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Frederick Thomas Wintle (1803–1853)


Frederick Thomas Wintle was baptised at Bicester on 30 March 1803, the son of William and Sophia.

Until 1827 Wintle was assistant apothecary and at the Radcliffe Infirmary, but by October 1828 he had been appointed resident apothecary at the Warneford Lunatic Asylum, which had opened in Headington in 1826. He was responsible for the day-to-day running of the asylum, assisted by two female nurses, two male “keepers”, a cook and a housemaid.

On 18 December 1828 Wintle married Jane Tustin (baptised at St Giles in 1803 and daughter of Thomas and Hannah Tustin) at St Giles’ Church. He was already described as being of Headington, and had probably been appointed apothecary. His wife moved up to accommodation at the Asylum with him.

On 31 March 1831, Wintle was matriculated at the University of Oxford as a “Chirurgus et Pharmacopola”, one of the last people to be a privileged surgeon apothecary of the University.

Wintle and Jane had the following children:

  • Frederick Thomas (baptised at St Andrew’s Church, Headington on 23 February 1831)
  • Francis Edward (baptised at St Andrew’s Church, Headington on 9 March 1832, died at the age of 13, and buried there on 20 November 1845)
  • Ogle Richard (baptised at St Andrew’s Church, Headington on 8 August 1834)
  • Sophia Jane (baptised at St Andrew’s Church, Headington on 6 March 1836)
  • Vaughan Benjamin (baptised at St Andrew’s Church, Headington on 22 November 1837)
  • William Samuel (baptised at St Andrew’s Church, Headington on 16 September 1838)
  • Richard Prior (baptised at St Andrew’s Church, Headington on 11 October 1840).

Ogle was probably named after Dr James Adey Ogle, visiting physician at the Asylum; and Vaughan after Vaughan Thomas, who had worked with Warneford on getting the Asylum built. From 1837 to 1840 Wintle’s job in the baptismal register is given as “Apothecary to the Lunatic Asylum”.

At the time of the 1841 census Wintle and his wife were living at the Asylum with six of their children (Francis was missing), then aged between 8 months and ten years. Wintle is described as Surgeon, and his wife is the Matron.

The situation is the same in 1851, except that their sons are evidently away at school and only their daughter, Sophia Jane (15), is living with them at the Asylum. In directories from 1852, Wintle is described as the Asylum’s resident medical superintendent, while his wife continues as matron.

Wintle died in 1853 at the age of 50, and the new medical superintendent at the Warneford was Thomas Allen, who on 14 February 1831 had also been matriculated as “Chirurgus et Pharmacopola” just before Wintle.

The inscription on Wintle’s table tomb in St Andrew’s churchyard reads as follows:

FREDERIC THOMAS WINTLE
Resident Physician to the Warneford Asylum
Died XIV Feb. MDCCCLIII
Aged L

His son Francis, who died at the age of 13, is buried in the same tomb.


Wintle’s sons

  • Frederick Wintle was a chorister at Magdalen College School and matriculated at the University of Oxford in 1849 (Magdalen College). He became Rector of Bere Ferrers in Devon
  • Ogle Wintle was a chorister at Christ Church Cathedral School and matriculated at the University of Oxford in 1853 (Christ Church). He became Headmaster of King James Grammar School
  • William Wintle matriculated at the University of Oxford in 1870 (Magdalen Hall) at the age of 31.

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