The History and Antiquities of London, Westminster, Southwark, and Parts Adjacent, vol. 2

Allen, Thomas

1828

Ironmongers.

 

Their are on a chevron swivels , (the middle palewise, the other with the line of the chevron) between steel gads . scaly lizards, erect on their hind feet, combatant (i. e. ) each gorged with a plain collar , the collars chained together; a chain, with a ring at the end, pendant between the lizards, of the last. . The same as the crest. . Anciently,

Assher dure

,

at present,

God is our strength

.

. St. Lawrence.

This company appears to have been a very ancient fraternity, although not regularly incorporated till , when Edward IV. granted the members his letters patent, under the style of

the master, and keepers, or wardens, and commonalty, of the art, or mystery, of the ironmongers of London ;

and confirmations were subsequently granted by Philip and Mary, in , by queen Elizabeth in , and by James II. in .

As early as the year , a complaint was made of the ferones, as they were then called, or dealers in iron, to Elias Russel, mayor, and the aldermen,

for

that the smiths of the wealds, and other merchants, bringing down iron of wheels for carts, to the city of London, they were much shorter than anciently was accustomed, to the great loss and scandal of the trade of ironmongers ;

and on an inquisition being taken, and rods presented of the just and anciently-used length of the strytes (); and also of the length and breadth of the gropes, (), belonging to the wheel of carts, sealed with the city seal; of them was deposited in the chamber of London, and the others delivered to John Dode and Robert de Paddington, ironmongers of the market, and to John de Wymondeham, ironmonger

370

of the bridge, who were appointed overseers for the benefit of the trade generally, and empowered to seize those of an undue length. During the middle ages, they seem to have united the professions, both of merchant and factor, 'for while they had large warehouses and yards, whence they exported and sold bar iron, and iron rods, they had also shops, wherein they displayed abundance of manufactured articles, which they purchased of the workmen in town and country,

and of which they afterwards became the general retailers.

Their hall is a stately, modern edifice, standing on the north side of ; and is either the or that has been raised on the same site.

The affairs of this company are conducted by a master and wardens, assisted by a court of the whole livery, who are about in number. Numerous benefactions have been made in trust by various donors, for purposes of beneficence and public good; the entire revenue of the company, amounts to about annually.

In the court books of this company, which have been preserved from the time of queen Mary, are many curious entries respecting supplies for the exigencies of the state; as well as various particulars regarding the providing of men, arms, and ammunition; the purchase of corn for the city; the ceremonies and expences attendant on processional pageants, &c, Among the former, is the following singular precept, directed to the company

by the maior.

Theis are to will, and comaund youe, that forthwth youe prepare in a redynes, the sume of LX£. of the stocke of youre halle (and if youe have not so moche in store, then youe shall borrow the same at ynterest, at th' only costs and lossis of yor hall;) to be lent to the queen's matie for I wholl yeare; not in any wise cawsyng any brother of yor companye to bear any pticular charge or losse, towardes the same, but onlye of the rents and stocke of yor said hall; wch sume of LX£. you shall pay uppon Twysdaye next comyng in the mornyng, at Mr. Stonley's howse in Aldarsgate Strete; and thear you shall receive an aquyttaunce for the same in forme appoynted. Fayle youe not herof as youe will answer for the contrarye at your pyll. Yeoven at the Gwyldhall of London, the XXVII of August, 1575.

In , another precept was received from the mayor, requiring the company to provide

100

able men, apprentices, journeymen, or others free of the city, of agilitie and honest behavr, between the ages of

nineteen

and

forty

,

to be trained for

harque-bussets,

every of them

havyng a murryan, a sworde, and a dagger, and a caliver, with sufficient furniture for the same; and

one

halfe pound of powder, besides toche powder:

25

of the number, householders, and free of the company, to musterin their doublets, hose, and jerkins, in

13

days.

In , the company were required to purchase

371

quarters of wheat, to be deposited as their quota for the ensuing year, in the bridge-house, where the city collectively was to store up quarters at per quarter. In the following June, the company were directed to carry into the market,

15

quarters of meal per week,

till all their old corn was sold at the market price; their stock to be renewed with wheat of the growth of that year. In the autumn of , when wheat was dear, the company was commanded to take on days, weekly

8

quarters of corn, well ground

to the market of , and

to retail it at

3s.

per bushel, and not more, at their peril.

In the year , the queen in council ordered, that the city should furnish last of gunpowder, to be ready for emergencies; in consequence of which this company were enjoined to keep b.

The accounts of the pageantry are too long for extract; in a precept from the mayor, informed the company, that they were assessed . as their proportion of the sum of which had been expended in pageants, when the king passed through the city.

 
 
Footnotes:

[] Granted, 1435-Supporters, 1560-whole confirmed, 1634.

[] Malcolm's Lond. vol. ii. pp. 41-49.

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 Title Page
 Dedication
 CHAPTER I: History of London, from the Accession of William and Mary, to the reign of George the Second
 CHAPTER II: History of London during the reign of George the Second
 CHAPTER III: History of London from the Accession of George the Third, to the year 1780
 CHAPTER IV: History of London continued to the Union
 CHAPTER V: History of London from the Union to the Jubilee, 1809
 CHAPTER VI: History of London from the Jubilee to the Peace of 1814
 CHAPTER VII: History of London continued to the accession of George the Fourth
 CHAPTER VIII: Account of the Civil Government of the City by Portreves, Bailiffs, and Mayors, with a list of the latter...
 CHAPTER IX: An account of the Aldermen and Sheriffs, with a list of the latter
CHAPTER X: Lists and brief Accounts of the various Officers and Courts within the City
CHAPTER XI: Some account of the Ecclesiastical Government of the city of London, with a List and Biographical Notices of the Bishops of the see
CHAPTER XII: Some Account of the Military Government of London, and the Artillery Company
CHAPTER XIII: An Account of the twelve principal Companies of the City of London
CHAPTER XIV: An Account of the Companies of the City of London, alphabetically arranged
 CHAPTER XV: An Account of the River Thames
CHAPTER XVI: Historical and topographical account of London Bridge, Westminster Bridge, Blackfriars Bridge, Waterloo Bridge, Southwark Bridge, and the Thames Tunnel
CHAPTER XVII: Topographical and Historical Account of the Tower of London