Oxford History: Mayors & Lord Mayors


Nicholas Todd (c.1518–1579)

Mayor of Oxford 1570/1

Nicholas Todd (or Todde/Toode) was born in c.1518, the son of John Todd of Preston, Westmoreland.

Todd was apprenticed for eight years to the Oxford apothecary David Pratt and his wife from 29 September 1532, with a promise of double apparel and 53s. 4d. at the end of his term.

He duly became an Oxford apothecary (or “pottycary”), and was admitted free as a Hanaster in the mayoral year 1540/1.

Todd paid £16 10s. 8d. in the South-East ward (probably the High Street) at the time of the 1543 subsidy, and £16 5s. 4d. the following year.

Todd took on four apprentice apothecaries: William Levins of Westmoreland (25 December 1544); William Hewes of Eynsham (29 September 1549); Bernard Garter of London (1 November 1552), later cancelled); and Henry Medley of Oxford (24 June 1553).

On 4 October 1546 Todd came on to the council, and was discharged from the Offices of Chamberlain and Bailiff by virtue of paying £7 to the use of the city. By 14 October 1548, when he subscribed a shilling towards Dame Margaret Northern’s coffer, he was on the Mayor’s inner council.

Todd’s apprentice apothecary, William Levins, was admitted free in the mayoral year 1551/2.

In September 1554, when the new council system came in, Todd was elected one of the Mayor’s eight Assistants.

On 8 October 1555 the council agreed that land at Cutteslowe “wheryn Edward Glynton and Nycholas Todd be infeffyd shall forthwythe be sold”: they had to pay £351 for this land.

In 1562 Todd was one of the three people nominated for Mayor, but he came last in the preliminary vote and the other two were put to the Commons.

Nicholas Todd was eventually elected Mayor on 29 September 1570 (for 1570/1).

On 19 October 1574 Todd went with a group to London on the business of Oxford before the lords of the Privy Council.

In 1575 William Noble addressed articles of complaint to the Privy Council against Todd 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 in 1573/4, when various alleged felons were not punished.

On 5 January 1576/7 Todd was again sent to London (with three others) to put the city’s case before the Privy Council; and on 18 May 1577 he was one of the three men sent to London to answer the council’s case for refusing the oath to the University.

On 31 July 1578 Todd was appointed Coroner, and on 2 March 1578/9 Alderman. On 6 August 1579 he was one of the group selected to discuss the partition of Port Meadow.

† Nicholas Todd died later in 1579. Anthony Wood records he was buried inside St Mary-the-Virgin Church, and there was a small stone naming him in the floor. The burial registers of that church only date from 1599.

See also:

  • MS. Wills Oxon W. 186.83; 153/3/1a

©Stephanie Jenkins

Last updated: 23 September, 2018

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