CHOLESBURY or CHOULESBURY, in the hundred of Cotslow and deanery of Muresley, lies about five miles east of Wendover, on the borders of Hertfordshire. This manor, anciently called Chelwoldsbury, belonged in early times to the Beauchamps, and afterwards to the Perots. In 1364, King Edward III. granted this manor, which had been held for life by John de Cobham, to Thomas Cheyne, his shield-bearer, whose descendants in the reign of Henry VIII. sold it to Lord Chief Justice Baldwin: in 1748 it was purchased of the Seares, in whose family it had then been for a considerable time, by Robert Darell esq. father of Edward Darell esq. the present proprietor.
The church, which was formerly a chapel to Drayton-Beauchamp, stands within a circular moat, which incloses an area of about twelve acres. Within this area is a pond, called the Bury pond. To the north of Cholesbury a large dyke runs from east to west, over Wiggington Common, through the parish of Tring to Drayton-Beauchamp. The living is a perpetual curacy, endowed with the tithes of the parish, which are of very small value: the patronage is vested in the trustees of Joseph Neale esq. who in 1705 founded an evening lecture for preaching, catechising, and expounding the Catechism at Cholesbury and Wiggington, endowing it with an estate at Cublington, let since the inclosure at 90 l. per annum. By the founder's rules the lecturer is to preach at Cholesbury on Christmas-day and the 5th of November, and to preach and catechise the children every Sunday afternoon during the winter season; on the second and fourth Sunday in every month, from Easter to Michaelmas, to preach, catechise, and expound the Catechism at Wiggington; and on the other Sundays during that period, to perform the same duties at Cholesbury. The curate of Cholesbury may be (and hitherto has been) appointed by the trustees to the lectureship, but he is removeable from the lectureship by the trustees for misbehaviour, or neglecting the rules and orders of the founder. There are nine trustees, which number is to be filled up from time to time when reduced to six.