North Newington Mill, Oxfordshire

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Located in North Newington, Oxon., (alias North Newton) at SP424 394 (SP4239 at


By 2011 the B&B web site had disappeared

In 2008 the mill house was providing bed and breakfast accomodation under the guise of The Mill House, North Newington.

In 1969 the wheel, of pitch-back type, was still in operation and some of the adjustable wooden slats ( used to control air flow for paper-drying) were still preserved in their original positions in an 80 ft. x 18 ft. drying shed. Evidence of the earlier mill was to be found in some stones in one wall near the tail-race. (Lobel & Crossley, 1969, n.p.).

History (from 1444 to 1851)

According to Foreman, at some point Thomas COBB of North Newington developed the first continuous paper maker, then failed to capitalise upon it (Foreman, 1893, 71)

In 1444 it was called Colles Mill (Foreman, 1983, pg 113)

Shakespear's "Henry VI," Part 2 , in which Jack Cade says to Lord Saye: "thou hast built a paper mill." is sometimes cited as evidence of a papermill dating to the rebellion Cade led in 1450, or at least to the late 16th C. The quote has sometimes been connected with North Newton Mill. Whilst Lord Saye certaily has connections with this area (there is even an inn that bears the name in nearby Broughton, Oxon.), I have as yet found no evidence to support this.

The burial, on 12 July 1677, of one John FARDON of North Newington, Oxon., is registered in the records of the Banbury Quaker meeting. The Will of John FARDON alias VARDON Yeoman of North Newton, Oxfordshire', proved in 1677,  left a farm in Wooton Wawen, Warks., to his son Richard FARDON and his farm in North Newington, Oxon., together with a papermill in Wootton Wawen, Warks., to his son Thomas FARDON, a good Quaker. (anonymous posting on Roots Web, possibly by Peter Fewson). Thomas was probably the Thomas FARDON (1658-1731) of North Newington, baker and malster (Milton, The Ashbys of Tyso).

In 1684 the corn mill was converted to paper production (Foreman, 1983, pg 113)

Between 1687 and 1689 Nathaniel and Michael HUTTON rented the Newington mill in succession. They were almost certainly connected with the HUTTON papermakers from Deddington, Oxfordshire (Lobel & Crossley, 1969, n.p.), who were based at the Adderbury Grounds Mill.

On 16 Jun 1704 the Broughton with North Newington provide their sole reference to papermaking prior to 1813: 'RINGSLEY John son of John , paperman'. At this time the recording of a profession in the register was exceptional so RINGSLEY's occupation or status must have been noteworthy.

In 1753 the Banbury marriage register mentions a William ELKINS, paper-maker of North Newington (Lobel & Crossley, 1969, n.p.).

In 1760 John JONES occupied the paper-mill and its closes; (Lobel & Crossley, 1969, n.p.).

On 24 Dec 1791 Lewis JONES of North Newton, Oxon.,. papermaker, was declared backrupt (cert: 12 Jun 1792, div: 27 Jul 1792, 17 May 1793) (Maxted, 2008)

In 1801, John GAUTHERN, paper-moulder of North Newington, died (Lobel & Crossley, 1969, n.p.). He was buried in Banbury, on 11 Oct 1801.

In 1805 Thomas Cobb was the owner (Lobel & Crossley, 1969, n.p.).

In 1809 the Will of Edward CHARLES Papermaker of North Newington, Oxon, was proved in the Court of Oxford (National Archives IR 26/398)

In 1816 the paper-manufacturer was William EMBERLIN (Lobel & Crossley, 1969, n.p.).

In 1833 the mill was put up for action, at which time there were 4 engines for rags, a paper-making machine, and steam-drying apparatus. 
(Lobel & Crossley, 1969, n.p.). An advertisement in The Times clarifies that this was due to the bankruptcy of Thomas COBB, who was still the owner. It reads as below.
and DWELLING attached - To be SOLD by AUCTION,
by Messrs. JARVIS and ROWELL, at the White Lion Inn, in Ban-
bury, in the county of Oxford, on Friday, Jan 11, at 3o'clock
in the afternoon, pursuant to the Order of Sale, made upon the appli-
cation of the Mortgagee, by the Commissioners named in the Fiat of
Bankruptcy issued against Thos. Cobb, of Calthorpe House and North
Newington, Oxfordshire, paper-maker, all that FREEHOLD PAPER-
MILL, with dwelling-house, labourer's cottage, orchard and pasture
land attached, of which immediate possession can be given: altogether
about 3 acres, desirably situated at North Newton, 1 mile from
Banbury, a neighbourhood possessing every convenience of water
carriage, and where the best rags may be collected at an easy rate.
Apply for a view of the premises, and for further particulars to Messers.
Munton and Draper, solicitors, Banbury; Messers. Merrick and Cox,
solicitors, Red Lion Square, London; or the auctioneers, Banbury

The Times, Thursday, Jan 03, 1833; pg. 1; Issue 15052; col A

On the 1851 Census the following papermaker's families were listed at 'Paper Mill' in the Hamlet of North Newington:
The other paper making connections in the village were:
The 1851 Census recorded 2 paper-makers, one employing 5 men, and another two. (Lobel & Crossley, 1969, n.p.).

Between 1854 and 1869, Mrs. Rebecca SELLERS was described as a paper-maker at North Newington mill . Her family had been tenants of the Hazelford papermill(Lobel & Crossley, 1969, n.p.).

The 1854 Post Office Directory (pg 715) gives Sellers, Mrs R. as Paper Manufacturer at North Newington, Banbury.

In the 1860s the rental was about 60 (Lobel & Crossley, 1969, n.p.).

About 1870 the present mill-building was constructed (Lobel & Crossley, 1969, n.p.) and at about that time William SELLERS enlarged and reconstructed the mill-house was  (Lobel & Crossley, 1969, n.p.).

By 1887 Alfred SELLERS, had converted the mill into a bonefactory to supply his artificial manure business (Lobel & Crossley, 1969, n.p.).

The mill had ceased operation by 1920. (fn. 256)

during World War 1 the mill reverted to a water-corn-mill (Foreman, 1983, pg 113)


The SELLERS family

On the 1851 Census they were living at Paper Mill in the Hamlet of North Newington and the family comprised

The KING family

On the 1851 Census they were living at Paper Mill in the Hamlet of North Newington and the family comprised


Any transcripts and images on this page are Copyright R I Kirby 2008 unless stated otherwise.