Headington history: People

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The earliest Headington people known by name are probably Tamesubugus, who signed his name on a piece of pottery made at the Roman kiln on the site of the Churchill Hospital, and Hedena (or Headan), after whom Headington was named; they do not have biographies here, however, as nothing else is known about them


Blue plaque = Has a blue plaque on a building in Headington [in addition Stansfeld has one in Oxford]
  = Also has a full entry in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
An asterisk next to a name indicates that a road in Headington is named after him/her.

Authors and poets

Artists, architects, engravers, and photographers

Actors and dancers


See also C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien above

Other well-known people who lived in Pullens Lane include: Evelyn Abbott (Pullen's Gate); Paul Ferdinand Willert (The Croft); Patrick Arkley Henderson (Torbrex); Philip Lyttelton Gell (Langley Lodge); Professor Sydney Howard Vines (The Vineyard); Professor Arthur Sampson Napier (Napier House); Herbert Francis Fox (Mendip House); and Robert Howard Hodgkin and his son Thomas Lionel Hodgkin (Mendip House).

Vicars and Curates

Both the curates were religious controversialists, and both the Vicars of St Andrew's Church, who lived in St Andrew's House, left under a cloud:

Big landowners

Lords of the Manor of Headington

Benefactors and charitable workers


Diarists and visitors
  • Joe PULLEN (1631–1714)*, who walked up to Pullen's Lane from Magdalen Hall at least once daily
  • “Parson” James WOODFORDE (1740–1803), who recorded his visits to Headington in his diaries


Other Headington people in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

The ODNB contains numerous other people who were associated with Headington, who do not have individual biographies on this site. The biographies are available free to many public library users, including those in Oxfordshire: to view the following biographies, go to the ODNB online and enter L followed immediately by your library ticket number in the “Library Card Login” box:

  • Evelyn ABBOTT (1843–1901), Classical Scholar
    Lived at Pullens Cottage in Pullens Lane from 1890 to 1901
  • John Norman Leonard BAKER (1893–1971), Geographer, and Lord Mayor of Oxford 1964/5
    Lived at Stone Rise, 11/13 New High Street, from 1928 to 1952
  • Henry BALFOUR (1863–1939), Museum curator
    Lived at Langley Lodge in Pullens Lane from 1909 to 1939
  • John Hugh Marshall BEATTIE (1915–1990), Social anthropologist
    Lived at The Cottage at the top of Headington Hill from 1956 to 1973
  • Charles BEAUCLERK (1670–1726), First Baron Headington, Army officer, the son of King Charles II and Nell Gwynn
    On 21 Dec 1676 when he was six years old a warrant was passed for "a grant to Charles Beauclerc, the King's natural son, and to the heirs male of his body, of the dignities of Baron of Heddington, co. Oxford, and Earl of Burford in the same county". Baron Heddington is still a subsidiary title of the current Duke of St Albans.
  • Stuart Highworth BLANCH (1918–1994), Archbishop of York
    Curate of All Saints Church, Lime Walk from 1949 to 1952
  • James Leslie BRIERLY (1881–1955), International lawyer
    Lived at Greensward, Harberton Mead from 1926 to 1947 and at 6 Brookside from 1949 to 1955
  • Alice Moore BRUCE (1867–1951), educationist
    Lived at White Gables, 14 Sandfield Road from 1930 and died there in 1951
  • Sir George Norman CLARK (1890–1979), historian, Provost of Oriel
    Lived at 20 Horwood Close from 1967 to 1970, then at 7 Ethelred Court from 1972 to 1979
  • George Albert COOKE (1865–1939), Biblical scholar
    Curate of St Andrew’s Church, Headington from 1889
  • Richard Lynch COTTON (1794–1880), Provost of Worcester
    Instrumental in the building of Holy Trinity Church, Headington Quarry
  • William Harbutt DAWSON (1860–1948), Journalist
    Lived at 23 Latimer Road in the 1930s
  • Vigo Auguste DEMANT (1893–1983), Theologian and social commentator
    Lived at 31 St Andrew’s Road from 1971
  • Gordon Miller Bourne DOBSON (1889–1976), Physicist & meteorologist
    Lived at Watch Hill, The Ridings from 1937 to 1976
  • Sir Edward Evan EVANS-PRITCHARD (1902–1973), Social anthropologist
    Lived at 42 Jack Straw's Lane from 1947 to 1973
  • Professor Sir Edward Carter Kearsey GONNER (1862–1922), Economist
    Moved into Red Gables on the London Road shortly before his death.
    His widow Lady Gonner remained there until c.1927
  • Francis John HAVERFIELD (1860–1919), Historian and archaeologist
    Built Winshields in Pullen's Lane (whose address is now 4 Harberton Mead) and lived there until 1919
  • Charles Harold HERFORD (1853–1931), Literary scholar
    Lived at 80 Old Road (then numbered 24) from 1929; died there in 1931 and buried in Holy Trinity churchyard
  • Thomas Lionel HODGKIN (1910–1982), Historian
    Born in 1910 at Mendip House, Pullens Lane
  • William HUME-ROTHERY (1899–1968), Chemist and metallurgist
    Lived at 54 Sandfield Road in the 1930s
  • William Edward John [Bill] McCARTHY (1925–1912)
    (Baron McCarthy of Headington after accepting life peerage in 1975)
    Industrial relations scholar and politician, and Chairman of Oxford City Labour Party
    Lived at 4 William Orchard Close. His wife Lady McCarthy of Headington (1932–2018), née Margaret Agnes Godfrey, was the daughter of the midwife for the Headington area: see her obituary in the Oxford Mail
  • John MASSIE (1842–1925), Biblical scholar and politician
    Lived in the Rookery (now Ruskin Hall) from 1910 to 1925
  • Hope MIRRLEES (1887–1978), Writer and poet
    Lived in The Firs at the top of Headington Hill from 1963 to 1978
  • Henry Whitehead MOSS (1841–1917), Headmaster of Shrewsbury School
    Lived at Highfield Park (now the Park Hospital) from 1909
  • Sir Charles NICHOLSON (1867–1949), Architect
    Lived at Church House from 1831 to 1948
  • Simon Harcourt NOWELL-SMITH (1909–1996), Book collector
    Lived at 7 Beaumont Road, Headington Quarry from 1965
  • Alexander Duncan Campbell PETERSON (1908–1988), Educational reformer
    Lived at 33 St Andrew’s Road (before it became the vicarage) from 1967 to 1970
  • Sir Alan PIM (1871–1958), Administrator in India and colonial adviser
    Lived at Ridgeway, 3 Harberton Mead from at least 1935 to 1958
  • (Henry) Graham POLLARD (1903–1976), Bookseller & bibliographer
    Lived at Barton Manor in Barton Village Road from 1940 to 1976
  • Henry Habberley PRICE (1899–1984), Philosopher
    Lived at Hillside, 69 Jack Straw’s Lane from his birth in 1899 until 1984
  • Ian RAMSEY (1917–1972), Bishop of Durham
    Curate of Headington Quarry in the 1940s
  • James Edwin Thorold ROGERS (1823–1890), Political economist and politician
    Acted voluntarily as assistant curate at Headington from 1854 to 1858
  • (William) Ritchie RUSSELL (1903–1980), Neurologist
    Worked at Headington Hill Hall rehabilitation centre and studied brain wounds sustained in World War II
  • Sir Michael Ernest SADLER (1861–1943), Educationist, his second wife Eva Margaret GILPIN (1868–1940),
    Headmistress and educationist, and his son by his first wife Michael Thomas Harvey Sadleir [sic] (1888–1957),
    Bibliographer and novelist
    Lived at the Rookery (now Ruskin Hall) from 1934 to 1943
  • Percy SIMPSON (1865–1962), Literary scholar
    Lived at 61 Old Road from 1922 to 1960
  • Gabriel TURVILLE-PETRE (1908–1978), Icelandic scholar
    Lived at The Court in the Croft from 1948 to 1978
  • Sydney VINES (1849–1934), Botanist
    Built the Vineyard, later named Pollock House, in Pullens Lane in 1885 and lived there until 1921
Other people of Headington not covered
  • Joseph Burtt DAVY (1870–1940), Quaker botanist and agrostolist
    Lived at Shotover Furze in The Ridings from the 1920s to his death in 1940: see his Wikipedia entry

Headington people who served as Mayor of Oxford (up to 1962)

The links below are to the Mayors and Lord Mayors of Oxford website

© Stephanie Jenkins

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