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«Buckinghamshire Windmill Farmhouse, Archaeological Society Wingrave HISTORIC BUILDING REPORT / March 2012 SURVEY AND REPORT: Andrew Muir Report ...»

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The Griffin family The final family with a possible link with Windmill Farmhouse is the Griffin family, who were bakers in Wingrave for more than two centuries.

The first member of the family to live in Wingrave was Robert Griffin, who was born in Stewkley in 1736 as the fourth son of the Stewkley village baker. Robert married Ann Walduck in 1759 and the family moved to Wingrave at some time between the birth of their daughter, Esther, in 1764 and the birth of their son, John, in 1766. Ann Griffin died in 1797 but Robert lived until 1821 and in his will gave to his son John "all my tenement, baker's shop and premises in Wingrave wherein I now dwell and all my Close in Wingrave which I now occupy. My daughter Esther Griffin to have exclusive use of the parlour end of my said tenement.................. " [10 ]. Esther died in 1830.

Robert's son John Griffin is recorded in the enclosure documents of 1798 as owning a dwelling and bakehouse in Mill Lane where Rose Cottage now stands. John also purchased a windmill from Whitchurch in 1809, which he erected behind Rose Cottage [11].

It would therefore seem that both Robert Griffin and his son John were working and trading as bakers in the late 1700s and early 1800s, and that by 1798 John was running his own bakehouse in Rose Cottage. But where was Robert Griffin's bakehouse and where did father and son mill their flour before the windmill was installed in 1809? Circumstantial evidence suggests that the bakehouse

was very probably at Windmill Farmhouse with a windmill nearby:

• Robert Griffin arrived in Wingrave in 1765 with his wife and young family needing a house in which to live and work; at that time Windmill Farmhouse was only occupied by the widowed Anne Mortimer and therefore offered spare vacant accommodation

• Windmill Farmhouse was an ideal location to establish a windmill (which would be an essential component of a bakery), being on the south facing escarpment of the village. The naming of Windmill Farm on the 1798 enclosure map indicates that a windmill must have existed in the near vicinity of the farmhouse at the end of the 18 th century

• There is a reference to a miller in the Churchwardens' accounts of the mid 18 th century [12], indicating that there was a mill in the village at that time. As Wingrave lies on the Thames/Ouse watershed, the mill could not have been water driven, and hence a windmi ll on the escarpment appears to be most likely

• Windmill Farmhouse was extended in the 18 th century when a large bread oven and expanded chimney were installed. These alterations suggest that baking on a wholesale basis was being undertaken in the house

• John Griffin's bakery was set up in close proximity to Windmill Farmhouse

• Robert Griffin's grandson (George) is recorded as paying the Francis Mortimer charity in 1897, suggesting th connection between the Griffin family and Windmill Farmhouse a extending into the 19 century [13] Although all of this evidence is circumstantial, it does provide a sound explanation of the 18 th century alterations to the house and the name of "Windmill Farm" in the 1798 enclosure documentation. After Robert Griffin's death in 1821 the house probably reverted to a more traditional role of housing farm labourers, as recorded in the census returns from 1841 onwards.

Summary: The Occupants of Windmill Farmhouse from about 1700 to 1821 No primary sources have been found to date th which unambiguously confirm the tenants and occupants of Windmill Farmhouse in the 18 th and 19 ' centuries. However it can be hypothesised that ownership of the house passed from the Mortimer family to the Cox family over this period, and the main occupants were the Mortimers (and possibly Keenes) followed by the Griffins. Hopefully further work and study of further primary sources will confirm this hypothesis References

1. Will of Francis Mortimer. Centre for Buckinghamshire Studies PR 235/25/7

2. Unto the Poore of Wingrave Town: Unpublished pamphlet by Michael Tunnicliffe, 2009

3. Will of Francis Mortimer. Centre for Buckinghamshire Studies D/A/WF/72/221

4. Will of Anne Mortimer. Centre for Buckinghamshire Studies D/A/WF/101/206

5. Unpublished papers held by Prudence Goodwin, Wingrave

6. Will of James Mortimer. Centre for Buckinghamshire Studies D/A/WF/85/211

7. Will of Thomas Cox. Centre for Buckinghamshire Studies D/A/WF/108/31

8. Wingrave and Rowsham enclosure award. Centre for Buckinghamshire Studies

9. Wingrave: A Rothschild Village in The Vale Ken and Margaret Morley, p29

10. Will of Robert Griffin. Centre for Buckinghamshire Studies

11. Wingrave: A Rothschild Village Ken and Margaret Morley, p8

12. Wingrave Churchwardens' accounts 1560/1760. Centre for Buckinghamshire Studies

13. Charity Commissioners Report 1897 as recorded in Unto the Poore of Wingrave Town Unpublished pamphlet by Michael Tunnicliffe, 2009


Note: the house description varies widely from one census return to the next, and hence the following is a "best guess" interpretation of the returns 1841 Census

Windmill Farmhouse:

Thomas Aston, 56, dissenting minister Harriet Aston, 56 Hannah Bateman, 19, female servant

Windmill Farmhouse:

George Jeffs, 26, agricultural labourer, born Bucks Ann Jeffs, 39, agricultural labourer, born Bucks

London Lane Hill:

Isaac Hare, 78, farmer, born Bucks Ann Hare, 50, agricultural labourer, born Bucks 1851 Census 93: London Hill:

George Jeffs, 35, widower, farm labourer, born Wingrave 94: London Hill:

Ann Hare, 61,unmarried, grazier of 6 acres, born Wingrave Jane Gibbs, 22, lodger, unmarried, plaiter, born Wingrave 95: London Hill:

Henry Emes, 21, head, cooper, born Wingrave Ann Emes, 21, wife, cooper's wife, born Hogston 1861 Census 10: Windmill Farmhouse:

George Jeffs, 45, head, agricultural labourer, born Wingrave Ann Jeffs, 45, wife, born Ellesborough Arthur Jeffs, 6, son, born Wingrave Lucy Jeffs, 3, daughter, born Wingrave 11: Windmill Farmhouse:

Elizabeth Monger, 65, widow, retired, born Drayton Beauchamp 12: London Hill Road:

Ann Hare, 74, head, unmarried, retired, born Wingrave 13: London Hill Road:

Charles Bates, 27, head, agricultural labourer, born Wingrave Ellen Bates,28, wife, born Rowsham Mercey Bates, 4, daughter, born Wingrave 1871 Census 124: London Hill:

Elizabeth Monger, 76, head, widow, assistant [?], born Drayton Beauchamp 125: London Hill (farm house):

George Jeffs, 55, head, farm labourer, born Wingrave Ann Jeffs, 53, wife, born Ellesborough Arthur Jeffs, 16, son, labourer, born Wingrave 126: London Hill:

Ann Hare, 84, unmarried, assistant, born Wingrave 127: London Hill, private:

Joseph Kempster, 24, head, farm labourer, born Wingrave Sarah Kempster, 22, wife, farm labourer, born Astrope, Puttenham Albert Kempster, 2, son, born Wingrave James Kempster, 1, son, born Wingrave 1881 Census 102: Mill End [note: may not be Windmill Farmhouse]:

John Harriss, 49, head, fish dealer, born Wingrave [?] Harriss, 46, wife, dressmaker, born Wingrave Elizabeth Priscilla Harriss, 18, daughter, straw plaiter, born Rowsham Ernest Arch Harriss, 7, son, scholar, born Wingrave 104: Mill End:

Arthur Jeffs, 26, head, farm labourer, born Wingrave Emily Jane Jeffs, 28, wife, born North Marston Arthur William Jeffs, 5, son, scholar, born Notting Hill Earnest Edward Jeffs, 3, son, born Wingrave Lucy Jeffs, 1, daughter, born Wingrave 1891 Census 108: London Hill:

Joseph Hedges, 46, head, agr labourer, born Long Marston Sarah Badrick, 37, housekeeper, born Wingrave Kate Hedges, 10, daughter, scholar, born Wingrave 109: London Hill:

Arthur Jeffs, 36, head, agr labourer, born Wingrave Emily Jeffs, 38, wife, born North Marston Arthur W Jeffs, 15, son, agr labourer, born Notting Hill Lucy Jeffs, 11, daughter, scholar, born Wingrave George H Jeffs, 6, son, born Wingrave Leonard S Jeffs, 4, son, born Wingrave 1901 Census 146: London Hill:

Arthur Jeffs, 46, head, carter in farm, born Wingrave Emily Jeffs, 48, wife, born North Marston Leonard Jeffs, 14, son, ag labourer, born Wingrave 147: London Hill:

Joseph Hedges, 57, head, milker on farm, born Long Marston Sarah Hedges, 48, wife, born Wingrave This report has been produced by the Buckinghamshire Archaeological Society County Museum, Church Street, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire HP20 2QP


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