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ROYAL COMMISSION.

THE LONDON CITY LIVERY COMPANIES'

VINDICATION.

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

COMPANIES

VINDICATION.

“ The Enemy said, 'We will divide the spoil.'»

Exodus xv. 9.

“ Their only crime was that they were rich, generous, hospitable, and charitable, and
for this the malice of their enviers condemned them to die.”

History of the Barmecides.

“Men, that make
Enry, and crooked malice, nourishment,
Dare bite the best. I do beseech your lordships,
That, in this case of justice, my accusers,
Be what they will, may stand forth face to face,
And freely urge against me.”

Henry VIII., act v. sc. 2.

London:
Printed BY GILBERT AND RIVINGTON, LIMITED,
62, st. JOHN'S SQUARE, CLERKENWELL.

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CONTENTS.

PAGE

CHAPTER I.

The more than questionable origin of the Royal Commission-Sir Hardioge

Giffard defines the promoters' purposes— The Companies' rights incontest.

ably shown and proved through early stage of the Commission sitting-

The Commissioners' acknowledgment of fairness of the Companies' returns

-The Inquiry : triumphant results to the City Companies—Virulence of

the Companies' enemies' attacks—Proved strictly private character of

the various Companies' property-The Companies' faithful discharge of

duties in the past on a par with present admirable business management

- Governing bodies' devotion to duties of their trusts without parallel

-The late Lord Derby and Lords Eldon and Lyndburst would bave

exerted their eloquence on side of the Companies - Expression of hope

that Lord Derby and the Duke of Bedford may in dealing with their large

properties manifest like sense of duties seen in the City Companies'

acts--Messrs. Firth's, Beale's, and Phillips' attacks increase in virulence

- The Companies' permitting attacks to pass unchallenged adding to their

boldness-The Secretary of the Commission, instead of an unbiassed in.

strument, proves to be an active partisan-He issues an authorized

private Circular as coming from the chairman and his colleaguos with

object of promoting active agitation-Further assigned purposes through

wrong usage of the Commissioners' authority-Unauthorized usage of the

Lord Chancellor's name by the Secretary-Intimation that the Lord

Chancellor will not oppose any Government measure based on the Com-

mission's recommendations- Metropolitan and Provincial press to be

induced to agitate against the Companies—The dignified silence main.

tained by the Companies the cause of agitators' adoption of a course

resulting in their overthrow-Secretary Warr's conduct brought under

notice of House of Commons—The Secretary of State's explanation-

Labours of the Commission an ordeal resulting in honour to the City

Companics

CHAPTER II.

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.

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