Oxford History: Mayors & Lord Mayors


Stephen Addington (d. 1344)

Mayor of Oxford 1338/9

Stephen Addington (or Addyngton/Adynton/de Adynton/Dadyngton/de Adinton) was elected Junior Bailiff in 1322 and Senior Bailiff in 1325. In 1329 he was an Alderman.

On 25 September 1329 there was an inquisition concerning those who had prevented the Mayor from hodling the court in the Guild Hall and in the process had beaten and wounded Alderman Stephen Addington (“Stephanum de Adynton aldermannum Oxonie verberaverunt et vulneraverunt”).

On 11 March 1329/30 Addington was elected Member of Parliament for Oxford, and was appointed Senior Bailiff again in 1331 and 1333.

On 2 September 1337 he was summoned with Andrew Worminghall and John Mymekan to discuss urgent business with the King (Edward III) at Westminster.

Three weeks later, on 26 September 1337, Stephen Addington was elected Member of Parliament for Oxford for a second time.

Stephen Addington was elected Mayor of Oxford for 1338/9. Anthony Wood records a tale of when he was Mayor:

Opposite to this house [Elm Hall] is another tenement in the churchyard of S. Michael, standing betweene the Church doore and North Gate. The ground on which it stands was sometimes part of the churchyard; but the Mayor and commonalty, claiming it to be a parcell of their fee-farme, took care to have a house to be built theron by one John Plomer to whome they had demised it. Wherupon Robert Aston, rector of that church, interposed himselfe in the businesse; and by his indeavours for the liberties of his church put a stop to it. Upon which the Mayor that then was, Stephen de Adynton, procuring by unjust means the king’s breife, caused the said Robert Aston to be cast in the prison at the Castle. Where he abiding for his honest intentions and they proceeding in their robbery of the church, it soe fell out that the said Mayor who a little before had violated the graves and exhumed the bones of the dead died suddenly not long after in a miserable manner with great anguish and horror of spirit. This was done 13 Edward III [1339] as by an inquisition taken 13 Richard II [1389] appears.

In fact Addington did not die immediately afterwards, and in 1343 was repaid a substantial sum he was owed by Edward III by a remittance on customs he owed in London.

† Stephen Addington died in 1344, as Wood himself acknowledged:

But that Stephen de Adynton did not dye till 18 Edward III [1344] appears from Twyne XXIII.624. His will was proved “in festo decollationis S. Johannis Baptistae” 16 Edward III [1342] ut in libro S. Frideswydae, p. 397, wherby he left a shop in S. Martin’s parish to St. Frideswyde’s.

Wood records that he bequeathed to his wife Joan Addington “my messuage in Bedeforde’s Lane in a certaine corner there in S. Michael’s parish”, and that the lane thereafter became known as Addington’s Lane. (It is now St Michael Street.)

See also:

  • Rotuli curiae Maioris Oxon., 18 Edward III [1344]; Twyne XXIII, 624
  • Munimenta Civitatis Oxonie, pp. 94–5
  • Biography not yet available on the History of Parliament website

©Stephanie Jenkins

Last updated: 29 September, 2018

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