A History of the County of Oxford: Volume 10, Banbury Hundred. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1972.
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Manors and Other Estates.
In the Anglo-Saxon period Banbury, along with Thame, Dorchester, and other Oxfordshire manors, formed part of a great estate belonging to the see of Dorchester. (fn. 1) In 1070 the see of Dorchester was transferred to Lincoln, (fn. 2) and the Bishop of Lincoln held Banbury in 1086. (fn. 3) The bishops of Lincoln held in chief and during vacancies Banbury was in the king's hands. (fn. 4) The periods when the estate was under royal control for a year or more were 1166–73, 1182–3, 1184–6, 1200–3, and 1206–13. (fn. 5) It was perhaps because the bishop's estate was from time to time in the king's hand that in 1241 it was claimed that Banbury was ancient demesne of the Crown: on that occasion the plea seems to have been accepted, although it was not historically correct. (fn. 6) In the reign of Edward II the Dean and Chapter of Lincoln bought the right to the custody of the see's possessions during a vacancy. (fn. 7)
The division of Banbury into sub-manors and other estates after the Middle Ages reflected the organization of the medieval episcopal estate. (fn. 8) Easington manor, for example, originated in a lease of the bishop's demesne lands and some of his rights in Calthorpe and Neithrop, and a property described as the borough of Banbury derived from the bishop's rights and rents in the town in the Middle Ages. (fn. 9) Of the various administrative or jurisdictional units which might be termed Banbury manor in the Middle Ages only two survived as manors, the castle and hundred, which by the 16th century were regarded as a single indivisible property, (fn. 10) and the borough. It was those that were meant by 18thcentury references to the two manors of Banbury, 'the outer manor' and 'the manor within the town'. (fn. 11) Three estates which fell outside the central organization of the bishop's estate were occasionally called Banbury manor. The first was an estate, principally tithes, which belonged to Eynsham Abbey, the second a property which belonged to the Lovel family. (fn. 12) The third, Easington manor, was occasionally described as the grange of Easington or manor of Banbury; (fn. 13) the description was not wholly inaccurate, for Easington consisted of the bishop's demesne lands in what were, in effect, the fields of Banbury, but it is to be distinguished from estates more usually called Banbury manor.
The Bishop of Lincoln's Banbury estate, except for Neithrop and Calthorpe, was sold to the Duke of Somerset in 1547. (fn. 14) In 1550 he granted it (with the exception of Hardwick) (fn. 15) to John Dudley, Earl of Warwick, afterwards Duke of Northumberland, (fn. 16) who in 1551 granted it to the Crown in exchange for other lands. (fn. 17)
The BOROUGH of Banbury was included in the Bishop of Lincoln's grant of his estate to the Duke of Somerset in 1547 and in the Duke of Northumberland's exchange with the Crown in 1551. (fn. 18) When the new borough was incorporated in 1554, (fn. 19) property including rents, lands, and houses was retained by the Crown; in 1606 it comprised the rents of 76 free tenants (£7 9s. 6d.) and other property, notably houses and cottages in the town valued at c. £41 10s. and leased to the corporation in 1573 for 60 years. (fn. 20) Other rights belonging to the old borough may have been separated from it, for in 1586 Catherine, relict of Henry, Earl of Northumberland settled on Francis Fitton, her second husband, one-third of Banbury manor with view of frankpledge, fairs, and markets. (fn. 21) In 1592 she settled the whole manor on Sir Charles Percy for life. (fn. 22) In 1620 Charles I granted an estate described as the borough of Banbury, valued at £20 16s. a year, to William White, William Steventon, and John Perkins. Sir Allen Apsley had an interest in it at his death in 1630, and in 1673 Johanna, relict of Rombolt Jacobson, brewer, of London, and Jacobson's nephew John King, M.D., granted it to Henry Stokes of Banbury. (fn. 23) Subsequently, probably in 1676, John and Henry Stokes mortgaged it, (fn. 24) and this was probably the intent of a lease of 1689 or 1691 by John Stokes, mercer, of Banbury and his wife Bridget. (fn. 25) The property may have been acquired later by the corporation, for in the early 18th century the only manorial lord within the town was said to be the mayor. (fn. 26)
EASINGTON was first mentioned in 1279 as part of the hamlet of Calthorpe lying within the Banbury demesne of the Bishop of Lincoln. (fn. 27) Evidently it was not then regarded as a manor, and it may not have been so considered until it was first leased out to farmers, at some date before 1431. (fn. 28) The earliest surviving lease dates from 1435; by it the bishop leased for 20 years to John Danvers of Banbury the manor of Easington with the warren of Durden, fishing rights in the River Cherwell, and labour services from tenants in Neithrop and Calthorpe. (fn. 29) The inclusion in the lease of amercements in the bishop's court may mean that the bishop was already holding a court at Easington for his Neithrop and Calthorpe tenants, or else that their attendance at the lessee's court was to replace their suit at a manorial court at Banbury.
In 1505 Easington was leased for 15 years to Anne, relict of Sir William Danvers. (fn. 30) She was dead by 1520 when the lease expired, and a new lease for 40 years was made to William Pierson, mercer, of Banbury. (fn. 31) Laurence Pierson was farmer of Easington in 1540–1. (fn. 32) By 1545 the lease had passed to John Crocker of Hook Norton, to hold to the use of his son-in-law Edward Hawten. In the same year the bishop leased Easington to his registrar, John Frankyshe of Neithrop for 50 years from the expiry of the current lease (i.e. 1561). (fn. 33) This was one of a number of such advance leases of the episcopal estate made by Bishop Longland in the last years of his life. (fn. 34)
After 1551 the lordship of Easington seems to have remained with the Crown. There is no direct evidence later than 1638; then, as in a document dating from 1607 to 1625, £20 quit-rent was due to the Crown. (fn. 35) By the 17th century the estate was usually referred to as Easington grange, being part of the manor of Banbury, and subsequently it became known as Easington grange or farm; in the early 19th century maps of the lessee's lands name the property as Easington farm, while those of the more extensive lands from which he drew tithes refer to them as belonging to the Banbury manor or Easington grange. (fn. 36)
The lessee in 1606 was Margaret Hawten, widow, whose lease had taken effect from the expiry or surrender of John Frankyshe's rights. (fn. 37) She was succeeded by her son Henry Hawten who in 1614 obtained a grant of the freehold from the Crown. (fn. 38) On Henry's death in 1626 it passed to his eldest son Thomas who in 1637 conveyed the estate to his mother, Mary Hawten. (fn. 39) The following year Thomas Hawten, with his mother and wife Katharine sold it to Robert Barber of Adderbury. (fn. 40) At that date it comprised Easington Farm and c. 130 a. of arable adjoining, two meadow closes, and two other closes. It was increased by the acquisition of 40 a. in Berrymoor from the Vivers family, and in 1694 was said to contain 200 acres. (fn. 41) In 1647 it was entailed on the male heirs of Robert Barber's son William, (fn. 42) and was settled in 1686 on William's son Robert, on his marriage to Anne, daughter of Sir Edward Waldo. (fn. 43) In 1734 Edward Barber was in possession and from 1760 to 1817 it belonged to John Barber and his son John. (fn. 44) Susan, sister of John (III) Barber (d. 1854), married Robert Wells, and their daughter Susannah, who married the Revd. William Cotton Risley, inherited the Barber property. The trustees of W. C. Risley were owners in 1910. (fn. 45)
Unlike the Hawtens, the Barbers seem never to have lived at Easington, and probably let the estate from the first. The earliest extant lease is to John Wells of Fritwell in 1734, but Samuel Grant of Easington, whose will was proved in 1716, was almost certainly one of his predecessors. (fn. 46) During the period 1787–1804 the lessee was John Johnson, in 1809–17 Edmund Gibbs of Easington Grange, in 1817–31 Thomas Stevens, and 1831–50 William Jones. (fn. 47) From 1858 William Denchfield was lessee, and the Denchfields were still farming Easington in 1920; W. E. Denchfield was resident in 1928 but was no longer described as a farmer, and Miss M. E. Denchfield was living there in 1939. (fn. 48)
The wording of a lease of Easington in 1510 suggests that there was then no manor-house on the estate, but in 1602 the west gate of the royal manor-house, grange, or farm of Easington was mentioned. (fn. 49) In his will dated 1618 Henry Hawten, the lessee, included his house at Easington among his bequests. (fn. 50) Easington Farm was extensively repaired or enlarged in 1793. (fn. 51) Part of the farmhouse, No. 50 Oxford Road, a stone-built, 17thcentury house, survives: it is two-storied with two gabled attic dormers, and the front contains three mullioned and transomed two-light wooden casement windows and a plain 19th-century door frame.
The land of the Bishop of Lincoln's tenants in Neithrop and Calthorpe fields, like the demesne centred on Easington, seems to have retained its identity as an estate after the break-up of the bishop's estate. While the land belonged to the bishop its tenants probably paid suit to the lessee's court at Easington, and possibly to one of the bishop's courts in Banbury as well. In 1547, however, NEITHROP and CALTHORPE were among the lordships and manors which Bishop Holbech granted to the Crown in return for lands in Lincolnshire. (fn. 52) Rights over the tenants' land of the former episcopal estate in Calthorpe and Neithrop seem to have passed to the Cope family, which also held property there which had been included in the Duke of Somerset's grant of Hardwick to Anthony Cope in 1548. (fn. 53) The Copes had already appeared as free tenants of holdings in Neithrop in 1525 and 1537. (fn. 54) In 1571 Anthony Cope confirmed the lease of a piece of waste in Neithrop which had been made during his minority, (fn. 55) and in 1575 a detailed survey was drawn up of his lands 'within the lordship of Neithrop and Calthorpe'. (fn. 56) The property was then in the hands of tenants; the survey deals, despite its title, only with the fields and tenements in Neithrop, and any rights which the Copes had in Calthorpe are not included. (fn. 57)
In the early 17th century the Copes granted the freehold of much of their Neithrop land to their lessees, (fn. 58) and no further reference has been found to manorial rights there. In 1760, however, Sir Monnoux Cope held six yardlands in Neithrop; (fn. 59) in the same year he leased 60 acres there to William Gunn, in 1774 Sir Mordaunt Cope leased premises in Neithrop to the same tenant, (fn. 60) and the Copes retained some Neithrop property into the 20th century. (fn. 61) Among the numerous other small estates into which Neithrop was divided may be mentioned the six-yardland holding of the Hobart family, which passed in the late 18th century to the North family, earls of Guilford, and was still held by them in 1910. (fn. 62)
An estate in Calthorpe, centred on Calthorpe House, and known as CALTHORPE MANOR was held by Henry Hawten in 1614. Although there are earlier references to Calthorpe House and to lands held with it, it would be mistaken to assume that there was an established landed estate attached to the house before the 17th century. It is clear that Calthorpe House had been owned previously by the Copes of Hanwell and by the Danvers family; and it is possible that in the 14th century the house was owned by the Brancasters, whose arms are on a piece of early glass in the house. (fn. 63) The first reference to a Brancaster in Banbury is to Richard, who was vicar in 1300; in 1318 John Brancaster of Banbury was involved in an affray; and in 1354 John Brancaster and his wife Margaret held an estate in Banbury, Calthorpe, and Wickham. (fn. 64) John received the highest assessment for the poll tax of 1379–81 and in 1378 granted land in Banbury to the hospital of St. John. (fn. 65) He was dead by 1392. (fn. 66) His daughter Agnes married Richard Danvers of Epwell, and in 1394 his brother Richard, of Rothley (? Leics.), chaplain, released to Richard Danvers his rights in an estate in Banbury, Calthorpe, and Wickham formerly held by John, Margaret, and their son John. (fn. 67) In 1441 John Danvers held 6½ yardlands in Calthorpe (although the land probably lay in Neithrop fields) and considerable property elsewhere in Banbury. (fn. 68) In 1555 George Danvers of Calthorpe sold to Henry Andrews and others common rights in Calthorpe, where he held 7 yardlands; the yardlands, which were sold shortly afterwards, actually lay in Calthorpe fields (fn. 69) and are almost certainly not identifiable with the 6½ yardlands of 1441. John Danvers died in 1591 leaving Calthorpe House to his eldest son George, and other property in Calthorpe (formerly part of the St. John's Hospital estate) to another son John. Before 1601 George sold Calthorpe House, and presumably lands with it, to Sir Anthony Cope. (fn. 70)
In 1604 Cope settled on his third son, Richard, who was marrying Anna, daughter of William Walter of Wimbledon (Surr.), an estate which included, among other properties, Calthorpe House, 9 yardlands in Calthorpe fields, and 15 houses in Banbury. (fn. 71) The estate was described as Calthorpe manor, but it seems to have been quite distinct from Cope's other estate 'in the lordship of Neithrop and Calthorpe'. (fn. 72) The Copes may have leased Calthorpe House to the Hawtens, (fn. 73) who by 1614 had acquired the freehold: in 1614 Henry Hawten settled the house and the adjacent closes, with other lands recently acquired in Calthorpe, on himself and his wife Mary, daughter of Sir John Doyley of Chislehampton. (fn. 74) The Hawtens also held Easington, with which the Calthorpe property descended until 1638 when the Easington estate was sold. The Calthorpe estate, which at that date comprised Calthorpe House, its adjacent barns and closes, lands between the Bloxham and Broughton roads at Crouch Hill and Berrymoor, and a large number of closes, apparently mostly between the Oxford Road and the River Cherwell, was settled in 1638 to the use of several members of the Hawten family. (fn. 75) In 1641 the estate was settled, assuring the life interest of Henry Hawten's relict, Mary, with reversion to her son Thomas and his wife Katharine, daughter of Sir William Dunch. (fn. 76) Mary, daughter of Thomas and Katharine, married William Morgan. She died in 1652, (fn. 77) and Morgan was in possession of Calthorpe House in 1665. (fn. 78) In 1680 Katharine Hawten and her grandson Hawten Maria Morgan sold the estate to Sir John Read of Brocket Hall (Herts.). (fn. 79) Sir John Read died in 1711; his heirs were four sisters, (fn. 80) and the Calthorpe estate was included in the share of Mary Read. She died between 1752 and 1754 and the residuary legatee of her estate was her sister Dorothea's son, Sir James Dashwood. (fn. 81) Neither the Reads nor the Dashwoods lived at Calthorpe. In 1720 the house was occupied by a Mrs. Elmes, (fn. 82) and in 1723 it was leased to Thomas Cobb, weaver, already the occupant. (fn. 83) The Cobbs lived there for over a century and used part of the house as a woollen manufactory. Sir James Dashwood mortgaged his Calthorpe estate from 1754 and was constantly embarrassed by his son's debts. After Sir James's death in 1779 Sir Henry Watkin Dashwood continued to run into debt and in 1797 his Calthorpe estate was vested in trustees to be sold. In 1801 it was purchased by another Thomas Cobb, already the lessee. (fn. 84)
Thomas Cobb mortgaged the estate in 1802 and experienced some difficulties before finally paying off the mortgage in 1815. In 1821 he died, having devised his estate to J. W. Golby and William Meyrick to sell, and his son Thomas, who lived at Calthorpe House, purchased the estate and immediately mortgaged it. In 1832 he was declared a bankrupt and the estate was assigned to Samuel Huckvale and William Milward: at that date Cobb was described as a paper-maker, dealer, and chapman. (fn. 85) In 1833 Timothy Rhodes Cobb, a banker, and Edward Cobb jointly purchased the Calthorpe estate. In 1835 they divided it into two parts, each holding one part in severalty: Calthorpe House and Calthorpe manor or reputed manor fell to Edward Cobb who retained both until 1875. (fn. 86) In the 1830s much of the Calthorpe estate was sold off in lots of varying size, many of them small building plots in the Calthorpe area. (fn. 87) Between 1858 and 1872 Calthorpe House was leased to the Draper family, (fn. 88) and then to Alexander Wilson. In 1875 Edward Cobb sold the house and grounds to William Shilson of Banbury, wool-stapler, who in the same year sold part of the property including the eastern part of the house to Joseph Lumbert of Banbury, clothier. (fn. 89) The house formed part of a private school for girls in the early part of the 20th century. (fn. 90)
Calthorpe House (fn. 91) has suffered much unsympathetic alteration, and has had two other houses built up against its south side, with the result that it has come to be known merely as No. 9 Dashwood Terrace. It is built of the local ironstone and consists of two parallel, two-storied ranges which present their gable-ends to the front. Placed asymmetrically against the front is a large, twostoried entrance porch, finished with a crenellated parapet. The south range is probably the earlier, to judge from the character of its masonry and of its roof-structure, which has a badly mutilated archbraced collar-beam truss with curved struts from collar to principals, suggestive of a 15th- or early 16th-century date. The north range and the entrance porch may have been added at the same time, probably in the late 16th or early 17th century. In the window over the porch are three panels of enamelled glass, thought to be late 16th century, bearing the arms of John Brancaster, of Robert Doyley and his wife Edith, and of George Danvers of Calthorpe (d. 1575) and his wife Margaret Doyley. The door-surround bears the arms of the Hawten family, who acquired the house between 1604 and 1614. The porch is curiously shallow, projecting only 2 ft. 10 ins., but some cutting away of the main wall of the house allows an internal depth of 2 ft. 6 ins. Even odder is the disproportionately low ground story, apparently designed to fit the floor-levels of an existing building. However, this disproportion is adjusted by a grand door-surround, rising well above the sill-level of the first-floor window. The doorway has a simple ovolo-moulded frame with flattened four-centred head, but above it is a big curvilinear gable, decked with finials and with the Hawten arms in its centre flanked by a pair of columns. In the upper story of the porch is a great twelve-light window with slender hollow-moulded mullions and transoms, which was originally flanked, at either side of the porch, by a pair of six-light windows under a continuation of the same dripmould; the window on the north side, however, has been almost entirely destroyed.
A further remodelling in late-18th- or early-19thcentury Gothic transformed the north face of the house into the principal facade, with an imposing gabled projection at the west end containing an ornate entrance porch. Leading out of this porch is the only internal feature of note, a room of the same period with a ribbed vault of plaster and niches round the walls with four-centred arched heads. A corbel bears the arms of the Cobb family.
To the west of the house, and linked to it by later buildings, is a late-16th- or 17th-century stone range, probably part of the service quarters. It has the remains of an original chimney-piece on the ground floor, and a three-light mullioned window on the floor above. Much of the exterior is obscured by the modern factory buildings which surround it.
In the Middle Ages Hardwick was closely connected with Bourton (in Cropredy), forming a tenurial and economic community within the Bishop of Lincoln's estate. (fn. 92) In 1224 the Bishop of Lincoln granted to William of Hardwick for life 1½ yardland in Bourton and a house in Hardwick. (fn. 93) The overlordship of HARDWICK was held by the bishops of Lincoln until sold in 1547 to the Duke of Somerset. (fn. 94) In 1548 Somerset sold the overlordship to Sir Anthony Cope. (fn. 95)
It is possible that the Bishop of Lincoln's entire property in Hardwick was leased for a time during the Middle Ages to the Rose family; in the poll tax of 1379–81 William Rose, free tenant, at 6s. 8d. was the only man assessed at more than 1s. under the heading 'Little Bourton and Hardwick', while in 1385 John Rose, king's squire, was granted free warren in an unidentified Hardwick manor in Oxfordshire. (fn. 96) In 1496 the Bishop of Lincoln leased Hardwick manor, with all his lands and fishing rights there, to William Cope for 99 years. (fn. 97) Cope settled the lease on his son Anthony (later Sir Anthony) in tail male. (fn. 98) Before his death William Cope augmented his Hardwick estate by acquiring lands from the Danvers family. (fn. 99)
In 1548, at the request of the Duke of Somerset, John Cope relinquished his own and his heirs' claims to the manor, the freehold of which was then sold to Sir Anthony Cope. (fn. 100) Sir Anthony died in 1551 (fn. 101) and Hardwick seems to have reverted to Stephen Cope who before 1558 had assigned it to Elizabeth, relict of Edward Cope of Hardwick. (fn. 102) In 1560 Elizabeth assigned it to her father, Walter Mohun, who, when she remarried the following year, granted it to her second husband, George Carleton of Walton-on-Thames (Surr.). (fn. 103) In 1573 George Carleton and Elizabeth sold the reversion of the manor to Sir Anthony Cope of Hanwell; he settled it on his son William and William's wife Elizabeth, daughter of Sir George Chaworthe, in 1602, entailing it on their heirs male. (fn. 104) Sir William was M.P. for Banbury in the first three parliaments of James I, and resided at Hardwick until his father's death in 1614. (fn. 105) With the consent of his brother Richard he leased the manor for the benefit of his son and heir John (later Sir John) in 1631. (fn. 106) Sir William died in 1637 and Sir John in 1638. (fn. 107) The following are known to have been lords thereafter: John's son Sir Anthony (1668), (fn. 108) Sir Anthony's brother Sir John (1677), Jonathan Cope of Ranton (Staffs.), on whom the manor was settled in 1688, and the latter's grandson, Sir Jonathan Cope of Bruern. (fn. 109) Sir Jonathan died in 1765, his grandson and successor Charles in 1781, and the latter's son Sir Charles a few months later. (fn. 110) The Hardwick estate was then divided between his sisters Arabella Diana and Catherine Ann. (fn. 111) Arabella Diana married John Frederick Sackville, Duke of Dorset, and Catherine Ann married George, Lord Strathavon, later Earl of Aboyne. (fn. 112) From 1727 the estate had been mortgaged to various members of the Jenkinson family. (fn. 113) In 1800 the estate was sold to Samuel Gist of Wormington Grange (Glos.), in whose family it remained until the early 20th century: it was held by Samuel Gist's executors (c. 1815–25), Josiah Gist (1825, 1841), William Gist of Dixton (Glos.) as trustee for Samuel Gist of Wormington Grange (Glos.), (fn. 114) a minor (1852), and Samuel (d. 1905), who was of unsound mind. In 1906 William Lindsey paid land tax as owner-occupier and was still there in 1939. (fn. 115) In 1968 the owner was R. S. Lindsey.
About 1540 the Copes' house at Hardwick was described as 'an old manor place'. It is said to have stood on a hill a little to the north of the present farm-house, (fn. 116) which, however, contains details (ancient ceiling beams, stone flooring, and stone doorways with four-centred heads) which may date from the early 16th century, and a massive central stack and large two-light 16th-century windows of a quality usually found in dwellings of the manorhouse class. The house is a two-storied ironstone building on an E-shaped plan with some later brick additions: to the south are ancient fish-ponds.
Wickham was the only outlying portion of the ancient parish of Banbury to be distinguished by name in Domesday Book. In 1086 two hides of the Bishop of Lincoln's 'inland' in Wickham were held by Robert, presumably Robert son of Waukelin who at some time before 1109 granted the tithes of Wickham to Eynsham Abbey and who in 1086 was tenant of a mill on the bishop's Banbury estates. (fn. 117) Before 1158 Henry II confirmed WICKHAM manor to the bishop, to be held as his predecessors had held it in Henry I's reign. (fn. 118) Like other fees of the bishop's Banbury estates, its overlordship was regarded as an appurtenance of the castle and hundred, and passed successively to the Duke of Somerset (1547), the Duke of Northumberland, and the Crown (1551), which leased it to the Fiennes family. (fn. 119)
Wickham was held by tenants for military service at an early date. In 1279 it was held of the bishop for the service of 1 knight's fee, suit of court at Banbury, and 40 days' duty at Banbury castle in time of war. (fn. 120) Robert of Stoke held 3 fees of the bishop c. 1210 in Wickham, Epwell, Fawler, and Swalcliffe; it was probably the same fees that Richard of Stoke had held in 1166. (fn. 121) It is argued elsewhere that Robert of Stoke is probably identifiable with Robert de Wykeham, whose widow Avice was granted one-third of Wickham in dower by her son Ralph in 1218. (fn. 122) It was presumably Ralph who in 1224 sold 16 a. of meadow and pasture in Banbury to the Bishop of Lincoln, and was recorded as lord of Wickham in 1238 and 1239. (fn. 123) Robert de Wykeham who was lord in 1279 is probably identifiable with Robert de Wykeham who in 1316 held Swalcliffe and Wickham jointly with Simon Danvers. (fn. 124) This joint tenure may be early evidence of the division which appears in the manor soon afterwards. At his death in 1331 John of Bloxham held ½ knight's fee in Wickham, his heir being his brother William, son of Robert Hikeman of Bloxham, who was over 60 years old. (fn. 125) This family does not appear again in connexion with Wickham, and its share was probably merged with that of the Ardens who held the other half of Wickham. Possibly Sir Robert Wykeham granted half to the Ardens along with Swalcliffe manor in 1323, to solve his financial difficulties. (fn. 126) Sir Robert Arden was granted free warren in Wickham in 1327; on his death in 1331 the marriage of his son and heir Giles and the custody of his lands was granted to Nicole, his relict, who married Sir Thomas Wale. (fn. 127) Wickham then became the subject, along with Swalcliffe and other Arden lands, of a prolonged law-suit between the Wale family and Elizabeth Wykeham, relict of Sir Robert Wykeham, who attempted to recover her husband's property. (fn. 128) The Wykehams were finally successful and in 1346 Sir Robert Wykeham was returned as lord of Wickham. (fn. 129) It was probably part of Wickham (described as lying in Banbury and Bodicote) which in 1412 owed military service to Sir Thomas Wykeham. (fn. 130) Meanwhile by an unexplained final concord of 1399 William Greville and his wife Joan conveyed the manors of Horley, Wickham, and Ilbury (in Deddington) to John Greville and William Colyns, clerk. (fn. 131) By 1428, however, the manor, described as formerly Robert Wykeham's, had passed successively to Sir Richard Archer and his unnamed heir, who held it for 1 knight's fee. (fn. 132) This heir was probably his daughter Joan, wife of Sir John Dynham; the latter was tenant of the manor in 1441, and it was among the properties listed in the inquisition after his death in 1458. (fn. 133)
The evidence for the later descent of Wickham is fragmentary, but it is clear that the manor followed the descent of other Dynham property, for after the death of Sir John Dynham (son of the above Sir John) in 1501 it was divided among four coheirs; these were Elizabeth and Joan, sisters of the younger Sir John, and his nephews Sir Edmund Carew, son of Margery Dynham, and Sir John Arundell, son of Katherine Dynham. (fn. 134) For some time the four parts of the manor followed separate descents. Sir Michael Dormer of Ascot acquired one part in 1544 from Christopher Light, who had acquired it in 1540 from John Croke and his wife Prudence. (fn. 135) In the same year Dormer was licensed to acquire the quarter held by Sir William Fitzwilliam and his wife Anne, granddaughter of Elizabeth Dynham by her second husband Sir John Sapcotes. (fn. 136) In 1552 he held 1 knight's fee in 'Wickham in Swalcliffe'; like his predecessors in the Middle Ages he owed 40 days' castle guard in time of war. (fn. 137) The fate of the Dormer portion is not known, but it probably passed to the Compton family who, elsewhere, were already holding the portion of at least one of the original Dynham coheirs, Sir Edmund Carew. (fn. 138) Moreover, in 1586 Sir Henry Compton and his wife Anne conveyed three-quarters of Wickham manor to Anthony Bustard, who had been holding the remaining quarter, the Arundell portion, since 1552. (fn. 139) In 1601 William and Anthony Bustard and others conveyed the manor to Thomas Chamberlayne. (fn. 140) It continued in the hands of the Chamberlayne family until 1681, when Wickham was among the properties to be settled by Sir Thomas Chamberlayne on his daughter Penelope on her intended marriage to Robert (later Sir Robert) Dashwood; Sir Thomas died within a year but his will confirmed the settlement, and the marriage took place in 1682. On Sir Robert's death in 1734 the manor passed to his grandson Sir James, and in 1779 to James's son, Sir Henry Watkin Dashwood, by whom the property was sold, mostly before 1801. (fn. 141) By 1804 Wickham was divided between two principal landowners, Samuel Gist (who had purchased Hardwick at about the same time) and James King. (fn. 142) The Gist portion followed the descent of Hardwick until the 20th century. (fn. 143) James King's estate (Wickham Park and Park farm) was purchased, probably in 1817, by Daniel Stuart, a journalist and newspaper proprietor, who owned Wickham Park at his death in 1846. (fn. 144) His wife Mary was still living at Wickham in 1848 but in 1850 it was sold to Thomas, Viscount Parker, and others. Those men may have been mortgagees of Daniel Hale Webb, mentioned in the deed, for in 1851 Captain John Webb, and in 1853 Isabella, daughter of Daniel Hale Webb, were paying land tax at Wickham. In the period 1855–65 C. Vickers and in 1866 William Mewburn occupied the estate, and Mewburn later purchased it, probably in 1868 when he was assigned the lease of tithes there. (fn. 145) Mewburn, a prominent Wesleyan businessman, played an important part in the life of the Banbury Methodist community; (fn. 146) his son-in-law Robert William Perks, later M.P. for Louth (Lincs.) and President of the Wesleyan Conference, purchased Wickham Park from him in 1903, 'and was still there in 1915. (fn. 147) Later occupants were Major Eric Crossley (1920, 1928), and Arthur Turberville Smith-Bingham (1939). (fn. 148) In 1969 Wickham Park was a girl's public school, Tudor Hall School.
The house was extensively rebuilt in the early 19th century and the only remains of Chamberlayne's house are datestones of 1614, 1616, 1617, and 1619, and a 17th-century range (half H-plan, facing east) to the north-east of the present house. The range is a much altered two-storied ironstone ashlar building with an offset base. The three- and four-light stone mullioned windows, and part of the stone coping, are original. A stone gateway to the south-east of this range, although restored, contains original strapwork, an achievement of the quartered arms of Chamberlayne, and a sundial. No trace survives of the medieval manor-house which Robert Arden was licensed to crenellate in 1330. (fn. 149) According to Beesley (fn. 150) the house contained a chapel from which the Dashwoods recovered armorial glass, placing it in the chancel of Kirtlington church. Entries of marriages celebrated in Wickham Chapel occur in Banbury parish registers from 1701 onwards. (fn. 151)
The estate attached to Banbury PREBEND or rectory (fn. 152) comprised land and tithes; although there was probably no demesne arable, courts were held for the tenants, heriots were paid, and the organization of the estate was that of a manor. (fn. 153) During vacancies in the prebend the estate was taken into the king's hands. The earliest record of it occurs on the Pipe Roll for 1185–6. (fn. 154) In 1346–7 it was seized by the Crown because the prebendary was an alien, Ugolino de Adigheriis. (fn. 155) Otherwise the prebendaries seem to have been undisturbed in their estate. In 1536 the prebendary Matthew Smith leased the prebend to John Frankyshe for 30 years, and in 1537 the bishop granted to Frankyshe and William Robyns the next presentation to the prebend itself. (fn. 156) In 1547 the Bishop of Lincoln sold the advowson of the prebend to the Duke of Somerset. (fn. 157) Shortly afterwards the prebendary, Harry Parrye, presumably the nominee of Frankyshe and Robyns, sold his rights to Sir John Thynne and Robert Keylewey, who in turn sold them in 1550 to Sir Edward Seymour, son of the Duke of Somerset. (fn. 158)
Although the prebend as an ecclesiastical office was dissolved the estate continued in existence. The Duke of Northumberland acquired the property in or before 1551 (fn. 159) when he conveyed it to the Crown. (fn. 160) In 1563 a new lease of the prebend, for 21 years, was made to William Cornwall, who had married John Frankyshe's relict, (fn. 161) and in 1568 another 21–year lease, in reversion, was granted to Richard Fiennes. (fn. 162) Presumably his family was in occupation of the property when, in 1589, the Queen granted it to the Bishop of Oxford. (fn. 163)
The property was thenceforth retained by the bishops of Oxford, who probably leased it from the first. In 1606 the lease was held by Richard, Lord Saye and Sele; (fn. 164) in 1616 it was leased to Richard's son William, and came by assignment to the Vivers family by the late 1620s. In 1650 Robert Vivers held it and in the 1650s it passed to Edward Darnelly, who was still holding it in 1672. (fn. 165) In the 17th century leases were for three lives. (fn. 166) From at least 1740 the estate was held by, or for the use of, the Paynton and Pigott families, who were related through the marriage (in 1770) of Dolly, daughter of Richard and Susannah Paynton, and Francis Pigott. (fn. 167) The son of Dolly and Francis, Paynton Pigott, who in 1835 changed his name to Paynton Pigott Stainsby Conant, was lessee in 1852 when the Banbury tithes were commuted. In 1866 the reversion of the estate was purchased by his son Richard and Shreeve Botry Pigott, (fn. 168) and its subsequent descent is not known.
From 1805 three smaller portions of the prebendal estate were leased separately. (fn. 169) The first, various meadow closes (c. 30 a.) leased in 1805 to Fiennes Wykeham has not been traced further. Another portion, Hardwick Bridge Marsh and a 13-acre close, was leased to the occupants of Grimsbury mill, the Atkins family until 1848 and the Field family until 1867 when Robert Field purchased the reversion. (fn. 170) The third portion, comprising the tithes of Wickham and a tithe barn in Banbury, was leased separately to a trustee of the Pigott family in 1805. In 1808 the Wickham tithes were divided into three and leased to Wickham landowners. Samuel Gist and his successors leased the largest share, and when the Wickham tithes were commuted in 1852 William Gist held the tithes of 525 acres. James King leased the tithes of the Wickham Park estate, and in 1851 his successor in that estate was lessee of tithes from 303 acres. The smallest share of the Wickham tithes was leased in 1808 to Thomas Cobb, John Barber, and Richard Roberts. In 1826 the lease was renewed to Cobb and Barber. After Cobb's bankruptcy his moiety of the lease was purchased by the Tawney family and in 1849 Archer Robert Tawney sold it to W. L. Lampet of Tadmarton House. In 1851 John Barber, as trustee for himself and Lampet, held the great tithes of 71 acres. (fn. 171)
Eynsham Abbey held an estate made up chiefly of tithes in Banbury and Wickham. In 1109 Henry I confirmed the abbey's possession of tithes of corn, cattle, wool, and cheese at Banbury, and tithes at Wickham granted by Robert son of Waukelin; (fn. 172) the Banbury tithes had been granted by Robert Bloet, Bishop of Lincoln, in exchange for property in Lincolnshire, and granted with them were bordars, possibly, as at Thame, with 2 a. of land each, who would act as tithe collectors. (fn. 173) In 1279 the abbey held 3 'acres' in the town of the 'old feoffment'. (fn. 174) There is no evidence that the abbots held courts or that otherwise the estate was a manor, but in 1321 there was a reference to the abbot's manerium, in Newland, which was presumably the administrative centre of the property. (fn. 175)
The Eynsham tithes seem at first to have been collected by the abbey's officers. (fn. 176) By 1389, however, the abbey's corn tithes of Banbury and Cropredy were being farmed for £7 13s. 4d. a year and it was for this sum c. 1449 that the abbot gave a receipt to the executors of the late farmer, John Danvers. (fn. 177) In 1522 the abbey granted a twenty-one-year lease of its Banbury estate, excluding the Hardwick tithes but including 26s. 8d. rent from Bodicote, in Adderbury, to Thomas Wilkinson for £4 13s. 4d. a year. Wilkinson appears to have been still lessee at his death in 1545, when a 90-year lease granted in 1535 became operative. (fn. 178) By 1538, however, the tithes were in the hands of the Crown. (fn. 179) In 1589 they were granted, along with the prebendal tithes, to the Bishop of Oxford. (fn. 180) The two groups of tithes continued to be leased separately. The former Eynsham tithes, known as the 'Banbury portion', were leased in 1615 for three lives to Thomas Danvers, and were held in 1650 by William Danvers. Other 17th-century lessees were the Hawten, Cope, and Fiennes families. (fn. 181) In 1709 the tithes were leased to Robert Barber of Adderbury. (fn. 182) The Barber family continued as lessees, always at the same rent as in 1522, (fn. 183) and when the tithes were commuted in 1850 John Barber was lessee. (fn. 184) Later the lease probably passed to the Risley family. (fn. 185)
An unspecified property at Banbury was devised by William, Lord Lovel, to his son Robert in 1455; (fn. 186) it may have been held in or before 1391 by Sir John Lovel. (fn. 187) In 1486 Henry VII granted a property, formerly Lovel's, to his uncle, Jasper, Duke of Bedford; (fn. 188) the property cannot be traced in other sources and presumably belonged to one of the Lovels' manors elsewhere in Oxfordshire.
The hospital of St. John the Baptist of Banbury held a number of properties in the parish, mostly burgage tenements within the town: in c. 1225 the hospital held 11, paying 10s. 9½d. quit-rent to the Bishop of Lincoln, (fn. 189) in 1279 12 (12s.), (fn. 190) and in 1441 32 (24s. 1d., formerly 26s. 4d.), which lay 'in various streets'. (fn. 191) By 1535 the number had presumably further increased, for the hospital was paying 31s. 9d. quit-rent to the bishop. (fn. 192) Annual rents of 8 marks in Banbury were given to the hospital in 1290 by William de Combe Martin of Cirencester, and two houses in Banbury were granted by Thomas de Aston of Banbury in 1305; (fn. 193) otherwise there is no record of how the hospital acquired its properties in the town. The hospital was granted a house, mill, and yardland at Wickham in 1303, and in 1441 was described as former owner of two yardlands which probably also lay in Wickham. (fn. 194) In 1549 the Crown sold the hospital's estate in Banbury, Wickham, Calthorpe, and elsewhere to Thomas Hawkins alias Fisher of Warwick. (fn. 195) The estate was probably broken up soon afterwards.
In 1279 Clattercote Priory held 8½ tenements in Banbury in free alms of the Bishop of Lincoln; the tenements may well have belonged to the priory since the borough's foundation. (fn. 196) In 1538 the priory's property in Banbury was included in a royal grant to William Petre and his wife Gertrude in tail male; (fn. 197) in 1544 the same Sir William Petre was granted the reversion of the property, which passed to Christ Church, Oxford, in 1546. (fn. 198)
Chacombe Priory held of the Bishop of Lincoln in Banbury property described in c. 1225 as 8 burgage tenements paying 6s. 9d. in quit-rent, in 1279 as 7½ tenements (7s. 6d.), and in 1551 as 7 (7s. 6d.). (fn. 199) After the priory's dissolution its Banbury property, which then also included pasture beside the River Cherwell, was broken up and disposed of piecemeal by the Crown between 1542 and 1546. (fn. 200)
One yardland in Neithrop that had been held by Wroxton Priory was leased out by the Crown in 1537. (fn. 201) Later in the same year the former priory's lands in Banbury, Neithrop, and other places were granted to Thomas Pope and his wife Margaret. (fn. 202)