Oxford History: Mayors & Lord Mayors


Daniel Hanley (1811–1878)

Mayor of Oxford 1870/1

Daniel Hanley was born in Witney in 1811 and baptised at St Mary's Church there on 16 June. He was the son of Charles Hanley and his wife Sarah.

The family appears to have converted to Roman Catholicism by 1813, as on 17 July that year his brother James Hanley was baptised at St Ignatius’s Chapel in St Clement’s, Oxford. (This chapel had been built in 1873 by the Jesuit mission who had moved from Waterperry that year, and remained the only Roman Catholic Church in Oxford until St Aloysius Church (the Oratory) opened on the Woodstock Road in 1875.)

Six years later on 1 October 1819, Daniel was baptised a second time at the age of eight, this time as a Roman Catholic, along with his sisters Anne and Elizabeth. The entry in the baptismal register of St Ignatius’s Chapel reads:

Baptisati sunt sub conditione Octris 1 – 1819, Anna Hanley, Daniel Hanley et Elizabetha Hanley
liberi legitimi Caroli Hanley et uxoris ejus Sarae.

On 26 April 1836 at St Mary’s Church in Witney, Daniel Hanley (described as being of Oxford) married his first wife Hannah Maria Townsend. She died in Oxford just over three years later in 1839 (death reg. fourth quarter). It is possible that she died as a result of childbirth and that the Charles Hanley whose birth was registered in Oxford in the third quarter of 1839 and who died in Castle Street at the age of eight months and was buried at St Peter-le-Bailey Church on 15 April was her son.

At the time of the 1841 census Daniel Hanley, described as a draper, was living alone in Castle Street with two servants and a lodger. Directories for 1842 and 1849 describe him more precisely as a draper and tea merchant at 10 Castle Street, Oxford. In Jackson’s Oxford Journal of 3 April 1847 he was described as a “tailor, mercer, &c.” in a court case.

In the first quarter of 1850 in the Headington registration district, Daniel Hanley married his second wife Maria Frances Smith, who was 17 years his junior and born in Oxford. It is likely that she too was a Roman Catholic. They had seven children:

  • (Maria) Theresa Hanley (born in Oxford in 1851, reg. first quarter);
    died at the age of 15 (death reg. Headington district fourth quarter of 1865)
  • Julia Frances Hanley (born in Oxford in c.1852: birth does not appear to have been registered)
  • Charles Ambrose Hanley (born in Oxford in 1853, reg. fourth quarter)
  • Mary Anne Hanley (born in Oxford in 1855, reg. second quarter)
  • Edmund Augustine Hanley (born in Oxford in 1856, reg. fourth quarter)
  • George Daniel Hanley (born in Oxford in 1858, reg. third quarter);
    died in Oxford at the age of three (death reg. Oxford district in the first quarter of 1862)
  • James Alexander Hanley (born in Oxford in 1859/1860);
    died in Oxford at the age of three months (death reg. Oxford district in the first quarter of 1860)

It looks as though Daniel Hanley started a new career at the time of his second marriage, as in 1849, when the Oxford Canal Company leased the Talbot Inn at Eynsham to him, he is described as a brewer; and in the list of people licensed to sell wine “within the University of Oxford and the precincts thereof” published in Jackson’s Oxford Journal of 29 March 1851, he is described as a wine merchant of St Peter-le-Bailey parish. The newspaper of 11 October that year reported that “James Shoesmith was charged with stealing, in January last, three coats, the property of Mr. Daniel Hanley, of Queen-street”.

At the time of the 1851 census Daniel Hanley (40) and his second wife Maria  (23) and their one-month-old daughter Maria Theresa were living at 20 Queen Street in Oxford (in the parish of St Peter-le-Bailey. He was described as a wine merchant employing one man, and they had a servant and a nursemaid.

On 26 June 1852 George Bruton announced in Jackson’s Oxford Journal that he had disposed of the Castle Brewery in Castle Street to Messrs Hanley & Co., wine & spirit merchants of 2 Queen Street.

Jackson’s Oxford Journal of 11 April 1857 reports that “Mr. Daniel Hanley, wine merchant, was authorised to open the King’s Arms public House, at Summer Town, till next transfer day, June 27.” In 1859 Hanley leased both the Barge Inn and Bell Inn at Cassington, and on 30 March 1861 it was reported in the paper that “The licence of the Wheatsheaf and Anchor Inn, St.  Aldate’s, was endorsed to Mr. Daniel Hanley, wine and spirit merchant and brewer, of this city.”

Hanley's second wife Maria Frances Hanley, died in Oxford near the beginning of 1860, again possibly as a result of childbirth.

At the time of the 1861 census Daniel, a widower of 50 who was now described as a brewer & wine merchant employing six men, was living in Queen Street with his children Theresa (10), Julia (8), Charles (7), Mary Ann (5), Edmund (4), and George (2). He employed a housekeeper, a house servant, and a nursemaid. A hop traveller and his wife were staying as visitors.

Hanley first came on to the Town Council as a Liberal for the South Ward in 1862.

In the list of licences published between 1862 and 1871, Hanley is listed twice: first at the Wheatsheaf & Anchor, and then as a wine merchant in St Peter-le-Bailey.

On 2 May 1866 at Hampstead, Daniel Hanley married his third wife, the widow Mrs Eleanor Hopkins, who was born Eleanor Tilbury in St Pancras in 1820.

Hanley was elected Sheriff of Oxford for 1869/70, and in 1870 he was elected Mayor of Oxford (for 1870/1) by a large majority. He was the first Roman Catholic to hold the position, and the only complaint came from the Wesleyan John Towle.

Hanley served on the Market, Police, Finance, City Buildings, Cattle Market, Port Meadow, School, and Charity Committees of the Council. From 1871 he was one of the members returned to the Council by the Local Board.

The 1871 census (taken during his mayoral year), shows him living with his third wife Eleanor (50) at Beech Lawn, a large house at the entrance to Park Town in the new parish of Ss Philip & James. His prosperity is also reflected in the fact that he now employed a traveller, two clerks, and twelve men in his business , and also had three house servants (a cook and two housemaids). Two of his children were at home: Julia (18) and Charles (17), who was described as assisting in his father’s business.

On 10 June 1871 Jackson’s Oxford Journal advertised an auction of the late Mr King’s property at Iffley, including “a 10-Quarter malt-house in the occupation of Daniel Hanley, Esq.”

On 9 August 1871 Hanley perambulated the city boundary near the end of his year of office as Mayor. He was created an Alderman on 27 April 1872.

The Return of the Owners of Land of 1873 shows that Hanley owned over 62 acres of land with a gross estimated rental of £464. On 1 July that year he took out a lease on a house and premises in High Street, Thame at a quarterly rent of £4 10s. 0d.

In the second quarter of 1877 in the Headington registration district, his daughter Julia Frances Hanley married Charles Kelley, the manager of an iron foundry, and they lived at 8 Norham Gardens. (In 1897 Kelley took over the Grafton & Lucy iron foundry and formed W. Lucy & Co. Ltd.)

† Daniel Hanley died at home at Beech Lawn on 12 November 1878. The notice in Jackson’s Oxford Journal of 16 November 1878 read simply: “Nov. 12, at Beech Lawn, Daniel Hanley, aged 69. R.I.P.”

A requiem high mass was held at St Aloysius Church in the Woodstock Road, followed by burial at Abingdon conducted by Father Gray of St Aloysius. The cortège passed along St Giles, Cornmarket, and St Aldate’s, with most tradespeople on the route drawing their blinds or partially closing. Members of the Council took part in the procession from the Town Hall to the city boundary at Folly Bridge.

His personal estate came to under £18,000, and his executors were his third wife Eleanor and his two surviving sons who were both described as brewers: Charles Ambrose Hanley was living at 1 Allandale Villas, Woodstock Road, and Edmund Augustine Hanley was still at home at Beech Lawn with his stepmother. Daniel Hanley left £500 in his will for a Roman Catholic mission in Witney, where he was born.

Two Hanley jugsPhotographs supplied by Oxfordshire Antique Bottle Club members

The brewery continued to flourish after Daniel Hanley's death. By 1879 it was known as Hanley Brothers and run by another Daniel Hanley (probably the founder’s nephew, who died in 1898). In 1887 it opened a branch at 104 High Street in Thame.

In 1892 a new square room and stores, designed by Harry Drinkwater, were built at 31 & 32 Pembroke Street for Hanley’s City Brewery: the building is now the Museum of Modern Art.

In 1898 Hanley's Brewery was taken over by Halls Brewery.

See also:

  • Jackson’s Oxford Journal, 16 November 1878, p5e (obituary)
  • Jackson’s Oxford Journal, 23 November 1878, p. 5e (funeral)
  • Oxford Mail, 1 May 1973, p. 6 (article on Hanley, which confusingly merges the two Daniel Hanleys)
  • New College Archives No. 246: Lease of 1 July 1873
  • 1851 Census: Oxford (St Peter le Bailey), 1728/482
  • 1861 Census: Oxford (St Peter le Bailey), 894/101
  • 1871 Census: Oxford (St Paul), 1436/103

©Stephanie Jenkins

Last updated: 13 June, 2022

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