The History and Antiquities of London, Westminster, Southwark, and Parts Adjacent, vol. 3
A noble edifice, erected in , and is either the or that has been raised on the same site. The original hall was rebuilt in the reign of queen Elizabeth.
The south front of this building is the only portion which is visible from the street; it is entirely faced with Portland stone, and consists of a centre and wings. The basement story is rusticated, and has an arched entrance in the centre, the key stone carved with the head of a warrior in an antique helmet; on each side of the entrance are square headed windows. Above the basement the centre division is enriched with Ionic pilasters sustaining an entablature and pediment. The central space, which is the widest, contains a Venetian window of large dimensions, the pillars Ionic, and a circular above; the whole is inscribed in an arch; between the lateral pilasters are series of windows, the lower square headed covered with pediments, the upper circular. The wings contain series of windows, the lower of which have arched heads, and the upper are square; the elevations are finished with an entablature and attic ballustrade, on the cornice of which are placed at intervals large vases, as well as on the apex of the pediment. The tympanum of the pediment has the arms of the Company between cornucopia sculptured upon it. Beneath of the windows in the western wing inscribed Thomas Holden, Architect, .
The vestibule is spacious, and divided into avenues by columns of the Tuscan order: on the right, is the entrance to the Court Room, which is a handsome apartment, having a small niche in the north wall, containing a well carved statue of Edward the , in armour, with a regal mantle, and crowned; below it are antique chairs, loaded with carvings of the Company's arms: here also are portraits of Nicholas Leate, esq. master in -, and Mr. John Child, senior warden ; the latter is a clever picture: the pannel over the chimney-piece, exhibits a tolerable painting of
In the with-drawing Room, to which there is an approach by a very handsome oval geometrical staircase, is a small statue of sir Robert Geffrey, knt. lord-mayor, in , the benevolent founder of the
in Kingsland-road: the chimney-piece in this room is of marble and
|particularly elegant: to this room has been added a corridor from the grand staircase across the court yard.|
The hall, or state-room, is a spacious and magnificent apartment, the grand stairs leading to it from the vestibule. At the termination of the flight is a statue of St. Lawrence, with the emblem of his martyrology, the gridiron, and on the wall a large painting of sir Robert Geffery, whose statue was before mentioned, in his alderman's robes, a laced band, large wig, and square-toed shoes; this gentleman, besides a gift to the company of and silver flagons of each, bequeathed to them in trust a very considerable property, for benevolent and pious uses. The entrance opens by folding doors, and is decorated with Ionic ornaments, a divided pediment, and a good bust. It contains fire-places; on the north side, and the other at the east end, beneath the orchestra, which is supported by pillars: on the north side also, is a grand beaufet, adorned with Ionic columns and pilasters. Behind the chairs of the master and wardens, which stand against the west wall, are some extremely rich carvings, in the midst of which, are the royal arms of England. The whole room above the windows, is encompassed by a cornice, from which rises
enclosed by elaborate and elegant borders. The ceiling is coloured of a French grey, but the ornaments are white, as are the walls, and the carvings are gilt. Here are several portraits, most of which are inscribed with the words
It is probable, as Mr. Malcolm has observed,
were painted by Edward Cocke, as the wardens in the year
In a window on the north side is a curious small whole length, in painted glass, of sir Christopher Draper, lord mayor in , who is depicted standing in a niche, with a roll of paper in hand, and his gloves in the other; and wearing his chain of the office of mayoralty; the colours, with the exception of the face, are clear and bright. This gentleman gave the ground, on which the hall and adjoining houses now stand, to the company. The other portraits are as follow:
In the parish of St. Catherine Coleman was the manor of Blanch Appleton, now called Blind-chapel-court, at the north-east corner of . In the of Edward IV., all basket-makers, wine drawers, and other foreigners, were permitted to have shops in the manor of Blanch Appleton, and no where else within the city or suburbs.
It also appears that the noble family of the Bohuns, earls of Hereford, had a house here called Blanchappulton, which, in , on the division of the estate of Humphrey de Bohun, the last earl of Hereford, between king Henry V. and Anne, countess of Strafford, his grandchildren and coheirs, was allotted to the king.
, in this ward, is so called from being built on the spot where the London tavern, the house of that description in the city formerly stood.
, on the north side of , is so called from the mansion-house of the earls of Northumberland,
|in the reign of Henry VI. The lost his life in the battle of St. Albans, and the last, his son, at the battle of Towton. Being afterwards deserted by the Percys, the gardens were made into bowling-alleys, and other parts into dicing houses; but in Stowe's time they were forsaken, and converted into a number of small cottages for strangers and others.|
At the end of , , are almshouses for poor men and their wives, being the gift of lord Banning, who bequeathed, in , for buying land in the parish of St. Olave, for an hospital or almshouse. They were afterwards called the Oxford alms-houses, the earl marrying an heiress of the Bannings. In Maitland's time it appears they had but small allowances. They were sold to sir William Rawlings, knt., in , but a decree in Chancery has been obtained to place them on a regular footing.
At the north end of , on the west side, are
 Lond. Red vol. ii. 36.
 Parl. Rolls, vol, iv. 136.