Election of the Lord Mayor of London

Election of the Lord Mayor of London

September 29
Since 1546 Michaelmas has been the day on which the Lord Mayor of London is elected each year. The election occurs in the Guildhall, in front of which a high wooden fence has been erected. There are a number of doors in the fence, and a beadle of one of the city's Livery Companies, dressed in uniform and a three-cornered hat, waits in back of each door. It is the beadle's job to guard the Guildhall and see that persons without authorization are not allowed into the election ceremony.
Two candidates for the job are chosen from among the city aldermen who have already served a term of office as sheriff. The ceremony begins when the current Lord Mayor, two sheriffs, and 26 aldermen in their scarlet gowns walk from the Mansion House to Guildhall, where they sit on a platform that has been strewn with herbs, a medieval protection against both plague and witchcraft. The candidates proceed to the Aldermen's Court, a body consisting of 13 aldermen whose job it is to interview the candidates and select the one who will serve as mayor.
Once the voting is over, both the new and the old Lord Mayors appear together on the porch of the Guildhall, and then an ornate horse-drawn coach carries them to the Mansion House, which has been the Lord Mayor of London's official residence since 1753.
See also Lord Mayor's Show
SOURCES:
YrFest-1972, p. 153