AIM25 : Click here to go back to the AIM25 homepage
Archives in London and the M25 area


Identity Statement

Reference code(s): COL/MH/LMH
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
  Click here to find out how to view this collection at ›
Date(s): 1597-1844
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 0.05 linear metres
Name of creator(s): Corporation of London


Administrative/Biographical history:

The first recorded Mayor of London was Henry Fitz-Ailwyn in 1189. Since then, some 700 men and one woman have over the centuries held the position of chief officer of the City of London. The most famous of them all is Dick Whittington, who held office three times, in 1397, 1406 and 1419. Contrary to popular belief, Dick Whittington was not a poor, ill-treated orphan who managed against all the odds to work his way up to Lord Mayor. Coming from a wealthy family, Richard Whittington had a successful business and civic career before he became Lord Mayor. As for the black cat which supposedly helped him found his fortune, no-one is quite sure how this part of the myth grew up! The fact is that Dick Whittington carved out a successful business career in a very practical way as a mercer (dealer in costly fabrics such as silk), wool merchant and royal financier.

The Lord Mayor has throughout the centuries played a vital role in the life of the City of London and continues to do so today. In the City, the Lord Mayor ranks immediately after the sovereign and acts as the capital's host in Guildhall and Mansion House, his official residence. On behalf of the City and the nation he carries out numerous engagements at home and abroad. Although in former years a person could become Lord Mayor as many times as the electorate would vote him in - Dick Whittington being such an example - nowadays one year of such demanding activity is considered enough.

The right of citizens to elect their own Mayor dates from the Charter granted by King John to the City in 1215. The election of Lord Mayor is held at the end of September each year in Guildhall. The assembly, known as Common Hall, consists of all liverymen of at least one year's standing together with certain high officers of the City. All aldermen who have served the office of sheriff and who have not already been Lord Mayor are eligible.

The Lord Mayor's household includes staff based at Mansion House, such as the Private Secretary, Researcher, Speechwriter, Events Manager and Keeper of the House.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records relating to the Lord Mayor's household, including minutes, 1816-1844; account of the profits of the Mayoralty and offices at the disposal of the Mayor, [1684]-1821; papers relating to the employment of the household, 1662-1761 and removes of officers, 1597-1757.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

In sections according to catalogue.

Conditions governing access:

Available for general access.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright: City of London

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Corporation of London Records Office.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
February 2009

Related Subject Search

* To search for other records with similar subjects, tick any subjects above then click "Run New Search"

Related Corporate Name Search

* To search for other records with similar names, tick any names above then click "Run New Search"

Related Placename Search

* To search for other records with similar placenames, tick any names above then click "Run New Search"