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Merchant Taylors (The) are the old rivals of the Fishmongers, and profess Conservative politics. Their hall, Threadneedle-street, which is on the ground-floor, is stated by its admirers to be the largest of all the City halls; by ordinary persons it might perhaps be considered the ugliest. It was built after the Great fire by Jarman. The latest addition to the portrait gallery is a likeness of Lord Justice Baggallay by J.Sant, R.A. Busts of Sir J. Pollock and the late Lord Derby stand in the vestibule before the drawing-room; and portraits of Wellington by Wilkie, and Pitt by Hoppner, are hanging in the gallery overlooking the hall. Many royal personages, eleven in all have belonged to the company, and a large number of peers and peeresses. Sir John Hawkwood, the famous freelance, was a Merchant Taylor as also was Stow, the historian. The master of the company used to be called the pilgrim, from the fact that he had to travel for his associates.
Charles Dickens (Jr.), Dickens's Dictionary of London, 1879