London's Lord Mayors
800 Years of Shaping the City
- Emma Hatfield
15th November 2015
One of the first elected offices in the modern world, London’s Lord Mayors have represented and supported the City and its people for more than 800 years. But just how influential have their actions been and exactly what part have they played in shaping London – a rich, mercantile city with its own powers and customs?
Through eight centuries of plague, fire, rebellion and war, this book reveals the compelling characters and often courageous actions of London’s Lord Mayors as they respond to some of the most dramatic events in the City’s history. As the dreadful plague ravaged London in 1664, Sir John Lawrence bravely opened his house to swathes of discharged servants … When the flames of the Great Fire swept indiscriminately through the capital, Sir Thomas Bludworth held his head in his hands and was heard to desperately shout, ‘Lord, what can I do?’
Set against a backdrop of the extravagant pomp and ceremony of the fabled Lord Mayor’s Show, while highlighting the extraordinary demands of office, this is a story of duty, treason, deception and betrayal. From those who distinguished themselves in office, to those who ended up in the Tower, London’s Lord Mayors shines a unique light on the personalities and decisions, successes and failures of the spectacle makers, fishmongers, drapers and goldsmiths who rose to hold one of the most successful civic offices in the world.