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Sir William Claxon (c.1650–1711)

Mayor of Oxford 1701/2


William Claxon (or Clackson/Claxton/Clarkson) was born in c.1650. He became an Oxford upholsterer, whose property was on part of the site of the present market. At the time of the 1667 poll tax assessment he appears to have been the apprentice of Edmond Truston.

In the 25 years between 1674 and 1698 William Claxon and his wife Mary had twenty children:

  • Mary Claxon (baptised on 2 August 1674 at St Mary-the-Virgin Church)
  • William Claxon (baptised on 17 September 1676 at St Mary-the-Virgin Church,
    buried at St Ebbe’s Church on 16 May 1678)
  • John Claxon I (baptised on 9 September 1677 at St Mary-the-Virgin Church,
    buried at St Ebbe’s Church on 17 February 1679/80)
  • Ann Claxon (baptised on 23 March 1678/9 at St Mary-the-Virgin Church)
  • Joan Claxon I (baptised on 5 September 1678 at St Mary-the-Virgin Church,
    buried at St Ebbe’s Church on 29 September 1678)
  • John Claxon II (baptised on 15 Febuary 1679/80 at St Mary-the-Virgin Church,
    buried at St Ebbe’s Church in c.1680)
  • Richard Claxon (baptised on 16 January 1680/1 at St Mary-the-Virgin Church,
    buried at St Ebbe’s Church in February 1680/1)
  • Susanna Claxon (baptised on 15 January 1681/2 at St Mary-the-Virgin Church)
  • John Claxon III (baptised on 28 January 1682 at St Mary-the-Virgin Church,
    Presumably not the John Claxon buried at St Ebbe’s Church in April 1683, as John is named in his father's will)
  • Elizabeth Claxon I (baptised on 4 May 1684 at St Mary-the-Virgin Church,
    buried at St Ebbe’s Church in May 1685)
  • Joan Claxon II (baptised on 3 May 1685 at St Mary-the-Virgin Church,
    buried at St Ebbe’s Church in September 1685)
  • Alice Claxon (baptised on 18 July 1686 at St Mary-the-Virgin Church)
  • Thomas Claxon (baptised on 27 November 1687 at St Mary-the-Virgin Church,
    buried at St Ebbe’s Church in March 1687/8)
  • James Claxon (baptised on 25 August 1689 at St Mary-the-Virgin Church)
  • Bridget Claxon (baptised on 30 November 1690 at St Mary-the-Virgin Church)
  • Jane Claxon (baptised on 21 December 1691 at St Mary-the-Virgin Church)
  • Catherine Claxon (baptised on 12 March 1692/3 at St Mary-the-Virgin Church)
  • Elizabeth Claxon II (baptised on 15 April 1694 at St Mary-the-Virgin Church)
  • Joan Claxon III (born 15 October, baptised on 26 October 1696 at St Mary-the-Virgin Church)
  • Sarah Claxon (born 12 January, baptised on 12 February 1698/9 at St Mary-the-Virgin Church).

Although the family now lived in St Mary-the-Virgin parish, the eight children who died in infancy were all buried at St Ebbe's Church, suggesting that the Claxon family had a vault there.

William Claxon was first selected to sit on the Common Council in September 1680. In 1682 he was chosen City Chamberlain; in 1686 Senior Bailiff; and in 1688 Money-master.

In May 1692 his apprentice Richard Wise was admitted free.

On 24 May 1695 Claxon was fined 5s. along with two other for “leaving the house without the Mayor’s permission”. The next year he was elected Keykeeper.

In March 1696 Claxon took on John Dew of Marston as an apprentice. In that year he paid tax on ten windows in a property in the parish of St Mary the Virgin.

In September 1700 William Claxon was elected one of the Mayor’s Assistants, and on 15 September 1701 he was elected Mayor (for 1701/2), choosing George Coxhead as his Child. He proposed John Hurst as senior chamberlain, but he was turned down by the Common Council. On 1 December 1701 Claxon was also elected an Alderman, taking his oaths and paying £10 according to custom to one of the keykeepers, and giving a purse with “a broad piece of gold in it” to the macebearer. According to custom, Alderman Claxon attended the banquet at the Coronation of Queen Anne in the role of butler on 23 April 1702, and was knighted on the occasion.

In May 1701 Sir William Claxon, as he now was, took on Thomas Biggs, son of a gentleman of Cuddesdon, as an apprentice, and in September 1704 he took on his own son James Claxon.

† Sir William Claxon was buried at St Ebbe’s Church on 4 January 1711/12.

His son James Claxon died at the age of 30 and was buried with him on 27 September 1719, and Lady Claxon on 25 January 1724/5.


See also:

  • Malcolm Graham, Oxford City Apprentices 1697–1800, entries numbered 11, 226, and 411
  • PCC Will PROB 11/525/340 (Will of Sir William Clarkson [sic] of Oxford, proved 18 February 1712)

©Stephanie Jenkins

Last updated: 25 September, 2018

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