Thame Local History
Thame Park Residents in the 1841 Census

The census of 1841 records a total of 51 people living at Thame Park. This was the first national census to record details of individuals.

The owner of Thame Park in 1841 was Sophia Elizabeth Wykeham, Baroness Wenman, then aged 50.

At the main house, Baroness Wenman is listed as the head of the household. There was a Caroline Hamilton, also aged 50, and an Emily Hamilton aged 17. The census was supposed to list the relation of each member of a household to the head of the house, but the Hamiltons, as with many others listed in other households, are simply desribed as 'relative?'.

The domestic staff are listed simply as male servants or female servants, giving no indication of who was the housekeeper or butler or indeed what domestic positions there were. The ages of the staff are all listed as 20, 25, 30 or 35. This may be correct, but seems more likely to be the result of a general rounding of ages.

There were 4 male servants, Thomas Scarborough, 35, Samuel Clements, 35, John Snooks, 30, and Henry Hidden, 30.

There were 8 female servants, Maria School, 30, Sarah Mitchell, 30, Mary Skarfrey, 25, Maria Jones, 25, Elizabeth Grant, 25, Jane Digele, 20, Ellen Cumming, 20, and Mary Lever, 20.

The census also listed the place of birth, but again little attention to detail is evident. Baroness Wenman and the Hamiltons are listed as Oxfordshire, but all the servants are either 'county other than Oxfordshire' or in the case of Samuel Clements and Jane Digele 'Scotland, Ireland or foreign parts'. Later census returns listing some of the same people at the park, with local places of birth, confirm that the returning officer simply did not ascertain the places of birth.

There was a second large household, whose head is listed as a farmer, so this must be Thame Park Farm as listed in later census returns. The farmer was Richard Malin, 45. His relatives are his wife Elizabeth, 40, and the younger generation of Malins made up of Amelia, 8, Arthur, 6, Agnes, 20, Lydia, 2, Edwin, 18, and William, 17. There was also William Emblem, 19 and Louisa Emblem, 17, as well as a 14 year old female servant called Sarah Cheney.

The rest of the accommodation within the park comprises 5 lodges, one Steward's lodge and one unspecified residence. The ages of the inhabitants seem to be guesses in most cases. The family relationships can be guessed from the ages listed.

The 5 households within the lodges are :

James Lawceford, 35, gamekeeper, his wife Lydia, 35, and children James, 8 and William, 6. There was also a male servant called Abram, aged 27.

John Donaldson, 25, a male servant, his wife Grisel, 25, and children William, 3, and Elizabeth, 1.

John Price, 55, also described as a male servant, and his wife Ann, 55.

Robert Cheney, 50, male servant, his wife Elizabeth, 50 and children Thomas, 20 and Alfred, 6.

Elizabeth Kirtland, aged 50, and Richard Kirtland aged 15.

At the steward's lodge, the steward was the 60 year old John Hile. There are 5 other members of the Hile family, William, 70, Rachael, 40, Emma, 20, John, 9 and Maria, 7.

At the remaining residence Peter McDonald, 35, lived with his wife Mary 30.

The total population of Thame Park in 1841 was therefore made up of 15 at Thame Park House, of whom 12 are servants, 11 at Thame Park Farm and 25 estate workers living in small family groups in 7 other residences, making 51 in all.

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