Restoring traditions: City Marshall Belt and Epaulettes

by Scott Gordon Heron

Hand & Lock were commissioned by Philip Jordan, the City Marshal of The City of London to refurbish some crucial accoutrements that make up a significant part of the City Marshal uniform. This included a pair of ceremonial epaulettes and sword belt to be worn by Philip Jordan himself.

The origin of the City Marshal can be found in correspondence belonging to Queen Elizabeth I dated 1595 which gave powers to a marshal to maintain order in the City.


An Under-Marshal was appointed along with six Marshal men. All were provided with horses. With the passing of the Police Acts of 1829 and 1839, many of the policing duties were removed from the marshals. Nevertheless, the City Marshal is still the Lord Mayor’s peacekeeper. As such he ‘clears the way’ by the marshalling of civic processions ‘and calls the names of the members thereof in their proper order.’ He also represents the Lord Mayor at all Entry of Troops. He challenges, then escorts


those regiments (seven in 2008) honoured to be allowed to exercise their privilege to march through the City ‘with drums beating, bayonets fixed and colours flying.’

Our City Marshal epaulettes were originally made by M. Hand and Co. before the merger with S. Lock. so it was wonderful to have these visit us once more. They were made by non-other than Mrs Hand, also known as ‘Bunty’ by many of the industry.

"The lace that has been used is ‘2WM’, otherwise know in the industry as two percent gold and meaning just that."

After around 40 years all that was required to update them were a row of bullions with all other aspects of the embroidery and craftsmanship remaining intact.

However, the belt that was brought us was very well worn indeed; this is very much expected after the long life and purpose it had served to its wearer. Previously, the belt may only have required a new length of lace, or perhaps some re-stitching to offer

security to the body of the belt. But in this instance, the body of the belt itself was well worn and parts of the leather were coming away.

Utilising clasps, buckles and fastenings from the original piece, we fashioned an exact replica. We incorporated a specialist Military lace featuring a beautiful Oakleaf pattern – very much in keeping with the English Heritage of the position of office.


The lace is quite a significant element which gives the finished accoutrement its overall look and sense authority. The lace itself is woven and very different from the usual fabric ones that might come to mind. The lace we used is technically a woven ribbon rather than a lace, however as a material used throughout the military and many other practices such as robe making and costume design, it remains as ‘lace’ by name.


Detail of the Mashal's belt
Marshal of The City Of London Belt and Eppaulettes

The lace that has been used is ‘2WM’, otherwise know in the industry as two percent gold and meaning just that. Working with 2wm lace will always offer a more authentic look in finishing. Materials with a higher content of gold will always tarnish over time and will dull in colour.


The body of the belt is made from burgundy calf leather and worked with great skill by our tailors to created the same form as that of the original pattern. The new Hand & Lock embroidery will be worn in a ceremonial sense, as part of the official uniform of the City Marshal

and will likely return in another 40 years for minor repairs. Between now and then you can see our restoration work at the annual Lord Mayor’s show each November.

Do you have a Ceremonial piece of Embroidery that needs to be restored?

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