Hanborough: Economic history

A History of the County of Oxford: Volume 12, Wootton Hundred (South) Including Woodstock. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1990.

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A P Baggs. W J Blair. Eleanor Chance. Christina Colvin. Janet Cooper. C J Day. Nesta Selwyn. S C Townley, 'Hanborough: Economic history', A History of the County of Oxford: Volume 12, Wootton Hundred (South) Including Woodstock, (London, 1990), pp. 166-172. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/oxon/vol12/pp166-172 [accessed 17 June 2024].

A P Baggs. W J Blair. Eleanor Chance. Christina Colvin. Janet Cooper. C J Day. Nesta Selwyn. S C Townley. "Hanborough: Economic history", in A History of the County of Oxford: Volume 12, Wootton Hundred (South) Including Woodstock, (London, 1990) 166-172. British History Online, accessed June 17, 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/oxon/vol12/pp166-172.

Baggs, A P. Blair, W J. Chance, Eleanor. Colvin, Christina. Cooper, Janet. Day, C J. Selwyn, Nesta. Townley, S C. "Hanborough: Economic history", A History of the County of Oxford: Volume 12, Wootton Hundred (South) Including Woodstock, (London, 1990). 166-172. British History Online. Web. 17 June 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/oxon/vol12/pp166-172.

Economic history

There seem to have been three main fields in the Middle Ages, named in 1302 as the South, North, and East or Mill fields. (fn. 62) Farindon field, recorded in the late 13th century and again in 1362, was probably, like the later Fur or Further field, the South field. (fn. 63) Great Bondon field, recorded in 1312, (fn. 64) cannot be identified and may not have been in Hanborough. In 1605-6 the three fields were South or Fur field (314 a.) south of Church Hanborough village, Mill field (295 a.) between Pinsley wood and the Evenlode, and Middle or Church field (288 a.) between Church Hanborough and Long Hanborough. There was a fourth, smaller field, the Hide (89 a.), north of the Witney road, which was sometimes divided into Bushy Hide and Corn Hide; it was composed mainly of former demesne or bury land. A few acres, mainly free land, were not assigned to any field. (fn. 65) The boundary between Mill field and Further or South field was moved south in the earlier 18th century, one or two furlongs being transferred from Further field to Mill field. By 1761 there was another small field, Hencroft field, called Winmore or Fallow field in 1772, immediately south of the Witney road, taken from Church field and Mill field. (fn. 66)

From an early date the arable was extended by assarting. The earliest assarts were probably absorbed into the open fields, but a total of c. 11 a. of encroachment or assart land was reported in 1274. Individual assarts were small, varying from 5 ft. to 1 rod, although there were eight of ½ a. or more. In 1279 there were c. 28 a., 11 cottages and 3 messuages on old assart land, individual holdings varying from 'a corner' to 6 a. Although they were often held by the same tenants, the assarts of 1279 were different from those of 1274. (fn. 67) Those assarts which can be identified were on the eastern and western boundaries of the parish, the eastern ones presumably having been recovered from marsh or scrub along the Evenlode rather than from the wood. Other land which seems to have been assart, including the two furlongs and 6 a. in the Breach which William of St. Owen gave to Oseney abbey between 1267 and 1284, (fn. 68) was not described among the assarts in either 1274 or 1279. In 1689 a close called the Breach was cultivated on the same rotation as the adjoining Church field, and both the Breaches and the nearby Blowens or Blowings closes were valued and redistributed with the open field land at inclosure in 1773. (fn. 69) In the late 14th century nine tenants of Eynsham abbey held 3 paddocks in Hanborough besides land in the Breach, all of which was probably assart land. (fn. 70) More land was cleared from Pinsley wood in the centre of the parish during the later Middle Ages; in 1605-6 there was an area of 16 a. called the Assart or Sarts between the wood and Church Hanborough village, and the shape of the wood suggests similar clearing on the east. (fn. 71)

In 1086 there was woodland 7 furlongs by 6 furlongs in Hanborough. (fn. 72) Then, as later, the demesne wood probably lay along the northern boundary of the parish, with one wood, the later Pinsley wood, in the centre. Pinsley (Pin's wood) was first recorded in 1237 when it was in the charge of the keeper of the king's houses at Woodstock, presumably as a source of timber for building. (fn. 73) In 1256 it was in the charge of the keepers of Hanborough manor, but had its own warden in 1405. (fn. 74) Timber from Pinsley was sold in 1690, and the wood was still being coppiced c. 1704. (fn. 75) Its area was estimated to be 88 a. in 1609-10 and 81 ½ a. c. 1704, but in 1761 and 1765 it was said to contain 115 a. and 112 a., perhaps because it had been extended slightly to the north. (fn. 76)

In 1245 William of St. Owen, keeper of Hanborough manor, was ordered to supply two oaks for building from Hanborough grove. (fn. 77) The grove may have been the same as the Hanborough wood, of 20 a., which Queen Eleanor wanted to impark in the late 13th century, and as the later Mill wood near the north-west corner of the parish, which contained 22 ½ a. in 1609-10, 17 ½ a. c. 1704, and 23 a. in 1765. (fn. 78) The tenants of the manor had rights of common in Hanborough wood in the 13th century. (fn. 79) Abel wood, in the extreme north-west corner of the parish, north of the heath, was also called Mill wood in 1609-10, when it contained 18 a.; c. 1704 it was Woll or Avoll coppice (16 a.), and in 1765 Abel wood (19 ½ a.). (fn. 80)

West of Church Hanborough in the Middle Ages was Mosele or Mousley wood, part of Downhall manor, first recorded in 1280 when Adam of Downhall was engaged in a dispute with the abbot of Eynsham over rights there and in the abbot's adjoining wood, le Frith in Eynsham parish. (fn. 81) The wood was still there in 1412, although it may by then have begun to be cleared. By 1605 it had been converted to pasture. (fn. 82)

Hanborough was well supplied with meadow along the Evenlode in the north and east and its tributary brook in the south and west; 100 a. were recorded in 1086. (fn. 83) In the 1240s the bailiffs accounted for the sale of hay from Bitterhale and Bureham meadows, the former perhaps the later Bitter Knowl in the south-east corner of the parish. (fn. 84) Bureham may have been further north, near Burleigh wood in Cassington parish. Oseney abbey's hide of land included meadow at Bladon bridge, and in the later 13th century the younger William of St. Owen gave the abbey further meadow at Cowmead. (fn. 85)

In 1609-10 there was a total of 233 a. of meadow in Hanborough, most of it lot meadow. (fn. 86) The lots were presumably those recorded in 1761: the broad arrowhead, the square, the cross, Downhalls, the sawbox, the ladle, White's, the hale hide, bucksfoot, the headless cross, the pit, and the spokeshave. Fenlake, Nye mead, and South mead were drawn with the first nine lots, and Cheyney weir with the last seven; Bridge mead was not lot meadow. The rectory had the cross for the 4 yardlands of glebe in the draw for each furlong in which it had meadow, which suggests that each lot had originally represented the meadow for a ploughland of arable. Other landowners held fractions of lots, presumably representing yardlands; most held different lots in different furlongs and meadows. Thomas Bouchier, for example, had in Fenlake mead ½ of the sawbox in the draw for the first furlong, ¼ of the hale hide in the second, and ¼ of the broad arrowhead in the third. In South mead he had ½ of the broad arrowhead in the first furlong, ½ of Downhalls in the second and third furlongs, and the sawbox in the third, while in Cheyney weir he had the spokeshave in the first furlong, ½ of the pit in the second, ½ of the hale hide in the third, and ½ of the headless cross in the fourth. The duke of Marlborough, who held only the former Oseney abbey estate in 1761, had no right in any lot, which may suggest that the lots dated to a period, perhaps in the 12th century, before Oseney abbey's hide (originally attached to Stanton Harcourt) had been absorbed into Hanborough. (fn. 87)

No pasture was recorded in 1086, but the tenants had a common pasture in the mid 13th century when the abbot of Oseney was accused of overloading it. (fn. 88) That pasture was presumably the heath, in the north-west corner of the parish, which contained 194 a. in 1609-10. Many of the assarts along the western edge of the parish were pasture by the 17th century, and by 1573 leasnes or leys had been created. In 1606 they were in Bushy Hide north of the Witney road and in Allands in Mill field near the Evenlode. (fn. 89) The leys seem to have been extended during the 17th century to include land at Hurdswell near the Witney road in Church field, and near Bitter Knowl meadow in the South field. (fn. 90) In 1772 one furlong in Further field, six in Mill field, and one in Winmore or Hencroft field were 'sainfoin land'. (fn. 91) Hanborough men claimed common rights in High wood and Tilgarsley in Eynsham during the Middle Ages and still in the early 18th century, when the rights were probably no longer exercised. (fn. 92)

In 1086 Hanborough was said to contain land for 12 ploughteams, all of which were actually in use, 2 on the demesne operated by 5 servi, and 10 on the tenants' land held by 20 villani and 6 bordars. (fn. 93) The demesne was still 2 ploughlands in 1279. The tenants' land had increased to a total of 3 hides and 31 yardlands, or 10 ¾ ploughlands, excluding the ploughland of glebe, but that increase was almost entirely due to the incorporation into Hanborough of Oseney abbey's hide which had been assessed in Stanton Harcourt in 1086. (fn. 94) Twenty-four yardlands were held by customary tenants, most of whom held only ½ yardland each. There were 6 cottagers, and a further 6 tenants held a total of 4 yardlands, 2 cottages, and the mill in socage. A total of 53 people held small quantities of old assart land. The abbot of Oseney (1 hide), Adam of Downhall (2 hides and ½ yardland), and William of St. Owen (1 ½ yardland) held their land freely, as, probably, did Adam the tailor, who held 1 yardland, formerly Hugh Brown's, which had escheated to the queen. (fn. 95) No tenants were recorded on Adam's or William's land, although Adam certainly had several, but 3 yardlands of the abbot's hide were held by 2 tenants. (fn. 96)

The Hanborough villeins, like those of many of the other demesne towns, performed heavy labour services for a yardland in 1279, ploughing 3 selions at each of the winter, spring, and fallow ploughings, harrowing once at each of the two sowings, mowing for 2 days with one man, making hay with one man for 2 days and carrying 4 cart-loads of hay, and reaping with 2 men for 3 days and carrying 4 cart-loads of corn, besides paying 5s. rent. The yardlander could also be worked at will every day of the year except Saturdays and festivals. For his mowing he received one bundle of grass a day, and for his reaping 2 sheaves a day, with an extra sheaf if he bound or stacked the corn. The cottagers performed 3 boon-works with 1 man for 3 days and helped with the haymaking; they also guarded prisoners taken in the vill. All the socage tenants except the miller performed services similar to those due from the customary tenants. The abbot of Oseney's tenants performed mowing services. All the unfree tenants paid pannage for their pigs. Most of the assart land was held for a small money rent, but 4 tenants also performed reaping services. (fn. 97)

In the later 13th century rents were remitted to the reeve, woodward, hayward, 2-4 ploughmen, and a smith, for their work, which in the 1240s was performed by paid servants. The rents of several other tenants were reduced because they had worked every day except Saturday. In the 1280s the reeve received small sums from some of the tenants in socage for commutation of part of their labour services. (fn. 98) There is no later record of the demesne, but a croft on the Downhall manor owed 2 days' haymaking and 3 days' reaping a year in 1318. (fn. 99)

The chief crops on the demesne in the 13th century were oats, wheat, and barley; in most years similar acreages of wheat and oats were sown, assuming that oats were sown twice as thickly as wheat, but only a quarter or a third as much land was sown with barley. Small quantities of peas were sown in most years, and of beans in the 1280s. (fn. 1) The autumn, spring, and fallow ploughing services owed in 1279 (fn. 2) imply a three-course rotation.

A cow-house was built in 1227, (fn. 3) but no cows were recorded later, and in the 1240s and 1260s demesne cultivation seems to have been exclusively arable. In the 1280s a shepherd was employed even though no sheep were recorded among the manorial stock. (fn. 4) Oseney abbey made a sheepfold about the 1220s, (fn. 5) and other landholders probably also kept sheep, but pigs were the most important livestock for many tenants. Rights of pasture in the abbey woods were the cause of disputes between Hanborough men and Eynsham abbey in the later 12th century and again c. 1230. The settlement reached provided that Hanborough tenants might keep their pigs in High wood in Eynsham in return for doing two boon works for the abbey and paying a hen at Christmas and 10 eggs at Easter. (fn. 6) The clearance of the woodland may have reduced the numbers of pigs, and in 1370 and 1371 Hanborough's dispute with Eynsham was over rights of common for cattle in Tilgarsley. (fn. 7)

Just over 40 people were assessed for subsidy in 1306, most of them at sums of between 1s. and 2s. (fn. 8) The highest assessment was 12s. 6 ¾d. on William of Estdun, a man otherwise unknown in the parish, who may have been the royal clerk of that name. (fn. 9) Richard of St. Owen and two others were assessed at 5s., William Akerman, probably the descendant of the tenant of an assart in 1279, at 4s. 7d., and Adam Downhall at 4s. 4 ½d. As many as 71 people were assessed in 1327, at sums ranging from 9s. to 6d. Hugh the tailor, perhaps the descendant of Adam the tailor who had held a yardland, probably free, in 1279, had the highest assessment, John de Champagne, tenant of the Downhall manor, was assessed at 7s., and two men, possibly descendants of villein tenants of 1279, were assessed at 5s. (fn. 10) Hanborough's assessment for later medieval subsidies, £7 11s., was the highest of the demesne towns. (fn. 11)

Before 1606, and probably in the later Middle Ages, the demesne was reduced by about half, and largely concentrated in the Hide, north of the Witney-Bicester road. The amount of seed sown in the 13th century suggests that the demesne then contained c. 300 a., but in 1606 it was only 148 a., of which 96 a. were in the Hide, the remainder scattered in the other open fields. Sixteenth-century tradition ascribed the change to a general reorganization of the demesne towns following an extension of Woodstock Park, (fn. 12) but it is hard to see how such an extension could have affected Hanborough. The separation of the demesne from the customary land was not complete; in addition to the c. 50 a. of demesne land in the three main fields, there were c. 7 a. of customary land in the Hide in 1606. (fn. 13)

A total of 42 people were assessed for subsidy in 1524, and 43 in 1525; 20 of them were assessed on wages in 1524, only 15 in 1525. (fn. 14) Other assessments, all on goods, ranged from 1s. to 6s. 8d., all but two men having assessments of between 1s. and 2s. 6d. The highest assessment in 1524 was that of Richard Smith, who probably held Snarestone's 2 ½ freehold yardlands; by 1525 he had died and his widow Margaret was assessed at 4s. only. John Collins who was assessed at 6s. in both years may have been the tenant of one of the other freeholds. The evenness of the other assessments suggests that in the early 16th century, as later, most customary tenants held 1 yardland or ½ yardland.

In 1606 a total of 39 tenants, among them several gentry from neighbouring parishes, including Sir Martin Culpeper of Dean in Spelsbury and John Gregory of Hordley in Wootton, held 27 ½ customary yardlands, the largest single holdings being of 1 ½ yardland. The yardlands varied in size from 28 a. to 19 a., the halfyardlands from 5 a. to 15 a.; in addition to the customary land each tenant held from 2 a. to 18 a. of bury land, the former demesne, roughly in proportion to the amount of his customary land. Fifty-six tenants, some of whom also held customary land, held small amounts of free land, at least part of it former assart land. (fn. 15) Although a few people built up holdings of 2 ½ or 3 yardlands, most such holdings were dispersed at death as provision was made for younger sons. The Butcher (later Bouchier) family, however, in the course of the 17th century built up an estate of 10 yardlands, including a lease of a moiety of Downhalls (4 yardlands) from Corpus Christi College, and several free cottages and closes. John Butcher (d. 1600) held a house called London's and land belonging to it, presumably the ½ yardland held by his son Richard Bouchier in 1606. (fn. 16) Richard, who became headmaster of Thame grammar school, (fn. 17) acquired another ½ yardland before his death in 1627, and his brother and heir Thomas acquired a further 3 yardlands. Thomas's son James (d. 1641) sold ½ yardland and left 1 yardland to his younger son Richard. James's elder son Thomas Bouchier, principal of St. Alban Hall in Oxford, bought another 1 ½ yardlands of customary land as well as the mill and its ½ yardland between 1661 and 1696. He was accused of 'minding the settling of a family and adding land to land to his seat at Hanborough' to the detriment of his academic hall. (fn. 18) Thomas's son James bought ½ yardland in 1704, and inherited Richard Bouchier's 1 yardland after 1715. Thereafter the family made no additions to the estate, which was sold to the duke of Marlborough in 1764. (fn. 19)

Late 16th- and 17th-century wills suggest the mixed farming usual in the area, most farmers owning some sheep and cattle besides equipment for arable farming. (fn. 20) The main crops were wheat and barley, but oats, maslin, peas, and beans were also grown. Two 16th-century farmers made bequests of rye, and one man in 1685 left some rye in the field. Lentils or chick peas were recorded in 1563, dills in 1684 and 1686, and hops in 1635. Arrangements for annuities in 1577 and 1600 included 3 bu. and 4 bu. of apples. (fn. 21) The proportions of the different crops suggest that the four-course rotation of (1) wheat (2) peas, beans, or oats (3) barley (4) fallow, recorded in 1771, was already being followed. (fn. 22) In January 1636 a yeoman left 3 ¼ a. sown with wheat, presumably the 3 a. and 1 butt of arable which he held in Mill field; (fn. 23) Mill field can thus be assumed to have been the winter wheat field that year, but there is no other evidence of the organization of the fields for cropping.

The existence of extra pasture on the heath seems to have encouraged the keeping of cattle by smallholders and craftsmen. A carpenter left a cow and 4 sheep in 1592, a wheelwright 3 milk beasts in 1610, a weaver 2 milking cows and 2 calves in 1627, and another weaver 8 cows in 1712. (fn. 24) A butcher, who may have been using the heath in his trade, had 13 cows, 6 sheep, and a lamb there in 1691. (fn. 25) Richard Mansell, who had a sub-lease of a moiety of Downhall's farm, left 16 beasts and 3 calves and 2 ewes and 2 lambs in his grounds in 1663; no crops were valued with his possessions, although Downhall's included open field land. James Bouchier in 1641 left 6 milking cows, 6 heifers, and 4 calves; he too appears to have had no crops and was presumably letting his arable land to tenants. (fn. 26)

The largest herds and flocks, however, belonged to the mixed farmers. John Salter, who held 2 ½ yardlands, left 16 cattle, 130 sheep, 6 hogs, and 3 pigs worth £88 and corn worth £61 at his death in 1639. His widow Alice the following year left 5 cows, 6 calves, 7 pigs, and 70 sheep worth £37, about the same value as her corn. (fn. 27) Richard Hitchcock, who held c. 1 yardland, in 1668 left 4 cows, 2 heifers, 50 sheep, and 30 lambs worth £37 and wheat, barley, and pulse worth £45, and Joseph Haines, who held a similar amount of land, in 1697 left 77 sheep, 28 lambs, 11 cows, 4 heifers, and a bull, worth £68, compared with corn worth £227, some of which may have been grown on his land at Kidlington and at Worton in Cassington. (fn. 28) Richard Langford, husbandman, in 1695 left 12 cows and calves worth £24, a flock of sheep worth £25, and corn worth £44. (fn. 29) John Salter, who held 1 yardland, left 10 cows and a bull, a flock of sheep, and 7 pigs, worth c. £70 in all, besides 31 ½ qr. of wheat, 16 qr. of barley, 14 qr. of beans, and 6 qr. of maslin in 1742. (fn. 30) Bees were recorded in 1577 and 1668, but in the 19th century they were apparently seldom kept in the neighbourhood. (fn. 31)

Although men were presented at the manor court in the 17th century for overloading the common, there is no evidence for the stint until 1735 when a cottage had common for 2 cows and 3 sheep. (fn. 32) That was the same as the cottage stint recorded in 1761, when the stint for a yardland was 4 horses, 4 cows, and 20 sheep for each yardland that included bury land, but only 3 horses, 3 cows, and 20 sheep for yardlands without bury land. (fn. 33) In 1763 tenants had the right to stock the heath with all sorts of cattle without stint. (fn. 34)

The dukes of Marlborough acquired the woodland in the parish with the manor in 1705, and in 1731 they bought the former Oseney abbey estate of 4 yardlands freehold. (fn. 35) They seem to have made no further effort to extend the land in their own possession until 1764 when they bought the Bouchier estate and another 3 yardlands from Simon Adams. (fn. 36) In 1771 the duke claimed to hold 18 of the 50 ¾ yardlands in the parish (including, presumably, 4 yardlands of Downhalls on lease from Corpus Christi College), and the following year he bought the 2 ½ yardlands freehold which had belonged to the Snarestones. (fn. 37)

By 1609-10 there were c. 255 a. of inclosed land in and around the village of Long Hanborough, c. 100 a. along the western boundary of the parish, and c. 118 a. in and around Church Hanborough, (fn. 38) all of it probably dating from the earlier Middle Ages. There was no further inclosure until 1773, when, in spite of the opposition of many of the cottagers, (fn. 39) the parish was inclosed by Act of parliament. The Act dealt with a total of 1,704 a., including Pinsley, Mill, and Abel woods, parts of the Breach and Blowens closes, and at least some meadows. The rector received 309 a. for tithe and 93 a. for glebe, the poor 10 a. The remaining land was divided among 60 landholders. The largest allotment, 556 a., was made to the duke of Marlborough for 17 ½ yardlands, some odd lands, the woods, and manorial rights. Corpus Christi College was allotted 147 a. for 10 yardlands, Thomas Haynes 77 a. for 3 ¼ yardlands, Edward Clarke 64 a. for 2 ½ yardlands, and John Prior 61 a. for 2 yardlands. Six people received between 20 a. and 36 a. for a yardland, and nine people between 9 a. and 15 a. for ½ yardland; most of the remaining allotments were of 1 a. or less for cottage commons. (fn. 40)

Inclosure enabled the duke's tenant to plough the heath, which was made into four fields cultivated on a three-course rotation, but otherwise there seems to have been little change in the arrangement of farms after inclosure. In the early 19th century the Blenheim estate 'floated' two meadows on the Evenlode in the north-east corner of the parish, which seem to have been old inclosures. Little is known of farming methods, but the mill farm was cultivated on a four-course rotation, a tenancy agreement of 1774 laying down that two-fifths of the arable was to be fallow or under turnips each year. (fn. 41) An inclosed ground was planted with sainfoin in 1780, and in 1782 a farmer's effects included clover seeds. (fn. 42) In 1801 there were said to be 828 a. of arable to 854 a. of permanent grass and 180 a. of wood in the parish. (fn. 43)

There were no major changes in landownership in the years immediately after inclosure, but in the 19th century the dukes of Marlborough continued to build up their estate, acquiring in 1829 the 77 a. allotted to Thomas Haynes, in 1844 the 27 a. allotted to Thomas Gregory, and in 1856 the 64 a. allotted to Edward Clarke. In 1863 the duke bought 61 a. which had belonged to Sophia Brown. (fn. 44) In the mid 19th century the parish was usually farmed in 6 large farms of 100 a. or more, and as many as 10 smaller ones. Apart from the glebe, or Rectory farm, the farms varied in size as tenant farmers gave up or acquired land. John Bullock, for instance, farmed 300 a. in 1851 and 229 a. in 1861; in 1871 Frederick Bullock had 284 a. The farm later known as Manor farm, leased to members of the Parker family, was 160 a. in 1851, 162 a. in 1861, 281 a. in 1871, and 325 a. in 1881. Most of the small farms, some of which had been less than 10 a., had disappeared by 1881. (fn. 45)

In 1867 cultivation was said to be chiefly arable, and a lease of the glebe farm in 1870 required the tenant to follow a five-field system, having 1/5 of the land under wheat, 1/5 of it fallow, 1/5 of it under beans, clover, or pulse, and 2/5 of it under barley or oats. (fn. 46) The duke of Marlborough's land in 1863 comprised 175 a. of wood, 364 a. of pasture, and 731 a. of arable, and in 1873 one of the farms belonging to Corpus Christi College had 109 a. of arable (including 7 a. of former woodland) to 73 a. of pasture. (fn. 47) There seems to have been some move back to pasture farming before 1914 when only 51 per cent of the land was arable; both cattle and sheep were kept, and the number of pigs, although smaller than that of cattle or sheep, was above average for the county. The chief crops were barley (21 per cent of the arable) and wheat (20 per cent), with 12 per cent of the arable under oats. (fn. 48) In 1920 the outlying parts of the Blenheim estate offered for sale were mainly pasture, 236 a. of pasture to 152 a. of arable, (fn. 49) but those proportions probably did not reflect the cultivation of the parish as a whole, which in 1986 was mainly arable, the chief crops being wheat and barley; cattle and some sheep were also kept.

TRADE AND INDUSTRY. Stone was being quarried in Hanborough in 1260, and there is a tradition that Hanborough church was built of stone from a quarry in the south part of Pinsley wood. (fn. 50) In 1605 there were quarries north-east of the wood in Stonepits furlong, and that or another nearby quarry, in Hencroft, was being worked in 1720 and 1729 and probably also in 1674 when it was described as in the adjoining Sow croft. (fn. 51) Hanborough stone was used in Woodstock in 1619, and stone was sold, illicitly, from the heath in 1637. (fn. 52) Masons were recorded in the parish from 1567, and a stone-cutter in 1739. (fn. 53) The Hencroft quarry had been worked out by 1763 when its site was under the plough, but there may have been another one nearby by 1772. (fn. 54) Two men were killed by a landslide in a Hanborough quarry in 1811, and in the 1830s as many as 10 masons were recorded in the parish. (fn. 55) In 1841 there were 11 masons and 1 apprentice, and in 1851 a total of 28 masons; numbers fell slightly to 18 masons, 5 labourers, and 1 stone quarrier in 1861, and to 14 masons, 1 labourer, and the quarry master by 1881. (fn. 56) One quarry was on the eastern boundary of the parish, at Gooseye; others, owned by the Lay family until 1935, were further north, between Long Hanborough and the Evenlode. Stone from them was used for the Oxford University Press building in Walton Street, Oxford, between 1826 and 1830, and for Eynsham Hall in 1904. By 1935 H. A. Tolley had opened a new quarry near the station, which was acquired by Benfield & Loxley in 1939, and which supplied much stone for Oxford buildings in the mid 20th century. (fn. 57) The quarry was worked out by 1986.

Hanborough was known as a source of good lime in the later 17th century, and in 1706 Henry Wise, described at his death as a lime burner, agreed to supply 500,000 bricks for the walls of the kitchen garden at Blenheim. (fn. 58) There were brick and lime kilns on Hanborough heath in 1783, but no further brick-making was recorded until 1851 when there were four brickmakers in the parish, one of them a publican and brickmaker at Shepherd's Hall where there was certainly a brickworks by 1861. There may have been another works north of the main road, just west of Long Hanborough. In 1861 there were 5 brickmakers, 3 tilemakers, and 1 brick and tile manufacturer in the parish, and in 1881 the brickworks employed 10 men, only 4 of whom seem to have lived in Hanborough. (fn. 59) From c. 1852 to c. 1899 the works were owned by members of the Breakspear family; before 1907 they were taken over by Wastie Bros., but seem to have closed by 1911. (fn. 60)

Occasional references to clothworkers suggest that Hanborough may have had a clothing industry, or housed outworkers from Witney. The surnames le Webbe (weaver) and le Fuller occur in 1327 and 1355. (fn. 61) Weavers died in 1546, 1627, and 1711, clothiers in 1675, 1686, and 1722, and a blanket-weaver in 1719. (fn. 62a) Hanborough weavers sued for debt in the Witney court in 1579 and 1589, and in 1601 William Valence son of William Valence of Hanborough, broadweaver, was apprenticed to a Witney broadweaver. A clothier lived in the parish in 1650. (fn. 63a) The last known clothworker was a fuller and dyer who died in 1725. (fn. 64a)

Other occupations recorded in Hanborough in the 16th and 17th centuries and the early 18th included blacksmiths, wheelwrights, carpenters, maltsters, a baker, a butcher, a shoemaker, and a cordwainer. Coopers died in 1587 and 1666, and a tinplate worker in 1703; a flax dresser was recorded in 1709. (fn. 65a) In 1558 a Hanborough glover rented a shop in Woodstock, other glovers died in the parish in 1563 and 1593, and one was recorded in 1627. (fn. 66a)

Most of the population in the early 19th century were labourers; a sawyer recorded in 1795 and 3 others in 1861 and 1871 presumably worked on the Blenheim estate. A glove-cutter recorded in 1830, and a glover and a watchmaker in 1838 were the only men, apart from the masons, who were not directly or indirectly dependent on agriculture. (fn. 67a) By 1841 at least 92 women, the wives or daughters of agricultural labourers, were working as glovers, and their number rose to 193 in 1851, falling slightly thereafter, with the total population, to 159 in 1871 and 126 in 1881. In 1847 the inhabitants of Long Hanborough were said to be principally dependent on the Woodstock glove trade, and in 1867 all the women in the parish were reported to be employed in glove-making. (fn. 68a) In the mid 19th century just under half the working men in the parish were agricultural labourers or small farmers, the quarry, brickworks, and railway providing alternative employment. Most of the 64 railway labourers in Hanborough in 1851 were presumably temporary residents, but there were 24 railway employees in 1861 and 23 in 1881, including the station master, an inspector, and 2 porters. In the 1840s and 1850s there seem to have been an unusually large number of both blacksmiths and shoemakers in the parish: 8 blacksmiths in 1841 and 9 in 1851; 12 shoemakers in 1841 and 13 in 1851. There was a coal merchant from 1861, but the coal wharf at which 1 labourer worked was presumably in Eynsham or Cassington. The Blenheim estate probably employed the 4 gardeners, 3 gamekeepers and a lodge gatekeeper recorded in 1871 and the 6 garden labourers and 2 gamekeepers recorded in 1881. The number of domestic servants rose from 4 in 1841 to 21, not all of them employed in the parish, in 1881. Among the more unusual occupations were a collar-maker in 1841, a flockmaker, who lived at Gooseye cottage, in 1851, and a book seller and a smock frock-maker in 1861. (fn. 69a)

There were few changes in the economic structure of the parish in the late 19th century or the early 20th. A cycle repairer had started business by 1907, and a branch of the Oxford Co-operative and Industrial Society was established in 1913. There was a newsagent from 1920, and two garages from 1924. (fn. 70a) From 1941 onwards Corpus Christi College granted licences to dig gravel on the college land in Church Hanborough, and from 1957 to 1961 the land was leased to Amey's Aggregates Ltd. for gravel extraction. (fn. 71a) Work had ceased by 1986.

Since c. 1960 some light industry has moved into the parish. J.H.B. (Equipment) Plant Hire started business c. 1964 on a site near the railway station; Oxford Scientific Films was established nearby in 1969, and Joslin (Contractors) Ltd. moved from Oxford to Southrah Quarry, Lower Road, in the early 1970s. (fn. 72a) In 1986 a business park was under construction in Main Road near the station.

MILLS. There was a mill worth 10s. on the manor in 1086, and in 1279 Richard son of Hugh the miller held the mill, apparently in socage, for a rent of 100s. a year. (fn. 73a) Other millers or millwards were recorded in the late 13th century, in 1355, and in 1415. (fn. 74a) In 1606 the mill was still part of the manor, leased to Edward Johnson in succession to his father George; Edward had acquired a new lease for three lives from Sir Henry Lee, the steward of Woodstock manor, in 1601. (fn. 75a) Before 1615 the freehold of the mill was sold to Anne Vavasour, Sir Henry Lee's mistress, but Edward Johnson retained his lease which passed on his death in 1640 to his sons Richard and John (d. 1661). (fn. 76a)

The freehold of the mill was held by Thomas Hiorns in 1650 and was sold by his son and heir Edmund to Thomas Bouchier in 1675. It then descended with the Bouchier estate, being conveyed in 1746 by another Thomas Bouchier to Charles Harris of the Inner Temple, London, who granted it to his sister Elizabeth Bouchier and nephew Thomas Bouchier in 1750. It was sold to the duke of Marlborough with the rest of the Bouchier land in Hanborough in 1764. (fn. 77a)

The Bouchiers and then the dukes of Marlborough leased the mill to a succession of millers. There was only one pair of stones in 1640, but by 1740 it was a double mill, a wheat mill and a household mill; the tenant agreed to find a new French stone for the wheat mill. (fn. 78a) The mill was held with ½ yardland in 1606; in 1774 the miller also held the fishery and 117 a. of land. Throughout the 19th century the mill farm was one of the largest in the parish, being 141 a. in 1798, 160 a. in 1851, 133 a. in 1871, and 100 a. in 1881. The mill was leased in the early 19th century to Joseph Druce of Eynsham, and later to members of the Walker family. (fn. 79a) A new foundation for the wheel was built in 1896, and by 1915 steam machinery had been installed. The mill seems to have ceased to work in the late 1920s; the wheel had been removed by 1967 although the wheel chamber remained. (fn. 80a)


  • 62. C.C.C. Mun., Twyne transcript, iii, p. 5.
  • 63. Ibid. pp. 3, 87; P.R.O., LR 2/224, p. 128.
  • 64. C.C.C. Mun., Twyne transcript, iii, p. 9.
  • 65. P.R.O., LR 2/202, ff. 36v.-38v.; LR 2/224, ff. 112-45; C.C.C. Mun., Langdon maps, I, nos. 6-8.
  • 66. Blenheim Mun., map of 1761; ibid. box 84: quality bks.; C.C.C. Mun., AL ¼, 9.
  • 67. Rot. Hund. (Rec. Com.), ii. 35, 47, 871.
  • 68. Oseney Cart. iv, p. 111.
  • 69. C.C.C. Mun., AL 1/3; O.R.O., incl. award; Blenheim Mun., box 84: quality bks.
  • 70. B.L. Harl. Rolls E. 32, F. 19.
  • 71. C.C.C. Mun., Langdon maps, I, no. 6; Blenheim Mun., map of 1761.
  • 72. V.C.H. Oxon. i. 419-20.
  • 73. P.N. Oxon. (E.P.N.S.), ii. 269; Close R. 1237-42, 2.
  • 74. Close R. 1254-6, 322; 1256-9, 281; Cal. Signet Letters Hen. IV and Hen. V, p. 79.
  • 75. O.R.O., Jo. I/iii/7; Marshall, Woodstock Manor, 256.
  • 76. Blenheim Mun., 1761 map; ibid. E/P/13; C.C.C. Mun., Langdon maps, I, no. 8; Marshall, Woodstock Manor, 265.
  • 77. Close R. 1242-7, 312.
  • 78. P.R.O., C 143/3, no. 7; ibid. LR 2/202., f. 37; Blenheim Mun. E/P/13; Marshall, Woodstock Manor, 265.
  • 79. P.R.O., C 143/3, no. 7.
  • 80. Ibid. LR 2/202, f. 36v.; Blenheim Mun. E/P/13; Marshall, Woodstock Manor, 265.
  • 81. Eynsham Cart. i, pp. 279, 298-9.
  • 82. C.C.C. Mun., Twyne transcript, iii, pp. 126-8; ibid. Langdon maps, I, no. 7; P.R.O., LR 2/202, f. 37v.
  • 83. V.C.H. Oxon. i. 419-20.
  • 84. C.C.C. Mun., Langdon maps, I, no. 8.
  • 85. Close R. 1231-4, 64; Oseney Cart. iv, p. 111.
  • 86. P.R.O., LR 2/202, ff. 36v.-38v.; Blenheim Mun., B/M/208, ff. 115-16.
  • 87. Blenheim Mun., map of. 1761; for the duke of Marlborough's holding, above, Manors.
  • 88. Oseney Cart. iv, p. 110.
  • 89. P.R.O., LR 2/202, ff. 36v.-38; LR 2/224, ff. 119, 131-43; O.R.O., MS. Wills Oxon. 185, f. 160.
  • 90. O.R.O., MS. Oxf. Archd. Oxon. b 40, f. 150.
  • 91. Blenheim Mun., box 84; quality bks.
  • 92. Above, Eynsham, Econ.; below, Local Govt.
  • 93. V.C.H. Oxon. i. 419-20.
  • 94. Rot. Hund. (Rec. Com.), ii. 871.
  • 95. Cf. Cal. Inq. Misc. i, p. 441.
  • 96. Rot. Hund. (Rec. Com.), ii. 871; C.C.C. Mun., Twyne transcript, iii, pp. 5, 21.
  • 97. Rot. Hund. (Rec. Com.), ii. 871.
  • 98. P.R.O., SC 6/958/22-4; SC 6/962/4,6.
  • 99. C.C.C. Mun., Twyne transcript, iii, p. 21.
  • 1. P.R.O., SC 6/962/4, 6.
  • 2. Rot. Hund. (Rec. Com.), ii. 871.
  • 3. Cal. Lib. 1226-40, 34.
  • 4. P.R.O., SC 6/958/22-4.
  • 5. Oseney Cart. iv, p. 110.
  • 6. Eynsham Cart. ii, pp. 104-7.
  • 7. Ibid. i, pp. 241-2; Cal. Close, 1369-74, 232.
  • 8. P.R.O., E 179/161/10. The first few names on the Hanborough list are missing.
  • 9. Cal. Pat. 1301-7, 196, 212, 259, 464.
  • 10. P.R.O., E 179/161/9.
  • 11. Subsidy 1334, ed. R. E. Glasscock, 244.
  • 12. B.L. Lansd. MSS. 27, ff. 94v-95; 25, f. 189v.
  • 13. P.R.O., LR 2/224, ff. 112-45.
  • 14. Ibid. E 179/161/175, 198.
  • 15. Ibid. LR 2/224, ff. 96-145.
  • 16. O.R.O., MS. Wills Oxon. ¾/64.
  • 17. Blenheim Mun., B/M/208, f. 131v.; V.C.H. Oxon. viii.209.
  • 18. A. Wood, Athenae Oxonienses, ed. P. Bliss, iv. 498.
  • 19. Blenheim Mun., B/M/208-215, passim; ibid. box 79.
  • 20. O.R.O., MSS. Wills Oxon., indexed in D. M. Barratt, Oxon. Probate Rec. 1516-1732.
  • 21. O.R.O., MSS. Wills Oxon. 181, f. 123 and v.; 182, f. 113; 184, f. 106v.; 185, f. 493; ibid. ¾/66; 7/4/11; 9/1/5; 13/¼; 34/3/3; 62/2/14.
  • 22. Blenheim Mun., box 84.
  • 23. O.R.O., MS. Wills Oxon. 127/1/9; P.R.O., LR 2/224, f. 122.
  • 24. O.R.O., MSS. Wills Oxon. 17/1/56; 2¼/81; 60/1/34; 169/4/41.
  • 25. Ibid. 171/5/24.
  • 26. Ibid. 8/4/7; 115/3/39; C.C.C. Mun., lease bk. xi, f. 61.
  • 27. O.R.O., MSS. Wills Oxon. 60/4/35; 61/1/3.
  • 28. Ibid. 133/1/18; 298/2/41.
  • 29. Ibid. 139/5/7.
  • 30. Woodstock Boro. Mun., 47/½4; Blenheim Mun., B/M/216, f. 454.
  • 31. O.R.O., MS. Wills Oxon. 185, f.493 and v.; ibid. 156/2/17; 'Oxon. Village Folklore (1840-1900)', Folklore, xxiv. 84.
  • 32. Blenheim Mun., B/M/216, f. 186.
  • 33. Ibid. map of 1761.
  • 34. Ibid. box 84.
  • 35. Above, Manors.
  • 36. Blenheim Mun., boxes 79, 80.
  • 37. Ibid. boxes 80, 84.
  • 38. P.R.O., LR 2/202, ff. 36v.-38v.
  • 39. Blenheim Mun., box 84; C.C.C. Mun., AL 1/11.
  • 40. O.R.O., incl. award.
  • 41. Blenheim Mun., box 84; ibid, plans in wooden chest in estate office.
  • 42. Oxf. Jnl. 26 Feb. 1780; 9 Mar. 1782.
  • 43. P.R.O., HO 67/18.
  • 44. Blenheim Mun., boxes 80-3; O.R.O., land tax assess.
  • 45. P.R.O., HO 107/890, 1731; RG 9/904; RG 10/1450; RG 11/1513.
  • 46. O.R.O., Rob. III/iii/3; Rep. Com. on Children and Women in Agric. [4202-1], p. 348, H.C. (1868-9), xiii.
  • 47. Blenheim Mun., E/P/58; C.C.C. Mun., AL 2/2.
  • 48. Orr, Oxon. Agric. statistical plates.
  • 49. Auction Cat.: copy in Bodl. G.A. Oxon. b 92* (3).
  • 50. Close R. 1259-61, 50; R. C. S. Bailey, Hanborough, 4-5; County Mus., P.R.N. 4902.
  • 51. C.C.C. Mun., Langdon maps, I, no. 6; Blenheim Mun., B/M/ 210, ff. 68v., 90; 213, f. 171; 216, f. 42.
  • 52. Ballard, Chron. Woodstock, 77; Blenheim Mun., B/M/208, f. 229.
  • 53. O.R.O., Cal. Q. Sess. i, f. 283; ibid. MS. Wills Oxon. 185, f. 214; ibid. 145/2/40; Blenheim Mun., B/M/208, ff. 85v., 311; P.R.O., REQ 2/84/31; ibid. ASSI 5/116.
  • 54. Blenheim Mun., map of 1761; ibid. box 84; quality bks.
  • 55. Oxf. Jnl. 12 Oct. 1811; par. reg. transcript, baptisms, 1813-40.
  • 56. P.R.O., HO 107/890, 1731; RG 9/904; RG 11/1513.
  • 57. C.C.C. Mun., AL ½6; Kelly's Dir. Oxon. (1887 and later edns.); W. J. Arkell, Oxf. Stone, 89, 114.
  • 58. O.R.O., MS. Wills Oxon. 177/1/50; Plot, Nat. Hist. Oxon. (1705), 79; Oxon. Brickmakers (Oxon. Mus. Publication, xiv), 14.
  • 59. County Mus., P.R.N. 9285; Blenheim Mun., box 84; P.R.O., HO 107/890, 1731; RG 9/904; RG 10/1450; RG 11/1513.
  • 60. Gardner's Dir. Oxon. (1852), 676-8; Kelly's Dir. Oxon. (1887 and later edns.).
  • 61. P.R.O., E 179/161/9; ibid. C 143/313, no. 3.
  • 62a. O.R.O., MS. Wills Oxon. 179, f. 200; ibid. 52/4/22; 60/1/34; 147/3/20; 169/4/41; P.R.O., PROB 11/356, f. 107v.; Blenheim Mun., B/M/312, f. 144.
  • 63a. Witney Ct. Bks. (O.R.S. liv), 88, 122, 172-3; C.C.C. Mun., lease bk. ix, f. 29v.
  • 64a. O.R.O., MS. Wills Oxon. 139/5/7.
  • 65a. Ibid. passim, especially 37/1/15; 120/2/37; 63/1/16; ibid. Cal. Q. Sess. i, f. 155.
  • 66a. Woodstock Boro. Mun. ¾/6; O.R.O., MSS. Wills Oxon. 184, f. 79; 10/5/55; 44/¼0.
  • 67a. Par. reg. transcript, baptisms 1813-40; P.R.O., ASSI 5/116; ibid. RG 9/904; RG 10/1450.
  • 68a. P.O. Dir. Oxon. (1847); Rep. Com. on Children and Women in Agric. [4202-1], p. 331, H.C. (1868-9), xiii.
  • 69a. P.R.O., HO 107/890, 1731; RG 9/904; RG 10/1450; RG 11/1513; above, Combe, Econ.
  • 70a. Kelly's Dir. Oxon. (1887 and later edns.); datestone on Co-op. bldg.
  • 71a. C.C.C. Mun., AL 6/1; ibid. lease bks. xliii, pp. 166-7, 211, 223-4, 241-3, 277-9, 293-5, 319; xlv, no. 66; xlvii, no. 31.
  • 72a. O.R.O., Hanborough PC I/3, p. 152; Hanborough Herald, Aug. 1983: copy in Westgate Libr.; P. S. Crowson, Animals in Focus, 55; inf. from Joslin (Contractors) Ltd.
  • 73a. V.C.H. Oxon. i. 419-20; Rot. Hund. (Rec. Com.), ii. 871.
  • 74a. C.C.C. Mun., Twyne transcript, iii, p. 3; P.R.O., C 143/313, no. 5; Reg. Repingdon, iii (L.R.S. lxxiv), p. 73 n.
  • 75a. P.R.O., LR 2/224, f. 144.
  • 76a. Ibid. C 2/Jas. I/I1/9; O.R.O., MS. Wills Oxon. 136/ 4/1.
  • 77a. Blenheim Mun., box 79.
  • 78a. Ibid.; O.R.O., MS. Wills Oxon. 136/4/1.
  • 79a. Blenheim Mun., box 84; P.R.O., HO 107/890, 1731; RG 9/904; RG 10/1450; RG 11/1513; O.R.O., Welch LIII/1.
  • 80a. Blenheim Mun., shelf A6, box 3, certificate 134; Kelly's Dir. Oxon. (1887 and later edns.); County Mus., P.R.N. 304.