"An attractive place on a steep slope near Thame, with many timber-framed and plastered cottages. The small stone church is an unspoiled and humble village fane, like its neighbour Nether Winchendon." [Murray's Buckinghamshire Architectural Guide]
The following reference sources have been used in the construction of this page, and may be referred to for further detail. Most if not all of these volumes are available in the Reference section of the County Library in Aylesbury.
"Buckinghamshire Returns of the Census of Religious Worship 1851", Legg E. ed., 1991, ISBN 0 901198 27 7. "Magna Britannia: Buckinghamshire", Lysons S. and Lysons D., 1806. "Murray's Buckinghamshire Architectural Guide." editors John Betjeman & John Piper, London, 1948 "The Place-Names of Buckinghamshire", Mawer A. and Stenton F.M., 1925. "The Victoria History of the Counties of England: Buckinghamshire", Page W. ed., 1905-1928 "War Memorials and War Graves: Ashendon Hundred, Volume 5", Peter Quick and Bertrand Shrimpton.
War memorials in Chearsley have been transcribed by Peter Quick and Bertrand Shrimpton, and published in a booklet entitled "War Memorials and War Graves: Ashendon Hundred, Volume 5", available from the Buckinghamshire Genealogical Society.
In 1798 the Posse Comitatus listed 53 men between the ages of 16 and 60 in Chearsley.
In the earliest government census of 1801, there were 214 inhabitants in 50 families living in 46 houses recorded in Chearsley.
Population of Chearsley
* = No names were recorded in census documents from 1801 to 1831. ** = Census documents from 1911 to 2001 are only available in summary form. Names are witheld under the 100 year rule.
Microfilm copies of all census enumerators' notebooks for 1841 to 1891 are held at the Local Studies Libraries at Aylesbury and Milton Keynes, as well as centrally at the PRO. A table of 19th century census headcount by parish is printed in the VCH of Bucks, Vol.2, pp 96-101.
* = material held in a Society library is generally available for loan to all members either via post, or by collection at a meeting
An ecclesiastical census was carried out throughout England on 30 March 1851 to record the attendance at all places of worship. These returns are in the Buckinghamshire Record Office and have been published by the Buckinghamshire Record Society (vol 27). The returns for Chearsley showed the following numbers:
Chearsley, St Nicholas
No numbers given specifically for the 30th March 1851
Chearsley, General Baptist Chapel
20 - Morning General Congregation 30 - Morning Sunday Scholars 50 - Morning Total
60 - Afternoon General Congregation 15 - Afternoon Sunday Scholars 75 - Afternoon Total
62 - Evening General Congregation 12 - Evening Sunday Scholars 74 - Evening Total
Chearsley was described in 1806 in "Magna Britannia" as follows:
CHERSLEY, in the hundred of Ashendon and deanery of Waddesdon, lies about seven miles south-west of Aylesbury, and nearly four miles from Thame, in Oxfordshire. This is supposed by some authors to have been the Cerdicesleah of the Saxon Chronicle, where Cedric and Cynric defeated the Britons.
The manor of Chersley was anciently in the noble family of Valence, Earl of Pembroke; and afterwards in the Hampdens: Edmund Hampden forfeited it by attainder in 1465. Before the year 1600, either by grant or purchase, it became the property of the Dormers, from whom it descended to the present proprietor, Sir Clement Cotterell Dormer. Sir Clement is patron also of the donative, and impropriator of the great tithes, which formerly belonged to the abbot and convent of Nutley, having been given to them by their founder, Walter Giffard. The church was anciently a chapel to Crendon: right of sepulture at Chersley was granted by the bishop of Lincoln in 1458. An act for the inclosure of this parish passed in 1805, when an allotment was made to the impropriator in lieu of tithes.