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Corporation of London

The Corporation of London is the municipal governing body of the City of London. It exercises control only over the City, and not over Greater London. The Corporation includes the Lord Mayor, the Court of Aldermen, and the Court of Common Council. It does not excercise authority over Middle Temple and Inner Temple, which are a series of enclaves in the west of the city.

Arms of the City of London

Table of contents
1 Elections
2 The Court of Aldermen
3 The Court of Common Council
4 The Lord Mayor and the Sheriffs
5 See Also



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):

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 Aldermen 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. Presently, they play a ceremonial role. The 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

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.

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