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Tue writer of this sincere, however imperfect, Vindication of the City of London Livery Companies from the foul charges made in so broadcast a manner through a band of men interested in their overthrow, desires to impress on his readers, be they many or few, that he is not a member of either of their ancient and deservedly revered fraternities, and that he has not any or the most distant connection with any such.
Personally his knowledge of Prime Wardens and Courts of City Liveries is on par with any participation in their entertainments. “He knows them not,” The Ancient Guilds are none the less dear to his heart.
As an unobtrusive, humble dweller in the peaceful country, and removed from the troublous stream of public matters, he has no object to serve beyond aiding, if possible, the cause of truth and well-doing as against mendacity and wrong, and he prays that God may defend the right !
He would desire nothing better than that the cold ways” may be his to the end, and has been cheered in his labour of love by a strong and fervent conviction that the London City Liveries are worthy stewards and administrators of noble gifts, the which they well and truly guard.
Rightly estimating the modern Pharisee, who shows his voidance of any bowels of compassion and mercy through the abhorrent selfishly conceived doctrine that almsgiving creates pauperism, he prefers to hug the blessed words so comforting to the great heart of Edmund Burke, “Give “alms of thy goods, and never turn thy face from any poor man.”
The enemy las declared that the jealousy existing between the Companies is so great as to render them powerless for defence.
He trusts that steel wythes of surpassing strength may gird an united phalanx faggot of resistance, and that the world may see that the enemy is none other than “A fellow by the hand of nature mark’d, quoted and sign’il to do a deed of shame."
King John, act. ii. sc. 1. Junuary, 1885.
[Coutinuing the matter conuected with the Livery Companies, the writer is preparing a companion volume, aud which will shortly be ready, detailing the interesting histories and charters developed before the Royal Commission.]
THE LONDON CITY LIVERY
“ The Enemy said, 'We will divide the spoil.'»
Exodus xv. 9.
“ Their only crime was that they were rich, generous, hospitable, and charitable, and
History of the Barmecides.
“Men, that make
Henry VIII., act v. sc. 2.
Dishonourable charges of Mr. Firth against the Livery Companies – The charge
of bank-notes being placed beneath plates at alleged weekly dinners
generally—Firth, when called upon to prove such as general practice,
applies came to Cutlers' Company only-Mr. Beaumont and Mr. Graves,
of Cutlers' Company, utterly deny the truth of the charges-Correspon-
dence of Sir Frederick Bramwell and Mr. Prideaux, of Goldsmiths'
· Conrpany, on the subject; in which Mr. Firth adduces a pretended case
said to have been furnished him by a Quaker long since dead-A second
circular with object of exciting further agitation against Companies
through the means of the newspaper press--The second circular avails of
the name of Sir Sydney Waterlow, recommending him as a candidate
for mayoralty under the hoped-for new municipality of London-Tho
Companies' chief assailant's antecedents—The worthless character of
Mr. Beale's and his associates' evidence before the Commission—General
properties of the respective Livery Companies proved to be private-
Firth's misrepresentation as to salaries pretended as paid to the mem.
bers of the Livery Courts-Facts as to the large numbers of University
exhibitions held by the Goldsmiths' Company-Firth's misrepresentation
as to allowances pretended to be made to decayed Goldsmiths-The
banquets given by the various Livery Companies made the bill of indict.