Nielsen Hayden genealogy

Henry fitz Ailwin, Mayor of London

Henry fitz Ailwin, Mayor of London

Male Abt 1135 - 1212  (~ 77 years)

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  • Name Henry fitz Ailwin 
    Suffix Mayor of London 
    Birth Abt 1135  [1
    Gender Male 
    Death 19 Sep 1212  [1, 2, 3, 4
    Person ID I9210  Ancestry of PNH, TNH, and others | Ancestor of AP, Ancestor of DDB, Ancestor of DGH, Ancestor of DK, Ancestor of JTS, Ancestor of LD, Ancestor of LMW, Ancestor of TNH, Ancestor of TSW, Ancestor of TWK, Ancestor of UKL, Ancestor of WPF
    Last Modified 4 Dec 2023 

    Father Ailwin   d. Abt 1165 
    Family ID F5234  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Margaret   d. Aft 1212 
    Marriage 1164  [1
    +1. Peter fitz Henry   d. 1207
    Family ID F5218  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart
    Last Modified 12 Nov 2015 

  • Photos
    Henry fitz Ailwin statue, Holborn Viaduct, London
    Henry fitz Ailwin statue, Holborn Viaduct, London

  • Notes 
    • Also called Henry Fitz Eylwin; Henry Fitz-Ailwin de Londonstone.

      First Mayor of London, 1189-1212.

      From the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography:

      Henry fitz Ailwin was an alderman of London by 1168, and from then on appears frequently as a witness with other chief citizens. His equestrian seal, resembling that of the influential William Bucuinte, is expressive of claims to status and ancestry. He had a close connection with the sheriff Richard fitz Reiner, a key figure in the emergence of the commune in the early 1190s. Henry's appearance at the head of a group of four men of rank--nobiles of the city--who included Richard, indicates his role as civic leader. He is first certainly identified as mayor in 1194. Initially that position may have been informal, for even after that year he sometimes witnessed in an official capacity without being styled mayor. But no other person is named as holding the mayoralty during his life time, and there can be no doubt that Henry held it until his death. No other mayor of London has held office on a life term. As mayor Henry fitz Ailwin embodied the interests of the leading citizens, sometimes in opposition to the majority--who found a vociferous spokesman in William fitz Osbert (d. 1196)--but he was also the king's man, as is evident from his frequent association with the justice Roger fitz Reinfrey. Throughout his mayoralty he was regularly accompanied by Roger fitz Alan, his successor as mayor and probably his nephew. On a few occasions about 1205 he was designated dominus, a style not generally accorded to mayors of London until a later date.

      Henry fitz Ailwin's recorded actions illuminate his public role rather than his personal character. In 1193 he was one of those entrusted with the money collected for the king's ransom, and in 1194 he arrested a foolish messenger from the king's brother. In 1208 he negotiated for the use of ground outside the walls as a burial-ground for Londoners during the interdict. After the great fire of 1212 he and other barons of London issued a code governing rebuilding. He was a pious benefactor to the church and, probably after 1199, endowed obits at Holy Trinity Priory, St Bartholomew's Hospital, Westminster Abbey, London Bridge Chapel, and the nunneries of Clerkenwell and Godstow. He also contributed to the foundation of St Mary Spital, and was remembered as the founder of a chapel at Watton. Appropriately, he was buried in the entry to the chapter house at Holy Trinity Priory.

  • Sources 
    1. [S160] Wikipedia.

    2. [S76] The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press, 2004-ongoing.

    3. [S145] Ancestral Roots of Certain American Colonists Who Came to America Before 1700 by Frederick Lewis Weis and Walter Lee Sheppard, Jr. 8th edition, William R. Beall & Kaleen E. Beall, eds. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2004, 2006, 2008., year only.

    4. [S2158] Pedigree and Progress: Essays in the Genealogical Interpretation of History by Anthony Wagner. London: Phillimore & Co., 1975., year only.