Headington history: The Manor of Heddington


Headington House

There were two manors in Headington:

  • The better-known Manor of Headington that was centred on Headington Manor House to the west of Osler Road after the Lords of the Manor of Headington bought this house from Sir Banks Jenkinson in 1801
  • A smaller Manor of Heddington that was centred on Headington House (above) after William Jackson (the founder of Jackson's Oxford Journal) succeeded George Foot and Mary Coxhead as Lord of the Manor of Heddington in 1786.

Sometimes the land held by the two manors was adjacent, such as these nine acres of arable land around Rock Edge advertised for sale :in Jackson's Oxford Journal on 31 August 1867:

Heddington and Headington

This section is about the lesser-known Manor of Heddington. Below are the notes made by Percy Clarke, Esq, of Messrs Ellis, Munday & Clarke, Solicitors, College Hill Chambers, 23 College Hill, London EC4. He was the husband of the last Lord of the Manor of Heddington, and presented this note with papers relating to this Manor 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 former Baptist Chapel in the Croft].

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 Miss 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. [Messrs Saffery Brothers inserted a notice in Jackson's Oxford Journal on 2 September 1871 advertising a sale to be held on the same day the Clarendon Hotel of “The Manor of Heddington, in the county of Oxford, with all its rights, royalties, members, and appurtenances”.]

The Manor was bought by Alfred Gillett, a 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.

The Oxfordshire History Centre at Cowley holds the Manor Roll of the Manor of Heddington dating from between 1756 and 1922. The entries were all copied out by hand by Dr Aubrey Ingleton and his wife Joan. Here are the minutes so far typed from this transcription (which is sometimes in note form, so they should be checked against the original):

10 June 1756

2 August 1842

18 June 1851

31 October 1856

18 April 1833

26 January 1847

16 October 1851

12 October 1858

28 January 1834

15 February 1847

2 January 1852

10 April 1861

25 March 1836

16 March 1847

17 January 1852

1 September 1864

21 August 1837

22 March 1847

2 July 1852

14 September 1864

12 May 1840

12 April 1847

1 January 1853

17 November 1864

11 February 1841

6 September 1847

13 August 1855

8 August 1865

22 April 1841

31 January 1849

20 October 1855


6 July 1841

6 June 1849

15 November 1855


28 September 1841

10 July 1849

10 January 1856


7 June 1842

10 June 1850

25 February 1856


© Stephanie Jenkins

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