The Pilgrim family and Upton

These notes were compiled by Richard Pilgrim’s step-daughter, who lives in Abingdon.

The Pilgrims moved to Upton in 1923. I assumed this was to Prospect House but have found mention of Hedgewell. Blue Cottage was built by them in the 1930’s (for another relative?) and a big “book room” was added when they sold Prospect House.

Guy and Beatrice Pilgrim lived in Upton until they died – Guy in September 1943 and Beatrice in August 1954 (both are buried in Upton).

Henry Guy Ellcock Pilgrim D.Sc London (photo) was born in Stepney, Barbados, in 1874, and educated at Harrison College, Barbados & University College, London. Henry worked in India on Geological Survey 1902-30 (Superintendent 1920-30). In 1908 he married Beatrice Wrenford in Calcutta (photo). He seems to have been an eminent paleontologist – see hisĀ obituary.

Richard Wrenford Pilgrim (known also as Bob) (photo) was born in 1912 in Brighton, and educated at Wellington College and New College, Oxford, where he received a BA, and MA in History. After WW2 he was a W.E.A. lecturer in Oxford and the surrounding area, using the train to Upton to return to Blue Cottage where he lived with his mother.

When she died her sister Ida Kate Wrenford, a retired school teacher, lived there until she died in September 1960. The cottage was then let until sold in 1962.

When the Pilgrim connection with Upton ended, Richard was buried there in his mother’s grave in 1979 where later his wife, Constance, was buried in 1996. Richard studied at St Stephen’s House, Oxford (1953-5) and was ordained in 1955. He was Curate at Wolvercote, and Vicar of Wootton, Berks (1957-64). During this time he made frequent visits to Upton to see his aunt or Gwennie (Miss Greenough?) who had been associated with the family since days at Prospect House. My mother also visited her at Fieldside when she returned to live near Abingdon after Richard’s death.