From the Mayor’s ceremonial clothing to the Town Crier’s costume and the tables and chairs used for meetings, some of the Council’s property is steeped in tradition.
The Mayor’s robe is of dark red cloth trimmed with fake black fur.
The robe was purchased from Michaels of Bristol, along with new robes for the Town Clerk, the Macebearer, and the Town Crier. A smaller Town Crier’s robe was made locally in 2002 to fit the holder of the post at that time. The original Mayor’s robe was a gift from Mr. A.C. Rogers, Mayor, during his term of office in 1902. This is on display in the Old Gaol Museum.
There is a cocked hat for the male Mayor and a tricorn hat for the female Mayor.The jabot was presented to the Borough by Mr. Holton and is trimmed with Buckingham lace, representing the lace industry in the Town. The robe, lace and hat are worn on all civic and ceremonial occasions.
The Mayor’s chain with badge is of silver gilt. It was presented in 1884 by Sir E.H.Verney and Lady Verney of Claydon House. It consists of 81 quatrefoil links, each enclosing a Tudor rose and united by smaller links. The circular badge displays the Borough arms on one side with a wreath of laurel and on the other side the Verney arms bearing the inscription “Sir Harry Verney Bart. MP for Buckingham 1832-1841, 1857-1874, 1880-1885”.
The Chain was gilded in 2003 by Vaughton’s of Birmingham and placed on a velvet collar. It is worn on all civic and ceremonial occasions.
In 1924 the Council was having difficulty in persuading a Councillor to be Mayor, and it was decided to fine the next person who refused. This was Councillor Roper, who paid his fine of £10 on the 4th February in silver threepenny pieces which were made into a chain for the next Mayoress of Buckingham.
Mayor’s Consort Badge
A gold plated sterling silver and enamel badge on a ribbon collarette was provided in 2001 as an alternative to the Mayoress’ chain.
The Mace is carried before the Mayor on all ceremonial occasions.
The Mace is also of silver gilt, tempo Charles II, and is historically of great interest, having been made or converted in the Commonwealth period and re-converted at the Restoration. It is 3ft-4ins (1.0m) long and has a plain shaft, three knobs and a spreading base; three brackets support the head, the surface of which is divided into three compartments displaying first a swan with wings expanded and gorged with a coronet and chain amid foliage, second a harp, and third a rose.
Surmounting the head is an elaborate cresting of open work from which rise three gilt feathers, curved inwards and meeting at their extremities; on these rests a cushion carrying a crown.
On the raised flat top are the Royal Stuart arms; between the letters at the base is an inscription as follows: “In the 12th year of the reign of our sovereign lord King Charles II by the grace of God, King of England, Scotland, France and Ireland 1660”.
During the Mayoralty of Mr. A.C. Rogers in 1902, the Mace was gilded. It was refurbished in 1988 and re-gilded in 2003 by Vaughton’s of Birmingham.
It is not generally known that on the occasion of a reigning sovereign entering within the Borough precincts, it is etiquette for the Mayor at the time to tender the Mace with an expression of loyal submission and then to receive it back again.
At all times while The Mayor is being presented to The Monarch, the Mace, whether held by The Mace Bearer or by The Mayor must be held head down.
The Sealing Ring
The Sealing Ring is an item of regalia that has not necessarily been in use by all Mayors. It originally belonged to Henry Thorpe, Mayor from 1893-1895
Large Boardroom Table
The top is made from eight continuous planks running lengthwise, with cross-grained ends, and a moulded edge over a five inch frieze. A single drawer, with a brass loop handle, is fitted to one end. The supports are eight inverted baluster legs. Solid oak throughout. 150 inches long, 62 inches wide. Manufactured c.1840 with later alterations and restoration, mainly being the replacement of the original ‘D’ ends and strengthening to the underside. The table would be difficult to replace, taking into consideration the exact size needed.
The top rails are arched, five inches deep, with concave ends, supported on two cleftuprights; within the top rail of each chair is a cartouche containing a carved representation of the Buckingham Swan. The 18 inch chair seats are in stuff-over brown leather with brass close studding. The supports are of baluster configuration with ring turning. Oak. Of the eighteen chairs, 16 form one set from c.1860; the other two were made at a later date – possibly early 20th century. To find a replacement set would be virtually impossible.
Of the exact same design as above, except for the Buckingham Swan; this chair has a plain top rail. Mahogany, c.1860.
Made to the same idea in design as the other chairs. Spoon back surrounded by show-wood with the top widening to hold a cartouche with the carving of the Buckingham Swan. The downswept arms have ‘C’ scroll supports; the chair supports are of baluster configuration with ring turning. The back, arms and stuff-over seat are covered in brown leather with brass close studding. 48 inches high overall, seat width 23 inches. Oak, c.1860.
Hexagonal shape with a carved and decorated top, the flat sides having panels with bobbin turned insets, profuse carving, mother-of-pearl inlay, and ending in Moorish arches. The six sides are 13 inches and the table height is 30 inches. Probably Indian, c.1900. The condition is very poor.
Round, plain top with a moulded edge; supported on shallow cabriole legs ending with a small pad foot. The legs are united by four stretchers supporting a round undertier. 21 inches diameter, 28 inches high. Mahogany, c.1900.
Usually described as a ‘smoker’s bow’, this has a low curved, back rail on eight turned supports which are joined to a ‘saddle’ seat. The turned legs are joined by Double H stretchers. Elm, c.1880.
Plain top with a three-quarter, two inch gallery, over two oak lined drawers, each with one turned knob handle. Supported on turned legs. 41 inches wide, 20 inches deep, 30 inches high. Mahogany, c.1880. (The gallery may be a later edition).
Queen Anne style; high arched back with shaped central splat. Faded, floral pattern drop-in seats in a 17.5 inch frame. Cabriole leg supports united by ‘H’ stretchers. Solid mahogany, c.1880. The eight chairs are made up of a set of six and two carvers.