SOULBURY, in the hundred of Cotslow and deanery of Muresley, lies on the Bedfordshire side of the county, about three miles north-west of Leighton-Busard and about five miles south of Fenny-Stratford. The manor was in the Mansells during a great part of the thirteenth century. It is now (together with the manors of Liscombe and Hollingdon, hamlets in this parish) the property of Sir Jonathan Lovett bart. whose ancestors were possessed of them as early as the reign of Edward the Second, [Footnote: A fine of this estate was then levied on the marriage of an ancestor of Sir Jonathan Lovett's, with one of the Tourville family.] probably by purchase from the Mansells. Sir Jonathan Lovett, the present proprietor, was of a younger branch of the family who had been settled for a long period at Kingwell, in the county of Tipperary. Upon the failure of the elder branch he succeeded to the Buckinghamshire estate, and in 1781 was created a baronet. The seat at Liscombe is a quadrangular building; one side is occupied by a chapel which, by the style of its architecture, appears to have been built about the middle or latter end of the fourteenth century; the house is of much later date, no part of it appearing to be older than the reign of Queen Elizabeth: the windows have been modernized. Among the portraits at Liscombe are several of the Lovett family; a half length of Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk [Footnote:- Inscribed "Carolus Brandon dux Suffolciæ, præses Henrici oct. qui fuit (ex parte matris) frater Humphridi Tyrrell domini de Thornton in com. Buck. Qui Humphridus sponsavit filiam unicam et hæredem Roberti Ingleton domini de Thornton cancellarii se ci regis & unius prædicti regis concilii privati."], with a pink in his hand; the first Earl of Bedford, a half length, on board, dated 1555; Sir Nicholas Crispe, in armour; Sir Edmund Verney, standard bearer to King Charles I. who was slain at Edghill; Archbishop Sancroft; Titus Oates, &c. In the parish church are some monuments of the Lovetts.
The impropriate rectory, which formerly belonged to Woburn abbey, is now the property of Sir Jonathan Lovett. The curacy, or donative, is in the gift of the crown, but the Lovett family have been allowed to enjoy the patronage ever since the year 1642, when Sir Robert Lovett left the sum of 40 l. per annum. as an augmentation of the curacy to be paid by his heirs, on condition that they should be allowed to nominate the curate, whose salary was before only 8 l. per annum. A charity school for 24 children was founded by the Lovett family in 1714. The manor and liberty of Soulbury, with the hamlet of Hollingdon was inclosed pursuant to an act of parliament passed in 1772, when an allotment of land was assigned to the impropriator in lieu of tithes. The other hamlets in this parish are Liscombe (already spoken of) Bragenham, where was formerly a chapel of ease, and Chelmscote. The manor of Bragenham is the property of the Hon. Mary Leigh, whose family purchased it of the Theeds in 1735. The manor of Chelmscote has passed with that of the neighbouring parish of Linslade, and is now the property of Andrew Corbet esq.
In a distant part of this parish, near Great-Brickhill, is Stockgrove, the seat of Edward Hanmer esq. whose manor of Smewnes extends partly into this parish.