Presentation of Fruit to the Lord Mayor about
Presentation of Fruit to the Lord Mayor

Annually the Master and Wardens together with fellow Liverymen and their ladies are honoured to attend Mansion House where in accordance with an “Ancient Custom” the Master presents the Lord Mayor with a gift of the choicest fruits in season.

In days gone by the Lord Mayor exercised his privilege of levying a tax in the form of samples of the fruit brought into the City of London.

The custom worked smoothly enough so long as London remained at a moderate size, but as the City grew so did the volume of fruit and thus the burden of the levy became too much to bear, friction arose, the enforcement of the mayoral rights led to disputes and there were many bitter quarrels.

Fortunately common sense prevailed and the genius of both parties employing compromise as a solvent for troublesome situations came to the rescue!

The Fruiterers’ Company undertook to pay an annual tribute of fruit to the Lord Mayor in return for a surrender of his Lordship’s right to exact a toll of supplies sent to the market.

In return for this gift the Lord Mayor would invite the Court and officers of the Company to a dinner which would take place at the discretion and convenience of his Lordship. The Lord Mayor would invite whomsoever he thought proper to meet the Company, Civic or Private friends but according to ancient custom the Master and Wardens took precedence over all other guests.

This annual ceremony which continues to this day albeit in a much reduced format is none the less important and provides both the Fruiterers’ Company together with the Lord Mayor the opportunity to fulfill their commitments.