[ ... back to main menu for this book]
Vintners’ Company (The) was incorporated by Edward III., in whose days claret was sold in London at 4d. the gallon, and Rhenish at 6d. Charles I. allowed the vintners to raise the price 1d. per quart in return for the duty of £2 per tun. The present hall is not ancient. There is a fine piece of tapestry in excellent preservation representing St. Martin of Tours, the patron saint of the vintners, in one of the ante-chambers; and in the court-room, above the fireplace, there is a painting of St. Martin dividing his cloak with a beggar, which looks like a Rubens. The company possesses a magnificent salt-cellar, silver-gilt, the work of Cellini. The oak carving in the hall and court-room is remarkably fine.
Charles Dickens (Jr.), Dickens's Dictionary of London, 1879