History

The City of London is a different place from Greater London known throughout the world. London is known for its historical landmarks, modern skyscrapers, ancient markets, famous bridges and is home to the Government, Royal Family and 9 million people, but if you look at a map of London crafted by a careful cartographer, that map will have a one Square Mile hole near the middle, it is here where the City of London lives.
Originally the principal settlement around which the rest of the metropolis grew, the City of London has been independently governed since at least 886AD. The ‘Square Mile’ of it’s jurisdiction included the land within the medieval walls and a smaller crescent of territory just outside. By the turn of the eighteenth century no more than 25% of “Londoners” lived inside The City itself and that fell to around 16% by the turn of the nineteenth century.
Read below to learn about The City’s historical hierarchy and it’s representatives.

450 – 1066

The title of Shire Reeve (She_riff) evolved
during the Anglo-Saxon period of
English history. The Shire Reeve was
the representative of the king in
a city responsible for collecting
taxes and enforcing the law.

1066

By 1066 the City of London had
Sheriffs, usually two at a time,
they were the most important
city officials and collected
London’s annual taxes on behalf
of the Royal Exchequer.
taxes and enforcing the law.

1141

London gained a degree of
self-government by a charter
granted by Henry I, including the
right to choose its own Sheriffs, a
right which was affirmed in an
1141 charter by King Stephen.

1189

In 1189, an annually elected
Mayor was introduced as chief
magistrate for the City of
London. The Sheriffs were
relegated to a less senior role in
the running of the city.

1215

This right of election and change in the
pecking order was reaffirmed by a
charter granted by King John in 1215

1385

The Common Council of London
stipulated that every future Lord
Mayor should “have previously
been Sheriff”; this tradition
continues to this day.

1888

The Local Government Act 1888
created a new office of High
Sheriff of Middlesex appointed
in the same manner as other
English and Welsh counties.

1888

At the same time, the most
populous parts of Middlesex
were included in the new
County of London, which had its
own High Sheriff.

1965

The office of High Sheriff of
Greater London was created in
1965 and covers the ceremonial
county of Greater London. The City of London continues to have it own two Sheriffs.

1967

Tim was born in Dorchester, the
son of David Hailes and his wife
Blenda.

1988

Tim was President of the Students Union at Kings College for the year, sitting on the college governing council.  This involved an international leaders conference to Canada, visiting Halifax, Arcadia, Ottawa and Montreal.

1995

Hailes qualified as a Solicitor with a City Law Firm, beginning six years in private practice before moving to the London office of a Wall Street law firm.

2004

Tim Hailes chaired the London branch of the JP Morgan Pride support network in London.

2017

Tim Hailes was elected by The City
of London’s Liverymen as Sheriff of
London at Guildhall in June, 2017.

Coming Soon…

The City of London

Originally the principal settlement around which the rest of the metropolis grew, the City of London has been independently governed since at least 886AD. The ‘Square Mile’ of it’s jurisdiction included the land within the medieval walls and a smaller crescent of territory just outside. By the turn of the eighteenth century no more than 25% of “Londoners” lived inside The City itself and that fell to around 16% by the turn of the nineteenth century.

The Ward of Bassishaw

The history of the Bassishaw Ward spans more than eight hundred years. The proper name of the Ward is Basing Hall, named after the mansion house of the family of Basing which probably gained its name from Solomon of Basing who was Alderman and Mayor in 1217. The Basing family also gave their name to the parish church, St Michael Bassishaw (sadly no longer standing) and to the street where it was situated: Basinghall Street.

Although the physical boundaries of the Ward have changed significantly over the years it has always been located at the heart of City Government not far from two of the main gates on the northern perimeter (Cripplegate and Moorgate) and close to Guildhall.

Alderman

The Court of Aldermen is the “upper house” of the City Government. Each of the twenty five Wards (or constituencies) elects one Alderman. All members of the Court of Aldermen are automatically members of The Court of Common Council. Although no longer a requirement of office many Aldermen are also Justices of the Peace and remain entitled to sit as Judges at The Old Bailey (though that right is only now practically exercised by The Lord Mayor and as a matter of formality).

The Sheriff

Two Sheriff’s are elected annually for the City of London by the Liverymen of the City Livery Companies. Today Sheriffs have only nominal duties, but previously had important judicial responsibilities. They have attended the Justices at the Central Criminal Court, Old Bailey since its original role as the Court for the City and Middlesex.

The Sheriffs live in the court house complex during their year of service. In Court No 1 the principal chairs on the bench are reserved for their and the Lord Mayor’s use, with the Sword of the City hanging behind the bench. It is an invariable custom that the Lord Mayor of London must previously have served as a Sheriff.

450 – 1066

The title of Shire Reeve (She_riff) evolved during
the Anglo-Saxon period of
English history. The Shire Reeve was
the representative of the king in
a city responsible for collecting
taxes and enforcing the law.

1066

By 1066 the City of London had
Sheriffs, usually two at a time,
they were the most important
city officials and collected
London’s annual taxes on behalf
of the Royal Exchequer.
taxes and enforcing the law.

1141

London gained a degree of
self-government by a charter
granted by Henry I, including the
right to choose its own Sheriffs, a
right which was affirmed in an
1141 charter by King Stephen.

1189

In 1189, an annually elected
Mayor was introduced as chief
magistrate for the City of
London. The Sheriffs were
relegated to a less senior role in
the running of the city.

1215

This right of election and change in the
pecking order was reaffirmed by a charter
granted by King John in 1215

1385

The Common Council of London
stipulated that every future Lord
Mayor should “have previously
been Sheriff”; this tradition
continues to this day.

1888

The Local Government Act 1888
created a new office of High
Sheriff of Middlesex appointed
in the same manner as other
English and Welsh counties.

1888

At the same time, the most
populous parts of Middlesex
were included in the new
County of London, which had its
own High Sheriff.

1965

The office of High Sheriff of
Greater London was created in
1965 and covers the ceremonial
county of Greater London. The City
of London continues to have it own two Sheriffs.

1967

Tim was born in Dorchester, the
son of David Hailes and his wife
Blenda.

1988

I was President of the Students Union at Kings College for the year, sitting on the college governing council.  This involved an international leaders conference to Canada, visiting Halifax, Arcadia, Ottawa and Montreal.

1995

Hailes qualified as a Solicitor with a City Law Firm, beginning six years in private practice before moving to the London office of a Wall Street law firm.

2004

Tim Hailes chaired the London branch of the JP Morgan Pride support network in London

2017

Tim Hailes was elected by The City
of London’s Liverymen as Sheriff of
London at Guildhall in June, 2017.

Coming Soon…