MURESLEY, in the deanery of that name, and in the hundred of Cotslow, lies about four miles nearly west of Winslow: it had formerly a market on Thursdays, granted to the prior of Snelshall, in 1230. Warren Fitzgerald had another charter for a market on Wednesdays, in 1243, and a fair on the festival of the assumption of the Virgin Mary. This charter was renewed to John Duke of Bedford, who had a grant of another fair on the nativity of the Blessed Virgin. Both the market and the fairs, which have now been long discontinued, were again renewed to Robert Whittingham, in 1449.
The manor was anciently in the Giffards, Earls of Buckingham, afterwards in the Fitzgeralds, from whom it passed, by a female heir, to the family of Nowers.
The manor of Salden, which seems to have included that of Muresley, having been seised by the crown on the attainder of Sir Robert Tresilian, was granted, in 1402, to John Duke of Bedford, on whose death it was sold by the king to Cardinal Beaufort: in 1439, it was conveyed to Robert Whittingham, squire of the household, and confirmed to him by the king's patent in 1449: after this the manors of Muresley and Salden appear to have been separated: Sir Ralph Verney, who inherited both from the Whittinghams by female descent, sold Salden about the year 1580 to Sir John Fortescue, from whose family it passed by marriage to the family of Gage: it is now the property of Lord Eardley, who purchased it of his brother-in-law, Lord Gage: Muresley continued to be the property of the Verneys, nearly a century longer, having been purchased by the Fortescues in the year 1664.
Salden-house, which has been pulled down several years, was a noble mansion, built by Sir John Fortescue, chancellor of the exchequer, who was honoured with a visit here by King James I. soon after his accession to the throne. The cost of the building is said to have been about 33,000 l. Sir John Fortescue, who died in 1656, was created a baronet of Nova Scotia: the title became extinct on the death of Sir Francis Fortescue, in 1729.
In the parish church are monuments of Sir John Fortescue, chancellor of the exchequer, who died in 1607: Sir Francis Fortescue, K.B. and others of the family. Lord Eardley is patron of the rectory.