Corporation of London

From Academic Kids

Arms of the  as shown on .  The motto reads DOMINE NOS DIRIGE, "Lord, lead us". Some who know the City well joke that it translates as "Heaven help us!"
Arms of the City of London as shown on Blackfriars station. The motto reads DOMINE NOS DIRIGE, "Lord, lead us". Some who know the City well joke that it translates as "Heaven help us!"

The Corporation of London is the municipal governing body of the City of London. It exercises control only over the City (the "square mile"), and not over Greater London. The Corporation includes the Lord Mayor, the Court of Aldermen, and the Court of Common Council. It does not exercise authority over Middle Temple and Inner Temple, which are enclaves in the west of the City.

The formal name which the Corporation was incorporated by is "The Mayor and Commonality and Citizens of the City of London".




Eligible voters must be at least 18 years old and a citizen of the United Kingdom, a European Union country, or a Commonwealth country, and either a resident or an appointee of a qualifying body.

Each body or organization, whether unincorporated or incorporated, whose premises are within the City of London may appoint a number of voters based on the number of workers it employs: bodies employing fewer than ten workers may appoint one voter, those employing ten to fifty workers may appoint one voter for every five; those employing more than fifty workers may appoint ten voters and one additional voter for every fifty workers beyond the first fifty.

Though workers count as part of a workforce regardless of nationality, only certain individuals may be appointed as voters. The following are eligible to be appointed as voters (the qualifying date is September 1 of the year of the election):

  • Those who have worked for the body for the past year
  • Those who have served on the body's Board of Directors for the past year
  • Those who have worked for the body for a total of five years and have worked in the City at some point during the past five years
  • Those who have worked for in the City for a total of ten years and at some point during the past five years

Sole proprietorships and partnerships may not appoint voters. The members of the proprietorship or partnership, however, qualifies to vote in the same manner as a resident as long as the business occupies premises within the City.


The City of London is divided into twenty-five wards, or electoral divisions. Each ward may elect one Alderman and a number of Councilmen based on the size of the electorate. The numbers below reflect the changes caused by the City of London (Ward Elections) Act.

WardCommon Councilmen
Bread Street2
Broad Street3
Castle Baynard7
Coleman Street5
Farringdon Within8
Farringdon Without10
Lime Street3

Livery Companies

There are over one hundred Livery Companies in London. The companies were originally trade associations; in modern times, much of their role is ceremonial. The senior members of the Livery Companies, known as liverymen, form a special electorate known as Common Hall. Common Hall is the body that chooses the Lord Mayor of the City and certain other officers.

The Court of Aldermen

Wards originally elected aldermen for life, but the term is now only six years. The alderman may, if he chooses, submit to an election before the six-year period ends. In any case, an election must be held no later than six years after the previous election. The sole qualification for the office is that Aldermen must be Freemen of the City.

Aldermen are ex officio Justices of the Peace. All Aldermen also serve in the Court of Common Council.

The Court of Common Council

Missing image
The north block of Guildhall, which houses most of the administration of the Corporation.

Each ward may choose a number of common councilmen based on its population. A Common Councilman must be a registered voter in his ward, own a freehold or lease land in the City, reside in the City for the year prior to the election, and be a Freeman of the City. Common Council elections are held annually, in March.

The Lord Mayor and the Sheriffs

The Lord Mayor of London and the two Sheriffs are chosen by liverymen meeting in Common Hall. Sheriffs, who serve as assistants to the Lord Mayor, are chosen on Midsummer Day. The Lord Mayor, who must have previously been a Sheriff, is chosen on Michaelmas. Both the Lord Mayor and the Sheriffs are chosen for terms of one year.

The Lord Mayor fulfills several roles:

See Also

he:האיגוד של לונדון no:Corporation of London


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