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Movement In and Out of the Parish


At the Manor, the butler, James Chambers from Wiltshire, has been replaced by James Barrett from London. Chambers had married an Elsfield girl, Eliza Bailey, in 1860. There was now a governess, Emily Berwick, though we do not know how long she stayed in Elsfield, since by this time Mary Jane Parsons was sixteen years old. One of the Munt girls was working as an under housemaid while Mary Luker from Oxford had replaced the previous cook, Elizabeth Wicklow. Matilda Maycock had replaced Eliza Watts as lady’s maid and there were now two young men employed as footman and groom: Edward Cottle from Oxford and Harry Blake from Andover. Elizabeth Clarke, Catherine Clark and Anne Brown, all housemaids, completed the household.

William Parsons at Hill Farm had now remarried Rebecca, a woman two years older than him, from Kent. His youngest child, Edith died in 1862 aged two, but his sons Frank and James were now teenagers though his sixteen year old daughter Ellen does not feature in the census returns. They had three servants - a twenty year old cook Emma Parrott who was born in Adderbury, Ellen Matthews from Kidlington working as a housemaid and an eighteen year old groom with the Dickensian name of Elija Clack from Stanton Harcourt. At the time of the census they also had two visitors.

Home Farm was still occupied by John Greaves and his wife, with three servants Caroline Bounton aged 19, a dairymaid, Hannah Basson, a local girl aged eighteen working as a housemaid and Thomas Drewitt, a young boy of fourteen from Marston, a house-servant. All four servants listed in the 1861 census had left the village.

At Church Farm, the Treadwells now employed Ann Holding, a 23 year old dairymaid from Broughton and Ann Gunn, aged sixteen, from Piddington as a general servant. Ann may be related to the Gunns who had moved in to Sescut Farm, since John and Elizabeth Gunn and their three children ranging in age from seven to five months now lived there. The gardener, Arthur Faulkner, two housemaids and a groom had all left, not to be replaced.

At Forest Farm,  John Harris’ wife Amelia died in 1868, three years after her daughter, eight year old Carry or Cassy. The Harris family also saw a wedding in 1870 when daughter Amelia married James Beesley, a netmaker from St Clements.

The Munt family too suffered a grievous blow when both forty-eight year old William Munt and his wife Ann both died in 1868. Their seven children did not stay in Elsfield but by this date the eldest, William, would have been 22 year old though the youngest, Elizabeth, was only eight. It would not have been unusual for William to assume responsibility for his younger siblings, or for the youngest children to be taken in by relatives.

Amelia Harris and the Munts were all buried by the Reverend Gordon, who now had three different servants, a cook, a housemaid and a groom, all under thirty. By this time his son had left home though his 36 year old daughter Mary was still living at the Rectory.

Richard Ewers’ wife Sarah died in 1865, aged 76 and was survived by her husband until the year of the following census when the Ewers family name disappears from the record.

James Caterer, a servant at the Manor, married a local girl, Mary James, while James Andrews, a labourer born in Elsfield married Jane Clay, who signed with a cross rather than her name. It was not unusual for people to be able to read but not write, as reading was usually taught in schools at this period, but often not writing. Another couple both born in the village, Francis Becket and Elizabeth East, were married in 1870 while that year also saw the wedding of the schoolteacher, Sarah Anne James to the Marston school master Sutcliffe Gibson Greenwood.

There were therefore three marriages within the village though the Chambers moved away very soon after their marriage.

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