Article Index

The Charter is strikingly short on detail both as to the manner in which the Company will manage its relationship with its own members and as to the manner in which it will exercise control over the craft. Clearly however it is intended that the detail will be filled in by the ordinances to be made under paragraph 7 and which will of course have to have the Statutory approval which has been necessary ever since the Statute of 1504 (19 Henry VII C.7). The Ordinances also require the approval of the Court of Aldermen as indeed does the Charter itself under a Statute of 1437 (15 Henry VI C.6). The Charter makes no mention of a Court of Assistants, although one has almost certainly existed for many years, and the Grant of Arms in 1569 and the new Ordinances of 1570 both refer to it. The most interesting provision in the Charter perhaps is the extent of the control of the craft over an area covering a radius of 15 miles from the city boundaries. It would seem that the company assumed the obligation to exercise control over the numberous aspects of the craft referred to in the Ordinances over far too large an area, and so it proved increasengly to be the case over the next 150 years. How this radius came to be chosen is not clear, but it is much greater than that selected for most livery companies. Some 78 companies appear to have areas of control defined for them, 24 were restricted to the City boundaries, and of the remaining 54, 43 had a radius of between 2 and 10 miles in addition, exceeded only by the Tylers and Bricklayers with 15, the Fanmakers with 20 and the Gold and silver Wyre Drawers with 30. Among the companies in the building crafts the Carpenters had 2 miles in 1607, increased to 4 mile in 1640, the masons 7 miles, the joiners 2 miles and the Plasterers 2 miles in 1597 increased to 3 miles in 1677. Finally it will be noted that the Company has now adopted the title of “Tilers and Bricklayers”.

Six months after the grant of the Charter the Tilers received their grant of Arms. The original is lost and no copy exists, but the contemporary records of the College of Arms summarise its contents thus:

“Asure a cheveron Or in Chief a Fleur-de-lys Argent between ii brickaxes and a Brushe gold & their creaste upon a healme on a atorce gold and azure an Arme couppy party pale or & gules houldinge in his hand proper a brickax gold mantled gueles doubled argent as more playnely appereth depicted in this margent which Armes and Crest To Roger Gathorne Master and Simon Credance & Thomas Shornebrok Wardens of the corporacon and mistery of the commonalty of Tilers and Bricklayers & to their successors by the name of Master Wardens or assistants & companye of the sayd corporacon to have and to hold use beare enjoy and shew forth in shydes standers banner or banneroles &c In Witness whereof we the sayd Garter Clarencieulx & Norroy Kinges of Armes & by there pntes &c dated the iii February 1569 regni regine Elizabeth xii”.

This might be summarised in modern layman’s terms thus:

“A gold chevron on a blue shield with a silver fleur de lys flanked by two gold brickaxes in the upper half and a gold ‘brush’ in the lower part. The crest on a gold and blue wreath is a right arm with a sleeve coloured half gold and half red the hand holding a gold brickaxe. The mantle is silver and red.”