By Jon Malings

This is a much simplified tree showing the principal Malins family members in Deddington in the 18th century.  Most of my focus is on the family of William 1794-1865, son of Thomas 1772-1844.  The descendants of William were the only ones to carry the Malin(g)s name in Deddington through the 19th Century. 

William Malins  1674-1701  m. Frances Welman 1678-1746
     Frances  1703-1706
     Frances  1708-1762  m. Matthew Righton of Bodicot
     Mary 1710-1710
     Robert Mallings 1712-1788
     William  1714-1766  m. Martha Franklin
              Elizabeth 1736-1809  m. Nicholas Strong
              Mary 1740-1740
              William 1741-1787  m. Mary Nevill
              Samuel  1743-1828  m. Elizabeth Bezley
                   William 1768-  m. Sarah Ordway
                          William  c.1795-
                    Robert 1770-1819  m. Theodosia Sutherland in London 
                         (Robert was my great great grandfather)
                    Thomas 1772-1844  m. Ann Creek (nee Rose)
                           William 1794-1865  m. Charlotte Bloxham
                           Thomas  1798-1798
                           Robert 1801-1851
                           Samuel  1803-1839  m. Elizabeth Busby
                           Ann  1809-1838
                    Samuel c.1774
                    Nathaniel 1776-1776
                    Elizabeth 1782-1847  m. John Fardon (4)
              Martha  1745-    m. Thomas Sammons
     Mary Malins  1720-1772  m. John Hopcraft

William Malins 1674 - 1741

My Malin(g)s family arrived in Deddington in 1701 when William Malins of Tysoe married Frances Welman.  William’s family were prosperous yeoman farmers who had lived in Tysoe since the early 1500’s.  Detailed Wills and Inventories exist for several Tysoe generations. 

Frances Welman’s family were also farmers and had lived in Deddington for at least 4 generations.    Her great grandfather, Thomas Welman, Yeoman, was buried in Deddington on February 21 1639/40. 

This Malins family grew to be a significant part of the Deddington community thoughout the 18th and, particulary, the 19th centuries. 

In passing I should note that the family link to farming has spanned more than 400 years.  As far as I know, Fairfax Beatrice Malings (nee Adkins), widow of William Arthur Malings of Fritwell and Deddington was the last of the Malings farmers.  She farmed at Knightcote, Warwickshire, well into the 1930’s and maybe even later.

Second Generation

William and Frances had at least 7 children between 1700 and 1720 – 5 daughters and 2 sons; the two boys, Robert and William, survived to adulthood as did at least 2 of the daughters, Frances and Mary. 

There is no evidence that William and Frances’ oldest son, Robert “Mallings”, ever married.  He certainly did not leave any children or grandchildren at his death in 1788.

Robert’s brother William married Martha Franklin in Deddington in 1735 and they had 5 children.  Two sons, William and Samuel, and two daughters, Elizabeth and Martha, survived to marry.

Daughter Frances married William Righton of Bodicot and Mary married John Hopcraft, mason, of Deddington.

Other than entries in the Deddington parish register I have found out very little about the 18th century Malins family. Some impressions of their friends and associates can be gained from the Parish Register, not only from  the names of witnesses to their own marriages but also when they acted as witnesses for other people.

For example, we see that, in 1766, brothers William and Samuel Malins were witnesses at the marriage of their cousin Elizabeth Franklin to John Knibb of Middleton Cheney.  In 1767 Samuel Malins and Elizabeth Bezley stood for Anne French in her marriage to William Chillingworh of St Ebbe, Oxford.  Samuel and Elizabeth married later that same year.

William Malins, clearly a popular man, went on to witness John East/Susanna Cleaver in 1770, Thomas Stevens/Ann Carter in 1773 and William Harris/Ann Fardon in 1779.  Ann was the daughter of John Fardon, clockmaker, who, with William Hide, witnessed William’s own marriage to Mary Neville in 1766.  William returned the service by witnessing John Fardon’s second marriage, to Sarah Cox, in 1772.  

Samuel’s son Thomas Malins, stood witness for William Hopcraft/Mary Sammons in 1795. Although I haven’t managed to trace her, it’s probable that Mary Sammons was Thomas’ cousin.   My great great grandfather Robert Malins (aged 17) was a witness at the marriage of John Robinson and Martha Maycock in 1787.

The first detailed information about the Malins family is found in the will of “Robert Mallings of Daddington, Gentleman.”  Robert, the oldest son of William and Frances, died in 1788 when he was 74 years old. He appears have been successful but did not have any direct heirs.  Consequently he left legacies to all of his surviving nephews and nieces and some of their children too, amounting to some £300 as well as an annuity of £8 per year to one nephew and property to another.

The nephews and nieces detailed in Robert’s Will were: Samuel Malins, William Malins, Matthew Righton, Elizabeth Strong, Martha Sammons and John, William, James and Mary Hopcraft.    His Executors were William Apletree of “Daddington” and Thomas Bezly of North Aston.   The Will was witnessed by Mary Appletree, John Hitchman and John Carter.

Third Generation

 Robert Mallings' main beneficiary was his nephew Samuel Malins (1742-1828) who was the second son of Robert’s brother William.  This was presumably because Samuel’s older brother, another William, was childless.  Samuel received a lifetime interest in all Robert’s  “lands, tenements and hereditaments lying in Daddington…and all other my real estate” subject to a yearly payment of £8 for life to his brother William.  Samuel was made sole executor and also inherited all Robert’s personal estate. He appears in the 1793 Universal British Directory of Deddington as “Samuel Malins, farmer”.

Robert willed that, after Samuel’s death, his lands were to be passed to Samuel’s son William. Samuel did not die until 1828, by which time his son William was already dead and it’s not clear what then happened to Robert’s landholding.  There is an auction notice in Jackson’s Journal of 30th November 1805, for a “desirable FREEHOLD YARDLAND lying dispersed in the Open and Common fields of Deddington with Commons thereto belonging, now in the possession of Mr. Samuel Malins who will give up possession at Lady Day next.

 A “Yard Land”, or Virgate as it was also known, was a holding whose size varied by locality but was generally  between 15 and 40 acres.  The image we have of the English countryside, of hedgerows and small fields, is a man-made creation.  Up until the late 18th/early 19th century the countryside around many villages was typically made up of three or four very large, open fields.  Families would own strips of land scattered around each field and there would usually be a joint decision amongst the landowners on when and what to sow.  In addition, depending on the size of their holding, the owner might also have the right to graze animals on the “Commons” or common land.  Strip farming and Commons grazing had been practiced in middle England since Medieval times and Samuel’s holding reflected this: “lying dispersed in the Open and Common fields of Deddington, with Commons thereto belonging.”  By the 18th century Parliament was passing “Acts of Enclosure”.  Landowners could petition for a specific Act for their village.  The Act gave the larger landowners permission to enclose or fence the open fields with “compulsory purchase” of the smaller holdings and the disappearance of Commons rights.  The Deddington Enclosure happened in 1807 so perhaps Samuel had seen the future and decided that it was time to cash in.

Samuel married Elizabeth Bezely in 1767 in North Aston and they had 6 children.  Three sons (William, Robert and Thomas) and one daughter, Elizabeth, survived to adulthood.  Robert was my great great grandfather. 

By the end of the 18th century most of Samuel’s children were using the surname MALINGS but the name MALINS was sometimes used in parallel.       

Fourth Generation

I know very little about Samuel’s eldest son William other than he married Sarah Ordway in 1793 in Deddington and they had at least one child, also named William.  As William snr. is not mentioned in Samuel’s will, written in 1819, I assume he had died previously.   Samuel does leave a legacy to his grandson William, but I have been unable to find either a birth or death in the Parish Record and know nothing more of him.

Jackson’s Journal for March 19th 1814 carries a “Notice to Creditors and Debtors of William Malings, Victualler, of Deddington.”  The notice states that William has assigned his estate and effects over to three of his creditors in trust for the benefit of all his creditors; he has effectively gone bankrupt.  This might be Samuel’s son William but there are other candidates.

Samuel’s second son, Robert Malings (1770-1819), my great great grandfather, left Deddington for London in the early 1790’s.  He married Theodosia Sutherland at St Mary Woolnoth in 1796 and lived in London until his death in 1819.  Robert left two children who survived to adulthood, Samuel and William.

Samuel’s only surving daughter, Elizabeth, married clock maker John Fardon (4).  He was the son of Thomas Fardon (1) who installed the Deddington Church Clock in 1833, and the grandson of John Fardon (2).   Elizabeth and John moved to Woodstock in about 1810 where John continued his clockmaking business as well as becoming a noted amateur grower of new varieties of fruit trees, particularly apples.

Like his father, Samuel’s third son Thomas Malings (1772-1844) was also, apparently, a farmer.  He  married Ann Creek (née Rose) in 1793 in Deddington.  Ann was the widow of Thomas Creek and already had one daughter, Rose Creek, born in 1788. 

Thomas and Ann had 6 children, 5 of whom reached adulthood.  They were:

  • William (1794-1865) a farmer in Clifton
  • Thomas (1798-1798)
  • Thomas (1799-1859), a journeyman carpenter who did not marry.
  • Robert (1801-1851), a shoemaker who, again, did not marry
  • Samuel (1803-1840), a plumber and glazier, he married Elizabeth Busby in Deddington in 1829 and they had two daughters. Samuel died of typhus fever aged 37.                                                                       
  • Ann (1809-1838) did not marry and died in Deddington aged 28

Jackson’s Journal on the 4th May 1805 advertises an auction for a Leasehold Estate: ” A FARMHOUSE…and other outbuildings…… pleasantly situate adjoining the turnpike road in Deddington, in the occupation of Mr. Thos MALINGS, together with Half a Yard Land….”

It appears that Thomas was leasing the farm and half a Yard Land “lying dispersed in the Open and Common Fields…with Commons thereto belonging.”  The Auctioneer makes the point that “the Estate would very much improve on an Inclosure.

Thomas and Ann’s oldest child, William (1794-1865), was the only one to have sons to carry the Malin(g)s name forward in Deddington.  I have researched him and, more particularly, his children in depth.  All of them made significant contributions to the life of Deddington and the surrounding district.  Follow this link to learn more about William.

© The British Library Board.  Jackson’s Oxford Journal
© Jon Malings 2010