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Accessing information about past members &c

All of the Company’s records have been transferred to the Guildhall Library & Archives (Fons ref CLC/L/TD). These include Registers of Freedom admissions for 1824-1906 and 1947-1957, together with Court minutes from 1683, quarterage books and four volumes of miscellanea (mainly seventeenth and eighteenth century indentures and accounts). To go to the London Metropolitan Archives online catalogue, click here. Records covering the years 1926 to 1941 were damaged or destroyed in World War II.

There is therefore a possibility that individuals would appear in these records if they worked in London and were members of our Company, i.e. freemen or liverymen; and probably also if they had been apprenticed to members of the Company.

However, by 1805, tin plate workers were forming associations outside the Company, following a weakening of the control exercised by the Company on the trade generally during the eighteenth century, which resulted in attempts (apparently unsuccessful) to prosecute journeymen who refused to join the Company. It is noteworthy in this context that as early as 1733, ie within 65 years of its formation in 1670, the Company had decided to admit “any persons not being of the trade of tin-plate worker”, which suggests a shortage of trade members.

On the Guildhall Library’s family history pages, there is a note about their apprenticeship records.
For general information on access to the Guildhall Library, see the Corporation’s Visit Guildhall Library page.
The London Metropolitan Archives have digitised many of their most popular sources for family historians, including Freedom of the City Admission Papers, 1681-1930 and made them available online in partnership with Ancestry.co.uk. The LMA website gives information on accessing their records, including a “Paid Document Research Service” for those unable to visit in person.

There is a copy of the history of our Company, A History of the Company of Tin Plate Workers alias Wire Workers of the City of London, on the open shelves of the Guildhall Library; copies are available for purchase from the Company.

The Clerk would be very pleased to hear of the results of researches linking ancestors or others to the Company, particularly where these shed light on the wider history of the Company (contact us here).

The Company's earliest minutes book