AIM25 : Click here to go back to the AIM25 homepage
Archives in London and the M25 area

Foundational records of the Carpenters' Company

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 2812 A
Held at: Carpenters' Company
  Click here to find out how to view this collection at ›
Full title: Foundational records of the Carpenters' Company
Date(s): 1466-1944
Level of description: Sub-fonds of the Carpenters' Company
View parent record
Extent: 8 items (framed)
Name of creator(s): Carpenters' Company | Worshipful Company of Carpenters


Administrative/Biographical history:

The Carpenters' Company is one of the ancient guilds of the City of London. The first recorded date of the Company's existence is its 'Boke of Ordinances' of 1333 (held at the National Archives), which show the principal objects of the Brotherhood and Sisterhood to be charitable and religious.

During the medieval period the Company had considerable powers to control building in the City. The Company ordinances of 1455 contained regulations giving power to the Master and Wardens to search carpenters' workshops to ensure that all timbers were to the standards set down by the City. They also confirmed that the Company was to be governed by a Master and three Wardens elected annually. They were to be helped in regulating the carpentry trade by a Court of Assistants of 'six or eight of such men as have already held office or are of the same weight in their craft'.

The Company received its Grant of Arms in 1466, and its first charter in 1477 from King Edward IV. By this charter, and confirmed by subsequent charters, the Carpenters' Company is 'a body Corporate and Politic by the name of the Master, Wardens and Commonalty of the Mistery of Freemen of the Carpentry of the City of London', with power to receive bequests and gifts of property, to plead in any courts, and to have a Common Seal. In 1607, a further charter of James I extended the jurisdiction of the Company from the City to two miles beyond the City Walls, and a new charter of 1640 extended the Company's powers to four miles.


Scope and content/abstract:

Foundational records of the Carpenters' Company, 1466-1944, comprising records that determine the foundation, constitution, privileges and internal regulation of the Carpenters' Company, namely Royal charters of James I, 1607; Charles I, 1640; James II, 1674; William and Mary, 1686; George VI, 1944; exemplification of ordinances, 1607; Royal licence in mortmain, 1680; grant of arms issued by Clarenceux, King of Arms, 1466, confirmed, 1530.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:
English, Latin

System of arrangement:

As outlined in the scope and content.

Conditions governing access:

Access to the archives is at the discretion of the Company. The records are available for consultation by prior appointment only. Contact the Archivist, Carpenters Hall, Throgmorton Avenue, London EC2N 2JJ.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copies of material can be supplied, subject to copyright restrictions and suitability of the item for copying.

Finding aids:

Catalogue available at Carpenters' Hall.

Archival Information

Archival history:

The Company's first Royal Charter, Edward IV (1477), and the charters inspectimus of Philip and Mary (1558) and Elizabeth I (1560) have almost certainly not survived. Some records in the series were transferred to the Guildhall Library in 1948; most were later returned.

Immediate source of acquisition:

Allied Materials

Related material:

Records in the series held at the Guildhall Library Manuscripts Section, Aldermanbury, London, EC2P 2EJ: charter, ordinance and memorandum book [1736] (ref: 4339) and abstract and memorandum book, [17th cent] (ref: 4329a). Ordinances, 1333, held at The National Archives; ordinances, [1455, enrolled 1486/7], held at London Metropolitan Archives (ref: CLRO letter book L).

National Register of Archives: Click here to view NRA record

Publication note:

Transcript of ordinances, [1455, enrolled 1486/7] in Records of the Carpenters' Company vol II (Oxford University Press, 1914). Transcript of 1333 ordinances in The "Boke" of the Ordinances of the Brotherhood of Carpenters of London (Worshipful Company of Carpenters, 1928).

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Compiled by Julie Tancell and Alison Field as part of the London Signpost Survey Project.

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:
December 2003

Related Subject Search

* To search for other records with similar subjects, tick any subjects above then click "Run New Search"

Related Corporate Name Search

* To search for other records with similar names, tick any names above then click "Run New Search"

Related Placename Search

* To search for other records with similar placenames, tick any names above then click "Run New Search"