A Brand New Auld Man

Today I had my first meeting before Common Council, where I had to make a few short remarks before the meeting began in earnest.  For those who wish to know more about the City of London Corporation and the role of an Alderman or Broad Street Ward, there is plenty to surf.

The City of London Corporation is the world’s oldest continuously elected local government.  The City is regarded as ‘incorporated by prescription’, meaning that the law presumes it to have been incorporated because it has for so long been regarded as such even in the absence of written documentation.  The Corporation began in Anglo-Saxon times.  The first record of a royal charter is 1067, when William the Conqueror confirmed the rights and privileges that the Citizens of London had enjoyed since the time of Edward the Confessor. Together, Common Council and the Court of Aldermen are considered to form the ‘grandmother of parliaments’.  The governing legislation is the Magna Carta (1215), “THE City of London shall have all the old Liberties and Customs [which it hath been used to have]. Moreover We will and grant, that all other Cities, Boroughs, Towns, and the Barons of the Five Ports, and all other Ports, shall have all their Liberties and free Customs.

[The other two outstanding ‘effects’ of the Magna Carta are personal liberties and no false imprisonment.]