Rob Forsyth

This article is the consequence of research carried out by Shirley Martin (formerly of Islip) into the estate of Martha Litchfield of Islip who died in 1853. In the process of her research Shirley found that Martha had made a large number of bequests to various Churchills and compiled a comprehensive list of references to the family derived from Jackson's  Oxford Journals. This list forms the basis of the article that follows amplified by my own comments (in italics) and links (in blue) to some relevant extracts from Jacksons Oxford Journals.

The Churchill family and myself are most grateful to Shirley for her permission to publish her valuable and most interesting research.  

Henry Churchill (1755-1811) Grocer. Married to Jane née King.

20.9.1809: Yesterday died Mrs. Churchill, aged 55, wife of Mr. Henry Churchill, of Deddington, in this county.

20.4.1811: Same day died, much respected and regretted, in the 56th year of his age, Mr. Henry Churchill, grocer, of  Deddington, in this county.

11.5.1811: All persons, .... estate of Mr. Henry Churchill, late of Deddington, .... are requested to send accounts of their respective demands to his son and executor, Mr. Henry Churchill, of Deddington, grocer, etc.

Henry Churchill (1783-1865). Grocer. Married to Ann (b.1781?)

25.9.1824: Henry Churchill advertising for a cook maid but is still said to be grocer of Deddington.

3.4.1830 and in 1831: Member of Deddington Association for the prosecution of felons and offenders includes Mr. Henry Churchill at Deddington.

14.3.1835: To be let, .... a genteel sashed dwelling house, desirably situated in the Market Square, either for trade or a private residence.  It has for many years been occupied by ladies in the millinery and dress making business, ..... apply to Mr. Henry Churchill, of Deddington.


Click on the image to see more images of Churchills shop in the DOL Gallery

23.4.1842: To be let or sold, a genteel dwelling house, sashed and slated; comprising a dining and drawing room, 4 excellent sleeping rooms, with large closets, large kitchen and cellar, detached brew-house and wash-house, and a good stable.  ....  Apply to Mr. Henry Churchill, at Deddington.

1844: Secretary of the Deddington Horticultural Society

12.2.1848: A beautifully-carved silver tankard has been procured by Mr. T. Strange, of Banbury, which is intended to be presented to Henry Churchill, Esq., by the Committee of Deddington Market: it bears the following inscription - “Presented to Mr. Henry Churchill by the Committee of Management of Deddington Market, on his resignation of the offices of Treasurer and Secretary, as a testimonial of their approbation of his services.  February 1848.”  The tankard is beautifully worked, and several agricultural views are engraved round the inscription, and the lid bears Mr. Churchill’s crest.

Henry Churchill (1821-1878) Solicitor. Married to Elizabeth née Field

He was the son of John (1785-1863) the Coroner and a cousin of Henry the Grocer above. He was a pillar of the parish community until he absconded to the USA and was declared bankrupt.

16.9.1848: Deddington: Among the successful candidates at the Trinity Term examination of law students, we find the name of our townsman, Mr. Henry Churchill, who has consequently been admitted an attorney of the Courts of Law at Westminster, and a solicitor of the Court at Chancery.

24.8.1850: Henry Churchill of Deddington is selling five cottages (Church Lane, Deddington), three dwelling houses (Market Square Deddington), pasture land (Back Lane, Deddington), garden (Church Lane, Deddington), free hold cottage (Brackley).

5.7.1851: Mr. Henry Churchill was captain of a side at cricket

3.7.1852: Woodstock County Court, John Churchill and others (Feoffees of the Deddington Charity Estate).  1850 Henry Churchill was collector.

In the 4th Quarter of 1853 Martha Litchfield
of Islip dies. In her Will (Probate 20.3.1854) She leaves her house to Henry's elder brother Samuel, £600 in stock to Henry and numerous other bequests to Henry's siblings/family. There is no immediately apparent link by kin or marriage between Martha and the Churchills to explain why she so favoured them.

Shirley Martin comments: I don't think Samuel ever lived in the house he inherited at Islip as in the Jackson's Oxford Journal on 21 Jan 1854 there is an advert to 'let the house of the late Miss Litchfield...' By 1855 it was being let to Rev. Joseph Bosworth (1789-1876), Prof. of Anglo-Saxon, Univ. of Oxford, & his wife Anne. The 1860 issue of Crockford's Clerical Directory gives his address as Islip House near Oxford. The photograph is of the house today known as The Lodge as advertised for sale in December 2016.TheLodgeIsliptoday

14.1.1854: Deddington, Opening of New National Schools, Henry Churchill, Secretary.

21.1.1854: Deddington, Distress of the Poor, Henry Churchill, Secretary.

2.9.1854: Deddington Gas, Coke, and Coal Company, Henry Churchill, Secretary.

24.3.1855: Building Society, Henry Churchill, Secretary.  Chairman by Dec 1855.

22.12.1855: Deddington Gas, Coke, and Coal Company, he is now solicitor and secretary
1862 - director of the Strand Hotel

12.9.1863: Mr. John Churchill (Henry's father. He was aged 78) who has for the last 24 years filled the office of Coroner for the Northern division of the county, expired on Wednesday last.  His son, Mr. Henry Churchill, is a candidate for the vacant office. In October he became Coroner.  Full account 17.10.1863 

25.6.1870: Mr. Henry Churchill of Deddington suddenly disappears

23.7.1870: Turnpike Trust are advertising for clerk to replace Mr. Henry Churchill who has disappeared

30.7.1870: Other societies appointing new secretaries, etc. because of his disappearance

17.9.1870: More comments about his disappearance

17.9.1870: Bankrupt.  From the London Gazette of Tuesday, Sept 13.  To surrender in the country.  Henry Churchill, Deddington, attorney - Oct 4, at Oxford.

8.10.70 Bankruptcy hearing

26.11.1870: Notice re him being Bankrupt.

6.1.1871 A poem entitled 'In Bankruptcy'  -  'Betty's Box' as published in the Deddington News December 2013 edition p.10

17.12.1870: Sale of property at Souldern and Clifton

7.1.1871: Turnpike Trust electing new Clerk

28.1.1871: Copyhold land at Islip being sold as Mr. Henry Churchill is bankrupt

11.2.1871: Islip, Notice of sale of cottages.

Shirley Martin comments: Henry owned six houses in Islip that Martha Litchfield had built with the intention of having them made into Almshouses but she appears to have died before they were endowed so they were never Almshouses as such. My assumption would be that perhaps they were left to Henry's father and then passed on to him from there - there doesn't seem to be anything in her will to indicate she left them to Henry.

 This is a postcard showing the Almshouses  as they were.  You can only see three of them and the arch in the middle, the other three are out of sight.  In more recent years they have been converted into two houses but I still remember them being rented out to elderly people in the village as the original one up, one down, type of house.  They were officially called Tompkins Terrace (I suspect after one of the farmers in the village who owned them at some point) but most of the village people did actually still refer to them as the Almshouses.


click in image to enlarge


11.2.1871: Meeting of creditors

4.11.1871: His house being put up for sale

30.3.1872: Another notice about his house being put up for sale

26.10.1872: Another creditors meeting in Deddington

2.11.1872: Corrections to last report

21.1.1879: The authorities are still looking for Henry in America!

The Churchill Family of Deddington

The Churchills brothers prior to and in WWII