Reference code(s): GB 0074 CLC/L/BI
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
Title: WORSHIPFUL COMPANY OF BUTCHERS OF THE CITY OF LONDON
Date(s): 1543/4 - 1976
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 370 production units
Name of creator(s): Worshipful Company of Butchers
A guild of butchers was first mentioned in 1179/80, but no reference definitely links this guild with the later mediaeval mistery of butchers. Entries in the City of London Corporation's Letter Book D (held with the records of the City of London Corporation) show binding of apprentices and admission of freemen (both named) for 1309-11. Despite its early existence, the Butchers' Company is 24th in livery company precedence. The Butchers' Company's first charter was granted in 1605. A further charter in 1637 gave the court power to fine any person trading as a butcher in the City and within 2 miles of it, who was not free of the company.
The predominant membership of the company has continued to be persons connected with the butchery trade. The first hall was the parsonage house of St Nicholas Shambles which was destroyed in the Great Fire. Thereafter the company decided to build on their freehold land in Pudding Lane. The second hall, built there in 1668, was destroyed by fire in 1829 and replaced by a hall in Eastcheap whose site was bought by the Metropolitan and District Railways in 1883. The company then bought new premises in Bartholomew Close near Smithfield Market. The hall there was bombed in 1944 and a new hall opened in 1960.
Scope and content/abstract:
Records of the Worshipful Company of Butchers. Apart from deeds, charters and wardens' accounts (the latter starting in 1543/4), the company's records date from the later 17th century; court minutes begin in 1682, freedom admission registers in 1658 and apprentice binding registers in 1654. Other records include Beadles' summoning books; livery books; correspondence; legal case papers; papers relating to charities and charitable bequests; and papers relating to property including inventories.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION REGARDING ACCESS: These records are stored at the Guildhall Library site rather than the LMA Clerkenwell site. Researchers wishing to access these records should do so at the Guildhall Library Rare Books table. The Library is open Monday to Saturday, 9:30 to 16:45. Researchers will need to have an Archives History Card or a Library Readers Card. An archivist will be available at Guildhall Library on Thursday mornings to answer any queries.
ACCESS AND USE
Language/scripts of material: English
System of arrangement:
As the archive is large and complex, and to assist the user, the catalogue has been arranged in sections representing sub-groups each with an archival classification code as follows:
CLC/L/BI/A Constitutional records,
CLC/L/BI/B Court records,
CLC/L/BI/C Membership records,
CLC/L/BI/D Financial records,
CLC/L/BI/E Trade records,
CLC/L/BI/F Clerk's records,
CLC/L/BI/G Charities and estates.
Conditions governing access:
Available for general access.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION REGARDING ACCESS: These records are stored at the Guildhall Library site rather than the LMA Clerkenwell site. Researchers wishing to access these records should do so at the Guildhall Library Rare Books table. The Library is open Monday to Saturday, 9:30 to 16:45. Researchers will need to have an Archives History Card or a Library Readers Card. An archivist will be available at Guildhall Library on Thursday mornings to answer any queries. For further information please see LMA Research Guide "Consulting Archives at Guildhall Library", available at http://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/Corporation/LGNL_Services/Leisure_and_culture/Records_and_archives/Visitor_information/free_information_leaflets.htm
Conditions governing reproduction:
Please see online catalogues at: http://search.lma.gov.uk/opac_lma/index.htm
Immediate source of acquisition:
The Company's records have been deposited in the Manuscripts Section of Guildhall Library at various dates since 1951. The Manuscripts Section merged with London Metropolitan Archives in 2008. The records have been catalogued by various members of staff over many years.
For further information relating to Livery Companies, particularly using the company records for family history, please see Guildhall Library Manuscripts Section "Livery Company Membership Guide" and Guildhall Library Manuscripts Section "Leaflet Guides to Records: Searching for Members or those apprenticed to Members of City of London Livery Companies" (both available online).
For a general introduction to the history of the City of London Livery Companies please see entry in The London Encyclopaedia, ed Ben Weinreb and Christopher Hibbert.
Rules or conventions: Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.
Date(s) of descriptions: Oct-09