Transcripts and summaries of advertisements, notices and news reports
referencing the Parish of Deddington




Front page title of the first edition to reference Deddington
25 August 1753

David French 

This project was conceived during the coronavirus Lockdown in 2020/2021, when record depositories and libraries were closed. The objective was to transcribe or summarise all references to the Parish, including Clifton and Hempton, during the Journal's initial years from 1753 to 1799 using just online sources. A further project to record references throughout the 1850s is underway.


Deddington was a small market town by contemporary standards serving the surrounding agricultural community.  It did not have borough status, although it did refer to itself as a 'Town' and had a Town Hall, and a Deddington Town football team was formed in 1886. There was no predominant landowning family in the Parish, and the lords of the three manors were non-resident. Although its population in the 18th century is not recorded, at the time of the first census in 1801 the population of the Parish was 1,552 (Deddington 1,172 Clifton 226 and Hempton 154) compared with 2,146 in 2011.

The over 300 references to the Parish in Jackson's Oxford Journal during the period 1753-1799 are almost exclusively contained in advertisements and notices. There are barely a dozen news reports relating to Deddington, one of which, on 25 September 1784, contained the important news about the removal of a Hornets' nest: "of very extraordinary Size...By Mr. Wildman's ingenious and peculiar Art, thofe obnoxious and dangerous Infects were rendered quite harmlefs".

The advertisements, notices and news reports in the Journal indicate the economic and political influence of the grocery trade and legal profession in Deddington, both dominated by the Churchill family, in the second half of the 18th century. In the City of London, mercers, grocers and drapers ranked first, second and third in order of precedence amongst the Great Twelve City Livery Companies. In the 18th century grocers were also involved in supplying tea, sugar, spices and tobacco.

Whilst not attracting such prominence in the newspaper, there was, of course, a sizeable local community of farmers, tradesmen and artisans, many listed in the Universal British Directory 1791.Tradesmen were not necessarily restricted to one particular trade, and commonly practiced one or more other trades where commercially expedient. References to individual tradesmen often helpfully disclose their occupation.

Despite the paucity of local news reports concerning the Parish in Jackson's Oxford Journal, the advertisements and notices contain a wealth of information providing a glimpse of life in Georgian Deddington during the second half of the 18th century, albeit largely from the perspective of the gentry and professional classes who comprised its readership.

How to access newspaper items

The links below are to compilations of items referencing Deddington to be found in the British Newspaper Archive (BNA).  Advice on how to access it using the links provided can be found HERE.

The 313 transcribed or summarised items referencing the Parish between 1753 and 1799 can be accessed via:

An Index (pdf)

containing a short description of each item in date order.

A Compendium (pdf)

of the transcribed/summarised items, also in date order.  Each of these items contains a link to the corresponding page in the relevant issue of The Journal in the BNA.

To search either the Index or the Compendium for a specific item by date, topic or subject matter, select the relevant pdf and use Ctrl + F to open a search box.

Where items have been transcribed rather than summarised, the formatting, punctuation and original spelling (including the use of the long 'f' for 's') have been retained to convey the flavour of the original. The only editorial licence has been to substitute the modern pound sign, '£', in place of the contemporary use of the letter 'l' for 'libra'.

Particular Topics

In addition, articles discussing various aspects of social, economic and political life in Georgian Deddington may be found in the below list (click on a Topic to download a pdf). They include transcriptions of relevant newspaper items and a link to it in the BNA archive

     Deddington Blues 1753
     Disclaimer of liability for wife's debts 1754
     Zachary Stilgoe's vexations 1764
     Inns and ale houses
     King's Arms Inn
     Sign of the Pole Axe 1760s
     Property auctions
     Agriculture and Common Fields
     Tree nursery  Late 1770s
     Hiring fair  1780
     Constitutional crisis  1782-1784
     Society for the Preservation of Property  1783
     Proprietary medicines  1780s
     Excise Duties  Mid 1780s and late 1790s
     John Hitchman, linen draper  1777-1799
     Aynho Wharf  1787
     Provident Society  1788
     French Revolution  1789
     Turnpike trusts  1780s and 1790s
     New church bells  1791
     Old Poor Laws  1790s
     New windmill  1790s
     The Churchills of Deddington
     Deddington House