The Mayorality of Appleby

Appleby received a charter from Henry II in 1179, conferring on the town the same borough rights as those enjoyed by York. Medieval Appleby returned two Members of Parliament, hosted Assize Courts and was ruled by a Corporation, at the head of which was the town Mayor, annually chosen by the Common Councillors and Aldermen. The Mayor was the town’s first citizen and presided over meetings of the Council, working in conjunction with the Town Clerk, the principal officer of the Corporation. It imposed local bye-laws regarding trading standards, charged tolls on traffic through the town and ran the Borough Market and Whitsuntide Fair.

The first Mayor whose name is recorded was Robert de Goldington, c.1264. From the late 14th Century, we have a continuous sequence, some of whom remained in office for several years, others for one year only. The Appleby Mayoral year now conforms with the practice of councils up and down in the country in beginning in May; but for most of the town’s history Mayor and Corporation took office in October. One of the Mayor’s most important functions was to act as returning officer in Parliamentary borough elections. Votes in Appleby were attached to particular properties, known as burgage plots. In practice the Mayor’s power to influence the result was restricted by the competing aristocratic families who owned large parts of the town: Cliffords, and later Tuftons; Whartons and later Lowthers. They usually agreed on one nominee each, so there was rarely a contest.

To see a list of Mayors of Appleby from 1265 to date click on: Mayors of Appleby

Our Current Mayor

A message from Pamela:

“I am delighted and honoured to be Appleby’s Mayor for this coming civic year. I am looking forward to serving and representing this wonderful historic town and it’s residents, and having the opportunity to give something back to the community.”

Pamela Davidson
Appleby Mayor

Summer 2023

Mayor Making – Tuesday 30th May 2023 Press Release

The new Mayor of Appleby-in-Westmorland, Pamela Davidson, was appointed on Tuesday 30th May, which took place at a ceremony in the Council Chamber of the Moot Hall.

The ceremony was attended by members of Appleby Town Council, honoured guests representing local community organisations and groups, as well as family and friends of the new mayor.

At the ceremony the Mayor also appointed her Deputy Mayor for the year, Duncan Curley.

Pamela commented “I am delighted and honoured to be Appleby’s Mayor for this coming civic year. I am looking forward to serving and representing this wonderful historic town and its residents and having the opportunity to give something back to the community.”

The ceremony was followed by a lunch at Appleby Hub, which is run by Kendal based social enterprise Right2Work.

The Civil Service which traditionally takes place at St Lawrence’s Church on the Sunday following Mayor Making, will take place on Sunday, 18th May at 10.45am.

Requesting the Mayor

To request the Mayor Cllr Pamela Davidson attend your event please contact the Town Clerk, at the Moot Hall, Boroughgate, Appleby-in-Westmorland, Cumbria, CA16 6YB or email: clerk@applebytown.org.uk