1500s in Marston

Below are documents showing life in Marston in the 1500s. Click on the title which will open up the full document (and will close the other document). Some items are in medieval Latin. You can also download a document with the information below by following this link.

Visit to Marston by Bishop of Lincoln in 1520

1520 visitation by the Bishop of Lincoln – churchwardens presentment:
MARSTON (to be summoned). The chancel is out of repair and the church also. The farmer puts horses in the churchyard. The is a woman in the Vicar’s house and also two girls. John Wesser owes to the church 9s. John Dykins 2s. The church (i.e. the rectorial tithes)has been let on lease without leave.

(MARSTON (vocetur). Cancellus est ruinosus & ecclesia est ruinosa. Firmarius ponit equos in cimeterio. Vicarius habet mulierum in domo sua et duas juvenculas. Johannes Weser debet ecclesie ix s.; Johannes Dykyns ii s. Dimmittitur ecclesia sine licencia.)

[OAS IXX (1925) p116 – Churchwardens Presentments 1520. Visitation by Bishop Atwater of Lincoln. Decanatus (Rural Deanery) Oxon. et Cuddeson.]

Modern translation (although church wardens were questioned and replied in English and the replies translatted into Latin). Modern Editor not named in this OAS report.

Brasenose Holdings in Marston 1525 & 1908

The Marston Estate of the college was first acquired in 1525, when John Moscroft for £80 bargains and sells to Ralph Bostock, the Bursar, and John Hawarden, Fellow,’one principle messuage called the Court Place with one yardland of freehold and one messe place and one yardland called Spurriers’, a half yardland and half quarter called Alexander’s, one half yardland and a close called Godwats, one cottage with a close late in the tenure of John Brown, another cottage called Nashe’s and another called Hayward’s, and one cottage called the Water Mylne with its closes and a parcel of ground called the Mylne Acres with the appurtenances in Marston’. In 1528 under an award by Sir Simon Harcourt, the College had to pay a further sum of £10 to extinguish the interest of one Valentine.

The annual value of Moscroft’s lands is declared in the conveyance to be £4 10s; but apparently Bostock and Hawarden held the land in trust to make a sure estate, for at length, after litigation, in a deed of 27 April 1543, John Hawarden (now rector of Steeple Aston) sells all his estate at Marston for £80 to the college.

Such is the history of the property. But willian Porter’s composition bears date 1529, when his executers, Humfrey Ogle and William Burley, entered into an undertaking with Matthew Smith, the Principle, John London, Warden of New College, and the Dean and Chapter of Hereford, to make an estate at Marston worth £4 10s per annum (in addition to the land at Kingsholme worth £3 10s) in order to found a fellowship.It seems clear, therefore, that Porter had declared his intention to the College before his death and empowered them to make arrangements for carrying out his wishes.

The Marston deeds have a considerable antiquity, going back to 1361, to which year three documents belong giving the name of Hugo, Vicar of Merschton – all executed at Merschton or Marston. The Court Place attaching to the principle farm on the College Estate is found as far back as 1477, and the ancient field names, such as Colthorns, The Marsh, Marsh Ditch are still in use.

Four small purchases of contiguous land, including the Ferry Inn, have been made in the time of the present Bursar; otherwise the property remains unaltered. but some fields between the Ferry Inn and Oxford on the west bank of the Cherwell were purchased in 1908.

A map of 1769 shows the division made between Brasenose and Corpus Land  – though the mere-stones still standing bear the date 1694 and the partition must have been made then.

[A. J. Butler, Brasenose College Quartercentenary Monographs no. VI, The College Estates and Advowsons p22 (=OHS lTI (1909)]

1908 About 361/2 acres called Northern Meadows, and lying  near Oxford on the west bank of the Cherwell, between Marston Ferry and Marston Ferry Lane, were also bought in this year. The Proximity of the land to the city and the control over the approach to the Ferry, which is college property, render the purchase important. [ibid, p47]

John Fish

John Fish, churchwarden of Marston 1529 (ORS VI, 1925, 9, 12) of Fish family of Stone Merchants. 1525 Mr Fish (?the same?) surrendered 1/2acre of quarry land in Manor courts at Headington, to supply stone for Cardinal College.

(Oxon VIII-IX (1943-4) 145) J.C. Cole ‘A Lawsuit concerning Oriel Quarry in 1609’ Oxon. XXV (1960), 70

Bursar's Rolls: Rental 1545-6 Receipts

Iidem Bursary Onerantur pro certis terris et tenementis in Merston in comitatu Oxon’ ut eciam per Tentale apparet particulariter…..cxjsf viijd

Valor 1547
Marston parochia de se j. milliare a civitate oxonie valet in Temporalibus videlicet in

Redditu unius Messuagii cum pertinentijs ibidem cum omnibus terris pratis et pasturis eidem pertinentibus dimissi Edmundo Crouche ad voluntatem domini Reddendo inde per annum   Ixvj.s. viij.d.
Firma unius Messuagij cum monibus terris pratis et pasturis didem pertimentibus dimissi Ricardo Hoore et per indenturam sub sigillo communi dicti collegij datam XXX mo die Septembris Anno regni regis Henrici viij xxxvj to [30 sept 1544] pro termino xxx ta annorum a data dicte Indenture per Annum  xviij.s. iiij.d.
Firma unius alij mesuagii cum pertinentiis ibidem ac cum omnibus terris pratis et pasturis eidem pertinentiis dimissi willelmo Foreste alias Smyth per indenturam sub sigillo unius feoffatorum dictarum terrarum per Annum xxvj.s. viij.d.
[summa totalis] cxj.s. viij.d
[BNC quatercentenary Monographs IX p. 189 = OHS (1909) LIII]

Contact Us

Tim Cann


Old Marston Parish Council



Email: clerk

Tel: 01865 203 139

About Us

Your local Parish Council, fighting for and serving the community of Old Marston in Oxford.