John Kingston Coy, last wheelwright of Eydon, possibly taken about 1910.

In 1780, an earlier John Coy came from Weston to establish a wheelwright's business in Eydon, at what we now know as 45 High Street. The family trade seems to have been as wheelwrights, as from their base at Weston they seem to have supplied villages all over south Northants and north Oxfordshire.

The business at Eydon lasted for over 100 years, but owing to their ill luck with male heirs, had to be constantly replenished with master wheelwrights from the wider family.

The founder, John Coy, died, about the same time as his son, in 1797, so another John Coy, this time possibly from Newnham, took over the business. He had two sons, John and Thomas, who both became carpenters, but they seemed to have moved away from the village when Edwin Coy, illegitimate grandson of the original John, became master wheelwright. Edwin's sons did not survive infancy so when he died, Edward Coy from Weston, via the wheelwright's shop in Culworth, took over in Eydon until 1866, when his nephew Thomas L. Coy - also born in Weston - moved over from Moreton Pinkney.

He had two small sons, Henry who became a carpenter (and later wheelwright of Southam) and John Kingston Coy (above) who in the mid 1870s took over the business as last wheelwright of Eydon. John Coy seems to have been a first class workman, but was not a natural master. Syd Tyrrell does not think he was a good organiser and, as John did not keep a horse and trap, he had to confine his business to the village.

Consequently, when times were hard at the end of the 19th century, the business was taken over by the local builder and John, and his sons Charlie and Ted, became Thomas Kench's employees. John, his wife and family, were Moravians, attending the chapel in Eydon just round the corner at Chapel Yard. John seems to have lived all married life at 45 High Street, with its carpenters and wheelwright's yard behind. He later moved, possibly after his wife Jane died in 1933, to Sunnybank, a house in Blacksmiths Lane, which his daughter Eva Coy still owned after the war. John died in 1940, aged 83. With thanks to another John Coy for the story and Kevin Hastings for the photos of the wheelwrights of Eydon

Photographer: Unknown professional

Image lent by : Mr John Coy

Connected Photos: AP026 | AP024 | KL221 | DK013

John Kingston Coy, Wheelwright

SKU: KL220

Eydon Village Photo Archive