The History and Antiquities of London, Westminster, Southwark, and Parts Adjacent, vol. 3Allen, Thomas
It is a respectable brick building. The arms of the company (but without the supporters) are exhibited on a small shield over the entrance. The hall is a lofty and spacious room, with a wainscotting feet high, painted in white and blue. Over the screen, which is of the Cornthian order, at the lower end, is a music gallery, and various glass chandeliers are suspended from the ceiling; this apartment was formerly appropriated during the winter season, for city balls and assemblies. At the upper end were
| formerly whole lengths of George the , the gift of sir Harcourt Masters, a master of this company; George, prince of Wales, afterwards George the ; Caroline, his consort; (the gift of sir George Caswell, knt. master, and sheriff, ) and prince Frederick, when a youth, father to his late majesty, George the . The ceiling of the court room is divided into various compartments, in the style prevalent after the great fire, displaying the company's arms, &c. Here are the following portraits :--William Adams, esq. founder of the grammar school and almshouses, at Newport, in Shropshire, a very fine whole length; Thomas George Knapp, esq. a late clerk and grandfather to the present , another well executed whole length, probably by Gainsborough; sir Hugh Hammersley, knt. lord mayor in ; Mr. Thomas Aldersey, merchant, of Banbury, in Cheshire, who vested a considerable estate in the company, for charitable uses, in the year ; Mr. William Jones, merchant adventurer, who bequeathed for benevolent purposes; Robert Aske, esq. the founder of the hospital at ; Mr. Banks; sir George Whitmore, lord mayor, ; alderman Skinner; Mr. Bond, and Mr. Salmon. Over the fireplace is a small, but not ill executed, statue of Henry the . In the card room (over the chimney piece) is a clever, though not graceful, picture of the |
presented by sir William Billers, lord mayor, , and a whole length of Micajah Perry, esq. lord mayor, . On the flat of the staircase, was formerly a good portrait of some celebrated city carver at festivals, name unknown. Beneath the present hall are some remains of the former , consisting of a groined vault, about feet square.
On the south side of , is Wax-chandlers'-hall, a neat modern brick building. Over the centre window, on the north side, is the arms of the company, and, over the end windows, a bee-hive, carved in stone. The interior is totally devoid of ornament.
In , so called from being the milk-market, was the house of Gregory Rokesly, chief assay-master of the king's mints, and mayor of London in the year , the of Edward I.
This house belonged to the priory of Lewes in Sussex, to whom he was tenant, and paid the rent of a year, without being bound to reparations.
This street is famous for being the birth-place of the great sir Thomas More, lord chancellor of England.
At the north end of is Cripplegate Buildings, the site of of the most ancient gates of the city.
 These meetings were under the general direction of Mr. Hoffman, the confectioner, of Bishopsgate-street. The accidental fall of a picture, during the preparation for an entertainment here, about forty years ago, was the occasion of the celebrated Spiridione Roma being employed to clean and repair the paintings in this, and other city halls. The picture fell on a man's head, and as Roma, in his imperfect English used to express it, the man passes through it. In this dilemma some of Mr. Hoffman's people recollected Roma (who was a native of Corfu,) their countryman, and recommended him to repair the damage. This led to his acquaintance with the late Mr. Knapp, clerk to the company, and through him he was introduced to the drapers', whose pictures he cleaned, and also painted for them the striking likeness of Mr. Bagshaw, the late beadle, and another of less merit, of the clerk to the drapers, John Smith, esq. which has since given place to a more dignified and clever portrait of the same gentleman, by Gainsborough. Roma was subsequently employed to clean and repair the pictures in Goldsmith's hall, Guildhall, and Fishmongers' hall.-See Gent. Mag. vol. lix. p. 701. 1789.