The Mayoral Regalia


In the year 1200 A.D. an area which included Hornsey and a part of Tottenham was named after an Anglo Saxon called Hering, who owned the land and whose name means "a meadow of Hares". That name changed gradually into Hornsey, although the old name still persisted in that part of Hornsey which is known today as "Harringay". Therefore Haringey literally means the country of the hares. The areas of Hornsey, parts of Tottenham and Wood Green were formerly the hunting grounds of the Bishop of London. In taking a name for the new Borough in 1964 it was decided to revive the old one and use the ancient name of Haringey.

Haringey's Armorial Bearings (sometimes referred to as the Heraldic Coat of Arms) were granted on 10th May 1965 by Sir Anthony R Wagner KCVO, D.LITT, Garter Principal King of Arms, Sir J.D. Heaton-Armstrong, KT, MVO, Clarence King of Arms and Aubrey J Toppin, CVO, Norroy and Ulster King of Arms. The Heraldic description taken from the Letters Patent of the Grant of Arms reads: "Sable eight rays issuing from the fess point throughout and for the crest on a wreath of colours in front of a demi-sun in splendour or a demi cogwheel sable".

The Arms may be explained as follows. "The contrasting colours of black (Sable) and gold (Or) symbolise stability - the element earth in traditionally represented in black. The half cogwheen in front of the rising sun represents industry and a bright future. The rising sun symbolises the new Borough itself. The radiating golden rays symbolise action reaching out to the boundaries of the Borough.

The rays that revolve around the centre of the shield represents movement and they also remind us of the first television transmission by the BBC from Alexandra Palace, which is in the Borough of Haringey. The Heraldic decoration includes a mantling or cloth formerly worn on the back of the helmet to keep the sun off the wearer's neck. The motto is "Progress with Humanity".


The Mayoral Badge of Office was entirely hand made in 18ct gold and enamel, the overall size is four and a half inches wide by five and a half deep. The badge represents the Heraldic Coat of Arms. The Badge has a Satin Gold Rim brightly engraved, with the lettering "The London Borough of Haringey MCMLXV" with the demi-sun crest and the cogged wheel, the sun itself in yellow gold, the wheel in white gold and the black enamel. The centre of the Badge consists of the Shield in enamelled black with yellow gold flashes and white enamelled Motto Scroll lettered in gold "progress with Humanity".


Above the Shield is the deeply modelled Helm in white gold with an oxidised finish, part being polished bright and the mantling also carved and modelled with black enamel in the turnovers.

Each part of the Badge of Office was made individually, and then fitted together in the manner followed by Medieval Goldsmiths.

The Badge of Office is worn either on the official Mayoral chain - which is 18ct gold, 44 inches in length, shaped and pierced long oval links with "H" and round medallions with pierced hare centres and laurel wreath borders, or on a plain ribbon - either red or black.


Only Local Authorities created by Royal Charter are entitled to have a Mace incorporating a Royal Crown or other Royal insignia. Most towns have maces. Some towns have several and custom varies from town to town on the use and appearance of the maces. The Mace was the oldest and the most universal weapon produced by man and the ceremonial mace of today is a highly ornamental descendant of the prehistoric club!

With the introduction of armour, the wooden clubs were first bound with iron and then made of steel and iron alone. By the 11th and 12th Century this had developed into a formidable weapon. The war mace used by armoured men in close fighting was made of iron or steel, about 2ft long with spikes or flanges at the bole end. The other end had a handgrip and a knob to prevent it slipping from the hand.

The mace was adopted by the Serjeants-at-Arms appointed by Phillip II of France (1180-1223) as their special weapon to guard him from assassins. Assumption has been made that this weapon was chosen as it could be handy by day or night and was completely silent. The Mace was also the special weapon of a Bishop or Churchman when he took to the battlefields. While a man of the church was not permitted in those times to shed blood with a sword or battle-axe, he was permitted to strike someone with the mace.

It became the custom for the Kings' Serjeants-at-arms to have the Royal arms inscribed or engraved on the handle end of the Mace and gradually decorations were added. As the Serjeants-at-Arms were phased out, bodyguards and messengers carrying Royal orders became more frequent. So the Mace with the Royal Arms became the passport of Royal Authority. Thus the striking end gradually ceased to be used and the handle end increased in importance with the Arms being enlarged and coronets and other regalia added. By the end of the Tudor region it had become a fully Ceremonial Mace.

An interesting development of the Mace is that the hitting head has now become the innocuous base and the handle end has become the top. Therefore the Ceremonial Mace is now carried upside down.

Haringey Council has a number of Maces. The one used for most occasions was formerly used by the old Hornsey Council. The new Council of Haringey has formed in 1964 from the old boroughs of Hornsey, Tottenham and Wood Green. The Hornsey Mace was presented in 1903 by Mr J Dix Lewis. The notable features are the models of Dick Whittington and his Cat resting no doubt on Highgate Hill.

During formal Civic occasions the Mace should precedes the Mayor when entering and leaving the Council and when displayed at meetings, the Mace rests horizontally in front of the Mayor.