In that thirty first Year Will. de Coumb-Martin and John de Burford were (c) elected Sheriffs by the Maior and Aldermen, in the presence of twelve of each Ward, summoned to choose and take their Sheriffs.

(c) Lib. C. fo. 111. b.

In the sixth Edw. II. (d) William Wellesford and another were chosen Sheriffs, by the Maior, Aldermen, and twelve summoned out of every Ward. Wellesford dies, and Adam Ludkin was chosen by six and more of each Ward.

(d) Lib. D. f. 3. a.

In the seventh Edw. II. (e) Nicolas Farendon was chosen Maior, by the Maior, Aldermen, Sheriffs, and by the Commonalty assembled: And so the Sheriffs the same Year are said to be chosen.

(e) Ibid. b.

But I find there was a Variation as to the Number of twelve called out of each Ward; so many out of the twenty five Wards having been found perhaps to tend too much towards the begetting of Heats and Animosities in the Elections. Therefore 20 Edward III. it was agreed, (f) That from thenceforth there should come the Maior, Aldermen, and also out of every Ward of the City twelve, eight, or six, according as the Ward shall be great or small: and they of the Richest and Wisest of each Ward; to intermeddle and choose a Maior and Sheriffs for the Year ensuing.

(f) Lond. Liberties, &c. f. 2. & f. 11.

In the fifteenth Edw. IV. (g) the Masters, Wardens and Liveries of the Several Companies were taken in, to assist at the Elections of the foresaid Magistrates. And since that time the Election of the Maiors and Sheriffs, &c. is made by the Maior, Aldermen, Common Council and Liveries, according to the Act of Common Council then made.

The Liveries empowered to Elect.

(g) Ibid. f. 2.

But in the Year 1650 there was a great Controversy, about the Right of electing: whether it rested in the Lord Maior, Aldermen, Common Council, Masters, Wardens and Liveries of the several Companies, or in the Lord Maior, Aldermen and the Freemen in general, by their Representatives to be chosen in every Ward. The Contest was managed before the Lord Maior, Court of Aldermen, and Common Council, by Hales and Maynard of Counsel for the Liveries; and Maior John Wildman, and one Price Agents and Speakers for the Freemen. How this was carried in the New Commonwealth that was then set up in this Nation, when many other ancient Laws and Customs were violated, I cannot tell: but when the ancient Kingly Government was restored, the old Custom of Election prevailed, as it still doth: and the Liveries are the Electors.

All Freemen claim a Liberty of Election, An. 1650.

But now to return to the ancient Practice, as we find them in the Books and Records of the Chamber:

Lib. F. fo. cxci.

It appears also that on Monday next before the Feast of the Translation of St. Edw. 24 Ed. III. a certain Bill was sent to every Alderman by the Maior, enjoyning them under the Fealty they owed to the King, to be present the said Festival Day at Guild-hall for the Election of a Maior: and that they should cause four of the better sort of Men of their Ward to be summoned for the same Cause: and that he should then have their Names endorsed on the same Bill.

Bills to the Aldermen upon Elections.

Four of a Ward to be summoned to elect.

It is to be noted, that of ancient Times the Maior was chosen on the Feast of the Apostles Simon and Jude. As it was in the Election of Thomas Romayn for Maior, in the third Year of Edward the Son of King Edward, who was chosen by the Aldermen and twelve of each Ward, summoned for this End. And on the morrow was presented to the Barons of the Exchequer at Westminster, and accepted.

Election of old, on Sim. and Jude's day.

Lib. D. F. 2.

And the cause wherefore the Election was changed to another Day, was because of the encreasing of Expences and other causes.

In whom the Election is. And how the Election was managed.


THE Aldermen on the Feast of the Apostles Simon and Jude ought to meet at Guild-hall, for the Election of a Maior. But once they absented themselves, fearing to admit the Office of the Maioralty at the Instance of William de Ilford, then common Sergeant for the Commonalty of the said City, Richard Lacer being Maior. But from henceforth it was ordered, that every Year on the Translation of St. Edward the King, the Maior and Aldermen, who were pro tempore, should meet at Guild-hall London; and also of each Ward twelve, eight or six, according as the Ward was great or small, of the Richer and Wiser of each Ward: And that none came unless summoned, nor intruded themselves in such Election of Maior and Sheriffs.

The Aldermen once absent themselves from an Election.

Controversy often arose in the Election of the Maior, between the Aldermen and Commoners: in that the Commoners thought that both the Nomination and Election belonged to them only. And therefore after they had agreed in the West part of Guild-hall (viz. in the Place where the Sheriffs are wont to hold their Courts) they would present one Person only of the City to the Maior and Aldermen, setting on the East End of Guild-hall (viz. in the Hustings) for their elected Maior for the ensuing Year. But the Aldermen opposed, saying, that they were also Citizens and of the Commonalty of the City; nor was it just, that on the account of the Prerogative that pertained to their Offices, they should be deprived from having a Voice in the Choice of the King's, chief Vicegerent in the City. Hereupon it became a Custom by the common Consent as well of the Aldermen as of the Commoners, that the Commoners summoned for the Election, after the Cause of their summoning was declared to them by the Recorder, on the behalf of the Maior and Aldermen, they passed to the other End of the Hall, as was said before; and there nominated two Aldermen, whereof both had been Sheriffs, and were fit for the Office of Maior. Which being done, they returned; and by one that was their common Mouth they presented to the Maior and Aldermen the Names of two, and praying them to admit either of them, whom they would, to the Office of Maior for the Year ensuing.

Contest between Aldermen and Commoners about Election of Maior.

Then the Maior and Aldermen going up into the upper Chamber, chose by plurality of Voices in scrutiny (the Common Clerk noting by the Supervise of the Recorder) one of them, and coming down again to the People in Guild-hall, declared by their Recorder, who was elected Maior for the next Year.

Concerning the Custom of some Maiors continuing divers Years in the Maioralty.


IN former Times when a Maior had well governed, the Commonalty willingly continued him Maior; as appears in Henry Fitz Alwyn the first Maior, who continued five and twenty Years in his Office; and the next Maior, Sir Roger Fitz Alan continued three Years; Andrew le Bukerel seven Years; Thomas Fitz Thomas four; Gregory de Rokesly seven, viz. from the third Year of the foresaid Edward Son of King Henry inclusive, to the End of the ninth Year of the Reign of the said King inclusive, viz. the first as well as the last being computed. John le Blount continued Maior six Years, as in the Book F. is more fully contained, that treats of Maiors and Sheriffs.

Lib. F. in fin.