A tradition dating back centuries will take place this morning when the Mayor of Richmond will distribute the annual audit money to people from the town.
The practice of the Mayor's Audit Money was first mentioned in the Charter of Queen Elizabeth 1, which was given to the town in 1576. The Town of Richmond, under previous charters, paid to the Crown a sum of money in respect of the Crown land.
In the 1576 Charter the Queen decreed that the money should be returned to the Mayor of the day to be distributed by him to "poor indigenous tradesmen and decayed house-keepers" just before Christmas.
The Queen's decree has been observed since 1576 and is now given to any man or woman, over the age of 60, who is a resident in the town of Richmond.
In 1986 it was decided that the Mayor would issue a specially-minted coin, based on the size of an old florin, which was named the Richmond Shilling.
People who qualify can collect theirs from Mayor of Richmond, Oliver Blease, in the Mayor's Parlour in the Town Hall today up until noon. Their names will be recorded in the ledger of Audit Money.