Mayor of Oxford 1845/6
John Thorp (1787–1856) was the second son of John Wise Thorp, mercer of 44 Broad Street, and Dorothy Lawrence.
He came from a long line of Oxford Mayors, elected in the years shown in brackets below:
His father John Wise Thorp (1805 and 1822)
His grandfather William Thorp I (1775 and 1789)
His maternal grandfather Isaac Lawrence (1759, 1768, and 1784)
His maternal great-grandfather Thomas Lawrence (1737 and 1745)
His older brother William Thorpe II (1833, 1844, and 1848)
Thorp was born on 25 April 1787 and baptised at St Mary Magdalen Church in Oxford on 16 May 1787. His mother died in June 1796 when he was nine years old.
Thorp came from a well-known local family of hosiers and drapers, and was admitted free on 6 October 1812. He is described as a hosier until 1823, and thereafter a mercer, and his business was at 44 Broad Street in St Mary Magdalen parish.
Thorp married Maria Hester of the parish of St Mary the Virgin at that church on 5 September 1818, and the marriage was announced in Jackson’s Oxford Journal of 12 September 1818. They had the following six children:
- Susannah Thorp (baptised at St Mary Magdalen Church on 11 July 1819)
- Maria Thorp (baptised at St Mary Magdalen Church on 14 May 1821)
- John Charles Thorp (baptised at St Mary Magdalen Church on 15 April 1823)
- Ann Hester Thorp (born 6 December 1824, baptised at St Mary Magdalen Church on 30 December 1824)
- Frances (Fanny) Mary Thorp (baptised at St Mary Magdalen Church on 26 November 1826, died aged two, buried there in 1828)
- William Hester Thorp (baptised at St Mary Magdalen Church on 12 August 1828, buried there a month later).
Thorp was elected as a member of the corporation in 1827 and made a chamberlain in 1829.
On 4 August 1830 Thorpe’s wife Maria died at the age of 34 and was buried at St Mary Magdalen Church a week later.
Thorp was elected Bailiff in 1831. In 1835 under the new system he was elected a councillor for the ward in which he lived.
The 1841 census shows Thorp living as a widower over his shop at 44 Broad Street with his four surviving children (Susanna, Maria, John, and Ann), plus a shopman and three servants. He is described as a mercer.
Thorp was made an Alderman in 1844, and the next year was elected Mayor of Oxford (for 1845/6).
By the time of the 1851 census, Thorp’s only son, John Charles Thorp (who was now 28 and married with two young children) was living at 44 Broad Street and running the business. Thorp himself had moved in his retirement to 52 St John Street, and in 1851 he was living there with his unmarried daughter Ann and three servants; his married daughter Maria and her children were also visiting from London.
Thorp resigned his aldermanship in November 1856 through ill health, and the next month, on 30 December, died at his Broad Street home at the age of 69. His funeral was held at St Mary Magdalen Church five days later.
John Thorp’s surviving children
- Susannah Thorp married the Revd William Powell in 1849
- Maria Thorp married William Laffin in New Melbourne, Australia in 1845
- John Charles Thorp married Susan Joy at Holywell Church on 9 February 1847, and John Joy Thorp was born on 18 February 1848. Susan died in 1876 and he then married Mrs Louisa Hooper. He was a Presbyterian minister in Guernsey
- Ann Hester Thorp married James Waldie in 1858
- William Thorp I, Mayor 1775, 1789 (his paternal grandfather)
- John Wise Thorp, Mayor 1805, 1822 (his father)
- William Thorp II, Mayor 1833, 1844, 1848 (his older brother)
- Thomas Lawrence, Mayor 1737, 1735 (his maternal great-grandfather)
- Isaac Lawrence, Mayor 1737, 1745 (his maternal grandfather)
- Jackson’s Oxford Journal, 12 September 1818: Announcement of Thorp’s marriage
- Jackson’s Oxford Journal, 3 January 1857, p. 5b: Thorp’s obituary
- PCC Will PROB 11/2250 (Will of John Thorp, Magistrate of Oxford, proved 23 April 1857)
- 1841 Census: Oxford (St Mary Magdalen), 891/11/6
- 1851 Census: Oxford (St Mary Magdalen), 1728/583