Oxford History: Mayors & Lord Mayors


Peter Torald (d. 1257)

Mayor of Oxford 1232–6, 1240, 1243–4

Peter Torald (or Peter son of Torald / Thorald /Turold / Torold) appears to have been the son of the man called simply Torald who (according to Anthony Wood) lived in St Edward’s parish when he first came to Oxford. It appears that the original Torald was a cordwainer, as he was described by Twyne as an allutarius (a tawyer who worked in tawed leather), and he left land belonging to St Frideswide’s Priory “in the cordwainery Oxon” to his son Peter.

Peter Torald became a cordwainer like his father, and was described as “Petrus filius Turoldi cordewanarius”. He had a brother, Nicholas.

Peter Torald served as Bailiff around 1225–7, and was Mayor of Oxford in 1232–6 and in 1240.

Torald was appointed along with the sheriff in 1242 to keep the peace between town and gown in Oxford.

He served as Mayor again in 1243–4.

Torald is recorded as having sold some of his land to the Blackfriars (Dominicans).

† Peter Torald died on 17 April 1257. Anthony Wood records that “Peter Torald died circa vel post Hok day [Hock Day, the second Tuesday after Easter], 1257”.

Wood believed that Henry Torald (whose widow Eleanor was mentioned in 1257) was the son of Torald.

The Torald family ended up owning a considerable amount of property in Oxford, including Thorald Hall, which (along with Thorald Street) is now enclosed in New College. There was also a field called Torald’s Ham, and the rent rolls of Osney include Torald Schools, and Helle School, given by the Toralds to Osney.

See also:

  • Wood’s City of Oxford, III, pp. 60–3: “Off the name Torald: Oxon.”

©Stephanie Jenkins

Last updated: 22 September, 2018

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