Work & Trades

Work in London during the eighteenth century encompassed a wide variety of occupations, from rag merchants and hawkers to druggists and chemists, charwomen to clerks and scribes, company and bank directors to women of pleasure, ostlers to servants and gardeners.

Members of trading fraternities (livery companies—formerly, craft guilds or misteries) were among the wealthiest and most powerful of London's workforce. Guilds held monopoly over their crafts and typically regulated prices and wages in addition to determining who could work or trade. They also controlled standards, exercised powers of inspection, and punished infractions. The Lord Mayor of the City of London was chosen from the "Great Twelve" or "Great Liveries," the twelve most influential and wealthy city guilds, for centuries.

The images above are from John Norden's Speculum Britainiae (Mirror of Britain), re-issued in 1653 after his death. On the right and left sides of Norden's map are the coats of arms of the "Great Liveries": the Mercers, the Grocers, the Drapers, the Fishmongers, the Goldsmiths, the Skinners, the Merchantaylors, the Haberdashers, the Salters, the Ironmongers, the Vintners, and the Clothworkers.

Companies, Guilds, Liveries, Societies, and Fraternities in the City of London

Amicable Assurance Society

In Serjeant's Inn, Fleet Street.

Incorporated 1706, as an Assurance office (Dodsley, 1761). The Society purchased the Hall from the Serjeants.

—Harben, 1918

Apothecaries' Company

Formed one company with the Grocers at first. Incorporated as a separate Company 1617. Grocers petitioned against separation in vain, 1621. So long previously as 1328, the elections to the Mystery of Apothecaries were made separately from those to the Grocers (Cal. L. Bk. E. p. 232), although for many years subsequently, as in 1365, there was only one Warden for the trade of Grocers, Pepperers and Apothecaries (ib. G. p. 204).

Physic garden at Chelsea given to them by Sir Hans Sloane (Dodsley, 1761).

Styled the Society of Apothecaries.

—Harben, 1918

Armourers and Braziers' Company

Incorporated as the Armourers' Co. about 1453. The Braziers joined the Company afterwards, in 1708 (L. and M. Arch. Soc. Trans. II. (3), p. 301).

Twenty-second in rank. In existence as early as 1307–27. Blacksmiths incorporated with them 1515.

—Harben, 1918

Baker's Company

Incorporated 1486 (Cal. L. Bk. L. p. 241).

The ordinances made to regulate the sale of bread from time to time were onerous and as early as 1299–1300 it was found necessary to appoint eight officers to safeguard the craft of Bakers (Cal. L. Bk. C. p. 57).

Two members of the Mistery of Bakers were elected to serve on the Common Council, 1376 (ib. H. p. 43).

The bakers at this time were divided into White-bakers and Tourte-bakers, having regulations for their use and guidance (ib. 106, and I. 258).

The ordinances of the Mistery of Broun bakers are set out 1481 (ib. L. 184–5), and numerous ordinances regulating the mistery are to be found in Liber Albus as at pp. 356–7, etc. Amongst other things they were to hold 4 "Halimota" in the year (Lib. Cust. I. 104–5), and these were to be held in the church of St. Thomas Acon (Cal. L. Bk. H. p. 207).

The Master and Wardens of the craft and Fellowship of Whyte Bakers are mentioned in a Will of 1533 (Ct. H.W. II. 637). 

—Harben, 1918

Barber Surgeons

Barbers and Surgeons incorporated as one Company 32 H. VIII. Dissolved 1745.

The Barbers were in old times the chief Surgeons of the country, and the position of the Company was similar to that now held by the Royal College of Surgeons (Trans. L. and M. Arch. Soc. I. 346).

—Harben, 1918

Bardi, the

A society into which certain Italian merchants formed themselves—the name being derived from the head of the house or firm (Arch. X. 242 n.).

In the Queen's Remembrancer Department is a bundle of documents containing records of a return made temp. Ed. I. of the quantity of wool in the possession of Italian merchants in England. One company making a return was called "La compaignie de Barde de Florenze" and another "La compaignie de Sire Barde Frescobald de Florenze" (ib. XXVII. 221).

They lent money to Edward I. Edward II. and Edward III. (ib. 243).

There was another company called "the Peruzzi" (Ct. H.W. II. 187).

A tenement in Lumbardstret abutting on "Lumbardstret" south, and "Cornhull" north was granted to the merchants of the society of the Bardi, 12 Bd. II. 1318 (Cal. P.R. Ed. II. 1317–24, p. 246).

—Harben, 1918

Basket Makers

In 3 Ed. IV. they were allowed to have shops only in the Manor of Blanch Appleton (S. 151).

The 52nd of the City Companies. No Charter and no Hall.

Livery granted 1825.

—Harben, 1918

Beaders, the

Elections to the Mistery of Beaders, 1328 (Cal. L. Bk. E. p. 233).

—Harben, 1918


Makers of long and cross bows. Incorporated 1620. Hall in Bowyers' Court, Cripplegate. Burnt in the Fire and not rebuilt. No hall now.

—Harben, 1918


Bowyers Company. This Company were Incorporated Anno 1622, but had been a Fraternity long before; and the Company doubtless more eminent when the long Bow was more in use before the Invention of Gunpowder by a Jesuit. They are a Master, 2 Wardens, 12 Assistants, and 32 on the Livery, the Fine for which is 8 l. They commonly meet at the Tavern or some publick place, having no Hall of their own at present.

A New View of London, R. Chiswell et al., 1708

Brewers' Company

The fourteenth of the City Companies. Incorporated 16 H. VI., and confirmed by the name of St. Mary and S. Thomas the Martyr, 19 Ed. IV. (S. 299). Charters confirmed by Elizabeth, Chas. I. and Jas. II. Ancient and interesting records.

—Harben, 1918


Bowyers Company. This Company were Incorporated Anno 1622, but had been a Fraternity long before; and the Company doubtless more eminent when the long Bow was more in use before the Invention of Gunpowder by a Jesuit. They are a Master, 2 Wardens, 12 Assistants, and 32 on the Livery, the Fine for which is 8 l. They commonly meet at the Tavern or some publick place, having no Hall of their own at present.

A New View of London, R. Chiswell et al., 1708

Brewers, Fraternity of

This fraternity was connected with the church of All Hallows near the Wall in 1361 (Ct. H.W. II. 26).

—Harben, 1918


A Fraternity in Candelwykestrete in 1345 (Ct. H.W.I. 484).

"Burel" is defined in the N.E.D. as a coarse kind of cloth, probably originally brown in colour. It seems to be derived from the French word "bureau," a term still in use in France for this kind of cloth, formerly extensively manufactured in Normandy.

In the Liber de Antiquis Legibus the "burels" of Normandy are mentioned as being exempt from certain regulations made here as to the length and breadth of cloths (p. 125), although the exemption does not seem always to have been extended to the "burels" manufactured in London (Madox Hist. of the Exc. I. 509).

The Burellers or Burillers were the makers of "burel," this coarse kind of cloth, and they seem also to have prepared yarn for the use of the weavers, although the two trades were quite distinct (Lib. Cust. 420, 789–90).

In the 9th Ed. III. the Weavers made complaint against the Burellers of Candelwykstrete for exercising their craft without being members of the Weaver's Guild, and an inquiry was held into the matter, with the result that the Mayor and Aldermen and others finding that the Guild of Weavers was trying to monopolise the craft of weaving cloth in the City, ordained that all freemen of the City might set up their looms and weave and sell cloth at their pleasure (Cal. L. Book E. p. 296–8).

—Harben, 1918


Elections to the Mistery of Butchers are recorded in 1328 (Cal. L. Bk. E. p. 233).

Fined in 1180 as an adulterine guild.

The butchers' quarters were Eastcheap and the Shambles at Newgate.

Foreign butchers were admitted to sell flesh in Leadenhall Market in 1533. Formerly they stood in Lime Street, and paid rent for their stalls to the householders. They were taken into Leadenhall to pay for their standing to the Chamber of London (S. 188 and 189).

The Fraternity of Butchers is mentioned in 1357 (Ct. H.W. I. 696).

Incorporated 1605.

—Harben, 1918


Capmakers. Election to the Mistery of Cappers, 1328 (Cal. L. Bk. E. p. 233).

—Harben, 1918

Carpenters' Company

Incorporated 17 Ed. IV. (S. 177). In 1344 (Elmes, 1831, and Dodsley).

—Harben, 1918


Elections to Mistery of Cheesemongers made 1328 (Cal. L. Bk. E. p. 234).

—Harben, 1918

City Companies

The successors of the old Guilds (q.v.).

Their privileges as Livery Companies were confirmed by an ordinance of the Lord Mayor and Aldermen, 1685 (H. MSS. Com. 12th Rep. VI. 292).

—Harben, 1918


The Company of Clockmakers were incorporated by Charter the 22d of August, in the seventh Year of King Charles I. by the name of Master, Wardens, and Fellowship of the Art of Clockmakers of the City of London.

—Strype, 1720

Clothworkers' Company

Formed by the incorporation of the Shearmen and Fullers into one art or mystery to be called the Clothworkers, 19 H. VIII. (Herbert, II. p. 651).

Possess ordinances of their own Company and of the Shearmen and Fullers (ib.).

Samuel Pepys was Master, 1677 (ib. 662).

The ordinances of the Shearmen, 1452, are preserved in the Court of the Commissory of London (Trans. L. and M. Arch. Soc. IV. pp. 2 and 8), and set out, ib. p. 35.

—Harben, 1918

Coach and Coach Harness Makers

The Company of Coach-Makers and Coach-Harness Makers, were incorporated by Charter, the 31st Day of May, in the 29th Year of the Reign of King Charles II. by the Name of the Master, Wardens, Assistants, and Commonalty of the Company of Coach-makers and Coach-Harness-makers of London. Their Privileges to extend to the Cities and Suburbs of London and Westminster, and twenty Miles round.

Confirmed by King James II. by Charter dated the 12th Day of May, in the third Year of his Reign.

—Strype, 1720


Little or nothing is known about the Cnihtegild, though Mr. Coote (Trans. Lond. and Midd. Arch. Soc. V. pp. 477–93), Dr. Sharpe (Cal. Letter Book C. Introduction, pp. xvi–xxvi) and others have indulged in a good deal of speculation upon its constitution and objects, Mr. Loftie even assuming without any apparent authority that it was at one time the governing body of the City (London, p. 30).

It must be pointed out, however, that although the first members of the Gild are styled" Milites regi et regno multum amabiles," and although their successors of the 12th century presently to be mentioned are called "burgenses Londonie ex illa antiqua nobilium Militum Anglorum progenie," the term "cniht" was not used in the Anglo-Saxon period as the equivalent of the knight of the age of chivalry. It meant, first, "a lad," secondly, "an attendant or servant." The first instance given in the N.E.D. of its use as a military servant or follower is in A.D. 1100.

It is possible therefore that the Gild as originally constituted may have been either an association of young noblemen not yet of full estate, or of the personal attendants of various lords, who, although in those days regarded as of an inferior rank even to the thegns, nevertheless occupied positions of trust in their lords' households, and were not incapable of holding grants of lands from them (Kemble Cod. Dip. III. 49, 50 ; and Thorpe, Dip. Angi. 559, 560, 545). That such associations were in existence in other towns of importance in early days appears from various sources ; for instance, in a Canterbury charter granted by King Ealhere (860–66) the following signatures are appended amongst others as witnesses : "Ego Aethelstan et ingan (sic) burgware." "Ego Aethelhelm et cniahta gealdan" (Thorpe, Dip. Ang. p. 128) ; and in the Winchester Domesday mention is made of "chenictehalla ubi chenictes potabunt gildam suam et eam libere tenebunt de rege Edwardo" (Gross, Gild Merchant, I. p. 188).

The story as told in the Liber Trinitatis with its romantic conditions suggests a period long subsequent to the times of King Edgar, or even of King Cnut, and suggests that the grant of the land and soke may well have been made at a later date when the members of the Gild had attained to higher rank and influence.

For whatever the status of the original members of the Gild may have been, sufficient evidence is forthcoming to show that at the date of the grant by the Cnihtengild to the Priory of Holy Trinity the members of the Gild were men of influence and importance in the City, who had attained to the full rights of citizenship.

Three of them, viz.: Radulphus, filius Algody ; Osbertus Drinchepyn ; Hugo, filius Wulgari are mentioned in the MS. of the Dean and Chapter of St. Paul's (Liber L. ff. 47–50), printed in Price's Guildhall, p. 16 et seq., as in charge of three of the wards of the City in the early part of the 12th century. These wards have been identified as Bread Street, Vintry, and Queenhithe respectively (Beaven, I. p. 363).

Another member of the guild, Robertus filius Leostani accounts for the Weaver's Guild in 1130 (Pipe Roll, 31 H. I.).

Wyzo filius Leostanus is described as a goldsmith in a MS. D. and C. of St. Paul's, Liber L. ff. 27–31, in which he is a party to an agreement relating to the grant of part of the church of St. Anthony to his son John (12th century).

Edwardus Upcornhill was father-in-law of Gervase of Corahill, Justiciar and Sheriff of London.

What became of the Gild after the date of this grant does not appear, but as no records of its subsequent existence have been brought to light, it is reasonable to assume that the surrender of the property was coincident with the dissolution of the Gild, and that the necessity for its existence being regarded as at an end, it was formally dissolved, and thenceforth ceased to have any corporate existence.

For further details as to the grant and the property comprised in it, etc., See under Portsoken, Portsoken Ward, Trinity (Holy) Priory. 

—Harben, 1918


Elections to the Mistery of Cofferers mentioned 1328 (Cal. L. Bk. E. p. 233).

—Harben, 1918

Company of the Friscobaldi

A wealthy Company of Italian merchants and money-lenders (Cal. L. Bk. D. p. 268).

—Harben, 1918


A company incorporated by Edward IV. in the year 1480, by which patent every member of the company is to be presented to the Lord Mayor, before he is admitted into the freedom. They have two Masters, two Wardens, twenty-five Assistants, and seventy-eight Liverymen, who upon their admission pay each a fine of 10l. They have an old convenient hall in Aldersgate street.

—Dodsley, 1761


Elections to the Mistery of Corders, 1328 (Cal. L. Bk. E. p. 233).

—Harben, 1918


Shoemakers. From French "Cordwain," Cordovan leather, made in imitation of the leather of Cordova or Corduba in Spain, manufactured later to a great extent from goatskin (Lib. Cust. 713, and Prompt. Parv. 92).

Workers or makers of new leather called "cordewaners," workers or makers of old leather called "cobelers," 1410, ii H. IV. (Cal. P.R. 1408–13, p. 158).

Incorporated 1410 under the title of Cordwainers and Cobblers.

—Harben, 1918


In Cordwainer Street in early times, and in Stow's time in London Wall (S. 82 and 177).

Incorporated 1605.

In 3 Ed. II. two plots of land in parish of St. Nicholas Shambles were leased to the Curriers of ox leather for a market for their leather, certain buildings for the purpose being set up for them (Cal. L. Bk. C. 173).

Fraternity in the Whitefriars, 1367.

In 1584-5 in draft act for the establishment of the Company of Curriers in London, it was enacted that only freemen and members of the Curriers' Company should practise the trade of dressing, working and currying of leather tanned with oak bark (MSS. H. of Lords, in H. MSS. Com. 3rd Rep. 6).

—Harben, 1918

Cutlers' Company

Elections to the Mistery made in 1328 (Cal. L. Bk. E. p. 233).

Company incorporated 4 H. VI., uniting three smaller Companies, viz.: the Bladers, forgers of blades ; the makers of Haftes and otherwise garnishers of blades ; the Sheath-makers, for swords, daggers and kaives (S. 247).

—Harben, 1918


These were such as distilled Aqua Vitæ, Aqua Composita, Vinegar, and the like. In the Year 1593, one endeavoured to get a Grant from the Queen, for the taking care that these Liquors should be well made, against the pretended great and dangerous Abuses commonly practised in the making thereof. He shewed (taking the Opportunity of this before-named Year, wherein was a Plague) that the ordinary Makers of these Liquors made them of Hog-wash, and Dregs, and the Washing of Coolbacks; which might occasion many infectious Diseases. ...

However, soon after, Richard Drake obtained a Patent from the Queen for the brewing and providing of all wholsome Liquor or Stuff for the making of Beeregre, Alegre, Aqua Vitæ and Aqua Composita.

But in the Event it proved, that this Patent remedied not this Evil. So that in the Year 1596, those that were concerned in the Trade, petitioned against this Drake to the Lord Treasurer; That he, under a Colour and subtil Suggestion, that the Liquors whereof Aqua Vitæ, Vinegar, &c. were made before his Grant, were of Draggs, Laggs, and such like unmeet and unwholsome Stuff, which the Patentee pretended to reform, had notwithstanding, since the obtaining of the said Patent, wrought no Reformation; but every Liquor before occupyed was still used: only the Benefit of the poor Artist was wholly turned to the peculiar profit of the said Drake, and of his Assigns: who bound every one of these Makers in great Bonds to buy the Stuff of themselves only; and they of the Brewers: Exacting to themselves great Commodities from the Hands and Labours of others in such grievous manner and extream sort, as appeared by certain Articles which they annexed to their Petition. They prayed therefore that these Extremities might be redrest, and the Grant recalled, which tended only to the private Gain of the said Drake, and the subversion of the Suppliants and their Wives and Families. ...

Twenty Years before this, one Dr. Baily sought to have the Survey of corrupt Vinegar, Beeregre, and Alegre, among other corrupt things; as Oil, Sope, and Butter. But it was answered, that this was granted by the Queen's Letters Patents about the 7th or 8th Year of her Reign, to the Company of Tallow Chandlers in London: and therefore could not be then granted to him. And the making of Aqua vitæ, Aqua Composita, and Askebaugh, and the Survey of the corrupt sorts thereof, was granted to one Mr. Candishe of the Court, by Letters Patents under the Great Seal; and so ungrantable by her Majesty during Candishe's Life. Besides, it was thought, and much objected by divers Laws, that the Queen by her License under her Great Seal, could not grant the sole Trade of any one Occupation or Mystery to any one Man alone, that had been in use in the Commonweal before her Majesty's Grant; nor yet impose a Fine or Imprisonment upon them that should withstand her said License. Finally, That the Trade concerned so many poor Mens Livings, that it was impossible to bring it into one Man's hand by License. These things were argued in point of Law against Drake, who by his Patent assumed a Power over the whole Distillers Trade.

—Strype, 1720

Drapers' Company

One of the twelve Great Livery Companies.

Obtained charter 1364, incorporated, 17 H. VI.

Elections to the Mistery of Drapers mentioned in 1328 (Cal. L. Bk. E. p. 232).

Many of the Drapers lived in Birchin Lane and Cornhill in Stow's time (p. 200).

Also called Clothiers. "Pannarius" = Clothier. So translated in grant of their Hall in Throgmorton Street (See Drapers' Hall).

Herbert suggests that the term "drapers" was applied to those who made and sold cloth in or near London, and "clothiers" to those who brought it for sale from the country (I. 394).

—Harben, 1918

Dyers' Company

Incorporated 4 H. VI. (S. 239).

Privilege accorded to them of having on the Thames a game of Swans and a special Swan mark. The number of swans allowed them was 65, and the mark of the Company is 4 bars and 1 nick, the nick being cut on the bill of the birds. The Vintners had a similar privilege, their mark being the letter "U," and 2 nicks. This was corrupted in the well-known tavern sign into "the Swan with two necks."

—Harben, 1918


The Company of Feltmakers were incorporated by Charter the 2d Day of August, in the second Year of King James I. by the name of Master, Wardens, and Commonalty of the Art or Mystery of Feltmakers of London; and again by Charter of Incorporation and Confirmation by the same Name, bearing date the 27th of June, in the nineteenth Year of King Charles II.

The Fashion of wearing Hats or Felts (as they formerly called them) began to take great place in Queen Elizabeth's Reign. And they were of two sorts; viz. fine Felts and coarse: The former were made of Wool brought from Spain, called Spanish Wool, and the latter made of Estridge Wool, brought from the East Countries. These were for the wearing of Country People and of the meaner sort: And sometimes they were covered with Velvet, Taffata, or such like.

In the year 1576, the Feltmakers sued to the Lord Treasurer to befriend them in their Supplication to the Queen, to be incorporated: being, as they set forth in their Petition, the ancient and discreetest sort of them. That those of this Trade were four hundred Housholders, dispersed and resident in sundry parts of the City and Suburbs, as Southwark, St. Katharine's and other Places. That they had no Government of themselves, as other Companies: and that they made their Felts for the most part very deceitfully, and of corrupt and unlawful Stuff, brought out of Spain and other Places; bought up by such as had no Skill or Knowledge, whether they were good or bad; and by them retailed to such Feltmakers as for Lucre were content to make deceitful Wares, to the deceiving the Wearers thereof, to the Breach of the Queen's Laws, and the Slander and utter Reproach of the whole Company. Which, if it were not in time foreseeen and reformed, would be the Overthrow of the whole Company, and the utter Impoverishment of their poor Wives, Children and Families. Therefore they sued that they might be made a Body Corporate by her Majesty's Letters Patents.

But it seems the Haberdashers (of which Company these Feltmakers were) proved too hard for them. So that the Lords of the Council would not then allow their Petition. But after much Contest between them, they came to an Agreement. And the Feltmakers were to submit themselves to the Haberdashers, to be searched, ruled, and governed by the Master and Wardens, and governed by the Master and Wardens; and that there should be certain Rules drawn between them, for the better Government of the said Trade of Feltmaking, and of their Servants. At length Orders and Rules were by their own Consents made and devised, and on both their parts pormised and agreed to be performed and kept; and which were required to be set down in the Starchamber between them. ...

It was not before the Year 1604. An. 2 Reg. Jac. I. that these Feltmakers were incorporated, by Letters Patents from King James I. by the Name of Master, Wardens and Commonalty of the Art or Mystery of Feltmakers of London: Granting unto them divers Privileges and Liberties for the good Government of the same Corporation: being the first Company incorporated by this King: and was obtained by the humble and earnest Suit of Richard Banister, John Sandes, Hugh Philips, Robert Brown and others, Feltmakers of London.

—Strype, 1720

Fishmongers' Company

The Fishmongers formed originally two separate Companies, viz. Stockefishmongers and Saltfishmongers.

United 11 H. VI. under the name of The Fishmongers (Pat. 11 H. VI. quoted Herbert, II. p. 5). Separated again 21 H. VII. and reunited finally and incorporated 26 H. VIII. (ib. p. 6).

Account of the elections to the Mistery of the Fishmongers given 1328 (Cal. L. Bk. F. p. 232).

New charter of Incorporation granted 2 Jas. I. (Herbert II. p. 6).

Well endowed and wealthy.

A brotherhood of St. Peter was established in St. Peter's Cornhill 4 H. IV. by the King for the Fishmongers (S. 196).

Said to have been in existence as an association or brotherhood prior to Henry II.

There is an interesting account of the Company and the Hall in Trans. L. and M. Arch. Soc. N.S. II. (2) 193).

—Harben, 1918

Fraternity of the Pui

A brotherhood of French and English traders in London united for certain charitable purposes and the cultivation of music and poetry, the original society having apparently been formed at the city of Le Puy, the ancient capital of Velay in Auvergne (Riley's Memorials, p. 42).

The rules of the Fraternity are set out in the Liber. Cust. p. 216 et seqq., and "le Feste de Pui" was to be celebrated annually in London.

Provision made for the collection of weekly alms for the support of the Chapel of Our Lady near Guildhall founded "pur tote la compaignie du Pui" (ib.).

Henry le Waleis gave to the Confraternity of the Pui (de Podio) 5 marks annual quit rent on all his tenements in London for maintenance of a chaplain to celebrate divine-service in the new chapel at the Guildhall (Cal. L. Bk. E. pp. 1 and 2).

See St. Mary Magdalen of the Guildhall.

—Harben, 1918

Fraternity of Webbes

Gift to the Fraternity by John Fich or Fyssh, 1356 (Ct. H.W. I. 689).

Webbe = Weaver.

—Harben, 1918

Girdlers, the

Ordinances made concerning the "mestier" of Girdlers of London, 1326–7, I Ed. III. (Cal. L. Bk. F. p. 108).

Elections to Mistery of Girdlers, 1328 (ib. E. p. 232).

Had their seld in Westchepe called "Gerdleresselde" in parish of St. Pancras in 1332–3 (Ct. H.W. I. 384).

Incorporated 1449. Pinners and Wiredrawers incorporated with them 1568.

—Harben, 1918

Glass Sellers

Incorporated with looking-glass makers 1664.

—Harben, 1918


One James Verselyn, a Stranger, a Venetian, about the Year 1580, or perhaps somewhat before, was the first that set up a Glass-house in London, for making Venice Glasses. For which the Queen granted him a Privilege under her Great Seal. But the Glass-Sellers in London were much aggrieved at this, and shewed the Lords of the Privy Council, that it was the Overthrow of fifty Housholds, using only the Trade of selling of Glasses; besides the hindrance of the Merchant-Adventurers, bringing Glasses into this Realm beyond the Seas, the Loss of her Majesty's Custom, and the consuming of 400000 Billets every Year in burning the same in one Glass-house; and the enhancing of the Prices of Glasses, prejudicial to all the Queen's Subjects; there being a Prohibition in the same Patent, that none should sell such Glasses, but the said Verselyn only.

—Strype, 1720


The Company of Glovers were incorporated the 10th day of September, 1639. In the 14th Year of King Charles I. by the name of Master, Wardens, Assistants, and Fellowship of the Company of Glovers of the City of London; and by their Charter empowered to have one Master, four Wardens, sixteen Assistants, or more, at the discretion of the Master and Wardens for the time being; and they to be chosen annually the 8th of September, the Nativity of the Virgin Mary.

—Strype, 1720

Gold and Silver Wiredrawers

Incorporated 1623.

—Harben, 1918

Goldsmiths' Company

The fifth in order of the twelve Great City Companies.

Existed as a Guild, apparently of foreign origin from a very early period, perhaps as the "Gilda Aurifabrorum."

It is mentioned in 1180 as one of the adulterine guilds which had to pay a fine to the king.

Incorporated 1327. Elections to the Mistery of the Goldsmiths made 1328 (Cal. L Bk. E. p. 232).

The privilege of assaying and stamping all articles of gold and silver manufacture was reserved to them by charter, and as lenders of money they were the precursors of the great banking houses.

The Company is very wealthy, and in addition to numerous other charitable works has endowed the Goldsmiths' Company's Institute at New Cross, a great educational centre.

—Harben, 1918

Grocers' Company

The Grocers of old time were called Pepperers and were first incorporated by the name of Grocers in 1345 (S. 265).

Elections to the Mistery of Grocers are recorded in 1328 (Cal. L. Bk. E. p. 232), the Apothecaries being enumerated separately.

In 1365 Nicholas Chaucer of Sopere lane was Surveyor of the Trade of Grocers, Pepperers and Apothecaries (Cal. L. Bk. G. p. 204).

Thos. Knowles gave them a tenement in the churchyard of St. Antholin for the relief of their poor (S. 266).

—Harben, 1918


Associations formed to promote special objects, the members being bound together to observe certain rules and regulations for the attainment of these objects.

Formed in early times more especially for religious and trade purposes. The religious guilds were often termed fraternities, and there was hardly a parish in London in the 13th and 14th centuries without one or more of such associations. The trade guilds were formed by the individual craftsmen of a particular trade to protect the interests of the trade by mutual assurance, and they developed into very powerful associations.

Their ordinances were directed to the organisation and perfection of their craft, to the exclusion of foreigners from their ranks, to the training and admission of apprentices, etc., and to other useful regulations tending to the security and improvement of their particular craft or trade.

These guilds were the predecessors of the present City Companies.

In the earlier Letter Books the word "guild," except as forming part of the compound "Guildhall," is rarely to be met with, the word "mistery" being generally employed to denote these trade associations.

Various theories have been formulated from time to time as to the origin of the guilds existing in Anglo-Saxon times. Perhaps the most reasonable is that which identifies them with the Roman "collegia privata," which were established in this country during the Roman rule, and to which the Anglo-Saxon guilds show a striking similarity, both in origin and composition, as well as in their regulations.

—Harben, 1918

Haberdashers' Company

Or Hurrers, as they were called. Incorporated a brotherhood 26 H. VI., including the Cappers and Hat Marchantes.

Elections to the Mistery of Haberdashers were made as early as 1328 (Cal. L. Bk. E. p. 233).

In 28 Hen. VI. licence was granted to the Mistery of Haberdashers to establish a Guild of St. Katherine, which was to be a perpetual corporation to hold land, etc. (Cal. L. Bk. K. p. 330).

Eighth in order of the twelve Great Companies.

The Company maintains several schools, almshouses, etc.

—Harben, 1918

Hanse, the

A company, society, or corporation of merchants belonging to certain cities in Germany, who had formed amongst themselves, c. 1140, the Hanseatic League for purposes of trade. The towns to which they belonged were known as the "Hanse towns" (Skeat).

The merchants of Almaine and the Easterlings, frequently referred to in London records, belonged to the Hanse.

The Almaines in London belonging to the Hanse were charged with the repair and safe-keeping of the upper part of Bishopsgate, 1282 (Cal. L. Bk. C. p. 41), and were freed from toll going in and out of the gate in consequence, 1305 (ib. p. 111).

The repair of the gate remained in their hands until 1324 (Cal. L. Bk. E. p. 84). 

—Harben, 1918


Elections made to the Mistery of Hosiers, 1328 (Cal. L. Bk. E. p. 233).

—Harben, 1918

Ironmongers' Company

The tenth of the Twelve Great Companies. Incorporated 3 Ed. IV. 1463–4.

Mentioned as a guild 1330, and an ordinance regulating the trade was issued 29 Ed. I.

Elections to the Mistery of Ironmongers took place in 1328 (Cal. L. Book E. p. 232).

There is a book of Orders of the Company of 1498.

In Stow's time the Ironmongers lived mostly in the parish of St. Dunstan's in the East (p. 136). 

—Harben, 1918

Italian Merchants

See Bardi, Lombards, Friscobaldi, Society of Lucca.

—Harben, 1918

Leathersellers' Company

Incorporated 21 Rich. II (S. 173).

They purchased the Hall and other buildings belonging to the dissolved Priory of St. Helen's (ib.) and erected almshouses in Little St. Helen's for the poor of the Company (Strype, ed. 1720, I. ii. 107).

See Leathersellers' Hall.

—Harben, 1918

Linen Armourers

Stow mentions them as one Company with the Tailors in 1452 (S. 153).

—Harben, 1918

Lorimerie, le; Lorimers, the

Incorporated 1712, 57th in order of the City Companies.

Mistery of Lorimers of copper and iron mentioned 1327 (Cal. L. Bk. E. p. 220).

The street of "la Lorimerie" in parish of St. Mildred existed in 1260 (Cal. Charter Rolls, II. p. 33). Probably the Lorimers' quarter in the City.

—Harben, 1918


The Company of the Lorinors, or Lorimers, which they please to accept. I have received a Note from themselves, that the second Day of October, and 4th Year of King Henry VII. the Wardens of the Art of Lorimers came into the Court of our Lord the King, in the Chamber of Guild-Hall, in the City of London, before Sir William Horne, Knight, then Lord Maior, and Aldermen of the said City; Preferring then and there a Bill or Supplication to the Maior and Aldermen. And this is all that I can find remembred of them. [They are now incorporated, and have a Master and Wardens.]

—Strype, 1720

Lucca, Society of

The society of Luka held in common with John le Mazerer, a tenement by the bridge of Walbrook near Bokerelesbere, and were responsible with tenants of adjoining premises for keeping the bridge in repair in 1291 (Cal. L. Bk. A. p. 178).

A society of Italian merchants residing in England for purposes of trade and commerce. Compare the "Bardi" (q.v.).

—Harben, 1918

Lusting Company

A company of merchants, whose house stood in Austin Friars (Strype, ed. 1720, I. ii. 132).

—Harben, 1918

Melters of Tallow and Lard

Unctarii—excluded from Chepe 1283 (Cal. L. Bk. A. p. 221).

In the Calendar, "unctarii" = "oynters."

—Harben, 1918

Mercers' Company

The first of the 12 Great Livery Companies.

Incorporated 1393 (S. 272).

They had their shops and selds in the Mercery in Chepe in early times.

Built Gresham College jointly with the Corporation.

Elections to the Mistery of Mercers made in 1328 (Cal. L. Bk. E. p. 232).

—Harben, 1918


The Mercers were enabled to be a Company, and to purchase Lands, to the Value of 20l. by the Year, the 17th Year of King Richard II. Anno Domini 1393.

This Company in former times consisted much of such as sold rich Silks brought from Italy; and lived chiefly in Cheapside, St Laurence Jury, and the Old Jury: And afterwards the Mercers were generally Merchants. And when in the Year 1585, a great Muster was to be made at Greenwich before the Queen, of the Citizens, to consist of 6000 Men. the Mercers sent out 294 Soldiers: who were out seven Days and a Night, at 16d. a Day each. Which, with all other necessary Expences of Arms, Provisions, &c. cost them 392l. 10s.

This Company are the Overseers of the flourishing School dedicated to the Child Jesus, situate near St. Paul's Church.

Of this Company was Sir Thomas Gresham, Kt. that renowned Merchant, who built the Royal Exchange, and founded the Lectures in Gresham College.

None for many Years successively have been Masters of this Company but Knights, or Aldermen, or Sheriffs, or such as have fined for those Places: Or having some other Honourable Qualification. As in the Year 1702, was chosen John Morice, Esq; lately a Parliament-man, and Son of Sir William Morice, sometime Secretary of State, &c.

Their Hall standeth on the North side of Cheapside, next the Poultry, having a graceful Stone Frontispiece, with divers Figures over the Gate cut in Stone, one whereof is Charity and her Children.

Here also is their Chappel, formerly better known by the name of St. Thomas of Acre, or Acon. The entertaining Hall, and other fair Rooms for the meeting of the Company, are above Stairs. …

—Strype, 1720

Merchant Taylors

Originally called Tailors and Linen-Armourers. A charter of Liberties was granted to them under this name, 1 Ed. III. 1326–7 (Cal. L. Bk. F. p. 52).

Elections to Mistery of Tailors and Linen-Armourers recorded 1328 (Cal. L. Bk. E. p. 234).

The advowson of St. Martin Outwich was granted to them, 6 H. IV. (S. 182).

Incorporated by Hen. VII. by the name of the Master and Wardens of the Merchant Taylors of the fraternitie of Saint John Baptist (S. 183).

Master called "pilgrim" and the wardens "purveyors of alms" until 11 Eich. II. (ib.).

Had a School, Almshouses, etc. (Herbert II. 488 et seq.).

—Harben, 1918


[Hall, where situate.] Addle Street.

—Strype, 1720

Needlemakers' Company

Incorporated 1656. No Hall.

—Harben, 1918


These are a Branch of the Scriveners, but their Business being distinct, and different from them, they may deserve to be considered by themselves.

There were sixteen Notaries in the Maioralty of Sir James Haws, who was Maior 1574. viz. Humfrey Brook, George Keval, &c. These made a Complaint to the said Lord Maior against one Richard Candler; who had got a Patent under the Broad Seal, that none but he and his Deputies should make and register Insurances, and Policies, and other Instruments relating to Merchants. Which would be the impoverishing, Overthrow, and utter Decay of all these Notaries Publick of the City, with their Children, Servants, Apprentices and Families, to the number of 120 Persons, and above: Who lived upon the making of Policies, Intimations, Renunciations, and other Writings granted unto the said Candler. They shewed the Lord Maior, that they were Freemen of the City, and examined and admitted, and allowed to their Function by the Archbishop of Canterbury, and his Antecessors, by force of an Act of Parliament Anno 25 Hen. VIII. and confirmed by Act of Parliament 1 Eliz. That they were brought up, from their Infancies, all or the most part, as Apprentices; and sithence poor Housholders, having none other Trade to live by, but only by making of such Writings. They added, that they were lawfully admitted to their Function. That it was a Function that Time out of mind was lawfully used, and reputed as expedient and necessary within this Realm, like as in all other Regions of Christendom. Into which Regions the Suppliants had made divers and sundry Instruments of great Weight: Whereunto good Credit was, and had been granted. That if this Grant should take place, it would also be a great prejudice to the Notaries Servants succeeding them; and in the End of their Terms be forced to seek new Trades of Living. In fine, they prayed the Lord Maior and Aldermen to be a Means to the Queen and her Privy Council, that this Patent might be called in; that the Faculty of Notaries might still be exercised.

They moreover shewed their Reasons against this Patent in seven Articles. One was, touching the Office of a Notary: that it had been frequented Time out of mind. And the Prerogative of Admission of Persons meet to the same Function (after the Exoneration of their Predecessors from Exactions and other things from the See of Rome) was granted by Act of Parliament to the Archbishop of Canterbury. And since that Time ratified and confirmed by Act of Parliament also, in the fifth Year of the Reign of the Queen's Majesty. From whom they, the Suppliants, had their Authority. The which according to the express Words of the former Statute of King Henry VIII. ought to be accepted, approved and allowed and admitted, good and effectual in the Law, in all Places, Courts and Jurisdictions, as well Spiritual and Temporal within this Realm, as elsewhere within her Majesty's Dominions, without any Revocation or Repeal to be had thereof: And all Acts to be done, had or executed according to the Tenour of that King's Grant, made by Authority of the said Act of Parliament, ought to be firm, permanent, and remain in force, as by the same Statute appeared. Which Premisses would be abridged and taken from them, if the Queen's Letters Patents granted to Candler should not be revoked.

—Strype, 1720


A list of the oynters (unctuani) who held selds in Chepe in 1283 set out in Cal. Letter Book A. p. 221, upon the occasion of their exclusion from these selds.

Were they connected with the Candlemakers?

—Harben, 1918

Painters' Company

Elections to Mistery of Painters made 1328 (Cal. L. Bk. E. p. 234). Incorporated 1580.

—Harben, 1918

Pattenmakers' Company

Incorporated 1670 (Dodsley, 1761).

—Harben, 1918


Pattens and Clogs were anciently worn by Persons of Quality, as well as others. And the Makers of them were an ancient Company. And there is a Parish Church in London, denominated from them, viz. St. Margaret Pattens, those of that Trade probably having their Shops chiefly there. In an Act 4 Edw. IV. cap. 9. they are called the Mystery of Pattenmakers of London. These had an Act of Parliament made in their Behalf, upon a Complaint which they made of the grievous Hurt and Damage which they and other Persons in time past of the same Occupation, had suffered by an Act of Parliament of 4 Hen. V. that abridged them the using of Timber of Asp in making Pattens and Clogs, upon a Penalty; for the Benefit of the Fletchers, who used that Wood; that they might sell their Shafts at easier Prices. But they shewed, how that this Wood was the best and lightest Timber for Pattens and Clogs; and most easy for the wearing of all Estates, Gentlemen, and other People. And that Persons of other Crafts and Occupations, as Turners, Carpenters, Woodmongers, and Colemakers used this Wood, and had no Restraint put upon them: And that there was much Asp-Timber, and fit for the Fletchers use to make Shafts, which they should not use. Hereupon the Parliament enacted, that it should be lawful from thenceforth, that the Pattenmakers might make Pattens of such Timber of Asp, as was not apt nor convenient to be made into Shafts.

—Strype, 1720


Lived chiefly in Soper Lane, the Ropery and Chepe in 1345 (Cal. L. Bk. F. p. 127).

In Bucklersbury in Stow's time (S. p. 82).

Bequest made to the Fraternity of Pepperers of Soper Lane, 1350–1 (Ct. H.W. I. 648).

In 1365 Nicholas Chaucer was Surveyor of the Mistery of Grocers, Pepperers and Apothecaries of Sopereslane (Cal. L. Bk. G. p. 204).

—Harben, 1918


A name given to the fishermen who brought fresh fish into the City for sale.

In 1406 they were ordered to stand in Chepe with their fish and nowhere else (Cal. L. Bk. I. 56).

The fishermen at Gravesend were known some years ago as Petermen.

"Peteresnets" are mentioned in the City Records.

—Harben, 1918


Pinners or Pinmakers' Company, one of the City guilds, but without livery and not now in existence (Wheatley).

Incorporated 1636.

—Harben, 1918

Pinners and Needlers

Foreign Pins and Needles being brought in about the Year 1597, did much prejudice these Callings; which employed abundance of poor People: who were put off their working, because these foreign Pins and Needles could be afforded cheaper than they could afford them that wrought them here at home: Therefore in the aforesaid Year, in the Month of December, they petitioned the Lord Treasurer for Restraint of these Pins and Needles. The bringing in whereof was the Cause, that so many idle Persons perished and miscarried for want of Work. For that in foreign Lands these Commodities were wrought in Hospitals, which found the Workers of them in Meat, Drink, and Clothing; and the Artists had the Work only, for instructing them. But in this Land (for that there was not such Provision for the poor Suppliants using this Trade) they could not live to sell their Wares at so low a rate, as those foreign Wares were sold. But if they were restrained, many Thousands would be set on work, and made Commonwealths Men, that now died in the Streets. The Premisses considered, and for that there were above 40000l. worth of Pins and Needles yearly brought into the Realm, and which were nothing so good and well wrought as those were, which were made and wrought within the Land, and that the Restraint of bringing them in, would be the Means of setting many Thousands of our Poor on work: and that lame Soldiers, tho' they had no Legs, and Children, might work on this Trade. They prayed his Lordship therefore to give his Furtherance for reviving a Statute for Restraint of foreign Wares, of 3 Edw. IV. 4. 1 Ric. III. 12. 5 Eliz. 7. 14 Eliz. 11.

—Strype, 1720


Four brotherhoods, viz. Companies' porters, Fellowship porters, Ticket porters, Tackle porters (Dodsley, 1761).

—Harben, 1918

Porters of Soper's Lane

The porters of Soper's lane customarily served the Pepperers, 1372, and agreed to serve the Grocers and to have six men ready every day in Soper's lane and Bucklersbury to carry packages (Ct. H.W. II. 145).

—Harben, 1918


The makers of brass pots were so called 1316 (Cal. L. Bk. E. p. 67).

—Harben, 1918


About the Year 1567, Jasper Andries and Jacob Janson, Potters, came away from Antwerp, to avoid the Persecution there, and settled themselves in Norwich; where they followed their Trade, making Gally paving Tiles, and Vessels for Apothecaries and others, very artificially. Anno 1570 they removed to London, with the Testimonial of Isbrand Balckius, the Minister, and the rest of the Elders and Deacons of that Church; and desired by Petition, from Queen Elizabeth, that they might have Liberty to follow their Trade in that City without Interruption; and presented her with a Chest of their handy Work. They set forth in their Petition, that they were the first, which brought in, and exercised the said Science in this Realm: and were at great Charges, before they could find the Materials in this Realm. And that the same Science was so acceptable to King Henry VIII. that he offered to the same Jasper's Father good Wages and House-room, to come and exercise the same here: Which then came to none effect. They beseeched her, in recompence of their great Cost and Charges, that she would grant them House-room in, or without the Liberties of London, by the Water side; and Privilege for the time of twenty Years, that none but they, their Wives and Children, and Assigns, might exercise the same Science in this Realm; and to sell and transport the same, as well outward as inward, to all Men, free of all Custom.

—Strype, 1720


See Poultry.

Company Incorporated 1504.

—Harben, 1918

Saddlers, the

The twenty-fifth of the City Companies, incorporated 37 Ed. III. 1363.

In 1327 the men of the mistery of the Saddlers entered into an agreement with the men of the mistery of Fusters and Lorimers (Cal. L. Bk. E. p. 219).

The gardens of the saddlers abutted on the northern boundary of Drapers' Gardens, 1543 (L. and P. H. VIII. XVIII. (I), p. 528).

—Harben, 1918

Salters' Company

The ninth in order of the twelve Great Companies.

Grant of Livery temp. Rich. II. 1394. Incorporated 1558.

Many lived in parish of St. Dunstan in the East in Stow's time (S. 136).

Fellowship of Corpus Christi called the Salters, 14 H. VIII. (L. and P. H. VIII. III. (2), 1053).

—Harben, 1918


Mentioned in early records. Those who set out or showed wares, "Court de scawyatoribus," 5 Ed. III. (Cal. L. Bk. C. 151, and E. p. 267).

Scavage or showage was a toll or duty paid for the oversight of certain officials upon the "showage" or "opening out" of imported goods, from A.S. "sceawian," "to look at," "view" or "search." (See Lib. Albus, I. 223.)

—Harben, 1918

Scottish Corporation

See Scotch Hall.

—Harben, 1918


Incorporated 1605.

—Harben, 1918

Silk Men

Incorporated 1631 (Dodsley, 1761).

—Harben, 1918

Silk Throwers

Incorporated 1630.

—Harben, 1918

Skinners' Company

The sixth of the twelve great Livery Companies. Mentioned as a trade guild 1319. Incorporated 1327, governed by a master, four wardens, and Court of assistants. Called the Pellipers or Skinners (Cal. L. Bk. E. 226).

Hall in Dowgate Hill (q.v.). Elections to the Mistery of Skinners were made 1328 (ib. 233).

Fraternities of Corpus Christi and of Our Lady in the Guild in 14th to 16th centuries. Ordinances of the Company set out in Trans. L. and M. Arch. Soc. V. p. 104 et seq.

—Harben, 1918


Incorporated 1638.

—Harben, 1918


Towards the middle of Queen Elizabeth's Reign three Sorts of Sope were made. First, Coarse Sope, made of Train Oyl, and Danske Sope Ashes. Secondly, Sweet Sope, made of Sivil Oyl, and Danske Sope Ashes. And Thirdly, Specle Sope, made of Tallow and said Ashes. This was commonly called Gray Sope. This last was forbid by the Common Council of London: And that by Order from the Board. The Reason was, it would so wast in short time the Tallow of the Realm, that the Poverty would have no Candles, but must pay 6d. or 7d. yea and more, for a Pound of Candles. And besides, it smelt worse than the Sope made with the Train Oyl.

This Speckle Sope, if allowed, would have endangered the making Sope with Oyl; because they made their Sope cheaper with Tallow. And the Common People more desired this made with Tallow, than that made with Oyl: because the Specks in this Sope shewed fair and white in Winter by the congealing of the Cold. And the Makers of Sope with Oyl would be fain to corrupt their Sope, to make it as good cheap as the Speckle Sope, to be able to sell with them in cheapness of price. And then the Realm should have neither good Sope nor sweet Sope any more.

There were now about eight or ten Sopemakers in London: and they able to serve the whole Realm; yea and send beyond Sea also, if they might have Vent. They had four, five, or six Men apiece, and some more, besides their Houshold, that tended their Fats, and the beating of their Ashes. And besides, set many Men at work in the Realm, as Coopers, Labourers, Carters, &c. and made use of all manner of Carriages both by Land and Sea; being a Trade that sent out weekly out of London great Quantities of this Commodity over the Realm, and most Northward. Yet there was Sopemaking also already at York, at Hull, and at Bristol. These things were urged before they were a Corporation, to recommend them to the Countenance of the State.

—Strype, 1720

Spectacle Makers

Incorporated 1630 (Dodsley, 1761).

—Harben, 1918

Stationers' Company

The ordinances of the mistery of Scriveners and lymenours were submitted to the Mayor and Aldermen in 1403 and approved (Cal. L. Bk. I. p.26).

First mentioned in 1417 as the Mistery of Scriveners, Limners and Stacioners (Cal. L. Bk. 1. p. 173).

The Company would therefore appear to have been composed originally of the scriveners, or text writers and Illuminators or lymenours, together with the Stacyoners, defined in the Prompt. Parv. c. 1440, as "he that sellythe bokys," from Latin "stacionarius."

Later, after the discovery and introduction of printing in England, the printers seem to have obtained admission into the Company, for at the time of the incorporation of the Company in 1557 by Philip and Mary the patent was expressly granted to them in their capacity of printers to assist the government in the control of printed publications.

Its privileges, however, have never been confined to this one branch of the trade, but have included at all times printers, booksellers, publishers, as well as the manufacturers of materials for writing and printing.

The word "Stationer," as suggested above, appears to be derived from the Latin "Stationarius," which term was in use in the universities to designate those persons who were in charge of a Station or depöt where the standard texts of classical works were kept and who were authorised to deal out these texts to the students by sale or loan (L. and M. Arch. Soc. Trans. II. 37 et seq.).

There were similar stations "for trading purposes in use in Cheap in the 14th century, for in 1379 the "Stations" around the High Cross and "le Brokenecros" were leased by the Mayor and Chamberlain to divers persons, and the profits applied for public purposes (Cal. L. Bk. H. pp. 131–3).

Thus the word Stationer was originally used to denote a bookseller, and the present narrower definition assigned to it must be regarded as of modern origin.

The registers of books entered at Stationers' Hall since 1557 constitute a most valuable record of the literature of the period, and form a priceless possession of the Company.

There is an interesting account of the Company, etc., compiled from the records in Trans. L. and M. Arch. Soc. N.S. II. (1), p. 119.

—Harben, 1918

Tackle House and Ticket Porters

This Fellowship possessed the right of porterage of all unmeasurable goods, that of measureable goods being exercised by the Fellowship Porters.

The Governor was always an Alderman assisted by a Court of twelve Rulers.

Each of the twelve great Companies appointed one Tackle-house Porter and had the right to possess a tackle-house for lading and unlading goods. These Tackle-house Porters employed the Ticket Porters to work under them. These were limited to 500 and only members of the Fellowship could employ these Porters. No Hall. Fellowship now dissolved.

—Harben, 1918


See Fraternity of St. John; Linen Armourers; Bassett's Inn; Benbridge's Inn.

—Harben, 1918


Called "Fratres Militie Templi in Anglia" (Ch. I. p.m. 28 Ed. I. 59).

Order dissolved and subsequently possessions assigned to Order of St. John of Jerusalem, 9 Ed. III. 1335 (Cal. P.R. Ed. III. 1334–8, p. 158).

See The Temple.

—Harben, 1918

Tin Plate Workers / Tinners

Incorporated 1670.

—Harben, 1918


The Company of Tin Plate-Workers were incorporated by Charter the 29th of December, in the 22th Year of the Reign of King Charles II. by the name of Master, Wardens, Assistants and Commonalty of the Art and Mystery of Tyn Plate-workers, alias Wyre-workers, of the City of London.

—Strype, 1720


Six sworn in 1310 not to make false measures. They dwelt in different parts of the City, two in Wood Street (Cal. L. Bk. D. p. 240 and Riley's Mem. p. 78).

Incorporated 2 James I. Fifty-first in order of the Companies.

—Harben, 1918


Occupied the south side of Cornhill from Birchin Lane to the Stocks, temp. Henry VI. (S. 200).

Incorporated 1627.

They sold household stuff.

Strype mentions the Upholsters on the south side in 1720 (I. ii. 149).

The Hall was in Leadenhall Street (P.C. 1732).

—Harben, 1918

Water Bearers

A Brotherhood of St. Christopher of the Water Bearers founded in the Augustine Friars. Confirmed 1496. Ordinances set out in L. and M. Arch. Soc. Trans. IV. 55–58.

Ordinances of the Company made 1497 (Overall, p. 219).

—Harben, 1918

Weavers' Company

The forty-second in order of the Livery Companies and said to be the oldest possessing the exclusive privilege of admitting to the freedom and livery of the Company persons not free of the City of London.

Roach Smith thinks it was of Roman origin, implements for weaving having been discovered amongst Roman remains (Illus. R. Lond. p. 144).

First Charter of Incorporation granted by Henry II. 1184, with the seal of Thomas á Becket affixed to it.

By John's Charter (1202) granted on the petition of the Mayor and citizens, the Guild of Weavers was never again to be in the City (Cal. L. Bk. C. p. 55).

The Charter of Ed. I. confirming their privileges is set out in Cal. L. Bk. D. p. 221.

The weavers of woollen cloth dwelt in Candlewick Street at one time (S. 219).

See Fraternity of Webbes.

—Harben, 1918


Incorporated 1670.

—Harben, 1918

Wire Drawers

Allowed to have shops in Blanch Appleton (q.v.).

See Wyremongers.

—Harben, 1918


Elections to Mistery of Woolmongers made 1328 (Cal. L. Bk. E p. 232).

—Harben, 1918

Wyndrawers of London

Carters of Wine.

Four companies of them in 1301: "The Newemeyne" (New Household).

The King's Society and The Society of Shipup (Riley Mem. xxj.).

—Harben, 1918


Founded 1479 by the union of Chapemakers and Wyredrawers.

No one to work on November 25th, the day of St. Clement the Pope (N. and Q. 11th S. IV. 147).

—Harben, 1918