Oxford History: Mayors & Lord Mayors


Richard Miller (c.1610–1662)

Mayor of Oxford 1652/3

Richard Miller (or Millar) was born in c.1610. He became an Oxford fellmonger.

He was elected on to the Common Council on 2 October 1641 and was admitted on 8 October, paying the usual fine of 3s. 4d. for not serving as Constable.

On 30 September 1644 he was appointed Keykeeper and also granted a Bailiff’s place on payment of £5.

In the subsidy of 24 June 1648, Richard Miller paid half a crown in St Thomas’s parish.

On 18 September 1648 he was elected Junior Bailiff, and on 12 October the same year was nominated Moneymaster.

On 30 September 1651 Richard Miller was chosen as one of the eight Assistants, paying his £5, and on 20 September 1652 he was elected Mayor of Oxford (for 1652/3). He chose John Cope as his Chamberlain.

Miller returned to serving as a Mayor’s Assistant after his term of office, and on 12 December 1653 was fined 4d. for coming to a council meeting without his gown.

On 15 September 1656 and 5 April 1660 William Smith and John Reynolds, apprentice fellmongers of Miller, were respectively admitted free.

Miller’s council career closely followed that of the tanner Matthew Langley, and they may have been partners. On 21 September 1655 Langley and Miller were given a council lease of part of Cripley in St Thomas parish for 21 years and 2 years respectively at a rent of fifty shillings and 13s. 4d.

In September 1660 when the Royalist Francis Harris was restored to his position as an Alderman, Thomas Wickes who had taken his place was demoted to being an Assistant,. This meant that Richard Miller, who had taken Wickes’s place, ceased to be an Assistant, but the Council agreed that Miller should be allowed to wear a scarlet gown and take his place in the Council Chamber and at church and at all other public functions according to the seniority that he would have enjoyed had he still been an Assistant. Thus in August 1661 Miller went out with the Mayor and senior councillors in a scarlet gown with footclothes and footmen to meet King Charles II on his visit to the city.

In June 1662 Richard Miller was removed from the Council under the Corporation Act of 1661 because of his parliamentary leanings. Two months later he was dead.

† Richard Miller died in 1662 and was buried at St Aldate’s Church on 7 August that year.

In 1665 his widow Mrs Anne Miller paid hearth tax on nine hearths in St Aldate’s parish, and in 1696 she paid tax on seven windows there. She was assessed as follows for poll tax in this parish in March 1667:

  • For herself: £2 7s. 8d. (£1 for her title, poll tax of one shilling, and £2 tax on her money of £200)
  • For Richard Miller her son: poll tax of one shilling
  • For Elizabeth Miller her daughter: £2 1s. (poll tax of one shilling and £2 tax on her money of £200)
  • For her servant Elizabeth Wilson: two shillings (i.e. one shilling in the pound on her yearly wages of £1, plus poll tax of a shilling)
  • For her servant Richard Steare: three shillings (i.e. one shilling in the pound on his yearly wages of £2, plus poll tax of a shilling)

See also:

  • PCC Will PROB 11/309/118 (Will of Richard Millar, Gentleman of Saint Aldates Oxford, 17 September 1662)
    (not found on Ancestry)

©Stephanie Jenkins

Last updated: 29 September, 2018

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