City of London hosts Baron Towns

Mayor of Alnwick Bill Grisdale, Sue Patience, Dr Sally Sample, Sally Black, Fred Calvert, The Lord Mayor of the City Of London, Diana Webber, Malcolm Groves, Pat Calvert and Dorothy Groves.
Mayor of Alnwick Bill Grisdale, Sue Patience, Dr Sally Sample, Sally Black, Fred Calvert, The Lord Mayor of the City Of London, Diana Webber, Malcolm Groves, Pat Calvert and Dorothy Groves.

Representatives of two north Northumberland communities attended an event on Tuesday to mark the 800th anniversary of a landmark event ahead of the sealing of Magna Carta by King John.

Representatives from Alnwick and Warkworth were invited by Alan Yarrow, Lord Mayor of the City of London, to a gathering at his official residence.

On May 17, 1215, the powerful barons, who were putting pressure on the monarch to stop his abuse of royal power, gained the support of London and its mayor.

Eight centuries later and to mark the historic anniversary of the entry of the baronial army into London, representatives from the towns and villages where the 25 Magna Carta barons had their chief manors attended the reception at the Lord Mayor’s official residence.

Mayor of Alnwick Bill Grisdale described the occasion as a ‘fascinating day’ and was full of praise for Mansion House where the event took place.

“It was great talking to people from other parts of the country,” he said. “They were all hugely complimentary about Alnwick and Northumberland.

“There was a historian from Norwich who outlined the nature of the event and its importance and the Guildhall School of Music & Drama performed a play that was written for the 750th anniversary.”

Diana Webber was one of the seven Warkworth representatives to attend the London event.

She said: “It went extremely well. We are all immensely proud of our heritage and everybody who attended the event was very proud to do so.

“We feel that it was a nice little recompense for all the hard work that we are putting in to commemorate Magna Carta 800 and it was a privilege to be part of something very special.”

The towns and villages represented included: Alnwick and Warkworth in Northumberland; Helmsley, Thirsk, Topcliffe and Skipton in North Yorkshire; Pontefract in West Yorkshire; Hornby in Lancashire; Castle Hedingham, Little Dunmow, Pleshey and Stansted Mountfitchet in Essex; Clare, Framlingham and Huntingfield in Suffolk; Walkern in Hertfordshire; Leicester and Belvoir in Leicestershire; Curry Mallet in Somerset; Trowbridge in Wiltshire; Long Crendon in Buckinghamshire; West Greenwich in London.

Peter Sinclair, chairman of the Magna Carta Barons Association, said: “In the run-up to the sealing of Magna Carta at Runnymede in 1215, the arrival of the barons in London and the City joining their cause was a landmark event.

“Without it, it is quite possible that Magna Carta would not have happened at all, so its significance cannot be underestimated.”