The Cordweiners Cup

A silver chalice, the flat based U-shaped bowl being inscribed to the top “This bole was made by Francis Thompson and John Binks, Wardens of ye Company of Cordweiners of Richmond, the 26th of February anno domi 1641” The stem of plain baluster form rising from a low domed circular foot.

Made in London in 1641, Makers mark B.F.

A fascinating part of Richmond’s history, the cup disappeared from Richmond for many years, when the Cordweiners Guild was disbanded in 1838, after the Municipal Reform Act of 1835, the cup was presented to its last Warden, George Croft a well known local politician. It is possible that the cup found its way into the possession of Sir John Noble and of his son also John, both notable collectors of fine silver, before it was sold in 1951. It is not known where it has been since then until it reappeared for sale in a London fine arts house in 1998.It was purchased by public subscription and with a help of a generous grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. It is known from the records of the Guild that the cup was valued at £5, and that the sum of 1.s 6d was spent on its repair in 1742. Few items of corporate silver generally survived from such a date, as in most places, including York, it was all melted down during the English Civil War.

©Copyright of Alan M. Wilcox Town Clerk 1985-1997.