Headington history: The Manor of Heddington


The Manor of HeDDington should not be confused with the better-known and larger Manor of Headington, based at Headington Manor House to the west of Osler Road (now part of the John Radcliffe Hospital) where the Lords of the Manor of Headington moved in 1801.

Headington House

From 1786 the Manor of Heddington [sic] was centred on Headington House (above) when William Jackson (the founder of Jackson's Oxford Journal who had completed building this house in 1783) succeeded George Foot and Mary Coxhead as Lord of the Manor of Heddington. The Courts Baron continued to meet here until at least 1846, and the Manor survived until 1922.

List of the Lords & Ladies of the Manor of Heddington

The name second manor, however, was sometimes confusingly spelt the same way as the first, so that the Headington Enclosure Commissioners Minute Book of 1801 had the following: “Henry Mayne Whorwood Esquire Lord of the Manor of Headington delivered an objection to the claim made by Mary Jones the Lady of the Manor of Headington of an allotment in lieu of soil.”

Sometimes the land held by the two Headington 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

On 2 September 1871 the following notice of an auction to be held at the Clarendon Hotel the same day appeared in Jackson’s Oxford Journal. After listing the sale of some land in the Manor of Headington and on the Slade, it adds almost as an afterthought the sale of the whole of the Manor of Heddington:

Sale of Heddington Manor

The Manor was sold by Digby Latimer to a Banbury banker: see below.

Notes about the Manor of Heddington made in the 1940s by Percy Clarke, Esq.

Percy Clarke (of Messrs Ellis, Munday & Clarke, Solicitors, College Hill Chambers, 23 College Hill, London EC4) was the husband of Alice Mary Clarke, the last Lord of the Manor of Heddington, and he presented this helpful summary to to the Public Record Office to accompany papers relating to this Manor:

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 [son of Edward Latimer], who had been adjudged bankrupt, put the Manor of Heddington up for sale by auction.

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.

Transcript of some of the Heddington Court Rolls

The Oxfordshire History Centre at Cowley holds the Court Rolls of the Manor of Heddington dating from 1756 to 1922 (M8). 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 was 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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