The archives of the Drapers’ Company are held at Drapers’ Hall. The collection comprises Company records as well as those relating to the various charitable trusts administered by the Company.
Over the centuries the Company and its charitable trusts have been major property owners and the archives hold deeds for London properties dating back to the 13th century. Other records in the collection include City history, pageantry and hospitality, charity (education and poor relief), and the English settlement in County Londonderry.
Corporate records include the charters granted since 1364 and grants of arms (including the earliest surviving grant to a corporate body in England, dated 1439), the minutes of the Court (1515-), accounts (1475-), membership records and other books and documents detailing every aspect of the development and day-to-day existence of the Company.
The archives of the charitable trusts relate to the investment and administration aspects of the trusts. Few records have survived providing details of beneficiaries.
In addition, the Company has a unique archive relating to its former estate in Northern Ireland which is stored at the Public Record of Northern Ireland (PRONI) where it is available for research.
Whilst a microfilm copy is available for research at Drapers’ Hall initial enquiries relating to the collection should be addressed to PRONI at:-
66 Balmoral Avenue, Belfast BT9 6NY, Northern Ireland
To view the PRONI Website click here
Access and Enquiries
The Company’s archives are open to the public for research by appointment at the discretion of the Company:
Monday - Friday 10am – 4.00pm.
An enquiry service is provided and information leaflets about the History of the Company and its Hall are available on request. For detailed enquiries, researchers will need to attend at the Hall to undertake research themselves. All enquiries should be addressed to the Archivist detailing the nature of the enquiry.
Researchers tracing past Drapers should first consult the Records of London's Livery Company Online (ROLLCO): www.londonroll.org This is a new resource that provides inofrmation about apprenticeships and admission to Company Freedoms. Having established that a person was a Draper, do contact the Achivist for potential further information about a person's career within the Company, though the archives will not reveal personal or business information about a Draper.