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WORSHIPFUL COMPANY OF GROCERS

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0074 CLC/L/GH
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
  Click here to find out how to view this collection at https://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/things-to-do/london-metropolitan-archives/Pages/ ›
Full title: WORSHIPFUL COMPANY OF GROCERS
Date(s): 1345-2000
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 952 production units
Name of creator(s): Worshipful Company of Grocers

Context

Administrative/Biographical history:

The Grocers' Company was established in 1345 as the Fraternity of St Antonin, although the Pepperers' Guild, a forereunner of the Company, existed from at least the late 12th century. The Company received charters in 1428, 1447, 1607, 1640, 1675, 1688 (two), 1690, 1712 and 1723. The Company has had five halls on a site in Princes Street in the City of London, dated 1428, 1682, 1802, 1890 and 1966.

The Company is one of the "Great Twelve" City companies, ranking second.

Witney Free Grammar School: Henry Box, citizen and grocer, built a school in Witney, Oxfordshire in 1660, but died in 1662 before he had endowed it. His widow, Mary Box, completed this work, and transferred the governance of the school to the Grocers' Company in 1670, in accordance with his will. The school was endowed with estates in Longworth, Berkshire. It was established to provide classical education to thirty boys, giving priority to those of Witney or founder's kin. The Company acted as governors until 1902, but still maintains an active association. The school is now known as the Henry Box School.

Hackney Downs Grammar School: Hackney Downs Boys' School, also known as the Grocers' School, was established by the Grocers' Company in 1873, and declared open in 1876. It was always a boys school. In 1968 it became a comprehensive school. It was closed by the Government in 1995.

Content

Scope and content/abstract:

Records of the Worshipful Company of Grocers, 1345-2000. The records of the Company include registers of freedom admissions from 1346 and of apprentice bindings from 1457. There are also items relating to schools administered by the Company, including: Witney Free Grammar School, Oxfordshire; Hackney Downs Grammar School; Oundle School, Northamptonshire; and Walwyn's Free School, Colwall, Herefordshire. In addition, the Library holds the Company's "Black Book" (Ms 11570) which dates from 1345 and contains details of the foundation of the Fraternity of Pepperers and its ordinances. The original of the 1345 and later ordinances and its grants of arms of 1532 and 1562 have been lost.

Witney Free Grammar School (former references: MS 11631 - 11632). The records, in 14 production units dating between 1670 and 1939, comprise constitutional documents and accounts only. They were deposited with records of the Grocers' Company in 1965 and 1996 and catalogued by Guildhall Library archivists.

Hackney Downs Grammar School (former references: MS11633 - 11635A, MS11821, MS11906 - 11907, MS11912, MS11914, MS39816). The records, in 19 production units dating between 1873 and 1907, comprise minutes, accounts and reports only. They were deposited by the Grocers' Company at various dates since 1965, and catalogued by members of Guildhall Library staff.

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 & 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: A: Constitutional records; B: Court records; C: Membership records; D: Financial records; E: Trade records; F: Clerk's records; G: Charities and estates.

Conditions governing access:

48 hours notice required for 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:

Copyright: Depositor.

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at: http://search.lma.gov.uk/opac_lma/index.htm

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

The records of the Company have been deposited with the Manuscripts Section of Guildhall Library at various dates since 1952. The Manuscripts Section merged with London Metropolitan Archives in 2008. The records have been catalogued by various members of staff over many years.

Allied Materials

Related material:

The charters of 1690, 1712 and 1723 have been retained by the Company, and although the Company's other charters have not survived, Guildhall Library has later copies of many of them in MS11637 - 11638A.


Publication note:

For further details on the Livery see: J. B. Heath, Some account of the Worshipful Company of Grocers of the City of London (3rd edn 1869); and Pamela Nightingale, A medieval mercantile community, the Grocers' Company and the politics and trade of London, 1000-1485 (1995).

For further information on Hackney Downs School see: G Alderman, The History of Hackney Downs School, London 1972.

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.

Description Notes

Archivist's note:

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

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