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

Allen, Thomas

1828

Fishmongers.

 

Their are dolphins naiant in pale finined and ducally crowned between pair of lucies in saltier (the sinister surmounting the dexter) , over the nose of each lucy, a ducal crown of the ; on a chief pair of keys, indorsed in saltier, . cubit arms erect, the dexter vested or. the sinister both cufted ar, holding in the hands , a regal crown of the last. . The dexter a merman ; on his head a helmet, the body only covered in armour, in his dexter hand a sabre, all of the . The sinister, a mermaid , crined in her sinister hand a mirror of the last. .

All worship be to God only.

. St. Peter.

This Company, as it now exists, was formed by the junction of the guilds or brotherhoods of salt-fishmongers and stock-fishmongers, and was incorporated by Henry VIII. by the name of

the wardens and commonalty of the mystery of Fishmongers,

&c. in the year . The salt-fishmongers had been incorporated so early as , the stock-fishmongers not till ; yet long before either of those dates, the fishmongers were united as a brotherhood, and from the great extent of their trade during the prevalence of the catholic religion, they had obtained great sway and affluence. In the reign of Edward I. (anno ,) they were fined for being guilty of forestalling, contrary to the laws and constitutions of the city; and during the following century, so strong a prejudice had been excited against them from charges of fraudulent dealing, that in , the parliament enacted,

that no fishmonger should for the future be admitted mayor of this city;

this prohibition, however, was removed in the following year. About that time, there seems to have been a very strong prejudice existing against these traders, and in the parliament then held, Nicholas Exton, speaker for the fishmongers, particularly

prayed the king to receive him and the company under the immediate

royal protection, lest they might receive corporeal hurt.

This request originated from the various street tumults, wherein the fishmongers were the objects of popular indignation and insult; for a considerable period also, there were continual disputes between this company and the goldsmiths in regard to precedence.

The ancient statutes of this company are to be found in the , still kept in ; according to which, no fishmonger was to buy fish beyond the bounds appointed; which were the chapel on London-bridge, Baynard's castle, and Jordan's Key. No fish were to be bought in any boat, unless brought to land. No fishmonger was to buy a fresh fish before mass was ended at the chapel upon the bridge; and was to sell fresh fish only after mass, and salt fish after prime. About the same time, viz. A. D. , the fishmongers, who kept shops upon Fish-wharf, used to sell herrings and other fish brought by land and by water, to the inhabitants, and to hawkers who carried them through the streets; but the other fishmongers having entered into a combination to prevent the sale of fish by retail at that wharf, those belonging to the wharf obtained the king's order to the mayor and sheriffs, to permit them to continue to sell herrings and other fish, either in wholesale or retail, to all who chose to buy.

Before the union of the companies we learn from Stow, that the fishmongers had

six

several halls,

in

Thames-street

twain, New Fish-street twain, and in

Old Fish-street

twain;

but after their joint incorporation they agreed to have but , namely,

in the house given unto them by lord Fanhope (sir John Cornewell) in the parish of St. Michael, Crooked-lane.

The fabric here mentioned was destroyed by the great fire in , after which the hall (recently pulled down by the side of the Thames,) was erected from the designs of Sir Christopher Wren.

 
 
Footnotes:

[] Granted 1536--confirmed 1575.

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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