HITCHAM, in the hundred and deanery of Burnham, lies about a mile north of the Bath road, and about three miles from Maidenhead, in Berkshire. The manor, which it is probable had belonged to some religious house, was in the reign of Henry VIII. the property of Lord Chief Justice Baldwin, whose daughter and heir brought it in marriage to Thomas Ramsey esq. Nicholas Clerke, marrying a daughter of Mr. Ramsey, became possessed of the manor. Queen Elizabeth paid a visit to his son Sir William, at Hitcham, in 1602, upon which occasion we are told, that "he so behaved himself, that he pleased nobody, but gave occasion to have his misery and vanity spread far and wide." His grandson, Sir John, was created a baronet in 1660, being then described of Hitcham; but the same year an act of parliament passed, to confirm his sale of this estate to Charles Doe. The Clerkes removed afterwards to Shabbington, in this county; the title is now extinct. The manor of Hitcham became the property of Dr. John Friend, the celebrated physician, who lies buried in the church, where there is a monument to his memory; it was purchased of his representative, by the present proprietor, Lord Grenville: the manor-house is now occupied as a school.
In the parish church are several memorials for the families of Ramsey and Clerke. The Windows of the chancel are decorated with stained glass, the colours of which are very brilliant. The rector of this parish is nominated by the provost and fellows of Eton College, pursuant to the bequest of Mr. Archer, a former fellow, who being possessed of the advowson, has bound his heirs to present a clerk, nominated by the college. The parish has been inclosed by an act of parliament, passed in 1778, when an allotment of land was assigned to the rector in lieu of tithes.