The “Knollys Rose” ceremony

Presentation2The “Knollys Rose” ceremony

Today (23rd June 2014) took place the annual “Knollys Rose” ceremony, during which a single red rose picked in the garden of the church of All Hallows-by-the-Tower was processed through the streets on the altar cushion from the church, amid much pomp, and presented to the Lord Mayor in Mansion House (the rose is normally picked in Seething Lane Gardens, but that site is currently under development).

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The ceremony dates back to  1381, when Lady Constance Knollys built a footbridge from her house to the opposite side of  Seething Lane without first seeking the Medieval equivalent of planning permission, and was fined a single red rose by the then Lord Mayor, Sir William Walworth.  Walworth just happened to be a friend of Lady Constance’s husband, Sir Robert Knollys (a soldier, who at the time of the incident was fighting alongside John of Gaunt  in the Hundred Years War against the French).

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