Little London, Buckinghamshire
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Little London shown within Buckinghamshire
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||South East England|
|Website||Oakley Parish Council|
Little London is a hamlet consisting of approximately 70 houses located immediately east of the village of Oakley in Buckinghamshire and about 5.5 miles (9 km) northwest of the market town of Thame in neighbouring Oxfordshire.
Little London Green is the largest area of common land in the parish of Oakley.
The earliest known records of Little London are from the 16th century. Little London is clearly visible on the New College, Oxford map of Bernwood Forest of 1590. Originally the boundary between Brill and Oakley followed the stream in Oakley, meaning that Oakley parish church, 'the Nap' and 'Little London Green' would have been in Little London.
The Toponymy (naming) of Little London is not clear. Some locals[vague] thought it was founded during the Black Death in the 14th century by Londoners fleeing the capital. The fact that the hamlet is one field distant from the rest of Oakley may support this theory.
Little London may have been established by Welsh cattle drovers. Cattle drovers established at least 70 communities established in England and Wales, many of which still exist. They were temporary homes for long distance drovers, driving their cattle to the great fairs and markets of London and other centres in England. They were on common land, separated from local communities. The drovers had a licence to travel, granted by Elizabeth I, and were regarded as "foreigners" by the local parishioners who could not travel without a "settlement certificate". One of the Old English words for "foreigners" was utlenden ("outlanders"), which could be corrupted to "Little London".
- Page, William, ed. (1927). A History of the County of Buckingham, Volume 4. Victoria County History. pp. 14–19.