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WORSHIPFUL COMPANY OF SHIPWRIGHTS

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0074 CLC/L/SD
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 SHIPWRIGHTS
Date(s): [1595?] - 1998
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 39 production units
Name of creator(s): Worshipful Company of Shipwrights

Context

Administrative/Biographical history:

The Shipwrights' Company is derived from the medieval Fraternity of St Simon and St Jude.

The Fraternity of St Simon and St Jude was founded in 1456 by the 'artificers of shipwrights in the city of London'. Ordinances of that year show that the Fraternity, which was open to men and women, was governed by a master and one warden. New members had to be of 'good name and fame', and paid 6s 8d or 40d on entry. Attendance at the annual mass and four quarter days was compulsory and members contributed towards the cost of dinners. A common box was maintained, from which loans could be made and alms given to poor brothers and sisters. Those receiving the livery were expected to bequeath a piece of plate or other valuable gift to the Fraternity. Members were not to tempt away another's apprentice or employ a stranger, and disputes were to be taken to the master in the first instance before resorting to the courts

Due respect was to be shown to all who had held office within the Fraternity, although this respect seems not always to have been mutual: additions made to the ordinances in 1483 talk of the decay of the Fraternity caused by 'simple and slothful wardens'. Further pronouncements were made in 1512 and ca. 1524. In this year, a list of wardens and members names eleven individuals, of whom two were women. In common with other predominantly religious bodies, it seems likely that the Fraternity of St Simon and St Jude was swept away as a result of the Chantries Act passed during the reign of Edward VI. However, new ordinances for the reform of the society of shipwrights dated ca. 1594 speak of the power of the master and wardens to search the brethren 'of that fraternity', suggesting that some sense at least of the brotherhood remained.

In 1605, the Company received its first charter and its grant of arms. At the same time, a Hall was established at Ratcliff, in Stepney, where the Company remained until ca. 1794

Content

Scope and content/abstract:

Records of the Worshipful Company of Shipwrights, compiled between around 1595 and 1998, including copy ordinances of the Fraternity of St Simon and St Jude, 1456-83. They also include registers of freedom admissions from 1660; apprentice bindings from 1659; Court minute books; livery lists; quarterage books and ledgers.

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

System of arrangement:

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.

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:

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 in the Manuscripts Section of Guildhall Library at various dates since 1948. 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:

Publication note:

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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