Oxford History: Mayors & Lord Mayors


Daniel Shilfox (1689–1757)

Mayor of Oxford 1740/1 and 1753/4

Daniel Shilfox (or Shillfox or Shellfox) was baptised at St Cross Church on 2 February 1689/90. His father, John Shilfox (a tailor who also served on the council until 1735), had married at Begbroke, at St Peter le Bailey Church on 4 August 1679, and they had five other sons baptised at St Cross Church: John (1681), Jonathan (1683), David (1687), William (1693), and Alexander  1696).

Daniel Shilfox also became a tailor and took over his father’s apprentice, John Gom on 10 September 1716. He later took on five other apprentices: Richard Ash (29 May 1717); John Cooper (2 February 1718/19); John James (29 May 1725); Henry Stubbs (18 January 1725/6); Edward Wells (11 June 1734).

On 1 April 1723, when the city council granted a lease of 47 Broad Street (in St Mary Magdalen parish) to Henry Wise and John Taylor, the house was stated as being in the occupation of the tailor Daniel Shilfox.

In 1730 Shilfox had a direct lease from the council of 53 Broad Street, six doors to the west: this may be the “property against Balliol College” that he was still leasing in September 1741, and also the tenement in St Mary Magdalen for which he paid £1 6s. 8d. in 1753. In that year he was also leasing two other tenements, one in St Michael’s and the other in St Peter-le-Bailey parish.

Shilfox remained at 53 Broad Street, which was opposite the Sheldonian Theatre, until his retirement: on 18 May 1753 it was advertised as being available to rent.

Shilfox first came on to the council as one of the 24 on 30 September 1721. In 1728 he was chosen as Senior Chamberlain; in 1734 Senior Bailiff; and in 1739 one of the Mayor’s eight Assistants.

On 16 March 1739 it was reported by the council:

Mr Daniel Shilfox is to have a lease of Stamper’s encroachment under the old rent and covenants and it is also agreed that he is to have liberty to carry out his building on a level an equal to the tenement lately built by James Collins, Joiner, which is to be included in the former lease.

On 30 September 1740 Shilfox started his first term as Mayor (for 1740/1), choosing William Wickham as Mayor’s Child and Thomas Rawlins as Mayor’s Chamberlain. During his term of office, on 13 April 1741, he was elected one of the four Aldermen and a barge commissioner.

On 5 January 1747 it was agreed to put the city seal to a certificate to be returned to the Lord Chancellor certifying the election of Mr Ald. Shilfox to act as a commissioner under the Statute 21 Jac. I for making “the River Thames Navigable for Bargers Boats and Lighters from village of Burcott in the County of Oxford until the University and City of Oxford”.

On 1 October 1753 Shilfox started his second term as Mayor (for 1753/4), choosing John Breach as Mayor’s Chamberlain and Samuel Hicks as his child.

On 2 April 1757 Daniel Shilfox died suddenly at the age of 69 in London. His obituary in Jackson’s Oxford Journal of 9 April 1757 read:

Last Saturday died suddenly, as he was passing through Newgate-Market in London, Mr. Daniel Shilfox, one of the senior Aldermen, who had twice served the Office of Mayor for this City, and in a publick as well as private Capacity had acquitted himself with great Integrity; being possessed of many truly amiable Qualities: For though he had no Issue, yet he had been a Father to the various Branches of his Family; and though the Requests of his Will are numerous, yet it might with great Propriety be said, that his own Hands had been his Executors. To his Friends he was ever open and generous; and a Man whose Charity and Munificence were boundless. Having thus spent a Life of nearly 70 Years, it would be unnecessary to add, that he died deservedly regretted, not only by his Relations, but by all those who had the Pleasure of his Acquaintance.

He was unmarried, and left his property to Mrs Elizabeth Shilfox (the widow of his youngest brother Alexander), who acted as his Executrix.

Other people in Oxford called Daniel Shilfox

Daniel Shilfox, a tailor, had his son Jonathan baptised in Oxford on 5 June 1711.

Daniel Shilfox, son of Alexander Shilfox, a cook, and his wife Elizabeth, was baptised at St Michael's Church on 3 February 1735.

Daniel Shilfox, a tinplate worker, was admitted free in July 1747 and came on to the council in September 1752. He and his wife Ann had their daughter Ann Elizabeth baptised at Oxford on 27 November 1751. He took on apprentices in 1752 and 1762. This Daniel Shilfox died in 1773 (see PCC will on Ancestry).

See also:

  • Malcolm Graham, Oxford City Apprentices 1697–1800, entry numbered 664, 948, 993, 1245, 1261, 1600 (tailor) and 2018, 2236 (tinplate worker)
  • Jackson’s Oxford Journal, 2 April 1757, p. 3 (notice of his death and short obituary)
  • MS Wills Oxon 210.103; 152/2/7


©Stephanie Jenkins

Last updated: 14 February, 2021

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