The City of London, being very ancient has many traditions and ceremonies, and as many of us still like dressing up in livery finery, many of them still happen today.

Many of the ceremonies take place in private and aren’t open to the public, but as they involve processions from Halls to Churches, that can be observed.

So it’s no surprise to be wandering around the City sometimes and run into a group of people wearing furs and lace, carrying something special to a ceremony.

Much better to know when they happen – so herewith, a calendar of ceremonies.

EventVenueUsual DateConfirmed Date
Admiral Phillips commemorative serviceSt Mary le BowJanuary21/01/19
Trial of the PyxGoldsmiths’ Hall2nd Thursday in February29/01/19
Sir John Cass serviceSt Botolph AldgateIn January or February
Cakes and ale ceremonyStationers’ HallShrove Tuesday25/02/20
Spital sermonSt Lawrence JeweryIn March or April05/03/20
Bridewell serviceSt Bride Fleet Street2nd Tuesday in March
United Guilds’ serviceSt Paul’s CathedralMarch27/03/20
Stow commemoration serviceSt Andrew UnderchaftOn or near 5th April every 3rd year2020
Butterworth charitySt Bartholomew the GreatGood Friday19/04/19
Gift of fish to the Mayor of Tower HamletsBillingsgate MarketApril
Firefighters Memorial ServiceCity Church to “blitz”Sunday in May05/05/19
View day by the Lord MayorSt Barts Hospital2nd Wednesday in May08/05/19
Festival of the Sons of the ClergySt Paul’s CathedralMay12/05/20
Pepys commemorative serviceSt Olave Hart StreetOn or near 26th May24/05/19
Beating the boundsVarious churchesAscension Day, May30/05/19
Bubble SermonSt Bride Fleet Street1st Tuesday in June04/06/19
Trinitytide procession and serviceTrinity House to St Olave Hart StreetWeek after Whitsun
Fishmongers processionFishmongers Hall to St Magnus the MartyrUsually in June
Knollys Rose ceremonySeething Lane to Mansion HouseOn or near 22nd June17/06/19
Skinners processionSkinners Hall to St James GarlickhytheCorpus Christi Day, June20/06/19
Election of SheriffsGuildhallMidsummers Day, June24/06/19
Jailed and BailedCentral Criminal CourtsNew ceremony01/07/19
Vintners’ processionVintners Hall to St James GarlickhytheUsually 2nd Wed in June10/07/19
Swan UppingRiver Thames3rd week in July15/07/19
Cart marking ceremonyGuildhall YardOn or near 19th July17/07/19
Doggett’s coat and badge raceRiver ThamesIn July or August04/09/19
Christ’s Hospital School processionCity church to GuildhallSt Matthew’s Day, September20/09/19
Admission of SheriffsGuildhallLast Friday in September27/09/19
Costermonger’s Harvest FestivalGuildhall to St Mary le BowSunday in September29/09/19
Sheep Drive across London BridgeLondon BridgeLate September29/09/19
Harvest of the sea serviceSt Mary at HillSunday in October
Quit Rents ceremonyRoyal Courts of JusticeOctober
Election of the Lord MayorGuildhallOn or as close to 29th September02/10/19
Lion sermonSt Katharine Cree16th October16/10/19
Painters-Stainers processionPainters Hall to St James GarlickhytheSt Luke’s Day, October18/10/19
Presentation of fruit to Lord Mayor by the FruiterersMansion HouseLast week in October
Submariners parade and serviceSubmariners Memorial, EmbankmentSunday before Remembrance Sunday03/11/19
The planting of the crossesSt Paul’s CathedralUsually first Mon in November preceding Remembrance Sunday04/11/19
Admission ceremony of the Lord Mayor (Silent Ceremony)GuildhallFriday before the 2nd Sat in November08/11/19
Lord Mayor’s ShowMansion House to the Law CourtsSecond Sat in November09/11/19
Service/Wreath laying/HAC march pastSt Paul’s Cathedral/Royal ExchangeRemembrance Sunday10/11/19
Wreath laying by Royal FusiliersSt Sepulchre ChurchRemembrance Sunday10/11/19
Presentation of hat to Lord Mayor by FeltmakersMansion HouseNovember12/11/19
Presentation of boars head to Lord Mayor by ButchersMansion HouseOn or near 6th December
City’s New Year sermonSt Michael’s CornhillJanuary10/01/20
Challenge at the Tower of LondonAll Hallows ChurchAscension Day, every 3rd year30/05/20

This is based on a document given to me by the former Chamberlain of the City of London some years back, and then lost in paperwork until found again last month.

Hording has its advantages!

If you have some more dates to add, or fill in gaps, let me know below:

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Whats's on in London: today or tomorrow or this weekend

2 comments on “A calendar of the City of London traditional ceremonies
  1. george says:

    Grandma took little me to the Ceremony of the Keys at the Tower. It may be nightly?
    WHO GOES THERE?
    The Keys
    WHO’S KEYS?
    Queen Elizabeth’s keys!

  2. Monthly, the Court of Common Council is held, to which the public may attend; effectively it’s a local council meeting. The’s quite a bit of formality, robes and ornaments, and general flummery. Details are at http://democracy.cityoflondon.gov.uk/mgCommitteeDetails.aspx?ID=223

    Separately, each City ward holds an annual Wardmote, usually in March. There’s a bit of ceremony around these two. I think they’re only open to residents (and presumably workers in the business wards), but I doubt anyone checks.

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