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William Tylcock (1504–1578)

Mayor of Oxford 1556/7, 1560/1, 1568/9, and 1575/6


William Tylcock was an Oxford white baker and brewer. His name is variously spelt  Tilcock/Tilcocke/Tilcoke/Tillcock/Trillcock/Tryllcock/Tryllcocke/Tylcocke/ Tylcokks/Tylcoke/ Tylkok/Tylkokk/Tyllcock.

Tylcock was admitted free in the mayoral year 1536/7, and between 1540 and 1554 took on five apprentice whitebakers: Richard Bychenall of Bedfordshire (29 September 1540); Thomas Scott of Bicester (24 June 1547); Andrew Bond of Botley (25 March 1548); Thomas Kyrke of Buckinghamshire (29 September 1552); and Peter Mylson of Gloucestershire (29 September 1554).

Tylcock was appointed Senior Chamberlain on 29 September 1542.

He rented the Mitre Inn from Lincoln College, and on 4 November 1543 he paid a subsidy of 10s. 8d. in the North East Ward on goods worth £16. For the 1544 subsidy he paid 5s. 4d. on goods to the same value.

In April 1545 Tylcock was involved in a dispute with Alderman William Frere and Maurice Vaughan, and at a council on 19 April they agreed to be “lovers and ffrends accordying to the custom of thys Towne”.

In September 1545 Tylcock was elected Junior Bailiff, and in October 1547 he contributed a shilling towards Dame Margaret Northern’s coffer.

On 2 August 1549, when the brewers were directed by the University to brew in couples, Tylcock was paired with Mr Hawkins.

In October 1551 Tylcock was appointed jointly with John Wayte to oversee the Frideswide and Austen Fairs.

In September 1554 the council brought in a new arrangement, whereby there should be eight Mayor’s Assistants, and Tylcock was elected as one of the first group

From 23 October 1554 to 14 September 1555 William Tylcock served as Member of Parliament for Oxford. In his year of office as MP, on 16 May 1555, the Clerk of the Market fined Tylcock £1 because “unus panis” of his was 4 ounces too light, namely 8 ounces instead of 12 ounces.

In September 1556 Tylcock was elected Mayor of Oxford (for 1556/7) and also one of the two Coroners for the city, and at the end of his year of office, on 3 October 1557, he was elected an Alderman.

Tylcock was elected Mayor again for 1560/1, and during his year of office his apprentice Thomas Scott was admitted free.

On 19 June 1562 Tylcock was dismissed with ten others from the council for subscribing to the maintenance of John Cumber “in his disobedyence agaynst Mr. Mayre and worship of this Citie”. On 16 September it was agreed that Tylcock should

stand in dispence for his submyssion for his offence untyll the ffeast of Christmas next comying. And then this house upon his submyssion to take order whether he shalbe admytted agayne to be one of the twelve wch from henceforth shalbe the twelve that is appoynted to be assitants and acounsell wth Mr Mayer for the tyme beynge.

Tylcock was elected Mayor again for 1568/9.

By 1570 Tylcock appears to have married a widow, Mrs Maria Smith.

In October 1574 it was agreed that Tylcock and seven others should attend the Mayor in the business of the City before the Privy Council in London.

In June 1575 Tylcock was appointed one of the group to survey the banks and stoppings of the waters about South Bridge, and in September 1575 started his fourth and last term as Mayor (for 1575/6) when he was 71 years old. On 27 September 1576 he was summoned by the bedel to appear before the Vice-Chancellor in Christ Church and was shown the privilege of Henry VIII. He declared that he had not known of its existence when he assessed and taxed privileged persons of the University, and promised not to offend again.

† Alderman William Tylcock died at the age of 74 on 22 June 1578, and appears to have been buried on the same day at St Thomas the Martyr Church. The following inscription is on the north wall of the chancel of that church:

Inscription to Tylcock, St Thomas's Church

I BEING SEVENTI & iiii
YEARS OF AGE DEPARTED
THIS LIFE THE XXII DAYE
OF JUNE 1578, THE
XX YEARE OF QUENE ELIZABETH.

ENCLOSED HEARE DOTHE WILLIAM TYL-
COKE LYE WHOSE JUST DESERTS DID CAUSE
BE CHOSEN MAYRE FOWER SONDRYE TIMES,
BUT NOWE CONSTRAIND TO DYE: OF EARTHE
COMPOSED, TO EARTH HE MAKES REPAIRE.
THIS WORLD THEREFORE AS VAYNE AND
FRAILE DESPISE; IMMORTAL BLISSE THINKE,
HOPE, TO WIN DEVISE.

On 15 September 1581 it is minuted:

At this Counsell Mris. Alderwoman Tylcock sent in to the use of this Cytie a sylver salte, doble gilte, wayenge xxviijtie ounces, geven unto this Cytie by Mr. Alderman Tylcock in his last will and testament; and hit was receaved at the hands of Mr. Steven Ewen, and delivered unto Mr. John Harteley, nowe Mayor.


On 5 November 1580 (two and a half years after Tylcock’s death), the Vice-Chancellor assigned the day on which a man called Tilcoke was to brew; and thirteen years later again on 7 August 1593 a Richard Tilcocke was again assigned a day for brewing. This may be William Tylcock’s son.


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©Stephanie Jenkins

Last updated: 30 September, 2018

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