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MAYOR OF THE PALACE—MAYOW

London,[1] and the adoption of the title by other boroughs followed at various intervals.

A mayor is now in England and America the official head of a municipal government. In the United Kingdom the Municipal Corporations Act, 1882, s. 15, regulates the election of mayors. He is to be a fit person elected annually on the 9th of November by the council of the borough from among the aldermen or councillors or persons qualified to be such. His term of office is one year, but he is eligible for re-election. He may appoint a deputy to act during illness or absence, and such deputy must be either an alderman or councillor. A mayor who is absent from the borough for more than two months becomes disqualified and vacates his office. A mayor is ex officio during his year of office and the next year a justice of the peace for the borough. He receives such remuneration as the council thinks reasonable. The office of mayor in an English borough does not entail any important administrative duties. It is generally regarded as an honour conferred for past services. The mayor is expected to devote much of his time to ornamental functions and to preside over meetings which have for their object the advancement of the public welfare. His administrative duties are merely to act as returning officer at municipal elections, and as chairman of the meetings of the council.

The position and power of an English mayor contrast very strongly with those of the similar official in the United States. The latter is elected directly by the voters within the city, usually for several years; and he has extensive administrative powers.

The English method of selecting a mayor by the council is followed for the corresponding functionaries in France (except Paris), the more important cities of Italy, and in Germany, where, however, the central government must confirm the choice of the council. Direct appointment by the central government exists in Belgium, Holland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and the smaller towns of Italy and Spain. As a rule, too, the term of office is longer in other countries than in the United Kingdom. In France election is for four years, in Holland for six, in Belgium for an indefinite period, and in Germany usually for twelve years, but in some cases for life. In Germany the post may be said to be a professional one, the burgomaster being the head of the city magistracy, and requiring, in order to be eligible, a training in administration. German burgomasters are most frequently elected by promotion from another city. In France the maire, and a number of experienced members termed “adjuncts,” who assist him as an executive committee, are elected directly by the municipal council from among their own number. Most of the administrative work is left in the hands of the maire and his adjuncts, the full council meeting comparatively seldom. The maire and the adjuncts receive no salary.

Further information will be found in the sections on local government in the articles on the various countries; see also A. Shaw, Municipal Government in Continental Europe; J. A. Fairlie, Municipal Administration; S. and B. Webb, English Local Government; Redlich and Hirst, Local Government in England; A. L. Lowell, The Government of England.


MAYOR OF THE PALACE.—The office of mayor of the palace was an institution peculiar to the Franks of the Merovingian period. A landowner who did not manage his own estate placed it in the hands of a steward (major), who superintended the working of the estate and collected its revenues. If he had several estates, he appointed a chief steward, who managed the whole of the estates and was called the major domus. Each great personage had a major domus—the queen had hers, the king his; and since the royal house was called the palace, this officer took the name of “mayor of the palace.” The mayor of the palace, however, did not remain restricted to domestic functions; he had the discipline of the palace and tried persons who resided there. Soon his functions expanded. If the king were a minor, the mayor of the palace supervised his education in the capacity of guardian (nutricius), and often also occupied himself with affairs of state. When the king came of age, the mayor exerted himself to keep this power, and succeeded. In the 7th century he became the head of the administration and a veritable prime minister. He took part in the nomination of the counts and dukes; in the king’s absence he presided over the royal tribunal; and he often commanded the armies. When the custom of commendation developed, the king charged the mayor of the palace to protect those who had commended themselves to him and to intervene at law on their behalf. The mayor of the palace thus found himself at the head of the commendati, just as he was at the head of the functionaries.

It is difficult to trace the names of some of the mayors of the palace, the post being of almost no significance in the time of Gregory of Tours. When the office increased in importance the mayors of the palace did not, as has been thought, pursue an identical policy. Some—for instance, Otto, the mayor of the palace of Austrasia towards 640—were devoted to the Crown. On the other hand, mayors like Flaochat (in Burgundy) and Erkinoald (in Neustria) stirred up the great nobles, who claimed the right to take part in their nomination, against the king. Others again, sought to exercise the power in their own name both against the king and against the great nobles—such as Ebroïn (in Neustria), and, later, the Carolingians Pippin II., Charles Martel, and Pippin III., who, after making use of the great nobles, kept the authority for themselves. In 751 Pippin III., fortified by his consultation with Pope Zacharias, could quite naturally exchange the title of mayor for that of king; and when he became king, he suppressed the title of mayor of the palace. It must be observed that from 639 there were generally separate mayors of Neustria, Austrasia and Burgundy, even when Austrasia and Burgundy formed a single kingdom; the mayor was a sign of the independence of the region. Each mayor, however, sought to supplant the others; the Pippins and Charles Martel succeeded, and their victory was at the same time the victory of Austrasia over Neustria and Burgundy.

See G. H. Pertz, Geschichte der merowingischen Hausmeier (Hanover, 1819); H. Bonnell, De dignitate majoris domus (Berlin, 1858); E. Hermann, Das Hausmeieramt, ein echt germanisches Amt, vol. ix. of Untersuchungen zur deutschen Staats- und Rechtsgeschichte, ed. by O. Gierke (Breslau, 1878, seq.); G. Waitz, Deutsche Verfassungsgeschichte, 3rd ed., revised by K. Zeumer; and Fustel de Coulanges, Histoire des institutions politiques de l’ancienne France: La monarchie franque (Paris, 1888). (C. Pf.) 


MAYORUNA, a tribe of South American Indians of Panoan stock. Their country is between the Ucayali and Javari rivers, north-eastern Peru. They are a fine race, roaming the forests and living by hunting. They cut their hair in a line across the forehead and let it hang down their backs. Many have fair skins and beards, a peculiarity sometimes explained by their alleged descent from Ursua’s soldiers, but this theory is improbable. They are famous for the potency of their blow-gun poison.


MAYO-SMITH, RICHMOND (1854–1901), American economist, was born in Troy, Ohio, on the 9th of February 1854. Educated at Amherst, and at Berlin and Heidelberg, he became assistant professor of economics at Columbia University in 1877. He was an adjunct professor from 1878 to 1883, when he was appointed professor of political economy and social science, a post which he held until his death on the 11th of November 1901. He devoted himself especially to the study of statistics, and was recognized as one of the foremost authorities on the subject. His works include Emigration and Immigration (1890); Sociology and Statistics (1895), and Statistics and Economics (1899).


MAYOTTE, one of the Comoro Islands, in the Mozambique Channel between Madagascar and the African mainland. It has belonged to France since 1843 (see Comoro Islands).


MAYOW, JOHN (1643–1679), English chemist and physiologist, was born in London in May 1643. At the age of fifteen he went up to Wadham College, Oxford, of which he became a scholar a year later, and in 1660 he was elected to a fellowship at All Souls. He graduated in law (bachelor, 1665, doctor, 1670), but made medicine his profession, and “became noted for his practice therein, especially in the summer time, in the city of Bath.” In 1678, on the proposal of R. Hooke, he was chosen a fellow of the Royal Society. The following year, after a marriage which was “not altogether to his content,” he died in London in September 1679. He published at Oxford in 1668 two tracts, on respiration and rickets, and in 1674 these were reprinted, the former in an enlarged and corrected form, with three others “De sal-nitro et spiritu nitro-aereo,” “De respiratione foetus in

  1. The mayors of certain cities in the United Kingdom (London, York, Dublin) have acquired by prescription the prefix of “lord.” In the case of London it seems to date from 1540. It has also been conferred during the closing years of the 19th century by letters patent on other cities—Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester, Bristol, Sheffield, Leeds, Cardiff, Bradford, Newcastle-on-Tyne, Belfast, Cork. In 1910 it was granted to Norwich. Lord mayors are entitled to be addressed as “right honourable.”