From 1480 to 1688, the Company was entrusted with properties by thirty-one benefactors. These were: William Gardiner in 1480; James Finch in 1509; Stephen Lound in 1520, Mr. Saunders in 1520; Roger Gardiner in 1520; John Field in 1528; Margaret, Countess of Kent in 1538; Robert Peele in 1538; Oliver Claymond in 1540; John Watson in 1555; Thomas Ormeston in 1556; John Rogers in 1558; Dame Anne Packington in 1563; Thomas Dixon in 1574; William Franckland in 1574; William Heron in 1580; William Lambe in 1580; John Lute in 1586; Margaret Holligrave in 1595; Thomasine Evans in 1596; Peter Blundell in 1599; Michael Parlor in 1603; Edward Pilsworth in 1603; John Baysworth in 1622; Samuel Lese in 1634; James Trussell in 1635; Richard Beale in 1638; John Heath in 1640; Sir Robert Parkhurst in 1648; Philip Christian in 1653 and John Hobby in 1674.
These benefactors came from a wide variety of backgrounds. Not all of these benefactors were actually members of The Clothworkers' Company. The number included nineteen Clothworkers; two Shearmen; one Fuller; one Haberdasher; one Grocer; one Fishmonger; one Woodmonger; and four women, and one man who had no particular company associations. Of the women, two were married to Clothworkers, while the others were members of the nobility. The majority of the Clothworker benefactors did not actually gain their fortune from the clothworking industry, but rather as merchants, trading in cloth and other goods within the City and overseas.
The following pages provide biographies of twenty-nine of the most significant property benefactors. Further listings also provide details of the general benefactors of The Clothworkers’ Company, who bequeathed silver; plate; monies for charity and monies for entertainment purposes to the Company.