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Vale Life : Nov/Dec 2018

s l ow c h i lt e r n s

by Neil Matthews

Rebels with a cause

G

uy Fawkes Night is celebrated each year on the fifth of November commemorating a failed attempt to blow up parliament. However, various rebels from round here had more success than Fawkes; some with political motivations, others dissenting on religious grounds. Here’s a quick list of places where you can find out more… • John Hampden (1594-1643, MP for Wendover) was one of the MPs who rejected Charles I’s demands to pay a ‘ship money’ tax, triggering the English Civil War. He is commemorated by the Hampden Monument just outside Prestwood, a statue in Aylesbury’s Market Square and a plaque close to the town hall in Thame, the town where he went to school, and eventually died. • John Wilkes (1725-97), a radical journalist and MP, sided

John Hampden with the rebels in the US War of Independence. Wilkes lived at Prebendal House near St Mary’s Church in Aylesbury. • Late medieval Amersham was a notable centre for Lollardy, a movement which rejected the trappings of traditional religion. Seven citizens from or connected with the town were executed as Lollard heretics during the reign of Henry VIII. They became known as

the Amersham Martyrs and there’s a special memorial in the fields above the town. • The Quaker Meeting House in Jordans (jordansquakercentre. org, house: open Apr to Oct, 2-5pm, Tue–Sun & bank holidays - burial grounds open all year round) was built in 1688, soon after new laws enabled Quakers and other religious non-conformists to worship legally for the first time. The house still hosts Quaker meetings. The headstones in the gardens behind the house include William Penn (1644–1718), founder of what later became the US state of Pennsylvania. • Sir Miles Hobart (1598-1632) locked the King’s messenger out of the House of Commons in 1629, enabling Parliament to pass critical motions on royal policy. There’s a monument to Sir Miles in All Saints Church in Marlow (where he was MP).

Neil Matthews

Slow Chilterns

• The wonderful hills of Sharpenhoe Clappers (open dawn to dusk all year round) feature a ‘Bunyan trail’ following in the footsteps of John Bunyan (1628– 88), who carried out much of his Puritan preaching around here. Bunyan began writing Pilgrim’s Progress while in jail for refusing to stop his preaching. Sharpenhoe Clappers may have been the inspiration for the Delectable Mountains featured in this classic work of literature. l Neil Matthews’ book Slow Travel: the Chilterns and the Thames Valley, co-written with his wife Helen, is published by Bradt Travel Guides in early 2019. See slowchilterns.com to find out more.

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Vale Life : Nov/Dec 2018

Profile for Charlie Trott

Vale Life Magazine Nov-Dec 2018 Edition  

Local interest magazine for Aylesbury, Thame, Tring, Wendover, Princes Risborough, Chinnor, Waddesdon, Winslow and surrounding villages.

Vale Life Magazine Nov-Dec 2018 Edition  

Local interest magazine for Aylesbury, Thame, Tring, Wendover, Princes Risborough, Chinnor, Waddesdon, Winslow and surrounding villages.

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