Shipton-on-Cherwell: Local government

Pages 263-264

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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Local government

The medieval overlords, like their 16th-century successors, presumably held courts for their manors. The overlords of the Paulton manor held view of frankpledge: in 1314 Alan la Zouche died seised of the view of Maud Paulton's tenants, and in 1454-5 William and Alice Lovel had two views a year in Shipton. (fn. 91) Views were held in 1569 for Edward Stanley, earl of Derby, and in 1620 for his successor William Stanley; the courts elected a constable and tithingman and ordered the mounding of the 'common park', perhaps the pound. By 1647, however, view of frankpledge had passed to the tenants in demesne, Robert and Alice Standard. From 1569 the the Rathbones and their successors the Standards held a manorial court or court baron which made some agricultural bylaws, chiefly about the grazing of sheep and cattle, dealt with transfers of copyhold land, and amerced tenants for encroachments. (fn. 92) Robert Standard's estate at his death in 1698 included a view of frankpledge and court baron, (fn. 93) but there is no further record of either court. From 1540 or earlier New College similarly held courts which dealt with transfers of copyhold and with some agricultural offences, made bylaws, and amerced tenants for encroachments and for neglect of buildings; in 1553 a plea of trespass was heard. Seventeenth-century courts seem to have dealt mainly with copyholds. The last recorded court was held in 1706. (fn. 94)

In 1642 there were two churchwardens, and two overseers; there was usually only one churchwarden in the 18th and 19th centuries. (fn. 95) The parish spent £24 10s. on poor relief in 1776, an average of £27 a year between 1783 and 1785, and £98 or c. 18s. a head of population in 1803. In 1813 the rate had risen to c. £1 16s. a head, a total of £201, but, surprisingly, it fell by about a half in 1815, and in the subsequent depression it remained at 14s. a head, one of the lowest rates in the area. It went down to c. 8s. in 1823, and to c. 6s. and c. 7s. in 1831 and 1832, exceptionally low figures. Total expenditure in 1831 was only £51. In 1803 there were six able-bodied adults on regular out-relief; in the period 1813-1815 numbers fell from 14 to 10. (fn. 96)

The vestry's functions were taken over by a parish meeting in 1894; in 1946 a joint parish council for Shipton-on-Cherwell and Thrupp was set up. (fn. 97)

Shipton-on-Cherwell was part of Woodstock poor law union from 1834 and of Woodstock rural district from 1894. In 1932 it was included in Ploughley rural district, and in 1974 in Cherwell district. (fn. 98)


  • 91. Cal. Inq. p.m. v, p. 255; Inq. p.m. (Rec. Com.), iv. 264.
  • 92. B.L. Add. Roll 59146.
  • 93. Blenheim Mun., box 122.
  • 94. New Coll. Arch., 489, 490, 494, 3778, 7000.
  • 95. Protestation Returns, 90-1; O.R.O., MS. Oxf. Archd. Oxon. c 100, ff. 129-250.
  • 96. Poor Abstract, 1804, pp. 406-7; 1818, pp. 360-1; Poor Law Returns, H.C. 556, p. 139 (1822), v; H.C. 334, p. 174 (1825), iv; H.C. 83, p. 161 (1830-1), xi; H.C. 444, p. 157 (1835), xlvii.
  • 97. O.R.O., RO 604.
  • 98. Census, 1851; O.R.O., RO 15, 263.