl of Inchiquin, since created Marquis of Thomond, who is the present proprietor of Taplow.
Taplow Court, the seat of the Marquis, is an old mansion, formerly the residence of the Hampsons: it stands near the church, and commands a fine view over Windsor forest and the Thames.
Cliefden-house was purchased of the ancient family of the Manfelds by the witty and profligate Duke of Buckingham, who began a magnificent house upon the site which was purchased and finished by the Earl of Orkney. Frederick Prince of Wales, father of his present Majesty, rented this house of Anne Countess of Orkney, and resided here several summers. This celebrated mansion was destroyed by fire in 1795: scarcely a wreck of its former magnificence remains. Its situation was much superior to that of Taplow-court, the rich view of Windsor and the surrounding county being heightened by the beauty of the scenery more immediately contiguous.
In the parish church at Taplow is the tomb of Sir Robert Manfeld, and several other memorials of that family. The Marquis of Thomond's aisle was built in 1633 by the Hampsons, whose arms, three hemp-breakers, occur frequently repeated in the cornice. The amiable Anne Countess of Orrery, whose beauty and virtues have been celebrated in the poetical works of her husband and his contemporaries, lies buried in this church. She died at Britwell court, a seat of the Earl's, in the neighbouring parish of Burnham.
The rectory, which belonged formerly to Merton abbey, is in the gift of the crown. The learned Dr. Hickman, some time bishop of Londonderry, was instituted to it in 1698. The parish has been inclosed by an act of Parliament passed in 1779, when an allotment of land was assigned the rector in lieu of tithes, &c.