Henry Fitz-Ailwin de Londonestone

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Henry Fitz-Ailwin de Londonestone
Statue Of Henry FitzEylwin Holborn Viaduct.jpg
1st Lord Mayor of London
In office
Preceded by New title
Succeeded by Roger Fitzalan
Personal details
Born ca. 1135
Died 19 September 1212[1]
Nationality English
Children Peter Fitz-Henry
Alan Fitz-Henry
Thomas Fitz-Henry
Richard Fitz-Henry
Occupation first Mayor of London
Religion Roman Catholic
Stained glass illustrating Henry Fitz-Ailwin, Guildhall. London

Henry Fitz-Ailwin de Londonestone (ca. 1135 – 19 September 1212[2]) was the first Mayor of London (later known as Lord Mayor of London from 1347 and then Lord Mayor of the City of London from 2006). He held from 1189 until his death in 1212. [3]


Fitz-Ailwin came to power at a time of unrest between Richard I and the City of London. Richard demanded increased taxes and took out several loans from London's merchants to pay for his foreign wars. In return for this finance, the aldermen and merchants of London were granted a degree of autonomy which resulted in the creation of the post of Mayor. Previously, the City had been governed by a portreeve, who was an officer of the crown. The City was granted more powers to self-rule in a charter issued by Richard's successor John. William de Hardel, the Mayor in 1215, was the only commoner to witness the Magna Carta.[4]

London was much afflicted by fire in the eleventh and twelfth century. According to City tradition, in 1189 Fitz-Ailwin introduced regulations that provided for settling boundary disputes between neighbours and for encouraging the use of stone in building.[5]

Fitz-Ailwin was succeeded as Mayor by Roger Fitzalan.

Personal life[edit]

Fitz-Ailwin married, in 1164, a woman believed to have been named Margaret.[6] He had at least four sons -

  • Peter Fitz-Henry (b.1165, d.1207), Peter Fitz-Henry is believed to have married Isabel de Chesney, daughter of Bartholomew de Chesney
  • Alan Fitz-Henry (born 1167)
  • Thomas Fitz-Henry (born 1169)
  • Richard Fitz-Henry (born 1172).

In 1200, Fitz-Ailwin inherited Watton Manor in Hertfordshire. After his death, Watton Manor passed to the Bardolf family.[7]


Civic offices
Preceded by
New title
Lord Mayor of the City of London
Succeeded by
Roger Fitzalan