Haberdashers’ Hall

The Company’s rising status was marked by the acquisition of a site for a Hall in 1458. By a deed of 24th September 1458 Sir Richard Walgrave transferred property at the junction of Ingen Lane (otherwise known as Maiden Lane, and now forming part of Gresham Street) and Staining Lane to John Polhill, John Senecle, John Colred, and Robert Church, Haberdashers, who were acting as feoffees for the Company. By a deed of 1471 Colred, surviving his co-feoffees, entrusted the land to William Bacon and 14 other members of the guild. In 1478 they in turn released all their interest to Bacon who in turn bequeathed his interest in the property to the guild by his will. The plot was measured in 1499 and found to be 138ft 2ins on the west side along Staining Lane, 136ft 6ins on the east side abutting partly on to Beaumont’s Inn, 71ft on the north side, and 88ft 6ins on the south side along Maiden Lane. The property had been the site of two inns in the reign of Richard II which were rented for 13 marks (£8 13s 4d) per annum in 1384/5. This suggests that at that date the property had a capital value of about £150. How the guild raised the money for the acquisition of the site is not known, but probably from contributions by members. A late sixteenth-century record book (Haberdashers MS, State of the Charities 1597) notes the outline of a contract with Walter Tylney, carpenter, to set up the frame of the Hall and the adjoining tenements in 1459, and says the costs were met by assessment.
We know little about what the early Hall looked like, but another contract of 1461 (in the State of the Charities) with Robert Wheatley, carpenter, tells us that it comprised a hall, parlour, kitchen, armoury, and on the upper storey, a room called the Raven Chamber. The Hall would have been used for dinners and gatherings of the membership, and the parlour for meetings of the Wardens. The use to which the Raven Chamber was put in the 15th Century is not known, but by the early seventeenth Century it was associated with the meetings of the Yeomanry. Although the fifteenth-century records do not refer to them, it is also clear that the above stairs area came to incorporate the Company’s almshouse accommodation. At some date before 1543 the rooms over the kitchens were allocated for the use of the almsmen although the rather cramped conditions at the Hall were probably not the ideal solution. Loss of the Company’s records before the later Elizabethan period makes it impossible to trace the development of facilities at the Hall, but there is some evidence of considerable adornment in the Elizabethan period. William Smith, Rouge-Croix Pursuivant, in his Breef Description of the Famous Cittie of London (c.1588), noted of the Haberdashers’ Hall that for ye costly new wainskott it passeth all ye halls in London. The Hall was used by the Parliament Commissioners for meeting during the Interregnum. It was completely destroyed in the Great Fire of 1666.
Plan of Haberdashers’ Hall. Image held by the Worshipful Company of Haberdashers and used with kind permission of the Archivist, David Bartle.
Plan of Haberdashers’ Hall. Image held by the Worshipful Company of Haberdashers and used with kind permission of the Archivist, David Bartle.

Cite this page

MLA citation

Bartle, David. Haberdashers’ Hall. The Map of Early Modern London, Edition 7.0, edited by Janelle Jenstad, U of Victoria, 05 May 2022, mapoflondon.uvic.ca/edition/7.0/HABE1.htm.

Chicago citation

Bartle, David. Haberdashers’ Hall. The Map of Early Modern London, Edition 7.0. Ed. Janelle Jenstad. Victoria: University of Victoria. Accessed May 05, 2022. mapoflondon.uvic.ca/edition/7.0/HABE1.htm.

APA citation

Bartle, D. 2022. Haberdashers’ Hall. In J. Jenstad (Ed), The Map of Early Modern London (Edition 7.0). Victoria: University of Victoria. Retrieved from https://mapoflondon.uvic.ca/editions/7.0/HABE1.htm.

RIS file (for RefMan, RefWorks, EndNote etc.)

Provider: University of Victoria
Database: The Map of Early Modern London
Content: text/plain; charset="utf-8"

A1  - Bartle, David
ED  - Jenstad, Janelle
T1  - Haberdashers’ Hall
T2  - The Map of Early Modern London
ET  - 7.0
PY  - 2022
DA  - 2022/05/05
CY  - Victoria
PB  - University of Victoria
LA  - English
UR  - https://mapoflondon.uvic.ca/edition/7.0/HABE1.htm
UR  - https://mapoflondon.uvic.ca/edition/7.0/xml/standalone/HABE1.xml
ER  - 

TEI citation

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