Victoria County History



Alan Crossley, C R J Currie (Editors), A P Baggs, Eleanor Chance, Christina Colvin, C J Day, Nesta Selwyn, S C Townley

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'Standlake: Nonconformity', A History of the County of Oxford: Volume 13: Bampton Hundred (Part One) (1996), pp. 203-204. URL: Date accessed: 25 October 2014.


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Malyn and Mary Yate of the later Standlake Manor were fined for recusancy during the late 16th century and early 17th, though their husbands James (d. 1608) and Francis seem to have conformed. Two or three other women and two yeomen were also fined repeatedly. (fn. 90) Three recusants signed the Protestation in 1642, (fn. 91) among them Richard Hyde of Standlake Manor, whose family continued as Roman Catholics in the early 1770s. No other papists were recorded in 1738 or later. (fn. 92)

In 1521 members of the Brabant family of Standlake were accused of holding meetings at which scriptures were read in English, and of denouncing pilgrimages. (fn. 93) A few nonconformists recorded in the later 17th century were probably Anabaptists, of whom four families were noted in 1738 and 6-8 families in the later 18th century, all attending Cote chapel. (fn. 94) Meeting house licences in 1750, 1800, and 1817 related probably to Baptists, (fn. 95) and Standlake Manor, let by the Baptist Tomkins family of Abingdon to the Baptist farmer Thomas Peck, was registered in 1799. (fn. 96) Curates in the early 19th century reported no more than 10-12 dissenters and claimed that numbers were decreasing, (fn. 97) but a 'good congregation' of Baptists was noted in 1821, (fn. 98) and in 1832 a rubble and slate chapel with 180 sittings, served from Cote, was built on the Abingdon road between Standlake and Brighthampton, on land given by William Tomkins. (fn. 99) Those dissatisfied with Standlake's curate, Frank Burges, allegedly filled the chapel 'almost to suffocation' by 1841, (fn. 1) and in 1850-1 average attendance for evening services was over 160. (fn. 2) A gallery was added to the chapel in 1865. (fn. 3) Relations with the Established Church seem usually to have been amicable, and several prominent adherents, among them members of the Giles, Pinnock, Hosier, and Costar families, held parish offices sometimes including that of churchwarden. (fn. 4) An organ was acquired in 1903 and the chapel was repaired in 1911 and 1914, but its isolated position between the two villages contributed to falling attendance by the 1930s, and from 1937 to 1951 services were discontinued. In 1962 the Sunday school had 20 pupils, but the chapel was closed c. 1978, and ownership was transferred to a missionary society which in 1994 used it as offices. (fn. 5)

Primitive Methodists held a mission at Standlake in 1845, (fn. 6) and in the later 1850s a minister from Faringdon (then Berks.) preached and held meetings there regularly before a 'large congregation'. (fn. 7) A meeting house at the Green was licensed in 1857, and a chapel of variegated brick, with 150 sittings, was built on the same site c. 1864-5 and licensed in 1866. (fn. 8) It was transferred from the Faringdon to the Witney circuit c. 1917. (fn. 9) Dissent generally in the parish was said to be decreasing in the later 19th century, (fn. 10) though 40 Primitive Methodists were reported in Standlake in 1918 and still in 1932, (fn. 11) when they were absorbed into the United Methodist Church. By 1970 there was only one resident member, and Sunday services ceased; weekday evening meetings and a Sunday school continued, however, and there were ecumenical activities with Baptists and Anglicans. (fn. 12) The chapel remained in occasional use in 1994.


90 H. E. Salter, 'Oxon. Recusants', O.A.S. Rep. (1924), 21-2, 25, 30, 33, 35, 37, 43, 48-9, 51-2, 54-5, 58; Recusant Roll 1592-3 (Cath. Rec. Soc. xviii), 257; cf. P.R.O., PROB II/III, ff. 295v.-296v.; above, other estates.
91 Protestation Rtns. and Tax Assess. 27.
92 O.R.O., MSS. Oxf. Dioc. d 557, f. 57v.; d 560, f. 77; d 563, ff. 77; ibid. QSD E.1, pp. 45-6, 205; Secker's Visit. 143; above, other estates.
93 J. Foxe, Acts and Mons. ed. J. Pratt (4th edn.), iv. 235-9, 242.
94 O.R.O., MSS. Oxf. Dioc. d 557, f. 57v.; d 560, f. 77; d 563, f. 77; Bp. Fell and Nonconf. 33, 35, 38, 61 n.; Secker's Visit. 143.
95 O.R.O., QSR Easter 1750, Trin. 1800; ibid. MS. Oxf. Dioc. c 644, f. 86; cf. 'Extracts from Cote Ch. Bks.' (TS. in C.O.S.), passim.
96 O.R.O., MS. Oxf. Dioc. c 644, f. 48; cf. ibid. QSD L. 260; V.C.H. Berks. iv. 450-1; above, other estates.
97 O.R.O., MSS. Oxf. Dioc. d 569, f. 99; d 571, f. 97; d 573, f. 97; d 575, f. 99; d 581, f. 94.
98 J. Hinton, Hist. Sketch of Assoc. Churches (1821), 8: copy in Bodl. 11135 e 90 (11).
99 O.R.O., P2/2/MS 1/21; Ch. and Chapel, 1851, no. 409; J. Stanley, Church in the Hop Garden [c. 1936], 191-2.
1 Oxf. Chron. 20 Mar. 1841.
2 Ch. and Chapel, 1851, no. 409.
3 O.R.O., P2/2/MS 1/21, f. 5.
4 'Extracts from Cote Ch. Bks.' (TS. in C.O.S.), passim; O.R.O., PAR 248/2/A1/1; Bodl. G.A. Oxon. c 317/13, open letter from D. C. Hosier 11 Apr. 1877; J. Goadby, 1228 and All That, 61.
5 H. Eden, 'Cote Baptist Ch.' 18-19 (TS. c. 1957 in C.O.S.); Regent's Park Coll., Cote Ch. Bk. 1882-1972; Goadby, 1228 and All That, 69; local inf.
6 O.R.O., NM2/B/A5/2, 15 Sept. 1845.
7 Ibid. P 115/J/1, passim.
8 Ibid. P2/2/MS 1/22, f. 1; ibid. NM2/B/A2/28; P.R.O., RG 9/905; P.O. Dir. Oxon. (1864); mutilated datestone 1865(?). For illust. of 1873, Bodl. MS. Top. Oxon. d 218, f. 230.
9 O.R.O., NM2/B/A2/27-8.
10 Ibid. MSS. Oxf. Dioc. c 332, f. 404; c 344, f. 377v.; c 347, f. 389v.
11 Ibid. NM2/B/A2/28-42.
12 Ibid. NM2/26/A1/1, s.a. 1970-6.