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The mayoralty in Ipswich

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Although Ipswich was granted its first Charter in 1200, the Corporation (or assembly as it was called) prior to 1835 consisted at different times of:

  • Two bailiffs;
  • The high steward;
  • Coroner;
  • Twelve portmen;
  • Twenty-four common council of headboroughs;
  • An indefinite number of burgesses or freemen;
  • A recorder;
  • A town clerk;
  • Chamberlains;
  • A water bailiff;
  • A treasurer;
  • Clavigers (or record keepers - they held the keys to the miniment chest);
  • Sergeants-at-mace.

The office of the Head of the Corporation is as old as the Borough itself. In Ipswich the office was shared between two bailiffs. In 1835 these were Henry Gallant Bristo and John Chevallier Cobbold.

The Municipal Reform Commissioners carried out various inquiries covering Boroughs in England. This survey lasted two or three years and culminated in the passing of the Municipal Corporations Act in 1835.

The old corporation (or Assembly) was replaced in 1835 by a Mayor, High Steward, Recorder, ten Aldermen and thirty Councillors, with the usual officers.

The first Mayor of Ipswich

The first Mayor of Ipswich was elected on the 31st December 1835 and he took up office on the 1st January 1836.

He was Benjamin Brame (born 1772 died 1851 aged 79). He was a solicitor of Lower Brook Street in St. Peter's Parish and was a Whig. He was also one of the ten Aldermen, nominated for Mayor by F.F. Seekamp and seconded by W. May and unanimously elected. He was a Freeman enrolled on the 8th September 1794.

Female Mayors of Ipswich

To date there have been 18 female Mayors (only called lady when the male version is a Lord Mayor). The first in 1946 was Mrs M. Whitmore. Others have been:

  • 1953 Mrs Lesley Lewis;
  • 1961 Mrs C. Green;
  • 1966 Mrs Marjorie Keeble;
  • 1973 Mrs Ruby Skerritt;
  • 1975 and 1982 Mrs Beryl James;
  • 1981 Mrs Ann Smith;
  • 1986 Mrs Gillian Auton;
  • 1989 Mrs Sheila Baguley;
  • 1992 Mrs Joan Cubbin;
  • 1993 Mrs Margaret Alderton;
  • 1998 Mrs Jeannette Macartney;
  • 2001 Maureen Carrington-Brown;
  • 2003 Mrs Penny Breakwell;
  • 2007 Mrs Inga Lockington;
  • 2010 Mrs Jane Chambers;
  • 2013 Ms Mary Blake.
  • 2017 Mrs Sarah Barber
  • 2018 Mrs Jane Riley

Contact Details

Civic Secretary,
Ipswich Borough Council,
2W Grafton House,
15-17 Russell Road,

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01473 432641