Mayoral Shows


In the early modern period, the Lord Mayor’s Shows were annual spectacles celebrating the yearly appointment of London’s lord mayor. According to Tracey Hill, the pageants were an eclectic mixture of extravagantly staged emblematic tableaux, music, dance, and speeches, together with disparate crowd-pleasing effects such as fireworks and giants on stilts (Hill 1). As the new mayor returned from Westminster with his entourage, he became the main actor and principal audience for these public parades that idealized the relationship between the mayor, the city, and the people.
The pageants of the Lord Mayor’s Shows were summarized in short pamphlets written by professional early modern authors (Thomas Middleton, Thomas Dekker, Anthony Munday, Thomas Heywood, John Taylor, and John Webster). In 2018, Janelle Jenstad and Co-Applicants Martin Holmes and Mark Kaethler were awarded a SSHRC Insight Grant for a new project called Walking Texts in Early Modern London. One of the grant’s deliverables is a dynamic digital anthology of the 32 extant pageant books, which will be the first complete anthology of all mayoral shows, and, in 24 cases, the first modern-spelling editions of early modern pageant books.
For a detailed breakdown of the grant’s outcomes, objectives and deliverables for the mayoral shows, see our encoded version of the grant application’s outcomes.

Old-Spelling Mayoral Shows

MoEML’s old-spelling mayoral pageants are nearly complete. Most have been published and others are available in draft pending a final proofreading. Thanks to an encoding push by the MoEML team in Summer 2019, scholars now have access to highly accurate, carefully checked transcriptions of these texts, with (1) links to digital surrogates, (2) full tagging of the bibliographical features of the book, and (3) light tagging of entities (names, dates, and toponyms). The transcriptions will help the editors now working to modernize, introduce, contextualize, annotate, and collate the texts.

Modern-Spelling Mayoral Shows

MoEML’s anthology of modern-spelling mayoral pageants will be published on Linked Early Modern Drama Online (LEMDO)—a TEI encoding, editing, and anthology-building platform for early modern drama. Mark Kaethler has convened a group of experts on mayoral pageantry who will edit one or more of the pageant books.


Cite this page

MLA citation

Jenstad, Janelle, and Kate LeBere. Mayoral Shows. The Map of Early Modern London, Edition 7.0, edited by Janelle Jenstad, U of Victoria, 05 May 2022,

Chicago citation

Jenstad, Janelle, and Kate LeBere. Mayoral Shows. The Map of Early Modern London, Edition 7.0. Ed. Janelle Jenstad. Victoria: University of Victoria. Accessed May 05, 2022.

APA citation

Jenstad, J., & LeBere, K. 2022. Mayoral Shows. In J. Jenstad (Ed), The Map of Early Modern London (Edition 7.0). Victoria: University of Victoria. Retrieved from

RIS file (for RefMan, RefWorks, EndNote etc.)

Provider: University of Victoria
Database: The Map of Early Modern London
Content: text/plain; charset="utf-8"

A1  - Jenstad, Janelle
A1  - LeBere, Kate
ED  - Jenstad, Janelle
T1  - Mayoral Shows
T2  - The Map of Early Modern London
ET  - 7.0
PY  - 2022
DA  - 2022/05/05
CY  - Victoria
PB  - University of Victoria
LA  - English
UR  -
UR  -
ER  - 

TEI citation

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