"The parish of Mursley consists of 2974 acres, of which 513 acres are arable land, 2102 permanent grass, and 88 woods and plantations. The land is undulating and of an average height of nearly 450 ft., the point of greatest elevation, which is found about the centre of the parish, being 520 ft. above the ordnance datum. A small stream rises in the north of Mursley, and runs in a north-easterly direction into the neighbouring parish. The soil is loam with some gravel and clay, the subsoil clay and gravel. The village, lying nearly in the middle of the parish, is built on either side of a road running from north to south through Mursley and connecting the towns of Buckingham and Dunstable, and it was probably owing to its position on this road, almost equidistant from these important towns, that Mursley enjoyed in former centuries considerably greater importance than it does at present." [© copyright of the editors of The Victoria Histories of the Counties of England]
The following reference sources have been used in the construction of this page, and may be referred to for further detail. Most if not all of these volumes are available in the Reference section of the County Library in Aylesbury.
"Buckinghamshire Contributions for Ireland 1642", Wilson J., 1983.
"Buckinghamshire Returns of the Census of Religious Worship 1851", Legg E. ed., 1991, ISBN 0 901198 27 7.
"Magna Britannia: Buckinghamshire", Lysons S. and Lysons D., 1806.
"The Place-Names of Buckinghamshire", Mawer A. and Stenton F.M., 1925.
"The Victoria History of the Counties of England: Buckinghamshire", Page W. ed., 1905-1928
"War Memorials and War Graves: North Central Bucks, Volume 4", Peter Quick.
War memorials in Mursley have been transcribed by Peter Quick, and published in a booklet entitled "War Memorials and War Graves: North Central Bucks, Volume 4", available from the Buckinghamshire Genealogical Society.
In 1642 there were 34 people named in the tax returns for contributions for Ireland. Between them they were assessed at £4.9.0 of which sum Mr Thomas Kiffin contributed £1.0.0
In 1798 the Posse Comitatus listed 73 men between the ages of 16 and 60 in Mursley.
In the earliest government census of 1801, there were 318 inhabitants in 77 families living in 65 houses recorded in Mursley.
|Census Year||Population of Mursley|
* = No names were recorded in census documents from 1801 to 1831.
** = Census documents from 1911 to 2001 are only available in summary form. Names are witheld under the 100 year rule.
Microfilm copies of all census enumerators' notebooks for 1841 to 1891 are held at the Local Studies Libraries at Aylesbury and Milton Keynes, as well as centrally at the PRO. A table of 19th century census headcount by parish is printed in the VCH of Bucks, Vol.2, pp 96-101.
Availability of census transcripts and indexes.
- 1851 - Full transcripts and indexes for Buckinghamshire are available on CD-ROM, hard copy and microfiche from the Buckinghamshire Family History Society.
- 1861 - Available on CD-ROM with advanced search and mapping capabilities etc. from the Buckinghamshire Genealogical Society.
- Available on CD-ROM from the Church of the Latter Day Saints, as part of the National 1881 Census Index.
- Available on CD-ROM for Buckinghamshire, with advanced search and mapping capabilities etc. from Drake Software.
- 1891 - Available on CD-ROM with advanced search and mapping capabilities etc. from the Buckinghamshire Genealogical Society.
The original copies of the parish registers for St Mary the Virgin, Mursley have been deposited in the Buckinghamshire Record Office in Aylesbury, and they hold the following years:
|Christenings||1578 - 1867|
|Marriages||1578 - 1977|
|Burials||1578 - 1898|
Copies or indexes to the parish registers are available from societies as follows:
1575 - 1837
|Buckinghamshire Genealogical Society|
* = material held in a Society library is generally available for loan to all members either via post, or by collection at a meeting
An ecclesiastical census was carried out throughout England on 30 March 1851 to record the attendance at all places of worship. These returns are in the Buckinghamshire Record Office and have been published by the Buckinghamshire Record Society (vol 27). The returns for Mursley showed the following numbers:
|Mursley, St Mary the Virgin||30 - Morning General Congregation
50 - Morning Sunday Scholars
80 - Morning Total
90 - Afternoon General Congregation
|70 - Morning General Congregation
40 - Morning Sunday Scholars
80 - Afternoon General Congregation
90 - Evening General Congregation
- Ask for a calculation of the distance from Mursley to another place.
You can see the administrative areas in which Mursley has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.
Mursley was described in 1806 in "Magna Britannia" as follows:
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.
You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SP817286 (Lat/Lon: 51.949903, -0.812665), Mursley which are provided by:
- Google Maps
- StreetMap (Current Ordnance Survey maps)
- Bing (was Multimap)
- OldMaps (Old Ordnance Survey maps.)
- Old Maps Online (Other old maps.)
- National Library of Scotland (Old Ordnance Survey maps)
- Vision of Britain (Click "Historical units & statistics" for administrative areas.)
- English Jurisdictions in 1851 (Unfortunately the LDS have removed the facility to enable us to specify a starting location, you will need to search yourself on their map.)
- Magic (Geographic information) (Click + on map if it doesn't show)
- GeoHack (Links to on-line maps and location specific services.)
The name Mursley is believed to derive from old english, being a persons name + leah, and means 'woodland clearing of a man called Myrsa'.
- Poll Tax 1641 Cotteslow Hundred has been published by the Buckinghamshire Family History Society