Including the Tylers and Bricklayers, there are some 33 Companies that are believed to have had Religious Fraternity origins, and of these 25 Companies have or appear to have a reference to the fact in their Armorial Bearings. Of the 33 Companies 13 are believed to have been associated with Fraternities with vows to the Virgin Mary, and of these 137 have a reference to that fact in their Armorial Bearings which in 5 cases takes the form of Charges consisting of Lilies or Fleur-de Lys which are always regarded as associated with the Virgin Mary. These latter five Companies are the following:
1 – The Pewterers incorporated 1473 with a grant of arms (with Lilies) 1451.
2 – The Parish Clerks, incorporated 1441, with a grant of arms (with a fleur-de-lys) 1582.
3 – The Coopers, incorporated 1501, with a grant of arms (with Lilies) 1509.
4 – The Plaisterers, incorporated 1500, with a grant of arms (with fleur-de-lys) 1545.
5 – The Tylers and Bricklayers, incorporated 1568, with a grant of arms with a fleur-de-lys 1569.
Of these five Companies only the Tylers and Bricklayers is incorporated after the crucial date of 1543 and their charter is the only one which makes no reference to a fraternity with vows to the Virgin Mary.
Next we must consider the case of the Joiners Company. This is a Company well known to have originated in a Fraternity with vows to St James of Compostela and which to this day attends services in the church of St James Garlickhithe dedicated to that saint. The Company’s Charter of incorporation granted in 1570 as one would have come to expect, makes no reference to the Fraternity connection. However, when one looks at the Companies Arms, granted in 1570 by Robert Cooke Clarenceux King of Arms one sees at once that the design is very similar to that of the Tylers and Bricklayers and that where the fleur-de-lys appears in the Tylers and Bricklayers Arms there appears in the Joiners’ Arms an “escalop”, or scallop shell, the emblem of St James of Compostela. It remains only to add that not only are the Tylers and Bricklayers armorial bearings remarkably similar in design to those of the Joiners’, but they too were granted by Robert Cook Clarenceux King of Arms, albeit for some reason by the other two Kings of Arms as well. Clearly, neither Company at that tine would consider it wise to ask a Tudor Monarch to grant a Charter referring to a Religious Fraternity with vows to Saints, but they would by the 1560s feel it safe to ask the same Tudor Monarch acting through the College of Arms to grant them Armorial Bearings which included discreet reference to those Saints.