Wednesday 9 November, 2016

The Lord Mayor's Show

The annual Lord Mayor's Show takes place on Saturday 12 November in the City of London.

After several centuries, the Lord Mayor’s flotilla is back in the water. The new Lord Mayor will travel in QRB Gloriana, the traditional Thames barge made famous in the Jubilee celebrations, with an accompanying procession of 24 traditional Thames boats from London’s livery companies, including the Goldsmiths' Company, and port authorities. The Lord Mayor will board Gloriana in Vauxhall at 8:30am, passing under Waterloo Bridge at 9am. View details of the route here.

The Lord Mayor’s Show procession of more than 7,000 people, 200 horses and 140 floats will set off from Mansion House at 11am. See the full programme on the Lord Mayor's website.

The Goldsmiths' Company float at the Lord Mayor's Show, 1950s.

A History of the Lord Mayor's Show

In 1215 the King was persuaded to issue a Royal Charter that allowed the City of London to elect its own Mayor, with the condition that every year the newly elected Mayor must leave the safety of the City and travel upriver to Westminster to swear loyalty to the Crown.

The modern Lord Mayor’s procession began as we know it in the 16th century, but is a direct descendant of this journey to Westminster. The route and date have changed over the 800 years that it has taken place, notably in 1857 when the City lost control of the Thames.

The Goldsmiths' Company and Lord Mayors

Martin Bowes, who served as Prime Warden of the Goldsmiths' Company 13 times, was elected Lord Mayor in 1545. After becoming a wealthy goldsmith, he gave the City of London its first Lord Mayor's Jewel and the Goldsmiths' Company a silver-gilt cup, which was used for Elizabeth I's coronation banquet.

Many other notable Goldsmiths have served as Lord Mayor, including Thomas Vyner in 1653, who was knighted by Cromwell and again by Charles II. His nephew, Sir Robert Vyner was Lord Mayor in 1674, and also supplied much of the new regalia that formed the Restoration Crown Jewels and Plate of Charles II, kept in the Tower of London today.

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