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Garratt

(g hard). The Mayor of Garratt. Garratt is between Wands-worth and Tooting; the first mayor of this village was elected towards the close of the eighteenth century; and his election came about thus: Garratt Common had been often encroached on, and in 1780 the inhabitants associated themselves together to defend their rights. The chairman of this association was entitled Mayor, and as it happened to be the time of a general election, the society made it a law that a new “mayor” should be chosen at every general election. The addresses of these mayors, written by Foote, Garrick, Wilkes, and others, are satires on the corruption of electors and political squibs. The first Mayor of Garratt was “Sir” John Harper, a retailer of brickdust in London; and the last was “Sir” Harry Dimsdale, muffin-seller, in 1796. Foote has a farce entitled The Mayor of Garratt.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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