Oxford History: Mayors & Lord Mayors


Thomas Coventry (fl. 1425)

Mayor of Oxford 1419/20, 1427/8, 1428/9, 1429/30

Thomas Coventry (or Coventre/Counentre) was an Oxford hosier. In the 1380 Poll Tax he paid 16d. for himself and his wife Joanna, and 4d. for his servant Isabella.

Coventry is known to have presented Michael Norton with the gift of a cellar in St Martin’s called Swindlestock (on the north-west corner of Carfax) and a property in All Saints called Redcocks (on site of 117–119 High Street) in the early fifteenth century. His family came into possession of Merston Hall, on the site of the Roebuck Inn in St Martin’s parish, and it became known as Coventry Hall. Coventry also owned Rack Hall in the St Aldate’s area, but sold it in 1430.

Coventry was appointed a Bailiff on the Council in 1402, and was elected one of the four Aldermen in 1407, 1418, 1421, 1423, 1424, 1432, 1435, 1436, and 1437. In 1418 he is described as having recently been a coroner of the city.

Thomas Coventry was elected Member of Parliament for Oxford in 1403, 1407, 1414, 1419, 1420, 1421, 1422, 1427, 1429, 1431, and 1435.

He also served as Mayor of Oxford in 1419/20, 1427/8, 1428/9, and 1429/30.

On  6 November (St Leonard’s Day) in 1429, Coventry served in the traditional mayoral role as butler at the Coronation banquet of Henry VI at Westminster, and the following claim of £4 15s. for expenses was made:

Item petunt allocacionem hoc anno circa maiorem et suos comburgenses in calumnianda libertate in coronatione domini regis viz. quod maior serviat domino regi in Botelaria sua die coronationis sue viz. in die sancti Leonardi, qua die rex coronatus fuit, omnibus comutatis ivlib. xvs.

Twyne adds, “De expensis in hoc negocio in his camerariorum computis nunquam antea legi”; but in fact this privilege was claimed in 1413.

On 15 February 1431/2 Coventry presented John Andrews as the Rector of St Martin’s Church.

† Thomas Coventry died after 1432.

See also:

©Stephanie Jenkins

Last updated: 22 September, 2018

Oxford Mayors home Small Shark Oxford History home