LondonLife – The Ceremony of the Dues…

The Constable of the Tower of London, General Lord Richard Dannatt, was presented with a barrel of wine in the Ceremony of the Constable’s Dues by the commander and crew of the Royal Navy destroyer, the HMS Liverpool,  last Saturday. The annual ceremony dates back to the 14th century and relates to the right of the tower’s constable to demand tolls from vessels on the Thames on behalf of the king. Previous offerings have included  barrels of rum, oysters, mussels and cockles. The HMS Liverpool, commanded by Colin N O Williams, was berthed at West India Docks before the ceremony and the wine escorted to the Tower where, after being challenged by Yeoman Warders it was delivered to the constable at the Queen’s House. The ship is to be decommissioned in spring after 30 years of service in which it saw service in Iraq, the Caribbean and during the recent Libyan conflict. For more on the Tower of London, see www.hrp.org.uk/TowerOfLondon/

PICTURE: Courtesy of Historic Royal Palaces

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