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THE NEWSLETTER OF THE WORSHIPFUL
COMPANY OF SCRIVENERS OF THE CITY OF LONDON
Issue 16: September 2011
A presentation at Court
The Court Meeting on 14 July at Barber-Surgeons’ Hall was followed by a reception during which the Master presented a retirement gift to Vic Alden, our former Beadle, who was accompanied by his daughter, Sharon Ramsay.
The gift took the form of a lead crystal decanter and a pair of whisky glasses, the decanter being engraved with the Scriveners’ coat of arms and a dedication to Vic, and the glasses with his initials. In addition, the Master presented him with a bottle of something to start the decanter off, so to speak, and a cheque. Vic and his daughter were the Company’s guests for the evening, and subsequently wrote a letter of thanks to the Company (see below).
The Court was very sorry that the former Upper Warden, Peter Esslemont, felt himself unable to take office as Master, which he was to have done at this Court Meeting. Naturally, we wish him and Ann well and hope that we shall see them both at many Company events in the future. Ruth Campbell and Bill Kennair are to fill the gap as Master, with Bill resuming the office at the Court Meeting in January 2012, after which there will be a reception, open to all, at Information Technologists’ Hall. Installing two Masters in one year is a rare event indeed, so it is hoped that Scriveners will take advantage of an additional reception!
Meanwhile, Ruth Campbell has her Mastership extended by six months. “I’m looking forward,” she says, “to meeting many new Masters on my second time around.” She will also qualify to join two Past Masters’ Associations. Can one ever have too many Past Masters in one’s social life, one wonders?
Vic’s letter to the Company, addressed to the Clerk:
On my behalf would you please thank the Master, Wardens, Liverymen and Freemen of the Company for the wonderful gifts I received on the 14th July at Barber-Surgeons’ Hall. My daughter and I had a very pleasant evening. However I am still in awe of their generosity and some doubt as to whether I deserve it. The decanter must have a slight leak for I find I have to refill it often. My thoughts and good wishes go to Ruth, Bill, yourself and Doreen for the extra busy year you are having.
Vic Alden (unemployed)
From the pen of the Master
Dear Fellow Scriveners,
When I wrote my last piece for the newsletter, little did I think that I would be writing another at this time of year. As most of you will know, our former Upper Warden and Master Elect, Peter Esslemont, felt it wise to withdraw from taking office for health reasons, as a consequence of which the Court decided, as reported on the front page, that his year should be divided between myself as the incumbent Master, and Immediate Past Master Bill Kennair. We all wish Peter and Ann well, and sincerely hope that we shall see them throughout the year, without the pressures of Mastership!
I am delighted and honoured to have been entrusted with a further six-month term of office and will continue to represent the Company to the best of my ability. I have often heard other Masters say that their year is over all too soon, just as they were really getting into their stride, so I can be grateful that I shall have no such cause for complaint. I hope to see as many of you as possible at our Autumn Dinner, Mansion House lunch, Carol Service and Old Bailey reception, as well as the other Company events in the calendar, and I know you will support Bill Kennair when he takes over at the Court Meeting in January. Finally, may I thank you all for your splendid support throughout the last year. Being Master of the Scriveners has been a very special experience for me.
Master July 2010–January 2012
Matters educationalThis summer the Company held its first ever series of educational seminars and lectures under the expert guidance of Education Officer Iain Rogers. The seminars provided valuable preparation for our examination candidates and were presented by Scrivener Notaries.
A number of excellent guest speakers were invited to speak on topics relevant to notarial practice. Professor István Varga of the ELTE Faculty of Law in Budapest presented an overview of the current state of European Civil Procedural Law. Dr Jonathan Fitchen of the School of Law, Aberdeen University spoke on the role of Authentic Instruments in today’s European Private International Law. Ian Gaunt, Hon. Secretary of the London Maritime Arbitrators Association, explained some of the particular problems relating to the international enforcement of arbitration awards. Our final lecture was presented by Save the Children International and Stone King LLP, and provided a valuable update on charity law. All of these events were accredited by the Faculty Office of the Archbishop of Canterbury under the Notaries (Continuing Professional Education) Regulations 2010.
Our thanks go to the Scrivener Notaries who presented the seminars and to all of our guest speakers for their generous contribution of time and expertise. The high level of attendance at these events and the lively nature of the discussions generated testify to the vibrancy of the notarial profession in modern times and to the important role of the Company in providing high quality education to prospective and practising notaries.
The Company is delighted to announce that four candidates have now passed all of the Company’s professional examinations and, on being admitted to the Freedom of the Company, will be entitled to practise as Scrivener Notaries.
They are Phillip Journeaux and Ryan Moody of De Pinna, Andrew MacNab of Saville & Co, and Emma Wilkinson of Cheeswrights. Hearty congratulations to all—especially to Phillip who passed all five exams in one attempt, an impressive feat indeed.
Congratulations are also due to Peter Adams and Carsten Schweer - the latter coming all the way from Heidelberg to sit the exam - who both achieved good passes in the Company’s Examination in Advanced Notarial Law & Practice.
Sea shanties and ShakespearePast Master (and soon to be Master again) Bill Kennair and his wife Karen very kindly did the catering for a special fundraising Sea Shanty Supper at St Peter’s Eaton Square on 23 June. There was fish pie in abundance and an excellent selection of puddings supplied by other Scriveners. The evening raised over £1000 for the Sexcentenary Charity Fund.
Another fundraiser is planned for next June, when Liveryman Peter Cobb is kindly arranging a Grand Chinese Banquet on the floating Lotus Restaurant in Docklands. Tickets will be modestly priced—bring the family for a fun Jubilee celebration!
The following day saw the Election of the Sheriffs followed by lunch with the Tallow Chandlers, and the next weekend, 1-3 July, the Master led a party of ten to Stratford-upon-Avon to visit the new theatre and to see two productions there, The Merchant of Venice and Macbeth. Happily, the weekend coincided with the River Festival, which added a very colourful atmosphere both by night and day.
The Spring Dinner took place at Painters’ Hall on 14 April, when the Principal Guest was Sir Anthony Jolliffe GBE, accompanied by Lady Jolliffe, and the Company also entertained the Master of the Master Mariners, the Master and Clerk of the Musicians, the Master and Clerk of the Tax Advisers, the Master Fan Maker, and the Master of the Guild of Scriveners of the City of York, accompanied by his wife.
Among the Master’s personal guests were our old friends Philip and Linda Buckler, now ensconced in the Deanery at Lincoln, and Commander Mike Knott of HMS Portland. Continuing the nautical theme, Vice-Admiral Charles Montgomery CBE, the former Commanding Officer of HMS Beaver—our affiliate ship before HMS Portland—was the guest, with his wife, of Past Master Alan Cope. It was a great pleasure, also, to have four of our five apprentices present. As the Master said at the time, they represent the future of the Company, and we need to make them feel welcome and very much part of the proceedings, whatever the occasion. Equally, we were very pleased to have a sizeable contingent from Cheeswrights, celebrating Michelle Scott’s entry into the Freedom of the Company as a Scrivener Notary.
There is much to look forward to over the horizon, and the Clerk would like to draw your attention to the list of dates for your diary under the Events menu (to the right). Applications for these events may be made at any time, but formal notices will be issued a few weeks beforehand. As always, the Clerk’s office will be very pleased to hear any suggestions that members might like to make regarding events, visits or outings.
New membersThe Master, Wardens and Court of Assistants are delighted to welcome the following new Freemen and Liverymen to the Company:
Civil Servant, Home Office (IPS); JP
Gwilym Vaughan Roberts
Partner, Kilburn & Strode
Michael John Martindale Wilson
Retired civil servant, DEFRA
William George Condé
Senior Manager, International Compliance,
Bank of New York Mellon
Thomas Andrew Hoyle
Solicitor and Notary Public, Roebucks
John Anthony James
Solicitor; Chairman, Intandem Films; Dep. Chairman, Network Group Holdings; Chief Executive, Nechells Regeneration Project
Thomas Woodcock CVO
Garter Principal King of Arms
Portland in the Pool of London
In mid-summer HMS Portland, a Type 23 frigate of the Royal Navy, was moored alongside HMS Belfast on the Southbank of the Thames. The Worshipful Company of Scriveners has had a long-standing affiliation with HMS Portland and a delegation, headed by the Master, was invited aboard to visit the ship and her crew.
On boarding HMS Portland we were warmly greeted by the Logistics Officer, Lieutenant Commander Kara Chadwick RN, who showed us to the Officers’ Mess.
The ship’s Captain, Commander Mike Knott RN, and his senior officers made us feel very welcome, enthusiastically answering numerous questions concerning life on board and the workings of one of the top frigates in her class. Some of us interrupted the reception by taking a tour around the ship. Very soon into the tour, I was surprised at how much skill it required to negotiate the ship’s narrow corridors and steep metal stairs!
We were shown around the Ops Room where the weapons and RADARs are controlled from and the functions of different officers who would be controlling the ship at any given time were explained to us. Her sick bay, we were told, was equipped to deal with most life-saving medical situations, save for operations and dental problems.
When passing the galley, it became evident just how pressured the work of HMS Portland’s chefs is – providing four hearty meals a day for 185 sailors is a task which, indeed, requires military planning and timing! All in all, I was left with a strong impression of tremendous efficiency in utilising space on board a ship; a sentiment strengthened by being shown another compartment which has been converted into a gym. Back on the upper deck, the tour ended with a chance to see a Lynx anti-submarine helicopter and various armaments at midships and up on the fo'c'sle.
The reception finished on the bridge where I was briefed by Cdr Knott RN and two of his officers, who described the idiosyncrasies of living and working on board a war ship. The experience of seeing how the men and women of the Royal Navy live and fight for months at a time in some of the world's most inhospitable places was truly compelling and humbling. It also gave me yet another reason to be proud to be a member of the Company that counts HMS Portland amongst its distinguished and historical associations.
Several livery companies have taken the opportunity recently to remind their liverymen of a few of the finer points of City etiquette, and a conversation with a former Lord Mayor led your Clerk to think that it might be worth jotting down a few of them here in the hope that none will take offence and that some may be enlightened (and most will nod wisely and say “We all know that, for goodness’ sake.”):
In terms of formal dress, ‘evening dress’ means white tie and tails; ‘black tie’ means dinner jacket. It is considered by some to be bad form to wear a wing collar with anything other than evening dress, and on no occasion, ever, should a white tuxedo be worn other than in the United States, or in a play by Noel Coward.
Equally heinous is the wearing of a white bow tie with a dinner jacket; and the modern custom of wearing an ordinary long black tie with a dinner jacket is considered far too fashion-conscious to interest any self-respecting liveryman. That is the province of showbiz, where looking properly dressed in every particular is deemed to be a clear sign of lack of character.
The former Lord Mayor also believes that Masters, Wardens and Court Assistants should wear evening dress at formal dinners, even if the majority of those attending opt for black tie. We tend to be less rigorous in these matters, but there is always scope to sharpen up a little!
In the next issue: the practice of comfort breaks and the avoidance of patent leather shoes...
ObituaryEdgar (Jon) Jones
1 Dec 1914—5 Apr 2011
His daughter, Karin Cox, writes:
Edgar (known as Jon in his business life) was born in Deptford, London in 1914. His father was a master butcher. He was the fourth child with a gap of 11 years to his brother and older siblings. His mother died when he was 11 and he lived with his grandmother, who made costumes for Covent Garden Opera House, in Rotherhithe.
At 16 he started work as an office boy with G Sandeman’s, port and sherry importers, in St Swithin’s Lane. By the beginning of the second world war he was a shipping clerk with a good head for figures and an interest in the port and sherry trade. He joined the RAF in January 1941 and at sometime was stationed with Major Cockburn, due to Edgar’s skill as a bridge player. Or so he said.
After promotion to Flight Sergeant, Jon joined Bomber Command with the US Air Force stationed at Wycombe Abbey School, and made lifelong friends of many Americans he met there. Many years later his granddaughter, Selina Harvey, by then also a Scrivener, became a classics teacher at the same school.
Jon worked with the MOD in London at the end of the war and on discharge rejoined Sandeman’s, progressing through the financial section and being appointed Company Secretary. He joined the Board in the 1970s. Jon had developed a particular friendship with a Notary Public firm, and they encouraged him in his admission to the Scriveners. He became a Liveryman in body and soul and thoroughly enjoyed participating in as much as he could with the Company.
In the late 1960s Sandeman’s moved to Harlow in Essex, and Jon and his wife Lili moved to Epping. In due course his daughter and family also moved to Epping and life became busy with their grandchildren and church activities. Jon remained working until 75, part time, for Sandeman’s, helping research with the registering of all the registration marks and also helping to compile an extensive history of the company.
Jon spent his later years looking after Lili in her declining health and he then, eventually, after her death, moved into residential care. He remained interested in Kent Cricket Club and would know all the cricketers and scores.
He died on 5th April 2011, aged 96. It seemed an appropriate day to die for someone always involved with tax dates!
Jon Jones joined the Scriveners Company in 1977 and became a Court Assistant in 1997.
We also report with great sadness the death of Liveryman John Brooks of Sevenoaks, Kent, a member of the Company since 1977.
Issue 15: March 2011
From the pen of the Master
Dear Fellow Scriveners,
My year as Master of the Company seems to have taken on speed as the months have progressed and I find myself now over halfway through. It is a great honour and privilege to represent the Company at City events and I thought that it might be informative to list those which I have attended (see page 2) since I took office. The list of engagements is longer than I remembered and reading it through I am reminded of the many people I have met.
It has been a year of upheavals – some personal and others affecting the life of the Company. The last few months have seen the resignation of our Clerk Paul Elliott and also of our immediate Past Master Lee Brace, whose resignation we accepted with great sadness at our last Court Meeting. This year has also seen the retirement of our Beadle, Vic, who will be much missed. We are pleased that he will be able to attend the reception following the July Court Meeting when we will present him with a gift in recognition of his service to the Company. We are very fortunate in having now elected as Clerk of the Company, Giles Cole, who is well known to members of the Company as Past Master and Honorary Court Assistant. I am very pleased that he was able to step into the breach so quickly and efficiently.
A highlight of my year, so far, was the opportunity to spend several days on board HMS Portland, our affiliate, on its return to Devonport from seven months’ deployment. The opportunity to experience life on board a Royal Naval vessel and the camaraderie between all ranks on HMS Portland, was an unforgettable one, and I was very proud to represent the Company on that occasion.
I was also delighted to meet the chorister at St. Paul’s Cathedral School and the scholar at the City of London School for Boys, who are supported by the Company. Our charitable donations are greatly appreciated in all of the schools which we support and I would encourage all members of the Company to establish, if possible, a standing order in favour of
our Sexcentenary Fund and re-appraise it from time to time.
I was pleased that our links with the Guild of Scriveners of York are still strong – I attended the Annual Dinner of the Guild in York with my partner Geoff Upton, and the Master of the Guild who was Master previously at the same time as Giles, our Clerk, will be attending our Spring Dinner at Painters’ Hall on 14th April 2011.
One other highlight of the year for me has been the celebration of St. John’s Bible at two events – one at St. Martin-in-the-Fields which featured many of the illuminations from the bible projected onto the high altar of the church, and the other a talk at Temple Church by Donald Jackson, Past Master of the Company. Donald has been co-ordinating and working on this project for the last thirteen years and the skill and beauty of the work is really breathtaking.
As my year as Master continues I hope that I will see as many of you as possible at future events – our Spring Dinner, a trip to the newly transformed Royal Shakespeare Theatre at Stratford-upon-Avon, and one or two more events which will, I hope, be of interest. Meanwhile, I would like to thank all members of the Company for their support and kind encouragement during my Year as Master.
As many of you will already know, the Clerkship of the Company changed hands just before Christmas when Paul Elliott moved on to pastures new. At its meeting on 31 January, the Court expressed its thanks to Paul for all he has done in his time with us – some three and a half years.
A message from the new Clerk
I am very honoured to have been entrusted with the Clerkship of this ancient Company and I will do my best to ensure that the Scriveners Company prospers and flourishes in the years ahead.
It is not unknown in the Livery for a Past Master to become Clerk of the Company, although it happens rather more frequently the other way round. Older members – or perhaps, more properly, those of longer standing in the Company – may well remember that James Harman was our Clerk before becoming Master in his turn. And Court Assistant Peter Stevens, who succeeded James as Clerk, is now well-placed to become Master too, in a few years’ time. In James’s case, his father had been Master before him – as indeed is true of me – and it is pleasing to see these things being handed down from generation to generation.
It is an interesting custom that if a Clerk is appointed from the membership of the Company, he or she is styled as ‘Clerk of the Company’ whereas an outsider is described as ‘Clerk to the Company’. It is a nicety not strictly observed these days, but these subtleties of language have their place!
I would like to hear from anyone who has any suggestions to make regarding the Company, its events, the Sexcentenary charity fund, or any other matters relating to the Company. Tradition is a very strong constituent of any livery company, but we need to ensure that present-day expectations can also be met, as far as possible, so as to engage as many people, actively, as we can. The key elements, to my mind, remain charitable giving, civic duty and good fellowship. Let us make the most of all three.
I am very keen to encourage all Freemen and Liverymen to enjoy Company activities – whether a rollicking good roast beef lunch at Butchers’ hall, or a more formal dinner, a weekend trip away, the Carol Service, or some of the other more varied events which are added each year as each new Master brings his or her influence to bear. My more recent professional background is in the corporate events industry, working with celebrity presenters and TV personalities, but I hasten to reassure any anxious members that we are unlikely to see Jonathan Ross or Graham Norton responding on behalf of the guests at a livery dinner.
Finally, although the office is, strictly speaking, only manned on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, there may well be other occasions when I am at my desk outside those days; if not, I am always available (within reason) on my mobile number. I know from past experience that it can sometimes be frustrating not to be able to contact the office between Thursday evening and Monday morning. I have set up the company email on my laptop at home, so I will be able to respond to emails when I am out of the office, although I won’t of course have all the company files and documents at my fingertips.
I look forward to seeing you, and hearing from you, during the course of the year.
The Master, Wardens and Court of Assistants are delighted to welcome the following new Freeman and Liverymen to the Company:
Nigel Pugh Solicitor and Notary, Bond Pearce
Fraser Brown Partner, FJ Cleveland & Co, Patent Attorneys
Marcus Hayes Principal, Mason Hayes Solicitors
Rev’d Ben Hughes Teacher (design and technology), Sir John Cass School
Robert Kerss Scrivener Notary, Saville & Co.
Peter Cobb retired Assistant Director of Social Services
Alexander Anderson Barrister-at-law, Heythrop College (University of London)
We are also very pleased that Sir Peter Gwynn-Jones’s successor as Garter King of Arms, Thomas Woodcock CVO, has agreed to become an Honorary Liveryman of the Company. As a first step, he took the Oath of the Freedom before the Committee of Privileges on 4 April.
The Right Worshipful Sir John Owen QC
The Master of the Faculties governs the appointment and regulation of public notaries. The position is always held by the Dean of (the) Arches, the judge who sits at the ecclesiastical court of the Archbishop of Canterbury in England. Sir John Owen was one of the longest serving Masters of the Faculties - from 1980 to 2000. He was also an Honorary Liveryman of the Scriveners Company and a loyal supporter of Company events.
The following extract is reprinted from The Daily Telegraph:
‘John Arthur Dalziel Owen was born on November 22 1925 at Stockport, then part of Cheshire. He had a religious upbringing and his Christian faith underpinned his approach to life and the law. After Solihull School, he was commissioned in the 2nd King Edward VII’s Own Gurkha Rifles, and spent two years in India in the run-up to independence, which he came to see as not just inevitable but also desirable.
On one occasion he saved his men from an angry mob by showing a presence of mind well in advance of his 21 years. Encountering a roadblock consisting of eight young virgins, dressed in white and lying in the path of his armoured vehicles, he ordered a good-looking young Gurkha to walk forward and drop his trousers.
The virgins ran off screaming and the column moved on without a shot being fired.
In 1985 the 12th Duke of Manchester was sent to the Old Bailey, accused of attempting to defraud the National Westminster Bank of £38,000. The Duke was acquitted, but Owen, summing up, described him as “absurdly stupid and negligent about his own affairs” and observed that “having the Duke on the board of any company should send shivers down the spine of any investor”.
Among his high-profile cases on the bench was the trial of Tony Martin, the Norfolk farmer who had opened fire on two burglars who broke into his remote farmhouse, and was convicted of murdering one of them, a 16-year-old boy. After fresh medical evidence came to light, Martin’s conviction was reduced on appeal to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility, although Owen’s directions to the jury on self-defence and on every other matter were expressly approved by Lord Woolf in his appeal judgment.’
This is an edited version of his obituary in the Church Times, written by Sheila Cameron QC, also an Honorary Liveryman and former Master of the Faculties:
Holding chancellorships in plurality was the norm at that time, but, in terms of experience, John fell well behind the doyens of the day. His appointment as Dean of the Arches and Auditor, which necessitated his relinquishing all three chancellorships, caused a little surprise in some quarters. One of John’s favourite stories, which caused him to chuckle gleefully whenever he related it, was how the two leading contenders for the post, George Newsom QC and the Rev’d E. Garth Moore, each independently approached him in private to say that he would support John’s candidature because he did not wish his rival to be appointed.
A potential problem arose in 1984 when he was offered appointment as a circuit judge at the Old Bailey. Did this mean that he would have to relinquish his position as Dean of the Arches and Auditor? Fortunately not, because the then Lord Chancellor took a different view from his predecessors about his judges’ holding other appointments. John’s account of his conversation with Lord Hailsham was that the Lord Chancellor, perhaps somewhat patronisingly, said that he thought it “good for his judges to have outside interests”. So John continued as Dean while he was at the Old Bailey, and then after he became a High Court judge in 1986.
In due course, he instigated several reforms that have brought lasting benefit to the judicial structure in the Church of England. Being accustomed to the hearing of an appeal from a High Court judge by a Court of Appeal consisting of three judges, he found it uncomfortable and unsatisfactory that the historical system of appeal, from a diocesan chancellor to the Dean of the Arches or Auditor, sitting alone, still prevailed. He was instrumental in procuring a change in the law in 1991, so that the Dean or Auditor in future would sit with two diocesan chancellors.
Together with Chancellor Goodman, I was privileged to sit with John on the first appeal to a three-judge Court of Arches. In the judgment (re St Luke the Evangelist, Maidstone, 1994), John recorded that he intended to vary the composition of the Court from time to time, by selecting his fellow-judges “from the whole range of chancellors”. This he did, and, as his immediate successor as Dean and Auditor, I gladly followed his example. John recognised that different chancellors have different perspectives, and that this would be beneficial in the establishment of principles to be followed within the faculty jurisdiction.
Another “hat” worn by John was that of Master of the Faculties, an ancient office that he held ex officio as Dean of the Arches. The Master oversees the issuing of special marriage licences through the Faculty Office of the Archbishop of Canterbury. He is also responsible for the regulation of the notarial profession, a residual duty dating from the days when the pope, and then his successor at the Reformation, the Archbishop of Canterbury, was responsible for various different professions. John realised that regulation of the notaries in the 20th century needed a proper system of examination, and also rules to govern notarial practice. He introduced both, thereby adding to the standing of notaries and benefiting the public who consult them.
The ease with which John juggled his various duties reflected his interest in all of them. Having taken on a job, he gave of his best to it, always with the good humour that was his distinguishing characteristic. Despite holding high office for many years, he derived particular satisfaction from his churchwardenship in Idlicote, where he found it salutary to be “at the coalface” with the perennial task of keeping a small church going and in repair.
Devoted to Valerie, he was also a loving father to Melissa and Alexander, and a proud and loving grandfather to Kelly. We give thanks for his leadership and friendship.’
A memorial service for Sir John, attended by several members of the Company, took place on 24 March in Coventry Cathedral.
Sir Peter Gwynn-Jones KCVO MA FSA
The following extract is reprinted from The Daily Telegraph:The office of Garter King of Arms, of which Gwynn-Jones was the 36th holder, was created by Henry V in 1417, initially concerned with the ceremonies of the Order of the Garter. While still performing these, Garter is also in charge of royal heraldry and the arms of peers, as well as exercising a supervisory role over the English heralds.
Gwynn-Jones was a familiar face in the House of Lords, where he was responsible for introducing new peers to their seats. This duty, undertaken by the sovereign until the 17th century, saw Gwynn-Jones introduce more than 400 peers. During his incumbency the introduction ceremony was shortened, but when the Lords debated whether the Garter's presence was needed, they strongly affirmed their support for him and he was received with cheers. Indeed, his profile at Westminster was such that, on wishing to show some friends St Mary Undercroft, the parliamentary chapel, during recess, he was told that no one, not even the prime minister, could enter – but Garter King of Arms was a different matter.
He came to international attention in 2002, when he delivered the proclamation of the styles and titles of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother at her funeral in Westminster Abbey.
Peter Llewellyn Gwynn-Jones was born at Tanfield House, Yorkshire, on March 12 1940. After schooling at Wellington College, where he developed an interest in science, he initially failed to gain a place at Cambridge, partly as the result of an unsuccessful experiment involving ball bearings and a quantity of treacle.
In 1967, after writing to the College of Arms offering his skills in history and genealogy, he was employed as assistant to Colin Cole, then Windsor Herald and subsequently Garter. He later worked for Sir Anthony Wagner, then Garter, before being appointed Bluemantle Pursuivant in 1973, promoted to Lancaster Herald in 1982.
When Conrad Swan unexpectedly resigned as Garter after only three years, Gwynn-Jones was approached and offered the position. He initially declined the appointment, but later agreed to take on the role temporarily. Ultimately, his tenure as Garter was to last almost 15 years.
A prolific designer of arms, by his retirement he had completed almost 1,000, his grantees including individuals, corporate bodies and even the island of Tristan da Cunha. His approach to design combined the traditional and the modern, with a particular interest in geometrical configurations. Heraldry being a symbolic medium, these were preferred to objects which would in time become dated. Exceptions were occasionally made: the crest of Sir John Stuttard, a former Lord Mayor of London, featured a lion with ski poles.
London Bridge 800th Anniversary Fair
On Saturday 11th July 2009 London Bridge was closed to traffic and the atmosphere of the historic bridge was recreated by the setting up of craft stalls selling traditional wares. Liveryman Ronald Mills (below) was among those who exercised the Liveryman’s right to drive sheep across the bridge.
Lincoln Cathedral Adopt a Book Scheme
One of the highlights of the Scriveners’ visit to Lincoln in March was the Cathedral Library designed by Sir Christopher Wren. The Court subsequently decided to commemorate the visit by adopting a library book. On the right is the book’s title page; a copy of our dedication is to the left.
DeathsIt is with great sadness that we record the passing of Doreen Perry, a Liveryman since 1999.
ISSUE 12 APRIL 2009
Writing MaterialsAs used in the art and practice of scriveners
(Artiicle produced by Court Assistant Cecil Humphery-Smith OBE, FSA)
I have turned to the study of ancient writing materials used in the art and practice of scriveners. They begin, I suppose, with sculptured records on stone. Then, when portable manuscripts became more desirable the skins of animals and leaves and membrane tissues of plants and even fragments of stolen tile would be used by the scribe. Even in modern times these are, of course, used in spite of the abundance and universal employment of paper. I do not intend to go far into the treatment of these media required to make them useable.
Important legal documents are still written on vellum in a fine calligraphic hand, and many a bibliophile has had books expensively bound in vellum and even printed on vellum. Throughout the world the vegetable kingdom has come into use, the thin dried rush from Mediterranean waters polished by stone form the papyrus from Greek and Roman times with ink made from lampblack and cuttlefish like our own Indian ink these days. There have been few changes over the ages until the advent of printing. Manuscripts were bound up in rolls sewn together, burnt sticks furnished charcoal for the production of inks and, of course, wood, metal and ivory have been used as media as well as substances upon which lettering can be engraved.
From early times, the slate has been used – as some of us had in early childhood though there may be few who now remember that era in village schools. There was the raised wooden frame often incised by penknife with the pupil’s name or remarks. The sunken centre upon which to write was coated with wax and the iron, wooden, or ivory pen or stylus was the tool for inscribing dictated texts or arithmetical calculations. These were sometimes developed into a hinged book with a tight clothing on the frame so that the inscription could be obliterated by removing it with an attached string. The old horn-book of village schools using the wax and the metal stylus was a common site, even a century ago.
Books of bound vellum leaves superseded the early tablets even before the 5th century. Monastic seclusion enabled them to be copied, with initial letters splendidly decorated and ornamented, enriched by gold leaf. The larger monasteries had their own scriptorium or apartment expressly devoted to the use of those who worked upon the coveted volumes of manuscripts. Scribes in the Middle Ages and even into later eras were able to carry their writing material appended to their girdles, or belts, consisting of the penner and inkhorn – an ink pot and a case for pens. The pen case was usually formed of leather softened by hot water and then impressed with an ornament and hardened – cuirboulli – a process also used for the bindings and covers of books. It was as strong as horn and was often the material used to form ancient pots as well as the shaft piece for the pen.
I have an illustration of the penner and inkhorn taken from the Church of St Mary’s Key in Ipswich where there is an engraved brass dating from the 15th century.
The Liberal statesman, Charles L. Stanhope was ingenious in mechanics. Born in 1753 he invented a printing press that ultimately bore his name. Prior to that, clumsy wooden machines were used by such as Gutenberg and Baskerville winding down the weight that pressed the type into the paper or skin. A laborious process of producing books by repeatedly writing them out from a copy had gone for ever.
The eye magnifying glass and the powerful scalpel cutting first into wood and then replicating into metal, led to the modern process. Quill, metal and plastic nibs, and bottles of ink of all colours stand alongside my hour glass together with my first pen made by Biro – that leaked horribly - and subsequent ball points in all colours, too. The portable typewriter came next and, now, my portable laptop computer that gives me a fount of some thirty or more characters from all parts of the printing world, each convertible to other forms. At a party for my 80th birthday, an old friend who had been a fellow undergraduate sixty years before, had given me a Parker51 fountain pen for my 21st birthday, and with it I venture to sign myself.
Your devoted servant,
Cecil R. Humphery-Smith