Matthew Wingfield & Witney

Discussion in 'Oxfordshire' started by Donald Straughan, Jul 30, 2015.

  1. Donald Straughan

    Donald Straughan New Member

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    Trying to find information on the above, so far without success. Based on 2 strands -a) 1871 Scotland Census says Sarah Wingfield was born in Witney, Oxfordshire ca. 1801 & b) her death certificate claims her father was Matthew Wingfield, woollen manufacturer. Any help appreciated.
     
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  2. euryalus

    euryalus Well-Known Member

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    Ihave not come across any Wingfields in the Witney blanket trade, although it is possible that Matthew Wingfield may have learned his trade in Witney and then set up in business in another area (?)
     
  3. MollyMay

    MollyMay Knows where to find the answers!

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    There is a Matthew Winfield on the 1841 census at High Street, Lucketts Yard, Whitney
    HO107 piece 872 Book 31 folio 38 page 5
    Matthew Winfield b1768 occ fuller
    Elizabeth Winfield b1768
    both born Oxfordshire

    There is a death registered for Matthew Winfield in January quarter1843
    Witney volume 16 page 103
     
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  4. Chimp

    Chimp Moderator & Cheeky Human IMP Staff Member

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    Fuller - old occupation

    Fuller - One who "fulls" cloth; the process of cleaning (removing the natural oils and lanolin) wool in preparation for spinning and weaving, using fuller's earth. In medieval times, this involved treading the cloth in stale urine for some 8 hours.
     
  5. euryalus

    euryalus Well-Known Member

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    Luckett's Yard has already been mentioned in some detail on this site - it was on the east side of the High Street, but has now been redeveloped.
     
  6. Archie's Mum

    Archie's Mum Always digging up clues

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    Bags not that job! :eek:
     
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  7. euryalus

    euryalus Well-Known Member

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    My comment about there being "no Wingfields in the blanket trade" was prompted by the entry on Sarah Wingfield's death certificate, which suggests that her father Matthew Wingfield had been "a woollen manufacturer". To my mind, this implies that he was a mill owner, rather than a mere fuller.
     
  8. Daft Bat

    Daft Bat Administrator. Chief cook & bottle washer! Staff Member

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    Point taken, euryalus, but certificates were only as accurate as the knowledge of the person registering the details. Over time, occupations can become 'enhanced';)
     
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  9. Joanne

    Joanne Well-Known Member

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    But apparently good for treating tinea!
     
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  10. Ma-dotcom

    Ma-dotcom A Bonza Little Digger!

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    Is that Fuller's earth? Apparently good for lots of things. Worth a google.
     
  11. janetbooth

    janetbooth Top Dog Stalwart

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    Oxfordshire FHS Marriage Index shows a marriage at Witney on 25 May 1792 between a Matthew WINFIELD and an Elizabeth BUNTING which may be relevant to you. This marriage would fit with the Matthew & Elizabeth in the 1841 census of Witney. No marriages on the Index for a Matthew WINGFIELD. I cannot find an Oxfordshire Will for a Matthew WINGFIELD/WINFIELD nor a PCC Will and there do not appear to be any newspaper articles re a Matthew WINGFIELD/WINFIELD of Witney which I might have expected if he were a Mill Owner, not totally conclusive I know but perhaps a pointer to the fact that his actual job was perhaps elevated on Sarah's Death Certificate.

    Janet
     
  12. Blackmogs

    Blackmogs Moderator. General Dogs(cats)body. Staff Member

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    Indeed, my GGG grandfather was a Publican according to at least three of his children's Birth 'stificates and two marriage 'stificates. He was an ostler pure and simple.
     
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  13. euryalus

    euryalus Well-Known Member

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    I think it is quite clear that Matthew Wingfield was not a mill owner, and that the occupation shown on the certificate must have been greatly "enhanced" - moreover, a successful industrialist would not have lived in an old alleyway such as Luckett's Yard, which was crammed with working class cottages.
     
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  14. Huncamunca

    Huncamunca The Knowledgeable One

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    Certainly I would go along with what others have said about not believing everything you read on certificates. My great-great-grandmother said when she married that her father was a woollen manufacturer. In fact he was a poor woollen weaver in Chippenham. He came from a long line of paupers, and I doubt if he owned much at all, let alone a mill. Some of his children escaped from Chippenham and began climbing the social ladder. I fear they were ashamed of their humble origins and so "upgraded" their father's occupation.
    It sounds pretty horrible, doesn't it? Luckily for the fullers it was the first process in woollen manufacture to be mechanised. In Witney the power of the River Windrush was being harnessed to drive wooden hammers to full cloth as far back as the 13th century. The same sites would be used for fulling mills for centuries, so Matthew Winfield would have worked at one of these mills on the Windrush.

    He would have seen great changes in the blanket industry in his lifetime.
    In the 18th century a fuller would have been self-employed but by the 1840s the blanket industry had been almost completely reorganised. More of the processes of blanket making had been mechanised, and people like the Earlys and the Colliers took over the mill sites and developed them into factories. They came to employ many people who would previously have been working for themselves.

    On the 1841 census there is a William Winfield (fuller) in Mill Lane, Witney, near the bridge. He's shown as 45 years old (NB that on this census ages of those who were 15 or over were supposed to be rounded down to the nearest 5) and born in the county (HO 107/872 book 31, f.11, p.15). From his age he might be a son of Matthew and brother of your Sarah? Baptism records might shed light on this (I can check next time I'm at the library).

    This wasn't far from Luckett's Yard, which was discussed on this earlier thread. The most convenient place for Matthew and William to work would have been on the Witney Mill / Woodford Mill site which was in Mill Lane . . . though of course they didn't necessarily work at the closest mill.
     
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  15. euryalus

    euryalus Well-Known Member

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    I have found a reference in Jackson's Oxford Journal (5 March 1808) to a Matthew Wingfield being charged with "having violently assaulted James Alderton Sen., of Bladon", an offence for which he was sentenced to imprisonment for six months.
     
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  16. Huncamunca

    Huncamunca The Knowledgeable One

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    This is a bit late for you, Donald, but I thought you might be interested to see a photograph of the fulling stocks at Witney Mill in the 1890s (photograph by Henry Taunt - one of a series commissioned by Charles Early & Co. for a promotional booklet.) By this time much of the machinery at the mill was steam-powered; some of the leather belts driving the machines can be seen in this photograph. But the fulling stocks may well have still been driven by water power, as they had been for centuries.

    http://www.
    british-history.ac.uk/sites/default/files/publications/pubid-1251/images/fig42.gif
     
  17. Donald Straughan

    Donald Straughan New Member

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    Thanks all of you for your suggestions, particularly on 1841 Census & 1843 death. Social "improvement" always possible (son-in-law was a Scottish clergyman's son). I'll get death cert & post. Other Winfields in Oxfordshire, so possible to get "wrong man" - marriage to Elizabeth Bunten ca. 1790-1801 would be the clincher.
     
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  18. euryalus

    euryalus Well-Known Member

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    janetbooth has already mentioned a marriage in Witney between Matthew WINFIELD and Elizabeth BUNTING on 25 May 1792. This are surely Matthew Wingfield and Elizabeth Bunten (?)
     
  19. Ma-dotcom

    Ma-dotcom A Bonza Little Digger!

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    Sounds like this chap had more to do with manufacturing woollen goods than a mere owner of a mill. All part of the process.
     
  20. Huncamunca

    Huncamunca The Knowledgeable One

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    Just reporting back from the library. It was only a flying visit but quite productive.
    Sarah, daughter of Mathew and Elizabeth Winfield, was baptised on 22 February 1801 according to the Oxfordshire FHS transcript of the Witney St Mary parish register. I didn't have time to look for siblings today - but did have a quick look at the registers after 1813 (when printed parish registers were introduced and fathers' occupations began to be added routinely). In 1814 a William Winfield and Joseph Winfield both had sons baptised. Both men are shown as fullers.
    The parish register transcript confirms the details given by Janet. The transcript shows that both bride and groom made their marks. The witnesses were Daniel Harris and Edmund Wright (the latter a very regular witness). NB that the marriage was by licence, according to the transcript.
    Mathew (Matthew) Winfield [the transcript gives both spellings] aged 76 was buried at Witney St Mary on 3 March 1843. There is a burial a little earlier (10 February 1843) for an Elizabeth Winfield, aged 78 . . . maybe his wife but without further research it's not possible to be sure.

    The OFHS CD which has transcripts of all legible monumental inscriptions from the churchyard and church of Witney St Mary has no Winfield/Wingfield (etc.) at all.

    When I have a little more free time I'll look for other Win(g)field entries in the transcripts and check some of the other indexes/directories at the library.
     
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