A History of the County of Oxford: Volume 5, Bullingdon Hundred. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1957.
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This parish of 2,233 acres lies some three miles south-east of Oxford on the eastern boundaries of Littlemore and Sandford. It is roughly pear-shaped, its narrow neck forming its south-eastern end. The old Roman way, now a footpath, partly bounds it on the west; the Baldon Brook, flowing southwards to the Thame, forms its south-west boundary with Toot Baldon. Part of its boundary line is so irregular and has such sharp-angled bends that its course seems clearly to have been dictated by the pattern of the already existing furlongs in the open fields.
Except in the north, the land at the circumference of the parish lies at about 200 ft. above sea-level, but it rises steeply to the ridge which sweeps north from Garsington village to City Farm and round to Hill Farm, once South End Farm, at the south end and just over the Chislehampton border. At its highest point the ridge reaches 431 ft. (fn. 1)
The geological structure is interesting and accounts for the numerous springs after which so many of the fields have been named: Priestwell, Ellwell (Elfwell), Combwell, and so on. (fn. 2) There are Shotover Sands above Portland Beds resting on Kimmeridge Clay for the most part, but W. H. Fitton, the 19th-century geologist, also found remnants of Purbeck Beds. (fn. 3) The soil is varied, clay and loam, with subsoil of gravel and white limestone.
The parish is well watered and well supplied with roads. Apart from the Baldon Brook, there is the Northfield Brook, a tributary of the Thame, which flows between Northfield Farm and the north end of the village. Minor roads radiate from Garsington village to the neighbouring villages of Wheatley, Denton, and Littlemore, while two others connect with the main Oxford-Watlington road which runs through the western part of the parish. The nearest railway stations are Morris Cowley (formerly Garsington Halt), 1½ mile to the north-west of the village on the Oxford to Princes Risborough section of the sometime G.W.R., and Wheatley Station, 2½ miles distant.
The parish was never thickly wooded. One wood of 2 furlongs by 1 furlong belonging to Abingdon Abbey is noted in Domesday. (fn. 4) No further reference to the woodland has been found before 1629 and 1631, when the Earl of Lindsey's timber agents are known to have been staying at Garsington. They wrote from there about the price and condition of local timber, and were presumably interested in Garsington timber though we have no precise details. (fn. 5) In the 18th century no wood of any size appears on Richard Davis's map; (fn. 6) in 1841 there were 15 acres or so of scattered woodland, including the King's Copse, which then covered about 9 acres. (fn. 7) The latter was cut down in the Second World War.
The village lies at the end of a horseshoe ridge, on the bluff overlooking the Thame valley with the Chilterns beyond, and so got its Old English name of Gærse dūn—the grassy hill. (fn. 8) It is built on different levels, varying between about 350 ft. and 385 ft. Many of its well-built 17th-and 18th-century houses are of local stone quarried as late as the 19th century in the western escarpment of the hill north of the village. (fn. 9) Its fine trees owe their existence to the provisions in the college leases for tree-planting. (fn. 10) In 1817 the parish could still be described as having much wood. (fn. 11)
The medieval village was grouped round the green, viridis placia, which lies at the highest level and is mentioned with its cross in 1240. (fn. 12) The base and shaft of a medieval cross still exist. The present Salter's Lane, which runs west from the village to the main Oxford-Chislehampton road, may probably be identified with the via between the village and the bridge called 'Mersheme' bridge, where the common pasture lay, which is referred to in 1279. (fn. 13)
On the hill road going southwards to meet the 'Kingesweie', (fn. 14) the present main road, lay the church and parsonage with Havels manor-house. (fn. 15) It is possible that there was once a separate hamlet here with its own green, for land near the church was still called Spittle Green in the 19th century, (fn. 16) and that the present South End hamlet was a later growth. In any case, east and west of the hill road lay the common fields of South End.
The probable distribution of the arable fields and of such meadow, pasture and common as can be identified from the 17th-century documents is shown on the above map. The sources used are the medieval charters, the 17th-century terriers and leases cited in the text, and the tithe award map of 1841.
To the north of the hill-top green lay the village's second manor-house, commonly called Louches after its medieval owner, or North End manor. The main village street, magna via in about 1230, branched off from the green, going northwards to 'Townsend' and continuing as the 'Portway' to Oxford. (fn. 17) The common fields of North End lay on either side of the Portway and south of the way to Denton (i.e. the present Denton road). The windmill, of which there is now no trace, must have been near Windmill Hill furlong in Ellwell Field. (fn. 18) The earliest known record of it is a reference in a conveyance of 1308. (fn. 19)
In the post-Reformation period Louches manorhouse, after being occupied for a short time by George Melsam, the lord of the manor, (fn. 20) seems to have been let as a farm-house by the non-resident squire of North End. (fn. 21) It may possibly be identified with the house described in the Gentleman's Magazine of 1817 as 'suffering from time and neglect'. The illustration there shows a three-gabled house with central chimney-stack and one chimney on the off-side outer wall. It has three sets of 17th-century two-light windows in the upper story and three sets of three-light ones on the first floor. A picturesque octagonal dovecote with a pointed stone roof stands close by; the whole is surrounded by a wall. (fn. 22) A building named Boxham Hall in the north of the village is marked on a map of 1824, and may represent this house. (fn. 23) A dovecote, said to be the manor one, survived until its removal in 1951, when the new housing estate was built. (fn. 24)
The Brasenose 'mansion place' in the triangle between the Denton and Wheatley roads was acquired in 1522 with the college's Garsington property, the modern Northfield farm. From 1506 until the early 17th century it was occupied by the yeoman family of Franklins, who gave their name to the lane passing the house. It was very probably rebuilt for the Bromleys in about 1635. It superseded the old manor-house as a gentleman's residence during the second half of the 17th century and in the 18th century, when it was occupied by the college's gentleman tenants. (fn. 25) In 1665 this house and Havels were the only two houses in Garsington to return seven hearths for the hearth tax. (fn. 26)
Today the village's ancient buildings are pleasantly grouped, particularly in the central part. (fn. 27) They are mainly built of rubble or brick; some are timberframed. Their roofs are thatched or stone-slated. An unusual number of 17th-century and possibly 16th-century houses and cottages survive. The following are the most notable among the smaller houses: the Kennels is a farm-house of two stories and attics, with four irregular bays. It is built of coursed rubble with narrow and wide courses, and has gable ends with coping and ball finials, coved eaves, and two small hipped dormers. The Home Close is also a two-storied house with attics built of squared rubble with dressed quoins. It has three hipped dormer windows with leaded casements and a roof with old tiles and flanking chimneys, and is noticeable for its raised terrace with formal garden and pleached lime trees in front. The 'Seven Bells' has its ground-floor wall made of squared, dressed rubble and the rest timber-framed brick, colourwashed; its roof is thatched. Library Farm, referred to in a lease of 1636, (fn. 28) is a one-storied house with attics, built of squared, coursed rubble and with an old tiled roof. It probably dates in part from the 16th century, and is so named because the rent went to the college library fund. South End Farm is also partly 16th-century in date though it has been altered. It is L-shaped in plan; is built of rubble with squared quoins and has some timber framing.
The most outstanding building is the ManorHouse, at the south end of the village, which used to be known as Havels after its medieval occupants, the Hauvilles, though in 18th-century leases it is sometimes called Chaucer's Manor-House after its overlords. (fn. 29) Of the medieval house and its appurtenances only two fish ponds survive. The present building may date partly from the 16th century, when it is known to have been used as a farm-house. At the end of the century it was occupied by the yeoman farmer, Lawrence Whistler, a tenant of the notorious George Melsam. (fn. 30) It is a two-storied building with attics, built of grey coursed rubble. It has dressed-stone quoins and window surrounds, drip moulds, and a moulded cornice string. The north front has three large timber-framed gables in the attics with three-light casement windows; the central doorway has an arched hood on scroll brackets and a single-light window above and is flanked by three windows on either side: a three-light window between two of two lights. The tiled roof is flanked by stone chimneys with brick shafts of 17thcentury date; in the centre is a tiled cupola with a roof of ogee shape. Except for the absence of a doorway, the south front is similar to the north. Inside, the house retains an original inglenook fireplace, much oak panelling and a Jacobean staircase, put in perhaps when the house was enlarged when the Wickhams became squires. Though they clearly made alterations and additions in the 17th century, no attempt to modernize was made in the 18th century. This is no doubt to be accounted for by the early death of the squire in 1727 and his widow's frugality. (fn. 31)
The house stands back from the road, flanked by tall yew hedges forming a courtyard, the north side of which has a dwarf wall and tall central gate-piers with ball finials; the double row of yew hedges is 20 ft. high and is said to be unrivalled in England; the iron railings and gates were probably added in the 19th century. The terraced, Italianate garden on the south side of the house with its swimmingpool bordered by yew hedges, belongs largely to a still later date and owes much to Lady Ottoline Morrell. (fn. 32)
The brew- or bake-house lies to the west. It has two open fireplaces and a baking oven, possibly of late-16th-century date. To the east of the house is a stone-built 17th-century dovecote. It is squareshaped and has a hipped roof with old tiles, capped by a small lantern.
There was some rebuilding in the village in the 18th century, both of cottages and houses. Manor Farm, for instance, a two-storied house built of rubble with squared quoins and dressed-stone window surrounds is of that date. It has two gabled dormer windows, stone splayed eaves and an old tiled roof with flanking chimneys. Its square, rubble-built dovecote is dated 1762; its hipped roof of tiles is topped by a small turret. The 'Red Lion' is also an attractive example of the period. It has two stories with a double gabled front, the upper part of which has been rebuilt in the 19th century; it has a wooden porch with two reeded Doric columns. Other 18thcentury houses are the 'Three Horse Shoes', the Farm House, and the Dovecote.
The most notable 19th-century additions to the village are the school and the school-house, built in Tudor style in 1840 on a part of the green, and the Rectory. (fn. 33) Local stone was mostly used for the school, but Bath and Box were used for ornamentation. (fn. 34) Dr. Ingram (fn. 35) rejoiced that it now occupied much of the space which had long been 'a temptation to the lovers of bull baiting and Sunday cricket'. (fn. 36) A stone cross was set up in the lower part of the village as a memorial of the First World War, but the main 20th-century addition is the North End Manor housing estate begun in 1951. Its houses are built of a good-coloured red brick and tiled roofs. Its asphalted roads, pavements, and concrete curbs give it an urban appearance.
Outside the village are a number of scattered farm-houses. Great Leys Farm, an 18th-century building in the main but with some 17th-century parts and 19th-century alterations, and Kiln Farm lie close to King's Copse by the Oxford-Watlington road. City Farm now lies near the north-east boundary, but it used to be in the village. Its house is often referred to in 17th-century records of Oxford; the city council allowed £10 to its tenant in 1672 towards building a new house and in 1689 undertook to dig a well for his widow. (fn. 37) Some years earlier in 1667 the tenant Richard Mollineux built a barn; (fn. 38) in 1732 his descendant refused to rent the estate any longer unless this barn, by then very ruinous, was repaired immediately. The mayor and 'city gentlemen', having been over to view it, gave orders for its repair and the tenant promised to provide 6,000 tiles. (fn. 39) Lower Farm lies south of the Chislehampton-Littlemore road; Guyden's Farm, called after a former tenant, at the north-west end of the parish close by the old Roman road. A group of cottages on the Wheatley road called Blenheim was presumably built in the early 18th century.
In June 1643, 2,000 of the king's forces camped in the parish; in April 1645 Major-General Brown sent out a party to collect 'contribution money' from Garsington; in May 1645 Sir Thomas Fairfax made it his headquarters before the siege of Oxford and again in May 1646. (fn. 40)
Only one distinguished man, Andrew Allam, is known to have been a native of the village. Two of the family had houses there in 1665, and an Andrew Allam, perhaps the father, had a house assessed on three hearths for the hearth tax. The younger Andrew (b. 1655) became Vice-Principal of St. Edmund Hall, and helped Anthony Wood to compile his Athenae Oxonienses. (fn. 41) He was no doubt responsible for Wood's close connexion with the village and his friendship with the squire's family. (fn. 42) More recently the village has acquired some fame through its connexion with men and women of letters. Rider Haggard was often a visitor and Allan Quatermain, the hero of some of his novels, took his surname from the ancient local family of that name, (fn. 43) who were tenants of the Manor-House in the 19th century. In Lady Ottoline Morrell's day, Aldous Huxley was her guest and the Manor-House is said to be the setting for his Chrome Yellow, (fn. 44) and there are many references to the house and village in the letters of Katherine Mansfield and D. H. Lawrence. In 1954 the house was occupied by the historian, Mr. John Wheeler-Bennett.
In 1086 the king had an estate in Garsington which, as later evidence shows, was attached to the royal manor of Headington. In 1255 the Countess of Warwick, who held Headington, held the view of frankpledge in Garsington. (fn. 45) In 1279 her successor supervised the views held by the lords of the two manors in Garsington, of which at least one was clearly derived from the earlier royal estate. (fn. 46) In the early 17th century and in 1744 the then lords of Headington held courts leet for the 'manor of Garsington', apparently with jurisdiction over both manors. Presumably their claim to be 'lords of Garsington', as Thomas Whorwood was described in 1744, was based upon this ancient connexion. (fn. 47)
The king's estate in Garsington is only incidentally referred to in Domesday in the account of the lands of Abingdon Abbey. (fn. 48) Royal ownership nevertheless is recorded in 1122, (fn. 49) proved for 1128–30, (fn. 50) and commemorated in the 13th-century field-name 'Kyngeshull'. (fn. 51) In 1255, the jurors said that the avus of king Henry III had given his land to Ida de Tony pro servicio suo. (fn. 52) Ida, presumably one of Henry II's many mistresses, was a daughter of Robert of Chaumont, (fn. 53) and wife of Roger de Tony, (fn. 54) a tenantin-chief and member of a junior branch of the Tony family, the caput of whose barony was at Flamstead (Herts.). (fn. 55) It is possible that she was given Garsington by Henry II as a maritagium. (fn. 56) She was in possession in 1201, when Adam Bucuinte, a London merchant, quitclaimed his right to the property during her lifetime. (fn. 57)
Ida was alive in 1203–4, (fn. 58) but apparently dead by 1206 when her son Baldwin de Tony (fn. 59) was trying to prove in the king's court his father's right to property in Garsington. (fn. 60) His mother's hide of land is not mentioned in the suit and it may be that the Tonys had other land in Garsington. The outcome of the suit is not known and there is no information about the descent of Ida's property until 1241, when it is stated to have been in the possession of Roger de Akenny, (fn. 61) son of Baldwin. (fn. 62) But Baldwin is known to have made grants of land in Garsington, (fn. 63) and a Ralph de Akenny represented Baldwin de Tony in the suit over Garsington land in 1206, so it is likely that the Akennys were in possession earlier. (fn. 64) The de Tonys and de Akennys are found in close association in many counties, (fn. 65) but their exact relationship has not been established. As Roger de Akenny's widow Joan was claiming dower in 1241 from her husband's lands in Cambridgeshire, (fn. 66) it is likely that he had recently died. His Garsington manor was being farmed for the Crown by the Warden of St. John's Hospital outside the East Gate of Oxford, and was in the king's hands on account of the minority of Roger, the heir of Ralph (VI) de Tony, (fn. 67) who had died in 1239 on a voyage to the Holy Land. (fn. 68) This is the first record which has been found of Garsington's connexion with the senior branch of the Tony family. The male line of the senior branch ended with the death of Robert de Tony before 1309, and in 1315 Garsington was said to be held of his heirs in free socage. (fn. 69) Robert's sister Alice, daughter of Ralph de Tony, succeeded. She married Guy, Earl of Warwick, as her second husband, (fn. 70) and then William la Zouche, Lord Mortimer. (fn. 71)
Roger de Akenny's lands passed to his two daughters, of whom Isabel, the younger and a child at his death, received Garsington for her share. In 1242 Bernard of Savoy was given seisin of her manor and custody of her person. (fn. 72) He leased the manor to the Warden of the Hospital of St. John, who already held the farm of it from the Crown. He reduced the rent from £20 to £15, allowed Joan to occupy the manor-house and enjoy her dower lands, and sent Isabel to the convent of Wherwell (Hants). (fn. 73) Four years later in 1245 the abbess was directed to deliver her to Matthew de la Mare, (fn. 74) a member of a family already connected by marriage and feudal ties with the Tonys. (fn. 75) She was probably then married to Pain de la Mare, who thus became lord of Garsington. (fn. 76) He was often employed on the king's service, and went to Gascony in 1244 as the king's messenger and in 1256 to Jersey in the service of the Lord Edward. (fn. 77) He was almost certainly in possession of the Akenny manor of Garsington by 1250 and of other Akenny lands. (fn. 78) By 1251 he was receiving dues from the Mimekan fee, (fn. 79) and was granted free warren in his Oxfordshire lands in 1254. (fn. 80) In 1255 he was said to hold his hide of land, valued at £20, by no service beyond suit to the hundred court. (fn. 81) By 1279 his widow Isabel was recorded as lady of the manor, which she held of Roger de Tony as ½ knight's fee. (fn. 82)
But by 1284 Isabel had taken as her second husband John Pecche, a member of another local knightly family, and he was holding in her right. (fn. 83) The date of Isabel's death is uncertain, but her successor was John de la Mare, (fn. 84) her son perhaps by her first husband. He was a man of eminence, who was perhaps related to the de la Mares of Marsh Baldon and Lower Heyford, an important family with estates in many counties. (fn. 85) He died childless in 1315, leaving his sister Isabel, widow of Thomas de Maydenhatch, as his heir. (fn. 86) She died three years later; her four daughters were the coheirs of her estates. (fn. 87) Sibyl, the second daughter, received the manor of Garsington as a part of her share in 1318–19. (fn. 88) For the next twenty years the precise descent is uncertain, but it is possible that the Joan Laxman who joined her husband in a grant of the manor in 1340 was the daughter of Sibyl. The Laxmans were not a local family and in 1340 they sold their Garsington manor to John, son of John de Louches of Garsington, a member of a widespread Oxfordshire family. He was the second husband of Joan, the widow of John de la Mare. (fn. 89)
The Garsington branch of the family was to hold this estate, henceforth known as LOUCHES manor, for sixty years or so. They also held land at Clapcot and West Wittenham (fn. 90) (Berks.), and played a minor part in the administration of both counties. (fn. 91) After 1391 (fn. 92) no further trace of the family's connexion with Garsington has been found. By 1428 Thomas Chaucer was in possession. (fn. 93)
In the time of Abbot Ordric (1052–65) the thegn Thovi gave an estate assessed at 7½ hides in Garsington to Abingdon Abbey. (fn. 94) Abbot Athelhelm (1071–84) later granted it to Gilbert Latemer or the Marshal, (fn. 95) who was doubtless the tenant recorded in Domesday. In 1086 Abingdon also held another estate in Garsington, which was assessed at 1½ hide and was held by Sueting. (fn. 96) The later history of this second estate is unknown: it may have some connexion with the later Godstow Abbey holding in Garsington of the same size, (fn. 97) but it is also possible that it was connected with the manor of Wheatley. (fn. 98)
A list of Abingdon tenants in the 11th century says that one Walter de Garsington held ½ knight's fee and owed service at the abbot's chamber: (fn. 99) presumably he was Gilbert's subtenant in Garsington. Gilbert, who had no sons, gave his lands to his three daughters and their husbands, Ralph Percehai, Picot, and William. Gilbert and Ralph both died in the time of Abbot Rainald (d. 1100). By an arrangement made with Rainald after Ralph's death, all three shares were to be held for life only, and Picot performed the service for the whole fee. (fn. 100) Abbot Faritius (d. 1117) received confirmation from Henry I of lands in Garsington formerly held by Percehai. (fn. 101) William son of Abbot Rainald held land in Garsington early in the 12th century, (fn. 102) but this probably did not comprise the whole estate, which was soon afterwards split into two equal shares, each owing the service of ½ knight's fee. (fn. 103)
The first evidence of this division is the grant of 3½ hides in fee to Simon the king's dispenser by Abbot Vincent (1117–30). This grant was made in recognition of Simon's surrender of the claims he had made on the grounds of relationship to the lands of William son of Abbot Rainald. (fn. 104) Simon's rights evidently descended to Thurstan le Despenser, (fn. 105) who claimed in 1224 that his father Aymer had been the abbey's tenant, and that he himself held of Abingdon ½ knight's fee in Garsington, which in turn was held of him by William de la Mare and of William by Walter de Garsington. The abbot replied that Walter had held directly of the abbey for the past forty years, (fn. 106) but in 1279 Thurstan's son Adam le Despenser and John de la Mare, presumably the lord of the other main manor, (fn. 107) were said to be mesne tenants of the ½ fee. (fn. 108) The William de la Mare mentioned in 1224 may have been the same as the William de Mora or Mara who in 1214 and 1221 was suing Walter de Garsington for homage and services due from his tenement in Garsington. (fn. 109) His relationship to the John of 1279 is not known. Whatever the position of the mesne tenants, who are not mentioned after 1279, Walter de Garsington was evidently the demesne tenant in 1214, 1221, and 1224. Roger, Walter, and Adam de Garsington all held land in Garsington in the 12th century. (fn. 110) They were probably members of the same family as the early-13th-century Walter and also the 11th-century Walter, but the relationships and line of descent cannot be traced. In 1206 Walter de Garsington was disputing the land in Garsington with Baldwin de Tony. (fn. 111) In 1242–3 and 1255 Walter Pain, who may be the same as Walter de Garsington, or his son, held the fee of the Abbot of Abingdon. (fn. 112) In 1279 it was held by John Pain, who owed service at the abbot's chamber. (fn. 113) The Pain family appear to have held at least part of the property for several more generations, for in 1428 reference was made to ¼ fee lately held by Thomas Pain and then held by Roger Radley. (fn. 114) This is the last mention of the Despenser fee, which had evidently already been split up. Probably part of it was comprised in the lands held by the Radley family in the later Middle Ages. (fn. 115)
The other half of the original Abingdon fee apparently returned to the family of Gilbert the Marshal, though the relationship between Gilbert and the later Marshals is not clear. (fn. 116) John the Marshal (d. 1165) and Gilbert the Marshal (d. 1166) are mentioned in connexion with Oxfordshire and other lands, (fn. 117) and John the Marshal (d. 1194) held land in Garsington in 1189. (fn. 118) In 1247 the Garsington fee, along with other Marshal lands, was assigned to William de Valence, who had married a niece of the last Marshal Earl of Pembroke. (fn. 119) This mesne tenancy was ignored in 1242–3 and 1255 but mentioned in 1279. (fn. 120) The first mention of a subtenant of the fee was made in 1242–3, when it was held by Reynold de Hauville, from whose family HAVELS manor, as it later became called, took its name. (fn. 121) In 1247 it was said to be held by Hugh de Garsington, (fn. 122) but in 1253 Hugh conveyed or quitclaimed his rights in 4 virgates in Garsington to Alice, wife of Hugh de Hauville, and her husband. (fn. 123) In 1255 Hugh de Hauville held 3½ hides and a virgate of Abingdon barony and did the service for it as ½ knight's fee at Windsor castle. In 1279 the fee was again held by a Hugh de Hauville. (fn. 124) He was alive in 1285, but possibly dead by 1296 when a William de Hauville witnessed a charter along with the chief landowners in the parish. (fn. 125) By 1315–16 Isabel de Hauville held the manor. (fn. 126) From this time members of the family are often mentioned, though not directly as lords of Havels. Philip appears in the early 14th century, (fn. 127) Thomas in 1340, (fn. 128) and John in 1388. (fn. 129) John's son William de Hauville is mentioned in 1404, but in 1428 Thomas Chaucer was described as holding ¼ fee in Garsington formerly held by John de Hauville. (fn. 130) William de Hauville is known to have been disposing of other lands in Garsington and the Cowleys at this date. (fn. 131)
Thus the two manors of Louches and Havels became united in Thomas Chaucer's hands. (fn. 132) They shared the same ownership until the early 17th century and during that time were sometimes referred to as the manor of GARSINGTON. Thomas Chaucer was the son of the poet, and was active in the government service, as well as in local affairs. (fn. 133) He died in 1435 after having vested his Garsington manors and other properties in trustees for the use of his wife Maud. (fn. 134) She died in 1437 and was buried with her husband in Ewelme church. Garsington and all the Chaucer possessions passed to their daughter Alice, wife of William de la Pole, Earl of Suffolk. (fn. 135) After her death in 1475, the lands of her inheritance, which included Garsington manor, descended to her son John, Duke of Suffolk. But within a short time they were forfeited to the Crown with all the Suffolk lands as the result of the unsuccessful rebellion of the duke's eldest son John, Earl of Lincoln. (fn. 136) He was killed at the battle of Stoke in 1487, and a month after the passing of the Act of Attainder against him, Garsington was granted to Oliver St. John of Lydiard Tregoze (Wilts.). (fn. 137) The grant, which apparently included both Louches and Havels manors, was confirmed by Act of Parliament in 1487 (fn. 138) and Garsington was especially exempted in 1495 when some of the Suffolk lands were restored to Edmund de la Pole, Parliament having petitioned that it should remain with the king. (fn. 139) Oliver died in 1497 seised of Garsington, and other manors in Kent and Essex, and was followed as lord by his son John, who was killed in 1512, having previously settled Garsington on his wife Joan. (fn. 140) In 1532 her son John, who had been a child when his father died, obtained a confirmation of Henry VIII's grant of Garsington to Oliver St. John, (fn. 141) and in 1535 and again in 1544 there were complicated resettlements of the manor, which secured Joan's life-interest and the rights of her son John and the heirs male. (fn. 142) Joan died in 1553; (fn. 143) her son John St. John (d. 1576) (fn. 144) and then her grandson Nicholas (d. 1589), (fn. 145) remembered at Garsington for the survey he had made of the manor, (fn. 146) succeeded her.
His son and heir John settled Garsington in 1591 on his wife Lucy with remainder to their sons and their heirs male. (fn. 147) He died in 1594 and was buried at Lydiard Tregoze where impressive monuments to his father, to himself and their respective wives testify to the family's wealth and pride. (fn. 148) His widow Lucy lived until about 1602; but as two of her sons had died already and the heir, their brother John, was still a minor, (fn. 149) her jointure, comprising Garsington and Purley (Berks.), passed into the hands of the Crown. In 1602 Sir Thomas Leighton asked the queen for Garsington, if the jointure should be split up. (fn. 150) If he ever got his request he can have held the manor only for a few years, as John St. John came of age in about 1607. He was knighted two years later and in 1611, the year of his creation as a baronet, he sold the manor to John Wise and John Smith, (fn. 151) who may have been acting for John Doyley, said to be in possession of the demesne land of Louches manor in about 1607.
In 1612 George Melsam, who had been Doyley's tenant of Louches manor-house and property in North End and South End since 1607, (fn. 152) acquired the manors of Havels and Louches with all manorial rights. (fn. 153) Although he immediately sold part of his Garsington estates, (fn. 154) he seems to have kept both the manors, for he was dealing with the 'manor of Garsington' in 1618. Sir George Greene of Kent was in possession of a part of the property by 1621, (fn. 155) but Melsam paid the subsidy of 1623 on land in Garsington. (fn. 156) It is impossible to get a clear picture of the precise course of events at this period from the surviving documents. They indicate, however, that Melsam's property was being considerably broken up, and the two manors ultimately came under separate ownership. By this time the names North End and South End were commonly used to describe the two hamlets and their sets of fields, in which the manors of Louches and Havels lay. The original names continued, however, to be used in legal documents dealing with the manors.
In 1633 Thomas Plumer of Mitcham (Surr.), the younger son of a merchant tailor of London, who had been leasing land in Garsington from 1622 or earlier, obtained Louches or North End from Sir Gervais Elwes, alderman and sometime sheriff of London. (fn. 157) This family remained lords of the manor until the 19th century, but were never resident in the parish. Thomas, who had married the daughter of Sir Gervais, died at Mitcham in 1639 (fn. 158) and was followed by his son Walter. Walter Plumer was created a baron at the Restoration and died unmarried in 1697. His cousin's son, John Plumer of Blakesware (Herts.), inherited, and was followed by his son William, later to become M.P. for Yarmouth and then for Hertfordshire. The family's increased influence and wealth enabled William to marry his son William to the daughter of Viscount Falkland, on whom Garsington was apparently settled in 1760. (fn. 159) Her husband died in 1822 after a long and active parliamentary career. As their son died without issue, William Plumer's property ultimately passed to the descendants of his aunt Jane Plumer, who had married the Rector of Widford (Herts.). Their son Joseph took his wife's family name of Halsey, and their younger son Thomas Plumer Halsey of Gaddesdon and M.P. for Hertfordshire became lord of the manor of Louches. By 1887 F. P. Morrell was lord. (fn. 160)
Meanwhile Havels manor seems to have gone to one Bastian, who also had property in Great Milton and Chippinghurst. (fn. 161) He contributed to the subsidy of 1623 (fn. 162) for his Garsington land and in the 18th century Rawlinson believed that he had held the South End estate. In 1625 William Wickham, the son of John Wickham of Rotherfield (Suss.) and a descendant of the Wykehams of Swalcliffe (Oxon.), came to the manor-house, presumably as lord of the manor, after his marriage to Jane, daughter of Nicholas Brome of the Vent, in Forest Hill, and the sister of Henry Brome of Clifton, near Banbury. (fn. 163) William died at Garsington in 1643. His family remained squires of South End until the mid-18th century. Most of the manorial rights may already have lapsed as members of the family are usually termed 'principal landowners' and not lords of the manor, though on one occasion Mrs. Wickham is described as its lady. (fn. 164) Uncertainty about their legal, though not their social, position may have arisen as the court leet was held by the Bromes of Holton and their successors, as lords of Headington manor. (fn. 165)
After William Wickham's death, his widow lived on at Garsington until her death in 1657. Her son John succeeded to the property and died in 1683. He was followed by his son John, who died in 1691, leaving land to his wife in Chippinghurst and Cuddesdon and the use of certain rooms in his house. William, their son, was to have part of the estate when he was 21 years old and the rest at 25. (fn. 166) He was the Mr. Justice Wickham who received Rawlinson with 'the reserved coolness of a magistrate', but afterwards unbent and treated him to very good beer. (fn. 167) He died young in 1727, but his widow lived on at the manor-house with her family. (fn. 168) Her eldest son William, Rector of Stoke Talmage, died in 1770, (fn. 169) leaving his daughter Ann as heiress. In 1780 she married Thomas Drake Tyrwhitt-Drake, M.P., of Shardloes (Bucks.), (fn. 170) but by the time of the inclosure award in 1811 she was a widow. She and the Revd. John Drake were then described as lord and lady of the manor. (fn. 171) The family never resided at Garsington and in 1914 the manor-house and estate were bought by Philip Morrell, a well-known Oxford solicitor. (fn. 172)
In 1086 Miles Crispin held land in Garsington assessed at one hide; his tenant was Toli, who also held an estate at Cowley. (fn. 173) This estate, together with Miles's other possessions, later became part of the honor of Wallingford, (fn. 174) and in 1166 was held along with Mapledurham Chazey, 1½ hide in Cowley, and two other manors as 2 knight's fees by the mesne tenant Richard de Chausey. (fn. 175) Richard's descendants resided at Mapledurham Chazey, the family's chief manor, until the end of the 14th century. On the failure of the male line, the Mapledurham property passed by marriage to the Stanshawe family, probably in about 1416 when Nicholas, the last of the Chauseys, died. (fn. 176) Although the family probably retained its rights in Garsington, the last known record of their lordship is dated 1300, when John de Chausey, son of Geoffrey, was in possession. (fn. 177)
By about 1170, Holy Trinity Priory at Wallingford, (fn. 178) which had become a tenant of the Chausey fee for this hide, granted it to Adam son of Siward, or the Rich, reserving to itself a rent of 20s. (fn. 179) After Adam's daughter Alice, wife of Sir William de Coleville, had inherited, she and her husband leased it in 1224 to the Hospital of St. John outside the East Gate of Oxford. (fn. 180) In about 1230 the widowed Alice sold it to King Henry III, who wished to found a chapel in the chapel of St. Mary in the hospital. (fn. 181) The hospital's possession of the property was confirmed by the jurors at the inquiry of 1255; they stated that it held a hide of the honor of Wallingford which was charged with the payment of 20s. to the priory. (fn. 182)
Normally tenants of the honor of Wallingford owed suit to the honor court at Chalgrove, but Edmund Earl of Cornwall granted, or perhaps confirmed, to the hospital the right of exemption for their Garsington tenants. (fn. 183)
In addition to their hide of land, the hospital gradually acquired other land in the parish. Soon after the original endowment they received 40 acres in small parcels from several local knights and freemen, (fn. 184) and in 1301, Gilbert de Gannoge gave them as much as 25 acres. (fn. 185)
The hospital leased its 'manor', as it was called in the 14th and 15th centuries, (fn. 186) to John Smyth of Garsington and a Denton man in 1416 for seven years at an annual rent of 20s. with certain quantities of wheat, malt, and beans. (fn. 187) Another fifteen-year lease was made in 1454 to William and Joan Wase. (fn. 188) In 1457 it passed with the rest of the hospital's lands to William Waynflete's new foundation of Magdalen College. (fn. 189)
In the Middle Ages the nuns of Godstow had an estate in Garsington, valued at 50s. and described as ½ knight's fee in 1398–9 on the inquest of the Earl of March, their overlord. (fn. 190) Its history can be traced back to the late 12th century (fn. 191) when it consisted of 3½ yardlands. They were held by Geoffrey son of Durand of the knightly family of Tubney for a rent of 6s. 8d. (fn. 192) His son Peter on his marriage about 1210 to Alice, the daughter of the wealthy Oxford burgess John Kepeharm, gave this part of his inheritance to his wife as her dowry, and later Peter and Alice granted it to Godstow for a rent of 7s. 8d. a year—a gift which was confirmed by the knight Nicholas Boteler, presumably as the heir to Tubney's rights. Master Ralph, an anchorite, was in actual possession of the land.
By 1255 Thomas de Fonte, knight, held 3½ virgates at fee-farm of the abbess at a rent of 40s. a year; (fn. 193) by 1279 John de Fonte, his son no doubt, was holding 6 virgates of the abbess for a rent of 40s. and suit to the hundred. (fn. 194) Godstow kept its estate until the Dissolution, when in 1541 it was given to the king's physician, Dr. George Owen. (fn. 195)
Some of the abbey's tenants are known. In the early 16th century the tenant was John Wase. (fn. 196) He was followed by Richard Forde, who paid a rent of 46s. 8d. a year. (fn. 197) He was a substantial yeoman and by far the richest man in the parish. (fn. 198) In 1544 he was able to buy the property from Dr. Owen for £45 13s. 4d. The estate then comprised the house, barn, 100 acres of arable, 10 of meadow, 6 of pasture, and common pasture for 15 animals in High Mead. (fn. 199) In a later inquest it was stated that Richard Forde held 3¼ virgates of the king as 1/10 knight's fee. (fn. 200) He died in 1572 or 1573, seised of the reversion of the property, which he had leased two years earlier for 72 years to Lawrence Spencer. He was succeeded by his son and heir John (d. 1616) and by his grandson Francis Forde. (fn. 201) In 1634 Francis Forde of Oxford, who had risen into the ranks of the gentry, and his son John sold the property to a relative, Robert Loader of Harwell (Berks.), for £800. (fn. 202) But in 1644 it came back to the Forde branch of the family as Loader left it to his cousin John Forde, with the provision, however, that part of it was to provide a schoolmaster in Harwell. This part became the property of the Harwell Trustees, but the rest remained with the Fordes until 1720 when Francis Forde sold it to Lord Parker for £1,550. The estate was then reckoned as 90 acres of arable with 17 acres of meadow and pasture; it was called Well Barn or Well Ground. (fn. 203) This branch of the Forde family does not appear to have resided in the parish after the 16th century, though there were yeomen members of the family in the village well into the 18th century. (fn. 204) Their tenants had been Spencers (fn. 205) in the late 16th and early 17th centuries; in the late 17th century Andrew Allam (fn. 206) was tenant. (fn. 207)
From an early date the Mimekan family held land in Garsington: an inquiry of 1223 reveals that King Richard granted Philip Mimekan the serjeanty of Shotover Forest and 2 hides in Headington and Garsington, (fn. 208) of which, as later evidence makes clear, a ½ hide lay in Garsington. (fn. 209) Philip's grandson was also called Philip. In 1251 he was reported to have been holding land to the value of ½ a mark of Pain de la Mare, the lord of the former royal manor, (fn. 210) for the service of 12s. (fn. 211) In 1255 Philip's son Philip was a minor in the king's custody, (fn. 212) but he was the tenant holding of Isabel de la Mare in 1279. In 1309 Philip sold his Shotover serjeanty to John de Hadlow. (fn. 213) No mention is made of Garsington land and the Hadlows do not appear ever to have held land there. So the Mimekans presumably kept their holding in Garsington, where in any case they held other land. As early as 1271 Philip Mimekan and his wife Lucy were parties to a fine about 3 messuages and a carucate in Garsington, (fn. 214) and 14th-century charters show members of the family actively engaged in transactions over their property there and in Cowley. (fn. 215) In 1337 Philip Mimekan had at least a carucate of land, 33 acres of which, or possibly an additional 33 acres, had been leased to Philip de Hauville in 1335. (fn. 216) The family estate passed to the Rushberys in 1426 through the marriage of Margaret, daughter of William Mimekan, fishmonger of London, to John Rushbery, (fn. 217) and afterwards descended to the Rushberys' daughter, Alice Douneham. (fn. 218) It was finally bought by Sir Richard Sutton in 1522 for £46. (fn. 219) The farm then consisted of 90 acres of arable, 12 of pasture, 10 of meadow, and a farm-house. (fn. 220) Sir Richard Sutton gave it to Brasenose College in the same year. (fn. 221) The Franklins, (fn. 222) who had been leasing the farm-house since 1506, (fn. 223) became the college's tenants. (fn. 224) It is of interest that among the college's later tenants were a number of city men: Thomas Cooper, a mercer of Oxford (1629); (fn. 225) a London merchant; (fn. 226) a mayor of Oxford, Henry Wise; and Robert Spindler, an Oxford mercer (1718). (fn. 227) There was also the Anderson family, who were gentry and resided in the village from 1668 to 1690. (fn. 228)
The Templars received small grants of land in Garsington in the mid-13th century, notably from John de Garsington who gave them a messuage, land, and fishing in the Humble Brook, in return for the performance of his castle guard at Windsor, the payment of 4s. 6d. to Pain de la Mare and 2s. to Hugh de Hauville. They also received some 40 acres from Hugh Choche (fn. 229) about the same time. (fn. 230) This land passed to the Hospitallers after the dissolution of the Templars' Order, (fn. 231) and in 1392–3 a messuage and 2 virgates, perhaps all of it, were reported to have been held of the hospital for a rent of 5s. by Alice Baldington, widow of John Baldington. (fn. 232) In the survey of the hospital's lands made in 1520 it appears that the hospital still had a messuage and a virgate of customary land, then leased to John Wace; two cottages and 9 acres with some meadow land, also in the hands of tenants; and another parcel of land, said to be in decay for lack of a tenant. (fn. 233) In 1544 a part was leased to Edmund Powell of Sandford. (fn. 234) This land probably went to Wolsey with other hospital land and thereafter to the Crown. (fn. 235)
The Radley family held land in Garsington in the later Middle Ages. One of the earliest Radleys connected with the place was John Radley who flourished around 1350 and witnessed grants of land by the Hauvilles, (fn. 236) but perhaps the first of the family actually to hold any property there was William Radley who bought 1½ carucate of land and 5 acres of meadow in Garsington in 1378 from the Radleys of Littlemore. (fn. 237) He may have been followed by Roger Radley (fl. 1414–28). (fn. 238) In 1428 Roger was said to hold ¼ fee which had formerly been held by Thomas Pain: (fn. 239) this may have been part of the former Despenser fee, which had apparently been broken up, and of which there is no later trace. (fn. 240) Frequent references to Radley's fee in post-Reformation terriers and a brass in the church to Thomas Radley, gentleman, Elizabeth his wife, and their ten children make it evident that this was one of the most important families in the village. Thomas died in 1484. (fn. 241) The last of the family to live at Garsington was perhaps Edward Radley, described as a gentleman, who contributed on a small property there to the subsidy of 1523. (fn. 242)
Exeter College held an estate in South End given to it by Sir William Petre. (fn. 243) It consisted of 3 yardlands of about 90 acres. It was said in 1604–5 to have been formerly the property of Bishop Audley of Salisbury, who had leased it to Thomas Burgess of Garsington in 1516–17 on a 99-year lease. It was evidently part of the endowment of the chantry founded by him in Salisbury cathedral. (fn. 244)
Exeter's tenants of the property can be traced continuously in the college leases. Notable among them were the Welbecks of Garsington, Thomas Plumer of Mitcham (Surr.), Henry Brome of Clifton (Oxon.). In 1921 a part of the property was sold to A. J. Clinkard, whose ancestor Edward Clinkard was a college tenant in 1825.
Exeter also had 2½ yardlands in North End. From 1611 onwards they were leased to a number of yeomen and gentle families, mostly living in the neighbourhood (e.g. Thomas Wallis of Crowmarsh Giffard (1611), Francis Quatermain of Marsh Baldon (1630), and Thomas Smith of Great Milton (1694)). In 1715 Joseph Sadler, of Garsington, was lessee of both the college properties and in 1757 his son. In 1805 William Clinkard, the first of the Clinkard tenants, held it; his family continued to be lessees for several generations. (fn. 245)
Exeter acquired another estate in Garsington after inclosure. (fn. 246) This seems to have originated in 2½ yardlands bought from John St. John in the early 17th century by Oliver Smith, alderman of Oxford, and another alderman. They granted it to Oliver Smith the younger and his wife on their marriage in 1633. (fn. 247) The estate descended to Joseph Smith, son of Joseph Smith, Provost of Queen's (1730–56), and to his son John Bouchier Smith, who sold it with the manor of Kidlington and other property to the Earl of Peterborough. In 1808 the earl sold the estate, which now comprised a messuage and 5 yardlands to St. John's College, who sold it in turn to Exeter. (fn. 248) Exeter made the purchase with library funds, for the upkeep of the college library. Part of the property, now known as Library farm, was sold in 1921 to S. W. King. (fn. 249)
Wadham College acquired its Garsington farm in 1656–7 from the executors of the will of Bartholomew Bromley, citizen and cook of London, for £385. He had inherited the estate, comprising 60 acres of arable in the North Field, once part of the demesne lands of Temple and Church Cowley, from his father John Bromley of Garsington who had bought them in 1652. The college bought the property out of the proceeds of the personal property bequeathed by John Goodridge.
Wadham leased the land between 1668 and 1700 at rents varying between £20 a year in 1668 to £12 in 1692 with a £6 entry fine and £16 in 1700. During this period their tenants were Garsington yeomen, Joseph Sadler, Richard Mollineux, and Edward Forde. In 1785 Francis Guiden, a gentleman of Oxford who gave his name to the adjoining farm-house, became their tenant. The general rise in prices is reflected in the lease of 1806, when the tent was £60, and of 1862, when Richard Clinkard took a seven-year lease at a rent of £100. But in 1886 Thomas Clinkard had it on a yearly tenancy at £65 a year. (fn. 250)
The city of Oxford purchased land at Garsington at a cost of £1,088 in 1664 (fn. 251) in order to discharge the yearly payments of Alderman Nixon's and Bogar's charities. (fn. 252) It was leased to Richard Mollineux, a farmer in the village, for £47 10s. a year. (fn. 253) By 1675 there were certainly two city tenants, Richard Gilman (fn. 254) and Edward Townesend, who was leasing lands given to the city by Alderman Harris that year, as well as land formerly in the city's possession. (fn. 255) The city still held the land (City farm: c. 147 a.) in 1954 and its tenant was W. F. Surman, descendant of an old local family.
Economic and Social History.
Garsington's position was easily defensible and its abundant springs and well-watered pastures early attracted settlers. There is evidence for British (fn. 256) occupation and later for Roman (fn. 257) and early Saxon. (fn. 258) By the time of Domesday the 2,233 acres of the later parish were divided among a number of tenants and a comparatively large community was living in the village. In 1086 Abingdon Abbey was by far the largest holder of land; its estate was assessed at 9 hides and in addition it held 1 hide which had never been gelded. Its tenants, Gilbert the Marshal and Sueting, held estates of 7½ hides and 1½ hide respectively. The cultivated area amounted to 7 plough-lands and 12 acres of meadow. In addition, there was Miles Crispin's demesne plough-land, and the king's land, (fn. 259) which later evidence shows to have had a plough-land in demesne. (fn. 260) The Domesday entry is clearly not complete, but it may perhaps be said that if the Domesday plough-land was 88 acres, as was the later plough-land, then at least 800 acres were being cultivated and that the rest of the acreage was mostly rough pasture. Although the arable land of one tenant of Abingdon was not fully cultivated, since he had land for six plough-teams but only five in use, there seems to have been economic progress on the whole in the first twenty years after the Conquest. One estate had risen in value from £4 to £5 and as far as our information goes the others showed no decrease. Of the inhabitants, it is said that there were 4 serfs, 14 bordars and 7 villeins on the fees of Abingdon Abbey and Miles Crispin, but no facts are given about the king's manor.
Between 1086 and 1279 there were considerable changes both in the pattern of land-holding, in the growth of the community, and in the cultivation of the soil. The tenurial picture given in the Hundred Rolls is more complex than in most villages in the hundred: a class of knights and free tenants had grown up and a number of neighbouring religious houses had acquired land. (fn. 261) The king's manor was now held by Isabel de la Mare, who had seven free tenants, some of whom also had free tenants holding of them. Among these free tenants were Philip Mimekan, (fn. 262) the Preceptor of the Templars' house at Cowley, and Hugh Choche and Henry Sumer, both members of the knightly class. None held more than a couple of virgates and some only half a tenement. The area of the latter is uncertain, but it carried a rent of 4s. 6d. compared with 8s. paid for half a virgate and some pasture. Both Choche and Sumers had subinfeudated their land. The Prioress of Littlemore had been given Choche's pasture land in free alms; his two sons held another 16 acres, but Sumers's whole virgate was split up between free tenants—Thomas Sumer (3 a.), John de Fonte (2 a.), the Prioress of Littlemore (10 a.), and the Abbot of Oseney (7 a.), who had in his turn enfeoffed a free tenant.
On Abingdon's estate there had also been much subinfeudation. John Pain held 3 hides, ultimately of Abingdon, and had granted a virgate to the Hospital of St. John outside the East Gate and two to another free tenant. On Abingdon's other fee, the later Havels manor, the tenant Hugh de Hauville had granted 2½ virgates to Hugh son of Hugh son of Richard and a virgate to Hugh Choche. (fn. 263) Godstow's fee of 3½ virgates, mentioned in the inquiry of 1255, is omitted from the inquiry of 1279, though the nuns still held the land. In 1255 it had been held by Thomas de Fonte. (fn. 264)
Miles Crispin's Domesday estate was in the possession of the Hospital of St. John outside the East Gate. In addition, two small new estates had been created: the fees belonging to the knightly families of Le Butiller and Choche, each of which had some free tenants. Henry Clappe and John Polein respectively held of the Butiller fee 18 acres of Oseney and a virgate of Littlemore. Of Roger Choche's fee, consisting of 3 messuages and 27 acres, Littlemore held a messuage and 23 acres of Nicholas le Butiller who held of Choche, and Reynold de Gardino held the rest of the Prior of St. Frideswide's. Littlemore, it may be noted, had in turn granted 16 of its acres to a free tenant.
But there were other tenants whom the Hundred Rolls do not record—Saladin de Garsington, for instance, a member perhaps of the knightly family of de Garsington. (fn. 265) Thirteenth-century charters show him having dealings with the lady of one of the manors, Joan de Akenny, to whom he demised a house in the village. She later granted his widow Adeline almost all her husband's arable land, a halfvirgate of which he had received from Roger de Akenny for his own and his wife's life, with free power to dispose of their chattels at their death. (fn. 266)
The way in which a small knightly family built up a property is well illustrated by the holding of the Baldingtons of Toot Baldon. At her death in 1393 Alice Baldington held a messuage and 60 acres of Louches manor in Garsington for rent and suit of court every three weeks; a messuage and croft of Havels manor; also a messuage and land in South End for 9d. a year and a pepper rent for doing castle guard at Windsor and suit of court; she held a messuage and 6 acres of land from Hugh atte Well for the service of a pair of gloves; 2 acres of meadow of William atte Well; a messuage and 2 virgates of the Prior of St. John of Jerusalem for 5s. rent, and a toft and 12 acres of the Prioress of Littlemore for 6s. rent. (fn. 267)
Assessments for a sixteenth in 1316 reinforce the picture in the Hundred Rolls of a parish with a number of free tenants with fairly large holdings. John de la Mare and Isabel de la Mare, lady of the former royal manor (later Louches), are assessed at 8s. each, 9 holders including a Choche and a Pain are assessed at 6s. and 20 others at 5s. and 4s., while 17 are assessed at 1s. or less. The high number of persons taxed, 64 in all, and the total assessment of £10 19s., which is the third highest in the hundred, indicate both a prosperous community and productive land. (fn. 268) What the exact size of the community was in the 13th and 14th centuries is difficult to say. Most of those taxed were inhabitants, but the few non-resident holders of land probably had tenants who were also liable, and there must have been many who were not included on account of poverty or other reasons. In 1327, for instance, only 51 persons paid the tax, (fn. 269) perhaps an indication that there was much evasion here as elsewhere. The poll tax lists 142 persons over the age of fourteen in 1377. (fn. 270)
It was the piety or financial difficulties of the families of free tenants that enabled the religious houses to build up their estates. Between the mid12th and early 13th centuries there is record of the Pains and the Garsingtons giving the nuns of St. Nicholas, Sandford (i.e. Littlemore Priory) 17½ acres, (fn. 271) and together with the Choche family they gave the Templars 11½ acres in all. (fn. 272) The hospital outside the East Gate was another considerable gainer. The Clappes, free tenants of Walter Pain, Roger Choche, and others, made small grants of land including an acre of valuable meadow land (fn. 273) to Godstow. The Prioress of Littlemore (fn. 274) and the Abbot of Oseney also got a few acres from Thomas Sumer, Roger le Butiller, the Clappes, Choches, and others. (fn. 275)
As no manorial accounts have survived, little can be said about the economy of the village. Some information, however, about the unfree tenants and their services is recorded in 1279. The lady Isabel had 17 of them. There were two virgaters paying rents and doing boon-works; fourteen half-virgaters who paid rent up to the feast of St. John the Baptist, and might have to work between the feast of St. John and Michaelmas or pay rent, and in winter had to pay double rent. There were also three cottars, paying small rents and working at the will of the lady, and a smith who made all the ironwork for the lady's ploughs. Both virgaters and half-virgaters had to harvest for three days on the lady's land, on two days taking an extra man each, and on the third day their whole family, wives excepted. The lady provided their food. An unusual custom is recorded which throws light on the social position of the customary tenants: all had to ride saddled and with reins and spurs to harvest the lady's corn. If any defaulted, he was to be amerced. All customary tenants were also bound to scythe the lady's meadows, receiving 18d. for their drink ('medsype'), and as much grass as each could lift on the blade of his scythe. The free tenant Henry Sumer, who held a virgate for a mark, also had to scythe in the lady's meadow with a man for three days, and was entitled to 'medsype' when the customary tenants had it.
Besides the 17 unfree tenants in Isabel de la Mare's manor there were 9 cottars on the land of the hospital, 7 on John de Fonte's fee, 8 on John Pain's fee (3 virgaters and 5 cottars) and 8 villein virgaters and 10 cottars in Havels manor. (fn. 276)
An extent of the later Louches manor in 1315 shows that it had 303 acres of arable land valued at 6d. an acre; 15 acres of meadow valued at 2s. an acre; and pasture worth £1, perhaps 100 acres. The total value was £10 14s. 6d. It was then said to have 13 free tenants paying 48s. in rent, 12 customary half-virgaters, and 6 cottars. Their works, pleas of courts, and other perquisites brought in a total of 78s. (fn. 277) A mid-15th-century extent of Louches manor, if it can be relied on, shows the usual expected decrease in the extent of the demesne, and particularly in the amount of the arable. It gives 160 acres of arable, 21 of meadow, and 100 acres of pasture. In Havels manor there were said to be 80 acres of arable, 60 acres of pasture, and 13 of meadow. (fn. 278)
The earliest documentary evidence for the fields of Garsington is found in Domesday Book, which makes one of its rare references to the open-field system when it records that Abingdon Abbey's ungelded hide of land lay in parcels among the king's land. (fn. 279) Thirteenth-century evidence shows that the king's demesne lay in the extreme north of the parish, in North Field, (fn. 280) and that this was one of the six fields into which the parish was then divided. (fn. 281) A comparison of the 13th-century charter evidence with later terriers and the 19th-century inclosure map makes itcertain that Garsington had, in the 13th century, two sets of three fields, one based on North End, as the upper half of Garsington village was called, and one on South End, the hamlet to the south of the church. Without the evidence of Saxon charters it is not possible to date with certainty the origin of the parish's double set of fields, but a study of the map and the course of development in other early settlements, (fn. 282) combined with the Domesday evidence, makes it probable that the north end of the village was settled first and that the northern half of the parish was reclaimed first. South End, according to this hypothesis, would be an offshoot, and its fields in the southern half of the parish a later piece of colonization.
Thirteenth-century charters show that the fields of the former royal manor were North, Merewell, and Priestwell Fields. Probably there were originally only two fields, North Field and perhaps East Field, as Merewell Field was called as late as 1511, (fn. 283) and the third, Priestwell Field, was formed partly out of them and by extended cultivation towards the northern boundary with Horspath. But at least before about 1230–40 a three-field system with a three-course rotation was in use, as a charter of Richard of Garsington, son of Nicholas the parson, shows. The 12 acres of arable which he gave to Roger the clerk of Garsington lay divided equally between the three fields already named. (fn. 284) The meadow and pasture land lay mostly, as it did in later times, on the low-lying ground on either side of the Chislehampton to Oxford road, the 'Kingeswey', and along the edge of the Humble Brook. But some lay close to the village along the Portway at Townsend. (fn. 285) Meadow land was valuable and priced highly at 2s. an acre. It was distributed by lot. For example, in about 1230 the Hospital of St. John outside the East Gate of Oxford was given an acre of meadow in 'Inmede' by Roger Choche, namely the second acre which ought to fall to him by lot. (fn. 286)
By about 1230 the Abingdon manor also had its three fields—East, South, and Ham Fields. (fn. 287) Their layout suggests that here too a third field had been made out of the original two fields, perhaps West and East Field, which lay on either side of the Garsington-Chislehampton road. In this case West Field may have been simply divided into two by the present Oxford road, so that its upper and lower portions became Ham and South Fields. As with the other manor, the meadow and pasture lay on the lowlying ground on either side of the ChislehamptonOxford road, and along the banks of the Humble Brook. (fn. 288)
Boundary disputes were an inevitable consequence of the open-field system and an early record of one has survived. In 1320 John de Louches, son of Robert de Louches of Baldon, was at law with the Hospital of St. John about the boundary between John's land and the hospital's grange. It was agreed that the bounds should be fixed in the presence of the bons gens of Garsington and that the boundary marks should be of stone. (fn. 289)
The great rise in prices in the 16th century caused changes at Garsington as elsewhere. The two most substantial occupiers of land in the subsidy lists of the 1520's were newcomers: John Ratcliffe, a gentleman, and collector of the subsidy in 1524, and Richard Peers. (fn. 290)
By the 1580's further changes in the composition of the village had taken place. More new families had come in or risen in position, notably the Fordes and the Burgesses, who were to be prominent yeomen families for years to come. (fn. 291) The only families of means going back to the pre-Reformation era were the Franklins and Spencers. Representatives of both were 'subsidy men' in 1520, and the Spencers were once commemorated by a brass in the church. After the Reformation many generations of the Franklins were tenants of the Brasenose farm and lived at the 'mansion house' at North End, (fn. 292) while the Spencers were tenants of Christ Church for the former Oseney fee. (fn. 293)
The numerous families of Franklins are typical of the farming families of the post-Reformation period. The first to leave any record was John Franklin, who took a lease in 1506 of a farm which belonged to the Rushberys, and undertook to levy all the landlord's rents in Garsington, Forest Hill, and Cowley. (fn. 294) When this property passed to Brasenose College, the Franklins became their tenants. In 1555 William Franklin was leasing the college 'mansion place' and about 100 acres in Garsington and Cowley for a rent of 43s. 4d. (fn. 295) Edmund Franklin (d. 1577), another member of the family, made pious bequests to the poor men's box at Garsington and to the repair of the church. (fn. 296)
The 16th-century William Franklin, called a husbandman, had rather more stock on his farm than some of his relatives, who called themselves yeomen, and owned freehold land as well as Brasenose farm, which he leased. (fn. 297)
As for the new men, the Fordes had considerably advanced their fortunes during the century, probably through sheep-farming. (fn. 298) The Burgesses, tenants of the Queen's College farm, as well as of other freehold land, probably also made their money out of sheep. (fn. 299) Lawrence Burgess was in a position to buy up land in the early 17th century. In 1609 he bought 2 leasehold messuages from another yeoman family; three years later he bought a messuage and 2¼ yardlands with meadow land from Melsam; (fn. 300) in 1622–3 he became the Queen's College tenant for about 230 acres of arable land, and in 1627 sold 2¾ yardlands to the college. His house, listed in the hearth tax returns of 1665 as having three hearths, with its orchard and garden covered about 2 acres; (fn. 301) his son Henry had a pew of his own in the church after 1637. (fn. 302)
In the late 17th and 18th centuries Garsington society continued to be characterized by the number of its substantial yeoman families, some of whom were newly settled. Their duration was short. The Spencers and Pokins, for example, who predominated at the end of the 16th century, had died out or left the village by the end of the next century. One Spencer had moved to Waterperry and the family property, the Well Barn, was bought by the Fordes. (fn. 303) And Robert Pokin's 2½ yardlands (78½ a.), accumulated gradually before his death in 1631, had been sold with the farm-house by the family before 1671. (fn. 304) Of the newcomers, Lovell Mollineux, son of Richard Mollineux, who was one of the highest contributors after the gentry to the subsidy of 1663, (fn. 305) was one of the most enterprising. Under the stimulus of war, perhaps, he rented additional land from Joseph Sadler (fn. 306) for £40 a year and put it down to grain in 1692. (fn. 307) Another of the most prominent farmers was Edward Townsend, a man of about the same wealth as Richard Mollineux. They both held actually more land in the parish than William Wickham at South End manor, and so headed the list of ratepayers. (fn. 308)
But it was not only the Garsington yeoman farmers who were accumulating property. Garsington land and house property was also being bought and sold by neighbouring yeoman farmers and by Oxford tradesmen, such as Charles Russell, a tailor, who paid £385 in 1617 to Thomas Wildgoose of Denton for a small property, perhaps the same that Wildgoose had bought in 1612 from the Burgesses. (fn. 309)
It is clear that in the 17th and 18th centuries there were never more than two or three families of the gentry living in Garsington. Out of the seven gentlemen landowners listed in the subsidy of 1623 (fn. 310) only two were local men—a Mr. Bastian at South End, (fn. 311) and George Melsam, at Louches manorhouse, a typical upstart of the times, who profited from the rise in prices which forced many landowners to sell. He accumulated a large property in Garsington and sold it almost as rapidly. He was described by his enemies as a man of little substance who got a lease from Sir John St. John in 1607 of Louches manor-house and demesne. (fn. 312) He succeeded Leonard Welbeck, (fn. 313) who then moved to Berkshire after having been at the manor-house at least since 1558, when he paid the highest contribution to the subsidy of any of the resident landowners. (fn. 314) By 1642 part of Melsam's property seems to have passed to John Bromley. (fn. 315) Bromley must have already been settled in Garsington at the Brasenose 'mansion house', for the first of his children was baptized in the church in 1635. He had died before 1657. (fn. 316)
Village life in the first half of the 18th century was still presided over by the resident gentry. William Wickham's widow earned a reputation for 'diffusive charity', and was said to have been 'frugal in her own expense' to increase her 'power of doing good to others'. (fn. 317) In 1768 her eldest son William, Rector of Stoke Talmage, was described as a resident 'notable'. (fn. 318) The only other 'notable' was Joseph Sadler, who had followed the Bromleys at the Brasenose 'mansion house' at North End. (fn. 319) Three members of his family head the list of signatures to the orders for the view of frankpledge held in 1744. (fn. 320) Like the Wickhams, the family has its memorial tablets in the church. The last of them died in 1787, when the Wickhams had already ceased to live in the village. (fn. 321)
By 1808 there were no 'notables', (fn. 322) and the village was ruled by an oligarchy of Quatermains, Harpers, Clinkards, Mollineuxes, Fruins, Poultons, and Surmans. They were the occupiers of the land and owners of some of it, and as such they acted as churchwardens and overseers of the poor and managed village affairs. (fn. 323)
Post-Reformation documents give some information about farming customs and organization. It seems to have been normal for each yardland in South End to have a right to common pasture for 33 sheep, 5 'neate beasts', and an unlimited number of cattle. (fn. 324) But in North End fields the yardland had a right to have common for 34 sheep, 4 beasts, and 4 horses. (fn. 325) Special arrangements were made for High Mead pasture, and it is noteworthy that these arrangements should have been made by the vestry in the 17th century. It was decided for instance in George Melsam's day that High Mead was being overstocked and the rate was decreased. His number of cattle was reduced from 39 cows and a bull to 29. The churchwardens and 'collectors for the poore' were weekly to 'walke and survey the grounde that noe cattle be putte beside the rate'. (fn. 326) This valuable pasture by the Humble Brook probably needed constant safeguarding and two special arrangements about its stinting have survived from the 18th century. The landowners and commoners made an agreement about it in 1742 and again in 1778 and appointed a hayward and two stewards or fieldsmen. The total number of commons there was 169. (fn. 327)
Annual ordinances and regulations concerning the common fields and commons continued to be made at the lord's view of frankpledge throughout the 17th and 18th centuries. Herd haywards and 'hoggeswardens' were appointed for each manor, and regulations were made dealing with the management of the open fields and the commons. At a court held in 1744 it was forbidden, for instance, to overstock the sheep commons on pain of a fine of 5s. for every score of extra sheep. But the court's main concern was to enforce proper drainage of the land, a matter of particular importance in a parish like Garsington with its many hill springs and its lowlying water meadows. Heavy fines of 10s. were levied for a failure to clear watercourses: those, for instance, from Water Gapp to Swansey Corner, from Phipp's well to Baldon Brook, from Coomwell Head to Portway ditch, from Great Lease House to Humble Brook. There was also a more uncommon regulation that every man should 'water furrow' his land within three days after it was sown. (fn. 328)
The open-field system at Garsington led, perhaps, to a more than average number of boundary disputes owing to the unusually large number of freeholders. In 1603 Exeter was on this account in danger of losing some of its lands. The college alleged that Leonard Welbeck, John Wallis, and Robert Pokins, all tenants of the college's land, had from fear that they might be evicted conspired together to claim the land as part of their freehold. They had a survey made allotting Exeter's land to their freeholds and they ploughed up the banks and other landmarks. The evidence of the witnesses shows how the openfield system lent itself to confusion of this kind. Welbeck's father had bought freehold land fifty years past and, having also acquired a lease of land under Exeter, treated both farms as his freehold. (fn. 329)
Tithes, as in the Middle Ages, were another fruitful cause of disturbance. The customs governing their payment were complicated and were often disputed. It was stated in the archdeacon's court in 1603 that the custom was that parishioners keeping sheep in Garsington and shearing them there paid full tithe, but if they sold them between Hocktide and shearing they paid ½d. for each sheep so sold. No tithe was paid for sheep sold between Martinmas and Hocktide. Calves not calved in the parish paid no tithe, but ½d. was due from every calf sold with its dam or weaned within the parish; no tithe milk was payable so long as the calf was sucking.
This suit emphasizes another feature, which numerous other documents bear out, namely the number of sheep kept by husbandmen and yeoman farmers. One witness had 127 sheep. (fn. 330) In another earlier case Richard Forde said that he brought 114 ewes into the parish at Christmas time and kept them there until shearing time. He offered the tithe collector the tithe wool due for half the year but refused to pay for the other half-year on the grounds that the seller had paid it. This case has an additional interest in the light it throws on women's work: Forde denied any knowledge of the amount of tithe due on the lambs born, because he did not meddle with them and his wife had paid it at Easter. (fn. 331)
But the most important element in the agricultural life of Garsington after the Reformation was the movement for inclosure. Apart from the normal number of small closes near the village, very little arable or pasture land had been inclosed. By the early 16th century there was a large piece of inclosed pasture, Little Motterell, bordering on Toot Baldon (fn. 332) and there were about 120 acres of arable, called the '100 acres' which, though not inclosed, appear to have been consolidated and belonged to the Queen's College. (fn. 333) In 1517 it was stated that John Spencer had converted 20 acres of arable into pasture in the previous reign. It seems that the farmer of Oseney's 20 acres of arable and of Edward Radley's 12 acres of land had also done the same, for he was charged with having allowed the messuages to decay. (fn. 334) Otherwise little consolidation of strips or inclosure had taken place, and the difficulty Trinity College had to get sufficient supplies, whenever it migrated to Garsington, seems to show that apart from some sheep-farming subsistence farming was the rule with little surplus for the market. In 1571, for instance, the president appointed a Garsington butcher to buy calves and other provisions in the surrounding country—in Abingdon and as far afield as Kidlington. (fn. 335) However, it was stated in 1622 that fuel and corn were normally sent to Oxford, (fn. 336) and college rents were usually paid partly in kind. In 1673, for example, the widow Broome paid for her 3 yardlands a rent of 26s. 8d. a year with 8 bushels of wheat and 10¾ of malt to Exeter College. But 18th-century leases, such as Joseph Sadler's in 1715, often laid down that the tenant should 'spend in and upon the premises all or most part of the corn, hay, and straw growing there, and the compost, soil, and dung coming off and upon the premises shall be laid and always employed in and upon the same'. (fn. 337)
The first steps to inclose the common fields were taken by the enterprising newcomer George Melsam, who with seven others petitioned Chancery in 1620 for a bill to inclose the manor of Garsington. Their declared object was not to convert arable to pasture but to raise the productivity of the land. Their efforts failed mainly owing to the threat to the status of yeoman farmers and husbandmen which success would have entailed, and, in lesser degree, to the conservatism of farmers and college landowners alike. (fn. 338) In the event inclosure did not come until 1811. The award shows that even by that date there was very little inclosed land: Upper farm had about 15 acres of inclosed land; Bottom farm about 55 acres, and on the biggest holding, Mrs. Tyrwhitt-Drake's, there were only about 21 acres. Most of the land was still divided up in acre and ½-acre strips. (fn. 339)
There were still many landholders, with lands 'very much intermixed and dispersed in small parcels, so as to render cultivation thereof very inconvenient'. They included the Earl of Macclesfield, Christ Church, and six other colleges: Brase nose, Magdalen, Exeter, Wadham, Queen's, St. John's; the city of Oxford, Abingdon Hospital, the trustees of the Harwell Free School, Thomas and William Aldworth, and others. The largest single allotments were given to the lords of the manors, Tyrwhitt-Drake and Plumer (c. 357 and 316 a respectively), with an additional few acres for their manorial rights. But the greater part of the parish's land, long since detached from the manors, was distributed among the six college landowners and the city of Oxford. The total allotment amounted to over 2,230 acres.
Inclosure made little difference to the pattern of landholding. In 1785, besides the rector's glebe there were 41 farms and small-holdings held by 31 different proprietors. Only four were of any size, those of the Wickhams, the Plumers, the Sadlers, and the Bouchier Smiths, which were assessed for the land tax at between £10 and £24 odd. Twentytwo were under £1 and ten small properties were held by owner-occupiers. In 1832 there were 37 proprietors, 17 of them holding properties assessed at under £1, and 8 farmers owning their own farms. (fn. 340) Nor did inclosure raise the productivity of the land as much as it should have done. Though some advances in farming methods had been made at the end of the 18th century when a four-course rotation was introduced, a high proportion of the land remained rough pasture. As late as 1841 there were still 881 acres, including some meadow, compared with 1,270 acres of arable. (fn. 341)
The appearance of new field-names in the 16th and 17th centuries, 'Lonfurlandfield', for instance, suggests earlier experiments in cropping, but the evidence of the terriers shows that the common practice was a three-course rotation. In 1636 the lands of Exeter College's tenant in the South End fields were still divided equally between the three fields, now called Blindwell, Brockwell, and Brownleys fields. (fn. 342) Terriers in the earlier 18th century also show that there was certainly not a fourth open field. The introduction of a four-course rotation can in fact be dated fairly closely. A memorandum made in or just after 1766 by the Bursar of the Queen's College says 'they have taken a new field out of the three old ones'. To do this they took 1, 7¼, and 6 acres of college land respectively from North, Ellwell, and Staggering Fields. (fn. 343) The reorganization of the fields is confirmed by the terriers of the tenants' holdings. In 1766 Thomas Harper's 1½ acre of arable was divided more or less equally between Staggering, Ellwell, and North fields, but in 1769 his land is described as lying in the three ancient fields and in 'New Field'. (fn. 344) The use of a four-course rotation is first recorded in the case of Smith's farm in 1783. Its 84-odd acres dispersed in the common fields were said to have a three-crop and fallow rotation. Some thirty years later Arthur Young commented on the use of a four-course rotation at Garsington of fallow, wheat, beans, and barley or oats. He noted that this rotation was common in the more progressive west of the county but that this was a rare example of it in the east. (fn. 345) He implies that this rotation was common to the whole parish, but there is no other evidence to show how soon South End followed the example of the north. It had not done so by 1769, when a terrier was made of the Queen's College farms. (fn. 346)
Despite the new rotation and inclosure, much of the land of the parish was still poorly farmed in 1825. According to a surveyor's report then made for Dr. Ingram, (fn. 347) there was much excellent productive land, the value of which should have been enhanced by its nearness to Oxford. But the occupiers were in general held to be 'men without capital and spirit', and most of the farms were very badly managed and the greater part of the land was out of condition. For the latter, blame was laid partly on the landowners who had neither properly subdivided the lands since the inclosure nor drained them, with the result 'that great loss is sustained by intermixture of grass and arable of different soils and by the water lying on them'. There were fourteen farmers, seven of them tenant farmers. Apart from the Manor farm in South End (c. 358 a.) and North End manor (172 a.), all the farms were under 135 acres in size. (fn. 348)
Leases throw a little more light on the prevailing methods of farming. An Exeter College lease in 1833, for instance, to Clinkard laid down that the tenant was not to take two white crops in succession off the arable and not to mow the meadow or pasture more than once a year. Part of the arable was to be well 'summer fallowed' and then to be seeded with grass and kept as pasture. Again a lease of Lower farm in about 1812 amplifies Young's report. The tenant was to leave a quarter of the arable fallow each year or sown only with clover and grass seeds to be mown only once, or with turnips and vetches which were to be eaten off with sheep by night and day to manure it. Not more than three crops to a fallow or fallow crop were to be sown, and one of the three was to be beans or pulse. (fn. 349)
Agricultural unemployment in the 'hungry forties' was, as one might expect from the report of 1825, particularly severe in Garsington. There was great distress owing to unemployment. A writer to the Oxford Chronicle said that the condition of the labourers could only be improved if owners would farm their land properly and employ adequate labour. He quoted the case of three farms of about 130 acres, which employed only one or two labourers, and of one of 200 acres occupied by a tenant living outside the parish which employed only one labourer. Wages were low; one correspondent alleged that labourers got 6s. to 8s. a week, though another said that all married men got 9s. a week, while the editor commented that it was lamentable that occupiers and owners did not see that it was to their advantage to pay for labour rather than demoralize the poor-rates. (fn. 350) These low wages combined with bad housing had a natural consequence in the 'severe' cholera outbreak in 1854, and later in the century in the appearance of the social agitator. In 1894, for example, labourers assembled round the village cross, were invited by a member of the Fabian Society to 'agitate, educate, organize and combine'. (fn. 351)
In the last half of the 19th century, however, the standard of farming was considerably raised by Joseph Gale, (fn. 352) who lived at South End manor-house from about 1850 and farmed the Manor farm and Lower farm in South End (360 a. in all). When the property was sold in 1913, it was described as having been 'highly farmed'. (fn. 353) There were twelve principal landowners. They were rated as follows: Philip Morrell, £118; the Queen's College, £78; the city of Oxford, £75; Mrs. Philip Morrell and Magdalen College, £57 each; and S. W. King, £50. (fn. 354) In recent times several farms have been amalgamated. Hill and South End farms are in one hand, and so are Manor and Lower farms. (fn. 355)
As the village was large, many of Garsington's inhabitants were craftsmen. There are medieval references to a fisherman and a chapman, (fn. 356) and the stone quarries must always have provided some work. In the 17th and 18th centuries there is frequent mention of the lime supplied from the parish, notably for Chislehampton and Wheatley bridges. (fn. 357) Members of the well-known Oxfordshire family of masons, the Robinsons, lived in the village and the widow Anne Robinson received payment for the work done by her husband on Magdalen Bridge. One of the Turrills, licensees of the 'Red Lion', was also a mason in the mid-18th century. (fn. 358)
The brick and tile works by Kiln Farm may have a long history but cannot be traced back earlier than the last quarter of the 19th century; Cuddesdon Bridge was built of Garsington brick in 1878. (fn. 359)
Among Garsington craftsmen were cordwainers, shoemakers, bakers, wheelwrights, tailors, and carpenters. There were also victuallers and alehouse keepers. (fn. 360)
A plan of the village houses, made in the first quarter of the 19th century, provides an unusually complete picture of village occupations. Out of 126 householders, 14 were farmers, 68 labourers, 4 cordwainers, 3 blacksmiths, 3 sawyers, and 3 masons. There were a pair each of carpenters, butchers, wheelwrights, bakers, and innkeepers; a tailor, weaver, and fruiterer, and finally 10 widows, a tradeless spinster, and a retired husbandman. (fn. 361) Some of these men worked outside the village: one of the carpenters worked for a Wheatley carpenter and helped him re-seat Holton church. (fn. 362) By the 1880's the influence of Oxford had made itself felt, and the pattern of occupations had considerably altered. Outstanding were the 8 market-gardeners and a nurseryman, a builder, a contractor, and 2 carriers. (fn. 363) By the early 20th century there were 15 market-gardeners. (fn. 364)
The book of the overseers of the poor for 1644–82 provides the earliest post-Reformation evidence for the care of the poor. It shows the tenant farmers in control—members of the families of Townsend, Mollineux, Burgess, Forde, and Harper, who act as overseers, allowers of taxes, and as examiners of receipts and disbursements. The only gentleman to act was John Wickham. Their duties were as light as their rates, for the problem of the poor was not serious at this date. (fn. 365)
The poor book of 1788–1807 reveals various changes. The vestry now set the rate for the relief of the poor, and the overseers' business was noticeably heavier. The number of rate-payers remained about the same (30 in 1788), but rates had increased and were to increase sevenfold under the pressure of war. The disbursements show the disintegrating effects of the disturbed times. The change in family fortunes is illustrated by the fact that relief was paid in 1789 to members of the Quatermain and Townsend families, old-established and once comfortably off. Such was the distress that six rates were levied in 1798 instead of the normal two, while in the peak year 1800–1, £755 odd was disbursed as compared with the average of £118 for the three years 1788–91.
In order to deal with the unemployed the 'roundsmen' system was introduced. Nearly £20 was paid out to men and boys in 1788 and over £15 in the next year to men, boys, and girls, who were employed in turn by the local farmers as casual labour. Poverty and war seem to have resulted in an increase in population, for new houses were built in 1791 at a cost of £35 15s. 2d. and more in 1798. (fn. 366)
The yeoman farmers also filled the office of constable. Such well-known names as Harper, Clinkard, Townsend, and Mollineux commonly recur in the list of office holders. Though the office was normally held for a year only, John King acted continuously from 1787 to 1803. Samuel King, his grandfather presumably, had held it in 1750 and 1751. The constables carried a staff as a badge of office. They made an inspection of the alehouses, they were responsible for the watch at Whitsuntide and at the Garsington feast, for the upkeep of bridges and footways, and for the pound and the stocks. In 1753, for instance, they disbursed 12s. for stones and work on the bridges and 15s. for pitching the footways; in 1785 and 1786 £4 each year for the Oxford mileway. They distributed alms to persons in distress, notably to soldiers and sailors; they had to collect and pay Marshalsea money, make out lists of jurymen for quarter sessions, make out militia lists, levy land and window taxes, pay the expenses for attendance at the hundred court at Wheatley, and return unwanted paupers to their place of origin. (fn. 367) By the mid-19th century the constables had increased in number to six. (fn. 368)
The poor-law records of the 18th century have a contribution to make to the question of the movement of population in the 18th century. People migrated to Garsington from other counties— Gloucestershire, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire—but most frequently it seems from the neighbouring Oxfordshire parishes of Great and Little Milton, Denton, Cuddesdon, Chalgrove, and Drayton. Nearness to Oxford may have attracted some of the immigrants since many for whom licences to move have survived were tradesmen and not labourers. There was a Little Milton weaver, a Denton tailor, a Cuddesdon cordwainer of the widespread Quatermain family, another cordwainer from Cowley, a blacksmith from Ickford (Bucks.), and a wheelwright from Little Milton. The motive for leaving the native village appears to have been normally desire for betterment and not poverty. (fn. 369)
The yeoman families also provided the two churchwardens. In the earliest churchwardens' book to survive Mollineux and Harper occur as the names of officers in 1799 and continue into the 19th century. Mr. Mackaness, the only esquire in the parish, signed the accounts until 1805. (fn. 370) After his death local government affairs were entirely conducted by the tenant farmers—a task for which they were apparently ill suited. In the report of 1825 (fn. 371) it was stated that the rates were 'sadly mismanaged . . . the poor and roads being both maintained from one indistinct fund'. The roads were said to be in an 'infamous state' and could not be made better by 'temporary patchwork repair'. 'By their annual tax upon the parish', the parish officers were thought to be 'absorbing a frightful sum, a comparatively small portion of which judiciously applied in an effective manner would not only make them permanently good, but of course materially reduce the rates'. The writer was not hopeful of improvement as 'there is not any leading occupier in the parish possessing sufficient intelligence or influence to work a change'. (fn. 372)
Such strictures seem to have been justified, for in a vestry meeting in 1848, new orders were drawn up for the surveyors of the highways as 'several irregular practices have long prevailed'. Surveyors, it was stated, had been guilty of corruption and 'wilful extravagancies'. rate-payers in future were not to be given team work on the roads without the consent of the vestry, and were reminded that they were trustees for their fellow parishioners; no unemployed were to be set to work on the highways, unless the highways needed repair. Furthermore, surveyors were not to have an interest in any contract for work on the roads; they were not to use any team without the licence of two justices of the peace, and in the interests of economy were to discontinue all labour on the highway at day wages. (fn. 373)
At this period the vestry was also occupied with such matters as the widening of the Wheatley road, and the sale of two stone pits to Wadham College and the city for £30 each.
Further reforms in local government were introduced in 1850. (fn. 374) A guardian was appointed in addition to the two surveyors and two overseers, and an examination of the assessment of the poor-rate was ordered with a view to carrying out the Small Tenements Rating Act. (fn. 375)
The descent of the advowson in the early Middle Ages is obscure. As Abingdon Abbey owned the greater part of the land of the parish, it may be that it was at one time patron of the church and lost or sold its rights in the confusion of the Danish wars, as it certainly did in the case of some of its other possessions. (fn. 376) There was a church at Garsington by the second half of the 12th century, (fn. 377) and the most likely hypothesis seems to be that Miles Crispin (fn. 378) was the founder and patron, and that he endowed the church and gave the advowson to Wallingford Priory, a cell of St. Albans Abbey, which seems to have been founded between 1077 and 1093. (fn. 379) It was certainly in possession before about 1170 of the hide which Miles held at the time of Domesday, (fn. 380) and in the 13th century the Rector of Garsington was reported to be holding half a virgate of the honor of Wallingford (fn. 381) in which Miles's lands are known to have been merged.
The priory may have been granted the advowson at its foundation. Fourteenth-century evidence (fn. 382) shows that it was holding it in the early 13th century when Prior William de Kirkby had presented his clerk, Hugh de Garsington. (fn. 383) In 1254 it is recorded that the priory was receiving a pension of £5 from Garsington church. (fn. 384) The next evidence for its ownership of the advowson comes from a suit in 1348, (fn. 385) when it was alleged by John Gose of Crofton that in 1346–7 Prior Heron had demised the advowson to him for ten years, saving the yearly pension of £5. Gose claimed that although the ten years was not up, he was being deprived of his right to present. The court gave judgement in his favour, and he presented Henry de Burcote. (fn. 386)
In 1392 Richard II licensed the priory to appropriate the church. But no appropriation ever seems to have been made; the church remained a rectory and rectors were regularly instituted. The advowson continued to be enjoyed by the priory as before and, as it always seems to have been regarded as the prior's property rather than the convent's, it was still in the prior's hands two years after the dissolution of the priory in 1524. (fn. 387) In 1526 the prior granted the first and second presentation to two London citizens, Edward Anpart and Bernard Cope; (fn. 388) in 1528 it was given to Wolsey, (fn. 389) who made it part of the endowment of his Oxford college; (fn. 390) on his attainder it passed with the pension of £5 to the Crown. In a letter of 1532 Thomas Cromwell ordered the parson to pay the bearer £5 for the use of the dean and canons of the king's college in Oxford, (fn. 391) but in the same year St. George's Chapel at Windsor obtained an annual grant of this payment. (fn. 392) In 1540–1 the reversion of the advowson was granted to Sir Thomas Pope, and in 1557–8 the grant was exemplified. This seems to have been necessary as, after Anpart's executors had exercised their right to present in 1548, (fn. 393) the Crown, illegally, it would seem, presented in 1556. (fn. 394) Sir Thomas, having secured possession, annexed the advowson and rectory to the presidentship of his new foundation at Oxford, Trinity College. (fn. 395) The advowson was still held in 1954 by the college, though the president is no longer ex officio rector. It had been customary for the presidents to bind themselves to resign the rectory on vacating the office of president. (fn. 396)
The rectory was a comparatively rich one in the Middle Ages. In 1254 it was valued at £13 6s. 8d., in 1291 at £6 6s. 8d. (fn. 397) with the £5 pension to Wallingford and St. Frideswide's portion of £1 for tithes. (fn. 398) Its value was slightly increased after the Dissolution, for its net value in 1535 was £14 19s. 8d. (fn. 399)
The rectory consisted of both tithes and land, but the former had been partially granted away in 1122 when Henry I gave the tithes from his demesne (fn. 400) to St. Frideswide's Priory. (fn. 401) In a confirmatory charter of about 1203–6 the tithes were described as tithes of corn, (fn. 402) but a charter of King Stephen in about 1142 had stated that St. Frideswide's was to have the tithes of lambs and cheese as well. (fn. 403) They had probably been commuted by 1291 when they were taxed at 20s., half the sum which the priory claimed in 1347 as an annual pension from the rector. (fn. 404) When judgement was given in 1359 it was said that the rectors had always paid this sum, (fn. 405) and although the priory's right to the tithe was often in dispute it retained its portion for tithes until its dissolution, (fn. 406) after which the portion went temporarily to Cardinal Wolsey. (fn. 407) On the cardinal's fall these tithes must have gone to the Crown but they were not given to Christ Church, though the rents at Garsington formerly belonging to St. Frideswide's were. They later went with the advowson to Sir Thomas Pope. (fn. 408)
The priory's claim to tithes was disputed by an early-13th-century rector, John de Garsington, and in 1212 Innocent III ordered an inquiry into John's alleged molestation of the priory's tithes. The court adjudged the tithes to the priory. (fn. 409) In the 14th century another parson, Master Hugh, who had been at war with his parishioners over their tithes from 1316 to at least 1328, (fn. 410) tried to withhold St. Frideswide's tithes. The priory again brought a suit in 1346 for the recovery of its portion of 40s., and again obtained a judgement in its own favour. (fn. 411) Master Hugh's successor, Master Stephen, sun of John the Somenour, who had obtained the cure through a papal provision, (fn. 412) continued the quarrel with greater violence. In 1352 he was accused of robbing the Prior of St. Frideswide's of an alleged £300 worth of goods and chattels at Garsington; (fn. 413) he was outlawed and was not pardoned until the spring of 1357. (fn. 414)
After the Reformation it was the custom to lease the tithes. It is recorded that President Kettell would let his at £40 a year under value to any parishioner who was honest and industrious and yet was 'in decay and lowe in the world'. (fn. 415)
The rector's glebe is first mentioned in 1279 when half a virgate is said to belong to the church. (fn. 416) There seem to have been later benefactions, for in 1601 a terrier gives the extent of the glebe as a yard of arable in the open fields of the two manors. This yard consisted of 22 acres and was divided unequally between Staggering (8 a.), Brownleyes (12 a.) and North fields (2 a.). (fn. 417) The land tax certificate of 1798 reckons the glebe as 28 acres, but this includes presumably pasture land and the extensive site of the parsonage and its outbuildings; (fn. 418) in 1841 the tithe award reckoned it at nearly 23 acres. Evidence of the post-Reformation value of the rectory is scanty. In 1622 it was alleged to have been formerly worth £200, but to be then scarcely worth 100 marks. (fn. 419) In 1825 it was reported that the tithes, then worth £669 12s. 6d., were at least a fifth less than their proper value owing to bad farming. (fn. 420)
In 1841 they were commuted for a rent charge. As all the land in the parish was subject to tithe, the rector was apportioned £686. In 1921 and 1922 the redemption of tithe reduced the total tithe to £555 1s. 3d. exclusive of tithe of £6 7s. 4d. on the glebe. (fn. 421) In 1953 the net value of the benefice was £550 a year. (fn. 422)
The medieval rectory-house must have stood roughly on the site of the present one. By Sir Thomas Pope's will it was to be repaired and used by the college as a retreat in times of pestilence. He left 500 marks for the purpose (fn. 423) and Lady Pope later provided further funds for a 'fair quadrangle of stone'. (fn. 424) The rebuilding had been begun but not finished in 1564 when the college retired to Woodstock to avoid the plague in Oxford. But it was ready by 1570 and used in 1571 as a refuge. (fn. 425) It was large enough to house the whole society and its servants, and had stables, built in 1579, for their horses. (fn. 426)
Keeping it in order was a burdensome business. In 1596 President Yeldard repaired it with some help from the college, and a few years later when the college was staying there in 1603, it spent the commons of absent members on repairs. (fn. 427) More extensive ones were undertaken in 1685 when William Robinson, the Oxford mason, was employed for 75 days. His whole bill for the college house amounted to £33 13s. 3d., but £8 10s. of it was the cost, he judged, of work on 'that part of the building belonging to the parsonage'. (fn. 428) How much the rector ever resided or to what extent the college itself used its house at this date cannot be said, but it is unlikely that the humble curates lived in the parsonage house, unless possibly as lodgers, and the normal practice may have been to lease the whole building to a farmer. This was certainly done in the 1660's, when Richard Mollineux was the tenant and was assessed to the poor-rate for it. (fn. 429)
When Thomas Warton wrote in 1772, a great part of the college house had been demolished as useless, and only 'one range or side' remained. (fn. 430) In 1817 the building had become a venerable antiquity, and was described in the Gentleman's Magazine as the 'remains of a college'. (fn. 431) Though stated to be habitable in 1815, (fn. 432) the house seems to have been in poor repair on Dr. Lee's death in 1824, for dilapidations, including those of the chancel of the church, were estimated at £327 13s. 10d., (fn. 433) and extensive alterations were needed in 1827. A drawing, dated 1823, by J. C. Buckler shows a two-story building flush with the road. It has 16th-century windows of two lights with mullions and stone labels, and chimneys with long shafts. (fn. 434) The energetic Dr. Ingram modernized the old house, put in new sash windows, stairs, and floors, panelled the stone walls, and made other improvements at a cost of £493 19s. There was much Gothic ornamentation; Gothic-hooded doors, two Painswick stone Gothic chimney-pieces, Gothic-headed windows and a great deal of 'Gothic Hollow' moulding. The roof was partly tiled, partly slated with Stonesfield slates. (fn. 435)
Specifications of work done for Dr. Wilson (1850–66) by William Druce show that the house was gabled and had dormer windows, that it had a pump house, a thatched barn, stable, cowshed, and outside privy. (fn. 436) The outbuildings seem to have been even more numerous once. A glebe terrier of 1601 enumerates a barn, stable, malthouse, and dovehouse; the grounds consisted of a yard, garden, courtyard, orchard, and hemp plot of 3 acres on the barn side. In addition there were four cottages. (fn. 437) A terrier of 1805 significantly omits the malthouse but adds pig-sties. (fn. 438)
In 1872 the old building was pulled down and the present rectory built. (fn. 439) The gateway in the wall opposite the church is all that is left of Pope's 'College'.
Apart from several tithe disputes between rectors and their parishioners (fn. 440) there is little direct evidence about church life in Garsington before 1557, when the Presidents of Trinity became ex officio rectors. Many of the incumbents were distinguished and some of them took an active interest in parochial affairs. Sir Thomas Pope had required presidents to preach at least eight times each year and some complied. (fn. 441) President Yeldard, instituted in 1563, always preached and resided in time of epidemics when the whole college migrated to Garsington with all necessary 'vestments, plate, books and utensils'. (fn. 442) President Kettell (1599–1643) used to ride to Garsington each Sunday, with a servant and provisions, preached regularly, and sang a 'shrill high treble'. (fn. 443) He tried to suppress the annual village feast, but without success for it was well known in the 18th century and still thriving at the end of the 19th. (fn. 444) President Harris (1648–58), a noted Puritan, is said to have preached regularly at Garsington on Sundays. (fn. 445) President Huddesford (1731–76) held two Sunday services, one with a sermon, catechized during Lent and frequently at other times, and administered the sacrament four times a year. (fn. 446) In 1759 he declared that there were few absentees from church. (fn. 447) Communicants had been about 40 in 1738 but had declined to about 20 by 1771, (fn. 448) by which time the church and its fittings were neglected. (fn. 449) By 1808 there were still only 20 communicants out of a population of about 400. (fn. 450)
Pope had also laid it down that the rectors should provide 'a sufficient Catholike and hable curat'. (fn. 451) The first of these, a B.D., was buried at Garsington in 1575. Another, in President Yeldard's time, is said by the Puritan Peel not to have preached. (fn. 452) Kettell also had a curate in about 1620 who was involved in disputes with parishioners which led, as he alleged, to assaults and to disturbances during services. (fn. 453) President Bathurst (1664–1704) kept a resident curate, (fn. 454) but no evidence has been found for another such appointment until 1790. (fn. 455) During President Lee's rectorship (1808–24) the curacy was sometimes vacant or not adequately served. (fn. 456) In this period of comparative neglect the parish owed much to the Turrill family, innkeepers at the 'Red Lion' and the 'Three Horse Shoes', who provided the parish clerk throughout most of the 18th century and sometimes the churchwardens. In 1840 the parishioners petitioned the rector to continue Joseph Turrill in the office that his family had held for 150 years. (fn. 457)
Religious life revived under President Ingram (1824–50), an able and generous man, (fn. 458) largely responsible for putting up and paying for a new school, (fn. 459) restoring the church fabric and furniture, (fn. 460) and improving the value of the tithes. (fn. 461) It was stated in 1834 that 150–60 out of a population of about 600 attended Sunday morning services, that 220–30 attended evening services, and that communicants averaged 35. (fn. 462) There was then a Sunday school held by a paid master and mistress, and a benevolent society was started in 1824. (fn. 463) Ingram also wanted to stop the bull-baiting which took place on the green as late as the 1830's. (fn. 464)
From the thirties the curates seem to have been continuously resident and active. In 1834 William Nicholson, who was paid £100, lived in the parsonage house. (fn. 465) His successor, W. J. Copeland, was an outstanding parish priest, who knew his flock and raised nearly £1,000 for restoring the church in 1848. (fn. 466) Charles Macfarlane (licensed 1853) held an adult school three times a week in winter and a Sunday evening class for religious instruction. The average congregations were then about 250 in the afternoon and 125 in the mornings. (fn. 467) Copeland also started a clothing club, which required regular contributions, regular attendance at school of members' children, and good conduct on the part of members themselves. (fn. 468)
The Presidents of Trinity ceased to be rectors in 1871. The first resident rector, David Thomas, has left many traces of his activities. During his incumbency a new benefit society was founded in 1878, as the earlier one had gone bankrupt. (fn. 469) The new society's chief social function was an annual procession and dinner on Whit Monday. (fn. 470) It was dissolved in 1894 as funds were insufficient. His successor organized a coal and clothing club, supported by the subscriptions of the landowners, which continued far into the 20th century. The book of manuscript notes which he made on the history of the parish is another sign of his active interest in it. (fn. 471)
The church of ST. MARY comprises a chancel, nave with aisles and clerestory, western tower, and south porch. The earliest part of the present structure, the tower, dates from the end of the 12th century. (fn. 472) Fragments of what was thought to be a 12th-century chancel were found during the restoration of 1849 and the marks of the steep pitch of the original nave roof were also found on the tower. The early church could, therefore, have had no aisles. (fn. 473) The chancel was rebuilt in the 13th century and is lighted by windows with simple interlacing tracery of the period. This view seems to be supported by documentary evidence. In 1291 a papal relaxation of a year and 40 days of penance was granted to penitents who visited Garsington church on the four feast days of the Blessed Virgin, the Holy Cross and their octaves; (fn. 474) the encouragement thus given to penitents may have been prompted by the local desire for alms to defray the expenses of the new building. It is possible that the north aisle was added in the 13th century and a south one in the 14th century, that the walls and roof of the nave were raised and a clerestory inserted, and that the porch over the south door may date from the late 14th century, but owing to the thorough restoration of 1849, it is impossible to be certain of the date of the original work. (fn. 475)
In 1668 small buttresses were added to the north doorway and two more to strengthen the side walls— work which was commemorated by a stone at the east end of the aisle inscribed 'lbff, 1668'. The roof was also strengthened and the east clerestory window on the north side was replaced by a large square window, probably put in by Dr. Ralph Bathurst, President of Trinity (1664–1704), as it corresponded exactly with those of Bathurst's building at Trinity before it was pulled down. Attention was also paid to the church furniture; communion rails, 'good of their kind', and a pulpit were installed. (fn. 476)
Little work appears to have been done to the fabric in the 18th century, and the bishop's orders in Huddesford's day (1731–76) that the side walls of the tower, church, and chancel should be pointed in many places, the south door of the chancel be repaired and made close, and the bells and the top of the communion table repaired, suggest some neglect. (fn. 477) On the other hand it is evident that the parishioners were not without interest in the beautification of their church. Richard Turrill, 'clerk', gave the font in 1722; (fn. 478) William Bell a velvet cover to the pulpit and reading-desk in 1779; (fn. 479) and one of the Harper family (fn. 480) left money for a clock, which was made by John Thwaites at a cost of £172 4s. in 1796 and was designed to strike the hours on the tenor bell. (fn. 481)
With the 19th century care for the fabric and the church's interior decoration increased. The rector, James Ingram, an antiquary of distinction, had six new stained-glass windows put in the chancel in 1845 by I. H. Russell of St. Clement's, Oxford. The coats of arms depicted are for the most part those of societies or persons having an historical connexion with the church, i.e. St. John's College, Durham College, Trinity, St. Alban's Abbey, William IV, and the Ingram family. (fn. 482) The old east window which was thus replaced contained representations of the crowned Virgin and Child in the centre, and four armorial shields in each of the top side lights. The 18th-century font was replaced by a fascimile of the font at Weston (Lincs.) and was given by a Fellow of Trinity. (fn. 483) In 1848–9 a complete restoration at a cost of £1,073 16s. 11d. was undertaken. (fn. 484)
The architect employed was Joseph Clarke of London, the builders R. & I. Castle of Oxford. The chancel arch was rebuilt in keeping with the style of the north aisle, the two arcades and their clerestories were remodelled, the Bathurst window in the north aisle was destroyed, and the whole church was reroofed, the existing lead being replaced by Westmorland slate. The plaster ceiling, which had concealed the fine timbered roof with carved corbels, was removed; the two middle windows of the chancel formerly blocked by monuments were opened up and several other windows were restored and reset; the paving and flooring were renewed; the ancient box pews, so often the cause of contention between families in the past, (fn. 485) were replaced by modern ones; the doors, porch, and lych-gate were restored. Traces of very rude representations of the history of Jonah were found under the whitewash of the clerestory. (fn. 486)
The 15th-century rood screen was removed to the tower arch, and the gallery, probably an 18thcentury addition, which had formerly filled the arch, was removed. The original stone altar, found under the floor, was again installed in the chancel. A new reading-desk and a wainscot pulpit on a stone base, made by George Jarrett, were also set up. Jarrett, a Garsington carpenter, was responsible for most of the carved woodwork, including the carving of the bosses on the chancel roof. (fn. 487)
In 1852 the tower, which had been damaged by the careless hanging of the bells, was repaired on the advice of Talbot Bury at a total cost of £174, which was met from the rates. (fn. 488)
An organ built by Charles Martin of Oxford was installed in 1895. In 1898 the glass in the east window was once again replaced, this time by F. P. Morrell, (fn. 489) who gave new glass for the east window in memory of his father. It came from St. Giles' church, Oxford. In 1912 a carved oak reredos was erected; (fn. 490) in 1921 a stove was installed; and in 1928 electric light replaced the gas which in 1913 had replaced hanging oil lamps. (fn. 491) Lamps for the church are first recorded in the early 13th century, when Walter son of Pain (fn. 492) made a grant of land in Garsington on condition that the recipient should pay a gallon of oil each year to the church on the Vigil of the Nativity of the Virgin for a light. Walter himself gave a lamp and a cord for hanging it. (fn. 493) An example of a 16th-century bequest for lights in the choir of the church is found in a will of 1577, when 17s. 4d. was bequeathed. (fn. 494)
The monuments include an ancient stone floorslab with a defaced inscription beginning 'Isabele de . . .'. Wood suggested that it commemorated one of the coheirs of Thomas de Maydenhatch. (fn. 495) J. H. Parker's suggestion that the inscription should read: 'Isabele de Fortibus gist ici, Deu de sa alme eyt merci' cannot be correct, for she is known to have been buried elsewhere. (fn. 496)
There is also a brass to Thomas Radley (d. 1484) and his wife Elizabeth with their children, and there was once one to John Spencer and his two wives. (fn. 497)
There is a 17th-century memorial to Jane Wickham (d. 1657), and the following 18th-century Sadler and Wickham memorials: William Wickham (d. 1727), Mary Wickham (d. 1753), the Revd. William Wickham of Stoke Talmage (d. 1770), and his daughter Ann, wife of Thomas Drake TyrwhittDrake; Joseph Sadler (d. 1762), his wife Elizabeth (d. 1768), and his son John (d. 1787). There is a tablet to Elizabeth (d. 1765), wife of James Morrell, an Oxford attorney; a 19th-century memorial to the Aldworth family; a brass to the Revd. James Ingram, President of Trinity (d. 1850); and a memorial tablet put up after the First World War. (fn. 498)
The church's possessions were surprisingly poor. In 1552 the churchwardens listed them as follows: 'a chalyce of silver, two laten crosses, three great belles, one lytle bell, a blew cope of silk' and other vestments. (fn. 499) The chalice mentioned was probably the one now in existence which President Bathurst had had remade. (fn. 500) It has inscribed on the foot: 'ex redintegratione Rad. Bathurst, Rectoris, a.d. 1682.'
The repair of the bells, here as elsewhere, was a favourite object for bequests of money in the postReformation period. (fn. 501) The three 'greate belles' of 1552 had all been replaced by the first half of the 18th century. There is at present a ring of six bells. They range in date from 1696 to 1825. The earliest, the treble, was cast by Richard Keene of Woodstock. (fn. 502)
The churchyard was enlarged in 1854 after the conclusion of negotiations with Magdalen College who owned the required land: the rickyard was exchanged for a part of the rent-charge payable to the rector under the Tithe Commutation Act: it was again extended in 1907 by the inclusion of part of the glebe and part of the waste of the manor. (fn. 503)
The registers date from 1562 and are complete. There are churchwardens' account books for 1797– 1842, 1847–1928, and 1893–1903.
In the 16th century one of the Fordes (fn. 504) was a prominent recusant, but he never seems to have been much at Garsington and the rest of his family conformed. (fn. 505) After this date, no papists are listed in any of the 17th- or 18thcentury returns except for one woman in 1706. (fn. 506)
The first intimation of Protestant dissent comes in 1816 when John Janaway's house was licensed as a Protestant meeting-house. (fn. 507) The owner was not a member of any long-established village family. In 1833 James Hinton, a well-known Baptist from Oxford, applied for a barn to be licensed. (fn. 508) By the middle of the 19th century two Roman Catholic families and three Baptists were living in Garsington, (fn. 509) and by 1886 the Wesleyans had made sufficient headway to erect a chapel at a cost of £225. (fn. 510) Services were last held there in 1945, and the chapel was sold in 1949. (fn. 511)
In 1808 it was reported that there was no school, (fn. 512) but by 1815 there were three day schools for 36 boys and 31 girls, whose parents paid a few pence for their schooling. (fn. 513) Since 1811 a Sunday school had been run on National Society lines, and those interested in the education of the poor were anxious to establish a National school in the village. In 1831 an application was made to unite an existing school to the National Society. (fn. 514) This may have been the Sunday school, which was attended by 50 boys and 40 girls in 1834. (fn. 515) At that date the incumbent reported that the parish had no infant school, nor any regular daily school, 'although several are kept by dames in the cottages'. (fn. 516) In the government report of 1835 Garsington was said to have two fee-paying schools, attended by 26 boys and 16 girls. (fn. 517)
In 1840 a new Church school for 110 children, with a residence for the master and mistress, was opened on the green. It was under the management of Trinity College, and Dr. Ingram gave £60 a year to its support. (fn. 518) In 1854 there was an attendance of 112 and in 1871 of 83. (fn. 519) In 1923 the older children were transferred to Littlemore County School, but Garsington's school continued as a Church of England primary school. (fn. 520) In 1952 the attendance was 73 and there was a staff of 2. (fn. 521)
There are two charities. Thomas Westbrooke of Horspath by will dated 1630, left £15 for the poor of Garsington, which was used to purchase land yielding 15s. a year. The money was distributed each year in bread up to the time of the Brougham Commissioner's report in 1825. (fn. 522) In 1667 the families benefiting numbered 28. (fn. 523)
Samuel Malbon, of the parish of St. Mary Magdalen, Oxford, by will dated 1790, left £50 in trust to buy bread for the poor of Garsington to be distributed at Christmas and Easter. (fn. 524) This sum together with £25 interest was paid in 1801. Most of the money was invested in stock. Until 1818 the bread was distributed twice a year, but since that date on Christmas Day only. (fn. 525)
These two charities are dispensed together; in 1939 they were worth £3 5s. (fn. 526)