Oxford History: Mayors & Lord Mayors


John de St Frideswide (d. 1359)

Mayor of Oxford 1352/3, 1355/6, and 1356/7

John de St Frideswide (or Frideswyde) was “a rich burgess of Oxon” who lived in St Aldate’s parish.

He was elected Junior Bailiff on the Council in 1350, and then Mayor of Oxford for the first time for 1352/3.

A writ of Edward III dated 6 May 1355 ordered the citizens of Oxford to elect a new Mayor and Bailiffs in place of those who had been imprisoned in the Tower of London as a result of the disturbances on St Scholastica’s Day (10 February 1355). Two days after the writ was issued, John de St Frideswide was duly elected Mayor, and after completing the remaining half year he remained Mayor of Oxford for two more years, namely 1355/6 and 1356/7.

On 5 February 1357/8 John de St Frideswide was elected Member of Parliament for Oxford.

† John de St Frideswide died in 1359.

He instituted a chantry in St Aldate’s Church, and Anthony Wood says:

“he gave all his lands and revenews that he then had in and about Oxon after the death of his wife Emme, for the maintanance of a fit chapleine to celebrate service there in the church for the health of their soules.

Besides this, he gave for the present 5s. yearly rent issuing out of one of his messuages in the High Street, to find a torch-light alwaies to burne at the elevation of the Host at the altar in this church.

Concerning these revenews I find great difference to have hapned betweene a kinsman of the said John St. Frideswyde and hs executors, of whome Walter de Leverton then rector of this church was one; but after severall trialls in law sutes betweene them, they were adjudged to this church.

See also:

  • Liber Albus, p. 56
  • Biography not yet available on the History of Parliament website6

©Stephanie Jenkins

Last updated: 25 September, 2018

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