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Kingston Bagpuize Post Office Summary.

Al Jefferies

Summary of post officials and possible locations.

Dates (Approximate) Post Officials and Location:

1844 – 1847 Not known Not known
1847 – 1873 George Shepherd Corner House or PO by weighbridge?
Unknown Date  Alexander Murdoch Corner House or PO by weighbridge?
1881 –1892 Maria Jefferies Possibly first by weighbridge in Abingdon Road and then Faringdon Road in pair of semi-detached cottages by School Lane (Western Half)
1892 - 1915 James Henry Jefferies Probably Faringdon Road as for Maria Jefferies
1915 – Mr Lane  Location Not known
1915 - 1920 Miss Lilian Taylor Location Not known
1915 –1920 Drew Family Corner House
1928 Mrs Russell Faringdon Road North Side in pair of semi-detached cottages by School Lane (Eastern Half)?
Unknown Date  Elsie Kimber  Faringdon Road North Side in pair of semi-detached cottages by School Lane (Eastern Half)?As for Mrs Russell?
Unknown Date  Mr and Mrs Garrett Snr  As for Mrs Russell and then Faringdon Road – South Side, just west of Stone House ?
1956 - 6 Jan 1989 Mr and Mrs John Garrett Jnr Faringdon Road – South Side, just west of Stone House?
6 Jan 1989 -Unknown Date 

Kieran Brennan

Faringdon Road – South Side, just west of Stone House
Unknown Date  Shirley Squires Faringdon Road – South Side, just west of Stone House - then new purpose built building just in front of old one, situated on main Faringdon Road
Unknown Date  Andrew and Carolyn Roberts Purpose built building just in front of old one, situated on main Faringdon Road, as Shirley Squires

Further information on some of the people mentioned.

William Smith was born in Witney, Oxfordshire about 1811. In the 1841 census he is described as a Male Servant, in the 1861 census as a cotter and in the 1871 census as an unemployed ag lab. He was buried in Kingston Bagpuize on 19 Oct 1873 at the age of 70. There is no [remaining] memorial stone.

William Walker was born in Southmoor about 1791. He was buried in Kingston Bagpuize on 8 May 1853 aged 62. In the 1841 census he is described as an agricultural labourer and in the 1851 census he is also described as a pauper. There is a memorial stone with the inscription – [In] Memory of William Walker who departed this life May [eroded] aged 62 years.

Alexander Murdoch – His burial at Kingston took place 8 February 1848 aged 62 and in 1849 January 19 that of a Jane MURDOCK aged 64. There is no [remaining] memorial stone and there appears to be no further information on this family.

George Shepherd was buried in Kingston Bagpuize on 23 Sep 1873 at the age of 57. He had been baptised there on 5 Jul 1816 to George, a farmer, and Sarah. George SHEPHERD (senior) had married Sarah HISSEY (of Longworth) at Kingston Bagpuize on 6 Apr 1813.

George married Elizabeth SHILLINGFORD at Longworth Parish Church 6th November 1843. George was a Farmer and widower and son of Joseph Farmer, whilst Elizabeth was the daughter of John Bradford SHILLINGFORD who was a Southmoor Farmer. It is likely that Elizabeth was baptised at Standlake 9 Jun 1813, daughter of John, a dealer and Mary.

George and his wife Elizabeth baptised a daughter Mary Sophia on 29 October 1840 and a son Martin on 23 January 1842. In 1840 George was described as a farmer but by 1842 he was a baker.

Ann Maria Jefferies, née Joyce, and known throughout her life as Maria, was born in Hinton Waldrist about 1818 to James Joyce and Sarah Griffin. On 1 May 1841 in Kingston Bagpuize she married Moses Jeffries, the seventh and youngest son of Henry Jeffries and Ann Belcher. Moses, an agricultural labourer, died of Typhus Fever on 27 January 1849 at the age of 31.

In censuses before 1881, she is not shown as having an occupation and, indeed, in 1851 she and her children were living with her parents and she was described as a pauper. It is not known how she supported herself and her children, between Moses’s death and getting the post mistress’s job.

In the final column of the 1881 census there is an entry which seems, by comparing it with known letters, to say ‘Affl 29 years’. I wondered whether ‘Affl’ stands for Affliction, and whether, therefore, she suffered from a long term disability of some sort.

James Henry Jefferies was the elder of Moses and Maria’s two children. Before becoming sub-post master, he worked as an agricultural labourer. He was baptised in Kingston Bagpuize on 2 Jul 1844, and on 5 May 1871 he married Mary BESTLEY in Kingston Bagpuize. It is not known when he died or ceased to be the sub-post master, but there is a death recorded at Wantage September Quarter for 1909 James Jefferies, which may be him. It seems that he was probably succeeded as sub-postmaster by Mr Lane, perhaps on his death.  James and Mary do not seem to have had any children of their own, but the censuses show that two nieces and a nephew lived with them for a time.

One of the nieces, Alice Maud Bestley, is described in the 1901 census as a post office assistant. Percival Ricketts, born in Kingston Bagpuize about 1887, was the son of William Ricketts, Carpenter and Wheelwright, and his wife, Mary.

Hannah Money was the wife of George Money, a Gardener’s Assistant. She was born in Upton, Berkshire about 1832. She died in 1913 (Apr-Jun 1913 Abingdon 2c 332).

written by Al Jeffries




Burials at Kingston - additional information on people named.

Because of Al's story, a search of the Burial Register for the persons named above was carried out.

William Walker aged 62 years, May 8th 1853 and William Smith aged 70 years Oct 19th 1873- could these be the burials of the Postboys?

Also noted is that William Walker born 1791 would have been about 20 years when at Kingston Church, being of 'the hamlet of Southmoor',he married Hannah Chapman by Licence. They must later have moved to Kingston. There is no evidence that Wm Smith married at Kingston Bagpuize.

Source: Kingston Bagpuize Parish Registers.

The 1841 census shows Alexander Murdoch at the Hinds Head and a William Smith is a Male servant in the same house but not household. This leads me to believe that a larger house was needed to house all these people and I believe that this was when the Hinds head was diagonally opposite the Old Bake House. It must have acted not only as a public house, but the post office handling the mail for Kingston House in particular.

"The Old Berks Hotel' Kingston Bagpuize is believed to have been the original Hind's Head. The building is situated on the main Abingdon/Witney Road opposite the 'Green'." It became the 'Huntsman's House' housing the Huntsman and family.

Source: Longworth & District History Society

I would have thought that the change of position of the 'Hind's Head' occurred when John Blandy offered the site for the OBH Kennels at Kingston Bagpuize, about 1884.

The "New Kennels", of the Old Berks Hunt, diagonally opposite what was,the 'Old Berks Hotel' Kingston Bagpuize, were built by the Joint Masters, Colonel Victor Van der Wyer and Charles Duffield between 1884-1889. Victor Van der Wyer in the spring of 1884, in the most munificent manner, placed the sum of £2,000 at the disposal of the Hunt Committee to enable them to build new kennels in any part of the county of Berkshire, and after consideration the site offered by John Blandy at Kingston Bagpuize was selected.

Source: Longworth & District History Society