The History and Antiquities of London, Westminster, Southwark, and Parts Adjacent, vol. 3

Allen, Thomas


Stationers' Hall.


This company had their hall in , from whence they removed to college, at the south-west corner of church-yard. The company purchased the site; and about

, adopted the old building to their own purposes. The chapel was converted into an armoury and a warehouse. It was afterwards converted into the Feathers-tavern; and covered the spot now occupied by the garden of the deanery.

The late highly respected and amiable John Nichol, esq. F. S. A. who was master of this company in , published considerable extracts from their archives in his

Literary Anecdotes of the Nineteenth Century.

From this authentic source, the following extracts are made:--

Stow, mentioning

the dean's lodging, a faire old house, and divers large houses which yet remaine, and (of old time) were the lodgings of prebendaries and residentiaries, which kept great households and liberall hospitalitie,


Then was there the Stationers-hall, lately builded for them, in the place of Peter's college; where, in the year


, the

4th day of January



men were slayne by the fall of earth upon them, digging for a well.

The wardens of the company, in their accompts from


to , charged

for reparations,

1l. 5s. 6d.


and in their next audit,

for a labourer for cleaning the dean's yard


The fitting up of the new hall (which was a large building) was defrayed by the voluntary subscriptions of the several members. Among other benefactions, glazed windows were contributed; and also the wainscoting both of the parlour and the council-chamber.

Several sums were received for the occasional use of the hall for different public purposes.


Item, received, the VIII daye of January, of the Wardmothe Inquest of Castell Baynard-warde, for occupyinge the hall,


[This sum in subsequent years was ]

Item, recevyd for occupyinge the hall at a wedding,

3s. 4d.

The building, when fitted up, consisted of a hall, sufficiently capacious for the Wardmote Inquest, a great parlour, a council-chamber (in which were historical paintings, and at least portraits), kitchen, buttery, and several warehouses; over which were rooms let out to different tenants; among whom were, in , John Pont, who paid annually ; John Walley, for chamber, ; William Seres, for a cellar,

Seres was afterwards times elected master of the company.

Though unable to describe the exterior of this hall, the records of the company contain a particular account of its furniture in .

This ys the inventory of all suche stuffe, with other thyngs, as dothe appertayne to this howse as followeth; that ys to saye, In the Hall. In the hall joined with vaynescott playne pannelles, with crestes and benches. Item, a skrene with a deske for plate. Item, the hall paysse over the hygh bourde. Item, a deale table of five yardes and a half longe, with three tresselles. Item, two syde tables paynted red and blacke, one of them with a leafe and a staye of ireon, with six tresselles to them. Item, six new joyned formes. Item, all thewyndowes glaysed. Item, one banner. Item, three scutcheons. Item, a lattes, with the appurtenances. In the Great P«lour. Item, a joyned table, with a frame of four yards lounge. Item, a joyned table, with a frame of three yardes longe. Item, twelve joyned stowles. Item, two olde formes. Item, a joyned cubberte, with a hall payse, and a deske for plate. Item, all the p'lour joyned with wayneskott with playne pannells and crests. Item, a dornexe carpett. Item, an iron plate for the chynne. In the Counsell P«lour. Item, a table of the namesof the auncients. Item, a newe joyned drawyng table, with a frame. Item, one vysser and two whippis for reformacyon. Item, two new joyned formes. Item, a cheste with three lockes, three keyes. Item, a box with two lockes and two keyes. Item, a joyned box with a locke and a key, for the herse clothe. Item, all the p'lour joyned with wayneskott new playne pannell and crests, with benches alonge the table. Item, all the wyndowes glaysed, with six casements of iron. Item, nine paynted storyes standynge above the vayneskott in the sayde p'lour. Item, a courte cubberte, with two stayes of iron. Item, a greene carpett of two yardes and three quarters longe. Item, one herse clothe of the gift of Mr. Cawood. In the Chappell. Item, a table with three tresseles in two peces. Item, two jackes. Item, three gonnes. Item, a bowe, and a shaffe of arrowes. Item, eight alman revetts. Item, five hed peces. Item, three skulles with two cappes. Item,--seven payre of spents, and one spente. Item, nine gorgetts. Item, four swordes. Item, four cotts. Item, a bore spere. Item, eight blacke bylles. Item, five blacke gyrdelles. Item, one pyke. Item, three gyrdelles. Item, four dagors. In the Buttrye. Item, a great cheste, bought of Mr. Seres. Item, a horne garneshed with a leppe, and the toppe sylver and gylte, and the foote coper and gylte. Item, three olde playne table clothes. Item, three olde playne towelles. Item, four stone crusys covered with pewther. Item, twenty-eight stone potts. Item, twelve dosyn of trenchers. Item, two shelves. Item, a geste for ale and bere. Item, a new tabull cloth for one old by Toye. Item, one dosyn of napkyns, gyven by Mrs. Toy, pleyne. In the Kytchen. Item, a dressynge bourde four yardes and a halfe long. Item, two shelves. Item, a payre of iron rostyne rackes. Item, an iron barre in the chemne. Item, three tramelles to hange potts on. Item, three spytts. Item, a brasse potte, and a brasse panne. Item, a stone morter and a pestell. Item, four cressets with staves. Item, forty-six platters. Item, forty-four deshes. Item, forty-four sawcers. Item, one olde deske besyde. In the Seller. Item, a geste for bere and ale. Item, in olde lede contaynynge in wayghte two hundredth lacken five pounde. Item, of a thousande of tyle. Remaynynge in the cheste with three lockes and three keyes, which standeth in the Counsell Chamber. Imprimis, one longe case with locke and keye, covered with lether. Item, the corporacyon of stacyoners under the greate seale of Englande, made in anno Phil. & Marie 3 & 4. Item, one box of evydence conteyneng eight pieces for the purchase of our hall. Item, one leaze betwene the company and John Poynt, concernynge the howse he dwellyth yn for the terme of thirty-one yeres to his oblygacyon for performance of covenants. Item, one oblygacyon made by Adam Bland to the company in parte that he should doo no injury to the hall. Item, one oblygacyon that Hugh Syngleton standyth bound to William Seres in twenty nobills for payment of 4l. 10s. whereof 26s. 8d. is payde, and so remayneth 3l. 3s. 4d. whych oblygacyon is gyven to the hall. Item, another boxe with a patent given by harolds to the company of stacyoners, concernynge their armes, with charges, a gyfte of Mr. Cawood. Item, one spone of sylver parcell gylt, of the gyft of Mr. Dockray. Item, a spone all gylte, of the gyft of Mr. Cawood. Item, a spone of sylver all gylte, of the gyft of Mr. Walye, &c.

The expence of the public dinner at the hall, in , is also thus preserved:--

The charges of our denner as followeth; that is to saye,

Item, payd for 18 dosyn of breade0180
Item, payd for a barrell of stronge bere090
Item, payd for a barrel of dubble bere054
Item, payd for a stande of ale030
Item, payd for 20 galons of wyne100
Item, payd for 11 galons of Frenshe wyne0110
Item, payd 371b. of beffe.047
Item, payd for 4 loynes of vele048
Item, payd for a quarter of vele020
Item, payd for 11 neckes of motton066
Item, payd for 2 loynes of motton020
Item, payd for 9 mary-bones024
Item, payd for 251b. of suette042
Item, payd for 38 punde of butter098
Item, paid for 2 freshe samons132
Item, payd for 4 dosyn of chekyns101
Item, payd for 3 bushells 3 peckes of flowre0174
Item, payd for 20 pounde of cherys034
Item, payd for 20 capons of grayse2134
Item, payd for a 20 capons to boyle168
Item, three capons of grese090
Item, payd for 18 gese140
Item, payd for 3 gese046
Item, payd for 3 dosyn of rabbetts0106
Item, payd for 6 rabbetts0110
Item, payd for 2 galons of creme028
Item, payd for bakyng 20 pasyyes of venyson018
Item, payd for bakynge of 16 chekyn pyes014
Item, payd for salte010
Item, payd for venygar010
Item, payd for vergis011
Item, payd for musterde004
Item, payd for gose buryes0010
Item, payd for a baskett003
Item, payd for 10 dozen of trenchers019
Item, three dosyn of stone crusys030
Item, payd for tappes001
Item, payd for a pottle pycher002
Item, payd for 2 stone potts002
Item, payd for packe thryde001
Item, payd for a hundreth of fagotts044
Item, payd halfe a thousand of belletts044
Item, payd for 12 sackes of coles076
Item, payd for flowres and bowes013
Item, payd for garlands010
Item, payd for the carver020
Item, payd to the minstrelles0100
Item, payd to the buttlers068
Item, payd to the coke134
Item, payd to the under cokes to drink003
Item, payd to the water berer0310
Item, for 3 porters that caryed over meate006
Item, payd to the smythe002
Item, payd for the hire of 3 garneshe of vessell020
Item, payd for a hundredth and 24 eggs040
Item, payd for 2 strayners008
The spyse as folowthe:   
Item, payd for 2lb. and a quarter of pepper060
Item, payd for a quarte of pounde cloves014
Item, payd for 4 pounde of datts040
Item, payd for 5 punde of currans018
Item, payd for 24 pounde of prunys This and some other articles, Mr. Steevens facetiously observes, will account for the following entry on the same books in the year 1560, Item, payde for makyng clene the prevye, by Mr. Jugge and Mr. Judson, which conteyned 12 tonne, the 28th day of December, 1l. 6s. 8d.038
Item, payd for safferon009
Item, payd for synimon and gynger038
Item, payd for a pound of greate reasons002
Item, payd for 10lb. of curse suger084
Item, payd for 8lb. of white suger080
Item, payd for learge mayse018
Item, payd for smale mayse018
Item, payd for a punde of besketts and carywayes016
Item, a rewarde for brynginge of a syde of venyson009
Item, payd for p«scan«ce008
Item, payd for wafers050
Item, payd for epycryse 4 galons108

The company of stationers do not appear to have had any authority granted them with relation to printed books, as an incorporated body, till they received their charter, dated the , in the and of Philip and Mary, by the title of

The master and keepers, or wardens, and commonalty of the mystery or art of stationers of the city of London,

by which they obtained an inquisitorial right upon all literary compositions, and might search houses for any books which they deemed obnoxious to the state, or their own interest; and might seize, burn, take away, destroy, or convert to their own use, whatever they might deem printed contrary to the form of any statute, act, or proclamation made or to be made.

The copy of a book entered is in ,

to William Pekerynge, a ballett, called a Ryse and Wake,


--Richard Waye was then master, and again in .

-, the fellowship of the company were permitted, by the court of aldermen, to wear a livery gowne and livery hood, in such decent and comly wise and order as the other companies and fellowships of the city; and ordered to prepare them to attend the lord mayor on public occasions; and in ,

The lyvery new begonne and revyved agayne, in the colors of skerlett and browne blew, worne on the feast daye, beinge the Sondaye after Saint Peter's daye.

In , a considerable sum was laid out for enlarging and translating, with the making a payre of new stairs in the hall. And in the same year

paid for the pavynge of the long causey between Paul's church door and the Stationer's hall,

20s. 1d.

In , a subscription was raised, among the members of the company,

towards building the new kitchen and buttery, with other necessaries.

In , the feasts of the company were restrained by order of common council.

In , some certain persons endeavoured to obtain from the queen a privilege for the sole printing of all ballads, damask paper, and books in prose or metre, from the quantity of sheet of


paper to and . The company of stationers made a petition to the lord treasurer, for stay of this; setting forth, that it would be the overthrow of a multitude of families; and that by the imprinting of these the company was chiefly maintained ; so as if the same were taken away from them by way of privilege, they should be utterly undone ; whereof if the queen were advertised. they were sure she would not pass such a grant. Wherefore they prayed the treasurer, who had aforetime always been favourable to them in all their causes, that he would acquaint the queen with the premises, and be a means that the said privilege might not be granted. Other privileges there were, which the queen sometimes had granted to some stationers for their property in certain copies; whereby all others were abridged from printing the same; and some of these copies, such as before were indifferently printed by any of that calling, to the great sustentation of them and their families; which advantage was by these privileges taken from them. Thus, John Jugge, besides the being her majesty's printer, had the privilege for printing of Bibles and Testaments; the which had been common to all the printers. Richard Totthill, the printing of all kind of law books (common before to all printers) who sold the same books at excessive prices, to the hindrance of a great number of poor students. John Day, the printing of the A B C, and the catechism, with the sole selling of them, by colour of a commission. These books were the only relief of the poorest sort of that company. James Roberts and Richard Watkins, the printing of all almanacks and prognostications; the which was also the chief relief of the poorest of the printers. Thomas Marsh had a great licence for Latin books, used in the grammar schools of England; the which was the general living of the whole company of stationers. Thomas Vantroller, a stranger, had the sole printing of other Latin books, as the New Testament and others. Byrde, a singing man, had a licence for printing all music books; and by that means claimed the printing of ruled paper. William Seres had a privilege for the printing of all psalters, all manner of primers, English or Latin, and all manner of Prayer Books, with the reversion of the same to his son. Francis Flower, a gentleman, being none of the company, had privilege of printing the grammar, and other things; and had farmed it out to some of the company for by the year; which was raised in the enhancing of the prices above the accustomed order. This, as a grievance, many of the company complained of, being now in number in the city ; and of these came to their freedoms since queen Elizabeth's access to the crown. So much did printing and learning come into request under the reformation.

, the lords of the Star-chamber affirmed and confirmed their former laws, empowering them to search into bookbinders-shops, as well as printing-offices, for unlawful or heretical books, and take up the offenders.



-. A precept from the lord mayor, requiring the master, wardens, and of the comeliest personages of the company, to attend him at the park corner above St. James's, on horseback, in velvet coats, chains of gold, and with staff torches, to wait on the queen,

for the recreating of her majesty,

in her progress from to .

In the accompts of are the following entries:

Item, a little box of plate and other things given by the master and wardens, and divers other persons. Item, paid for charges of search dinners, ten times, at 3s. 4d.- 33s. 4d.

The chapel in was leased to Mr. Bishop for a year; and a room on the south side of the yard, next the great warehouse, towards the street, was (in ) allowed to the clerk, for the company's business.

, the company obtained the king's letters patent for the sole printing of primers, psalms, almanacks, &c. in English, for the help and relief of them and their successors for ever.

In or about the year , the company thought proper to remove from their old hall to the situation they now occupy; and on the in that year, the purchase of Bergavenny house was ordered to be paid for from the stock of the partners in the privilege. That house is thus described :--

At the north end of Ave Mary-lane, is


great house, builded of stone and timber, of old time pertaining to John duke of Britaine, earle of Richmond, as appeareth by the records of Edward the


. Since that, it was called Pembrooke Inne, neere unto Ludgate, as belonging to the earles of Pembrooke in the times of Richard the


, the eighteenth yeere, and of Henry the sixt, in the


yeere. It was afterwards called Aburgavenny-house, and belonged to Henry late lord of Aburgavennie. But the worshipfull company of stationers have since that purchased it, and made it the hall for the meeting of their societie, converting the stone-worke into a new faire frame of timber, and applying it to such serviceable use, as themselves have thought convenient for the amending it in some particulars in which it had been found defective.

In , an annual sermon, with cakes, wine, and ale, for the company, on Ash-Wednesday, was established by the will of alderman John Norton.

In , feasting was restrained for months, by order of the lord mayor.

In , a precept was issued by the court of aldermen, ordering livery gowns to be decently faced with fur. The number of livery then .

In , the company's plate was pledged, to raise towards


a loan to king Charles I.; and in , bills of sale of plate were sealed with the common seal, to Dr. Eden, Walter Terrill, and John Burrage, for each.

, the company were called upon for as their quota of expended by the city for pageants and other solemnities, and beautifying the city, against the late entrance-time of his majesty passing through the same for his coronation, and for other necessary and public service of the city.

In , the company of stationers contributed towards the repairs of .

In , it having been noticed that some of the assistants, and others of the livery, came to the hall in falling bands, doublets slashed and cut, or other indecent apparel, not suitable to the habit of citizens; it was ordered that the assistants do come to the hall on court-days in ruff bands.


A decree of the Star-chamber concerning printing,

was published by authority; restraining the number of printers to , besides his majesty's printer, and the printers allowed for the Universities. The letter founders were, at the same time, restored to .

In , the several companies were required to lend to the king; of which the stationers' quota was and in , in like manner, towards which they paid l In , they were called on to pay a week for months, besides for a royal subsidy. To defray these heavy charges, all their plate was sold, except Mr. Hulet's standing cup, the white plate at an ounce, parcel of gilt plate at and another at

In , ounces of plate were pledged for to answer the assessment of a week for months.

In , a precept occurs, from the lord mayor, ordering the company to substitute the arms of the commonwealth for those of the late king; and to remove the king's picture and all monarchial arms out of the hall.

, the court after the fire of London was held at Cooks' hall; and afterwards at St. Bartholomew's hospital, in the Lame Hospital hall.

. All the ruined ground, as well belonging to the hall as to other tenements of the company destroyed by the late dreadful fire, to be forthwith cleared, and measured.

. A precept was received, to attend the lord mayor, for receiving his majesty's pleasure about rebuilding the company's hall.

. The application of a nonconformist minister, with the elders of his church, for the use of the company's hall as a meeting-place for their congregation, was refused.

In , on account of the public funeral of the gallant and ever-to-be-lamented lord Nelson, the master and wardens, with of the senior members of the company, attended the solemn


procession by water, on the , in their barge, from Greenwich to .

The present hall is a plain building of brick; it as substantially repaired, cased with stone, and modernized, in the year , by the late Robert Mylne, esq. Before it is a paved court-yard, inclosed by a handsome iron railing, with gates. The front exhibits a range of large arched windows, an ornamented entrance, and a neat cornice with pannels of bas reliefs above. The basement story, and some other parts of the fabric,

serve as warehouses for the company's stock of printed books, and for other printed books which are the property of such individual members of the fraternity as choose to rent them.

On the left, is a flight of steps leading to the hall, or great room, which has an elegant carved screen of the composite order at the entrance, and is surrounded by an oak wainscoting. The light is admitted through lofty windows, sashed on each side; and at the north end is a large arched window entirely filled with painted glass, and the border and variegated fan of which are extremely vivid and resplendent. This, with the exception of

the arms and crest of the company, which were preserved for their antiquity and excellence,

was the gift of Thomas Cadell, esq. a late eminent bookseller, who was sheriff of London in . It is composed of compartments, filled with the arms of the city, the royal arms, the company's arms, and crest, the arms of the donor, and beautiful emblematical figures from designs by Smirke; of them indicative of


and the other of


All the modern painted glass in this window was executed by Mr. Egginton, of Birmingham, and is a very admirable specimen of his ability in the art. On festival days, the company's plate is ranged on an antique cup-board in this apartment. Above the screen is a large painting representing

Mary, queen of Scots, escaping from Lochlevin castle by the assistance of George Douglas.

This was given by Mr. alderman Boydell, in , and has been engraved.

The court room is a spacious apartment, to which another was added in . The former is divided from the latter by elegant columns of scagliola marble. This noble apartment is lighted by large windows, and an elegant lanthorn at the west end; the widows are hung with crimson curtains, festooned, and overlook a pleasant garden. The ceiling is coved, and richly ornamented with stucco-work; it rises from an elegant composite cornice, and from the centre is suspended a large chandelier of cut glass. The chimney-piece, which is composed of variegated marbles, has a beautifully enriched frieze, finely sculptured with fruits and flowers in the boldest relief, and similar decorations are extended to the cornice in various tasteful and picturesque forms. At the west end of this apartment is a fine painting by West, of

king Alfred dividing his last loaf with the poor pilgrim.

This picture was presented to the company in the year by the late alderman Boydell,


(who published a fine engraving from it, by Sharpe,) and whose own portrait hangs on the right of the chimney-piece, and was also given by him in , in which year this gentleman passed through his mayoralty. On the opposite side of the apartment is a portrait (by Owen) of sir W. Domville, bart. in his civic costume, as he appeared at the fete given by the city to the allied sovereigns, in . Here, also, are other portraits of William Strahan, esq. , by sir Joshua Reynolds, and Andrew Strahan, esq. M. P. , by Owen.

In the Stock Room, which opens from the hall, and in which the

mercantile part of the company's business is transacted,

are the following portraits:--Tycho Wing, the celebrated Almanackmaker, represented with lively and expressive features, his right hand on a celestial sphere, an open collar, and over his shoulders a loose drapery: Matthew Prior,



, aet.



a clever picture, in which the poet and statesman is depicted with an animated countenance, wearing a cap and crimson gown: Bishop Hoadly, sitting a half length, well painted, and habited as dean of the order of the Garter; this was painted at the charge of the late William Wilkins, esq. citizen and stationer, and was bequeathed by him to the company, to whom it devolved in : sir Richard Steele, his collar open, and on his head a velvet cap: William Bowyer, the elder, printer: Robert Nelson, esq. author of several pious and admonitory publications, a fine and engaging portrait by sir Godfrey Kneller: archbishop Chicheley, a curious old picture, on board. The portraits of Prior and Steele formed part of the collection of Edward earl of Oxford, and are supposed to have been executed by Kneller; they were presented to the stationers by the late J. Nichols, esq. as were also those of Bowyer, Nelson, and Chicheley. At the east end of the room is a clever bust of William Bowyer, the younger,

a man, who for more than half a century stood unrivalled as a learned printer; and to his literary and professional abilities added an excellent moral character.

He died in , at the age of ; and the bust here preserved was modelled from a mask taken after his decease. He bequeathed to the company the interest of upon trust, for the benefit of aged

printers, compositors or pressmen,

(to be elected by the master, wardens, and assistants;) and of a further for the use of such journeyman compositor as should have a competent knowledge of the Latin and Greek languages, and be upwards of years of age.

Besides the above bequests, various others have been made to this company for charitable purposes; and much advantage is also derived from the produce of the sale of Almanacks, and the joint stock, or capital, connected with it, which is divided into shares, half-shares, quarter-shares, and half-quarter shares, and held by different classes of its members. The freemen are numerous, and includes stationers, printers, booksellers, bookbinders, &c. The company's hall, has been frequently the scene of musical concerts,


feasts, and convivial meetings, exclusive of those peculiar to the society. An outlet from the hall into , has been formed, through a dwelling-house, at the expense of the company.

On the east side of , Blackfriars, is


[] Vide, ante, p. 364.

[] It is to be regretted that the city companies do not allow extracts of an historical nature to be made from their archives; the illustrations that would be afforded to the history, manners, customs, and policy of our ancestors, would be immense. It reflects also great discredit on numerous masters of companies, possessed of unbounded wealth, and possessing the power of publishing separate histories of their companies, that with the exception of the above work, nothing has been done respecting the remaining ninety companies! It is to be hoped that on the completion of the labours of the record commission some notice will be taken in parliament of the public stores of information hoarded up in the city, and which (without trenching on the rights and privileges of the corporation) ought to be printed, if only to illustrate our national history.

[] Vol. iii, p. 545.

[] Stowe, ed. 1618, p, 649.

[] Engraved in Hansard's Typographia.

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 Title Page
 CHAPTER I: The site, extent, buildings, population, commerce, and a view of the progressive increase of London
 CHAPTER II: List of the parishes and churches in London, with their incumbents, &c
CHAPTER III: History and Topography of Aldersgate Ward
CHAPTER IV: History and Topography of Aldgate Ward
CHAPTER V: History and Topography of Bassishaw Ward
CHAPTER VI: History and Topography of Billingsgate Ward
CHAPTER VII: History and Topography of Bishopsgate Ward, Without and Within
CHAPTER VIII: History and Topography of Bread-street Ward
CHAPTER IX: History and Topography of Bridge Ward Within
CHAPTER X: History and Topography of Broad-street Ward
CHAPTER XI: History and Topography of Candlewick Ward
CHAPTER XII: History and Topography of Castle Baynard Ward
CHAPTER XIII: History and Topography of Cheap Ward
CHAPTER XIV: History and Topography of Coleman-street Ward
CHAPTER XV: History and Topography of Cordwainer's-street Ward
CHAPTER XVI: History and Topography of Cornhill Ward
CHAPTER XVII: History and Topography of Cripplegate Ward Within
CHAPTER XVIII: History and Topography of Cripplegate Yard Without
CHAPTER XIX: History and Topography of Dowgate Yard
CHAPTER XX: History and Topography of Farringdom Ward Within
CHAPTER XXI: History and Topography of Farringdon Ward Without
CHAPTER XXII: History and Topography of Langbourn Ward
CHAPTER XXIII: History and Topography of Lime-street Ward
CHAPTER XXIV: History and Topogrpahy of Portsoken Ward
CHAPTER XXV: History and Topography of Queenhithe Ward
CHAPTER XXVI: History and Topography of Tower Ward
CHAPTER XXVII: History and Topography of Vintry Ward
CHAPTER XXVIII: History and Topography of Wallbrook Ward