||Although the Glaziers Company would have
had regular meetings since its founding in 1328, the first reference
to a specific Hall occurs in 1601 when the Glaziers Company
are recorded as having a Lease on a Hall in Five Foot Lane off
the present Upper Thames Street. This building consisted of
a Hall with seats, a Kitchen, a Parlour with a fireplace and
cupboards, and a chamber above hung with painted cloth. This
Hall was burnt down in the Great Fire of London in 1666.
|By 1706, the Glaziers Company are recorded
as negotiating with the Loriners' Company for the continued
use of a Hall for which they finally took out a lease in 1718.
They continued here up to 1759. Thereafter and up to 1918, the
Company held their gatherings in meeting houses such as the
Queen's Arms Tavern in St Paul's Churchyard and at the London
Coffee House. From 1918 onwards the Company used the Painters'
Hall until the acquisition of the present premises.
||A Hall Building Fund had been originally
set up in 1929 and by 1958 with sufficient funds collected earnest
steps were taken to find a Hall. In 1971, the then Master, Sir
Frederick Snow, started negotiations with the Proprietors of
Hay's Wharf for a 150 year lease on Hibernia Chambers just at
the south end of London Bridge. This warehouse building had
been constructed in 1832, with a two storey office building
added on top in 1850.
|In 1974, the Co-operative Insurance Society
acquired the building from Hay's and subsequently granted a
lease to Glaziers Hall Limited at a yearly peppercorn rent of
a piece of glass on St Andrew's day. The Glaziers paid for the
fitting out of the building as a Livery Hall and they were able
to occupy their new Hall in 1977, where they were joined by
the Company of Scientific
Instrument Makers and subsequently by the Launderers' Company.
||Glass making has been known in Europe since
Roman times, and verrers or glasyers had worked in England since
the seventh century, and in the eighth century, Wilfred Bishop
of York brought in workers from France. The process of making
"stained glass" was described by Mark Theophilus in
the tenth century, and by the twelve century was used frequently
in England for windows in cathedrals and churches, though no
examples exist now earlier than the thirteenth century. Eleventh
and even tenth century examples can be found in Europe.
|A Glaziers Guild is first recorded in 1328,
though glaziers such as Thomas le Verer of Oxford are mentioned
a century earlier. This early Guild was strengthened in the
reign of Edward III who took a keen interest in the Livery Companies.
The Glaziers Company of London then only had control of glass-making
within the City of London and of immigrant glaziers working
within that area. In the fifteeenth century many glaziers from
the Low Countries settled in Southwark, near the Company's present
Hall, and set up businesses which were outside the control of
the City Guild. After a substantial increase in the use of glass
and glazing in the latter half of the
sixteenth century, and a monopoly of the trade in the reigns
of Elizabeth I and James I, in 1638, the Guild was granted a
Charter by Charles I.
Glass making continued to expand as in 1610, Sir William Slingsby
had introduced coal burning in the furnaces instead of wood,
which allowed much greater heat and revolutionised glass making,
as well as reducing the use of timber which was needed for building
fighting ships. In the Industrial Revolution in the late eighteenth
and early nineteenth century multiple furnaces such as the Flint
Glass Works in Birmingham, further increased glass production
and the later introduction of plate glass and mass production
brought glazing and glassware within the reach of all. The Glaziers
Company continued to prosper therefore throughout the eighteenth
and nineteenth centuries sharing various premises, and in the
last century eventually acquired their own Hall at the south
end of London Bridge.
||In previous centuries, scientific instruments
had been made through the skills of blacksmiths, clockmakers
and spectacle makers. The rapid expansion of science and technology
in the last century, such as those of optics, electronics and
computers made it necessary to have an Association entirely
dedicated to the advancement of scientific instrument making,
and in 1916 a British Optical Instrument Manufacturers Association
Ltd was formed, later expanding into the Scientific Instrument
Manufacturers Association Ltd in 1953.
In 1956 the Members decided to form a Guild to be known as the
Scientific Instrument Makers and that year the Royal College
of Heralds awarded them a Coat of Arms. In 1964 the newly formed
Guild was awarded Livery status by the City of London to form
the Worshipful Company of Scientific Instrument Makers.
| In 1977 the Company acquired a home in sharing
with the Worshipful Company of Glaziers in purchasing a Hall
at London Bridge, the Glaziers Hall, which they now also share
with the Worshipful Company of Launderers.
||In 1957, Dorell Rollit, the General Secretary
of the Laundry Trade Association and Ancliffe Prince first met
to discuss the setting up of a Worshipful Company of Launderers,
and in 1960 the Company was formally constituted. In 1963 the
Company established a Charitable and Educational Trust and in
1964 they received a Grant of Arms from the Royal College of
Heralds and acquired a Ceremonial Mace.
In 1965 the Company inaugurated an Apprenticeship Scheme for
launderers, and following a Petition on the Company's behalf
by Sir Peter Studd, a former Lord Mayor, the Company obtained
official recognition by the City of London in 1974. A Grant
of Livery was approved by the Court of Aldermen in 1977, and
in 1978 the Lord Mayor presented Letters Patent to the Master
of the Company.
In 1981 the Worshipful Company of Glaziers invited the Company of Launderers
to share their Hall by making an investment in it, and after
the Agreement was signed, the Company moved into their new
home in 1982. The three companies sharing the Hall commissioned
a stained glass window in the Hall to celebrate the Millennium.