Oxford History: Mayors & Lord Mayors


The Coronation of George III in 1761

The following extract from the diary of William Thorp, then Senior Bailiff on the council, was copied into a book of family dates by Richard J. Spiers in the nineteenth century. The Mayor of Oxford, Thomas Munday, was knighted at the occasion


Diary of William Thorp, Bailiff of the City of Oxford,
relating to the Coronation of George III and Queen Charlotte, Sept. 22nd 1761

The attendants upon Mr Mayor appointed by Council were two Aldermen, Recorder, Town Clerk, & the two Bailiffs, & in the room of the Recorder who declined going, Mr Ward was appointed in his room & Mr Phillips was appointed by Council to go if Sir James Dashwood could procure him a ticket, which he accordingly did, so there was 6 tickets allowed by the King, from the Duke of Ancaster, for 6 Burgesses to attend. Mr Mayor, he being admitted by virtue of the Certificate of the Chaine, & Sir James Dashwood as High Steward of the City of Oxford begged two more Tickets of the Duke of Ancaster according to ancient custom which was granted, one of them to be kept for his own admission into the Hall & the other he complimented Mr Phillips with (who was then an assistant).

We all went in 4 Post-chaises. Mr Mayor & Aldn [blank] in the first, Mr Aldn Nicholls & Mr Ward in the Second, Mr Phillips & Mr Walker the Town Clerk in the third, Mr Bailiff Thorp & Mr Bailiff Millachip in the fourth, & we returned home in 3 postchaises, leaving Sir Thomas Munday in London, Mr Walker being absent from home before upon Business.

We all appeared the day of the Coronation in new Suits of very fine broad-cloth Plain-Clothes with our City Scarlet gowns on & very neat tye wigs.


This day set out for London to attend Mr Mayor to the Coronation in a post-chaise

Sept 16th 1761 Wednesday. Breakfasted at the Red Lion, Benson. Dined at the Castel, Salt Hill. Supped at the Baptist Head in Chancery Lane & Lodged at the Turk’s Head, Bagnid Court.

Thursday Sept 17th 1761. This morn breakfasted at the lodgings. Dined at the Baptist Head Tavern, went to Drury-lane playhouse, Provoked wife. Supped at the Baptist Tavern.

Friday Sept. 18th 1761. This morn breakfasted at the Lodgings, dined at the above Tavern & Brown Trollop Esqr dined with us. Supped at the above Tavern. Drank tea at Mrs Kernatt’s. This morn went to see Westminster Hall & the Abbey & the scaffolding.

Saturday Sept. 19th. This morning breakfasted at the Lodgings. Dined at Brown Trollop’s Esqre. Supper at the Baptist Tavern, went to see the Beaux Stratagem and Miss Poley Entertainment.

Sunday Sept. 20th. Breakfasted at the Lodgings, went to the Temple Church. Dined at Mr Booth’s, drank tea at Chelsea. Supped at the Baptist Tavern.

Monday Sept. 21st. Breakfasted at the Lodgings. Dined at the Tavern as usual. Supped at ditto.

Tuesday 22nd 1761. This morn got up at 3 o’clock, it being Coronation Day. Breakfasted at the Lodging. Got to Westminster Hall about 8 o’clock. The King & Queen came in chairs to the Painted Chamber to robe about 9 o’clock & the Procession began a little before 12 & did not return till almost 7 o’clock which was very magnificent with 4744 Wax candles & 56 chandeliers on the tables beside of the King’s Cubard, & as soon as the first course was served up, Lord Talbot as High Steward in the middle Lord Effingham as Earl Marshal & the Duke of Bedford as Lord High Constable on each side of them rode up the Hall, & as soon as the 2nd course was served up the Champion rode up the Hall with Lord Effingham & the Duke of Bedford with formalities as usual & then the Duke of Queensborough as cup-bearer to His Majesty introduced the Mayor of Oxford to the King who he presented with a gold cup with wine in it with a bended knee and afterwards the Lord Mayor of London waited on the King in the same manner and then he came round the table & presented the Queen with a cup of wine in the same manner which was to the whole length of the Hall & the throne at the upper end where the King, the Queen, the Princess Augusta, the Duke of York, the Duke of Cumberland & a great many Lords in Waiting & our Corporation waited upon the Throne near the King’s Table, Cook on the other side.

Wednesday Sept. 23rd. This morn breakfasted at the Lodgings & then went to the Cocoa Tree in Pall Mall & meet Sir James Dashwood, Sir Thomas Stapelton & Mr Walters & from there went to St. James’ Palace about 1 o’clock & a little before 3 was introduced to his Majesty & most graciously received. Mr Mayor was Knighted & the rest had the honour to kiss his hand, from thence to Almuth’s Tavern in Pall Mall to dinner, where an elegant Entertainment was provided for us by Sir James Dashwood & in the evening returned home in coaches.

Thursday Sept. 24th. This morn breakfasted at the Lodging. Dined at Baptist Head Tavern, & supped at Ditto.

Friday Sept. 25th. This morn breakfasted at the Lodgings. Dined with Mr Cheslyn. Spent the evening at Mr. Kennett’s.

Saturday Sept. 26th. Breakfasted at Mr Garratt’s. Dined at the Baptist Head. Supped at the Castel at Salt Hill & there Lodged that night.

Sunday Sept. 27th 1761. Breakfasted at the Castel, Salt Hill. Dined at the Bell Inn at Henley. Drank coffee at the Red Lyon at Benson. Got safe home to Oxford between 7 & 8 o’clock this evening.


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©Stephanie Jenkins

Last updated: 18 September, 2018

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