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Theophilus Wharton (c.1740–1803)


Theophilus Wharton was born in about 1740, and may be the Theophilus Wharton, son of Brian Wharton, who was baptised at St Bertoline's Church in Barthomley, Cheshire on 27 April 1742.

He matriculated as a “Pharmacopola” on 15 July 1772, and was listed as an apothecary in the Universal Business Directory for 1794/5.

On 1 May 1777 at St Peter-in-East Church, Oxford, Theophilus Wharton married Ann Tawney, and both were described as being of that parish. Ann was the daughter of the brewer Edward Tawney’s much older half-sister Jane, who had married her first cousin Robert Tawney, a carpenter. Theophilus and Ann had the following children:

  • Theophilus Wharton junior (baptised at St Peter-in-the-East Church on 27 April 1778)
  • Ann Wharton (baptised at St Peter-in-the- East Church on 9 June 1780)
  • Brian Wharton (baptised at St Peter-in-the-East Church on 18 April 1782)
  • Edward Wharton (baptised at St Peter-in-East Church on 28 December 1786 and buried there on 8 February 1789)
  • Jane Wharton (baptised at St Peter-in-the- East Church on 2 January 1790).

In 1800 the brewer Edward Tawney died without issue, and was buried at Binsey on 17 March 1800. He left all his property (including a gentleman’s farmhouse in the Croft in Headington on the site now occupied by White Lodge and Sandy Lodge) to his niece, Wharton’s wife Ann.

Theophilus Wharton died on 18 November 1803 and was buried at St Peter-in-the-East Church six days later. His death notice in Jackson’s Oxford Journal of 19 November 1803 read:

Yesterday morning died, at Headington, after a lingering illness, aged 62, Mr Theophilus Wharton, Apothecary, of this city.

The “Will of Theophilus Wharton, Apothecary of University of Oxford” (date of probate 13 December 1803) was deposited at the Prerogative Court of Canterbury: ref PROB 11/1402.

Wharton’s wife Ann died at Headington twenty years later when she was 69, and was buried at St Peter-in-the- East on 31 December 1823.


Theophilus Wharton’s four surviving children
  • Theophilus Wharton junior (1778–1831) and never married. In 1804 Theophilus was granted over 300 acres of Headington land under the Enclosure Award of 1804. In addition, the brothers also purchased Wick Farm in 1813 for £9,900. In 1823 Theophilus inherited his mother’s farmhouse in Headington and rebuilt it as the magnificent Headington Lodge (now split into White Lodge and Sandy Lodge). Theophilus died at the age of 53 on 21 October 1831 and was buried at St Peter-in-the- East Church on 28 October 1831. He left Headington Lodge to his nephew Mark Morrell and Wick Farm to his niece Emily Morrell (Mrs Stone, 1811–1891).
  • Ann Wharton (b.1780) is probably the person of that name who was buried in St Peter-in-the-East Church on 11 November 1802.
  • Brian Wharton (1782–1839) married Catharine Grape (the sister of Mary Grape who had married the current Lord of the Manor of Headington, Thomas Henry Whorwood, in 1807) on 2 July 1829 at St Andrew's Church, Pershore, Worcester. He and his wife were obliged to move out of Headington Lodge following his brother Theophilus's death his wife moved out: their furniture was advertised for auction by Mallam's in Jackson's Oxford Journal on 26 November 1831. died in Headington at the age of 57 on 7 August 1839 and was buried at St Andrew’s Church there on 17 August. His wife Catharine died at Henwick near Worcester aged 67 on 16 December 1852 and was buried with him on 27 December: see memorial below.
  • Jane Wharton (1790–1814) married James Morrell senior (1773–1855), the joint owner of Morrell’s brewery, at St Andrew’s Church in Headington on 17 December 1807, when she was only 17 and he was 34. They lived in Fisher Row in Oxford and baptised four children at St Thomas’s Church: Jane (22 January 1809, buried there on 11 February 1809), James (8 April 1810), Emily (3 November 1811), and Mark Theophilus (6 June 1813). Mrs Jane Wharton died at the age of 24, and was buried at St Thomas’s on 5 August 1814. In 1817 James Morrell bought some land near the top of Headington Hill from the Savage family in order to bring up his children in a healthier atmosphere, and the original, smaller Headington Hill Hall was completed in 1824. Mark Theophilus Morrell died in 1842 at the age of 29, leaving Headington Lodge to his cousin, Charles Tawney (1780–1853), the son of Henry Tawney (Ann Wharton’s brother).

Memorial to Brian Wharton, St Andrew's

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