Flint’s first Mayors were “by Royal Appointment” only. In 1284 King Edward I granted the town its first Royal Charter, assigning the office of Mayor to his loyal supporter Reginald de Grey, the Constable of the Castle. The Mayor governed the Borough assisted by two bailiffs elected by the town’s English inhabitants.For centuries the role continued to be a crown appointment, usually given to English noblemen.
It was only after Municipal reform in 1835 that it became an elected office. New councils of 12 councillors and 2 aldermen elected by male ratepayers, could now vote for one of their number as mayor. The new mayor was granted an allowance of £40 a year.
Flint’s elected mayors were usually local landowners or industrialists. The first was George Roskell of Stokyn Hall who ran the large lead smelting works near Flint Dock.
There were the Eytons, who had run Dee Green Colliery and the industrialist Richard Muspratt, who actually held the office on 17 occasions between 1855 and his death in 1884!
The Muspratt family were great local benefactors. They owned a massive alkali works on the estuary which contributed to the increased prosperity of the town in the late 1800s.
After Richard’s death, two of his sons took their turns in the mayoral role – John Huntley, their partner in the alkali works, was also mayor 9 times!
Flint’s modern mayor has none of the autocratic power of those medieval forebears, but the role is still an important one in the town today. The mayor not only presides at civic functions but is involved in the community supporting numerous local events.