Londina Illustrata. Graphic and Historical Memorials of Monasteries, Churches, Chapels, Schools, Charitable Foundations, Palaces, Halls, Courts, Processions, Places of Early Amusement, and Modern Present Theatres, in the Cities and Suburbs of London and Westminster, Volume 2Wilkinson, Robert
The late Hall of the worshipful Company of Salters.
The worshipful Company of Salters, which is, in regard to precedence, the of the Companies out of which the Lord Mayor is chosen, or of of which, at least, he must be free,[*] is of very ancient date; a Livery was granted them in the reign of King Richard the , A. D. , though it does not appear that they were incorporated till the year of Queen Elizabeth, A. D. , when they were so by the title of the Master, Wardens, and Commonalty of the Art or Mystery of Salters. John Ireland was the master. Their coat of arms was given them in , the year of King Henry the : their crest and supporters were added in , the year of Queen Elizabeth.
It appears from Stow's Survey of London, published in , that the Hall belonging to this Company was situated in , near to Allhallows Church, together with almshouses adjoining, for decayed brethren of that community; all of which were given to them in , by Thomas Beaumont, Esq., Alderman and Sheriff, who was a member of the Company, and was buried in a part of the Church called the Salters' Chapel, near the south window, which was erected at his expense. In , the Company purchased a large house and garden, situate between and , which originally belonged to the Prior of Tortington in Suffolk, which having, at the dissolution of religious houses, devolved to the Crown, with the church and churchyard of St. Swithin, as the property of the dissolved priory, was given to John de Vere, Earl of Oxford, who changed its name to Oxford Place. Having probably been restored by Queen Mary, it was granted again by Queen Elizabeth to Edward Earl of Oxford, grandson of the former possessor, who, after some time, sold it to Sir John Hart, Alderman; who kept his mayoralty here in . His daughter married Sir George Bolles, who thereby came into possession of the estate, and kept his mayoralty here in . It came afterwards into the hands of Humphrey Smith, Esq., who sold it to the Company. Having made this purchase, they fitted up part of the premises as a Hall, and removed from ; letting their old Hall to several tenants, till it, with the adjoining almshouses, were destroyed by the great fire, A. D. ; after which the Company let the ground on building leases, all of which have long since expired, and the buildings are now a part of the Society's estates. Their new Hall, in Oxford Place, escaped the conflagration; and being destroyed, the Company, at the request of the Bishop of London, permitted the parishioners to assemble for divine worship in their long parlour, for a considerable time, till the church was ready to receive them. The church of St. Mary Bothaw, which was under the patronage of the Archbishop of Canterbury, not being rebuilt, the parish was united with , and the Archbishop and the Company presented alternately; but at length the Company sold the perpetual advowson of their turn to a gentleman of the family of Beachcroft. The parsonage-house being rebuilt after the fire, by Mr. Thomas Whistler, the court in which it stands was from him called Whistler's Court; while has nearly retained its original name. In the Company granted a lease of part of their Hall (supposed to be the long parlour before mentioned) to a congregation of Protestant dissenters of the Presbyterian denomination, who fitted it up as a place for public worship, and whose descendants continued to occupy it till it was (together with the Hall) taken down.
The Company consists of a master, wardens, assistants, and about liverymen. The present master is John Cancellor, Esq.; and the wardens are Peter Clark, Esq., and Thomas Gillespy, Esq.
The Hall underwent several alterations and improvements at different times; till at length, being much decayed, the Company resolved to rebuild it, and in consequence thereof, in , it was taken entirely down.
[*] The custom of translating the Lord Mayor, if a member of any other Company, to one of those twelve, has been discontinued for some years; the late Mr. Alderman Wilkes being the first who declined such translation from the Company of Joiners, of which he was a member. Among the present Aldermen who have passed the Chair, Sir James Shaw, of the Scriveners; Sir Charles Flower, of the Framework-knitters; Mr. Alderman Scholey, of the Distillers; Mr. Alderman Birch, of the Cooks; and Mr. Alderman Bridges, of the Wheelwrights; were not, no their election to the civic chair transferred to any of the twelve Companies above referred to.
Title page of Vol. 2 reads: Theatrum illustrata. Graphic and historic memorials of ancient playhouses, modern theatres and other places of public amusement in the cities and suburbs of London & Westminster with scenic and incidental illustrations from the time of Shakspear to the present period.