The Living of Checkendon, Oxfordshire

Checkendon is a village in the south of Oxfordshire, not far from Henley. The advowson of Checkendon was bought in 1765 for £2330, out of the fund created in 1714 by John Radcliffe for the purchase of advowsons (see UC:E17/3/MS2/6), and the College made its first presentation to the living in 1776. The rectors of Checkendon since then have been as follows:

    1776    Joseph Wood (matr. Univ. 1730; Fellow 1739–77)
    1779    John Coulson (matr. New College; Fellow of Univ. 1744–80)
    1789    William Couture (matr. Univ. 1771; Fellow 1777–90)
    1820    William Crabtree (matr. Univ 1803; Fellow 1809–21)
    1865    Charles John Abbey (matr. Lincoln; Fellow of Univ. 1862–6).
    1908    John Turner Munn (matr. Univ. 1882)
    1922    Hugh Richmond Bonsey (matr. Univ. 1906)
    1927    Reginald Dawson St. George Edwards (matr. Univ. 1892)
    1945    Percy Cyril Underhill (not a member of University College)
    1950    Mundeford Allen (matr. Univ. 1919)
    1964    Norman Williams (not a member of University College)
    1973    David Salt (not a member of University College)
    2002    Kevin Davies (matr. Univ. 1980).

Few papers concerning Checkendon are preserved in the College archives: they are mainly to do with issues related to glebe land, and to issues relating to a difficult rector in the 1930s, although there are some other papers elsewhere in the collection. The most significant items are three maps of the parish, drawn between 1789 and 1840. All these items were found in the archives during the stocktaking of 1993.

Catalogued in December 2012.


UC:E24/E1/1    1789
    Parchment booklet titled “Survey of Parish of Checkendon 1789". The surveyor was James Jennings. This booklet is designed to accompany the map at UC:E24/M1/1 below.

UC:E24/E1/2    1789
    Bill for University College for commissioning a survey and map of Checkendon.

UC:E24/E1/3    1790
    Valuation of the tithes and glebe of Checkendon, compiled in 1790 by William Couture.

UC:E24/C1/1    8 Feb 1817
    Letter from William Couture (address, Checkendon) to the (unnamed) Bursar of University College. Couture has been asked to return a map of Checkendon to the College, but protests that he sent it back seven years earlier.

UC:E24/C1/2    Feb 1819
    Letter from William Couture (address, Checkendon) to the (unnamed) Bursar of University College. Couture encloses a bill for creating boundary markers on glebe land, and asks the College to pay for this.

UC:E24/C1/3    12 & 20 Feb 1869
    Two letters from Charles Abbey (address, Checkendon) to the Master of University College. The first letter discusses the proposed construction of a cottage and a planned restoration of the church; the second discusses a possible exchange of land.

UC:E24/C1/4    25 Mar 1896–5 Oct 1897
    Correspondence between Charles Abbey and University College about a proposal (eventually accepted) to exchange some glebe land with R. F. Duff, of Checkendon Court, in return for a meadow close to the rectory. Negotiations were difficult. The correspondence includes two plans of the land involved in the proposed exchange [15 items].

UC:E24/C1/5    4–5 Jan 1906
    Two letters from Charles Abbey (address, Checkendon Rectory) to an unnamed addressee (presumably the Bursar), one discussing the possibility of selling some glebe land as a site for a school house, the other discussing Abbey’s plans to take his family to the south of France for a holiday.

UC:E24/C1/6    4 May 1908
    Letter about selling glebe land at Checkendon.

UC:E24/C1/7    16 Jul–6 Aug 1912
    Three letters about a lease of glebe land at Checkendon.

UC:E24/C1/8    4 Dec 1912–4 Nov 1920
    Five letters concerning the sale of some portions of glebe land at Checkendon, and also about the leasing of the remaining land there.

UC:E24/C1/9    4 Apr 1918–4 Sep 1924
    Envelope of letters from or about clergymen who were alumni of University College interested in the living of Checkendon, or indeed of any other College living. Clerics writing or being written about comprise Herbert Moore (matr. 1880), Philip Boustead (matr. 1879), and Lumsdon Downes (matr. 1908) [4 items].

UC:E24/C1/10    23 Sep 1920–29 Sep 1922
    Envelope containing three letters concerning Checkendon glebe land, an in particular a proposal for the rector to sell Glebe Farm (also known as “Kaffirs”) [3 items].

UC:E24/C1/11    18 Aug–1 Sep 1921
    Envelope containing letters from applicants writing to the Bursar of University College applying for the living of Checkendon. None of them are from the applicant who was eventually appointed, Hugh Bonsey. Correspondents with University College links include Reginald Edwards (matr. 1892), who was eventually appointed to Checkendon in 1927, and Charles Mills (matr. 1876) [8 items].

UC:E24/C1/12    23 Oct 1927
    Letter from Reginald Edwards (address, Checkendon) concerning a proposed sale of one acre of glebe land.

UC:E24/C1/13    16 Oct 1924–10 Apr 1934
    Bundle of A. B. Poynton’s correspondence, as Estates Bursar, on Checkendon matters. Subjects the appointment of a new rector in Checkendon in 1927, including applications for the post (items 15–31 comprises correspondence with various former members of the College offered the job who turned it down, and items 33–47 comprises correspondence from applicants with no connection to the College), and the disastrous breakdown in relations in the 1930s between the parish and the candidate eventually appointed, Reginald Edwards (matr. 1892). There are also extensive notes by Sir Michael Sadler about the parish. Correspondents include Reginald Edwards, Charles Bailey (matr. 1901), Herbert Braithwaite (matr. 1883), Hugh Bonsey (matr. 1906), Edward Dalby (matr. 1908), Richard de la Hey (matr. 1892), Eric Hamilton (matr. 1909), Edgar Harradine (matr. 1893), Sir Alfred Hopkinson (F. 1873–80), Arthur Hopkinson (matr. 1893), B. Evans Jones (matr. 1906), Donald Wilkinson (matr. 1914), the Bishops of Oxford and Salisbury, and several parishioners from Checkendon. [138 items]

    UC:E24/M1 - MAPS

UC:E24/M1/1    1789
        Map of the manor of Checkendon
        Surveyor: James Jennings
        Scale: 1 inch to 12 chains
        Size: 520 by 1230 mm.
        Inscribed: A ∣ Plan ∣ of the Manor of ∣ Checkendon ∣ in the Conty of ∣ Oxford ∣ Taken in the year 1789 ∣ by ∣ James Jennings  [acreages of fields are given, and some of them are named]
        Signed: [see above]
        Dated: [see above]
        Medium: Pen and ink with buff washes.
        Support: Parchment (2 membranes pasted together)
        Notes: The survey at UC:E24/E1/1 is designed to accompany this map.

UC:E24/M1/2    1820
        Map of the parish of Checkendon
        Surveyor: John Biddle
        Scale: 1 inch to 6 chains
        Size: 2140 by 980 mm.
        Inscribed: Plan ∣ of the Parish of ∣ Checkendon ∣ in the County of ∣ Oxford ∣ 1820 ∣ John Biddle Surveyor Oxford [some houses are named, and the fields are numbered, presumably to accompany a now lost key to the map]
        Signed: [see above]
        Dated: [see above]
        Medium: Pen with washes of many colours.
        Support: Paper backed on linen [4 sheets], with wooden rollers at each end.
        Notes: As with UC:E24/M1/3 below, because of the unusual size of this map, special arrangements must be made for its inspection.

UC:E24/M1/3    1840
        Map of the parish of Checkendon.
        Surveyor: Unknown
        Description: Map of the parish of Checkendon, showing the glebe lands picked out in colour.
        Scale: 1 inch to 2.5 chains.
        Size: 1310 by 3610 mm (it is 3870 mm wide if one included a protective piece of paper at one end).
        Inscribed: Plan ∣ Showing the ∣ Glebe Lands ∣ in the ∣ Parish ∣ of  ∣ Checkendon ∣ in the ∣ County ∣ of ∣ Oxford ∣ Surveyed ∣ by ∣ [name left blank] ∣ in the year ∣ 1840 [A key to the map is given, and the owners of various pieces of property are inscribed]
        Signed: [see above]
        Dated: [see above]
        Medium: Pen with buff, green, blue and red washes.
        Support: Paper (5 sheets, pasted together), lined on glazed cotton, with red silk lining on the edges, and a wooden roller on one end.
        Comments: This map was repaired in 2007/8. Note that it is particularly large (12 feet wide), and therefore, as with UC:E24/M1/2 above, special arrangements must be made for its inspection.