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3G THE CITY COMPANIES :

ings of so large a body, and tlie Grocers' Company
have, or lately had, in their possession a curious me-
morial evidently belonging to those early courts,
intended for a purpose similar to that of a chairman's
hammer of modern times. It consists of a carved
figure of St. Anthony, their patron saint, holding a
small bell, which the president struck when he
enforced order. In the court-room at Leathersellers'
Hall is a handsome ivory hammer, unusually large
and heavy, originally intended to quiet disorderly
or outspoken members, and bearing an inscription
to the effect that the said hammer was presented
to the worshipful company, a.d. 1623, by '^ Francis
Barradon, warden of the yeomanry, .1620, and nowe
one of the assistants of the yeomanry ;" from
which date it has been in use uninterruptedly —
fortunately, as we are informed, more as an orna-
mental than a necessary article. From these, and
similar relics, it is readily surmised that some amount
of tact and much firmness were required in one
assuming so responsible an office as president of a
gild.

The following extract from the minutes of the
Carpenters' Company, shows that some patience
was used to be exercised in their councils : —

"1556
"Ksd of master abbott a fyne for that he helde not his
peess before the master hade knockyd with the sylence iij
tymes vjd."*

In 1487, the Drapers' books record a pay-

* Jupp's "Hist. Ace," p. 139.



THElil ALDSRMEN. 37

menfc for '' a hammer to knock upon the table,
vj^ viii^'*

In Heath's '^Account of the Grocers' Company,"
p. 32, we have the following extract from their
minutes of the date July 8th, 1670 : '^ Upon com-
plaint and observation of the unseemliness and dis-
turbance, by taking tobacco and having drink and
pipes in the court-room, during court's sitting; and
for the better order, decorum, and gravity to be
observed, and readier despatch and minding of
debates and business of the court, and avoiding the
occasion of offence and disgust, it is agreed that
hereafter there be no taking of tobacco, or drinking
used or permitted in the courfc-room during the
sitting of the court ; and if any person have a d'esire
to refresh himself with a pipe of tobacco or a cup of
drink, at a convenient time or interval of serious
business, to withdraw into some retiring room more
suitable and fit for the purpose."

As early as a.d. 1512, the Merchant Taylors make
mention in their minutes of a '' Court of Assistants "
by name, when the common clerk (Henry Maynard)
is said to have " transacted certain affairs at the
commandment and request of the master and war-
dens, with the advice of the more part of the most
substantiall and discreet persons, assistants and
counsellers of the said fraternity." The numbers of
the court vary in different Companies, but twenty-
five is the most usual number. In the early Saxon
gilds, where a council was needed, thirteen was the
favourite number, in imitation of Christ and his



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THE CITY OF LONDON



LIVERY COMPANIES.



HISTOEICAL REMINISCENCES



THE CITY OF LONDON-



LIVERY COMPANIES.



r.Y



THOMAS AEUNDELL, B.D., F.G.S.,

OF ST. JOHN'S COI-LEGK, CAItfBEIDGi:, AXD TICAK OF HATTOTT.



' Individuals may form communities, but institutions must found a nation."

DlSEAEir,




LONDON:
EICHARD BENTLEY, NEW BURLINGTON STREET.

^ubUsl^w in ©ibiuarg to f ^r STajc£it|T.



1869.

All EigMs lieserved.






^4^4^^^



TO



THE RIGHT HON. THE LORD MAYOR, M.P.,

MASTER OF ALL THE COMPANIES,
AND TO

THE SHERIFFS Of LONDON AND MIDDLESEX,
€U^ WaXwmt

IS RESPECTFULLY DEDICATED BY

THE AUTHOR.



r\/



ADVERTISEMENT,



The following work is founded upon a series of
fugitive papers, published weekly in a Yorkshire
periodical, during the years 1866-7. The Author's
aim is to draw the attention of the general reader to
the history and antiquities of the City of London,
and to show the dignity and value of many of its
ancient corporations.

In an age of restless and rapid movements like
the present, the test of utility is ruthlessly applied
to every institution, and destruction being the han-
diest and speediest of all remedies, no institution can
be safe vvhich is not manifestly and conspicuously
useful. The Author hopes that these pages will leave
on the mind of the reader an impression strongly
favourable to the preservation of the powers and
privileges of the great corporate bodies of the City
of London, and their various dignified officials, and
that he has indicated satisfactory reasons for many
customs and observances which have usually been
thought to have only prescription and antiquity on
their side. He has also shown that the property of



Vm ADVERTISEMENT.

the now wealthy gilds has been created by the con-
tributions and bequests of their own members, has
accumulated by their own careful and skilful manage-
ment, and i3 employed in a manner accordant with
the objects of its donors, greatly to the honour and
renown of the Empress City, and to the advantage
of her poorer citizens. ISTo property in the land is
held by a better title, or is more righteously and
beneficially employed.

The Author has much pleasure in acknowledging
the kindness of many friends in affording assistance
and facilities in the preparation of this work. In
particular, he would tender his best thanks to J. J.
Howard, LL.D., F.S.A., the learned editor of the
"Miscellanea Genealogica et Heraldica;" to the
Rev. John Tagg, M.A., Eector of Mellis, formerly a
Fellow of Sion College; to the Right Worshipful
John Sugden Neale, Esq., Master; to William Bent-
ley, Esq., and Martin Blackmore, Esq., past Masters
of the Leathersellers' Company; to the Right Hon.
the Lord Mayor; to Colonel Wilson, the senior
alderman; and especially to Sir Thomas Gabriel,
Bart., past Lord Mayor, for the privilege of search-
ing the treasures of the Corporation Library, the
most valuable collection of local antiquarian litera-
ture which this country possesses.

Eayton, York,

A^ril, 1869*



CONTENTS.



CHAPTER I.

PAGE

The Livery Companies — their Origin and Objects 1

CHAPTER II.
Their Antiquity , 14.

CHAPTER III.
Their Aldermen 31

CHAPTER IV.
The same continued 42

CHAPTER V.
Their Mayor 54

CHAPTER YI.

The same continued 63

CHAPTER YII.

The same continued , 11

CHAPTER YIII.
Their Sheriffs 91



X CONTENTS.

CHAPTER X.

PAGE

Their NAME Livery 104

CHAPTER IX.
Theie Religious Observances 116

CHAPTER XL
The same continued 125

CHAPTER XXL
The same continued ....„ 139

CHAPTER Xni.
The same continued 149

CHAPTER XIY.

Their Apprenticeship 162

CHAPTER XV.
The same continued 172

CHAPTER XVI.

Feasts in Olden Time 183

CHAPTER XVIL
The same continued 191

CHAPTER XYIII. .
The same continued — Crowning with Garlands 200

CHAPTER XIX.

The same continued — Minstrels 210

CHAPTER XX.

The same continued — The Loving-cup and Platers 222



CONTENTS. XI

CHAPTEH XXI.

PAGE

Their Maidens 232

CHAPTER XXII.
Their Holidays 245

CHAPTER XXIII.
The same continued — Their IMatings 255

CHAPTER XXIV.
The same continued — Royal Processions . . . . , 264

CHAPTER XXY.

The same continued — Lord Mayor's Day 280

CHAPTER XXYI.

The same continued — Water Pageants 295

CHAPTER XXVII.

The same continued — Out-door Games 306

CHAPTER XXVIII.

Their Fondness for Dirt in the Olden Times 321

CHAPTER XXIX.
TheTwelye 337

CHAPTER XXX.
City Ceremonials 359

CHAPTER XXXI.
The Relation of the Companies to Trade 373

CHAPTER XXXII.
Their Modern Banquets 377



XU CONTENTS.

CHAPTER XXXIII.

PAGE

Their Armorial Bearings 387

CHAPTER XXXIV.

Their Training to Arms 402

CHAPTER XXXY.
Their Warriors 410

APPENDIX.

List of Mayors FROM 1189 to 1869 :..... 423

Lord Mayors M.P. for the City 432

Lord Mayors M.P. for the Proyinces 433

List of Charters from William the Conqueror to George HI. 435




HISTORICAL REMINISCENCES



OP



THE CITY OF LONDON



LIVERY COMPANIES.

CHAPTER I.

THE CITY companies: THEIR OEIGIN AND OBJECTS.

" Towards three or four o'clock
Look for the news that the guild hall affords."

Sdakespeaue's Fiicliard III.

For. wealtli and vastness, London outvies all tlie
cities of Europe. The riches of tlie Corporation of
the City are something marvellous. One of our early
kings, when in want of money, " in consideration of
his love for hi^ loyal subjects the citizens," and of
a sum down in ready cash, grants them by royal
charter the village of South wark, from which one
gift alone now arises a revenue sufficient probably to
support a peerage. The state observed by the Lord
Mayor at his official residence, the Mansion House,
is almost regal. Certainly no subject of our Queen
maintains an equal amount of courtly ceremony, nor
can the state banquets of our greatest nobility sur-



^Z THE CITY companies:

pass in splendour tlie princely entertainments con-
tinually furnislied by tlie sovereign of the City. The
frequency, too, of these hospitable gatherings, and the
large numbers generally invited — covers being laid,
as we sometimes read, for three hundred or four
hundred guests, and at the Guildhall for between
one thousand and two thousand — lead us to imagine
that the cellars of the Mg^nsion House must be as
exhaustless as the wealth of the Corporation. If we
remember correctly, the present* Lord Mayor has on
two dijfferent occasions already during his year of
oflB.ce entertained Sovereigns, or Eoyal Princes,
without the necessity, as we understand, of any
variation from his usual preparations for his guests.
The original sum voted for the present Mansion
House was £80,000, besides the site ; the supply of
plate, the accumulation of centuries, both by pur-
chases and by presents from royal and other person-
ages, is unsurpassed; and no cost is withheld by
the City in maintaining the fittings and appoint-
ments throughout in a manner worthy of so great a
Corporation.

Bearing in mind all these facts, people in the
country are frequently rather startled at reading in
the London papers, as we did last week,t that the
wealthiest city and first county in England had
appointed for the ensuing year S. "VYaterlow, Esq.,
citizen and stationer, and Francis Lycett, Esq., citizen
and spectacle-maker, high sheriflTs for London and
]\Iiddlesex. Not long since the Lord Mayor (Wire)

* Sir B. Phillips (1866). f Written 1866.



THEIR ORIGIN AND OBJKCTS. 6

was an innholder ; liis predecessor a butclier ; the
under- sheriff a cook ; while from the recent lists we
extract the names of Alderman Wheelton, sheriff
and cordwainer ; J^Ir. Thomas Lott, F.S.A., deputy
and baker; Moses. Kipling, esquire and blacksmith ;
E. J. Hutchins and A. S. Ayrton, both members of
Parliament and leather sellers ; and what is still
more curious, the Eev. Markland Barnard, \acar of
Eudge and mercer ; the Rev. Thomas Lee, vicar of
Osset and leather- seller ; the Eev. Charlton Lane,
rector of Hampstead and mercer ; the rector of St.
Margaret's, Lothbury, chaplain to the Queen and
haberdasher. There is something still more ano-
malous than all this, namely, that the great and
eloquent Earl of Derby is at the same time Prime
Minister of England and merchant taylor ; while the
estimable Prince of Wales, recently the guest of the
Lord Mayor and the Archbishop of York, is not only
a merchant taylor and goldsmith, but adds to his
other professions the lucrative calling of mercer.

ISTow although many and most of the City gentle-
men above named are engaged in trade, probably
there is not one of the number connected with the
particular trade whose designation is attached to his
name ; but as it is necessary, in order to bo eligible
for civic offices, that a candidate shall be a freeman
of London and a liveryman of one of the ancient
gilds, and as many privileges attach themselves to
the office of liveryman, all who look for office, or who
wish, to become participators in the advantages
offered by these corporations, connect themselves



4 THE CITY COMPANIES :

•with one or otlier of them, wliicliever offers the
greatest attractions, without the slightest regard to
its designation. The first cost of admission to the
livery varies, in diflPerent Companies, from £20 to
100 guineas,* which, in addition to the freedom of
the City, and the freedom of the Company and future
fmes, brings the total cost in some of them to nearly
£200. In the early times, none could exercise any
craft or calling in the City of London without having
first become free of his particular craft or mystery ;
now, in these days of free-trade, no such restrictions
exist, and, consequently, the necessity of these gilds
no longer remains. Their vast estates, however,
remain, and they, as powerful corporations, will con-
tinue as long as society holds together.

N^apoleou caught the right idea of the cause of
England's greatness when he called us a nation of
shojDkeepers. Conquest and diplomacy may enrich
and extend for a time, but for a nation to live and
become increasingly rich and strong, her prosperity
must be 'based upon a sound system of trade. The
power of England is felt on every sea, for her mer-
chant ships are there. The wealth of England
enables her to maintain her vast influence in every
plime, and her wealth is drawn from her rich landed
nobles and her prosperous trading communities.
The wealth of the nobles, however, has been chiefly
obtained from trade. Few of the Norman barons
r.ro to be traced through their descendants to the

* Tho highest we know of is that of the Lcathorsellers— viz., 100
guineas.



THEIR OEIGIN AND OBJECTS. b

present time ; those wlio now possess our soil are
chiefly descended from our great bankers, goldsmiths,
and other City traders. Last summer a City man
died worth £3,800,000, all of which he had himself
accumulated, — Richard Thornton, a Yorkshireman,
a native of Burton-in-Lonsdale, in the North. Riding,
in which parish, during his lifetime, he built and
endowed schools at a cost of £40,000. He died at
the advanced age of eighty-nine, having been for
sixty- six years a liveryman of the Leathersellers'
Company of London. We believe that the art of
trade cannot be learned in a century, that it must be
fostered by a nation, and studied by its disciples,
who must understand its history and traditions.
England has ever honoured her traders. She knows
how mucli to them she is indebted. The -highest
oinces in Parliament and in Government are open to
them, and the Peerage is continually strengthened by
admissions from their ranks. It is certainly below
the mark to affirm that more than two hundred
peerages have been founded by Lord Mayors and
other members of the London Livery, since the time
of Henry Fitz- Allen (Mayor 1110), each of whom
has been in trade. As a curious specimen of the
result of an examination of the records of one Com-
pany out of the fifty, we subjoin a list of founders of
ennobled families from the Mercers : —

1. Sir Adam Francis (Mayor 135J-) ; his daugliter and heiress
married John, Lord MontacUe, Earl of Salisbury.

2. Sir John Coventry (1425) ; ancestor to the present Earl of
Coventry.



6 THE CITY COMPANIES :

3. Sir Geoffrey BuUen ; grandfather of Thomas, Earl of Wiltshire,
father to Ann Bullen, and grandfather to Queen Elizabeth.

4. Sir William HoUis ; ancestor to the Earls of Clare, afterwards
the ducal family of Newcastle.

5. Sir Michael Dormer (1542) ; produced the future Lords Dormer.

6. Sir Thomas Baldry (1523) ; his daughter married Lord Eich,
ancestor of the Lords Kensington, and whose progenitor was Eichard
Eich, mercer.

7. Sir Thomas Seimour (1527) ; from him sprung the Seimours,
Dukes of Somerset,

8. Sir Baptist Hicks ; ancestor of the Yiscounts Camden.

9. Sir Eowland Hill ; ancestor of Lord Hill, who from 1833 till
his death served on the court of this Company.

10. James Butler; ancestors of the Earls of Ormond (reign
Henry YIII.)

11. Sir Geoffrey Fielding (1452) ; ancestor of the Earis of Denbigh.

Sir Baptist Hicks obtained Ms wealth from the trade
of mercer, which he carried on in Oheapside, being
mercer to the King (James I.) and the Court. He
was first knighted and afterwards created Viscount
Camden. This is one of the very few. instances on
record of a trader being transferred from his
shop to the House of Lords. His wealth must have
been great, as he not only founded a peerage, but
gave each of his daughters £100,000, in those days
a vast fortune for an heiress. The present Clerken-
well Sessions' House was built by him for the meet-
ings of the justices for Middlesex, and to this day
it is called ''Hicks' Hall." He was one of the
first citizens who kept a shop after the honour of
knighthood, and upon being remonstrated with by
some of the aldermen, he laconically rephed that
''his servants kept the shop, and that he did not
live altogether upon the interest of it" (Strype).



THEIR ORIGIN AND OBJECTS. 7

A list of founders of ennobled families, equally
numerous and distinguished perhaps, might also be
selected from the roll of the Drapers' Company,
amongst whose lord mayors are such names as Fitz-
Allwyn (1190), the Pultneys (1313), the Oapells
(1303), the Wattons (1415), the Eudstons, of Hay-
ton (1528), the Brydges, Dukes of Chandos (1520),
etc. ; or from the Grrocers' Company, who claim
existence as a trading community from the time of
the settlement of the Eomans in London, and boast
of having supplied from their numbers one hundred
lord mayors ; and from the Goldsmiths' Company
might be obtained a list of founders of peerages,
which would probably eclipse in numbers and
splendour any other of the City gilds, containing,
as it would, some of England's greatest names, and
many who to Yorkshiremen are especially dear.

Let us look back at the causes of the prosperity \
of our traders — at the reasons of their unusual suc-
cess in this country. We must go back for this to
Saxon and Is'orman times, for there we may discern
the foundations of the present edifice. The Saxon
Gilds were the first nurseries of trade. '

Although man^T- other countries have had their
gilds and fraternities, nothing like our early gilds has
existed. The ancient Eomans had their unions of
craftsmen and companies of artificers and traders,
occupying particular streets to which they gave
name, a custom imitated in London soon after the
Conquest, as Fitzstephen* tells us : '' This city, even
* A monk and secretary to Thomas a Becket.



8 THE CITY COxMPANIES :

as Rome, is divided into wards, and all the sellers of
wares, all tlie workmen for hire, are distinguished
every morning in their place as well as street."*
But what knit these traders together by the strictest
bonds was their congregating into fraternities or
gilds. They knew that in union is strength, and
they hit upon the most happy mode of securing a
harmonious brotherhood. They united to the one
great object of their desire, namely trade, two accesy
series, religion smd feasting. There was much know-
ledge of human nature here. Men are never so
amiable and forgiving as when enjoying the pleasures
of good cheer, and never so successful as when they
feel they are doing their duty. Our old Saxon
ancestors did nothing without a good dinner to
accompany it ; and these traders evinced a deep
sense of their dependence upon the Almighty, by
the employment of priests to say prayers for their
success and for their souls, and to bless the food at
their banquets. We frequently find the several
gilds quarrelling one with another, but it is most
rare to discover any trace of discord between the
members of any one particular fraternity.

We occasionally, it is true, meet with differences,
but they are generally of the mildest type ; one or
two we give by way of example. From the Gold-
smith records we learn that in 1449 a member was
lined for '' revileing a member of the liverie;^* in
1518 a member is fined 2s, ''for myshehaviour in
words ;^' and another is sent to the Compter "for

• Descriptio Nobilissim. Civifc. Lond. " Strype's Stow," ii. p. 4.



THEIR ORIGIN AND OBJECTS. 9"

many simple and bad words." In 1519 two members,
Walter Lambe and Thomas Banister, are sent by tlie
wardens to tlie Compter, '^ for that eacli of them
used lewde, revylinge, and slanderous words to the
other at the tyme of the eleccon of the new wardens ;
wher' they abode till they were agreed ; that is to
say till viii. of the clocke at nyghte ; at whiche tyme
Mr. Wardens sent for them to the hall, and examyned
them whether they were agreed. And they said yea ;
and also that they were sorry for that they had
spokyn. Whervpon they drank to geder and deprted
frendly bothe." The minute-book of the Ironmon-
gers' Company contains a similar entry, under date
15th July, 1567 : " At this court, Mr. Harvy and Mr.
Gamage, olde wardens, complayned against William
Penyfather for unkynde words against them and evell
order on the feast day in the hall ; and it was ordered
by this court he shal be sent to prison and pay fyne
of XX*, and (at) the request of Mr. Harvy and Mr.
Gamage his imprisonment was released."*

Of a very different aspect is a quarrel between
two gilds narrated by Northouck. In 1226 so
violent a quarrel arose betvf een the goldsmiths and
tailors, that each party met on an appointed night to
the number of five hundred men, completely armed,
and proceeded to decide their difference by blows.
Many were killed and wounded on each side ; nor
could they be parted till the sheriffs, with the City
posse comitatuSjCiiTne and apprehended the ringleaders,
thirteen of whom were condemned and executed !
* Nicoll's " Hist. Iron Comp." p. 94.



10 THE CITY companies:

Some of these corporations, by prudent manage-
ment and tlie increase in tlie value of land, have
become fabulously rich ; and with age, instead of
decrepitude, manifest now after many centuries all
the vigour of new institutions. The secret of this
lies in the social feature which is their distinguishing"!
characteristic. Feeling that their power lay in their \
union, they banded together for purposes secular, by
means of usages religious and social.

There was a time when the occupation of man
was confined to agriculture and husbandry, but as
the wants of society increased, many detached them-
selves from these employments, and settling down
into some central spot, formed themselves into com-
munities, and founded towns and cities, the marts
for all kinds of commodities. Hence sprung muni-
cipal governments. Of these communities, one of
the earliest in this country was the Frithgild of the
seventh century, in which social feastings formed an
essential feature, and which partook much of a
pohtical character. To this succeeded gilds eccle-
siastical, founded for alms-deeds and devotion, not
a few of which were established in York and its
neighbourhood, consisting both of clergy and laity.
When a brother died, a feast was prepared for the
day of burial; and in the ecclesiastical laws of King
Athelstan we read this declaration: *'We have
charged all that are admitted into our gildships,
that if any one happen to die, every brother of the
gild give a loaf." The festivities, however, were
not confined to eating merely.



THEIR OBIGIN AND OBJECTS. 11

" I found them winding of Marcello's corpse.
And there was such a solemn melody,
'Twixt doleful songs, tearn, and sad elegies —
Such as old grandames, watching by the dead.
Are wont to wear the night with.

Ofctimes with wassail bowl refresht

Their grief they drowned in wine."— Old Play.

Even in the Metropolis, as late as the sixteenth
century, unseemly banqueting took place at the
funerals of the great. The Merchant Taylors' re-
cords state it to be an ancient custom of their
society ''to attend the funerals of worshipful
brethren, and on the day of their interment to par-
take of a dinner at the hall, at which a commendable
grace was said for the good brother deceased." In
return for this act of respect, the family of the
deceased usually presented the Company with a piece
of plate. In the ordinances of the Leather sellers'
Company, in the times of James I., it is ordered
that a cup of £3 value shall be given after the
attendance of the livery, by the friends of the



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