Edited by Robert Stedall & Justine Taylor
A book celebrating the most important or interesting treasures of the Ironmongers’ Company was the late Leslie Weller’s brainchild. He wanted it to be his 2001 mastership gift with an aim of widening the knowledge of Company members and others interested in its treasured objects. This vision has now been realised in a superb new publication by the Company.
Items in the collection at the Hall today have, in the main, been gathered since the fifteenth century and range in date from the thirteenth to the twenty-first century. This book’s selection of one hundred of these Company treasures has been divided into sections covering Furniture, Silver, Sculptures, Paintings, Miscellaneous Items and Archives & Books.
If you would like to purchase a copy, at the subsidised price of £45 (plus postage & packing), please email the Assistant Clerk, Mrs Teresa Waller-Bridge, via firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 020 7776 2304.
Members of the Company are encouraged to pick up and pay for their copy at Ironmongers’ Hall; if you are unable to visit the Hall, please use this order form.
The Archives of the Worshipful Company of Ironmongers date from the 13th century with most records surviving from 1454 onwards. Older archives are stored on behalf of the Company by the Guildhall Library in the City of London and may be consulted there.
A listing of Archives of the Ironmongers’ Company held at the Guildhall Library can be consulted via the online catalogue of the London Metropolitan Archives (LMA). The LMA reference code for the Ironmongers’ Company is CLC/L/IB; if you search for this reference it will take you directly to the Ironmongers’ archives catalogue. You can also view or download the PDF of the Ironmongers’ catalogue. Please note that this listing is a work in progress and may not yet contain all the more recently transferred items. To consult the Ironmongers’ records in the Guildhall Library reading room you will need to use the relevant Guildhall Library manuscript reference (MS) number at the end of the CLC/L/IB reference. So for the reference CLC/L/IB/A/002/MS16965/001 you will only need to put MS16965/001 on your order form.
These Ironmongers’ records mainly cover the period from 1454 up to 1979, but also include deeds dating from 1273. Registers of freedom admissions from 1555 and of apprentice bindings from 1511, as well as records relating to the Company’s Irish estates, can also be found in this collection.
A summary of the Ironmongers’ archives at the Guildhall Library (as well as those of other livery companies) can also be found in the printed handbook City of London Livery Companies and Related Organisations: A Guide to their Archives in Guildhall Library (City of London, 2010 [fourth edition]).
The Company’s original charters, more recent Court Minutes (from 1973) and other modern records are still held by the Company at Ironmongers’ Hall and may be consulted at the discretion of the Archivist.
Digitised apprenticeship and freedom registers for the Company from 1511 until 1923 are now available to research and view online via commercial family history website Findmypast.
Abstracts of Ironmongers’ Company apprenticeships from 1655-1800 are available online via Findmypast.
The original apprenticeship books and freedom registers, as well as a typescript index to members from 1555-1977 (ref: MS 16978), can be consulted at the Guildhall Library.
The main history up to 1866 (and with a certain amount of genealogical information) is J. Nicholl, Some Account of the Worshipful Company of Ironmongers (London: Ironmongers’ Company, 1866 [second edition]). This second edition is available online via Google Books.
A more recent, briefer, history is E. Glover, A History of the Ironmongers' Company (London: Ironmongers Company, 1991). This book may be purchased from the Company on request.
These books and other useful sources on the history of the City of London and its livery companies will also be found at the Guildhall Library.
Of additional interest might be:
'Report on the Charities of the Ironmongers' Company', City of London Livery Companies Commission. Report; Volume 4 (1884), pp. 517-538;
'Charitable accounts of the Ironmongers' Company', City of London Livery Companies Commission. Report; Volume 4 (1884), pp. 539-52;
Apprenticeship abstracts for a number of other livery companies up to 1850 can also be found via Findmypast.
Like those for the Ironmongers’ Company, digitised apprenticeship and freedom registers for the Haberdashers’ Company from 1526 until 1933 are now available to research and view online via Findmypast.
The Records of Livery Companies Online is maintained by the Centre for Metropolitan History at the University of London. This database currently provides access to free transcriptions of freedom and apprenticeship registers for The Bowyers' Company, The Clothworkers' Company, The Drapers' Company, The Girdlers' Company, The Goldsmiths' Company, The Mercers' Company and The Salters' Company.
Merchant Taylors’ Company membership records 1530-1928 are available (for a fee) via ParishRegister.com
The names of apprentices bound through the Carpenters’ Company 1654-1694 (from its Apprentices' entry books 1654-94) are available free on the British History Online website.
London Lives also provides free access to records about the lives of Londoners from 1690-1800, mainly concerning crime, social policy and poverty across the City of London and what is now Greater London.