The Historic Thames
by Hilaire Belloc
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It was a hamlet which went with the manor of Bensington, and that point alone is instructive, for it points to the insignificance of the place. When the lords of Bensington went hunting up on Chiltern they found on the far side of the hill, it may be presumed, a little clearing near the river. This was all that Henley was, and it is probable that even the church of the place was not built until quite late in the Christian period; there is at any rate an old tradition that Aldeburgh is the mother of Henley, and it is imagined by those who wrote monographs upon the locality that this tradition points to the church of Aldeburgh as the mother church of what was at first a chapel upon the riverside.

When we first hear of Henley it is already called a town, and the date of this is the first year of King John, 1199.

It must be remembered that the river had been developed and changed in that first century of orderly government under the Normans. Indeed one of the reforms which the aristocracy made much of in their revolt, and which is granted in Magna Charta, is the destruction of the King's weirs upon the Thames. But the weirs cannot have been permanently destroyed; though the public rights over the river were curtailed by Magna Charta, the system of regulation was founded and endured. It is probably this improvement on the great highway which led to the growth of Henley, and when Reading Minster had become the great thing it was late in the twelfth century, Henley must have felt the effect, for it would have afforded the nearest convenient stage down the river from the new and wealthy settlement round the Cluniac Abbey. In the thirteenth century—that is, in the first hundred years after the earliest mention we have of the place—Henley became rapidly more and more important. It seems to have afforded a convenient halting place whenever progress was made up river, especially a royal progress from Windsor. Edward I. stayed there constantly, and we possess a record of three dates which are very significant of this kind of journey. In the December of 1277 the King goes up river. On the sixteenth of the month he slept at Windsor, on the seventeenth at Henley, the next day at Abingdon; and in his son's time Henley has grown so much that it counts as one of the three only boroughs in the whole of Oxfordshire: Oxford and Woodstock are the two others.

It was in the thirteenth century also that a bridge was thrown across the river at this point—that is, Henley possessed a bridge long before Wallingford, and at a time when the river could be crossed by road in but very few places. The granting of a number of indulgences, and the promises of masses in the middle of the thirteenth century for this object, give us the date; and, what is perhaps equally interesting, this early bridge was of stone.

It is usual to think of the early bridges over the Thames as wooden bridges. Aft older generation was accustomed to many that still remained. This was true of the later Middle Ages, and of the torpor and neglect in building which followed the Reformation. But it was not true of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. The bridge at Henley, like the bridge of Wallingford and the later bridge of Abingdon, was of stone.

It was allowed to fall into decay, and when Leland crossed the river at this point it was upon a wooden bridge, the piers of which stood upon the old foundation. How long that wooden bridge had existed in 1533, when Leland noticed it, we cannot tell, but it remained of wood until 1786, when the present bridge replaced it.

In spite of the early importance of the town, it was not regularly incorporated for a long time, but was governed by a Warden, the first on the list being the date of 1305, within the reign of Edward I. The charter which gave Henley a Mayor and Corporation was granted as late as the reign of Henry VIII. and but a few years before Leland's visit. From that moment, however, the town ceased to expand, either in importance or in numbers; the destruction of Reading Abbey and of the Cell of Westminster at Hurley just over the river, very possibly affected its prosperity. At the beginning of the nineteenth century it had a population of less than 3000, and sixty years later it had not added another 1000 to that number.

Maidenhead follows, for centuries, a sort of parallel course to the development of Henley.

Recently, of course, it has very largely increased in population, and in this it is an example in a minor degree of what Reading and Oxford are in a major degree—that is, of the changes which the railway has made in the Thames Valley. But until the effect of the railway began to be felt Maidenhead was the younger and parallel town to Henley.

For example, though we cannot tell exactly when Maidenhead Bridge was built, we may suppose it to have been some few years after Henley Bridge. It already exists and is in need of repair in 1297. Henley Bridge is founded more than a generation earlier than that.

"Maidenhythe," as it was called, has been thought to have been before the building of this bridge a long timber wharf upon the river, but that is only a guess. There must have been some local accumulation of wealth or of traffic or it would not have been chosen as a site for the new bridge which was somewhat to divert the western road.

Originally, so far as we can judge, the main stream of gravel crossed the Thames at Cookham, and again at Henley. Why this double crossing should have been necessary it is useless to conjecture unless one hazards the guess that the quality of the soil in very early times gave so much better going upon the high southern bank of the river that it was worth while carrying the main road along the bank, even at the expense of a double crossing of the stream. If that was the case it is difficult to see how a town of the importance of Marlow could have grown up upon the farther shore; that Marlow was important we know from the fact that it had a Borough representation in Parliament in the first years of that experiment before the close of the thirteenth century.

At any rate, whatever the reason was, whether from some pre-historic conditions having brought the road across the peninsula at this point, or, as is more likely, on account of some curious arrangement of mediaeval privilege, it is fairly certain that, in the centuries before the great development of the thirteenth, travel did come across the river in front of Cookham, recross it in front of Henley, and so make over the Chilterns to the great main bridge at Wallingford, which led out to the Vale of the White Horse and the west country.

The importance of Cookham in this section of the road is shown in several ways. First the great market, in Domesday bringing in customary dues to the King of twenty shillings—and what twenty shillings means in Domesday in mere market dues one can appreciate by considering that all the dues from Old Windsor only amounted to ten pounds. Then again it was a royal manor which, unlike most of the others, was never alienated; it was not even alienated during the ruin and breakdown of the monarchy which followed the Dissolution of the monastic orders.

To this day traces remain of the road which joined this market to the second crossing at Henley.

We may presume that the importance of Cookham was maintained for some two centuries after the Conquest, until it was outflanked and the stream of its traffic diverted by the building of the bridge at Maidenhead.

Just as this bridge came later than the Bridge at Henley, so it was inferior to it in structure; it was, as we have seen, of timber, but such as it was, it was the cause of the growth of Maidenhead much more than was the bridge at Henley the cause of the growth of Henley. The first nucleus of municipal government grows up in connection with the Bridge Guild; the Warden and the Bridge Masters remain the head of the embryonic corporation throughout the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and even when the town is incorporated (shortly before the close of the seventeenth century), by James II., the maintenance and guardianship of the wooden bridge remained one of the chief occupations of the new corporation.

It was just after the granting of the Charter that the army of William III. marched across this bridge on its way to London, an episode which shows how completely Maidenhead held the monopoly of the Western road. The present stone bridge was not built to replace the old wooden one until the last quarter of the eighteenth century, parallel in this as in everything else to the example of Henley; and this position of inferiority to Henley, and of parallel advance to that town, is further seen in the statistics of population. In 1801, when Henley already boasted nearly 2000 souls, Maidenhead counted almost exactly half that number. The later growth of the place is quite modern.

The antiquity of the crossing of the Thames at Cookham is supported by a certain amount of pre-historic evidence, worth about as much as such evidence ever is, and about as little. Two Neolithic flint knives have been found there, a bronze dagger sheath and spear-head, a bronze sword, and a whole collection or store of other bronze spear-heads. Such as it is, it is a considerable collection for one spot.

Cookham has not only these pre-historic remains; it has also fragments of British pottery found in the relics of pile dwellings near the river, and two Roman vases from the bed of the stream; it has further furnished Anglo-Saxon remains, and, indeed, there are very few points upon the river where so regular a continuity of the historic and the pre-historic is to be discovered as in the neighbourhood of this old ford.

In was in the course of the Middle Ages, and after the Conquest, that new Windsor rose to importance. It is not recognised as a borough before the close of the thirteenth century; it is incorporated in the fifteenth.

Reading certainly increased considerably with the continual stream of wealth that poured from the abbey; it possessed in practice a working corporation before the Dissolution, was famous for its cloth long before, and had become, in the process of years, an important town that rivalled the great monastery which had developed it; indeed it is probable that only the privileges, the conservatism, of the abbey forbade it to be recognised and chartered before the Reformation.

Abingdon also grew (but with less vigour), also had a manufactory of cloth, though of a smaller kind, and was also worthy of incorporation at the end of the Middle Ages.

Staines cannot take its place with these, for in spite of its high strategical value, of its old Roman tradition, of its proximity to London and the rest, Staines was throughout the Middle Ages, and till long after, rather a village than a town. Though a wealthy place it is purely agricultural in the Domesday Survey, and the comparative insignificance of the spot is perhaps explained by the absence of a bridge. That absence is by no means certain. Staines after all was on the great military highway leading from London westward, and it must have been necessary for considerable forces to cross the river here throughout the Dark Ages and the early Middle Ages, as did for instance, at the very close of that period, the barons on their way to Runnymede; and far earlier the army that marched hurriedly from London to intercept the Danes in 1009, when the pagans were coming up the river, and whether by the help of the tide or what not, managed to get ahead of the intercepting force. But if a bridge existed so early as the Conquest, we have no mention of it. The first allusion to a bridge is in the granting of three oaks from Windsor for the repairing of it in 1262. It may have existed long before that date, but it is significant that in the Escheats of Edward III., and as late as the twenty-fourth year of his reign—that is, after the middle of the fourteenth century—it is mentioned that the bridge existed since the reign of Henry III., which would convey the impression that in 1262 the bridge had first needed repairing, being built, perhaps, in the earlier years of the reign and completed, possibly, but a little after the death of King John.

This bridge of Staines was most unfortunate. It broke down again and again. Even an experiment in stone at the end of the last century was a failure, because the foundations did not go deep enough into the bed of the river. An iron absurdity succeeded the stone, and luckily broke down also, until at last, in the thirties of the nineteenth century, the whole thing was rebuilt, 200 yards above the old traditional site.

Staines is of interest in another way, because it marks one of those boundaries between the maritime and the wholly inland part of a river which is in so many of the English valleys associated with some important crossing. The jurisdiction of the port of London over the river extended as high as the little island just opposite the mouth of the Colne. On this island can still be seen the square stone shaft which is at least as old as the thirteenth century (though it stands on more modern steps), and which marks this limit, as it does also the shire mark between Middlesex and Buckingham.

We have, after the Dissolution it is true, and when the financial standing of most of these places had been struck a heavy blow, a valuable estimate for many of them in the inquiry ordered by Pole in 1555. This estimate gives Abingdon less than 1500 of population, Reading less than 3000, Windsor about 1000; and in general one may say that with the sixteenth century, whether the population was diminishing (as certainly contemporary witnesses believed), or whether it had increased beyond the maximum which England had seen before the Black Death, at any rate the relative importance of the various centres of population had not very greatly changed during those long five centuries of customary rule and of firm tradition. The towns and villages which Shakespeare would have passed in a journey up the river, though probably shrunk somewhat from what they had been in, let us say, the days of Edward I. or of his grandson, when the Middle Ages were in their full vigour and before the Black Death had ruined our countrysides, were still a string of some such large villages and small walled boroughs as his ancestry had seen for many hundred years, disfigured only and changed by the scaffolded ruins here and there of the great religious foundations. Windsor, Wallingford, Reading, Abingdon, and even Oxford, were towns appearing to him much as Lechlade to-day remains or Abingdon still. As for the riverside villages their agricultural and native population was certainly larger than that which they now possess; and in general the effect produced upon such a journey was of a sort of even distribution of population gradually increasing from the loneliness of the upper river to the growing sites between Windsor and London, but in no part exaggerated; larger everywhere in proportion to the importance of the stream, or of agricultural or of strategical position, and forming together one united countryside, bound together even in its architecture by the common commerce of the river.

The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries did little to disturb this equilibrium or to destroy this even tradition. The opening up of the waterways and the great improvement of the highroads, and the building of bridges, and the expansion of wealth at the end of the eighteenth century had indeed some considerable effect in increasing the population of England as a whole, but the smaller country towns, in the south at least, and in the Thames Valley, seem to have benefited fairly equally from the general change. The new canals, entering at Oxford and at Reading, gave a certain lead to both those centres, and even the Severn Canal, entering at Lechlade, did a little for that up-river town. The new fashion of the public schools (which had now long been captured by the wealthier classes) also increased the importance of Eton, and towards the close of the period the now rapidly expanding capital had overfed the villages within reach of London with a considerable accession of population. But it is remarkable how evenly spread was even this industrial development.

The twin towns of Abingdon and Reading, for instance, twin monasteries, twin corporations, had for all these centuries preserved their ratio of the up-country town and the larger centre that was the neighbour of London and Windsor. In the beginning of the nineteenth century, in spite of the general increase of population, that ratio was still well preserved: it is about three to one. But the Railway found one and left the other.

The Railway came, and in our own generation that ratio began to change out of all knowledge. It grows from four, five, six, to seven to one. After a short halt you have eight, nine and at last—after eighty years—more than ten to one. The last census (that of 1901) is still more significant: Abingdon positively declines, and the last ratio is twelve.

It is through the Railway, and even then long after its first effect might have been expected, that the Valley of the Thames, later than any other wealthy district in England, loses, as all at last are doomed to lose, its historic tradition, and suffers the social revolution which has made modern England the unique and perilous thing it is among the nations of the world.


Abbots. See under separate monasteries.

Aben, legend of, at Abingdon, 98.

Abingdon, 9, 23, 37, 87, 88, 93, 97-99, 102, 139.

Abingdon and Reading, change in ratio of population of, 198.

Ad Pontes, Roman name of Staines, 33.

Alfred, his boundary neglects the Thames, 34.

Andersey Island, opposite Abingdon, 99.

Ankerwike, nunnery of, 109, 168.

Anne of Cleves obtains Bisham, 163.

Barbarian invasions, 90, 91, 94, 95.

Barlow, Prior of Bisham, becomes Bishop of St. Asaphs, 163.

Barons give Tower to Archbishop in trust for Magna Charta, 84.

Barwell obtains Chertsey, 165.

Benedictine Order, 89-100.

Bermondsey, Cluniac Abbey of, 104, 105.

Berties obtain Hinksey, 166.

Birinus receives Cynegil into the Church, 52.

Bisham, dissolution of, 110, 163, 164.

Blackcherry Fair, at Chertsey, 139.

Bowyer obtains Radley, 165.

Brackley, strategical importance of, 72.

Breedons obtain Pangbourne, 167.

Bridge, London, 17-21.

Bridlington Priory, movables of, embezzled by Howards, 156.

Britain, conversion of, position of Dorchester in, 49; first barbarian invasion of, 90, 91.

Burford, early name of Abingdon Ford, 23.

Burgundy, character of that province, 103.

Burnham, nunnery of, mentioned, 109.

Buscot, a royal manor in eleventh century, 28.

Canal, Thames and Severn, building of, 15.

Canterbury, Archbishop of, holds Tower in pledge for Magna Charta, 84; St. Thomas of (see St. Thomas).

Canute at Oxford, 55.

Carew obtains Chertsey, 164.

Charterhouse, Sheen, 108.

Chateau Gaillard compared to Windsor, 69.

Chaucer's son custodian of Wallingford, 60.

Chertsey, foundation of, 96; Abbey, sack of, 137; fate of land of, 159-165.

Cholsey, Priory of, 109, 166.

Churn joins Thames at Cricklade, 39.

Civil War, destruction of Wallingford Castle under, 66; of King and Parliament, 86-89.

Cluny, 102, 103.

Cobham, Manor of, twenty acres possessed by Chertsey in, 149.

Commons, Dissolution House of, significant names in, 146, 147.

Conquest, Norman, See of Dorchester removed to Lincoln, 52, 102.

Constantine, legend of, at Abingdon, 98.

Conversion of Britain, position of Dorchester in, 49.

Cookham, early importance of, 191-194.

Cricklade, importance of, 38-41; small Priory of, 107; ford at, 22.

"Cromwell," Oliver. See Williams, his destruction of Wallingford Castle, 61.

Cromwell, or Smith of Putney, family of, 153-161.

Crown, loses its manors, 144; British, might have led the modern period in Europe, 145-146; cause of ruin of, weakness of Tudor character, 148.

Culham, attempted fortification of bridge of, 87.

Cumnor granted to Thomas Rowland, 139.

Currency, 134.

Cynegil, baptism of, at Dorchester, 50, 51.

Danes at Oxford, 54, 55.

Danish invasions destroy Chertsey, 97.

Davis obtains Pangbourne, 167.

Diocletian, his boundaries, 33; legend of, at Abingdon, 98.

Dissolution and destruction of monasteries, 110-152.

Domesday Survey, Oxford in, 56-58; Survey, ambiguity of, 57; indecision of, 176, 177.

Dorchester, 33, 47-52, 107, 108.

Dover, isolated defence of, 75.

Drainage of swamps, monastic work in, 97, 98.

Dudley obtains Pangbourne, 167.

Durham, appearance of, before the Dissolution, compared to Reading, 114.

Duxford, ford at, 22.

Ealing, tidal river passable at, 24.

Eaton, meaning of place name, 31.

Economic aspect of Dissolution, 115-137; aspect of monastic system, 116-118; of the rise of gentry, 143, 144.

Edge Hill, battle of, 88.

Edmund Ironside at Oxford, 55.

Edward the Confessor, manorial lord of Old Windsor, 70; the Confessor rebuilds Westminster Abbey, 96.

Edward I., prisoner in youth at Wallingford, 60; his march when a prince to the Tower from Windsor, 85.

Edward II. leaves the Tower, 85.

Edwardes obtains Cholsey, 166.

Elizabeth restores purity of currency, 134.

England, history of, dependent on river system, 1-3.

Englefield, Sir Robert, obtains Cholsey, 167; obtains Pangbourne, 167.

Essex occupies Abingdon, 87.

Essex, earldom of, conferred on Thomas Cromwell, 158.

Eynsham, 10; monastery of, 107.

Fawley, parish with special water front, 9.

Fords, 22-34, 33, 99.

Forest, Windsor, 70, 77, 78.

Fortifications, rareness of, along Thames, 47; on Thames, examples of, 47; theory of, 62, 63; mediaeval, never urban, 66, urban, Louvre an example of, 67.

Fosse Way, 38, 44.

Fuller obtains Chertsey, 165.

Fyfield, example of parish with special water front, 10.

Gentry, territorial, their origins before Reformation, 141-143; See Oligarchy.

Godstow, nunnery of, mentioned, 109.

Goring, track of Icknield Way through, 42.

Gundulph, Bishop of Rochester, 83.

Hammond obtains Chertsey, 164.

Harold, his council at Oxford, 56.

Henley, growth of, 187-190.

Henry I. enlarges Windsor, 70.

Henry II. at Wallingford, 37.

Henry III., his misfortunes connected with the Tower, 83.

Henry VI., his childhood passed at Wallingford, 61; buried at Chertsey, 97.

Henry VIII. loses the spoils of the Dissolution, 145.

Hinchinbrooke, seat of the Williamses, 159.

Hind obtains Chertsey, 165.

Hinkseys, fate of land of, 166.

Hoby, Edward, son of Sir Philip Hoby, 163.

Hoby, Sir Philip, obtains Bisham, 163; Peregrine, son of Sir Philip Hoby, 164.

Horseferry Road, Westminster, 44.

Howards, noble family of, embezzled property, 155.

Huntingdon, two foundations in, given to Richard Williams, 156.

Icknield Way, 38, 40-44.

Islip, birth of the Confessor there, 55; a private manor of Queen Emma, 55.

Jews in Tower, 85.

Joel, Solomon, contrasted with gentry of the Dissolution, 158.

John, King, 71-76.

Kelmscott, loneliness of neighbourhood of, due to nature of soil, 7.

Knowles obtain Cholsey, 166.

Lanfranc colonises Bermondsey Abbey, 105.

Lechlade, small Priory of, 107.

Lincoln succeeds Dorchester as a see, 52.

Little Marlow, nunnery of, mentioned, 109.

Littlemore, example of parish with special water front, 10, 11.

London, 65-68, 73, 86, 87, 89.

Longchamps surrenders Tower, 84.

Long Wittenham, ford at, 23.

Lords, House of, utterly transformed by Dissolution of monasteries, 151.

Louis of France called in by barons, 75.

Magna Charta, 29, 71-76, 84.

Maidenhead, probable origin of name, 32; growth of, 190-194.

Mandeville holds Tower, 83.

Manors, in monastic hands in Thames Valley, 124-126; English, probably Roman in origin, certainly Saxon, 141, 142; royal lapse of, 144; mutability of ownership in, after Dissolution, 161-169.

Matilda, fealty sworn to, at Windsor, 70.

Medmenham, Priory of, 109.

Mill, family of, succeeds Hobys at Bisham, 164.

Monasteries, system of, 91-93.

Monastic foundations on Thames, list of, 122, 123.

Monastic possessions in Thames Valley, list of, 125-126.

Monastic system, 108, 116, 117, 127, 148, 150.

Montlhery, originally dominated Paris as Windsor London, 67.

Mont St. Michel, connection with Cholsey, 166.

Morgan, first known of the Williamses, 152.

"Mota de Windsor," 70.

Mortimer holds Wallingford, 60.

Municipal system, English, different from that of other countries, 170-175; Roman, 171; in Roman Britain, 172.

Naseby, battle of, women massacred after, by Puritans, 88, 89.

Norman Conquest, 52, 82, 93.

Normandy, modern boundaries of, fixed by Diocletian, 33.

Nuneham Morren, example of parish with special water front, 11.

Observants at Richmond, 93.

Ock, River, original marsh at mouth of, 8.

Offa, Wallingford mentioned under, 37.

Oilei builds Osney, 105.

Old Windsor, 69, 70.

Oligarchy rose on ruins of Catholicism, 140-152.

Orby obtains Chertsey, 164.

Osney, Abbey of, at Oxford, 105; loot of, by Henry VIII., 106; appearance of, before Dissolution, 112, 113.

Owen obtains Hinksey, 166.

Oxford, 22, 31, 53, 58, 86, 87, 106, 183-186.

Oxford Street, Roman military road into London, 68.

Pangbourne, ford at, 34; held of Reading Abbey, 167; fate of land of, 167.

Paris, dominated by Montlhery as London by Windsor, 67; an example of fortification following residence, 77.

Parishes, shape of, 8, 11.

Penda, his opposition to Christianity, 51.

Peregrine Hoby, 164.

Perrots obtain Hinksey, 166.

Philiphaugh, battle of, massacre of women after, by Puritans, 89.

Place names, on the Thames, 30, 32, 33; Celtic, rare in Thames Valley, 30; Roman, disappeared in Thames Valley, 32.

Pole, his estimate of population, 196.

Population, of Abingdon and Reading, typical of change in nineteenth century, 198; of Oxford in early times, 56, 57.

Prices and values at time of Dissolution compared with modern, 130-136.

Priory of Medmenham, 109.

Puritans, their massacre of the women after battle of Philiphaugh, 88, 89.

Radley, fate of land of, 165, 166.

Ramsey Abbey, given to Richard Williams, 157; value of, 158.

Reading, 64, 88, 103, 104, 113, 114, 129, 166, 167, 182.

Reading and Abingdon, change in ratio of population of, typical of nineteenth century, 198.

Religious, numbers of, at time of suppression, 122, 123.

Richard Williams or "Cromwell" born at Llanishen, 152.

Riches obtained Cholsey, 166.

Rivers, importance of, in English history, 1-3; as early highways, 5-8; military value of, 46, 47.

Roads, original, of Britain, four in connection with Thames Valley, 37; original in Thames Valley, 38.

Rochester, Bishop of, builds Tower for the Conqueror, 83.

Roman, place names disappeared in Thames Valley, 34; occupation of Britain, thoroughness of, 45, 46; origins of Wallingford, 60; work, none certain in Tower, 79; origins of Tower discussed, 79, 81, 82; origin of English manors probable, 141, 142; fortification, urban, 66; occupation of Windsor, 65; municipal system, 171.

Roman Britain, municipal system of, 172.

Roman roads, 68.

Rowland, Thomas, last Abbot of Abingdon, 139.

Royal manors, lapse of, 144.

Runnymede, conjectured etymology of, 75; meeting of barons and John at, 75.

Rupert, Prince, attempts to recapture Abingdon, 87.

St. Augustine begins the civilisation of England, 91.

St. Frideswides receives new Protestant bishopric of Oxford, 106.

Saxon Chronicle, first mention of Oxford in, 54.

Saxon origin of first part of place names on Thames, 31; of Oxford Castle, 54; of English manors probable, 141, 142.

Seymour, obtains Chertsey, 165; obtains Radley, 165.

Sheen, monastery of, late foundation of, 108.

Sinodun Hills, fortification of, 48; geological parallel to Windsor, 66.

Sir Philip Hoby obtains Bisham, 163.

Somerford Keynes, ford at, 22.

Sonning, fate of land of, 168, 169.

Squires, English, their origins and rise before Reformation, 140-143.

Staines, 45, 68, 69, 74, 194, 196.

Stephen, Civil Wars under, Tower besieged during, 83.

Stonehouse obtains Radley, 165.

Stow, in Lincolnshire, mother house at Eynsham, 106.

Stratton, monastic lands of, sold by Oliver Williams, 161.

Streatley, 33, 34, 48.

Sweyn at Oxford, 55.

Taxes a basis for calculation of prices, 133, 134.

Tenant right under monastic system, 150.

Thames, surface soil of valley of, 7-9; estuary of, unimportant in early history, 13; probably a boundary under Diocletian, 33; a boundary between counties, 34; points at which it is crossed, 36, 37; traffic upon, begins after entry of Churn at Cricklade, 39, 40; absence of traces of Roman bridges on, 46; military value of, 46, 47; imaginary voyage down, before Dissolution, 111-115.

Thames Valley, in Civil Wars, 86-89; affords William III. his approach to London, 89; affords Charles I. his approach to London, 89; economic importance of sites therein, produced by the monastic system, 117-121; railway of, draws its prosperity from beyond the valley, 121; towns of, 169-190.

Thomas Rowland, last Abbot of Abingdon, 150.

Thorney, original site of Westminster Abbey, 95.

Tower, the, its importance in campaign in Magna Charta, 74, 78-86; compared to Louvre, 79; White, true Tower of London, 79, 82; military misfortunes of, 83, 84; Jews in, 85.

Towns of Thames Valley, 160-199.

Van Sittarts succeed Mills at Bisham, 164.

Wages a basis for calculation of prices, 133, 134.

Waite obtains Chertsey, 164.

Wallingford, 22, 24, 37, 58-62, 75, 76, 177-182.

Waste land, social and strategical importance of, in Europe, 75, 76.

Water front, examples of parishes seeking, 8-11.

Watling Street, 38; place of crossing Thames by, 44; identical with Edgware Road, 44.

Weldon obtains Pangbourne, 167.

Welsh land left to Chertsey, 97.

Westminster Abbey, 63-97, 130, 137.

Westminster, 95, 69, 93, 95, 96, 130.

White Tower, 79, 82, 83.

William the Conqueror, crosses at Wallingford, 37; his choice of Windsor Hill, 65; exchanges Windsor with monks of Westminster, 69; builds Tower of London, 82; anointed at Westminster, 96.

William Rufus completes Tower, 82.

William III., his approach to London afforded by Thames Valley, 89.

Williams obtains Hinksey, 166.

Williams, family of, rise of, 152-162.

Williams, Henry, son of Richard, his career, 159.

Williams, Oliver, uncle of Protector, 160.

Williams, Richard, is given two monastic foundations by his uncle, 156; gets the revenues of Ramsey Abbey, 157.

Williams, Robert, grandson of Richard, father of the Protector, 160.

Wimbledon, manorial rolls of, evidence of William's marriage in, 153.

Windsor, 65-78, 85.


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