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The History of the Merchant Taylors' Company

ISBN: 978 1 902653 99 0
June 2004
304 pages

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 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 will also focus on a number of important themes in the wider history of London. These include trade and industry, apprenticeship, 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.


The History of the Merchant Taylors' Company appeals to a wide range of people interested in the history of London. It is fully illustrated with more than seventy-five black and white and thirty colour illustrations. It is attractively bound in cloth with a full colour dust jacket and matching cloth slipcase.

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Dr Matthew Davies is Director of the Centre for Metropolitan History at the Institute of Historical Research,  University of London. He has researched and published on a variety of themes in the history of medieval and early modern London, including the City livery companies, parliamentary representation and lobbying, civic government and charity. His publications include The Merchants Taylors' Company of London: Court Minutes 1486-1493 (2000), an edition of the earliest Court records of the Company.


Dr Ann Saunders, MBE, FSA read history at University College London. She served as Deputy Librarian at Lambeth Palace Library during its restoration after war damage, and from 1956-63 was Borough Archivist at St Marylebone. She then undertook a PhD at Leicester University; her thesis was published as Regent's Park (1969, 1981). Her other publications include John Bacon RA (1960), two rewritten volumes on London for the Arthur Mee Counties of England series, The Art and Architecture of London which has been reprinted four times, and St Paul's: the story of the Cathedral, written specially to celebrate the Queen's Golden Jubilee in 2002. She was part of, and led, a team of thirty authors to research and write The Royal Exchange (1997). She has been Honorary Editor to the Costume Society since 1967, and to the London Topographical Society since 1975. She was elected a Fellow of University College London in 1992 and is a liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Horners. In 2002 she was awarded the MBE for services to history