People Property and Charity

The Clothworkers' Company 1500-1688


In 1527, John Field granted his lands at Greenwich to the Shearmen Company.[1] These lands became part of The Clothworkers’ Company property portfolio on its creation in 1528. Field left particular instructions that the lands should be rented within one month of his death. The Company would then receive all the rents that derived from the property to pay the annual charges of his obit, poor relief and annuities to his family.[2]

John Field's Will, Book of Deeds and Wills, 1527The Company retained control of the lands and a number of tenements until 1548. In the intervening twenty years, the Company appeared to be actively seeking a buyer for the estate. In 1539, they promised to sell the lands to William Page, but this appears to have fallen through.[3] A suit for purchase was made in 1544 by the Provost of Limehouse who offered £110 to buy the lands, or nine pounds a year to take it by lease and to undertake all repairs.[4] The suit appears to have been rejected. In 1548, the Company finally sold the property to John Lute, who paid £105 for the lands.[5] Lute also agreed to pay ten shillings a year from the lands to the Company for the quit rent on the property.[6]

[1] The Clothworkers’ Company Archive (hereafter CCA), Book of Wills and Deeds, CL/A/4/4, The will of John Field

[2] CCA, Books of Wills and Deeds, CL/A/4/4, The will of John Field

[3] CCA, Court Orders, CL/B/1/1, f. 59r, Promised sale of the lands to William Page, 3 November 1539.

[4] CCA, Court Orders, CL/B/1/1, f. 120r, Suit by the Provost of Limehouse, 17 August 1544.

[5] CCA, Court Orders, CL/B/1/1, f. 149r, Lute purchases the lands at Greenwich, 7 November 1548.

[6] CCA, Court Orders, CL/B/1/1, f, 149r, Lute agrees to pay 10s a year to the Company for quit rent, 7 November 1548.