Fathers of the City

The Aldermen of the City of London Temp. Henry III - 1912. Originally published by Corporation of the City of London, London, 1908.

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'Fathers of the City', in The Aldermen of the City of London Temp. Henry III - 1912, (London, 1908) pp. 250-254. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/no-series/london-aldermen/hen3-1912/pp250-254 [accessed 20 April 2024]

"FATHERS OF THE CITY." (Senior Aldermen.)

It is difficult to make a satisfactory list of "Fathers of the City," inasmuch as there is more than one principle upon which the allocation of that designation may be based. Strictly speaking, the "Father of the City" is the senior Alderman, i.e., the Alderman who, at the particular date, has held that dignity for the longest period, but when, as in earlier times was not infrequently the case, one who had ceased to be an Alderman subsequently returned to the Court, it is open to question whether the seniority should be reckoned by priority of admission or unbroken continuity of service.

Again, official precedence is regulated by the order of succession to the chair, so that all Aldermen who have served as Lord Mayor rank above those who have not attained to that dignity, and those who have filled the office are placed in order of accession to it, hence, an Alderman who has become Lord Mayor before one of his seniors in Aldermanic rank henceforth takes precedence of him. For more than 130 years (since the death of Sir W. Baker, who, though senior Alderman in point of duration of time, had never served as Sheriff, and consequently was not eligible for the office of Lord Mayor), it has happened that the senior ex-Lord Mayor has also been the senior Alderman in respect of date of admission; in the few instances in which an Alderman has been chosen Lord Mayor before one of his seniors, a still earlier Lord Mayor has survived as a member of the Court both of his juniors thus affected. There has been no instance of an ex-Alderman resuming his membership of the Court since that of Sir Charles Duncombe, who had been an Alderman for a brief period during the suspension of the Charter and was subsequently rechosen in 1700.

A.

In the following list I have taken the official standard of precedence, i.e. priority of accession to the Mayoral Chair, no regard being had to priority of admission to the Court of Aldermen. On this basis the succession runs thus:—

c1280 Henry le Waleys [Cordwainer]
[He appears to have retired from the Court about 1294, when the City was in the King's hands under a Custos (John le Breton), and there was no other Alderman who had been Mayor. On the restoration of the City's franchises, in April, 1298, le Waleys was re-elected Mayor, though, apparently, not an Alderman. He ceased to be Mayor in October, 1299, but was present at a Court of Aldermen on August 5, 1300 (Letter Book C, fo. 49), although, unless he represented Aldgate for a few months in that year, of which there is no evidence, there was no vacant ward for which he could have been returned]
c1300 Elias Russell [Billingsgate]
1303 John le Blund [Cheap]
c 1309 Nicholas de Farndone [Ludgate and Newgate] died 1334.
1334 John de Grantham [Cordwainer], died c January, 1345.
1345 Henry Darci [Walbrook]
1346 Reginald de Conduit [Tower] died about December, 1347.
1347 Henry Darci [Walbrook]
1349 Andrew Aubrey [Cordwainer]
1355 Simon Fraunceis [Cheap]
c1358 John Lovekyn [Bridge] died August 4, 1368.
1368 Adam Fraunceis [Lime Street] died 1375.
1375 John de Stodeye [Vintry] died 1376.
1376 John de Chichester [Farringdon]
1377 (March), Nicholas Brombre (Mayor). [Not an Alderman]
1378 (March), John Pyel [Castle Baynard]
1379 (March), John Warde [Aldgate]
1380 (March), William Walworth [Bridge] [Ceased to be Alderman, March, 1381, but remained Mayor]
1381 (October), John de Northampton (Mayor).
1382 (March), Sir William Walworth [Bridge]
1383 (March), John de Northampton (Mayor).
1383 (October), Sir Nicholas Brembre (Mayor).
1384 (March), Sir William Walworth [Bridge] died December, 1385.
1385 (December), Sir Nicholas Brembre [Bread Street] died February, 1388.
1388 (February), John Hadle [Lime Street]
1393 (March), William Venour [Castle Baynard]
1393 (October), John Hadle (Mayor).
[Not an Alderman: re-elected for Tower in March, 1394]
1407 John Heende [Walbrook]
1409 William Staundon [Cheap] died 1410.
1410 Richard Whityngton [Lime Street] died 1423.
1423 Thomas Knolles [Cordwainer] died 1435.
1435 Nicholas Wotton [Dowgate] discharged April 5, 1446.
1446 John Gedney [Cornhill]
1449 Henry Frowyk [Bassishaw]
1457 Stepheu Broun [Billingsgate] discharged February 14, 1460.
1460 John Hatherle [Queenhithe] discharged December 5, 1460.
1460 William Gregory [Cordwainer] discharged March 5, 1461.
1461 John Norman [Cheap] died 1468.
1468 William Hulyn [Lime Street]
1470 Richard Lee [Walbrook] knighted May 20, 1471; died 1472.
1472 Sir Matthew Philip [Aldersgate] died 1476.
1476 Sir Ralph Josselyn [Cornhill] died October 25, 1478.
1478 Sir John Yonge [Billingsgate] discharged February 14, 1481.
1481 Sir William Taillour [Cheap] died 1483.
1483 Robert Drope [Cornhill] died 1487.
1487 Richard Gardyner [Bassishaw] died 1490.
1490 Sir John Brown [Cheap] died Jan. 1, 1498.
1498 John Warde [Bishopsgate] died 1501.
1501 Sir Henry Colet [Cornhill] died October 1, 1505.
1505 Richard Chawry [Candlewick] died 1509.
1509 Sir John Tate [Langbourn], died January, 1515.
1515 Sir William Capel [Walbrook] died September 6, 1515.
1515 Sir Richard Haddon [Bridge] died 1516.
1516 Sir Lawrence Aylmer [Walbrook] discharged July 12, 1524.
1524 George Monoux [Bassishaw] discharged March 31, 1541.
1541 Sir John Aleyn [Lime Street] died 1545.
1545 Sir John Champneys [Cordwainer] died October, 1556.
1556 Sir Martin Bowes [Langbourn] died August 4, 1566.
1566 Sir Thomas Whyte [Cornhill] died February 12, 1567.
1567 Sir William Garrarde [Lime Street] died September 27, 1571.
1571 Sir Thomas Offley [Aldgate] died August 29, 1582.
1582 Sir Rowland Heywarde [Lime Street] died December 5, 1593.
1593 Sir Wolstan Dixie [Bassishaw] died January 8, 1594.
1594 Sir Richard Martin [Farringdon Within] removed to Bread Street, May 2, 1598; discharged Aug. 31, 1602.
1602 Sir John Harte [Lime Street] died February 8, 1604.
1604 Sir John Spencer [Bassishaw] died March 30, 1610.
1610 Sir Stephen Soame [Cheap] died May 23, 1619.
1619 Sir John Garrarde [Candlewick] died May 7, 1625.
1625 Sir Thomas Bennet [Bassishaw] died February 16, 1627.
1627 Sir Thomas Myddelton [Coleman Street] died August 12, 1631.
1631 Sir John Leman [Cornhill] died March 26, 1632.
1632 Sir Edward Barkham [Cheap] died January 15, 1634.
1634 Sir Martin Lumley [Bread Street] died July 3, 1634.
1634 Sir John Gore [Walbrook] died December, 1636.
1636 Sir James Cambell [Lime Street] died January 5, 1642.
1642 Sir George Whitmore [Langbourn] discharged May 2, 1643.
1643 Sir Nicholas Rainton [Cornhill] died August, 1646.
1646 Isaac Penington [Bridge Without] discharged October 23, 1657.
1657 Sir John Wollaston [Bridge Without, from Aldersgate] died April 26, 1658.
1658 Sir Thomas Atkyn [Bridge Without, from Lime Street] discharged February 12, 1661.
1661 Sir Thomas Adams [Cornhill] died February 24, 1668.
1668 Sir Richard Chiverton [Bridge Without] died 1679.
1679 Sir Thomas Alleyn, Bart. [Bridge Without, from Aldgate] superseded October, 1683.
1683 Sir William Turner [Castle Baynard] discharged August 2, 1687.
1687 Sir William Hooker [Cornhill]
1688 (October 3; on the Restoration of the Charter), Sir Thomas Alleyn, Bart.
[Bridge Without] died Sept., 1690.
1690 Sir John Lawrence [Queenhithe] died January 26, 1692.
1692 Sir William Turner [Castle Baynard] died February 22, 1693.
1693 Sir Robert Clayton [Cheap] died July 16, 1707.
1707 Sir Thomas Stampe [Cripplegate] died July 25, 1711.
1711 Sir John Fleet [Langbourn] died July 7, 1712.
1712 Sir William Ashhurst [Billingsgate] died January 12, 1720.
1720 Sir Thomas Abney [Bridge Without] died February 6, 1722.
1722 Sir Samuel Garrard, Bart. [Bridge Without, from Aldersgate] died March 10, 1725.
1725 Sir Gilbert Heathcote [Bridge Without, from Walbrook] died Jan. 25, 1733.
1733 Sir William Humfreys, Bart. [Bridge Without, from Cheap] died Oct. 26, 1735.
1735 Sir Charles Peers [Tower] died January 29, 1737.
1737 Sir Gerard Conyers [Bridge Without] died July 20, 1737.
1737 Sir John Eyles, Bart. [Bridge Without, from Vintry] died March 11, 1745.
1745 Sir Robert Baylis [Bread Street] died November 21, 1748.
1748 Sir Edward Bellamy [Bridge Without] died March 28, 1749.
1749 Sir John Thompson [Bridge Without, from Candlewick] died Feb. 17, 1750.
1750 Sir John Barnard [Bridge Without, from Dowgate] discharged July 18, 1758.
1758 Sir Robert Ladbroke [Bridge Without, from Castle Baynard] died October 31, 1773.
1773 Robert Alsop [Bridge Without, from Coleman Street] died May 24, 1785.
1785 Right Hon. Thomas Harley [Bridge Without, from Portsoken] died December 1, 1804.
1801 Sir Watkin Lewes [Bridge Without, from Lime Street] died July 13, 1821.
1821 Sir William Curtis, Bart. [Bridge Without, from Tower] died January 18, 1829.
1829 Sir Richard Carr Glyn, Bart. [Bridge Without, from Bishopsgate] discharged February 3, 1835.
1835 John Ansley [Bridge Without, from Bread Street] discharged November 24, 1835].
1835 Sir Claudius Stephen Hunter, Bart. [Bridge Without, from Bassishaw] died April 20, 1851.
1851 William Thompson [Cheap], died March 10, 1854.
1854 Sir Peter Laurie [Aldersgate] died December 3, 1861.
1861 William Taylor Copeland [Bishopsgate] died April 12, 1868.
1868 Samuel Wilson [Bridge Without] discharged March 22, 1871.
1871 Sir James Duke, Bart. [Farringdon Without] died May 28, 1873.
1873 Thomas Challis [Cripplegate], died August 20, 1874.
1874 Thomas Sidney [Billingsgate] discharged, June 22, 1880.
1880 Thomas Quested Finnis [Tower] died November 29, 1883.
1883 Sir Robert Walter Carden [Bridge Without] died January 19, 1888.
1888 Sir William Lawrence [Bread Street] removed to Bridge Without, October 3, 1895, died April 18, 1897.
1897 Sir James Clarke Lawrence, Bart. [Bridge Without, from Walbrook] died May 21, 1897]
1897 Sir John Whittaker Ellis, Bart. [Broad Street]

B.

If priority of admission to the Court of Aldermen be taken as the basis, without regard either to unbroken continuity or to service as Mayor, the succession runs thus:

c 1292 Henry le Waleys [Cordwainer]
1294 Ralph le Blund [Bassishaw] died c1295.
c 1295 Robert de Basyng [Candlewick]
c 1297 Stephen Eswy [Cheap]
1298 Henry le Waleys (Mayor).
c 1300 William le Mazeliner [Aldersgate]
1305 John le Blund [Cheap]
c 1309 Nicholas de Farndone [Ludgate and Neugate] died 1334.
1334 Anketin de Gisors [Vintry]
1336 William de Caustone [Bassishaw] died 1355.
1355 Andrew Aubrey [Cordwainer]
1355 Richard le Lacer [Farringdon] discharged December, 1357.
1357 Simon Fraunceis [Cheap]
1358 Roger de Depeham [Candlewick] died 1359.
1359 Nicholas de Aldgate, Prior of Holy Trinity [Portsoken] died July 16, 1377.
1377 (July) Nicholas Brembre.
[Thence to 1382 inclusive, as in list A]
1383 (March) Sir Nicholas Twyford [Lime Street]
1383 (October) Sir Nicholas Brembre (Mayor)
[Thence to 1388 inclusive, as in list A]
1393 (March) Roger Elys [Aldersgate]
William Baret [Tower]
[Adam Karlill (Aldgate) was of the same seniority in respect to priority of admission, but had served in all one year less than Elys or Baret]
1393 (October) John Hadle (Mayor)
[Not an Aldermen: elected for Tower, March, 1394]
1407 John Heende [Walbrook]
1409 William Staundon [Cheap]
1410 John Shadworth [Bassishaw]
c1415 Drew Barentyn [Bishopsgate] died December 15, 1415.
1415 (Dec.) Richard Whityngton [Lime Street) died 1423.
Thomas Knolles [Cordwainer] died 1435.
1435 Nicholas Wotton [Dowgate] discharged April 5, 1446.
[Thence to 1461 inclusive, as in list A]
1468 Thomas Pomeroy, Prior of Holy Trinity [Portsoken]
1481 Sir William Taillour [Cheap] died 1483.
[The above is correct on the assumption that Pomeroy remained Prior of Holy Trinity till 1481, the year of Percy's accession to that office, of which there is only the negative evidence that no other person is named as Prior during that period, the holder of the office being only referred to by his official and not his personal name—see note D, p. 187. If Pomeroy ceased to be Prior before 1468, or between that date and 1481, the Senior Alderman would be as in list A]
1483 Robert Bassett [Aldgate] died 1484.
1484 Robert Drope [Cornhill] died 1487.
1487 Richard Gardyner [Bassishaw] died 1490.
1490 Sir John Brown [Cheap] died Jan. 1, 1498.
1498 Sir Henry Colet [Cornhill] died October 1, 1505.
1505 Richard Chawry [Candlewick] died 1509.
1509 Sir John Tate [Langbourn] died January, 1515.
1515 Sir William Capel [Walbrook] died September 6, 1515.
1515 Sir Richard Haddon [Bridge] died 1516.
1516 Sir Stephen Jenyns [Lime Street] died May 6, 1523.
1523 Sir Lawrence Aylmer [Walbrook] discharged July 12, 1524.
[Thence to 1545 inclusive, as in list A]
1556 (October) Sir Henry Huberthorn [Bread Street] died October, 1556.
1556 (October) Sir Martin Bowes [Langbourn] died August 4, 1566.
[Thence to 1571 inclusive, as in list A]
1552 Sir William Alleyn [Bridge] died May, 1586.
1586 Sir Rowland Heywarde [Lime Street] died December 5, 1593.
[Thence to 1643 inclusive, as in list A]
1646 Sir John Cordell [Bassishaw] discharged September 9, 1647.
1647 Sir Thomas Soame [Cheap] discharged July 1, 1649.
1649 Thomas Atkyn [Lime Street]
[Removed to Bridge Without, May 11, 1658]
1660 (September 25) Sir Thomas Soame [Cheap] (restored to his Aldermanry) discharged January 22, 1667.
1667 Sir Thomas Adams, Bart. [Cornhill] died February 24, 1668.
1668 Sir Richard Browne, Bart. [Langbourn] died September 24, 1669.
1669 Sir Richard Chiverton [Bridge Without] died November, 1679.
[Thence to 1692 inclusive, as in list A]
1693 Sir John Moore [Walbrook] died June 2, 1702.
1702 Sir Robert Clayton [Cheap] died July 16, 1707.
1707 Sir Charles Duncombe [Bridge] died April 9, 1711.
1711 Sir John Parsons [Bassishaw] died January 25, 1717.
1717 Sir William Ashhurst [Billingsgate] died January 12, 1720.
[Thence to 1737 inclusive, as in list A]
1745 (March 11) Sir Harcourt Master [Coleman Street] died March 15, 1745.
1745 (March 15) Sir Robert Baylis [Bread Street] died November 21, 1748.
[Thence to 1750 inclusive. as in list A]
1758 Sir Joseph Hankey [Langbourn] died June 28, 1769.
1769 Sir William Baker [Bassishaw] died January 23, 1770.
1770 Sir Robert Ladbroke [Bridge Without] died October 31, 1773.
[Since 1773, as in list A]

C.

If, however, in cases of broken continuity of service, no account be taken of the period of service previous to re-election, the succession would be as follows:—

[1292–1297 inclusive, as in list B]
1298 William le Mazeliner [Aldersgate]
[Thence to 1334 inclusive as in list B]
1336 Reginald de Conduit [Cheap]
1339 John de Preston [Dowgate] died c November, 1339.
1339 Richard de Hakencie [Billingsgate] died c March, 1343.
1343 John de Grantham [Cordwainer] died c January, 1345.
1345 (January), John de Caustone [Billingsgate]
1350 William de Caustone [Bassishaw] died 1355.
[Thence to 1377 July, inclusive, as in list B]
1378 (October), William de Risyng, Prior of Holy Trinity [Portsoken], died August 1, 1391.
1391 John Fraunceis [Farringdon], died December 16, 1405.
1465 John Shadworth [Bassishaw]
[Thence omitting Barentyn as in list B to 1647 inclusive]
1649 Thomas Atkyn [Lime Street] discharged February 12, 1661.
[Removed to Bridge Without, May 11, 1658]
1661 John Fowke [Tower] died April 22, 1662.
1662 Richard Chiverton [Cordwainer] died 1679.
[Removed to Cripplegate, October 1, 1663, Bridge Without, March 5, 1667, knighte 1 October 12, 1663]
1679 Sir Thomas Alleyn, Bart. [Bridge Without, from Aldgate] superseded October, 1683.
1683 Sir William Turner [Castle Baynard] discharged August 2, 1687.
1687 Sir William Hooker [Cornhill] discharged July 9, 1689.
1689 Sir Jonathan Raymond [Bishopsgate] discharged December 24, 1696.
1696 Sir Peter Daniel [Bridge] died May, 1700.
1700 Sir William Ashhurst [Billingsgate] died January 12, 1720.
[From 1720, as in list B.]