Oxford History: Mayors & Lord Mayors


William Applebee II (c.1712–1772)

Mayor of Oxford 1767/8

William Applebee junior was born in c.1712, the son of Edward Applebee of London, a joiner. His father may have been the Edward Applebee who was born in St Peter-in-the-East parish in 1678 and was the younger half-brother of William Applebee senior.

William Applebee junior was taken on as an apprentice chandler in 1726 by his namesake and probable uncle, who himself held the position of Mayor of Oxford in 1724 and 1732.

William Applebee was described as being of St Peter-in-the-East parish when he married Sarah Moore at ChrIst Church on 14 January 1741/2.

Listed as a grocer as well as a tallow-chandler, he took on John Brookland as an apprentice in 1748, John Barney in 1755, and Rob Davis in 1762. His shop was in Oxford’s High Street.

Applebee first came on to the common council in September 1748, paying 3s. 4d. for not serving as Constable. He was elected Senior (or Mayor’s) Chamberlain on 30 September 1851, one of the five key-keepers the next year, and Senior Bailiff on 1 October 1754.

Applebee’s first wife, Sarah, Applebee, was buried at St Peter-in-the-East Church on 23 August 1764.

On 2 February 1769 at St Peter-in-the-East Church, William Applebee married his second wife, Elizabeth Wilkins. Jackson’s Oxford Journal reported that she was the daughter of a Devonshire clergyman.

On 7 August 1767 Applebee was chosen as one of the Mayor’s eight Assistants, and on 30 September 1767 he was elected Mayor of Oxford (for 1767/8), choosing Richard Wootten senior as his Chamberlain and Thomas Castle as his Child.

When Applebee took on his last apprentice in 1771, he is still described as being of St Peter-in-the-East parish. The 1772 Survey of Oxford shows that he had two adjoining houses at the north-east end of the High Street, one measuring 4 yards 0 ft 3 in. (the eastern half of No. 54) and the other 3 yards 2 ft 3 in. (No. 55), both of which have been rebuilt.

† William Applebee died on Monday 10 February 1772, and was buried at St Peter-in-the-East Church two days later.

It was announced in Jackson’s Oxford Journal that his second wife and executrix Elizabeth would keep the shop on until the end of the year.

Elizabeth Applebee outlived her husband by nearly twenty years, and was buried with him on 6 December 1791.

Applebee does not appear to have had any children.

See also:

  • William Applebee I, Mayor 1724 and 1732
  • Malcolm Graham, Oxford City Apprentices 1697–1800, entries numbered 1967, 2126, 2238, and 2436
  • PCC Will PROB 11/975/328 (Will of William Applebee, Grocer of Oxford, proved 10 March 1772)

©Stephanie Jenkins

Last updated: 24 September, 2018

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