What is a Town Crier?

Ely Town Crier- Avril Hayter-Smith
A town crier is an officer of the court that makes public pronouncements and are also used to make public announcements.

Their elaborate dress dates back to the 18th century. They carry a handbell to get people’s attention. They also carry a scroll as it makes it easier to read the message as it is rolled up as it is read.

They had a very important job in Medieval England because they would disperse important information because most people could not read or write. They were protected as the information they carried came in the name of the king, sometimes bad news like tax increases. When they were finished with reading their message, they would post the notice on the door of the local inn.

They ring the their bell and say ‘Oyez, Oyez, Oyez’ (means hear ye). Once they are finished with their message they might finish with ‘God Save The Queen!’.

Nowadays you might see them at events.

There are town crier competitions that are held for open positions and the best cry wins!

All the Best!

American to Britain