The Worshipful Company of Glaziers and Painters of Glass through the Ages

Our current exhibition has been put together by the Worshipful Company of Glaziers and Painters of Glass, and takes you on a journey through the life of the Company, from its historical beginnings, to its work in the present day, which includes supporting students and creating new work, often for secular buildings.

Front Banner and Drape2

The first recorded reference to a Guild of Glaziers in London is in 1328. It regulated and protected those who practised the art. Foreign competition and unfair trading practices led it to seek a Royal Charter from King Charles I in 1638.

It had a Hall at this time but, like so many other Livery Halls, it was destroyed in the Great Fire of London in 1666. The Company remained without a Hall until 1978. The ‘new’ Hall is held by the Company on a long lease on a ‘peppercorn’ rent (meaning nominal) – the rent each year is a piece of glass made by artist members of the Company. It often makes reference to an incoming Master. There are five of these beautiful rents on display in the exhibition!

Wall Drape

As well as displaying some of the Company’s precious items from the past, the exhibition also looks to the future. One of the most striking artefacts on display is a wall hanging, commissioned by Past Master Glazier Peter Doe and his wife Liveryman Janet Doe and first unveiled in the River Room at Glaziers Hall by the Lord Mayor in spring last year. It celebrates the relationship between the Glaziers Company and the River Thames. The stitching was undertaken by prisoners from across the UK supported by Fine Cell Work, the charity which trains inmates in embroidery and textile skills.

If you wanted to find out more about the Company, Guildhall Library holds some of their archive. Material that is available to view includes charters, minutes and apprentice bindings.

The exhibition at Guildhall Library is free and open until 23 March.

Amy Randall
Events and Exhibitions Officer
Guildhall Library

Love’s Secret: Affairs in Georgian London

“Behind the Masquerade: setting the eighteenth-century scene”

During the period 1670-1857 divorce was only obtainable by an Act of Parliament or by the church courts. From an early date both men and women were able to seek separation on the grounds of cruelty and adultery. This was extremely expensive and from 1750 to 1857 on average only about three such Acts of Parliament was passed each year. Before obtaining a private Act of Parliament, the husband was expected to obtain a divorce from his wife in a church court and to seek damages in the Court of King’s Bench from his wife’s lover for criminal conversation or ‘Crim Con’.

Matrimonial causes which provide further detail on individual cases at the Consistory Court of London are held at the London Metropolitan Archives. One such case is that of Lady Penelope Ligonier and the Count Vittorio Alfieri in eighteenth-century London. Within 5 years of marriage, Penelope Pitt indulged in an affair with the Italian dramatist. Their affair provoked a duel in Hyde Park in 1771: following this Alfieri was made to leave the country. The couple divorced by Act of Parliament in November 1771.

The newspapers of the day had a fascination with the love affairs of the aristocracy who were the celebrities of the time. The London Evening Post informed its readers in 1771:

“When the first report of Lady Ligonier’s infidelity was carried to the Queen’s Palace, their Majesties were at cards…The King, who sincerely loves Lord Ligonier, was much affected with the news; on which her Majesty observed, that it was no wonder such things happened, when the greatest encouragement was given to places, which were only calculated to increase female licentiousness (alluding to a certain place of polite entertainment).”

These places of entertainment referred to are likely to be the popular site of the Pleasure Gardens. Vauxhall Gardens at Lambeth and Ranelagh at Chelsea often played host to masquerades which were a significant part of eighteenth-century culture. The idea of dressing up in the guise of a particular character and putting on the face of another could invite intrigue and dangerous encounters.


Collage: 7274, View of the Canal, Chinese Building and Rotunda in Ranelagh Gardens, Chelsea, during a masquerade (1750)

The masquerade became a hot bed for deception and enabled a certain anonymity to people that might not be afforded this in everyday public life. The Evening Post picked up on this:

“The Masquerade on Monday night was extremely splendid at Soho, though the company was by no means so numerous as upon some former occasions; the many dangerous intrigues, at present the subject of conversation in high life, at is said, determining several husbands of fashion to keep their ladies as much as possible from that vortex of dissipation…” (May 14, 1771)

You can explore related images on the image library, COLLAGE Some examples follow:


Collage: 17337
View of figures dressed in masquerade costume at Vauxhall Gardens.(1782)

The mood of Vauxhall Gardens is conjured up in this print:


Collage: 19371 Scene at Vauxhall Gardens showing a fashionably dressed woman shielding herself with a fan from the gaze of three men. (1780)

The following print which is entitled, A Bagnigge Wells Scene, or No Resisting Temptation shows one woman being suspicious of the other in the grounds of this once popular spa. One woman picks a rose which symbolises the deflowering of virginity and a loss of innocence. The fountain in the background is hugged by a cupid-like figure another allusion to sexual connotations. Classically speaking it could imply the story of Leda and the Swan, where Leda is raped by Zeus having an all the more sinister tone.


Collage: 17028 ‘A Bagnigge Wells scene, or no resisting temptation’. (c.1780)

For further revelations regarding the high profile love affairs of the eighteenth-century and an exploration of the matrimonial causes then book for the event on Thursday 11th February at Guildhall Library: Love’s Secret: Affairs in Georgian London

By: Charlotte Hopkins, Information Officer, London Metropolitan Archives

The Twelve Days of Christmas

To celebrate the 12 days of Christmas, this year we are bringing you some of the most intriguing Christmas items from our collection. We hope you all have a very merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

On the first day of Christmas – we wish you a happy Christmas! A more traditional offering from a French published book of hours, 1509. These were devotional books containing prayers and psalms, popular in the Middle Ages.

Book of hours

On the second day of Christmas – enjoy Boxing Day! The tradition of the Christmas box either derived from the opening of alms boxes placed in churches so donations could be collected for the poor, or the practice of giving boxes of gifts to employees on the day after Christmas, which became known as Boxing day.

Mrs Brown's Christmas Box

On the third day of Christmas…have a smashing time! This is the Fortnum & Mason Christmas Catalogue, 1934. ‘Dishes Ready to Serve’ included boar’s head at 5 shillings a pound. If that isn’t to your taste you could try Christmas cakes with the ‘the fattest and richest fruits’ raised pies, special hams, fruits in brandy, paradise cake and chocolate bacchanalia!

Fortnum and Mason catalogue

On the fourth day of Christmas…fun and games. Gamages Xmas Bazaar (1938) showcased a selection of Christmas toys available to buy that year. Hobby horses, pushchairs, typewriters and train sets were all the rage at Gamages.

Gamages Xmas Bazaar

On the fifth day of Christmas…nostalgia. Here are some Christmas specialities from 1936. This graceful representation of King George VI’s Coronation Coach provides a novelty of topical interest. Filled with iced animal and kindergarten biscuits. Each model packed in an attractive carton. All for 1/6.

Christmas Specialities

On the sixth day of Christmas…still cracking on. Film merchandising is nothing new. Walt Disney’s ‘Snow White’ of 1937 may have influenced the toy selection in this brochure from Gamages Xmas Bazaar (1938). On offer inside these pages was a set of all eight characters (for 8 shillings and eleven pence) as well as Snow White jigsaws, games, crackers and books.

Gamages Xmas Bazaar

On the seventh day of Christmas… ‘a stellar Christmas’? The image is from Punch magazine 1954. We particularly like Father Christmas’ space helmet, which accommodates his beard!

Punch magazine

On the eighth day of Christmas, we wish you a Happy New Year! This passage is taken from Charles Dickens’ Christmas story The Chimes: A Goblin Story of Some Bells that Rang an Old Year Out and a New Year In (1844): ‘So may the New Year be a happy one to you, happy to many more whose happiness depends on you! So may each year be happier than the last, and not the meanest of our brethren or sisterhood debarred their rightful share, in what our Great Creator formed them to enjoy.’ This image is of Trotty Veck, a character from the story.

The Chimes

On the ninth day of Christmas…continue with the festivities. This is ‘Bringing in the Boar’s Head’ by J. Gilbert, Illustrated London News, 22 December 1855, page 733. In past centuries, a boar’s head was the meat dish chiefly associated with the festive season. John Aubrey, writing in the 17th century, describes how in gentlemen’s houses at Christmas ‘the first diet that was brought to table was a boar’s head with a lemon in his mouth.’ The Boar’s Head ceremonies held at Queen’s College, Oxford and in London by the Butchers’ Company still preserve this custom.

Boar's Head

On the tenth day of Christmas…still merry.  This image is ‘The Wassail Bowl’, drawn by John Gilbert (Illustrated London News, 22 December 1860, page 579). The beverage of choice for the wassail bowl was lambswool – hot spiced ale with toasted apples bobbing on the surface. Carol singers often went door to door with an empty wassail bowl, in the hope of cadging a drink off wealthier neighbours, but this does not seem to be the case in this particular illustration!

Wassail Bowl

On the eleventh day of Christmas…last dance. Published by the Moore Brothers in the 1800s. The Moore Brothers were tea merchants based in King William Street, City of London, as indicated by the logo in the top right-hand corner.

12 day of xmas

On the twelfth day of Christmas…Christmas goes out in fine style! A festive party two hundred years ago with Lamb, Leigh Hunt, Wordsworth and Keats.

Keats 1815

“The Book of Blockheads” by Charles Bennett: A Victorian Gem

Gem 1

Illustrator, satirist and children’s writer Charles Bennett was born near Covent Garden in 1828. His life was short (he died at only 38) and punctuated by ill health but he was a popular and gifted man, who was clearly liked by his colleagues. He was described by M. H Spielmann, in his ‘History of “Punch”’ as “one of the brightest and most talented draughtsmen Punch ever had.” His peers seem to have not only appreciated his skills but also his sense of humour, indulging in friendly banter at his expense. He was teased by them for his artistically long hair, for example a ‘Punch Council’ of October 24th 1866 resolved:

“That this meeting deeply sympathises with C H Bennett on the state of his hair.
That this meeting appreciates the feeling which detains the said Bennett from the Council until his hair shall have been cut.” (Spielmann, 77)

They go on to offer to set up a subscription to enable him to go the barbers and “have his dam [sic.] hair cut” and be able to re-join the assembly of the brethren.

Bennett made over 230 drawings for “Punch” including a series of illustrations on “The Essence of Parliament.” Spielmann thought that Bennett would be remembered for his parliamentary drawings.

Gem 2

“Essence of Parliament” for 10th February 1866 issue of “Punch” by Bennett

“The great Reform Bill stands a thing of snow.
While DERBY, DIZZY, WALPOLE, missiles fling.”

Gem 3

 “Fresh Game for Mr Punch” by Bennett for “Punch” 11th August 1866.  The peacock figure at the bottom of the image is writer and politician Edward Bulwer-Lytton who was raised to the peerage in 1866.

Bennett was frequently in financial difficulty and after his death the men of “Punch” raised some money to help his family by putting on a play and other performances (July 29th 1867).  The programme included “Cox and Box; or the Long Lost Brothers” with original music by Arthur Sullivan and Tom Taylor’s popular drama “A Sheep in Wolf’s Clothing” with Mark Lemon and Ellen Terry among the players.

Gem 4

The Dalziels were the engravers of much of Bennett’s work but Joyce Irene Whalley tells us that he frequently cut his own wood blocks and was one of the few artists of the period to use both etching and wood engraving. She goes on to say:

“His illustrations had a certain whimsical and facetious quality about them, in keeping with much contemporary work, and although he could make his pictures perfectly plain and attractive to a child, he nearly always added a touch of detail which would appeal more to an adult.” (79)

That appeal to adults is borne out in Bennett’s “Book of Blockheads” which was published by Samson Low of Ludgate Hill in 1863. It was essentially a child’s A-Z combined with an amusing moral tale.

It opens with “Once upon a time there stood, in the middle of next week, a little city called Block.” Their neighbours the Wiseacres are angry with them and decide to lay siege to Block and starve the Blockheads into good manners. Their attempt is foiled by the gate being locked so they sit outside and wait. As the ‘besieged’ inmates run out of food the greatest Blockheads are asked by the increasingly desperate inhabitants to ‘get their dinners’. There follows 26 (one alliterative name for each letter) endeavours which fail to fulfil the city’s hunger.

‘Charley the Captain’ offers to fight for their dinners, but first he must ‘be covered in lace’.
In a few short sentences Bennett manages to communicate to children and adults alike the character’s self-importance and stupidity.

“So in honour of the battle he was going to win, they brought all the gold lace they could find, and with a strong needle and double thread sewed it onto his coat, hat, gloves and breeches, – they would have sewn it on his boots but they could not get the needle through.”

Gem 5

The illustration shows a tangle of arms, legs, bellows and umbrella, with Charley (finally dressed for battle) astride his innocent victims in dramatic pose and with frenzied expression. The contained shape of the image intensifies the sense of frantic movement and noise in a tightly controlled space. The bellows and the windmill in the image are both references to “Don Quixote” by Cervantes. Charlie is tilting (as in jousting) at windmills i.e. his attack is misplaced and will not achieve its purpose.

Upper class characters are largely portrayed as out of touch with the city inhabitants. “Edward the Esquire” gets it wrong because generally he “holds his nose up in the air and his dinner comes to him” and Kole the King just doesn’t understand the problem and complains that “they are always wanting something to eat.”

Francis the Farmer is well meaning and ploughs the land and plants crops for their dinners but fails to appreciate that they need their dinners now and cannot wait for them to grow.

Richard the Robber tries to steal their dinners but doesn’t manage to steal anything useful.

He is depicted running away from the inhabitants of Block, his legs stretched out across the image, his sword mirroring the stretched legs and the watches he has stolen curved before him.

Gem 6

Only the Fool, the cleverest man in Block, named Zephaniah the Zany manages to get the Blockheads their dinners.

“He puzzled it up, he puzzled it down, he puzzled it in and at last, he puzzled it out”…but you will have visit to read the book to find the solution!

Watch our Pinterest boards & blog in the coming months for more illustrations from Bennett including “The Sorrowful Ending of Noodle Doo”.

Jeanie Smith
Assistant Librarian


Bennett, Charles H. The Book of Blockheads. London: S. Low, Son, and Co, 1863.
(Our reference H 6.6 no 10)

“Punch or the London Charivari” 1866
(Our reference ST 670)

Spielmann, M. H. The History of “Punch.” London; Paris; Melbourne: Cassell and Company, 1895.
(Our Reference 052)

Whalley, Joyce Irene et al. A History of Children’s Book Illustration. London: Murray with the Victoria & Albert Museum, 1988.
(Our reference 741:64)


Talbot House: An Oasis in a World Gone Crazy

TH Sign (3)

In 1915 army chaplain Philip ‘Tubby’ Clayton established Talbot House in the small town of Poperinge, a few miles from the front line in Ypres. Here rank was irrelevant, orders were prohibited, and all soldiers were encouraged to forget about the war. As part of the commemorations to mark its centenary, Guildhall Library is currently staging an exhibition about this ‘oasis’ for soldiers.

1916 Guards In Canteen

The exhibition reflects the interiors of Talbot House, inspired by contemporary photographs. The house was established by Tubby and Neville Talbot to provide recreation, respite and relaxation for the troops. It was a home away from home, with a friendly welcoming atmosphere, and offered something for everyone, whether you wanted to relax, talk or have a good time. The most important room was the chapel, set up in the loft and reached by a steep staircase. Tubby estimated 100,000 men had probably used this room by the end of the war.

Tubby by Peter Beheyt

The heart of the house was undoubtedly Tubby Clayton. He created an atmosphere of fun and took a genuine interest in soldiers’ welfare, regularly leaving Talbot House to journey to all parts of the front to perform Communion. He thought his work at the house was ‘too safe.’

Right in the centre of the exhibition is the hut, now owned by Talbot House, in which Tubby wrote his memoirs after fleeing the Germans in 1918. He erected four of these huts in a field north-west of Poperinge. His memoirs, intended to be a short history of the house, are held at the London Metropolitan Archives (LMA) and are currently on display in the exhibition. Tubby writes that ‘this queer little book…began in a field near Poperinghe in May, 1918, with a hostile Kemmel in full view. It went on fitfully during the summer, and was rewritten at Samer after the Armistice.’ It was published in 1919. This is the first time the hut and the memoirs have been brought together since 1918.


The hut is displayed alongside ‘The Pressed Flower’, an installation by artist Rebecca Louise Law. It first went on show as part of a First World War exhibition at the Garden Museum. Rebecca was inspired by their collection of pressed flowers, preserved in journals and letters from the front. Also exhibited with the hut is a large image of a landscape between Poperinge and Ypres, taken by Simon Gregor. This is part of ‘The Remembrance Image Project’, for which Simon has photographed key sites associated with the war, on the anniversary of when they saw conflict.


A range of other items in the exhibition tell us more about the life of both Tubby and soldiers in the First World War. There are objects from Talbot House’s collections, which belonged to soldiers stationed in the area. The LMA holds material from Tubby’s life including from when Tubby was vicar of All Hallows and a few items from Tubby’s time in Poperinge are on display in the exhibition. We hope visitors will be inspired to learn more about this ‘oasis’ and its founder.

The exhibition at Guildhall Library is free and open until 8 January.

Amy Randall
Events and Exhibitions Officer
Guildhall Library

Promo Sign

Witches at Guildhall Library…


(Link): The Witch of Edmonton

Admittedly, I cannot recall having seen any women, or men, in tall black hats in the reading room. Nor have I come across toads in the book stacks, or cats asleep on book cases. Nevertheless, Guildhall Library holds a number of printed sources for those interested in researching witch mania over the centuries.

Let us start with the Witch of Endor, possibly the oldest documented witch. The Old Testament (1 Samuel 28:3–25) describes how King Saul, the first king of Israel, disguised himself and visited a female sorcerer to ask her to conjure up the spirit of the prophet Samuel to tell his fortune. The spirit foretells that Saul and his three sons will die in battle and that the Israelites will fall to the Philistines. Here Lodowick Muggleton claims to have a true interpretation:

A true interpretation of the witch of Endor: Spoken of in I Sam. 28. begin. at the 11. verse. Link: Witch of Endor
Muggleton, Lodowick, 1609-1698
Published London, 1669

The next work I have chosen to highlight is Malleus Maleficarum (c. 1486). This weighty theological and legal tome was regarded as the standard ‘handbook’ on witchcraft well into the eighteenth century. In fact, there were more than 28 editions of the Malleus between 1486 and 1600. We hold an Incunabula, or Early English book dating from 1492-1493 images from which can be seen at the link: Malleus

Guildhall Library also holds a twentieth century translation. The Malleus was the work of two Dominicans: Johann Sprenger, dean of the University of Cologne in Germany, and Heinrich (Institoris) Kraemer, professor of theology at the University of Salzburg, Austria, and Austrian inquisitor. In 1484 Pope Innocent VIII issued the bull Summis Desiderantes, in which he lamented the spread of witchcraft in Germany and charged Sprenger and Kraemer with its eradication.

Part one of Malleus emphasizes the reality and the depravity of witches. Any disbelief in demonology is condemned as heresy. Because of the nature of the enemy, any witness, no matter what his credentials, may testify against an accused. Part two is a compendium of fabulous stories about the activities of witches—e.g., diabolic compacts, sexual relations with devils (incubi and succubi), transvection (night riding), and metamorphosis. Part three is a discussion of the legal procedures to be followed in witch trials. Torture is sanctioned as a means of securing confessions. Lay and secular authorities are called upon to assist the inquisitors in the task of exterminating those whom Satan has enlisted in his cause.

An extract from Malleus Maleficarum which claims to explain why women are more superstitious and prone to witchcraft than men gives the general flavour of the work;
1. They are more credulous; and since the chief aim of the devil is to corrupt faith, therefore he attacks them.
2. They are naturally more impressionable, and more ready to receive the influence of a disembodied spirit; and that when they use this quality well they are very good, but when they use it ill they are very evil.
3. They have slippery tongues, and are unable to conceal from their fellow-women those things which by evil arts they know; and, since they are weak, they find an easy and secret manner of vindicating themselves by witchcraft…All wickedness is but little compared to the wickedness of a woman.
4. Since they are feebler in mind and body, it is not surprising that they should come more under the spell of witchcraft.
5. Women are intellectually like children.
6. The natural reason is that she [woman] is more carnal than a man, as is clear from her many carnal abominations.

Link: Malleus Maleficarum

Let us move on now to a sceptical view of witchcraft.  Reginald Scot’s Discoverie of Witchcraft was first published in 1584 and was reprinted in 1651, 1654, and 1665. Scot wanted to discredit the Démonomanie of Jean Bodin (1580) and Johann Weyer, author of De praestigiis daemonum (1566). Scot argued that there were no witches and that all those executed for witchcraft were innocent; he even asserted that he had been unable to find anyone who would offer him instruction in witchcraft. He claimed that none of the terms used in the Bible which had been translated as ‘witch’ had that meaning in the original languages, thereby undermining the claim that there was a biblical sanction for the execution of witches; thus earning himself a place in the history of biblical criticism. For Scott, witchcraft was an impossible, because it was nothing more than words. He implied that there was separation between mind and matter, a radical idea for the time. He contended that where curses or spells were followed by unpleasant events the link between the two was entirely coincidental.

Guildhall Library’s copy published in 1930 retains the spelling of the 1584 edition: The discoverie of witchcraft

Link: The discoverie of witchcraft

Richard Hathaway accused Sarah Morduck of being a witch. He claimed that Sarah bewitched him so he was unable to eat. He accused her of making him ill and making him vomit nails; he claimed to recover after scratching her; it was thought that the act of drawing blood from a witch would break any spell she had made. A local doctor heard of his accusations and induced him to scratch another woman’s arm pretending that the arm belonged to Sarah Morduck. Hathaway scratched the women he presumed to be Sarah Morduck and declared himself well again. However, the people were dissatisfied with this unveiling of the imposter and Sarah Morduck was obliged to leave Southwark and move to the City. Hathaway followed her to London with soldiers and broke into her house. In London the woman and her friends sought help from an Alderman thinking they would get justice; however, the Alderman ordered Morduck to be carried upstairs and searched to see if she had any teats or other signs of a witch and permitted her to be scratched by Hathaway and then committed her for a witch.
The woman was brought to trial at Guildford Assizes and was acquitted; Hathaway was committed for a cheat. While in custody Hathaway pretended to fast but in reality was heartily eating the food a maid had smuggled into his chamber.

The tryal of Richard Hathaway: upon an information for being a cheat and imposter, for endeavouring to take away the life of Sarah Morduck, for being a vvitch, at Surry assizes, begun and held in the burrough of Southwark, March the 24th, 1702 …, to which is added a short account of the tryal of Richard Hathaway, Thomas Wellyn and Elizabeth his wife, and Elizabeth Willoughby, wife of Walter Willoughby, upon an information for a riot and assault upon Sarah Morduck, the pretended witch, at the said assizes. 

Link: The tryal of Richard Hathaway

In the treatise below the author calls upon scripture and reason to argue that witchcraft did not exist and that it was irrational and heathen to believe in witches. He cites the case of Jane Wenham who was found guilty of associating with the devil in the shape of a Cat, making a young woman who could not walk without being led, leap over a Five Bar gate and run as swift as a greyhound. Jane Wenham was the last person convicted of witchcraft in England; however, she was later pardoned.

The impossibility of witchcraft: plainly proving from scripture and reason that there never was a witch; and that it is both irrational and impious to believe that there ever was

Link: The impossibility of witchcraft

There are further works to explore among Guildhall Library’s collections of course, but I hope this blog has served to whet your appetite for witchy research…

By: Isabelle Chevallot, Assistant Librarian