Some thirty years ago my general interest in London silver spoons led me to research the men and women who made them. Surprisingly
many gold and silversmiths who entered their hallmarks at Goldsmiths’ Hall were not apprenticed and made free through that company.
I believed that to enter a mark and trade within the City Limits they would have had to be free of a London Livery company. So began
a project which continued for some ten years resulting in much of the information being incorporated in the third edition of London Goldsmiths
1697-1837 Their Marks & Lives by Arthur G Grimwade published in 1990.
Over the years I accumulated a great deal of peripheral information regarding spoon makers who had become free of various London Livery Companies
and the City of London, and the resulting unpublished research material is included here. I also found many other gold and silversmiths with marks
registered at the Hall during the course of this project but if they were not spoon makers I tended not to make notes about them.
There were approximately 130 spoon makers who registered marks at Goldsmiths’ Hall between 1750-1830. 72 of these were free of the
City of London – in most cases around the date they entered their first mark. There is a gap due to fire in the City records between 1778-1784. 55
of the 130 were made free of the Goldsmiths’ Company – 47 of these were also free of the City. There are five women, none of whom appear
apprenticed or free. Hester Bateman, Mary Chawner (daughter of William Burwash Clothworker & Goldsmith) Sarah Purver, and Mary & Eliza
Sumner. The Freedom of 32 of the 130 who entered marks are, as yet, untraced.
When looking at the Vintner’s Company freedom records I came across Paul Storr the famous silversmith, who it had always been assumed
did not have a formal apprenticeship. Subsequently an article appeared in the Silver Society Journal in the Winter 1994 edition and the
basis of this is included here along with a short family history.
There was also confusion regarding the freedom of Philip Rundell which resulted in a great deal of research into his family, and the
resulting information is also shown in this section of the website. An article ‘The Man Who Never Was’ appeared in the Silver Society Journal No.2 Winter 1991.
There are three indexes: Apprentices, Masters and a General Index.
Also a list giving information on what Livery Company records were consulted. At the time of the original research most of these were consulted at the Manuscripts Department at the Guildhall Library.
London Spoon Makers