Gazetteer of Plasterers - K

All Kelleys have been entered in the alphabetical order of their forenames, regardless of the many variant spellings of the surname.


A Plasterer who was presented by Richard Browne I (26 May 1607) and freed on 17 July 1614. He was working for five days at the Charterhouse in April-May 1614 at 20d per day, earning a total of 8s 4d.[1] He put his mark to a Company order concerning apprentices (23 February 1616/17) and paid his beadleship fine (29 August 1617). When Thomas Lycense was turned over to him from Thomas Widmore for the remainder of his term, Kelley agreed to pay the fee in two instalments (25 January 1626/7); and on 7 May 1630 Kelley paid the fine for freeing his man early. His next apprentice was Edward Heward, son of a Huntingdonshire feltmaker, presented for 8 years (26 July 1630). Kelley continued to pay arrearage of quarterage until 31 January 1649/50 but on 23 June 1654 it was decided that he would become a Company pensioner. An additional donation was made to Clement Kelley, ‘a poor member of the Company’, on 17 February 1657/8. He was last recorded in the Court Minute Book when he received his pension on 23 April 1658. Despite his considerable age, Kelley was one of those pressed into service at the Restoration and he worked from June-August 1660 on the renovations being carried out at Somerset House.[2]

KELLEY (KEELEY, KELEY), Nicholas (fl. 1607; d. 1639)

A plasterer who was the son of a County Dublin carpenter, apprenticed to John Pitcher for 8 years (25 July 1603). On 15 June 1608 a payment was recorded for a ‘copy of the examinacon of Nicholas Keeley’ and on 22 June 1608 he was indicted. It seems that he was working as a plasterer in London without becoming free of the Company. He was recorded in the parish registers of St Giles Cripplegate at the baptism of a son (27 February 1606/7); a daughter Anne (4 October 1609); and a daughter Beatrice (27 January 1634/5).[3] He married Mabell Holden at St Giles Cripplegate on 19 April 1630 and was buried there on 21 October 1639.

KELLIE (KELLEY, KELLY) Patrick (fl. 1529; d. 1567)

A Plasterer who was the first to be appointed Master Plasterer in the Royal Works in 1555. As he was succeeded in the post in 1567, it seems reasonable to assume that that was the year of his death, although this is not documented.[4] Kellie’s long association with the Royal Works began in 1529 when he was probably still an apprentice. Between September and December he was working as one of the ‘gagers’ to the plasterers at Hampton Court, earning only 5d per day.[5] By 1537 his rate of pay had increased to 7d, making his employment at Hampton Court and Oatlands rather more lucrative, especially since Henry VIII’s desire for speed required overtime working, including night work. For example, in late 1537 the plasterers were working at Oatlands at night in the chapel, closet, lodging over the pastry, new lodgings in the barn and elsewhere ‘for the hasty Expedecion of same’.[6] From July-December 1537 and February-July 1538 Kellie was frequently at Hampton Court and from September-December 1537 and July-September 1538 he was shuttling between there and Oatlands.[7] By the time he reached The More in October 1541 his rate of pay had risen to 8d per day and he earned 13s 4d.[8] Extensive works there were followed by a major refurbishment at Dartford from June 1541-April 1542. The plasterers, including Kellie, were on site from February-April 1542.[9] Although there was as yet no official post of Royal Master Plasterer, Kellie was among the ‘Artificers at Westminster’ supplied with black mourning cloth for Henry VIII’s funeral.[10] Another death in 1547 was that of Morgan Rowe, a fellow-plasterer in the Royal Works, who left ‘my beeste Jackett’ to Kellie in his will of 20 November 1547 (proved on 17 December that year).[11] 1547-8 was also the year that saw the redecoration of the interior of St Margaret’s Church, Westminster in accordance with Protestant principles, reflected in the payment to ‘Patteryke Kelley playsterer for lyme and other Stuf for the Whyttyng of the Churche in Grete’ £8 10d.[12] In the period from late September to 19 October 1549 he was paid for work at Westminster Palace with Richard Procter at the rate of 10d per day for three days’ and three hours’ work. Later that year, from late October to 16 November 1549 he headed a team of six other plasterers working at the same palace.[13]

Not surprisingly, Kellie was a member of the London Plasterers’ Company but the only evidence for this comes from the records of the Court of Aldermen, who received a complaint from William Bowdelle that Kellie would not deliver up the key belonging to the Company; it was decided on 29 October 1554 that he was to be sent to Ward if he refused again.[14] This would suggest that Kellie had held a senior role in the Company as a Warden or, possibly, even Master. The following year saw the creation of the post of Master Plasterer in the Royal Works, an indication of the increasing importance of plasterwork in the interior decoration of royal buildings. He received 12d per day, the going rate for the holders of senior posts in the Royal Works.[15] The only recorded work that he carried out during Mary’s reign was undertaken at Windsor Castle where, according to the terms of Henry VIII's will, a new Lodging for Poor Knights was created in 1557-8. Kellie was among the chief artificers listed, receiving 12d per day.[16]

At the coronation of Elizabeth I on 15 January 1558/9 Kellie would have been dressed in red, (like the glasier and the joiner); but the 4 yards he was given were only of ‘Rede Cloth’, not the more expensive ‘scarlet’ that was distributed to the other officers of the Royal Works.[17] In May 1559 Kellie headed a team of seven plasterers and seven labourers who worked at Whitehall in preparation for the visit of the French embassy to the palace on the evening of 25 May. Kellie was naturally paid at the highest rate of 12d per day for four days’ work from 23-26 May ‘in mending the Longe gallery and certayne Chambers but also whitinge and wasshinge the same and healpinge to garnishe and beautfye the said gallery and hall with bowes &c ageinst the repayre of the Strangers’.[18] In 1559 refurbishment of the Tennis Courts at Whitehall was also undertaken. Kellie not only worked for four days (with a team of three other plasterers) but also supplied 7 bushels of grey plaster, which was then painted black.[19] Other work for the queen took him further afield. Details of the work undertaken would have been supplied by the lost Particular Books for each site; but the engrossed accounts only record Kellie’s presence and riding charges at 2s per day: at Enfield (for eight days) and New Hall (for seven days) in 1559-60; at Nottingham Castle (for fourteen days) in 1560-63; and at Fotheringhay (for seven days) in 1566 in preparation for the queen’s progress.[20]

KELLEY (CEELYE, CELIE, SEELEY), Richard (fl. 1575-96)

A Plasterer who paid his abling and admission fines on 2 September 1575. On 17 August 1576 it was recorded that he was ‘a bacheler this yeare’. He paid an unspecified fine (13 October 1577) and presented his first apprentice, Robert Corden, on 12 September 1579. A contribution to the costs of the Company’s Parliamentary bill was made (23 April 1581) and he was fined for bad work in Warwick Lane (16 November 1582). Kelley must have been chosen for the Livery as he paid for his pattern (12 September 1585). On 13 October 1586 he ‘paid for his wife’, presumably because she had attended a Company dinner. Another apprentice, William Walter, was presented (28 June 1588) and Kelley paid to have Edmond Essex’s man turned over to him (28 November 1589). Kelley served as Junior Warden for 1588-9 (12 September 1588) but this resulted in a fine for ‘an offence committed keepinge the Common Seals of the house and denyinge the same’ (5 September 1590). He was fined for absence (6 November 1590) and for disclosing the secrets of the house (29 January 1590/1). William Knakestone (?) was presented on 16 June 1591 and Edmund Barnard on 15 June 1593. In August 1594 Kelley was among the plasterers employed by the Merchant Taylors’ Company, earning 8s for six days’ work.[21] There followed an anonymous apprentice (23 August 1594); and Griffyn Davis (2 August 1595). His name last appeared in the records when he put his mark as a witness to the discharge of a Company bond with Mr Bettes et al (23 December 1596).

KELLEY (KELLEY), Robert (fl. 1567-1603)

A Plasterer who is first recorded working in the Royal Works at Greenwich between 1567 and 1569. This included washing and whiting chambers: in the Queen’s lodgings (50 days and 8 nights in December 1567-January 1567/8); in Lord Leicester’s lodging (24 days in May 1568); in the great chamber and the gallery going into the park (26 days in December 1568); and in the Spicery (17 days in February 1568/9). He was paid at the rate of 12d per day and earned a total of £6 5s.[22] As a Company member he was fined for disobedience (2 November 1571) and for ‘faults’ (4 September 1572). He paid his beadleship fine (26 July 1572) and for his pattern for the livery (4 June 1574). His first apprentice was Thomas Cogan (29 July 1575), followed by Nicholas Caden (June 1576). An unspecified fine was levied on 13 October 1577. On 26 July 1580 the Company was at some expense in connection with ‘Robert Kelley’s business’ and on 19 January 1581/2 the Court accepted Kelley’s wish to be ‘dismissed and discharged from the same lyverie of his company vntill suche tyme as he shall clere himself from suche crymes as are laid to his charge & the company thinke mete to receive hym againe into the lyuerie’. He seems to have succeeded in clearing his name as he presented another apprentice, Edmond Mahum, on 22 May 1584. He was fined for disobedience (13 October 1586) and for an unspecified offence, when a memorandum recorded that Roger [presumably clerk’s error] Kelley was to receive payments from William Jones in instalments (16 November 1586). When Mahum was freed, Kelley presented Flower Wingate (19 June 1591), who then made a goodwill payment to the Company on 22 June. Apprentices John Richardson and Roger Thurbye were presented on 5 April and 14 October 1594 respectively. In the will of John Cruse, made 14 September 1603, the testator forgave Robert Kelley the money owed to him from a sale of linen cloth.[23]

KELLEY (CEELEY, SEELEY), Samuel (fl. 1602)

A Plasterer presented by Richard Gibson (25 January 1594/5), who paid his apprentice’s abling fine when he was freed (18 February 1601/2). Kelley donated a gilt spoon with his initials (S.S.) on 5 August 1602 but was not mentioned again in the Company records.

KELLEY (KELYE), Smalladge (fl. 1572-98)

A Plasterer who paid his fines for abling (27 June 1572), admission (3 July 1573) and beadleship (8 August 1573). He was fined for bad work (29 July 1575) and Thomas Moore was fined for supplanting him (17 February 1575/6). Unspecified fines were imposed (15 February 1576/7; 15 August 1577; 8 November 1577). On that last date Kelley also presented James Money and paid for the Company’s goodwill. He was fined for absence (31 July 1584). Thomas Browne II was presented by him on 13 October 1584. Disobedience incurred a fine (13 October 1586) and he paid to take over an anonymous apprentice (25 July 1589). William Barnes was turned over to him (11 September 1590). He was fined once more, for taking carpenter’s work ‘by greate’ (13 October 1593). Thomas Askall was presented by him (14 October 1594) but had to be found a new master after Kelley’s decease, which must have taken place before 11 May 1598.  

KELLIE (KELLEY), Thomas (fl. 1567-87)

A Citizen and Plasterer who was assessed as a householder of St Sepulchre without Newgate at £3 in 1577.[24] In 1567 Thomas had succeeded Patrick Kellie as Master Plasterer to the Royal Works, where he was extensively occupied throughout Elizabeth’s reign.[25] Riding charges were paid to him for visits to Hampton Court and Windsor between 1567 and 1570, with no details of the work undertaken, but in the same years he was plastering the walls and ceilings of the Custom House in London.[26] 1569-70 was an especially busy year, taking Kellie to the Court of the Exchequer, where the walls required a new coat of plaster; to Reading, where he supplied the materials and equipment, as well as labour, needed for plastering the inside walls and ceiling of the new stables; and at Westminster he led the team that was whitewashing the gallery leading to the Parliament Chamber.[27] In 1572-3 he was again at Westminster, carrying out routine plastering in the College of St Stephen.[28] Woking was thoroughly plasterered inside and out in 1578-80, for which Kellie received a lump sum of £68 to cover materials and workmanship, and it was whitewashed the following year.[29] Kellie was at Greenwich, working at ‘The Fryers House’, in 1580-1;[30] but more significant was his work there in 1582-3, when he was paid £20 2s 5d by great ‘for lathing, laeing, mortering diuerse walles, and ceelings in & aboute the said house’. This included the rendering of the walls of Conduit Court and its newly-built covered gallery with plaster of Paris and ‘Reducing them into the Forme of stone assler’, in preparation for the trompe l’oeil architectural detail that was supplied by the Sergeant Painter, George Gower. In the same year Kellie was similarly co-operating with the painters in the finishing of the Whitehall Banqueting House, where the walls were plastered with lime and hair which was then roughened, ‘the better to Receive the Painters woorke’. This was, unsurprisingly, undertaken by the Sergeant Painter, but Kellie’s task-work also included ‘castinge in oile colours on the boorded roofe and inside of the batillmente by greate’.[31] In 1584-5 Kellie surrendered his post in the Royal Works, although John Symonds had been appointed to hold office jointly with him.[32] His last employment was at Eltham in 1587-8, where he plastered a ceiling in the Queen’s Lodging with lime and hair.[33]

Meanwhile, Kellie had apparently been playing a leading role in the affairs of the London Company before the earliest surviving Court Minute Book dated 1571, as he served as Senior Warden for 1572-3. He was elected Master for the first time in 1573-74 and served again in that role in 1576-77, 1579-80 and 1587-88. On 10 September 1576 a memorandum recorded that anyone serving as Master twice, including Kellie, was entitled to a third apprentice; a bonus of which Kellie took full advantage. His apprentices were: unnamed (1571); Robert Browne II (30 April 1574); William Brooke (17 February 1575/6); Robert Cusack (13 October 1577); Matthew Ashe (26 May 1581); Matthew Hinde (31 January 1583/4); Walter Cusack (13 October 1574); John Colman (25 January 1586/7). Kellie was one of the four arbitrators chosen from among the Assistants to settle a dispute that had arisen between Richard and William Brigges (31 January 1583/4). His financial success is indicated by his ability to make a loan to the Company on which he received interest (20 May 1587). On 14 February 1587 the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen issued an order to resolve a dispute between the Master, Wardens and Assistants of the Company on the one hand and the Yeomanry on the other. It was decided that Kellie and Raphe Bettes, ‘in respecte aswell of their age and unhabilities to woorke as of the great paines Chardges and travaile by them susteyned for the benefit of their said Companye To have and keepe three apprentices apeece duringe their naturalle lyves’ but this was not to set a precedent.[34] It was on 1 June 1587 that Kellie made his final will, asking to be buried in the chapel of his parish church of St Sepulchre, as near as possible to the pew where he sat. He left £40 to his daughter Jane Mattingley (wife of John Mattingley, the royal Joiner, also a parishioner of St Sepulchre); £30 to Margaret Mattingley, his granddaughter, and a silver gilt bowl; £20 to her sister Agnes and a silver gilt bowl; £20 to their brother Humphrey and a silver gilt bowl; £20 to their sister Alice and a parcel gilt goblet. In the event of the decease of all the Mattingleys, £50 of their legacies was to be distributed to the poor of the parish of St Sepulchre (£10), to the poor of Christ’s Hospital (£10), to the poor of St Barholomew’s (£10) and to his male servants (£20). The unnamed daughter of his sister Katheryn Brymen was to receive £10 ‘yf she happen to come out of the Realme of Ireland to England’. He bequeathed to John Mattingley ‘my best Lyvery gowne and my sealing ring of golde'. 40s was left to the poor of St Sepulchre without Newgate and 10s to Mr Graves the vicar, to preach at his funeral. A black coat made of cloth at 10s the yard was to be provided to any of his menservants dwelling with him at the time of his death. 20s was to go to the children of Christ’s Hospital; 20s to the Plasterers’ Company ‘for a recreation to be spent among them at the tyme of my buriall’. The residue of the estate was left to his wife and executrix, Margaret. The overseers (who were also among the witnesses), Robert Browne II, my neighbour, and John Mattingley, were each to receive 20s for their pains. The will was proved on 14 February 1588/9.[35] Payment of interest on Kellie’s loan to the Company was made to Mistress Kelly on 13 October 1589.

[Probably to be identified with the Thomas Kellie who was involved in the probate act appointing the administrators for Henry Milton’s nuncupative will in 1571.[36]]

KELLEY, William (fl. 1594)

One of the plasterers working for the Merchant Taylors’ Company, who paid him 2s 8d for two days’ work in August 1594.[37]

KENNEDY (KENNEDAIE, KENNYTT), Richard (fl. 1590)

A Plasterer apprenticed to Henry Morley (22 April 1583), who paid his abling fine on 8 May 1590, when the Company paid for the celebrations ‘at Spencers at making free of Henrye Morleys man’. On 20 July 1590 Kennedy donated a silver spoon to the Company, the last occasion on which his name was recorded.


A Plasterer whose name first appears in the Company’s records on 29 March 1622, when he was freed as the late apprentice of Richard Dungan, deceased. As Dungan died in 1609 it is unclear when Kipling was apprenticed or how he completed his apprenticeship. In 1623 he was working at Lionel Cranfield’s Chelsea House, under James Leigh, the Royal Master Plasterer. During three weeks in September he worked for sixteen days, earning 2s per day.[38] Kipling remained in the Yeomanry, playing no part in Company affairs apart from paying arrearage of quarterage on several occasions between 1625 and 1631. He was employed in the Royal Works during the 1630s: at St James’s Palace, on some unspecified task in 1630-31, for which he received £5 19s 7d;[39] and at the Old Palace of Westminster in 1634-5, where he and Amos Jackson received £22 3s 2d between them, for their work on the ceilings and partitions in the Queen’s Court over the Court of Requests.[40] Kipling was last recorded paying arrearage of quarterage on 25 January 1638/9.

KIRBIE (KERPEY), John (fl. 1594-7)

A plasterer who was presented by John Lee on 29 August 1592 but who did not complete his apprenticeship. As a parishioner of All Hallows Staining he was granted licence to marry Elizabeth Bendowe of St Katharine Coleman Street, the widow of Robert Bendowe, Barber of that parish, by the Bishop of London on 25 May 1594.[41] It is likely that he was the bricklayer of that name, resident in Whitechapel, who was warned by the Company on 11 November 1597 and who promised not to carry out plastering work again.

KIRTON (KERTON), John (fl. 1619-62)

A Plasterer who was the son of a London mariner, presented by George Ashbridge for 8 years (7 August 1612); and who was freed as the apprentice of Widow Ashbridge (13 October 1619). His first apprentice was Thomas Bathe, son of an Oxfordshire labourer, who was presented for 9 years (30 August 1627). John Whiteway, son of an Oxfordshire husbandman, followed, also for 9 years (23 April 1632; Whiteway was one of the ‘foreign’ plasterers who had not completed his apprenticeship, rounded up by the Company on 17 February 1657/8). Kirton was one of those nominated and then elected for the Livery (18 July and 9 August 1633). John Rutter, son of a Surrey yeoman, was apprenticed for 8 years (1 August 1639) but turned over to John Naylor (25 July 1642). On 26 September 1642 Kirton stood unsuccessfully in the election for Junior Warden; but he was paid for assisting the Beadle on 23 April and 30 September 1647. He presented Roger Avis, son of James Avis, Citizen and Plasterer, deceased, for 7 years (24 June 1647; freed 17 August 1654); John Rugman, son of a butcher in the parish of St Lawrence Pountney, for 8 years (6 February 1655/6). Kirton was last recorded paying arrearage of quarterage on 25 July 1662.


A Plasterer presented by William Walter on 24 August 1608, who was made free on 29 August 1616. While still an apprentice he was employed for five days in April-May 1614 at the Charterhouse, earning 20d per day.[42] His name last appeared in the Quarterage Accounts for 1625.

KNIGHT, William (fl. 1620; died 1656)

A Plasterer from Worcestershire who was apprenticed to George Mason for 8 years (11 June 1612) but was turned over to James Stanley, following Mason’s death (3 June 1613). It was as the apprentice of Widow Stanley that he gained his freedom on 29 June 1620. Knight remained in the Yeomanry and, apart from intermittent payment of arrearage of quarterage, his name does not appear again until he became ‘one of Mr Benson’s pensioners’ on 25 January 1643/4. Pensioner William Knight was recorded ‘dead’ on 25 July 1656.


[1] LMA ACC/1876/F/09/48.

[2] TNA WORK 5/1.

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

[4] H M Colvin (ed), History of the King’s Works, Vol III, 1485-1660 (Part I), London (1975), p. 410.

[5] TNA E 36/239, ff. 182, 195, 206, 216, 225, 234, 254.

[6] TNA E 36/237, f. 806.

[7] TNA E 36/238, f. 564; E 36/244, ff. 109, 156, 314, 383, 422; E 36/245, ff. 57, 114, 164, 210, 315; E 36/235, pp. 180, 317; E 36/237, ff. 792, 806, 850. These are not bound in date order.

[8] Bodleain Library MS Rawlinson D.781, ff. 42v-43r.

[9] Bodleian Library MS Rawlinson D.783, ff. 170r-v, 188r, 204r.

[10] TNA LC2/2, f. 79v.

[11] LMA DL/C/B/004/MS 09171/011, f. 206v.

[12] Wetminster Archive Centre: MF 963/E3, St Margaret’s Churchwardens’ Accounts. Cited in Julia Merritt, ‘Religion, government and society in early modern Westminster, c1525-1625’, Unpublished PhD thesis, University of London (1992), p. 252.

[13] TNA E 101/474/19.

[14] LMA COL/CA/01/015, f. 336.

[15] H M Colvin (ed), History of the King’s Works, Vol III, 1485-1660 (Part I), London (1975), p. 37.

[16] Bodleian Library MS Ashmole 1125, ff. 66-7. Cited in W St John Hope, Windsor Castle: an architectural history, London (1913), p. 259.

[17] TNA LC/2/4/3, f. 128.

[18] TNA E 101/474/26.

[19] TNA E 101/474/24.

[20] TNA E 351/3200, 3201 and 3203 respectively.

[21] LMA CLC/L/MD/G/243/MS 34348, f. 63r.

[22] Bodleian Library MS Rawlinson A.195.c, ff. 7r, 30r, 42v, 95v, 114 v.

[23] LMA DL/AL/C/002/MS 09051/005.

[24] TNA E 179/145/252.

[25] H M Colvin (ed), History of the King’s Works, Vol III, 1485-1660 (Part I), London (1975), p. 410.      

[26] TNA E 351/3204.

[27] TNA E 351/3205.

[28] TNA E 351/3209.

[29] TNA E 351/3213 & 3214.

[30] TNA E 351/3215.

[31] TNA E 351/3217, Prelims and taskwork.

[32] H M Colvin (ed), History of the King’s Works, Vol III, 1485-1660 (Part I), London (1975), p. 410.      

[33] TNA AO 1/2414/17.

[34] LMA CLC/L/PG/A/004/MS 06132.

[35] LMA DL/C/B/004/MS 09171/017, f. 203v.

[36] LMA DL/C/B/001/MS 09168/013, f. 22v.

[37] LMA CLC/L/MD/G/243/MS 34348, f. 63r.

[38] Centre for Kentish Studies, Sackville Papers: U 269/1, AP 45 and A 516/1.

[39] TNA E 351/3264.

[40] TNA E 351/3268.

[41] George J Armytage (ed), Allegations for Marriage Licences issued by the Bishop of London, 1520 to 1610, Vol I, extracted by Col. Joseph Lemuel Chester, Harleian Society, 25 (1887), p. 789.

[42] LMA ACC/1876/F/09/48.

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