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

Allen, Thomas

1828

Haberdashers.

 

Their are Barry nebulee of and on a bend a lion passant gardant . arms embowed issuing from clouds of the last, holding a chaplet of laurel Indian goats attired and ungulled .

Serve and obey.

. St. Katherine.

This Company was incorporated as a brotherhood, or guild, by Henry the , in the year , under the appellation of

the Fraternity of St. Katherine the Virgin, of the Haberdashers of the City of London.

There was likewise a fraternity of

364

haberdashers, which had made choice of St. Nicholas as its patron; and it seems probable that both brotherhoods were united previously to the of Henry the , when this company received a confirmation by the title of

the master and

four

wardens of the fraternity of the art or mystery of Haberdashers,

&c. and its members were styled merchant haberdashers. The more ancient name of these traders was hurriers and milainers, the from dealing in hats and caps, the latter from their dealing in merchandize chiefly imported from the city of Milan in Italy.

The business of the haberdashers made but little progress in London, till after the extension of commerce in the reign of queen Elizabeth. In the time of her immediate predecessor, there were scarcely more than a dozen of their shops in the whole city; yet within years after (about ) they had greatly increased, and we are told, though doubtless with some considerable exaggeration, that

the whole street from

Westminster

, was crowded with them.

The haberdashers of that age appear to have been dealers in most of the minor articles of foreign manufacture, and their shops made such a

gay appearance,

that many persons were thence induced to commence an extravagant expenditure.

marvel no man taketh heed to it,

said a writer in Elizabeth's days, in reference to the circumstance just stated,

what number of trifles cometh hither from beyond the seas, that we might either clean spare, or else make them within our own realm; for which we either pay inestimable treasure every year, or else exchange substantial wares and necessaries for them, for the which we might receive great treasure.

Among the wares which constituted a part of the haberdashery of that period, were,

daggers, swords, owches, broaches, aiglets, Spanish girdles, French cloths, Milan caps, glasses, painted cruises, dials, tables, cards, balls, puppets, ink-horns, tooth-picks, fine earthern pots, pins and points, hawk's bells, salt-cellars, spoons, knives, and tin dishes.

A yet more curious enumeration of goods vended by the

milloners, or haberdashers,

who dwelt at the , within or years after it had been built by sir Thomas Gresham, occurs in Howe, who says, they

sould mouse-trappes, bird-cages, shooing-hornes, lanthorns, and Jew's trumpes.

The article pins, before the introduction of which, the English ladies are stated to have used points or skewers made of thorns, &c. to fasten their garments with, formed a very lucrative branch of trade; and annually, is said to have been paid for them to foreigners in the early years of queen Elizabeth; yet long before the decease of that princess, they were manufactured in great quantities in this country, and in the time of James the , the English artizan

exceeded every foreign competitor in the production of this diminutive, though useful article of dress.

365

 

The hall of this company is a respectable brick building, standing in , ; the arms of the company (but without the supporters) are exhibited on a small shield over the entrance.

 
 
Footnotes:

[] Arms granted 1571.

[] Howe's Stow's Ann. p. 869.

[] Brayley's London, ii. p. 385.

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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