People Property and Charity

The Clothworkers' Company 1500-1688


Lady Margaret, Countess of Kent's Indenture, Book of Deeds and Wills, 1538By a 1538 indenture, Margaret, Countess of Kent transferred ownership of four tenements and her own house at Queenhithe, all of which she held in fee, to The Clothworkers’ Company.[1] The Countess reiterated her intentions in her 1540 will.[2] In return for the property, the Company agreed to pay an annual stipend of seven pound to the Countess for the remainder of her life.[3] The remaining rental money from these Queenhithe properties and other lands at Fenchurch Street were to be used by the Company to support seven poor almswomen at Whitefriars almshouse.[4]

The Company retained control of the properties for just ten years. In that time the only reference to them comes in a dispute in 1546 between the Company and a Mr. Butts. Butts petitioned the Court for a lease of the Countess’ house at Queenhithe, but was hesitant to pay the thirty pounds requested by the Company as a fine.[5] The properties seem to have been sold in 1549 for £109 10s.[6] The most likely purchaser was John Machell, the then Company Master, who is noted in the Court Orders as receiving a lease for twenty-eight years purchase in that year.[7]

Individuals associated with this property

  • - Butts, Suitor, 19-3-1546. Document reference: CL/b/1/1/f. 129v
  • Margaret Kent, Late owner, 19-3-1546. Document reference: CL/b/1/1/f. 129v
  • - Machell, Buyer, 22-1-1549. Document reference: CL/b/1/1/f. 150r

[1] The Clothworkers’ Company Archive (hereafter CCA), Estate/5/1A/5, Indenture between The Clothworkers’ Company and Margaret, Countess of Kent, 14 July 1538.

[2] TNA PROB 11/28, ‘The will of Margaret, Countess of Kent’, 2 December 1640.

[3] CCA, Court Orders, CL/B/1/1, f. 28r, Agreement with the Countess of Kent, 20 April 1538.

[4] Ibid.

[5] CCA, Court Orders, CL/B/1/1, f.129v, Variance between the Company and Mr. Butts, 19 March 1546.

[6] Report on the Charities of the Clothworkers' Company: Part I', City of London Livery Companies Commission. Report; Volume 4 (1884), pp. 572-599. URL: Date accessed: 21 October 2010. >

[7] CCA, Court Orders, CL/B/1/1, f.150r, Sale of Queenhithe, 22 January 1549