Oxford History: Mayors & Lord Mayors


Philip Worminghall (d. 1314)

Mayor of Oxford 1310/11

Philip Worminghall (or de Wormhale/Wormenhale) appears to have been the younger brother of Robert Worminghall (Mayor of Oxford in 1298), and like him was a prominent Oxford merchant.

In 1294 Philip Worminghall bught the property that is now the Mitre Hotel from Geoffrey Makkerwel for 67 marks.

Philip and Robert Worminghall were both ordered to be expelled from Oxford in 1298 for their involvement in a town-and-gown riot that had started when clerks attacked a bailiff at Carfax, and a layman and clerk were killed. Notwithstanding this, at Michaelmas the same year Philip was elected Junior Bailiff for 1298/9.

Anthony Wood records that in about 1300 Boner or Banner Hall in Horsemonger (now Broad) Street “came to Phillip de Wormenhale, a burgess of Oxon”. In 1301–2 he acquired a moiety of Holywell Mill, and in 1302 leased the other moiety from Merton.

Similarly in 1302, Stephen D’ewy conveyed Somnore’s Lane (now Ship Street) to “Philip de Wormenhale burgesse of this place and Amice his wife”. In the same year, Moyses Hall in Pembroke Street, St Aldate’s came to Worminghall from John Wamberge, and Wood quotes from the accounts, “Item Moyses Hall reddit Philippo de Wormenhalle, 30s.

In about 1310 Worminghall turned a couple of houses in the High Street and several tenements in Turl Street into an inn with front and back entrances (now the Mitre).

Philip Worminghall was elected Mayor of Oxford for 1310/11.

In the royal tallage of 1312, Philip was assessed on goods worth £50 and rent of £13: he and Robert Worminghall (probably his brother) were by far the most prominent merchants in the city.

† Philip Worminghall died in 1314, leaving his property to be divided between his wife Eleanor, his son Thomas, and his daughter Margaret. Eleanor appears to have received The Mitre as part of her share. His will is held by Lincoln College.

His widow Eleanor Worminghall then married William of Bicester (Mayor thirteen times between 1311 and 1339), and most of Worminghall's property went this way to the Bicester family.

His son Thomas Worminghall

In 1329 Thomas gave a messuage called Banerhall adjoining Trinity College to Adam de Brome, the founder of Oriel College.

Anthony Wood records a dispute over Trill Mill with Thomas in 1332:

At length great controversies happing in the raigne of Edward III betweene the Priory and Thomas the son of Philip Wormenhale concerning the said 8s. yearly rent issuing thence, were in the sixth yeare of the said king’s raigne ended; and all right belonging to the said Thomas quietly by him laid downe.

In 1337 Thomas Worminghall renounced to William of Bicester and his wife any rights he might have had in The Mitre.

See also:

  • Robert Worminghall (Mayor 1298), probably his older brother
  • Andrew Worminghall II (Mayor 1327), probably his nephew
  • Liber Albus, pp. 4-5; MS Oxon c 396 f.43 for deaths of Philip and Robert Worminghall

©Stephanie Jenkins

Last updated: 13 January, 2020

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