CHALFONT-ST. PETER, in the hundred and deanery of Burnham, lies about five miles from Amersham, on the road to London, and nearly six miles from Uxbridge in Middlesex. The manor, which belonged to Missenden abbey, was granted in 1536 to Robert Drury esq. whose descendants sold it in 1626 to the Bulstrodes: in 1646 it was conveyed to Thomas Gower esq. of whom, in 1650, it was purchased by Mr. Richard Whitchurch, ancestor of Mrs. Anne Whitchurch, the present proprietor.
An ancient manor in this parish takes its name from the family of Brudenell, (collateral ancestors of the Earl of Cardigan,) who formerly possessed it; from them it descended by female heirs to the Drurys and Osbornes. It afterwards came into the Duke of Portland's family, of whom it was purchased by Charles Churchill esq. the late proprietor; it is now the property of Thomas Hibbert esq. Mr. Hibbert's seat, which is called Chalfont-house, was a distinct property; and before it came into Mr. Churchill's hands, was in the families of Wilkins and Selman.
Newlands, in this parish, the seat of Sir Henry Thomas Gott, was purchased by its present possessor about the year 1770, of Mr. Croke of Beaconsfield: it had been formerly in the family of Saunders, and was sold by Sir John Saunders to Mr. Hopkins, of whom it was purchased by Mr. Croke.
In the church are memorials for the family of Whitchurch. The advowson and impropriation which belonged formerly to Missenden abbey, and afterwards to the Drurys, was given by Sir Thomas Allen to the president and scholars of St. John's college in Oxford, who present the vicar and grant him a lease of the great tithes.
The Earl of Portland built a school at Gerrard's Cross, in this parish, adjoining the road from London to High-Wycombe. It has no endowment, but has always been supported by the Portland family: the duke appoints the master, and allows him a salary for teaching a number of boys of this and some of the neighbouring parishes.
William Courtnay, who died in 1770, gave a loaf of bread weekly to each of eleven unmarried poor women of this parish, and one to the clerk.