Oxford History: Mayors & Lord Mayors


Francis Guiden (1734–1792)

Mayor of Oxford 1787/8

Francis Guiden (or Guidon or Guyden) was baptised at St Ebbe’s Church in Oxford on 21 February 1734/5. He was the son of Francis Guiden senior and Mary Winter, who were married at St Michael's Church on 8 June 1713. It appears that he had an older sister Mary, who was baptised at St Aldate’s on 11 September 1724 and buried there on 12 April 1726. A Francis Guiden, probably his father, was buried at St Aldate’s Church on 5 June 1740, when Francis junior was only five years old.

Francis was matriculated at the University of Oxford as a cook of Trinity College on 8 August 1759. But he was described as “late cook of Trinity” in Jackson’s Oxford Journal of 19 January 1765 in an announcement that he had taken on the New Inn (later known as the Bulldog, and situated at 108 St Aldate’s Street).

On 21 April 1765 at St Aldate's Church, Francis Guiden married Mary Robinson. They do not appear to have had any children.

Guiden was nominated Mayor’s Child by the new Mayor, Philip Ward, on 30 September 1765. He promised to pay the usual fine of 3s. 4d. for not serving as Constable, and took up his place as a chamberlain in September 1766. Ten years later, in September 1776 he was appointed a bailiff.

In 1772 a survey of every house in the city was taken in consequence of the Mileways Act of 1771. Mr Guiden then occupied both 107 and 108 St Aldate’s Street, which had a combined frontage of 14 yds 0 ft. 4 in.

In February 1773 Guiden appears in a list of innkeepers putting up the cost of carriage hire because of the rising costs of corn and hay, and in Jackson’s Oxford Journal on 12 November 1774 he was advertising for “Black-work” (the hiring out of a hearse and mourning coaches).

On 30 September 1775 he issued a denial of the rumour that he was about to give up the New Inn, but on 18 April 1778 it was announced that he had retired, and that Richard Wood had taken over the inn.

Guidon leased a farm in Garsington from the council, and in December 1781 was given permission “to plough up the ground called the Portways at Garsington, which he rents from the City, provided he indemnifies the City from any action at law or expenses”. He gave up this lease in 1786.

On 24 July 1784 Guiden was appointed one of the eight Mayor’s Assistants, and in September 1787 was elected Mayor of Oxford (for 1787/8), selecting Richard Grain as his child and James Tagg as his Chamberlain.

† Francis Guiden died at the age of 57 in the autumn of 1792 and was buried at St Ebbe’s Church on 18 October. He was described in the register as “husband[man], from Magdalen”.

See also:

  • PCC Will PROB 11/1245/79 (Will of Francis Guiden, Innholder of Oxford, proved 6 May 1794)

©Stephanie Jenkins

Last updated: 24 September, 2018

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