Liveryman Allt is the only person in the Company, as far as I can ascertain, who can trace her ancestry within the Company with the same surname for six generations. *indicates the line
There were other Allts within the Company who are not apparently related to Liveryman Allt. It is rather too much a co-incidence for there to be two unrelated families with the same unusual surname connected with the same Company. It is quite a puzzle, but I am confident that Liverymen Allt’s family tree is accurate. However it would appear from various public trees on Ancestry that William Allt and Thomas Allt (1786-1877) were brothers, both being born in Castle Donnington to Thomas (1786-1795). The other Allt (Thomas) family is another project, another time.
The ancestral line of Liveryman Allt is the only one recorded and indicated by *
The first of Liveryman Allts’ ancestors under review was William Allt who left his Castle Donnington home and his father Thomas, a maltster, to come to London and be apprenticed to a Wax Chandler, Samuel Brandram in 1791.
The Company’s List of Admission 1730-1950 records the following Allts. The more recent ones have been added. For convenience they are listed in order of Admission and any additional information follows.
*William Allt, colourman of 17 Size Lane, admitted by servitude 1798. His entry in the London Apprenticeshp Abstracts records that William Allt, son of Thomas of Castle Donnington, Leics, maltster, was apprenticed to Samuel Brandram in 1791, Wax Chandlers Company. William was born in 1777, married Ann Tooth in 1801, had two sons, William Edward Allt (1805-1884) and *Thomas Allt (1821-1910).
Thomas Allt, colourman of Size Lane, admitted by servitude 1807; became Upper Warden in 1850. His entry in the London Apprenticeship Abstracts records that Thomas, son of Thomas of Lee, Kent, husbandman, was apprenticed to Thomas Brandram in 1800, Wax Chandlers Company.
*Thomas Allt, warehouseman of Cheapside, admitted by patrimony in 1850, became Master in 1884. Thomas was born in 1821, the son of William and Ann Allt, he married Eliza Pead in 1861, and died in 1910. The 1871 Census has the family living in Highbury, Islington.
Thomas and Eliza had two sons – *Arthur George Pead Allt (born about 1863) and Thomas Walter (born about 1866). Thomas died in 1910 – estate about £56,000 -a very considerable sum. The family is listed in several Census returns, the earliest being 1861.
William John Allt, merchant of the Baltic Coffee House, admitted by patrimony in 1851; Parents Thomas and Amelie (Harvie) Allt; born 1827; died 1860. No apparent family.
Thomas Walter Allt, merchant of Bishopsgate, admitted by patrimony in 1886, father Thomas; became Master in 1902 and 1926. Born in 1855, he died in 1945.; married to Henrietta Rendell; did not appear to have children.
*Arthur George Pead Allt, merchant of Bishopsgate, admitted by patrimony in 1886; father Thomas, a warehouseman. His parents were Thomas and Eliza Allt. In the 1871 Census Arthur George Pead Allt (AGPA), is described as an Australian Merchant’s Clerk.
AGPA married Mary Harriett Ballard in 1885. Recorded in 1891 Census as having one child – Arthur P Allt aged four; Arthur P Allt and his brother Gordon Ballard Allt then aged 9 years recorded as Visitors in the 1901 Census; both recorded as stepsons in 1911 Census. AGPA died in Hackney in 1896 and his widow re-married.
Arthur Percy Allt, Insurance Broker of London, admitted by patrimony in 1909. Son of Arthur George Pead Allt and Gladys Colleen Allt, born about 1886, he died in 1947.
*Gordon Ballard Allt, of London, admitted by patrimony in 1913; father Arthur George Pead Allt. Described as an insurance broker on his marriage. Born 1891; died 1966. Married Alice Hill in 1916 and secondly Winifred Robinson in 1923. Father of Major (Gordon) Graham Allt.
Arthur Peter Colleen Allt, motor engineer of Regents Park Road, London, admitted by patrimony in 1942. 1913-1997; parents Arthur Percy and Gladys Allt.
*Gordon Graham Allt, Major, Kings Own Scottish Borderers (served 31 years), admitted by patrimony (Gordon Ballard Allt) 1975. 1930-2019.
*Katherine Allt, daughter of Major Graham Allt, admitted by by patrimony. Served in the Royal Signals for ten years, retiring with the rank of Captain.
There are other Liverymen who can trace their ancestry within the Company for many years, but there has been at least two name-changes.
EDMUND BICK, FAMILY AND APPRENTICES
Who was Edmund Bick? Good question. There were several people named Edmund Bick associated with the Wax Chandlers’ Company and identifying between them is not easy.
I am indebted to Liveryman Jane Cox who read a draft of this paper and gave me much useful data and advice.
In the Wax Chandlers’ Company List of Admissions 1730-1950 there are two people called Edmund Bick.
Edmund Bick, living ‘over at the Mansion House’. Admitted to the freedom by servitude in 1747.
Edmund Bick, Wax Chandler, living ‘opposite the Mansion House”, admitted to the freedom by servitude in 1772 becoming Master in 1812.
The ‘Honours Board’ at Wax Chandlers’ Hall records two men called Edmund Bick as Master – Edward Bick I in 1724 and Edward Bick II in 1812.
The earliest Bick record in the London Apprentice Abstracts is when Edmund Bick (1), son of Giles clothworker of Wotton under Edge, Gloucester, (decd) is apprenticed to Francis Thursfield, Wax Chandler, in 1692. Wotton under Edge Parish registers show an Edmund, son of Giles being baptised in 1674. This indicates that Edmund was 18 years of age at the beginning of his apprenticeship and that he might have completed his apprenticeship in 1699. Liveryman Cox points out that Edmund Bick (1) was made free of the City in June 1699, a fact cited in papers for Edmund Bick (2).
Edmund Bick (2) City of London freedom admission papers are worth recording here:
Edmund Bick, son of Edmund Bick, citizen and wax chandler, is presented to be admitted by patrimony.
Attested that Edmund Bick was born in wedlock when his father was already admitted to the City in 1699 by:
Richard Coggs, Wax Chandler of Charing X
Richard Kirkwood, Wax Chandler of Cow Lane
Sam Basson, Shipwright
George Ellis, Wax Chandler
NB: Edmund Bick, Richard Coggs and George Ellis are all on the Livery List of 1710.
Edmund Bick (1) married Elizabeth Youres in 1699 at St Antholin Budge Row; the couple had Edmund (1700), Elizabeth (1701) and Joseph (1702), a sailor.
A while later Giles, son of Giles, was apprenticed to his brother Edmund in 1703. This transaction is also shown in the City of London Freedom Papers. Unfortunately this is too early for the published Company Admissions.
The will of Edmund Bick of Hilsloy, Handbury, Gloucester, clothworker dated 1688 and proven in 1695, is interesting, his will mentions Edmund, son of his brother Giles; Amos (?) daughter of his brother Joseph; Edmund son of his brother Thomas and Jone the testator’s wife.
There are no ‘Bick’ Liverymen in a Livery List of 1651. The 1710 and 1722 Poll books– Wax Chandlers’ Livery List has Edmund Bick. The 1727 Poll Book has Edmund Bick (1) senior and Edmund Bick (2) junior, both of Stock’s Market. In 1768 there is one Edmund Bick listed, living in Poultry.
In 1715 an Edmund Bick (2), son of Edmund, was apprenticed to his Wax Chandler father. It is a reasonable assumption that Edmund senior in the 1727 Poll Book is Edmund (1) and the Edmund (2) junior in the same Poll Book is the apprentice of 1715.
Edmund Bick (2) has an entry in the City of London Freedom Admission papers which is worth citing.
Edmund Bick (1) took apprentices in 1701, 1707, 1724, 1727 and maybe 1736. It is noteworthy that three of these were people from Wotton under Edge or nearby – William Goodson in 1707, Arthur Vizard in 1717 and William Wallis in 1724.
In 1740 Edmund Bick (3) son of Edmund citizen and Wax Chandler (decd) was apprenticed to Elizabeth, widow of Edmund. There is a London Baptismal entry for 1726 that would fit – Edmund son of Edmund and Elizabeth Bick. John Bick, son of Edmund, etc. was also apprenticed to his mother Elizabeth in 1744. An important lady. In his book ‘The Wax Chandlers of London’ John Dummelow refers to a bill-head in the British Museum collection- dated 1758 which reads:
‘Eliza Bick and Company at the Golden Beehive, opposite the Mansion House, London, who Make and Sell white and yellow Wax Candles of all sizes, Branch Lights, Winding and Searing Candle, Superfine & all inferior sorts of Sealing Wax, Wafers of all Sizes, Flambeaux, yellow and black links…’
An Edmund Bick was buried at St Mildred, Poultry in 1737.
The next Bick apprentice is in 1764, when Richard Hill was apprenticed to Edmund Bick (3).
In 1765 Edmund Bick (4), son of Edmund Bick (3), Wax Chandler, was apprenticed to his father. The Freedom Admission Papers dated 1765 of the City of London are signed by Edmund Bick junior. Seven years later Edmund Bick (4) was admitted to the Company in 1772. He became Master in 1812.
In Boyd’s Inhabitants of London & Family Units* there is, in 1699, 1701 and 1702, the following family information:
Edmund Bick, Edward Edmund Bick, Elizabeth Youres, Elizabeth Bick-Youres, Joseph Bick, Thomas Bick.
Another entry in Boyd’s Inhabitants of London & Family Units, records the family of Edward Edmund Bick, citizen and Wax Chandler. Edward Edmund Bick (born 1674) of St Mary Woolnoth married Elizabeth Youres of St Olive Jewry in 24 July 1699. It lists their children – Elizabeth (b.1701), Joseph (b.1702) and Thomas (1704). The entry also says that Edmund is listed in the 1710 Poll Book.
The only baptism entry for (Edward) Edmund Bick for 1674 is in Wotton under Edge Parish Registers, son of Giles Bick.
It is noteworthy that the children of EEB and Elizabeth Youres are very much family names of the Gloucestershire Bicks – see Edmund’s will of 1699.
Do these Boyd sheets refer to the same family group? I think that they do – the transcription does give a misleading impression by listing Edmund and Edward Edmund as separate people. On the photographed sheet the name Edward is placed just above Edmund as if that was an alternative. The baptismal register of St Mary Woolnoth records the baptism of Elizabeth in October 1701 – her parents being Mr Edmund Bick, Wax Chandler and Elizabeth; it is recorded that they were lodging with Mr Tombs, barber, next to the Mitre Tavern. The same information is recorded with the baptism of Joseph in 1702. When Thomas was baptised in 1704 it is not recorded where the family were living.
Which Edmund Bick was Master in 1724? – surely Edmund (1)? Not bad for a clothworkers’ son from Gloucestershire.
Halfway through the research for this paper I thought that there might be two separate, that is unrelated, families each headed by an Edmund Bick. I now think that is unlikely. Records of 300 years or so ago may not be accurate, dates (even now) get muddled; there is room for inaccuracies and maybe the odd bit of ‘exaggeration’.
There were only four Edmund Bick Wax Chandlers, from father to son, and then the male line died out, but two of them became Master and one widow (Elizabeth) seems to have been a remarkable women.
*Boyd’s Inhabitants of London &Family Units is a comprehensive collection of some 70,000 handwritten sheets with details of individual London families. Most of the sheets date from the 16th to 18th centuries. They are owned by the Society of Genealogists and are to be found on the Findmypast website (https://www.findmypast.co.uk/).
THE FIELD FAMILY – Three centuries or more of service to the Company?
Before the Hall renovations of nearly twenty years’ ago there was a plaque on the wall just outside the Lent Hall which said that the doors leading to the Lent Hall were placed there by the Field family to commemorate their 500 year association with the Company. I understand from Richard Percival, a former Clerk, that the plaque was removed prior to the renovation work and may still be somewhere on our property.
There is little doubt that the Field family hold the record for the longest association with our Company. Unfortunately so far I have not been able to trace any present members of the Field family.
The Field family had probably the largest firm associated with the manufacture of products with beeswax and tallow at their core for centuries – from candles to soap. They were ‘enmeshed’ with the Wax Chandlers Company. Graces’s Guide to British Industrial History states that Thomas Field started his business at Lambeth Marsh before 1642. The Field family company manufactured goods in Lower Marsh for many years – near what is now Waterloo Station. Later, as J. C. & J. Field they had retail premises at 12 Wigmore Street between 1820 and 1880.
I am indebted to a book called ‘Trade-marked’ by David Newton for the following:
‘J.C. & J. Field Toiletaries’
The firm started life as Fields candle manufacturers in Lambeth Marsh. Probably the earliest record is the retirement of Thomas Field from the Worshipful Company of Wax Chandlers in 1581. In 1800 the business was now run by John and Charles Field and 20 years later they were joined by John Field of the next generation to form J.C. & J. Field. In 1876 Arthur Field and his partners Frederick Field and John Kingsford Field filed various patents so the family business was still active. Subsequently the family relinquished control after maybe 300 years.
It could be said that in the early days of Guilds or Livery Companies they were part Trade Union (think Closed Shop), part Friendly Society (think mutual support) and part Trading Standards Authority – and with a goodly dash of religion too! Members paid fees to belong. In return the benefits included a pension paid by the Company on retirement. One can imagine that people did not ‘retire’ in the sense that is now understood but if they were too old or sick to work they could apply for a Company pension. Charles G Todd writes in his interesting and very readable History of the Company in 1970 that in 1508 in the time of Henry VII Thomas Field started his business at Lambeth. CGT goes on to cite four members of the Field family who claimed a pension from the Company. Firstly, another Thomas Field, in 1581, by now in the reign of Elizabeth I, claimed his pension of 10/- a quarter. Some 70 years later another Thomas claimed his pension, the fourth member of the family to claim was Abraham Field in 1670.
Charles G Todd compiled a list of Field Admissions to the Freedom prior to the Company’s published list (1730-1950). They are :
John Field, 21st April 1635
James Field, 30th January 1637
William Field, 18th July 1637
George Field, 18th October 1638
Abraham Field, 24th October 1640
Thomas Field, 20th December 1704
In addition CGT records that Thomas Field was admitted to the Livery on 24th January 1610.
Nine members of the Field family are to be found in the Wax Chandlers’ Company’s Admissions to the Freedom 1730-1950. The first line is a copy of the entry, subsequent lines are additional information. For convenience they are listed in the order of Admittance.
Thomas Field of Lambeth Marsh, wax chandler, by servitude 1747. Thomas was apprenticed to his father William in 1740, indicating a birth about 1725/6. The only birth/baptism found for a Thomas with William as father is in the Parish Registers of Christchurch Greyfriars, Newgate in 1726.
William Field of Tooley Street, victualler, by servitude 1758. No apprenticeship record found.
William Field of Lambeth Marsh, Wax Chandler, by patrimony 1764. There is a baptism in St Mary Lambeth in 1765 but father is Jeremiah so perhaps unlikely.
John Field of Lambeth Marsh, Wax Chandler, by servitude 1764 father Thomas. City Freedom Papers – Apprentice Indenture – John Field, son of Thomas, bound to his father for seven years dated 1757.
John Field of Lambeth Marsh, Wax Chandler, by servitude 1790. Master 1830.
John was apprenticed to his father John of Lambeth Marsh in 1783; probably born/baptised at St Mary Lambeth in 1769, son of John and Sarah Field.
William Field of Blackfriars, Tallow Chandler. Father Wm. (Dec’d) 1794 by patrimony. No likely birth record found.
Charles Field of Lambeth Marsh, Wax Chandler by patrimony 1822. City Freedom Admissions – Freedom by Patrimony – Charles Field, born 1778, son of John Field (admitted in 1764), admitted in 1822.
John Field of Wigmore Street, Wax Chandler by servitude 1840. No further information found.
Frank Field of 9 Eastcheap, Stationer by servitude 1886. Upper Warden 1932.
In the City of London Freedom Papers (found online at Ancestry UK) there is:
Thomas Field, son of John of Oxford, apprenticed to Thomas Hitch citizen and Wax Chandler for seven years, dated 1679. So Thomas would have joined the Company as a Freeman around 1686, before the Company’s Admission List. However Field is not an uncommon name and there is no guarantee that Thomas was part of the Field family under consideration in this paper.
Another entry in the City of London Freedom Papers is Charles Field, son of John Field, Wax Chandler, admitted by patrimony 1778. Charles Field was baptised at St Mary Lambeth in 1778 the son of John and Sarah Field. But no entry in the Company’s List of Admissions for Charles. Could John be the person admitted by servitude in 1764? Take away seven years so started in 1757 – age about 14 so looking for birth at around 1743. There it is – a John Field was baptised in 1743 at St Mary Lambeth, son of Thomas and Bridget.
John and Sarah Field produced at least nine children, all baptised at St Mary Lambeth –John (1769), Sarah (1770), Thomas William (1772) Walter (1773), Francis (1774), Elizabeth (1777), Charles (1778), Samuel (1781) and Mary (1782). John Field, Wax Chandler, widower, and Sarah Burrows, aged 19 married at St Mary Lambeth with the consent of her father (Walter Burrows) by License May 1768. It is only that the marriage was by License that the groom’s trade or profession is recorded.
In the London Apprentice Abstracts is Thomas Field, son of Thomas, citizen and Wax Chandler, apprenticed to John Baugham 1729. No likely birth/baptism record has been found.
The other Apprenticeship records are listed here, they do not altogether match up with the Company Records – and the apprentices need not necessarily be related to the Field family under consideration in this paper:
Charles Field, son of William of White Cross Street St Luke, Watchmaker, apprenticed to John Figes, Wax Chandler, 1748. No birth/baptism entry for Charles found.
William Field, son of William, apprenticed to his Wax Chandler father in 1764. No likely birth/baptism entry found.
There are no Wax Chandler Liverymen with Field as a surname in the London Poll Books of 1668, 1710, 1722 and 1727. There is a John Field in the Poll Book of 1768.
The Field family were associated with probably the largest firm of wax chandlers, tallow chandlers, soap makers etc. whose owners were members of the Company. Over centuries they produced numerous Freeman and two Masters. It is perhaps regretful that no current Field can be found.
THE PULLEY FAMILY – from weavers of Bethnal Green to Gentlemen and Master Wax Chandlers.
Members of the Pulley Family hold the record for the number of Freemen bearing the same surname who were admitted to the Wax Chandlers’ Company. Eighteen members, the earliest in the Company’s published List of Admissions is 1744, the last being admitted in 1847. Over 150 years of service, producing five Masters, the last in 1878, during that time. At the time of writing it has not been possible to check the Company archives in the Guildhall Library for earlier admissions to the Company. It is believed that all the ‘Wax Chandler Pulleys’ are probably related.
But not one ‘Pulley’ appears in any London Poll Book thus so far found. Nor are they found in Boyd’s Inhabitants of London. Unusually no-one has posted a Public Member Tree on ‘Ancestry’ concerning the ‘Wax Chandler Pulleys’ (https://www.ancestry.com).
There are two important sets of records with particular significance to the Pulleys. One is the London Apprentice Abstracts 1442-1850; these are available on the findmypast website (https://www.findmypast.co.uk/). Cliff Webb has indexed the Abstracts by Livery Company. The Abstracts typically contain the name of the apprentice, the name of the father (or mother should the father be deceased) and their place of origin, the Livery Company, the name of the Master and the date.
The other set is of the Freedom of the City Admission papers 1681-1930. They are available on the Ancestry website. There were earlier records but they were destroyed in a catastrophic fire. The documents vary from evidence of paternity to beautifully produced apprenticeship records.
It would seem likely that ‘Polle’ may be the original spelling of the surname that settled down to ‘Pulley’. They were Huguenots, refugees from France who were being persecuted for practising their Protestant religion. An earlier treaty had given Huguenots rights to religious freedom but this was revoked by the Edict of Fontainbleu in 1685. This provoked an exodus although there is evidence that many Huguenots immigrated well before that. The Huguenots were skilled tradesman; the Pulleys who attached themselves to the Wax Chandlers’ Company were weavers. They settled in Spitalfields, Bethnal Green and Mile End New Town.
There are a few London nonconformist church records relating to Pulley but they seem to have been assimilated into the Anglican Church quite quickly, notably St Dunstan in Stepney.
There is an entry in the records of the French Church in Threadneedle Street saying that on 22nd August 1686 James Pulley, son of Jonathan Pulley was christened. His godfather was James Pulley and godmother Jacqueline Delsmont. This is used as evidence in a paper dated 1729 by Mary Pulley in the Freedom Admissions City of London (FA) papers. Mary Pulley, widow of Jonathan late citizen and Wax Chandler, now living in Thrale Street, Brick Lane, makes oath that her son James is now presented by right of patrimony.
The admission by patrimony of James Pulley is too early for our published Company Admissions 1730-1950 so further research in the Company archives in the Guildhall is required. Two early Admissions – Jonathan 1744 and David in 1749 need to be checked in case the actual records have any more information.
In the Company’s List of Admissions 1730-1950 are the following entries. They are listed in the order in which they were admitted. Unusually a high proportion were admitted by Patrimony. It is noteworthy that Admission to the Freedom of the City -or a Livery Company – by patrimony seems to be able to be claimed at any time. Admission by servitude – the completion of a seven-year apprenticeship is usual at that time.
1744 Jonathan Pulley of Bethnal Green Hamlet, weaver, by patrimony.
1749 David Pulley of Mile End New Town, weaver, by patrimony. Two sons, Joseph born 1760 and William born 1763.
1757 John Pulley of Carter’s Rents, Spitalfields, weaver, by servitude
1757 James Pulley of Carter’s Rents, Spitalfields, weaver, by servitude.
1760 David Pulley of Mile End New Town, weaver, by servitude.
1780 David Pulley of New Montague St. Spitalfields, weaver, by servitude.
1782 Joseph Pulley of 24 Exchange Alley, stockbroker, son of David, by patrimony, Master 1827/8.
1782 Thomas Pulley of Doctor’s Commons, Clerk to Mr Bell, Proctor, son of David, by patrimony.
1786 William Pulley of 42 Blackfriars, gentleman, son of David, by patrimony, Master 1828. City Freeman Papers – William, born 1763, son of David, admitted in 1749, citizen and wax chandler, by patrimony. Supporters include a vintner, two goldsmiths, a shipwright and William Thomas, wax chandler. William was baptised in January 1763, the son of David and Mary at St Dunstan, Stepney. His will, proven in 1836, gentleman of Queen Square Bloomsbury mentions his wife Mary to whom he left the large sum of £500, his brother Joseph Pulley and sister Mary; son William Miles Pulley, daughter Elizabeth (unmarried), daughter Mary Ann and son Henry Wildman Pulley.
1809 William Mills Pulley of Doctor’s Commons, by patrimony. Son of William (1763-1836), grandson of David. WMP born 1786; died 1847. Married to Jane Crosby, son John (qv). 1841 Census records WMP as a Proctor, living in Holborn.
1812 Joseph Pulley junior of Bishopsgate Without, chemist and druggist, by patrimony, Master 1850. Son of Joseph and Frances, born in 1790, Baptised in St Matthew, Bethnal Green.
1813 Charles Horton Pulley of Winchester Street, no rank or profession given, by patrimony, Master 1852. Son of Joseph and Frances Pulley, bapt St Mary Newington 1794, died 1864.
1844 Charles Oldaker Pulley of Upper Homerton, gentleman, by patrimony, Master 1878. Born 1821, son of Charles Horton P.
1844 Francis Maynard Pulley of Upper Homerton, gentleman, by patrimony. Born 1823 the son of Charles Horton P.
1844 Samuel Horton Pulley of 8 Shorters Court, Hornsea, stockbroker, by patrimony. Son of Joseph and Frances Pulley, born 1800; married Susanna Woolley; family not involved in the Company.
1844 Joseph Pulley junior of London Fields Hackney, gentleman, by patrimony.
1847 John Pulley of Great Carter Lane Doctors Commons, Proctor, by patrimony. Born 1819, son of William Mills and Jane Pulley.
There are several Pulley names in the London Apprentice Abstracts, some pre-dating the Company’s List of Admissions. The usual length of apprenticeship was seven years and thus one would expect admission to the Company at the end of this period but it has not been possible to relate these records with admission to the Company.
The earliest is John Polle who was apprenticed to Philip Dutch in 1671; John’s father is also John, a weaver from Stepney, Mx.
A John Pulley was active in taking apprentices between 1721-27; 1747; and again from 1747 to 1766.
David Pulley, son of John, was apprenticed to his father, a weaver of Bethnal Green, 1735, Wax Chandlers Coy. This information is also found in the City of London Freedom Admissions:
‘These are to certify all it doth or may concern that David Pulley son of John Pulley citizen and wax chandler was bound to his said father the said John Pulley for seven years from the date of this Indenture dated 27 October 1735. George Unwin Clerk to the Company.’
James Pulley, son of Jonathan, apprenticed to his father, citizen and Wax Chandler in 1744.
Samuel Pulley, son of Jonathan, was apprenticed to his father, a weaver of Bethnal Green, 1748, Wax Chandlers Coy.
The papers of the Freedom of the City Admissions papers 1681-1930 are published online and range from full apprenticeship records to evidence of paternity. They are indexed by name of the apprentice or applicant by reason of patrimony, their father and name of Master. Cliff Webb has produced an index of wax chandlers’ entries. What is also useful (and not indexed) are names of ‘supporters’ in patrimony cases with their Livery Company name. Two early documents are reproduced here:
Chamber of London. To wit, at Mile End
Jonathan Pulley, son of Jonathan, citizen and Wax Chandler
Came before the Chamberlain on the day aforesaid
And desired to be admitted to the Freedom of the City by patrimony
In the said Company because he is legitimate and was born after
the admission of his father. The admission of his father is entered
in the book dated 13th July 1686. Date of admission 1730.
Attested by John Lancashire, Warden
Sam Oldfield Framework knitter
Isaac Holland wever
Nathaniel Laws wever
John Pulley wax chandler
John Hancock wax chandler
Thomas Horton wax chandler
Chamber of London, Stepney. To 3rd June 1729
Jacobus. (James) Pulley son of Jonathan Pulley, citizen and wax chandler 1686
James Thompson. Warden
We declare upon the oath that we severally took at the time of our
Freedom of the City, that James Pulley is the son of Jonathan Pulley,
Wax chandler, was born in lawful wedlock and after the admission of his father
To the Freedom; That he is the son so reputed and we all say
John Pulley, wax chandler of George Yard Whitechapel.
John Hurlock weaver
John Pell weaver
John Short weaver
Joseph Wall weaver
Richard Dust Merchant Taylor
The history of the East End of London is rich and varied. If it interests, there are many articles to be found online on the Spitalfields area with particular reference to silk weavers who came over in waves from France to avoid persecution. They settled around Bethnal Green/Mile End New Town. As in most groups they were not homogenous, but appeared to vary in their economic circumstances.
David Pulley, father of Joseph and William was a weaver but apparently not a poor one. Both his sons were presented to the Wax Chandlers’ Company by patrimony, the elder a stockbroker, the younger a gentleman. A David Pulley lived in the North Side of Booth Street for several years in the 1760s and 1770s and paid Land Tax of varying amounts from five to fifteen shillings. Booth Street was situated off one side of Brick Lane, `Princes Street the other. In the present day both roads are called Princelet Street. A number of high-end silk weavers and merchants’ houses were constructed there in the early 1700s. The buildings suffered by the 1800 and for the next couple of hundred years were barely more than slum dwellings. Fortunately, several buildings in Furnival, Princelet and Elder Streets were rescued by caring individuals and societies. At the time of writing a four-bedroom house in Princelet Street is for sale for three million pounds.
A David Pulley was buried at Christchurch Spitalfields in September 1788 aged 68 from St Leonards Shoreditch. His age at death ties in with a baptism at Bishopsgate Presbyterian Church in December 1720 the son of John Pulley, weaver, and his wife Elizabeth living in George Yard over against the sign of the George, Whitechapel. Many years later George Yard became infamous with a connection with Jack the Ripper.
David’s Will dated September 1788 mentions six children – David (who was left his father’s wearing apparel) no baptism record found, Thomas – no baptism record found; John, baptised Christchurch Spitalfields 1755; Elizabeth, baptised Christchurch Spitilfields 1757; Joseph baptised St Dunstan Mile End New Town 1760 and William baptised St Dunstan MENT 1763. Mary, the mother of his children. had died earlier and he married secondly Sarah Belgrave in 1785.
Perhaps the greatest success stories and evidence that movement between social class was possible are Joseph Pulley (1760-1843) and William Pulley (1763-1836). It is also possible that membership of the Wax Chandlers’ Company helped their social standing.
Joseph was born as George III ascended the throne, the son of David Pulley, weaver, and his wife Mary. At 21 days old he was baptised at the church of St Dunstan Stepney on 3rd November 1760; the family lived in Mile End New Town. Joseph was admitted to the Wax Chandlers’ Company in 1782 by patrimony. He was listed as a stockbroker – at the age of 22 years. Joseph was Master of the Company in 1827/28; two years before his death at the 1841 Census he is listed as a stockbroker living in London Fields.
Joseph’s brother William was born in Mile End New Town in 1763, baptised at St Dunstan, Stepney, the son of David and Mary Pulley. At his admittance to our Company he is described as a gentleman.
A George Phipps Pulley went to Tasmania as a fare-paying cabin passenger in 1852. He had ten children by Mary Ann Ball, the daughter of convicts, marrying her in 1872. The note on Tasmanian Orphan schools says that George Phipps was the brother of Sir Joseph Pulley, member of the Stock Exchange and MP for Hereford, and grandson of a Master of the Wax Chandlers Company.
From weavers to gentlemen in three generations.
Heather D Hawker Citizen and Wax Chandler 2020
The Worshipful Company of Wax Chandlers
Wax Chandlers’ Hall
6 Gresham Street
London EC2V 7AD