The Dagleys – a local family for over 200 years
The surnames Mansfield, Heydon, Laurence and Dagley have been known in Hethe for more than three centuries.
The Earliest Records
The first record for Dagley is for the burial of Clementia, the wife of John Dagley, in the Churchyard of St Edmund and St George in 1694.
The names of John Dagley and Alexander Petty, churchwardens in 1708, were at one time painted on the west wall of the church but can no longer be seen.
In 1797 James Dagley (a Cooper) married Mary Tame from Fringford.
Innkeeper to Baker
In 1775 a sale of farm stock belonging to the bankrupt Alex Petty was held at the “Maltman (Mr Dagley’s)”. The Maltman later became the Whitmore Arms and later the Muddy Duck.
Again in 1775, the Bankruptcy Commissioners met at the “Maltman Hethe (Hannah Dagley’s)” for the estate of James Butler of Bicester. In 1776 there was the sale of an Ardley farm estate at the “Maltman Hethe (widow Hannah Dagley’s)”. The pub was referred to as the “Maltman’s Arms (Hannah Dagley’s)” in 1777 at another sale of a house near to St George’s Well, Hethe.
Further records show that John Dagley was the innkeeper at the Maltser’s Arms in 1813 and 1815 (with his wife Mary). John died in 1817, aged 43. Thomas Petty was the innkeeper in 1819 and he was married to Ann (nee Dagley) who he married in 1799.
In 1826 William Dagley was one of only thirteen men in Hethe on the Electoral Register.
In the 19th Century James and Elizabeth Dagley were bakers in the village. In 1851 their son, also called James, was a baker in the village and had a wife Mary Ann. In 1881 their daughter Jane was living in Rose Cottage (in Main Street) on a pension. Mary Ann continued the business after her husband died and in 1881 was assisted by her sons Joseph and William. In 1911 her son Joseph was a Master Baker in Hethe assisted by his son Leonard. His wife was Susannah born in Sulgrave.
The Dagleys were resident and worked in The Bakehouse which was demolished and replaced by a new cottage in 1979. The last known occupant of the original cottage was Joseph and Susannah’s daughter Josephine who was born in 1883. In 1911 Josephine was the Governess for a family in Heston in the London Borough of Hounslow, West London. At some time she returned to Hethe, where she attended the Holy Trinity Church and was a music teacher. She died in 1965.
The following is an extract from the book “Hethe-with-Adderbury” by Joy Grant“:
“…on Saturdays Miss Josephine Dagley, daughter of Hethe’s village baker, a lady of information as well as musical talent (all the Dagley were able, and educated above the village norm), would mount her upright bicycle, plus capacious basket, and make her way through the lanes to the farm, where music in the morning and religion in the afternoon were the order of the day.” The farm was in Astwick, near Croughton. This was in the 1920s when there was still only a rough lane between Hethe and Hardwick.
“Viloet McGovern recalled that her parents mentioned that Italian craftsmen were responsible for the stencilling and paintwork in the church when it was restored in the 1920/1930s. Josephine Dagley, “choir-mistress, organist and pillar of the church” was vocal in criticising the startlingly bright decoration.
“Mrs Rosemary Sampson attended Holy Trinity in 1967, but her most vivid memory is of the organist, Josephine Dagley, still going strong in her eighties:
“She was very old and very deaf, and Miss Connick (Fr Connick’s sister) who always occupied the front pew, used to engage in a kind of semaphore with her, as, tucked away in the organ-loft and being so very deaf, she had no idea of what was going on. It was rather distracting at times”.
From Hethe resident Pauline O’Gorman:
“As a schoolgirl I went to Miss Dagley for piano lessons, as did other village girls. Looking back it was quite an experience. For one thing her house was partly fallen down. It always seemed dark in there, a bit like those television plays we view today, and everywhere there were stacked newspapers and other stuff. She probably never threw anything away.
“Miss Dagley was a very strict teacher and knew if you hadn’t done your practising between lessons. A tap across the knuckles with a ruler would be the punishment if you played a wrong note, but if you did well and pleased her she would reward you with a “gobstopper” made with toffee and puffed wheat which made it impossible to speak as I left!”.
In 1884 David Dagley was the tenant of Hospital Farm in the village. Hospital Farm was created from land given to St Bartholomew’s (Bart’s) Hospital in London, in the 11th Century by Lesceline, the wife of the “father of Hethe” Norman de Verdun.
The farm building was described in 1617 as measuring 40 by 18 feet. It had a hall, a “chamber herein”, a buttery and a garret above, divided into three rooms and reached by a pair of stairs. It’s barn measured 40 by 20 feet and it’s stable 60 by 12 feet.
In 1960 St Bart’s Hospital sold the last of their land in Hethe to the Squire of the Shelswell Estate, Mr John Dewar-Harrison. The farm, at the southeast corner of The Green, was absorbed into Montague Farm. The old farmhouse is now known as Hethe Cottage.
The Collingridge Family
In the 15th Century they were a “gentry family with aristocratic connections”, living in Buckinghamshire. They went down in the world and resurfaced in the 18th century as “plain country folk, tenant farmers and farm labourers on the Fermor estate”.
Thomas Collingridge (1772-1854), a farmer, helped build the Catholic Church in Hethe where many of the windows are dedicated to the family; in 1851 his address was Hethe House. His widow, Martha (1781-1865) was born in Stratton Audley, the mother of 11 children. Their son, William Attenbrow Collingridge (1813-1876) was also a farmer. In 1851 he lived in “Queen Square”, Hethe. His wife was Sarah (Shepherd).
In 1832 eight stained glass windows were placed in The Holy Trinity Church commemorating the family.
William and Sarah’s son, Thomas (1852-1933) gave up the family farm in Hethe at the time of the agricultural depression and entered the leather trade in Northampton. His wife was Sophy (1851-1938).
Thomas’ sister, Susan (1854-1940) became a nun.