The History and Antiquities of London, Westminster, Southwark, and Parts Adjacent, vol. 2

Allen, Thomas


The Sword-bearer.


This officer is to attend the lord mayor and execute his orders for summoning courts of aldermen and common council, and to carry the sword before him, being the emblem of justice. He is also to see that all ancient customs are preserved. He is the


principal officer of the lord mayor's household; he has his table at the lord mayor's mansion-house; for the support of which, there was formerly a year allowed. The dinners at this table are now reduced to about . His dwelling, allowed him by the city, is at Justice-hall, in the . The gentleman that bears this office is Thomas Smith, esq.

The sword-bearer's place is honourable; inasmuch as the sword is needful to be borne before head officers of boroughs, or other corporate towns, to represent the state and princely office of the king's most excellent majesty, the chief governor. To the right of bearing which sword, in the chamber of London, this observation is to be made, according to an ancient writer of armoury *

That the bearer must carry it upright, the hilts being holden under his bulk, and the blade directly up the midst of his breast, and so forth between the sword-bearer's brows. This, in distinction from bearing the sword in any town for a duke, or an earl, or a baron. If a duke, the blade thereof must lean from the head between the neck and the right shoulder, nearer to the head than the shoulder. And for an earl, the bearer must carry the same between the point of the shoulder and elbow: and so there is another different bearing of the sword for a baron.


[] Maitland ii. p. 1207.

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 Title Page
 CHAPTER I: History of London, from the Accession of William and Mary, to the reign of George the Second
 CHAPTER II: History of London during the reign of George the Second
 CHAPTER III: History of London from the Accession of George the Third, to the year 1780
 CHAPTER IV: History of London continued to the Union
 CHAPTER V: History of London from the Union to the Jubilee, 1809
 CHAPTER VI: History of London from the Jubilee to the Peace of 1814
 CHAPTER VII: History of London continued to the accession of George the Fourth
 CHAPTER VIII: Account of the Civil Government of the City by Portreves, Bailiffs, and Mayors, with a list of the latter...
 CHAPTER IX: An account of the Aldermen and Sheriffs, with a list of the latter
CHAPTER X: Lists and brief Accounts of the various Officers and Courts within the City
CHAPTER XI: Some account of the Ecclesiastical Government of the city of London, with a List and Biographical Notices of the Bishops of the see
CHAPTER XII: Some Account of the Military Government of London, and the Artillery Company
CHAPTER XIII: An Account of the twelve principal Companies of the City of London
CHAPTER XIV: An Account of the Companies of the City of London, alphabetically arranged
 CHAPTER XV: An Account of the River Thames
CHAPTER XVI: Historical and topographical account of London Bridge, Westminster Bridge, Blackfriars Bridge, Waterloo Bridge, Southwark Bridge, and the Thames Tunnel
CHAPTER XVII: Topographical and Historical Account of the Tower of London