The Living of Headbourne Worthy, Hants., 1786–1935

Headbourne Worthy is a village just outside Winchester, to the north-east. The church is small, and largely Saxon. The living was purchased by Dr. John Radcliffe (matr. 1666), University College’s great benefactor, in 1693, and in 1694 he appointed to it a member of University College, namely Joseph Bingham (matr. 1689; F. 1689–95).

By his will of 1714, Dr. John Radcliffe made two bequests which concerned University College. One was a large estate at Linton-on-Ouse, in Yorkshire, income from which was to be used partly to endow two travelling Fellowships in Medicine, and partly to create a fund for the purchase of advowsons, and which was formally transferred to the College by Radcliffe’s trustees in 1744. Documents relating to the Linton estate are catalogued in UC:E17.

The other bequest was the living of Headbourne Worthy, although it was not actually given to University College outright. Radcliffe asked that the Vice-Chancellor, the two Professors of Divinity, the Master of University College, and the Rector of Lincoln College (where he had been a Fellow) should act as joint patrons. In nominating to the living, he stipulated that they should give first preference to a member of University College, and ‘if they should be deficient’, then to a Fellow of Lincoln College. Needless to say, for the next two centuries, there was always a member of University College willing to fill the vacancy (see list of incumbents in the Appendix).

The documents in this collection were all found in the archives in the summer of 1993. They relate largely to the patrons’ dealings with the financial aspects of the parish, especially in the early 20th century.

Catalogued in November 2008.


UC:E16/L1/1    9 Dec 1786–2 Mar 1789
        Letters and papers concerning the enclosure of Headbourne Worthy, with regard to the effect which it will have on the glebe land of the living. The letters are addressed to various Bursars of University College. The last item in the collection is a valuation of the Rectory of the living. [6 items]

UC:E16/L1/2    1788
        Copy of the printed Act of Parliament for the Enclosure of Headbourne Worthy.


UC:E16/L2/1    16 Aug 1853
        Order of Exchange of lands
        1.    Charles Carr, Rector of Headbourne Worthy, Hants., Clerk.
        2.    (a) The Warden and Scholars of Saint Mary College of Winchester.
            (b) Bennes Scard of Winchester, lessee of 2 (a).
        Property: Two pieces of land in Headbourne Worthy, as described in a schedule, and depicted on a map drawn on the deed.
        Comments: 1 and 2 (a) are given permission to exchange these pieces of land with each other.

UC:E16/L2/2    15–17 Feb 1854
        Bundle of solicitors’ bills relating to the above exchange. They show that the exchange took place in order to build a new parsonage house [5 items]


UC:E16/C1/1    18 Jun 1797
        Specification by Daniel Harris of work to be carried out on a new house on the Glebe of Headbourne Worthy as specified on a plan (now lost). Harris also makes a note on this document about proposals for building a parsonage house at Tarrant Gunville, Dorset (where the incumbent had just died).

UC:E16/C1/2    n.d.
        Extract from the will of John Radcliffe (in the hand of A. B. Poynton) relating to the living of Headbourne Worthy.

UC:E16/C1/3    12 Oct 1905
        Declaration by the Bishop of Winchester recording the resignation of John Henry Slessor as Rector of Headbourne Worthy on 7 September, and arranging for him to receive a pension.

UC:E16/C1/4    20 Oct 1905
        Letter to the Master of University College concerning the method of appointing to the living of Headbourne Worthy in the event of the resignation, as opposed to death, of the incumbent.

UC:E16/C1/5    27 Sep 1906 & 30 Sep 1908
        Two letters to A. B. Poynton from Vernon Storr (Rector 1905–1910), on arranging his attendance at College meetings. In one of them he talks of meeting Hubert Burge and James Bright.

UC:E16/C1/6    15 Aug 1916–22 Mar 1917
        Envelope containing correspondence between R .W. Macan, A. B. Poynton and T. Harold Davies (Rector 1910–47), concerning Headbourne Worthy House. The house had been built by John Slessor (Rector 1861–1905) for a ward of his, and charged with a ground rent. The current tenant wished to purchase the Ground Rent, and, if possible, the reversion to the freehold, but negotiations seem to have foundered. There are also suggestions from Davies that the rectory could be sold, as being very difficult to keep up [13 items].

UC:E16/C1/7    16 Dec 1918
        Letter to the Bursar of University College concerning the village’s cricket and sports ground and the leasehold on Headbourne Worthy House.

UC:E16/C1/8    31 Oct 1919–23 Oct 1920
        Envelope containing correspondence between R. W. Macan, A. B. Poynton, T. Harold Davies, and the other patrons of Headbourne Worthy, concerning plans to sell off some of the glebe land, and lease the remainder out [12 items].

UC:E16/C1/9    13 Oct–29 Nov 1920
        Envelope containing correspondence between R. W. Macan and T. Harold Davies concerning plans to sell some of the glebe land at Headbourne for development. The envelope also contains two small plans of the area in question [12 items].

UC:E16/C1/10    14 Oct 1920–14 Mar 1923
        Envelope containing correspondence between R. W. Macan, A. B. Poynton, T. Harold Davies, and the other patrons of the living of Headbourne Worthy, concerning plans to sell off some glebe land, and also the Rectory. Some of this material overlaps with that in C1/9 above and C1/11–12 below [20 items].

UC:E16/C1/11    11–15 Mar 1923
        Envelope of letters to and from R. W. Macan concerning a proposal from T. Harold Davies to sell the existing rectory at Headbourne Worthy and purchase another, smaller, house in the village, and seeking the approval for this from the Rector of Oriel and the two Professors of Divinity [4 items].

UC:E16/C1/12    13 Mar 1923
        Letter to the Master of University College from the then Vice-Chancellor (Lewis Farnell) concerning the proposed purchase of the above house.

UC:E16/C1/13    6 Oct 1923
        Letter to the Bursar of University College concerning the sale of the glebe of Headbourne Worthy.

UC:E16/C1/14    24 Mar (no year given)
        Letter to A. B. Poynton from T. Harold Davies declining an invitation to dinner in the College

UC:E16/C1/15    6 Apr 1923–24 Jun 1935
        Folder inscribed Headbourne Worthy Rectory, containing general correspondence between R. W. Macan, Sir Michael Sadler, A. B. Poynton, T. Harold Davies, and the other patrons of the living, about the living from these years. This mainly details with financial matters, such as the sale of more portions of glebe, obtaining the agreement of the other patrons for proposed courses of action, and possible unions with other parishes [125 items].


UC:E16/AD1/1    Nov 1870
        Plan of first and second floors, with south-east and north-west elevations, of proposed new Rectory at Headbourne Worthy.
        Architect: John Colson
        Scale: 1 inch to 16 feet
        Size: 465 by 350 mm
        Inscribed: Proposed Dwelling House ∣ Headbourne Worthy, Hants. [the plans are extensively labelled, with all the rooms identified. On the back has been added in another hand “Headbourne Worthy ∣ New Parsonage”]
        Signed: John Colson arch ∣ Winchester Nov 1870
        Dated: [see above]
        Medium: Black ink, with pencil annotations.
        Support: Paper
        Format: 1 sheet
        Notes: This rectory was indeed built.

    UC:E16/M1 - MAPS

UC:E16/M1/1    April 1824
        Map of the parish of Headbourne Worthy, showing the glebe lands.
        Surveyor: James Biddle
        Scale: 1 inch to 6 chains.
        Size: 1170 by 960 mm
        Inscribed: Plan ∣ of the ∣ Parish ∣ of ∣ Headbourne Worthy ∣ in the ∣ County ∣ of ∣ Hants ∣ April 1824 [all the fields are named, and there is a note: “N.B. The Glebe Estate is coloured Lake ∣ other Arable Lands Yellow ∣ Other Grass Lands Green”]
        Signed: John Biddle Surr
        Dated: [See above]
        Medium: Ink with several coloured washes.
        Support: Parchment
        Format: 1 sheet
        Notes: At the bottom of the map, to either side of the scale of chains, are little ink sketches of the rectory and church. The houses are also clearly visible.

UC:E16/M1/2    Apr 1824
        Book of reference compiled by James Biddle to accompany his map of Headbourne Worthy.


1694–1728     Joseph Bingham [matr. Univ. 1684; Fellow 1689–95]
1728–1738    Samuel Lindsay [matr. Univ. 1694; Fellow 1703–29]
1738–1757    Robert Eden, Prebendary of Winchester and Archdeacon of Winchester. [matr. Brasenose 1717; Fellow 1721–40]
1757–1772    Thomas Nelson [matr. Univ. 1726; Fellow 1737–60]
1772–1778    Robert Dale [matr. Lincoln 1762; Fellow 1768–72]
1778–1780    John Alleyne [matr. Univ. 1749; Fellow 1754–80]
1780–1781    Philip Fisher [matr. Univ. 1766; Fellow 1770–88]
1781–1805    Henry Ridley [matr. Univ. 1770; Fellow 1775–82]
1805–1824    Francis John Allen [matr. Univ. 1775; Fellow 1783–1806]
1824–1861    Charles Carr [matr. Univ. 1811; Fellow 1817–25]
1861–1905    John Henry Slessor [matr. Univ. 1840, Fellow 1847–62]
1905–1910    Vernon Faithfull Storr, Canon of Winchester Cathedral [Fellow 1895–9, and 1905–13]
1910–1947    Thomas Harold Davies [matr. Univ. 1886]
1947–1967    Lionel Howe

Since 1967, Headbourne Worthy has been held in plurality with that of King’s Worthy.