[Cutlers.] The TEMPORAL GOVERNMENT. [Girdlers. Butchers.]211

[Cutlers.] The TEMPORAL GOVERNMENT. [Girdlers. Butchers.]

Search, but where other Men were justly inheritable in the same.

By Custom and Usage all Mysteries to be searched by the Maior and City.

Another Argument against this Patent was, That the Maior and Aldermen of the City, and all other the chief Governours thereof, and their Predecessors always, time out of mind had, and used to have, the View, Search and Correction of all Mysteries and Crafts within the City, for and concerning all manner of Deceits and Defaults in all things touching their Mysteries. Which was to be proved as well by the daily Usage, as also by a great number of Records and Precedents of the said City. And besides the general Usage and Custom, there were special Grants and Charters made to the City, touching these things in question; as Butter, Hops, Vinegar, &c. These were the Arguments and Pleadings of Fleetwood Recorder, Thomas Wykes and William Daniel, all learned Lawyers.

They urged also, that the Imposition contained in the said Letters Patents was against the Common Law, and the Liberty of every Subject in his Goods; and against the free Traffick of the City of London, granted by Charter, in the 50th of Hen. III. That there was no need of this Patent, for the Tallow Chandlers searching these Commodities; because the Lord Maior was bound by his Oath taken in the Exchequer, to perform the said Search. The Words of the Oath are these; Good Assize yee shal set upon Bread, Wine, Ale, Fish, Flesh, Corn, and all other Victuals. Weights and Measures in the said City yee shall do to be kept; and due Execution do upon the Defaults that thereof shall be found, according to all the Statutes thereof made, not repealed. These things I find concerning the Tallow Chandlers Company.

Other Arguments against the Tallow-Chandlers Patent.

To which I add one thing more, happening in the Reign of King Edward VI. Anno 1551. The Tallow Chandlers of London, upon some Disgust, perhaps upon the City's setting too low a Price upon their Commodities, refused to sell any, by an universal Consent. Which came so far, that Orders were taken by the King and Council, commanding them to sell their Candles: and some of them were sent to Prison.]

The Tallow Chandlers refuse to sell their Candles.


[ Click here to view Image of coat of arms, Cutlers' Company   ]

COncerning this Company of CUTLERS, I find them to be of great Antiquity, and that they were incorporated in the beginning of the Reign of King Henry V. and afterward confirmed by King Henry VI. King Henry VIII. King Philip and Queen Mary, and Queen Elizabeth. And King James, in his 5th Year, the 8th Day of February, fully confirmed all.

[The Arms of the Cutlers of London were granted by Thomas Holme Clarencieux King of Arms, the 16th of King Edw. IV. the Crest by Robert Cook, Clarencieux, which is an Elephant bearing a Castle.]

Knives for hundred of Years (past all Memory were made in this Kingdom, but coarse and uncomely. But in King James the First his time, the best and finest Knives in the World were made in London. Richard Matthew at Fleetbridge was the first Englishman that attained to the Skill of making fine Knives, and Knive-hafts; and 5 Elizabeth he obtained a Prohibition against all Strangers and others, from bringing any Knives into England from beyond Seas: which until that time were brought in by Ship loads from Flanders, and other Places.


J. S.

The same Richard Matthew, about the middle of Queen Elizabeth's Reign, got a Privilege from her Majesty under her Great Seal, for the making of Knives and Daggers with a new kind of Hafts. But this was complained to have been, and further would be, the Decay and Overthrow of the whole Company of Cutlers within the City, besides their Wives, Children and Apprentices; and the Prices of Knives and Daggers excessively enhaunced, prejudicial to the Queen's Subjects.

A Patent for making Knives and Daggers.

In the Hall of this Company, situate in Cloak-lane, is an ancient Picture of one Mrs. Crawthorne: Who gave the Bell-Savage on Ludgate hill to the Cutlers with trust, out of the Rents thereof to perform several charitable Acts yearly: as two Exhibitions for Scholars in Cambridge, Coals for the Poor of the Parishes of St. Brides and St. Sepulchres, and certain Payments to the Prisons and to St. Thomas's Hospital.

Mrs. Crawthornes Gift to this Company.

These Cutlers formerly were three Companies, according to three different Arts or Trades, viz. Bladers, who were Smiths that forged Blades: Haftmakers, such as made the Hafts for the Blades: and Sheathmakers, that made Sheaths for Swords, Daggers and Knives. Afterwards all, 4 Hen. VI. incorporated into one Fraternity, by the Name of Cutlers.]

Vid. Vintry Ward.

Cutlers Hall.


[ Click here to view Image of coat of arms, Girdlers' Company   ]

I Find the Company of the GIRDLERS not to be much behind-hand (with others) for Eminency and Antiquity, because they have held good correspondency with the World and with themselves: They became to be incorporated the sixth Day of August, in the seven and twentieth Year of the Reign of King Henry the sixth.

They seem to have been a Fraternity of St. Laurence, because of the three Gridirons their Arms.


[ Click here to view Image of coat of arms, Butchers' Company   ]

THE BUTCHERS were incorporated by King James I. under his Letters Patents, bearing Date the sixteenth Day of September, in the third Year of his Reign of England, and of Scotland the nine and twentieth. They were incorporated by the Name of Master, Wardens and Commonalty of the Art or Mystery of Butchers of the City of London, the Fraternity being very ancient.