Oxford History: Mayors & Lord Mayors


Sir Daniel Webb (c.1660–1723)

Mayor of Oxford 1700/1, 1706/7, 1712/13, and 1714/15

Daniel Webb (or Webbe) was born in c.1660 and apprenticed to the heraldic painter Richard Hawkins, who was himself to become Mayor in 1689). Daniel was admitted free on 23 September 1681 and duly became a painter and stainer in All Saints parish.

On 23 February 1678/9 at St Mary Magdalen Church, Daniel Webb of All Saints parish married Anne Hawkins of Wolvercote, the granddaughter of his master. They had the following children:

  • Elizabeth Webb (baptised on 11 March 1685/6 at St Mary-the-Virgin Church)
  • Daniel Webb (baptised on 18 October 1692 at St Mary-the-Virgin Church)
  • Thomas Webb (baptised on 20 June 1694 at St Mary-the-Virgin Church)
  • William Webb (born on 15 October 1696, baptised on 26 October 1696 at St Mary-the-Virgin Church)
  • Elizabeth Webb (baptised on 1 August 1698 at All Saints’ Church).

Daniel Webb and his family at first lived in the parish of St Mary the Virgin (possibly at the north-west end of Catte Street, where the Clarendon Building is now)

In September 1689 Daniel Webb was selected as Mayor’s Child by the new Mayor (and grandfather-in-law) Richard Hawkins and was sworn in, paying the usual fine of 3s. 4d. for not serving as head Constable. He took up his Chamberlain’s place in 1690.

Anthony Wood reports that on 26 November 1691 the illuminations to celebrate the taking of Limerick and the reduction of Ireland “began at the upper end of Cat Street about 5 or 6 of the clock in the evening by Dan. Webb [and others] in Dan Webb’s old house.” Wood also states how in 1694 Webb made the escutcheons for a memorial in High Wycombe.

In September 1694 Webb was elected Junior Bailiff on the city council.

On 23 September 1695 his apprentices Francis Millington and Robert Saunders were admitted free.

In 1696 Daniel Webb paid tax on a property with ten windows in St Mary-the-Virgin parish, but in about 1697 he moved with his family to All Saints parish, where he remained until his death.

In November 1699 Daniel Webb was elected Mayor’s Assistant, and in 1700 Mayor (for 1700/1) selecting Greenway Curtice, a watchmaker, as his Child.

Thomas Hearne described Webb as:

a Man of excellent good sense … and of great Humanity. He was a Painter by trade, but his Circumstances were but mean, occasion’d by his Customers (many of wch were Country Gentlemen), who were backward in paying him.

Webb took on John Walter as an apprentice in May 1701, but the apprenticeship was cancelled by mutual consent in December 1703.

Webb resumed his role as Mayor's Assistant, and on 23 April 1702 he was one of the six people attending the Mayor at the Coronation of Queen Anne.

In September 1706 Daniel Webb was appointed Mayor a second time (for 1706/7), selecting Charles Prince as his Child.

In September 1706 he also took on as an apprentice William Webb, who is described as the son of William Webb of Lillington in Warwickshire and may well have been a relation: he was admitted free on 29 September 1715.

In August 1709 he took on another apprentice, Richard Witherington.

In September 1712 he was appointed Mayor a third time (for 1712/13), selecting William Hughes, a butcher, as his Child.

In September 1714 Webb was again appointed Mayor (for 1714/15), “he having consented thereunto notwithstanding any former act to the contrary”. On 20 October 1714 he attended the coronation of George I at Westminster in the customary role of butler, and was knighted on the occasion.

Sir Daniel Webb returned to his position as Assistant, and was elected Barge Commissioner in May 1716.

In March 1717 Webb took on another apprentice, John Bignell.

On 13 September 1717 his apprentice Richard Witherington was admitted free.

Peshall mentions a portrait of Sir Daniel Webb that used to hang in a meeting room in the old Guildhall.

† Sir Daniel Webb died in 1723 and was buried at All Saints’ Church on 22 May that year. A tablet was erected in that church in his memory.

In his will after legacies to his grandson John Burrows and Alice Bignell, he left the rest of his estate to his son Thomas Webb.

It appears that his former apprentice Richard Witherington may have taken over his business, as Webb's apprentice John Bignell was transferred to him after his death. Bignell was described as apprentice to Sir Daniel Webb when he was admitted free on 6 March 1733, nearly ten years after Webb's death.

See also:

  • Malcolm Graham, Oxford City Apprentices 1697–1800, entries numbered 131, 513, 661, and 987
  • Oxford University Archives, Ref. 1718 WPα/31/35: Extract from lease to Sir Daniel Webb, 2 September
  • PCC Will PROB 11/596/176 (Will of Sir Daniel Webb of Oxford, proved 16 March 1724)

©Stephanie Jenkins

Last updated: 3 October, 2018

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