Oxford History: Mayors & Lord Mayors


Francis Heywood (d. 1678)

Mayor of Oxford 1671/2

Francis Heywood (or Haywood) was an Oxford brewer. He was admitted to the trade by the University on 13 December 1650, but does not appear to be listed in Alumni Oxonienses as a matriculated tradesman.

It was agreed on 16 September 1650 that Heywood should be admitted free for 20 marks, but that if he refused to accept his freedom for that sum, action would be taken by the City to prevent him from trading any long as a brewer. Until that date Heywood had been the partner in the brewing business of the freeman Thomas Tipping, and the council also agreed that if Heywood refused his freedom, Tipping should be disenfranchised for allowing a “forryner” as his partner in trade. A week later, on 23 September, Heywood was admitted to his freedom for £10, rather than the £12 6s. 8d. formerly enacted. He remained the business partner of Tipping until at least 1675.

On 1 October 1650 both Thomas Tipping and Francis Heywood were elected on to the Common Council. A year later Heywood compounded for a Bailiff’s place, paying £10, and on 14 September 1657 he was elected Senior Bailiff.

As a result of the Corporations Act of 1661, 31 persons were removed from the council. This left many vacancies, and on 6 June 1662 Heywood and three others were elected Mayor’s Assistants, paying £15 each in lieu of entertainment.

On 19 September 1664 Heywood stood against John White in the election for Mayor, but lost by 235 votes to 347.

In 1665 Heywood paid tax jointly with his breweing partner Thomas Tippingon nine hearths on a property in Brewer Stree.

Heywood was married by 1667 and had two daughters called Ann and Susan, as in March 1667 he was assessed as follows for poll tax in St Aldate’s parish:

  • For himself: £1 1s. 0d. (poll tax of one shilling, £1 for his title, and £1 tax on his money)
  • For his daughters Ann and Susan: poll tax of one shilling each
  • For his servant Katherine Wheeler: three shillings (poll tax of one shilling, plus tax of two shillings on her yearly wages of £2)
  • For his servant John Bpp [sic, possibly his future son-in-law John Bishop] eleven shillings (poll tax of one shilling, plus tax of ten shillings on his yearly wages of £10)
  • For John Faulkner and Edward Sleymaker (presumably his apprentices): poll tax of one shilling each

This indicates that his personal wealth was £100, as the tax on personal estate was £1 per £100. Thomas Tipping was assessed separately, together with his wife and five children and servant.

On 18 September 1671 Francis Heywood was at last elected Mayor of Oxford (for 1671/2). He chose Thomas Neale as his Child and Francis Gillman as his Chamberlain. During his year of office, he was the victim of a trick, as Anthony Wood records on 9 February 1672:

The citizens having received false information as under the duke of Bucks [George Villers]’s hand their steward that “’they should come up to London, for the University was about having their charter renewed and therin put severall things therin aganst the towne” – the maior and some other went the Munday following and Tuesday in the afternoon presented themselves to the duke. But he looking upon them as mad, dismist them. They shewed him his hand and he said ’twas well dissembled. Therupon they husht up and came home, after they had spent 30 or 40li.

Wood also states that around this time “The mayor Mr Francis Heywood is turned out from brewing for St John’s.”

On 20 August 1672, at the end of his year of office, Heywood rode the franchises, and it was required by the house that the Mayor’s and the two bailiffs’ serjeants “doe goe round with theire Maces before Mr Mayor at their perill and that noe persons whatsoever doe wash or abuse them”.

On 2 November 1672 at St Cross Church, his daughter Anne Heywood married John Bishop.

† Francis Heywood died in 1678 and was buried at St Aldate’s Church on 4 September 1678 that year. He was described in the register as still being a brewer.

See also:

  • PCC Will PROB 11/359/206 (Will of Francis Heywood, Gentleman of Saint Aldate Oxford, proved 12 February 1679)

©Stephanie Jenkins

Last updated: 24 September, 2018

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