Oxfordshire Yeomanry (1794)
34 Cornmarket Street (Clarendon Centre), Oxford
Fears of invasion by French Revolutionary forces and of an internal insurrection caused the government to ask for troops of volunteers to be formed in the shires. In response to this a meeting of ‘Nobility, Gentry, Freeholders and Yeomanry’ was called at the Star Inn in Cornmarket in 1794. This led to the formation in 1798 of the County Fencible Cavalry at Watlington, the forerunners of the Oxfordshire Yeomanry.
The title Queen’s Own Oxfordshire Hussars was conferred by Queen Adelaide after a visit to Oxford in 1835. Several Dukes of Marlborough and their family have commanded the regiment; Sir Winston Churchill was in charge of the Henley Squadron 1905–1913 and was Honorary Colonel at the time of his death in 1965. The men of the QOOH have seen service in all the major conflicts of modern times. Since 1972 they have been part of the Royal Corps of Signals (TA) based at Banbury.
The Star Inn, originally Marshall’s Inn established in 1397, is first recorded in 1469 and was a major coaching inn from the eighteenth century. In 1863 it was incorporated into the Clarendon Hotel which was one of Oxford’s best hotels until its demolition in 1954 to make way for the Woolworth’s building. This in turn was demolished when the Clarendon Centre was built. The plaque is situated on the north wall at the entrance to Frewin Court.
- Sources: Eddershaw: The Story of the Oxfordshire Yeomanry 1798–1998 (Banbury, Oxfordshire Yeomanry Trust) and Hibbert: Encyclopaedia of Oxford (Macmillan 1988)
- Picture: Clarendon Centre
The plaque was unveiled at the Clarendon Centre, Cornmarket Street, Oxford on 8 November 2003 by His Grace the Duke of Marlborough.
Oxfordshire Blue Plaques Board
at the Star Inn near this site
The Oxfordshire Yeomanry
(Queen’s Own Oxfordshire Hussars)
[Emblem of Oxfordshire Yeomanry]
Oxfordshire Yeomanry Trust