The Lambarde Family
William Lambarde, lawyer, antiquary and topographical historian was not a Draper, though his father John Lambarde had been Master three times. Lambarde wrote several books: his treatise Eirenarcha was a standard textbook on the duties of a JP, his Perambulation of Kent (1576) was the first county history and his Pandecta Rotulorum earned him an interview with Queen Elizabeth I.
At the age of thirty-seven, a widower and without children, Lambarde founded Queen Elizabeth’s College almshouses at Greenwich in 1576, entrusting the trusteeship to the Drapers’ Company, with the Master of the Rolls as President. As a token of his thanks to the Company for agreeing to take on responsibilities of the almshouses, William in 1578, presented a silver-gilt standing cup and cover to the Company. The cup was made by John Bird and is beautifully engraved including the Arms of Lambarde, the Master of the Rolls and the Drapers’ Company.
Around the rim of the cup there is an inscription which reads: ‘A proctor for the poore am I – remember theim before thou dye’. The cup has come to represent the charitable role of the Company.
Recently, Mrs. DSF Campbell of Jura, one of the last direct descendants of William Lambarde, bequeathed to the Company a collection of family portraits, the 17th century Lambarde cloak and papers and many of William Lambarde’s books.