Gazetteer of Plasterers - D

DALBY, Anthony (fl. 1625)

A plasterer of St Giles Cripplegate recorded in the parish register at the burial of his daughter, Martha, on 19 September 1625.[1]

DANIELL (DANIEL, DANYELL), John (fl. 1619-46)

A Plasterer who was apprenticed to Hugh Capp (20 February 1611/12) but (following Capp’s death) was ordered by the Court of Assistants, ‘before Richard Hill’s face in open court’ to serve Warden [Richard] Slater for the rest of his time (4 December 1616). Richard Hill was subsequently fined for not turning over Daniell when the latter was freed (30 April 1619).

Daniell was fined for absence (24 October 1626) but otherwise spent an uneventful career in the Yeomanry and was last recorded paying arrearage of quarterage on 25 July 1646.

DAVIES (DAVIS), Charles (fl. 1623-69)

A Plasterer, son of a Monmouth husbandman, who was apprenticed to William Marshall for 8 years (30 April 1616). By the time he was freed he had become the apprentice of Ellis Piggen (8 May 1623) and paid his beadleship fine on 11 August 1624. He was fined for unspecified bad work at the same time as he took his first apprentice, William Evans, son of a Radnorshire husbandman, for 8 years (20 November 1628; freed 21 November 1636). In 1633 he was nominated for election to the Livery (18 July) and paid the fine for his pattern and entry (9 September). He presented: Tobias Seale, son of a Somerset broadweaver, for 7 years (9 May 1637); William Browning, son of a Somerset brazier, for 8 years (2 December 1641); John Webb, apprentice of Matthew Smith, was turned over to him (13 October 1646); his son, Nicholas, for 7 years (19 May 1647); his son, Robert, was freed by patrimony (25 October 1648); William Cooper, previously unrecorded as his apprentice, was freed (15 June 1649); Francis Wallis, son of an Oxfordshire tailor (17 February 1650/1; turned over to Miles Steede (25 January 1655/6); Timothy Chilton, son of a Durham glover, for 7 years (2 April 1651; freed 11 May 1658); John Allingham, son of a Northamptonshire cook, for 7 years (26 February 1656/7); Edward Arnold, son of a Monmouthshire weaver, for 7 years (14 October 1658).

Davies stood unsuccessfully in the election for Junior Warden in 1643 (11 September) but was elected for 1644-5 (9 September 1644). He asked to be excused from office on the grounds of ‘unhability’ and this was granted on payment of a fine of £10 (paid on 23 September); and he was thereafter accepted as an Assistant. His circumstances must have improved as he was elected Senior Warden on the death of the incumbent (24 April 1648). He failed to be elected as Master in September 1652 but was chosen the following year (12 September 1653). He was fined for absence (20 June 1645); lateness (10 October 1645); for evil words to the Wardens and Assistants (4 November 1647); for bad work (17 February 1650/1); for bad work, which he had taken from a Carpenter (17 February 1652/3); for bad work (16 September 1659). He was one of the plasterers who put his mark to Company memoranda rather than a signature (23 June 1654 and 25 July 1660). On 12 January 1654/5 he made a gift of £1 10s ‘for and towards the new guilding of the Chimney peece in the parlor’. Davies made his will on 20 May 1669 and it was proved on 9 June that year.[2] His sons appear to have predeceased him and he left the use of his estate to his wife, Adery (during her life) and his three servants (during their apprenticeships). They were named as Edward Arnold (who had decamped and was currently being sued as an outlaw), Thomas Burton and Richard Wiggins. His cousin, Thomas Davies, was to act as executor and his daughter, Sarah, was to inherit the estate after the death of Adery.

DAVIES (DAVICE, DAVYS), Davy (fl. 1617-23)

A Plasterer apprenticed to Henry Wilson (22 April 1609) and freed 8 years later (1 May 1617). He paid his beadleship fine (25 July 1618) and remained in the Yeomanry until at least 1623. His name was crossed through in the Quarterage Accounts for 1624.

DAVIES (DAVIS, DAVYE) Edward I (fl. 1622-25)

A Plasterer, son of Davy ap Jenkin, who was presented by Thomas Widmore for 8 years (25 July 1612) but not freed until 31 July 1622. He was listed in the Yeomanry until 1625.


An apprentice of Thomas Hothersole who was turned over to Robert Saunders on 27 May 1616, without having been presented. Mr Saunders asked the Company to assign him to a new master and Richard Rawlidge then paid to have him turned over to him (25 August 1619). On 15 December 1619 the Company paid for a pass for Edward Davie, Mr Rawlidge’s man; it is not clear why such a pass was needed. Finally, Hothersole was discharged from the Livery on 14 November 1623, chiefly for making Edward Davies a freeman without him having served as his apprentice. This seems somewhat confusing. Davies was never listed in the Quarterage Accounts and it is not clear whether he ever practised as a plasterer.

DAVIES, Griffyn (fl. 1627-45)

A Plasterer, son of a London labourer, who was apprenticed to Robert Saunders for 7 years (26 March 1613) and freed on 13 March 1626/7. He did not pay his beadleship fine until 29 November 1632 and remained in the Yeomanry until 1640. He was then one of the fifteen men nominated for the Livery (27 June 1640, the numbers having fallen below the level required by the Ordinances. His name is last recorded paying arrearage of quarterage on 13 February 1644/5.

DAVIES (DAVES, DAVIS), John (fl. 1625-60)

A Plasterer who was the son of a Herefordshire husbandman, apprenticed to James Money for 8 years (3 March 1616/17). He was freed (4 May 1625) and paid his beadleship fine in two instalments (23 April 1629 & 12 August 1630). He was fined for bad work in the Old Bailey (10 February 1630/31). On 9 May 1632 he presented William Davis, son of a Herefordshire yeoman, for 8 years; and also made gift towards the cost of rebuilding the Company’s houses in Great Wood Street, destroyed by fire in 1631. John Houghton, son of a Herefordshire shoemaker, apprenticed himself to Davies for 8 years (10 August 1632). Houghton was freed 3 September 1639 when Davis was fined for freeing him early; Davies then presented Thomas Price of Montgomeryshire for 8 years. Arthur Ellis, son of a London ‘Pandoxater’ [i.e. Brewer] was apprenticed to him for 7 years (23 April 1649). He remained in the Yeomanry and was still paying arrearage of quarterage on 15 April 1656. From July-August 1660 he was one of those employed by the King’s Works on the routine refurbishment of  plasterwork at Somerset House.[3]                                              

DAVIES (DAVES, DAVIS, DAVYS), Thomas (fl. 1601-41)

A Plasterer of St Martin Ludgate, recorded in the parish register at the burial of his wife, Joane, on 24 August 1612.[4] He was apprenticed to Thomas Flood, who was fined for setting his man to work before he had been bound (1 March 1593/4). He paid his abling fine (8 May 1601), followed by his beadleship fine (14 August 1601). He donated a silver spoon with his initials to the Company (24 September 1602) but was fined for ill work (12 November 1602) and ill language to John Bath (10 December 1602). He was fined again for ill language and for supplanting his master, Thomas Flood (2 July 1603); for failing to present his apprentice within six months (6 July 1604); for setting an unbound man to work (25 July 1605); for evil work in the Old Bailey (7 September 1605); again, for not presenting his apprentice, and Morris Jones was then presented (5 May 1606). He incurred further fines for evil work in Greene Arbour (14 August 1607) and was sent to the Compter (28 August 1607). On 6 November 1607 he and William Marshall consented to arbitration by four men chosen by the Master to settle the controversy between them over a piece of work. He presented Evan Griffin, son of a Shropshire tailor, for 7 years (13 April 1614). Bad work in sundry places incurred a further fine (30 May 1616). When Griffin was freed, Davies presented Richard Nutbrowne, son of a Northamptonshire husbandman, for 7 years; and Davies was additionally fined for insufficient work done by him without Ludgate (5 June 1621). He was fined again for bad work (1 September1626). His wife paid his arrearage of quarterage on 20 February 1626/7. He paid for the admittance of his man, Thomas Price (21 March 1631/2; turned over to Thomas Dodd on 25 January 1637/8 and freed 21 February 1638/9). Davies was granted a Company pension (27 August 1638) and received charity (27 January 1639/40). The final pension payment recorded was made to him on 26 July 1641.          

DAVIES, William (fl. 1617-20)

A Plasterer who was apprenticed to Walter Hill (10 May 1609) and freed 29 May 1617. His name appears in the list of Yeomanry but is crossed through in the Quarterage Accounts for 1620.

DAWSON, Henry (fl. 1607-33)

A Plasterer, son of a Leicestershire yeoman, who was apprenticed to Ellis Piggen for 7 years (19 June 1600). When he was freed on 4 August 1607 he paid to avoid one year’s journeymanship and donated a white [i.e. silver] spoon to the Company. He paid his beadleship fine (21 August 1609) and continued to pay quarterage as a member of the Yeomanry, usually in arrears, until 18 July 1633. On that date Henry Coleman, apprentice of Randall Clarkson, was turned over to him; but neither name appears again in the Court records.

DAWNYNGE, Thomas (fl. 1561)

A plasterer of St Stephen Coleman Street, recorded at the burial of a son, William, on 19 September 1561.[5]

DEANE, Christopher (fl. 1590)

A Plasterer fined for absence on 11 September 1590.

DEDOWE, John (fl. 1567)

In Michaelmas Term 1567 the Painter-Stainer John Cooper brought proceedings against several plasterers, including Dedowe, at the Court of the King’s Remembrancer on charges of ‘intermeddling’.[6]

DEDOWGA, Morgan (fl. 1569)

One of the plasterers employed by the Royal Works at Greenwich Palace in February 1568/9 where he worked for 6 days at 12 per day, ‘new plastering the Spicery’.[7]

DEEPING, Oliver (d. 1585)

A plasterer of St Martin-in-the-Fields whose will was proved on 1 July 1585. His wife, Elizabeth, was executrix but no details of the estate were given.[8]

DENHAM, Richard (fl. 1555-1564)

A plasterer who was extensively employed by the Clothworkers’ Company in the 1550s: in 1554-5 at their property in Abchurch Lane with an unnamed partner for 21 days at 12d per day, supplying materials for their work, including black and size; in 1557-8 in Mincing Lane where Denham and his man spent 3 days plastering the old houses and painting the yard, with ‘more to the saide Denham for plasterynge, lathynge, lomynge, whytynge and colorynge of the halle yarde rounde a bout [sic] bargained by grete’ for which he received 33s 4d.[9] He worked again for them at Jesus Commons for 3 days at 14d in 1560-61; in June and August 1561-2 he was employed for 14 days in Fleet Lane, together with James Lattes, his man, and Robert Burton, all receiving 14d per day. In 1563 the Clothworkers were engaged in ‘buyldyng of iiij new houses made and sett vp yn Marke Lane’; between July and November Denham worked a total of 63 days there at 16d per day.[10] He was accompanied on occasion by one or two of his ‘men’ (presumably journeymen) and fellow plasterers James Stanley and Roger Spencer. Denham made his will on 8 March 1562/3 as a parishioner of St Andrew Undershaft. He left 2s to the Poor Box of the parish and 6s 8d to the Plasterers' Company. Larger bequests of £10 went to his sons, Nicholas, Michael and Thomas, and his youngest daughter, Agnes. His eldest daughter, Johan, was to receive only £4. There were complicated instructions about the redistribution of the money in the event of the early deaths of any of the children. Ediff, his wife, was to have lifetime occupation of the tenements recently purchased in Eltham, Kent, together with all the appurtenances, goods and chattels. The will was proved on 13 March 1564 (LMA DL/C/B/004/MS 09171/015, f. 199v.)

DENHAM, Thomas (fl. 1559-1560)

A plasterer who was probably free by patrimony as the youngest son of Richard Denham. Thomas was paid for his labour and that of two of his workmen at St Benet Gracechurch Street, for four days’ work at 14d per day ‘because there fell two hallydaies in that weke they wrought but iiij daies in the weke’.[11]

DENHAM, William (fl. 1555-6)

A plasterer employed by the Clothworkers’ Company in 1555-6 at Fenchurch Street for 7 days at 12d, excluding materials and labourers.[12]

DEVERELL (DEVERICKE, DEVERILL), Edmond/Edmund/Edward I (fl. 1604; d. 1613)

A Plasterer who first appears in the Company records on 6 July 1604 when he presented Thomas Carter, son of a Surrey husbandman, for 8 years. (An annotation in the margin records that Carter was discharged from the Company by consent of the whole Court on 30 June 1611; Richard Carter paid a related fine on his brother’s behalf on 31 January 1611/12.) He contributed towards the ‘loan to the King’ on 9 September 1604. He took Thomas Flower, son of a Gloucestershire tailor, as apprentice for 8 years (2 November 1604). When Flower was freed, John Morland of Westmorland was presented for 8 years (4 November 1612) but his master was fined for setting him to work unbound (18 November 1612). When Morland was freed his master was ‘deceased’ (22 August 1621). His son, Edmond Deverell II, was freed by patrimony (6 March 1625/6). Deverell and Richard Fisher were fined for evil work in Tower Hill and Cornwall (25 January 1605/6); Deverell alone was fined for evil work at Lord Cavendish’s house (8 December 1609). On 25 April 1606 he received charity because he was sick. As a member of the Yeomanry he contributed 2s 6d towards the cost of the Company’s lawsuit in Chancery against Barton, concerning the corner house in Wood Street (2 February 1608/9). He was elected to the Livery (31 July 1612) and paid for his cloth for the livery (24 August 1612) but in the Quarterage Accounts he is listed as ‘died’ in 1613. His widow continued to run the business and paid arrearage of quarterage on 23 April in both 1638 and 1639.

DEVERELL, Edmund II (fl. 1626; d. before 1653)

The Plasterer son of Edward I, freed by patrimony on 6 March 1625/6. He paid his beadleship fine on 1 September the same year and again on 2 June 1629 and seems to have remained in the Yeomanry throughout his career. Daniel Morris, son of a Sussex shoemaker, was apprenticed to him for 8 years (25 January 1632/3; freed 5 November 1640). On 25 July 1653 Richard Deverill, son of Edmund, ‘Citizen and Plaisterer of London, deceased’ was apprenticed to Nicholas Allen for 7 years; and on 29 November 1653 his brother, Edmund Deverill III, was freed by patrimony. Widow Deverell was still paying arrearage of quarterage on 24 April 1654.

DEWBERRY (DEWBURY), Richard (fl. 1618; d. 1645)

A Plasterer who was apprenticed to Thomas Dewberry (28 April 1607) but was presented again by Robert Priestman (1 February 1610/11), presumably because Thomas had died in the interim. While still an apprentice he was paid 10s for 6 days work between 15 August and 11 September 1614, at 20d per day, at the Charterhouse.[13] On 8 August 1616 John Shambrooke paid to have Dewberry turned over to him and agreed to pay Robert Saunders 10s as Dewberry ‘had also remained a while with him’. He was finally freed on 13 August 1618 but did not pay his beadleship fine until 22 May 1626. His first apprentice was Richard Newman, son of a Berkshire carpenter, deceased, who was apprenticed for 8 years (1 September 1628) and subsequently turned over to Mr [Richard] Rawlidge (17 June 1630); but almost immediately turned over again to John Hubbard ‘by consent of the Court’ (26 July 1630). On 10 September 1638 the Company paid for an ‘order re Dewberry’ with no reason given. He was one of those in receipt of a payment out of ‘Benson’s gift’ (26 July 1641). He was recorded as ‘mort’ on 25 January 1644/5 and Widow Dewberry received a charitable gift on 23 April 1646.


A Plasterer who became free and paid his abling fine on 30 November 1599 and his beadleship fine on 1 August 1601. He was fined for ill work in Maiden Lane (24 April 1602) and paid an unspecified fine on 7 December 1603. On 1 February 1604/5 he presented Jerome Burton, son of a Yorkshire husbandman, for 8 years. At the following Court meeting he was fined ‘for not coming at VIII of the clock being warned’ (22 February 1604/5). Evil work in Bishopsgate Street incurred another fine (7 September 1605); also at Gracious Church Corner (23 May 1606). Richard Dewberry was presented by him but no reference to their relationship was made (28 April 1607). Jarvis Lange was apprenticed to him (25 July 1607). He was sent to the Compter on 28 August 1607 and a warrant was obtained to ‘comitt Dewsbury to Compter’ on 16 November 1607. A memorandum recorded that his apprentice, Jeremy Burton, had left his master on Easter Monday 1607 but ‘cam againe to his master the 1st December 1607’. On 19 February 1607/8 Dewberry was fined for absence and for failing to present his apprentice’s indenture. A fine for evil work followed (27 October 1608). As a member of the Yeomanry he contributed 2s 6d towards the cost of the Company’s lawsuit in Chancery, against Barton, in connection with the corner house in Wood Street (2 February 1608/9). Mr [Thomas] Atkinson paid to have Jerome Burton turned over to him (29 January 1609/10) and Dewbury’s name was replaced by that of his widow in the Quarterage Accounts, where she is recorded as ‘dead’ the following year.

DILLON (DEULYN), Edmond (fl. 1609-10)

A plasterer who was presented by Simon Betaugh on 4 August 1581 but whose name does not appear again in Company records. He was, however, working for the Royal Works at Nonsuch in 1609-10, where he was carrying out routine repairs to Lord Carew’s kitchen and lodgings above.[14] He was accompanied by Robert Benson, who was also not a member of the London Company, and they may both have been locally employed.

DINGE, John (fl. 1615; d. 1624)

A Plasterer presented by John Lea (29 July 1608), freed (31 October 1615) and paid his beadleship fine (29 April 1618). He was fined for absence (25 January 1618/19) and was recorded as having paid arrearage of quarterage on 8 May (4 September 1623). He is last mentioned as having contributed to an assessment on 14 November 1623 and his name was crossed through in the Quarterage Accounts for 1624.

DODD (DOD, DODDS), Thomas (fl. 1611-47)

A Plasterer, son of a London Clothworker, who was apprenticed to Robert Simpson for 8 years (11 August 1604) but turned over to Mr [Edmund] Essex (22 April 1609) following Simpson’s death. In his will, made on 22 September 1607, Simpson left 'my man Thomas all my scaffolding and tools'. Dodd was freed on 4 September 1611 and paid his beadleship fine on 1 September 1615. Meanwhile, he was fined for absence on 18 November 1612. He was able to put his signature to a Company memorandum (23 February 1616/17). Thomas Price, apprentice of Thomas Davies, was turned over to him (25 January 1637/8). George Hiller, son of a Middlesex husbandman, was apprenticed to him for 7 years (27 January 1639/40; freed on 8 February 1646/7). Dodd's previously unrecorded apprentice, Robert Ibbott, was turned over to Richard Jarvis on 18 December 1650.

DODSLEY, John (fl. 1615; d. before 1646)

On 26 March 1607 William Widmore was fined for keeping an apprentice against Company Orders and then presented John Dodsley, who was freed on 24 April 1615 and paid his beadleship fine on 13 August 1618. A fine for absence was incurred (16 November 1630) and he was fined again on 17 October 1634 for not enrolling his man, Thomas Souch, who was freed that day. William Dodsley, his son, was freed by patrimony (6 November 1637). Another apprentice, Thomas Bell, was freed on 11 June 1646, when Widow Dodsley was fined for not enrolling her man. Mathias (aka Nicholas) Alwinckle, son of a London Cutler was apprenticed to Morgan Blewett and immediately turned over to Mary Dodson [sic], widow of John, ‘as he was presented at Hall by her’. Alwinckle was freed on 14 March 1653/4 and Widow Dodsley was fined for freeing her man early.

DONNES, William (d. 1563)

A plasterer buried at St Stephen Coleman Street on 12 August 1563.[15]

DORREY (DOREY, DORRELL DORRY), Edward (fl. 1615-46)

A Plasterer presented by Paul Sleigh on 5 May 1606, freed on 6 May 1614 and paid his beadleship fine on 14 June 1615. Dorrey was one of those who was able to put his signature to a Company memorandum (23 February 1616/17). He was fined for not presenting an unnamed apprentice (25 July 1620); Josselyn Dalbey, son of a Yorkshire husbandman, was apprenticed for 8 years (23 April 1628); Robert Avice, son of a Suffolk sawyer, for 8 years (26 July 1630; freed 27 August 1638); Peter Clarke, son of a Derbyshire tanner, for 8 years (13 October 1638; freed 26 October 1646); John, his son, was freed by patrimony (26 October 1646). Although he was among those nominated for the Livery on 18 July 1633, he was not finally selected (9 September 1633). He was fined for absence (4 December 1639) and was last recorded paying arrearage of quarterage on 13 October 1646.


A Plasterer of St Saviour Southwark, recorded in the parish register at his marriage to Alice Duke on 15 June 1607; the baptism of a son, Nicholas, on 23 January 1609/10.[16] The son of a bricklayer from Wallington, Surrey, he was apprenticed to John Allen for 8 years (23 February 1598/9) and freed on 4 June 1610. On 14 June 1615 he paid his beadleship fine together with fines for bad work at several sites: over against the Spitlegate, in Bishopsgate Street and at Bosse Alley, near Broken Wharf. At the same meeting he presented George Shaw, son a Surrey husbandman, for 7 years. His next apprentice was John Duke, son of a Southwark bricklayer, for 8 years (25 July 1622). When he was freed (4 February 1629/30) Dorrey was fined for remitting one year of his term and for not enrolling him. When he presented Nicholas Bruton, son of a Worcestershire husbandman, for 8 years on 4 March 1629/30, it was recorded that Dorrey agreed to pay all outstanding payments due to the Company and to keep his apprentice, Nicholas Bruton, solely to himself and not to dispose of him to any person whatsoever; he put his signature to this as Henry Dorryll. He paid arrearage of quarterage on 26 July 1641 but by 25 July 1642 his name was crossed through as a recipient of payment from Mr Benson’s gift, presumably following his death.


A Plasterer who was freed on 4 November 1597. On 13 October 1601 he paid for the turning over of Giles Addis from Robert Plowman. He presented John Lawson, son of a London blacksmith, for 7 years (13 October 1602); Samuel Plowman, son of Robert, late Citizen and Plaisterer of London, for 10 years (17 August 1604); Thurston Palmer (10 September 1605); John Bettes II (26 May 1607); Richard Butterfield (28 August 1607); Nicholas Richardson who was then ‘sett over to Harman Michaells estraunger to serve his term’ on payment of 2s (24 August 1608); Arthur Nesfield, from Yorkshire (19 May1615); Thomas Brannett, son of an Essex husbandman, for 12 years (25 July 1618); Hendry Michell, son of Harman of London, for 8 years (25 July 1620. Henrie Mitchel was turned over to Thomas [illegible] on 4 November 1620, with the marginal annotation ‘this apprentice never bound 1623’); Humfrey Dovey, his son, for 7 years (13 October 1621; freed 4 September 1635, when his father was fined for not enrolling his son); John Combers, son of a London blacksmith (14 October 1622). Dovey signed an undertaking to supply corn to the Company as and when needed at 5s per quarter (13 October 1621) and was paid for corn (25 January 1621/2, 25 July 1622, 4 September 1623, 23 April 1624, 25 January 1624/5, 3 February 1625/6, 1 October 1627). He signed a receipt for £22 13s 4d for wheat supplied by him to the Company (8 May 1623) and it was recorded that, after payments for milling and transporting the wheat to Queenhithe Market, the Company lost £1 17s on the sale. On 25 January 1630/1 he was paid his year’s fee but it was noted that he was no longer to ‘bee imployed for provision of corne’. Dovey was chosen for the Livery on 6 September 1632 but on 10 September he turned down entry into the Livery and agreed to pay 40s at next Michaelmas Day in lieu, with which he complied on 4 and 13 October. He paid the fine for refusal again on 14 and 29 September 1640, which was the last date on which his name appeared in the Company records.

DOWLING (DOLES, DOWLIN, DOWLINGE), Morgan (fl. 1571; d. 1595)

A Plasterer of St Giles Cripplegate, recorded in the parish registers at the baptism of a daughter Mary (17 July 1580), son Thomas (1 December 1583) and a daughter Sybil (11 December 1586); and at the burials of servants, Thomas Robinson (13 March) and Elizabeth (30 July 1588).[17] He paid an unspecified fine, possibly for his freedom (2 November 1571) and his beadleship fine (3 July 1573). Disobedience incurred another fine (6 August 1574) and a further unspecified fine (15 August 1577). He presented Patrick Barrett as his apprentice (25 July 1576); William Mason (8 March and 22 April 1582/3); Tade Bryan (20 July 1590); an unnamed apprentice (23 May 1592); John Bath (4 November 1592). Dowling was a contributor to the cost of the Company’s Parliamentary bill concerning artificers (March 1580/1). He was fined for ill work (16 November 1586). In 1586-87 he was paid 5s. 4d. for four days work alongside other plasterers to whitewash the interior of St Mary Aldermanbury.[18] Morgan Dowling, ‘howsholder’ was buried at St Giles Cripplegate on 20 April 1595.

DRADGE (DRAGE), John (fl. 1621-3)

A Plasterer, son of a Northamptonshire tailor, who was apprenticed to William Robinson for 8 years (26 March 1613), paid his abling fine (2 May 1621) and his beadleship fine (6 July 1621). He was last recorded paying arrearage of quarterage on 4 September 1623 and his name was crossed through in the Quarterage Accounts for 1624.

DRAPER, William (fl. 1620-40)

A Plasterer, son of a Wiltshire chandler, who was presented by William Baldwin for 7 years (8 July 1613). While still an apprentice he was working at the Charterhouse for 16 days between July and September 1614, at 20d per day.[19] He paid his abling fine (25 July 1620) but did not pay his beadleship fine until 25 July 1626. The Company made a payment for ‘the Lord Mayor’s order for Draper’ (25 July 1628). He presented John Spencer, son of a Berkshire husbandman, for 9 years (23 April 1629; freed 11 May 1637). He was warned before the Lord Mayor (16 March 1636/7) and fined for freeing his man early (9 May 1637). On 15 August 1637 he paid the fine for refusing to enter the Livery. He was taken before the Lord Mayor again (11 September 1637 and 4 December 1639). Peter Greene, son of a Leicester coverlet weaver, was apprenticed to him for 7 years (14 March 1637/8; freed 1 May 1645). He was fined for bad work (27 January 1639/40) but was nominated again for the Livery (27 June 1640) although it is not recorded whether he acceded to the request on this occasion. In 1636-7 Draper was paid 15s for work at the Inner Temple, which was half of the cost of his work in repairing Dr Micklethwaite’s chamber there.[20] He was much more extensively employed at Middle Temple, where he received payments for materials and workmanship between 1 October 1638 and 1 October 1640 for plastering carried out in various buildings. Much of this was small-scale routine work but Draper made his mark on receipt of very large sums arising from work on ‘the new building of the Middle Temple’. In 1640 he received a total of £403 16s 3½d for thousands of yards of plastering and rendering. The final payments in 1641 and 1642 were for much smaller amounts and were made to Jane Draper, who must have continued to run the workshop following her husband’s death.[21] The Company made a payment for ‘trymming’ Widow Draper’s man (23 April 1644) and she was last recorded paying arrearage of quarterage on 1 May 1645.

DREW (DREWE), William (fl. 1616-29)

A Plasterer who was apprenticed to Richard Hill (2 May 1608), freed (30 April 1616) and paid his beadleship fine (29 May 1617). He was fined for bad work at Joiners’ Hall (22 November 1616); St Paul’s Wharf (1 August 1617); Little Moorfields (26 January 1617/18). On 24 October 1626 he promised to pay his fine in lieu of journeymanship by Christmas. On 23 April 1629 a payment was recorded ‘for buriall of Drewe’. William Ashton, son of George, late apprentice of William Drewe, was turned over to Richard Jarvis on 22 June 1629, although there was no previous record of his presentation.

DUCKER, Richard (fl. 1596)

A Plasterer who was presented by Henry Stanley (29 July 1586). On 28 February 1595/6 he paid the Company £3 ‘to allowe him a free brother’, with a further 20s to be paid at Midsummer. On 13 August 1596 he paid the sums necessary to gain his freedom but his name does not appear again in the Company records.

DUNGAN (DONGAN, DONNGAN, DOWGAN), Richard (fl. 1588; d. 1609)

The first Plasterer whose decorative plasterwork is not only documented but, to some extent, survives in situ. Dungan was apprenticed to John Morrey (4 August 1581) and paid his fines for abling ((30 August 1588) and beadleship (25 July 1589). He was fined on 23 January 1589/90 for ‘ill work at Awstenfryers gate by his journeyman Richard Webster (previously the apprentice of William Bottom). Thereafter, his rise within the plastering craft was meteoric. Only two years after completing his apprenticeship, in 1590 Dungan was granted the reversion of the post of Master Plasterer within the Royal Works, ‘after the death or surrender of John Symonds; Thomas Kelley the former partner deceased’.[22] Within the Company he quickly entered the Livery, paying for his pattern on 9 August 1594 (a promotion which normally took about fourteen years to achieve). He was elected Junior Warden for 1597-8 (13 October 1597), making a voluntary donation of £2 to ‘the house’ (31 October 1597). Two hypotheses suggest themselves to account for such rapid advancement. One possible explanation may derive from Dungan’s Irish origins. Dungan is a surname common at the time in the Pale [the area around Dublin under English control] and like many of his fellow London plasterers who were also Irishmen, Dungan maintained links with his native country. It appears that when he died he wished a pension to be paid to his mother who was then bed-ridden and living in Ireland.[23]

Perhaps Dungan had already received some training as a plasterer in Ireland and undertook a London apprenticeship in addition, in order to acquire freedom to work in the City. This would mean that he was not as young as the bare facts of his London training would suggest. Alternatively, Dungan might have been so precociously talented that early in his career he had caught the eye of someone at court whose protégé he became, in much the same way that Symonds seems to have been advanced by Lord Burghley. That he was highly gifted as a decorative plasterer is borne out by his subsequent career. Perhaps his rapid success can be accounted for by a combination of the above factors. Throughout the remainder of his life, Dungan’s career oscillated between City and Court.

Dungan seems to have been in a position to assist with the Company’s finances on occasion. A memorandum recorded that ‘there is owinge unto Mr Dongan … uppon his accompt £5 and he hath receaved the rest’ (25 January 1597/8). A final payment of £9 18s 10d ‘in full satisfaceon of all monyes by him laid out’ followed (18 February 1597/8). He provided further financial assistance in ‘Parker’s business’, involving the cancellation of an apprenticeship and its attendant expenses (13 March 1599/1600 and 12 May 1600). On 7 July 1597 he had succeeded John Symonds as royal Master Plasterer and this was presumably the reason for his retirement from the wardenship after only six months, returning £15 18s 2d from his account (28 March 1598). Issues of precedence also arose, resulting in the Company having to go to the Guildhall ‘about the controversye between Mr Capp and Mr Dongan’ (7 December 1603). The Company was willing to recognise Dungan’s increased status as royal Master Plasterer, but only to the extent of granting him precedence at meetings over the rest of the Assistants, after the current Master and Wardens (20 November 1598; confirmed again 3 January 1600/1). This nicety of protocol became immaterial after Dungan was  himself elected Master for 1601-2, an office which he held twice more, in 1604-5 and 1606-7, without having served as Senior Warden – testimony to the regard in which he was held by his peers. Although this did not prevent him from being fined for keeping his hat on at ‘the Christmas standing’ (3 January 1600/01) or from being warned at the Lord Mayor’s (27 March 1601); nor did it deter Hugh Miller from making evil speeches about Mr Dungan (28 April 1609). He only took on four apprentices during his career: Richard Talbott (23 July 1593, when he was fined for keeping a boy for more than six months without presenting him); Thomas Catherne, son of a Yorkshire butcher for 10 years (14 August 1598); Henry Abraham (22 May 1605); Patrick Effe (freed 4 June 1610). Presumably when working within the royal Works as Master Plasterer there was a plentiful supply of assistants, making apprentices largely superfluous. Dungan received 2s per day in his role (£36 5s per annum and 6d more per day than the Master Joiner) and a final payment of £26 was made in 1609-10, covering the period 1 April – 16 December, presumably the date of his death.[24] He was last present as an Assistant at a Court meeting on 3 November 1609.

Once he had succeeded to the post of Master Plasterer in the Royal Works, Dungan’s name appears in the taskwork entries for various sites. In 1597 he was paid for horse hire and riding charges for 3 days at 2s per day following visits to Oatlands, where routine plastering was undertaken in various lodgings.[25] The following year he was not only lathing and laying the walls and gable ends of the New Barge House but also, and more significantly, ‘newe working of a piece of fretwork in the chamber where her Majesty sits at sermons’ at Whitehall, for which he received 40s.[26] This is the only example of decorative plasterwork that Dungan provided for Elizabeth. At Nonsuch in 1599-1600 he provided interior partitions and ceilings, while his work on several outbuildings was ‘drawne ashler worke’ [i.e. lime and hair plaster scribed to look like masonry].[27] With the arrival of James I on the throne Dungan’s career as a decorative plasterer really took off. There was much routine plastering to be undertaken for Anne of Denmark at Eltham Palace but, in addition, in the Queen’s Presence Chamber ‘a newe frett in the roofe’ consisted of 146 yards at 4s the yard, costing £29 4s for workmanship alone.[28] More decorative work followed in the ‘little new cabinet’ at Whitehall which received a ‘frett … of varieties of woorkes and armes’ at 4s 6d the yard, totalling £5 12s 6d.[29] This was undertaken within the context of major refurbishments at Whitehall, St James’s Palace, the Tower of London, the Mews and Somerset House, where Dungan was paid for non-decorative taskwork between 1605 and 1609.[30] His most significant commission within the royal works came with the rebuilding of the Banqueting House at Whitehall between 1607 and 1609.[31] He was paid a total of £303 6s, which included £49 4 s 6d for all the plain plastering; £67 18s for a ‘plaine frett’ in the galleries, windows and lower end of the banqueting house at 3s 6d the yard; and £186 3s 6d for the ‘frettwoorke in the roofe of the banqueting house being wrought with deepe pendaunts and Compartments’. The initial rate of 5s was increased to 5s 6d the yard, resulting in a total of £169 5s. This ceiling was clearly something exceptional, drawing a fuller description form the Clerk of Works than was usually the case. The term ‘compartments’ suggests the possibility that Dungan was attempting to create a version of the timber coffered ceiling described by Serlio, that he had created for the Palazzo Ducale in Venice (removed in 1531) and illustrated in Book IV, Chapter 12 of Tutte l’opere d’architettura et prospetiva, Plates LXXIv and LXXIIr. This would mark a tentative move towards a more classical vocabulary in ceiling design; and, not for the first time, would one of Serlio’s designs for timberwork have been translated into a flatter version in plaster. With no visual evidence, this must remain hypothetical but it becomes increasingly plausible when taken in conjunction with Dungan’s work in the King’s Room at Knole. However, the presence of ‘deepe pendauntes’ reveals a lingering fondness for this typically Elizabethan ceiling ornament.

At the same time as he was earning considerable sums in the Royal Works, Dungan was equally profitably employed in providing plasterwork for two leading courtiers, Thomas Sackville, Lord Buckhurst (1st Earl of Dorset, 1604, and Lord High Treasurer, 1599-1608) and Robert Cecil (1st Earl of Salisbury, 1605, and Lord High Treasurer, 1608-12). It is usually assumed that artisans in the Royal Works were able to exploit those contacts with courtiers which arose from their official work, but Dungan is one of the first plasterers for whom this is documented. Sackville and Cecil were also friends, which makes it highly likely that Dungan, having worked for the former was then recommended by him to the latter. Dungan worked for both men not only in London but also at their country properties, demonstrating the manner in which fashions in plasterwork could be quickly and widely disseminated throughout the country. After what appears to be minor ‘worke by him done about Dorset house in February last 1607’[32] Dungan moved (together with other members of the King’s Works) to Knole, where the 1st Earl was carrying out a major refurbishment of his existing mansion. In December 1607 Dungan was paid a final instalment of £199 7s in settlement of two bills for work carried out between March 1605 and July 1607, which included payments for plaster of Paris, water transport and work in Mr Thomas Sackville’s stable, and a total of £410 14s 6d ‘for fretts & other worke done at Knoll’.[33] Most of this total for the plasterwork at Knole must have gone towards the decorative work; and the ceilings which can still be admired at Knole today bear witness not only to the high level of skill at Dungan’s fingertips, but also to his imaginative flair. In the great chamber (now the Ballroom) and the Cartoon Gallery, in particular, his creativity blossomed and covered the ceilings with floral displays that are unequalled for their inventive originality. The sinuous snaking of the decorated ribs enclosing the fields distracts the eye from the monotony of the immensely long, thin rectangle of the ceiling between the gallery walls.

Ceiling of the Cartoon Gallery, Knole, Kent.

Ceiling of the Cartoon Gallery, Knole, Kent.

 In creating the ceiling for the King’s Room Dungan may have moved even closer than at the Banqueting House to a classically-inspired design. Although the square compartments are edged by shallow enriched ribs rather than the deeper beams familiar in coffered ceilings, the ribs are much broader than was usual on contemporary ceilings. The shallowness was perhaps to be expected if a printed source such as Serlio provided the model on which Dungan based his design. Flower sprays still sprout from the corners of the squares but at the centres they are surrounded by distinctly classical circular garlands of bay. What is more, there are no pendants in sight. The fact that only one ceiling follows this pattern indicates that classicism was seen primarily as an additional resource for the plasterer in his search for variety, especially in a room of the highest status, but not to the exclusion of more typical Jacobean styles elsewhere in the house.

Ceiling of the King’s Room, Knole, Kent.

Ceiling of the King’s Room, Knole, Kent.

After working for the Earl of Dorset Dungan was employed by Robert Cecil, primarily in London but also at Hatfield, where he might have provided all the decorated ceilings if death had not prevented him. The first payment to him was made on 8 November 1608 in connection with work taking place at Salisbury House, Cecil’s London home. Dungan received £7 18s 4d for ‘making the parsonages in the forefront of the house next the garden’.[34] How far this might have involved modelling in a sculptural sense, rather than the preparation of and casting from moulds, is impossible to know. When Rowland Bucket was subsequently paid for painting these ‘parsonages’ they were described as standing ‘in the small arches towards the gardene on the outside of the house’.[35] This suggests that they were fully three-dimensional figures rather than reliefs applied to the wall surface of the house. ‘Parsonages’ sound like life-size figures, but since the number of figures is not mentioned there is no way of establishing the unit price, which might have provided some indication of their size. Even this incomplete account is more detailed than those for the rest of the London work carried out for Cecil by Dungan. He was paid £38 7s 5d in January 1608/9 for ‘reparacions at Rutland house’ which was probably routine work, but the £250 he received for his plastering at ‘the newe Buildinges at Durham house’ (Cecil’s westward extension of Salisbury House) between 10 December 1608 and 11 March 1608/9 must surely have encompassed decorative work as well. Cecil’s New Exchange building, known as ‘Brittain’s Burse’ and completed with extraordinary speed between June 1608 and the summer of 1609, was a lucrative contract for Dungan, whose total bill for £434 18s 9d was paid in July 1609.[36] By this date work was already under way at Hatfield where, despite hesitations on Cecil’s part, many rooms were to be furnished with decorative plasterwork. In the event the only payment made to Dungan connected with Hatfield House was for £60 in August 1609, but by this date only routine work had been required.[37]

This prolonged outburst of furious activity from 1605 onwards came to an end in the summer of 1609 and by mid-December of that year Dungan was dead. He died childless and without making a will, but it is clear from the loans that he was able to make to the London company during his lifetime and the £5 he left to be spent by them on a ‘recreation’ at the time of his burial that his industry had made him a wealthy man (23 January 1609/10). It seems that he had also wanted his widow to pay for ‘a Carpett to the Company whereof he was Free with the plaisterers armes embrodered on the said Carpett’ and that she complied with this instruction.[38] The estate left to Elizabeth Dungan (whom Richard had married in 1601 when she was already a widow with a daughter from her previous marriage) was evidently sufficiently large for a member of the Dungan family, Agnes Megram @ Dungan, to initiate a Chancery suit at some time before 1612 to try to obtain some share of the spoils. This claim was still being pressed in 1621. Elizabeth Dungan, meanwhile, continued to pay quarterage as an Assistant until she died in 1615, leaving everything (apart from bequests to the poor) to her own family. Her estate included leases on properties in London and £500 in major legacies.[39] Richard Dungan’s rise had not only made him wealthy; he also died a gentleman. Dungan’s funeral was described during the Chancery suit in the deposition made by Richard Browne I, one of Dungan’s friends among the plasterers (Dungan having stood as godfather to Browne’s son, Richard II, in 1600):

‘the said Dungan was buried in very good sort like a gentleman with his armes in escotheons, on his Coffin...’

The coat-of-arms of the Dungan family

The coat-of-arms of the Dungan family

This grant of arms to a craftsman like Dungan must have been exceptional at this date and suggests that his application received support from a powerful sponsor (presumably one of his courtly patrons). This did not prevent Ralph Brooke (York Herald 1592-1625) from including Dungan’s name on a list of common tradesmen whom he regarded as unworthy of the arms granted to them by Sir William Dethick (Garter King of Arms 1586-1606).[40] Richard Dungan is probably the first plasterer to have made the huge leap in status from skilled craftsman to gentleman, and his wealth and position in court circles must have been the major factors facilitating this transition. As a citizen of London, Richard Dungan had played his part as a respected member of the community. Within his parish of St Botolph’s Aldersgate, he served as a vestryman from at least 1601 until 1608, and a note made at Christmas 1607 indicates that he had also served as churchwarden until Midsummer of that year.[41] Between 1605 and 1608 he was one of eight men chosen to represent Aldersgate Ward on the City’s Common Council.[42] In the final year of his life Dungan leased The Horseshoe, in the parish of St Martin-in-the-Fields, home to many of the employees of the Royal Works, and it was in the parish church of St Martin that he was buried on 20 December 1609.[43] A home in Westminster would have brought him closer not only to the Royal Works but also to Robert Cecil’s Salisbury House and New Exchange building. As his patronage seems to have emanated so largely from court circles it must have been more convenient to live close to the source of that patronage, rather than in the City.

Richard Dungan had thus risen to a position of some prominence within his City parish and his craft company and it is quite likely that this would have resulted in commissions from City patrons to produce decorative plasterwork for them. This may well have been the case during the reign of Queen Elizabeth but with the accession of King James and Queen Anne any such patronage can only have played a minor role in Dungan’s professional career. The very large-scale commissions for decorative and routine plastering work which he received from the king, queen and leading courtiers can have left little time for him to work for other patrons and his move to Westminster would seem to confirm this. He was, quite literally, turning his back on the City and concentrating his attention on the court as the focus of his professional activity. That Dungan’s influence within the Royal Works continued after his death is suggested by the subsequent appearance among the plasterers named as ‘taskworkers’ of Dungan’s friend, Richard Browne I, and three of his erstwhile apprentices: Patrick Effe, James Kipling (apparently apprenticed by Widow Dungan) and Richard Talbott. Indeed, Dungan may have expected Richard Talbott to succeed him as Master Plasterer but in the event the latter had to be content with the reversion of the office granted to him in March 1612.[44]

DUNGEN (DONGAN), Peter (fl. 1586-9)

A Plasterer presented by Thomas Warbishe (1 September 1571) but whose freedom was not recorded. He was fined for evil work (2 September 1586) and Robert Cusack paid the fine for ill work by Peter Dongan’s man (22 April 1589), the last date on which his name appears in the Company records. There is no documentary evidence to establish a relationship with Richard Dungan, although it is a possibility.

DUNN, John (fl. 1619)

A plasterer of St Mary Abchurch granted a licence to marry Alice White of Christchurch, daughter of Robert White of Biddenham, Bedford, at Christchurch Newgate Street on 2 March 1618/19.[45]   

DURHAM, William (fl. 1619-24)

A Plasterer who was apprenticed to Martin Eastbourne (27 April 1612), freed (13 October 1619) and paid his beadleship fine (16 August 1622).  He was last recorded paying arrearage of quarterage on 12 March 1623/4 and he was listed as ‘mort’ in the Quarterage Accounts for 1624.


[1] LMA P69/GIS/A/002/MS 06419/002.

[2] TNA PROB 11/330, f. 109.

[3] TNA WORK 5/1.

[4] LMA P69/MTN1/A/002/MS 10213.

[5] LMA P69/STE1/A/001/MS 04448.

[6] TNA E 159/355 rots. 212, 213, 215.

[7] Bodleian Library MS Rawlinson A 195c, f. 114v.

[8] LMA DL/C/B/001/MS 09168/016, f. 77v.

[9] The Clothworkers’ Company: CL/D/5/1 (Quarter & Renter Wardens’ Accounts 1520-58).

[10] The Clothworkers’ Company: CL/D/5/2 (Quarter & Renter Wardens’ Accounts 1558-78).

[11] LMA P69/BEN2/B/012/MS 01568, f. 65r.

[12] The Clothworkers’ Company: CL/D/5/1 (Quarter & Renter Wardens’ Accounts 1520-58).

[13] LMA ACC/1876/F/09/48, p. 8.

[14] TNA E 351/3244.

[15] LMA P69/STE1/A/001/MS 04448.

[16] LMA P92/SAV 3001.

[17] LMA P69/GIS/A/002/MS 06419/001.

[18] LMA P69/MRY2/B/005/MS 03556/001.

[19] LMA ACC/1876/F/09/48, pp. 7-8.

[20] Inner Temple, Treasurer’s Audited Account Books, I, 1606-48, f. 359v.

[21] Middle Temple Treasurer’s Account Books: 2 (1639-40), 91, 148, 170-2; 3 (1640-41), 33, 66; 4 (1641-46), 40-42.

[22] Calendar of State Papers Domestic, Elizabeth I, Vol. 3 (1581-90), p. 714.

[23] This was stated by Gertrude Osborne, daughter-in-law of Dungan, during the court hearings in relation to Elizabeth Dungan’s will. See footnote 40 below.

[24] TNA E 351/3244.

[25] TNA AO 1/2416/28 and E 351/3232.

[26] TNA E 351/3233 (1597-8).

[27] TNA AO 1/2417/32 and E 351/3235.

[28] TNA E 351/3239 (1603-4).

[29] TNA E 351/3240 (1604-5).

[30] TNA AO 1/2418/38 & 40 and E 351/3241 and 3243.

[31] TNA E 351/3243.

[32] Kent History and Library Centre, MS U 269, A1/2.

[33] Kent History and Library Centre, MS U 269, A1/1. This is incompletely and incorrectly transcribed in G Beard, Decorative Plasterwork in Great Britain, London (1975), pp. 216-17.

[34] HHA, Accounts 160/1, Receiver General’s Account Book, which is the source for all subsequent Cecil references, unless otherwise stated.

[35] HHA, Family Papers 2nd Supplement, 1/85-89 (Bills 28, 1608), cited by Manolo Guerci, ‘Salisbury House in London, 1599-1694: The Strand Palace of Sir Robert Cecil, Architectural History, 52, 2009, 59.

[36] L Stone, Family and Fortune, London (1973), pp. 98-105. A sum of £9 12s paid on June 14th to ‘the plasterer upon a bill about dryine of the Seelings at Brittans Bursse’ has not been included as it does not name Dungan specifically, although he is most likely to have been the plasterer concerned.

[37] HHA: Building of Hatfield House, Bills 37.

[38] We are indebted to Thomas P Dungan for the details of Richard Dungan’s biography which are not derived from the Plasterers’ Company records and, in particular, for transcripts of Elizabeth Dungan’s will and the Interrogatories made in connection with the dispute arising from it (C.24/486, Pt.1). The interview with Richard Browne, plasterer, conducted on 21 January 1621 provided the information about the carpet.

[39] TNA PCC 95 Rudd (Prob 11/126), 15 November 1615.

[40] We are indebted to Thomas P Dungan for an illustration of the coat-of-arms from Folger Shakespeare Library MS V.a.146 (formerly 423.1), which contains the following reference: ‘Dungan clarke of the first frutes in Ireland had a patent for this about 1598 and payd to Garter for the same - 2li and a Caddowe for a bedd of 3li price. Dungan the playsterer geveth the same Coate by authorytie of Garter.’  

[41] LMA P69/BOT1/B/001/MS 01453/001: St Botolph Aldersgate, Vestry Minute Book 1601-52. There are no earlier surviving records.

[42] LMA CLC/W/FA/001/MS 02050/001: Aldersgate Ward, Wardmote Minute Book 1467-1801. One of Dungan’s fellow representatives during those years was Ralph Treswell, the surveyor.

[43] Thomas Mason (ed), A Register of Baptisms, Marriages, and Burials in the Parish of St Martin-in-the-Fields 1550-1619, Harleian Society, Parish Regsiter Series, vol. 25, p. 162.

[44] H Colvin (ed), History of the King’s Works, vol. III, p. 410, footnote 14. The reversion was granted by the Lord Treasurer, Robert Cecil, ‘procured by Sir Thomas Lake’, according to one of the docquets (1611-12) in HMC, Calendar of MSS at Hatfield House, Part 21, p. 338.

[45] George J Armytage (ed.), Allegations for Marriage Licences issued by the Bishop of

London, 1520 to 1610, extracted by Col. Joseph Lemuel Chester, Harleian Society, vol. 26 (1887), p. 70.

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