[ ... back to main menu for this book]
Haberdashers’ Company (The) were formed in 1447, and were first known as “Hurrers” and Milainers” (milliners), from the fact that they supplied goods made in Milan. Their trade was not confined to what is now known as haberdashery, but included swords, knives, spurs, glass, and other articles. The present hall in Gresham-street is not an ancient building, nor is it remarkable in any way, except for its extreme comfort. It contains a couple of portraits of George II. and the wife of Frederick, Prince of Wales, around which some mystery gathers. These paintings were missing for about forty years, and it was only in the year 1876 that they were discovered in the collection of a country gentleman by a master of the company, who was enabled to restore them to their original places. The Haberdashers have the patronage of eight livings, eighteen scholarships, and have five free schools, two of which are in London.
Charles Dickens (Jr.), Dickens's Dictionary of London, 1879