Worshipful Company of Pewterers
WORSHIPFUL COMPANY OF PEWTERERS
- arms : Azure on a chevron or between three strikes argent, as many roses gules, atalked, budded and leaved vert.
- crest : On a wreath of the colours a mount vert, thereon two arms embowed vested argent, holding in both hands erect proper a pewter dish argent.
- mantling : Gules doubled argent.
- supporters : On either side a sea-horse or with tail proper.
- motto : In God is all my trust.
The arms were officially granted on May 26, 1533. The crest, motto and supporters in 1573.
The formation of the London pewterers into an organized body with disciplinary powers sanctioned by the mayor and aldermen is to be seen in ordinances made in 1348. On 26th January 1473/4 the Pewterers were incorporated, as a fraternity or guild in honour of the Virgin Mary, by a royal charter which gave the Company power to examine and assay all merchandise belonging to their craft throughout England.
The earliest record of arms in use by the Company is found in a confirmation of arms by Roger Legh, Clarenceux, dated 13th August 1451. These arms are reproduced in colour in a manuscript of about 1480-1500 and an Elizabethan copy' of the patent, headed "The confirmation of the Pewterers ", blazons the arms as follows :
goules a cheveron of sable betwen iii lylly pottes of silver, in the cheveron iiii strakes in cloudes holdyng up our Lady of gold crouned under the handes of her blessed fader in a clowde.of tynne in theyre kynde and in the poynt of the cheveron vi aungells.
The representation of the Assumption in the arms recalls the Company's origin as a fraternity in honour of the Virgin Mary, and the lily pots, i.e. pots of lilies, are emblematic of her purity.
As in the case of other companies, the Pewterers found it politic to eliminate any religious symbolism that might compromise their security during the Reformation, and the grant of 1533 was obtained accordingly.
A strike is a piece of tin often circular in shape, sold to mirror-makers, glaziers, tinsmiths, plumbers, organ-builders, spurriers and copper smiths. They were also used as signs to advertize pewterers' shops.
The arms on a Wills's cigarette card, 1913
Literature : Bromley and Child, 1960