Protest against new railway line through Oddington – Nov 1845

During 2015 the parish of Oddington has, along with our neighbouring parishes, suffered considerable disruption arising out of the construction of a new railway line from Oxford to Marylebone. We may have grumbled as hundreds of lorries have thundered along our country roads but we have otherwise been restrained. It was not always like this; on 11 November 1845 surveyors of the Buckingham Railway proceeded to Oddington to survey for their Oxford and Bletchley Junction. On entering the lands belonging to Charles Sawyer, Esq. they were met by Mr Richard Dodwell (Mr Sawyer’s tenant at Oddington), who forbade the surveyor measuring across those fields. Mr Dodwell had several labourers with him, and they endeavoured to prevent the surveyors entering the field in Mr Dodwell’s occupation; the surveying party, however, endeavoured to proceed. A considerable scuffle ensued between the parties, which did not cease till the Riot Act had been read by Revd. Phillip Searle, Rector of Oddington and a Magistrate, when the affray for a time ceased. Early in the afternoon a strong reinforcement arrived to the help of the surveying party, amounting it is said to above 100. The opposing party immediately retreated from the field, and the surveyors completed their survey.

At Bicester Police Office on 12 November 1845, (before the Revd. A.H. Matthews and Captain Style), James Wood and John Hancock, of Bicester, were charged by Richard Dodwell, with an assault upon him the day before, at Oddington, by pushing him into a ditch and striking him. The prisoners were committed for trial and afterwards bailed.

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