Situated on the River Windrush in Widford,
. Harris (1976) gives the location of Widford Papermill
as SP 273118 and
states that it was at that time part of Widford Mill Farm (SP2711 at
). It therefore
appears to be the range of buildings pictured above. You can find more
information about the village on the Widford,
Foreman notes that the mill worked from a large pond and that Davis'
map of 1797 shows two mills worked in tandem (Foreman, 1983 Pg
On the 1st
series OS maps only the building above is shown and it is described as
Buildings and lands
Oxford Historic Environment Record PRN759 states that most of the
current buildings are of 19thC origin.
The sundial below is on the south wall of the Mill. There is also a
victorian post box set in the wall.
The mill race starts a couple of hundred meters to the west of the
Mill. A weir maintains an artificially high river level and
provides a spillway for the excess water. In the picture
the race is to the right and the wier is straight ahead.
Burford Enclosure award of 28 Feb 1795 mentions 'one public Bridge Road
and Private Carriage Way of the like breadth of twenty feet leading out
of Shilton new inclosure and extending Northward to High Park ground
for the use of all persons resorting to and returning from the Mill at
Widford' (Gretton, pg 685)
History (from 1755 until 1816)
Mill started life as a fulling mill and was later
In 1755 Thomas HATTON insured the Widford Mill
against fire (ref not available - probably Sun Fire Insurance
index to policies at Guildhall Library, City of London.).
On 5 Oct 1757, Thomas HATTON witnessed the of Thomas
WOODINGTON & Mary KEMPSTER at nearby Swinbrook, Oxon.
On 11 Oct 1779, Thomas HATTON of Widford, papermaker, was buried at
Oct 1 1797, William LEECH, of Widford Mill, and Mary his wife
christened their son Peter. The LEECH family were later corn millers.
So this suggests that two mills were in operation at this time, or a
temporary reversion to use for corn.
On 7 Jan 1801 John HATTON of Widford, papermaker, and his wife Sarah
christened a daughter Esther at Widford.
On 31 May 1802 John JUSTER and his wife Mary, paperworkers, christened
their son John at Widford.
On 12 Jun 1802, the following appeared in the classified advertisments section of Jackson's Oxford Journal:
FLED FROM JUSTICE
Richard Freeman, of Asthal, in the County of Oxford, Labourer, stands
charged on Oath, before one of his Majesty’s justices of the Peace of
the county of Gloucester, with feloniously stealing, taking, and
carrying away a Quantity of LINEN RAGS, from the Warehouse of John
Hatton, or Widford, in the said County of Gloucester, Paper Maker, and
hath lately absconded. The said Richard Freeman is about sixty-seven
Years of Age, grey haired, dark Complexion, uncommonly hairy on the
Hands, about five feet five inches high, stoops in Walking, and goes
forward at Knee; has been seen in London a few Days since.
will apprehend the said Richard Freeman, and deliver him to the
Constable of Widford aforesaid, or lodge him in one of his Majesty’s
Gaols, and give Notice thereof to the said John Hatton, or to John
Jordan Ansell, of Burford, in the County of Oxford aforesaid,
Solicitor, shall receive TEN GUINEAS Reward; and whoever will give
Information of the Accomplice or Accomplices of the said Richard
Freeman, shall, upon Conviction, receive the like Reward.
4th June, 1802.
JOHN JORDAN ANSELL.
[Jackson's Oxford Journal (Oxford, England), Saturday, June 12, 1802; Issue 2563. Transcribed by R I Kirby]
A reference to J HATTON as paper maker at Wittford
in 1803 has been found amongst the private papers of William BALSTON,
Springfield Mill, Maidstone, Kent (
Harris, 1976; Shorter 226).
On 2 Oct 1804 John HATTON of Widford and his wife Sarah christened a
daughter Martha at Widford.
On 27 Mar 1809 James SMITH, papermaker, was buried at nearby Swinbrook,
On 11 Mar 1811 John HATTON, papermaker, was buried at nearby Swinbrook,
Oxon, aged 61.
On 26 Dec 1811 Mary JUSTER, widow of John JUSTER, papermaker, was
buried at nearby Swinbrook, Oxon, aged 63.
In 1811 John HATTON died and in his Will he instructed that
his property be
On 1 Jul 1825 Thomas GREEN, papermaker, and his wife Mary-Maria
christened their daughter Mary-Maria at Widford.
In 1813 the FREEMAN & MITFORD families of Morton in the
obtained title to a paper mill in Widford (see GRO, Batsford Park
Estate papers. Ref D1447/1/260)
In 1816 an Excise list identifies Sarah HATTON
at Widford Mill. Although the Mill appears to have been sold it seems
that John's widow Sarah may have been left in charge. (From 1712 duty
was charged on paper and in 1816 the Excise decided
to issue lists of paper makers.)
1825 Jackson's Oxford Journel carried an advertisement for the sale of
nearby Upton Mill
which referred to a Mrs HATTON, Widford,
The Parish Records and 1841 Census for the local parishes give
glimpse into who might have have been paper making in Widford and when.
Text in italics is background information from other sources.
On 8 Oct 1828 William HART, papermaker, and his wife Elizabeth
christened their daughter Susanna at Widford.
On 7 Nov 1830 William HART, papermaker, and his wife Elizabeth
christened their son Francis at Widford.
On 13 Apr 1834 William HART, papermaker, and his wife Elizabeth
christened their son Enos Sellers at Widford.
On 4 Jun 1837 James HOLLIDAY, papermaker, and his wife Ann [nee
TURNER], christened their son Michael at nearby Swinbrook, Oxon.
3 Feb 1839 Robert HOLLIDAY, papermaker, and his wife Leah christened
their son John Mark at nearby Swinbrook, Oxon. (recorded in the Widford
On 7 Mar 1841 Robert HOLLIDAY, papermaker, and his wife Leah christened
their son William James at nearby Swinbrook, Oxon. (recorded in the
The 1841 Census for Widford lists:
- William HART, papermaker, and his wife Elizabeth;
- Robert HOLLIDAY, papermaker, and his wife Leah;
- James HOLLIDAY, papermaker, and his wife Ann.
On 27 Nov 1842 Robert HOLLIDAY, papermaker, and his wife Leah
their daughter Sarah at nearby Swinbrook, Oxon. (recorded in the
In 1844, Pigot & Co.'s Directory of Berks, Bucks etc... lists
William HART as paper manufacturer at Widford.
On 20 Feb 1845 Robert HOLLIDAY, lab, and his wife Leah christened
their son Robert at nearby Swinbrook, Oxon. (recorded in the Widford
By 1846 Henry WARD appears to have taken over at the mill, for the
LONDON GAZETTE for Friday, March 20 1846 carried the following, under
the title Bankrupts
|Henry Ward, Widford Mill, near Burford, and Ludgate-street, paper-|
manufacturer, March 31, at 2 o'clock, May 4, at 11 o'clock, at the Bankrupts'
Court; solicitors Messrs. Mardon and Co., Newgate-street; official as-
signee, Mr. Graham, Coleman-street.
Mar 21, 1846; pg. 4; Issue 19190; col A
The Jurist, Vol.
10, Part 2, 1846, carried, on pg 225, the following entry “Hen. Ward
Widford-mill, near Burford, Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire, and
Ludgate-st., London, paper manufacturer, June 25 at 1, Court of
Bankruptcy, London, aud. ac.”
In 1850 a Fourdrinier continuous paper making machine was installed
(Foreman, 1893, 71).
On the 1851 Census one William LEECH, 45, born Widford, Oxon, is
listed as Miller at the Corn Mill in Widford. Robert HOLLIDAY is list
immediately following him and as an Ag. Labourer, but with a paper
maker called Thomas BARKER lodging with him.
1852 the entry for Widford in the History, Gazetteer &
Oxfordshire, lists one Samuel MILBOURN, paper maker, Widford Mills. It
notes 'Widford Mills, for the manufacture of paper, are fitted out with
some splendid machinery, and worked by steam power. The manufacture of
this article at these mills, is carried on to a great extent by Mr.
In 1854 the Post Office Directory of Berks,
Northants etc... described it as a 'very extensive paper mill, which is
fitted up with moderm machinery worked by steam power, belonging to the
Widford Paper Mill Company'. Amongst the few traders are listed Edwin
Newman FOURDRINIER, Esq. at Widford Mills and the Widford Paper
Company, paper manufacturers at Widford Paper Mills.
In 1876 the Harrod & Co.'s Directory of Beds, Bucks etc. makes
no mention of paper making at Widford.
Thomas & Elizabeth
The first evidence of Thomas Hatton as a papermaker comes from the
occupation given on his marriage licence, dated 1748 it gives his place
of residence as Upton, location of Upton Papermill. Thomas Hatton
appears to have left Widford Mill
to his son John Hatton. He is buried in nearby Swinbrook. In
1778 Will Thomas Hatton provided £5 at age 14 for four of
his Grandsons (the four sons of his Son Edward who was a paper maker at
to be 'put apprentice'.
More information on may be
found on the biographical page for Thomas
John & Sarah HATTON
John died in 1811 and in his will he instructed that his property be
sold. In 1813 the FREEMAN - MITFORD families of Morton in the
obtained title to a paper mill in Widford (see Oxfordshire Records
Office, Batsford Park Estate papers. Ref D1447/1/260).
From 1712 duty was charged on paper and in 1816 the Excise decided
to issue lists of paper makers. The 1816 list identifies Sarah HATTON
at Widford Mill. Although the Mill appears to have been sold it seems
that John's widow Sarah may have been left in charge. More information
on may be found on the
biographical page for John
John & Mary JUSTER
No information at the moment.
James & Ann SMITH
John HATTON's grandmother was a SMITH so a family connection cannot be
Thomas & Mary Maria
Thomas GREEN appears to have married Mary-Maria PYTTS in 1821
nearby village of Taynton.
William & Elizabeth
William may have married Elizabeth SELLARS on 23 Mar 1813 in
North Newington, Oxford (in 1873 there was another William HART married
an Elizabeth SELLARS but this time in Broughton). Elizabeth
Broughton, Oxfordshire in abt 1795 and the family christened s daughter, Elizabeth,
in that village in 1816 and a son, William, in 1819.
The 1851 census shows that they bore two further children in that village Sarah
in abt 1823 and John THOMAS in abt 1826
In abt 1828 their first child was born in Widford.
By 1851 William HART was still paper making but had moved to the High
Street at Witney,
James & Ann HOLLIDAY
James appears to have married Ann TURNER.
On the 1851 Census there is a family group at Swinbrook, Oxon.,
- James HOLLIDAY, head, widower, aged 45, Paper maker, born
- Micah HOLLIDAY, son, , aged 11, Scholar, born
Robert & Leah HOLLIDAY
Robert HOLLIDAY was born abt 1802 in Swinbrook, Oxon
probably served as an apprentice in one of the local Paper Mills,
possibly even Widford. His wife Leah was born locally in Leafield
(abt 1806). On the 1851 Census Robert was still Paper making, but is
listed at the
Corn Mill at Widford, Oxon, with his wife Leah, several children and a
paper maker called Thomas Barker who is described as a lodger.
On 29th September 1846 a Scotish patent was granted to one Samuel
MILBOURN, of St Mary's Cray, in the county of Kent,
paper-maker, for " improvements in the manufacture of paper."
[Edinburgh Philosophical Journal, 42:194]
Angela (Transcriber). Edmond HARMAN of Burford, Will Proved 1577. 2007.
Cited 4 Apr 2011. Online: www.EnglandsPastForEveryone.org.uk/Explore.
- FOREMAN, Wilfred, Oxfordshire Mills, Phillimore &
Co. Ltd, 1983
- HARRIS, F. J. T. 'Paper and Board Mills' in Transactions of
Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society, 1976, Vol.
- Edinburgh Philosophical Journal, Vol 42
I should like to acknowledge the assistance of Jean Stirk of
Association of Paper Historians
who kindly provided some of the data on this page.