A Second Elizabethan Mural Painting in No. 3, Cornmarket Street, Oxford



THE discovery in 1927 of the `Painted Room' on the first floor of No. 3, Cornmarket Street naturally aroused great interest owing to the fine condition of the painting, preserved as it had been during three centuries behind oak panelling that had been erected to hide it in accordance with early seventeenth century taste. Oxford, as is well known, owes the conservation of this admirable example of sixteenth century workmanship to the appreciation and public spirit of Mr. E. W. Attwood, who realised its antiquarian value and called in expert advice and services to ensure its proper treatment and its safety for the enjoyment of future generations of Oxford's citizens.


 That on the left contains two large capital letters I T the other two are illegible. There can be no possible question about the person indicated by these initials. He is John Tattleton, occupier of the house from some time after 1560 until his death in 1581. The terminus post quem is supplied by the New College lease-books in which is recorded a lease of the adjoining tenement northwards, known as Royse's tenement. Here the occupier on the south is given as Edmund Benet. Benet did not die till 1602, but Tattleton's tenure may be limited yet further downwards to the years 1564 to 1581, as suggested by the lease of this southern tenement in 1564 to Tattleton himself.





Date of


Cross Inn (No. 5,


Royse's tenement

(No. 4, Cornmarket)

Tattleton's (No. 3, Cornmarket)

1553   John Walklyne,


1555                                     Robert Forest           Thomas Malyson

1560                                     Elizabeth Forest,         Edmund Benet


1561   Jhon Wakline,


1564                                                                      John Tatleton

1574   William Hough,


1583   William & Joan            Pearse Underhill        John Underhill, D.D.

  Hough                                                        late Elizabeth Tattleton

 John Walklin

1592   William Hough,            John Royce              William Hough the younger

  furrier & Joan his                                        William Hough, furrier


1602                                      Isaac Bartlemewe

1605   Andrew Leigh of

 London, gent.



From: British History Online: Victoria County History

A History of the County of Oxford: Volume IV


Historical account of endowed charities for the poor


Thomas Mallinson, alderman, by will dated 1557 bequeathed £200 as a stock to be 'occupied' either by William Tilcock, mayor, for ten years, or another person engaged in the cloth trade for eight years; the holder was to use Mallinson's fulling mill at Rewley for dressing cloth and was to celebrate his obit. The charity was more than a simple loan charity, for in 1558, whilst attempting to recover part of the legacy from one of Mallinson's debtors, Tilcock claimed that it had been given to set the poor on work. The charity may never have been established, for in 1562 the city appointed attornies to recover the bequest against Tilcock. John Hartley (d. 1596) gave £10 to be lent interest-free to weavers, fullers, and other freemen. Dr. John Case (d. 1600) gave £20 to be lent interest-free to two freemen for six years. Jane Fulsey (d. 1603) gave £40 to be lent interest-free to four poor tradesmen for three years. Matthew Harrison, during his mayoralty in 1611, gave £20 to be used for loans or for setting the poor on work. The capital was intact in 1631 when the chamberlains paid it to the master of the workhouse.



Mills and Fisheries

Rewley mill


In 1555 the city allowed Thomas Mallinson to set up a fulling-mill at Rewley on land leased from Christ Church. It was being built at Mallinson's death in 1557, but no later record of it has been found.

 Municipal buildings: Prison


The prison was called Bocardo by 1391; the name is usually considered to be derived from a technical logician's term for a syllogism, and to imply that the prison, like the syllogism, was an awkward trap from which to escape. It has also been suggested, however, that the name was derived from 'boccard' or 'boggard', meaning a privy, and referred to its insanitary state.

The prison was much repaired and another storey added at the cost of Thomas Mallinson in 1542 and 1543. It was repaired frequently, and in 1583-4 expensively. In 1639 the 'grate looking towards Carfax' was 'turned' under the gate, the first clear evidence that the prison extended over the gate. In 1651 county prisoners were sent to Bocardo, presumably because the castle prison was damaged or destroyed when the castle was slighted that year. In 1661 the prison comprised the freemen's ward above the gate on the south with an inner ward to the north of it, and below the wards two begging-rooms; on the west side of the gate, one above the other, were the dungeon, the condemned room, and at the top the women's ward. Three wards and the dungeon were all mentioned in 1605-6, the condemned room was then called the close room, and a beggar's grate existed. In 1671 it was agreed to enlarge the gaol, and steps were taken to recover rooms, which the former keeper had added to his own adjoining house.




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