BARTON, John (by 1516-69), of Oxford.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1509-1558, ed. S.T. Bindoff, 1982
Available from Boydell and Brewer




Family and Education

b. by 1516. m. by 1549, Joan (?sis. of Richard Williams), at least 2s. 3da.1

Offices Held

Chamberlain, Oxford 1541-2, subsidy collector 1545, 1547, bailiff 1546-7, assistant to mayor 1556, alderman 1562-d.2


John Barton may have been descended from Thomas Barton, a burgess of Oxford whose will was proved in 1473, or from Thomas’s brother and executor John, and he himself was perhaps the brother of Reginald Barton, who was admitted a freeman in 1544-5 but played no part in civic life. No connexion has been found between the Bartons of Oxford and the family of South Stoke, Oxfordshire. John Barton was described as a butcher at the time of his admission as a freeman in 1536-7 and again when buying a messuage in St. Aldate’s parish in 1548: in 1550 he claimed £6 17s.6d. for supplying food to New Inn Hall. He was described as a gentleman when returned to the Parliament of 1558 but called himself a brewer in his will, although he still possessed a slaughter-house. It was presumably he who was penalized for refusing to sell penny ale to the poor at a proper price in 1553.3

Barton’s career was uneventful. Although he rose in the city’s service to the threshold of the mayoralty, he was never sent to Westminster to represent it in the courts or before the Council. He is not mentioned in connexion with the burning of heretics at Oxford under Mary and his will reveals nothing of his religion. With his fellow-Member Richard Williams, he stood surety for William Tylcock who had been informed against for his unlicensed departure from the Parliament of November 1554. The Members of 1558 were brothers-in-law, probably through Barton’s marriage to Williams’s sister. Williams was to make various bequests to members of the Barton family, whereas no similar bequests to the Williams family were made by Barton, who nevertheless seems to have been the richer man, being assessed for subsidy in the south-east ward on goods worth £14 in 1543-5, £16 in 1547, £12 in 1550 and £19 in 1559.4

Barton made his will on 1 Apr. 1569. His house in St. Aldate’s, an adjoining tenement called Littlemore Hall, a third tenement and his slaughter-house were bequeathed to his wife Joan, with reversion to their son William. An additional tenement in the parish of St. Peter le Bailey, lately purchased from Exeter College, was left to William, with the reversion of a lease of some neighbouring pastures. More property was left in reversion to another son, Thomas (who was to be kept at school for four years), and to three daughters. He named his wife and son William executors and William Tylcock and Richard Williams supervisors. Barton was buried in St. Aldate’s church on 7 Apr. 1569 and the will was proved on the following 7 Nov. His widow married Alderman Richard Atkinson, father of Robert, on 3 Sept. 1570.5

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: T. F.T. Baker


  • 1. Date of birth estimated from admission as freeman. PCC 23 Sheffelde ptd. Liber Albus Civ. Oxon. ed. Ellis, no. 368.
  • 2. Oxf. Recs. 162, 186, 256, 295; Oxf. City Docs. (Oxf. Hist. Soc. xviii), 111; E179/162/244.
  • 3. Liber Albus , nos. 237, 351, 368; Oxf. Recs. 149, 177; Oxf. Univ. Arch. T/S cal. chancellor’s ct. reg. GG, pp. 70, 94.
  • 4. Oxf. Recs. 166, 219, 256, 262, 295, 321; KB27/1185; Bodl. wills Oxon. 186, ff. 105-6; E179/162/224, 229, 240, 261, 282, 289, 318.
  • 5. PCC 23 Sheffelde; Antiqs. Oxf. iii (Oxf. Hist. Soc. xxxvii), 178, 203; Oxf. Recs. 319, 329.