Marlow History Contents 

Settings Full Menu Top Menu
The Marlow Society


These pages are regularly updated, please select here to view the latest version.


tip: if copying and pasting an email address - remove the space


William Francis and the parliamentary borough of Great Marlow


by Sue Cheetham


Offprint from Records of Bucks, Vol.63 2023




William Francis (1774–1843) lived in Great Marlow for 28 years until his death in 1843. He was the headmaster of Borlase Free Grammar School for almost 20 years. He was jailed twice; for one week in 1830 for a breach of the peace, and for three months in 1834 for libelling the wealthy Marlow brewer, Thomas Wethered.


These incarcerations may have dented Francis’s otherwise impressive reputation in society, but there are several more layers to his story.


After Francis's death, the Reading Mercury remembered him in this way.


"Of capricious intellect and various acquirements he contributed to literature and science, and energetically promoted the establishment of public rights and privileges having been mainly instrumental in opening the borough in which he resided."


The article on William Francis can be viewed/downloaded here

William_Francis (pdf 5.6Mb)




To contact The Marlow Society:

Email: tmssecretary@

Post: The Marlow Society, 22 Rookery Court, Marlow, Buckinghamshire, SL7 3HR.


To contact The Local History Group:

Email: tmslocalhistorygroup





Website Information & Acknowledgements      Data Protection      Cookies Information      Go to Menu


Copyright© The Marlow Society 2009-2023 - all rights reserved


Registered Charity no. 262803