Local government


Victoria County History



Alan Crossley, C R J Currie (Editors), A P Baggs, Eleanor Chance, Christina Colvin, C J Day, Nesta Selwyn, S C Townley

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'Chimney: Local government', A History of the County of Oxford: Volume 13: Bampton Hundred (Part One) (1996), pp. 85-86. URL: Date accessed: 26 November 2014.


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Chimney's inhabitants attended Bampton Deanery manor court as a separate tithing, probably from the late 13th century and certainly by the 14th. In 1437 and still in 1781 the court elected a constable for Chimney, and in the early 17th century two or three grass stewards; (fn. 43) earlier it presumably elected a hayward, since Hayward's Lane was mentioned in 1450. (fn. 44) In 1641 the tithing was fined for not maintaining a pair of stocks. (fn. 45)

The township appointed a chapelwarden for Shifford probably in the 15th century and still in the late 19th. (fn. 46) Only one overseer for Chimney and Shifford was mentioned in 1642, (fn. 47) but in 1666 both townships may have had their own, (fn. 48) and in the later 18th century Chimney administered its own poor relief. Despite its small population large sums were spent, £17 in 1775-6 and about the same between 1783 and 1785; £36 (c. 27s. per head) were spent in 1803, when 1 adult and 4 children received out relief. By 1813 capitation was c. 52s., and by 1817 £3 7s., the highest in the area; 6 or 7 people, perhaps including children, were receiving regular relief between 1813 and 1815, and another 7 or 8 occasional relief. In the 1820s capitation was never less than £1 4s. and by 1832 was over £2, a total expenditure of £87; (fn. 49) poor rates in 1835 totalled c. £70. (fn. 50)

From 1834 Chimney belonged to Witney union, and from 1894 to Witney rural district. In 1974 it became part of West Oxfordshire district. (fn. 51)


43 D. & C. Exeter, MSS. 4751-83; ibid. Ch. Comm. 80/134543; above, Bampton and Weald, local govt. (manor cts.).
44 D. & C. Exeter, MS. 4759.
45 Ibid. MS. 4776; cf. O.R.O., Cal. Q.S. ix, p. 53.
46 Below, Shifford, church.
47 Protestation Rtns. and Tax Assess. 1.
48 P.R.O., PROB 11/322, f. 363v.
49 Poor Abstract, 1804, 1818; Poor Rate Returns, H.C. 556, p. 135 (1822), v; ibid. H.C. 334, p. 170 (1825), iv; ibid. H.C. 83, p. 157 (1830-1), xi; ibid. H.C. 444, p. 153 (1835), xlvii; cf. Census, 1801-41.
50 D. & C. Exeter, Ch. Comm. 13/74364.
51 O.R.O., RO 3251, pp. 201-3; RO 3267.