MAIDS-MORTON, in the hundred and deanery of Buckingham, lies about a mile north of the county town. The principal manor of this place belonged anciently to the Giffards, Earls of Buckingham, from whom it passed to the noble families of Clare, Audley, and Stafford. The Marquis of Buckingham claims this paramount manor, to which no lands are annexed, as lord of the honour of Gloucester.
The manor of Greenhams, in this parish, took its name from a family who possessed it in the reign of Henry IV. Not long afterwards, it became vested in the crown, and was granted, in 1442, to All Souls College, in Oxford. Another manor in this parish belonged to Osney abbey, and was granted, after the reformation, to Christ's Church College, in the same university. Both these manors were for many years on lease to the family of Bate. Edward Oakley Gray esq. is the present lessee of Greenhams; the marquis of Buckingham, of the Christ-Church manor, the lease of which was purchased of Samuel Churchill, in 1802.
George Moore esq. of Maids-Morton, was created a baronet in 1665: the title became extinct at his death.
The parish church is a handsome Gothic structure, built about the year 1450, by some of the Peyvre family, who possessed the advowson. The tradition is, that it was built by two maiden sisters, daughters of the last heir male of the Peyvre family, and that the village was thence called Maid's-Morton. The porch and the belfry have groined roofs: in the chancel are three elegant stone stalls, with rich Gothic canopies. There are some memorials of the family of Bate: the celebrated Dr. George Bate, who was the chief physician to King Charles I. Oliver Cromwell, and King Charles II. was born at Maids-Morton, where he was baptized Nov. 23, 1607: his father was rector of the parish.
The advowson of the rectory was for many years in the Peyvres, and their heirs, the Broughtons; at a later period, in the family of Bate; it is now the joint property of the Rev. James Long Hutton (who is the present rector) and his brother, Francis Turner Richard Hutton Long esq. their father purchased of the Sandwells.
The parish register records the circumstance of the cross having been cut from the top of the steeple, in 1642, by Col. Purefoys's soldiers, (then quartered in Buckingham,) and the firmness of the rector, Matthew Bate, who, in defiance of the orders of parliament, christened children during the whole of the protectorate of Cromwell, and performed the marriage ceremony according to the rites of the church of England.
This parish has been inclosed by an act of parliament, passed in 1801, when an allotment of land was assigned to the rector, in lieu of tithes, and an allotment to the poor in lieu of furze.