Social History

Social Structure & the Life of the Community of Rotherfield Peppard
From the Middle Ages, Rotherfield Peppard remained a predominantly Agricultural Community.  Lords of the Manor were intermittently Resident until the early 18thC, after which a succession of minor Gentry exhibited a limited but Philanthropic interest in Community life. Most inhabitants, however, were relatively low-status Farmers and Agricultural workers. The few Yeoman Farmers enjoying greater wealth played a prominent part in Church & Parish activities in the 17th & 18thCs.  From the 19thC the Parish attracted a growing number of wealthy Residents who built or improved a range of exclusive Houses, although until the late 20thC the Community remained socially mixed. Several Public Buildings, including Church, School, Memorial Hall, Public Houses, & Sporting Facilities, provided a focus for Parish life.

The Middle Ages
In the Middle Ages, most Inhabitants were Tenants of the Pipards and their Successors, although the large number of Freeholders recorded in the early 14thC,  combined with the Lords’ frequent Absenteeism, suggests that many probably enjoyed considerable independence. Court Rolls of the mid-14th & mid-15thC indicate relatively limited Seigneurial control, allowing Tenants to evade Rents and to ignore a variety of injunctions.

The principal Settlements at Peppard Kingwood Commons seem not to have been distinguished by function or status, and both probably had a mixed population in terms of Landholding, Wealth, & Occupation. Early 14thC Tax Returns do not show a marked polarisation of local Society.  In 1327, apart from John de Alveton (who paid 6s-8d), 12 inhabitants contributed between 6d & 2s, with a Median of 15d–18d.  Most were probably Customary Tenants holding a Yardland or ½-Yardland and were the successors of the Domesday VillaniMatilda Bolle, for example, who paid 2s in 1327, may have occupied the ½-Yardland held later in the 14thC by Gilbert Bolle.  The names of several other early 14thC Taxpayers also appear in Court Rolls of the period 1351–66, indicating a degree of Social stability, though by 1456–67 there seems to have been a much greater turnover of Tenants. The Parish’s Smallholders, successors to the Domesday Bordars & Slaves, probably fell below the Tax threshold, among them the Cottager John Balet (d. 1351).

The Pipards built a House at Rotherfield Peppard (recorded for the 1st time in the late 13thC), maintained a Deer Park, and were occasionally Resident.  Nevertheless, Peppard was not their Principal Seat. The Family held Lands stretching from Gloucestershire to Suffolk as well as in Ireland, and Ralph Pipard (d.1303) was particularly attached to the Buckinghamshire Manor of Great Linford.  Despite giving their name to the Parish the Family left no lasting Legacy, therefore: the location of their House is unknown, and there are no surviving Memorials to them in the Parish Church. Likewise, the Butlers, Earls of Ormond, had a limited impact during their Lordship (1331–91), living for the most part in Ireland. Authority was maintained by an Attorney-General, John de Alveton (d.1361), and by the holding of regular Manor Courts.  After Alveton’s death, the most influential Landowner in the Parish was Thomas Blount (d.1407), whose son John was wrongly described as Lord of the Manor in 1412.  Around the same time, the Pipards‘ former Manor House was Leased, the new Joint Lords of Peppard Manor almost certainly living outside the Parish.

Surviving Tax Records suggest that the lack of marked Social stratification persisted into the 16th & 17thCs.  In 1515 11 Taxpayers were assessed on goods valued between £2 & £10 (with a Median of £3), while in 1543 the goods of 16 inhabitants were valued between £1 & £9 (with a Median of £2).  Excluding Blount’s Court and the Rectory House, the Hearth Tax of 1662 was assessed on 21-Households each with between 1 & 5-Hearths; the mean, however, was only 1.6, and in 1665 5 out of 16 Households were discharged payment through poverty.  Even so, there were considerable gaps between the most prosperous and the poorest, and occasional hints of Social conflict. The value of 17thC Probate Inventories ranged from just over £7 (the labourer Robert Rose) to more than £337 (the Yeoman Griffin Jemott), with a median of just over £44 and a mean of about £80.  In 1689 ‘3 sturdy Vagabond Rogues’ attacked the Yeoman Farmer Robert Hanson, and about the same time, there was a concern to prevent a labourer, Henry Dolton, from settling in the Parish because he might claim Poor Relief.  Augustine Knapp (d.1602) acknowledged the plight of the ‘poor, lame, impotent & needy people‘ of the Parish by establishing a clothing Charity, and his example was followed by others.  Other Peppard Yeomen & Husbandmen made Bequests to the Church and served as Parish Officers.
Blounts Court Farmhouse, Blount Courts Road (Northside)  GV II Farmhouse. 16thC core with 18thC front, with 19thC alterations. Brick; old plain tile Roof; Brick Stacks. Triple-depth Plan. 2-Storeys & Attic; 3-window Range. Central 4-panel glazed Door. 19thC French windows to left & right. Flat band between Ground & 1st Floor. Sashes to 1st -Floor. Three-span Roof. 2 Gabled Dormers. Stacks to ends.
Interior: not inspected.

Evidence of the size & layout of Houses at this Period is provided by Probate Inventories, of which 47 survive for Rotherfield Peppard between 1594 & 1735. Most of the larger Houses (of 4-rooms or more) were recorded after 1670; before then smaller Houses seem to have been more common, a change presumably reflecting increased prosperity & rising standards of living.  Most Inventories listed a Hall and one or more Chambers, while a Kitchen was mentioned in 10-Houses, with less frequent references to a Buttery, Cellar & Milkhouse.  Following their Purchase of the Manor in 1465, Members of the Stonor Family regularly lived at Blount’s Court until 1705.  An Inventory of 1624 shows the House to have been elaborately but not luxuriously furnished, with items including 7-Feather Beds, 6-Court Cupboard, & 13-Tables, although the single most valuable item was a Trunk containing Sir Henry Stonor’s clothes, in all worth £10.  According to tradition part of the House was burned down by Parliamentary Troops during the Civil War, but if so it was presumably rebuilt before being Leased in 1652: in 1662 Richard Bewmorris was Taxed on 12-Hearths there, and shortly afterwards the House was occupied by Henry Stonor (d.1705).  The Stonors’ most significant impact on local Society was their encouragement of Roman Catholicism during the 17thC.  Their activities were not confined to their presumed Chapel at Blount’s Court but extended to Orchestrating the Election of a possibly Catholic Churchwarden in 1606.  However, following the Sale of Blount’s Court in the early 18thC Roman Catholicism largely disappeared from the Parish, and thereafter the Stonors played little part in Parish life.

Blounts Court

1700–2000 Local Gentry
A succession of minor Gentry lived at Blount’s Court after 1705, most of whom had a limited impact on local society.  There, 3 Generations of the Price Family lived during the 18thC, and Charles Price (d.1744), who served as Churchwarden, received permission to build a Family Vault in the Chancel of the Parish Church.  The Family was regarded as the most notable in the Parish until the 1780s but otherwise seems to have made little impression.  In the early 19thC, the house was occupied by a Series of short-term Tenants, including Charles Boyle (d.1834), Viscount Dungarvan, and the Rev Henry Hinxman, who agreed on a 21-yr Lease in 1836.  In 1841 the Estate was bought by Sir William Thomas Knollys (1797–1883), who lived at Blount’s Court for about 20-yrs before Leasing it and returned during the last years of his life.  Knollys financially supported the Local School and erected a Memorial Window to his wife (d.1878) in the Parish Church; a window to his own Memory was removed in 1957, the Rector pointedly observing that 4-Brasses do somewhat excessive praise to the Knollys Family whose connection here was slim, Spiritually anyhow’.  After Knollys’s death in 1883 Blount’s Court was again Leased to Tenants, including James Craig (d.1902) and his wife Kate (d.1930), to whom a Memorial was placed in the Parish Church.  Mrs Craig was a popular figure, a supporter of the Church, who at Christmas entertained the Choir Boys in the Conservatory.  After her death, the Knollys Family sold Blount’s Court to the Hon Arthur & Agnes Peel, who also held Christmas Parties for the local children.  Some of them described Lady Agnes as ‘an elderly & distinguished woman, whose habit of ending every sentence with “Yes, Yes” we imitated with many giggles’.

Peppard School

19th & 20thC Gentrification
From the early 19thC, the Parish was subject to the ongoing Gentrification typical of the area. The process was no doubt encouraged by enthusiastic Estate Agents, one of whom described the area in 1842 as ‘imparting all the characteristics essential to residence’, while another called it ‘the most picturesque & salubrious part of Oxfordshire’.  The former Farmhouse at Gillotts was variously occupied by Professionals (including a Barrister and an East India Merchant) and by relatives of its Owners, the MacKenzies of Fawley Court.  Other Residents with a Private Income included Richard Hitchcock (d.1881), who lived at Peppard House from the 1840s, and the Minett Family, Owners of Sadgrove Farm & Manor House. The Minetts sold both Properties in 1896 but donated Land to the Parish in 1904.

The number of Private Residents listed in Trade Directories rose from 11 in 1883 to 52 in 1939, among them the Anaesthetist Sir Frederick Hewitt (d.1916), who lived at Vine Lodge, (Gravel Hill, Peppard Common) and the Anarchist & Feminist Charlotte Wilson (d.1944), for whom Peppard was a Weekend Retreat.  In 1898 Henley Rural District Council was warned that Peppard was ‘becoming an increasingly favourite summer resort for Inhabitants of Reading so it is possible that there is at least more Building to be looked for in the near future’.  Among the larger Residences built was Great David’s (1912) for Major Nigel Maxwell, one of the 1st Houses in the area to have Electricity.  Other Houses were bought by Ottoline Morrell, the Bohemian Literary Hostess, and her husband Phillip (an Oxfordshire MP), who lived at Peppard Cottage from 1907 to 1912.  The Novelist and children’s Writer Joanna Cannan brought her family to live at Peppard Grove in 1931, & in 1952 the Novelist Elizabeth Goudge moved to Peppard Common.

Peppard Cottage

Leisure facilities included a 9-Hole Golf Course on Peppard Common, which opened in 1894 and continued until the 1930s.  A Tennis Club was founded later.  The District’s 1st General Medical Practice was started in the early 1900s by Esther Colebrook, who locally Pioneered the open-air treatment of Tuberculosis.  The area’s attractions continued to be extolled, one observer commenting in 1939 that ‘the District needs very little description to commend it, being one of the best known Residential areas of the Country’.  Newcomers such as the Chaters & the Wilsons engaged extensively in Parish life, for which they were long afterwards remembered.

As owners of Peppard & Kingwood Commons, the Flemings had a considerable impact on Parish life in the 20thC. A 1906 Act, which preserved the Commons as Public open spaces, was promoted by Robert Fleming, who was concerned to prevent the spread of Urban Sprawl.  Local residents were sometimes zealous in their efforts to protect the Commons, even to the point of provoking conflict, and a body of conservators continued in 1984 under the Chairmanship of Nicholas Fleming.  In the 1950s a controversial proposal by Peter Fleming to build Council Houses on 40 acres of Kingwood Common was defeated by local people, despite being adopted by Henley Rural District Council. Later Fleming was a supporter of the Berkshire, Buckinghamshire & Oxfordshire Naturalists Trust (founded 1959), which sought to preserve the remaining fragments of Heathland & Grassland on the Commons from Woodland regeneration.

Despite the Parish’s gentrification poverty was still in evidence in the early 20thC, when many inhabitants were still employed in farming, trade & crafts.  Joanna Cannan’s daughters wrote a vivid account of their childhood in Peppard and were fully aware of the Social Divisions around them.  Impressed by the Dining Room at Blount’s Court, they also observed a Countryside blighted by depression: ‘ruinous Cottages, unrepaired Barns and sagging barbed wire fences abounded. The ubiquitous corrugated Iron rusted as it filled gaps in Hedges, patched up Roofs and walled the Shanty Town Sheds that passed for Farm Buildings in many Smallholdings’.

The Parish remained Socially mixed following WW2.  Council Houses were built by Henley Rural District Council, which also Leased out former Army Huts on Kingwood Common.  Local Employment was still available at Peppard Chest Hospital and on a number of Farms, while some residents continued to exploit Common Rights to graze animals & gather wood.  Boys who left School in the 1950s mostly went into Farming or the Building, Engineering & Electrical Trades, while girls mainly worked in Shops & Offices, many of them locally or in Reading.  The number of Residents working in Central London in the 1960s was relatively small, and even in 2001, the average daily Commute was still only 13-miles.  However, the rise in Property prices towards the end of the 20thC led to greater Social exclusivity. Almost a quarter of Households in 1991–2001 were over the age of Retirement, Owner-occupation increased, and a few 2nd Homes were bought.


Community Activities & Public Buildings
Peppard Common
was the Site of annual Whit Monday Revels, which are documented in the 18thC and continued until about 1840. Prize-fighting took place on a mound opposite the Red Lion, and various Races were held.  The Congregationalist Minister Joseph Walker (1797–1828) took a dim view, claiming that the revels ‘brought together the very scum of the surrounding Country, to partake in, and be witnesses of, Cudgelling, Foot & Ass Racing, and all the various abominations usual on these occasions; the day always ending in intoxication, fighting & other evils too shameful to mention’. Walker instituted an ‘anti-Revelling Anniversary’, inducing many young people to spend Whit Monday at the Chapel by promising them Dinner, and gradually the tradition died out.

The Common was also the scene of more temperate Sports, including Cricket, which was played there possibly from the 18thC.  In the 19thC Football was played close to the Dog Inn, and later near the Unicorn, while in 2007 a youth team occupied a field on Peppard Lane. The Golf Course was laid out in the Northern part of the Common at Peppard Bottom in 1894, and in 2007 a larger Golf Course occupied Land formerly belonging to Peppard Farm.  A Playing Field was created in the South-west corner of Peppard Common in 1946 as a War Memorial, and a Sports Pavilion was opened in 1950.  Another Sports Ground, owned by the YMCA, lay along Mill Lane in the East of the Parish.  In the early 20thC Tennis Courts were built to the North of the Red Lion, and later along Harpsden Road, and a Bowls Club was founded after WW2.  Joanna Cannan’s Family established a Riding School in the 1940s, while across the Parish, Gamekeepers were employed to protect Landowners’ Sporting Rights, which were still recorded in the 1950s.

A Parish Room owned by the Church was built along Stoke Row Road (in Shiplake Parish) on Land given by Sarah Minett in 1904. This was the only Hall available for Concerts & Meetings until the completion of Peppard War Memorial Hall (also in Shiplake) in 1922.  Organisations such as the local Women’s Institute (founded 1919) used the Memorial Hall in preference to the Parish Room, which was sold in 1978 and the money used to build a new Parish Room adjoining the Church.  Both the Parish Room & Memorial Hall remained in use in 2007, and the Church Choir was still active. The local Branch of the Mothers’ Union, however, closed in 2004 due to lack of volunteers.


Two Public Houses recorded in the 18thC remained open in 2007. The Dog, built in the late 17thC, may have been the ‘Alehouse’ recorded in 1673. Opposite to it is the Red Lion, known briefly as the Anchor, which the Henley Brewer Robert Brakspear owned by 1794.  Two other Public Houses, the Unicorn & the Bricklayers’ Arms lay at opposite ends of Kingwood Common and opened during the 19thC.  By tradition the Manor House was formerly a Pub called the Blue Monkey; the claim is unproven, though the Owner in 1840, William Shurvell, was later listed as a Farmer & Beer Retailer.  About the same time, Charles Butler ran another short-lived Beerhouse called the Donkin Arms.  Peppard’s Rectors made the usual disparaging remarks about their Parishioners’ drinking habits, Thomas Williams in 1878 blaming absence from Church on ‘love of Beer or other habits inconsistent with Religious Worship’. They were, however, less vociferous in their condemnation than their counterparts at Grey’s, perhaps reflecting Peppard’s greater distance from Henley with its numerous Pubs & Beerhouses.


Education – Sporadic educational provision in the 18thC gave way in the 19thC to competing Schools run by the Church of England and the Congregationalist Chapel. Both were rebuilt in the 1870s, but whereas the Anglican National School continued as a Primary School in 2010, the un-Denominational British School closed in 1916.  The County Council ran a Secondary School on Peppard Lane from 1932 to 1962 & in 1948 took over an existing School (closed 1973) at the Chest Hospital. A School organised by the Parents’ National Education Union was transferred from Shiplake Parish to Rotherfield Peppard during boundary changes in 1952 but closed in 1993.
Provision to 1871 – In 1738 the Rector was paying £2 a year for 5 boys of the Parish to be taught to read & write, but apart from Catechising in Lent, the Anglican Church apparently made no other attempt to educate the Poor before the 19thC.  In 1805 the Rector reported that many children attended School at Henley and that there was a School Mistress in Peppard; possibly the Dame-school had been opened in response to a Sunday School set up in 1798 by the Congregationalist Minister Joseph Walker, who paid the children a halfpenny a week to attend.  In 1808 the Rector noted that about 12-children were taught by ‘an old woman’ and as many by Joseph Walker, ‘at the expense of their respective parents’.  In 1810 an Anglican Day School & Sunday school were founded, financed jointly by the Rector & Parishioners. Four boys & 5 girls attended the Day School in 1815, about the same number as went to Walker’s School, while 12 boys & 16 girls attended the Sunday School. According to the Rector, Peppard was a suitable place for the establishment of a National School: ‘there is nothing wanting but a School Room [and] 2 proper Teachers. Such an establishment I am convinced would rescue a number of children from the grasp of the Methodists who are very indefatigable.   The desire the labouring poor have to give their children a little Schooling is inconceivable’.  No Endowment was forthcoming.

Both Church & Chapel Schools benefited from the Will of Shute Barrington (d.1826), Bishop of Durham, who left £70 in Trust for educating the Poor in Mongewell & neighbouring Parishes.  In 1834/5, however, the Anglican Schools languished. Only 14–16 boys & girls attended the Day School, with an extra 10–12 on Sundays; children attended from the age of 5 & left at 13 ‘or sooner if they can get into Service’. By contrast, the Congregationalist Day School, supported by Local Landowner Elizabeth Furnell, had 60-Pupils with an extra 30 on Sundays; in addition, Miss Furnell clothed 20 of the children, the boys in Fustian Suits & the girls in Holland Dresses. There were also 2-Boarding Schools in the Parish in 1835, with 45-children paid for by their parents. One was presumably Isaac Caterer’s Private School, which he transferred from Tetsworth to Peppard on his appointment as Congregationalist Minister in 1828.

In the 1850s & 1860s there were 3 Day & Sunday Schools for all ages, averaging 20 Pupils each; these included the Congregationalist School funded by Miss Furnell & Caterer’s Private School. The Anglican School was supported by subscriptions from Residents & Landowners in the Parish and received a Government Grant in 1867/8. It then had accommodation for 72-children, and an average attendance of 89.  Caterer’s Private School appears not to have long survived his death in 1868, and in the 1870s both Church & Chapel Schools were reorganised & rebuilt.

Rotherfield Peppard National School (later Primary)
In 1871 a new Stone-built Church of England School was built on the corner of Peppard Common on Land donated by Lord Camoys.  The cost of just over £500 was met by Public Subscription.  The Trustees of the School, which was linked to the National Society, were the Rector & Churchwardens.  The School, with 44-pupils on the 1st Register, was opened by the Bishop of Oxford on 28th October; it consisted of 2-rooms separated by a large wooden double door, with accommodation for 53-children in the mixed Class and 29 in the Infant Class. Running costs were met by a voluntary Parish rate of 4d in the £1, supplemented by a Government Grant & School Pence.  In 1900 the School had space for 100-Pupils, presumably after enlargement, though average attendance was only 56.  The work, discipline, moral tone & progress were ‘admirable’.  In the 1920s 2 or 3 Teachers were employed, and despite some criticisms, Government Inspectors judged that ‘this is in many ways quite a pleasing little School’. The children did not readily respond to learning History, Geography & the 3-Rs, but their drawing, needlework, singing & nature notebooks were excellent, and each child had a Garden Plot. In 1932 the School was reorganised for mixed Junior & Infant children, the Seniors going to Rotherfield Central School.  In 1934 there were 33-children on the Register, aged from 4 to 11-yrs and taught in 2-Classes which were ‘bright & orderly’.

In 2007 Peppard Church of England Primary School taught 87 children from Peppard, Greys & Highmoor.  The Staff comprised the Head & 3-Teachers, a Foundation Stage Co-ordinator & 4-Teaching Assistants.

Highmoor Cross

Rotherfield Peppard un-Denominational School (1879–1916)
A Brick School with a Slate Roof was built in 1879 adjoining the Congregationalist chapel, from which it was separated by a glass partition.  Two rooms were separated by a folding wood & glass panel, providing accommodation for 58-children in the mixed Class and 21 in the Infant Class.  The Premises were Freehold under a Charitable Trust; among the 1st Trustees were a JP & the Mayor of Reading.  Board of Education reports in 1904 showed the School to be successful but in urgent need of a new Infants room (built 1905). Reports were consistently favourable until 1913 when there was said to be a considerable falling off in attainment & intelligence. The School closed in 1916 and the Pupils were transferred to the recently built Grove Road School in Sonning Common.

Rotherfield Peppard Central School (1932–62)
A new Secondary School opened on Peppard Lane in 1932 for Peppard, Greys, Highmoor & Stoke RowSwyncombe was added to the intake in 1937, and Dunsden & Shiplake in the early 1940s. Built at a cost of £2,750, about half the money was contributed by the Parishes and the rest by the Diocesan Board. The accommodation (for 100-Pupils) consisted of 3-Classrooms plus 2 large rooms for practical instruction. The 1st Staff were well qualified but inexperienced, while some incoming Pupils had been inefficiently taught; by 1934, however, the 62-children showed a decided improvement. The School was fondly remembered, but in the 1950s its 140-Pupils & 7-Teachers suffered from poor accommodation, and it closed in 1960, its Pupils transferring to the new Chiltern Edge Secondary Modern School at Sonning Common.  The Premises were briefly used as an annexe to Langtree (Woodcote) Secondary School but closed in 1962.

Rotherfield Peppard Chest Hospital School (1914–73)
A School was established in Peppard Chest Hospital in 1914 & in 1948 was taken over by Oxfordshire Education Authority. Children admitted were suffering from pulmonary tuberculosis or from chest diseases such as asthma, bronchitis or pneumonia; the 2 categories had to be kept apart. Those of School-age either attended the School or had lessons in Bed during the whole of their stay; for TB children this was usually from 3 to 6 months and for others less than a month.

Congregational Chapel

The Congregationalist (or Providence) Chapel & Manse, built in the 1790s.  The Chapel is at the rear; an adjoining School (not visible here) was added in 1879.

Two Teachers were increased to 3 in 1919, following an increase in numbers.  The School compared favourably in academic subjects, but the standard in practical subjects was below that of other Schools.  Attendance remained high into the 1930s when Inspectors reported that the School was a valuable part of the Sanatorium’s work; numbers fell during WW2, however, and did not recover.  In 1958 there were 25 children from a wide variety of Schools mainly in Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Oxfordshire & Northamptonshire, and the Head was described as a trusted Housemaster to children whose lives had been disrupted.  From 1969 the number of Pupils declined steeply and continued at a low level until the School closed in 1973.

Highlands School (1919–93)
A School organised by the Parents’ National Education Union was opened in 1919 in one of the 1st houses to be built on Stoke Row Road (in Shiplake Parish). According to Joanna Cannan’s daughters, who briefly attended in the 1930s, it was run by 2 genteel sisters assisted by a more down-to-earth Teacher.  The School closed in 1993 and was demolished.

Charities & Poor Relief
From the 17thC the Parish had a few Endowed Charities on the usual model. Augustine Knapp (d.1602), a Peppard Yeoman, left a £1 Rent-charge on Land & Property in Rotherfield Greys & Henley to provide clothing for the ‘poor, lame, impotent & needy’, which until the late 18thC was used to clothe poor women on Good Friday. Payments lapsed from 1784 until the 1820s or later, but presumably resumed since in 1881 Colonel Makins paid £33-12s-6d. to the Official Trustees of Charitable Funds to redeem the Rent-charge.  Administration of the Charity passed to the Parish Council in 1895.
Another Peppard Yeoman, John Clark (d.1641), left £10 to benefit the poor at Christmas. That too seems to have lapsed in the mid-18thC, and by 1820 the Parishioners had never heard of it.  Eldridge Jackson (Rector 1673–97) donated an acre of Meadow in Peppard, the Rent to be distributed on Palm Sunday or Good Friday ‘to 10 of the poorest Parishioners that come to Church to hear Divine Service’; yearly income by 1819 was over £4.  Other Charities were more short-lived, including 100 acres of Coppice reported by the Rector in 1771, ‘which Charity is much abused’.
The Workhouse established by Isaac Combee at Satwell (in Rotherfield Greys) in 1742 admitted the poor of Rotherfield Peppard from 1744.  In 1746 Combee was paid over £40 from the Parish Poor Rate, rising to £80 a year from 1748. Payments to the Workhouse were last recorded in 1757.  By the late 18thC, the mounting cost of Poor Relief was increasingly falling on Parish Rates, which were over £200 in 1776.  From 1783 to 1785 the average raised was about £292, of which £284 was spent on the poor.
In the early 19thC, the cost of poor relief rose less sharply in rural Peppard than in neighbouring Rotherfield Greys, although it was paid to a higher proportion of the population.  A rate of 5s-6d in the £1 was levied in 1803, raising over £367, of which £330 was spent on the poor.  A total of 36 persons received regular out-relief, and another 29 occasional relief, about 20% of the population.  Between 1813 & 1815 expenditure averaged £456, the number of adults on permanent out-relief fluctuating from 33 to 37, and those on occasional relief from 21 to 26.  Spending on the poor peaked at almost £577 in 1818, fell to £360 in 1824, then climbed to £401 in 1829 & £396 in 1834.  After 1834 the Parish became part of the newly established Henley Poor-law Union; the Parish Poor Rate was levied at the rate of 9d in the £1 in 1852, 2s in 1904, and 5s in 1924.
Alongside this Official provision, local Initiatives continued into the 20thC. An apparently short-lived Friendly Society was established at the Dog Inn in 1824, and a Clothing Club was recorded in 1869 & again in 1909 when money from the Offertory was regularly put aside for the poor.  In 1913–14 money was spent on bread, milk, boots, coal, tea & meat for 6 people from the Sick & Aged Poor Fund. Peppard was also among the Parishes to benefit from the Almshouses established by Sir Francis Stonor in Upper Assendon in 1620, which remained in use until the 1940s.  In 1901, when a Water Pump was erected on the Thames at Mill Lane, £50 was vested in Rotherfield Peppard Parish Council to maintain it.  The Pump was closed when the Mains Supply was brought from Goring in 1926, but the Pump Fund was later used to maintain the Sports Pavilion on Peppard Common.
During the 20thC Peppard’s Ancient Charities were much diminished.  In 1977 Jackson’s & Knapp’s Charities together yielded under £4, and the Charity Commissioners agreed that a gift from a Parishioner of £1,000 should be used as Capital to restore all 3 ancient Charities, to be administered by Trustees for the benefit of any Parishioners in need without restriction.  An Educational Charity to benefit the Parishes of Peppard, Greys, & Highmoor was established in 1982 on the proceeds of the Sale of Rotherfield Peppard Central School.

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