How do I access the documents that I have found in the catalogue?

Please email the Archivist to arrange an appointment to consult the material you have found. We welcome visits from students, academics and bona fide researchers by prior appointment only.

How can I get further help searching for and accessing materials?

If you experience any difficulties locating material of relevance to your research, please email archivist@clothworkers.co.uk for further assistance.

Please note that the catalogue contains descriptions of our holdings only and is not an index to all people, places or subjects mentioned within our archives or associated with other collections.

Additionally, individuals and place names have not been standardised (meaning you can expect to find them written in the catalogue in the form in which they are written in the original record); thus searching for variants of names may yield more search results.

It should also be noted that our archive is a private resource and not all series are available to researchers. All records are normally closed for 30 years; Company minutes are closed for 70 years; records relating to individuals are closed for 100 years.

Can I look at your Apprenticeship and Freedom Registers?

Our membership records covering the period 1545-1908 have all been transcribed in full and are available at www.londonroll.org.uk, alongside the apprenticeship and Freedom records of several other London Livery Companies. For preservation reasons, we do not allow access to the original registers.

Do you have samples of textiles in the Archive?

No. Our Archive is predominantly paper-based.

Can I use the images from your collections for my study or research?

You may use the images that you find here for personal study or research, but conditions apply and UK copyright law applies to all records. Please see the 'Terms of use' section for more information.

My ancestor was a Clothworker in 17th century Lancashire, will you have any information about him?

The Company's control of clothworking was limited to the City of London and its immediate suburbs and had died out by the mid eighteenth century. As such, we do not possess any information on individual clothworkers active outside the capital, unless they are known to have come to London to be apprenticed to a member of The Clothworkers' Company.

Moreover, one would usually expect such individuals to be described as ‘Citizen and Clothworker’ or ‘Clothworker of London’ in legal records such as wills, title deeds etc.

ROLLCO is the best resource for checking whether your ancestors might have been members of the Company.

What records do you hold relating to clothworking?

Despite its craft origins, the Company holds few records relating to clothworking.

The Orders of Court regularly document fines being levied for poor workmanship and disputes arising between members.

In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, they also contain references to wider issues such as the regulation of the trade in the City of London (many clothworkers could be found in The Merchant Taylors and Dyers’ Companies for example) and the impact of the export of (unfinished) cloth on artisan members.

Additionally, the Archive contains a Receipt Book for fines for bad workmanship, 1704-1747 [CL/E/1] and a book of Reviews of Defective Cloths, 1719- 1747 [CL/E/2]; however, these are the only records we hold relating specifically to the Company’s craft activities.

Where can I find the records of other textile companies or guilds?

We do not hold or collect the archives of other British clothworking or textiles guilds, companies or concerns, irrespective of their date and location. For the location of records of British textiles companies, please consult the National Register of Archives maintained by The National Archives.

Where can I find out more about the Company’s history

Visit our website www.clothworkers.co.uk to view a Timeline documenting key events and dates in the Company’s 500 hundred year long history.