The Lord Mayor and mayoral office

Find out about the history of the mayoral office and the role of Lord Mayor.

History of the mayoral office

Canterbury has a unique heritage when it comes to the leaders of the city. Our first record of a chief citizen dates back to AD 696 (pre-dating the united Kingdom of England itself) and these early notables were often known as a ‘Portreeve’.

You can download and view full details of the Lord Mayor's history:

The Lord Mayor’s chain of office

The chain has been a symbol of office since 1616.

The current chain was donated in the early 20th century by George Collard and is now worn by the Lord Mayor on all official engagements.

The badge of office on the chain shows the armorial bearings of the city and district of Canterbury and marks the link between the church and the crown. It depicts the Royal Lion, the three black choughs, and is topped by a crown. The inscription reads “Ave Mater Angliae” (Hail Mother of England).