Myres Family

The Myres Family  

 By Clive Rodgers

An interesting and distinguished family originating from Swanbourne.

Rev. William Miles Myres (1838 – 1901) originated from Preston, and in 1867 he married Jane Linton (1842 – 1871) in Headington. She was the daughter of a vicar from Oxford.  Unfortunately, his wife died in 1871 immediately after the birth of their second child (named Jane Linton Myres).

Rev. Myres second marriage to Mary Elizabeth Weight (born 1849) was in 1873, and in 1874 their child was born in Preston, named Miles Weight Myres. Unfortunately, Mary died soon after their child was born.

Rev. William Miles Myres was appointed vicar at St. Swithuns, Swanbourne in 1879. The family with three children aged 12 (John), 10 (Jane) and Miles (5) moved to Swanbourne Vicarage in 1879.

Rev W. M. Myres

Rev. W. M. Myres’ son (John) became Professor Sir John Linton Myres (1869 – 1953).  He was married by his father Rev. Myres at St Swithuns  Church, Swanbourne  in 1895, to Sophia Florence Ballance (b. 1870) of London.  Sir John became Wykeham Professor of Ancient History at Oxford University and he undertook many famous archaeological digs in Cyprus.

John Linton Myres

Rev. Myres grandson (the son of Sir John and Sophia) is John Nowell Linton Myres CBE (1902 – 1989).  He was an archaeologist (specialising in Anglo-Saxon pottery) at Oxford University.  He became Head of the Bodleian Library in Oxford from 1948 until his resignation in 1965.

The youngest son of Rev. W. M. Miles of Swanbourne, Miles Weight Myres (1874-1957), also followed a career in the Church. He married Marion Katherine Horwood and by 1921 had been appointed vicar at Frodsham, Cheshire. Both of them passed away during 1957.

J.N.L. Myres


The great grandson of Rev. W. M. Myres (son of John Nowell L. Myres) is Rear Admiral John A. L. Myres CBE (b. 1936), who was Hydrographer for the Royal Navy from 1990 to 1994. The graves of his Great Grandfather Rev. William Miles Myres together with his Great Aunt Jane Linton Myres (1871 – 1951) may be found close to the church wall facing the Winslow Road.

Jane Linton Myres

Rev. William Miles Myres


A Swanbourne lace maker, circa 1890 from a watercolour by Miss Jane Myres




This painting (above) of a Swanbourne Lace Maker is by Jane Linton Myres.  After the death of her father in 1901 she continued to live in Swanbourne then undertook some missionary work in India before eventually moving to Oxford to live with her brother Prof. Sir John Myres and his wife.  However, she remained a spinster and continued with some missionary work in India up to World War 2.  Jane died at her brother’s house in Oxford in 1951 and was returned to Swanbourne to be buried with her father.