Reference code(s): GB 0074 CLC/L/FG
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
Title: WORSHIPFUL COMPANY OF FOUNDERS
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 63 production units
Name of creator(s): Worshipful Company of Founders
The Company has been in existence from at least 1365, receiving charters in 1614 and 1686. The Company also received a grant of arms in 1590. In 1531 the Company purchased a hall in Lothbury, which was destroyed in the Great Fire and rebuilt by 1672. In 1845 the Company opened a new hall in Founders' Court and the old hall was let. In 1853 the new hall was in turn let, the Company purchasing a new property in St Swithin's Lane in 1854. The Company sold the freehold of the Lothbury site in 1864. Founders cast brass and bronze items including candlesticks and water pots.
The Fraternity, or brotherhood, of St Clement has been described by Parsloe as 'the [Founders'] Company in its social and religious aspects'. It is first mentioned by name in accounts for the years 1513-16 as being founded and kept in the parish church of St Margaret Lothbury. There is evidence, however, for its having been in existence from at least 1497. All members of the craft or mystery of Founders were obliged to obey the rules and ordinances of the brotherhood and to contribute one penny per quarter. This money was used to relieve poor, sick or elderly members, and to meet funeral costs. Ordinances granted to the Company in 1516 suggest that the brotherhood of St Clement had its own masters, but scarcity of evidence makes it difficult to clarify the relationship between Company and brotherhood. The brotherhood of St Clement is thought to have disappeared as a result of the suppression of the chantries during the reign of Edward VI.
Scope and content/abstract:
Records of the Worshipful Company of Founders, 1497-1916. The records include registers of freedom admissions from 1681 and of apprentice bindings from 1643; ordinances; Court minute books; quarterage books; financial accounts; histories; papers relating to charitable activities and papers relating to properties.
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 and Latin.
System of arrangement:
To assist the user the catalogue has been arranged in sections each with an archival classification code as follows:
CLC/L/FG/A Constitutional records;
CLC/L/FG/B Court records;
CLC/L/FG/C Membership records;
CLC/L/FG/D Financial records;
CLC/L/FG/E Trade records;
CLC/L/FG/F Clerk's records;
CLC/L/FG/G Charities and estates.
Conditions governing access:
These records are available for public inspection, although records containing personal information are subject to access restrictions under the UK Data Protection Act, 1998.
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 records of the Company have been deposited with 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.
The charter of incorporation, 1614, and the charter of confirmation, 1685/6, are retained in the custody of the Company. Copies of these charters can be found in the charter and ordinance books (Ms 6351-2).
The Printed Books Section of Guildhall Library holds Guy Hadley's, Citizens and Founders, a history of the Worshipful Company of Founders 1365-1975 (1976).
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