Oxford History: Mayors & Lord Mayors


James Pinnell (c.1637–1723)

Mayor of Oxford 1702/3

James Pinnell was born in c.1637. His baptism is not recorded in the register of St Aldate’s Church, but he appears to be the eldest son of the James Pinnell senior of St Aldate’s parish who paid three shillings towards the subsidy on 24 June 1648.

James Pinnell, described as the eldest son of James Pinnell senior, was admitted free on 20 September 1658, and worked as a tanner in St Aldate’s parish.

In the 1660s two of James's younger brothers were also admitted free: James Pinnell senior's second son Robert Pinnell on 7 September 1663, and his fourth son John Pinnell on 6 September 1669.

The James Pinnell who in 1665 paid tax on five hearths in St Aldate's parish, and in 1667 paid poll tax there for himself, his four children, and his sister Elizabeth, is probably the future mayor. He was based on the west side of St Aldate’s Street, to the south of the present Speedwell Street.

James Pinnell married a woman called Elizabeth, and they appear to have had the following children:

  • James Pinnell (baptised at St Ebbe's Church on 15 December 1671), presumably died
  • James Pinnell II (baptised at St Ebbe's Church on 23 February 1673/4)
  • Elizabeth Pinnell (baptised at St Ebbe's Church on 11 November 1676)
  • Mary Pinnell
  • Thomas Pinnell.

James Pinnell junior was first elected on to the Common Council in 1671. In 1674 he was fined 5s. for going out of the house before the Mayor’s election was over, but the next year he was chosen Mayor’s Chamberlain by Tobias Browne.

On 21 August 1679 Elizabeth Pinnell, the wife of James Pinnell (tanner) was buried at St Aldate’s Church. A second Elizabeth Pinnell was buried there on 3 October 1694: this is likely to be his sister who lived with him

In 1682 Pinnell was elected Junior Bailiff

Fourteen years later in 1696, Pinnell was elected one of the Mayor’s Assistants. In that year, he paid tax on 18 windows in St Aldate’s parish.

On 14 April 1701 James Pinnell was chosen an Alderman, and was sworn in, paying £10 and giving the Macebearer a broad piece of gold.

On 16 April 1702 at St Aldate’s Church, his daughter Mary Pinnell married another tanner, Oliver Greenway.

Pinnell was one of six people chosen to attend the Mayor at the Coronation of Queen Anne on 23 April 1702.

On 14 September 1702 James Pinnell was elected Mayor of Oxford (for 1702/3), and at his first council meeting on 30 September he chose his new son-in-law Oliver Greenway as his Child and Richard Gardner as his Chamberlain.

On 22 October 1707 at St Aldate’s Church an Elizabeth Pinnell, probably his daughter, married Samuel Stacy of St Ebbe’s parish.

Pinnell was one of the eight people selected to attend the Mayor at the coronation of George I on 20 October 1714.

† Alderman James Pinnell died in 1723 and was buried at St Aldate’s Church on 5 July.

On 6 February 1739/40 Thomas Pinnell, described as the son of James Pinnell, was also buried at St Aldate’s Church .

©Stephanie Jenkins

Last updated: 1 October, 2018

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