History of

The Beadles of London

History of The Beadles of London

Our History | Rolls of Honour

Our hope is to record as many as possible of the Beadles who have served the Livery Companies down the centuries. We will be listing them by Company.

Please select a tab below to browse the categories.

List of Beadles of the Brewers’ Company

Complete, 1838 on; incomplete before that date. There was no Beadle between 1941 and 1959.


SMITH, John - circa 1435

CRUYS, William - 1508

ECCLESTON, Francis 1599

GABBETT - 1599

LEGGE, John - 1606

BOWES, Nicholas - 1620-1630

SYMONDS, John - 1632

BRIDGES, John - 1656

SYMONDS, Samuel - 1657 (Under Beadle)

FRYTH, Thomas - 1658

PEIRSON, William - 1670-1682

ALAND, Samuel - died 1739

HALL, Charles - 1793

CROUCH, John - 1800

SLATER, John - 1838

CRIPPS, Charles - 1838-1876

ELMS, James Collins - 1876-1888

HARVEY, John - 1888-1899

DANCASTER, James - 1899-1908

BARNES, Joseph Richard (Sgt Maj) - 1908-1929

HARVEY, William John - 1929-1940

BLAKE, W. - 1960-1968

CHADWICK, A.N.A. - 1968 [4 months only]

WATERS, Edward Victor Lewis - 1968-1982

SCOTT, Ian Hamish - 1982-1984

BEGLEY, Simon Lawrence - 1984

CLEARY, Robert - 1985-1992

BACKHURST, Ian William - 1993-2016

FITZGERALD, James - 2016-

The Beadles of the Worshipful Company of Leathersellers

Reproduced by kind permission of The Worshipful Company of Leathersellers

List of Beadles of the Leathersellers' Company

The Leathersellers' Company has had a Beadle since its earliest days. The first one we know of by name is John Lambe, who had been appointed Beadle by 1472. From 1619 to 1788 there were two Beadles, an Upper Beadle and an Under Beadle. The list is complete from 1566 on; before that only a few names and dates are known, due to gaps in our early records.

LAMBE, John - 1472-1476

ROWTHE, John - 1487-1494

JORGE, ______ - 1494- ?

CURTES, Thomas - ? - 1548

Beadles from 1566 onwards.

(from 1619 to 1788 the postholder was known as the Upper Beadle)

RICHE, John - 1566-1573

SMYTHE, John - 1573-1584

THOMPSON, Thomas - 1584-1612

MADITT, John - 1612-1625

WARD, Andrew - 1626-1632

HASSELGRAVE, William - 1631-1634

GRIFFITH (or GRIFFIN), Sebastian - 1635-1661

SPEARE, George - 1661-1678

BISCOE, Robert - 1678-1680

MELLING, Richard - 1680-1681

CHILD, William - 1681-1704

WOOD, Francis - 1705-1710

MANN, Samuel - 1710-1718

SEWERS, John - 1718-1737

HILL, Thomas - 1737-1748

WINTER, William - 1748-1776

BAYLIS, Henry - 1776-1790

BARRETT, James - 1790-1803

JARVIS, John - 1803-1809

COOPER, Nathan - 1809-1817

MEESON, John - 1817-1833

FARMER, Thomas Bevan - 1833-1841

SHEPHERD, John - 1841-1862

CRIPPS, Charles - 1862-1878

GIBBS, George Frederick - 1878-1911

ROBERTS, William David - 1911-1946

SAWYER, Reginald Leonard Alfred - 1946-1961

SHIRLEY, H. W. - 1961-1963

GILDER, Francis Eldon - 1963-1969

SIBUN, Lawrence H. - 1970-1972

HOUGHTON, Stanley W. - 1972-1977

BILTON, Henry M. E. - 1977-1978

BAXTER, John Malcolm - 1979-1988

HARPER, Samuel - 1988-1989

BROOKES, - 1989-1999

MARSHALL, David John - 1999 -

Leathersellers’ Hall

St Helen's Place

The Seventh Hall

During the Company’s long history the Leathersellers have occupied seven Halls. The first one was on London Wall, but in 1543 the Leathersellers bought the buildings and estate of St Helen’s, an important Benedictine nunnery which had closed at the Reformation, and the subsequent Halls have all been on this site.

The seventh Hall was officially opened in May 2017 by HRH the Earl of Wessex. It replaces the post-War Sixth Hall, which in turn replaced the Fifth Hall, a Victorian building destroyed by a fire bomb during the worst night of the London Blitz in May 1941.

(c) The Worshipful Company of Leathersellers

The Beadles of The Worshipful Company of Tallow Chandlers

Contributed by the current Beadle Nicholas Baker

16th Century

1525 (or earlier) to1561 - Martin Fisher (paid 4s pa in 1525/6)

1561 to beyond 1572 - Thomas Priest (paid 8s in 1561)

1594 to 1616 - John Barnes (arrested for theft in 1616)

17th Century

1616 to - John Heyward/Hayward

1638 (or earlier) to 1641+John Richbell (paid £8 pa)

1665 - Richard Collyer (died of the plague)

1666 to 1691 - William Gurney

1695 (or earlier) - John Harrison or Harnson. Died 1706 and for his funeral the Company expended 5/2½d.

18th Century

1702 - Robert Walker

1706 (or earlier) to 1718/19 - William Mellor (d 1726)

1726 - John Watts

1737 - William Hall (suspended for illegal candle making)

1737 to 45 (or later) - Nathan Hall

1770 - John Bavin (d 1770)

1770 to 1773 - Thomas Payne (sacked for theft)

? to 1780 - Samuel Trindall

1780 to 1790 - William Logan (d 1790) (paid 12 gns pa)

1790 to 1798 - Charles Dare (Past Master) (paid 30 gns) with Mr Gregory as Under Beadle 1793-1804)

19th Century

1804 to - Mrs Hester Dare (a rare example of a lady beadle with Mr George Munday as Under Beadle (1805-10)

1812 to 1827 - William Stephens (paid £50 pa)

1827 - Mr Bush (temporary)

1827 to1849 - James Elisha (Snr) (d 1849)

1849 to 1868 - James Elisha (Jnr) (disciplined for his intoxication at theElection Dinner in 1864)

1868 to 1904 - James Turner (replaced “the intoxicated Mr Elisha”, salary raised to £150 in 1882)

20th Century

1904 to 1929 - William Hill (Francis Harry?)

1929 to 1953 - JL Poole (ex SSgt RASC) (paid £150 on appt)

1953 to 1972 - Sydney H Brown (paid £230 on appt)

1972 to 1974 - Henry Sangster (d 1974)

1974 to 1986 - Roy Terry

1986 to 1989 - John Sangster

1990 to 2004 - Jack Hall

21st Century

2004 - present - Nicholas Baker

Tallow Chandlers Hall

The modern Hall, a Grade I listed building, was built in 1672 after the destruction of the original hall during the Great Fire of London. The elegant ceiling dates from 1868, when it became necessary to replace the original roof timbers. The south east corner of the Banqueting Hall was damaged during the Second World War, but was completely renovated between 1947 and 1955.

The Tallow Chandlers Company Website

The Beadle in the Early 17th Century

An excerpt from - CHILDREN OF STONES
A History of The Worshipful Company of Paviors of the City of London

by Ian Dussek, Past Master
Copyright 1999 The Worshipful Company of Paviors

By 1603 the ‘management’ of the Company consisted of the Master, Wardens and Assistants. Many, if not most, of the livery were unable to read or write and responsibility for documentation lay with the Clerk.

He in his turn was assisted in practical matters by the Beadle, who was himself a member of the Company. The clerks were somewhat shadowy historical personages and presumably they saw no reason to commit themselves personally in writing. One is typically recorded as having been paid 2s 4d for three days attendance to Company business. The Beadles on the other hand, were very much flesh and blood: one Matthew Reynolls, or Reynolds, being involved after relinquishing his office, in "controversie and recrimination". Reynolls was duly fined 13s 4d, paid off at the rate of seven pence per week on Saturdays. He was in further trouble for not attending the admission of the new Warden at Guildhall, being fined 2shillings and appeared on later fine lists, before eventually receiving a charitable grant from the Company in his old age many years later.

On appointment, it was customary for the Beadle, whose role was nearer that of a fourth Warden than a Company servant, to make a declaration. That of Nicholas Richardson, which was made on January 28, 1613 read:

"M. that I Nicholas Richardson the day and year above written do firmly bind myself in the sum of XL (£ 10) to perform all dyutyes belonging to the Company of Pavyours myself being one of the brethren of the same Company in all poynts as a Beadle ought. So do I the said Richardson receave from the wardens of the sayd company the year and the day aforesaid the sum of XS (10 shillings) & betwixt the daye aforesaid and Christmas next ensuing the sum of XS more to be payd for the serving out of the tyme of John Wright being Beadle & for ev after to stand to the curtesye of the wardens of the Company of Paviours & still so searve the said Company as Beadle & the said Richardson to receave of the said Company for his Beadleshipp the sum of iiijs the Qr. In witness whereof l have set this my hand the daye & yeare above wrytten".