debunked: City of London a sovereign state

BRoI

New Member
From an 1869 book. Damn this "conspiracy theory" is old.

Written before the Temple Bar gate was moved, and replaced with a symbolic "red cord."

Amongst the other privileges attaching themselves to the office of liverymen, that of appointing their Mayor has ever been considered one of the most important. They only, we have seen, have had the right of returning sheriffs, aldermen, and Common Councillors ; and with them also exclusively rested the privilege of returning from the aldermen the Mayor. In early times this official held sway over the City in style right royal ; his power was almost unlimited ; what the alderman was in the gild, the Mayor was in the City ; the Londoners yielded unmurmuringly to each and every order or exaction issued in his name.

The City was imperium in imperio and within the walls the Mayor was considered supreme sovereign. The monarch of the day, upon all royal visits to the City, has ever appeared to humour this fancy, and to recognize the existence of this rival throne. Temple Bar alone, of all the many gates of entrance, has been preserved from destruction, no doubt because, being the entrance from the royal residences, it has been necessary on all occasions of royal visits, for the purpose of keeping up one of the most ancient of civic customs, that of closing the gate against the sovereign, and requiring him before entrance to ask the Mayor's permission to enter within his domain.

The ceremony is interesting because of its antiquity, and its origin cannot now be traced. The Mayor, upon receiving the King's request, is usually sufficiently complaisant to accede most readily, and with all respect to hand to the King on bended knee the key which will admit him within the precinct. He also gives up his sword and mace, in token that he is not a rival, but a loyal subject, and the King as readily returns the same, in token that he has confidence in the Mayor's integrity, and is willing to retain his services as his lieutenant. On all such occasions, the Mayor, if he had not previously won his spurs, had conferred upon him the honour of knighthood. This formerly was a high distinction, especially at a period anterior to the institution of a social knighthood. As aldermen of London claim rank above a social knight, they will never accept a civic knighthood.*

[...]

* A few weeks after the above was written, this rule, for the first time, was broken by two ex-Lord Mayors (Aldermen Rose and Phillips) accepting knighthood. Hitherto aldermen who were knights had received the title previously to their election as aldermen ; but no prior case is on record of the acceptance by a past Lord Mayor of a civic knighthood, which is in truth an advancement-retrograde !
http://home.us.archive.org/stream/historicalremini00arunrich#page/54/mode/2up
 

Trailspotter

Senior Member.
I've never claimed the City is a sovereign state.

But:

The City of London, unlike any other local authority, has almost semi-sovereign powers.


- The Right Honourable member for Nottingham northwest, Michael English, speech in the Houses of Parliament, December 11, 1968
http://www.theyworkforyou.com/debate...8-12-11a.455.1

Only in comparison with other local authorities in the UK. It has less sovereignty than the British Crown Dependencies, like, for example, the Channel Islands or Isle of Man.
 

BRoI

New Member
Once again, from the horse's mouth, this time in 1913:

The City of London to this day closes its gates on certain occasions at the approach of royalty, or the representatives of the Crown.

The Aldermen of the City of London
Published by the Corporation of the City of London
http://archive.org/stream/cu31924092684731#page/n15/mode/2up/search/gates


The author was quoting this book from 1855:

The City of London to this day closes its gates on certain occasions at the approach of Royalty, or the representatives of the Crown.

A history of England, during the reign of George the Third.
http://archive.org/stream/historyofengland01massuoft#page/440/mode/2up
 

BRoI

New Member
Only in comparison with other local authorities in the UK. It has less sovereignty than the British Crown Dependencies, like, for example, the Channel Islands or Isle of Man.

Can the head honchos of those islands do this:

In all Acts of Parliament touching municipal rights, the privilege of the city is expressly excepted. When the Corporation address the Crown, the Lord Mayor and principal officers insist upon being received in state by the King on the throne. If they approach the House of Commons, their petition is not presented in the ordinary way by one of their representatives, but is delivered at the bar by their Sheriffs in full dress.
http://archive.org/stream/historyofengland01massuoft#page/440/mode/2up
Do those islands have an "Remembrancer" in Parliament, looking out for them?

Nah, of course they don't.
 

Trailspotter

Senior Member.
Can the head honchos of those islands do this:


Do those islands have an "Remembrancer" in Parliament, looking out for them?

Nah, of course they don't.

Those islands are self-governing and not part of the United Kingdom. Do the United States have a representative in British Parlament?

Nah, of course they don't.
 

BRoI

New Member
Those islands are self-governing and not part of the United Kingdom. Do the United States have a representative in British Parlament?

Nah, of course they don't.

Well, that's taught me all about the Crown Dependencies. I always wondered why the Manx got away with their harsh laws against homosexuals.

Should I take this remark as your acknowledgment of the fact that the Queen can and does go to the City of London without having to ask permission or to touch the Pearl Sword?

You've one video, another really long one, which I've not watched in full, where her Majesty didn't touch the Pearl Sword when she stepped foot in the City. But once again the Mayor was there, as was the Pearl Sword.

I've already acknowledged she can drive thru the City without permission, but you've zilch to prove she's ever gone there without the Mayor or the Pearl Sword being present.
 

MikeC

Closed Account
I thank you for including this bit in the long quote above - even though apparently you failed to noe that it still debunks the myth -

The ceremony is interesting because of its antiquity, and its origin cannot now be traced. The Mayor, upon receiving the King's request, is usually sufficiently complaisant to accede most readily, and with all respect to hand to the King on bended knee the key which will admit him within the precinct. He also gives up his sword and mace, in token that he is not a rival, but a loyal subject, and the King as readily returns the same, in token that he has confidence in the Mayor's integrity, and is willing to retain his services as his lieutenant.
Content from External Source
So the city can close its gates (or used to), but then opened them at the crown's request, as you would expect of a subordinate, and then handed the crown symbols of subservience which the crown deigned to hand back as an expression of trust in "a loyal SUBJECT".
 

BRoI

New Member
I thank you for including this bit in the long quote above - even though apparently you failed to noe that it still debunks the myth -

The ceremony is interesting because of its antiquity, and its origin cannot now be traced. The Mayor, upon receiving the King's request, is usually sufficiently complaisant to accede most readily, and with all respect to hand to the King on bended knee the key which will admit him within the precinct. He also gives up his sword and mace, in token that he is not a rival, but a loyal subject, and the King as readily returns the same, in token that he has confidence in the Mayor's integrity, and is willing to retain his services as his lieutenant.
Content from External Source
So the city can close its gates (or used to), but then opened them at the crown's request, as you would expect of a subordinate, and then handed the crown symbols of subservience which the crown deigned to hand back as an expression of trust in "a loyal SUBJECT".

Sure chicken, it "debunks the myth"—when you quote mine.

Just hope no one checks the the preceding paragraph and finds out you've completely misportrayed what the author wrote:

The City was imperium in imperio and within the walls the Mayor was considered supreme sovereign. The monarch of the day, upon all royal visits to the City, has ever appeared to humour this fancy, and to recognize the existence of this rival throne. Temple Bar alone, of all the many gates of entrance, has been preserved from destruction, no doubt because, being the entrance from the royal residences, it has been necessary on all occasions of royal visits, for the purpose of keeping up one of the most ancient of civic customs, that of closing the gate against the sovereign, and requiring him before entrance to ask the Mayor's permission to enter within his domain.
 

solrey

Senior Member.
I see you ignored this part:

for the purpose of keeping up one of the most ancient of civic customs

Civic custom, like giving somebody the key to a city or asking a ships captain for permission to come aboard...it's a symbolic gesture, a ceremony, a tradition. Is that so hard to understand?
 

Trailspotter

Senior Member.
I've already acknowledged she can drive thru the City without permission, but you've zilch to prove she's ever gone there without the Mayor or the Pearl Sword being present.


Being present where? Anywhere in the City, or at an arm distance from Her Majesty? I've already posted this link to a video from the Royal Channel on YouTube, in which the Queen visits other locations in the City in one of her public engagements:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6TeFtAzDxiI
There is an apparent lack of the Lord Mayor or the Pearl Sword in this video, but I suspect that he could have turned up at the luncheon in the Gherkin.
 

Met Watch

Moderator
*bump

I found these very interesting videos on the "City of London" and "London." Should give a good overview about the difference between the two.



Part 1 was already posted - Part 2 covers the government of the city.
 
U

Unregistered

Guest
There's an interesting article on the City of London Corporation, its history, privileges, relationship with Parliament & the Crown, etc here - http://www.newstatesman.com/economy/2011/02/london-corporation-city

Yes very interesting. Here is some more... If The Prime Minister, Clement Attlee, viewed it as a 'another power' comparable to Westminster, i.e. Parliament, then it seems entirely appropriate to remove the 'Debunked' from the thread title. Not that it seemed appropriate to introduce it prior to discussion/examination anyway.

In an opinion piece in The Guardian Newspaper, George Monbiot made the following criticism. The Remembrancer is in nature an unelected and unaccountable superior imposition upon the citizens of the UK:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Remembrancer

"The City of London is the only part of Britain over which parliament has no authority. In one respect at least the Corporation acts as the superior body: it imposes on the House of Commons a figure called the remembrancer: an official lobbyist who sits behind the Speaker’s chair and ensures that, whatever our elected representatives might think, the City’s rights and privileges are protected."[3]

This criticism is from an article where the wider context is the medieval and unreformed nature of The Corporation of The City of London, where the remembrancer is implied to be included as another of its anachronisms.

The article continues:

"Several governments have tried to democratise the City of London but all, threatened by its financial might, have failed. As Clement Attlee lamented, "over and over again we have seen that there is in this country another power than that which has its seat at Westminster."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/oct/31/corporation-london-city-medieval

What is this thing? Ostensibly it's the equivalent of a local council, responsible for a small area of London known as the Square Mile. But, as its website boasts, "among local authorities the City of London is unique". You bet it is. There are 25 electoral wards in the Square Mile. In four of them, the 9,000 people who live within its boundaries are permitted to vote. In the remaining 21, the votes are controlled by corporations, mostly banks and other financial companies. The bigger the business, the bigger the vote: a company with 10 workers gets two votes, the biggest employers, 79. It's not the workers who decide how the votes are cast, but the bosses, who "appoint" the voters. Plutocracy, pure and simple.
 
U

Unregistered

Guest
You know that "Technically" in this context means, "according to 600 year old tradition, but not really", right? You know that "technically" is usually prepended to something to contrast with "in practice"? Example usage:

For instance, a bill passed by Parliament technically only becomes a law when approved by the Queen, but in practice this is only a formality
Content from External Source

Policy in these areas is technically devolved but, in practice, follows policy set by Parliament to provide consistency across the United Kingdom
Content from External Source
The Queen can vote, but in practice it is considered unconstitutional
Content from External Source

Korea Times pointed out that stores are already technically required to post signs in English.... But in practice, the law does not specify which department will handle...
Content from External Source

Polygamy is technically an open marriage, but in practice the women are not
Content from External Source

Victorian or Napoleonic law technically restricted to one spouse, but in practice allowed men access to unlimited sexual partners
Content from External Source




Dont forget how lawyers can get lawbreakers of the hook because of a "technicality" This goes to show that while you may think a technicality is a small rather unimportant event, it can and does has just as much power as something more mainstream and obvious
 

MikeC

Closed Account
The idea that Parliament has no power over the CoL is nonsense.

It is certainly true to say that "The City" has a great deal of clout as a lobby - but Parliament has many times considered changing various aspects of it - choosing not to because of that lobbying - not because it has no authority to do so.

For example see the City of London Act, 2006, and ther are numerous acts titled "The City of London (Various Powers) Act, @@@@" - where "@@@@" can be at least 1954, 1963 or 1969.
 
U

Unregistered

Guest
The article continues:

"Several governments have tried to democratise the City of London but all, threatened by its financial might, have failed. As Clement Attlee lamented, "over and over again we have seen that there is in this country another power than that which has its seat at Westminster." .

Very reminiscent of the JFK 'Secret Society' speech
 

Oxymoron

Banned
Banned
Although we don't see the Knights Templar in their original form, there are many new versions of the Order, such as the Knights of Malta, Freemasons, and the various Orders of knights in Britain. European and North American political leaders are often members of these Orders.

If the Order is subservient to the Pope alone, and the British Queen and American President are members of the Order, who really rules the Western world?
Content from External Source
http://amazingdiscoveries.org/S-deception-Pope_Malta_Queen

A Protestant branch of the Knights of Malta is the Order of St. John of Jerusalem. Queen Elizabeth II is the Sovereign Head of the Order of St. John,iii as we can see from her costume in the photograph.

The Queen's participation in this Order, which brings with it required obedience to the Pope, is an example of how King John's ancient concession of the crown to the
Content from External Source

Queen Elizabeth II in her Maltese robe. Elizabeth is the Sovereign Head of the Order... read more.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Sandy Womble

New Member
I thought this thread might educate me about the actual powers of the City Of London compared to authorities in rest of the UK but alas no, it has turned into pedantry over some ceremonial tradition.

Stephen Fry is a freeman of the City Of London (i.e he has been given the key to the City Of London) so does that mean he has more rights than the Queen? I doubt it but either way we're talking about some inconsequential pagentry, not some illicit powers that the rest of the UK doesn't know about.

For further details see ~2min50sec of this:


P.S This is my first post here so I hope I haven't broken any rules!
 

WeedWhacker

Senior Member
P.S This is my first post here so I hope I haven't broken any rules!

I would give you multiple "Thumbs UP!" merely for linking a video of 'QI'....

....however, in my time here at this site....sometimes it 'helps' to have a few multiple sources, if possible, to verify any assertions.

Still, wonderfully entertaining, regardless!!

;)

EDIT: Oh, dear. It seems that, for some reason, QI Series 11 ('K'), Episode 8 is possibly not available for viewing in some countries, even via YouTube!

I've searched a bit, and (here in the USA) it does not show up....no wonder I thought I was missing something!!!)
 
Last edited:

Sandy Womble

New Member
Last edited:

Mackdog

Senior Member.
I hope this isn't off topic, but there are many micro states in the world. For example, the city of Monaco in Monte Carlo is a micro state within a micro state and it is a tax haven for the rich. It has it's own laws and its own sovereignty. There is also San Marin in Italy as well as Liechtenstein in Switzerland. There is also a Soviet micro state within Moldova called Transnistria, however it is not officially recognized as legitimate and therefore is not on any maps. So I would conclude that just because London City may be a micro state, doesn't mean there has to be anything nefarious about it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microstate
 

Alhazred The Sane

Senior Member.
I hope this isn't off topic, but there are many micro states in the world. For example, the city of Monaco in Monte Carlo is a micro state within a micro state and it is a tax haven for the rich. It has it's own laws and its own sovereignty. There is also San Marin in Italy as well as Liechtenstein in Switzerland. There is also a Soviet micro state within Moldova called Transnistria, however it is not officially recognized as legitimate and therefore is not on any maps. So I would conclude that just because London City may be a micro state, doesn't mean there has to be anything nefarious about it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microstate
And there's The Vatican.
 

midnite

New Member
It doesn´t have to be that sovereign state within a state. Bankers operating there won´t get prosecuted for anything they do. It´s the place were Rothschild and other rich families like to hang. Shouldn´t that be reason enough to show that this place is doing nothing good for mankind ?
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
It doesn´t have to be that sovereign state within a state. Bankers operating there won´t get prosecuted for anything they do. It´s the place were Rothschild and other rich families like to hang. Shouldn´t that be reason enough to show that this place is doing nothing good for mankind ?

That's irrelevant. The claim is that it is a sovereign state, and, as you seem to agree, it's not. So anything else if off-topic.
 
Top