Woking St Peter, Surrey Genealogy
WOKING, or Wokeing (St. Peter), a parish, and formerly a market-town, in the union of Guildford, First division of the hundred of Woking, W. division of Surrey, 3 miles (W. by N.) from Ripley; containing 2482 inhabitants. This was one of the demesnes of Edward the Confessor, and was afforested in 1154 by Henry II., whose successor gave it to Alan, Lord Basset. In the reign of Edward II., it belonged to the Despencers, and on their attainder was given by Edward III. to Edmund of Woodstock, from which time it had various distinguished owners till the time of Edward IV., who, it is recorded, kept Christmas at his royal palace here, in 1480. Henry VII. repaired and enlarged the palace for the residence of his mother, Margaret, Countess of Richmond, who died here. Henry VIII. used it as a retreat, where he sometimes entertained Wolsey; and on one of these occasions, in September, 1551, that prelate was first informed, by a letter from the pope, of his elevation to the dignity of cardinal. James I. granted Woking to Sir Edward Zouch, but it again belonged to the crown in the reign of Charles I., and was bestowed by Charles II. on Barbara, Duchess of Cleveland. The manor subsequently passed, by purchase, through various hands, to Richard, Lord Onslow, ancestor of the Earl of Onslow, its present proprietor. No remains now exist of the palace, except its foundations and the guard-room; the Zouches having removed the greater part of the building, to erect a mansion at Hoe Place, in the neighbourhood. Sutton Place, a fine specimen of the style of building that prevailed in the 16th century, was erected in 1529, by Sir Richard Weston. A great part of it was burned, during a visit of Queen Elizabeth, and the remainder, consisting of the south-west side and north-east front, continued in a ruinous state till 1721, when it was repaired and embellished by John Weston, Esq.; the front has been lately taken down. The parish comprises 10,000 acres by computation, and is intersected by the Basingstoke canal, and the London and South-Western railway, the latter of which has one of its principal stations here. The village is situated on the river Wey, and there are a paper manufactory and a brewery; it has a fair on Whit-Tuesday, and courts Jeet and baron are held annually. The living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £11. 0. 5.; net income, £234; patron, the Earl of Onslow; impropriators, the Earl of Lovelace, and H. Halsey, Esq. The vicarial tithes were commuted for land and corn-rents in 1803. The church is partly in the early and partly in the decorated English style, and contains some brasses and a few other monuments. An additional church, dedicated to St. John the Baptist, was consecrated June 24th, 1842. Here are places of worship for Baptists and Independents, and a Roman Catholic chapel. In a field near the village is a lofty circular tower, supposed to have been a lighthouse to guide over the heath to the palace: at Homitage was a religious house.
From: Samuel A. Lewis' A Topographical Dictionary of England (1848), pp. 639-643. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=51421 Date accessed: 14 April 2011.
Birth, marriages and deaths were kept by the government, from July 1837 to the present day. The civil registration article tells more about these records. There are several Internet sites with name lists or indexes. A popular site is FreeBMD.
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Records of wills, administrations, inventories, indexes, etc. were filed by the court with jurisdiction over this parish. Go to Surrey Probate Records to find the name of the court having primary jurisdiction. Scroll down in the article to the section Court Jurisdictions by Parish.
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