Some Local Wychwoods Characters

… from the Wychwoods Albums Archive

Mrs Fanny Rathband, about 1925. Ascott Martyrs
Mrs Fanny Rathband, about 1925.

Mrs Rathband (nee Honeybourn) was the last surviving Ascott Martyr when this photograph was taken outside Milton Methodist Chapel. In 1873, at the age of 16, she was sentenced with fifteen other women (two with young babies) to ten days in Oxford jail for picketing a farm in Ascott.

The cause of the dispute was the sacking of farm labourers who were members of the National Union of Agricultural Labourers. The harsh sentences imposed by two Reverend magistrates caused a national outcry but because Parliament was about to recess, nothing was done. After several days, when some of the women had already completed their sentence, the Home Office advised Queen Victoria to remit the remainder of the sentence of the seven women still imprisoned. The warrant eventually arrived on the day that the remaining women were due for release. Mrs Rathband lived in The Square in Milton, dying in 1939 at the age of 82.

Mr Eli Trotman and his wife Ellen, about 1910.
Mr Eli Trotman and his wife Ellen, about 1910

Eli Trotman was born at Idbury in 1850 and was employed as a quarryman by Groves. He also appears in the group photograph on page 26. In spite of her increasing years Mrs Trotman apparently helped thatch hay ricks on Mr Dangerfield’s farm at Shipton during the First World War. They lived their married life in Milton at the far end of what is now Gable Cottage in the High Street. They had no children.

The Smith family, about 1908

James and Matilda Smith with Frank, Sidney, Mabel, Dolly, May and baby Maggie pose with their horse and trap behind the present Co-op building on the Green in Milton. They lived in the High Street opposite Poplar Farm. Mr Smith’s horse and trap were for hire, mainly collecting from and delivering to Shipton station.

Church Road, Milton, early 1900s

Unfortunately the people in this early photo remain unidentified. The building with the plaque was the Hand and Post Inn, sited by the old Westend Gate, one of five gates in Milton which before enclosure used to keep animals off the cultivated land.

The Heath, Church Road, Milton, about 1925
The Heath, Church Road, Milton, about 1925

The four ladies on the right have been identified as Mrs Clemson (later Mrs Peachey), Mrs Edwards, Mrs Greenaway and Mrs Flossie Wilks: the boy on the bicycle is Jack Wilks. The only bridge across Littlestock Brook at that time was these few planks.

Thomas Manders and his wife Bella, 1927

Known as Groomie, Mr Manders was groom to F. W. P. Matthews. The photograph was taken at their home in Fifield by Maria Matthews and was published in the second edition of The Countryman which was founded by]. W. Robertson Scott who lived at Idbury. Mr and Mrs Manders are listening to a two-valve radio, a very up to date set in 1927, although loudspeakers were more commonly used than headphones.

Wychwoods Album Menu

This is one of series of snapshots taken from the Society’s publications “The Wychwoods Albums”. These publications from the mid to late 1980s feature a variety of images of the Wychwoods, all of which deserve a place in our expanding online archive.

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The Shaven Crown | Shipton Village Panorama | Shipton Post Office 1908/10 | Shipton Views Early 1900s | Aspects of Milton 1900s-1930s| Milton & Shipton Churches | Early 20th Century School Life | Shipton Court in 1895-1910 | Road and Rail | Matthews Mill, Shipton | Alfred Groves – a Historic Family Business | Vintage Transport and Deliveries | Agriculture and Manufacturing | Some Local Wychwoods Characters| Wychwoods Group Activities| Wychwoods Album Home