First Mayors of Sandwich Kent
Mayor wearing Black Robe
There is an entry in the Lord Warden of the Cinque Port's accounts for 1214, naming Augar (or Algar) Mayor of Sandwich.
Helyas de Kingston and Peter the Baker are mentioned as being Mayors in office before 1227 in documents from St. Bartholemew's Hospital, Sandwich.
Why does the Mayor of Sandwich still wear a black robe?
In 1457, the town was attacked by 4,000 Frenchmen (mainly from Honfleur) under Marshal Pierre de Breze or as English accounts call him, Peter Brassey. The parishes of St. Mary and St. Clement were destroyed (except St. Clement's tower). The citizens fought desperately all day until help arrived from the other Cinque Port towns and at about 5.30 pm the French withdrew.
The Mayor of Sandwich, John Drury, was killed along with many citizens. In memory of this event, the Mayor of Sandwich still wears a black robe.
The devastated town did not really recover until a hundred years had passed.
Today their differences forgotten, Sandwich and Honfleur are twinned towns and exchange friendly visits each year.