By 1800 a total of four fairs occurred annually, drawing traders from all over the county. We also know that in the 18th century a tanning industry thrived in the town.
During the Napoleonic Wars, Bishop’s Waltham served as a ‘parole town’ for up to 200 captured French and Spanish naval officers. The officers were billeted with civilians or in local inns – ordinary sailors were imprisoned in floating hulks in Portsmouth and other harbours. The best known officer to stay in Bishop’s Waltham was Admiral Pierre-Charles Villeneuve, commander of the joint French-Spanish fleet that was defeated by Nelson at the Battle of Trafalgar. He was first accommodated in The Crown Inn (where a blue plaque commemorates his stay), but was then moved to Vernon Hill House. He was later exchanged for four British captains and returned to France.