HICKES, John, of Oxford.
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Family and Education
m. bef. 1380, Alice.1
Bailiff, Oxford Mich. 1378-9, 1381-2; alderman 1382-7, 1388-92, 1396-9.2
Commr. of inquiry, Oxford, Feb. 1391 (forgery of a will).
A wealthy spicer, Hickes paid 13s.4d. to the poll tax of 1380: this is the largest sum mentioned in the tax roll for Oxford, and only three others contributed as much. He then employed an apprentice and six servants. An alderman by 1382, he served as MP at least three times during his tenure of this office. Aldermanship brought other responsibilities: in 1384 he was among those burgesses required to enter into a bond of £2,000 in Chancery, undertaking not to harm either the chancellor of the university or the warden and fellows of Merton college, with whom the corporation had a dispute of longstanding. The warden was required to enter into a reciprocal bond, but both were cancelled after six months, when the quarrel was finally settled.3
Hickes owned land in the north-west ward of the town, including three shops and other property at Carfax, and he also rented a house in the parish of St. Peter-in-the-East. In 1406 William Brampton II* granted him a rent of £1 from a number of his properties, including Gloucester Hall. He subsequently bequeathed his house in Queen Street, afterwards known as ‘Hickes’s Place’ to the mayor and commonalty, and thus came to be recorded, and prayed for, as a benefactor to the town.4