Archives of the Salters' Company
Archived material provides a fascinating glimpse into the history of the Company and the City of London. The Salters' Company archives were created in an effort to keep a written record of all the Company's activities. The archives can tell us a great deal and would be useful to any Company members or other researchers interested in family, social, economic, political and local history.
Unfortunately, The Company lost many of its archives in the Great Fire of London in 1666, but aside from this, archives have for the most part been successfully maintained by the Company for several hundred years.
To see some key dates in the Salters' Company's history, from 1216 to the present day, click here for a timeline.
Contents of the Archive
Some of the principal surviving archives include the following:
- Property records, including title deeds from 1216, wills from the 1450s, building plans from 1709, drawings from the early 1800s and photos from the 1940s
- Finance records from 1599
- Governance documents from 1607
- Wills from the 1450s and other records of the Company's almshouses and other charitable activities from 1609
- Administrative records, including minutes of the Court of Assistants (similar to a board of directors or trustees) from 1627 and minutes of the various committees reporting to the Court from 1821
- Membership records from 1636
- The salt trade, from 1778 to the early 1800s: Thomas Weston’s Salt Trade books and papers
- Records of The Salters' Institute (formerly known as the Salters' Institute of Industrial Chemistry) from its foundation in 1918
The Salters’ Archives online catalogue can be accessed via The National Archives’ Discovery catalogue here
The Salters’ online catalogue for Thomas Weston’s salt books, 1778-1808, can be accessed via The National Archives’ Discovery catalogue here
Title deed relating to property near the site of the Company’s first Hall, 1216
Title deed relating to property in Bread Street, on or near the site of the Company’s first Hall, 1216.
This Latin document is the oldest surviving artifact in the Company archives.
Album of photographs and plans, 1940s
Album of photographs and plans showing Company property and war damage in the City, 1940s. The Company’s former Hall in St. Swithin’s Lane, along with most of its City property, was damaged or destroyed during World War II, but photographs and plans showing the extent of the Company’s London estates survive in the archives.
Petition for assistance to the Company, 1805
Petition for assistance to the Company, 1805, relating to the three orphan children of the late Joseph Scarlett, (a Freeman of the Company). There are two boxes of petitions for assistance in the archives, dating from the early to late 19th century, which provide a very revealing insight into the lives of the poor, the sick and the bereaved of this period.
Accessing the Archives
All the archives are kept at the Salters' Company (4 London Wall Place, London EC2Y 5DE), with the exception of the archives of the Company's former estates in Northern Ireland, which are held at the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland in Belfast at www.proni.gov.uk.
Research enquiries from both Company members and members of the public are always welcomed.
Salters’ Digital Archives Website: www.saltersarchive.co.uk
Records of London's Livery Companies Online (ROLLCO)
The Company's membership records to 1900 are available to view, free of charge, on a searchable database at www.londonroll.org as follows:
Apprenticeships: 1599-1600, 1678-1900
Freedoms: 1636-1656, 1716-1900
Archives Held Elsewhere:
Details of archives relating to The Salters' Company and The Salters' Institute but NOT held at The Salters' Company can be accessed via The National Archives' Discovery Catalogue at https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/
For further details on the archives and how they can be accessed please contact the Company Archivist, Katie George.
Telephone: 0207 588 5216 ext 225