John Milton

John Milton

(9 Dec 1608 – 8 Nov 1674) was an English poet, author, polemicist and civil servant for the Commonwealth of England.

He is best known for his epic poem Paradise Lost and for his treatise condemning censorship, Areopagitica.

Milton lived in Horton between 1632 and 1638.

On 11 November 2008 Deputy Mayor Cllr Catherine Bursnall unveiled signs in Stanwell Road highlighting the poet’s connection with the village.

Parish History

Horton Parish History It is recorded that one John Berkyn, who died in 1458, was the fourth Provost of Eton College. This Provost was of celebrity in his day, and his merit was strenuously and successfully to oppose the union of Eton College with Windsor College, proposed by King Edward IV.

To the east of the village is Berkyn Manor, which stands in a small park, was built about the middle of the 19th century on the site of an old house, supposed to have been that rented by Milton's father in 1632, and pulled down at the end of the 18th century with the exception of a red brick dovecote.

A large elm tree was planted on the village green in 1726. It was planted to commemorate the death of the son of John Ashton, then the Innholder (landlord) of the Crown Inn, who was accidentally killed by the fall of the maypole on this spot.

The Elizabethan mansion known as Place House which was adjacent to the south side of the church tower, having been allowed to fall into decay, was taken down in 1785.

Horton parish was inclosed by Act of Parliament in 1799. The award map allows for three gravel and clay pits and 8 acres of land for the poor and for cottage allotments, and 260 acres for the lord of the manor.

The old road from Horton to Wraysbury was closed in 1800. The remains of the road now roughly follow the path of Park Lane.

It is recorded that the Public House, the Five Bells, was let by the church to a George Taylor in 1832 for the sum of £29 per year.

The church stands on the south side of the village street in a large churchyard, where there are two ancient yew trees.

Milton wrote his earlier poems at Horton, where he lived for six years. The impressions which the scenery of the neighbourhood produced upon his mind may be found in l'Allegro and II Penseroso. The poet's mother died at Horton in 1637 and was buried in the parish church. Recently, in 2008, there were civic and parish functions in Horton to commemorate 400 years since his birth.