The deputation withdrew.
Mr. C. H. Compton attended as a deputation from
the Horners' Company.
3379. (Chairman.) You come here as the representative of the Horners' Company, I understand ?—
3380. We understand that that Company has been
reconstructed to a considerable extent, is that not so ?
—I should hardly say that. It is on exactly its old
footing, except that up to the last year or so it had a very
small income, arising from the rent of the old warehouses in Whitechapel and a small sum in the funds.
The warehouses were taken by the Metropolitan Board
of Works for the purpose of erecting artizans' dwellings, and the investment of the purchase money in
Consols (the money being now in the Court of Chancery waiting a permanent investment) has given us
an additional income. On the faith of that we wished
to do something for the promotion of the horners'
industry, and, with the permission of the Lord Mayor,
we held the exhibition last autumn. This occurred
after the report was made, which we sent in to the
Commissioners, and we wish to supplement it by the
result of that exhibition.
3381. I understand that that exhibition attracted a
good deal of notice, and was visited by some 7,000
3382. Is there any other matter that you wish to
put before us?—No, I do not know that there is,
excepting one thing, if I may travel out of the statement which I have submitted. Some point was made,
I think, when Mr. Hare was examined, as to the difference between the nature of the properties owned by
companies and those owned by private individuals. I
wish to state that when the Metropolitan Board of Works
paid the purchase money into the Court of Chancery
to the account of the Board under their special Act,
they paid it in to an account entitled "Ex parte the
Metropolitan Board of Works. In the matter of
the Artizans' and Labourers' Dwellings Improvement Act, 1875, the vendors, the Worshipful Company of Horners being trustees for charitable
purposes," and there being no trust when we
applied for the investment, exception was taken on
the part of the Company to the words in the account
"trustees for charitable purposes." The point was
argued before Vice-Chancellor Hall, and the order was
that the purchase money should be invested to an
account to be entitled, "The account of the Master,
Wardens, Assistants, and Fellowship of the Mistery
of Horners of the City of London." That was
after argument before the Vice-Chancellor. The property itself had been vested in the Company for a
term of 1,000 years, purchased in 1605, and held by
trustees for the Company prior to incorporation.
Although the Company dates as far back as the reign
of Edward III., they did not get a charter of incorporation till the reign of Charles I.
3383. (Mr. Firth.) Do I understand that before
1846 this Company had no livery at all?—No, it had
Deputation from Horners' Company.
3384. For what purpose is a livery required for a
Company whose income is under 100l. a year; can
you tell me that?—I was not a member of the Company at that time, but I believe it was to place themselves on a proper footing with the other Companies
3385. But by that they obtained a vote for the
Lord Mayor and members of Parliament?—Yes, they
3386. For what purpose does this Company now
continue to exist, do you say?—They exist, I consider,
because they do exist; but working on the lines of the
trade not being extinguished there is scope for the
small funds that we have in hand to stimulate the
trade, and that has been shown very remarkably in
what has been done.
3387. I see your total income is under 100l. a year ?
—Yes, it is true, but with the few accumulations we
had, and which enabled us to have that exhibition;
we brought the trade together.
3388. These three gentlemen that were admitted
to your Company in 1876, 1878 and 1879 appear to
have gone completely through from freedom and
livery right on to the court at once; is that so ?—
That would be so, because the court was not full; it was
by steps, not all at one meeting. The reason of that
was that the minimum of the court was not then made
3389. (Sir Richard Cross.) Where do you meet?
—When we hold a court we have been in the habit
of meeting the last few years at the Guildhall Tavern.
We have not a hall.
3390. (Mr. Aldèrman Cotton.) Do you think you
have been beneficial to your trade since you started ?
—I think the effect of the exhibition which we had
last year was certainly beneficial.
3391. (Mr. Burt.) May I ask you what you do
with the income you have?—Up to this present time
the income has been so small that with the usual
annual meeting there has not been any surplus to
speak of, but what there was was accumulated. We
had 200l. in hand, which we applied to the purposes
of the exhibition last autumn.
The deputation withdrew.
Adjourned sine die.