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The first mayor is recorded as Ralph Dery, who took up office in 1314. The role was then left unrecorded until 1401, when Roger Thomas held office. The mayor for municipal year 2012–13, Councillor John Guy, was the 380th recorded Mayor of Newport.
One of the most famous mayors of Newport was the Chartist John Frost in 1836, who less than four years later was condemned to death for treason for his involvement in the Newport Rising (appointed mayor in 1838, Thomas Phillips was knighted for his efforts in quelling the Rising). Frost's sentence was later commuted to transportation for life to Australia. In 1856 John Frost was given a full pardon, returned to the UK and lived in Bristol.
Several mayors have, over the years, held office for more than one term. Henry John Davis was mayor from 1851-1852, 1891-1892 (the first of the new County Borough) and 1901-1902, having served on the Borough Council continuously for 60 years.
The position of mayor of Newport is now largely ceremonial, but it still has high-profile rôle in maintaining and promoting the interests of the city and its people. The Local Government Act 1972 states that as chairman of the City Council, the Mayor shall have precedence in the city over all but members of the Royal Family or the Lord Lieutenant, representing the Royal Family.
The Mayoral Chains of OfficeEdit
The Coat of arms of the City forms an integral part of the Mayoral Chains, of which there are two, one for the Mayor and one for the Mayoress. The Mayor’s chain consists of an original chain and detachable medallion depicting the shield surmounted by the cherub, which was the original Coat of Arms of the County Borough of Newport before the supporters were added. This original chain and medallion were presented to the Corporation for the use of Mayors of the Borough on the 9 November 1886 by Edwin James Grice, the then Mayor of Newport. Mounted on either side of the centre medallion are the medallions of the former Caerleon Urban District Council, and Magor and St Mellons Rural District Council. These two authorities were merged into Newport in 1974.
The Mayor and Mayoress have use of the Mayoral Car for all official engagements. The Mayoral Car has changed over the years, but always carries the number plate NDW 1, where '"DW" are the original registration letters for Newport Corporation. NDW 1 indicates the first registration in the N series of registrations; N in this instance presumably also indicating Newport.
List of mayors of NewportEdit
- "Mayors of Newport 1314 to 1959" (PDF). Newport City Council. Archived from the original (pdf) on 23 February 2013. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
- "Newport County Borough - Election of Mayor". South Wales Echo. 9 November 1891. p. 8 – via Welsh Newspapers Online.
- "Ald. Henry J. Davis - Dies suddenly on Sunday afternoon - The deceased's lengthy municipal career". Evening Express. 6 April 1903. p. 3 – via Welsh Newspapers Online.
- "Next Newport mayor chooses charities". South Wales Argus. 8 February 2012. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
- "Mayors of Newport, Monmouthshire". Newport Past. Retrieved 4 September 2019.