Oxford History: Mayors & Lord Mayors


Adam Fettiplace (f. 1250)

Mayor of Oxford 1245/6, 1253/4, 1254/5, 1255/6, 1256/7, 1257/8,
1258/9, 1259/60, 1261/2, 1266/7, 1267/8

Adam Fettiplace (or Feteplace / Fetyplace / Phetiplace / Phetyplace)’s origins are unknown, and he is the first person in Oxford known to have had the name. A note in the margin of Twyne XXIII, p. 73 states that his original name was Torald le Ape, the owner of Ape Hall in the parish of St Edward’s Church in Alfred Street; but this seems unlikely, as that man’s son was called Thomas Ape.

Fettiplace was one of seven townsmen imprisoned in 1232 for injuring clerks of the University in a town-and-gown incident.

Fettiplace owned Drapery Hall in Cornmarket Street, and probably lived there, as he had his own stall in St Martin’s Church at Carfax. He also owned Shelde Hall in the parish of St Peter-in-the-East, and in 1253 he heads a list of the names of the “maiorum burgensium Oxonie”.

His wife was the widow of Peter, the son of Geoffrey and their eldest son was Philip Fettiplace. They also had a son called Walter Fettiplace.

Adam Fettiplace was first elected Mayor of Oxford for 1245/6, and was elected eleven times in all between then and 1267/8.

In 1265 the younger Simon de Montfort marched through Oxford on his way to Kenilworth, and was accused of imprisoning Adam Fettiplace until he granted his (de Montfort’s) tailor ten marks’ rent in Oxford. On 22 August 1265 letters patent were issued of protection to Adam Fettiplace until Michaelmas.

Fettiplace's last term of office as Mayor was in 1267/8.

† Adam Fettiplace died after 1268.

Fettiplace founded a prosperous family that became well known in Berkshire and Oxfordshire after passing his county properties (including North Denchworth in Berkshire) to his son Philip and his Oxford property to his son Walter. Anthony Wood records that he also left 40s. a year rent from Drapery Hall to the nuns of Littlemore, “to the intent that his anniversary should be kept, on the translation of S. Frideswyde there”. He also gave Shelde Hall to the nuns.

See also:

  • H. E. Salter, Snappe’s Formulary, pp. 284–5, for the full text of the Inquisition into Fettiplace’s treatment at the hands of Simon de Montfort, and also mentions on pp. 274, 279, and 301.
  • Ogle, Royal Letters Addressed to Oxford and Now Existing in the City Archives, p. 71.

©Stephanie Jenkins

Last updated: 20 September, 2020

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