1 & 3 St Andrew’s Road
No. 1 (right) and No. 3 (left) St Andrew’s Road (which until 1955 was called Church Road) were built in the early nineteenth century. They are two of the earliest brick houses in Old Headington, and have Welsh slate roofs.
The houses and land between Larkins Lane and St Andrew’s Lane belonged to members of the Jeffcoat family in the first half of the nineteenth century. William Jeffcoat, a carpenter (b.1771), had moved up to Headington from St Peter in the East parish in Oxford in about 1814 with his second wife Rebecca and their six children, and presumably also the four children he had had by his first wife. The couple had another six children in Headington between 1817 and 1826, and at their baptisms at St Andrew’s Church William is described as a publican; possibly he was at that time landlord of the Black Boy. (His son Charles is listed as the owner of the Black Boy in the Headington Rent Book of 1850, although he was not the landlord; and in 1847 he was reprimanded at the Court of the Manor of Heddington for lopping the famous elm tree that used to stand outside the pub next to the village stocks.)
William Jeffcoat was very prosperous for a carpenter, for he owned seven properties in St Peter in the East, which he continued to rent out after his move up to Headington.
By 1841 William Jeffcoat had built Nos. 1 and 3 St Andrew’s Road, as well as a row of nine cottages running from Larkins Lane (about where Jeffcoat House is now) to St Andrew’s Lane: they were known as Jeffcoat’s Row (demolished in the 1930s). He occupied 1 St Andrew’s Road, where he ran a bakery, and some of his children lived at No. 3. The bakery was continued by his son Charles. One of the numerous Jeffcoat siblings, Mary (born in 1819) had married a Berry, and the Jeffcoat baking enterprise ceased approximately at the time that William Berry senior started up his baking business at Mather’s Farm in 1863, to resume again when Berry himself moved to the house.
The gardens of 1 and 3 St Andrew’s Road were considerably bigger than they are now: the Headington Rate Book of 1850 shows that (even after the building of Jeffcoat Row) one of these houses had a curtilage of over nineteen acres.
At the time of the 1841 census, William Jeffcoat himself was still living in this house, described as a baker. He was now a widower of 71, and eight of his sixteen children were still living with him: Susanna (43); Martha (41); Joseph (25), a linen draper; Rebecca (20); Mary (15); Edwin (19), a baker; Jonathan (18), an attorney’s clerk; and Mark (15).
William Jeffcoat died in 1845, and in 1851 four of his unmarried children occupied the house: Charles (38), the baker who looked after the shop; Susanna (50) and Mary Ann (30), both annuitants; and Jonathan (28), a banker’s clerk. Living with them was their nephew George Jeffcoat.
In 1861 Charles Jeffcoat was still the baker here, but living with him now was a different sister, Mrs Martha Nobes, then a widow of 50. In 1871 the house appears to have been unoccupied, and in 1881 it looks as though Henry Dormor, a retired grocer, was living here. The house was empty in 1891.
In the early twentieth century this house was let out, and at the time of the 1911 census the bakers here were Charles and William Harris, two-middled aged brothers, who lived here with three other unmarried siblings.
Early in the First World War the house was bought by the baker William John Berry when his lease ran out on Mather’s Farm, and he turned it back into a bakery and baker’s shop. The family firm of W. J. Berry & Sons continued to live in this house and bake at the end of the garden until the 1980s, when the old bakery was replaced by a house facing on to Larkins Lane.
No. 3 St Andrew’s Road ( “The Hostel” or “Boxtree”)
Daniel and Charles Jeffcoat, two of the unmarried sons of William Jeffcoat lived here at the time of the 1841 census. In 1851 Charles had moved next door to take his father’s place, and No. 3 appears to have been let out.
In 1861, another of William’s unmarried sons, Jonathan Jeffcoat (37), who was a banker’s clerk, was living here with two of his sisters: Susanna (62), who was unmarried and described as an annuitant, and Mrs Mary Berry, who had been widowed very soon after her marriage in 1855. By 1871 Susannah had died, but Jonathan and Mary still lived here. By 1881, Jonathan lived here alone, looked after by three servants: he was still a bank clerk at the age of 58, and (according to Within Living Memory) a professional photographer. He died on 25 January 1887.
After his death, No. 3 became a boarding house. The 1891 census shows a Mrs Adams as a lodging house keeper in St Andrew’s Road, with two boarders (a clerk in holy orders and a student).
The 1901 census lists the house as “The Hostel”, occupied by Richard Chillman, a gardener, and his wife Elizabeth: they have three boarders (a student, an architect, and a single woman). In 1911 Richard Chillman (now a pensioner of 65) was there with just his wife Elizabeth (66) and one servant.
Mrs Helen Alexandra Ashworth is listed in Kelly’s Directory for 1915/16 and 1916/17 as living at “The Hostel”, While she was living here, her son John Percival Curtis Ashworth was killed in the First World War.
In 1925 No. 3 was bought by Miss Olivier, the sister of Lady Nicholson of Church House and the aunt of the actor Laurence Olivier. In 1928 she sold the house (now renamed Boxtrees) to Salvador de Madariaga, who had been appointed Professor of Spanish Studies and Fellow of Exeter College that year. He only lived in the house for a couple of years at this point, as in 1931 he was appointed Spanish ambassador to the United States, and in 1932 to France.
From 1933 de Madariaga leased it to Captain Vadim Narishkin, with whom the well-known Russian-born photographer Cyril Arapoff stayed when he first came to Oxford. Narishkin, who from 1938 is described as Lecturer in French at Brasenose College, remained there until the 1940s, when Don Salvador de Madariaga (who had gone into exile in England to escape the Spanish civil war) returned to live once again in the house he owned. He remained there until the 1970s, and his daughters sold the house in 1984.
William Jeffcoat and his family
Although the Jeffcoat family appear to have originated from Winchendon in Buckinghamshire, according to the 1841 census William was born somewhere in Oxfordshire in about 1771.
On 17 September 1795 William Jeffcoat (described as being of St Giles’ parish) married Mary Joyce Bradley of St Peter-in-the-East parish at St Giles’ Church. It looks as though they set up home in his wife’s parish, as they went on to baptise four children at St Peter-in-the-East Church:
- Kezia:17 August 1796
(never married, buried Headington 4 August 1830 aged ?34)
- Susanna: 28 February 1798
(never married, buried Headington 30 January 1868, aged 69)
- James:11 July 1800
- Daniel: 29 April 1803
(lived at 1 St Andrew’s Road with his younger half-brother Charles)
William’s wife Mary died soon after the birth of Daniel, and she was buried at St Peter-in-the-East on 31 August 1803. Within a couple of years William had married again, and is described as a builder in the baptismal register when he and his second wife Rebecca baptised the following six children at St Peter-in-the-East:
- William: (born 19 May 1806, baptised 9 March 1908
(buried Headington 18 September 1861, aged 55)
- John: born 8 February 1808, baptised 9 March 1808
- Martha: born 10 November 1809, baptised 1 January 1812
(later Mrs Nobes)
- James: born 27 August 1811, bapised 1 January 1812
- Charles: born 12 February 1813, baptised 10 March 1813
(lived at 1 St Andrew’s Road with his older half-brother Daniel)
- George: baptised 12 April 1815
(buried Headington 7 April 1833 aged 18).
The date that William Jeffcoat arrived in Headington is easy to pinpoint: he is described as being a builder of Longwall in Oxford when Charles was baptised in March 1813, but as a builder of Headington when George was baptised in April 1815. He and Rebecca baptised six more children in St Andrew’s Church, Headington, and he is described in each case as a publican:
- Rebecca Anne: 6 November 1816
(buried Headington 13 days later)
- Rebecca Ann: 8 December 1817
(buried Headington 29 January 1855)
- Mary Ann: 23 May 1819
(married a cook of St Peter-in-the-East parish called Richard Berry (38) in 1855 at the age of 37 at Headington, but widowed by 1861)
- Edwin: 5 June 1821
(buried Headington 17 December 1888, aged 67)
- Jonathan: 11 February 1823
(became a bank clerk, lived in his father’s house, buried Headington 28 January 1887)
- Mark: 2 April 1826
(buried Headington 26 April 1844).
William’s wife Rebecca died at the age of 57 and was buried at St Andrew’s Church on 19 March 1839. He himself died at the age of 74 and was buried at Headington on 29 May 1845. When his daughter was married at St Andrew’s Church ten years later, she described her father as a carpenter.
The family have a grave near the cross in St Andrew’s churchyard. It reads: Sacred / to the / memory of / George / son of / William Jeffcoat / who died April 1833 / also Rebecca Ann / … . who died in her infancy / -e-m- Jeffcoat / (four more lines unreadable).