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The Brills

From Research notes by Hamish Eaton

Brills by George Eland, Records of Bucks Vol XI No 1 1919

A Meeting Place of the Early Quakers in Buckinghamshire

G-T- De Fraine & Co Ltd, Bucks Herald Office, Aylesbury.


15th C.


Two-storied timber-framed wattle and daub farmhouse, old beams/crucks still evident, thatched roof. (Wattle = willow; daub = chopped straw/clay

C. 1600

Fireplaces and chimney stack added, roof raised to form attic, enlarged and improved; chimney - rag (lower chalf) and clunch (limestone?)


Thomas Edmonds, labourer, obtains 7 acres from Nicholas Fowntayne, yeoman of Ivinghoe.


Richard Browne of Wandsworth obtains newly erected Brownes Wick occupied by William Bledlowe from Thomas Edmonds, son of Thos Edmonds Senior; (Newly erected may refer to heightening, chimneys, enlargements of c. 1600)


Richard Plaistow, yeoman, obtains Brebons/Burtons Wick from Richard Browne.


Bartholomew Baldwin, Gent (of Aylesbury?) obtains Cowcroft from Richard Browne.


Richard Browne obtains a messuage in Towne Close


William Baker, farmer


John Browne obtains property occupied by Annis/Amos? Gardner from Henry and Richard Babham, Gents. John Browne gives wife Elizabeth, cottage occupied by John Slye, carpenter


John Brown has his goods taken by Distress to the value of £15 at the suit of John Stokes of Weston Turvill, tithe farmer'. (Quaker refusal to pay tithes to the 'steeple house' [church])


To Dr John Raunce, physician of High Wycombe, married to Elizabeth daughter of John Brown, cottage occupied by Annis/Amos Gardner with provision for Quaker friends under the terms of John Brown's will. (2nd marriage)


Minute Book of quarterly meetings of Society of Friends for the ‘Lower Side’ of Bucks and Herts, Beds & Oxon, kept by Thomas Ellwood (friend of John Milton)


John Brown imprisoned for tithe 'at the suit of William Baker, tithe farmer of Weston Turville. J. Brown suffered distress of his barley for being at a meeting in Aylesbury. Fined £8 (3 cows and 1 bull) for being at a meeting in Tring.


Friends break bail from Aylesbury gaol, gaoler paid £1.13s.8d in 1679

Friends made payments to members in distress and grants for apprenticeships

John Brown persecuted by landlords - John Stokos, farmer


John Raunce, Dr, friend of Thomas Ellwood, secretary 1669-1713


Jane Browne, widow of John Browne, offered meeting house, behind 'Brills'

to Friends


Richard Plaistow, Gent of Srnall Dean, obtained 5 yards in Sowe/Towne Field from Jane Browne, widow of John Browne


Thomas Page admonished by meeting for trading Bone Lace; "wherefore we in the name and authority of God unanimously and do with one consent judge, condemn, deny, and declare against that practice and employment of making or in any way dealing in Bone lace, as a thing wholly useless in the Creation as an hindrance and obstruction to the spreading and prosperity of Truth, and as a support to Pride and Vanity, which the fire of the Lord is kindled against."


Farm let by Jane Browne to George Brill, her servant.


Meeting House required thatching. Burial ground on opposite side of road.


Weston Farm - included Browne Wick in Towne Close?


Rent on property raised, John Smith and Thomas Edmonds to speak to George Brill who had not paid tithes to the 'steeple house’


Daniel Wharley secretary vice Thos Ellwood deceased, held post to 1721


Quakers last meeting at Weston Turville, removed to Sherrington. Beds, 1727, then to Aylesbury. Meetings kept minutes since 1669 - still held by the Society of Friends - despite harassment from local landowners.


Brill family occupied farm through the 18th C


Owned by the Marquis of Buckingham, Frank Brill tenant? Still known as 'Quakers Meeting Houser’ - cottage behind Brills later demolished


Divided into 2 tenements, new fireplace in West half, old step ladders replaced by two staircases (East and West halves)


West half - The Black Horse, licensed beerhouse, John Axtell


Property to William Purssell and family until 1919


Licensee - Joseph Axtell


Licensee - Charles Edwin Axtell


Licence expires Midsummer


George Eland, historian