Launceston Aldermen

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Launceston Aldermen


Aldermen, Anglo-Saxon, Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, Beowulf, Byrhtnoth, council, councillors, county, ealdorman, government, Launceston, Lindisfarne Gospels, local government, Old English, shire, Tas, Tasmania, website.


While most local government councils in Australia are presided over by a mayor and councillors, Launceston City Council in Tasmania has a mayor and aldermen. This has been the case since the first election of alderman to the council in 1853, which were the first local government elections held in Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania). Alderman comes from the Old English term ealdorman, literally ‘old man’. They were high ranking royal officials in charge of a shire or county and its army until the term began to be superseded by eorl (earl), probably from Old Norse jarl, from the late tenth-century. The term ealdorman appears in such Anglo-Saxon texts as Beowulf, the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, and the Lindisfarne Gospels. Perhaps the most famous ealdorman was Ealdorman Byrhtnoth of Essex who lost the battle of Maldon to a Viking army in 991.

For a list of current aldermen see



Launceston City Council


Launceston City Council



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