Past Lord Mayors

A total of six Fan Makers have been elected as Lord Mayor of London. According to J K Melling’s Discovering London’s Guilds and Liveries, the Great 12 Companies apart, only five of the remaining 95 have provided more than six Lord Mayors, namely the Carpenters, the Coopers, the Cutlers, the Painter-Stainers and the Turners.

The first, Sir James Whitehead Bt MP JP FSA FRHS FRSS, (1834-1917) was elected in 1888, having been Master of the Fan Makers in 1884 and Sheriff of the City of London in the same year. Born in Bramhall, Yorkshire, he was a draper. He represented the ward of Cheap and in 1890 went on to become High Sheriff of the County of London, having been created a Baronet the previous year after arbitrating the London Dock Strike. As Lord Mayor he started a national scheme to raise enough money to provide equipment and uniforms for the 43 Volunteer Regiments in London, which the Government had refused to do. He also formalised the Lord Mayor’s Show into a procession. He stood for parliament in the Appleby division of Westmoreland in 1885 and 1886 and was elected Member for Leicester in 1892 supporting William Gladstone.

Sir Alfred James Newton Bt (1849-1921) was a yeast merchant, a ship owner, and Chairman of Harrods and DH Evans. He was both Master of the Fan Makers and Lord Mayor in 1899. He held all the Company’s Court meetings at the Mansion House. Prior to this he had been Master of the Girdlers (1898-1900), the Framework-Knitters (1895-96) and Sheriff in 1888. He raised a regiment of volunteers to serve in the Boer War by obtaining a grant of £25,000 from the Court of Common Council and by persuading Livery Companies, bankers and merchants to contribute to the total fund of £120,000 for weapons and supplies. The City of London Imperial Volunteers (CIV) went into action on 16th February 1900 under Field Marshal Lord Roberts and captured Bloemfontein and Pretoria.

1904 saw the election of Sir John Pound Bt (1829-1915) as Lord Mayor. A Leathermaker and Chairman of John Pound & Co, manufacturers of portmanteau such as leather cases and trunks, he lived in Stanmore. He was Master Fan Maker in 1891 and Sheriff in 1895.

Sir John Bell Bt (1843-1924) was Lord Mayor in 1907, having been Master of the Fan Makers in 1897. A brewer, and Chairman and Managing Director of Wenlock Brewery Company, he was born in London and educated at Brompton Grammar School. In 1882 he joined the Court of Common Council representing Coleman Ward and in 1894 joined the Court of Aldermen, being elected Sheriff in 1902. He revived interest in the Lord Mayor’s Show making it a spectacular pageant.

Sir Stephen Killick Bt GBE (1861-1938) was elected Lord Mayor in 1934 (George V’s Silver Jubilee year), having previously been Master of the Fan Makers in 1917, and Sheriff in 1922; in 1927 he was elected Alderman. He started life as an office boy and became a stockbroker, writing The Work of the Stock Exchange, and Stock Exchange Accounts. Widely travelled, he was an authority on Argentina, writing The Manual of Argentine Railways. He was also the first President of the Fan Makers’ Golfing Society in 1932.

In 1946 Colonel Sir Charles Arthur Davis Bt DL JP (1875-1955) was elected Master and Lord Mayor. He re-instated the ‘Divine Service of Election’ (now known as the Installation Service) which had not taken place for about 150 years, and in 1946 Masters, Wardens, Court and Livery attended a service in St Edmond the King, Lombard Street.