The position of Mayor is steeped in history and there is a wealth of documents, insignia and other trappings surrounding the role.

The word “Mayor” is derived from the same root as “Major”, from the Latin “Magnus” meaning the greater or superior.

The Normans introduced the word to the English language around the time of the Domesday Book and it was used variously thereafter relating to those in governance of an area.

The history of the Office

The widespread use of the title in modern day understanding of the term was an innovation introduced by the Municipal Corporations Act 1835. The Municipal Corporations Acts of 1835 and 1882 entitled the people of an area to apply for “incorporation” as a district administered by an elected council.

This was often followed by the inhabitants of an area petitioning the Sovereign for the status of a borough which included the rights and privileges of being granted a Mayoralty.

The right for a district to become a borough and to have a Mayor can only be granted by Royal Charter. The Authority must first demonstrate that they are able to operate a Mayoralty with the required level of protocol and dignity, and will not allow the Mayoralty to be used for political purposes.

The Mayor is the representative of the Crown in the borough and as such is the First Citizen of the borough. The only people to take precedence over the Mayor are members of the Royal family or the Lord Lieutenant of the County when he/she is officially representing the Sovereign. The Mayor is also the Chairman of the Council.

The Office of Charnwood

Charnwood was created when the Local Government Act 1972, which came into operation in April 1974, reorganised local government in England and Wales. Many of the small and medium sized boroughs and urban district councils disappeared to become reorganised district councils.

Loughborough Borough, Barrow upon Soar Rural District Council, and Shepshed Urban District Council were then reorganised as Charnwood. Charnwood District Council then petitioned the Queen asking for the grant of a Charter conferring the borough status previously held by Loughborough over the whole of the new district.

Past Mayors, Chairmen, Freemen and Honorary Aldermen

In June 2007 the Royal Anglian Regiment was granted "Freedom of Entry" to the borough which entitles them to parade through the area with drums beating, bands playing, colours flying and bayonets fixed. The same honour was more recently granted to the 158 (Royal Anglian) Transport Regiment, The Royal Logistics Corps in April 2010.

Past councillors who have completed long and distinguished service can be awarded the title "Honorary Alderman". There are currently four Aldermen of the Borough of Charnwood.

The borough charters

The town of Loughborough was granted its first charter in 1888 by Queen Victoria. This granted the people of Loughborough borough status including the right to be governed by an elected council and a Mayor. The new council then requested a coat of arms to be used as their "corporate logo" and was granted a charter by the College of Heralds describing their award.

In 1974 the borough of Loughborough was merged with Shepshed Urban District and Barrow Rural District to become the District of Charnwood. Charnwood then successfully applied to Queen Elizabeth II for another charter conferring all the rights previously held by Loughborough over the whole of the new District.

The heraldic charter and the 1974 Charnwood charter are both framed and hanging in the Mayor's Parlour at Loughborough Town Hall.

Last updated: Thu 26th September, 2019 @ 16:58