Dear Members


I write to you shortly after the Society’s Annual General Meeting, which was held on Saturday 3 June 2006 at Catherington in Hampshire.  This event took place on a gloriously sunny day at Farm Cottage, the delightful home of our committee member, Sir Geoffrey Dalton.  Geoffrey and his wife Jane hosted members together with spouses and other relatives totalling over twenty people in all.  Following a welcoming cup of coffee, the AGM took place in the comfort of Geoffrey and Jane’s oak beamed sitting room.  Reports were received from the Chairman, the Treasurer and the Secretary, and from the Journal Editor and the overseas Secretaries.  Mel Irwin was formally elected as Treasurer, and Geoffrey as a committee member.  Additionally Mel’s wife Dairne was proposed and elected as a committee member.  The full minutes of the AGM will be published in the next issue of the Journal.


After the meeting we all enjoyed a delicious lunch provided by Jane and had the opportunity to intermingle and meet up with faces old and new.  A number of those attending had brought items for the Dalton Family History display and these provided a focal point for discussions.  In the afternoon, Geoffrey gave us a fascinating talk entitled “Daltons and the Drapers Company”.  He outlined the origins of the City Livery Companies and the Drapers Company in particular, giving us a brief history since its foundation back in the 12th Century, and told us about its role in today’s City of London.  He then reviewed the long association that the Daltons have had with the Drapers since 1503.


Following Geoffrey’s talk, there was tea and more time for informal discussions and looking at the displays.  All too soon it was time to bid farewell.  A number of us were able to enjoy a meal together in the evening at a nearby pub.  As is always the case on these occasions, everyone attending found the day stimulating and enjoyable and our thanks go to Geoffrey and Jane for their hospitality and for making everyone so welcome at Farm Cottage.


We now look forward with eager anticipation to the American Gathering in October and I hope to see many of you at that event.  Until then, my best wishes to you all.


Michael N Dalton

2006 Annual General Meeting
Held at Farm Cottage, Catherington in Hampshire, UK
Saturday 3rd June 2006

The meeting started at 11.30 a.m. with about 20 members present.

Apologies were received from:

Elizabeth Cameron, Michael Cayley, Millicent Craig, Alan Dalton, Audrey and David Dalton, Howard Dalton, Rosemary and Charles Dow, Wendy Fleming, K.T. Mapstone, Jenny Redpath, Alicia Riley, Lucy Slater and Helen Smith.

Good wishes were extended to Lucy Slater after her recent operation.

The Chairman, Michael Neale Dalton, welcomed members and friends to the meeting on a typically English summer's day, and thanked Sir Geoffrey and Lady Jane Dalton for hosting the meeting. He explained that the A.G.M. was separated this year from the main Gathering to be held in America in October 2006. Representatives from Australia including John Prytherch were welcomed and each person present introduced themself to the meeting.

Minutes of the 2005 Annual General Meeting

These were taken as read and a motion for acceptance was proposed by Sir Geoffrey Dalton and seconded by Mel Irwin. This was carried unanimously, and the minutes were signed by the Chairman as a true record with no matters arising.

Chairman’s Report

Michael Dalton referred to his letter in the last DGS Journal, which gave an update on the activities of the Society in the past year. It had been an extremely busy period and he thanked all the members of the committee for their hard work and stressed the importance of regular contact through email. A wide range of skills had been harnessed for the benefit of the Society and these were the key to the success of the DGS, to the expanding databank and website, to the DGS Journal and to the arranging of events. Mention was made of the Guild of One Name Studies, whose Annual Conference he had attended in April, and also that the Journal was lodged with the five national copyright libraries, one of which is the National Library of Wales at Aberystwyth, which he had visited recently.

The present focus was on the forthcoming American Gathering in New England in October 2006 and tribute was paid to the American Secretary, Millicent Craig, for taking on the responsibility of planning this event and arranging such a comprehensive and interesting programme.

There were committee changes, which would be formalised at the meeting with the retirements of Dr. Lucy J. Slater and Howard Dalton. Both had given long and exceptional periods of service to the Committee as past Secretary and Treasurer, and the Chairman expressed his heartfelt thanks to them both. He welcomed the proposed election of present committee member Mel Irwin as Treasurer, and Sir Geoffrey Dalton to the committee.

Treasurer’s Report

The Acting Treasurer, Mel Irwin, read the report in the absence of the outgoing Treasurer, Howard Dalton, who sent his good wishes to the meeting. Once again 2005 had been a successful year for the DGS financially. The policy of using a Building Society to hold the Society's surplus funds had shown an increase in investment income of some 50% over 2004. The past year had seen a fall in UK subscription income over the previous year, as 2004 had reflected the recovery of some long overdue subscriptions. Control over expenses, in particular the Journal costs, had been maintained. Howard had taken the opportunity to write off the figure for the value of the Society's stock of unsold Journals. This figure had appeared in the Accounts since before his tenure as Treasurer. Any future sales of back copies of Journals would be reflected in the accounts for that particular year. This was Howard's last year as Treasurer of the DGS as he was handing over to Mel Irwin, and he wished him and the Society well for the future.

The Chairman paid tribute to Howard for giving so generously of his time and skills as Treasurer to the Society over many years, and formal adoption of the accounts was proposed by John Dalton and seconded by Pam Lynam and carried unanimously. It was further agreed that a letter of gratitude be sent to Howard from the meeting. Mel Irwin was thanked for agreeing to take on this responsibility and for his recent time as Acting Treasurer.

Geoffrey Dalton was keen to see the promotion of Gift Aid as the Society was a registered charity, and it was suggested that a Gift Aid form be included as a matter of form with membership application. Pat Robinson sought clarification of the charges for supplying back numbers of the Journal as she had now taken on this task from Lucy Slater.

Secretary’s Report

Pamela Lynam reported that present membership was approximately 268.

The new Membership Database was near completion thanks to the expertise of David Lynam. Each member would have a new membership number, which would be shown on Journal address labels. There was a need for the membership subscription due dates to be emphasised in the Journal.

Election of Officers and Committee

The present Officers and Committee had indicated their willingness to stand again, with the exception of Dr Lucy J Slater and Howard Dalton. Sir Geoffrey Dalton (co-opted member of the committee) and Mrs Dairne Irwin had agreed to serve as committee members. The Chairman asked Mel Irwin formally if he would stand as Treasurer and he agreed. There being no other nominations the election of Officers and Committee was proposed by John Prytherch, seconded by Mrs Pat Robinson and carried unanimously.

Editorial Report

The Chairman reported that Elizabeth Cameron had reluctantly given up her responsibilities as Editor of "Daltons in History", the web newsletter, but had agreed to continue serving on the committee. He was grateful to Millicent Craig for resuming this important task for the time being.

John Dalton stressed the need for material for the Journal from members, and this could and should include family histories. Maureen Collins enquired whether charts could be included and this was confirmed.

The forthcoming Journal (Vol. 44) was nearly complete and would be sent out in July. The Chairman thanked John Dalton as Editor and his brother Tony Dalton for typesetting the Journal.

DNA Sub-committee Report

The sub-committee included Millicent Craig, Michael Neale Dalton and John Dalton. Millicent Craig was thanked for her major input to this continuing study, which was proving to be a very successful project. An expert on DNA, Chris Pomery (author of the book 'DNA and Family History'), had been engaged as a consultant and was busy compiling a report to be presented to the American Gathering Meeting in October. It was reported that the Guild of One Name Studies was setting up a working group to help members make the best use of their DNA data. The Chairman commented that very few societies had matched the current level of participation in the DGS project.

Australian Secretary’s Report

Maureen Collins reported another successful year in her 7th year as Australian Secretary and referred to the latest newsletter she had sent out to members in May 2006. Membership levels were fairly constant and a meeting had been held in April at Sydney. Wendy Fleming had agreed to be co-opted as Australian Internet Secretary with help also from Gerry Dalton acting as Internet Librarian for the Australian branch of the Society, assisting in collating the extensive information supplied by Michael Cayley and Australian members. It had previously been agreed that each overseas secretary could co-opt members for specific tasks. Maureen looked forward to the possibility of an Australian Gathering, maybe in Queensland, in 2007.

American Secretary’s Report

The Chairman read the report in the absence of Millicent Craig, who presented her apologies after a recent illness from which she had now made a good recovery.

Eight new members had recently joined and the membership was increasing. She had unexpectedly resumed the task of editorship of "Daltons in History" in January 2006. To simplify preparation time, all data for the Dalton Data Bank was being placed in a queue and was being uploaded at three monthly intervals. At the end of June 2006 a decision would have to be made on transferring data to a larger site. About 75 pages of data had arrived from Michael Cayley and a huge file of Death Data for Newfoundland was due soon. Activity generated in the Journal Index remained relatively slow. Queries however continue at a high level and it was stressed that responding to these in a positive way was the key to new memberships.

Queries concerning DNA testing continued. The number of participants in the Dalton International DNA Project currently stood at 73 and a report was keenly awaited from Chris Pomery.

A formal request for the registration of Clan Dalton had been made to the Clans of Ireland. A decision was expected by August 2006 after which the development would have to be the task of the proposed Clan Dalton officers and committee. This will be a sub-committee of the Society and it is planned to have a first informal meeting at the October 2006 Gathering. It is expected that Clan recognition will increase DGS membership in Ireland and in America.

Dalton Gathering, October 2006

Millicent Craig was pleased to report that the Invitation and Programme for the Dalton Gathering in Hampton N.H. on 6, 7 & 8th October 2006 had made its first appearance in the May 2006 issue of "Daltons in History". There had been a favourable response and it was attracting a new group of Daltons in New England where the DGS membership had been low. An additional event to the programme had been added on Saturday 7th October 2006, when a Dalton memorial stone would be placed in Founders' Park alongside the stones of other colonists who had arrived at Hampton in 1638.

Forthcoming Gatherings and AGMs

Plans were proceeding for the July 2007 Gathering & AGM at Worcester, UK, with special reference to the English Civil War and the Battle of Worcester with the Dalton family connection. It was planned that details would be announced at the American Gathering in October 2006.

As previously mentioned, it was hoped to hold an Australian Gathering, maybe in Queensland in late 2007. Details yet to be confirmed.

Plans are also in hand for the July 2008 Gathering & AGM to be held in Offaly, in western Ireland, which will give good access to Dalton places of interest.

Any other Business

A DVD had been compiled by David Lynam and Howard J. Dalton of the talk by Ruth Illingworth on "Daltons in Ireland" at Mount Dalton in 2005.

Margaret Engler thanked Michael and Kate Dalton, and Catherine Gibson-Brabazon for organising the 2005 Dublin Gathering.

The Chairman thanked those who had attended and looked forward to the talk by Sir Geoffrey Dalton on "Daltons and the Drapers Company". The meeting concluded at 1.15 p.m.

Accounts for 2005
Charity Number 298251
INCOME ACCOUNT for period 1 January to 31 December 2005
Income: Expenditure:      
2005 2004   2005 2004
Subscriptions       Journals Dec-04 (Dec-03) 420.00 412.00
  Jun-05 (Jun-04) 403.22 370.00
Australia   188.00 108.00    
UK   497.50 708.00   Distribution Dec-04 (Dec-03) 210.28 224.34
USA   1114.22 1000.00   Costs   (Jun-04)   224.34
Bank Interest 0.71 1.58   Secretarial Expenses   73.06 88.56
Scarborough Building Society Interest 120.65 87.21   Treasurers Expenses     24.78
Sales of Journals and Leaning Book   32.00   F.F.H.S. Subscription   66.00 30.00
Sales of memorabilia   29.00   Purchase of memorabilia   391.00
    Purchase of Members List Software   35.00
    Expenses associated with Dublin Gathering 200.00  
    Journal Stock Value Written Off 251.12  
    Excess of Income over expenditure 297.40 165.77
1921.08 1965.79   1921.08 1965.79
CAPITAL ACCOUNT at 31 December 2005
HSBC Bank Account 2312.03 699.84   Capital Account at 31 Dec 2004 (31 Dec 2003) 4650.22 4484.45
Scarborough Building Society Account 3750.15 3629.50   Add Surplus for 2005 (2004) 297.40 165.77
Stock of Memorabillia 385.44 385.44   Creditor for distribution costs   448.68
Stock of Journals   251.12   Legacies/donations 1500.00  
Secretary's float   15.00  
Editor's float   10.00  
Cash in transit - Australia   108.00  
6447.62 5098.90   6447.62 5098.90


Notes to the DGS Accounts for 2005:

  1. Total subscriptions received in 2005 amounted to £1,799.72 (£1,816 in 2004).

By Sir Geoffrey Dalton

This article is based on the talk Geoffrey gave at the AGM held at his home in Catherington in June 2006. Part 1 is a general introduction to the Livery Companies of the City of London. In Part 2, Geoffrey tells us about the Drapers Company in particular and the part that Daltons have played in the Drapers Company.


Some Livery Companies probably had their origins before 1066 and are similar to Fraternities and Guilds or Mysteries which flourished throughout Europe for many centuries. The term Mystery is still in use and derives from the latin mysterium meaning professional skill. In England the development of guilds was not confined to London as many cities had craft guilds some of which still survive today also Scotland and Ireland have a living tradition.

In London in the early days people following the same trade or craft tended to live and work near each other and began to make informal arrangements amongst themselves for regulating competition and keeping professional standards high for mutual benefit as well as looking after the welfare of their members in sickness and hardship. The earliest record is probably the granting of a Royal Charter to the Weavers Company in 1155 and it is believed that by then many guilds were actively overseeing and supporting their trade or craft. Members paid to belong and the word Guild derives from the Saxon Gilda meaning to pay. Additionally there was a strong religious connection with each guild having a patron saint and link with a church or monastry.

In medieval times ‘livery’ was the term used for the clothing, food and drink provided to the officers and retainers of households, colleges and guilds. The term became restricted to the distinctive clothing and badges which were symbols of privilege and protection and since the members of each guild were distinguished from other people in this way, the guilds gradually became known as livery companies.

The usual way of entry was by apprenticeship which lasted 7 years, on successful completion of which they could claim their freedom which entitled them to serve under any master. This privilege of freedom was eagerly sought as a road to prosperity in the City of London and today remains as a qualification for Civic Office or admission to the Livery of a company.

Gradually many of the Companies acquired a permanent meeting place called Halls many of which are beautiful buildings but sadly a number were destroyed in the Great fire of 1666 and during the blitz in the last war.

Most of the ancient companies acquired Royal Charters and many have more than one. The early charters provided Royal recognition and gave them control over their own crafts and empowered them to own property. The earliest charters seem to have been granted around the 12th century and from Norman times to the middle ages the guilds flourished. Some of their members became very wealthy and their power and prestige helped the city of London to retain a degree of independence from the crown and the courts. By the early 17th century the guilds had reached the height of their development and wealth. Decline, however, then became imminent as on the whole the guilds powers were restricted to the city itself and as suburbs sprang up tradesmen and craftsmen who were not guild members began practicing their undercutting those controlled by city laws and livery company regulation. The city had opportunities to govern these activities but took a decision not to be responsible for them. However, some companies still regulate their trades outside the city most noticeably the Goldsmiths who are responsible for the quality and standards of gold and silverware and the hallmarking of individual items through their assay office.

Another cause of decline was the constant exhortation of money from the Livery companies by the Tudor and Stuart Monarchs. Later in the 18th century the livery companies faced further hardships and many faced the threat of insolvency because fewer people were seeking the freedom of companies as the drift from the city continued, rents were static and the rebuilding of the city after the great fire was costly.

Fortunately the 18th and 19th Centuries brought the industrial revolution and the opportunity to embrace the modern world and led to many of the companies renewing contact with their former trades. The wheel had come full circle and starting in the 1870’s the Livery Companies began providing increasing support for technical and other education and this support continues to this day. Early in the 1900’s the idea of new trades or professions coming together in new Livery companies began to offer advantages after a long lapse. This renewal started after the end of the first world war and by 1945 20 new companies had been established. The result is that the majority of the more than 100 Livery Companies support their trade, craft or profession in one way or another. Much of this support goes to universities and other institutions which train young people for careers, including apprenticeships as well as supporting schools throughout the country. One of the first charitable tasks undertaken by the early guilds was the care of the sick and elderly, the latter through the provision of Almshouses. In additional to this traditional provision many companies have broadened their giving into many areas of modern life both at home and abroad. Supporting people with disabilities, museums and libraries, housing, the arts, young people and medical research are some of the many deserving causes to which the Companies give millions of pounds from the charitable trusts for which they are trustees.


Part 2 of this article was published in the May 2007 issue of “Daltons in History”. Here Sir Geoffrey concludes his account with specific information about the Drapers Company and the Daltons who have been members.

So with that run over the history of the Livery Companies how does the Drapers Company fit in. First it is accepted that it came into being in 1180 and its first Charter was granted by Edward II in 1364 and reinforced several time by later monarchs until a new charter was granted by James 1 in 1607 wholly incorporating the company with the title of The Master and Wardens as Bretheren and Sisters of the Guild or Fraternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary of the Mystery of Drapers of the City of London.

During the early medieval period the finest cloth was manufactured in Florence and the low countries. The wool which fed the continental looms came from England or Scotland and English merchants, some of them Drapers profited well from this trade. However in the middle years of the 14th century there was a change of direction stemming from Edward IIIs prohibition of the export of wool and import of foreign cloth. The result was an opportunity for the English cloth industry to expand and resulted in radical changes to the Drapers guild. In spite of the ban on exporting wool exceptions were made and some enterprising merchants set up a thriving trade to Spanish ports, Calais, Danzig and Lisbon. This also allowed wealthy merchant drapers to pursue trading interests outside the Drapers Guild leading to changes in trading practices. There was movement of other traders into the guild thus the whole character became more fluid leading to the dilution of the Drapers as a Mistery denoting a craft or trade, effectively severing their hold on the cloth trade. They widened their horizons and diversified their business. Yet the Company didn’t disintegrate, on the contrary by the beginning of Elizabeth’s reign it took steps to assert their position in the city. The Company was also in the happy position of receiving numerous endowments, bequests, legacies properties and rent which enabled them to enter the 17th century on a firm financial footing. The Drapers strength now no longer lay in the cloth trade but in the wealth, prestige and social conscience of the Worshipful Company.

Like many of the other Companies The Drapers has its Hall in the City near the Bank of England. The first one was in St Swithun’s Lane down by the Thames and was in 1423 built on part of a tenter ground which is a place where the cloth was stretched on tenters to dry and held in place by hooks – hence the expression ‘on tenter hooks’. After little more than a century in St Swithun’s Lane the Company bought Thomas Cromwell’s mansion in what is now Throgmorton Street. It was a palatial house with extensive grounds and on his downfall passed to the king – Henry VIII – and had been empty for three years. Sadly it was one of the last buildings to be burnt down in the great fire of 1666 as also was the St Swithuns Lane one.

The Drapers quickly decided to rebuild on the original foundations but to a new design. Misfortune struck again in 1772 when a fire in a cellar spread to do considerable damage involving much rebuilding. Finally a large programme of renovation and repair was carried out in 1825 which provides the basis of the splendid building we have today.

From it’s medieval origins as a religious fraternity, the Drapers Company has evolved into one of the wealthiest and most influential of the City Livery Companies. The position of the Drapers as third in the order of precedence after the Mercers and Grocers was finally established in 1516 by the Lord Mayor. Incidentally this decision was not without controversy as the Merchant Taylors and Skinners disputed who should be at No.6 or No.7. A Solomon like judgement instituted a procedure whereby on mid-summer’s day the Masters of the two companies call on the Lord Mayor and formally change places for the following year. Hence the origin of the expression ‘all at sixes and sevens’. There are now over 100 companies of which the 12 most senior are known as the Great 12 and the remainder the minor companies.

The charitable and corporate wealth of the Company derives from the bequests of individual drapers who over the centuries have left money, land, rents, plate, paintings, documents and instructions. Additionally property has over a long period proved a sound basis for prosperity and having been endowed over the years with properties scattered throughout the city, the Drapers remain substantial landowners.

The main function of the 21st century Drapers Company is the administration of trusts. For over 600 years the company has been entrusted with legacies, property, the government of schools, almshouses and in past times their sometimes troublesome inmates. Today the Company is still a trustee of three groups of almshouses which provide sheltered homes for some two hundred elderly people, and it administers a number of education and welfare trusts and also make grants in many other fields.

The Company’s experience in education originated in the medieval apprenticeship scheme formalised after 1551 when exhibitions were awarded to scholars at Oxford and Cambridge. In the years following, the Company became involved with the establishment and management of no less than 13 schools. Later caught up in the wave of Victorian enthusiasm for education of the people, the Company founded and financed technical schools, university departments and laboratories and with other Livery Companies founded the City and Guilds Institute. Finally the legendary People’s Palace was built at Mile End in the East End of London on a site provided by the Drapers. The Company paid for the construction of the technical school alongside the Palace and with continuing support it evolved into the East London Technical College receiving a Charter of Incorporation in 1934 from Queen Mary. It has subsequently been joined by Westfield College and the Medical Schools of Barts and the London Hospital, and now known as Queen Mary at London University.

Although the association of the Draper’s Company with the drapers’ trade has been tenuous since the late 16th century, links have recently been re-established by the foundation of awards and sponsorship in the field of textile design, conservation and technology and lately in the new field of industrial textiles. Overall the various Draper’s Trusts and the Company contribute more than £3 million each year to these various good causes.

Nowadays membership of the Company as a Freeman is open to men and women and can be by patrimony through the father or redemption which is by recommendation and interview. Thereafter advancement to the Livery is by selection. Each year one liveryman is elected to the Court of Assistants which forms the Board of the corporate part and the Trustees of the charities. For the last five years ladies have been eligible for election to the Livery and Court and this year we have our first female Junior Warden. The medieval member of the Draper’s Guild might have had a small shop where he sold drapery. The wealthier members were likely to be merchants, exporters of woollen cloth, moneylenders to the King, financiers and businessmen who were involved in all aspects of City life. Similarly today the members of modern livery companies comprise a cross section of professional interests. Some members’ families have been Drapers for centuries, others have been admitted to the Company on recommendation and following an interview. The freedom of the Company has from time to time been presented to men such as Sir Francis Drake after the defeat of the Spanish Armada and to Admiral Lord Nelson after the Battle of the Nile and to several of his captains after Trafalgar. Our most illustrious freeman is the Queen and Prince Charles is also one. More recently they have been joined by the Duchess of Gloucester.

So this brings me to the subject of the Daltons and the Drapers Company and I make no apology for spending rather a long time talking about the Livery Companies in general and the Drapers in particular because it is only by knowing the scope of their activities that it is possible to understand what it is all about.

For those with long memories you will remember that there have been at least two articles in the magazine about the Daltons and the Drapers, one written by a cousin Neale Dalton and more recently one by Michael Cayley for which he carried out extensive research in the Company archives and from which I have drawn much useful information and I can do no better than to quote from it where necessary.

‘The earliest Dalton member who appears in the surviving records is John Dalton who was apprenticed in 1503 but little else is known. Slightly more is known of Edward Dalton, who appears to have been a merchant in Calais before 1550 and there may have been a connection with the Dalton Merchants of Hull. Even more is known of Jerome Dalton, who was apprenticed in 1558 and obtained the Freedom of the Company in 1565 and died in 1592. Two of his sons became Drapers and one, Edward, was elected a warden in 1633. There were several other Dalton members in the following two centuries but it is William Edward Dalton, apprenticed in 1783, who started the succession which so far has lasted for nine generations. During which time they have contributed much to the governance of the Company.

From 1841 to the 1950’s there have only been eight years, 1862-70 when there hasn’t been a Dalton on the Court and seven have been elected as Master including Hugh Dalton, a former Chancellor of the Exchequer. Another, Sir Cornelius Dalton, was a distinguished Chairman of Governors in the early days of the formation of Queen Mary College and of course his great-great-grand daughter Rosemary Dow is an enthusiastic member of the Society. Michael Cayley, in his article, lists a total of 64 Daltons both male and female who have been or are members of the company of whom 9 are members today! To see who they were or are I thought it would be interesting to look at the occupations of some of the descendants of William Edward Dalton, who began the Dynasty and who are in our direct line. He was elected to the Company by redemption in 1780, a linen draper of Fleet Street born in 1755 and himself a fifth generation descendant of Walter Dalton of Curbridge near Witney in Oxfordshire. Next in line was his son John Dalton who married Hannah Neale and became a member by patrimony in 1802. He was Clerk to Dorrens & Co in Finch Lane, London and became a warden of the Company. Another was William Dalton, a bookseller, of Piccadilly followed by Rowland Neale Dalton, a drug broker of Hampstead who became the Master in 1897 (a drug broker was quite a different profession from today’s use of the term!), and who was my great grandfather.

His son William Henry Dalton, ‘a Gentleman of Hampstead’ and then my father Jack Rowland Thomas Dalton, a rubber planter in Malaya. There are 17 other brothers and sisters spread over the 9 generations who are or were Drapers. An interesting diversity of careers! I suppose the most distinguished one was Hugh Dalton, Chancellor of the Exchequer in the late 1940’s, a member of the House of Lords and Master of the Company.

Between John Forbes Dalton being Master in 1858 and William Henry being Master in 1880 extensive alterations and redecoration was carried out in the Hall. Included in the Court Dining Room are a number of shields spread around the upper part of the walls on which are painted the Coats of Arms of the Masters of that time.

William Henry was fortunate enough to qualify for the last one of these so to this day the Dalton Coat of Arms is there for all to see.

That completes all that I wish to say except to add what a privilege it is to be part of such a distinguished company in which I have enjoyed being a member with the opportunity of contributing to many of the facets of its work for more than 50 years.