Leeds - Lord Mayor's Chain

Lord Mayor's Chain

Lord Mayor’s Chain
Courtesy of the Lord Mayor's Office

When Leeds was granted its first Royal Charter in 1626, the head of the council was designated to be the ‘alderman’. In 1661, the new charter described the senior position as ‘mayor’. The Municipal Corporations Act of 1835 saw the old council swept away and a new council formed in Leeds. It was decided to create a mayoral chain.

Weighing 2lb. troy standard gold, the chain cost £197 14s. 0d. It was presented to the first mayor, George Goodman, on 30 April 1836. The attached shield pendant is inscribed:

Presented by the burgesses and inhabitants of Leeds to their reform corporation. As the official insignia of the Mayor, in token of their approbation of representative municipal government and to remind the chief magistrate that their powers and honours, conferred by the people, are to be held for the public welfare. George Goodman, Esq’, first Mayor, elected 1st January, 1836.

At private functions Goodman wore a reduced facsimile of the chain during his mayoralty. At a meeting of the council on 14 May 1857, a letter was received from Goodman in which he generously gave the chain to the mayor and his successors.