Lord Mayor

Ceremonial Maces

Ceremonial MacesCork City Council possesses four ceremonial maces, that have been used by tradition on official occasions such as Council meetings and freedom of the city awards ceremonies.

Each mace is a highly ornamented staff of silver which is carried by a mace-bearer, and which represents the authority of the Mayor and the Council. The ancient origins of the ceremonial mace appear to be as a symbol of royal military authority.

The Cork maces are alike in form and workmanship, but vary in size; in extreme length ranging from 36 inches to 33 ins under each head, without any intervening scrolls or brackets. The lowest forms the base, with the addition of a splayed seal-shaped ending on the flat of which the arms of Cork City are engraved.

The original Mace was made in 1696 by a Cork goldsmith, Robert Goble, with chasing by a Flemish immigrant goldsmith, Charles Begheagle. The mace is 36 inches long with an eight sided head, each face bearing the arms of a craft in the following order; goldsmiths, pewters, founders, saddlers, glazier and glass founders, merchant tailors, tin plates maker and tobacco pipe makers. The stem has a central knob on which four figures representing the cardinal virtues - Temperance, Justice, Fortitude and Prudence are carved. The Arms of Cork appear on the base and the Royal Arms of William and Mary on the top. The replica is the work of Irish Craftsmen and was carried out by Royal Irish, Dublin.

Each head is surmounted by a light crestwork formed exclusively of fleurs-de-lis of which there are twenty-four. From these spring the bands - beaded and scalloped - which carry the orb and cross as above referred to.

Engraved perpendicular lines divide the heads into four spaces and between these lines are inscribed the words: 

'John Baldwin, Esqr., Mayor Horatio Towsend, Christopher Carlton Esqrs., Shers. 1738.'

In the intervening spaces are engraved -  

The Royal Arms, within the Garter, but without supporters, under G.I.I.R., indicating the reign of George II. (1727-60);
The St. George Cross (for England);
The Harp (for Ireland);
The Arms of Cork City.
No Thistle is used for Scotland, and England is represented by the Cross of St. George, which, with the Harp for Ireland, served during the Commonwealth period as the "State Arms".

Possibly the inscriptions and the royal arms were of later date. The latter also appear on the flat of the heads under the crowns. In 1970 the Esso Petroleum Co. (Ireland) Ltd., presented the Corporation with a replica of the mace of the Cork Guilds.

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