Cirencester Town Crier

John Lawrence, long standing Cirencester resident and Parish Church verger, was appointed as Town Crier at Cirencester Fleece Fayre on May 6th 2019.

Cirencester Town Council opened up the applications to people dedicated to spreading the word of news and events in Cirencester. Two of Cirencester’s most well know and loved characters stepped forwards and the people of Cirencester gave their deciding vote.

John’s first cry and the winning cry at the Fleece Fayre:

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“Oyez, Oyez, Oyez
Welcome to Cirencester Fleece Fayre.
An ancient custom recently revived in the year 2017.
The setting is this wonderful Market Place, where all announcements should be made.
And today especially on the birth of their first child, a son, to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex!
God Save the Queen.”

John’s first official appearance was to announce and welcome people to the free community music festival, the Phoenix Festival, in August 2019.

If you would like to contact the Town Crier:

Tel: 01285 651937
1 Dyer Street, Cirencester, Gloucestershire, GL7 2PP

William Markins

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Markins was crying important information for the town in 1845. One of Cirencester’s “oldest inhabitants,” he died at the ripe age of eighty-five. For a great many years he was a well-known “character,” and when attired in his cocked-hat and grotesque habiliments, as an officer of the court leet and court baron – a uniform which was doubtless handed down from the time when Cirencester had a mayor of its own – he supplied a conspicuous link connecting the present generation with the beadledom and feudalism of days long past.

As Town Crier he was perhaps unsurpassed, and the confidence and assurance with which he was endowed were something extraordinary. Of his coolness and audacity many most amusing stories are told, and which will very likely be remembered when the subject of them is forgotten. Among other appointments, he held that of high bailiff to the county courts of Cirencester, Stroud, Northleach, and Stow-on-the- Wold, though the active duties connected therewith have for some time been performed by deputy. His emoluments must altogether have been considerable.

Emanuel Broad

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Broad was born in Cirencester, the son-in-law of green grocer Robert Gardner. He become the Town Crier following the death of William Markins in 1861.

John Kittow

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Hairdresser and umbrella maker Kittow was based in Castle Street and was appointed as Town Crier in 1870. John petitioned to the court and Lord Bathurst for any little distinctive mark to let the public know that he was the appointed Town Crier and felt that the court should support him if others were to shout news around town impersonating the Town Crier. The court agreed to such support and suggested a gold trimmed hat with “Town Crier” should be provided. Kittow passed his business and Town Crier duties to James Hawker in 1884.

This is where the history stops until 2019, when the people of Cirencester appoint John Lawrence at the Fleece Fayre on May 6th.