In common with many Livery Companies, the Wax Chandlers’ Company possesses an extensive archive of considerable social, economic and genealogical interest. In recognition of this, the Company has deposited almost all its records with the Guildhall Library (Manuscripts Section) so that they may be easily accessible to interested persons.
Most of the documents have been microfilmed and where this is the case, members of the public should use the microfilms and not the original documents. Documents available on microfilm are indicated on the catalogue by a * symbol. Access to the original documents may be granted to academics who are serious scholars at the discretion of the Guildhall Library staff.
Not all original documents comprised in the Wax Chandlers’ Company Archive are available “on request”. Intending users are advised to check with the Library beforehand.
Not all original documents comprised in the Wax Chandlers’ Company Archive are available “on request”. Intending users are advised to check with the Library beforehand:
telephone 020 7332 1863/2 or e-mail manuscripts.guildhall@ ms.corpoflondon.gov.uk.
The Company does not appear to have ever been a trading organization trading on its own account. The records provide evidence of its important role in regulating membership and, prior to 1700, in maintaining standards through “searches“.
The Archive also contains evidence of the way in which the Company dealt with demarcation issues between trades, and its role within the lives of members by providing assistance and support in need. Sadly, as trade control passed away, some of the documents known to have been in the archives were lost or discarded after the middle of the eighteenth century when they were first calendared, so the information is not always complete or its context clear. The Company nevertheless possesses an almost complete series of accounting records since 1528, and of minute books since 1584.