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Hampton Gay.

  Hampton Gay has derived from the name of the Lord of the manor of Hantone Sir Robert of Gait had given his Church to the Abbey of Oseney during the reign of King Stephen.

A manor house was built in Hampton Gay in the late sixteenth century but there is evidence that a church had the rights to collect tithes here as early as 1074  Early in the 1700s an old water mill was converted for paper making which flourished to the early 1800’s. The church was rebuilt in 1767, during this period of prosperity and the population of the village trebled to some 86 people.

In the later part of the nineteenth century the mill was reconstructed - with a gas works, a steam engine and machinery to produce 1 ton of paper a day.

When we visited the village in April 1990 the church was surrounded with scaffolding as the roof was being replaced. Through out its existence work has been carried out. At the time of Martin GILES’ birth 1767 the church was being rebuilt by Revd. Thomas Hindes and about the time when his grandson lived in the village Charles Venables was again carrying out restorations. The Church is separated from that of Shipton on Cherwell by only 400yds and the river Cherwell!

The patron of the church is St. Giles, who lived in the ninth century. Giles was wounded when the king while hunting, shot at a hind. Giles, who had made it a pet, tried to protect it by standing in front of it. The King founded a monastery in recognition of the bravery shown by Giles.

The Church of St Giles Hampton Gay.

Our Family Connection.

The earliest family connection with this hamlet are Martin GILES [1055] and Mary FAULKNER [998] who married in Kidlington on 11 October 1765 they were described as both of Hampton Gay. A note in the register stated that the church was not yet repaired. Martin was born and baptised in Kidlington and Mary was from Combe in Oxfordshire. They had 3 children we know about. William [1077] and Thomas [1071] were baptised in Hampton Gay but middle son Martin [1056] was baptised in Bletchingdon on 28 June 1767 but were ‘of Hampton Gay’.

The brothers William and Thomas moved to Kidlington where they had children baptised. Martin married Jane HADLAND [1080] in Bletchingdon, Jane’s parish in July 1790. Martin was ‘of Hampton Gay’. They tried to settle in Hampton Gay but she was pregnant and he was not earning enough so they were likely to become chargeable to the parish. The churchwardens and overseers of the poor did not believe Martin and Jane had a legal settlement in the parish and obtained a removal order from the Justices of the Peace in Oxford on 30 November 1790. This required the couple “to be conveyed to Hampton Poyle”  which was considered to be their lawful place of settlement. Their son Thomas was born shortly afterwards in Hampton Poyle.

Even though Martin and Jane had been removed Martin’s parents were buried in Hampton Gay; Martin on 26 August 1801 and Mary on 27 June 1824.

The eldest son of Martin and Jane, Thomas [1072] married Mary DUNSBY [975] in Somerton on 7 May 1809 and had thirteen children all baptised in Hampton Poyle. One of their sons, Martin [1058], married Hannah BECKETT [1171] and between 1850 and 1854 three of their children were born in Hampton Gay but baptised in Hampton Poyle. At the time of the census in 1851 Martin and Hannah were enumerated in Hapton Gay with three children; Anne, Sarah and William. They seems to move back to Hampton Poyle before 1857 when their seventh child was born.

The family missed the rail disaster of Christmas Eve 1874. A coach of a GWR train travelling from Paddington to Birmingham became derailed in Kidlington but the train continued to Hampton Gay where it crashed over the bridge into the river Cherwell. The casualties were taken to the manor and other nearby homes, before being transferred to the 150 bed Radcliffe Infirmary. There had been 34 deaths and over a hundred injured.

Thirteen years later the closure of the paper mill affected the livelihood of most of the village and the same year the Manor House burnt down, its ruin is now scheduled as an Ancient monument.

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