HEDSOR, in the hundred of Desborough and deanery of Wycombe, lies near the banks of the Thames, about five miles east of Marlow, and about the same distance from Maidenhead, in Berkshire. The manor belonged anciently to a family who took their name from the village: in the fifteenth century it was in the Restwolds, from whom it passed to the Hawtreys. Rowland Hynde purchased it about the year 1560, and it continued in his family nearly a century, when it passed by purchase to the Chilcots, of whom it was inherited by the Parkers: in 1764 it was purchased of Mrs. Elizabeth Parker, by William Lord Boston, and is now the property of his son, Frederick Lord Boston.
Hedsor-Lodge, the seat of Lord Boston, was built in 1778; it stands on the brow of a hill, commanding a very beautiful view of the Thames, and some of the most picturesque parts of Berkshire and Buckinghamshire. The house, which is elegant and commodious, contains a small collection of pictures, chiefly portraits of the families of Irby and Paget, connected by marriage. In the library is a singular portrait of Conrad Ernest Copperman, a dwarf, who was page of the back stairs to the Princess Dowager of Wales; he died at the age of 35, being then only three feet five inches in height.
An estate in this parish, called Lambert-Farm, was formerly held under the manor, by the service of bringing in the first dish at the lord's table, on St. Stephen's-day, and presenting him with two hens, a cock, a gallon of ale, and two manchets of white bread; after dinner the lord delivered to the tenant a sparrowhawk and a couple of spaniels, to be kept at his cost and charges, for the lord's use: a composition is now paid in lieu of this service.
In the parish church, which is a very small building; are some memorials of the families of Hynde and Parker. In the church-yard are deposited the remains of Nathaniel Hooke, author of the Roman history, to whose memory a tablet has been lately put up at the expence of Lord Boston, with the following inscription :
"Sub hoc tumulo corpus deponi jussit Nathaniel Hooke Armiger, qui multiplici literarum varietate et studio eruditis, Romanæ historiæ auctor celebratus emicuit; de literis veró quantum meruit edita usque testabuntur opera. Ex vitâ demigravit annorum plenus & veré pius vicesimo secundo die Julii Anmno Domini 1763. Ad cinerespatris sui pariter requiescit corpus filiæ dilectissimæ Janæ Marieæ Hooke cujus animæ propirietur Deus. Sexagenaria obiit vicesimo octavo die Aprilis, Anno Domini 1793. Hoc pietatis signum poni voluit Fredericus Baro de Boston, 1801."
Near the church is a yew-tree, which measures 27 feet in circumference.
Lord Boston and the bishop of Lincoln are patrons of the rectory. The bishop presents every third turn.