People Property and Charity

The Clothworkers' Company 1500-1688


John Rogers (d.c.1555), Citizen and Clothworker, bequeathed property in Walbrook (in the parish of St. Mary Woolchurch) and Bucklersbury (in the parish of St. Mary le Bow) to the Company in his will, dated 5 March 1551.[1] He directed the Company to use the rental incomes for the continued upkeep of the property, and to distribute the remaining money to the poor of the Company. The property comprised two tenements, which were sometimes leased as three tenements.[2] The Clothworkers’ Company’s management of the Walbrook properties is born out in the Court Orders, which record numerous day-to-day dealings with the property and its tenants.

Walbrook, Treswell Survey, 1612The first reference to the properties in the Company records comes in 1553, when the Court noted the assignment of a lease on the property by Thomas Gyllbourne to Edmund Langforde.[3] In return for the lease, Langforde agreed to pay 20s a year. No references to the Walbrook properties appear again in the Court Orders until the early seventeenth century. In 1608, the Company granted a new lease of the property to Garret Warde.[4] The Company granted the lease for a term of twenty-four years at an annual rent of £8.[5] They requested that Warde should also pay a fine of 100 marks, and surrender the old lease of the property, which had belonged to a Mr. Rich.[6] In 1611, Warde petitioned to have his lease renewed, with the addition of six years to the term.[7] The Court granted his petition requesting the payment of an additional £20 as a fine, which brought the overall fine paid by Warde on the property to £86 13s 4d.[8]

In 1612, Treswell provided a detailed description of the Walbrook property.[9] He described the property as consisting of two tenements, sometimes broken into three. In 1612, the property was being used as one single tenement, and lay on the west side of Walbrook in the parish of St. Mary Woolchurch, Walbrook.[10] Three separate tenants are noted: Richard Beast; Mrs Beecher; and Mr. Clarke.[11]  Beast’s property was in the tenure of Dudley Hawkes, while Clarke’s property was in the tenure of Matthew Hiliarde.[12] Treswell described how second storey of the building comprised a hall or chamber at the north end of the building, with another chamber, a buttery over an oven, a parlour and a kitchen; all included on the floor.[13] While Garret Warde was not noted within the Treswell survey, it is most likely that he retained the overall lease of the property, while putting a number of tenants in place in the property. 

Warde still held the lease as late as 1618, when the Court Orders noted the undertaking of a survey of the property.[14] The survey was commissioned due to the erection of lights at the house of William Walton in Bucklersbury, which adjoined Warde’s tenement at Walbrooke.[15] In 1624, the Court Orders note a George Warde, probably the son of Garret, taking over the lease of the property.[16] No reference is made to the property in the Company Court Orders again until 1668. The Walbrook property stood at the heart of the area devastated by the Great Fire in 1666. It is not surprising, therefore, that the Company note the suit of a Mr. Jeakell in December 1688 for the land, where he ‘promised to clear land of all rubbish and then he would appear before the Company to make some final agreement’.[17] By March 1669, Mr. Jeakell had made suit for an addition of years to his lease in respect of his building on the lands.[18] The Company granted him a lease for fifty-one years from 25 March 1669.[19] They offered the lease on the basis that he paid £12 a year in rent and gave 10s to the poor box.[20]  They also ordered that he should receive half of the two foot of ground taken away along the front of the property.[21] The Company retained the Walbrook property until 1866, when it was sold.[22]

The Walbrook properties were noted extensively in the Company accounts under entries for ‘Woolchurch’. Taken at twenty year intervals the monies accrued from the properties can be noted. In 1600, the Company received a rental income of £12 from Walbrook, with an expenditure on this property was 20s.[23] In 1620, the annual rental income from Walbrook was £12, while the expenditure was 20s.[24] In 1640, the annual income from Walbrook was still £12,   with the annual expenditure noted as £1 6d.[25] By 1660, the annual income was £12 with expenditure of £1.[26] By 1680, in the aftermath of the Great Fire, the Company were receiving £12 annually from the Walbrook properties. Their annual Walbrook expenses in this year amounted to £1 7d. [27]

Individuals associated with this property

  • Thomas Gyllbourne, Lease taker, 4-7-1553. Document reference: CL/b/1/1/f. 189v
  • - Jeakell, Leaseholder, 19-3-1669. Document reference: CL/b/1/10/p. 174
  • - Jeakell, Suitor, 16-12-1668. Document reference: CL/b/1/10/p. 156 (Walbrook, near Woolchurch)
  • - Rich, Late occupier, 25-5-1608. Document reference: CL/b/1/5/f. 25v
  • Garret Ward, Leaseholder, 15-6-1611. Document reference: CL/b/1/5/f. 84r
  • Garret Ward, Suitor, 15-6-1611. Document reference: CL/b/1/5/f. 84r
  • - Warde, Leaseholder, 9-9-1618. Document reference: CL/b/1/5/f. 265v
  • Garrett Warde, Lease taker, 25-5-1608. Document reference: CL/b/1/5/f. 25v
  • George Warde, Leaseholder, 29-3-1624. Document reference: CL/b/1/6/f. 12r (Walbrooke, near Woolchurch)
  • George Warde, Leaseholder, 16-2-1625. Document reference: CL/b/1/6/f. 25r (The sign of the Pomegranate, Walbrooke)
  • George Warde, Lease taker, 26-4-1624. Document reference: CL/b/1/6/f. 13v (Walbrooke, near Woolchurch, known by the sign of the pomegranate)
  • George Warde, Lease taker, 16-6-1624. Document reference: CL/b/1/6/f.17r

[1] The Clothworkers’ Company Archive, Clerk's Records, CL/A/4/4, Will of John Rogers, 5 March 1551.

[2] CCA, Treswell Survey, 1612.

[3] CCA, Court Orders, CL/B/1/1, f. 189v, Assignment of lease at Walbrook, 4 July 1553.

[4] CCA, Court Orders, CL/B/1/5, f. 25v, Lease to Garret Warde, 25 May 1608.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Ibid.

[7] CCA, Court Orders, CL/B/1/5, f. 84r, Lease to Garret Warde, 16 June 1611.

[8] Ibid.

[9] CCA, Treswell Survey, 1612.

[10] Ibid.

[11] Ibid.

[12] Ibid.

[13] Ibid.

[14] CCA, Court Orders, CL/B/1/5, f. 265v, Survey of the Walbrook tenement, 9 September 1618

[15] Ibid.

[16] CCA, Court Orders, CL/B/1/6, f. 17r, Lease to George Warde, 16 June 1624.

[17] CCA, Court Orders, CL/B/1/10, p. 156, Suit by Mr. Jeakell, 16 December 1668.

[18] CCA, Court Orders, CL/B/1/10, p. 174, Suit by Mr. Jeakell, 19 March 1669.

[19] CCA, Court Orders, CL/B/1/10, p. 174, Lease to Mr. Jeakell, 19 March 1669.

[20] Ibid.

[21] Ibid.

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

[23] CCA, Renter Warden Accounts, CL/D/5/4, Section 6, The Renter Warden accounts of Anthony Fawlkes, 1600, f. 2r and f. 4r.

[24] CCA, Renter Warden Accounts, CL/D/5/5, Section 16, The Renter Warden accounts of Daniel Hall, 1620, f. 3r and 6v.

[25] CCA, Renter Warden Accounts,  CL/D/5/8, Section 4, The Renter Warden accounts of William Harris, 1640, f. 4r and f.8v.

[26] CCA, Renter Warden Accounts, CL/D/5/10, The Renter Warden accounts of Dennis Gawden, 1660, f. 9 and f. 22.

[27] CCA, Renter Warden Accounts, CL/D/5/12, The Renter Warden accounts of Robert Stevenson, 1680, f. 8 and f. 18.