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Mayoralty - Civic Regalia

The Mayor’s Chain

This was purchased from N. S. Scotcher of Birmingham in 1872 and cost £193. It was worn for the first time at the Mayor’s Banquet in 1873. The chain is made up of twenty-four hollow links of 18ct gold on each of which is engraved the name and year of office of a Mayor of Wrexham. Suspended from the chain is a heart-shaped 18ct gold pendant with an enamel heraldic shield depicting the arms of the Borough of Wrexham and the motto ‘Fear God, Honour the King’. Above the shield is a closed helmet in silver and the pendant is surmounted by a gold Welsh dragon passant supporting a heraldic shield with the symbol for Venus embellished upon it. On the rear of the pendant is engraved ‘Presented to the corporation of Wrexham for the use of the Mayor for the time being by the present and several former members of the Town Council, 1st March 1873’. Three links back from the pendant, on both sides, is suspended a sliver gilt heraldic shield on which is displayed a champleve red dragon rampant which were the gift from the R.W.F. in recognition of their having been given the Freedom of the Borough of Wrexham in 1946.

The Mayoress’s Chain

This was purchased in 1902 and was manufactured by Wrexham jeweller A. W. Butt. The 15ct gold chain ‘is twenty-four inches in length, composed of links formed by enamelled Tudor roses at intervals, with larger links bearing the Prince of Wales plumes on enamelled escutcheons (blue and white) and Borough devices, i.e. lions and crosiers, as on the Wrexham achievements, also enamelled red and white respectively, the tablets or shields being surmounted by mural coronets; these links alternated with the initial letter of the Borough name, the ‘W’ being of an antique pattern. The centre link will display the Royal Cypher ‘E.R. VIII’ surmounted by the Royal crown and supported by the lions of England (passant guardant in gold)’. From this link is suspended a pendant bearing a miniature portrait of Queen Alexandra within a circlet of diamonds surmounted also by the Royal crown and a pair of sceptres in saltire – the whole to form a coronation badge. The badge is supported and held in position by a smaller chain, known as the Prince of Wales pattern, attached to the links of the larger chain in four festoons, with small gold knobs on either side of the badge. The coronation badge and festoon chain also supports the Corporation jewel which has in the centre the Borough Arms on a Louis XVI shield, resting on a goat’s head, correctly emblazoned. Above the shield, on a wreath of the colours (white and red) the Borough crest, with the motto ‘Fear God, honour the King’ entwined below on an enamelled ribbon. On the dexter side is a sword of justice, with a leek set in emeralds, while on the sinister side is a copy of the civic mace and a branch of laurel in emeralds. The whole springing from the Welsh goat’s head at base and enclosed with a framework of scrolls.

Deputy Mayor’s Chain

This was originally the chain of office of the Chairman of W.R.D.C. Manufactured c.1950, it is a silver gilt collarette in the form of thirty-one rectangular step effect plaques engraved with the names and dates of the Chairmen of the WRDC and sixteen quartre foil open work plaques with inner lozenges enclosing the double line block letter ‘W’. At the apex is a heraldic shield with a daffodil on a green ground surmounted by a castellated coronet. Suspended from this shield is a silver gilt medallion with a crest in green ground basse-taille depicting two bulls heads caboshed, two lozenges and crossed croziers, all surmounted by a helmet. the supporters are a green and yellow enamel floral design with an enamel red dragon passant supporting a heraldic shield representing the brick industry. At the bottom of the pendant is a scroll bearing the motto in red enamel ‘Sum Cuique Tribvere’. On the reverse is the inscription ‘Presented by Iorwerth Williams, Esquire’.

Deputy Mayoress’ Pendant

A modern hallmarked silver gilt pendant bearing the arms of W.M.B.C. This was manufactured in 1983 by Thomas Fattorini of Birmingham as a replacement for an earlier pendant which was lost. The original was presented to WMBC by the Wrexham branch of NALGO in 1976.

The Mace

In 1866, a large silver mace was presented to W.B.C. by the then Mayor Joseph Clark. This was seen as a symbol of the Council’s authority and measures 5 feet 8 inches. Manufactured in London it has an ebony staff with a silver top that is engraved with leaves, leeks, goat masks, the Arms of the Borough of Wrexham and a Welsh harp. This is surmounted by a dragon holding a shield. The decorations in the middle and at the foot of the staff also feature leeks and goat masks.

Since 1866, when the post of Sergeant at Mace was instituted the mace has been carried in front of the Mayor on all civic occasions. The first person to hold this post was David Higgins (Borough Inspector of Nuisances, he resided in Slaughter House Cottage, Holt Road in 1881), who was still in post in 1885 when he made a formal request for a new uniform. Quotes for replacing the uniform were again provided in March 1951 when it was estimated to cost between £38 and £41. Since the 1970s the role of Macebearer has been one of the duties carried out by the Mayor’s chauffeur.

* Excerpts from the Encyclopaedia of Wrexham by W. Alister Williams