Pages 263-265

A History of the County of Oxford: Volume 14, Bampton Hundred (Part Two). Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 2004.

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In this section


The following bibliography highlights the chief primary and secondary sources used in the current volume, but is not comprehensive. It should be read in conjunction with the List of Abbreviations.


The estate records of the bishops of Winchester, lords of Witney manor from the 11th century, are in Hampshire Record Office, Winchester; they include annual manorial accounts from 1208 (11M59/B1/1 sqq, the 'Winchester pipe rolls'), together with court rolls, deeds, and miscellaneous estate papers to the 19th century, all relating to the rural townships as well as the borough. The muniments of the duke of Marlborough at Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, include comparable material from the mid 18th century (when dukes of Marlborough first leased Witney manor) through to the mid 20th, with some earlier records (including court books) from the 16th and 17th centuries. The material, which is extensive and only partly catalogued, includes deeds, leases, surveys, maps, estate management papers with related correspondence, and sale catalogues.

The largest Witney collections in Oxford are in Oxfordshire County Record Office (ORO), and include parish and poor-law records, private deeds, minutes of the local board and urban district council from 1863 to 1974 (Witney UDC I-III), and the business archives of Charles Early & Co. (B 1), James Marriott (B 8), and the engineering company of Daniel Young (B 2). The ORO also holds the earliest surviving borough and manorial court books (MSS dd Par. Witney d 1–2 and Misc. Je. I/1, the former printed as Witney Ct. Bks.). Important rentals or surveys of the townships are in Misc. Je. I/1, ff. 1–13 (c. 1593), SL 9/18/E/1 (1646), and MS dd Par. Witney e 14 (1794). Other important ORO material includes locally proved wills and probate inventories, diocesan and archidiaconal records, quarter sessions records, and Nonconformist records, including those of Witney Methodists (NM2), Quakers (BOQM), and Congregationalists (WCC).

Material in the Bodleian Library, Oxford, includes the invaluable notebooks and drawings of the Witney antiquary William Langford (d. 1881) (MSS Top. Oxon. d 209–18), together with numerous topographical drawings. Oxford College muniments include deeds for 21–25 Church Green (Corpus Christi College) and for University Farm in Hailey (University College), as well as stray medieval deeds and court rolls (Magdalen and New Colleges). The Centre for Oxfordshire Studies, Central Library, holds extensive printed ephemera including newspaper cuttings and sale catalogues, chiefly of the 19th and 20th centuries, parish register transcripts, fiche copies of census returns (from originals in PRO), and extensive photographic collections. The Oxfordshire Sites and Monuments Record (SMR) holds archaeological and some buildings data.

Extensive material in the National Archives (formerly the Public Record Office), London, includes wills and inventories proved at Canterbury (PROB 3–4, PROB11); lay subsidies (E 179); legal records (e.g. C 1–5, REQ 2, E 134, STAC 8) including Forest eyres (E 32); inquisitions post mortem (C 132–142); feet of fines (CP 25); and early material on charitable property (C 90–1, C 93). An invaluable Quo Warranto survey of Witney in 1279 (published in Bampton Hund. R. 91–105) is in SC 11/13, and a survey of Wychwood Forest in 1609, containing topographical information on Hailey and Crawley, is in LR 2/202; it was consulted in a transcript kindly supplied by Beryl Schumer. Grants and conveyances of Witney lands survive in E 318/28/1586 and E 318/25/1435 (Witney manor and chantry lands, 16th century), and C 54/3418, mm. 39–41 (Witney manor 1649). Later PRO records used include places of worship (RG 31/3), records of Friendly Societies (FS 2/9), 20th-century District Valuers' surveys and maps (IR 58/65162–9), and 20th-century farm surveys and maps (MAF 32, 68, 73), while Home Office papers in HO 42/51 touch on Witney bread riots in 1800. Other London repositories with significant Witney holdings include the Church of England Record Centre at Bermondsey, with important 19th- and 20th-century estate material formerly held by the Church Commissioners; the Post Office Archive at Mount Pleasant; and the British Library.

Material in Witney includes an important archive at the privately run Witney Museum, including miscellaneous deeds and papers, 19th-century quitrent books, photographs, and artefacts. Witney Town Council retains some historic records at the town hall, chiefly relating to town property, seals and regalia, and the town hall itself. The 'Witney parish diary', kept by successive rectors of Witney since 1864, is in the possession of the current incumbent, and was consulted by kind permission of the then rector Canon R. E. Meredith; extracts are published in C. Smith, Two Men's Ministries (1983). Deeds of Witney Methodist church from 1652 to 1982 were consulted by kind permission of the minister.

Other relevant archives include Berkshire Record Office (miscellaneous deeds and papers, particularly among the Lenthall collections), and Southampton City Archives, whose late 15th-century brokage accounts mention Witney (SC5/5/13–21).


The earliest known map, showing parts of Curbridge, Crawley, and Witney (including the manor house), was made for the bishop of Winchester by John Jennings in 1662. It was consulted in a reduced copy made (with additions) by the antiquary William Langford (d. 1881), in Bodl. MS Top. Oxon. d 212, ff. 10–11; the original, which includes a few more details, was discovered in a private collection after this volume was completed. Langford's copy is reproduced in Witney Ct. Bks. opposite p. xli, and (with the wrong reference) in Allen, Mount House, p. 199; copies of the original will be deposited in the Bodleian Library. The context of the map's creation is discussed above (Curbridge, economic history: reorganization of fields).

An extremely detailed map of Witney manor and parish was made for the duke of Marlborough by Stephen Godson in 1814–16, with accompanying estate surveys in Blenheim Muniments, E/P/30 and E/P/31; versions of that map are in the Bodleian Library ((R) MS C 17:49 (276), with a smaller photographic copy in (E) C 17:49 (151)), and at Blenheim. Tithe maps of Witney and its townships in 1840 are in Oxfordshire Record Office, together with inclosure maps for Curbridge (1844) and Hailey (1823, 1849, and 1853). Several sale catalogues in ORO, COS, and Bodleian include useful maps.

The earliest detailed printed maps are Jeffreys, Oxon. Map (1767), and (less accurate) Davis, Oxon. Map (1797). The chief OS Maps include: 6", Oxon. XXV–XXVI, XXXI–XXXII (1883–5 and later edns); 1:2500 (1876 and later edns), indexed in OS Area Bk. (1877); 1:25000, sheet 180 (1999 edn).


Primary Sources

The most important printed primary sources are noted in the List of Abbreviations; those especially relevant to Witney include Bampton Hund. R. (including survey of Witney in 1279 at pp. 91–105); PN Oxon. (EPNS) (including Anglo-Saxon charter-boundaries at ii. 489–90); Winch. PR 1208–9, 1210–11, 1301–2, and 1409–10; and Witney Ct. Bks. Other printed sources especially relevant to Witney (besides Oxfordshire Trades Directories in COS) include:

Anon., A Visit to Witney and Witney Mills (1898)

E. J. Burrow, Guide to Witney [c. 1910]: photocopy in COS

A. W. Goodman (ed.), Chartulary of Winchester Cathedral (Winchester, 1927)

C. Jerram, Memoirs and . . . Letters of C. Jerram, ed. J. Jerram (1855)

Knight's Directory of Witney and Almanac (Witney, 1915 and other edns)

I.S. Leadam (ed.), Domesday of Inclosures, 1517–18 (1897), esp. i. 345–7, 365

J. Leverett, True Copy of the Last Will . . . of James Leverett Esq. [n.p., c. 1790]: copy in Bodl. G.A. Oxon. 8° 364

M. Lloyd, The King Found at Southwell, and the Oxford Gigg Playd and Sung at Witney Wakes (1646): copy in Bodl. Don. e 763

Oxford Chronicle (1837–1929)

Oxford Journal (formerly Jackson's Oxford Journal) (1753–1909)

R. Plot, Natural History of Oxfordshire (Oxford, 1677), esp. pp. 25, 278–80

Report of Assistant Hand-Loom Weavers Commissioners (Parl. Papers 1840 (639), xxiv), pp. 546–52

J. Rowe, Tragi-Comoedia, being a Brief Relation of the Strange and Wonderful Hand of God discovered at Witney (Oxford, 1653)

J. Wesley, Journal of the Revd John Wesley, ed. N. Curnock (8 vols, 1909–16)

J. Wesley, Letters of John Wesley, ed. J. Telford (1931)

Witney Express (1861–88)

Witney Gazette (1882–)

Witney Official Guide [c. 1936–40 edns], copies in Bodl. G.A. Oxon. 8° 1139

Witney Official Guide (1991)

Witney Telegraph (1866–9)

A. Young, A Six Weeks Tour through the Southern Counties of England and Wales (1768), esp. pp. 99–102

Books and Articles

Important secondary works in the List of Abbreviations are Allen, Mount House, Giles, Hist. Witney, Monk, Hist. Witney, Plummer and Early, Blanket Makers; Plummer, Witney Blanket Ind.; Rodwell, Historic Towns Oxon.; and Schumer, Wychwood (1984 and 1999 edns). Rec. Witney includes numerous articles on the town, many of them cited in the footnotes, and Witney Ct. Bks contains an extended discussion of 16th-century Witney.

Other secondary works cited (published in London except where stated) include:

R.J.C. Atkinson, 'Akeman Street near Crawley', Oxoniensia, 7 (1942), 109–110

J.Y. Akerman, 'Ancient Limits of the Forest of Wychwood', Archaeologia, 37 (1857), 424–40

A. Ballard, 'Manors of Witney, Brightwell, and Downton', in P. Vinogradoff (ed.), Oxford Studies in Social and Legal History, v (1916), 181–216

J. Banks, Nancy, Nancy: the story of Ann Bolton (Leeds, 1984)

R. P. Beckinsale, 'Factors in the Development of the Cotswold Woollen Industry', Geographical Journal, 90 (1937), 357–61

M. Bee, 'Clinch and Company, Brewers', Oxfordshire Local History, vol. 2, no. 3 (1985), 76–85

M. Beresford, 'The Six New Towns of the Bishops of Winchester, 1200–55', Medieval Archaeology, 3 (1959), 187–215

R. A. Chambers et al., 'Excavations in the Witney Area', Oxoniensia, 41 (1976), 17–55, esp. 38–55

T. Copeland, 'North Oxfordshire Grim's Ditch', Oxoniensia, 53 (1988), 277–92

D.A.E. Cross, 'Industries of Witney', Journal of Industrial Archaeology, i (1964), 127–32

H. Cunliffe-Jones, History of Witney Congregational Church [priv. printed, c. 1935]: copy in COS

P. W. Davis, 'Akeman Street Airfield', Record of Witney, 2 (Dec. 1977)

P. Davis, Witney (Airfield Focus no. 49, Peterborough, 2002)

M.A. Fleming, Witney Grammar School, 1660–1960 (Oxford, 1960)

M. Gelling, Signposts to the Past (3rd edn, Chichester, 1997), esp. pp. 69–73, 197, 202–6

C. and J. Gott, Book of Witney (Buckingham, 1986; 2nd edn, Witney, 1994)

A.R. Hands, A Romano-British Roadside Settlement at Wilcote, Oxfordshire, I and II (BAR British series 232 and 265, 1993 and 1998)

D. Honey, Changing Faces of Witney, Book One and Book Two (Witney, 1998 and 2000)

J.G. Jenkins (ed.), The Wool and Textile Industry in Great Britain (1972), esp. pp. 248–51

S. C. Jenkins, 'Blanket Mills of Witney', Archive, 30 (2001), 3–22

S. C. Jenkins, The Fairford Branch: the Witney and East Gloucestershire Railway (2nd edn, 1985)

S.C. Jenkins, 'Industrial Archaeology of Witney', Record of Witney, 3 (April 1978), 18–22

C. Mitchell, Around Witney in Old Photographs (Stroud, 1990)

C. Mitchell and L. Waters, Around Witney Past and Present (Stroud, 1998)

A. Mudd, 'Round Barrows of Oxfordshire Cotswolds', South Midlands Archaeology, 14 (1984), 48–58

D. Musson et al., Hailey Village School Past and Present (priv. printed, 1997): copy in COS

W. L. Parry-Jones, Trade in Lunacy: a Study of Private Madhouses (1972), esp. pp. 128–63

T. Rowley and M. Steiner, Cogges Manor Farm, Witney: Excavations 1986–94 (Oxford, 1996)

J. Russell-Smith, Origin of Witney Feast (Witney Parish Church Occasional Leaflet I, revised edn, 1993)

A. Saint, 'Three Oxford Architects', Oxoniensia, 35 (1970), 53–102

C. Smith, Two Men's Ministries (priv. printed, Witney, 1983)

D. Sturdy et al., 'Houses of the Oxford Region', Oxoniensia, 26/27 (1961/2), 319–35 (esp. 321–3)

W. H. Summers, History of the Berkshire, South Bucks. and South Oxon. Congregational Churches (1905)

A.M. Taylor, Gilletts, Bankers at Banbury and Oxford (Oxford, 1964)

M. Toynbee, 'Oxford and the Restoration of 1660', Oxoniensia, 25 (1960), 73–95 (esp. 93–5)

N. Vincent, Peter des Roches, an Alien in English Politics 1205–38 (Cambridge, 1996)

G.T. Walker, 'Middle Iron-Age Settlement at Deer Park Road, Witney', Oxoniensia, 60 (1995), 67–92

T. Worley, Witney in Old Photographs (Gloucester, 1987)

T. Worley, Witney As It Was (Nelson, 1981)


Important unpublished studies or typescripts in the List of Abbreviations are Hyde, 'Winchester Manors'; Oldham, 'Vestry Minutes' (including transcripts of minutes in ORO, MS dd Par Witney b 14); and Smith, 'Reminiscences'. Other unpublished materials cited include:

W. J. Embling, 'Rich Memories of those Grand People called Primitive Methodists' (TS [n.d., after 1957]), in COS

B. Glithero, 'Influence and Contribution of the Early Family towards the Development of Wesleyan Methodism in Witney, 1790–1851' (TS 1981), in ORO, NM2/A/MS/1

A. W. Hughes, 'Weaving Truth with Trust: Labour Management at Early's Blanket Mill, 1900–60' (Oxford Brookes University PhD thesis, 1996)

L. W. Thwaites, 'Marketing of Agricultural Produce in 18th-century Oxfordshire' (Birmingham University PhD thesis, 1981)