Translation of aldermen


Centre for Metropolitan History



Alfred P. Beaven

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'Translation of aldermen', The Aldermen of the City of London: Temp. Henry III - 1912 (1908), pp. 240-241. URL: Date accessed: 26 November 2014.


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The removal of an Alderman from one Ward to another, which was an exceedingly common occurrence in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, appears to have been not unusual in the earliest period of which we have records, and continued with diminishing frequency till nearly the end of the seventeenth century; after that time the only instances have been in the case of Bridge Without, the Aldermanry of which Ward, since the Act of 1711, is always given to the senior existing Alderman, who, having served the office of Lord Mayor, is willing to accept the office. The earliest definitely recorded instance of an Alderman of one Ward being elected to another is that of Simon de Abyndon, who, while serving for Tower, was elected to fill a vacancy in Billingsgate, in January, 1320, but did not accept removal, his constituents in the former ward being unwilling to part with him. There were, however, several earlier cases, as will be seen from the ward lists in the foregoing pages, the first being that of John de Banquell who removed from Cripplegate to Dowgate in 1291, unless (see page 239) the Lansdowne MS. is correct in assigning Robert de Basyng to Castle Baynard before serving for Candlewick, of which there is no other evidence.

On January 19, 1479, an order was made that no Alderman should be transferred from one ward to another until he had served at least two years for the one which he then represented [Journal 8, fo. 192] and this order was renewed September 2, 1550 [Letter Book R, fo. 90 b] with the further restriction that the Aldermen of Farringdon Without and Bridge Without should not be eligible for removal until the end of three years from their election. These orders were not always strictly observed, though at times the Court refused to accept nominations, whereby it was infringed.

The latest instance of the translation of an Alderman (other than of those removed by Royal Commission during the suspension of the Charter and of those who accepted Bridge Without after 1711), was in the case of Sir Robert Hanson who removed from Bassishaw to Farringdon Without, April 1, 1680. Some, however, of James II.'s Aldermen, who were superseded on the restoration of the Charter in 1688, were, immediately, or after short intervals, elected to fill vacancies in other wards than those for which they had previously served.

There are three instances of Aldermen serving for five different wards, viz.: W. Baret, H. Vanner and Sir R. Chiverton; thirteen sat for four, viz: Sir N. Twyford, A. Karlill, A. Bamme, S. Eyre, Sir W. Taillour, Sir H. Colet, Sir M. Bowes, Sir W. Chester, Sir R. Haywarde, Sir G. Barne, Sir J. Harte, Sir W. Cokayne, Sir J. Wollaston.

The following (seventy-one in all) served for three wards, viz.: R. de Refham, J. de Wengrave, R. de Conduit, J. de Caustone, Sir J. de Pulteney, W. Halden, A. Stable, J. Organ, T. Welford, J. Southam, W. Tonge, J. Eston, J. Rote, W. Staundon, J. Shadworth, D. Barentyn, W. Askham, J. Gedney, J. Reinwell, J. Brockle, N. Wyfold, Sir T. Cook, Sir H. Hayford, Sir B. James, R. Gardyncr, R. Rawson, J. Mathewe, Sir J. Tate (the younger), Sir S. Jenyns, Sir R. Acheley, Sir J. Milbourn, Sir W. Bayley, Sir R. Dodmer, Sir N. Lambarde, Sir S. Pecocke, Sir J. Champneys, Sir W. Laxton, Sir J. Gresham, Sir W. Garrarde, Sir T. Leigh, Sir J. Whyte, Sir A. Avenon, Sir J. Ryvers, Sir A. Nicholas, Sir J. Langley, Sir J. Allott, Sir C. Buckle, Sir John Spencer, Sir S. Slaney, Sir R. Lee, Sir T. Bennett, Sir L. Halliday, Sir J. Watts, Sir R. Goddard, Sir T. Cambell, Sir W. Craven, Sir J. Leman, Sir J. Gore, Sir R. Deane, Sir R. Ducye, R. Backhouse, Sir T. Soame, Sir T. Atkyn, Sir T. Adams, Sir A. Reynardson, Sir T. Alleyn, Sir J. Robinson, Sir T. Bludworth, Sir R. Ford, Sir W. Gostlyn, Sir J. Parsons.

The following table shows the number of direct removals from and to each ward. I have omitted cases where an interval elapsed between the Alderman's ceasing to represent one ward and being elected for another, but have included the instances when at the annual elections between 1384 and 1394 an Alderman transferred his services to a different ward

FromAldersgate.Aldgate.Bassishaw.Billingsgate.Bishopsgate.Bread Street.Bridge.Bridge Without.Broad Street.Candlewick.Castle Baynard.Cheap.Coleman Street.Cordwainer.Cornhill.Cripplegate.Dowgate.Farringdon Within.Farringdon Without.Langbourn.Lime Street.Portsoken.Queenhithe.Tower.Vintry.Walbrook.Total.
Bread Street002100200011100000010000110
Bridge Without000001001001110410100120014
Broad Street001010020002120100220030219
Castle Baynard002012124220021220021233236
Coleman Street102100011102032000210000219
Farringdon Within100104001203120100310010324
Farringdon Without321401413120301161120413247
Lime Street00110003100000000000000006