Oxford History: The High

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No. 64: Magdalen College house/Stanford University


64 High Street

This is the third in the terrace of eleven houses and shops belonging to Magdalen College that is attached to the back of Magdalen Gate house. This terrace was rebuilt subsequent to the widening of Magdalen Bridge that took place in 1772–8.

It is Grade II listed (list entry 1369364). It was in St Peter-in-the East parish until that parish was united with St Cross parish in 1957.

The Survey of Oxford was taken in 1772 before this house was rebuilt, and according to H. E. Salter the two houses that were approximately on this site were then occupied by a Mrs Eastland and a Mr Smith, and had respective frontages of 4 yds 0ft 8 in and 4 yds 2ft 4in.

From about 1816 to early 1842 this house was occupied by the Oxford surgeon William Tuckwell. At the time of the 1841 census he was living here with his wife Margaret andeight of their children: Anne (9), Harriette (7), Henry (6), Margaret (5), Ellen (4), David (3), Lewis (2), and Edward (eleven months). A governess and six servants also lived in the house.

On 21 May 1842 his house here was advertised to let in Jackson's Oxford Journal:

HIGH STREET, OXFORD.

TO be LET, —The RESIDENCE for 26 years of WILLIAM TUCKWELL, Esq. who is removing to the other side of Magdalen Bridge.—The house is situate in the best part of the High-street, in the city of Oxford, is in a complete state of repair, and fit for the immediate reception of a large and respectable family, and contains, on the ground floor, a handsome pave entrance hall, 24 feet by 8 feet; dining room, 17 feet by 15 feet; back parlour, 15 feet by 12 feet; and two moderate-sized sitting rooms, one of which faces the garden; on the first floor, a spacious landing; a very handsome drawing room, 24 feet by 15 feet; a best bed room, two other bed rooms, closets, and a water closet, with mahogany fittings; there are also three bed rooms and closets  on the attic floor; in the basement are a kitchen, with a larder adjoining, two arched cellars, and force pump; and detached are a wash-house, a building (formerly used as a stable), and a garden, the walls of which are painted with choice and thriving fruit trees.

These premises are situated in a delightful and healthy part of the parish of St Peter’s-in-the-East, several of the rooms commanding a view of Merton Grounds and Christ Church Meadow.

By the time of the 1851 census No. 64 was occupied by Thomas Henry Whorwood, who was a Fellow of Magdalen College, Vicar of Willoughby, and Curate of Marston. He was the former Lord of the Manor of Headington, “the last and landless descendant of an ancient line”. He lived with his 70-year-old mother and four servants. The Revd William Tuckwell describes in his Reminiscences of Oxford how the old lady’s ancestral hatchment was suspended outside this house when she died here in March 1855.

In 1861 it was occupied by the Revd George Henry Sacheverell Johnson (53), who was the Dean of Wells, and his wife Lucy (34) and their baby son (born in this house three days earlier on 5 April), plus their six servants (two cooks and a butler, nurse, lady's maid, and housemaid).

By the following year Professor Max Müller was living here, and on 21 February 1862 his daughter was born in this house.

By 1868 the organist John Stainer lived here. He can be seen here in the 1871 census with his family. A daughter was born in this house on 13 October 1868, and a son on 7 June 1871.

In 1881 Henry Matthews Tuckwell, a doctor and the son of William Tuckwell above, was living here with his wife and nephew, plus a cook and three housemaids; he was still here in 1891 (having retired because of failing sight), and again in 1901. In 1911 his widow M. Grace M. Tuckwell (71) lived here with an 86-year-old friend and three servants.

Bernard Ashmole, the archaeologist and art historian, lived here from 1923 to 1925.

This house appears to have been student lodgings from 1945.

Garden of No. 64No. 64 from the back garden

People who have occupied 64 High Street

1816–1842

William Tuckwell
Surgeon

1850–1855

Revd T. H. Whorwood, DD
Fellow of Magdalen

1861

George G. S. Johnson
Dean of Wells and Vicar of St Cuthbert's, Wells

1862–7

Professor Max Müller

1868–1871

John Stainer, D.Mus.

1872–1919

Henry M. Tuckwell, MD (to 1891)
Henry Matthews Tuckwell, MA, MD (1892–1905)
Mrs Tuckwell from 1907

1906–1921

Henry Matthews Tuckwell, MA, MD
(Mrs Tuckwell from 1907)

1923–1925

Bernard Ashmole, MA

1927–1943

Mrs Welch

1945–1976

No listing in directories: Probably Magdalen College lodgings

1977–1984

Magdalen College lodgings

1984–today

Flat for visiting academics from Stanford University

©Stephanie Jenkins

Last updated: 10 June, 2021

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