People Property and Charity

The Clothworkers' Company 1500-1688

St. Thomas Apostle

John Watson (d.c.1555), Citizen and Clothworker, gave property to The Clothworkers’ Company at St Thomas the Apostle under his will in 1555.[1] The property comprised numbers 1-3, Little St. Thomas Apostle. Under the terms of his will, The Clothworkers’ Company undertook to pay an annual stipend of twenty shillings to the parish of St. Mary Aldermary, which was to be distributed to the poor of the parish. Watson stated that any residue of the monies should be given to the poorest freemen of the Company.[2]

Little reference is made to the individual properties at St. Thomas Apostle in the Company Court Orders, although Watson’s other property bequests at Basing Lane and Bow Lane are recorded frequently.  A major flurry of activity relating to the St. Thomas Apostle properties is recorded in August 1641. The Court Orders record the petition for, and granting of, a new lease to Elizabeth Peppett, the leaseholder.[3] Peppett received a twenty-one year lease, at an annual rent of four pounds, with a fine of thirty pounds attached.[4] On the same day, her neighbour Edward Maryott, Merchant Tailor, made suit for a lease of a property at St. Thomas Apostle and was granted a term of twenty-one years at four pounds a year, with a fine of twenty eight pounds attached.[5] The only other reference to property at St. Thomas Apostle comes in the Court Orders from October 1642. These note the failure of Samuel Hutchins to pay his fine for the lease of a property described as ‘on the backside’ of the properties at Thomas Apostle.[6] The Clothworkers’ Company sold the property in 1855, along with the other properties bequeated by Watson at Basing Lane and Bow Lane.[7]



[1] TNA PROB 11/39, The will of John Watson, 16 December 1555

[2] ‘Report on the Charities of the Clothworkers' Company: Part II', City of London Livery Companies Commission. Report; Volume 4 (1884), pp 599-614. URL: on the charities of the Date accessed: 10 March 2011.

[3] The Clothworkers’ Company Archive (hereafter CCA), Court Orders, CL/B/1/8, f. 42v, Lease to Elizabeth Peppett, 17 August 1641.

[4] Ibid.

[5] CCA, Court Orders, CL/B/1/8, f. 42v, Lease to Edward Maryott, 17 August 1641

[6] CCA, Court Orders, CL/B/1/8, f. 74v, Agreement relating to payment of a fine by Samuel Hitchins.

[7] A. Buchanan, ‘The Sources of the Wealth of The Clothworkers’ Company’, unpublished paper.