Oxford History: Mayors & Lord Mayors


William Charles (c.1590–1646)

Mayor of Oxford 1633/4

William Charles alias Griffeth was born in c.1590. He was admitted free on 23 September 1614, and was immediately awarded a bailiff’s place on the council, paying £6 13s. 4d., 4s. 6d., and 2s. 6d.

William Charles had at least nine children:

  • Elizabeth Charles (born before 1613, as she married Richard Bull at Bartholomew’s Hospital in 1627)
  • Catherine Charles (baptised on 3 January 1616/17 at St Giles’ Church)
  • William Charles junior (baptised on 16 July 1619 at St Giles’ Church)
  • John Charles I (baptised on 26 October 1620 at St Giles’ Church;
    buried there 18 April 1621)
  • Jane Charles (baptised on 20 May 1622 at St Giles’ Church)
  • John Charles II (baptised on 19 August 1623 at St Giles’ Church)
  • Susanna Charles (baptised at St Giles Church on 6 February 1625/6 at St Giles’ Church)
  • Roger Charles (baptised on 18 November 1628 at St Giles’ Church)
  • Sarah Charles (baptised at St Giles’ Church on 5 April 1631 at St Giles’ Church;
    buried there on 6 May 1631).

William Charles was made Junior Bailiff on 16 September 1622, but it was not until nearly ten years later, on 21 February 1632, that he was unanimously elected one of the eight Assistants. On 17 September that same year he was chosen as Mayor (for 1632/3), requesting that William Cole and Thomas Ayers be admitted free and choosing Edward Daniel as his Child.

In 1641 his eldest son William Charles junior was buried at St Giles’ Church, and by this time he was described as a gentleman.

In 1643 William Charles gave £10 towards the £520 presented to King Charles I by the City after the Battle of Edgehill. On 18 August that year he was elected an Alderman.

In September 1644 William Charles was one of the two candidates chosen to stand for Mayor, but the Commons chose the other one this time. On 25 March 1645 he was elected a Coroner.

† William Charles died in June 1646.

See also:

  • MS Wills Oxon Bd 107.88; 162/4/18

©Stephanie Jenkins

Last updated: 29 September, 2018

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