This small but iconic piece of vellum - the "William
Charter" - is the oldest document in the City's archive, given by King
William I (the Conqueror) to the City in 1067, soon after the Battle of
Hastings, but before he entered the City of London. It has been in the
City's keeping continuously ever since. It measures just six inches by one
and a half with two slits, the larger one used as a seal-tongue and the
other as a tie. The seal impression, although detached and imperfect, is one
of the earliest surviving examples from William's reign.
The Charter is written in Old English (and so, notably, not in William's native Norman French) and translates to:
"William King greets William the Bishop and Geoffrey the Portreeve and all the citizens in London, French and English, in friendly fashion; and l inform you that it is my will that your laws and customs be preserved as they were in King Edward's day, that every son shall be his father's heir after his father's death; and that I will not that any man do wrong to you. God yield you".
The collage on the cover of this menu has been produced to mark the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare. The following images and documents from the City of London's collections are included.
In 1613 Shakespeare purchased the gatehouse of the former Blackfriars Monastry, signing this copy of the agreement. This is one of only six authenticated examples of his signature. The deed is currently on display in the City of London Heritage Gallery at Guildhall Art Gallery, until 31 March 2016.
Showing the area around St Paul' Visscher' panorama provides a strong sense of the City as Shakespeare knew it, as the property he purchased was nearby in the precinct of the former Blackfriars Monastry. We see a wonderful depiction of the cathedral, fifty years before it was lost to the Great Fire. The panorama is currently on display at Guildhall Art Gallery, until 20 November 2016.
This is generally considered to be one of two likenesses that depict Shakespeare accurately, as they were created for people who knew him intimately. The other is the sculpture that adorns his memorial in Stratford upon Avon which dates from before 1623. Guildhall Library's copy of the First Folio is currently on display in the City of London Heritage Gallery at Guildhall Art Gallery until 31 March 2016.
This depiction of the famous theatre is a detail from
Hollar's Long View of London from Bankside, which dates from 1647. This was
the 'second' Globe, incorrectly captioned in the engraving as the 'Beere
Bayting House'. This caption should have been applied to the nearby Hope
Theatre, a venue which hosted bear baiting as well as theatrical
All of the images used here are taken from the collections at London Metropolitan Archives and will be available in a new 'Shakespeare and London' gallery in COLLAGE, our online image database, when it is re-launched in spring 2016 (www.collage.cityof london.gov.uk)
The Armorial Bearings of Mr Sheriff-Elect Richard Sermon
designed by William Hunt, Windsor Herald, reflect his interests and major
influences on his life.
The Arms are described as ‘Azure a Griffin passant holding in the dexter foreclaws a Cross Crosslet fitchy Or on a Chief dancetty of three points Gules fimbriated Or a Rose Argent barbed and seeded proper between two Wheels Or.’ The Griffin is an element of other Sermon family Arms, the wheels are drawn from the Arms of the Wheelwrights’ Company of which he is a Past Master and the Yorkshire rose reflects his wife Rosemary’s origins.
The Crest is described as ‘Upon a Helm with a Wreath Argent and Azure Upon a Pulpit Gules a closed Book Azure edged Or statant thereon a Secretary Bird proper.’ These aspects are drawn partly from the Arms of Chartered Secretaries’ and Administrators’ Company of which he is also a Past Master with the pulpit representing a pun linked to the motto. The motto FACENDUM NON PRAEDICANDUM, ‘Practise, don’t Preach’, a play on his family name which encapsulates his attitude to life.
A wheel provides the base for his Shrieval Badge design with his Armorial Bearings at the hub with spokes which incorporate hand painted enamel shields depicting the Arms of Nottingham High School where he was educated, The Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators, of which he is a Fellow, The Worshipful Company of Wheelwrights, his Mother Company and the Worshipful Company of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators of which he is a Past Master and The City and Guilds of London Institute of which he is an Honorary Fellow and Trustee. A chamfered key stone, the symbol of the Youth Club movement recalling his long involvement with London Youth is engraved with The Ward of Cheap Club insignia and dovetails between the main badge and the Arms of the City of London. Each shoulder piece to the chain has a scale carriage wheel with an enameled Yorkshire Rose.
The design for the badge was realised and made in the workshops of the London goldsmith Grant Macdonald.