Commander of HMS Enterprise rolls out the rum to pay his ‘dues’ at the Tower of London
- Credit: James Linsell-Clark SWNS
The ancient ceremony of the Constable’s Dues has been carried out at the Tower of London with a barrel of rum by the crew of HMS Enterprise.
Royal Navy commander Cecil Ladislaus was traditionally 'challenged' to enter by the Yeoman Gaoler armed with his famous axe.
His shore party then marched through in a colourful procession with The Tower's Beefeaters in their red and gold State Dress, to music from the Corps of Drums.
General Lord Houghton accepted the rum as 'payment in kind' which symbolises the Crown's authority over the City of London.
The Enterprise survey vessel arrived at Greenwich on Monday after operations to map the seafloor.
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But it has also been involved in detecting mines in the Arabian Gulf and disrupting human traffickers as part of a European task group operation, only to take a break from its usual Royal Navy operations for this year's ceremony at The Tower.
The traditional offer to the Constable by any ship arriving in the Pool of London goes back to the 14th century. Monarchs historically assumed the right to take tolls or taxes from ships arriving on the Thames to proceed. Past offerings have included rum, wine or even oysters, mussels and cockles.
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