1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Lord Mayor's Day
LORD MAYOR’S DAY, in England, the 9th of November, the date of the inauguration of the lord mayor of London (see Vol. XVI., p. 966), marked by a pageant known as the Lord Mayor’s Show. The first of these pageants was held in 1215. The idea originated in the stipulation made in a charter then granted by John that the citizen chosen to be mayor should be presented to the king or his justice for approval. The crowd of citizens who accompanied the mayor on horseback to Westminster developed into a yearly pageant, which each season became more elaborate. Until the 15th century the mayor either rode or walked to Westminster, but in 1453 Sir John Norman appears to have set a fashion of going by water. From 1639 to 1655 the show disappeared owing to Puritan opposition. With the Restoration the city pageant was revived, but interregnums occurred during the years of the plague and fire, and in 1683 when a quarrel broke out between Charles and the city, ending in the temporary abrogation of the charter. In 1711 an untoward accident befell the show, the mayor Sir Gilbert Heathcote (the original of Addison’s Sir Andrew Freeport) being thrown by his horse. The next year a coach was, in consequence, provided for the chief magistrate. In 1757 this was superseded by a gilded and elaborately decorated equipage costing £10,065 which was used till 1896, when a replica of it was built to replace it.