Oxford History: Mayors & Lord Mayors


Thomas Weekes (1596–1662)

Mayor of Oxford 1648/9

Thomas Weekes (or Weeks or Wickes or Wicks) was baptised at St Ebbe's Church on 10 October 1596. He was the eldest son of the brewer William Weekes of Milton near Abingdon and Emme Watkins, who had married at St Ebbe’s Church on 20 February 1592. His younger brother Henry Weekes was baptised at St Ebbe’s Church on 18 October 1599).

Thomas Weekes’ first wife was Jane Bolt of Marston, and the following baptism indicates that he may have married her when he was only about 18:

  • William (baptised on 3 October 1615 at St Ebbe’s Church), described as “son of Thomas, maulter”.
    The baby died and was buried shortly afterwards
  • Mary Weekes (no baptism found)
  • John Weekes (described as eldest son, no baptism found)
  • Thomas Weekes (described as “son of Mr Thomas” when he was buried at St Ebbe's Church on 12 May 1639)

Weekes’s father was himself a bailiff on the council when on 9 March 1618/19 Weekes was admitted free by his father’s copy. Henceforth Weekes was described as a “brewer of ale”.

His father was himself a Bailiff on the council when Thomas was granted a Chamberlain’s place for £4 and officers’ fees on 4 October 1619.

On 28 December 1626 his father William Weekes, still described as an ale-brewer, was buried at St Ebbe’s Church.

On 22 March 1628 Thomas Weekes was elected Senior Bailiff.

On 7 October 1629 Weekes’s first wife, Jane Weekes, was buried at St Ebbe’s Church.

Anthony Wood states that Thomas Weekes had a second wife. She was called Mary according to his will, so the man called Thomas Weekes who married Anne Grawlyns at St Ebbe’s Church on 19 January 1641 is presumably a different person. The Thomas Weekes who was described as “son of Thomas” when he was buried at St Ebbe's Church on 10 July 1642 may have been their son.

On 14 September 1643 the Mayor reported that he had received a letter from King Charles I at Shrewsbury Castle stating that several members of the council had left Oxford to join the rebellion, and recommended that such men should be disfranchised. A search of the city records revealed that Weekes and twelve other council members had been away from the city (most of them since his Majesty’s stay there), indicating that they were evilly disposed towards the King. The council agreed unanimously that they should all be disfranchised, forfeit the freedom of the City, and be deprived of any offices in the City that they might have.

Three years later, on 26 June 1646, this council act was repealed and Weekes and the others were restored to their freedom and places on the council.

On 18 May 1647 Weekes was elected one of the Commissioners for the Barges, and on 8 August that year it was agreed that he should be allowed to come in his cloak to the council (when summoned) until Michaelmas the following year, notwithstanding any former Act.

On 8 August 1648 Weekes was elected one of the Mayor’s eight Assistants, and the next month was elected Mayor. John White was admitted free as the Mayor’s Child and given a Chamberlain’s place, and John Wildgoose was elected Mayor’s Chamberlain. Anthony Wood, reporting on a meeting of Convocation on 26 February 1648/9 where it was shown to the members that the citizens of Oxford were trying to infringe the liberties and customs of the University, wrote:

The originall of this controversie was thus:—When Thomas Weeks entred into the office of mayor at Michaelmas anno 1648, the vicechancellor sent two of the bedells to warne him and 62 citizens to come to St. Marie’s and there according to custome and order take their oathes of fidelity to the Universitie; wherupon they denie it. Also in the beginning of Febr. this yeare the said vice-chancellor sent to the said mayor and citizens to acquaint them that they come to St. Marie’s on St. Scholastica’s day [10 February] and there according to antient custome heare prayers and offer their pence; but they denie this also and threaten to put up a petition to the parliament to shew them their greviances and to accuse the Universitie of superstition.

On 30 September 1651 Weekes was chosen to be an Alderman in the place of Francis Harris, who had been dismissed because of his royalist tendencies.

His daughter Mary White, the wife of the brewer John White, died in 1658, and was buried in the north aisle adjoining the chancel of St Ebbe’s Church. Anthony Wood says that she had a large monument in that church, and added:

When Mr White’s wife, brewer in Oxon, was buried in S. Ebb’s church Oxon in the beginning of July 1658—she being the daughter of alderman Weekes, Oxon—these armes were upon her herse;— “blue, on a cross ermine five fusils of the first, between four birds close argent”; name White: impaling “ermine, three battle-axes erect sable”, name Weeks. There was her mother’s also, impaled with Weekes, viz. “sable, a chevron inter 3 mullets argent”. The abovsaid scotheon is hung over her grave in the said church.

On 26 October 1659 Weekes was one of the group selected to present letters of congratulation to the Lord Protector, and on 24 May 1660 he along with most members of the council took the oath of allegiance to King Charles II.

On 17 September 1660 Francis Harris was restored to his position as Alderman, so Wickes had to return to his position as an Assistant. In August the next year he went out with the Mayor and senior councillors in a scarlet gown with footclothes and footmen to meet the King in his visit to the city.

On 16 April 1661 Weekes’s eldest son John was admitted free.

In May 1662 Weekes was removed from his place on the council by the Corporation Act of December 1661, but remained Commissioner for the Barges.

† Thomas Weekes died on 6 June 1662 in St Mary Magdalen parish and was buried at St Ebbe’s Church the next day. Anthony Wood took the opportunity to give this potted family history:

Thomas Wicks or Weeks, a maltster, alderman of Oxon, died the 6 of June, F., 1662, at this house in Magdalen parish; buried in St. Ebbs church. He was the son of William Wicks of Milton by Abendon in Berks. He married to his first wife Jane, daughter of …. Bolt of Merston by Oxon; and to his second ….

Jane the first wife of alderman Weeks was buried in S. Ebbs church 7 October 1629.

William Weeks, father of alderman Weeks, buried there 28 Dec. 1626, by trade an ale-bruer: he married one Emme Atkins.

See also:

  • PCC Will PROB 11/308/536 (Will of Thomas Weeker [sic], Gentleman of Saint Mary Magdalene Oxford, proved 9 July 1662)

©Stephanie Jenkins

Last updated: 20 September, 2018

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