The Mayor and the Sheriff
The Role of the Mayor
Mayor of Gloucester
The Mayor is the first citizen of the City of Gloucester and acts as Chair of the Council. The Mayor represents the Council and the City at civic, ceremonial and community events both inside the City boundaries and elsewhere.
By virtue of his/her office, the Mayor is in a unique position to relate the work of the Council to the community it serves. The long mayoral tradition in Gloucester is a vitally important link between the Council and the many organisations, voluntary and otherwise in the City.
It is important that the Mayor should be able to discharge the functions, responsibilities and duties of the office effectively and that there is a clear understanding of the mayoral and civic role. The Mayor and Sheriff are both appointed each year at the Council’s Annual meeting and serve for a period of 12 months; nomination rights for the offices of Mayor and Sheriff are rotated between the political groups on the Council based on the proportionality of seats held.
These notes are intended to describe the office of Mayor and some of the more important aspects of civic procedure and protocol, which apply here in Gloucester. It is hoped that this handbook will be of help to the Mayor and Deputy Mayor/Sheriff as well as to those who support the civic leaders in carrying out their roles.
Inviting the Mayor or Sheriff/Deputy Mayor to events
If you would like to invite the Mayor or Sheriff/Deputy Mayor to an event, please complete the
online form available here. When booking, please give no less than 10 working days’ notice from date of event.
The Right Worshipful Mayor of Gloucester 2017-18
Councillor Steve Morgan
Steve is proud to be a son of Gloucestershire. Born in Cheltenham in 1949 Steve was adopted by Lottie and Wally Morgan at a year old and settled firstly in Larkhay Rd Hucclecote. A move to Stroud followed so that his father had less far to travel to work managing a butchers shop in the centre of Stroud. Steve studied at Marling School until the age of 17 when the family moved to Alvin St in Kingsholm when his father achieved a life long dream to run his own business. This was a move back to their roots as Lottie and Wally were married at St Mark’s in Worcester Street just before the war and his family were coal merchants in Sherborne St.
Steve worked firstly at the Labour Exchange in Gloucester as an Employment Officer and then transferred to Bristol. Leaving there he became a sales representative for a canned meat company, but was made redundant just as he and Sally were to be married and set up home in a cottage in Hempsted.
Steve then joined his father in the butchers shop for ten years until it closed in the mid 1980's. By this time Steve and Sally were blessed with their 2 children Samantha and Simon and had moved to a larger house in Hempsted Lane where they still live 37 years later.
Various sales roles followed during which Steve studied part time for 4 years to achieve a Diploma from the Chartered Institute of Marketing.At the same time as first becoming a City Councillor for Westgate ward in 1998 Steve joined McIntyre Caravans as a salesman for long time friend Martyn White who at the same election became a councillor for Quedgeley ward.
Following 5 years representing Westgate with Pam Tracey and a year off , Steve was then elected to Grange ward in Tuffley with Nigel Hanman – a partnership which continues to date. During his time on the City Council Steve has been a member of the Planning Committee and became the Cabinet Member for Planning followed by the Environment portfolio and the role of Deputy Leader to Paul James for a year. Since rejoining the Council in 2016 Steve has returned to the Planning Committee and was also appointed Chair of the General Purposes Committee.He represents the City Council on the Lower Severn Internal Drainage Board.
Retirement now gives more time for his 3 grandchildren - Remie , Devon and Lottie plus a little DIY, gardening and a newly acquired 1975 M.G. Midget.
The Sheriff and Deputy Mayor of Gloucester 2017-18
Councillor Paul Toleman
Paul Toleman was born in Gloucester where his first school was Calton Road infants and then primary followed by Sir Thomas Rich's. He then went onto 20 years in the building industry as a Regional Sales Manager for 2 large national companies before running his own business as an interior designer.
He was elected onto the City Council Westgate ward in 2011 thanks to the efforts of Pam Tracey where he retained his seat in 2015 and again in 2016. He has been on the planning committee and on the board of Gloucester City Homes ever since and was pleased to say that following the stock transfer from the City Council to become an independent housing provider he was re-selected onto the board after being assessed for his skills and ability. He is also a governor of the 2gether NHS foundation trust.
Rugby was always his favourite sport and he played for Old Richians until he was 50 as well as a spell with Gloucester RFC back in the 70s.
National Association of City and Town Sheriffs of England and Wales
For more information on this national association please visit the
A Brief History of The Mayor and Sheriff of Gloucester
The first recorded Mayor of Gloucester was Richard the Burgess, who derived his authority from a royal order in 1228.
No other use of the title is recorded until the Letters Patent of Richard III in October 1483, by which time the burgesses of Gloucester were given the right to elect their first mayor. The first person to hold this position was John Trye.
John Trye's occupation is not recorded, but he left his estate to the Master and Wardens of the Weavers Company when he died, so he may have been a weaver.
The royal charter of 1483 also made provision for twelve aldermen, two sheriffs, 4 stewards and 22 others to manage the affairs of the area. To maintain the dignity of these new officers it also provided that the mayor should have a sword of state carried before him with two sergeants at mace to serve him.
The role of the Mayor was different to today as one of the main duties was to go to church twice a day in a procession. They were also responsible for dispensing hospitality to distinguished visitors and for the maintenance of civic property. They were a justice of the peace, presided at local courts and were responsible for the custody of prisoners. They also held the position of clerk of the market which meant they were responsible for seeing that weights and measures used in local commerce were correct.
They held the position of steward and marshal of the King's household, as far as Gloucester was concerned, and had seniority over the stewards and marshals of England within the bounds of Gloucester. They were also 'escheator' for the County of the borough of Gloucester which meant they were responsible for taking control of properties which were left without an heir.
John Trye died in 1485 but the position of Mayor has been held uninterrupted since that date.
The first woman Mayor was Mrs Lilian Embling who was elected to the office in 1965.
The Mayor’s Chain and Badge
The Mayor’s chain and badge of office are of 18-carat gold, the form being a double row of a hundred horse-shoe links. The central link, from which depends the badge, bears a representation, in coloured enamel, of the cap of maintenance. The badge bears, on an oval shield within elaborate scroll-work, the arms of the City of Gloucester in red enamel, and the motto “Fides invicta triumphat”.
The Mayor’s chain and badge were purchased by subscription at a cost of £220 and presented to the Corporation in April 1870.
In 1932/3 the mayor of the day, W.L. Edwards, had the horseshoes reversed. They had been mounted with their points downwards, and he had them replaced points upwards. This reflects the modern idea that the luck of horseshoes is trapped within the bowl formed by the bow of the shoe. Theodore Hannam-Clarke became mayor for 1933/4 and remembered the chain as his father had worn it – with the shoes pointing down. After a year-long debate, which attracted national media attention, and the discovery that there had been no council approval for the action, the chain was restored to its original form!
The ancient office of Sheriff or Bailiff, as it was sometimes called, is perhaps the oldest of what are known as Civic offices, and usually many hundreds of years older than that of Mayor, in most towns and cities.
From 1066, towns and cities were administered for the king by a reeve - (the term Sheriff derives from Shire Reeve).
In Gloucester, our office of Sheriff is nearly 500 years older than the City Council. King John's Charter of 1200, at a time when local government in Gloucester was by the general meeting of the Burgesses, is the first to specifically give the right to have two bailiffs to perform the role of sheriffs.
We have a fairly complete roll of sheriffs from 1200 to the present day, and a complete roll of Mayors since the Charter of Incorporation of 1483. The first bailiffs/sheriffs appear to have been Walter Cadivor and Robert Calvus. The first sheriffs under the Richard III charter appear to have been William Francomb and John Poole.
The Sheriff was originally the agent of Royal jurisdiction in Gloucester. He presided over the local courts, he had powers of summons and distraint, he held prisoners and collected fines and taxes. He executed Royal writs, such as those to repair the castle and provision the army. Most of these duties continued into modern times - he remained personally responsible for the tax field until 1732, and summoned courts until 1974.
The 1483 Letters Patent of Richard III provided that there should be two Sergeants-at-Mace to serve the two Sheriffs. Ever since, on formal occasions they have joined the Mayor's macebearers and preceded the Mayor and Sheriff in procession. The Municipal Corporations Act of 1835 reduced the number of sheriffs to one.
Since local government reorganisation in 1974 the office of Sheriff no longer has any duties in relation to attending the courts, collecting fines etc. It is purely an office of dignity, but the City Council wanted to preserve the office of Sheriff for historic reasons. The office of Sheriff was combined with that of Deputy Mayor in the late 1980s.
Fifteen towns and cities have retained the office of Sheriff (Gloucester, Nottingham, Oxford, Southampton, Lincoln, Carmarthen, Haverfordwest, Berwick-upon-Tweed, York, Poole, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Canterbury, Norwich, Lichfield and Chester).
The National Association of City and Town Sheriffs of England and Wales was founded in Gloucester 1985 by the then Sheriff of Gloucester, Councillor Andrew Gravells.
The Sheriff's Chain and Badge
The Sheriff’s chain and badge of office were presented to Mr Henry Jeffs by his brother Freemasons when he was Sheriff in 1883. Mr Jeffs gave the chain to the Corporation at the end of his term of office for the use of future Sheriffs.
The chain is made up of alternate links of garter and shield, with mural crowns at the top and blocks containing emblems of the Sheriff’s office in front, comprising the sword and fasces, with axe and mace. These are linked up with the national emblems of the rose, shamrock and thistle, joined together. The central link is a larger garter and shield surrounded with the royal crown, and bearing on the centre of the shield the monogram “HJ” in purple enamel and “Royal City of Gloucester” in the garter in blue enamel. On each side of this are the coats of arms of the See of Gloucester and of the old city of Gloucester, the former having in the centre the episcopal keys and the latter the old castle.
The badge consists of the City arms in repousse work, comprising a wreath of oak and laurel surrounding a garter and two rampant lions, with the Royal arms in red enamel at the top, and a ribbon bearing in purple enamel “Caer Glou”, the earliest known name of the City, and on another ribbon the City motto “Fides invicta triumphat”, also in purple enamel.
The sword and axes are in platinum and the whole of the other portions of the chain are made of 18-carat gold.