Mayor of Oxford 1737/8 and 1745/6
Thomas Lawrence (or Lawrance/Larrance/Laurence/Larance/Larrancs/Learance) (c.1680–1750) was a chandler of St Michael’s parish in Oxford, probably in Cornmarket.
He is probably the Thomas “Larrancs” (son of the glover Thomas Lawrence) who was born on 10 February 1681/2 and baptised at St Michael’s Church two days later. His three siblings would then be Edward (born on 25 September and baptised at St Michael’s Church on 7 October 1683); Mary (born on 5 March, baptised on 7 March 1685/6); and Jane (born on 29 April, baptised on 1 May 1688); and his mother was probably Jane Lawrence, named as the mother of Mary.
Lawrence was appointed a cloth searcher by the council on 30 September 1708, but did not come on to the common council until 1713, paying 3s. 4d. for not being constable.
Thomas and his first wife Mary had the following children:
- Mary Lawrence (baptised at St Michael’s Church on 13 December 1711)
- James Lawrence (baptised at St Michael’s Church on 18 July 1715)
- Isaac Lawrence (baptised at St Michael’s Church on 3 September 1716)
- Richard Lawrence (baptised at St Michael’s Church on 14 November 1717, died aged 19, buried inside the church on 23 September 1737)
William Collyson (who had been apprenticed to the mercer Henry Wise in January 1707/8) was transferred to Lawrence to learn the chandlery business instead in March 1710/11. Lawrence (henceforth described as a grocer) took on three further apprentices: John Faulkner in September 1718, George Tomkins in November 1721, and Samuel Hicks in March 1725.
Lawrence’s wife Mary died at the age of 41 and was buried inside St Michael’s Church on 17 September 1722. On 4 August 1726 he married his second wife, Anne Wilcox, at St Mary Magdalen Church.
Lawrence was chosen as Mayor’s Chamberlain by Henry Wise in 1718 and was elected Senior Bailiff in 1724 .
Thomas Hearne tells how when John Knibb was elected Assistant on 6 September 1732 (following the death of Timothy Bourne), ”My Lord Abbington came in a coach and six from Rycot that morning, on purpose to hinder him being elected”, and put up Thomas Lawrence in opposition; but this ploy failed, as Knibb got 49 votes to Lawrence’s 31.” Hearne observes, ” ’Tis observable that formerly such a Bustle never used to be made in the election of assistants.”
In 1735 Lawrence did eventually get an Assistant’s place , and on 30 September 1737 he started his first term as Mayor (for 1737/8), naming William Hawkes as his Child. He proposed Anthony Weston as his Chamberlain, but Weston was rejected by the Common Council.
Lawrence’s second wife Ann died at the age of 57 and was buried in St Michael’s Church on 24 February 1744/5.
On 30 September 1745 Lawrence began his second term as Mayor (for 1745/6), choosing Richard Riggins as his Child and Philip Ward as his Chamberlain .
Lawrence died at the age of about 70 and was buried inside St Michael’s Church on 13 June 1750.
- Isaac Lawrence, Mayor 1759, 1768, and 1784 (his son)
- Malcolm Graham, Oxford City Apprentices 1697–1800, entries numbered 527, 994, 1119, and 1277
- MS Wills Oxon W. 214.29; 140/1/50