Armourers and Brasiers Company

Object Title

Armourers and Brasiers Company

Armourers and Brasiers Company

Reference

ARBR

Level

Collection

Scope and Content

This is a pseudo collection of documents from a variety of sources relating to the Armourers and Brasiers Company that have been collated together for ease of cataloguing and access

Extent

1 document, 12 microfilms, 1 negative

Access Conditions

Open access

Administrative / Biographical History

The Armourers and Brasiers’ Company first emerged in 1322 when a group of twenty six Armourers and Helmetmakers was granted the right to oversee standards in the making of armour and helmets in and around the City of London. From these humble beginnings it grew in coherence and standing, and in the middle of the Wars of the Roses in 1453 was granted its first charter of incorporation by King Henry VI. In 1515 the Company absorbed the Blademakers. Its reputation was further enhanced in Henry VIII’s reign by an increase in skills which emulated those of the Greenwich armourers imported by Henry from Germany and Italy. By Elizabeth I’s reign, the Company was accepted as equal to the foreign armour makers.

In times of peace the Company had diversified into brass making and, when armour went out of use after the Restoration, it turned over to this secondary craft. In recognition of this change of direction Queen Anne granted what is now the Company’s operative charter to the Armourers and Brasiers’ Company in 1708. Unlike many City livery companies, it continued its oversight of the trade until the industrial revolution taking apprentices from all over England and from all walks of society, with special arrangements for charity children.

In the 19th Century, the brass trade moved to Birmingham and the Company lost some of its close associations but, encouraged by the City Livery Companies Commission of 1878, it held on to its association with the trade by subsidising education about and
within metallurgy.

In the 20th Century the Company continued and extended this association by forming the Gauntlet Trust which encourages and funds research into Materials Science. The membership of the Company reflects this interest and its finances have been organised to maximise the Company’s support.

Source: A Short History of the Worshipful Company of Armourers and Brasiers.

Associations