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William Simkins HITCHMAN (1799-1881)

Known As
Mr Hitchman
Biographical Details

William Hitchman, a wine merchant and brewer, was Julius Sladden’s employer when Julius lived in Chipping Norton in the 1870s and worked for Hitchman’s Brewery.

William Simkins Hitchman (1799-1881) was born at Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, in 1799, the son of James Hitchman, a wine merchant and brewer, and his wife, Sarah Lock (née Simkins).  Hitchman & Co had been founded in 1796 by the partnership of William’s father, James, and his brother, William.  Also in 1796, James married Sarah, whose father had died shortly before the wedding leaving her an inheritance, which helped the brother to establish their new enterprise in West Street, Chipping Norton.  William took over the family business in May 1830 following the death of his father.

William had married Isabella Ann Spence by licence at Chipping Norton in August 1827.  They had two daughters and a son:  Sarah Louisa (1828-1856), Henrietta Isabella (184901927) and Alfred William Spence (1846-1912).  They lived on West Street, close to the brewery.  Isabella at West Street died in May 1847, aged 38.

At the time of the 1851 census, William was still at West Street with his two youngest children (the eldest, Sarah, had married in 1849), a governess, a clerk and four servants.  Just over five months later, William married the governess, Harriet Catherine Bent.  The notice of their marriage which appeared in The Oxford Journal on 20th September 1851 described William as of Kitebrook House (this is now a preparatory school for children aged 3-13) which was in the village of Chastleton.  William appears to have moved there shortly after the 1851 census.

As well as being involved with the brewery business, William Hitchman also bought several farms and land and invested in a local quarry, he was a coal merchant and was a shareholder at the local gas works. 

William remained living at Kitebrook House for the rest of his life, dying there on 13th May 1881, aged 82.  His widow, Harriet, died in 1902 at Finchley, London, but was buried with him at Chipping Norton.

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