Stratford Borough Council
After 1553 the Borough Council was in charge of running Stratford from day to day. 28 prosperous men (14 aldermen and 14 capital burgesses) met regularly to make decisions that affected the life of the town. Every year the aldermen elected one of their number to serve as Bailiff for a year. The Bailiff presided over both Council meetings and the Court of Record.
The Borough Council had a wide range of powers and responsibilities, from policing the streets to monitoring the quality of ale. Every year the burgesses appointed several local men to serve as town officers in roles like Aletaster, Constable and Chamberlain. Holding one of these offices was a good way for ambitious men to win respect and make a name for themselves in Stratford.