Oxford History: Mayors & Lord Mayors


Frederick Ferris Vincent (1863–1946)

Mayor of Oxford 1921/2

Frederick Ferris Vincent was born at Balsall Heath, King's Norton, Birmingham on 27 January 1863.

His father William Allder Vincent was born in Oxford in 1818 and baptised at St Aldate's Church on 21 February 1819. His grandfather was Joseph Vincent, founder of the Oxford family printing business, and his great-grandfather was headmaster of Christ Church Cathedral School in c.1800.

Frederick's mother Charlotte Raikes Boswell was born in St Martin’s parish, London in 1819.

Frederick's parents were married at Ss Peter & Paul Church, Milton-by-Gravesend, Kent on 9 July 1844, and came back to the Oxford area, where their eldest daughter Emma Allder Vincent was born in 1845, Their next three children were born in Summertown: Cyril Mosson Vincent (1846), Caroline Louisa Vincent (1848), and William Allder Vincent (1850).

The 1851 census shows Frederick's father William (32), described as a bookseller's managing clerk, living in Summertown with Charlotte (31) and their children Emma (5), Cyril (4), and William (eight months), plus a servant.

Their next two chldren were born at Wolverhampton in Staffordshire: Louis Ramsay Vincent (1854/5) and Selina Frances Vincent  (1856). Then they moved to nearby Tetenhall, where Henry Douglas Vincent was born in 1858 and Edward Boswell Douglas in 1860.

At the time of the 1861 census Frederick's parents were living at 27 Ladypool Lane in Aston, Birmingham with their children Emma (15), Cyril (14), William (10), Louis (6), Selina (4). Henry (2), and Edward (nine months), plus a servant. Frederick's father was described as a painter employing one man.

They must have moved to Kings Norton in Birmingham, shortly after that census, as Frederick, their ninth and last child, was born there the following year.

At the time of the 1871 census Frederick (8) was living at The Limes, Alcester Lane End, Kings Norton with his father William (52), who was described as a newspaper proprietor, his mother Charlotte (51), and his siblings Emma (25), Louis (16), who was a printer's apprentice, Selina (14), Henry (12), and Edward (10), plus one servant.

They appear to have returned to Oxford soon after that census, and Frederick was educated at Christ Church Cathedral School.

At the time of the 1881 census Frederick (18) was apprenticed as a printer to his father (who was described as a newspaper proprietor) and was living over the shop at 90 High Street with his parents, his brother Edward (20), who was an Oxford undergraduate, and and his sister Selina (24). His other brother Cyril (who was himself to be Mayor in 1915) had already married and moved to the Cowley Road, but still worked in the family business.

As a young man, Frederick was a keen rower and organized the City bump races.

His mother Charlotte Raikes Vincent died in Oxford at the age of 67 in 1886.

At the time of the 1891 census Frederick (28), described as a newspaper reporter, was living at 90 High Street, Oxford with his father William (72), described as a printer & publisher, a female cousin, and one servant .

On 9 July 1891 at St Mary's Church, Birmingham, Frederick Ferris Vincent  (28) married Mary Elizabeth Britten (23). She was the sister of Sir Edgar Britten, Commodore of the Cunard Line, and was born in Fulham in 1867.

Frederick returned to Oxford with his wife, and they had six children:

  • Edgar Court Baxter Vincent (born at High Street, Oxford on 14 July 1892 and privately baptised by St Mary-the-Virgin Church on 3 August and received into the church on 8 August)
  • Basil Britton Vincent (born at Brendon House, Warwick Street, east Oxford in 1893 and baptised at All Saints’ Church on 11 October)
  • Lorna Mary Emma Vincent (born at Warwick Street, east Oxford in 1895 and baptised at St Mary-the-Virgin Church on 9 June)
  • Frederick Norman Allder Vincent, known as Norman (born at Summertown and baptised there on 2 February 1898)
  • Helen Phyllis Hands Vincent, known as Phyllis (born at 191 Banbury Road in 1900 and baptised at Summertown church on 27 June)
  • Winifred Elaine Vincent (born in Summertown on 30 May 1902).

Frederick's father William Allder Vincent died in 1899 at the age of 80.

At the time of the 1901 census Frederick Vincent (38), a letterpress printer and employer, was living at 208 Woodstock Road with his wife Mary (33) and their children Edgar (8), Basil (7), Lorna (5), Norman (3), and Phyllis (1). His widowed mother-in-law Emma Britten (67) was living with them, and they had an 18-year-old general servant and a 15-year-old page boy. Their youngest child, Winifred, was born the following year.

Frederick Vincent was elected as councillor for the North Ward in 1906.

At the time of the 1911 census Frederick (48), still described as a letterpress printer and an employer, was living at 1 Polstead Road with his wife Mary (43) their son Edgar (18), who was an architectural student, and Lorna (15), Frederick (13), Phyllis (11), and Winifred (8). His widowed mother-in-law Emma Britten had come to live with them, and they employed a 14-year-old housemaid.

Vincent was chosen to be Sheriff of Oxford for 1918/19.

In 1921 Frederick Ferris Vincent was elected Mayor of Oxford (for 1921/2). During his Mayoralty, the Rotary Club of Oxford was founded, and he was appointed its first President. He was also President of the Oxford Chamber of Trade and a Justice of the Peace.

Vincent was a Freemason, and served as Master of the Alfred and Annesley Lodge, First Principal of the Alfred Chapter and St Mary’s Chapter, Master of Alfred Mark Lodge, Alfred Mark Manners’ Lodge, and the Rose Croix Chapter. He also served a term as Grand Warden of Oxfordshire and Grand Standard Bearer of England.

Two of Frederick's children were married in the 1920s:

  • On 16 August 1924 at St Cross Church, Oxford Frederick Norman Allder Vincent (26), a printer & stationer of 17 Norham Road, married Dorothy Ethel Kathleen Darley (26), a school teacher of 39 Bedford Street, east Oxford
  • In 1927 in the Headington registration district, Lorna Mary Emma Vincent married Alfred W. Needham.

Vincent continued to serve as a councillor until 1927.

On 19 May 1930 his son the Revd Edgar Court Baxter Vincent, who was living at St Deiniois Library, Hawarden, Flintshire, died at St Thomas's Hospital in Lambeth at the age of 37. His funeral was held at All Saints’ Church, Oxford, and he was buried at Holywell Cemetery on 23 May.

By 1936 Frederick Vincent was living at 120 Woodstock Road, Oxford.

In 1938 his wife Mary Elizabeth Vincent died at 165 Banbury Road at the age of 70. Her funeral was at All Saints’ Church on 15 March, and she was buried in Holywell Cemetery.

The 1939 register shows Vincent, described as a master-printer (letterpress) living at Flat 4, 339 Banbury Road with a housekeeper.

† Frederick Ferris Vincent died at Flat 4, 339 Banbury Road on 22 April 1946 at the age of 83. His funeral was at St Michael and All Angels in Summertown, and he was buried at Holywell Cemetery in the same grave as his wife and son Edgar.

His effects came to £6,157 13s. 2d., and his executor was his son Frederick Norman Allder Vincent, master printer and stationer.

See also:

  • Cyril Mosson Vincent (Mayor 1915), his older brother
  • Oxford Magazine 1921–2, p. 83: “New Mayor” (very short description)
  • Oxford Times 26 April 1946, p. 8c (obituary)
  • 1871 Census: [Kings Norton, Worcestershire]
  • 1881 Census: Oxford (St Mary Virgin), 1501/66
  • 1891 Census: Oxford (St Mary Virgin), 1167/78
  • 1901 Census: Oxford (St Giles), 1380/138

©Stephanie Jenkins

Last updated: 19 February, 2022

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