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The role of the Beadle

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The City of London has many civic and ceremonial officers that are unknown to the civic apparatus of other towns and cities throughout the United Kingdom.

Ancient offices such as that of the Ale Conners, the Bridge Masters, the Chief Commoner, the Clerk to the Chamberlain's Court, and the Secondary and Undersheriff are just a few among the panoply of sceptre, mace and sword bearing custodians of the City's traditions.

The Beadle is the one office holder which is common to both the City of London and to its many Livery Companies, yet in typical City style the role is not the same in every Company and certainly not between the Companies and the City. Such is the way of the City that delights in creating myriad exceptions to, and variations on, a common theme!

There are other Beadles (sometimes 'Esquire Bedell') to be found in some of the ancient universities in the UK and the Commonwealth, and these are ceremonial officers who keep the customs and traditions of the unive…