Oxford History: Mayors & Lord Mayors


Richard Wise (c.1670–1736)

Mayor of Oxford 1716/17

Richard Wise was born in c.1670. He may be the younger brother of Henry Wise, mayor in 1711 and again in 1730, as Henry had a younger brother called Richard who was baptised in Drayton St Leonard on 12 September 1667. But there was a younger Richard Wise who was apprenticed to the Oxford upholsterer William Claxon on 30 May 1892, and the Richard who became Mayor was an Oxford upholsterer.

The following children with a father named Richard Wise were baptised at All Saints’ Church. If the Mayor Richard Wise was the younger of the two men with that name, then Elizabeth must have been the daughter the elder Richard.

  • Elizabeth Wise (baptised on 10 June 1694 at All Saints’ Church)
  • Richard Wise junior (baptised on 25 September 1700 at All Saints’ Church)
  • Catherine Wise (baptised on 5 December 1701 at All Saints’ Church)
  • Benjamin Wise (baptised on 7 March 1702/3 at All Saints’ Church)
  • John Wise (baptised on 6 May 1704 at All Saints’ Church)
  • Ann Wise (baptised on 15 July 1705 at All Saints’ Church)
  • William Wise (baptised on 27 December 1708 at All Saints’ Church).

Wise came on to the common council in September 1697, and in September 1698 the new Mayor, John Knibb, selected him as his Child.

Wise took on Robert Scaife as an apprentice upholsterer in November 1700, John Clements in September 1701, George Hartwell in April 1706 (cancelled June 1711), John Higgins in June 1718, his own son Benjamin Wise in March 1718/19, and John Barton in November 1725.

In May 1716 Wise was made one of the eight Assistants, and in September that year was elected Mayor (for 1716/17), choosing the mercer John Crook as his Child and William Winter as his Chamberlain.

Richard Wise continued to serve as one of the Mayor’s Assistants until his death. He was buried at All Saints’ Church on 24 January 1736. It is possible that the Elizabeth Wise who was buried there on 27 February 1744 was his wife.

See also:

  • Henry Wise, Mayor in 1711/12, 1718/19, and 1730/1
  • Thomas Wise, Mayor in 1746/7
  • Malcolm Graham, Oxford City Apprentices 1697–1800, entries numbered 133, 215, 425, 999, 1027, and 1264
  • MS Wills Oxon W. 210.267

©Stephanie Jenkins

Last updated: 18 September, 2018

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