This parish, including several hamlets, extends over an area of 6010 acres.
Population, 1743; rateable value of Waddesdon township, £7313.
The soil is a stiff clay, with various loams, and strata of limestone. There are about 100 acres of woodland.
The Village is large and seated on rising ground, about 6 miles W.N.W. from Aylesbury, on one of the principal roads through the county, viz. that from London, through Aylesbury to Bicester, &c. The old Roman military road, the Akeman Street passed through the place, and in modern days, part of its course has been made the turnpike road from London just referred to. In the ancient division of the county, this parish was of greater extent than any other in the hundred of Ashendon, and it gave name to that portion of the latter, which, before the reign of King Edward II. was denominated Votesdon Hundred. It was then, and still is a rural Deanery.
Petty Sessions for the Quainton Division of the Three Hundreds of Ashendon, are held here (at the Marlborough Arms Inn) and at Quainton once a month alternately. A branch of the Silk manufactory at Aylesbury and Tring, was established at Waddesdon in 1843. The building stands about the centre of the village, and about forty females are employed in it at hand-loom weaving. Many of the other female inhabitants find employment in pillow-lace making.
[History and Topography of Buckinghamshire, by James Joseph Sheahan, 1862]
Waddesdon was described in 1806 in “Magna Britannia” as follows:
WADDESDON, in the hundred of Ashendon, gives name to the deanery in which it is situated. It lies about five miles and a half from Aylesbury, on the road to Bicester. The manor, which successively belonged to Robert Doyley and his sons-in-law, Milo Crispin and Brien Fitzcount, was seized by King Henry II. on the latter having assumed a religious order, and given to the Courtenays. In consequence of the attainder of one of that family, it was by two several grants in the possession of Archbishop Neville and Henry Bouchier, Earl of Essex. It was afterwards restored to the Courtenays, but being again forfeited, was granted by King Henry VIII. in 1540, to the Goodwins, from whom it passed by a female heir to the noble family of Wharton. It is now the property of his grace the Duke of Marlborough, whose father purchased it of the last Duke of Wharton or his representatives, together with the manors of Ham, Westcote, and Warmeston, in this parish, all of which had belonged to the Goodwins. The manor of Westcote was part of the estates of Thomas Duke of Gloucester, who was murdered in 1398.
In the parish church of Waddesdon is the monument of Guy Carleton, a veteran soldier, who died June 1, 1608, aged 94. It is not improbable that he was an ancestor of his namesake Sir Guy Carleton Lord Dorchester, who has followed his steps in the field of valour, and attained more honourable distinction. On his monument is the following epitaph :”Whilst I was young, in wars I shed my blood,
Both for my king and for my Country’s good;
In elder years my care was chief to be
Soldier to him who shed his blood for me.”
Sir Francis Goodwin founded an alms-house at Waddesdon, for six poor persons, and endowed it with 30 l. per annum. Mr. Lewis Fetto founded a charity school at this place, in 1724.Westcote and Woodham are hamlets or tithings belonging to this parish. Certain fields in the tithing of Westcote were inclosed by an act of parliament passed in 1765. The whole parish has been since inclosed by an act passed in 1774, when allotments of land were assigned in lieu of tithes, to the portionists, and a composition directed to be paid for the tithes of old inclosures.