STEWKLEY, in the hundred of Cotslow and deanery of Muresley, lies about six miles to the east of Winslow, about seven miles south of Fenny-Stratford, and about five miles from Leighton-Busard, in Bedfordshire. Browne Willis makes mention of four manors in this parish: the principal one was anciently in the Clares and Burghersts: the heiress of the last mentioned family married Thomas Chaucer, son of the poet; whose only daughter Alice was the wife of William De la Pole, Duke of Suffolk. John Duke of Suffolk gave this manor, in 1480, to the dean and chapter of Windsor, under whom it has been held for many years by the family of Leigh: the present lessee is the Hon. Mary Leigh, of Stonely, in Warwickshire.
Another manor called Vauxes, alias Fowlers, was successively in the families of Molins and Chastillon. Having been forfeited to the crown, in 1467, by the attainder of Sir William Vaux, it was granted to Richard Fowler esq. being then described as a moiety of the manor of Stewkley. Browne Willis speaks of it as belonging in his time to the family of Hopper. It is now the property of the Rev. Mr. Wodley of Cublington, who purchased it of Mr. Foster.
Stewkley-grange was, in the reign of King Henry VIII. in the Duncombe family. From the year 1690, or thereabout, till 1760, it was in the family of Wigg : and is now the property of Mr. Ward.
At Littlecote or Litcote, a hamlet of this parish, was formerly a chapel of ease dedicated to St. Giles. The manor was at a remote period in the families of Molins and Pigot: in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, it was purchased by an ancestor of the present proprietor, Thomas Sheppard esq. of Thornton. The Sheppards were settled at Littlecote, in the reign of King Henry VIII.
In the parish church, which affords a very curious specimen of Saxon architecture is the tomb of the late Thomas Sheppard esq. who married the heiress of the Tourneys of Cublington.
The great tithes of Stewkley which were appropriated to the priory of Kenilworth are now annexed to the See of Oxford. The bishop of that diocese is patron of the vicarage.