A History of the County of Oxford: Volume 5, Bullingdon Hundred. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1957.
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The civil parish of Iffley no longer exists and the village is now a suburb of Oxford. The ancient township lay along the banks of the Thames, stretching from the edge of Cowley in the north and east to the edge of Littlemore in the south. The parish was much larger: like the manor from which it was created, it comprised Iffley township, sometimes called Church Iffley; part of Littlemore, sometimes called Little Iffley; (fn. 1) and Hockmore Street, sometimes called Middle Cowley, which was a detached portion of the parish lying in the township of Church Cowley. In 1881 the area of the ancient parish was estimated at 1,751 acres. (fn. 2) The history of the outlying parts belongs naturally to the villages in which they lay and will therefore chiefly be dealt with under Littlemore (fn. 3) and the parish of Cowley.
The boundaries of Iffley were altered in 1885 and 1886 when the following changes were made: land on the west bank of the Thames and the isolated parts adjoining South Hinksey, including Iffley lock house, were amalgamated with South Hinksey; the hamlet of Hockmore with Hockmore Farm was transferred to Cowley, and land in the south of the parish was annexed to Littlemore. (fn. 4) In 1889 about 90 acres of Iffley became part of the city of Oxford and in 1894 were merged in the new civil parish of Cowley St. John. (fn. 5) From that date Iffley civil parish contained 398 acres, of which 237 acres were transferred to St. Giles and St. John civil parish in the city and the remainder to Littlemore civil parish by the Oxford Extension Act of 1928. (fn. 6)
The soil is mostly sandy loam with a subsoil of yellow sand. The main Oxford–Henley road, leaving Iffley village to the west, traverses the parish, but until the 19th century it ran along the present Iffley Turn and through Iffley. (fn. 7)
The village of Iffley lies on outcrops of Calcareous Grit on the east bank of the Thames; its church stands above the lock; its main street, Church Way, runs northwards from the church; and lanes branching off descend the slope to the river. Here most of the older houses, including the three manor-houses, are still to be found. The water-mill by the lock was burnt down in 1908. (fn. 8) The only evidence of a windmill is the field-name 'Windmill Close', shown east of the village on the inclosure map of 1830.
The northern end of Church Way, before it was extended by 19th-century and later developments, is marked by the present Tree Hotel (the 18thcentury Tree Inn) and the great elm tree, already nearly a hundred years old in 1714 when Hearne dined at the inn. (fn. 9) Here stood the stocks; opposite lay the hop garden; farther south on the east side of Church Way was the hemp plot; and the pound lay close to the Lincoln Farm Manor. (fn. 10) The material generally used for the cottages and smaller houses was rubble and thatch; Thatched Cottage in Mill Lane, probably once the home of Alice Smith, (fn. 11) and Tudor Cottage are excellent examples of this style. Court Cottage, just north of the church, is another interesting survival; it first appears in the court rolls in the early 18th century as a typical pair of small-holders' cottages, each containing a hall, a bed chamber, and a buttery, with an orchard at the back. (fn. 12) Rivermead, also in Church Way, is a more important dwelling; it is a two-storied house with a gabled porch probably of early-17th-century date; it is built of rubble, and roofed half with tiles and half with slate. Behind it is a barn-like building which may be a rare survival of a medieval farm-house; it is a one-storied stone building with fragments of medieval tracery, and later carved stone-work reset in the walls. This building, called the 'malt or hey house', is discussed in a deposition of 1640, where it is said that at the end of the 16th century it was named the 'parlour'; that it then had a loft above with 'a little hearth in the middle which seemed for the making of fire'. (fn. 13) In the mid-18th century it was leased to the Browns, (fn. 14) the tenants of Rivermead, who also bought the adjoining 17th-century house, now Malthouse Cottages.
Wooton Close and Denton House are memorials of the city tradesman's desire for a country house. They were built about 1794 to 1800 for Edward Hitchins, an Oxford tailor, and the Locks, goldsmiths of Oxford. Grove House at Iffley Turn, once the home of Cardinal Newman's mother, is of early19th-century date. (fn. 15)
But the three manor-houses are the chief buildings of historical note. Court Place, so named because the manorial courts were held there, is a threestoried house of rubble with a slate hipped roof; it bears the date '1580 I.L.'—for John Lewis, (fn. 16) but much of it seems to be of late-17th-century date. Admiral Nowell (fn. 17) extended the garden front in the early 19th century. The Rectory is of much earlier date; the south range of the north-south block probably goes back to the 13th century, with additions in the 16th to the north range, while the east wing may be of 17th-century date. Alterations were made in 1858. (fn. 18)
The Lincoln Farm House (now the manor) is substantially a 17th-century house in origin. At the end of the 16th century it was a rude building and only occupied by a farm servant of the Pits, (fn. 19) but between 1635 and 1640 it was so repaired that a little later it could be called 'a very good house for a husbandman and the best in town beside the parsonage and Mr. James his farm'. (fn. 20) In 1784 Dr. Johnson called it 'a pretty villa', (fn. 21) but the south wing was burnt down about 1810 when Captain Nowell (fn. 22) was living there. Lincoln College handed over the damaged wing to the Donnington Trustees, who rebuilt it as a separate house. The college recovered possession in 1908.
The pre-inclosure open fields (see map on p. 198) were called Upper Field, Lower Field, and Hawkwell. Upper Field was considerably larger than the other two and lay on the higher ground. It was crossed by the path from Littlemore to Iffley church and skirted by a lane to Sandford used for grazing pigs. (fn. 23) Smithcroft furlong in this field was probably named from the holding of the medieval family of Smiths in Littlemore, which it adjoined. (fn. 24) The modern Grove is probably the grava of a medieval charter, (fn. 25) and here perhaps was the Domesday copse. (fn. 26) To the north of Upper Field was the medieval 'sheep way', now Tree Lane, (fn. 27) from which two ways led to Cowley, one a church way for parishioners in Hockmore Street. Lower Field lay mostly beyond the brook, in the modern parish of Cowley St. John, and was partially inclosed before 1830. The medieval 'Brucfurlong' in this field (fn. 28) had a bridge near it, (fn. 29) which may have been a causeway for 'Wallingford Way' across the marsh. This was perhaps the charge of the 13th-century bridgehermit. (fn. 30) Hawkwell was a small field or big furlong by itself.
The meadows lay mainly on the left bank of the river, but also included parts of Berrymead on the farther bank and several eyots, especially Great and Little Kidneys—'Keteneys' in the 14th century. (fn. 31) This part of the river was probably a backwater in the Middle Ages, while the main stream ran west of Berrymead. (fn. 32) 'Wallingford Way', the old road from Oxford to Henley, followed the present Iffley Turn. Beyond the road, sloping down to the brook, lay Upper and Lower Marsh, a patch of pasture and meadow which may be the 14th-century 'Michelmersh' and 'Littlemersh'. (fn. 33) Farther down the valley of the brook lay more pasture-land. Between 1350 and 1360 hay was grown by 'Odbroc', 'Netherbroc', and 'Halibroc', perhaps tributaries of this brook. (fn. 34)
The appearance of the township was much altered in the 19th century. Its fields were inclosed in 1830; by 1852 the residential character of the village had become marked. There were then 23 gentlemen's households (three of them clerical); a ladies' school had opened; and there were as many as seventeen tradesmen. (fn. 35) The houses of the gentry, set in large gardens, continued to spread out between the old village and the Iffley Road. Two of them are now private hotels owned by the Oxford and District Co-operative Society. The dilapidated cottages in the old village were largely replaced, partly as a result of an inquiry (1894–6) into the administration of the estate of the Donnington Hospital Trust, which found that the cottage property was very neglected. (fn. 36) Two new public houses were opened— the 'Prince of Wales' and the 'Five Bells'. Rebuilding culminated with the erection in 1900 of a neat row of artisans' houses, the Terrace.
In spite of these changes, at the beginning of the 20th century Iffley was still a village surrounded by fields; its lanes kept their old names—Tree, Mill, Baker's, and Meadow Lanes; fritillaries grew by the lock, and the Oxford Road was bordered with meadows and may hedges. Communication with the city was provided by a horse-bus which ran halfhourly from Broad Street to the 'Turn'; heavy traffic went by river barges, and pleasure-seekers might take horse-drawn houseboats to Nuneham Park. A sturdy village life persisted; there were mummers at Christmas, May Day celebrations, visits of Jack-in-the-Green and travelling bears from Oxford, and the feast day of the Iffley Foresters Club held in early July. This was the occasion of a fair; a second was held in September. (fn. 37) Walking weddings and funerals were still the village custom; if it was a baby's funeral, girls dressed in white and carrying white posies were the bearers.
Though so close to Oxford, Iffley was little affected by the national and local commotions which disturbed the city. It saw some disorder in the early 15th century, when armed bands from Oxford twice attacked the property of a landowner there. (fn. 38) In July 1643 two troops of horse of the queen's forces were billeted in the village, (fn. 39) and in the following year Parliamentarian forces were housed there during the siege of Oxford. (fn. 40) Social distress in the early 19th century led to damage to property; Lincoln Farm House was partly burnt down, it is said, by incendiaries; (fn. 41) in 1810 malcontents from Oxford forced the lock and stopped work for a week, (fn. 42) and in 1830 special constables were enrolled to resist the Swing rioters, but an attack did not materialize. (fn. 43)
Iffley has had a number of distinguished inhabitants. Apart from Arthur Pits, David Lewis, Barton Holiday, and Dr. Thomas Nowell, (fn. 44) there were Edward Thwaites, the Anglo-Saxon scholar who was buried in Iffley church in 1711; Mrs. Newman; William Jacobson, Regius Professor of Divinity in Oxford, and Bishop of Chester from 1883; and Thomas Acton Warburton, (fn. 45) the writer, who was Vicar of Iffley 1853–76. Dr. Ireland, an eccentric medical practitioner early in the 19th century, may be added, as his house, 'Rose Hill', gave its name to the district. (fn. 46)
In Domesday IFFLEY ('Givetelei') had recently been held in chief by Earl Aubrey, and before the Conquest freely by Azor. (fn. 47) In the 12th century the manor seems to have come to the great burgess Henry of Oxford, and to have been exchanged by him, before 1156, with Geoffrey, son of Geoffrey Clinton the Chamberlain, for land at Walton (Oxf.). (fn. 48) The land thus given is called 'Gyftelai et Couelai': this Cowley must be that substantial part of Church Cowley vill which is later found in Iffley manor, probably most of Lewin's Cowley in Domesday (fn. 49) which Henry of Oxford must have acquired as well as Iffley proper.
No more is heard of the Clinton claim until 1194; meanwhile the manor was held, probably by Geoffrey Clinton's grant, by the St. Remys, a Norman family. (fn. 50) In 1156 Richard de St. Remy paid geld on 4 hides in Oxfordshire, (fn. 51) perhaps Iffley, as well as on lands in other counties. (fn. 52) By 1158 he may have been succeeded by Robert, who then and in 1165 held land in Oxfordshire. (fn. 53) In 1176 Robert's sons incurred a £100 forest fine in Oxfordshire, which he paid off in six years, (fn. 54) partly in 1177 with a tallage on his land of Iffley: (fn. 55) the first express mention of his possession there. He probably built Iffley church, (fn. 56) and his daughter Juliana gave its advowson to Kenilworth Priory, with a virgate in Cowley and lands in Mollington. (fn. 57) The Clintons were founders of Kenilworth, and the terms of Henry de Clinton's confirmation of Juliana's grants (fn. 58) implies that he was overlord of the St. Remys in Iffley and Mollington. Thomas de Verdun, who was a great-grandson of the first Geoffrey Clinton, claimed to be Juliana's heir in France. (fn. 59) But the relationship does not appear.
Juliana was in possession of Iffley before 1189, (fn. 60) either by inheritance or as a maritagium, and was possibly dead by 1190, (fn. 61) certainly by 1194. (fn. 62) It has been suggested (fn. 63) that she did not have Iffley manor, but only a separate small manor centred on the mill, (fn. 64) but there is no sign of this later. She had the advowson and land in Cowley, and she was named after her death as a former lord by one of the big tenants of the manor. (fn. 65)
Meanwhile the manor was claimed by the FitzNiels, (fn. 66) small tenants-in-chief in Buckinghamshire (fn. 67) and perhaps Oxfordshire. (fn. 68) The claim is first found in 1165, when Richard son of Niel owed 100 marks for a writ of right for Iffley. But for the next ten years he still owed the money and apparently never had the writ. (fn. 69) Again between 1190 and 1194, a second Richard, his heir here, owed 40 marks for a writ of right for 1 knight's fee in Cowley and Iffley, against Robert de St. Remy. (fn. 70) In 1192 his claim was still unproved, but he was probably in possession from 1194. (fn. 71)
It is possible that he or his father had married Juliana (fn. 72) as early as 1165, that the suit was then for her maritagium or for her inheritance, and that in the 1190's, presumably just after her death, the suit was renewed against her father or kinsman, by her husband or son. But Juliana does not seem to have been married. She grants in her own name, not jointly with a husband nor expressly as a widow; once she made a grant for the souls of her father, mother, kinsmen, predecessors, and successors, but not of a husband or children. (fn. 73) The only evidence is of a marriage with the second Richard, and it is weak. Richard's charter confirming a grant by Juliana is endorsed (in a hand of c. 1300) (fn. 74) as his confirmation of his wife's grant. (fn. 75) But this seems to be no more than a likely guess made about a century later; she need only have been his predecessor. The FitzNiel claim is unexplained; it may date from disorders of Stephen's reign.
As soon as FitzNiel was in possession he was in turn sued by Henry de Clinton, (fn. 76) Geoffrey the Chamberlain's grandson—perhaps as the St. Remys' overlord there, claiming escheat after Juliana's death. In 1213 he was still suing FitzNiel for a knight's fee at Iffley, (fn. 77) and in 1220 his son Henry de Clinton's plea against Richard FitzNiel for Iffley manor was adjourned because Richard had died. (fn. 78) Next year, however, he was suing the heirs, Reynold Basset and his wife Agnes, Richard FitzNiel's daughter. (fn. 79) The case was adjourned because of war and Agnes's minority; but in 1233, after Henry (II) de Clinton's death, his sisters and coheirs (fn. 80) quitclaimed their rights. (fn. 81)
The disappearance of the Clinton claim left the FitzNiels holding Iffley in chief. The manor followed the descent of Salden and Mursley (Bucks.). (fn. 82) Reynold and Agnes Basset held it until Reynold's death in or just before 1233. (fn. 83) He was not the Reynold Basset who was Sheriff of Warwickshire and Leicestershire in John's reign; (fn. 84) but he was in the king's service, (fn. 85) sometimes as a justice, and was granted in socage a half-share in a fulling-mill near Marlborough (Wilts.); (fn. 86) that was all he held in chief in his own right. (fn. 87) The hand of Agnes, as heiress of a lesser tenant-in-chief, was probably a further reward.
They had a daughter Isabel, (fn. 88) whose wardship Agnes sued for and bought in 1234. (fn. 89) Later that year Agnes was given in marriage to Warin FitzGerold, (fn. 90) lord of Kingston (Lisle) in Sparsholt (Berks.), and grandson or great-nephew of Henry II's chamberlain of the same name. (fn. 91) He was holding Iffley in 1235–6 and 1242–3. (fn. 92) In 1243 Warin and Agnes either leased the manor to Geoffrey de Stockwell (a burgess) for three years, or, as the jurors later said, made him bailiff; paying him a £60 debt (which they owed as his mother's executors) on the understanding that he paid it back in rent, or in the issues of the manor (which was said in 1255 to be worth £22 a year). In 1247 Geoffrey sued them unsuccessfully for cutting short his tenure. (fn. 93)
Agnes apparently survived her daughter. (fn. 94) She died in 1252, leaving 2½ fees—Iffley, Salden, and Mursley—which were inherited by her kinsman Robert FitzNiel. (fn. 95) In 1255 he held Iffley of the king as 1 knight's fee and 4 hides. (fn. 96) Two years earlier, just after his succession, he had been allowed (with many others) to defer being knighted until the knighting of the Lord Edward. (fn. 97) In the Barons' Wars he supported de Montfort. On 4 April 1264 his lands at Iffley were consigned to the keeping of Earl Humphrey de Bohun; (fn. 98) since this was the day after the siege of Northampton began, FitzNiel was probably known to be with the rebels there. (fn. 99) On 10 May 1265 he was on the king's business (fn. 100) —presumably Earl Simon's; on 1 June he had a year's simple protection; (fn. 101) finally he was killed at Evesham. (fn. 102)
The family fortunes were retrieved, however: his widow Grace was able, in September, to recover some land of her own inheritance at the king's will. (fn. 103) The FitzNiel lands, including Iffley, were granted to the great civil servant Walter of Merton in October 1265. (fn. 104) It seems that Grace was his niece, and it has been suggested that he got the grant in order to help her and her heirs. (fn. 105) He was still in possession in 1268, when he was sued by a tenant about a holding in the manor; (fn. 106) but meanwhile in 1266 he had made some agreement with Grace. (fn. 107) When he died in 1277 he left to the younger Robert FitzNiel 'all the term which I have in his lands'; with standing corn, ploughs, and money for stocking. (fn. 108)
In 1279 Robert FitzNiel held Iffley as 1 knight's fee to which he had 'succeeded by hereditary right', as well as the two Buckinghamshire manors, 'where his seat is'. (fn. 109) He had a life grant from the Hospi tallers of £15 rent in Littlemore and Cowley: (fn. 110) probably all the rents of their manors there, newly acquired after the Templars' suppression. He died in 1331 without heirs male, (fn. 111) having settled the manors of Salden and Iffley and other lands on his daughter and heir Grace, her son Robert, his brothers Aumary, William, and Richard, and ultimately the right heirs of Robert FitzNiel. (fn. 112)
The descent is now obscured by conflicting and unsatisfactory accounts of Grace and her sons. (fn. 113) She was the widow of John de Nowers of Gayhurst, a considerable Buckinghamshire landowner. The explanation of the descent of his and her lands seems to be either that he had by a first wife a son John de Nowers, whose son of the same name inherited Gayhurst, &c., while Robert, Aumary, William, and Richard were his sons by his second wife Grace and therefore had the FitzNiel lands entailed on them; or that they were all Grace's sons, but the eldest was not to inherit her property since he was his father's heir. Robert and Aumary were often called 'FitzNiel'. (fn. 114)
Grace died in 1349, perhaps of plague, leaving John, son of John de Nowers (her grandson or stepson's son, a minor until 1355) as heir to her dowry (fn. 115) in the Nowers estates, but Iffley and other lands were entailed on her son Robert. (fn. 116)
Robert was of full age, but had lost his memory; royal custodians were appointed for the meanwhile, (fn. 117) who provided at Salden for the needs of Robert, his three daughters, his brother Aumary, and their household. (fn. 118) Perhaps the two younger brothers had already died. At any rate all the brothers and perhaps the daughter apparently died without issue, (fn. 119) except possibly Aumary; but he released Salden to the Crown in 1351. (fn. 120) In 1358 Salden, and perhaps Iffley too, was held by Isabel, later Countess of Bedford; and in 1369 John de Nowers quitclaimed to her, her husband Ingram de Coucy, and the king, all the entailed FitzNiel lands including Iffley. (fn. 121) At the countess's death in 1382 Iffley and Salden came to Richard II, who gave them to Queen Anne. (fn. 122) Next year she gave Iffley to her chamberlain, Sir Richard Abberbury, for life; (fn. 123) and the king gave it him in fee in 1385; in compensation for his having sold in his youth some land of his own to support the king's estate. (fn. 124) In 1388 he was one of those expelled from the court for his adherence to the king. (fn. 125)
In 1393 Sir Richard Abberbury was licensed to found the Hospital of Donnington (Berks.), on his manor there, and to endow it with Iffley manor. (fn. 126) From then on the manor belonged to the hospital (with perhaps some lordship over freeholds reserved by the donor). (fn. 127) In 1428 Thomas Chaucer, the poet's son, was said to hold a knight's fee in Iffley which had lately been Robert FitzNiel's; (fn. 128) but this seems to have been an error. Iffley is not listed in his inquisition post mortem, (fn. 129) and probably his interest there was his overlordship and patronage of Donnington Hospital, acquired with the manor from the younger Richard Abberbury in 1415. (fn. 130) From Chaucer the patronage passed through his daughter Alice to her husband William de la Pole, Duke of Suffolk.
In 1514 Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk, was granted Donnington manor and in 1535 sold it to the king. While Donnington was in the king's hands the minister of the hospital made so improvident a lease of Iffley to David Lewis, first Principal of Jesus College, that in 1597 the hospital brought an action against his successor John Lewis, to set it aside. As a result the hospital was dissolved on the ground that it served no useful purpose. (fn. 131) It was refounded in 1601 by Elizabeth I, who granted the manor of Donnington with the right of presentation to the hospital, and the dependent manor of Iffley, to the Earl of Nottingham, to whose son it descended. Later it came into the hands of the Packer family, who held it until 1746, when it passed to an heir in the female line, Winchcombe Henry Hartley. In 1881 the last male descendant of the Hartleys died, leaving four nieces as coheiresses, and by a partition made in 1907, Iffley manor, with Donnington, passed to Countess E. Ada Palatiano. (fn. 132)
Something is known of the tenants of Iffley manor during this period. Arthur Pits, tenant of the rectorial estate, (fn. 133) bought the lease of the manor from David Lewis, and left it to his son Philip, who apparently did not enjoy undisputed possession. An inquiry into the Donnington trust, held at Speenhamland in 1652, reveals that the Minister of Donnington Hospital, Richard James, had lived in Iffley manor-house from his appointment in 1608 until 1643, and was said to have appropriated the profits of the manor and defrauded the inmates of the hospital. James leased the property at his death to his brother-in-law Humphrey Sutton, who assigned it to James's widow Mary. (fn. 134) But Sutton died in 1644 and she in the following year. (fn. 135) Owing to the loss of the hospital muniments, the succession of tenants now becomes obscure. The hearth tax returns of 1665 suggest that William Arthur was then tenant, but he is not on the 1663 subsidy roll. (fn. 136) In Dr. Dr. Thomas Nowell, already tenant of the Lincoln Farm, (fn. 137) held half Iffley manor and had acquired the whole by 1789. (fn. 138) He was a Fellow of Oriel College, Public Orator and Regius Professor of Modern History. After his death in 1801 his property in Iffley was left to his niece Margaret Twopenny, (fn. 139) and 139 acres in Iffley were still in her husband's possession at the time of the inclosure. Captain (later Admiral) Nowell, who was the doctor's nephew and Mrs. Twopenny's brother, moved from Lincoln Farm House in about 1810 to Court Place, where he remained until his death in 1828. (fn. 140) Some time before his death he had acquired the lease of the manor, which his widow held until her death in 1843, when the estate was broken up and Court Place, then some 135 acres, came to Henry Walsh, the son of George Walsh, Registrar of Oxford Archdeaconry. In 1851 he was sued for holding an improvident lease, but the proceedings were stopped. He died in 1869 and was followed by J. Mallory of Oxford and then by Major Ind. During the present century the property has changed hands several times. Sir Alan Gardiner, the present owner (1953), purchased it from the hospital.
Besides the main manor of Iffley, there were four other estates in the parish. Two came to Lincoln College and were known as the Lincoln Farm Estate and the Mill Estate, the third came to Magdalen College, and the fourth was the Rectory Estate. (fn. 141)
In the 14th century the Stanlake family of Witney acquired a large estate comprising a messuage in Cowley with 30 acres and some meadow; 2 messuages in Littlemore with about 70 acres of arable, 2 of meadow, and 2 cottages; and a few acres in Iffley. (fn. 142) This estate included some meadow (fn. 143) called 'Borgansham', a holding called 'Stebbusplace', possibly connected with the Stub family who had held in Cowley of William Burgan, (fn. 144) and a holding called 'Hallplace', a name which suggests Hallcroft, (fn. 145) where Burgan had property and perhaps his residence. This estate, therefore, probably included the 13thcentury Burgan fee (partly in Iffley and Littlemore but mostly in Cowley), (fn. 146) less that part which had gone to religious houses.
But the Littlemore lands are too big to be in the Burgan fee; and the manor does not seem to have lost much demesne or villeinage. Probably some smaller freeholdings had been added: including perhaps the virgate once the Thurstans'. (fn. 147)
The Sandford family (fn. 148) may have had the Burgan fee for a time; Thomas de Sandford in 1320 held land in Little Iffley once William Burgan's, and lands in Church Cowley in Iffley parish which may well have been Burgan lands too, for they were substantial: he leased them for 53s. 4d. a year for five years to Thomas Smith. (fn. 149) In this case his own inheritance in Littlemore perhaps went with the rest to the Stanlakes.
By 1331 Richard de Stanlake (fn. 150) had all these lands, and also the Sandford ferry, with which he proposed to endow a chantry at Witney. (fn. 151) By 1348 they had been acquired by William of Edington, Bishop of Winchester, with the same intention, (fn. 152) still not carried out in 1361. (fn. 153) The bishop apparently had lordship over the land above the Stanlakes, not replacing them; for between 1370 and 1380 the estate was inherited by Richard's son Roger. Since he was insane, it was in royal custody for nearly 40 years. (fn. 154) Meanwhile the lordship of the whole estate was acquired by Sir Robert Tresilian, under his fellow courtier Sir Richard Abberbury, then lord of Iffley. After Tresilian's attainder and forfeiture in 1388, his services were still paid to Abberbury by the escheator; (fn. 155) and presumably the Stanlakes' service or rent was paid to the escheator by the custodian.
In 1390 the estate (except Sandford ferry) was bought by William Bernard of Watlington. (fn. 156) It was still almost all in the king's hands, but in 1403 Bernard was allowed this land for his life during Roger Stanlake's idiocy. (fn. 157) By 1409, however, he again had a sub-tenant, for Roger had died and his cousins and coheiresses had enfeoffed Richard Courtenay, clerk. (fn. 158)
Next year Courtenay obtained from the king the custody of Tresilian's demesne, which had been kept separate, consisting of 8 acres of arable in Iffley and one in Cowley and a little meadow in Iffley, owing 7s. 4d. to the Crown. (fn. 159) But two years later he had surrendered this lease, and the king's clerk Ralph Grenehurst held it in fee at a nominal rent. (fn. 160)
Courtenay probably sold his interest in the Stanlake fee almost at once to Bernard, who made various conveyances between 1407 and 1412, (fn. 161) not only of the lordship but also expressly of the Stanlake lands. These were disputed, in 1410–12, between William Crowell, husbandman of Littlemore and Sydenham, who claimed that Bernard had given him the reversion, and Thomas Cowley, perhaps son of an elder Thomas Cowley to whom Bernard had first granted the land. (fn. 162) It was adjudged in 1412 to Crowell; but the same year he forfeited by breach of covenant, and Bernard conveyed the whole to trustees who were to enfeoff Thomas Cowley. (fn. 163)
Cowley had possession of part of the Stanlake lands, and of the 8 acres of demesne, in 1416–17, when armed bands, including Crowell and probably in his interest, tried to dislodge him. In the King's Bench it was claimed that Crowell and another had been enfeoffed of these lands by William Bernard, who later intruded on them and gave them to Cowley. Cowley said it was all his freehold, and, as for the 8 acres in Iffley, Bernard had never had them; presumably Cowley had acquired the Tresilian demesne independently, after Grenehurst. The whole was adjudged to him, with costs and damages: (fn. 164) but worse attacks were made the following year, (fn. 165) and the conclusion does not appear.
Before 1419 the estate was back in the hands of John Cottesmore and John Langston, survivors of the trustees of 1412. They were among those who in 1413 acquired the Mill Estate (fn. 166) and from that time the Tresilian-Stanlake Estate and the Mill Estate were united.
Both estates—lands, &c., in the three villages, and the mill and fishery in the Thames and Cherwell —then passed by several conveyances (with a quitclaim in 1430 from Thomas Chaucer, (fn. 167) presumably as overlord of the manor) to a group including Nicholas Wymbyssh. (fn. 168) In 1445 Lincoln College, founded some eighteen years earlier, acquired from Wymbyssh and another lands in the three villages which make up all the Mill Estate and most of the Tresilian–Stanlake Estate (perhaps not all the land in Cowley). (fn. 169) It included the old demesne; the college was paying the sheriff the old rent of 7s. 4d. for this identical land in 1475. (fn. 170)
In 1535 Lincoln's property in Littlemore was leased at £3 6s. 8d. rent; that in Cowley at 18s.; while in Iffley the 'farm and watermill' were worth £8 a year, out of which 52s. rent was paid to Donnington Hospital, as lord of the manor. (fn. 171)
Some time before 1550 the estate was leased to a family called Symons, then to Robert Benlowe, and in 1558 to Arthur Pits (fn. 172) for 61 years at £12 a year. On the death of Arthur Pits, in 1579, the lease descended first to his widow Margaret, and after her death and the death of her son Robert to her next two sons Thomas and Arthur. (fn. 173) These two, being Roman Catholics, went abroad without licence, so their estates were forfeited to the Crown. (fn. 174) A fourth son, Philip, was later granted the forfeited lands at a yearly rent of £4 10s. (fn. 175) He seems to have enjoyed possession of that part of his brother's estate in Iffley which comprised the rectory, farm, and mill. (fn. 176) He lived in the parsonage house for some twenty years and in 1622 he parted with his share of the estate to Sir Francis Stoner, William Stoner, and William Wickham. Sir Francis Stoner passed on his share, which seems to have been the farm and the mill, held under Lincoln College, to Walter Kennington or Barnard, and Richard Winter. (fn. 177) From 1674 the Littlemore part of the estate was leased separately. (fn. 178)
The principal business of the farm was clearly malting, and in 1728 was in the tenure of Chilton Tubb, 'malster'. (fn. 179) In 1761 his widowed daughter, Sarah Rogers, mother of the Revd. Robert Rogers, sometime Vice-President of Magdalen College, held the lease. (fn. 180) She died in 1767 and it seems probable that the property then came into the hands of Dr. Nowell, since in that year he acquired from her heir the reversion of the lease of Court Cottage, which had previously been let with the farm. (fn. 181) He incurred disapproval for a sermon preached before the House of Commons in 1772, and spent much of the latter part of his life at Iffley, apparently in the 'bow windowed' house near the Mill, (fn. 182) with his wife Sarah, daughter of Sir Thomas Munday, upholsterer of Oxford. There they were visited in 1784 by Dr. Johnson and Boswell, when the party 'toasted Church and King with true Tory cordiality'. (fn. 183) After Dr. Nowell's death in 1802 his leasehold under Lincoln College went with his other property in Iffley to Margaret Twopenny. (fn. 184)
No mill at Iffley is mentioned in Domesday; but in the late 12th century Juliana de St. Remy gave 18d. rent from the mill to each of the nearby hospitals, St. John's (fn. 185) and St. Bartholomew's, (fn. 186) and her tenant William gave a further 6d. a year to St. John's. (fn. 187)
This William, miller of Iffley, (fn. 188) son of Anfred, was alive probably until 1237 but not after 1246. His son John succeeded at the mill before 1246, (fn. 189) and sold 10 acres of the estate to St. John's. (fn. 190) In 1279 the mill was held by John's son Henry the Clerk, paying 44s. rent; St. John's held 8 acres and a small tenant 2 acres, out of the whole virgate. The fishery on the Thames and Cherwell up to Boy Mill (just below East Bridge) belonged to Iffley mill; much of this ran by Cowley land, and had perhaps been the fishery of Lewin of Cowley, once attached to Boy Mill. (fn. 191)
In 1285 the mill left this family; Henry granted it with its messuage, 22 acres of arable, 4 acres of meadow, 'Duneyeham' and all the islands, and the fishery, to John and Christian Culverd, for 2s. rent and 100 marks down. (fn. 192) The 22 acres is perhaps the virgate without the land held by St. John's Hospital.
John Culverd was a substantial Oxford burgess, (fn. 193) who almost certainly did not work the mill himself. He still held here in 1295, when Henry the Clerk quitclaimed to him an acre in the common meadow which he had bought from William Burgan. (fn. 194) Besides the original Mill Estate, Robert FitzNiel, his lord, granted him the messuage and ½ virgate in Little Iffley originally held freely by Martin Jordan, for 3s. rent and 32 marks down. (fn. 195)
In 1302 John Culverd's widow Christian granted the mill and land, with the cottage called 'Dunheye' and all her farm stock, to her son Andrew Culverd. (fn. 196) Andrew was succeeded by his son John, who in 1324 had a quitclaim of the mill from Henry de la Fenne of Church Cowley, (fn. 197) perhaps a decendant of William de la Fenne who held 2 acres of the Mill Estate in 1279 (fn. 198) and was perhaps related to the millers. This John Culverd leased the mill for life to his lord Robert FitzNiel, who died seised of it in 1331. (fn. 199) It was then said to be worth 20s. a year; perhaps the mill without the estate. John left a widow Katherine, who held land in Botley and Church Iffley in the 1330's. (fn. 200) They seem to have lived at Iffley. (fn. 201)
It is not clear who next held the mill, but in 1363 it was sold for £20 by John Glorie, his wife Joan, and William Hatfield—perhaps husbands of Culverd coheirs—to John Bereford of Church Iffley and of Oxford, whose wife Agnes quitclaimed it in 1377 to another John Bereford of Iffley, probably her son or stepson. Bereford granted it in 1386 to Thomas Freen of Oxford; (fn. 202) after various settlements, (fn. 203) Thomas Freen of Winchester granted it in 1402 to feoffees, the survivor of whom in 1413 conveyed it to three others, Thomas Cowley, John Langston, and John Cottesmore; (fn. 204) the last two had just acquired the Tresilian-Stanlake Estate, with which the mill and its lands passed to Lincoln College in 1445.
The Mill Estate was described in 1363 as 3 messuages and a toft, with 28 acres of arable, 4 of meadow, and the fishery; in 1402 as 2 messuages and 2 tofts, with 30 acres of arable, 10 of meadow, and 2 acres more of meadow in Berkshire—in fact in Berry Mead. This must be the original Mill Estate with Jordan's half-virgate. The house going with the mill in 1302 was called 'Dunheye'; in 1462 the 'house at style', not necessarily the same, was leased with the mill. (fn. 205)
There were two mills, i.e. wheels, in 1403; and in 1448 one of them was evidently let by Lincoln as 'le fullynge-mill' for 7 years at 40s. a year, to William Mardyn or Fuller, and Richard Farthyngston, both of Iffley. It was certainly a water-mill because it had 'ladels', and it was almost certainly worked by one wheel of the existing mill. It may not have been consistently used for fulling.
There is a lease of the 'cornemylle' by Lincoln in 1462, for fifteen years at £7 10s. a year to Thomas Bell of Iffley, miller, with 1 messuage and toft and the fishery. (fn. 206)
While Philip Pits was tenant at the end of the 16th century he built a new mill in addition to the old one; one was used for grinding wheat and the other for household bread. (fn. 209) The sequence of mill tenants at this time is uncertain. After Philip Pits sold the lease in 1622, either the Stoners or Barnard and Winter put in a miller called Wells, who repaired and used only the old mill. He seems to have been succeeded in 1625 or 1626 by William Jerom and then by Richard Firkins, the miller of Sandford on Thames, who spent upwards of £30 on the mill property. (fn. 210) As he was aged 57 in 1640, it may have been his son, another Richard Firkins, whose name appears in the hearth tax returns, and who made a terrier of the mill property in 1661. (fn. 211) At this period the clash of interests between the millers and bargemen was steadily growing more acute. The millers extorted all they could from tolls on the river traffic and, where possible, obtained control of the locks. In 1679 the college complained that floods resulting from the height of Sandford lock had stopped the mill from working, so that no one wished to lease it. In a document headed 'Mr. Tubb's Observations on Iffley Mill', (fn. 212) Tubb, the mill-tenant, complained that 'the turnpike is very prejudicial to the mill by reason of the boatmen, who by force keep open the chutes as long as they please to draw away the water from the mill'. So that the mill, which had been worth £30 a year, was now not worth £5.
Robert Hill, miller of Sandford, probably took over the mill at Iffley about 1720. (fn. 213) Later in the century it came to the Danbe family, to whom the Hills were related, and who held the mill until 1866. Their successor was John Towle, who was followed by one Jeffries. John Wilson, schoolmaster of the village, married his daughter and held the mill from 1880 until 1908, when it was burnt down. (fn. 214)
The old and valuable fishery continued to be let with the mill when both were owned by Lincoln, though the college reserved the right of one day's fishing a year. Taunt cites an entry in the college accounts for 1543, 'when we went and fysshed at Iffley, in mete and ale 5s. ½d., to Coks the fysher for his paynes and his nett 1s.' In 1584, Pits paid the college £17 and £1 a year rent for the fishing rights, and when the Danbes were tenants the eel fishing was so valuable that it paid the rent of the mill. (fn. 215)
The lock was closely associated with the mill. Following the Act of 1626 for making the river navigable from London 'to Oxford and beyond' a pound lock was erected, (fn. 216) which in 1659–60 was under the charge of John Woodley, who paid £15 a year rent to the Thames Commissioners. (fn. 217) One Gilman held Iffley and Sandford locks in 1705; Robert Hill, ex-miller of Sandford, took over in 1736; and in 1795 John Danbe was appointed keeper. Being millers, the two latter were consistently hostile to the bargemen, because of the latter's attempts to draw off water to float their increasingly large barges through the locks. As a result of the Act of 1771 reorganizing the Thames navigation, the Commissioners bought the old lock from the Commissioners of Sewers, and rebuilt it three years later. (fn. 218) Further, as owners of mills and weirs were compensated by the Act for their losses when craft were diverted from the old to the new passage of the Thames, Lincoln College was awarded a moiety of the tolls in respect of the old lock at Iffley and another moiety went to Robert Danbe in respect of certain weirs. All these dues were collected at the new Iffley lock. (fn. 219) In 1810 the first lockkeeper's house was built. When in 1866 a Bill was introduced under which all locks, weirs, and dams were to become the property of the Thames Navigation Company, Lincoln College associated itself with Arthur Danbe in sending a petition against the proposals. It demanded reasonable compensation, as the receipts from river dues had risen at Iffley during the last 15 years to £100 a year, owing to the increased traffic between Oxford and Abingdon, though they had decreased elsewhere. It also asked that the Company should take over the mills, which could not work 'without some control over the water'. (fn. 220)
During the 16th century the University had complained that the frequent incidence of plague in Oxford was due to the damming up of the river below the city, which prevented the city drains from being cleared. Complaints were renewed in the later 19th century, culminating in 1885 in an agitation to remove the lock and mill at Iffley and so lower the water-level in that stretch of the Thames. Sir Henry Acland then gave it as his opinion that the amount of phthisis among the working classes in the poor districts of the city lying close to the river would be materially lessened and the climate improved by the changes proposed. (fn. 221) The project, which would have cost over £3,000, was not carried out, and nothing was done until 1924, when serious flooding of the river caused the whole lock and river works at Iffley to be rebuilt. The site of the lock was slightly changed and a new toll bridge and keeper's house built.
The hospital of St. John without East Gate had 10 acres from the Mill Estate (fn. 222) early in the 13th century, (fn. 223) together with 2s. in rents; and 9½ acres from Henry de Kersinton, in an Iffley field. (fn. 224) In 1293–4 the hospital had in Iffley 2s. rent from the mill and another 2s. from Coleman the mercer, (fn. 225) probably their tenant for this land. In 1472, shortly after Magdalen College acquired the hospital's property, the land—recently held by Nicholas Bernard —was leased by the college to the chaplain and churchwardens of Iffley, for 99 years at 6s. 8d. a year, as 20 acres of arable, with a piece of waste ground where a house was to be built within three years. (fn. 226) In 1535 the college still had the same rent for lands and one tenement, (fn. 227) perhaps the house built on the waste land.
In 1670 Thomas More, carrier of the University of Oxford, held this tenement and 20 acres of land on a 21-year lease at a rent of £7 4s. 8d., 1½ bushel of wheat, and 2 bushels of malt. In 1712 the house and land were let to widow Peesley, and in 1733 to Sarah Peesley, spinster. From 1769 to 1797 William Peesley of St. Ebbe's, Oxford, a carrier, was holding part of the property. (fn. 228)
In the Iffley inclosure award, about 10 acres in Great Bradon field and another parcel of 24 poles belonged to the college, and in 1869 they had 8 acres of garden land lying near the main OxfordIffley road. (fn. 229) This was sold in the 20th century.
Economic and Social History.
In 1086 the village seems to have been little smaller than it was to be for centuries. Domesday Book mentions 14 villeins (villani), 6 bordars, and 5 serfs. (fn. 230) Iffley was assessed at 4 hides, and 4½ hides were apparently added to the assessment (fn. 231) during the 12th century by the addition of a large estate in Cowley, part of Littlemore, and land by East Bridge in St. Clement's. (fn. 232) The hallmoot appears in the late 12th century, (fn. 233) on one occasion witnessing a charter with the hallmoots of Cowley, Littlemore, and Headington, perhaps at a hundred court. (fn. 234)
The 13th-century villagers claimed to appoint a tithingman and an ale-taster in the manor-court. (fn. 235) They paid rent for common pastures in Shotover Forest; (fn. 236) the Sheepway perhaps led there, joining Cowley's Hollow Way. (In the 16th century Iffley and Littlemore people had sheep pasturing within Cowley parish.) (fn. 237) Within the township there must have been other pastures, probably those later known as Cow, Horse, and Hog commons, and part of the Marsh. There was common meadow by the river, distributed by lot; (fn. 238) but early in the 13th century there was already some meadow held in several by the lord (fn. 239) and a few free tenants. (fn. 240)
These free tenants, great and small, are conspicuous in Iffley manor from the late 12th century; when the two biggest, not living in the village, were the Choch or de Garsington family; (fn. 241) and the de Kersinton family, later the Burgans, lords of most of Hockmore Street. (fn. 242)
The millers for most of the 13th century were tenants of the mill and substantial freemen, with property in Oxford; (fn. 243) like the Burgan family, they gave and sold rents and lands to the neighbouring religious houses, especially St. John's Hospital, to which John the miller sold 10 acres to free him from the Jews. (fn. 244)
Thus, the continued piety and debts of such men brought part of the manor into the hands of religious houses. The remotest was Kenilworth Priory, which late in the 12th century was given a virgate (in Church Cowley) by the lady of the manor or her palfreyman. (fn. 245) In the 13th century a little land and rent went to the Templars of Cowley, (fn. 246) to Oseney Abbey, (fn. 247) and to both the neighbouring hospitals, St. John's and St. Bartholomew's. (fn. 248)
Besides the anchoress, (fn. 249) there may have been a bridge-hermit in the early 13th century living on alms and mending roads and causeways, (fn. 250) perhaps 'Wallingford Way'; for the house of Ralph pontarius is mentioned in about 1230. (fn. 251)
The 1279 Hundred Rolls show, (fn. 252) for the whole manor, about 80 families: about 10 freemen, about 36 villeins, and 30 or more cottagers. For the village itself there seem to be three or four freemen's families and 25 or more unfree households. The holdings, besides the Burgan fee and the mill estate, were mostly half a virgate or less: they are almost all untraceable later. The freemen all paid rent, often 3s. for a half-virgate (like the villeins), but occasionally in kind: except one, Thomas son of Thurstan, a substantial Marston man, with a virgate in Littlemore (fn. 253) in his wife's name, with a cottagertenant on it, who owed the services of one man to mow the lord's meadow for one day, and three days' work in August with three men for reaping; but this may have been commuted in fact.
Amongst these small freemen was a clerk John, probably the son of Henry the smith, (fn. 254) who had perhaps been the working smith of Iffley and, like John the miller, had his son schooled. There was a smith in Littlemore too, a tenant of Iffley manor, and founder of a rich yeoman line. There may have been quarrying in Iffley, or more probably dealing in stone; Merton College bought 'stone of Iftelee' in 1294. (fn. 255) Already there were mixed town and country interests in Iffley: besides the early millers, Henry the smith had Oxford interests; (fn. 256) the later 13th-century tenants of the mill were burgesses. (fn. 257) The burgess Geoffrey de Stockwell (fn. 258) held the manor as tenant or as bailiff, 1243–6; (fn. 259) John Fileking, holding in Iffley through his wife, was a burgess; (fn. 260) in 1290 St. John's Hospital had a tenant here called Coleman the mercer. (fn. 261)
But most of the villagers were villeins and cottagers, generally with about as much land as the smaller freemen. The lord's 32 villeins were said in 1279 (fn. 262) to hold half a virgate each, for the fairly light service of 3s. rent or work, at the lord's will: if he summoned them to work, he allowed them their rent. The work was that of carters, shepherds, and haywards (or hedgers), and carrying messages as long as their food lasted, for the fifteen living in Iffley village; and for the other seventeen, of Littlemore and Hockmore Street, work with their own horses, carts, and households, and carrying services for 20 leagues—perhaps to the FitzNiel's home in Salden (Bucks.). It seems that ordinary field work was not then usually required of them all the year round—if the jurors were right.
The lord's seven cottars owed rents (11s. between them) and labour services: haymaking (for a 'yelm' of hay a day), and three days' harvest work (for a sheaf of corn). They also owed church scot—24 cocks and hens altogether. With little land of their own, work due only at haytime and harvest, and rents to pay, they may well have worked on the demesne for wages during the year, as may some of the villeins.
Between 1350 and 1355, ministers' accounts (fn. 263) show that boon-works were performed at harvest, with bread provided, while further labour was hired at 4d. a day. In 1350 the boon-works came to 50 man-days, the wage-labour to 84; in 1351 almost the same; next year apparently much less. In 1351 the winter and Lent sowings were done as boonworks for bread only; while weeding and certain other works cost nothing because the customary tenants did it. It does not seem that any rent was excused for this work, as the jurors had said 70 years before. Perhaps boon-works were omitted then; or perhaps the lords had managed to bring their profits more in line with neighbouring manors, where services were owed as well as similar rents. The rent respited to the reeve in these years was 10s.; so was the farm for a vacant villein holding.
At this time there were five permanent wage-paid servants on the manor: a carter at 4s. a year, two drovers and a hayward at 4s. 6d. each—just the services to which the villagers had been liable in 1279. There was also a dairy servant at 3s. For a few weeks at harvest a 'ripereve' was also hired.
The rectory villeins, probably four in 1279, may have worked for wages during the year; they paid rent at the same rate as the lord's villeins, and also worked at haymaking and harvest, on the little rectory demesne of 4 acres of arable and 2 of meadow. The four cottars paid 6s. rent between them and worked at the lord's will. (fn. 264) Their effective 'lord' was perhaps a farmer or bailiff put in by the archdeacon, who had the rectory; certainly he had a farmer there in 1535. (fn. 265)
In 1279 the rents of the free tenants of the manor came to roughly 100s., including 44s. for the mill, and a little more in kind. In 1331 they were said to be 63s., (fn. 266) about the same, since the mill was then held by the lord for life and one villein holding had been made a free holding at 3s. rent. (fn. 267) The villeins' and cottagers' rents reported in 1279 would have been 107s. when taken in money, with the cottagers' work as well; in 1331 (despite the transfer of 3s. to free rents) they were said to be 111s., still not necessarily taken in money, with nearly 6s. for commuted services.
The Black Death of 1349 made a slight temporary reduction. In that year five half-virgates were in hand when the lady of the manor died. (fn. 268) Next year 82s. were taken in firma, partly of these vacant holdings farmed out; while the total rents of assize were only 178s. But in 1352–3 the rents were 203s. and 204s., apparently back to normal. Two villein holdings, however, were still vacant and producing 20s. in firma. Tallages also produced large sums, amounting to nearly £5 in 1350 and £3 6s. 8d. in 1352 and 1353. Thus, if the jurors were right in 1279, total rents rose slightly in the following seventy years. On the estate, which was later to come to Lincoln College, in Iffley, Littlemore, and Cowley vills, there were improvements, new rents, and new buildings, raising the value of the property, in the years before 1348. (fn. 269) The same may well be true of the whole manor; old rents may have been raised, and new holdings formed from demesne; probably not yet many or large, however, for both in 1331 and 1349 inquisitions post mortem (for what they are worth) assess the demesne at 2 carucates or 200 acres, with between 20 and 30 acres of meadow and woodland. (fn. 270) But at some time, probably in the later Middle Ages, the demesne was much reduced. (fn. 271)
Meanwhile, from the late 13th century land in Iffley changed hands rapidly. The mill estate was repeatedly bought and sold by Oxford burgesses. (fn. 272)
The Burgan family disappeared, and the estate, with other holdings, came to strangers from Witney. The Smiths of Littlemore accumulated lands in the manor, kept most of them in the family through the 14th century, and then sold them. Two de Sandford families accumulated land in the late 13th and 14th centuries, but disappeared. (fn. 273) Of the bigger free tenants, only the religious houses seem to have kept their lands intact: Kenilworth Priory's virgate survived until the Dissolution, when Corpus got it; (fn. 274) St. John's Hospital's 20 acres went to Magdalen College.
Out of this flux of buying and selling arose a number of yeomen and farmers, buying land or taking short leases, whose original patrimonies, if any, are untraced: amongst them were probably some customary tenants, successors of the villeins. (fn. 275) Twenty-nine of them contributed to the subsidy of 1327; with one exception, all were assessed at 8s. and under. (fn. 276) More trades are found in the village; in 1353 there were two Iffley weavers, father and son, (fn. 277) of an old villein family called Leverich; (fn. 278) they probably held the family tenement, which was vacant after the plague but was taken up by 1352. (fn. 279) Two Iffley men were fulling in the mid-15th century; (fn. 280) and later in the century John Maltman (fn. 281) was perhaps a maltster. At the end of the Middle Ages Iffley had a fraternity or guild of St. Katherine—patron saint of millers, wheelwrights, and others. (fn. 282)
Amongst the substantial landowners in the early 15th century was Thomas Cowley of Iffley, (fn. 283) who was a coroner. (fn. 284) In 1416 and 1417 his title to lands in the parish was challenged by large armed bands, including Oxford scholars, which broke into his property, carried off his crops, and threatened his men. (fn. 285) Other men of yeoman standing in the 15th century were Thomas Bell, husbandman and churchwarden in 1472, (fn. 286) and probably miller and lessee of the mill ten years earlier; (fn. 287) John Maltman, husbandman and fellow churchwarden; and Walter Pulker, of a substantial local family (fn. 288) who died in 1497 leaving at least 16 oxen, 6 horses, and 200 sheep, apart from his eldest son's share. (fn. 289)
In the early 16th century there was some ingrossing for pasture by tenant farmers. In 1517 three, one a Church Cowley customary tenant of the Hospitallers, (fn. 290) were each farming from Donnington Hospital a messuage and 30 acres, with a household or two of customary tenants; they had pulled down the houses and turned eight people out of their homes and livelihoods. Another farmer on the Lincoln College estate (fn. 291) had turned his 10 acres over to pasture and pulled down the messuage. (fn. 292)
In 1524, 24 men in Iffley and Littlemore contri buted to the subsidy; the richest, assessed at £3 to £6 in goods, (fn. 293) were John Preston, gentleman (the collector), two Smiths, a Morris, Field, Hadston, Brown, and Pulcher. Others were Wynter and Morris, two of the evicting farmers of 1517, (fn. 294) Barnard, Day, and Pike. Many of these families survived for several generations in Iffley or Littlemore. One branch of the Smiths held land until the late 17th century, (fn. 295) the Fields until the 18th, and the Browns until the 19th century. (fn. 296) The Hadstons were probably the Hattons living at St. George's, Littlemore, in 1633. (fn. 297) Walter Barnard was a lessee of the mill in 1622, while his family were still copyholders in the manor in the 18th century. (fn. 298) The Pulchers (fn. 299) built up a considerable property in the 18th century; their farm-house stood on the east side of Church Way opposite the church, and was sold in 1820. (fn. 300) In 1665 the Winters had a house in Littlemore with two hearths, and one of the family, a cordwainer in Oxford, held land in the manor in 1702. (fn. 301) The Days, one of whom was accused of constant swearing in 1517, (fn. 302) continued to be associated with Littlemore until the 19th century.
Other important yeoman families in the 16th and 17th centuries were the Meads, Stockers, and Howells. In 1521 William Mead made bequests of barley to the churches of Iffley, Cowley, and Fairford, and gave a cope and two vestments to Iffley church. (fn. 303) William Stocker left bequests to Iffley and Sandford churches in 1545. A Stocker was churchwarden in 1552; another married his daughter to a gentleman in 1666. (fn. 304) John Howell left a pall to Iffley church in 1559 and a malthouse and inn, with other property in Oxford, to his numerous children. Among the Iffley farmers of the 18th and 19th centuries were the Greenings, (fn. 305) Allins (commemorated in Iffley church) and Costards. Richard Allin, who died in 1790, lived at the Malt House (now destroyed) in Littlemore. (fn. 306)
From the 16th to the later 19th century most of Iffley's inhabitants continued to be occupied in farming, though the more substantial families combined this with other interests in Oxford. Barley was always an important crop, encouraged by the nearness of the Oxford market. It was a common bequest in 16th-century wills and was often used as rent in kind in 18th-century leases. The maltsters from the 17th to the late 19th century were all men of modest wealth and influence.
Considerable numbers of sheep were evidently kept. An interesting case brought into the bishop's court in about 1630 concerned the right of the tithe from the wool of sheep which had been at pasture in Iffley, but sold before shearing. In the deposition it was stated that Robert Styles had promised to stand for the custom of the manor, namely the payment of ½d. per sheep in lieu of tithe, provided that, if he lost, his fellow parishioners would bear the charge. (fn. 307)
The earliest stone-mason known by name is the 17th-century William Nash. (fn. 308) Robert Robinson, who worked on the lock at Iffley in the early 18th century, was from Horspath, (fn. 309) but the Townesends, another family of Oxford masons, held land in Iffley during the 18th century and one of them leased the rectory for a short time. (fn. 310) In the mid-19th century there were three masons in Iffley, together with a plasterer and two carpenters, and a brickyard had come into existence by 1837. But by 1900 all such craftsmen had left the village. (fn. 311)
Wood speaks of a 17th-century tailor and an alehouse keeper (fn. 312) whose 18th-century successor Hearne called 'a sad, drunken old rogue', (fn. 313) but it was not until the 19th century that the increase of big houses led to a notable growth in the number of small tradesmen. In 1852, besides the normal village retailers, there were 4 shoemakers, 2 tailors, and a coal merchant, making a total of 17 tradesmen. By 1924 Iffley had become a suburb of Oxford with 17 'commercial residences', mainly of an urban character, and only a single market-garden preserved the ancient connexion with the land. (fn. 314)
After the inclosure of 1830 the greater part of the manorial estate was let out to smallholders, but during the agricultural depression many of these men became indoor and outdoor servants to the increasing number of middle-class residents—retired members of the University and prosperous merchants. Early in the century Henry Leake (fn. 315) had provided 40 quarter-acre allotments for the poorer villagers, but by 1894, though cottages with a rent from 2s. to 3s. were in brisk demand, the corresponding demand for allotments had fallen, so that their rents had to be reduced. (fn. 316)
When Iffley obtained its own church in the late 12th century (fn. 317), the Oseney canons claimed the advowson, as a chapel of their church of Cowley. By an agreement made 1175–83 between them and Robert de St. Remy the canons resigned the patronage to him for 1 mark a year. (fn. 318) Before 1189 Juliana de St. Remy gave the church and advowson to Kenilworth Priory, (fn. 319) and the Oseney canons' claim was renewed. A composition was made by which they acquired the rectory, into which they were inducted (c. 1189) in the presence of the Kenilworth canons. (fn. 320) Bishop Hugh of Lincoln's confirmation of Oseney Abbey's property, between 1186 and 1191, includes Iffley church, saving the composition. (fn. 321) Between 1196 and 1200, however, Oseney surrendered all its rights in the church and presentation to Kenilworth for 1 mark a year by a second composition. (fn. 322) This mark was remitted in 1273. (fn. 323)
Kenilworth had the presentation in 1208, (fn. 324) before 1219, (fn. 325) and in 1225; (fn. 326) but apparently not the appropriation, since at least one 13th-century incumbent was called 'rector'. (fn. 327) In 1368 the king presented in a vacancy of Kenilworth Priory, (fn. 328) but there is no evidence that his nominee got possession, and in fact Kenilworth had long since lost the advowson. In 1266 Prior Humphrey had granted it to the Bishop of Lincoln, (fn. 329) and by 1279 the Archdeacon of Oxford had the advowson and the rectory. (fn. 330) The living is still in the archdeacon's gift.
In 1279 the rectorial estate consisted of 4 acres of arable and 2 of meadow in demesne, 2 virgates held by 4 villeins, and the lands of 4 cottars. (fn. 331) Part of this land lay in Cowley. (fn. 332) The church also had a rent of 2s. 3d. from 4 acres to maintain 3 lamps, (fn. 333) which in the mid-14th century had perhaps become a charge of 1s. on the manor to maintain 2 lamps. (fn. 334) The rectory was worth £14 13s. 4d. in 1291 and 1341. (fn. 335) Its lands must have been farmed out in the later Middle Ages, though there is no evidence for this; in 1535 it was held for a rent of £17 per annum. (fn. 336) In 1567 it was held by Arthur Pits, formerly a Fellow of All Souls, registrar of the diocese and archdeaconry of Oxford, who died in 1579 and was buried in Iffley church. He must have been succeeded by his son Philip, since both presented to the living as the archdeacon's lessees. (fn. 337) In 1622 William Wickham of Abingdon bought the remainder of the lease for £100, (fn. 338) and his daughter Elizabeth married Barton Holyday, who became archdeacon in the following year. (fn. 339) Holyday subsequently came to live at Iffley, where his son George was baptized in 1634. He leased half the estate to John Broadwater of Littlemore, who was paying £62 rent in 1640, (fn. 340) and presumably reserved the other half, including the house, for his own use. In 1665 Ralph Sanders was tenant of all or part of the estate, (fn. 341) and in 1714 Richard Brook and John Holloway held it, with other lands in the parish. (fn. 342) John Brook, the former's son, obtained a lease for three lives at an unknown date; on his death in 1745 it passed to his daughter Elizabeth, who died in 1756, and then to his grandson, John Brooke of Neuadd, near Llanarth (Cardiganshire). In 1794 he sold it to Stephen Townesend, an Oxford builder, who retained half the estate and leased the rest to Benjamin Churchill, of Woodstock, in the same year. (fn. 343) Townesend died in 1800 and three years later the whole estate was leased for 99 years to the Revd. Edward Marshall, son-inlaw of James Burton, D.D., curate of Iffley 1779–89. (fn. 344) Marshall died in 1839, and in 1856, under his will, part of the rectory was used to endow the vicarage. Of the remainder, land in Littlemore was sold to James Morrell, while the Iffley property was leased to Marshall's son Edward, a local historian.
In 1475, Lionel Woodvil, the archdeacon, ordained a vicarage, endowing it with 12 marks per annum. (fn. 345) The vicar was to live in the vicarage house, and, though this may have been common form in endowments, as Marshall suggests, the vicarage house, reported ruinous in the 18th century, may have been medieval. (fn. 346) In 1526 only £2 was received by the vicar, since he was paying £4 as a pension to the retired vicar and £2 for repairs. (fn. 347) Charles Forbench, the incumbent during the Civil Wars, was still receiving £8, (fn. 348) and the endowment remained unaltered until the 18th century. It was valued at £12 in 1715, (fn. 349) and by 1758 had risen to £15, the additional payment being in lieu of Sunday dinners. To this were added the Easter offerings and surplice fees, which produced about £2 per annum. (fn. 350) By 1813 the living had been augmented by a gift of £1,000, to which the Queen Anne's Bounty Commissioners had added £500, and with this had purchased an estate in Ickford (Bucks.) and annexed it to the vicarage. This produced an annual income of £37. (fn. 351) In 1855 the value of the living was £67 15s. 4d. (fn. 352) When Edward Marshall's will was put into effect in 1856, part of the rectorial estate, including the parsonage house, was annexed to the vicarage. (fn. 353) The tithes were commuted in 1838. (fn. 354) In 1953 the vicar lived in the Rectory House, when the net annual value of the vicarage was £588. (fn. 355)
The church was probably built about 1175–82 by Robert de St. Remy, who created a new parish out of his manor. Before that the village had apparently been served by Cowley church. Half a century later an anchoress, Annora, widow of Hugh Mortimer and daughter of King John's enemy William de Braose, (fn. 356) set up her cell by Iffley church. She was sister to the better-known recluse, Loretta of Hackington, and lived at Iffley from 1232 until after 1241. (fn. 357) She had several gifts of firewood and clothes from Henry III, and received 100s. a year from her marriage portion. (fn. 358) She must have chosen the neighbourhood of Oxford because of her mother's connexions, as a St. Valery, with Godstow and Oseney Abbeys. (fn. 359)
The later medieval chaplains were probably badly paid and neglectful of their duties, for the vicarage was ordained in 1475 to end such neglect. The vicar at the end of the 15th century was not a poor man, for he took a lease of an Oxford hall in 1490, (fn. 360) and was non-resident and kept a curate in 1517 or 1520. (fn. 361) The parish was affected by religious problems in the Civil War period, since Archdeacon Barton Holyday, tenant of the rectorial manor and once chaplain to the king, became a Parliamentarian, (fn. 362) while the vicar, Charles Forbench, was imprisoned at Woodstock for reading the Prayer Book service. He is alleged to have said, 'If I must not read it, resolved I am to say it by heart, in spite of all the rogues in England.' (fn. 363) Forbench and his wife lived in abject poverty at Sandford. His 18thcentury successors were also non-resident, but 'constantly attended the cure, visited the sick and at times catechised the children'. (fn. 364)
In 1790 the vicarage house was stated to be in a condition unfit for residence, and in 1816 permission was given for the curate to live in Headington. (fn. 365) At this time, the archdeacon complained, it was difficult to fill the living; that there was much duty 'which he foresaw would be increased', and that 'the Evangelical people are grasping for them' (i.e. parishes). (fn. 366)
The religious revival of the late 18th and early 19th centuries had a marked effect. Thomas Acton Warburton (1853–76), a ritualist who met with much opposition, left the living saying that he would find a successor even more extreme than himself. A series of letters to the Oxford Times of 1878 show the ill feeling excited by this type of churchmanship. Nevertheless, it had its adherents, and Edward VII is said to have attended the crowded services at Iffley more than once while an undergraduate at Oxford. (fn. 367)
The CHURCH OF ST. MARY (fn. 368) is a characteristic late Romanesque parish church. Most of the original building remains: the nave, its western pair of windows, its elaborately carved south, north, and west doorways, and the three restored windows of the top of the west front; the tower, of three stages, with two partly blocked round-headed windows on each side of the top stage; and beyond the tower one bay of the chancel, beyond which there was perhaps an apse. (fn. 369) There are traces of the original windows on either side of the chancel and the eastern end of the nave.
Probably before the mid-13th century, the chancel was extended east by one bay with one-light windows in all three walls. A small 12th-century window was apparently reset in the new eastern gable. Two recesses—one a piscina—were made in the south wall.
This new sanctuary may have been paid for by the recluse Annora. (fn. 370) There is a blocked round-headed opening visible from outside, just below and west of the south window in the sanctuary; and in the churchyard beside it is a coffin-lid, probably of the 13th century. It has been suggested that this was where Annora had her cell, with her future grave in the floor, and a window into the sanctuary, which may have been framed with a 'hatchlike opening' with 13th-century jambs now reset in a wall of the Rectory. (fn. 371)
In the late 13th century sedilia of three bays were built in the chancel's south wall, two new two-light windows put in the walls of the old chancel, and perhaps the buttresses added against the thrust of the vault. It has been suggested that these alterations were the work of Robert of Efteley (Iffley ?), Prior of Kenilworth 1266–76, (fn. 372) but the priory no longer had the advowson then.
Perpendicular additions were made in the late 15th or early 16th century: three-light windows either side of the tower and of the eastern end of the nave, a rood-loft staircase in the thickness of the tower wall, the tower roof, and a big west window instead of a Romanesque rose-window. Some of the glass in the north-east and south-west nave windows is early 16th century: the latter has the arms of de la Pole quartering Burghersh impaling the House of York. (fn. 373) The south porch was perhaps added about this time. Before the Reformation there were, besides the high altar, altars to the Blessed Virgin Mary and to St. Katherine, patron of an Iffley guild. (fn. 374)
In 1612, when the south parapet was built, there was probably a new nave roof with a lower pitch, (fn. 375) so that the west front was higher than the roof, and its upper windows were blocked up and allowed to decay. The tower parapet is perhaps of the same date.
In 1738 a singers' gallery was built at the west end. (fn. 376) In 1807 the south porch was removed, a most unpopular measure. (fn. 377) Alterations were made throughout the 19th century, (fn. 378) no doubt largely as the result of the village's close contact with many of the chief actors in the Oxford Movement and with members of the newly founded Oxford Architectural and Historical Society. As early as 1823 Robert Bliss restored the west gable 'from an old engraving', (fn. 379) and at that time the Perpendicular screen was removed. (fn. 380) In 1844, under R. C. Hussey, the nave roof was rebuilt and raised to its original pitch, to fit the moulding on the tower, the east wall was buttressed, (fn. 381) and stone steps removed from the pulpit. (fn. 382) Hussey refused to replace the Perpendicular west window by a large rose-window, on the grounds that the remaining traces of the original one were insufficient evidence of its form. This was done, however, by J. C. Buckler in 1858, (fn. 383) when the chancel was repaired. (fn. 384) In the church chest is preserved the correspondence between the vicar, Thomas Warburton, and the three architects, Hussey, Buckler, and Street, on the desirability of removing the Perpendicular windows in the nave and replacing them by copies of the Norman original. Buckler was in favour of this, and wrote: 'I believe that I do honour to my dear old friend by my attempt to remove the blemishes from his venerable frame.' His letter shows the spirit in which the 'repairs' were carried out.
In 1875 a new organ was acquired. (fn. 385) In 1907 a new pulpit, by Comper, was put in; and in 1911 the tower was repaired, the bells rehung, and the roodloft staircase reopened. Electric light was installed in 1930, and new glass by C. Webb put in the east window in 1932. (fn. 386)
There is a 17th-century chair in the nave. Part of the end of a marble canopy, once in the chancel, is now on the west wall of the nave. (fn. 387)
In 1552 there were three great bells, a sanctus bell and a hand bell. (fn. 388) There are now six and a sanctus. The first two are by Thomas Jannaway, 1785; the third, cast in 1592, was recast in 1869; the fourth is by Joseph Carter, 1592; the fifth uninscribed, but probably 17th-century; the sixth by Ellis Knight, 1626; and the sanctus by Abraham Rudhall, 1709. (fn. 389)
Edward VI's confiscation of plate left the church with only a chalice without a paten. This seems to have been made in 1679, and 'augmented' with 8¼ oz. of silver given by the Newlin family. In 1773 a silver paten, flagon, and almsplate were given by the curate, Thomas West, and Richard Allin of Littlemore. There were also a 1905 silver chalice and paten given by Francis Armstrong. (fn. 390)
In the churchyard is a cross with a medieval shaft; it was set up on a new base in 1857, and given a new top designed by Street. (fn. 391)
There is also a bowl of a font, said to be from Sandford. (fn. 392)
The medieval dedication of the church is uncertain; now St. Mary's, it is called St. John the Baptist's in an early transcript of a will of 1497. (fn. 393) The date of the village feast in Hearne's time (fn. 394) suggests that the original dedication may have been Holy Rood, which commonly changes to St. Mary's, whilst St. John the Baptist does not. (fn. 395)
At the end of the 16th century both the leading families in Iffley had Roman Catholic sympathies, and the Pitses were prominent among south Oxfordshire recusants. Arthur Pits presented to the living in 1567 (fn. 396) and conformed with reluctance until his death, but his widow kept a priest in the house and two of his sons entered religion. (fn. 397) In 1591 Joan, wife of John Lewis, the tenant of Court Place, (fn. 398) was presented in the bishop's court as a recusant. But Philip Pits apparently conformed, since he presented to the living in 1616, (fn. 399) and in 1676 no recusants were reported in the Compton Census. In 1793 the incumbent reported no dissent of any kind in the parish. (fn. 400)
There is no trace of Protestant nonconformity until the 19th century. In 1808, when the Methodist Henry Leake began his ministry at Iffley, he found the Methodists already holding services in a Mr. Gordon's cottage. When his congregations grew too large for this room, Leake moved to a tanner's yard (possibly the Malt House) which he fitted up as a chapel, until he was able to build one at Rose Hill at his own cost. (fn. 401) It was opened in 1835, and had a graveyard, owing to unwillingness on the part of the Vicar of Iffley to bury a Methodist in the churchyard. (fn. 402)
Sarah Nowell (fn. 403) was the first person in the parish to take an interest in education. In 1790 she herself taught twelve to fourteen children— reading to the boys, and reading and needlework to the girls; she also provided clothing. (fn. 404) She died in 1800, bequeathing £400 in canal shares to the trustees of Alice Smith's charity (fn. 405) to found a school and provide £10 a year to a woman to teach reading, spinning, and knitting, and £10 for clothes for eight girls and two boys. Dr. Nowell died in 1802, and in 1805 after some difficulty the Sarah Nowell Charity was formed with six trustees and an endowment of £1,300, given by Richard Twopenny, Nowell's heir. (fn. 406) In 1822 a house was acquired in the east side of Church Way, where the mistress lived and taught. By this date the mistress, 'a discrete, prudent and religious woman', was in charge of ten girls. (fn. 407) Each of her pupils received a shawl every year on the foundress's birthday, a pair of worsted gloves, and enough worsted to be knitted into stockings; and once in two years a straw hat and green ribbon. During her school life, from 6 to 12 years, each child received a Bible and two Prayer Books, and was required to attend morning and evening service on Sundays. (fn. 408)
In 1842 it was found that funds were mounting, so although the original endowment had provided for excess funds to be used for the poor of the parish, it was decided instead to use it to increase the number of schoolchildren. Five more girls from the parish school were accordingly selected for free instruction (see below). In return the Sarah Nowell children were sent to this school thrice a week to learn writing, arithmetic, and singing. (fn. 409) After 1853, on appeal to the Charity Commissioners, the two schools were amalgamated. The Sarah Nowell children were then transferred to the parish school, their mistress retaining the original house and being attached to the parish school as a teacher of housecraft. (fn. 410) In 1859 amalgamation was completed, when the Sarah Nowell mistress was removed for incompetence, and her place taken by the parish schoolmistress, Sarah Jackson. (fn. 411) Fifteen girls, known as Sarah Nowell scholars, continued to be supported at the parish school by the charity.
Besides the Sarah Nowell school, there were two other schools at Iffley in 1808, where the children each paid 3d. a week and were taught reading, writing, and the catechism. (fn. 412) By 1819 these schools had ceased to exist and the poor were reported to be without sufficient means of education. (fn. 413) A nonconformist school for 40 girls was opened in 1833 and in 1835 there also existed a private school for 10 boys. (fn. 414)
The parish school was founded by the vicar in 1838, when the present schoolhouse was built. It was apparently run on National Society lines. (fn. 415) In 1854 (fn. 416) an infant school was added by the vicar, the Revd. Thomas Acton Warburton. A school log-book gives a detailed picture of the developments between 1863 and 1908. In 1863 there were 29 boys, 31 girls, and 42 infants in attendance, the girls and infants being taught together by one mistress, and the boys by a master; government inspectors reported that the teaching in the girls' school was unsatisfactory. In 1865 the school was closed for six weeks on account of smallpox, and the standard of work was so low that the government grant was reduced. Further unsatisfactory reports led to the amalgamation of the boys' and girls' schools in 1868. In 1872 the school building which had been found generally unsatisfactory was improved, and the appointment of a qualified mistress in 1875 led to better education. (fn. 417) Numbers increased from 76 in 1893 (fn. 418) to 88 in 1906, (fn. 419) but at the end of the century the inspectors reported that teaching was still 'too much in old-fashioned grooves'. (fn. 420) This school is today (1953) still a Church school for juniors and infants, under the Oxford City Education Committee. The Nowell charity money is still paid.
In 1950 Rose Hill County school for juniors and infants was founded. (fn. 421)
Alice Smith (fn. 422) of Iffley, widow, by will dated 1678, left all her lands in Littlemore, subject to certain contingencies, in trust for the poor of the parish of Iffley. By a codicil, dated 1679, she stated that the poor of Littlemore should from time to time have a share with the poor of Iffley in her charitable gift. In 1713 an information was filed in Chancery praying that 11/16 of the rents might be distributed to the poor of Iffley not receiving parish alms. The lord chancellor, while approving this apportionment, suggested that the charity might be better employed in putting out children as apprentices.
It was therefore decreed that the yearly rents should be divided between Iffley and Littlemore in the proportions 11 to 5, that of Iffley's share £20 a year and of Littlemore's share £10 a year should be set aside for apprenticing poor children, and that, after a small sum had been set aside in each case for expenses, the surpluses should be distributed among the poor of the respective villages. If in one of the villages there was no child to apprentice, the money for that village was to be used for apprenticing children of the other village.
By 1824, when the trustees were paying off a sum borrowed to meet the expenses of inclosure, the income from the charity was £103 a year, and the residue of about £30 was distributed to 141 families in Iffley, Hockmore Street, and Littlemore. The trustees felt that this distribution of money was of little value, and sought power from Chancery to dispose of it in a more worthwhile way. In 1864 the £10 apprenticeship was found to be too small, and the trustees gradually deviated from the strict letter of the trust by raising the sum and apprenticing casually as opportunity offered.
Following disputes between Iffley and Littlemore as to the apportionment of the proceeds of the charity, a scheme was drawn up by the Charity Commissioners in 1872 defining the shares of each village and the uses to which the money should be put. In future it was to be used to place out apprentices, in exhibitions to schoolchildren, and in gifts of up to £5 to children leaving school, and the remainder was to be spent in providing fuel, clothes, and recreation facilities for the poor. The decree did not, however, make clear whether the whole village of Littlemore was entitled to it, or only those living in the parish of Iffley, and some disagreement followed between the two villages. In 1953 Littlemore received about £60 a year or 5/16 of the money, and used it for the poor and for apprenticing children.
Stephen Field, by will proved 1727, left 7 acres in Crowmarsh Gifford the rent from which was to be distributed on St. Stephen's day among the poor of Iffley parish and the St. Mary the Virgin part of Littlemore.
The Revd. Thomas Nowell, by will dated 1800, in accordance with the wishes of his late wife Sarah Nowell, gave £400 in shares, the interest from which was to be paid to the trustees of Alice Smith's charity. Ten pounds a year was to be paid to a schoolmistress, £2 a year to rent a schoolroom and £2 a year was to be spent on spinning-wheels and knitting-needles for the school. Another £10 a year was to be used in buying clothes for the scholars; the schoolmistress was to have a gown annually of the same material as the children's frocks. Ten shillings a year was to be spent on Bibles and Prayer Books for the children. (fn. 423) The surplus from the dividends was to provide shirts and shifts for the aged and infirm in Iffley, and blankets, sheets, and other bed-linen for deserving families. The remainder was to be disposed of within the parish as the trustees thought fit.