Common Serjeant of London

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Sir Henry F. Dickens, KC, Common Serjeant of London 1917 – 1932

The Common Serjeant of London (full title The Serjeant-at-Law in the Common Hall) is an ancient British legal office, first recorded in 1291, and is the second most senior permanent judge of the Central Criminal Court after the Recorder of London, acting as deputy to that office, and sitting as a judge in the trial of criminal offences.

He is also one of the High Officers of the City of London Corporation, and must undertake certain civic obligations alongside his judicial duties: each Midsummer he presides at the election of Sheriffs in the Guildhall, and each Michaelmas he plays a key role in the ceremonial election of the Lord Mayor.[1] He presents the Sheriffs to the King's Remembrancer at the annual Quit Rents ceremony, and is in attendance on most other major ceremonial occasions.[2]

The Common Serjeant is appointed by the monarch on the recommendation of the Lord Chancellor.

Formerly, the Common Serjeant of London was a legal officer of the City Corporation of London. The Common Serjeant of London attended on the Lord Mayor of London and the Court of Aldermen on court days, and acted with them in council. He also attended the Court of Aldermen and Common Council, and had charge of the Orphans' Estates[3]

Judge Richard Marks, KC, was appointed the 81st Common Serjeant on 3 March 2015.

Incomplete list of Common Serjeants[edit]



  1. ^ Order of Ceremonial, 2013[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ Job description Archived 21 May 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ The Book of Dignities: Containing Rolls of the Official Personages of the British Empire ... from the Earliest Periods to the Present Time ... Together with the Sovereigns of Europe, from the Foundation of Their Respective States; the Peerage of England and Great Britain ... by Joseph Haydn and Joseph Timothy Haydn Published by Longmans, Brown, Green, and Longmans, 1851
  4. ^ Dickens, Henry Fielding The Recollections of Sir Henry Dickens, KC William Heinemann Ltd, London (1934) pg 277
  5. ^ Cohen, Herman A History Of The English Bar And Attornatus To 1450 The Lawbook Exchange, Ltd, Clark, New Jersey (2005) pg 251 Google Books
  6. ^ John Strype's Survey of the Cities of London and Westminster
  7. ^ "Mirehouse, John [Cambell] (MRHS806JC)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  8. ^ Beazley's appointment as Common Serjeant London Gazette 23 October 1942
  9. ^ Hawke's appointment as Common Serjeant London Gazette 4 December 1953
  10. ^ British Army Officers 1939–1945
  11. ^ Obituary in The Telegraph

External links[edit]