Oxford History: Mayors & Lord Mayors


George Potter (c.1600–1658)

Mayor of Oxford 1649/50

George Potter was born in c.1600. He was the apprentice of Robert Cockram, and was admitted free on 24 September 1623. He became a mercer, and his shop was at 48 Cornmarket in St Michael’s parish.

In about 1635 George Potter married Joan Porter of Abingdon, and they had the following children:

  • Elizabeth Potter (baptised on 20 August 1637 at All Saints’ Church)
  • George Potter (baptised on 1 January 1640/1 at All Saints’ Church;
    buried there the following day.

Anthony Wood confirms in his diary that George and Joan Porter had just one surviving child, Elizabeth:

George Potter, citizen and draper of Oxon … married Joane, daughter of … Porter of Abendon: by whome he had issue one daughter named Elizabeth that was married to Edward Faldo, alderman of London.

Potter was elected on to the Common Council on 2 October 1634, paying the usual fine of 3s. 4d. for not serving as Constable, and 40s. for the barges. A year later he was elected Second Chamberlain; on 17 September 1638 Senior Bailiff; and on 30 September 1642 Keykeeper. In October 1642 he gave a personal donation of £5 to the gift to be presented to Charles I after the Battle of Edgehill.

On 8 August 1648, after two staunch royalists were purged from the council,George Potter was elected one of the Mayor’s eight Assistants.

On 17 September 1649 George Potter was chosen Mayor (for 1649/50), choosing Richard Hawkins as his Chamberlain and John Kibblewhite as his Child.

Potter was the executor of the Revd Henry Tozer, a prominent Calvinist who died in Rotterdam on 11 September 1650, and he received the residue of his estate.

† George Potter died on 2  March 1658 and asked that he should be buried at “Allhallowes” Church. He was duly buried at All Saints’ Church, but his burial is missing from the burial register, which announces, “The Register from 1653 to 1662 in the hands of Jellyman”. Anthony Wood, however, recorded in his diary:

The second of March, T., Mr. Georg Potter, one of the thirteen, Oxon, departed this life about one and 2 of the clocke in the afternoone. He beares to his armes “sable 3 bells argent a canton ermine”.

By his will of 1657 Potter gave 48 Cornmarket to the city, with the rent from his house to be lent out every two years interest-free for seven years to a freeman who was a tailor, a shoemaker, or a glover, and preferably from All Saints or St Michael’s parish.

The property passed to the city after the death of his wife Joan Potter, who appears to have been buried at her home church, St Helen’s in Abingdon, in 1683.

See also:

  • PCC Will PROB 11/276/50 (Will of George Potter, Mercer of Oxford, proved 8 April 1658)

©Stephanie Jenkins

Last updated: 29 September, 2018

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