The Salters' Company Digital Archives

Welcome to The Salters' Company Digital Archives

The Salters’ Company existed in 1394 when it received a licence from Richard II, but its exact date of formation is unknown, with the oldest surviving document in the Company’s archive collection dating from 1216.  Salters traded in salt and various chemical preparations, but as one of the smaller City of London Great Twelve Livery Companies, members have always been recruited from a variety of other trades and professions.

Prior to being digitised, this, the first tranche of archives to be made available to view on the Salters’ Company website, required a programme of intensive conservation work.  Thanks to generous financial support from The National Manuscripts Conservation Trust, the conservation project Salters’ Benefactors, Beneficiaries and Buildings, 1609-1929 came to life in 2018.  It reached completion in 2020, and digitisation of the majority of the archives included in the project has been achieved in 2022, as follows:

       ·         Distribution Book, 1609-1782

       ·         Distribution Book, 1783-1929

       ·         Book of Hyde’s Gifts, 1630-1692

       ·         A selection of 19th century petitions for financial assistance

       ·         View Reports of the Salters’ former City of London almshouses in Bow Lane, 1824-1863

       ·         View Reports of the Salters’ former City of London almshouses in Monkwell Street, 1824-1863

       ·         Plan Book of the Salters’ Estates in the City of London, 1829

The Distribution Books, the Book of Hyde’s Gifts, the petitions for assistance and the View Reports all provide wonderfully detailed insights into the charitable activities of a Great Twelve Livery Company and also of the beneficiaries of those activities.  As both the largest capital city in the UK and a major global city, London makes an ideal focus for specialist historical studies.  Furthermore, studies on past charitable activities are becoming ever more relevant in the 21st century, as are studies focussing on the lives of the poor in earlier centuries.

The Plan Book provides unique and detailed information on a further rewarding area of historical study: buildings and tenancies in the City of London, also famously known as the ‘Square Mile’.

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