Oxford History: Mayors & Lord Mayors


Adam Fettiplace

Mayor of Oxford 1245/6, 1253/4, 1254/5, 1255/6, 1256/7, 1257/8,
1258/9, 1259/60, 1261/2, 1266/7, 1267/8

Adam Fettiplace (or Feteplace / Fetyplace / Phetiplace / Phetyplace)’s origins are unknown, and he is the first person in Oxford known to have had the name. A note in the margin of Twyne XXIII, p. 73 states that his original name was Torald le Ape, the owner of Ape Hall in St Edward’s parish; but this seems unlikely, as that man’s son was called Thomas Ape.

Fettiplace was one of seven townsmen imprisoned in 1232 for injuring clerks of the University in a town-and gown incident.

Fettiplace owned Drapery Hall in Cornmarket Street, and probably lived there, as he had his own stall in St Martin’s Church at Carfax. He also owned Shelde Hall in the parish of St Peter-in-the-East, and in 1253 he heads a list of the names of the “maiorum burgensium Oxonie”.

Fettiplace was first elected Mayor in 1245, and was elected eleven times in all, the last occasion being 1267/8.

In 1265 the younger Simon de Montfort marched through Oxford on his way to Kenilworth, and was accused of imprisoning Adam Fettiplace until he granted his (de Montfort’s) tailor ten marks’ rent in Oxford.

Fettiplace founded a prosperous family that became well known in Berkshire and Oxfordshire after passing his county properties (including North Denchworth in Berkshire) to his son Philip and his Oxford property to his son Walter. Anthony Wood records that he also left 40s. a year rent from Drapery Hall to the nuns of Littlemore, “to the intent that his anniversary should be kept, on the translation of S. Frideswyde there”. He also gave Shelde Hall to the nuns.

See also:

  • Snappe’s formulary, pp. 284–5, for the full text of the Inquisition into Fettiplace’s treatment at the hands of Simon de Montfort

©Stephanie Jenkins

Last updated: 13 September, 2012

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