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William Turner (c.1683–1750)

Mayor of Oxford 1743/4


William Turner is probably the child of that name who was baptised at St Mary-the-Virgin Church on 14 October 1683. If so, his father was also named William Turner and he had a sister, Marie (baptised at the same church on 20 February 1684/5).

William was apprenticed to his mother, Sarah Turner, an Oxford chandler, for seven years from 14 March 1697/8.

William Turner duly became an Oxford chandler and grocer in the parish of St Mary the Virgin. He is probably the “Mr Turner” who in 1715 and again in 1734 paid the city council one shilling for “a poarch in St Mary’s parish”: if so, then his premises were at 102/103 High Street, on the western corner of Oriel Street.

Turner first came on to the Common Council in September 1727, paying 10s., plus the usual fine of 3s. 4d. for not serving as Constable.

Turner took on Thomas Treadwell as an apprentice on 1 January 1733/4, but he was almost immediately transferred to Robert Rogers. (Turner may have been in some kind of partnership with Rogers, as in 1715 he paid Rogers’ rent for a tenement belonging to the city council and situated in the Holloway in the North-West ward.) Then two years later in September 1734, Turner took on Thomas’s younger brother James Treadwell as his apprentice.

In 1734 Turner was appointed Mayor’s Chamberlain, and in 1739 Senior Bailiff.

In June 1741 Turner was appointed one of the eight Mayor’s Assistants, and in September 1743 was chosen Mayor (for 1743/4), selecting Robert Tawney as his Child.

In September 1744 Turner took on Thomas Hopkins as his apprentice.

In July 1747 Turner’s council lease on a house in George Street (then called Lane) was renewed for a fine of £6.

William Turner continued to serve as a Mayor’s Assistant until his death. He was buried at St Mary-the-Virgin Church on 26 June 1750.

He left all his freehold messuages in St Mary Magdalen parish to his kinsmen Thomas and James Treadwell and Sarah and Katherine Treadwell. He also left 21 messuages which he held by lease from Oriel College in St Mary-the-Virgin parish to his nice Elizabeth Turner.


See also:

  • Malcolm Graham, Oxford City Apprentices 1697–1800, entries numbered 45, 1552,1614, and 1862
  • PCC Will PROB 11/781/51 (Will of William Turner, Chandler of Oxford, proved 4  July 1750)

©Stephanie Jenkins

Last updated: 24 September, 2018

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