THE WEXHAM CONNECTION

Richard Townshend, father of Hon William Townshend of the PEI Townshends, was known as "Richard of Wrexham". It is believed that Richard came from Wexham in Buckinghamshire, England and NOT Wrexham in Wales

Wexham and Stoke-Poges
are West of London - Click for UK map


Contrary to recent, descriptions William and Richard were originally from England and not Wales! The biography of Hon Sir C J Townshend and obituary of Canon Rev G Townshend both indicate that William and Richard were from England. In addition, many searches for William or Richard in Wales have proved futile. The Wales error has been perpetuated by researchers and biographers (possibly Canadian) who naturally assumed "Richard of Wrexham" meant Wrexham in Wales. Finding Richard's "Wrexham" in ENGLAND was not easy. It is now believed to be Wexham in Buckinghamshire for the following reasons:

  1. Rev. Sir William Ullithorne Wray (Sir Cecil Wray's cousin) was indeed the rector at St Mary's, Wexham there in 1755. Furthermore, this place is spelled "Wrexham" in the 1881 book "History of the Wrays of Glentworth" by Charles Dalton.

  2. For a long time the Howard-Vyse's family home was Stoke Place (near Wexham). This is noteworthy because the Howard-Vyse family have Dalton/Norcliffe/Wray connections. In fact, they eventually inherited Langton Hall (in Yorkshire), the ancestral home of Sir Cecil Wray's mother, Frances Norcliffe. Langton Hall is very close to Malton which appears to have a number of Townshend ties (click for UK map):
    • There is a William, son of a Richard Townshend, baptised in Malton in 1762
    • Captain Lord James Townshend dies at Hattun Lodge near Malton. (probably should be spelled Hutton)
    • Edmund Burke is at one point MP for Malton. We know that Hon William Townshend indeed knows Burke because he purchases his PEI property from Burke's widow in 1799.

  3. The Churchills, the Dukes of Marlborough, were also associated with this area. They built the house (?Black Hall?) on Langley/Black Park. This is important because the Duke of Marlborough hired Rt Hon Charles Townshend as one of his "deputy-lieutenants" in 1763.

  4. The Duchess of Buccleuch inherits Ditton Park, Stoke Poges in a will. This is relevant because the Duke of Buccleuch was raised by his step-father, Rt.Hon Charles Townshend. Furthermore, the Duke of Buccleuch marries Hon. Harriet Townshend, the daughter of Thomas Townshend (Lord Sydney).

  5. The Godolphin Family (Baronets) owned a place called Baylies in Wexham. This Godolphin line died out but they were closely tied to the Osbornes, the Duke of Leeds, who inherit this property. This is interesting because they too had Lord Townshend ties.
    • Most notable is George, 6th Duke of Leeds that marries Lady Charlotte Townshend, daughter of George, 1st Marquess Townshend.
    • More tenuiously, we also find that a number of other Osborne family marriages (Vere, Bertie, D'Arcy, Walmesley) link to the Townshends and the Wrays.
    • Possibly pure coincidence, but we find that another of the Osborne properties, Godolphin House is very close to Townshend town in Cornwall. (Click for UK map)

  6. Lastly, we find that Sir Cecil Wray's great-great-grandfather, Sir William Wray (1st Baronet, b.1601) married Lucy Montagu (daughter of Sir Edward Montagu of Boughton), the same Montagu's of Ditton Park, Wexham. Sir William Wray later married Frances Drury. Boughton is now owned by the present Duke of Buccleach. Incidentally, an inscription to a Lucy (Wray) Hobson, daughter of this Sir William Wray, can be found at Clewer church, Eton, Windsor. This is farely close by and suggests that the Wrays were involved with this area from as early as the 1600's.

  7. Charles Townshend, Baron Bayning of Foxley appears to be situated only 7 miles away from Wexham. Foxley was previously assumed to be Foxley in Wiltshire (home of Charles James Fox). However, Bayning's Foxley was in Berskhire and is believed to be Foxley Green (near Bray) which is southwest of Slough and Wexham.

  8. Rev Edward Townshend (1758-1753) of Bray, Berkshire was about 6 miles away from Wexham. Bray was in fact the parish church of Foxley indicating that Rev Edward probably preached to his cousin, Baron Bayning of Foxley (born a generation earlier). If Richard was indeed from Wexham then there is every chance that he attended church at Bray instead of at St Mary's, Wexham. Rev Edward Townshend was the son of Hon. Rev Edward Townshend (1719-1765), Dean of Norwich.


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Wexham and Stoke Poges,
Buckinghamshire


St Mary's, Wexham
St Mary's, Wexham, Buckinghamsire.
The place where Rev. Sir William Ullithorne Wray
was rector in 1755.
(He returned in 1764 to marry here)

St Mary's, Wexham
Interior of St Mary's

St Gile's, Stoke Poges
St Giles, Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire

Howard-Vyse inscription at St Giles
One of the many Howard-Vyse
inscriptions found at St Giles.

Stoke Place
Possibly the old Stoke Poges Manor House
directly behind St Giles, Stoke Poges.

Stoke Place
Stoke Place, the original home of the
Howard-Vyse family now seated at Langton Hall