Ducklington: Charities

Pages 149-150

A History of the County of Oxford: Volume 13, Bampton Hundred (Part One). Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1996.

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Richard Lydall of Northmoor, by will proved 1721, left 2 adjacent cottages and 8½ a. in Hardwick, his birthplace, for a bread charity, which was distributed at Cokethorpe chapel. (fn. 1) One cottage was later demolished and in the later 18th century and early 19th the estate was rented for between £7 and £14 10s. a year. In 1824 bread was distributed to c. 16 poor Hardwick families. (fn. 2) At inclosure in 1853 the churchwardens of Hardwick were awarded c. 4½ a. for Lydall's land, which was turned into allotments. (fn. 3) In the later 19th century the rent of cottage and allotments was c. £15 (fn. 4) and was not raised substantially until 1967. Bread distributions continued, but the charity was also deflected at the rector's discretion to chiropody and other purposes. (fn. 5)

Anne Sammon (d. 1832), daughter of Ducklington's rector John Pinnell, left £200 for a bread and coal charity. After prolonged litigation the charity, in operation by the 1870s, was endowed with c. £105, which in the later 19th century and in 1969 was yielding c. £3 a year. (fn. 6)

On the death of Catherine Strickland of Cokethorpe House in 1892 her relatives provided a memorial fund of £60 to ensure continuation of her regular charitable donations to the parish, which from 1873 or earlier had been £5 a year used for coal. In the 1960s the fund was yielding £5 a year. (fn. 7)

Kenneth Macray, son of the rector W. D. Macray, by will proved 1941 left £300 for general alms with no religious distinction. The income was c. £16 10s. in 1968. (fn. 8)

A weekly bread charity for Ducklington intended by the will of James Leverett of Witney dated 1783 seems never to have been implemented. (fn. 9) Under a Scheme of 1972 the charities of Lydall, Sammon, Strickland, and Macray were amalgamated and the income (c. £150 in 1979) was used for general relief in need. (fn. 10)

In the late 18th century, following a longestablished practice referred to as the 'Easter custom', the rector provided an Easter feast for his parishioners at the rectory house; the traditional fare was pies of veal or apple. In 1798, during a vacancy in the living, Magdalen College agreed to provide £10 worth of bread instead of the 'custom', and bread of that value was provided thereafter, divided equally between the inhabitants of Hardwick and Ducklington. Thomas Farley (rector 1826-70) transferred the customary payment to the support of the village school, a practice followed by his successor W. D. Macray. (fn. 11)


  • 1. 10th Rep. Com. Char. 359; O.R.O., MS. Wills Oxon. 139/4/48. Lydall was born in 1642: C.O.S., par. reg. transcripts.
  • 2. Char. Don. 968-9; 10th Rep. Com. Char. 359; cf. Magd. Coll. Mun., MS. 799 (ii), June 1885: notes on char.
  • 3. O.R.O., Standlake incl. award, where the charity's open-field land was also measured at only 4½ a.
  • 4. Gardner's Dir Oxon. (1852); Magd. Coll. Mun., MS. 799 (i), printed par. accts. 1873-9.
  • 5. O.R.C.C., Kimber files.
  • 6. Magd. Coll. Mun., MS. 799 (v), Aug. 1904: notes on char.; ibid. MS. 799 (i-iii), char, accts. 1873-90; O.R.C.C., Kimber files.
  • 7. O.R.C.C., Kimber files; Magd. Coll. Mun., MS. 799 (i-iii), char, accts. 1873-90.
  • 8. O.R.C.C., Kimber files.
  • 9. Bodl. MS. Top. Oxon. b 78, f. 28; ibid. G.A. Oxon. 8° 364: printed copy of will.
  • 10. O.R.C.C., MS. Rep. on Oxon. Chars. 1979.
  • 11. 10th Rep. Com. Char. 359; Bodl. MS. Top. Oxon. b 78, ff. 63, 211v.; ibid. G.A. Oxon. 8° 622: sch. accts. 1871-95.