Oxford History: Mayors & Lord Mayors


Richard Broadwater (c.1670–1719)

Mayor of Oxford 1713/14

Richard Broadwater (or Brodwater) was born in c.1670, He was apprenticed to William Slatford, an Oxford chandler. He was admitted free on 20 November 1693.

On 1 December 1695 his daughter Sarah Broadwater was baptised at St Mary Magdalen Church, but there is no record of any other children of his being baptised there.

Broadwater paid tax on twelve windows in St Mary Magdalen parish in 1696, and Balliol deeds show that his property was on the site of the present Taylorian building.

Richard Broadwater was described as a grocer when he took on William Slatford as an apprentice in February 1695/6, and as a chandler when he took on John Crooke in September 1702.

He was elected on to the Common Council in September 1700, and in September 1705 was chosen as Junior Bailiff.

In May 1708 he took on Thomas Slaymaker as an apprentice chandler.

In January 1712 Richard Broadwater was elected one of the eight Assistants, and in September 1713 Mayor (for 1713/14), selecting William Slatford as his Child and Joseph Brazier as his Chamberlain. George I acceded to the throne during Broadwater’s mayoralty, and just before Broadwater published the proclamation his accession on 4 August 1714, a letter was delivered to him by a person “in an open-sleeved gown and in a cinnamon-coloured coat” cautioning him not to proclaim King George I and advising him to proclaim the Pretender, King James III, instead. Broadwater ignored this advice and went ahead and proclaimed King George I at Carfax, St Mary-the-Virgin Church, Eastgate, Westgate, and Northgate, and then went to the Guildhall to drink the king’s health with the council. For the freemen it was agreed:

that such a Quantity of Clarett be spent by putting it into the Conduit and runing in two pipes Eastwards and Southwards and that soe many Barrells of Beer be spent amongst the Freemen and that such other Entertainment for the Councell Chamber be provided as the Mayor and his Brethren shall think fitt.

Broadwater took on another apprentice chandler, William Mitchell of Basingstoke, in February 1715/16.

† Richard Broadwater died in 1719 and was buried at St Mary Magdalen Church on 11 September that year.

The widow Mary Broadwater who was buried at St Mary Magdalen Church on 5 September 1728 may have been his wife.

Broadwater’s family

Richard Broadwater, a yeoman of Iffley, who died in about 1750, may be a relation; and too the Thomas Broadwater of Iffley who married Elizabeth White of Beckley on 26 September 1733 at St Mary Magdalen Church. .

That Richard’s son, a third Richard, was apprenticed to the baker Richard Gosford in 1751 and is probably the Richard Broadwater of St Mary Magdalen parish who married Sarah Hurst of Cowley at St Mary Magdalen Church on 16 May 1760.

Robson’s Commercial Directory for 1839 shows that there were then three Broadwater baker’s shops in Oxford:

  • Henry Broadwater, Wood Street, Baker & Shopkeeper
  • John Broadwater, 40 Queen Street, Baker
  • William Broadwater, 66 Holywell Street, Baker

See also:

  • Malcolm Graham, Oxford City Apprentices 1697–1800, entries numbered 299, 601, 880, 2007, and A7

©Stephanie Jenkins

Last updated: 29 September, 2018

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