Members of the Company who served as Lord Mayor
Alderman Sir Alan Traill GBE QSO
Alderman The Rt Hon Lord Mais of Walbrook GBE (1911-1993)
Alderman Sir Samuel George Joseph Bt (1888-1944)
Lord Mayor 1942-3. Joseph was a Lloyds’ underwriter and father of the late the Rt Hon Sir Keith Joseph Bt MP, one time Secretary of State for Education and Science.
Alderman Sir Walter Vaughan Morgan Bt (1831-1916)
Alderman Sir Robert Walter Carden Bt MP JP (1801-1888)
Alderman Henry Winchester (1777-1838)
Alderman William Bridgen (1709-1779)
Lord Mayor 1763-4. Bridgen served as Junior Warden in 1744 and Senior Warden in 1745. He never served as Master. He was a wine merchant with premises in Mincing Lane and was elected Alderman for Farringdon Within Ward in 1754.
Other notable members of the Company
John Torr Foulds
The growing demands of navigation increasingly conflicted with the obstructions required by the waterworks, and in 1761/2 the Corporation agreed to open a larger waterway for vessels in the centre of the bridge. To assist the Waterworks Company, two further arches were leased to it. Foulds’ first task was to assist in the installation of a 32-foot waterwheel in the fifth arch. By 1779 he had become chief millwright, and proved his ability in fire fighting when the tower into which the water was pumped caught fire. He then devised an apparatus for direct pumping to the mains to avoid rebuilding the tower.
He was then involved in a wide variety of activity in maintaining the output of the machinery. In 1782 a steam engine was installed to supplement the water power, and all five wheels were renovated. He installed a sixth wheel in the fourth arch in 1795, having previously been promoted to senior staff. Continuing in office until his death, he was consulted about the deteriorating condition of one of the wheels only a few weeks before he died. The water wheels did not long survive him, since the Company was wound up in 1822 prior to the rebuilding of the Bridge and the machinery was transferred to the New River Company.
Foulds received the silver medal of the Society of Arts in 1780, and the gold in 1795. He was a leading figure in the Master Millwrights’ Association and a member of the Smeatonian Society of Civil Engineers. In 1791 he was appointed Assistant Engineer in the Surveyor’s Office of the Corporation of London. Thereafter he was heavily engaged in design of the new docks on the Isle of Dogs, and also became engineer to the Shadwell Waterworks Company along the river.
Sir John Hall
Sir John Hall was the son of the Rev John Hall of Stannington, Yorkshire, where he was born in 1779. He became a freeman and liveryman of the Company in 1806, and in the following year was appointed consul and agent for the maritime seigneury of Papenburgh in East Friesland. Thereafter he was consul general for Hanover in the United Kingdom from 1816 to 1854, served as Sheriff of Essex in 1817, and was secretary to St Katherine’s Dock Company from 1824 to 1853. He was knighted in 1831, and died in 1861.
He joined the Court in 1839 and was successively fined for the offices of each Warden and Master from 1843 to 1845. The reason for his joining the Company is unknown, hut he was most probably introduced by John Foulds in view of the connection of both with London Docks. His attendance at Court meetings seems to have been negligible.
Besides a gilt rose-water bowl and a marble bust of Apollo, he gave numerous portraits and prints to the Company including those of William III and Queen Anne, as well as two of himself. This is unsurprising in that he was a dealer in pictures and engravings so well known that, upon his death, The Times not only printed an obituary, but also carried a very long editorial upon his influence upon the Art World. His gallery at 6 Pall Mall was a major centre for the artistic world of his time. As a record of influence the following extracts from that editorial are illuminating:-
“The death of Mr Henry Graves, for so long a time a conspicuous figure in the world of art, breaks a link with a distant and interesting past … he had known Wilkie, had published for Constable, and had for years had Turner to sup with him every Sunday, and had contributed more, perhaps, than any other man to the fame and fortune of Landseer … he had been a pushing and successful man of business before he was 21. His great time was from 1830 to 1870, and during those 40 years it is not too much to say that no man was more closely connected with the movement of the arts in England, so far, at least, as native painters and engravers were concerned … His talent was that of judging the market with curious precision; of knowing what would take the public taste, and of sparing neither money nor pains in bringing such work before the public.
He helped to enrich many artists … he paid Flatow, the dealer, the vast price of £20,000 for Mr Frith’s “Railway Station” and the copyright … so with Landseer who became rich not by the sale of his pictures, but by that of the engravings from them. Another matter which is likely to be a good deal discussed on the occasion of Mr Grave’s death is the present and future position of engraving as an art. As he was by far the largest publisher of prints that ever lived, he must be held in a measure responsible for the present state of the art, be it satisfactory or the reverse. It is eminently desirable that the great traditional excellence of English engraving should he maintained, and that the men of today and tomorrow should not fall below the standard set by the old mezzotinters”.
Sir Horace Louis Petit Boot
The Right Hon Sir John William Fisher Beaumont PC, QC (1877-1974)
Charles Welch FSA
If the Company has only contained one pre-eminent historian amongst its ranks, it can be particularly proud of his distinction. His publications upon the history of London and its Guilds were numerous. As early as 1880 he produced a short history of the Stationers’ Company, followed in 1890 by another on the Gardeners’ Company. There followed a massive history of Tower Bridge in 1894 to mark the opening of the present bridge; ‘Numismata Londinensia’ (an account of medals struck by the Corporation) in the same year; and ‘A Modem History of London’ in 1896. Histories of the Pewterers’ Company in 1902 and the Paviors’ Company in 1909 served as preparations for his monumental history of the Cutlers’ Company in two volumes, published in 1916 and 1923. During the same period, he wrote ‘London at the opening of the twentieth century – contemporary biographies’ 1905; ‘A History of the Monument and Great Fire of London’ 1907; ‘a History of the Royal Exchange’ 1913; and ‘The Coat Armour of the City Livery Companies’ 1914. In 1911 he joined with Canon Benham to write a work on Medieval London. In addition he edited the Churchwarden’s accounts of All Hallows, London Wall, the Register of Freemen under Henry VIII, and produced numerous papers on various aspects of City history.