Lord Mayors of Coventry

Colonel William Fitzthomas Wyley

Colonel William Fitzthomas Wyley from http://www.picturesofcoventy.co.uk

Whilst the debate over whether Coventry should have a directly elected Mayor continues, last Thursday saw Councillor Keiran Mulhall become Lord Mayor for 2011-12.

Coventry has held the right to annually elect a Mayor or Lord Mayor since the Charter of Incorporation in 1345. In 1953 the office title changed to Lord Mayor following the conferment of Lord Mayoralty on Coventry by Queen Elizabeth II on the eve of her coronation. It is thought this honour was in recognition of Coventry’s industrial importance and suffering during WWII.

We are often asked for information about past Mayors of the city by those interested in a particular period of Coventry’s history, street names or researching their family history. Being so prominent there is usually plenty of information in books, pamphlets, newspapers and news cuttings. The Archive catalogue includes a person database available to view online at http://www.coventrycollections.org/, a good starting point for background information. The database is updated by a Senior Archivist and includes references to documents in the History Centre Archive Collection which may be of interest for further research.

Looking back 100 years Alderman William Lee was Mayor, serving his fifth term. Alderman Lee was a weaver born in Bedworth. Lee was replaced in November 1911 by Colonel William Fitzthomas Wyley. 

Colonel Wyley was a chemist and was involved with his family’s wholesale drug company. He was interested in public health, motoring and art. Colonel Wyley owned the Charterhouse from 1889 which he later bequeathed to the city on his death in 1940.

As well as factual information about past Mayors and Lord Mayors we are fortunate to have photographs or illustrations of many. Amongst formal photographs there are a few lighter examples such as these cartoons of Colonel Wyley and Alderman Lee from Hill’s Monthly Recorder, March 1912.

Colonel Wyley from Hill's Monthly Recorder, March 1912.
Colonel Wyley from Hill’s Monthly Recorder, March 1912.

Alderman Lee from Hill's Monthly Recorder, March 1912.
Alderman Lee from Hill’s Monthly Recorder, March 1912.


Posted on 02/06/2011, in History Centre and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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