Oxford History: Mayors & Lord Mayors


Roger Hewett (c.1518–1587)

Mayor of Oxford 1573/4

Roger Hewett (or Hewet/Hewatt/Hewat/Hwet) was born in c.1518. According to Anthony Wood he was the son of William Hewett, who was mentioned (presumably on a memorial) in St Giles’ Church. There was another son called Richard.

Roger Hewett was admitted free in the mayoral year 1540/1, and was elected a Chamberlain on the Council on 29 September 1544.

Hewett lived in the parish of St Mary Magdalen, just outside the city wall: hence at the time of the 1543 subsidy, when he was assessed to pay £1 0s. 2d., he is described as being in “The Suburbe”. The following year, when his contribution had risen to the huge sum of £20 13s. 4d, he is more precisely described as living in the North-West ward. In October 1547, and again in 1848, he is listed as one of the “Camerarii” or Chamberlains who subscribed 8d. towards Dame Margaret Northern’s Coffer.

Hewett was elected Senior Bailiff on 29 September 1549, and one of the mill masters on 5 October 1652. On 1 April 1568 he paid ten shillings in “The Suburbes” towards the Lottery.

Hewett’s first wife was buried at St Mary Magdalen Church in 1564. He then married a woman called Joan.

Hewett was elected one of the Thirteen on 1 June 1569 and Mayor on 29 September 1573 (for 1573/4). Twyne records that “This Hewett gave the mayor’s great mace, for before it was not much bigger than a sergeant’s mace.”

Hewett’s brother Richard was buried at St Mary Magdalen Church on 28 February 1575.

In 1575 William Noble addressed articles of complaint to the Privy Council against Hewett and three others

ffor that they have not donne their dewtyes to the Qwenes Maiesty, and to the comon welth, accordinge to the trust to them commytted by the Qwenes mats auctorytye of commyssion of her highnes peace.

The incidents in question took place during Hewett’s mayoralty, when various alleged felons were not punished.

Hewett was elected an Alderman on 29 September 1578. On 5 August 1579 he was one of a group appointed to discuss the partition of Port Meadow.

Hewett’s second wife Joan (who according to Wood was a benefactor of University College) was buried at St Mary Magdalen Church on 30 July (or possibly 3 July) 1580.

Wood says, “There was one Mris. Anne Hewet that was married to Will. Furness mayor of Oxon in St. Michael’s Church on 7 June 1584, but whether that Anne was daughter to Roger or widdow to Richard, I know not.”

† Roger Hewett died on 5 March 1586/7 and was buried in St Mary Magdalen Church the same day. Anthony Wood records the words that were on his memorial in that church, on a brass plate fastened to a marble lying under the communion table:

Here lyeth buried the bodie of Roger Hewet, sometymes Mayor of this citie and Alderman at the tyme of his decease, who deceased the V daye of March An. Dom. 1586.

See also:

  • PCC Will PROB 11/70/177 (Will of Roger Hewett, Alderman of Oxford, proved 28 March 1586/7); written in Latin
  • PCC Sentence PROB 11/71 (Sentence of Roger Hewett, Alderman of Oxford, dated 14 November 1587)

©Stephanie Jenkins

Last updated: 25 September, 2018

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