Marmaduke of Fifield, Oxon (1782-1840) – Married Maria Baylis
Coming from a long line of Warwickshire landowners and farmers, Marmaduke settled in Fifield about 1802 as a local farmer.
Son called Marmaduke
Marmaduke (1812-1883) – Married Maria Sotham
Carried on the family farm and set up a small side business selling seeds in his barn on the farm at Fifield.
Son called Frederick
Frederick (1841-1911) – Married Emma Powell
Continued the seed selling business expanding it to sell wheat and barley grown on the family farm, sold at a site near Shipton Station.
Son called Frederick William Powell Matthews
Frederick William Powell (1868-1930) – Had 3 wives Grace Calvert, Elsie Merritt, Lucy Flood Jackson
1st wife children were Donald 1895-1985), Doris (1896-1986), Frederick (Eric) (1897-1973), Kathleen (1902-1990), Grace (1903-2001)
2nd wife child William Burton (Bill) (1903-1997)
3rd wife children were Lucy (1918-), Sybil (1920-2005), Paul Flood (1923-)
With his father they continued the family business and developed the idea of milling the flour locally, rather than transporting the wheat and barley, as this made more economic sense. In 1911-12 Frederick employed Alfred Groves the local builder to build the mill on the site near the railway and Shipton Station. Frederick concentrated on milling biscuit flour using soft wheat locally sourced throughout the Cotswolds. He purchased 8 rail wagons for the mills use only, to transport the flour across the UK. He was also elected as a director of Hickman’s Brewery, Chipping Norton, and on their fusions with Hunt, Edmunds and Co’s Banbury Brewery he became director of the joint board. He farmed on an extensive scale, Shorthorns being his speciality, until in the 1920’s when they ceased farming and sold the farm. He was proprietor of Matthews Ltd, Millers and Corn Merchants, Shipton under Wychwood. He was a member of the Oxfordshire Country Council and a founder of the Oxfordshire Bacon Factory at Kidlington, and a member of the Oxfordshire Farmers Union. He was also Captain of the Shipton Under Wychwood Cricket Club. During the war he was beyond the age of foreign service, therefore he helped with home defence as well as supplying the navy with vegetables, housing a family of Belgians for six months and working unremittingly in every way.
Frederick (Eric) (1897-1973) – Married Elsie Margaret Sutton
2 children Frederick Gordon (1922-), Ian Marmaduke (1930-1999)
Both sons took over the running of the mill.
Born in Fifield house, went to Kings College Worcester. During the war he joined the Queens Own Oxfordshire Infantry and was given 8 hours training to be a pilot. He was shot down in WW1 by a German aeroplane over France, he was shot in the shoulder. He landed on a hill where some Germans came and arrested him on foot. He was a prisoner for 18 months and had his 21st birthday in captivity, he also taught himself German. After the war he came to work at the mill with his father in the 1930’s, he was responsible for the growth of the company during the difficult financial times. He transferred the mill from gas turbine power to electrically powered in 1950’s. Before the 1960’s refit, all the wheat came to the mill by bag direct from the farmer and all locally sourced, it would be taken up through the mill by sack chain hoist. Eric made the decision to stop milling biscuit flour and concentrate more on milling bread making flour in the 1960’s.
Frederick Gordon (1922-) – Had 3 wives Jill Handy, Jean Mary Turner, Mary Rosenberg
1st wife children Sally Anne (1949-), Frederick William Paul (1950-)
2nd wife children John Stephen (1960-), Anthony Richard (1960-)
Born at Oak Lodge near to the mill. Went to school at Miss Johnson’s school in Mawles Lane, Shipton Under Wychwood, it was a small school and he was the only boy for a while. At 8 he went to prep school, he went by train to Hillcrest school in Swanage, Dorset, many past family members also attended this school. He only came home from school in the summer and Christmas. At 13 he moved to St Edwards in Oxford and at 16 he left school to join the family business as an office boy, including the jobs of lighting the fire in the office, answer the phone, ledgers, unload coal, fetch cigarettes, he also attended a typing course. Occasionally he visited the bank in Shipton but usually his father went as he liked to call in at the Red Horse pub for a beer on the way home. They only had one flour type at the beginning called Soft English Biscuit Flour. The drivers were able to load 128x280lb hessian sacks onto the company lorry in under an hour, which Gordon helped with occasionally. He joined the Home Guard and had a post at the top of the hill from Oak Lodge near the Lynham turn. He was then called up and sent to Lords Cricket Ground to learn morse code. After that he went to Brighton for a week doing lots of drills and marching, he was fortunate enough to march in front of King George, Queen Elizabeth, Princesses Margaret and Elizabeth and Winston Churchill for United Nations Day. He then travelled to South Africa, and later in Rhodesia he took a four week pilot training course, he passed the course and later became a flying instructor in Wolverhampton but returned home every Friday. Gordon then trained with Twyford Seeds for a year before returning to the mill with the role of buying and selling malting barley. He dealt with 4 generations of farmers, he used to go to Dorset and London selling flour. During his time at the mill they also sold animal feed, coal, seeds and malting barley as well as flour. During the war there were government restrictions on mills in that they could only make £310 profit, any more and the government would take it, FWP Matthews Ltd got around this by diversifying to show that profit was made in other areas of the business. He retired from the family business in 1997.
Ian Maraduke (1930-1999) – Married Anne de Launay Biggane
3 children Charlotte Anne (1957-), Emma de Launey (1959-), Edward Graham (1962-)
Born at Oak Lodge near to the mill on his mother’s birthday. He was educated at Cotters Bow in Fulbrook being picked up by the school bus at the end of the drive each day, he then went to Hillcrest school in Swanage, Dorset with his brother. At the outbreak of war his father brought him away from the south coast and the fear of invasion, he went to the Dragon school in Oxford where he became head boy, before going to St Edwards school, he obtained his school certificate and higher school certificate. He served his National Service at Park Hall Camp Oswestry in the army with the gunners, after fourteen months he got early release to go to University at Aberystwyth and got his degree in agricultural botany. He was the fourth Matthews to join the mill staff, joining in the early fifties, concentrating on the accounts and office work, corn merchanting, grass seeds and wheat. He had worked previously for one penny an hour lighting the fires in the offices, particularly the small hut on the upside of the station which has now been demolished. During the school holidays he went as a drivers mate on the lorries making deliveries or picking up grain from the local farms. Before grain driers Ian and his brother had to move any damp wheat and barley off the farms quickly, they worked late into the night collecting grain samples and then deciding on values for the samples they had bought in, they would also attend many markets to sell their wheat and barley, they would go to Mark Lane in London on Mondays, Stratford upon Avon on Tuesdays, Oxford on Wednesdays, Banbury on Thursdays and on alternate weeks, Kingham and Andoversford on Fridays as well as Bristol. Matthews would be paid for their seed corn at these markets and at Stow Horse Fair where they had their own desk manned by the company secretary. During 1968 Ian went to the Czech Republic to look at the latest mill machinery to replace the Robinsons of Rochdale milling equipment. Ian was always interested in grass seeds and clovers. He attended the meetings of the Cotswold Seed Growers in Cirencester. He died unexpectedly at home in 1999, he was still working in the mill and although unwell he had driven down to the mill to get some books to do his wheat returns at home on the day that he died.
Frederick William Paul (1950-) – Had 2 wives Rosemary Anne Gorey, Merie Leach
1st wife children are Kim Michelle (1974-), Frederick Luke (1976-)
2nd wife children are George (1986-), Scarlette (1988-), Bertie (1991-), Jack (1993-), Lillie (1994-), Talloulah (1996-)
Joined the family business in 1973 following 2 years in Australia. He had however worked in the mill for 18 months prior, learning all aspects of the business including office functions through to running a shift in the mill. In the 1970’s the business was milling, grain trading and producing farm feeds. Malting barley was a large aspect of the company revenue. During the late 1980’s early 1990’s Paul changed all the products names to become the names of local villages and rivers to promote the image of the Cotswold environment, he also changed the logo to the image of the mill amongst the Cotswold hills. The movement in 1992 to milling organic flour as well as conventional flour provided the funds to invest heavily into the milling process and new buildings on the site, including a warehouse, office, test bakery and blending plant. Paul is sales Manager for all customers in Wales, he also purchases all the wheat to be milled. He is currently Managing Director of FWP Matthews Ltd.
Edward Graham (1962-) – Married Sarah Reeve
2 children Edmund (2003-), Lydia (2006-)
He joined the family business as the sixth Matthews working in the mill, just after he had got his degree and had qualified as an accountant in Brighton in 1986. He became the company secretary. Graham used to help his father mix seeds on the floor in the seed shed, the seeds were carefully weighed and tipped into a large heap, which was turned over three times with large shovels before being picked up into bags and weighed again. He also helped out as a drivers mate on local runs as well as further afield to Devon, Dorset and London. He also had a summer job at the mill of Nitrogen testing in the office using a chemical process involving sulphuric acid, this was to determine the nitrogen content of malting barleys which were traded at Mark Lane in London. Graham saw the huge changes in the office from Kalamazoo accounting system and manual typewriters to modern technology. He worked at the mill as Joint Managing Director, managing the accounts side of the Company, and he left the Company in 2014 to pursue other interests.
John Stephen (1960-) – Married Hilary Jane Burns
3 children Fiona Grace (1990-), Catherine Mary (1992-), Hugh William Paul (1994-)
Born in Chipping Norton and educated at Audley House prep school near Bicester and then at St Edward’s School, Oxford, following in his father’s and uncle’s footsteps. While at school and university, at New College, Oxford, he worked in the summer holidays making deliveries, collecting samples of malting barley and helping around the office. After university he qualified as a chartered accountant with a City firm and worked for many years with an insurance services business before re-joining the family business in 2014 as the Finance Director.