Oxford History: Mayors & Lord Mayors


John of Coleshill

Mayor of Oxford 1269/70

John of Coleshill (or Coleshull / Colsyll /Colsulle / Colecill / Collsul / Colecill) was an Oxford merchant who dealt in both cloth and wine, selling cloth at Northampton fair in 1248. He imported his wine through Southampton, and supplied it to Henry III Woodstock in 1242 and at Winchester Fair in 1259.

His family owned Coleshill Hall in Merton Street.

Coleshill was elected Praepositus (Bailiff) in 1245, 1250, 1251, 1256, 1266, and 1267, and Mayor in 1269.

Coleshill died in 1274. He left money to be used by St Cross Church to support the Austin Friars: Anthony Wood records that Coleshill being “a sufficient burgess and Maior of Oxford, a lover and nourisher of these Brethren” gave Bogo de Clare, the Rector of St Peter-in-the-East Church, 4s. yearly rent to be paid out of a messuage in St Aldate’s parish “lying in the Jewry in Oxon then held by Lumbard de Cricklade, a Jew”. Coleshill also left part of Coleshill Hall to St Peter-le-Bailey Church to support a chantry for St Mary’s mass. (The rest of the Hall was left to the same church in 1349 by a Joan Coleshill, and it eventually became the property of Merton College.)

Coleshill’s daughter married Nicholas of Coleshill (probably a relative): both he and their son John were Bailiffs on the council in 1275 and 1296 respectively.

Anthony Wood speculates thus on his descendants:

To him [John of Coleshill] I find was allied, or els from him spurng, William Coleshull, proctor of the University anno 1281; and John Coleshull, another burgess of Oxon, buried here in 1324; father to Nicholas Coleshull master of St John’s Hospitall and (as I suppose) of this Joane here mentioned: all whome (with several others of that family) were benefactors to this church [St Peter-le-Bailey]


See also:

  • Merton Coll. Mun., Cal. Oxon. Rec., p. 41

©Stephanie Jenkins

Last updated: 13 September, 2012

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