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Gresham Family Connection to the Lord Mayor of London

November is the traditional month for the incoming Lord Mayor of London’s Parade (  The role dates back to the early 13th Century when King John permitted the City of London to appoint its own Mayor and therefore its independent governance.

The Parade is a demonstration of the King’s insistence that the newly elected Lord Mayor should leave the safety of the City and come to Westminster to swear loyalty to the Crown.  The Parade has now become a carnival of City life and institutions, but the destination is still the Royal Courts of Justice at the Strand before its return to the City.

The connections between the Gresham family and the Lord Mayor and the City of London are strong and notable.  Both Sir Richard Gresham and his brother Sir John Gresham were elected as Lord Mayors in 1537 and 1547 respectively.  Sir Richard Gresham’s son was the redoubtable Sir Thomas Gresham who founded the Royal Exchange in the City.  Sir John Gresham was the purchaser of the Titsey Estate in 1534.  This was the core of his extensive lands in Surrey and Kent which included Woldingham, Broadham, Limpsfield, Sanderstead, Oxted, Chelsham, Westerham and Edenbridge. 

The basis of Sir John’s and Sir Richard’s fortunes were from their trade as Mercers.  Both served as Masters of the Worshipful Company of Mercers, the premier Livery Company of the City of London, which acted as a trade association for general merchants, but especially the export of wool and import of velvet, silk and other luxurious fabrics.

Having brewed a special Mercer’s Ale in the autumn the Titsey Brewing Company is now proud to be producing a Lord Mayor’s London Porter in honour of the new 694th Lord Mayor of London.

Sir John Gresham
Sir John Gresham

Tasting Notes for Titsey’s Lord Mayor

Lord Mayor is a rich, tawny coloured ale and so the recipe is all about the malt. Malt is often forgotten in the rush to find ever more fruity and bitter New World hops. At Titsey Brewing Co. we like to think of the malt as the ‘meat and two veg’ of beer whilst the hops are just the ‘seasoning’ on top.

Lord Mayor uses no ordinary malt, Maris Otter® is widely used and accepted as one of the most superior malts. Nowadays most malted barley in large ‘silo ovens’ in an automated process. At Crisp Malt they still produce The No. 19 floor at Crisp’s Great Ryburgh maltings dates back the founding of the company and has been producing malt virtually uninterrupted since the late 19th century. Maris Otter® barley is  malted in the traditional way; hand turned, germinated slowly on the floors and kilned for over three days to maximise the robust flavours associated with Maris Otter® Ale Malt. The result is a rich malt of superior quality; a true celebration of heritage and malting knowhow.

There is no doubt that this slower process with no automation produces a richer, deeper flavoured product – we like to think Lord Mayor does justice to it. Fit for a Lord Mayor, enjoyed by porters and porter lovers everywhere.