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Institute of Historical Research


This book is made up of a collection of papers from the 'Revisiting the livery companies of early modern London' conference held in April 2000 by the CMH, exploring the history of London livery companies from a variety of perspectives. Employing historical and interdisciplinary approaches, it examines print culture and early histories, civic myths, charity, the family, artisans, mercantile elites, and the control and regulation of guild and economy. Contributions by Ian W. Archer, Matthew Davies, John Forbes, Ian Anders Gadd, Perry Gauci, Ronald F. Homer, Mark Jenner, Derek Keene, Giorgio Riello, James Robertson, Patrick Wallis, Joseph P. Ward.

Table of contents

List of Plates, Figures and Tables

List of Abbreviations


Preface by Stephen Freeth

1 Introduction
Ian Anders Gadd and Patrick Wallis

2 The Livery Companies and Charity in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries
Ian W. Archer

3 Early Modern Printed Histories of the London Livery Companies 29 Ian Anders Gadd

4 The Adventures of Dick Whittington and the Social Construction of Elizabethan London
James Robertson

5 Governors and Governed: The Practice of Power in the Merchant Taylors’ Company in the Fifteenth Century
Matthew Davies

6 Controlling Commodities: Search and Reconciliation in the Early Modern Livery Companies
Patrick Wallis

7 The Pewterers’ Company’s Country Searches and the Company’s Regulation of Prices
Ronald F. Homer

8 Search, Immigration and the Goldsmiths’ Company: A Study in the Decline of its Powers
John Forbes

9 Informality and Influence: The Overseas Merchant and the Livery Companies, 1660–1720
Perry Gauci

10 The Shaping of a Family Trade: The Cordwainers’ Company in Eighteenth-Century London
Giorgio Riello


11 Guildwork
Mark Jenner

12 Livery Companies: What, When and Why?
Derek Keene

13 Livery Companies and the World Beyond the Metropolis
Joseph P. Ward