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William Weeks

Weeks family plaque on outside wall of south transept of All Saints Church

The other significant Oxenbourne farming family were the Weeks of Lower House Farm and Oxenbourne Farm.The plaque at All Saints Church records three generations of William Weeks. The first William was born in Stedham, Sussex, spent many years of his life in ‘the Tything of Oxenbourne’and was buried in East Meon church in 1825; his son William was born in Oxenbourne and died in 1860 at the age of 80; the third William was born in 1817 and lived even longer – until 1907. He  is recorded in the Tithe Apportionments as farming 599 acres, of which 489 were arable; in the 1871 census he states that he farmed 600 acres. A fourth William was born in 1854; his daughter Mary was born in in 1869 and in  1890 she married Henry Berry, a farmer then living near Whitchurch but whose siblings were living in Oxenbourne Farm. Henry Berry was to farm, and eventually move into, Oxenbourne Farm and was to farm 1500 acres in Oxenbourne and Langrish.

The Weeks were listed as farmers and maltsters, (and one of the family appears to have been the publican at the Square Brewery in Petersfield); at a time when tax was payable on malting barley there is a family anecdote that a Customs and Excise official arrived on horseback with the intention of calling at Lower House Farm to check quantity of dutiable malting barley, but stayed the night before and stabled his horse with Jim Hobbs, the blacksmith, at Ivy House in the village. Hobbs dashed off to warn Weeks, who moved tons of malting barley to a hiding place.

 

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