Scope and Content

This collection of documents relating to the administration and maintenance of the Maharajah's Well was deposited on loan as a number of accessions, beginning in 1986 with Acc. No. 2827. Acc. No. 3319 was deposited in August 1991, acc.3881 in Sept.1994, acc.3898 in Oct.1994, and acc. 4024 in Oct.1995. Acc 6533 was donated in Dec. 2016. Other material relating to the Maharajah's Well has been extracted from accessions 3048 and 3241, deposited in February 1990 and April 1991, which were received from the same source but which mainly consist of Parish Council documents for Stoke Row, Ipsden and Swyncombe. The remainder of these accessions have been catalogued as separate Parish Council collections.

The Well was a gift to the people of Stoke Row from His Highness Ishree Pershad Narayun Singh, Maharajah of Benares, and was founded in 1863. In 1866 it was endowed for the free provision of water for the poor of the parish, the Cherry Tree Plantation called Ishree Bagh being established to generate income for the endowment fund. The original Trustee of the Fund was Edward Anderdon Reade who had formed a friendship with the Maharajah while in Benares with the Bengal Civil Service. The establishment of the Public Well was a result of this friendship after Mr. Reade's comparison of the Chiltern Hills with the Maharajah's lands in Bengal.

The documents in this collection give insight into the establishment and ongoing administration of the Public Well at Stoke Row as well as preserving its history.

Catalogued by J.R.Hargreaves 1994, and added to by Mark Priddey in May 1996 & November 2017

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