Oxford History: Mayors & Lord Mayors


Anthony Weston (1704–1767)

Mayor of Oxford 1751/2 and 1762/3

Anthony Weston (or Wesson/Wessin/Wessen/Westen) was baptised at St Helen’s Church in Abingdon on 26 December 1704. He was the youngest son of Richard Weston, a husbandman of Shippon in Berkshire, and his wife Mary, who had five other children baptised at St Helen's, which was the parish church for Shippon: Edward (5 June 1688); J(o)ane (15 January 1690/1, buried eight days later); Elizabeth (7 April 1692, buried 1 December 1696); William (24 April 1695); Frances (16 July 1696); and Anthony himself (26 December 1704).

Anthony Weston was apprenticed to the Oxford ironmonger John Halifax for seven years from  March 1718. He then set up his own business as an ironmonger in Cornmarket, in a house owned by Jesus College.

On 31 July 1729 at St Michael-at-the-Northgate Church in Oxford, Anthony Weston married Elizabeth Weston (possibly a cousin). Three months later he was first elected on to the Common Council, paying £3 10s. and the usual fine of 3s. 4d. for not serving as Constable.

Weston and Elizabeth had two children:

  • Robert Weston (baptised on 6 July 1730 at St Michael-at-the-Northgate Church)
  • Elizabeth Weston (baptised on 4 November 1731at St Michael-at-the-Northgate Church).

Weston’s first wife Elizabeth must have died soon after the birth of their second child.

On 10 August 1732 at St Michael's Church, Anthony Weston, still only 27 but described as a widower, married Ann Fortnam. They had eleven children, but six of them died in childhood:

  • Richard Weston (baptised at St Michael-at-the-Northgate Church on 12 June 1733)
  • Mary Weston I (baptised on 11 July 1734 at St Michael-at-the-Northgate Church,
    buried inside the church two years later)
  • Edward Weston (baptised on 6 June 1735 at St Michael-at-the-Northgate Church,
    buried inside the church five days later)
  • Ann Weston I (baptised on 28 April 1736 at St Michael-at-the-Northgate Church,
    buried inside the church nine years later)
  • Mary Weston II (baptised on 6 December 1737 at St Michael-at-the-Northgate Church,
    buried inside the church nine months later)
  • William Weston (baptised on 20 December 1738 at St Michael-at-the-Northgate Church)
  • Sarah Weston (baptised on 5 January 1739/40 at St Michael-at-the-Northgate Church)
  • Catherine Weston (baptised on 11 February 1740/1 at St Michael-at-the-Northgate Church,
    buried inside the church three months later)
  • John Weston (baptised on 2 March 1742/3 at St Michael-at-the-Northgate Church)
  • Anthony Weston (baptised at St Michael-at-the-Northgate Church on 20 March 1743/4,
    buried inside the church 2½ years later)
  • Ann Weston II (baptised on 22 May 1745 at St Michael's Church).

In September 1737 Weston was proposed by the Mayor, Thomas Lawrence, as his Chamberlain, but there was a dispute, and after a poll he did not get the position. Four years later he was eventually chosen as Mayor ’s Chamberlain by John Treacher.

In 1745 Weston was elected Senior Bailiff, and on 6 July 1750 he was chosen one of the eight Mayor’s Assistants by a majority of 35 votes. On 16 September 1751 was elected Mayor of Oxford (for 1751/2), choosing Richard Piddington as his Child.

His son Richard Weston came of age in 1751, and at about this time took over his father’s shop, but moved to new premises in 1761.

In September 1762 Weston was elected Mayor of Oxford for a second time (for 1762/3), this time choosing Edward Lock as his Child.

Anthony Weston died at the age of 62 on 25 July 1767 and was buried at St Michael-at-the-Northgate Church three days later. His second wife Ann Weston died suddenly at the same age on 23 March 1768 and was buried with him four days after her death. Their house in Cornmarket was offered to let shortly afterwards.

Four of Weston's children were mentioned in his will: his unmarried daughters Elizabeth, Sarah, and Ann, and his son William. His son Richard had already taken over his shop in Cornmarket.

On 26 September 1769 at St Michael-at-the-Northgate Church his daughter Sarah Weston (named as Sally in Jackson’s Oxford Journal) married James Burrows, a baker of St Peter-le-Bailey.

See also:

  • Richard Weston, Mayor in 1786 and 1801 (his son)
  • Malcolm Graham, Oxford City Apprentices 1697–1800, entry numbered 1016
  • PCC Will PROB 11/934/237 (Will of Anthony Weston, Ironmonger of Oxford, proved 11 December 1767)

©Stephanie Jenkins

Last updated: 24 September, 2018

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