Town Clerk of London

Coat of arms of the City of London.

The Town Clerk of London is an important position that has existed since the 13th century in the City of London, England. Originally the role was to take the minutes of London council meetings, but over the years the holder's role has gathered responsibility, including staff and executive powers. Historically the incumbent received an annual fee of £10.[1] This has risen to £244,000 in 2016/17, with 55% coming from the City Fund[2] and 40% coming from the City's Cash.[3]


The Town Clerk of London has been responsible for recording the minutes of the council of the Corporation of London and its committees since 1274.[4] But historically, the Town Clerk of London's role was also one of a legal advisor and recorder of city law. The Town Clerk has worked at the Guildhall in London since 1411. Today the Guildhall is still used for official functions.[5]

The elected City of London council assumed legislative functions and adopted financial powers as confirmed by charters of 1377 and 1383 and as written[clarification needed] by the Town Clerk of London. The council, with the Town Clerk, has amended the civic constitution, regulated the election of Lord Mayor and other officials, and amended the functions of the City of London courts via writs.[6]

This was successful[clarification needed], leading to the similar expansion of the City of London courts which had jurisdiction outside London as a type of county court. This gradually took over from the now obsolete circuit criminal court called the Assize Court. The format strongly influenced the development of the High Court of Chancery and Lord Chancellor's jurisdiction based in Westminster.

The Great Fire of London destroyed 80% of the city in 1666. The Guildhall was damaged in this and other great fires.

During the early 17th century, before and after the 1666 Great Fire of London, the Town Clerk's function began to evolve into more complex and multiple roles. The more modern era of the Town Clerk as an executive requires more assistants.

Today the Lord Mayor of the City of London is assisted in his or her day-to-day work by three leading personnel[7] whose titles are the Town Clerk and Chief Executive, the Chamberlain and the Remembrancer.

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