[Buckingham Photos] [Photos Page 2]
|Buckingham was organized in 1702-03.
The Empire township. The name Buckingham is of English origin, and in England it is borne by several localities. The first settler is unknown, but John Chapman seated himself in the woods of Wrightstown a few years after Buckingham was settled.
The stream of immigration that brought settlers into the woods of Wrightstown carried them up to the "Great mountain," (Called by the Indians Lahaskekee. Samuel Preston said the Indian name was "Laskeek." In an old paper it is written "Lehoskuk" hill. In 1815 it was called, by some, "Lackawissa."
Among the original settlers were John and Thomas Bye, George Pownall, Edward Henry, Roger Hartley, James Streater, William Cooper, Richard Burgess, John Scarborough, Henry Paxson, John and Richard Lundy, John Large, James Lenox, William Lacy, John Worstall, Jacob Holcomb, Joseph Linton, Joseph Fell, Matthew Hughes, Thomas Weston, Amor Preston, Joseph George, Lawrence Pearson, Rachel Parsons, Daniel Jackson and Joseph Gilbert. Some of these settlers did not come into the township until after 1700.1,2
|BROAD AXE |
A village in southwestern Buckingham Township. First name was Forestville, changed in 1877. 3
PIDCOCKS CREAK |
BOWMAN HILL |
- In June, 1705, Buckingham Friends notified Falls meeting that they intended to build a meeting-house, and asked their advice, when Stephen Wilson and John Watson were appointed to collect money among Friends for Buckingham. The house was commenced that year, but it was not finished by September, 1708, when Falls meeting appointed Thomas Streater and Thomas Watson, "to get done with speed." 1, page 280
page 287 |
Croasdale and Quinby|
Photographic Tour |
Buck ingham Villages
- There are seven villages in Buckingham, Centreville, Mechanicsville, Lahaska, Greenville, Spring Valley, Bushington, and Concord, the first three being post villages. Centreville, at the intersection of the Durham and York roads, is the largest, containing an Episcopal church, founded nearly half a century ago, two taverns,(Ottoway House
a store, mechanics, the Hughesian free school, and about twenty dwellings. The tavern of Mr. Righter has been a famous road-side inn, in its day and generation, and it numbers considerably more than a century of years. Under its roof, the "Bucks county committee of safely" held one of its earliest meetings in 1775, and in it General Green, for a time, had his headquarters during of the most trying periods of the Revolution. Buckingham post-office was established here in 1805, and Cornelius Vanhorne appointed postmaster. Three-quarters of a century ago Greenville was called "Grintown," which name we are told was given it in this wise: A flock of geese driven by a Jerseyman down the York road to Philadelphia becoming unmanageable at this point, the people flocked to the doors to witness the poor man's discomfiture. On seeing these witnesses of his shame, he yelled out in his agony, "this is Grintown." The name stuck to the unfortunate village several years. About 1810 a number of young people were passing a social afternoon at the dwelling of Josiah Shaw, when the name was spoken of in not very respectful terms, and it was suggested that the state of society required a change. Eliza Johnson, daughter of the late Samuel Johnson, was called upon for a new name, when she proposed "Greenville," which was adopted unanimously, and the company was pledged to support it. Forty years ago this hamlet was the seat of a female boarding-school of some local celebrity, but long since discontinued. The other villages named are pleasant little hamlets of a few dwellings each, some with public houses, other without. At Lahaska is a Methodist Episcopal church, built in 1853, and re-built in 1868. The post office at Mechanicsville was established in 1830, and Peter Lester appointed postmaster. The hamlet of Cross Keys, on the Easton pike, a mile from Doylestown, is partly in Buckingham. In 1804 Daniel Stradling kept store there in a house opposite James Dunlaps's tavern. He had formerly been partner of Joseph Morton at Willow Grove.
1, page 289
PIDCOCKS Creek rises in Buckingham Township southeast of Buckingham Mountain near Buckingham Valley and flowing northeastwardly enters Solebury Township near Highlon and makes a short loop into Upper Makefield Township. It soon
reenters Solebury and, after winding along the northwestern base of Bowman
Hill, empties into Delaware Division Canal at the Thompson/Neely House.
(center of house built by John PIDCOCK ca. 1701 and still stands in
Washington Crossing State Park) It was formerly spanned by two covered wooden
bridges. The Neelys Mill Bridge on Delaware River Road (Route 326) was
removed entire in 1937 when a new concrete structure was built on its site.
It was proposed to relocate this bridge near its old site and preserve it as
a model and relic of bygone days, but for some reason this was not done. It
was built of hemlock lumber and was 106 feet in length. The second covered
bridge, known as VanSandts Bridge, spans the stream on a country road in
Solebury about a mile and a half from its stream. It has a length of 86 feet.
PIDCOCK CREEK was named for John PIDCOCK, the first settler at the mouth of
the creek. He located there prior to 1698, but it was not until May 31, 1701,
that he purchased from Gilbert Wheeler the 400-acre tract upon which he
resided, known later as the Thompson/Neely tract. The tract included the site
of an old Lenni Lenape Indian field and village called Win-na-haw-caw-chuck in the Wheeler and PIDCOCK deeds of 1690 and 1701.
page 321 3
...May not the quest of these adventurous young English bloods have been
the menials of John PIDCOCK who, before the township (Solebury) had its
being, settled around the mouth of the creek that bears his name and whose
deed gave him the right "to dig ore in" the land he bought. Here may be the
oldest extant evidence of the hand of white man in Pennsylvania, yet the
people of the County and State, even though it is within the bounds of a
State Park, look upon it with little more than cold, cursory curiosity. . .
page 381 3
WINNAHAWCHUNICK An Indian town in the extreme southeastern part of Solebury Township near Bowman Hill. This long name is a corruption of an Indian word or term, Wund-achga-chunick or Undachgo-chunick, and has been interpreted to mean "at the hill near the water" or "at the hill this side of the water". The identification of the name with this town is explained in a letter by Dr. Henry C. Mercer, discoverer of the town site, to Dr. Amandus
Johnson, dated Doylestown, Pa. February 6, 1925, in which Dr. Mercer says:
"Mr. Albert Cook Myers, in 1921, sent me a copy of an old deed, discovered by
him, of date June 13, 1713, referring to a tract of 500 acres of land, at the
mouth of the present PIDCOCKs CREEK (i.e., the site of the Neely Mill), as
land previously deeded to John PIDCOCK "to dig ore in" and "as commonly
called Winnahawchunick." Knowing nothing of this, I had previously, about
1895, by discovery of Indian relics, established, as I supposed, the site of
an Indian village in the field between the Neely barns and the canal."
However, this Indian town is mentioned by name in documents of much earlier
date than that of the deed cited by Dr. Mercer. It appears in a deed from
John Rowland to Gilbert Wheeler to John PIDCOCK, dated May 31, 1701. This
Indian town site is now State property under of the control of the Washington
Crossing Park Commission and the Department of Forests and Waters. Its
boundaries should be defined by markers, with the addition of a tablet
suitably inscribed. Page 428 3
Lying nearly midway between the northeastern ends of Jericho and Solebury
Mountains, this bold hill is one of the most beautiful and romantic of all
the highlands on the lower Delaware River Valley. Its length is about a mile
and width less than a mile. It is wholly within William Penn's ancient Manor
of Highlands. The present boundary line between Solebury and Upper Makefield
Townships crosses it from southwest to northwest. Its elevation is 310 feet
above tide level. PIDCOCKS CREEK traverses a beautiful valley at the foot of
its northwestern slope. Page 437 3
Churches of Buckingham
Mount Gilead African Methodist Episcopal church
- On the top of Buckingham mountain is the Mount Gilead African Methodist Episcopal church, built of logs, in 1835 and 1836, and re-built of stone in 1852. It is quite a snug edifice, and near by is a graveyard enclosed by a neat pale-fence.
- Orthodox Friends Buckingham
- The Orthodix Friends' meeting-house of Buckingham was built in 1830. The date was cut by Joseph Fell on a stone and placed in the front wall.
- Trinity Church-Buckingham
- Rt 202 & 413
Buckingham, PA 18912
Phone: (215) 794-7921
We learn that Buckingham Township was fortunate in the quality of her early schools. Thomas Smith gave a lot of ground whereon the "The Red School House" was built. "Tyro Hall" was erected in 1790. the "Hughesian Free School" in 1811, and the "Martha Hampton and Hannah Lloyd Boarding School for Girls" in 1830. Another one is "church's School", which is located nearly four miles east of Doylestown.
Richard Church produced at Buckingham Monthly Meeting of Friends, 9th month, 4th day, 1729, a certificate from Ireland dated 2nd month, 4th day, 1729. He was born in Ireland, but was of English ancestry. He married Sarah Fell in 1735 and settled on the northwest corner of the tract of two hundred sixty-five acres patented to him by John Penn, Thomas Penn, and Richard Penn in 1741, having had possession before the patent was issued. It was part of the five hundred acres laid out by Cutler in his resurvey, to the proprietaries in accordance with orders given to lay out that quantity in each township not fully taken up. Church lived there until his death in 1822. He had nine children, three sons, Moses, John, and Joseph, and six daughters. Of the sons only one, Joseph married, and he and Moses lived on the old plantation and all are buried in a little walled graveyard back in the fields not far from the schoolhouse.
Some descendants of the sisters and daughters of Joseph Church still reside in the
neighborhood but the name of church is extinct in that locality. Sarah Church, eldest daughter of Joseph, married Jonas Fell, and they were the grandparents of Dr. John A. Fell of Doylestown. His second daughter, Eleanor, married Moses Bradshaw, but they removed to
Indiana. His third daughter, Elizabeth, married Benjamin Carlisle, and they have descendants living in the neighborhood.
About the year 1801 Joseph church leased a small plot of ground to his neighbors, for the establishment of the school, and entered into the following agreement:
An agreement made and entered into by us the subscribers for the purpose of building a schoolhouse on a piece of land belonging to Joseph Church and laying by the Doylestown road, and bounded by land belonging to Joseph Fell on the southwest side for which land I, Joseph Church engages to give a least in trust to such persons as shall be hereafter appointed to take one, for the use of a school for the term of ninety-nine years, and have agreed to build a house of stone and laid in lime and sand mortar, to be twenty feet wide and twenty-six feet long, to be one story high and have appointed John Bradshw and Isaiah Michener to employ workmen, provide materials, and superintend the building the house. And we also bind ourselves our heirs and executors to pay in money, labor or materials, such sums as are annexed to our names, unto the aforesaid John Bradshaw and Isaiah Michener. We further agree that if the first subscription should prove insufficient to complete the house we ill advance in proportion to our subscription, and if there should be any over plus it shall be returned to the same proportion.
This lease with the names of the subscribers and the several amounts annexed was found to be insufficient, as only seventy-six pounds, nine shillings and six pence of the required sum had been subscribed. It was again circulated and the necessary amount was realized, one hundred and nine pounds, five shillings, and four pence; equivalent to $291.37 1/2.
The increased subscriptions were made by the same twenty-nine persons whose hames were:
- Thomas Michener
- John Bradshaw
- John Fell
- Elisha Michener
- Cornelius Shepherd
- Johathan Fell, Jr.
- John Shaw
- Thomas Fell
- Samuel Gillingham
- Samuel Gilbert
- Rober Waker
- Joseph Church
- Isaiah Michener
- Meshack Michener, Jr.
- William Sands
- Jonas Fell
- Asa Fell, Jr.
- Samuel Delp
- Abraham Myers
- Jonathan Large
- John Hughes
- Benjamin Cadwallader
- Thomas Fell
- Meschack Michener, Sr.
- Joseph Shepherd
- Jesse Dean
- Jesse Wilson
- George Delp
- Jonathan Fell
Papers Read before the Bucks County Historical Society, Volume 5, page 359
The United Kingdom Connection
Buckingham town is an ancient
place, founded in the 6th century by the invading English or
Angles who came to this island from North Germany at the
time of the withdrawal of Roman legions from Britain. There
had been settlement in the area even before this - there are
remains of Roman villas and burial mounds nearby, and there
is evidence of the original Celtic Britons having lived in
the area even before the Romans, several centuries before
Christ. The name Buckingham means the Home (Ham) of the clan
or folk (Ing) of Bucca - who presumably was the folk chief
who actually founded Buckingham, originally spelt
Buccingahamma. (It is possible that Hamm meant a meadow,
rather than home, no-one can be certain.)
In the 9th century, the
Midlands of England were divided into shires, (or counties),
each of which took its name from the chief town of the
county - hence Buckinghamshire or Bucks. Presumably, William
Penn, being a native of Bucks England, named some of the
settlements of Pennsylvania after the places in his native
land. Soulbury is a small village about 10 miles south of
Buckingham town, in Buckinghamshire. The origin of the name
is Sula - the name of some ancient Anglo Saxon (English )
founder who probably lived about the same time as Bucca, the
founder of Buckingham, and Bury - bury derives from Burh,
meaning a fort.
Buckingham Palace, which as
you know is where the Queen of the UK lives in London, was
originally owned by one of the Dukes of Buckingham, who
eventually sold the place to America's favourite English
king - George III !
There are other places near
Buckingham that may have their names repeated in
Pennsylvania localities - Wycombe, Northampton, Bletchley,
Aylesbury, Beaconsfield, Hillesden.....