Within the 677 acres of the City's Square Mile are 25 Wards or geographic areas, each of which returns a number of elected Common Councilmen every 4 years or as vacancies demand. The number of Councilmen (between 2 and 10) is determined by the relative size of each Ward, who serve on the Court of Common Council which totals 100 Councilmen. Common Councilmen for the Ward of Broad Street are past Sheriff Deputy Chris Hayward, who is Chairman of the Policy and Resources Committee - second in seniority only to the Lord Mayor, Antony Manchester and Shahnan Bakth.
Allowing for boundary changes, it has over the years contained within its borders The Bank of England, The Stock Exchange, The Royal Exchange and many Livery Companies. It also boasts among its historic Aldermen perhaps the most famous of all Lord Mayors of the City of London, Sir Richard Whittington (1354-1423), four times Lord Mayor and commonly held to be the inspiration for the pantomime character Dick Whittington.
Unique among municipalities in the United Kingdom, each Ward is also represented by an Alderman, who is elected every six years. The City, one of the world's leading financial centres, is administered as a municipality by the Court of Alderman and by the Court of Common Council. The Alderman for Broad Street is past Sheriff Alderman Professor Michael Mainelli.
Broad Street Ward is situated in the heart of the City of London and contains seven Livery Companies within its boundaries - the Worshipful Company of Carpenters, the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers, the Worshipful Company of Drapers, the Worshipful Company of Furniture Makers, the Worshipful Company of International Bankers, the Worshipful Company of Arts Scholars and the Worshipful Company of Plumbers. The Ward is also home to the Company of Entrepreneurs and the Guild of Freemen of the City of London.
The Ward publishes a newsletter twice a year; you can download them from the list below.
The history of the Ward can be traced to 1278 when its first Alderman, William Bukerel, assumed office. His name lives on in Bucklersbury, the thoroughfare which connects Cheapside to Walbrook to this day. There has been an unbroken record of Aldermen for the Ward since that first day in 1278.
Exactly when Broad Street became the undisputed name for the Ward is uncertain, as there were references in 1293 and 1308 respectively to “Bradestreete” and to “Broad Street and Lothbury”. With Broad Street always being more important than Lothbury as a thoroughfare, it can be safely assumed that the change took place many centuries ago.
One famous Alderman of the Ward was Richard Whytyngdone who took office in 1393 but, unfortunately for Broad Street, on election to Lord Mayor in 1398 Dick Whittington promptly transferred his allegiance to Lime Street Ward!
There is no longer a street in the City called simply Broad Street. However, there did used to be a thoroughfare called Broad Street (before the great fire, it was perhaps the widest street in the City). At an early stage, the southern end of the Street where it joins Threadneedle Street, was named 'Little Broad Street' (although many maps with similar dates have it as 'Pig Street').
Broad Street itself seems to have started at the junction with Throgmorton Street and extended northwards beyond London Wall to Liverpool Street and into the area north of Finsbury Circus. There was also a side street extending to the West of Broad Street, known as 'New Broad Street'.
By the mid 19th century, the link to Throgmorton was no longer referred to as Little Broad Street (or indeed Pig Street) and part of the original Broad Street north of London Wall had been redesignated as being called New Broad Street - consequently the remainder of the original Broad Street south of London Wall was renamed Old Broad Street. Since then, the redesignation of the northern section has been undone, so the entire Street from Threadneedle Street up to Liverpool Street is now known as Old Broad Street.