French naval Ship sails in for the Constobles Dues

French naval Ship sails in for the Constobles Dues

The Ceremony of the Constable's Dues


French naval ship sails in to the Tower of London, for 14th century ceremony, The Constables Dues

In a landmark event, the first ever European ship to take part in the traditional Constable’s Dues ceremony at the Tower of London will take place on Saturday 19 June 2010. Conventionally, every ship that came upstream to the City had to unload a portion of its cargo (usually a barrel of rum) for the Constable and thus enjoy the protection of the Tower of London guns.  This custom can be traced back to the fourteenth century and today the tradition of the Ceremony of the Constables Dues is still upheld annually.

This year, the captain and crew of the French navel ship Latouche-Trouville will moor at Tower Wharf and march through the Tower of London delivering a barrel of ‘precious nectar’ to the Constable of the Tower. The ancient ritual will begin when the commander of the ship will lead his crew to the Tower’s West Gate where they will be challenged for entry to the Tower by the Yeoman Gaoler armed with his infamous axe.

The captain and his shore party will then march through the Tower of London to Tower Green, accompanied by Yeoman Warders (Beefeaters) in red and gold State Dress and a Corps of Drums, to deliver the keg (representing the “Dues”) to the Tower’s Constable, General Sir Richard Dannatt. Afterwards, the participants will retire to the Queen's House, one of the few original timber- framed buildings remaining in the City of London following the Great Fire, to sample the contents.

Tower visitors will be able to delight in the colour, noise and spectacle of this unique and long-standing ceremony.

For further information, please contact Katrina Whenham on 020 3166 6303 or

Notes to Editors:

Notes to Editors:
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