LONDON-COMPANYS-L ArchivesArchiver > LONDON-COMPANYS > 2000-08 > 0966240125
From: Peter Wilson <>
Subject: [London-Companys] Re: Alderman Saddlers
Date: Mon, 14 Aug 2000 08:02:05 +0000
Anglo-Saxon Saddlers are known to have formed a guild before the Norman
invasion, although the evidence is indirect: In 1160 a contract between the
convent of the Church of St. Martin-le-Grand and the Guild of Saddlers
referred to "custom of old ... when Sir Aernaldus was Alderman." It is
assumed that Aernaldus [a Saxon name] could not have been an alderman after
1066, and that "of old" means before 1066.
The Saddlers' charter of 1272 has been lost but the company was incorporated
in 1395, and successive charters were confirmed until 1607. Early charters
gave Saddlers to control their trade and to search for defective goods
throughout the country. In 1559 their right to search was restricted to
within two miles of London, and the right is still exercised as a quarterly
ceremony today. Disputes in the 14th and 15th centuries with the Joiners,
Lorimers, Painters and Girdlers were frequently resolved by the Mayor and
Aldermen, and once by the King. At that time the Saddlers were ranked as
one of the 12 great companies.
William de Lincolne bequeathed 10 marks to the company, and stipulated that
the money should be used to build a meeting hall within three years in 1383.
The first reference to such a hall is dated 1479. Saddlers' Hall burned in
1666, was rebuilt by 1680, singed in 1815, burned flat in 1821, and was
bombed in 1940. Their frontage in Cheapside was taken by eminent domain
[for which they were paid 10 shillings], but a new hall was built in 1958 in
On display in the current hall are a 1508 crimson brocade funeral pall, a
ballot box made in 1619 for the East India Company but used by the Saddlers
to vote for their Master and Wardens since 1676, and the company's Freedom
Roll, which lists all its freemen since the 16th century.
The Saddlers maintain their links with the saddlery trade, centered on
Walsall. The company sponsors training courses at Cordwainers Technical
College, the City and Guilds of London Institute, and the Council for Small
Industries in Rural Areas. They also provided a covered Sports Center for
staff and students at the City University, formerly the Northampton
Institute, of which Skinners and Saddlers were founding benefactors. They
also sponsor an annual Saddle, Bridle and Harness making competition, award
saddlery prizes at equestrian competitions under the British Equestrian
Federation, grant funds to train young riders of promise, and award Saddles
of Honor to winners of major equestrian events, including Princess Anne for
her win at Burghley before she went on to compete in the Olympics. Princess
Anne was also made a Yeoman of the Company for her distinguished
horsemanship. Saddlers contribute to projects of the Riding for the
Disabled Association, and to maintain stables and a riding school at the
National Equestrian Center in Stonleigh.
1866-1892........................Sir W. J. R. COTTON
1826-1861........................Sir P. LAURIE (35 years)
1683-1692........................Sir P. RICH
Valerie Hope, Clive Birch & Gilbert Torry, "The Freedom: Past and Present of
the Livery, Guilds and city of London" 1982, printed by Barracuda Books,
Buckingham, pp 117-118.
Rev. Alfred Beaven in "The Aldermen of the City of London," Published by the
Corporation of the City of London (printed by Eden Fisher, London, 1908 &
1912), v.1, p 352.
I liked Gordon Barlow's comment about the "social and occupational
restrictions of their home countries," (restrictions which our egalitarian
age tends to underestimate) which spurred emigrants to "give rein to their
natural talents in new occupations" in new worlds. Some didn't.
In MD landless grandsons of landed families rushed to establish manors on
the model of their more fortunate ancestors. It was a new field, but they
wanted to win the familiar ball game. After the Calverts were overthrown,
and the Catholic MD gentry declined under King William, the Anglican VA
gentry was quick to take its turn at bat.
Others arrived and remained shy of the law, carrying with them some social
stigma. After the Commonwealth failed, Roundheads fled retribution but many
of their grandchildren in 1776 still rallied to "the good old cause."
Cavaliers came to America to collect spoils for their loyalty to the King.
How these two groups interacted with one another, and what they purposely
concealed from one another, is a largely untold story, and difficult to
untangle from the many animosities which governed their lives.
|[London-Companys] Re: Alderman Saddlers by Peter Wilson <>|