Oxford History: Mayors & Lord Mayors


John Halifax (c.1673–1735)

Mayor of Oxford 1723/4

John Halifax (or Hallifax, or Halifaxe) was born in c.1673. He became an Oxford ironmonger, and did his duty as a Constable for the North East ward in 1694–5.

On 25 March 1685 at St Michael-at-the-Northgate Church, John Halifax (described as being of St Martin’s parish) married Rachel Howell. They had five children:

  • John Halifax (baptised on 2 June 1696 at St Martin’s Church)
  • Rachel Halifax ((baptised on 22 July 1697 at St Martin’s Church)
  • Ann Halifax ((baptised on 23 April 1700 at St Martin’s Church, buried there 14 months later)
  • William Halifax ((baptised on 23 January 1703 at St Martin’s Church, buried there the next day)
  • Mary Halifax ((baptised on 3 August 1707 at St Martin’s Church).

Halifax took on an apprentice, Richard Greene, in September 1698.

In September 1700 Halifax was elected on to the Common Council. In September 1703 he was chosen as a Chamberlain, and in September 1709 Junior Bailiff.

In 1716 his wife Rachel Halifax died and was buried at St Martin’s Church.

Halifax took on another apprentice, Anthony Weston, in 1718.

In May 1723 Halifax was chosen as one of the eight Assistants, and in September 1723 was elected Mayor of Oxford (for 1723/4), naming Simon Mayow as his Child.

† John Halifax died in the summer of 1735 and was buried at St Martin’s Church on 12 August that year.

His only surviving son John Halifax junior was buried there just nine years later on 10 October 1744.

In 1896 St Martin's Church was demolished (apart from its tower), and all bones uncovered were transferred to an unknown communal grave in Holywell Cemetery.

See also:

  • Malcolm Graham, Oxford City Apprentices 1697–1800, entries numbered 37 and 1016
  • MS Wills Oxon W. 95.67; 35/4/6

©Stephanie Jenkins

Last updated: 24 November, 2019

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