THORNBOROUGH, in the hundred and deanery of Buckingham, lies about three miles and a half to the east of the county town. The manor belonged to the priory of Luffield, and was given, with the site of that monastery, to Sir Nicholas Throckmorton. Having passed by marriage to the family of Temple; to Thomas Roper, Lord Viscount Baltinglass; and Thomas Lennard Earl of Sussex, it was sold by the latter in 1707 to Benjamin Woodnoth, of whose family it was purchased by the late Earl Verney: it is now the property of his niece Mary Baroness Fermanagh.
The manor, or reputed manor, of Bartons in this parish, belonging to the Marquis of Buckingham, is the same, probably, which belonged in the fourteenth century to the Damorys and afterwards to the Bartons of Thornton, who gave it by way of endowment to some chantries of their foundation. This chantry estate was granted in 1553 to Edward Chamberlain; it came into the Temple family in 1561 by purchase from Richard Sanders, who bought it of the original grantee. The president and scholars of Magdalen college in Oxford, have an estate in Thornborough, for which they hold a court-baron: it formed in ancient times part of the endowment of St. John's hospital in Oxford, which was sold about the year 1456, with all its lands to William Waynfleet bishop of Winchester, founder of Magdalen college.
In the church are some memorials of the Woodnoths. The rectory was given to the priory of Luffield by an ancestor of the Barons of Wolverton, and the great tithes were appropriated to that monastery. After the reformation the rectory was for many years annexed to the manor, but is now the property of the Marquis of Buckingham, who is patron of the vicarage. The parish has been inclosed by an act of parliament passed in 1797, when an allotment of land was given to the Marquis of Buckingham as rector, another allotment to the family of Lowndes as proprietors of a portion of tithes, and a corn rent to the vicar with a small allotment of land not exceeding 15 acres. An allotment of land was assigned to the poor in lieu of their right of cutting furze.