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Headington history: The Manor of Heddington

 

As well as the well-known Manor of Headington (centred on Headington Manor House to the west of Osler Road), there was nearby in the village of Old Headington a second, smaller manor (always spelt “Heddington”). When William Jackson succeeded George Foot and Mary Coxhead as Lord of the Manor of Heddington in 1786, his newly-built home, Headington House, became the mansion house of the Manor of Heddington.

List of the Lords of the Manor of Heddington


The records of the Manor of Heddington from 1756 to 1922 survive in the at the Oxfordshire History Centre at Cowley. They were all copied out by hand by Dr Aubrey Ingleton and his wife Joan. Here are the minutes so far typed:


Below are the notes made by Percy Clarke, Esq, of Messrs Ellis, Munday & Clarke, Solicitors, College Hill Chambers, 23 College Hill, London EC4, who presented the papers to the Public Record Office:

Section I of this collection comprises the records of the Manor of Heddington, 1756–1922. This manor, owned by the Coxhead and Foote families in 1756, was apparently quite separate from the Manor of Headington, once owned by the Whorwood family, although in Section II of the collection a few documents of the latter manor have been catalogued.

In the late nineteenth century the Manor of Heddington consisted mainly of small lands and tenements at Old Headington, with a few holdings at the Slade and in Shotover Parish. Some of the more important properties which were copyhold under the manor were Linden House, ‘The Bell’ beerhouse, and ‘The Swan’ (formerly called ‘The Spotted Pig’). In 1841 a piece of copyhold land of the manor was enfranchised and conveyed to trustees, upon trust that the building should be used as a Meeting House for Protestant Dissenters under the direction of the New Road Chapel, Oxford.

The Coxhead and Foote families held the manor until about 1786, in which year William Jackson, Esq., the printer and proprietor of Jackson’s Oxford Journal, appears in the Court Rolls as Lord of the Manor. He built Headington House between 1775 and 1783 on a site purchased from the Whorwoods in 1775 and previously known as Plants. It appears that Headington House was deemed to be the mansion house of the manor up until 1846, for both Mary Jones, who succeeded Jackson in the Lordship, and Edward Latimer, her successor, lived there.

In 1871 Digby Latimer, who had been adjudged bankrupt, put the Manor of Heddington up for sale by auction. It was bought by Alfred Gillett, the Banbury banker, for £330. When Alfred Gillett died in 1895 he bequeathed the manor to his son, Frederick William Alfred Herbert Gillett, who sold it in December 1896 to Catherine Munday, wife of the then Steward, John Hill Munday, a partner in the firm of Ellis, Munday & Clarke, Solicitors, of College Hill Chambers, 23 College Hill, London EC.

Enfranchisement of the copyhold lands and tenements of the manor proceeded apace as a result of the Copyhold Act, 1894, and by April 1922, when Catherine Munday died, almost the whole of the manor had been enfranchised. The last of the copyhold was enfranchised by an Award of the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, dated 1st August 1922, and on 15th November 1922 the Public Trustee, as executor and trustee for sale under the Will of Catherine Munday, sold the Manor or Lordship for £5 to Alice Mary Clarke, wife of Percy Clarke of Yarne, Cobham, Surrey, a partner in the above-mentioned firm of Ellis, Munday & Clarke. This Percy Clarke deposited the manorial records in the Public Record Office, whence they were transferred to the Oxfordshire County Record Office in 1940.

The existence of the manor of Heddington appears to have been overlooked by the Oxfordshire Victoria County History, for the article on pp. 157–168 of Volume V of the History appears to deal only with the Whorwood Manor of Headington.

© Stephanie Jenkins

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