Oxford History: Mayors & Lord Mayors


John of Studley (d. 1376)

Mayor of Oxford 1353/4, 1357/8, 1358/9, 1359/60, 1360/1, 1361/2, 1365/6, and 1368/9

John of Studley (or de Stodley/Stodleigh/Stodeley/Stodlé/Stodlee/Stodle) was elected Senior Bailiff on the Council in 1349 and was chosen as one of the four Aldermen in 1352. He may have been a relation of Henry of Studley, Mayor in 1337 and 1334.

He had a shop in All Saints parish which is mentioned in his will as being “iuxta magnam portam in Apothecaria” (the “Apothecaria et Spiceria” being opposite the north-east corner of All Saints’ Church). He built up a big estate in Oxford in the aftermath of the Black Death, including 46 houses and 20 shops.

On 23 September 1353 he was elected Member of Parliament for Oxford, and a few days later was first elected Mayor of Oxford (for 1353/4).

In 1354/5 John of Studley paid aulnage on seven cloths.

He was again elected Mayor of Oxford for five years running from 1357 to 1365. During this period he was re-elected as Member of Parliament for Oxford on 24 January 1360/1.

An item in the city accounts for 1365/6 suggests that Studley had an inn:

Item in una lagena vini potata in taberna Iohannis Stodle tempore sigillacionis commissionis maioris nuntii vid.

John of Studley’s next term as Mayor was in 1365/6. The certificate dated 1 October 1365 stating that he took the Mayor’s Oath still survives, and Ogle, who notes that its form varies from other surviving certificates, transcribed it thus:

Edwardus dei gracia Rex Anglie Dominus Hibernie et Aquitanie dilectis sibi Balliuis Burgensibus ac toti Communitati ville Oxon Salutem. Sciatis quod Johannes de Stodle comburgensis vester quem vos in maiorem dicte ville elegistis, prout Thesaurario et Baronibus de Scaccario nostro per literas vestras patentes communi sigillo vestro signatas signficastis ad idem Scaccarium nostrum Admissus est et prestitit sacramentum ibidem de fideliter se habendo in officio predicto prout moris est. Et ideo vobis mandamus quod eidem Johanni tanquam maiori ville predicte in hiis que ad officium maioris pertinent intendentes sitis et respondentes in forma predicta. In cuius rei testimonium has literas nostras fieri fecimus patentes. Teste W. de Skypwyth apud Westmonasterium primo die Octobris anno regni nostri tricesimo nono.

Studley was elected Mayor again for the eight and last time for 1368/9.

He was one of the four Aldermen in 1370, and was elected Member of Parliament for Oxford for the last time on 24 February 1370/1.

† John of Studley died in 1376

By his will, written in 1371, John of Studley left rents totalling £5 6s. 8d. to maintain a chaplain to celebrate daily for him in the Trinity Chapel of All Saints’ Church. Wood records that on his deathbed in 1376, Studley ordered that £1 a year should issue towards the maintenance of his chantry from Malger Hall in St Martin’s parish (which had been conveyed to him by William Gingiver). His chantry was licensed in 1377.

Soon after his death, his widow Agnes remarried, and in 1379 she and her second husband Richard Preston sold the chantry properties to the justice Sir Robert Tresilian, reserving £5 6s. 8d to the chantry chaplain for ever. The chantry chapel was known as St Catherine’s Chapel by 1446, and the chantry was suppressed in 1547.

See also:

  • Will and Deed of John Stodley in Liber Albus, fol. 12
  • Biography not yet available on the History of Parliament website

©Stephanie Jenkins

Last updated: 22 September, 2018

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