Parishes: Cropredy

A History of the County of Oxford: Volume 10, Banbury Hundred. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1972.

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Christina Colvin. Janet Cooper. N H Cooper. P D A Harvey. Marjory Hollings. Judith Hook. Mary Jessup. Mary D Lobel. J F A Mason. B S Trinder. Hilary Turner, 'Parishes: Cropredy', A History of the County of Oxford: Volume 10, Banbury Hundred, (London, 1972), pp. 157-175. British History Online [accessed 17 June 2024].

Christina Colvin. Janet Cooper. N H Cooper. P D A Harvey. Marjory Hollings. Judith Hook. Mary Jessup. Mary D Lobel. J F A Mason. B S Trinder. Hilary Turner. "Parishes: Cropredy", in A History of the County of Oxford: Volume 10, Banbury Hundred, (London, 1972) 157-175. British History Online, accessed June 17, 2024,

Colvin, Christina. Cooper, Janet. Cooper, N H. Harvey, P D A. Hollings, Marjory. Hook, Judith. Jessup, Mary. Lobel, Mary D. Mason, J F A. Trinder, B S. Turner, Hilary. "Parishes: Cropredy", A History of the County of Oxford: Volume 10, Banbury Hundred, (London, 1972). 157-175. British History Online. Web. 17 June 2024,

In this section


The ancient parish of Cropredy covered 8,716 a. in the extreme north of the county, in a triangular area lying between Warwickshire on the west, Northamptonshire on the east, and Hanwell and Banbury on the south. (fn. 1) Besides Cropredy township the parish included the lordship of Prescote, the hamlets of Great and Little Bourton, and the chapelries of Wardington, Claydon, and Mollington, each of which was separately organized for poor law purposes. (fn. 2) In the later 19th century Bourton, Wardington, Claydon, and Mollington came to be considered separate civil parishes. (fn. 3) The ancient parish contained 11 settlements—Cropredy, Prescote, Upper Prescote, Great Bourton, Little Bourton, Wardington, Upper Wardington, Williamscot, Coton, Claydon, and Mollington. Mollington, although included in Cropredy parish, lay in Bloxham hundred; until 1895, moreover, about half the township lay outside the county in Warwickshire. (fn. 4) A twelfth settlement, Clattercote, although an extra-parochial place, was contained geographically within Cropredy ancient parish and its history is included below.

The boundaries of the ancient parish follow for the most part pre-inclosure hedges, except for parts of the western and southern boundaries which follow the Hanwell Brook and a nameless tributary of the Cherwell. On the east and part of the south and west the boundaries coincide with the county boundary. (fn. 5) Beyond Prescote there was an apparently unrecorded change in the county and parish boundary: on the north-east side of the Daventry road a field of 20 a., Ast Mead, was lost by Oxfordshire and Cropredy to Appletree (Northants.) between 1823 and 1830. (fn. 6) Some minor changes in the boundaries of the civil parishes effected in the late 19th and 20th centuries have to a slight extent obscured the former internal divisions of the ancient parish. (fn. 7)

The parish lay across the valleys of the Cherwell and its tributary Highfurlong Brook, in 1551–2 called Cranemeare (heron pool), (fn. 8) and much of the land lies between the 400 ft. and 500 ft. contours. The highest point is 547 ft. on the main Southam road north of Mollington from which the ground falls away to about 350 ft. in the valley of the Hanwell Brook on the west and to about 325 ft. in the valley of the Cherwell on the east. Of the villages, Mollington and the Bourtons to the west of the Cherwell, Wardington and Williamscot to the east, and Claydon in the north stand on high ground above 400 ft.; only Cropredy and Prescote lie on the valley floor. The fields close to the river were liable to flooding until modern drainage methods lessened, without eliminating, the handicap: field names such as Bog meadow, Marsh furlong, Rushford, and Bullmoor are significant in that respect. The higher ground on each side of the Southam road lies on the marlstone of the Middle Lias, the lower ground in the valleys on the clays of the Lower Lias. The whole parish lies in the 'red land' district much praised by Arthur Young; (fn. 9) it is well watered by the Cherwell, the Highfurlong Brook, and many springs and small streams. Apart from orchards in Cropredy village and plantations around Williamscot there are relatively few trees. (fn. 10) The whole parish was inclosed in the period 1762–98 by five parliamentary awards.

There have been only 3 finds of pre-Roman or Romano-British objects in the ancient parish: a bronze looped palgrave and a lump of bronze from Wardington, gold coins of Antedrigus from Little Bourton, and a coin of Maximus Daza from Great Bourton. (fn. 11) No archaeological evidence for the AngloSaxon settlement of the area has yet been found, but place-name evidence shows that Cropredy and most of its hamlets were established before the Conquest. (fn. 12)

By the 13th century Cropredy was associated with the Mercian martyr St. Fremund. According to his legend, (fn. 13) Fremund was a son of Offa of Mercia (d. 796), treacherously slain after a victory over the Danes c. 870. The connexion with the Danish invasion seems more probable than that with Offa, so that Fremund, if he existed, should be dated to the mid 9th century. The legend does not connect him with Cropredy during his life-time, but says that some years after his death his body was carried from its original burial place at Offchurch (Offa's church) to a plain between the Cherwell and the Brademere, almost certainly the Highfurlong Brook which separates Cropredy from Prescote. (fn. 14) Here it was reburied and lost for some years before being rediscovered and moved to 'Ridic' where a church was built to receive it. Finally, probably by 1207, (fn. 15) some of the relics were moved to the new Dunstable Priory.

The plain between the Cherwell and the Brademere can fairly safely be identified with Prescote, and although the etymological evidence is not strong, (fn. 16) 'Ridic' is probably Cropredy where the saint later had a shrine. In 1488 Richard Danvers of Prescote left 20s. to the chapel and shrine of St. Fremund, (fn. 17) and in 1539 his daughter-in-law, Anne Danvers, left 10 ewes to the chapel of St. Fremund in Cropredy. (fn. 18) No other place, apart from Dunstable, is associated with the saint. The legend does not, however, throw much light on the early history of Cropredy. If Fremund's connexion with Offa and the related story of his initial burial at Offchurch are discounted, there remains the tradition of a local saint, (fn. 19) probably a hermit, who was killed or murdered during the Danish invasions and buried at Prescote, which was then apparently uninhabited. When miracles were reported, the body was removed, probably to Cropredy, and a shrine built for it.

In 1086 Domesday Book enumerated 8 knightly tenants, 147 villeins and bordars, and 23 serfs in Cropredy and its hamlets. (fn. 20) For the poll tax of 1377 490 people were assessed for Cropredy, excluding Clattercote and possibly Coton. (fn. 21) Although three of Cropredy's hamlets survive only as 'shrunk' settlements (Prescote, Upper Prescote, and Coton), the parish in the mid 17th century was considered 'very populous'. (fn. 22) In 1642 484 males of 18 and over took the Protestation Oath; (fn. 23) in 1738 the vicar stated that there were 367 families, (fn. 24) which, using a multiplier of 4–25, suggests a total population of about 1,560. Numbers increased by 1801 to 2,234 (456 families in 1808), and after declining slightly by 1811 to 2,187, rose sharply to 2,751 by 1841, after which they declined slowly. (fn. 25) The period 1821–30 saw the greatest percentage increase, the result of 341 births. (fn. 26)

Two major roads cross the parish, the BanburySoutham—Coventry road, running from south to north, and the Banbury—Daventry road, running north-eastwards through Wardington. The first is the via regia or via regalis, or Broadway of many documents between 1239 and 1774; (fn. 27) it was turnpiked in 1755 and disturnpiked in 1878. (fn. 28) The second is doubtless the Banbury Way mentioned in the 13th century; (fn. 29) it was turnpiked in 1765 and disturnpiked in 1871. (fn. 30)

The Coventry—Oxford canal, which was completed to Cropredy and Banbury in 1778, passes successively through Claydon in the north of the parish, Cropredy, and the Bourtons; its descent from its summit on the Avon—Cherwell watershed is assisted by the five 'Claydon locks'; it then descends to the floor of the Cherwell valley through four locks in Cropredy and two in Bourton. The canal is fed by 'Western Brook' from Clattercote reservoir, by a feeder from a reservoir in Byfield (Northants.), and from Marston Brook. (fn. 31) The supply of water to the 10¾-mile 'Summit Level' was always a problem, and in 1776 the 'great pond' (2¾ a.) at Clattercote with adjacent land was purchased as a site for a reservoir. (fn. 32) The original Clattercote reservoir was enlarged in 1787 and its level raised in the following year. Even so it never held the amount of water then estimated (3,222 locks), and its present estimated capacity is 2,200 locks. In 1790 the Summit was described as 'nearly in the state of a dry ditch', but that was probably an exceptional situation. (fn. 33) A canal wharf was set up at Cropredy from the outset, and by 1784 a company wharfinger was established there (to offset the private monopoly which the canal contractor Simcock had acquired). (fn. 34) In 1830 the gross tolls taken at Cropredy were £1,175—over onequarter of the sum taken at Banbury; but by 1869 they were nil. (fn. 35)

CROPREDY c. 1830

Compiled from Davis, Oxon. Map (1797), inclosure and tithe maps, and other documentary evidence

The parish is crossed from north to south by the Banbury—Leamington railway line, originally part of the Oxford and Rugby railway, opened in 1852. The construction of the line was begun in Cropredy parish, and there was a station at Cropredy which was closed in 1956. The East and West Junction Railway from Blisworth (Northants.) to Worcester crossed the parish north of Claydon. The line was closed to passenger traffic in 1952 and to freight in 1965. A branch of the Great Central Railway from Woodford Halse (Northants.) to Banbury touched the parish briefly near Coton Farm, and there Chacombe Halt was located until its closure in 1956. The line was closed to all traffic in 1966. (fn. 36)


Cropredy township formed a rough triangle bounded on the east by Highfurlong Brook and the River Cherwell, and on parts of the west, north, and south by small tributary streams; otherwise its boundaries seem to have followed few natural features. (fn. 37) In 1882 Cropredy civil parish contained 1,926 a. of which 98 a. were detached parts east of the Cherwell added in 1888 to Wardington; (fn. 38) the township boundaries were probably those of the civil parish except that the inclusion in Cropredy of a part of Williamscot (chiefly Williamscot House and the school), which protrudes irregularly to the south-east of the civil parish, clearly happened after the Middle Ages. (fn. 39) Mollington ditch and Clattercote hedge, mentioned in 1332, were the boundaries of Cropredy township on the west and north, (fn. 40) and 'the old boundary fence' and accompanying ditch between Cropredy and Bourton were mentioned as late as 1887; (fn. 41) the ford where the stream in this ditch was crossed at the south entrance to Cropredy (presumably in front of the present Cropredy school) was known as 'Sutbreche' (later corrupted to Southbridge). In 1552 the Cropredy boundary ran from 'Clatercotehey' along a hedge to Bootham bridge (now lost), down the Cranemeare brook to 'Le Southbridge', by way of Arbwell lake (north of Great Bourton village) to 'Haghorne', then by a ridgeway to 'le fexhole', then along 'Burtonhylle' hedge to Shotteswell Brook, along Westmead hedge to Mollington field and the 'Brodewaye', along another ridgeway to 'Landymere' and so back to Clattercote hedge. (fn. 42)

Cropredy village stands compactly on slightly rising ground in the south-east corner of the ancient township immediately west of the Cherwell. (fn. 43) The second element in the place-name is 'ridig', meaning 'small stream'; the first element is probably Old English 'crop', perhaps meaning a sprout or top of a plant and referring to water plants, or more probably meaning something swollen, hence 'hump' or 'hill'. (fn. 44) From the village radiate four lanes, of which only that to Bourton was described as 'ancient' in the inclosure award (1775), (fn. 45) leading respectively north to Claydon, with a branch through Prescote to Appletree (Northants.), south-east over Cropredy Bridge and through Williamscot to the BanburyDaventry road, south to the Bourtons, and west over the Oxhey (originally an enclosure for oxen) to Mollington; the point of divergence of the Mollington and Claydon lanes has long been known as Kite's Corner. (fn. 46) The Bourton and Mollington lanes join the Southam—Banbury road.

By the 14th century at least Cropredy was by no means the largest settlement in the parish; its total tax assessment in 1327 was lower than those of Wardington, Great Bourton, and Claydon. For the poll-tax of 1377 92 people were assessed, half as many as in Wardington and Williamscot; (fn. 47) 158 males of 18 years or over took the Protestation Oath in 1642, but there seems to have been some duplication of Cropredy and Bourton names so the figure was probably lower. (fn. 48) In 1801 the population of the township was 470. Between 1811 and 1821 it rose to 548, and between 1811 and 1851 to a peak figure of 596. In the 1850s the population was reduced by one sixth (99) and by 1901 was 436. In 1961 the population was 459, (fn. 49) but since that date has increased considerably as new houses have been built for people working in Banbury.

For its size the village is well supplied with street names: Station Road, High Street and its continuation Chapel Row or Neal's Row, Creampot or Crumpet Lane which ends at the canal bank, Church Lane, Cheapside or Lion or Red Lion Street, and the narrow lane leading to the church from the south called the Hello, or, inappropriately, Hellhole. In 1775 some cottages called Challarscote are mentioned, perhaps the relic of an early settlement. (fn. 50)

Fragments of a medieval cross, known locally from their shape as 'the Cup and Saucer', (fn. 51) survive on the south-west edge of the village, just west of the road to Claydon. The cross is mentioned in 1775 as 'the cross on the west side of Cropredy'. (fn. 52) Its eccentric location and the signs of former buildings near-by suggest that the village once extended much further to the west. (fn. 53)

The elongated shape of Cropredy made it inconvenient to operate all the post-inclosure farms from the old farm-houses within the village itself, and after inclosure in 1775 outlying farm-houses were built to replace existing ones in the village. No less than three of the old farm-houses in the village, including one called 'the Manor', were bought by John Chamberlin from Sir William Boothby one year after inclosure. (fn. 54)

Cropredy farmers were prosperous enough in the 16th and 17th centuries to build a number of fairsized houses: in 1665 one house, Manor Farm, was assessed for tax on 7 hearths, two were assessed on 5 hearths, two on 4 hearths, and five on 3 hearths. (fn. 55) In the mid 19th century the more substantial houses clustered round the church in the centre of the village, and the thatched labourers' cottages lay behind them. (fn. 56) Many of the houses survive, and the village consists mainly of 17th- and 18th-century buildings of two stories in coursed ironstone with Welsh slate roofs, brick stacks, and casement windows. A few have thatched roofs and ashlar quoins. A medieval building known to have disappeared was the prebendary's tithe barn mentioned in 1552. (fn. 57) The most notable of the surviving houses are Manor Farm, Cropredy Lawn, (fn. 58) Poultry Farm, Constone, Thickthorn Farm, and the 'Brazen Nose'. Poultry Farm stands on the west side of High Street; it was once the home of the Anker family, and is a 2-storied, coursed ironstone rubble house, built on an Lshaped plan, and with a mixture of three-sided bay windows, tall sash windows, and gabled dormers. Constone, which stands on the south side of Claydon Lane, is a reconditioned, probably 17th-century, house, also in coursed ironstone, with ashlar quoins, a thatched roof, three brick stacks, and some casement windows. Besides those houses Cropredy contains several groups of ancient cottages. Almost opposite the Methodist chapel was a row of seven, four of one build and three of another, all under one thatched roof; the range of four had a date panel inscribed 'B.C.H. 1694', but in 1969 only the two central of the four were standing. On the west side of Chapel Row is a row of six 17th-century cottages, and on the north side of Church Lane is a row of three, which dates substantially from about 1700. Cheapside has on its north side a row of eight cottages, mainly of 17th-century origin. It includes the Red Lion Inn, and until the 1960s the Cooperative Stores, bought by Banbury Co-operative Society in 1895. (fn. 59) All those cottages are of two stories and built of ironstone rubble or coursed ironstone, mostly with thatch roofs.

Of the inns the 'Brazen Nose' dates from the 17th century, although the back has been rebuilt in brick and the whole was reconditioned about 1919, and the 'Red Lion' dates as an inn from the mid 18th century. The former stands at the angle of roads forking to east, south, and north. It was the place to which, after a formal assembly in Cropredy church, the Cropredy meetings of the peculiar court were traditionally adjourned for business; that was the practice at least from 1680. (fn. 60) The meetings were held in what was in 1968 the large club room behind the inn. In 1700 occurs the first reference to the 'diversorium vocatum le Brasennose'. (fn. 61) The 'Red Lion' has been described in at least two books on canal travel; (fn. 62) it can be traced to 1753, and its name first occurs in 1786. From 1753 to 1755 and from 1763 to 1777 three Cropredy inns were licensed, the 'Brazen Nose', the 'Red Lion', and the 'Rose and Crown'; the coming of the canal added a fourth, 'at the Navigation Wharf', in 1778. In 1787 the licensing justices suppressed the 'Rose and Crown' and continued the 'Red Lion' only for its landlord's life, but (between 1796 and 1806) it was the canal house which eventually disappeared. (fn. 63)

The chief 19th-century addition to the village was the Wesleyan Methodist chapel, and in the 20th century many new flats and houses have been built, mostly since 1945 by the Prescote Estate, Brasenose College, Oxford, and others. Outside the village, but within the township of Cropredy, are five farmhouses, Cropredy Lawn, (fn. 64) Thickthorn Farm (called Prene Hill Farm in 1823 and Cropredy Field in 1830) which is probably a much remodelled 17thcentury building, and three post-inclosure farmhouses, Oxhey, Oathill, and Hill Farms. (fn. 65)

The construction or repair of Cropredy Bridge was mentioned in 1312, (fn. 66) and there are frequent references in 14th- and 15th-century deeds to the magna pons or le longebrugge of Cropredy. (fn. 67) There was possibly a restoration in 1691; the bridge was presented as being in need of repair in 1776, and about 1780 repairs were carried out which left the earlier, eastern arch pointed but made the rebuilt, western arch round-headed. In 1886 the bridge was widened on the down-stream side; at the instance of the vicar, who originally proposed the use of stone, the work was carried out in blue rather than red brick. The reconstruction brought to light wooden piles a little downstream. In 1937 a complete reconstruction revealed remains of an earlier bridge incorporated in the structure. The new bridge is of three spans; its deck is of reinforced concrete and its facing of Hornton stone. An inscription on the south side reads: 'The site of the battle of Cropredy Bridge, June 1644. From Civil War Good Lord deliver us.' The battle of 29 June 1644 is the bestknown historical event associated with Cropredy; the parliamentarians under Waller were defeated by the royalists under Charles I, the key points in the action being Cropredy Bridge itself, Hays Bridge (in Wardington) to the north, and Slat Mill Ford (in Bourton) to the south.

Few of Cropredy's inhabitants, apart from some of its manorial lords and vicars, are worthy of special note. The parish produced one sufferer in the royalist cause, Edward Mansell, D.D., a chaplain to Charles I who was captured when taking a walk during the siege of Oxford and died in parliamentary custody at Abingdon. (fn. 68) In the 17th century an alleged sorceress from Cropredy was presented at the peculiar court of Banbury, (fn. 69) and in the 1830s a man who was to acquire world fame was employed as a shepherd at Cropredy Lawn. He was Thomas Beecham, the pill manufacturer, (fn. 70) and the tray on which his pills were first rolled by his wife survived within recent memory. (fn. 71)

Manors and other Estates.

In 1086 CROPREDY was held in chief by the Bishop of Lincoln and had probably long been held by his predecessors. There is a slight discrepancy as to its Domesday assessment: this is first said to be 50 hides, of which the bishop held 25 in his farm (firma) and his knights a further 25; but the details of the seven holdings of the knights (Ansgered, Gilbert, Teodric, Richard, Edward, Roger, Robert, and another Robert) give a total of 30 hides. (fn. 72) In all probability Cropredy was then, and had long been, a 50-hide manor. It is impossible to assign all the holdings to particular places within Cropredy; 3 hides held by Richard (of Newark) lay in Claydon; (fn. 73) 2 hides lay in Cropredy; and of the bishop's demesne lands 2½ or 3 hides lay in Clattercote (fn. 74) and a large proportion in Cropredy, Wardington, and Bourton.

Cropredy is specified among the possessions of the see of Lincoln in papal confirmations of 1126, 1139, 1149, and 1163. (fn. 75) In 1329 Bishop Henry received a grant of free warren in his demesnes in Cropredy and elsewhere. (fn. 76) In the fiscal year 1540–1 the bishop's temporalities in Cropredy rendered £29. (fn. 77)

In August 1547 Cropredy (i.e. lands in Cropredy, Wardington, Coton, and Bourton) was among the Oxfordshire manors surrendered to the Crown by Bishop Holbech in consideration of various grants then made to the bishop by the Crown. (fn. 78) Protector Somerset acquired the manor, which on his fall passed in 1550 to the Duke of Northumberland, (fn. 79) who in 1551 surrendered it to the Crown in exchange for other property. (fn. 80) In 1560 Elizabeth I sold a Cropredy manor (part of the recent acquisition) as 1/20 knight's fee to Thomas Lee, (fn. 81) who nine years before had obtained the adjoining estate of Clattercote. (fn. 82) Lee died seised in 1572, having bequeathed Cropredy (after his wife's death) to his deceased sister Anne's first son, William Watson, (fn. 83) thus bringing the descent of Cropredy into line with the first remainder for Clattercote specified in the grant by Christ Church of Clattercote manor to Lee. (fn. 84) Watson held the manor in 1596, (fn. 85) but in 1606 Sir Richard Corbet of Moreton Corbet (Salop.), the second husband of Lee's relict, Mary, died seised of the manor. (fn. 86) He had no issue and his second wife Judith was left in possession of Cropredy for her life. In 1616 she bought the manor from Sir Richard's brother and heir Sir Vincent Corbet. (fn. 87) In 1618 she settled Cropredy on Henry Boothby, her third son; (fn. 88) the settlement was confirmed in 1631, (fn. 89) and c. 1650. (fn. 90) Henry was created a baronet in 1644, (fn. 91) and he and his descendants (fn. 92) held Cropredy until 1775, when Sir William Boothby (d. 1787) settled the reversion of a farm of 232 acres (largely identifiable with Cropredy Lawn farm) on Samuel Smith of Alderbury (Wilts.), who had 'constantly given great attention' to Boothby and his affairs, and had been at great expense and trouble 'in attending the inclosing of his estates at Cropredy'. (fn. 93) The rest of the Boothby estate in Cropredy, which at inclosure accounted for about three-fifths of the area of Cropredy township, (fn. 94) was broken up in 1775 and 1788. In 1788 the manorial rights in Cropredy were sold by Sir Brooke Boothby (d. 1789) as an appurtenance of Hill farm, which was then bought by Brasenose College, Oxford, (fn. 95) already owners of a large estate in Cropredy. Among other purchasers were the families of Anker, which acquired a farm of 142 a., Eagles, and Elkington.

In 1791 Samuel Smith sold Cropredy Lawn, the largest constituent of the former Boothby estate, to the Revd. Sir Richard Cope (fn. 96) of Bramshill (Hants) (d. 1806). Cope's family, (fn. 97) already long settled at Hanwell, held it until 1919, when Sir Anthony (d. 1932) sold the farm to Banbury Co-operative Industrial Society. F. J. Wise bought the farm from the society in 1932 and sold it to D. E. Lynes, from whom Mr. J. Webber bought it in 1955. (fn. 98)

The tenant of Cropredy Lawn (then known as Fields End farm) from 1775 until his death in 1816 was John Chamberlin, (fn. 99) from Kegworth (Leics.). He was one of the most active of all inclosure commissioners, taking part in well over thirty awards; eighteen of them, between 1774 and 1804, related to Oxfordshire, including those of Cropredy itself, Bourton, and Mollington. (fn. 100) His son W. H. Chamberlin (d. 1851), a land surveyor, also tenanted Cropredy Lawn and bought the former ducal mansion, Adderbury House. (fn. 101)

Cropredy Lawn (fn. 102) stands 1¼ mile north-west of the village. It was probably built by John Chamberlin about 1774, and is a two-storied building of ironstone ashlar, distinguished by a massive projecting stone stack on the west, casement windows, and gabled dormers.

A second CROPREDY manor was long held of the see of Lincoln by a family which took its name from the village. In or before 1109 Geoffrey of Cropredy gave two parts of his tithe in Cropredy to Eynsham Abbey. (fn. 103) In 1166 Simon of Cropredy held of the Bishop of Lincoln one knight's fee; (fn. 104) later evidence shows that half of the fee lay in Cropredy and Shutford and half in Kilsby (Northants.), in which county the family also held Spratton. It was probably the same Simon who witnessed local charters dated c. 1150–70 and 1160–80. (fn. 105) The same or another Simon of Cropredy held ½ fee at Cropredy in 1208–9 (fn. 106) and held one knight's fee in Cropredy, Shutford, and Kilsby of the Bishop of Lincoln in 1225. (fn. 107) Simon's successor was his son Philip, (fn. 108) who occurs down to 1237. (fn. 109) In 1239, however, Eynsham Abbey owned the tithes from the land of Hugh in Cropredy, (fn. 110) and Hugh of Cropredy witnessed a Claydon deed of 1240–53 (fn. 111) and a Chacombe charter of about the same period. (fn. 112) Hugh's son Simon, who first appears in a Bourton deed which must be earlier than 1258, (fn. 113) held ½ fee in Cropredy and Shutford in 1279, (fn. 114) but by 1300 the Cropredy fee in Cropredy, Shutford, and Kilsby had passed to Henry of Cropredy. (fn. 115) In 1316 Henry's son Simon was returned as holder of the manor; (fn. 116) he occurs frequently down to 1344, (fn. 117) and was succeeded by his eldest son Henry. (fn. 118) The latter is mentioned down to c. 1350 (fn. 119) but was dead by 1351 when his son Thomas, although apparently under age, was given custody of his lands. (fn. 120) Thomas occurs down to 1397; (fn. 121) the same or another Thomas Cropredy occurs in 1418–19. (fn. 122)

By 1422 William Shutford held the Cropredy family estate. (fn. 123) In 1444 William handed his property over to his son John, reserving accommodation in the manor-house for himself and his wife. (fn. 124) John, who held Cropredy down to 1493, (fn. 125) was dead by 1494. (fn. 126) John's successor was his son Richard, who in 1505 sold the reversion of Cropredy to Sir Edward Greville of Milcote (Warws.). (fn. 127) Greville sold his interest in 1512 to the lawyer Sir Richard Sutton, (fn. 128) who in 1515 leased the manor from Richard Shutford and his wife Elizabeth (fn. 129) and in 1519 leased it for 36 years to Brasenose College, Oxford, (fn. 130) which he was then endowing. In 1524, after Elizabeth's death he conveyed the manor to the college in perpetuity. (fn. 131)

Manor Farm at the south entrance to Cropredy village is on the site of the former manor-house. There are 14th- and 15th-century references to an earlier house there, (fn. 132) and in 1461 William Shutford put his son in possession of the manor, except for a chamber and under-chamber at the south end of the hall in Cropredy. (fn. 133) The house may once have been completely moated, and a channel from the Cherwell still extends almost to the house. The college's 'great mease or manor place in Cropredy' with a cottage (later demolished) opposite it across the 'high street' and a farm (later of 150 a.) was from 1637 to 1668 leased to the Wilmer family; (fn. 134) for about a century after 1668 the manor-house was leased to the Wyatt family, (fn. 135) which included some notable farriers; rhyming inscriptions on the tombstones at Cropredy of John Wyatt (d. 1669) and of his son John (d. 1676) testify to their skill. (fn. 136) By 1750 the Wyatts were often 'gentlemen' rather than 'yeomen'.

The house is a two-storied building of L-shaped plan and as late as 1876 had a thatched roof. In 1593 the house was in decay, but it had been restored by 1665 when the manor-house, taxed on seven hearths, was the largest in the village. (fn. 137) On the west side of the house is the date 'W. 1718' and on the south side the date 'W.T.M.' 1693 (for Thomas and Mary Wyatt, then tenants of Brasenose College). The tenants of the manor-house were required to provide hospitality for two days and two nights (not more than twice in the year and then for not more than six men and six horses) for the college officers on progress. (fn. 138)

An estate comprising land and tithes was granted before 1146 by the Bishop of Lincoln to the dean and chapter, and formed the endowment of a prebend in Lincoln Cathedral. (fn. 139) The last lease of the prebend of Cropredy before its temporary annexation to the Crown was made for 30 years by Prebendary Wolman in 1536. (fn. 140) A sale of the prebend in fee by Thomas Robertson, the last prebendary, to Sir John Thynne and Robert Keyleway in 1548 was confirmed by Protector Somerset (as patron of the prebend) and the Bishop of Lincoln, who had been licensed to alienate the prebend and advowson to the Protector. (fn. 141) In 1550, however, the prebend was sold by Thynne and Keyleway to Somerset's son and is next found surrendered by the Duke of Northumberland to the Crown in 1551 (fn. 142) and reserved by the Crown in its grant of Cropredy to Lee in 1560. (fn. 143) The Crown granted leases of the prebend thereafter; in 1568 and 1576 it was described as a late possession of Northumberland and then of Cardinal Pole. (fn. 144) In 1589 Elizabeth I bestowed the prebend, said (by confusion with the tithes of Cropredy) to have been a possession of Eynsham Abbey, on the see of Oxford in a forced exchange. (fn. 145) In 1650 the bishop's prebendal tithes were worth £455. (fn. 146) In the various parliamentary inclosures of the parish the bishop and his lessees were allotted just over 1,000 a., (fn. 147) and £123 rent charge when the remaining tithes in the parish were commuted in 1844. (fn. 148) In 1851 the prebendal estate was valued at £1,631 a year. (fn. 149) The bishops and later the Church Commissioners retained the prebendal estate (Thickthorn farm) until its sale in 1896 to Brasenose College, Oxford; the various constituent parcels of the estate were leased for lives. (fn. 150)

The Bishop of Oxford also acquired in 1589 tithes formerly belonging to Eynsham Abbey. (fn. 151) The abbey had received two grants, one of 1094 by Robert Bloet, Bishop of Lincoln, who granted all the tithes of the episcopal demesne in Cropredy, the other before 1109 by Geoffrey of Cropredy, who granted two-thirds of the corn tithes of his demesne. (fn. 152) In 1539 Eynsham's Cropredy tithes were worth £5 13s. 4d. (fn. 153) The Bishop of Oxford leased out these tithes for lives, separately from the prebendal tithes. (fn. 154)

Small pieces of land on the periphery of Cropredy formed part of the Clattercote Priory, Prescote, and Wroxton estates. The grant of Clattercote to Christ Church in 1546 was made subject to the payment of 18s. to the Bishop of Lincoln's tenants in Cropredy for certain lands in Lawn Hill (Claydon) and of 4s. to the tenants of Brasenose College in Cropredy. (fn. 155)

Economic History.

Under Bishop Remigius the demesne was heavily overstocked: Domesday Book gives its capacity as 30 ploughs, of which 10 were on non-geldable land, but states that the bishop found 35 ploughs there and that in 1086 there were 6 ploughs in demesne, with 12 servi, and 55 villani and 22 bordars who had a further 34 ploughs. The lands of the bishop's knights were somewhat understocked: there was land for 34 ploughs, 13 ploughs were in demesne, and 28 villiani, 27 bordars. 4 Frenchmen (franchigeni), and 10 servi had 18 ploughs. The bishop's demesne included 120 a. of meadow (probably along the valleys of the Cherwell and its tributaries) and 132 a. of pasture; the knight's lands included only 22 a. of meadow and 5 a. of coppice (gravae). Manorial values had risen slightly since 1066: the demesne was worth £28 T.R.E. and £30 'when received' and in 1086; the knights' lands were worth £27 T.R.E., £29 'when received', and £30 10s. in 1086. (fn. 156)

The services on the episcopal demesne are given in full in a survey of c. 1225, which specified 16 holders of single yardlands and 2 holders of half-yardlands. The rent per yardland was 5s. and 4 hens. The yardlander had to cut the bishop's firewood or pay 2d. in lieu; he had to harvest for the bishop for one day together with one man, to stook his corn for one day, and to make malt from 4 qr. of the bishop's grain, the bishop finding the fuel. He owed in addition the same ploughing, hoeing, mowing, and moat-repairing services as his fellow in Wardington. (fn. 157)

In 1279 the episcopal demesne in Cropredy township consisted of 5 ploughlands in demesne and 17½ yardlands in villeinage, the holder of each yardland paying a rent of 4s. and performing works and services worth 22d. a year; the bishop also had 4 cottars who all paid rent in lieu of services, 2 paying 2s. and the others 1s. each. Simon of Cropredy had 4 yardlands in demesne and 3½ in villeinage; each yardlander paid a rent of 4s. and performed works and services worth 3s. 10d. a year. Simon also had one free tenant who held ½ yardland for which he paid 1/4d. rent, quit of all services. (fn. 158) In 1348–9 the bishop had 256 a. out of 305 a. in one division of the arable and 224 a. out of 284 a. in the other, 158 a. of meadow (36 in 'Westmedewe' and 78 in 'Estmore') and 178 a. of pasture, of which 112 were in 'sydlyng iuxta fyscheredyk'. (fn. 159)

For the subsidy of 1306 26 people were assessed to pay a total of £2 15s. o½d., almost certainly lower than the illegible total for Wardington. (fn. 160) By 1327 not only Wardington but also Great Bourton and Claydon were assessed at a higher figure than Cropredy, where 15 people were assessed at £1 7s. 3d. (fn. 161) In 1306 the Bishop of Lincoln was assessed at 19s. 2d., but in 1327 there was no major payment. (fn. 162) After the reassessment of 1334 Cropredy paid £4 18s. 6d., a higher sum than Wardington, even though the latter clearly was much more populous. (fn. 163) For the poll-tax of 1377 Cropredy had 92 contributors, more than Great Bourton, but less than half as many as in Wardington and Williamscote. (fn. 164) In the Tudor period Cropredy was for taxation purposes the principal settlement, and in 1523 39 people contributed £5 0s. 6d. to the first payment, and £5 3s. 10d. to the second. (fn. 165)

In 1239 the north and west fields of Cropredy are mentioned; (fn. 166) but north, west, and south fields all occur in one deed of 1332. (fn. 167) A terrier of the former episcopal demesne in Cropredy of 1551–2 is arranged under the headings of south side and north side of Cropredy field, the details suggesting that the boundary followed the line of the CropredyMollington lane and that the part of Cropredy to the west of the Southam road lay in the south side of the field. (fn. 168) Pre-inclosure 18th-century terriers reveal the same arrangement, though the two sides are sometimes described as lying 'towards Clattercote' and 'towards Bourton'. (fn. 169)

When Cropredy was inclosed in 1775, however, there were four quarters in Cropredy field. The large extent of the Boothby allotment makes it difficult to ascertain the limits of each quarter: Hayway quarter (probably identical with the High field mentioned in 1566) (fn. 170) and, to its north, Hackthorn quarter both stretched across the Southam road; Hackthorn quarter and the Oxhey lay in the centre of the parish; and Howland quarter comprised the north-east section of Cropredy. Thickthorn Farm (once apparently called Hackthorn Farm) lay in what had been Hackthorn quarter. (fn. 171)

About 1600 it was deposed that the old 'manner of commoning' in Cropredy field had been to keep 5 beasts and 42 sheep for every yardland, and one beast and a breeder for every ancient cottage and no more, tied or untied; no substitutes were allowed on the common for animals tied or depastured within the fields. Fourteen years before the inquisition the inhabitants had agreed to abate one cow per yardland and the breeder for every cottage. (fn. 172)

Little is known of pre-inclosure cropping, though probate inventories suggest that in the 17th century the usual cereals were sown. Pulse, peas, and vetches appear regularly, and maslin was rare. The keeping of sheep was general, but few large flocks appear in the records. Though some of the wealthier farmers had valuable livestock there seems to have been little specialization. (fn. 173)

The internal history of the episcopal demesne under the bishops and then under the Boothby family is not known in detail, for few deeds earlier than 1719 survive. In 1441 there were 28 tenants, most of whom held one yardland; 19 of them owed works valued at 5s. 7½d. a year. (fn. 174) A survey of the demesne manor in 1552 distinguished 27 copyholds, 3 of ½ yardland, 8 of 1 yardland, 2 of 1½ yardland, and 4 of 2 yardlands, besides 11 smaller ones, the usual rent being 10s. a yardland, with worksilver at 3d. a yardland; and a further 27 varied tenancies-atwill on the episcopal demesne. The tenants-at-will, of whom some were also copyholders, paid rents varying from 3s. to 28s. (fn. 175) The royal grant of the estate to Thomas Lee in 1560 named 40 tenancies, without distinction of type, held by 27 occupiers. Eight tenancies paid rents of 4s., and a further 14 paid rents of multiples of 4s. up to 24s.; 18 other holdings paid rents in irregular sums varying from 1d. to 16s. 10d. (fn. 176) In 1607 37 tenants (holding 39 tenancies) were named, in 1719 31 tenants, and in 1742 37. (fn. 177) In 1685 the 11 main tenancies on the Boothby estate were 2 of 3 yardlands, 1 of 2½, 4 of 2, 1 of 1½ yardland, and 3 of 1 yardland. (fn. 178)

On its much smaller estate, Brasenose College from about 1680 onwards almost always renewed its leases (issued for 21 years under the Act of 1571) every seventh year, and the heriots came to be paid every fourteenth year. Until 1788 the college leaseholds in Cropredy, equivalent until inclosure to 5½ yardlands, had been five in number. Besides the manor there was an estate of a house, cottage, and 2½ yardlands which was from 1706 held by the yeoman family of Griswold; (fn. 179) another, of 2 yardlands, was held from 1607 by the Gostelows who also tenanted Prescote, (fn. 180) and from 1652 to 1757 by the yeoman family of Mansell from Great Bourton. (fn. 181) From 1680 until 1803 the Mansells and their successors, and from 1803 until at least 1870 the tenants of Manor Farm, (fn. 182) were responsible for collecting the college's rents in Cropredy. (fn. 183) A tenement of I yardland was from 1595 to 1675 held by the Dyer family, (fn. 184) and the remaining leasehold tenement in Cropredy was held in the 18th century by the Elkington family. (fn. 185) The college also possessed six copyholds in Cropredy, (fn. 186) consisting at one time of nine cottages with various appurtenances; all were enfranchised by 1873. The largest tenement was held from 1699 by the Anker family and contained the Brazen Nose Inn.

The wealth of the Cropredy farmers varied widely, from members of such families as the Wyatts, who inhabited large farm-houses and were consistently prosperous throughout the 17th century, to others who left personalty at their deaths valued at as little as £20 and less. (fn. 187) For the hearth tax of 1665 11 people were assessed on 42 hearths, while 11 others were discharged 'by poverty' from payment on 18 hearths. (fn. 188) Among those discharged, however, were men who later left personalty valued at c. £150, while one man assessed on 3 hearths left only £32. (fn. 189)

An Act for the inclosure of Cropredy field and Ast Mead was obtained in 1774, (fn. 190) and the award was dated 1775. John Chamberlin, soon to be tenant of Cropredy Lawn, was one of the commissioners. Forty-three yardlands (1,546 a.) were inclosed; old inclosures amounted to 115 a. in all. They consisted of 60 a. in and around Cropredy village, 31 a. already tithe-free, and West Meadow (24 a.) along the Warwickshire boundary. The three largest allotments, without taking account of exchanges, were 982 a., including 20 a. in Ast Mead, to Sir William Boothby, 253 a. to the Bishop of Oxford as Rector of Cropredy, and 190 a. to Brasenose College. The vicar received 43 a., and seventeen other individuals received small allotments varying from 18 a. to 2 p., which accounted for the few score remaining acres. (fn. 191) The total estimated cost of inclosure was £1,309 or 17s. per acre. (fn. 192)

Inclosure was followed by increased rents. The commissioners fixed the rental of the whole village in 1775 at £1, 522; £477 was accounted for by six Boothby leaseholds whose rental in 1787 was £617, the average rental per acre being £1 5s. 6d., whereas the average rental per acre of five Brasenose leaseholds before inclosure had been only 9s. 6d. (fn. 193) Inclosure had little effect on land tenure, however, compared with the financial crisis within the Boothby family which led to the diminution and then to the disappearance of their estate by various sales. (fn. 194) No such single large estate has ever been reconstituted in the parish. The shape of the individual farms was largely determined not by the award but by individual landowners: thus the Boothby allotment of nearly 1,000 a. was at once subdivided into fields ranging in size from 48 a. downwards, with one of 99 a., and at least seven different farms were quickly established. (fn. 195) Cropredy Lawn and Thickthorn Farm both existed by 1794, (fn. 196) Oathill Farm may have been in being by 1788, Hill Farm was built between 1788 and 1801. (fn. 197) In 1851 Cropredy contained 11 'farmers', farming from 4 a. to 418 a. each, six of them with farms of 100 a. or more. (fn. 198)

One of the effects of inclosure on Cropredy farming was to decrease the amount of land under wheat. Moreover, a considerable amount of waste was inclosed at Cropredy, (fn. 199) probably further increasing the emphasis on pasture farming. Consequently the agricultural depression of the 1870s was not disastrous there, although it had some effects: in 1872 it was alleged that emigration of agricultural labourers to manufacturing districts was decreasing the demand for cottages. (fn. 200) There was a considerable drop in rents: the vicar's glebe at the Oxhey was let for 65s. an acre in 1872, but the rent had to be reduced by 5s. in 1882 and again in 1888. (fn. 201) By 1897 the low price of beef had caused the substitution of dairying for bullock fattening on some land, with a consequent decrease in rent. (fn. 202) In 1914 dairy farming was still predominant in Cropredy; only 22 per cent of the total cultivated area was arable, of which roughly 30 per cent was under wheat, 15 under oats, 14 under barley. Swedes, turnips, mangolds, and potatoes were also grown. It was estimated that in 1914 there were 53 sheep and 29 cattle to every 100 acres. (fn. 203) Although some grassland in Cropredy was probably ploughed up at the beginning of the Second World War, the Land Utilization Survey map of 1943 shows a largely pastoral interest, with arable only on higher ground away from the village. (fn. 204) Owing to the proximity of the canal a number of farmers were also coal dealers in the early part of the century. The size of farms on the whole has remained small: in 1939 only one farm contained more than 150 acres. (fn. 205)

Cropredy was not solely dependent on agriculture and the usual village trades: a woman grocer occurs in 1664; (fn. 206) of a number of Wyatt farriers John (d. 1669) was evidently a veterinary surgeon as well. He left to his son John his anvil, all his tools, instruments, drugs, oils, powders, medicines, and all other materials of his trade, together with a whole study of books. (fn. 207) The following occupations on the Boothby estate are recorded in 1681: 5 husbandmen, 2 yeomen, 2 labourers, 2 butchers, 1 molecatcher, 1 carpenter, 1 weaver, and 1 collar-maker. (fn. 208) Collarmaking was carried on in the next century by successive members of the Gardner family. (fn. 209). In 1851 besides 47 farm labourers and 10 farm servants there were 4 saddlers, a miller, a nail-maker, whose trade then flourished at Bourton, 3 blacksmiths, 3 masons, 2 lace-makers, 2 cordwainers, and the usual shopkeepers. (fn. 210) By 1961 agriculture had ceased to be the main employment: out of 118 workers there were 29 in the aluminium factory at Banbury, 25 landworkers including 9 farmers, 21 builders, and 13 men in the distributive trades, 6 in other industries, 10 railway-, road-, and canal-workers, 4 blackcoated workers, and 2 professional men. (fn. 211)

In 1086 there were five mills in Cropredy parish, two in the Bishop of Lincoln's demesne and three in the hands of his tenants. (fn. 212) In 1968 there were still five mill cuts along the Cherwell within the bounds of the ancient parish, though that which supplied Cropredy Upper Mill had recently been filled in. They may represent the sites of the five Domesday mills. The two demesne mills may be assigned to Cropredy township, where the bishop had two mills in 1279 and 1441. (fn. 213) Walter the miller held a yardland of the bishop in Cropredy c. 1225; (fn. 214) William at the mill of Cropredy was hanged in 1315. (fn. 215) Two mills formerly belonging to the episcopal demesne in Cropredy are mentioned in 1552, 1589, 1596, and 1606, (fn. 216) and the Upper Mill at Cropredy was leased to Richard Gostelow of Prescote in 1621. (fn. 217) The two mills of 1552–1606 are probably those mentioned in 1664. (fn. 218) Upper Mill, north of Cropredy Bridge, was sold by Sir William Boothby in 1673, (fn. 219) but seems to have gone out of use fairly soon thereafter, for in 1719 and 1774 only one mill is mentioned; (fn. 220) in 1803 the site passed to the Prescote estate. (fn. 221) The lower mill in Cropredy, south of Cropredy Bridge, was held of the Boothby estate by the Shirley family; in 1696 the Shirleys' tenancy passed (probably by marriage) to John Allen of Cropredy, miller (d. 1743), whose son was William Shirley Allen. (fn. 222) In 1774 the mill was worked by Michael Pratt. (fn. 223)

The lower mill was acquired by William Hadland of Clattercote, who made 'great additions' to it in or before 1824. (fn. 224) Hadland left the old site, however, and built a new Cropredy mill, and also Bourton House nearby, in 1831. In 1851 a Pratt still worked the new mill, (fn. 225) which is said to have been built on the site to profit from the presence of the canal. The former lower mill had stood almost on the same site, in Mill Meadow. (fn. 226) About 1892 Cropredy mill was reduced by fire and in 1905 was sold to the Oxford Canal Navigation Co., whose successors still owned the ruined mill in 1963. (fn. 227) A windmill in Cropredy was mentioned in 1719, (fn. 228) but not in a survey of 1742. (fn. 229)

Local Government. (fn. 230)

In 1776 Cropredy spent £167 on poor relief and in 1783–5 an average of £249, the rise being higher than in most of Banbury hundred. (fn. 231) Ten years later Cropredy spent only £278, (fn. 232) but there was a steady and sharper rise in the next decade to over £500 in 1799–1800 and £868 in 1800–1, a particularly bad year. Expenditure per head and the rate (5s. 3d. in the pound) were about average for agricultural parishes in the hundred. Although in 1802 expenditure was only £396, unexpectedly low, the general rise continued. There was a bad year (1809–10) when £710 was spent, and the years 1817–19 saw even higher totals. In 1821, when there had been some improvement, the cost to the village was about 23s. per head of the population. Although there was no great expenditure in 1826, which was generally a bad year, Cropredy did not escape the crisis of the early 1830s; expenditure then rose from £498 in 1829 to £548 in 1831 but the cost per head was slightly lower than it had been 10 years earlier. Total expenditure was falling even before the implementation of the new Poor Law. (fn. 233)

By far the largest part of the overseers' income was spent in money payments to the poor, 'weekly pay' and 'round pay', both of which varied from year to year and according to the season: in one week in the spring of 1786 £2 10s. 6d. was spent on weekly pay for 24 people, while in the spring of 1801, a bad season in a bad year, an average of £11 a week was spent on the relief of about 50 persons out of a population of 470. (fn. 234) In 1802–3 a total of 22 adults and 17 children were receiving regular relief and 35 occasional relief. (fn. 235) In the spring of 1811, when the population was more or less the same, about 30 were getting weekly pay, (fn. 236) and although the population increased in the next decade the number receiving weekly relief did not rise. (fn. 237)

The roundsman system was being used by 1785 and in May 1786 28s. was spent in subsidising the wages of 10 persons. Weekly totals fell to under 10s. in the late summer of 1802, whereas in the previous January the figure was £3 18s.; the highest monthly total was £29 in January 1822. At first the parish contribution to wages seems to have been paid through the farmers but in 1822, when W. H. Chamberlin was overseer, the overseers began to collect the farmers' share and themselves pay the whole wage; in June 1822 seven farmers employed eight men in that way and in July ten. On average the parish was then paying rather over two-thirds of the wages. In 1828 the justices intervened to stop payments for labour and temporarily relief seems to have been given to some of the men wanting employment by paying them for work on the roads. In 1833 payments for 'labourers' continued to be made out of the poor rates, although in April of that year the justices had made another ruling against it. (fn. 238)

Although it has left no certainly identifiable trace in the overseers' accounts the 'Cropredy Plan' of a labour rate (fn. 239) probably came into operation in Cropredy during the 1820s: (fn. 240) W. H. Chamberlin was said to have devised a scheme, commonly used on the Warwickshire-Oxfordshire border, by which every occupier paid labourers' wages in proportion to the rateable value of his land, and was free to pay it either to the labourer himself or to the overseer. In Cropredy the wages paid were 1s. 6d. a day for each man and 6d. for each boy. Chamberlin admitted that his plan required some modification to make it equitable where there was an excess of labour available or where the rate-payers, for example tradesmen, had not equal means of furnishing employment. The plan was still in operation in 1834. (fn. 241)

The overseers regularly paid the rents of a number of the poor and for repairs to their houses, but there was no workhouse. At the beginning of the 19th century the doctor was getting £10 a year for attendance on the poor with an extra £50 in 1811 for treating cowpox. Over £27 was entered on the accounts that spring as expenses on smallpox (including 2 funerals and the cost of airing houses with frankincense). Regular subscriptions were paid to Southam Infirmary and Oxford Lunatic Asylum. The overseers paid for making the census and regularly discharged the constable's account, a very varying sum (c. £14 in 1805–6 and £66 in 1815–16). After 1834 Cropredy was included in the Banbury Poor Law Union. (fn. 242)

At inclosure in 1775 land (c. 2 a.) was set aside to provide material for the repair of Cropredy's roads and footpaths. In 1836, the material having long been exhausted, the land was sold for £100, which was invested. In 1926 the accumulated income of c. £53 was placed in the hands of trustees appointed by the Parish Council, and in 1958 the Parish Council obtained direct control. (fn. 243)


The earliest evidence of the existence of Cropredy church is Geoffrey of Cropredy's grant, some time before 1109, of two-thirds of his demesne tithes to Eynsham Abbey. (fn. 244) Other Cropredy tithes were granted by Bishop Bloet to Eynsham Abbey in 1094. (fn. 245) Before 1146 the church had been granted to the Prebend of Cropredy in the Chapter of Lincoln Cathedral, (fn. 246) and a vicarage was probably ordained soon afterwards although the first reference to a vicar does not occur until 1291. (fn. 247) In the Middle Ages the parish contained four dependent chapels, at Bourton, Claydon, Mollington, and Wardington, (fn. 248) and there may also have been a chapel at Prescote. (fn. 249) Bourton chapel fell out of use in the 16th century, and the others remained dependent on the motherchurch until the 19th century.

The prebendaries held the advowson of the vicarage until the surrender of the prebend to the Crown in 1543, the last of their presentations being made in that year. (fn. 250) In 1547 the Bishop of Lincoln conveyed the advowson to Protector Somerset, (fn. 251) but a presentation in 1550 was made by the nominee of the last prebendary. (fn. 252) The Crown, which acquired the advowson in 1551, then presented until both advowson and prebendal estate were granted to the Bishop of Oxford in 1589. (fn. 253) The advowson has belonged to the see ever since. (fn. 254)

As a prebend Cropredy constituted a peculiar jurisdiction of the Dean and Chapter of Lincoln, and as such was outside the jurisdiction of the Archdeacon of Oxford. In the Middle Ages visitations were held by the prebendaries, and vicars were instituted and inducted by them. Even after the prebendal estate and advowson were granted in 1589 to the see of Oxford the bishop had only the patronage of the living (fn. 255) and the Dean and Chapter of Lincoln inducted. The archdeacon had no authority in Cropredy, and the Peculiar Court, held in the Brazen Nose Inn by the official or commissary of the dean and chapter, dealt with matters which elsewhere fell within the scope of the archdeacon's court. (fn. 256) By about 1700 the court's business had become increasingly formal, and after 1735 its activities seem to have been limited to grants of probate. (fn. 257)

The Bishop of Oxford's rights of visitation were doubted in the 18th century. In 1738–9 the vicar received the visitation enquiries indirectly through the Vicar of Banbury, and although he replied direct to the bishop he did not answer according to the proforma for fear of giving offence to those who had 'the power over him'. (fn. 258) The next five visitations (1759–93) evoked no response from the vicars, but in and from 1808 visitation enquiries were answered without demur. (fn. 259) Even in 1815, however, the archdeacon, Phineas Pett, who had been vicar 1789–95 diplomatically asked 'to be considered not as intruding upon the privileges of your peculiar' when requiring information about schools. (fn. 260)

In 1254 the estimated annual income of the prebend was £40, (fn. 261) and in 1291 its value was £66 13s. 4d., half that of the prebend of Thame. (fn. 262) In 1526 the prebendary was taxed on an income of £46, less outgoings; (fn. 263) in 1525 the net value of the prebend was £46; and in 1560 £ 50. (fn. 264) Some of the medieval prebendaries (e.g. John Sandale, John Catryk) (fn. 265) were men of great position; but there is no trace of any prebendal house in the village, although Henry Wilcocks was probably at or near Cropredy when he made his will and desired to be buried in the chancel of Cropredy church should he die near the prebend. (fn. 266) In the years 1304–5 and 1305–6 the prebendaries paid a seventh of their income as a fine for nonresidence. (fn. 267) The prebendaries were responsible for the upkeep of the chancel. In 1810 the prebendal lessees agreed to bear the cost of maintaining the chancels of the four churches then in use (Cropredy, Claydon, Mollington, and Wardington), and the obligations of the holders of former prebendal lands were extinguished only in 1923 when the Ecclesiastical Commissioners assumed sole liability for the repair of the chancels of the four churches. (fn. 268)

The vicarage was valued at £18 in 1291. (fn. 269) In 1526 the vicar was taxed on £40, less £20 13s. 4d. paid to four curates. (fn. 270) In 1535 the net value was £26 10s. 8d. (fn. 271) The gross value in 1650 was only £100, (fn. 272) and the Protectorate approved an augmentation of £15 to the vicar in 1657. (fn. 273) During the 18th century the value more than doubled, rising from an estimated £160 gross (£120 net) in 1739 to £345 (£319 net) in 1787. (fn. 274) In 1814–15 the gross income of the benefice was £556, and in 1841–2 £654. (fn. 275) The creation of new parishes in Cropredy in the mid 19th century at first reduced the vicar's income to below £300 a year, though by 1876 it had risen again to £340 as a result of rent increases in Cropredy and Bourton. In 1877 the Church Commissioners granted an augmentation of £15 in lieu of local claim and in 1928 a further £57 on the basis of population. (fn. 276)

Nothing is known of the medieval glebe except that in 1279 the vicar held 2 yardlands in Claydon, and that the prebendary and vicar held 2 ploughlands between them in 1342. (fn. 277) When the parish was inclosed in the period 1761–98 the vicar was allotted c. 64 a. for his former glebe in the open fields: at Cropredy 5 a., at Claydon 32 a., at Wardington 25 a., and at Mollington 2 a., one of which was in Warwickshire; at Bourton there was no vicarial glebe. (fn. 278) For tithes the vicar was at inclosure allotted about 171 a. in all, together with an annuity of £59 16s. to be paid in 79 portions by estates in Wardington. (fn. 279) John Gibbons, vicar 1785–9, thought that Wardington should have been made to produce £150 yearly, and that his forerunner, John Hopkins, had been 'very negligent', though 'not willingly so'. (fn. 280) Hopkins had only recently arrived when Wardington was inclosed, and he made a better bargain at the inclosure of Cropredy, getting a tithe allotment of 33 a., to which were added 5 a. in lieu of exonerated tithes of old inclosures; at Claydon, it was 45 a. for vicarial tithes; and at Bourton 6 a. for all tithes. (fn. 281) Before the inclosure of Mollington the total glebe in Cropredy was valued at £185 a year. (fn. 282) In his first year (1785-6) John Gibbons insisted on receiving those sources of revenue that his predecessor, Hopkins, had failed to collect (Easter offerings, churchyard fees, Cropredy moduses and unexonerated tithes), with a marked effect on the value of the living. (fn. 283) The inclosure of Mollington, as anticipated, (fn. 284) further improved the living and the vicar received 50 a. for tithes. (fn. 285) In 1844 the remaining vicarial tithes were commuted for a rent-charge of £123. (fn. 286) Small pieces of glebe were sold off in 1849–50, 1883, and 1914, and Glebe farm was finally sold in 1922.

Before commutation, the chief of many tithedisputes related to Clattercote and Prescote. In 1538 Clattercote had been granted, with its tithes, to William Petre, (fn. 287) but in 1622 the vicar claimed tithes there; he was successfully resisted by the owner, who established that Clattercote was extraparochial. (fn. 288) In Prescote, where a modus of £22 for the vicarial tithes was paid in 1694, reduced in 1714 to £14, and raised to £22 10s. in 1772 and £36 in 1805, the vicar sued the tenants in 1811, and in 1824 was awarded judgement and arrears of £949. (fn. 289) A modus of £3 14s. a year was paid for Williamscot, and the last William Taylor of Williamscot House (d. 1772) used to settle on the tithe account his payment for the Oxford newspaper which he shared with the vicar. (fn. 290)

Of the twenty vicars between the late 13th century and 1523 (fn. 291) whose names are known two, Roger de Theydon (? inst. 1333) and Thomas Barton (inst. 1407), appear to have been graduates of Oxford University. (fn. 292) The two most notable were Barton and Roger Lupton (inst. 1487), the founder of Sedbergh School (Yorks. W.R.). (fn. 293)

In 1526 the vicar had the assistance of five suboredinate priests, one each for Wardington, Mollington, and Claydon, and two attached to Cropredy itself. (fn. 294) One of them presumably served Bourton chaperl, the other may have been possibly a chaplain serving St. Fremund's chantry; a chaplain of St. Fremund is mentioned in 1489. (fn. 295)

Ralph Rudde, instituted to Cropredy in 1550 and later to St. Ebbe's, Oxford, conformed until his death in 1557. (fn. 296) His successor Richard Baldwin was probably the same as the Richard Baldwin deprived of Henley rectory in 1554. (fn. 297) One at least of his curates is known to have subscribed. (fn. 298) A Puritan survey of about 1590 alleged that the three curates of Thomas Holloway (1572–1619) were 'non-preachers', but found that Holloway himself preached his quarterly sermons at the parish church and chapels and sometimes elsewhere. (fn. 299) In 1620 it was reported that a clerk read the service though not in orders. (fn. 300) In 1641 Cropredy's inhabitants, with those of Claydon and Wardington, petitioned against their vicar, Edward Brouncker, accusing him of paying his curates inadequately, and castigating him as an absentee pluralist and 'a man of scandalous life' who had turned away a preaching minister paid by the parishioners. (fn. 301) Brouncker's successor Edward Bathurst (1642–56), was a distinguished royalist academic, (fn. 302) but his successor seems to have been a Puritan for the Protectorate approved an augmentation to his salary. (fn. 303) At the same time the parish was considered too large for effective care by one minister, and Wardington was given a separate incumbent. (fn. 304)

In 1678 there were no curates for Claydon, Mollington, or Wardington, and the vicar was ordered to provide them at a cost of £50 yearly; at the time the profits of his vicarage in the three chapelries were estimated at £80 yearly. (fn. 305) In 1739 a curate receiving £30 yearly and surplice fees served Mollington and Claydon and the vicar himself served Cropredy, where he resided, and Wardington, but found the burden too great. (fn. 306) That division of duties between the hamlets, though unequal in terms of population, was the usual one. There was one service, with a sermon, at each church on Sundays; long before, in 1678, the churchwardens of Claydon had presented the vicar for providing no more. (fn. 307) The sacrament was administered four times a year. No improvement in the number of services was made until the mid 19th century, (fn. 308) communicants became fewer, nonconformists more numerous.

The increase in the value of the living during the 18th century, made possible the construction of a new parsonage-house in 1786–7. financed by mortgage of the glebe, which was more valuable after inclosure. (fn. 309) The old vicarage-house stood at the west end of the churchyard, and was assessed on three hearths in 1665. (fn. 310) Later additions were made but by 1726 it was in disrepair, and in 1738 the vicar stated that he had spent £150 making it 'much more commodious for a family than it was', and that he was still spending money annually on its improvement. (fn. 311) In 1786, after a report from John Taylor, a Banbury builder, it was decided to build a new vicaragehouse, south-west of the church; the house was built largely of Fenny Compton stone and Stonesfield slate, and was originally a rectangular structure of two stories, with cellars and garrets and a one-story projection on the north; the main front was originally on the west. Within six years the roof needed to be rebuilt, and at the same time the attics were converted into a third story, with three-light sash windows similar to those in the lower floors. The work was carried out by the Oxford builder, Pears. (fn. 312) Subsequent alterations included the removal of the main entrance to the south front. (fn. 313) A new vicarage was built to the west of the church in 1962, and its predecessor was demolished in 1965; numerous flats and houses were built in the grounds.

The improved value of the living was perhaps responsible for a change in the quality of the incumbents. Though some in the past had been wellconnected, like Edward Brouncker, who was the brother of a peer, (fn. 314) and Francis Stanier (d. 1725), who married a Taylor of Williamscot, Cropredy's incumbents had usually belonged to a humbler class, and had resided in the 17th century in an unpretentions house. The four daughters of Thomas Holloway (d. 1619) had married into local families. (fn. 315) John Rosse (inst. 1726) had in 1731 married the widow of a Bourton yeoman, and their daughter had married into the Eagles family. After 1789, however, the living was held by four well-connected absentees. Three came from Christ Church, Oxford: Phineas Pett (inst. 1789) and William Wood (inst. 1804) were both 'theologi' and censors of that college when presented to Cropredy. (fn. 316)

The parish was therefore left to curates. There was one curate for Cropredy and Wardington and a second for Mollington and Claydon. The Cropredy curate lived in the new parsonage-house, and when Samuel Goodenough was vicar (1797–1804) the curate was his son. In the early 19th century the stipends of the curates were considerably improved. (fn. 317)

John Ballard (vicar 1811–51), though he also held Wood Eaton, was resident and zealous. His manner, however, appears to have been overbearing, particularly towards nonconformists. (fn. 318) Besides activities as an agriculturalist and as a Conservative, a Savings Bank Trustee, and a Poor Law Guardian, he ran a clothing club, asserted his right to tithes, and reseated his church. (fn. 319) At first he himself served Claydon as well as Cropredy and Wardington, with a curate serving Mollington. (fn. 320) Later he and his curate divided duty at the four churches equally. (fn. 321) In spite of their efforts attendance at church remained low: the curate refused to make a return in 1851 and the diocesan registrar estimated the attendance at the parish church as 200 in the morning and 300 in the evening of the day of the census. (fn. 322)

William Noel (1851–60) held two services on Sunday and daily prayers at Cropredy, a full service with a sermon at Bourton on Sunday evenings, and preached additional sermons in Lent. He held monthly communion services at which communicants averaged 32. He catechized at the National school on Sundays and weekdays and held an evening school during the winter months. (fn. 323) J. R. P. Hoste (1860–70), who had charge only of Cropredy and Bourton, vigorously fought dissent in Bourton and was energetic in promoting Bourton as a separate parish. (fn. 324) William Wood (1870–98), in charge of Cropredy only, and something of an antiquary, restored the church. In his time there was communion twice monthly and at festivals, and communicants numbered about 75. In addition to the usual services he held a children's service and catechism once a month; he catechized in school on week-days and on Sundays at the Sunday school, where there were eight voluntary teachers. Instruction was also given by the vicar to the pupil teachers of the National school. (fn. 325)

The Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Cropredy

The parish church of ST. MARY THE VIRGIN, (fn. 326) a large and imposing building in the local ironstone, (fn. 327) consists of a nave of four lofty arches, a chancel with vestry at its north-east corner, north and south aisles which contain chapels at their eastern ends, a battlemented west tower, and a south porch. The south aisle is the Prescote and Williamscot aisle; the north aisle was called the Bourton aisle during the period of its use by the inhabitants of Bourton. The vestry contains a priest's chamber in its upper story.

The oldest parts of the present building are the east portion of the south wall of the south aisle which contains a three-light window of c. 1300. From the early 14th century onwards the chancel, south aisle, nave, and, in the 15th century, the north aisle were successively rebuilt, and the chancel arch was enlarged to match the nave arcade; the two aisles were in the 15th century extended to form chapels, which over-lap the chancel. Mouldings on the nave arcade and on the tower and chancel arches are continuous to the ground without capitals. The porch dates from the 14th century and replaced an earlier porch; the tower was added in the late 14th century.

In the Middle Ages there was a chapel or chantry of St. Fremund, perhaps in the parish church, (fn. 328) to which money was bequeathed in the 15th and 16th centuries. (fn. 329) In 1549 the chapel, described as the late chantry chapel of St. Fruenna (sic) was sold by the Crown to George Owen and William Martin, together with its ground, lead, glass, iron, and stones. (fn. 330) Probably the chantry was pulled down and the materials re-used. All memory of it had been lost by the end of the 19th century. (fn. 331) The identification of the south or Prescote aisle of Cropredy church with St. Fremund's chapel was made by W. Wood in 1893, (fn. 332) presumably on the grounds of its association with Prescote.

In 1825–6 Cropredy church was repewed: the middle of the church was left as open sittings for the poor and surrounded by 'sleeping-boxes' and partitions were put up between the nave and the chancel and between the north chapel and the chancel. New inner and outer doors were installed in the porch, and the musicians' gallery (fn. 333) was enlarged; the font was recased. The work was done mainly by a local contractor, Charles Cook. Some old materials were used in the work, the fine 14thcentury rood-screen being cut into pieces and used for railings. The blocked doorway which gave access to the rood-loft can be seen above the pulpit. (fn. 334) A west porch, of which the upper part was timber-framed, was removed in the period 1825–50. (fn. 335)

Though Bishop Wilberforce thought the church 'very handsome' in 1855, by 1875 the vicar said that it was only in a 'tolerable' state of repair and much required reseating. (fn. 336) In 1877 an extensive restoration was carried out under the direction of E. W. Christian. The lead of the roofs was relaid; the internal walls were restuccoed; the dilapidated south-east turret over the tower staircase was rebuilt; the gallery at the west end was removed and the tower arch opened; the level of the chancel floor, then mostly of lias, was raised and encaustic tiles laid down; the church was completely reseated and a mixed array of benches and chairs removed, extra seats having been installed in 1855 for the children of the new National school. A blocked double piscina in the south wall of the sanctuary was opened, as was an aumbry opposite. (fn. 337)

The church was again reseated in 1914, when the oak pews were designed by the architect Guy Dawber; the chancel was repaired in 1922; a hotwater heating system was installed in 1925 in place of slow-combustion stoves. The chancel and south aisle roofs were releaded in 1934. (fn. 338)

The church possesses an ancient oak chest, probably of the 13th century, with three iron clasps and locks; the carved wooden pulpit is late-medieval in character, but is said to have had the date 1619 carved on it. (fn. 339) The pre-Reformation brass lectern is in the form of an eagle, and is the only one of its kind in the county outside Oxford. (fn. 340) According to village tradition the eagle was hidden in the Cherwell to preserve it from the parliamentary troops on the eve of the battle of 1644, remaining there some 50 years; it had certainly emerged by 1695. (fn. 341) In 1841 the eagle was 'sadly mutilated and the feet used as ornaments to a wooden desk'. (fn. 342) One of the three lions which form the eagle's feet is of bronze and replaces a lost brass one. Some weapons and armour from the battlefield of 1644 hang in the north aisle. A brass chandelier for the chancel and a litany desk were among gifts given at the restoration of 1877.

The medieval octagonal font was returned to the church in the mid 19th century after a long sojourn in the vicarage garden. There is also an octagonal font presented by Mrs. Tonge in 1853. (fn. 343)

Mural paintings discovered during the restoration of 1877 'perished from exposure to the weather and the workmen', (fn. 344) except for the remains of a Doom over the chancel arch and one figure on the north wall of the north aisle. The north aisle had representations on one side of the north door of the Seven Deadly Sins and on the other of the Seven Works of Mercy, each in a medallion with a text, and there were portions of leaf and interlacing patterns in the chancel.

The medieval rood-screen was reconstituted in 1877, furnished with new panels and a moulded crest, and re-erected on the south side of the chancel. A medieval screen is still in place at the east end of the south aisle; it contains many times over the initials A.D., probably for Anne Danvers (d. 1539), wife of John. (fn. 345)

The church has in the north aisle one fragment of 15th-century glass showing the head of a crowned female saint. The east window by Lavers, Barrand, and Westlake was given by the vicar and wardens in 1877. There are further memorial windows painted by Messrs. Heaton, Butler, and Bayne. (fn. 346)

In the south aisle and chapel are monuments to members of the families of Danvers and Gostelow of Prescote, and Calcott, Taylor, and Loveday of Williamscot. An inscription no longer existing but recorded in the early 18th century (fn. 347) was to Elizabeth, wife of Richard Danvers (1482). Sir John Danvers (d. 1721) is commemorated by a brass plate in the floor of the south chapel and by a large marble monument, which formerly blocked a window in the south aisle but was moved to the north wall of the church. On the south chapel wall is a freestone monument to Walter Calcott (d. 1582) and his wife Alice, the inscription being largely defaced. (fn. 348) In the south wall of the south aisle are two sepulchral arches, in one of which are the remains of a stone figure of a knight in chain armour. In the nave is a brass to Priscilla Plant of Great Bourton (d. 1637). (fn. 349) In the chancel are memorials to a vicar, Francis Stanier (d. 1725), and his wife Mary; and to William Taylor of Williamscot (d. 1733) and his wife Abigail.

The peal of six bells with a sanctus was cast in 1686 and 1689–90, by the Bagleys of Chacombe (Northants.). (fn. 350) The tenor was evidently recast, for its inscription says that it was given by Calcott Chambre; the two brothers of that name were lords of Williamscot in the late 16th and early 17th century. In 1706 three bells and the sanctus bell were broken, and were ordered to be new cast with their own metal. (fn. 351) The bells were rehung and their fittings renewed by Messrs. Warner in 1913.

The church already had a clock in 1512 which was perhaps the clock repaired in 1694–5 and sold for 5s. in 1719–20; a new clock had been made for £6 in 1713–14 by an unnamed Daventry clockmaker. (fn. 352) The clock surviving in 1966 was made by John Moore & Sons, Clerkenwell, in 1831; it was bought partly by subscription from Cropredy and Bourton and partly by subventions (1831–6) from the rent of the bell charity. (fn. 353)

The bell charity (fn. 354) dates from at least 1512, when Roger Lupton, Vicar of Cropredy, gave £6 13s. 4d. to find a person to keep Cropredy parish clock going hourly, and to ring bells at specified times. In 1614 the charity was stated to be also for the repair of the church. Two separate quarter yardlands in Wardington bought with the endowment in 1513 and 1517 were confiscated under the Chantries Act and sold to William Harrison, but were restored to the trustees in 1557. (fn. 355) At the inclosure of Wardington in 1762 the trustees were awarded 14 a., subsequently known as Bell Land, which in 1823 brought in an income of £32. The money was divided equally between the churchwardens of Cropredy and Bourton and the excess of the income over the sum paid to the parish clerk for ringing and winding the clock (£4 10s.) saved Cropredy from raising its full church rate for many years. (fn. 356) In 1966 the curfew was rung twice weekly at 6 p.m., and it was stated that a bell had been rung until recent times at 6 a.m. (fn. 357)

The church plate, besides a silver chalice of 1570 and a pewter paten, alms-dish, and flagon (the two last given by Mr. Holloway in 1666), (fn. 358) includes what may be a small oval tin pyx, claimed to be the only medieval pyx still in existence in England, (fn. 359) but is more probably a seal-skippet. (fn. 360)

A churchyard cross was demolished in the Civil War. (fn. 361) There is a sundial on the south wall of the church. Probably the most imposing tomb in the churchyard is that of John Chamberlin (1817), and the oldest are two of 1631. In 1923 Mrs. George Barr, wife of Cropredy's vicar, gave £100 of which the income was to be used for mowing the churchyard; to this her husband added £50 in 1926. In 1966 the income was £6 10s. (fn. 362) The churchyard may once have extended further east, in which direction many human bones were dug up in the 19th century. (fn. 363) A burial ground adjoining the Mollington lane was consecrated in 1950. (fn. 364) A mission hall, designed by W. E. Mills, was built near the church in 1887–9. (fn. 365).

The parish registers begin in 1538; there are no baptism entries between 1754 and 1801 and no burial entries between 1754 and 1813. (fn. 366)


In 1739, out of 267 families in Cropredy parish only eleven (3 per cent.) were dissenters, possibly all in Wardington except for a family of Quakers in Claydon. (fn. 367)

In Cropredy township the growth of Methodism was much slower than in Bourton, where Anglican difficulties were far greater: in 1808 there was only one poor dissenting family, and no meeting-place for dissenters; in 1811 Cropredy and Bourton together were said to contain 15 dissenting families, described by the vicar as Methodist, most of which may be assigned to Bourton. (fn. 368) The movement made headway there in the next few years, for in 1819 George Nobbs's dwelling-house was licensed as a meetingplace, and in 1822 a Wesleyan Methodist chapel in Cropredy, standing on land owned by the Hadland family of Clattercote, was registered. (fn. 369) In 1851 it contained 160 seats, with a morning Sunday school of 45 on the day of the census, an afternoon service attended by 73 adults and 56 children, and an evening service attended by 90 adults and 10 children. (fn. 370) The incumbent reported in 1866 that one-fifth of the village called themselves dissenters, and in 1878 that they numbered 'about 70', but that some of them occasionally went to church, and that many families were of divided allegiance. (fn. 371)

A new chapel with Sunday school was opened in 1881. The village never had a resident minister. (fn. 372) In 1964 arrangements for serving the chapel were in the hands of the Methodist minister of Banbury.


The foundation of a free grammar school in 1575 at Williamscot (fn. 373) suggests that the Cropredy area already had some elementary teaching, and judging from the extent of literacy in the late 17th and early 18th century elementary schooling was still widely available: of 216 grooms and bondsmen whose names appear on the Peculiar marriage bonds during the period 165 signed their names and 51 made their mark. (fn. 374) From 1575 until its closure in 1857 six places in the free school were reserved for Cropredy children.

In 1616 Margaret Crowley was presented in the Cropredy Peculiar court for teaching school without licence, but the exact place is not specified. At about the same time the parish clerk taught school in Cropredy; in 1686 William Cleaver was presented by the parish clerk (whose dues he had refused to pay) for teaching school without licence. (fn. 375) No comparable record of a school has been found for the 18th century, and in 1808 Cropredy lacked even a Sunday school. (fn. 376) In 1814 the vicar established a Sunday school (fn. 377) at Williamscot. (fn. 378) In 1819 there was an additional Sunday school at Cropredy attended by 25 girls; (fn. 379) in 1833 16 children attended an Anglican Sunday school, but 44 attended a Wesleyan one where instruction was free. (fn. 380)

In the 1820s there was at least one dame school in Cropredy. (fn. 381) By 1833 a day school, started in 1820, was attended by 31 children of both sexes. Seventeen were paid for by the vicar and the rest by their parents. There was also a day and boarding school, started in 1824, which educated 18 girls at their parents' expense, (fn. 382) and another day and Sunday school in addition to the Anglican and Wesleyan schools already recorded was attended by 75 boys and 11 girls on weekdays and 60 boys and 10 girls on Sundays. (fn. 383) Nevertheless, in 1854 the vicar stressed the want of good schools as an 'impediment to his ministry', (fn. 384) and in that year a National school was established for Cropredy and Bourton. (fn. 385) The site was on land given out of the Vicar of Cropredy's glebe. (fn. 386) The cost with the adjacent school-house was £720, of which the government gave £270. The school, with room for 150 boys and girls, opened in 1855, and by midsummer had over 130 pupils. In 1856 the income from all sources (£30 from Bourton charities, £29 from Cropredy subscriptions, and £24 10s. from school pence) was enough to provide a good master and mistress. (fn. 387) After considerable opposition from the people of Bourton (fn. 388) the school got under way.

In 1857 the Calcott endowment to Williamscot Grammar school was diverted to elementary education. (fn. 389)

Cropredy and Bourton school (known after 1867 as Cropredy school) at first suffered from overcrowding and from the fact that there was only one room. In 1865 spelling and reading were weak, though writing was very good and arithmetic good; the presence of the infant class made teaching difficult. (fn. 390) In addition to reading, writing, and arithmetic the school taught religious knowledge, history, geography, and grammar. There were several dissenters' children in the school. (fn. 391) A new infants' room was built in 1867, (fn. 392) and in 1868 the school staff consisted of a certificated master, a sewing-mistress, and three part-time teachers. (fn. 393) In 1924 Cropredy school was attended by children of all ages from that village and by older children from Bourton and Mollington. (fn. 394) A reorganization in 1947 made Cropredy a junior and infant school and transferred all the senior children to a school in Banbury. In 1970 there were 122 children on the roll of Cropredy school. (fn. 395)

Charities for the Poor.

Walter Calcott by will dated 1575 charged his manor at Williamscot with the payment of 5s. to the poor of Cropredy to be distributed after the preaching of an annual sermon. In 1824 Mrs. Loveday was paying 10s. for a sermon each Whit Tuesday, and distributing the money thereafter. (fn. 396) The money was being received and distributed in 1931. (fn. 397) The charity was still in existence in 1969; the 5s. for the poor was by that time used to augment Tomson's Charity. (fn. 398)

Edward Bathurst, Vicar of Cropredy, 1642–56, left money to apprentice annually one poor boy or girl from Cropredy and three other places, but the charity was apparently lost by 1824. (fn. 399)

By will dated 1657 Joyce Hall gave half the annual rent of a small property (c. 2 a.) in Burton Dasset (Warws.) to the poor of Cropredy. In 1825 the property was let for £12 a year. Cropredy's share was distributed after Christmas to all the poor in sums of 1s. 6d. or 1s. (fn. 400) In 1916 the property was sold for £390 and in the 1950s the dividend of £7 13s. 6d. was paid annually into the Cropredy Clothing Club and about 30 people received 5s. each. (fn. 401) In 1969 16 people received 11s. each. (fn. 402)

The trustees of the poor of Cropredy were allotted 4½ a. of land at inclosure in 1774, the rent from which in 1786 amounted to £5 1s. 9d. (fn. 403) In the 1950s the rent of £7 10s. was distributed to about 16 persons, each receiving 9s. In 1960 the rent was £10; (fn. 404) in 1969 it was £32 10s. The income was distributed among 25 people. (fn. 405)

In 1819 £40, described as the Town Stock, of unknown origin, but supposed to have been surplus money at the time of inclosure in 1774, was held by William Eagles. William's father had paid 40s. a year interest on this sum, distributed every fourth year to the poor of Cropredy. William Eagles had increased the distributions to every other year, each person receiving about 1s. (fn. 406) No further evidence of the distribution of this charity has been found.

By will proved 1866 Elizabeth Walker gave £1,000 in trust, half the interest to be spent on fuel for the poor and half in goods or money for poor widows and widowers at Christmas. In 1969 the income of £21 was distributed to 24 people at the rate of 17s. 6d. each. (fn. 407)

By will proved 1871 Rebecca Tomson gave money in trust to buy £1,000 of 3 per cent, stock, the income to be given half-yearly to 12 aged poor of the parish. The annual income in the period 1953–5 was £25, and each recipient was given tickets for coal and groceries worth 1 gn. (fn. 408) In 1969 the income was £25 4s. which was distributed in cash to 12 people. (fn. 409)

Mary Toms by will proved 1897 gave £500, the income from which was to be used to provide coal for the most necessitous inhabitants. (fn. 410) In the period 1953–5 the income was £10 8s. a year out of which 20 coal tickets of 10s. each were distributed. (fn. 411) In 1969 20 people each received 10s. (fn. 412)


  • 1. Maps used include the following: O.S. Map 6" Oxon. I, II, IV (1st edn.); ibid. 2½ SP 44 (1951 edn.).
  • 2. See below.
  • 3. Census, 1871.
  • 4. See pp. 197–8.
  • 5. O.S. Map 6" Oxon. I, II, IV (1st edn.).
  • 6. O.R.O., maps of 1823 and 1830. There seems to have been some confusion about the county boundary in the 17th century: Northants. Q. S. Recs. (Northants. R.S. i), 114; Northants. Musters (Northants. R.S. iii), 172.
  • 7. Those changes are described under each individual township.
  • 8. P.N. Oxon. (E.P.N.S.), i. 8.
  • 9. Young, Oxon. Agric. 4.
  • 10. Cf. Leland, Itin., ed. Toulmin Smith, ii. 109.
  • 11. V.C.H. Oxon. i. 262, 266, 337.
  • 12. P.N. Oxon. (E.P.N.S.), ii. 414–15, 418–19, 423–4, 427, 427–8; P.N. Warws. (E.P.N.S.), 271.
  • 13. See Nova Legenda Anglie, ed. Carl Horstman, i. 450–7, ii. 686–98; The Pinchbeck Register, ed. Lord Francis Hervey, ii. 365–78; T. D. Hardy, Materials Relating to the History of Great Britain and Ireland (Rolls Ser.), ii. 521–3; W. Wood, 'A Forgotten Saint', The Antiquary, xxvii. 202–7, 247–53. xxviii. 246; F. N. Macnamara, Memorials of the Danvers Family, 255–60; Worthington G. Smith, Dunstable: Its History and Surroundings (The Homeland Library vol iii), 87–91; and see Bishop Stubbs's letter to Wood of 1 Oct. 1891 (Loveday MSS.).
  • 14. See Wood, 'A Forgotten Saint', The Antiquary, xxvii. 251.
  • 15. Annales Monastici (Rolls Ser.), iii. 29 records the dedication of an altar to St. Fremund in that year.
  • 16. Cropredy is never recorded without the first element 'crop'. See P.N. Oxon. (E.P.N.S.), ii. 419.
  • 17. Oxon. Wills (O.R.S. xxxix), 41.
  • 18. Wood, The Antiquary, xxvii. 203.
  • 19. Ibid. 251.
  • 20. V.C.H. Oxon. i. 401, 403, 410, 428.
  • 21. E 179/161/44.
  • 22. W. Gostelow, Charls Stuart and Oliver Cromwel United (1655), 212.
  • 23. Protestation Ret. 26–32.
  • 24. Secker's Visit. 49.
  • 25. Census, 1801–51.
  • 26. Par. Rec., reg.
  • 27. Eynsham Cart. i. 4; O.R.O., incl. award.
  • 28. Turnpike Acts 28 Geo. II, c. 46, 41–42 Vic. c. 62.
  • 29. E 315/378, f. 15.
  • 30. Turnpike Acts 5 Geo. III, c. 105, 33–34 Vic. c. 73.
  • 31. The second feeder was in existence by 1783 when an estimate was submitted for enlarging it: Brit. Trans. Com. Arch. OXC ⅓, pp. 277, 279, 280, 291.
  • 32. See p. 195.
  • 33. Brit. Trans. Com. Arch. OXC 1/2, 3, 4.
  • 34. Ibid. OXC 1/3, pp. 77, 83, 89, 195, 290.
  • 35. C. Hadfield, British Canals, 195. For the early history of the canal in Cropredy see also B.N.C. Mun Cropredy, 266*, 269, 275–6, and ibid. Estates, 99.
  • 36. Ex inf. British Rail.
  • 37. O.S. Map 2½" SP 44 (1951 edn.).
  • 38. O.S. Map 6" Oxon. I, II (1st edn.); O.R.O., RO 340.
  • 39. O.S. Map 2½" SP 44 (1951 edn.). It is worth noting that Walter Calcott of Williamscot House (d. 1582) was buried in Cropredy church, not Wardington chapel. The boundary change had been made before 1824: 12th Rep. Com. Char. 185.
  • 40. B.N.C. Mun. Cropredy, 13.
  • 41. Ibid. Cellar ser. 209.
  • 42. Royce, Cropredy, 3.
  • 43. O.S. Map 25" Oxon. III (1st edn.).
  • 44. English Place-Name Elements, i (E.P.N.S. xxv), 11314; P.N. Oxon. (E.P.N.S.), ii. 419–20; Ekwall, Dictionary of English Place-Names (4th edn.), 132.
  • 45. O.R.O., incl. award.
  • 46. 'The Kyetts nest' is mentioned in the incl. award.
  • 47. E 179/161/9, 44.
  • 48. Protestation Ret. 26–28.
  • 49. Census, 1801–1961.
  • 50. O.R.O., incl. award.
  • 51. Sketch in Banbury Public Libr. extra illustrated copy of Beesley, Hist. Banbury, iv. 93.
  • 52. O.R.O., incl. award.
  • 53. Royce, Cropredy, 46.
  • 54. O.R.O., S. & F. colln. (uncat.).
  • 55. Hearth Tax Oxon. 156.
  • 56. See Mary Smith, Schoolmistress and Nonconformist, which contains an account of the author's childhood in Cropredy in the 1820s and 1830s.
  • 57. Royce, Cropredy, 9.
  • 58. For these see p. 163.
  • 59. See an early-19th-century drawing in Bodl. MS. Top. Oxon. a 38, f. 55.
  • 60. When the court's proceedings are headed 'Acta etc in Hospitio vocato le blank infra parochiam de Cropredy': MS. Oxf. Archd. Oxon. c 28, f. 23v.
  • 61. MS. Oxf. Archd. Oxon. c 28, f. 84.
  • 62. E. T. Thurston, The 'Flower of Gloster', cap. 17, and sketch facing p. 98; L. T. C. Rolt, Narrow Boat, 55; W. Bliss, Heart of England by Waterway, 138–42, mentions the Brasenose Inn.
  • 63. O.R.O., victlrs' recogs.; Par. Rec. letter from E. Witts to Vicar Gibbons (1787).
  • 64. See p. 163.
  • 65. The 19th- and 20th-century history of farm-houses (repairs etc.) on the B.N.C. estate can be followed in B.N.C. Mun. Cropredy, Cellar 1st ser. 209, and 2nd ser. 126.
  • 66. The following account of the bridge is based on M. Toynbee and J. J. Leeming, 'Cropredy Bridge', Oxoniensia, iii. 123–38. Sketches in Banbury Public Libr. extra illustrated copy of Beesley, Hist. Banbury, iv. 93; xiv. 43.
  • 67. B.N.C. Mun. Cropredy, 42, 52, 63, 66.
  • 68. Walker Revised, 365; Bodl. MS. J. Walker c 1, f. 23.
  • 69. MS. Oxf. Archd. Oxon. b 61, f. 110v.
  • 70. Ex inf. Mrs. J. Winkle (a descendant).
  • 71. Ex inf. the late Miss Helen Loveday.
  • 72. V.C.H. Oxon. i. 402.
  • 73. See p. 186.
  • 74. See p. 195.
  • 75. Reg. Antiquiss. i. 189, 191, 194, 203.
  • 76. Cal. Chart. R. 1327–41, 117. The bishop complained of a breach of the privilege in 1333: Cal. Pat. 1330–4, 501.
  • 77. Beesley, Hist. Banbury, 204.
  • 78. Cal. Pat. 1547–8, 153; Linc. Chapter Acts. 1547–59 (L.R.S. xv), 1–2.
  • 79. E 326/10652; Salop. R.O. 322: Book of Courts for Banbury, Cropredy, and Wardington.
  • 80. Beesley, Hist. Banbury, 216–17. Northumberland had made a lease of the whole former episcopal estate in Cropredy and elsewhere to John Butler of Aston-le-Walls (Northants.) in 1551: Royce, Cropredy, 8.
  • 81. Cal. Pat. 1558–60, 357–8; B.N.C. Mun., Cropredy, 108; Royce, Cropredy, 13.
  • 82. See p. 195.
  • 83. C 142/162/135; Royce, Cropredy, 13–14.
  • 84. See p. 195.
  • 85. C.P. 25(2)/198/Mich. 38 Eliz. I.
  • 86. A. E. C[orbet], Family of Corbet (Lond. n.d.), 303.
  • 87. C.P. 25(2)/340/Hil. 13 Jas. I; Bodl. MS. Ch. Oxon. 2469.
  • 88. Loveday MSS., abstract of Cropredy title.
  • 89. Ibid.
  • 90. Northants. R.O., Cartwright MSS.
  • 91. G.E.C. Baronetage, ii. 239; Sir Henry's difficulties as a Royalist appear in Cal. Cttee. for Compounding, 1099–1100; Royce, Cropredy, 14–16.
  • 92. Pedigree in G.E.C. Baronetage, ii. 239–40; Burke, Peerage (1959); deeds in Loveday MSS.; O.R.O., S. & F. colln. (uncat.).
  • 93. Hants R.O., Cope pps. (agreement and abstract of title).
  • 94. O.R.O., incl. award.
  • 95. O.R.O., S. & F. colln. (uncat.); Loveday MSS., Sale cat.; C.P. 25(2)/1390/East. 29 Geo. III; B.N.C. Mun., Cropredy, 284.
  • 96. Hants R.O., Cope pps.; cf. account of the build-up of the Cope estate in Royce, Cropredy, 16–17.
  • 97. Pedigree in Burke, Peerage (1959).
  • 98. Abstract of title (1932) at Midland Bank, Banbury; ex inf. Mr. J. Webber.
  • 99. Lease cited in Hants R.O., Cope pps.; P.C.C. Wynne 127; M.I. at Cropredy.
  • 100. Ec. H. R. 2nd ser. xvi. 132; Journal of Modern Hist. xxiii. 141, 144.
  • 101. Beesley, Hist. Banbury, 488, n. 37; P.C.C. 1851 (104).
  • 102. Sketch in Banbury Public Libr. copy of Beesley, Hist. Banbury, xiii, 43.
  • 103. Eynsham Cart. i. 37; Reg. Antiquiss. i. 84.
  • 104. Red. Bk. Exch. (Rolls Ser.), 376.
  • 105. Ch. Ch. Arch. 156; Eynsham Cart. i. 118.
  • 106. Bk. of Fees, 39.
  • 107. Queen's Coll. MS. 366, f. 19v.
  • 108. E 315/45/274.
  • 109. Close R. 1234–7, 524.
  • 110. Eynsham Cart. i. 4–5.
  • 111. Reg. Antiquiss. iii. 276.
  • 112. E 315/46/149.
  • 113. B.M. Add. Ch. 7519.
  • 114. Rot. Hund. (Rec. Com.), ii. 705.
  • 115. Queen's Coll. MS. 366, f. 34v.
  • 116. Feud. Aids, iv. 167.
  • 117. B.N.C. Mun., Cropredy, 1, 2–5, 8, 10, 11, 13–20, 22, 25–27, 28–29, 31, 32, 46.
  • 118. Ibid. 20.
  • 119. Ibid. 23, 25, 31, 33.
  • 120. Ibid. 34.
  • 121. Ibid. 37, 37*, 42–44, 49.
  • 122. Ibid. 52; Northants. R.O., O 2027.
  • 123. B.N.C. Mun., Cropredy, 53.
  • 124. Ibid. 67, 69.
  • 125. Ibid. 67, 69–70, 71–72, 74–75, 79, 81; C.P. 25(1)/191/ 31/9.
  • 126. B.N.C. Mun., Cropredy, 82.
  • 127. Ibid. 85; C.P. 25(1)/191/31/59.
  • 128. B.N.C. Mun., Cropredy, 86, 89–90, 91.
  • 129. Ibid. 92.
  • 130. Ibid. 93–96.
  • 131. Ibid. 54, 55–56, 97–100. A summary of the transfer from Shutford to B.N.C. is in Brasenose Quatercentenary Monographs VI (O.H.S. lii), 12–13.
  • 132. e.g. Queen's Coll. MS. 366, f. 56; B.N.C. Mun., Cropredy, 53, 67.
  • 133. B.N.C. Mun., Cropredy, 67.
  • 134. Ibid. 142, 146, 150, 155; will (1652) of John Wilmer, of Cropredy, gent, in P.C.C. 414 Aylett.
  • 135. B.N.C. Mun., Cropredy, 161, 166, 179, 185, 195, 205, 215, 236, 242; will (1669) of John Wyatt, of Cropredy, gent.: MS. North b 26, ff. 146–9; marriage settlement of Sarah Wyatt (1752); release (1761) by Joseph Wyatt: O.R.O., Misc. Br. I/iii/3; Gr. I n/3; cf. V.C.H. Warws. iv. 101.
  • 136. For copies of M.I.s (in 1968 indecipherable) see Royce, Cropredy, 51–52.
  • 137. Cf. additional repair clause in B.N.C. leases of 1593, 1600, 1606: B.N.C. Mun., Cropredy, 119, 124, 126; Hearth Tax Oxon. 156.
  • 138. Leases citied above.
  • 139. Reg. Antiquiss. i. 189. For valuations of the prebend see below, p. 169.
  • 140. Linc. Dioc. Docs. 179–202.
  • 141. E 326/12123; E 328/407; Cal. Pat. 1547–8, 184.
  • 142. E 326/10575; Cal. Pat. 1550–3, 117.
  • 143. Beesley, Hist. Banbury, 217; Cal. Pat. 1558–60, 758.
  • 144. Cal. Pat. 1566–9, 183; C 66/1152.
  • 145. C 66/1353.
  • 146. Linc. Dioc. R.O., parl, survey, 1/27.
  • 147. O.R.O., Cropredy, Claydon, Bourton, Mollington, and Wardington incl. awards.
  • 148. Bodl. tithe award.
  • 149. MS. Oxf. Dioc. c 2110, no. 9.
  • 150. Ibid. c 2110–13; episcopal leases in Northants. R. O., Overstone deeds.
  • 151. MS. Oxf. Dioc. c 2088, p. 16.
  • 152. Eynsham Cart. i. 36–37.
  • 153. Ibid. ii. 253.
  • 154. e.g. MSS. Oxf. Dioc. c 2088, p. 76; c 2110, nos. 1, 5–7.
  • 155. L. & P. Hen. VIII, xxi (2), p. 338.
  • 156. V.C.H. Oxon. i. 402, 403.
  • 157. Queen's Coll. MS. 366, ff. 21v–22.
  • 158. Rot. Hund. (Rec. Com.), ii. 705.
  • 159. Queen's Coll. MS. 366, ff. 58v–59.
  • 160. E 179/161/10.
  • 161. E 179/161/9.
  • 162. E 179/161/10, 9.
  • 163. E 179/161/17.
  • 164. E 179/161/44.
  • 165. E 179/161/198; E 179/161/178.
  • 166. Eynsham Cart. i. 4–5.
  • 167. B.N.C. Mun., Cropredy, 13; cf. ibid. 3, 4, 25, 27, 30–32, 34, 65.
  • 168. L.R. 2/189, ff. 146–51.
  • 169. B.N.C. Mun., 2nd ser. 247, 250–1, 523, 554, 558.
  • 170. B.N.C. Mun., Cropredy, 110.
  • 171. O.R.O. incl. award. For the name Thickthorn see ibid. Cellar ser. 210. Thickthorn appears as Prene Hill Farm on Bryant, Oxon. Map (1823).
  • 172. B.N.C. Mun., Cropredy, 80.
  • 173. e.g. Bodl. MS. Wills Peculiars 41/1/9, 34/4/18, 33/4/32, 33/5/16, 55/1/8, 55/2/12, 55/3/19, 54/2/2, 54/1/20, 54/2/33, 39/3/33, 41/4/28, 41/1/9, 33/4/32, 33/5/16.
  • 174. Bodl. MS. dep. b 7.
  • 175. See 17th-century deeds, abstract, and schedule in Loveday MSS.; one deed of 1560 and 48 of 1719 and later in B.N.C. Mun., Cropredy, 108, 186, 188–9, 191, 199–201, 212, 221–31, 233, 235, 241, 249, 252, 255–8, 263–4, 273–4, 277–80, 282–91.
  • 176. B.N.C. Mun., Cropredy, 108; Salop. R. O., Cropredy copyhold admissions of 1548–51; Royce, Cropredy, 9–12.
  • 177. Bodl. MS. Ch. Oxon. 2469; B.N.C. Mun., Cropredy, 186, 229 etc.
  • 178. O.R.O., S. & F. colln. (uncat.).
  • 179. B.N.C. Mun., Cropredy, 176, 181, 190, 197, 210, 238, 244; earlier leases in ibid. 107, 111, 128–9, 134, 139, 143, 145, 151, 157, 160, 164; valuation (1849) in ibid. 2nd ser. 801.
  • 180. Ibid. Cropredy, 127 (cf. O.R.O., MMD 1/3), 133, 136, 144; earlier leases in ibid. 106, 116, 122–3.
  • 181. Ibid. 148, 154, 156, 163, 169, 173, 178, 183, 194, 202, 216, 234, 240.
  • 182. B.N.C. Mun., Cropredy, 293; ibid. 2nd ser. 470.
  • 183. Ibid. Cropredy, 169 etc.
  • 184. Ibid. 121, 141, 149, 152, 162.
  • 185. Ibid. 209, 218, 237, 243, 265.
  • 186. Ibid. 137, 175, 184, 193, 206, 207, 208, 213, 214, 232, 253; ibid. 2nd ser. 328, 329, 874; Bodl. MS. d.d. Oxon. c 10; Bodl. MS. d.d. Dew c 4 (1654–1808) and O.R.O., Ox/11/i/1.
  • 187. e.g. Bodl. MS. Wills Peculiars 36/3/18.
  • 188. Hearth Tax Oxon. 156.
  • 189. Ibid.; Bodl. MS. Wills Peculiars 42/1/42; 53/2/29; 37/1/9.
  • 190. Cropredy Incl. Act, 14 Geo. III, c. 23 (priv. act): copy in Bodl. G.A. Oxon. c 113 (8).
  • 191. O.R.O., incl. award; extracts in Ch. Com. MSS. 160173, and B.N.C. Mun., Cropredy, 261–2, 270; cf. also ibid. 266*; ibid. Money ser. 68; map at B.N.C.
  • 192. Par. Rec. estimate of cost.
  • 193. B.N.C. Mun., Cropredy, 266*.
  • 194. See pp. 162–3.
  • 195. Map at B.N.C.
  • 196. Davis, Oxon. Map.
  • 197. B.N.C. Mun., 2nd ser. 292.
  • 198. H.O. 107/1734.
  • 199. Young, Oxon. Agric. 87; the figure of 800 a. given there cannot be trusted.
  • 200. B.N.C. Mun., Cellar ser. 210.
  • 201. Par. Rec. tithe bks.
  • 202. B.N.C. Mun., Cellar ser. 210.
  • 203. Orr. Oxon. Agric. statistical plates.
  • 204. Land Utilization Survey, sh. 83.
  • 205. Kelly's Dir. Oxon. (1903 and later edns.).
  • 206. Royce, Cropredy, 18.
  • 207. Bodl. MS. North b 26, ff. 146–9.
  • 208. Loveday MSS.
  • 209. Northants. R.O., Overstone deeds 2245–54.
  • 210. H.O. 107/1734.
  • 211. Ex inf. the Revd. H. A. T. Bennett.
  • 212. V.C.H. Oxon. i. 402–3.
  • 213. Rot. Hund. (Rec. Com.), ii. 705; Bodl. MS. dep. b 7.
  • 214. Queen's Coll. MS. 366, f. 21v.
  • 215. Northants. Sessions Rolls (Northants. R. S. xi.), 68, 72, 73.
  • 216. Royce, Cropredy, 9, 10; A. E. C[orbet], Family of Corbet (Lond. n.d.), 303; C.P. 25(2)/197/Mich. 31 Eliz. 1; C.P. 25(2)/198/Trin. 38 Eliz. I.
  • 217. O.R.O., MMD I/5.
  • 218. C.P. 43/327, rot. 51.
  • 219. Northants. R.O., Overstone deeds 2245.
  • 220. B.N.C. Mun., Cropredy, 191; O.R.O., incl. award.
  • 221. Northants. R.O., Overstone deeds 1979.
  • 222. MS. Wills Peculiars 32/3/11.
  • 223. O.R.O., incl. award.
  • 224. Par. Rec. tithe bk.
  • 225. H.O. 107/1734; a wharf is coupled with the mill in the Cropredy tithe award.
  • 226. O.R.O., Wardington incl. award, which mentions there 'the water-mill bridge belonging to Sir Wm. Boothby'.
  • 227. Ex inf. the late J. W. Hadland, Banbury; cf. deeds of Major E. L. Donner of Bourton House, at Barclays Bank, Banbury. Unlike Slat Mill, the next mill downstream, Cropredy Mill was not liable to floods.
  • 228. B.N.C. Mun., Cropredy, 191.
  • 229. Ibid. 231.
  • 230. The chief surviving parish records relating to vestry government are overseers' books for 1785–1837: Bodl. MS. d.d. Par. Cropredy b 1–7.
  • 231. Poor Abstract, 1804, 398–9.
  • 232. Bodl. MS. d.d. Par. Cropredy b 2 (b 1 is too badly damaged by damp to provide total figures).
  • 233. Poor Abstract, 1804, 398–9; Rep. Sel. Cttee. on Poor Rate Rtns. H.C. 556, p. 135 (1822), v; Money exp. for Relief of Poor, H.C. 219 (1830–1), p. 157, xi; Money exp. for Maintenance of Poor, H.C. 444, p. 153 (1835), xlvii; Census, 1821, 1831.
  • 234. Bodl. MS. d.d. Par. Cropredy b 2, b 3; Census, 1801.
  • 235. Poor Abstract, 1804, 398–9; the figures perhaps included roundsmen.
  • 236. Census, 1811; MS. d.d. Par. Cropredy b 4.
  • 237. Census, 1821; MS. d.d. Par. Cropredy b 5, b 6.
  • 238. Bodl. MS. d.d. Par. Cropredy b 1–7.
  • 239. Deddington vestry minutes (Bodl. MS. d.d. Par. Deddington b 22) in 1832 refer to 'the system of the Cropredy Plan called a Labour Rate'. Deddington gave the scheme up after a brief trial: ibid.; H. M. Colvin, Hist. Deddington, 76.
  • 240. There is a marked change in the form of the overseers' accounts in 1822, when W. H. Chamberlin was overseer.
  • 241. Rep. R. Com. on Poor Laws [44], p. 12a, H.C. 1834, xxix.
  • 242. 1st Annual Rep. Poor Law Com., H.C. 500, p. 237 (1835), xxxv.
  • 243. Char. Com. Files.
  • 244. Eynsham Cart. i. 36–37.
  • 245. Ibid. 35–36.
  • 246. Reg. Antiquiss. i. 199.
  • 247. Bodl. MS. Top. Oxon. d 460; but a Benedict, priest of Cropredy, is mentioned in the late 12th century: Madox, Formulare Anglicanum, p. 251.
  • 248. See below (church sections).
  • 249. See p. 207.
  • 250. Oxon. Peculiars, p. ix.
  • 251. Linc. Chapter Acts, 1536–47 (L.R.S. xiii), 151.
  • 252. MS. Oxf. Archd. Oxon. c 157, f. 27.
  • 253. Linc. Episcopal Rec. 1571–8 (L.R.S. ii), 10; O.A.S. Rep. (1918), 81–86.
  • 254. For episcopal presentations see Oldfield, 'Clerus Oxf. Dioc.'.
  • 255. Le Neve, Fasti, ed. T. D. Hardy, ii. 141; P.R.O. Institution Bks. give the institutions from 1685.
  • 256. MS. Oxf. Archd. Oxon. b 61; ibid. b 51; ibid. c 157, ff. 80–102, 152–91; ibid. c 155, passim and see Oxon. Peculiars, pp. vii–ix.
  • 257. MS. Oxf. Archd. Oxon. b 61; ibid. c 157.
  • 258. Secker's Visit. 49–51.
  • 259. MS. Oxf. Dioc. d 570.
  • 260. Ibid. d 267.
  • 261. Lunt, Val. Norw. 279.
  • 262. Tax Eccl. (Rec. Com.), 38.
  • 263. Subsidy 1526, 271–2.
  • 264. Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), ii. 163; Ecton, Thesaurus, 256; Cal. Pat. 1558–60, 358.
  • 265. Le Neve, Fasti, 1300–1541, Lincoln, 57–59.
  • 266. P.C.C. 14 Ayloffe.
  • 267. Kathleen Edwards, Eng. Secular Cathedrals, 335, 337.
  • 268. Church Com. MSS. file 20130; Cropredy Par. Rec. corresp. (1877).
  • 269. Tax Eccl. (Rec. Com.), 38.
  • 270. Subsidy 1526, 271–2.
  • 271. Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), ii. 163.
  • 272. Linc. Dioc. R.O., Parl. Surv. 1/27; cf. ibid. Ter. 15/ 151.
  • 273. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1657–8, 29; this may be the same as that mentioned ibid. 1658–9, 295.
  • 274. Secker's Visit. 49–51; Par. Rec., valuation by John Whately.
  • 275. Par. Rec., tithe bks.
  • 276. Lond. Gaz. 8 June, 1877, p. 3565; Church Com. MSS. file 40902(1); Par. Rec., tithe bks.
  • 277. Rot. Hund. (Rec. Com.), ii. 705; Inq. Non. (Rec. Com.), 139.
  • 278. O.R.O., incl. awards.
  • 279. Ibid. Wardington incl. award.
  • 280. Par. Rec., letter, Gibbons to Pert, 1 Jan. 1794.
  • 281. O.R.O., incl. awards.
  • 282. Par. Rec., survey by Whately.
  • 283. Par. Rec.
  • 284. Ibid. letter, 5 Apr. 1789.
  • 285. O.R.O., Mollington incl. award (photographic copy from original in Warws. R.O.).
  • 286. Bodl. tithe award.
  • 287. L. & P. Hen. VIII, xiii (2), pp. 490–1.
  • 288. C 3/334/11; Par. Rec. leases; Northants. R.O. Cartwright MSS.; Church Com. MSS. file 26008(1).
  • 289. Par. Rec., especially tithe bks.
  • 290. Ibid.
  • 291. For list see Bodl. MS. Top. Oxon. d 460.
  • 292. Emden, O.U. Reg.
  • 293. D.N.B.
  • 294. Subsidy 1526, 271–2; chaplains of Cropredy are mentioned in 1437: Reg. Chichele, ii. 555.
  • 295. Oxon. Wills (O.R.S. xxxix), 41. For the chantry see below.
  • 296. Par. Rec., reg.; O.A.S. Rep. (1918), 83.
  • 297. O.A.S. Rep. (1918), 84.
  • 298. Ibid. 81–82.
  • 299. A. Peel, Seconde Part of a Register, ii. 139.
  • 300. MS. Oxf. Archd. Oxon. b 52, f. 181.
  • 301. Hist. MSS. Com. House of Lords, iv. 97.
  • 302. T. Warton, Life of Ralph Bathurst, 33; Longden, Northants. Clergy, 11, sub Bathurst. He was a connexion of the Chambers.
  • 303. See above.
  • 304. See p. 221.
  • 305. Oxon. Peculiars, 237; Bodl. MS. Oxf. Archd. Oxon. 61, f. 159.
  • 306. Secker's Visit. 49–51.
  • 307. Oxon. Peculiars, 237.
  • 308. e.g. MS. Oxf. Dioc. d 179 for 1857.
  • 309. See above.
  • 310. Hearth Tax Oxon. 156.
  • 311. Seeker's Visit. 49–51.
  • 312. Papers, plans of 1786 and 1792, and corresp. in parish chest; 'Account of money espended upon the Vicarage' in Cropredy tithe bk. 1786. Vicars Gibbons and Barnard both said they spent more on the house from their own pockets.
  • 313. See an early-19th-century drawing in Bodl. MS. Top. Oxon. a 38, f. 55.
  • 314. Hist. MSS. Com. House of Lords, iv. 97; cf. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1628–9, 38.
  • 315. P.C.C. 177 Parker.
  • 316. Ch. Ch. Arch. x c 255–72; 285–303 (battle bks.). Wood later wrote Death-Bed Scenes and Pastoral Conversations.
  • 317. MS. Oxf. Dioc. c 327, ff. 156, 290; ibid. d 570, f. 100; ibid. d 549, f. 212; ibid. d 572, f. 10.
  • 318. Mary Smith, Schoolmistress and Nonconformist, 8, 47–48.
  • 319. B.N.C. Mun. Cellar ser. 210.
  • 320. MS. Oxf. Dioc. c 705, f. 83; ibid. d 574, f. 93; ibid. b 29, f. 115; ibid. b 32, f. 102.
  • 321. Ibid. b 9, ff. 92, 94; ibid. b 35, f. 91.
  • 322. H.O. 129/163.
  • 323. MS. Oxf. Dioc. d 179.
  • 324. See pp. 181–2.
  • 325. MS. Oxf. Dioc. c 344.
  • 326. So called in 1437: Reg. Chichele, ii. 555.
  • 327. Descriptions in Beesley, Hist. Banbury, 127–8; Parker, Eccles. Top. no. 135; Banbury Guardian, 11, 18, 25 Jan. 1877; Royce, Cropredy, 35 sqq.; Trans. Bristol & Glouc. Arch. Soc. lii. 46–48; appeal leaflet issued in 1955. For illustrations see B.M. Add. MS. 36372 and Banbury Public Libr. extra illustrated copy of Beesley, Hist. Banbury, iv. 90–92; also above, plate facing p. 174.
  • 328. For the legend of St. Fremund see p. 158.
  • 329. See p. 158.
  • 330. Cal. Pat. 1548–9, 191.
  • 331. See W. Wood, 'A Forgotten Saint', The Antiquary, xxvii (1893), 202.
  • 332. Ibid. 252.
  • 333. 'New strings for the baseviol' were bought in 1806 and 'strings' at other times: Par. Rec. chwdns' accts.
  • 334. Par. Rec.; corresp. in B.N.C. Mun., 2nd ser. 458.
  • 335. Parker, Eccles. Top. no. 135; above, plate facing p. 174.
  • 336. MS. Oxf. Dioc. d 178, p. 165; ibid. c 341.
  • 337. Account of reopening in Banbury Guardian, 24 May 1877; Church Com. MSS. file 20130 (including report by E. W. Christian, 1873); B.N.C. Mun. Cellar ser. 209; Par. Rec.
  • 338. Church Com. MSS. file 20130.
  • 339. Beesley, Hist. Banbury, 128.
  • 340. Par. Colln. i. 104; for other examples see Arch. Jnl. lxxxvii. 131–2.
  • 341. Par. Rec., chwdns' accts.: regular payments for 'scouring the eagle'.
  • 342. Beesley, Hist. Banbury, 128.
  • 343. MS. Oxf. Dioc. c 1786/1, faculty; Banbury Guardian, 26 Sept. 1895; a drawing of the 1853 font: MS. Top. Eccles. b 14.
  • 344. The Times, 22 Oct. 1936.
  • 345. See W. Wood, 'A Forgotten Saint', The Antiquary, xxviii (1893), 203.
  • 346. Banbury Guardian, 24 May 1877.
  • 347. Par. Colln. i. 104.
  • 348. For this inscription and others see ibid. and Bodl. MS. Top. Oxon. c 167, ff. 141–94, where there is a complete M.I. list; Royce, Cropredy, 48–50.
  • 349. M. Stephenson, List of monumental brasses in the British Isles, 403; Bodl. MS. Top. Oxon. d 195.
  • 350. Ch. Bells Oxon. i. 106–7; Royce, Cropredy, 43.
  • 351. MS. Oxf. Archd. Oxon. c 157, f. 112.
  • 352. Oxon. Clockmakers, 36, 42–43; Royce, Cropredy, 43.
  • 353. Banbury Guardian, 7 Dec. 1876.
  • 354. Loveday MSS., Bell Trust pps.
  • 355. Royce, Cropredy, 43–45; Req. 2/23/41.
  • 356. 12th Rep. Com. Char. 187; cf. MS. Oxf. Dioc. d 570, f. 100.
  • 357. Ex inf. the vicar.
  • 358. Par. Rec.; Royce, Cropredy, 45.
  • 359. Evans, Ch. Plate, 48.
  • 360. Ex inf. C. C. Oman, Esq.
  • 361. Par. Colln. i. 104; Royce, Cropredy, 46; remnants were there in 1879.
  • 362. Char. Com. files.
  • 363. Banbury Guardian, 11 Jan. 1877.
  • 364. MS. Oxf. Dioc. c 1786/1.
  • 365. Oxf. Diocesan Calendar (1888), 187; ibid. (1890), 175.
  • 366. Par. Rec.
  • 367. Secker's Visit. 49–51, and see below, p. 193.
  • 368. MS. Oxf. Dioc. d 570; ibid. d 572.
  • 369. Ibid. c 644, ff. 211, 251.
  • 370. H.O. 129/163.
  • 371. MS. Oxf. Dioc. c 332; ibid. c 344.
  • 372. The names cited in Billing, Dir. Oxon. (1854) are those of members of the Banbury Circuit; cf. Kelly's Dir. Oxon. (1891 and later edns.).
  • 373. V.C.H. Oxon. i. 478.
  • 374. Bodl. cat. of Peculiar marriage bonds.
  • 375. MS. Oxf. Archd. Oxon. b 61, f. 87v; Oxon Peculiars, 244, 255.
  • 376. MS. Oxf. Dioc. d 570.
  • 377. Ibid. d 574.
  • 378. Ibid. c 433.
  • 379. Educ. of Poor Digest, H.C. 224, p. 722 (1819), ix(2).
  • 380. Educ. Enquiry Abstract, H.C. 62, p. 744 (1835), xlii.
  • 381. Mary Smith, Schoolmistress and Nonconformist, 15–17.
  • 382. Ibid. 28–31.
  • 383. Educ. Enquiry Abstract, H.C. 62, p. 744 (1835), xlii.
  • 384. Wilb. Visit. 45.
  • 385. Cake & Cockhorse, ii (1), 6; MS. Oxf. Dioc. c 1786/1.
  • 386. The school lay just within Bourton parish but was known as Cropredy school.
  • 387. Cropredy and Bourton Par. Rec.; MS. Oxf. Dioc. c 1786/1.
  • 388. See p. 184.
  • 389. Schools Enquiry Com. [3966-XII], p. 232, H.C. (1867–8), xxviii (10).
  • 390. Ibid.
  • 391. Ibid.
  • 392. Cake & Cockhorse, ii (1), 6.
  • 393. Schools Enquiry Com. (1867–8), p. 231.
  • 394. Kelly's Dir. Oxon. (1924).
  • 395. Ex inf. Oxon. C.C. Educ. Cttee.
  • 396. 12th Rep. Com. Char. 185–6.
  • 397. Char. Com. files.
  • 398. Ex inf. the Revd. D. Staff; for Tomson's Charity, see below.
  • 399. Par. Rec., tithe bks.; 12th Rep. Com. Char. 184–7.
  • 400. 12th Rep. Com. Char. 186.
  • 401. Char. Com. files.
  • 402. Ex inf. the Revd. D. Staff.
  • 403. Char. Don. 972–3.
  • 404. Char. Com. files.
  • 405. Ex inf. Roland Cherry, Esq.
  • 406. 12th Rep. Com. Char. 186–7.
  • 407. Ex inf. T. M. Amos, Esq.
  • 408. Char. Com. files.
  • 409. Ex inf. the Revd. D. Staff.
  • 410. Char. Com. files; ibid. Unrep vol. 98, p. 166; M.I. in church.
  • 411. Char. Com. files.
  • 412. Ex inf. the Revd. D. Staff.