Gazetteer of Plasterers - R

RANDALL (MORICE, MORRIS ap RANDALL), Hugh (fl. 1590-1622)

A Plasterer presented by Lewis Genoway (8 March 1582/3), who paid his abling fine (23 April 1590) and donated a silver spoon (20 July 1590). On 17 March 1592/3 he was sent to prison for an unspecified offence and was carried to the Compter, together with John Betaugh, on 1 March 1593/4. A fine for ill work without Aldersgate was imposed (12 December 1600) and another for ill work in Grub Street (14 August 1601). Together with Randall Clarkson he was fined for evil work in Great St Bartholomew’s (27 June 1606). Randall and Thomas Bailey were employed for two days by the churchwardens of St Botolph without Aldersgate to repair the minister’s house in August 1601. The plasterers provided materials and were paid at the rate of 18d per day, receiving a total of 19s 2d between them. A further 8s 5d was paid to Randall alone on 18 October.[1] On 24 April 1602 he was once more committed to gaol. He paid his contribution towards the forced loan made by the City to the king (9 September 1604). Randall presented his first apprentice, Peter Hayward, on 17 March 1594/5. Robert Parker, son of a Shropshire yeoman, was presented by Randall for 8 years and Morice Hill was turned over to him from Thomas Johnson (11 August 1604). Jeffery Powell was presented by him (22 May 1605). He then paid to take over Lewes Yappe from John Griffin (6 November 1605). A memorandum of 23 April 1608 recorded that Yappe ‘departed from Hughe Morice als Randall without his licens 4th April 1608’. John Evans, apprentice of Henry Pritchard, was then turned over to him (2 May 1608). On 13 October 1614 Randall presented Hugh Jones, son of a Denbighshire gentleman, for 8 years. His son, Morris Randall, was apprenticed to Richard Ratcliffe for 7 years (23 April 1618). Randall made his will on 9 January 1621/2, when he was living in the parish of St Botolph Aldersgate. He left 10s each to his sisters, Rose and Lowre, 20s to his cousin Matthew and all his wife’s clothes to his daughter-in-law, Margaret Carteright. To his son, Morris, he left his own clothing, scaffolding and tools, such as laths and planks, and bed and bedding. The legacies were to be distributed following the death of his wife, Margrete, the sole executrix and residuary legatee, provided she did not remarry. With the same proviso, she could remain in their house, sharing it with his son, Morris. The will was proved on 18 January 1621/2.[2]

RANDALL (RANDALE), James (fl. 1571-6)

A Plasterer who paid his abling and admission fines (2 November 1571), followed by his beadleship fine (8 August 1572). He paid a fine for ‘suffring his man to woorke’ (7 November 1572) and another for an unspecified offence (5 December 1572). Randall paid for his pattern on being chosen to enter the Livery (14 July 1574) and was fined again ‘for his mans woorking’ (6 August 1574). Robert Gray was presented by him (29 July 1575) and Randall was subsequently fined ‘for his man’s bad work’ (18 November 1575). His next apprentice was William Collyns (13 October 1576) but that is last date on which Randall’s name appears in the Company records.

RANDALL, Morris (fl. 1621-5)

A Plasterer, son of Hugh Randall, who was apprenticed to Richard Ratcliffe for 7 years (23 April 1618). He was freed by patrimony and paid his abling fine (22 August 1621) but was only listed among the Yeomanry of the Company until 1625. Morris featured in his father’s will of 1622, q.v. above.


A plasterer who was probably a member of the London Company but whose name does not occur in their records. As one of the junior plasterers employed by the Royal Works he earned only 7d per day. At Westminster in November and December 1542 he was part of the team working on the new Office for the King’s Surveyor in the Fish Yard, where he earned 7s for 12 days’ work.[3] Ratcliffe was also among the team of Londoners working at Dartford in January 1544, lathing, daubing and pargetting the roofs and walls of the upper lodging on the south side of the great court and mending walls of the lodgings on the north and south sides of the east gatehouse. On this occasion he earned 6s 5d for eleven days’ work.[4] He is a possible candidate (Thomas Ratcliffe is another) for Goodman Radcliffe who received 16d for one day’s work at Skinners’ Hall in September 1595 and for ‘olde father Ratcliff’ who worked there for six days at 12d per day, under Richard Ratcliffe II, in March 1595/6.[5]

RATCLIFFE (RATLEIFE, RATLYFFE), Richard II (fl. 1577-1623)

A Plasterer ‘who was made free in 1577 by his fathers copie’ (13 October 1576). He paid his abling and admission fines (15 February 1576/7) and beadleship fine (25 July 1578). In March 1581 he made his contribution towards the cost of the Company’s Parliamentary bill concerning artificers and paid for his pattern on entering the Livery on 10 September 1585. He rose to be Junior Warden for 1594-5 (12 September 1594), Senior Warden for 1598-9 and Master for 1607-8 and 1613-14. On the latter occasion he succeeded on Raphe Guest’s death (8 November 1613). Together with Mr [Richard] Browne I he was appointed to arbitrate in the dispute between Robert Betaugh and Walter Hill relating to an apprentice (21 August 1609). He was among the senior members of the Company who were to attend a meeting with the Painter Stainers, in the hope of reaching an agreement with them (25 August 1619). In the Parish records of St Botolph Aldgate John Ratliff, son of Richard Ratcliffe plaisterer, was baptised on 21 November 1596.[6] Ratcliffe was able to sign his name rather than using a mark (23 December 1596). He was fined for lateness ((22 February 1604/5) and for doing work contrary to the orders of the House (11 September 1606).

Although he was twice fined for ill work (in Fleet Street on 29 August 1592 and Blackfriars on 14 November 1595), Ratcliffe was evidently a skilled plasterer, capable of executing decorative work which was documented in two City Company Halls. The Skinners’ Company began work on a new hall and parlour in June 1595 and various payments for labour and materials were made to Ratcliffe and his men from August 1595 – March 1595/6. On 3 April 1596 Ratcliffe and his partner, Robert Garsett, received £5 in part payment of their bargain ‘for cresting the seeling in the newe parlore’ and on 29 June a final payment of £4 was made to them ‘in full discharge of theire bill for Fretting’.[7] Between December 1609 and August 1610 the hall of the Leathersellers’ Company was re-roofed and given a decorative plaster ceiling. Ratcliffe provided a great deal of plain plastering in the gallery, the armoury and the hall but on 22 August 1610 the Court minutes record that ‘Richard Radcliff, plasterer, havinge finished the seelinge in the hall and delivered unto the wardens the mouldes of the companies armes, the bucke, the ramme and the goate, then he to receave in full payment the some of fower poundes and so to seale the Company a general release’. The pendants and half-pendants for the ceiling were provided by the carpenter.[8]

Leathersellers Hall by J P Malcolm

Drawing of the hall in Leathersellers’ Hall made by J P Malcolm (1799).

The ceiling of the hall survived until the building was demolished in 1799 and fortunately two drawings were made of it before it disappeared.[9] These indicate that Ratcliffe was familiar with the style of plasterwork fashionable in the decades to either side of 1600. An enriched rib design was laid out in a fairly common pattern of interlocking barbed quatrefoils and squares, the flat surface of the ceiling being broken by the plaster equivalent of stone vaulting, terminating in the carpenter’s pendants. The Company’s badges were displayed in the centre of the barbed quatrefoils and floral sprays sprouted in typical manner from the corners of the squares. The Leathersellers were clearly intending to make a dramatic impression on visitors to their hall and Ratcliffe was sufficiently skilled to enable them to do so. However, on 9 July 1612 the Company recorded payments in connection with the Leathersellers at the Lord Mayor’s and at Leathersellers’ Hall, which suggests that there may have been some dispute arising from Ratcliffe’s work.

Ratcliffe’s relations with his fellow Plasterers do not always seem to have been harmonious. He was fined for contempt (30 August 1588) and [William] Richardson was reimbursed ‘for going to Ratcliff to try the truth of a matter in question’ (5 September 1590), after which Ratcliffe was fined for working with another man’s customer (11 October 1590). On 23 July 1593 his dispute with Widow Bottom was settled. It was decided that the controversy between Ratcliffe and Robert Garsett on one side and Lewis Genoway on the other, should be settled by arbritrators (3 December 1595) and Ratcliffe was sent to the Compter on 13 December. On 20 July 1622 Messrs Ratcliffe and [?] Stanley were fined for rudeness to each other.

Over a long career Ratcliffe presented numerous apprentices: John Humfrey (26 May 1581); William Martin (20 December 1588); John Edee (8 November 1594); anonymous apprentice (23 April 1595); he was paid for providing board for Betaugh’s man (8 February 1599/1600);

William Rogers, son of a Gloucestershire yeoman, for 7 years (27 March 1601); John Lyn (11 February 1602/3); Adam Gilbert, son of a Northamptonshire yeoman, for 7 years (25 July 1603); John Addison, son of a London labourer, for 8 years (29 July 1603); he acted as the surrogate master for the apprentice of John Allen I (13 October 1607); John Campion (28 July 1609); Henry Abraham was turned over to him following the death of Richard Dungan (29 January 1609/10); John Becke was turned over to him from Henry Stanley and he presented John Walton (5 April 1611); he undertook to train the orphaned Samuel Guest (son of Raphe) as a plasterer (15 November 1613); Matthew Holmes was turned over to him from Walter Hill (29 May 1617); Morris Randall, son of Hugh, Citizen and Plasterer of London, for 7 years (23 April 1618); Nathaniel Ratcliffe, for 7 years, and Richard Jarvis was turned over to him (18 May 1620); Francis Pickell of Hertford for 7 years (6 September 1620. He was later turned over to Edmond Lake, then Edward Grigg, and freed on 2 July 1630.); Marmaduke Freeman, son of a Northamptonshire joiner, for 7 years (5 June 1621; turned over to William Newman on 29 March 1622 without the Company’s consent). After her husband’s death, Widow Ratcliffe continued to pay arrearage until at least 23 April 1632 (when there is a break in the records), when she was also fined for not enrolling her apprentice, Roger Flaxworth, who paid his abling fine.

RATCLIFFE (RADCLIFFE), Roger (fl. 1617-25)

A Plasterer who was the son of Raphe, a City Mercer. A memorandum of 23 April 1617 recorded that if Roger was first admitted to the Mercers’ Company, he would then be received into the Plasterers’ Company by translation. On 29 May 1617 this was accomplished when he was sworn in from the Mercers’ Company, to which his father belonged. He was almost immediately engaged on the duties of the Beadle. At first he shared the fee with John Lambe (13 October 1617) but received the whole quarterly fee on 26 January 1617/18. Ratcliffe was in receipt of charity (3 December 1619; 25 January 1619/20) but otherwise was only recorded paying quarterage as a member of the Yeomanry until 1625.

RATCLIFFE (RATLEFF), Thomas (fl. 1571-94)

A Plasterer who was engaged on routine plastering at Lincoln’s Inn with Richard Bellowes in 1569; they worked a total of 9 days at the rate of 16d per day.[10] It would appear that by 1574 Ratcliffe was already one of the senior members of the Company, who were required to pay 6s 8d for their dinner (4 June 1574). He must already have served as Junior Warden as he was one of the Assistants agreeing to a memorandum about the governance of the Company (17 August 1576) and served as Senior Warden for 1678-9 and 1580-1. William Bottom was fined for taking work from Mr Ratcliffe (19 November 1574) and Thomas himself was fined for bad work (28 July 1581). He is a possible candidate (Richard Ratcliffe I is another) for Goodman Radcliffe who received 16d for one day’s work at Skinners’ Hall in September 1595 and for ‘olde father Ratcliff’ who worked there for six days at 12d per day, under Richard Ratcliffe II, in March 1595/6.[11] From 1571 onwards Ratcliffe presented numerous apprentices: anonymous (1571); Reynold Hastings (13 October 1576); William Morley (13 November 1584); Robert Capp (13 October 1585); Henry Darby (20 May 1587); Robert Coppinge (28 July 1592); anonymous (18 May 1593); William Iles (24 July 1594); William Martin was turned over to him from Richard Ratcliffe (8 November 1594).


A Plasterer apprenticed to Robert Priestman (16 November 1586), who paid his abling and beadleship fines (14 October 1594 and 2 August 1595). He was selected for the Livery and paid for his pattern (5 August 1602). He made his contribution towards the costs of the King’s visit to the City (6 July 1604) and paid 6s 8d for ‘the charge of letteres Pattens’ (3 January 1605/6). He was elected Junior Warden for 1610-11 (10 September 1610) but resigned the post (4 March 1610/11) and ‘in consideration of this was granted first refusal of the next apprentice brought to the Court to be turned over’. He was replaced by Richard Fisher but this provoked a dispute which was taken to the Court of Aldermen, who initially ruled that Rawlidge should resume his post but subsequently rescinded this decision.[12] On 11 September 1615 Rawlidge was elected Senior Warden for 1615-16 but this gave rise to an acrimonious dispute in which three men (including Thomas Widmore) refused to serve as Junior Warden alongside him, on the grounds that he had not served out his term as Junior Warden and was a ‘couseninge knave and made himselfe sure to a woman and married her not’. Rawlidge was thereupon dismissed from the Court until he had cleared himself of the accusations levelled against him. He was fined for evil words, calling Warden [Thomas] Widmore a knave, but at the same time the latter was fined for going to view Mr Rawlidges’s work without licence (31 October 1615).  Reinstatement to the Court was recorded in a memorandum (27 May 1616) and Rawlidge was excused not only his former offences but also payment of an assessment (29 August 1616). His election as Senior Warden for 1616-17 went without challenge (29 September 1616). On 23 April 1617 it was noted that Warden Rawlidge would pay his share of the costs of the Company’s suit to the Master, Mr [Randall] Clarkson. Rawlidge was ordered to account to the Company for the benefit he had made by sending his servant to Virginia (13 October 1618). He was among those able to sign their names to an agreement concerning the repayment of a loan to the Chamber of London (23 May 1619). Rawlidge undertook a suit against a bricklayer for which he was reimbursed by the Company (25 July 1623 but added to the entry for 8 May 1623). At his own request he was dismissed as an Assistant, chiefly on account of weakness, until he was sufficiently recovered to request readmission (8 August 1624). Rawlidge was again repaid money he had laid out in the suit between the Company and the Bricklayers (14 November 1626) but was himself fined for taking work from bricklayers on several occasions (30 August 1627). He was unsuccessful in the election for Master for 1628-9 (17 September 1628) but on 20 November 1628 he was readmitted as an Assistant. His differences with the Company were deemed to be over and as senior Assistant he was only to give precedence to those who had served as Master. On 14 September 1629 Rawlidge was elected Master for 1629-30. He promised to pay his outstanding assessment at the next Court Day (25 July 1633) and paid it on 14 October 1633. He was last recorded paying arrearage of quarterage on 20 November 1635.

Rawlidge was fined on several occasions: for ill work in St Mary Axe (13 March 1599/1600); at St Mary Creechurch (5 August 1602); in Holborn (12 November 1602); for not wearing his livery to a Court meeting (10 December 1602); for ill work in St Paul’s Churchyard (8 March 1603/4); evil work in Thames Street (27 June 1606); for absence from the Lord Mayor’s installation (4 November 1612); for absence (25 February 1612/13); for repeated absence and bad work by London Wall and by Aldgate (14 June 1615); for taking Mr [Robert] Whiting’s work ‘out of his hands at Leadenhall’ (23 April 1617); for absence 5 September 1621); for bad work in Aldersgate Street (2 December 1628); for absence (16 November 1630). Throughout his long career Rawlidge presented numerous apprentices: Richard Bennett, son of an Oxfordshire blacksmith, for 8 years (28 April 1600); Richard Bayton (13 October 1606); Christopher Rawlidge was turned over to him from Hugh Capp (29 July 1608); Cuthbert Rowsewell (19 February 1609/10); John Guns (23 April 1610); Edward Lucas (13 October 1610); Thomas White (2 November 1610); James English, son a Cambridge labourer, for 8 years (31 July 1612); William Yarrington, son of a Worcestershire yeoman, for 8 years (23 April 1618; turned over to Anthony Armstedd on 24 April 1620); he paid to have Edward Davy turned over to him from Robert Saunders (25 August 1619; the Company subsequently paid for a pass for Davy, who had been Mr Rawlidge’s man, but Davy seems never to have been made free); James Croxall, son of a Whitechapel Firkinman (24 April 1622); Edmund Foote, son of a Buckinghamshire bricklayer, for 7 years (16 May 1622; freed 25 July 1629); Robert Eldred was turned over to him from John Clarkson (26 May 1630; freed 6 November 1637); Richard Newman was turned over to him from Richard Dewberry (17 June 1630; turned over again 26 July 1630 and freed 26 August 1636).

READE, William (fl. 1620-25)

A Plasterer who was apprenticed to Henry Hurleston (23 April 1612) and paid his abling fine on 4 November 1620. He was recorded paying quarterage as a member of the Yeomanry until 1625.

RICE, Richard (d. 1616)

A plasterer ‘of St Giles in the Fields and late of St Michael’s in Bedwarden, near Worcester’, whose will was made on 4 September 1616 and proved on 1 October of that year. He was not a member of the London Company and most of his bequests, from an estate of over £240, were made to relatives in Worcestershire and Shropshire. The poor of Hillingdon and of Uxbridge, Middlesex were to receive £2 each and the poor of Denham, Buckinghamshire, £3. His overseers were his well-beloved friends, John Babington, Esq, and William Stanton of Hillingdon, a yeoman, to whom he left £3 each for their pains.

RICHARDSON, Nicholas (fl. 1618-25)

A Plasterer who was presented by Humfrey Dovey but ‘who was then sett over to Harman Michaells estranger to serve his term’ (24 August 1608). It was as Dovey’s apprentice that he was freed on 30 January 1617/18. His name continued to be recorded among the Yeomanry in the Quarterage Accounts until 1625.

RICHARDSON (RICHARDS), Robert (fl. 1603-4)

A Plasterer who was presented by John Morley I (14 October 1595), who paid his apprentice’s abling fine (11 February 1602/3). In the Quarterage Accounts his name is crossed through in 1604.

RICHARDSON, William (fl. 1582-90)

A Plasterer whose name first appears when he paid arrearage of quarterage on 16 November 1582. He presented an apprentice, Cuthbert [blank] on 25 January 1583/4 and paid to turn over his anonymous apprentice on 5 March 1589/90. He then presented John Ellys (31 July 1590) and was last recorded receiving a payment ‘for goeing to Ratcliff to trye the truth of a matter in question’ on 5 September 1590.


Ridge was the son of a Northamptonshire labourer, apprenticed to Hugh Capp for 8 years (8 March 1603/4) and turned over to Mr [George] Mason (16 November 1607). On 11 October 1608 he was ‘banished from the City and its Liberties and forbidden to work as a plasterer’ as he had left his master on several occasions, including a spell from 19 June – 2 October 1608. Ridge was presumably working as a plasterer in his spells of absence and may well have continued to do so after this date.

RIDGEWAY (RIDGWAIE), Edward (fl. 1624-34)

A Plasterer who was the son of a Nottingham yeoman, apprenticed to Richard Hill for 8 years (8 August 1616). He was turned over to Robert Whiting (11 August 1620) and again to Mr Richard Browne I (24 April 1622) and was freed on 25 August 1624. He was recorded paying arrearage of quarterage on 4 September 1634; but he was deceased by the time his son Jacob was freed by patrimony on 26 August 1657.

RIGBY, Robert (fl. 1615-25)

A Plasterer who was apprenticed to Edmund Lake (25 July 1607) and freed on 2 August 1615. He paid his beadleship fine (8 August 1616) and was fined for bad work in Mincing Lane (29 August 1617). He was recorded as a member of the Yeomanry in the Quarterage Accounts until 1625.

ROADES (RHODES, RODES), Kelham (Gwillim, Guillame, Kenelm) (fl. 1608-32)

A Plasterer who, despite the variant spellings of his first name, appears to have been English. He was apprenticed to Robert Garsett as the son of Peter Roades, a yeoman of Studley, Gloucestershire, for 7 years (8 May 1601). He was freed on 29 April 1608, when he agreed to serve Widow Garsett for one year as a journeyman, and paid his beadleship fine on 11 August 1609. Roades made his mark to Company memoranda (23 February 1616/17, 4 January 1627/8 and 23 April 1631). 1616 was the year in which he entered the Livery, according to the Quarterage Accounts. He was one of the group assigned to attend a meeting with the Painter Stainers (25 August 1619). He was elected to serve as Junior Warden for 1624-5 (11 September 1624) and as Warden he received a payment for wood and coal (13 October 1624). He was unsuccessful when he first stood in the election for Senior Warden (10 September 1627) but was elected to the post for 1628-9 (15 September 1628). On 13 October 1629 it was noted, somewhat cryptically, that ‘a monument refreshed by Mr Roades, late Warden of this companie, it was agreed that it be new finished with the same as before’. Roades was fined for bad work at Temple Bar and Fetter Lane, together with Martin Eastbourne (13 June 1617); for absence from the Sheriffs’ election (29 June 1620); Mr Roades was given one month to remedy insufficient work done by him ‘at or nere unto Fleete Bridge’ (24 April 1622); for an unspecified offence (9 August 1622); for bad work in Shoe Lane (15 February 1627/8); for bad work in Aldersgate (6 November 1628); he was warned before the Chamberlain for an unspecified offence (29 May 1633).

From July 1613 to December 1614 Roades headed the team of plasterers working at the Charterhouse on routine plastering as the building was converted from a house to Sutton’s Hospital and School. Working for 151½ days at 2s brought him £10 3s but he was also employed on taskwork. He made bargains, with partners, to provide plastering on brickwork, miscellaneous lathing and laying and 139 yds 8 ft of ‘Borders and Spandrels’ at 3s the yard. For this they received £120 18s between them. The final payment for plastering was made to Roades alone. He received 6s 4d for plastering and laying with lime and hair the brickwork in the kitchen and a room next the wash house; and for whiting the Steward’s closet and staircase.[13] In 1624-5 he was working at Greenwich Palace for the Royal Works where he was engaged on exterior and interior routine plastering in the Poultry and the Queen’s Great Chamber.[14] When the Company hall was refurbished, Warden Roades’ man (presumably Robert Smith) was paid 11s 8d for 7 days’ work and 5s 10d for 3 days (25 July & 12 August 1625). Roades reappeared in the Charterhouse accounts in 1628. Between June and September that year he received numerous payments for routine work by himself and his workmen, including George Ubanck, Thomas Wright and Robert Smith (see below). Additionally, he supplied a great range of materials, including baskets, brooms, laths, nails, tubs, lime, sand, hair, cleats, woollen cords and other iron tools.[15] Thereafter he seems to have become the ‘house plasterer’, carrying out small tasks until September 1631.[16] During this period Roades also supplied size and colours – Spanish white, russet and yellow – and scaffolding poles.[17]

When Roades presented his first apprentice, George Ubanck, son of a Westmorland husbandman, for 8 years, he was also fined for setting his boy to work before he was bound (29 April 1613). Subsequent apprentices were: Robert Smith, son of a Derbyshire husbandman, for 7 years (29 June 1620). When Smith was freed on 25 July 1627 he contracted to serve one year as a journeyman with his master, who paid him ‘as an earnest penny, one peece of silver of 2d’. Thomas Wright, son of a Warwickshire husbandman, was next apprenticed for 7 years (6 March 1625/6; freed 18 July 1633); Henry Phillipps, son of a Pembrokeshire husband, for 8 years (18 August 1628); Leonard Foster, son of a Yorkshire woollen weaver, for 7 years (25 July 1629); John Savage was turned over to him from Raphe Phelps (26 May 1631); John Matthew, son of a Buckinghamshire wharfinger, for 8 years (9 September 1631; turned over several times before being freed 27 August 1638). Roades paid 20s to Widow Ann Lea on behalf of her late apprentice, Charles Lea/Ley, on the condition that he would be repaid in instalments (9 September 1632). After Roades’ death, Mr [Edmund] Lake paid Mrs Rhodes’ man for his service (25 July 1634). When Roades made his will on 14 June 1632 he was resident in the parish of St Botolph Aldersgate, where he asked to be buried. 20s was left to Mr Booth to preach his funeral sermon and 50s to the Plasterers’ Company for attending his body to the church and for supper afterwards at the Sun Tavern, Without Aldersgate. Three loving friends were to act as overseers and receive 20s each. 20s was left to his kinsman, Charles Ley/Lea, towards the cost of his freedom of the City of London (see above); and Charles’s son Kellam, his godson, received 5s. Other godsons were to get only 2s each. Clothing was left to Robert Waterman and a bond relating to a debt owed by Richard and Mary Cosby was cancelled. His servants, George Ubanck, Robert Smith, Thomas Wright and John Savage, were to inherit ‘all my working Tooles and Skaffoleing to be divided amongest them’ at the discretion of the overseers, with the proviso that ‘If any of them is discontented, he shall lose his share to the others’. Thomas Wright was additionally in debt to Roades but was to be given extra time in which to repay the outstanding 50s of the £5 loan. Mary, his wife, and Peter, his son, were to act as executors, after the valuation ‘by indifferent appraisers’ of his estate consisting of goods, chattels, lands and tenements. Whether or not she remarried, his widow was not to sell any of the tenements in the parish of St Botolph, occupied by tenants paying yearly rent, and all this capital was to be retained during the minority of their son, Peter. The will was proved on 3 July 1632.

ROBERTS, Edward (fl. 1612-28)

A Plasterer, son of a Berkshire weaver, who was presented by Thomas Atkinson for 8 years (6 July 1604). He was turned over to Ellis Piggen for the remainder of his term, owing Atkinson 35s 4d (30 March 1609). On 30 April 1610 it was recorded that Roberts had broken his leg and left his master Piggen, who undertook the discharge of his ex-apprentice from the Company in order to take another. Roberts, nevertheless, achieved his freedom (30 September 1612) and was last recorded paying arrearage of quarterage on 6 November 1628.

ROBERTS, George (fl.  1568)

A plasterer who may well have been a member of the London Company, working with three others for the Royal Works at Reading in 1568. He spent 40 days there, ‘new whiting and plastering in the privy lodgings and offices about the house’, earning 43s 4d.[18] The conversion of part of Reading Abbey’s monastic buildings by Henry VIII provided lodgings for himself and his children on royal progresses.[19]

ROBERTS, Thomas ap Simon (fl. 1620-25)

A Plasterer from Denbighshire who was apprenticed to Nicholas Henshawe for 7 years (25 February 1612/13). He paid his abling fine (15 March 1619/20) and his beadleship fine (9 September 1622). Roberts was last recorded paying arrearage of quarterage on 11 February 1624/5.

ROBINSON, Edward I, the Elder (fl. 1593-1627)

A Plasterer who was presented by Thomas Johnson on 11 February 1586. He was freed (13 October 1593) and paid his beadleship fine (9 August 1594). He was fined for ill work in St Sepulchre’s churchyard (3 November 1601). The Clerk did not always specify ‘Elder’ and ‘Younger’, so he may have been the plasterer of this name who paid his contribution towards the Irish settlement (25 January 1612/13) and presented Edward Davies, son of a Surrey husbandman, as his apprentice (13 October 1627; Davies was turned over to Edmund Lake and recorded as discharged as a runaway on 8 March 1635/6). Robinson the Elder continued to be listed among the Yeomanry in the Quarterage Accounts until his name was crossed through in 1628.

ROBINSON, Edward II, the Younger (fl. 1594-1629)

A Plasterer who was presented by Richard Barfield (2 September 1586), with whom he was working at Old Thorndon Hall, Essex in May 1590 for 12d per day.[20] He paid his abling fine on 14 October 1594 and presented his first apprentice, John Grove, son of a London joiner, for 8 years on 14 May 1602, when he was also fined for ill work at The Ram, Smithfield. He was fined again for evil work in Sermon Lane (28 April 1607). Roger England was turned over to him from George Mason (26 April 1611) and Robinson was committed on 9 December 1612. The Clerk did not always specify ‘Elder’ and ‘Younger’, so he may have been the plasterer of this name who paid his contribution toward the Irish settlement (25 January 1612/13). His next apprentice was Edward Bingham, son of a Derbyshire yeoman, for 8 years (11 March 1614). Robinson was fined again for bad work (19 May 1615) and for absence (4 August 1618). He paid arrearage of quarterage on 13 October 1627 and is probably the Edward Robinson who presented Edward Davies, son of a Surrey husbandman, as his apprentice on the same date. (Davies was turned over to Edmund Lake and recorded as discharged as a runaway on 8 March 1635/6). Robinson the Younger last paid arrearage of quarterage on 19 November 1629.

ROBINSON, Richard (fl. 1604-27)

A Plasterer whose initial presentation was not recorded but on 23 April 1580 Simon Betaugh paid for the ‘allowing of Richard Robinson his apprentice’. On 6 April 1582 Edmond Essex paid for the return of Robinson from Betaugh; but he did not finally pay his abling fine until 8 March 1603/4 and was admitted to the Freedom on 29 September 1604. His beadleship fine followed (11 September 1606) and he was fined for ill work in Chick Lane (30 June 1608). His only apprentice was Thomas Watts, son of a yeoman, for 8 years (20 September 1611; freed on 31 July 1634). Robinson’s name was listed among the Yeomanry in the Quarterage Accounts until it was crossed through in 1628.

ROBINSON, William (fl. 1608-22)

A Plasterer, son of a Northamptonshire carpenter, presented by Thomas Oldham for 8 years and one year as a journeyman (30 January 1599/1600). His master was already deceased when Robinson was freed on 12 February 1607/8; he donated a silver spoon ‘with his name on the end’ to mark the event (24 August 1608). His beadleship fine was paid on 28 July 1609. Rather belatedly, he was fined for not serving one year as a journeyman when he presented John Dradge, son of a Northamptonshire tailor, for 8 years (26 March 1613). Robinson was one of the plasterers who put their marks to a Company memorandum concerning apprentices (23 February 1616/17). William Rabbit, son of a Northamptonshire husbandman, was apprenticed to Robinson for 8 years (25 January 1621/2) but he was replaced in the Quarterage Accounts by Widow Robinson from 1622-24.

ROMNEY (ROMCEY, RUMNEY), Phillip (fl. 1613-58)

A Plasterer presented by William Terry (22 May 1605) and freed on 30 July 1613. Between July and September 1614 Romney was one of the team of plasterers working at the Charterhouse. He was paid at the rate of 2s per day for 15½ days’ work, earning 31s in total. Romney remained in the Yeomanry, occasionally paying arrearage of quarterage – the last occasion was on 11 November 1641. On 23 April 1645 his name was added to the list of Mr Benson’s pensioners. He was still in receipt of a pension on 23 April 1658 but by 1659 his name had disappeared from the lists of pensioners.

ROWE (ROE), John (fl. 1614-25)

A Plasterer who was presented by Thomas Oldham on 6 November 1606. It was noted on 24 May 1609 that the case between ‘Oldham’s man’ and John Rowe was to be taken before the Court of Aldermen and the former was given a warning. Rowe himself, together with Brooke, was ‘warned’ by the Company on 15 July 1609; they were both warned before the Lord Mayor on 11 August 1609; and again before the Chamberlain on 15 February 1609/10. It was later recorded that an ‘Order of Courte was made 19th February 1609/10 concerning John Rowe’ (26 July 1610). When Rowe was freed on 25 January 1613/14, it was as the apprentice of Mr [Raphe] Guest. He continued to pay quarterage until 1625.

ROWNTREE, William (fl. 1607-25)

A Plasterer who was the son of a Yorkshire farmer, apprenticed to Thomas Ancell for 8 years and one year as a journeyman (5 May 1599). By the time Rowntree was freed on 10 July 1607 he had become the apprentice of James Owen, turned over to Mr [Henry] Willis. He paid his abling fine of 3s 4d, donated a silver spoon and paid another 50s to avoid serving one year as a journeyman. On 25 January 1607/8 he refused to pay ‘search money’ and on 15 June 1608 he was ‘fetched from the Compter’. His obstreperous behaviour continued: he refused to pay the beadleship fine (27 October 1608); and when he presented Thomas Langley, son of a Northamptonshire husbandman, for 7 years, he was fined for binding his apprentice ‘out of the hall’ and setting him to work before he was bound (11 June 1612). Rowntree and his man were both committed on 29 April 1613 but after that his name only appears in the Quarterage Accounts; he was not listed there after 1625.

RUSSELL, Thomas (fl. 1582-1615)

A Plasterer presented by John Hurleston (29 July 1575), who paid his abling and admission fines on 25 July 1582 and served as a ‘bachelor’ in that year. His beadleship fine followed (16 August 1583) and he was fined for lateness (23 April 1584). His first apprentice was Walter Danfeild (3 November 1587); followed by Thomas Tomlinson (24 May 1594); Andrew Goodyear (24 July 1594); Nicholas Cusack (25 January 1594/5); James Yonge, son of a yeoman from ‘Charston in the Realme of Ireland’ for 7 years (24 April 1602); Richard Collins (25 July 1603); Robert Francis, son of a tailor from Merioneth (27 April 1612; presented again by Walter Elsmore on 29 April 1613). Russell paid for his pattern on entering the Livery (14 August 1598) but was only listed as one of the Yeomanry from 1604-13. He was fined for ill work by his man (23 February 1598/9). Russell was sent to the Compter (23 April 1600) and fined for absence and ill work in Warwick Lane (14 August 1601). He paid his contribution towards the renewal of the Company’s charter (1 August 1605). Russell was fined when Collins was freed one year early and for not enrolling him within a year (9 July 1610). In the Quarterage Accounts he is listed as ‘dead’ and replaced by Widow Russell from 1615-21. At the time of his death he was living in the parish of St John Zachary; administration of his estate was granted to his widow, Elizabeth, on 7 July 1615.[21]

RYMELL, John (fl. 1625-40)

A Plasterer, son of an Oxfordshire yeoman, who was presented by Thomas Hayes for 8 years (30 June 1618). Following the death of his master Hayes in 1620, he was freed as the apprentice of Anthony Sharpe (15 October 1625). On 13 August 1629 John Denman, late apprentice of Anthony Sharpe, deceased, was turned over to Rymell; but on the same date Rymell was fined £4 for taking over Denman when he was not entitled to an apprentice. He was fined for absence (10 February 1630/31). Thomas Stringer, son of a Yorkshire weaver, was apprenticed to him for 10 years (29 March 1631) but was discharged from his master’s service ‘because his stealing and filtching has landed him in prison many times’ (8 March 1635/6); Stringer was finally turned over to Henry Chippinge (27 May 1636). Meanwhile, Henry Barnes, son of a Durham glover, was apprenticed to him for 8 years (23 April 1636). Rymell was selected for the Livery (27 June 1640) and paid for his pattern and entry fine (14 September 1640). Rymell’s name last appeared when Barnes was turned over to Bartholomew Clarke (8 September 1642).


[1] LMA P69/BOT1/B/013/MS 01454/001.

[2] LMA DL/AL/C/003/MS 09052/005, will no. 268.

[3] BM Add. MS 10109, ff. 35v and 42v.

[4] TNA E 101/504/2, f. 131r. (This is duplicated in Bodleian Library MS Rawlinson D.784, f. 151v.)

[5] LMA CLC/L/SE/D/007/MS 30727/004-5, f. 298v.

[6] LMA P69/BOT2/A/001/MS 09220.

[7] LMA CLC/L/SE/D/007/MS 30727/004-5, ff. 297 r & v, 298 v, 306, 309.

[8] We are indebted to Wendy Hawke, Archivist to the Leathersellers’ Company for providing transcripts from the Wardens’ Accounts and the Court Minutes relating to Ratcliffe’s work there.

[9] These illustrations were published in J P Malcolm, London Redivivum, Vol. 3, London (1805) and R Wilkinson, Londina Illustrata I, London (1819), Plate 30.

[10] The Records of the Honorable Society of Lincoln’sInn. The Black Books. Vol. I. From AD 1422 to AD 1586, Lincoln’s Inn (1897, p. 38v.

[11] LMA CLC/L/SE/D/007/MS 30727/004-5, f. 298v.

[12] LMA COL/CA/01/033, ff. 97v, 112v, 116v-17, 179v-180, 200v-201.

[13] LMA ACC/1876/F/009/48.

[14] TNA E 351/3258,Taskwork.

[15] LMA ACC/1876/AR/003/009, vols 2 & 4.

[16] LMA ACC/1876/AR/003/010-011.  

[17] LMA ACC/1876/AR/003/012a.

[18] Bodleian Library MS Rawlinson A.195.c, f. 397r.

[19] HKW IV, pp. 220-22.

[20] Essex CRO, D/DP A21, transcribed by Professor Malcolm Airs.

[21] LMA DL/AL/C/001/MS 09050/005, f. 57v.

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