|Administrative / biographical background:
The Royal South Bucks Agricultural Association was established in 1833 'for encouragement of industrious Labourers and servants and of improvements in agriculture'. It sought to achieve these aims by organising an annual show of which the central attraction was a ploughing match. In its early days in particular, the association was sponsored by a number of leading South Bucks landowners and well wishers including William IV, Queen Victoria, the Prince of Wales and, later, Benjamin Disraeli.
Apart from the annual competitions, which were rewarded by substantial prizes, the association attempted to provide more general help for agricultural labourers in distress and resolved, in 1840, to establish a benefit club for them.
Although the records proper begin in c.1858 only, an earlier printed report of 1840 summarises developments between 1833 and 1839. From this it appears that membership was then confined to the following parishes: Burnham, Datchet, Dorney, Eton, Farnham, Hambleden, Hitcham, Horton, Hedgerley, Iver, Langley, Stoke, Taplow, Upton, Wexham, Windsor (Berks.), Wraysbury. Subscription records for 1891 list members under these parishes and under Beaconsfield, Colnbrook, Denham, Fulmer, Maidenhead (Berks.), Uxbridge (Middx.), and "non-resident". The latest annual programme in 1959 defines the district in which the Association took entries as a radius of ten miles from 26, Mackenzie Street, Slough, extending on the north to a line drawn through Turville, Stokenchurch, West Wycombe, Amersham and Chenies. The number of subscribers in 1879 was 134.
A number of similar associations were in existence in the county in the nineteenth century notably the North Bucks Agricultural Association, against which the Royal South Bucks Agricultural Association competed in a ploughing match in 1837. In addition, the Chiltern Hills Agricultural Association, the North West Bucks Agricultural Association, the Princes Risborough Agricultural Association and the Royal & Central Bucks Agricultural Association are listed in Kelly's Directory of 1887.