Quite often, mock mayors would dress in outlandish costumes and be accompanied by others making fun of important people. Penryn had the largest and most popular of these traditions. In early October every year the people of Penryn went into the countryside to collect newly ripened hazelnuts. While they were they were doing this, they chose one of their group to be the mock mayor, known as “The Mayor of Mylor”. Once the mayor was chosen, he would be placed in a special chair and paraded into Penryn, joined by musicians and people carrying flaming torches. There he was met by the real mayor, who symbolically handed the town over to the celebrations. The town of Penryn celebrated its 800th anniversary in 2016 and as part of the celebrations the tradition of the mock mayor was revived.
Penryn Mock Mayor was once the largest of Cornwall’s traditional mock mayor or “sham leader” events. During this custom, a leader was chosen for a feast or community celebration. This was usually someone who had a bad reputation or a fondness for too much drink. Their job was to make fun of the real people in charge including mayors, dukes, lords and others.