(September 1994) Sibford Names

Part of a letter from a Sibford resident printed in the Banbury Advertiser of 4th May 1893

…we have a few names which it may be hoped will cause a smile to some and offence to none. Although the winter has been a severe one, we have managed to keep good Coles close at hand, and by going a little further we can find a most excellent quality of Wood. At this pleasant time of year there are plenty of Walkers, and though Mann traps are scarce they must be careful, or they might walk into a Webb. We also have a Prophett, and more than a Prophett, for We have a Wise, and to make doubly sure on this point, here lives here a Solomon. It is not every village that can boast of a Bishop but this we can do without fear of contradiction. If any objection can be taken to the flavour of a Leake, we have a Spicer close at hand to counteract it. To those who, being delicate, an East wind seems hurtful, if they come here we can suit them with a West. We also have a Tennant who neither occupies house or land. There are two Horsemen but the horses are lacking. A Young lady resides here; she can never grow old unless she engages in matrimony. Although we have several shops, there is only one where Jewells are to be seen daily without extra charge, and it is a startling fact that although Stowe is fifteen miles away we can get there without the rail in about five minutes, Should the next harvest be a fruitful one we have several Barnes to put the produce in. Sibford is knowm for the goodness of the water, and it is true that we have a rich store of Wells. We read of moveable houses in America, but here we have a moveable Hall of Sibford origin. In case of urgency a Messenger can be found at once, and although we are not entirely free from Paynes we have a doctor at hand who is ready, willing, and able to cure most of them. When sport is required we can always supply the Hunt with a Fox, and we can find a Lamb from January to December. This village stands second to none for good potatoes. but the Greens are good also. Our plum puddings may be considered plain but we have no Currants and only one Raisin. Although this letter has its shortcomings, I must hasten to close it or Mrs. Long will have dispatched the mail.

[The above item from 1893 was kindly provided by Colin Frith. A list of all present-day Sibford surnames is available if anyone would like to emulate this amusing discourse – but nothing libelous please, we can’t afford it.]