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William Tubb (1764–1824)

Mayor of Oxford 1814/15


William Tubb was born in Oxford on 17 April 1864 and baptised at St Michael's Church the following day. He was the son of the grocer & tallow-chandler Michael Tubb and his wife Ann, who had three other sons baptised there, each on the day after they were born: William Tubb (born 17 April 1864), Thomas (born 12 April 1766, died aged six months and buried there on 15 October), and a second Thomas (born 18 February 1769).

The family shop was at the former building at 37 Cornmarket in St Michael’s parish.

His father Michael Tubb, who was a Churchwarden at St Michael's Church, also served on the city council (and the man who shared his name, William Tubb senior, who was prominent on the council from 1762 until his death at the age of 81 in 1803, was probably his uncle).

On 1 November 1780 William (15) was taken on by his father Michael Tubb as his apprentice. In 1783 the directory listing for the shop was “Tubb, Michael, Grocer, Tea-dealer, and Tallow-chandler”; but it appears that William soon ran the shop by himself, as in September 1785 when he was only 21 he took on his first apprentice, Thomas Bartlett.

William Tubb was married to an Elizabeth around this time, and he may be the William Tubb who married Elizabeth Westcar at Bicester on 20 July 1786.

William and Elizabeth had two daughters:

  • Elizabeth Tubb (born on 2 December 1787 and baptised at St Michael-at-the-Northgate Church on 15 December 1787)
  • Ann Tubb (born on 21 November 1793 and baptised at St Michael-at-the-Northgate Church on 24 November 1793).

Sir Richard Tawney selected William Tubb as his Mayor’s Child on 30 September 1790, and he took up a Chamberlain’s place on the Council.

In March 1792, William Tubb took on another apprentice, John Hayes.

In 1794 the Universal British Directory lists the shop under William’s name: “Tubb William, Grocer, and Agent to the Bristol Fire-office”.

William's father Michael Tubb died near the beginning of 1795 at the age of 60 and was buried in the chancel of St Michael-at-the-Northgate Church on 22 January.

William Tubb was elected Senior Bailiff in September 1800.

On 21 June 1800 the following advertisement appeared in Jackson’s Oxford Journal:

Wanted immediately,—A Young Man as Shopman in the Grocery Business — A respectable Reference will be required as to his Honesty, Sobriety, and obliging deportment. Apply to Mr. William Tubb, Grocer and Tallow Chandler, Oxford.

William's mother Ann Tubb died at the end of 1807 at the age of 84 and was buried with her husband in the chancel of St Michael's Church on 31 December. Her death was reported in Jackson’s Oxford Journal on 2 January 1808, which described her as the widow of Mr Tubb, grocer of Oxford.

In 1814 William Tubb was elected Mayor (for 1814/15).

On 10 June 1815 Jackson’s Oxford Journal reported the marriage of Miss Eliza Tubb (the eldest daughter of William Tubb, Esq., Mayor of Oxford) and J. Pead, Esq. The marriage took place at St Michael-at-the-Northgate Church on 5 June 1815, and the bridegroom is named in the transcript as “Jonathan Peel of Bensington”.

William Tubb died at the age of 60 on 9 June 1824, and was buried at St Michael-at-the-Northgate Church six days later. His memorial in that church reads:

Sacred to the Memory of
William Tubb, Esqr
who died June the 9th, 1824
Aged 60 Years
Through life he Faithfully
discharged all his public and
private duties. He was a tender
Husband, most affectionate
Father, and valuable Friend.
His mild unassuming character was
marked, by the sincerest piety,
charity, and benevolence

The text then refers to his widow Eliza, who died “at an advanced age” on 4 February 1832, but it cannot be read because of the position of a pew. The burial register states that she was in fact 76 when she died, and was buried at St Michael’s on 13 February 1832.


Thomas William Tubb

Directories from 1830 to 1852 liSt Thomas William Tubb as a grocer and tallow chandler at 37 Cornmarket Street, and he is likely to be a relation of William Tubb, who had no sons. He was baptised at Bicester in 1799 and died there at the age of 67 on 29 April 1866.


The Tubb banking firm

Thomas Tubb who was a banker in Oxford may have been a relation of William Tubb (possibly his brother). The listing of Tubb’s bank in directories is as follows:

  • Pigot’s Directory of 1823: Tubb, Wootten, & Tubb in St Aldate’s
  • Robson’s Commercial Directory of 1839: Wootten, Tubb & Co at 2 St Aldate’s

On 1 July 1847 the London Gazette announced that the banking business under the name of the Bicester & Oxfordshire Bank, until then carried on at Bicester by Richard Wootten the elder, Henry Michael Tubb, and Richard Wootten the younger, in partnership with Thomas Tubb (deceased), would henceforth be carried on at Oxford by Richard Wootten the elder and Richard Wootten the younger.


See also:

  • Malcolm Graham, Oxford City Apprentices 1697–1800, entries numbered 2667, 2774, and 2969
  • PCC Will PROB 11/1690/105 (Will of William Tubb of Oxford, proved 9 September 1824)

©Stephanie Jenkins

Last updated: 15 September, 2018

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