Vellum Scroll of Masters 1960
Amongst the posssessions of the Bowyers Company are two illuminated vellum scrolls which record the masters of the Company from 1678 to present day together with a few names from earlier times. The scroll was presented to the company by Sir Edmund Neville Bt and the artist was Anthony Wood, a distinguished heraldic artist and calligrapher, who himself served as master.
The list of masters was extracted from the minute books, the first of which dates from 1679. The earlier names would have been gleaned from a wide range of other sources.
- William Gildenmelle (1376) is described as being "a master of the mistery" in the Calender of Letter Books of the City of London 1375-1399 (see Note 1). It is not certain whether this means that he was master in the modern sense or a master craftsman.
- The Charter of James I of 25th May 1621 records Richard Gyles (1620) as the first master under the grant of incorporation.
- A pencil note in the notebook of the former clerk, Herbert Griffith (Note 2), states that Josiah Townesend (1666-68) is recorded as master in the Renter Wardens Accounts for 1666-1668. These accounts are now held at Guildhall Library with the Bowyers Muniments (Note 3).
- Isaac Corner (1670-72) is recorded as being the master in the Articles, Orders and Ordinances of 1st November 1670.
- The mastership of John Cobb (1674-1676) is recorded in the Agreement between the Bowyers and Broiderers dated 16th June 1674 relating to the use of Broiderers' Hall. His initals are carved on the ivory gavel dated 1675.
- One other early master is known whose name is not recorded on the scroll - recent research identified the name of Joseph Arment in the Heralds' Visitation of 1634.
The following points are of interest.
- The artist has the used the archaic spelling of "Poictiers" in the motto instead of the more familiar "Poitiers". This older spelling also appears on some of the Company's silverware. Interestly, there have been two Royal Navy ships named HMS Poictiers. [A third and unconventional spelling of "Poiters" appears not only on the masters jewel but also on the embroidered badge of the Marshal's gown. Despite these items being worn on all formal occassions, the errors went un-noticed for many years].
- The scroll contains the arms of the Bowyers Company, of the City of London and of Sir Edmund Neville Bt.
- There are 163 names recorded on the scroll from 1376 to 1992.
- The Scroll is updated from time to time. There are ten further masters to be recorded:
- The Company is unusual in having two-year masterships. This was a stipulation of the abovementioned Charter of 1621.
- There is a break in the sequence as no master is listed on the scroll for 1850-52. The notebook of H E Griffith (Note 2) records the missing master as Frederick Dowler. This was probably a scribing error which would have been noticed at the time but it was just not possible to insert the missing name.
- James Archibald (1982-83) died in office in July 1983. Anthony Wood, the immediate past master and calligrapher of the scroll, returned to the chair for the remainder of the two-year term.
- The following have served two terms of office (in alphabetical order):
- Ernest Abram (1922-26 and 1930-32)
- James Arding (1852-54 and 1862-64)
- John Armistead (1754-56 and 1768-70)
- Edward Glazier who served two consecutive terms (1906-08 and 1908-10)
- Geoffrey Glazier who served two consecutive terms (1940-42 and 1942-44)
- Thomas Hawes (1824-26 and 1832-34)
- William Jolly (1718-20 and 1720-22) (but see below)
- Thomas Mashiter who served two consecutive terms (1836-1838 and 1838-1840)
- Henry Sisson who served two consecutive terms (1726-1728 and 1728-1730)
- George Sisson who served two consecutive terms (1734-1736 and 1736-1738)
- Thomas Sisson (1690-92 and 1696-98)
- John Smith (1812-14 and 1830-32)
- Sir Douglas Straight (1900-02 and 1910-12)
- Anthony Wood (1980-1982 and 1983-84)
- There are a number of names which appear twice but which, judging by the dates, are most likely to be fathers and sons or nephews. These are Robert Currey, Edward James, Thomas Mashiter, William Mashiter, David Morgan and Samual Sangster.
- There were two masters with the name of John Smith. They are referred to in the notebook of H E Griffith as John Smith "of Minories" and John Smith "of Aldersgate". Smith of Minories served two terms of office (see above) and, confusingly, his first term was followed immediately by Smith of Aldersgate.
- Two Lord Mayors are recorded on the scroll: Thomas Sainsbury (master 1774-76) and Thomas Quested Finnis who was also Master Bowyer thoughout his mayoral year of 1856-57.
- Sir Roger Cork, who was master 1990-92, served as Lord Mayor 1996-97.
- James Arding the Elder served as master (1852-54 and 1862-64). No less than eleven of his descendents have held the office. Those with the name of Arding were Seymour Charles Arding, grandson (1914-16), Gerald Frank Arding, grandson (1918-20), Oliver Arding, great grandson (1952-1954), Bertram Arding, great grandson (1956-58) and Clive Arding, great great grandson (2002-2004).
- James Arding the Elder's second daughter, Elizabeth, married Alfred Edmunds in 1844. He became a Bowyer and served as master 1878-1880 as did his two sons, George Edmunds (1886-1888) and Walter Edmunds (1894-1896).
- James Arding the Elder's fourth son, Charles ("Chas") Arding, served as Clerk from 1858-1901 but died in office as Upper Warden so never served as master. Chas had married Mary Slee in 1862 and her sister, Ellen, married her cousin Charles Slee. Their two sons both served as master, Norman Slee (1916-1918) and Arthur Slee (1922-1924).
- James Arding the Elder's sixth daughter, Ann, married Pearce Abram. Their younger son, Ernest Arding Abram served two terms as master 1924-1926 and 1930-1932.
- There have been five Mashiter masters: William Mashiter (1800-1802), Thomas Mashiter who served two terms (1836-1840), Octavius Mashiter (1840-1842), Thomas Mashiter (1870-1872) and William Mashiter (1872-1874).
- There have been four Glazier masters: Walter Glazier (1898-1900); Edward Glazier (1906-08 and 1908-10); Geoffrey Glazier (1940-42 and 1942-44) and Maxwell Glazier (1954-56).
- There have been three Neville masters: Sir Reginald James Neville Neville Bt (1928-1930); Sir James Edmund Henderson Neville Bt MC (1936-1938) (succeeded to baronetcy 1950); and Sir Richard Lionel John Baines Neville Bt MA (1972-74) (succeeded 1982). Two other masters were related by marriage: Reginald Vick (master 1944-1946) was married to Sir Reginald's daughter, Mary Kate ("Jane"), and Jack McCartney Filgate (1948-1950) to her sister Beatrice.
- The following surnames appear more than once, but are not necessarily related. Abram (2), Arding (6), Armistead (3), Barwick (2), Cooper (3), Currey (2), Davis (2), Duncomb/Duncombe (3), Edmunds (3), Glazier (7), Hawes (2), Helme (3), Hitchcock (2), James (2), Jolly (2), Mashiter (6), Morgan (2), Neville (3), Page (2), Sangster (4), Sisson (6), Slee (2), Smith (4), Straight (3), Townesend (2), Waddington (2), White (2), Williams (2), Wilson (3) and Wood (4).
- The notebook of H E Griffith (Note 2) contains a number of interesting notes relating to the masters:
- Edward Hitchcock (1678-80) is mentioned in the Renter Wardens accounts of 1666-68, as is William Page (1680-82) and Downhall Thursby (1684-86) (Note 3).
- Henry Brokeist (1704-05) died in office and Thomas Breamer (1700-1702) served again 1705-1706. This is not recorded on the scroll.
- The Beadle's Mace was made during the mastership of Roger Hitchcock in 1709.
- Jonathan Townesend was elected 28th July 1720 but died the same day. The scroll records that William Jolly continued in office for a second term. However, the notebook of H E Griffiths records the substitute as being Preston Duncomb who had previously served 1716-18.
- Richard Washbourne (1730-1731) died in office Oct 1731. Henry Sisson served the remainder of term 1731-32. This is not recorded on the scroll.
- Edward Barwick (1750-52) was a Common Councilman 1772 for Broadstreet Ward.
- Thomas Sainsbury's (1774-1776) descendant, Rev Thomas Ernest Langford-Sainsbury won the gold medal for archery in 1910. The medal was presented to the Royal Toxophilites by the Bowyers Company.
- Miss Maria Sainsbury, daughter of the late Lord Mayor, Thomas Sainsbury, was admitted to the freedom of the company on 21st October 1813.
- The Rev Thomas Ernest Langford-Sainsbury was also a descendent of Abraham Langford (1796-1798). As well as mentioning the winning of the gold medal of the Royal Toxophilities, the note also records that the Reverend was an MA of Trinity College, Oxford, and rector of Beckington near Bath.
- George Mackenzie Macaulay (1788-90) was alderman for Coleman Street 1786, Sheriff 1790 and died 5th March 1803.
- Joshua Thompson (1842-1844) died in office and William Davis completed the term (Minutes of 18 April 1844).This is not recorded on the scroll.
- Thomas Quested Finnis was alderman 1848, Sheriff 1848, Lord Mayor 1856-1857. He was the last Lord Mayor to process by river to Westminster. His brother Colonel John Finnis was the first European killed by mutineers at Meerut in the Indian Mutiny in 1857.
- Herbert Edward Griffith (1926-1928) recorded that he himself was Clerk from 1901 to 1936.
This study has identified a number of omissions on the vellum scrolls but they are, nevertheless, beautifully scribed and illuminated and are a celebration of the history of the Company.
Folio xviii b. Peticio de Bowiers eis concessa.
Monday after the Feast of St. Matthias [24 Feb.], 49 Edward III. [A. D. 1374-5], petition to the Mayor and Aldermen by good men of the mistery of Bowyers for the enrolment, among other articles of the mistery, of one forbidding the sending of new bows to Cornhulle for sale, under certain penalties. Their prayer granted.
All the Masters of the above mistery having agreed to the said article except William Gildenmelle, "bowyer," the said William was summoned by John Strecche, Serjeant of the Chamber, before the Mayor and Aldermen, on Monday the Feast of St. Gregory [12 March], but made default.
From: 'Folios xii - xx: 1358', Calendar of letter-books of the city of London: H: 1375-1399 (1907), pp. 1-9. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=33456 Date accessed: 20 May 2012.
Herbert Edward Griffith, solicitor, was Clerk 1901-1936 and Master 1926-28. Amongst the Muniments is a lined exercise book in which he recorded items of interest extracted from the minutes. The records of the company at that time were kept in his office at 11 St Bride's Avenue and subsequently at 5 Grays Inn Square.
Guildhall Library MS 5356 - Bowyers Company Renter warden's rough accounts with quarterage lists 1666-8 Paper 1 gathering in envelopes.
|William Gildenmelle||1376||Edward James||1746-48|
|Richard Gyles||1620||Edward Barwick||1750-52|
|Josiah Townesend||1666-68||John Armistead||1754-56|
|Isaac Corner||1670-72||Francis Greenway||1758-60|
|John Cobb||1674-76||Thomas Thornhill||1762-64|
|Edward Hitchcock||1678-80||George Page||1766-68|
|William Page||1680-82||John Armistead||1768-70|
|John Franckline||1682-84||Richard Markham||1770-72|
|Downhall Thursby||1684-86||Edward James||1772-74|
|Jonathan Warner||1686-88||Thomas Sainsbury2||1774-76|
|Richard Herbert||1688-90||William Heathcote||1776-78|
|Thomas Sisson||1690-92||Willam Viner||1778-80|
|John Tyrer||1692-94||Jacob Turner||1780-82|
|John Johnson||1694-96||John Waddington||1782-84|
|Thomas Sisson||1696-98||Isaac Taylor||1784-86|
|Roger Cosens||1698-1700||Robert Smith||1786-88|
|Thomas Braemer||1700-02||George M Macauley3||1788-90|
|Thomas Clifton||1702-04||Mathew Wilson||1790-92|
|Henry Brokeist||1704-06||John Leake||1792-94|
|James Townesend||1706-08||Joseph Renbridge||1794-96|
|Roger Hitchcock||1708-10||Abraham Langford||1796-98|
|Thomas Hawkins||1710-12||William Wilson||1798-1800|
|Thomas Horneby||1712-14||William Mashiter||1800-02|
|William Standard||1714-16||Gillingham Eyre||1802-04|
|Preston Duncomb||1716-18||Samuel Waddington||1804-06|
|William Jolly||1718-20||Robert Meacock||1806-08|
|William Jolly1||1720-22||John Dowler||1808-10|
|Edmund Cooper||1722-24||William Davis||1810-12|
|Nicholas Greene||1724-26||John Smith||1812-14|
|Henry Sisson||1726-28||John Smith||1814-16|
|Henry Sisson||1728-30||Charles Cooper||1816-18|
|Richard Washbourne||1730-32||Thomas Garrett||1818-20|
|Henry Wood||1732-34||John Bowness||1820-22|
|George Sisson||1734-36||Thomas Jones||1822-24|
|George Sisson||1736-38||Thomas Hawes||1824-26|
|Thomas Farrow||1738-40||Isaac Robson||1826-28|
|William Hay||1740-42||John Davis||1828-30|
|Thomas Duncombe||1742-44||John Smith||1830-32|
|William Armistead||1744-46||Thomas Hawes||1832-34|
1 Jonathan Townsend elected Master in 1720 died on Masters Day
2 Alderman, Sheriff 1780, Lord Mayor 1786-87
3 Alderman, Sheriff 1790
|Samuel Sangster||1834-36||Maxwell H Glazier||1954-56|
|Thomas Mashiter||1836-38||B W B Arding||1956-58|
|Thomas Mashiter||1838-40||J L Harvey MBE||1958-60|
|Octavius Mashiter||1840-42||A G Williams FCA||1960-62|
|Joshua Thompson||1842-44||Brian Wood MA||1962-64|
|John Gibbons||1844-46||H B Williams QC||1964-66|
|Robert Currey||1846-48||Sir R Anstruther Bt||1966-68|
|J N Collyer||1848-50||RW West OBE||1968-70|
|James Arding||1852-54||Col N Ireland-Smith CBE||1970-72|
|Thomas Fauntleroy||1854-56||R L J B Neville MA||1972-74|
|Thomas Q Finnis4||1856-58||J R Glazier||1974-76|
|John French||1858-60||A T Reed FCA||1976-78|
|John Blackwell||1860-62||F C Schilling MA5||1978-80|
|James Arding||1862-64||Anthony Wood6||1980-82|
|Samuel Sangster||1864-66||James Archibald MA||1982-83|
|James Helme||1866-68||Anthony Wood||1983-84|
|William Sangster||1868-70||Brian MacDermot||1984-86|
|Thomas Mashiter||1870-72||J Bickford Smith CB TD||1986-88|
|William Mashiter||1872-74||Robert Hardy CBE7||1988-90|
|William White||1874-76||Roger Cork FCA||1990-92|
|John Brown||1876-78||Christopher G Ballenden||1992-|
|Alfred S Edmunds||1878-80|
|Thos H Fischer KC||1880-82|
|Rev R A Currey||1882-84|
|Alfred Sangster MD||1884-86|
|G R Edmunds||1886-88|
|Robṫ W Scobell||1888-90|
|E J Silvester||1890-92|
|W Edmunds MD FRCS||1894-96|
|Arthur A Best||1896-98|
|Walter H Glazier||1898-1900|
|Sir Douglas Straight||1900-02|
|David J Morgan MP||1902-04|
|Edward J Glazier||1906-08|
|Edward J Glazier||1908-10|
|Sir Douglas Straight||1910-12|
|Robert M Helme||1912-14|
|Seymour C Arding||1914-16|
|Norman D Slee||1916-18|
|Gerald F Arding||1918-20|
|Arthur F Slee||1922-24|
|Ernest A Abram||1924-26|
|H E Griffith||1926-28|
|Sir R J N Neville Bt||1928-30|
|Ernest A Abram||1930-32|
|D M Straight CIE||1932-34|
|Reginald B Cooper||1934-36|
|J E H Neville MC||1936-38|
|Geoffrey J Glazier||1940-42|
|Geoffrey J Glazier||1942-44|
|R M Vick OBE FRCS||1944-46|
|Nigel T Helme OBE||1946-48|
|J V O M Filgate MC||1948-50|
|E P Donaldson CMG||1950-52|
|Oliver G Arding||1952-54|
4 Alderman, Lord Mayor 1856-57
5 Also Master of the Wheelrights
6 Royal Toxophilite
7 Royal Toxophilite