Kidlington: Roman Catholicism

Pages 209-210

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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Roman Catholicism

Only four recusants were recorded in Kidlington in the later 16th century and the 17th. Among them were, in 1577, John Chamberlain, son-in-law of George Owen of Godstow and tenant of lands in Thrupp, and, in 1603, Dorothy wife of John Gadbury of Hampden manor. (fn. 29) There seem to have been two or three recusant families in the parish in the early 18th century, including that of Richard Hudson, a schoolmaster who settled in Kidlington c. 1714. (fn. 30) In 1738 the two popish householders, the Gosford innkeeper and his son, were visited once a month by Peter Ingleby, a Jesuit from Culham or Sandford. (fn. 31) The two or three Roman Catholics still met occasionally at the Gosford inn in 1759, but usually attended a private chapel outside the parish, perhaps in Kiddington. (fn. 32) Among the one or two Roman Catholics reported in the parish in the later 18th century and the early 19th was a Corsican, Giuseppe Giacomorsi, alleged to have been Na- poleon's valet. (fn. 33) In 1905 some French Sisters of Providence stayed briefly in the parish, but Roman Catholic numbers remained low until the mid 20th century. A church hall of St. Thomas More was built in 1935, although most worshippers continued to attend the Catholic church in Woodstock; a presbytery was built in 1955, and a new church, also dedicated to St. Thomas More, in 1968. (fn. 34)


  • 29. Returns of Recusants, 1577 (Cath. Rec. Soc. xxii), 111; Stapleton, Three Oxon. Pars. 45; 'Oxon. Recusants', O.A.S. Rep. (1924), 17, 26, 56.
  • 30. Hearne's Colln. vi (O.H.S. xliii), 78; Stapleton, Cath. Miss. 196-7: the evidence for the recusancy of the Phillips family is doubtful.
  • 31. Secker's Visit. 52-3, 89; Stapleton, Cath. Miss. 343.
  • 32. O.R.O., MS. Oxf. Dioc. d 556, f. 69v.
  • 33. Three Oxon. Pars. Further Addenda, 2.
  • 34. Clarendonian, xxii. 261-4; K. Gachowski, Cath. Ch. in Woodstock (1984), 6, 12, 16.