(including Warrington)


"Olney, with Warrington, is situated in the most northern part of Buckinghamshire; and is bounded, on the North, by the County of Northampton; on the East, by Lavendon and Clifton Reynes; on the South, by Emberton; and on the West, by Weston Underwood. The Parish, including the Hamlet of Warrington, is about four miles in length, and two and a half in breadth; and contains more than three thousand acres. The real estates in Olney, in 1815, were assessed to the Property-Tax at 5580l.; and in Warrington, at 1009l., making a total value of 6589l. per annum. The money raised by rate that year in Olney, was 1960l., of which, about 1800l. was expended on the maintenance of the poor (though 512l. had been found sufficient for that purpose in 1776;) the money raised by rate in Warrington the same year, was 183l. and 149l. expended on the poor. Only 80l. had been required for that purpose in 1776. The Town is contained almost entirely in one street, which runs from north to south, more than half a mile in length; it is wider about the middle, and forms a market place, where a market is holden on Mondays: there are also two yearly fairs kept, one on Whit-Monday, and the other on the 29th of June." [The History and Antiquities of the County of Buckingham, by George Lipscomb, 1847]



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 History and Antiquities of the County of Buckingham", Lipscomb G., 1847
"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: Newport Hundred, Bucks, Volume 1", Peter Quick.




The following Monumental Inscriptions are available as publications or as part of a Society library:

* = material held in a Society library is generally available for loan to all members either via post, or by collection at a meeting




In 1642 there were 247 people named in the tax returns for contributions for Ireland. Between them they were assessed at £48.5.3 of which sum Mr William Johnson contributed £5.0.0

In 1798 the Posse Comitatus listed 337 men between the ages of 16 and 60 in Olney.

In the earliest government census of 1801, there were the following figures recorded:

  • Olney - 2003 inhabitants in 460 families living in 444 houses
  • Warrington - 72 inhabitants in 14 families living in 14 houses
Census YearPopulation of
Olney Town
Population of
Population of
Olney Parish

* = 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.



Church History

Details of the stained glass in the church can be found on the following web sites (the site includes many photos):



Church Records

The original copies of the parish registers for St Peter & St Paul, Olney have been deposited in the Buckinghamshire Record Office in Aylesbury, and they hold the following years:

EventDates covered
Christenings1665 - 1932
Marriages1668 - 1956
Banns1754 - 1973
Burials1667 - 1921

Copies or indexes to the parish registers are available from societies as follows:

Society Library*
Dates covered
Society Publications
Dates covered
1665 - 1812
Buckinghamshire Genealogical Society
1575 - 1837
Buckinghamshire Genealogical Society
1575 - 1837
Buckinghamshire Family History Society
1665 - 1812
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 Olney showed the following numbers:

Olney, St Peter & St Paul320 - Morning General Congregation
210 - Morning Sunday Scholars
530 - Morning Total

350 - Afternoon General Congregation
225 - Afternoon Sunday Scholars
575 - Afternoon Total

350 - Evening General Congregation
80 - Evening Sunday Scholars
430 - Evening Total

High Street
Baptist Meeting House
278 - Morning General Congregation
65 - Morning Sunday Scholars
343 - Morning Total

228 - Afternoon General Congregation
84 - Afternoon Sunday Scholars
312 - Afternoon Total

406 - Evening General Congregation
41 - Evening Sunday Scholars
447 - Evening Total

Independent Meeting
192 - Morning General Congregation
111 - Morning Sunday Scholars
303 - Morning Total

297 - Afternoon General Congregation
111 - Afternoon Sunday Scholars
408 - Afternoon Total

198 - Evening General Congregation
50 - Evening Sunday Scholars
248 - Evening Total

Society of Friends
XX [20?] - Estimated Morning Attendance



Description & Travel

You can see pictures of Olney which are provided by:




Historical Geography

You can see the administrative areas in which Olney has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.



Olney was described in 1806 in "Magna Britannia" as follows:

OLNEY, in the hundred and deanery of Newport, lies in the north part of the county, near the borders of Northamptonshire, 56 miles distant from London. It has a small market on Mondays, and two annual fairs, Easter Monday, and June 29. That on the 29th of June, being the festival of St. Peter, was granted in the year 1315. A fire happened in this town in the year 1786, when forty-three houses were burnt down. According to the returns made to parliament under the population act in 1801, the town of Olney then contained 451 houses, of which 444 were inhabited: the number of inhabitants was 2003; of these, 872 were males, and 1131 females: sixty-six persons were chiefly employed in agriculture, and 1928 in trade, manufacture, and handicraft. Lace-making is carried on to a great extent in this town and neighbourhood.

The manor was anciently in the Earls of Chester, from whom it passed successively to the families of Albini and Basset. Upon the attainder of Thomas Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick, who was one of the co-heirs of the Bassets, it was granted in 1397 to Thomas Moubray, afterwards created Duke of Norfolk; and upon his banishment, the reversion, after the death of Lady Basset, to whom this manor had been assigned in dower, was granted to Edward Duke of York, who fell at the battle of Agincourt: dying without male issue, this manor reverted to the crown, and was not alienated till the year 1638, when it was sold by King Charles I. to certain citizens of London. It now belongs to the Earl of Dartmouth, having been inherited from his mother, the late Countess Dowager, heiress of Sir Charles Gunter Nicholl, in whose family it had been a considerable time. The manor of Warrington, a hamlet of this parish, which was given by Lord Basset of Drayton to the neighbouring abbey of Lavendon, has of late years been held with Olney, to which it had formerly been annexed before Lord Basset's donation.

The church is a handsome Gothic building, with a stone spire, 185 feet in height. There was formerly a chapel in the church-yard, dedicated to the Virgin Mary, in which was a chantry, founded by Lord Basset. The great tithes of Olney were appropriated to the abbess and convent of Sion. In 1620, Sir Robert Gorges, being then impropriator and patron, endowed the vicarage with a stipend of 46 l. 13s. 4d. per annum, charged on the great tithes, in addition to the ancient stipend, which was only 20 marks. The rectory and aadvowson were afterwards in the family of Johnson, from whom they passed to the Nicholls, and are now the property of the Earl of Dartmouth. Moses Browne, author of Piscatory Eclogues, and other works, who, from the humble occupation of a pen-cutter, rose by his own merit to the station of a respectable divine of the Church of England, was vicar of Olney. Cowper the poet resided for some time at Olney, from whence he removed to the neighbouring village of Weston-Underwood.

The parish of Olney has been inclosed by an act of parliament passed in 1767; when an allotment was assigned to the impropriator in lieu of tithes and the vicar's stipend was increased to 70 l.




You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SP889513 (Lat/Lon: 52.152835, -0.702033), Olney which are provided by:


Names, Geographical

  • Olney - The name derives from old english, being a persons name + eg and means 'Olla's island'.
  • Warrington - The name is thought to derive from old english, being a persons name + ing + tun, and would thus mean 'estate associated with a man called Wearda'