The History of the Merchant Taylors' Company

Matthew Davies, Ann Saunders
Institute of Historical Research, Maney Publishing
Subject Areas


One of the 'Great Twelve' livery companies of the City of London, the Merchant Taylors' Company has been in existence for some seven hundred years. This new history charts the remarkable story of the Company and its members from its origins until the 1950s, encompassing the lives and achievements of men such as Sir Thomas White (founder of St John's College, Oxford) and the celebrated chronicler, John Stow, as well as the roles played by the Company in the City and beyond in different periods.

As well as looking in detail at the internal life of the Company, the book focuses on a number of important themes in the wider history of London. These include trade and industry, apprenticeshi, the impact of religious change, the foundation of schools and other charities, and the government and politics of the City. In doing so, the book contributes to an understanding of the aims and activities of the livery companies over the centuries, their ability to adapt to changing circumstances and their relevance in a modern world far removed from that in which they were first established.


Part One: The Medieval Company — Origins: Tailors and Linen-Armourers; 'Ghostly Treasure': The Fraternity of St John the Baptist 1350–1500; The Government of the Medieval Company; The Company and the Craft; Company, City and Crown 1350–1500
Part Two: Reformation to Restoration
  — The Company and the Reformation; The Company and Education in the Sixteenth Century; Daily Life in Elizabethan London; The Clothworkers, the City and the Crown; The Turn of the Century; Prelude to the Civil War; The Company in the Civil War; Restoration, Fire and Rebuilding; Troubled Times
Part Three: The Company in the Modern World — The Long Eighteenth Century; The Nineteenth Century; The Twentieth Century


The History of the Merchant Taylors' Company will appeal to a wide range of people interested in the history of London. It is fully illustrated with 98 black and white and 30 colour illustrations. It is attractively bound in cloth with a full colour dust jacket and matching cloth slipcase.

Published by Maney Publishing
272mm x 220mm; hardback; 304pp.; 98 b/w + 30 colour illus.
Price: £49.50

Available from: Publications Sales Department, Maney Publishing, Hudson Road, Leeds LS9 7DL UK. Tel: +44 (0)113 249 7481; Fax: +44 (0)113 248 6983 Email Website:

Published: Jun 2004 ISBN: 1902653998