David French

Transcripts of notices and advertisements referencing the Parish of Deddington


Deddington was a small market town by contemporary standards in late Georgian times serving the surrounding agricultural community.  It lacked borough status, although it was characterised as a town and boasted a Town Hall. There was no predominant landowning family in the Parish, and the lords of the three manors were non-resident.

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 2,301 in 2021.

The figures for the Parish for the next two decennial census years were 1,650 in 1811 (Deddington 1,296, Clifton 226 and Hempton 128) and 1,847 in 1821 Deddington 1,404, Clifton 271, Hempton 172).1  The population of the Parish therefore increased by 19% during the first two decades of the 19th century.

The newspapers serving the area during the period 1800-1819 were Jackson's Oxford Journal (founded 1753) and the Oxford University and City Herald (founded 1806). The latter carried few references to Deddington.

The over 670 references to the Parish in Jackson's Oxford Journal during the period 1800-1819 are virtually all contained in notices and advertisements.2  Otherwise there are occasional references to births, deaths and marriages. There are virtually no news reports relating to Deddington, a notable exception being the account of the Street party in 1814 in celebration of the ostensible end of the Napoleonic Wars.

Several significant events, such as the enclosing of the common fields of the Parish (Inclosure Award 1808) and the establishment of a National School in 1814, are referenced in formal notices rather than in news reports.

The notices and advertisements indicate the continuing economic and political influence in Deddington during the last two decades of the reign of George III (who died on 29 January 1820), of the legal profession and grocery trade, both dominated by the Churchill family.

The very wide range of goods, often imported, many high value, sold by grocers in Georgian England, such as tea, sugar, spices and tobacco, illustrates why grocery was a high status occupation.3  Grocers were sometimes referred to as a 'grocer and tea merchant'. 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.

Whilst not attracting much prominence in Jackson's Oxford Journal, there was, of course, a sizeable local community in the Parish of farmers, tradesmen and artisans, some listed in the Universal British Directory 1791, others in Piggott's Directory 1830. Newspaper references to individual tradesmen often helpfully disclose their occupation. Tradesmen were not necessarily restricted to one particular trade, and commonly carried on other business activities when commercially expedient.

Despite the paucity of local news concerning the Parish, the notices and advertisements contain sufficient information to provide a glimpse of life in Deddington towards the close of the Georgian era, albeit largely from the perspective of the gentry and professional classes who comprised its readership.

It should be noted that no specific research has been undertaken into sources other than Jackson's Oxford Journal or in respect of the period subsequent to 1819 for the purposes of the current project. This must await a separate project or projects. Certain of the information may therefore be subject to revision in due course.

1 Comparative account of the population of Great Britain in the years 1801, 1811, 1821, and 1831 : with the annual value of real property in the year 1815 : also, a statement of progress in the inquiry regarding the occupations of families and persons, and the duration of life, as required by the Population Act of 1830, page 209. Census Office, 1831.
2 This figure excludes turnpike trust notices and includes notices of sales of property outside the Parish where Deddington solicitors were instructed.
See price list for Commodities sold by Bartholomew Churchill, at Clifton, circa 1780. 

How to access newspaper items

There are links below to:
- transcripts of newspaper items 1800-1819, which have been digitised by the British Newspaper Archive (BNA), referencing Deddington, Clifton and Hempton:
- indices of inhabitants of Deddington, Clifton and Hempton (and their principal activities) identified in the above newspaper items:

Particular Topics 1800-1819

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

Enclosure of common fields 1808
National School 1814
Street Party 1814
Deddington Inns
King's Arms Inn
Deddington Association
Churchill family
Legal profession
Medical profession
Tradesmen, artisans and farmers
Property sales
Turnpike Trusts
Deddington Fairs
Old Poor Laws
Deddington Savings Bank
Game Duty certificates
Post coaches

Links to other Jackson's Oxford Journals

JoJ 1753-1799

JoJ 1850-1859