Kidlington: Manors and other estates

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, 'Kidlington: Manors and other estates', in A History of the County of Oxford: Volume 12, Wootton Hundred (South) Including Woodstock, ed. Alan Crossley, C R Elrington( London, 1990), British History Online [accessed 16 July 2024].

A P Baggs, W J Blair, Eleanor Chance, Christina Colvin, Janet Cooper, C J Day, Nesta Selwyn, S C Townley, 'Kidlington: Manors and other estates', in A History of the County of Oxford: Volume 12, Wootton Hundred (South) Including Woodstock. Edited by Alan Crossley, C R Elrington( London, 1990), British History Online, accessed July 16, 2024,

A P Baggs, W J Blair, Eleanor Chance, Christina Colvin, Janet Cooper, C J Day, Nesta Selwyn, S C Townley. "Kidlington: Manors and other estates". A History of the County of Oxford: Volume 12, Wootton Hundred (South) Including Woodstock. Ed. Alan Crossley, C R Elrington(London, 1990), , British History Online. Web. 16 July 2024.

Manors and other estates

In 1086 Robert d'Oilly held KIDLINGTON in demesne, (fn. 91) and the manor descended with his barony of Hook Norton to his brother Niel (d. c. 1115), to Niel's son Robert (d. 1142), and to Robert's son (d. 1163), grandson (d. 1196), and great-grandson, all called Henry d'Oilly. The last Henry, who c. 1200 alienated detached woodland in the extraparochial area Osney Hill, died without issue in 1232, and Kidlington was held in dower by his widow Maud (d. 1261) and her second husband William de Cauntelo. (fn. 92) Margaret de Newburgh, countess of Warwick, niece of the last Henry d'Oilly and after 1242 his heir, died without issue in 1253, (fn. 93) but the reversion of Kidlington, which had escheated to the Crown on her death, was granted to her husband John de Plessis, who entered on the manor on Maud de Cauntelo's death. (fn. 94) John de Plessis died in 1263 and was succeeded by his son Hugh who in 1279 held the manor in demesne of the king in chief. (fn. 95) Hugh was succeeded by his son (d. 1301), grandson (d. 1337), and great-grandson (d. 1349), all called Hugh de Plessis. (fn. 96) On the death of the last Hugh, Kidlington passed in dower to his widow Elizabeth and her second husband Roger Elmbridge. (fn. 97) Hugh de Plessis's brother and heir John died without issue in 1354 and the reversion of Kidlington passed to his sister Eleanor, wife of John Lenveysey, and to her son John Lenveysey, who entered on the manor at Elizabeth Elmbridge's death in 1379 but himself died without issue in 1380. (fn. 98) Kidlington was again held in dower, by John Lenveysey's widow Elizabeth who married Philip de la Vache. (fn. 99) In 1381, William Molyns, who held the reversion of Kidlington under a settlement made by the younger John Lenveysey in 1374, conveyed it to four men who seem to have been feoffees for Richard Adderbury, who acquired a life interest in the manor on the death of Elizabeth de la Vache in 1414. (fn. 1) By 1428 Thomas Chaucer held 1 knight's fee in Kidlington, formerly held by Hugh de Plessis, which he had presumably acquired from the Adderburys. (fn. 2) He died in 1434, and the manor passed to his wife Maud and then to his daughter Alice, wife of William de la Pole, earl of Suffolk. (fn. 3) Kidlington was among the manors forfeited by Alice's grandson Edmund de la Pole, earl of Suffolk, in 1501. (fn. 4) In 1510 it was granted to Thomas Howard, Lord Howard, and his wife Anne (d. 1511), daughter of Edward IV, in exchange for her share in her father's lands. (fn. 5)

The manor was in the king's hands in 1532; it seems later to have been held by Charles Brandon, duke of Suffolk, but in 1546 the king granted it to Leonard Chamberlain and John Blundell. (fn. 6) It then followed the descent of Steeple Barton, (fn. 7) being divided among Blundell's five daughters, Anne Cordell, Elizabeth Hogan, Mary Croker, Theodora Champneys, and Susan Freston. In 1610 Elizabeth's son Thomas Hogan bought Mary's fifth of the manor from her son John Croker; after that Anne and Susan died without issue and their shares were divided among the issue of the other three sisters. Theodora's son Richard Champneys, who had earlier sold his fifth of the manor, sold his third part of the two fifths of the manor to Gresham Hogan, brother and successor of Thomas. Gresham thus held two thirds of the manor, which passed, with Steeple Barton, to his daughter Elizabeth and her husband Thomas Waller, who devised it to his youngest daughter Dorothy. Dorothy married John James, and Kidlington passed to their son Hogan who sold it to Thomas Paynton. Paynton died in 1773, devising the manor, then consisting only of quitrents, to trustees for sale. (fn. 8) It seems to have been bought by Joseph Smith of the Bayley manor in Kidlington, and passed with that estate to William Bulley, who in 1810 sold it to the duke of Marlborough. (fn. 9) The dukes were recorded as lords of the manor throughout the 19th century and the early 20th, (fn. 10) but by then manorial rights had lapsed.

The medieval manor house probably stood west or south-west of the church on the site of the later Bury or Baylyes House. By 1550 there seems to have been only a bailiff's house on the site. The house, with the adjoining moated Berry orchard, was sold by Thomas Waller in 1664 to Thomas Standard of Shipton-on-Cherwell. It passed to Standard's daughter Alice, wife of Thomas Smith, to her son Humphrey Smith, to Humphrey's son Thomas who came of age in 1728, and to Thomas's son Thomas, whose executors sold it to the duke of Marlborough in 1788. (fn. 11) The large house, partly of 16th century date, was demolished in the later 18th century. (fn. 12)

In 1606 Richard Champneys sold the fifth of Kidlington manor which he had inherited from his mother Theodora to Edward Street and Anthony Woodhull, from whom it had passed by 1660 to Woodhull Street, owner of the Bayley manor, with which it presumably descended thereafter. (fn. 13)

The remaining two fifteenths of the manor, the Croker share in Anne Cordell and Susan Freston's portions, were sold before 1633 to John Saunders and John May. (fn. 14) John Saunders's share descended to Thomas Saunders who in 1708 conveyed it, described as a quarter of the manor, to trustees for sale. It was sold to Humphrey Smith owner of Berry of Berry Orchard and passed with that estate to the duke of Marlborough in 1788. (fn. 15) John May's share descended to Martin May (d. 1707) under whose will it passed successively to his great-nephews Francis Martin May Mann (d. by 1751) and Thomas Martin May Philips. Philips sold it in 1755 to Samuel Touchet who in 1765 sold it to the duke of Marlborough. (fn. 16)

Two sub manors developed in the 16th century from medieval freeholds. The BAYLEY manor, first so called in 1548, (fn. 17) derived from a freehold held by the Croxford family. Walter de Croxford held land in the parish from 1263 or earlier (fn. 18) until he was hanged for felony between 1284 and 1288. (fn. 19) In 1291 Oseney abbey held land from John Croxford the elder and John Croxford the younger, paying them 13s. 4d. and 20s. respectively, (fn. 20) but in 1301 John Croxford held only 1 yardland of the Plessis manor. (fn. 21) In 1327 John Croxford the elder settled 4 messuages, 2 ploughlands, and 10 a. of meadow in Kidlington, Yarnton, Begbroke, Hampton Poyle, and Islip on the heirs male of his son John the younger. (fn. 22) He or other men of the same name were recorded before 1362 and in the late 14th century, and another John Croxford of Kidlington in 1451. (fn. 23) It is probable, in view of the later descent of the estate, that the last John was the John or Robert Croxford, lord of the manor of Whitehill in Tackley, whose daughter and heir Isabel married George Gainsford. (fn. 24) In 1531 Isabel's son Austin Gainsford settled on himself and his son Edward his capital messuage or farm called le Bally and 3 yardlands and a close in Kidlington, and in 1548 Edward sold the estate, then described as a manor, to Thomas Tipping of Draycot (Bucks.). (fn. 25) In 1550 Tipping held 'Baylis and Redes lands' of John Blundell of Kidlington manor, (fn. 26) but in 1553 he conveyed the estate, again described as a manor, to Thomas Gadbury, (fn. 27) who died in 1586 leaving the manor to his son John. (fn. 28)

In 1598 the manor, comprising land in Kidlington, Yarnton, and Begbroke, was settled on Joan Gadbury widow of Thomas Gadbury (fn. 29) for life, with remainder to her son John Gadbury. (fn. 30) John sold the manor in 1603 to Edward Street of Thrupp who was succeeded by his son Woodhull Street (d. 1680) and by Woodhull's son Henry. (fn. 31) Henry died without issue in 1686, leaving his estate to his widow Mary who in 1687 married John Conant, formerly fellow of Merton College, to whom she left the manor at her death in 1717. (fn. 32) Conant died in 1723 having devised all his lands to his brother Robert, and in 1726 Robert and his brother Edward sold the manor to Thomas Paynton who c. 1727 sold it to Joseph Smith of Queen's College, Oxford. (fn. 33) Smith settled it in 1750 on his son Joseph Smith the younger (d. 1776) whose son Joseph Bouchier Smith sold it in 1789 to Charles Henry Mordaunt, earl of Peterborough. The earl sold it in 1802 to William Bulley, an Oxford innkeeper. (fn. 34) Bulley died in 1828 and in 1829 the estate, no longer described as a manor, was sold to Thomas Robinson whose executors sold it in 1849 to the duke of Marlborough. (fn. 35)

Excavation at Moat Cottage, the site of the Bayley manor house, has revealed a series of medieval buildings, of stone with slate or tile roofs and apparently moated; the earliest appears to date from the late 13th century. The medieval house was replaced, perhaps in the 17th century, by a new house slightly further west. It was L-shaped with a projecting staircase and showed some elements of a screens-passage plan. That house was remodelled c. 1750 by Joseph Smith, who also laid out a new garden, altering the shape of the moat and dumping earth over the site of the medieval house. Before 1818 the house was extended by the addition of a north-west wing. It was demolished by Thomas Robinson c. 1839, but some of the materials, probably including parts of the walls, were reused in a small house, Moat Cottage, on part of the site. (fn. 36)

A second sub-manor, known by 1554 as HAMPDEN manor, derived from 3 yardlands held freely in 1301 by John son of Thomas by service of 1 lb. pepper and 2 barbed arrows. (fn. 37) The estate, including a fishery in the Cherwell, passed from John to his daughter Agnes, to Agnes's son John Waleys, to John's daughter Joan and to Joan's son Edmund Hampden of Great Hampden (Bucks.), who held it in 1395. (fn. 38) The estate then descended with Great Hampden manor from Edmund (d. 1457-8) to Thomas Hampden (d. c. 1485), to John Hampden (d. 1496), to Sir John Hampden who in 1550 held of John Blundell by service of 1 lb. of pepper and 3 broad arrowheads. (fn. 39) On Sir John's death in 1553 the Kidlington estate passed to his granddaughter Anne and her husband William Paulet, to whom Sir John's widow Philippa and her second husband Sir Thomas Smith quitclaimed a manor of Kidlington in 1554. (fn. 40) They were succeeded by their son William who held in 1578 and by William's daughter and heir Elizabeth who married Oliver St. John, later earl of Bolingbroke. (fn. 41)

In 1608 Elizabeth and Oliver St. John sold the manor to Robert Waller, who at his death in 1616 was said to have held of Edward Frere who held of Gresham Hogan for three broad arrowheads or 6d. and 1 1b. of pepper. (fn. 42) In 1626 Robert's window, Anne Waller, and his sons Edmund and Griffin sold the manor to John Smith of Oxford. (fn. 43) Smith's daughter and heir Anne married Sir William Morton (d. 1672) and their son Sir James Morton sold the manor in 1677 to William Pudsey. Pudsey died before 1709 and was succeeded by his son William (d. 1729) whose daughter and heir Anne married the Revd. John Sydenham (d. 1788). (fn. 44) Their son John Pudsey Sydenham was succeeded in 1810 by his son John Pudsey Welchman Sydenham who held the estate but made no claim to a manor, at inclosure. He was succeeded in 1854 by his sister Amy, wife of Richard Burgoyne. At her death in 1870 Amy devised Hampden manor to her stepsons Richard Wild Burgoyne and Richard Dodd Burgoyne. R. D. Burgoyne sold his share to his brother R. W. Burgoyne who sold the estate in 1899 to William Margetts. Margetts devised it in 1916 to his nephew Thomas Welford who in 1919 sold it to E. A. Salter, who broke up the estate in 1954 and 1955. (fn. 45)

John son of Thomas of Kidlington was given four oaks from Woodstock park in 1281, perhaps for a house on the Hampden Manor site; in 1986-7 building work under the north wing of the existing house revealed stone walls, roof tiles, and pottery sherds apparently of the later 13th century, and a possibly late 14th-century dividing wall. (fn. 46) The nucleus of the surviving house is a small, ostensibly early 18th-century farmhouse which was refenestrated and extended southwards in two stages later in that century. Adjacent outbuildings on the northeast were incorporated into the house in the 20th century when an outshot was built out along the east side of the house. A short distance to the south an ornate early 18th-century gazebo sits astride the original boundary wall and the ditch which marked the edge of the town green. North-east of the house is a gate of similar date and pretensions; the rusticated piers have ball finials, and the original wrought-iron gates survive.

An estate of 3 hides in THRUPP held in 1066 by Leofwig, Archbishop Stigand's man, had passed by 1086 to Wadard's son who held of Roger d'Ivri. (fn. 47) The overlordship passed with the rest of Roger d'Ivri's lands to the honor of St. Valery and so to the honor of Ewelme, for which courts were held at Thrupp until 1847. (fn. 48)

The demesne tenancy followed the descent of Wadard's second Cassington manor, passing by the mid 12th century to Walkelin Wadard's elder daughter Helewise. (fn. 49) As at Cassington a mesne lordship was created which passed to Helewise's son by her first marriage, Walkelin Hareng, and to his nieces Maud, daughter of his sister Isabel, and Millicent of Fritwell and Isabel Brown, daughters of his sister Denise. In 1221 Maud Hareng, Isabel Brown, and Millicent's son Stephen of Fritwell were lords; Maud's son Fulk died without issue and in 1247 the mesne lords were Stephen of Fritwell and Isabel's son John Brown. (fn. 50) In 1279 the vill was held of John Brown and Richard Fritwell, (fn. 51) and in 1308 a third of the manor was held of John Brown's daughter Mary and her husband Henry Spigurnel, (fn. 52) but the mesne lordship was not recorded thereafter.

The demesne tenancy seems to have been divided in the 12th century; part apparently passed with Cassington to Helewise's daughter Avice and her husband Richard de Vernon. About 1245 William Bagot, who had acquired the Vernon estate, sold land in Cassington and 4 villein yardlands in Thrupp to Peter Ashridge, who granted the land to Godstow abbey; c. 1268 Jordan of Aldswelle granted the abbey further lands in Thrupp and Cassington. The abbey retained the estate, later 4 yardlands and 2 messuages, until the Dissolution, (fn. 53) when it reverted to the Crown, then holding the main manor; Elizabeth I later granted it to Sir William Petre, who in 1566 conveyed it to William Babington, lord of the remainder of Thrupp. (fn. 54)

Most of Thrupp was held in 1221 by Ralph Hareng, perhaps a relation of Walkelin Hareng and possibly the Ralph son of Geoffrey who disputed possession of land in Thrupp with Stephen of Fritwell in 1219. (fn. 55) He was succeeded by his son Ralph who granted part of the estate to Nicholas of Haversham before 1241. (fn. 56) Nicholas died in 1251 seised of 5 1/4 yardlands in Thrupp, held of Simon de St. Liz, husband of Ralph Hareng's daughter Joan, (fn. 57) a mesne lordship not recorded thereafter. Nicholas's son and heir Nicholas held no Oxfordshire land at his death in 1274, and in 1279 John of Haversham held one third of Thrupp. (fn. 58) In 1293, however, the estate was held by the younger Nicholas's daughter Maud and her husband James de la Planche. (fn. 59) James died in 1306, and in 1308 Maud and her second husband John of Olney granted a lease of the property, then 6 yardlands, to Adam de le Fenne and his wife Alice. (fn. 60)

Another third of the estate was held in 1279 by the Oxford burgess Nicholas of Kingston who died before 1288 and was succeeded by John of Kingston, who held in 1293. (fn. 61) In 1298 Nicholas of Kingston's daughter Alice and her husband Richard the spicer conveyed their manor of Thrupp to William of Spratton and his wife Joan. (fn. 62) The remaining third of the manor was held in 1279 by Richard de Amundeville, (fn. 63) but its earlier and later descent has not been traced.

In 1316 Thrupp, or the major part of it, was held by John of Mimms in right of his wife Joan, (fn. 64) whose relationship to earlier lords has not been established. From John and Joan the manor passed to their sons William, who died without issue, and Hugh, and to Hugh's son Nicholas who held in 1360 and 1376. (fn. 65) In 1364, however, Thomas of Compeworth and his wife Agnes recovered land in Thrupp as Agnes's right, and he or another Thomas of Compeworth was called the lord of Thrupp in 1384. (fn. 66) Thomas Compeworth the younger was pardoned for a robbery and murder in Thrupp in 1395. (fn. 67)

Before 1389 the manor was acquired by Richard Adderbury, who held in 1394 and 1399 when he gave land at Thrupp to the Crutched Friars of Donnington (Berks.), (fn. 68) a grant which did not take effect. He was succeeded by his nephew, another Richard Adderbury who in 1448 sold Thrupp to William de la Pole, duke of Suffolk. (fn. 69) Thrupp then descended with Kidlington to successive dukes or earls of Suffolk, being given to Henry VIII by Charles Brandon, duke of Suffolk. (fn. 70) In 1555 Philip and Mary granted Thrupp to William Babington (d. 1577), who was succeeded by his son Philip (d. 1606). (fn. 71) Philip's son Henry sold the manor in 1610 to Roger Brent, (fn. 72) who was succeeded by his son Robert (d. 1616), by Robert's son Roger (d. 1680) and by Roger's son Roger (d. by 1696) whose trustees sold it in 1699 to John Bush. (fn. 73) John Bush was succeeded by his brother Thomas and by Thomas's son Jonathan who before 1740 sold Thrupp to Sir Francis Page. (fn. 74) The manor then descended with Page's other land in the hundred (fn. 75) to his great-nephew Sir Francis Page (d. 1803) and to Sir John Thomas Wheate. In 1804 it was sold to Richard Bourne Charlett, who was lord of the manor at inclosure in 1811; he was succeeded by his nephew William Sturges-Bourne (d. 1845) whose executors sold the manor to William Hutt. Hutt died in 1864, and in 1868 Thrupp was sold to Joseph Hutt who in 1873 sold it to John Hutt. John Hutt sold it in 1876 to Exeter College, Oxford. (fn. 76)

Thrupp Manor Farm, the former manor house, dates from the 17th century. The large internal chimney stack and the rooms on either side of it are from an early 17th-century house which had an entrance against the stack on the west side. Later in the 17th century a room was added to the north and a cross passage made across the end of the adjacent older room. Early in the 18th century a staircase was put into the west side of that room and a small block, with panelled rooms on each floor, was added at the north end of the west side of the main range. Most of the windows were renewed in the 19th century and a single-storeyed kitchen wing, entered from the original front door, was added or rebuilt. A fragment of early 17th-century strapwork decoration in plaster survives on the east front. An inclosure north of the house was called the Warren in 1699 and 1818. (fn. 77)

In 864 King Burgred of Mercia sold to Bishop Eahlhun of Worcester an estate of 5 cassati at WATER EATON. Eahlhun's successor Bishop Waerfrith (873-915) sold it back to King Ceolwulf (874-c. 882), who gave it to Hungith; Hungith sold it to Wigfrith, to whom Edward the Elder confirmed it in 904. (fn. 78) In 1086 Robert d'Oilly held the manor in demesne, and it descended with Kidlington until the younger Robert d'Oilly gave it to Oseney abbey before 1140. (fn. 79) Oseney was granted free warren in Water Eaton in 1268, and retained the manor until the Dissolution. (fn. 80) In 1542 Henry VIII granted it to the new bishopric of Oxford, but in 1545 after Bishop King's surrender of his endowments it was granted to William Bury. Doubts as to the validity of these transactions led to unsuccessful attempts by the Crown in 1552 and 1613 to recover the manor. (fn. 81) William Bury died in 1563, before he had completed a settlement of the manor on his younger sons, and was therefore succeeded by his eldest son John Bury, who retained the lordship of the manor but in 1570 sold the manor house and the demesne land to Gerard Croker of Steeple Barton. In 1585 Gerard's son John sold one moiety of the property to John Temple of Stowe (Bucks.), and the other moiety to William Frere of Oxford who in 1590 bought the lordship of the manor from John Bury's son Thomas. (fn. 82)

William Frere died in 1612 and was succeeded by his son Edward who in 1624 sold the manor to Sir Richard Lovelace, later Lord Lovelace; Sir Richard also bought the Temple moiety of the demesne from John Temple's son Sir Thomas Temple, (fn. 83) and thus acquired the whole of Water Eaton. Lord Lovelace died in 1634 and was succeeded by his son John, a prominent royalist, who died in 1670 and was succeeded by his son, another John who died in 1693. Water Eaton, however, was held in dower by the window of the first John, Anne, dowager Lady Lovelace and from 1686 Baroness Wentworth, until her death in 1697. (fn. 84) In 1692 the younger John, Lord Lovelace, had sold the reversion of the manor to Sir Henry Johnson, who in 1693 married his daughter Martha. (fn. 85) Sir Henry died in 1719 (fn. 86) and under the terms of his will Water Eaton passed to his window Martha for life and then to his granddaughters Anne, Henrietta, and Lucy Wentworth, children of his daughter Anne and her husband Thomas Wentworth, earl of Strafford. Martha Johnson died in 1745 and Anne and her husband William Conolly, Lucy Wentworth, and Henrietta and her husband Henry Vernon conveyed Water Eaton to trustees for sale. (fn. 87) No sale took place until 1767 when the manor was sold to Anthony Sawyer of Heywood (Berks.), in whose family it has remained, passing from Anthony (d. 1784) to his son John (d. 1845), to John's son Charles (d. 1876), and to Charles's son Charles (d. 1892). The younger Charles was succeeded by his nephew Edmund Charles Sawyer (d. 1920) and the latter's sons Charles Anthony (d. 1924) and John Edmund (d. 1974), who was succeeded in 1969 by his nephew Robert Sawyer. (fn. 88)

Water Eaton Manor was built by William Frere in 1586 on the site of a cottage, the earlier manor house having been assigned to John Temple's moiety of the estate. (fn. 89) The surviving building is almost square, facing east towards the Cherwell, with a kitchen wing projecting at the back. At least one bay of the 17th century house, at the south end, was demolished before 1785. (fn. 90) The house, which was taxed on 15 hearths in 1662, was reorganized and perhaps enlarged by the dowager Lady Lovelace in the 1670s and 1680s. In 1681 it contained a great hall, parlour, drawing room, dining room, and 6 chambers including 'my lady's chamber' with a chamber over it and the best chamber, as well as several inner chambers and closets, a kitchen and other service rooms and 2 servants' halls. (fn. 91a) Further alterations were made in 1688. (fn. 92a) In the 18th century and earlier 19th the house was used as a farmhouse; it was restored in 1881-2 by T. G. Jackson for Gen. Charles Sawyer, and some further work may have been done by the architect G. F. Bodley, the tenant 1906-7. (fn. 93a)

Land in GOSFORD, later described as 2 ploughlands, was given by the younger Robert d'Oilly and his son Henry in 1142 to the Hospitallers who retained it until the Dissolution. (fn. 94a) In 1543 the Crown granted the land, described as a manor, to Sir John Williams and Anthony Stringer, who at once conveyed it to Owen Whitton and his wife Joan. (fn. 95a) Owen and Joan made a settlement of the manor in 1553, but in 1562 their son George Whitton of Woodstock Park and Hensington sold Gosford to Edward Frere. (fn. 96a) Edward was succeeded by his son William, who held the manor at his death in 1612. (fn. 97a) William's son Edward sold the manor in 1623 to Benedict Hall of High Meadow in Staunton (Glos.), lord of Noke manor; (fn. 98a) from Benedict (d. 1668) it passed to his son Henry Benedict (d. 1687) and to Henry Benedict's son Benedict, who in 1713 conveyed it to trustees to provide a dowry for his daughter Benedicta Maria Teresa. In 1716 it was sold to John Churchill, duke of Marlborough, whose successors retained it until 1920. (fn. 99a)

In 1086 Alfred the clerk held a 3-hide estate in CUTTESLOWE of Roger d'Ivri. (fn. 1a) The land was given to St. George's in the Castle, Oxford, before 1149 and so passed to Oseney abbey (fn. 2a) and was absorbed into the abbey's Water Eaton manor.

Henry d'Oilly, probably the second of that name (d. 1196), gave a chapel at FRIES to Oseney abbey, and c. 1200 Thomas of St. Valery added the adjoining house, a grant confirmed by Richard, earl of Cornwall, before 1235. (fn. 3a) That house, which lay in Yarnton parish, apparently passed from Oseney to Rewley abbey and descended thereafter with Rewley's Yarnton lands. (fn. 4a) Oseney abbey retained its Fries estate until the Dissolution when it was granted, with Water Eaton, to the bishopric of Oxford and then to William Bury. (fn. 5a) A later grant, by Elizabeth I in 1574 to Christopher Fenton and Bernard Gilpin of London, (fn. 6a) does not seem to have taken effect. Bury sold Fries in 1551-2 to George Owen of Godstow, (fn. 7a) but before 1570 the estate had passed to John Keate of Hagbourne (Berks.), who died that year; he was succeeded by his son John (d. 1618) and then by Leonard Keate (d. 1623). Leonard's heir was his daughter Mary who with her husband Anthony Libbe in 1648 surrendered Fries to Leonard's brother John Keate of Checkendon. (fn. 8a)

The descent of the estate in the next 120 years is obscure. Thomas Stapler was recorded at Fries in 1665 and, with Richard Hall, in 1674, but both may have been tenants. John Rowland seems to have owned the estate in 1760, (fn. 9a) but in 1783 Fries was among the lands settled on William Fuller of Salisbury and his wife Mary. (fn. 10a) He or another William Fuller held it in 1826, but by 1849 it had passed to Francis Fuller, who sold it in 1863 to Exeter College, the owners in 1983. (fn. 11a)

Before 1164 Ralph Breton gave Oseney abbey 1 hide in Cote in Kidlington, (fn. 12a) but there is no later record of the abbey's holding in the hamlet, and the property may have been absorbed into the main Kidlington manor. In the late 13th century Hugh de Plessis gave his holding in COTE, 7 villein tenements, to his daughter Alice and her husband John Gernun, (fn. 13a) but Alice's granddaughters Elizabeth, wife of John Rycote, and Joan, wife of John de Vernon, were unable to make good their claim to the property against Thomas Adderbury, whose uncle, another Thomas Adderbury, was said to have acquired it from John, son of Henry Dimmock. (fn. 14a) Cote descended with Kidlington to Thomas Chaucer and his wife Maud, (fn. 15a) but later descended with Thrupp, for in 1667 Roger Brent of Thrupp owned 4 yardlands called Cotes farm. Roger Brent's son Roger sold Cotes farm in 1681 to Thomas Bouchier of Oxford (fn. 16a) who before 1697 had built up an estate in Kidlington of more than 7 yardlands. It passed to his son James and to James's son Thomas, who in 1757 sold it to Joseph Smith of the Bayley manor. (fn. 17a) Smith's son Joseph Bouchier Smith in 1779 devised the estate to trustees who in 1786 sold it to James Morrell. Morrell died in 1807 and was succeeded by his window Ann who held at inclosure and then by his son Baker Morrell and Baker's son F. J. Morrell. Cotes Farm with the whole Kidlington estate acquired from Joseph Bouchier Smith passed to F. J. Morrell's son Baker Morrell, who seems to have sold it in the 1880s. (fn. 18a) F. J. Morrell, however, bought other Kidlington lands, notably, in 1854, c. 50 a. allotted to John Wild at inclosure, and this estate passed at his death in 1883 to his son F. P. Morrell (d. 1908) whose executors seem to have sold the property. (fn. 19a)

Brasenose College, Oxford, bought 1 yardland from John Baldwin in 1521 and another from Robert Milward in 1599. The estate was sold in 3 lots in 1935, 1946, and 1952. (fn. 20a) In 1596 James Kidder conveyed to Queen's College, Oxford, 1 yardland in Kidlington. The estate was sold in 1878. (fn. 21a) Merton College, Oxford, owned rights of common which were exchanged for c. 8 a. at inclosure, and in 1818 acquired the adjoining 7 a. by exchange with Henry Knapp for land in Hampton Poyle. The college retained part of the land in 1983. (fn. 22a) The trustees of Stone's Hospital in St. Clement's, Oxford, acquired a 12-a. close in Gosford before 1762; they still held it in 1830. (fn. 23a)

The rectory, composed of glebe and title, was held by Oseney abbey and descended with the abbey's other land in the parish to the bishopric of Oxford and then to Exeter College, which leased it to a succession of tenants. (fn. 24a) The rectory house, presumably already on its later site in Mill Street, was repaired and a dovecot built in 1290-1. (fn. 25a) Timbers from a 13th- or early 14th century house, probably from a hall roof, have been re-used in the surviving house. The house was ruinous c. 1520, but had been rebuilt by 1687 when it comprised a hall with adjoining buttery, a parlour and kitchen with chambers over them, and a study, as well as larders and storehouses. (fn. 26a) The west end of that house, a 16th-century parlour wing, survived in 1983. It has two rooms with moulded ceilings on each floor, and a projecting turret, probably for a garderobe, on the north-east; the date 1578 is moulded above a fireplace. One room contains 16th-century panelling, at least some of it reset, but the interior was otherwise remodelled c. 1700 when a staircase was inserted into the northern room. The house was 'improved' by its tenant, William Hall the Oxford brewer, between 1811 and 1813, and the hall and service ranges to the east were rebuilt in 16th-century style c. 1840. (fn. 27a)

At inclosure in 1818 Exeter College was allotted 49 a. for rectorial glebe and 282 a. for rectorial tithe in Kidlington and Thrupp. (fn. 28a) In 1820, after a protracted dispute, the college enforced payment in kind for both rectorial and vicarial tithes in Gosford, but efforts to obtain tithe from Water Eaton and Cutteslowe failed. The rectorial tithe of Gosford was commuted in 1850 for a rent charge of £66 19s. 6d. (fn. 29a) The land was sold in 1932. (fn. 30a)


  • 91. V.C.H. Oxon. i. 413.
  • 92. Sanders, Eng. Baronies, 54; Cur. Reg. R. xiv, p. 493; Bk. of Fees, ii. 822; Oseney Cart. iv, p. 136; below, N. Leigh, Manors.
  • 93. Complete Peerage, xii (2), 366.
  • 94. Cal. Pat. 1258-66, 184-5; Close R. 1261-4, 178.
  • 95. Cal. Inq. p.m. i, p. 168; Rot. Hund. (Rec. Com.), ii. 873.
  • 96. Cal. Inq. p.m. iii, p. 41; viii, p. 70.
  • 97. Ibid. ix, p. 183; Cal. Close, 1349-54, 108.
  • 98. Complete Peerage, x. 551; Cal. Pat. 1358-61, 579; 1370-4, 422; Cal. Inq. p.m. xv, p. 41.
  • 99. Cal. Inq. p.m. xv, pp. 103-4; Cal. Close, 1377-81, 299.
  • 1. Cal. Pat. 1370-4, 422; 1413-16, 169, 273; Cal. Close 1377-81, 492.
  • 2. Feud. Aids, iv. 195.
  • 3. P.R.O., C 139/70, no. 35; C 139/83, no. 53; Cal. Pat. 1436-41, 166.
  • 4. Cal. Pat. 1494-1509, 265.
  • 5. L. & P. Hen. VIII, i (1), pp. 311, 357; Complete Peerage, ix. 619.
  • 6. L. & P. Hen. VIII, v, p. 457; xxi (2), p. 160.
  • 7. V.C.H. Oxon. xi. 62.
  • 8. Bodl. MS. d.d. Tyrwhitt-Drake c 2, passim; O.R.O., Morrell VI/a/1, 3-5; ibid. MS. Wills Oxon. 54/1/26.
  • 9. Blenheim Mun., box 104.
  • 10. P.O. Dir. Oxon. (1847 and later edns.).
  • 11. Blenheim Mun., box 91.
  • 12. Exeter Coll. Mun., M. III. 5.
  • 13. P.R.O., CP 25(2)/339/4 Jas. I Mich., no. 17; Bodl. MS. d.d. Tyrwhitt-Drake c 2, no. 35.
  • 14. Bodl. MS. d.d. Tyrwhitt-Drake c 2, no. 15.
  • 15. Blenheim Mun., box 91.
  • 16. Ibid. boxes 95, 96, 98.
  • 17. Bodl. MS. Top. Oxon. d 170, f. 10.
  • 18. P.R.O., C 132/28, no. 13; Oseney Cart. iv, p. 130; cf. ibid. p. 106 which should probably be dated 1254-67.
  • 19. Cal. Close 1279-88, 258; Cal. Inq. Misc. i, p. 407.
  • 20. Bodl. MS. d.d. Ch. Ch. O.R. 96.
  • 21. P.R.O., C 133/101, no. 7.
  • 22. Ibid. C 260/151, no. 19.
  • 23. Black Prince's Reg. iv. 415; Bodl. MS. Rolls Oseney 14; Cal. Fine R. 1445-52, 216.
  • 24. V.C.H. Oxon. xi. 199.
  • 25. Bodl. MS. Top. Oxon. d 170, ff. 12, 14, 19.
  • 26. Ibid. MS. d.d. Tyrwhitt-Drake c 2, no. 3.
  • 27. Ibid. MS. Top. Oxon. d 170, f. 22.
  • 28. O.R.O., MS. Wills Oxon. 129/1/18.
  • 29. Ibid. 25/3/13.
  • 30. Bodl. MS. Top. Oxon. c 113, ff. 20, 30.
  • 31. O.R.O., Misc. Pe. 111/29; Kidlington Par. Reg. (Kidl. Hist. Soc. 1981), 252.
  • 32. Wood, Life and Times, iii (O.H.S. xxvi), 225; Bodl. MS.Top. Oxon. c 113, f. 43; Kidlington Par. Reg. 255; Queen's Coll. MS. 482, f. 57v.: abstract of title.
  • 33. Exeter Coll. Mun., M. IV. 1; Bodl. MS. Top. Oxon. c 113, ff. 11, 82; Kidlington Par. Reg. 264.
  • 34. Blenheim Mun., box 98; Stapleton, Three Oxon. Pars. 86.
  • 35. Blenheim Mun., boxes 28, 29; Stapleton, Three Oxon. Pars. 82.
  • 36. Queen's Coll. MS. 482, f. 214v.; O.R.O., incl. award; C.B.A. Group 9, Newsletter viii. 114-16; x. 177-9; xi. 126.
  • 37. P.R.O., C 133/101, no. 7.
  • 38. Oseney Cart. iv, p. 145.
  • 39. V.C.H. Bucks, ii. 288; Bodl. MS. d.d. Tyrwitt-Drake c 2, no. 3.
  • 40. V.C.H. Bucks. ii. 305; P.R.O., PROB 11/37 (P.C.C. 11 Moore); ibid. CP 25(2)/76/650, no. 2; CP 25(2)/83/710, no. 43.
  • 41. Bodl. MS. d.d. Tyrwhitt-Drake c 2, no. 14; Complete Peerage, ii. 203-4; Visit. Bucks. (Harl. Soc. Iviii), 70.
  • 42. P.R.O., C 142/359, no. 136; ibid. CP 25(2)/385/6 Jas. I Trin., no. 15.
  • 43. Blenheim Mun., box 92; Stapleton, Three Oxon. Pars. 90-2. No evidence has been found to support the descent.
  • 44. Blenheim Mun., box 93.
  • 45. Deeds in possession of Mr. and Mrs. R. C. Wilkins, Hampden Farm, Kidlington.
  • 46. Cal. Close, 1279-88, 100; Oxon. Local Hist. vol. 2, no. vii. 255-65.
  • 47. V.C.H. Oxon. i. 416.
  • 48. Rot. Hund. (Rec. Com.), ii. 853; Cal. Inq. p.m. iii, p. 479; iv, p. 242; Earldom of Cornwall Accts. 1296-7, i (Camd. 3rd. Ser. Ixvi), 143; O.R.O., MS. d.d. Ewelme Honor 1/8, 2/9, 10/2; ibid. CH/E/I/ii/2, 11; CH/E/IX/1-54; CH/E/XXII/ 1/5-6, 12.
  • 49. Eynsham Cart. i, p. 114.
  • 50. P.R.O., JUST 1/273, m. 31; Oxon. Fines, 63.
  • 51. Rot. Hund. (Rec. Com.), ii. 853.
  • 52. P.R.O., C 143/72, no. 21.
  • 53. Godstow Eng. Reg. i, pp. 263-5, 280-1; Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), ii. 192; P.R.O., E 310/3/21, no. 13; above, Cassington, Manors.
  • 54. Exeter Coll. Mun., M. III. 4.
  • 55. Oxon. Fines, 57-8, 63; cf. Red Bk. Exch. (Rolls Ser.), i. 70.
  • 56. P.R.O., JUST 1/695, rot. 14d.; Oxon. Fines, 138.
  • 57. Cal. Inq. p.m. i, p. 57; Oseney Cart. v, p. 232.
  • 58. Cal. Inq. p.m. ii, p. 54; Rot. Hund. (Rec. Com.), ii. 853.
  • 59. Cal. Inq. p.m. iii, p. 84; V.C.H. Bucks, iv. 368.
  • 60. Cal. Inq. p.m. iv, p. 242; P.R.O., C 143/721, no. 21.
  • 61. Rot. Hund. (Rec. Com.), ii. 853; Salter, Survey of Oxf. i. (O.H.S. N.S. xiv), 7.
  • 62. P.R.O., CP 25(1)/188/12, no. 50.
  • 63. Rot. Hund. (Rec. Com.), ii. 855.
  • 64. Feud. Aids, iv. 163; Cal. Pat. 1313-17, 479.
  • 65. Black Prince's Reg. iv. 366; P.R.O., CP 40/461, m. 33.
  • 66. Black Prince's Reg. iv. 521; Oseney Cart. iv. 141.
  • 67. Cal. Pat. 1391-6, 600.
  • 68. Chart. R. 1341-1417, 319; Cal. Pat. 1391-6, 369; 1396-9, 469.
  • 69. Cal. Pat. 1446-52, 169.
  • 70. Ibid. 1494-1509, 265; P.R.O., LR 2/189, f. 167.
  • 71. Cal. Pat. 1554-5, 144; P.R.O., C 142/182, no. 41; C 142/295, no. 74.
  • 72. P.R.O., CP 25(2)/339/8 Jas. I Trin., no. 16.
  • 73. Ibid. C 142/355, no. 71; Kidlington Par. Reg. 252; O.R.O., B/VIII a/6; Exeter Coll. Mun., N. I. 5.
  • 74. Exeter Coll. Mun., N. I. 5.
  • 75. V.C.H. Oxon. xi. 29, 63.
  • 76. Exeter Coll. Mun., N. I. 4.
  • 77. Ibid.; O.R.O., incl. award.
  • 78. Cart. Sax. ed. Birch, ii, pp. 119-20, 264-5; M. Gelling, Early Chart. of Thames Valley, pp. 126-8.
  • 79. V.C.H. Oxon. i. 413; Oseney Cart. iv, p. 12.
  • 80. Oseney Cart. vi, p. 65; Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), ii. 216.
  • 81. L.& P. Hen. VIII, xx (2), p. 222; B.L. Add. MS. 22190, ff. 13v.-14; Sawyer papers, in possession of Mr. R. Sawyer, Water Eaton Manor.
  • 82. Sawyer papers.
  • 83. Ibid.
  • 84. Complete Peerage, viii. 229-34; B.L. Add. MS. 22190, f. 66; Sawyer papers.
  • 85. Sawyer papers; Hist. MSS. Com. 17, H.L.., N.S. vi, pp. 258-9.
  • 86. Complete Peerage, xii (2), 502.
  • 87. Sawyer papers.
  • 88. Ibid.; O.R.O., Colvin IV/i/1; Landed Gent. (1937 edn.); Twixt Cherwell and Glyme, 297.
  • 89. Sawyer papers; P.R.O., E 134/9 Jas. I/ Mich. 6.
  • 90. Bodl. MS. Top. Oxon. d 282, f. 252.
  • 91a. B.L. Add. MS. 22190, f. 101 and v.; P.R.O., E 179/164/504.
  • 92a. Three Oxon. Pars. 119: record of datestone.
  • 93a. Inf. from Mr. R. Sawyer from letters in his possession; Country Life, xx. 666; D.N.B.. s.v. Bodley.
  • 94a. V.C.H. Oxon. ii. 106; Dugdale, Mon. vi. 834; Knights Hospitallers in Eng. (Camd. Soc. [1st ser.], 1xv), 26.
  • 95a. L. & P. Hen. VIII, xviii, pp. 130, 133.
  • 96a. Cal. Pat. 1553-4, 360-1; 1560-3, 424.
  • 97a. P.R.O., C 142/326, no. 64.
  • 98a. Ibid. CP 25(2)/340/21 Jas. I Mich., no. 20; V.C.H. Oxon. vi. 270-1.
  • 99a. Blenheim Mun., boxes 59, 60; O.R.O., Misc. Far. XIV/1; Sale Cat. (1920): copy in Bodl. G.A. Oxon. b 92*(3).
  • 1a. V.C.H. Oxon. i. 416.
  • 2a. Oseney Cart. iv, pp. 36, 38.
  • 3a. Ibid, iii, pp. 345-6; iv, pp. 105-6.
  • 4a. Ibid. iv, p. 106 n.
  • 5a. Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), ii. 216; L. & P. Hen. VIII, xvii, p. 482; xx (2), p. 222; P.R.O., E 41/446.
  • 6a. O.R.O., Fa/XXI/17; Cal. Pat. 1572-5, p. 367.
  • 7a. P.R.O., WARD 2/28B, nos. 1, 10.
  • 8a. Ibid. SP 12/75, no. 91; ibid. WARD 2/28B, no. 5; ibid. C 142/370, no. 89; C 142/399, no. 144; O.R.O., PL XVIII/31-2.
  • 9a. B.L. Add. MS. 22190, ff. 61, 78-9; O.R.O. land tax assess.
  • 10a. O.R.O., Misc. Lem. II/1.
  • 11a. Exeter Coll. Mun., M. III. 2; O.R.O., PD 2/55; Three Oxon. Pars. 49.
  • 12a. Salter, Oxf. Charters, no. 79.
  • 13a. P.R.O., E 210/7148.
  • 14a. G. Wrottesley, Pedigrees from the Plea Rolls, 58; cf. V.C.H. Oxon. iv. 266.
  • 15a. Cal. Close, 1429-35, 335-6.
  • 16a. For him see Wood's Life and Times, iii (O.H.S. xxvi), 488.
  • 17a. O.R.O., Misc. Bod. XII/1; Morrell Vl/a/5, 7-9; VI/b/2; VI/c/7-8; VI/e/14-15; VI/f/1-10.
  • 18a. Ibid. Morrell VI/f/18-19, 21-2; X/c/1; X/h/2; X/h/11; Queen's Coll. MS. 482, ff. 58-60; P. Nicholson, Family Album, 2.
  • 19a. O.R.O., Morrell VI/s/1; VI/t/2, 15; X/h/11; X/p/7; ibid. incl. award; Kelly's Dir. Oxon. (1912-13).
  • 20a. B.N.C. Quatercentenary Monographs, i (O.H.S. 1ii), no. vi, p.20; B.N.C. Mun., Kidlington nos.4, 6, 45-7, 50; ibid lodger 26, pp.45, 264, 266; ledger 27, p.161.
  • 21a. Queen's Coll. Mun., C.
  • 22a. O.R.O., incl. award; Merton Coll. Mun., uncat. estate plans; V.C.H. Oxon. vi. 163.
  • 23a. O.R.O., land tax; Bodl. MS. Top. Oxon. b 224, ff. 3-5v.
  • 24a. Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), ii. 223; L. & P. Hen. VIII, xvii, p. 490; Cal. Pat. 1563-6, p. 25; Three Oxon. Pars. 46.
  • 25a. Bodl. MS. d.d. Ch. Ch. O.R. 96.
  • 26a. Visit. Dioc. Linc. i (L.R.S. xxxiii), 128; O.R.O., MS. Wills Oxon. 300/2/18.
  • 27a. Exeter Coll. Mun., A. I. 11, p. 179; M. IV. 3.
  • 28a. O.R.O., incl. award.
  • 29a. Exeter Coll. Mun., M. III. 2, 7; O.R.O., tithe map 184.
  • 30a. Auction cat. map, in possession of Mr. C. Rowles, 87 High St., Kidlington.