Grants of Arms to the Guilds of London, 1439–1530

For a recently published essay on the rhetoric surrounding corporate coats of arms in grants, confirmations and augmentations of arms issued to London’s livery companies, I gathered quite a bit of information on these documents. While I did not set out to create an exhaustive list of grants to London guilds, the list did become rather expansive. I share it here in case it is useful to others interested in the history of London’s corporate heraldry.

The selection (nor now) is limited to grants, confirmations and augmentations issued from the earliest (recorded) grant of corporate arms to the Drapers in 1439 to 1530, when a royal decree charged the heralds of the College of Arms to conduct their first official visitation and Thomas Benolt, Clarenceux King of Arms, collected London’s corporate arms then in use.1

I encourage all readers to point out gaps (and errors) in the comments so that I may add them to the post—after all, this possibility of collaboration and revision is one of the significant benefits of this online platform. Certainly, there will be mentions of the grants in question throughout other pieces of scholarship that I have not covered. I also suspect that further later copies (and perhaps even extant originals I overlooked) could be found in the collections of other institutions such as The Bodleian by examining their catalogues of manuscripts systematically. Thus, if you have corrections or additions, please post them in the comments or contact me and I will update this post.

Abbreviations

B&C: John Bromley and Heather Child, The Armorial Bearings of the Guilds of London: A Record of the Heraldry of the Surviving Companies with Historical Notes (London; New York, 1960)
BL: British Library, London
CA: College of Arms, London
CW: Charles Welch, Coat-Armour of the London Livery Companies: An Enquiry Based Upon Original Research (London, 1914)
LMA: London Metropolitan Archives

Grants of Arms

Drapers (1439)

Herald: William Bruges (Garter)
Language: French
Original: Drapers’ Hall, Book of Evidences A, fol. 159r
Copies: CA, R 22, fol. 181r; CA, Vincent, 2 Ears of Wheat Hen. VIII, p. H
Printed: Arthur H. Johnson, The History of the Worshipful Company of the Drapers of London (Oxford, 1914), vol. 1, 221–224
Photographs: Johnson, after 220 (also frontispiece of the de-luxe edition); John Archibald Goodall, ‘Heraldry and Iconography: A Study of the Arms Granted to the Drapers, Company of London’, The Coat of Arms 4 (London, 1957), pl. 1; B&C, plate 18; see also this online resource
Literature: Sonja Drimmer, The Art of Allusion: Illuminators and the Making of English Literature, 1403–1476 (Philadelphia, 2018), 47; Anthony Richard Wagner, Heralds and Heraldry in the Middle Ages: An Inquiry into the Growth of the Armorial Function of Heralds, 2nd edn. (Oxford; New York, 1956), 75; Goodall, 170–183; B&C, 72–78

Haberdashers (1446)

Herald: Roger Leigh (Clarenceux)
Language: English
Original: Haberdashers’ Hall
Copies: CA, OG2/125; BL, Harley 1464, fol. 62v; BL, Cott. Tib. D. x, fol. 361v (1446)
Photographs: Drimmer, fig. 7; LMA, CLC/L/HA/A/016/MS31603; B&C, plate 32; online at Heraldry of the World
Literature: B&C, 1136–140; CW,15

Barbers (1451)

Herald: Roger Leigh (Clarenceux)
Language: English
Copies: BL, Harley MS. 1470, fol. 245r; BL, Add. 16,940, fol. 42v
Printed:
Joseph Jackson Howard, ed., Miscellanea Genealogica et Heraldica (London, 1868), vol. 1, 11; Sidney Young & Austin Young, Annals of the Barber Surgeons of London (London, 1890), 432
Photographs: CA, Original Patents, Impersonal, fol. 52r; B&C, plate 4
Literature: CW, 2–3, B&C, 14–19; Burlington Fine Arts Club, Illustrated Catalogue of the Heraldic Exhibition, Burlington House 1894 (London, 1896), 66

Girdlers (1454)

Herald: John Smert (Garter)
Language: English
Original: lost
Copies: CA, C 24.2, fol. 4v; CA; H 7.1, fol. 61r; CA, H 6.1or2, 123v; K 9, fol. 439r; G 10, 122
Literature:
B&C, 109–112; CW, 12; Geoffrey Briggs, Civic and Corporate Heraldry: A Dictionary of Impersonal Arms of England, Wales and Northern Ireland (London, 1971)

Ironmongers (1455)

Herald: William Tyndale (Lancaster)
Language: English
Original: Ironmongers’ Company
Copies: CA, Old Grants O, fol. 15r–v; CA, G10, fol. 121; CA, H 7.1, fol. 60v
Printed: George Russel French (ed.), A Catalogue of the Antiquities and Works of Art, Exhibited at Ironmongers’ Hall, London, in the Month of May (London, 1861), 262; John Gough Nichols, The Herald and Genealogist (London, 1863), vol. 1, 37–38; The Gentleman’s Magazine 67/2, 650; John Nicholl, Some Accounts of the Worshipful Company of Ironmongers (London, 1851), 27–28.
Photographs: French, after 262; Drimmer, 46; B&C, plate 33.
Literature: B&C, 148–151; CW, 16–17; French, 262; Drimmer, 46.

Tallow Chandlers (1456)

Herald: John Smert (Garter)
Language: French
Original: LMA, CLC/L/TC/A/007
Copies: CA, Misc. Grants, 1, fol. 49r; CA, Vincent 169, fol. 41; BL, Add. MSS 14,295, fol. 20v; BL, Add. MSS 12,225, fol. 27r; BL, Harl. MS. 1359, fol. 772r
Printed: M. F. Monier-Williams, Records of the Worshipful Company of Tallow Chandlers (London, 1897), vol. 1, 24–25; French, 276
Photographs: Susan Higgins, To see the Light: Understanding the Amorial Bearings of the Tallow Chandlers (London, 2012), 10; B&C, plate 50
Literature: CW, 28; B&C, 236–239; Monier-Williams, 22-24; Higgins, 10, Burlington Fine Arts Club, 60–61

Cooks (1461)

Herald: John Wrexworth (Guyenne)
Language: English
Original: lost
Copies: CA, Philipot’s Stemmata Annulet, fols. 1r–v; CA, K9, 442
Literature: B&C, 52–54; CW, 7

Cooks (1467)

Herald: William Hawkeslowe (Clarenceux)
Language: English
Original: lost
Copies: CA, C 24.2, p. 209; CA, K 9, p. 442
Literature: B&C, 52–54; CW, 7

Glovers (1464)

Herald: John Smert (Garter)
Language: French
Original: destroyed
Copies: CA, Miscellaneous Grants 1, fol. 50r [made during 1634 visitation, translated from French]; CA, Vincent 169, fol. 70; BL, Harl. MS. 1359, fol. 74r; BL, Add. MSS. 14,295, fol. 42r; BL, Add. MS. 5533, fol. 135r
Printed: William Henry Black, History and Antiquities of the worshipful Company of Leathersellers in the City of London (London, 1871), 44
Literature: CW, 13; B&C, 119–120; Black, 44–45

Upholders (1465)

Herald: William Hawkeslowe (Clarenceux)
Language: English
Original: lost
Copies: CA, C 24.2, fol. 381r
Printed: Frederick Arthur Crisp, Fragmenta Genealogica (London, 1889), vol. 12, 20; Sylvanus Morgan, The Sphere of Gentry Deduced from the Principles of Nature, an Historical and Genealogical Work of Arms and Blazon, in Four Books (London, 1661), vol. 2, 94
Literature: CW, 30; B&C, 240–252; John F. Houston, Featherbedds and Flock Bedds: The Early History of the Worshipful Company of Upholders of the City of London (Sandy [Bedfordshire], 2006), 27

Carpenters (1466)

Herald: William Hawkeslowe (Clarenceux)
Language: English
Original: LMA CLC/L/CC/A/002/MS0835
Copies: BL, Harl. MS 472, BL, Harl. MS. 6860
Printed: French, 264; Edward Basil Jupp, An Historical Account of the Worshipful Company of Carpenters of the City of London (London, 1848), 10–11
Photographs: French, after 264­; Doreen Sylvia Leach, Carpenters in Medieval London c.1240–c.1540 (London, 2017), fig. 7, 318; B&C, plate 8
Literature: B&C, 40–42; CW, 5; Burlington Fine Arts Club, 61

Fletchers (1467)

Herald: William Hawkeslowe (Clarenceux)
Language: English
Original: LMA, CLC/L/FF/A/001/MS2111
Copies: CA, OG2, fol. 208r, CA, H 7.1, fol. 59v
Printed: George William Marshall (ed.), The Genealogist, vol. 4 (London, 1880), 127
Photographs: B&C, plate 22
Literature: B&C, 96–97; CW, 11

Brewers (1468)

Herald: William Hawkeslowe (Clarenceux)
Language: English
Original: LMA, CLC/L/BF/E/003/MS05436
Copies: CA, Miscellaneous Grants 1, fol. 79v; CA, Miscellaneous Grants 5, fol. 7
Photographs: Terence Paul Smith, ‘A Confusion of Arms: The Shield of the Worshipful Company of Brewers of the City of London’, The Coat of Arms: Third Series 1/209 (London, 2005), plate 7; B&C, plate 7
Literature: B&C, 28-30; CW, 4; W. H. Bird, Heraldry and Brewers’ Hall, in: Journal of the Institute of Brewing 43/6 (London, 1937), 490–506; Smith, 37–47

Masons (1472 / 1473)

Language: English
Original: BL, Add. Ch. 19135
Printed: Edward Conder, Record of the Hole Crafte and Fellowship of Masons (London, 1894), 85; T. P. Cooper, ‘The Armorial Bearings of Gilds and Livery Companies’, The Antiquary 9 (1913), 289
Photographs: Conder, frontispiece; B&C, plate 34
Literature: B&C, 162–164; CW, 29; Conder, 82–89

Greytawyers (1476)

Herald: Thomas Holme (Clarenceux)
Language: English
Original: lost
Copies: CA, Misc. Grants, 2, p. 199; BL, Harl. MS. 1470, fol. 54r; BL, Harl. MS. 1470, fol. 226/153b
Literature: CW, 14

Tailors (1481)

Language: English
Copies: CA, H 7.1, fol. 61r
Printed: Charles Mathew Clode, Memorials of the Guild of Merchant Taylors of the Fraternity of St. John the Baptist, in the City of London: and of its Associated Charities and Institutions (London, 1875), 96–98
Literature: B&C, 173–177; CW, 20; T. G. Woolley, ‘The Arms and Badges of the Merchant Taylors Company’, The Coat of Arms 7/56 (1963), 181–188

Parish Clerks (1482)

Herald: Thomas Holme (Clarenceux)
Language: English
Original: LMA, CLC/L/PB/A/004/MS3929
Copies: CA, Grants 2, 438
Printed: Willoughby A. Littledale, A Collection of Miscellaneous Grants, Crests, Confirmation, Augmentations and Exemplifications of Arms in the Mss. Preserved in the British Museum, Ashmolean Library, Queen’s College, Oxford and Elsewhere (London, 1926), 165–166
Photographs: College of Arms (ed.), Herald’s Commemorative Exhibition, 1484-1934, held at the College of Arms (London, 1936), 55–56, plate xxxvi; also online at Mistholme
Literature: CW, 22; B&C, 189–192; Francis Steer, The Armorial Bearings of the Worshipful Company of Parish Clerks of London (London, 1975); Wagner, 74–75

Wax Chandlers (1485)

Herald: Thomas Holme (Clarenceux)
Language: English
Original: LMA, CLC/L/WB/A/010/MS09521
Copies: CA, Oxford Grants, 1, p. 246; BL, Harley MS 1052, fol. 202r
Photographs: B&C, plate 53; LMA, CLC/L/WB/A/011/MS09521A; LMA, SC/GL/PR/LC/LA/37/p7501283; BL, General Reference Collection 1852.d.1.(129.)
Literature: B&C, 258–262; CW, 30–31; Burlington Fine Arts Club, 61–62; French, 265

Painters (1486)

Herald: Thomas Holme (Clarenceux)
Language: English
Original:
Painter-Stainers’ Company, MS 5672
Copies:
LMA, CLC/L/PA/A/001/MS36685; CA, G 10, p. 123; CA, H 7.1, fol. 59r; CA, Misc. Grants 6, 72v; CA, Oxford Grants 1, p. 252
Photographs: B&C, plate 48, facsimile by John Ward (in possession of the Company).
Literature: CW, 21; B&C, 184–188; Alan Borg, The History of the Worshipful Company of Painters, Otherwise Painter-Stainers (Huddersfield, 2005)

Bowyers (1488)

Herald: Thomas Holme (Clarenceux)
Language: English
Original:
destroyed
Copies:
CA, Misc. Grants 5, p. 25; CA, C 24.2, p. 207; CA, Grants 2, fol. 440r–441r; BL, Harl. 1441, fol. 32r
Printed: The Court of the Bowyers Company, Charter and Some Other Records of the Bowyers’ Company (London, 1901); The Grant of Arms to the Company of Bowyers, dated 20th November 1488 (London, 1901), ix–xii
Literature:
CW, 3–4; B&C, 25–27

Weavers (1490)

Herald: Thomas Holme (Clarenceux)
Language: English
Original
: LMA, CLC/L/WC/A/018/MS04643
Copies: BL, Add. Mss. 12,225, fol. 116
Printed:
Frances Consitt, The London Weavers Company (Oxford, 1933), vol. 1, 216–217
Photographs: B&C, plate 54
Literature: CW, 31; B&C, 263–266

Haberdashers (1503)

Herald: Richmond (Clarenceux) / Roger Machado
Language: English
Original:
Haberdashers’ Company
Copies:
CA, OG2/126
Photographs: LMA, CLC/L/HA/A/016/MS31603; LMA, CLC/L/HA/A/017/MS31604
Literature:
B&C, 136–140

Leathersellers (1505)

Herald: Roger Machado (Clarenceux)
Language: English
Original:
destroyed
Copies:
CA, Vincent 169, 70–71; Bod., Ashmole 856, 25
Printed:
William Henry Black, History and Antiquities of the Worshipful Company of Leathersellers, of the City of London (London, 1871), 44–45
Literature: CW, 17–18; B&C, 155–157

Coopers (1509)

Herald: Thomas Wriothesley (Garter) and Roger Machado (Clarenceux)
Language: English
Original:
Guilhall Library, MS. 5806
Copies:
CA, C 24.2, p. 403; CA, G 10, fol. 124r; CA, H 7.1, fol. 59v; CA, Old Grants +, p. 94; CA, Old Grants 2, p. 56; BL, Add. MS 26,702, fol. 75r
Printed:
James Francis Firth, Coopers’ Company, London. Historical Memoranda, Charters, Documents, and Extracts from the Records of the Corporation and the Books of the Company. 1396-1848 (London 1848), 34–35; French, 273
Literature: CW, 7; B&C, 55–58

Fishmongers (1512)

Herald: Thomas Wriothesley (Garter)
Language: English
Original:
lost
Copies: CA, JP 201, p. 118; CA, Old Grants +, p. 7–10; Bod., Ashm. 858, fol. 17r; Bod., Ashm. 844, fol. 14r; BL, Add. 26,702, fol. 34v; BL, Harl. 1116, fol. 26v
Literature:
CW, 10–11; B&C, 90–94; Justin Colson, ‘Negotiating Merchant Identities: The Fishmongers and London’s Companies Merging and Dividing, c. 1450–1550, in: Martin Allen & Matthew Davies (eds.), Medieval Merchants and Money: Essays in Honour of James L. Bolton, (London, 2016), 3–20

Evidence for Grants

Vintners (1447)

Herald: William Hawkeslowe (Clarenceux)
Language: English
Reference: CA, C 24.2, p. 221; CA, G 10, p. 121; CA, H 7.1, p. 61; BL, Add. 26,702, fol. 74v
Literature: CW, 30; B&C, 253–255; Anne Crawford, A History of the Vintners’ Company (London, 1977), appendix E

Parish Clerks (1469/1470)

Herald: Walter Bellengier (Ireland)
Reference: CA, Register of the Nobility and Gentry, vol. 2, 438–439
Literature:
CW, 22; B&C, 189–192; Steer, 1; College of Arms, 55

Cutlers (1476)

Herald: Confirmed by Thomas Benolt on 12 October 1530
Reference: CA, C 24.2, 199; BL, Cotton MS. Tib. DX, fol., 360b
Literature: CW, 8; B&C, 66–68; Charles CW, History of the Cutlers’ Company of London and of the Minor Cutlery Crafts, with Biographical Notices of Early London Cutlers (London, 1916), 139

Broderers (1485-1509)

Copies: CA, MS E.DN. 56, fol. 34
Literature:
B&C, 33; Society of Antiquaries of London, Archaeologia, or, Miscellaneous Tracts Relating to Antiquity (London, 1920), vol. 69

Blacksmiths (1490)

Herald: In a confirmation to the Blacksmiths in 1610, William Segar (Garter) mentions an earlier patent by Thomas Holme (Clarenceux)
Reference: BL, Cotton MS. Tib. DX, fol., 360b
Literature: B&C, 22; Colin Cole, ‘Devises of Arms during the Fifteenth Century’, The Coat of Arms 4 (1957), 282–287, 282

Surgeons (1492)

Literature: B&C, 15; Young & Young, 69, 432–433

Stockfishmongers (1494)

Herald: Roger Machado, Richmond alias Clarenceux
Reference: CA, 1st H.7, 60b
Literature:
Wagner, 283

Augmentations

Fletchers (1486)

Herald: Thomas Holme (Clarenceux)
Language: English
Original:
lost
Copies: CA, 1st H.7, 59b
Literature:
B&C, 96–97; CW, 11

Waxchandlers (1523)

Herald: Thomas Benolte (Clarenceux)
Language: English
Printed
: Nichols, 121

Confirmations of Arms

Pewterers (1451)

Herald: Robert Leigh (Clarenceux)
Language: English
Original:
Pewterers’ Company
Copies: BL, Clar. Cott. MS Faustina E. 1, fol. 26.; CA, R 21, fol. 97r
Literature: B&C,197–200; Charles Welch, History of the Worshipful Company of Pewterers of the City of London (London, 1902), 17; Ian Anders Gadd & Patrick Wallis, Guilds, Society and Economy in London 1450–1800 (London, 2002), 37

Leathersellers (1479)

Herald: John Moore (Norroy)
Language: English
Original:
destroyed
Copies: Leatherseller’s Hall (by Henry St. George [Clar.] from 1687); CA, Misc. Grants 1, 50r–v; CA, Misc. Grants 3, 10; CA, Misc. Grants 5, 180; CA, Misc. Grants 6, 16r–v; CA, C. 24.2, 191: CA, H 7.1, 60; CA, K 9, 437; CA, R 21, 10v; CA, Vincent 169, 70–1
Printed: Black, 36–37
Literature: CW, 17–18; B&C, 155–157; Black, 36

  1. These are recorded in CA, 1st H.7, fos. 59v–64r. On the corporate heraldry of London, see also B&C; Colin Cole, ‘Devises of Arms during the Fifteenth Century’, The Coat of Arms 4 (1957), 216–222, 282–287, 330–336; CW; T.P. Cooper, ‘The Armorial Bearings of Gilds and Livery Companies’, The Antiquary 9 (1913), 287–291; The Herald and Genealogist, ed. J.G. Nichols (London, 1863), 1:120–124; R. Marks and A. Payne, British Heraldry from Its Origins to c.1800 (London, 1978), 58–61. []

OpenEdition suggests that you cite this post as follows:
Marcus Meer (March 9, 2023). Grants of Arms to the Guilds of London, 1439–1530. Heraldica Nova. Retrieved July 13, 2024 from https://doi.org/10.58079/pi2a


Marcus Meer

Research fellow in late medieval history at the German Historical Institute London.

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