The Gifford and Wenman families were Lords of the Manor from the 13th C to the 19th C and are buried in the church. The Wenman family (originally Wainman) made their wealth in the Witney blanket business which they founded.
In 1610, Sir Ferdinando Wenman sailed with his Uncle, Lord De La Warr (who subsequently gave his name to Delaware in the United States) to Jamestown where he met the Indian chief, Pohatan and his daughter, Pocahontas.
Sir Ferdinando’s brother, Sir Richard Wenman and his wife Agnes were both arrested and questioned in 1605 about the Gunpowder plot following their close connection with Robert Catesby, one of the plotters. They are both buried in the church.
Sir Thomas Giffard was the Lord of the Manor of Twyford. He was born in 1478 and died in 1550. His tomb is inside St Mary’s Church and has a Purbeck marble slab inset with a brass of the Knight in full armour.
Florence Nightingale was a regular visitor to the area when her sister Francis Parthenope married into the Verney family who lived in Claydon House.
She also played a part in the planning of Buckingham Hospital as the advisor to Dr George De’Ath of the hospital.
They devised a scheme of “Rural Health Visitors”, ladies on bicycles who would cycle around the villages advising on simpler ways of healthier living.
Thomas Whiting, the uncle of Flora Thompson, author of Lark Rise to Candleford, lived in Chilton Place in School Lane, Twyford.
In 1944, the Vicar of Twyford, Reverend Sergeant and his wife had a son, John Sergeant, who went on to become the political broadcaster and a contestant in the TV programme, Strictly Come Dancing.
William Cleaver set up the first school in Twyford and was also the Rector in the 18th C. One of his sons became the Bishop of Bangor and the other, the Archbishop of Dublin.
Ian Farquhar was an equerry to the Queen Mother and moved in Royal circles; Prince Charles was a regular visitor to meet the family at Twyford Mill. In 1985, the family left the Mill to take up the post of Master of the Duke of Beaufort’s hunt.
Another notable resident of Twyford Manor where he lived from 1929, was Brigadier General Reginald Oxley. Born 31 Dec 1863, from 1915 -1916 he commanded 24 Infantry Brigade in France, then moved to become Deputy Assistant Quartermaster General in England until 1919. He died in 1951.
Colonel John Robert Vernon Dolphin CBE purchased Twyford Manor in 1947 and moved on in 1950. He was a British Engineer and inventor who joined the Secret Intelligence Service and the became commanding officer of the top secret SOE, Station XI. His inventions included the Corgi motorbike for parachutists and the Welman midget submarine.
After the war he became Chief Engineer for the Atomic Weapons Research Establishment and he died aged 67 in 1973.
+ See the poster advertising the sale of his workshop equipment from Twyford Manor (Bucks Herald 26th May 1950)