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The Barbers' Company

On this day

A look through the Barbers' Company archive and library to highlight important and interesting events during the Company's history.

For more information about any of the posts below please contact the Archivist


On this day – 30 June 1628

On this day in 1628, a letter was written to the Company by the Lords of the Privy Council at Whitehall requesting the impressment of 16 surgeons for service at La Rochelle “best experienced in the care of wounds made by gunshott.” The previous November, several surgeons of the Company had been summoned to Portsmouth […]

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July 8, 2024

On this Day

On This Day – 4 May 1813

On this day in 1813, George Rowney (1792-1870) was admitted to the Freedom of the Company by patrimony, his occupation listed as ‘colourman.’ George was the son of Thomas Rowney (1756-1832), to whom George had been apprenticed in 1806. Thomas Rowney was admitted to the Company in 1780 and became Master in 1813. In 1783 […]

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July 8, 2024

On this Day

On This Day – 22 April 1766

On this day in 1766, the Court Minutes record that: “John Paterson Esquire being withdrawn a Motion was made and the question being put That a piece of plate of the value of Fifty Pounds or thereabouts be presented to the said Mr Paterson as a mark of the high esteem and value this Court […]

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July 8, 2024

On this Day

On This Day – 26 March 1658

On this day in 1658, surgeon and noted lithotomist Thomas Hollier operated on Samuel Pepys’ bladder stone. The operation took place in Pepys’ cousin Mrs Jane Turner’s house in Salisbury Court, the street on which he had been born 25 years before. Pepys had long suffered the discomfort and frequently extreme pain of ‘the stone’ […]

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July 8, 2024

On this Day

On This Day – 6 February

On 6 February 1633/4 the Company’s Court Minutes recorded that ‘Anthony Mondeys widd p’nted to this Court a Booke called The Surveigh of London beinge in folio and newlie printed.’ The widow in question was Gillian Munday, second wife of the prolific Anthony Munday (1553–1633), actor, spy, poet, translator, pamphleteer and writer of plays and […]

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February 8, 2024

On this Day

On this Day – 4 January 1924

On this day in 1924 Sir John Tweedy F.R.C.S. Master of the Barbers’ Company 1908 and first Vicary Lecturer in 1919, died at his London home on Harley Street. Born in Stockton-on-Tees in 1849, he studied medicine at University College Hospital, qualifying in 1872. Frail health led him away from general surgery to decide upon […]

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January 31, 2024

On this Day

On this Day – 19 November 1897

On this day in 1897 just before 1pm, a fire broke out in the premises of Messrs. Waller and Brown, mantle manufacturers. They were located on what was Hamsell Street, close to Barber-Surgeons’ Hall and where the City of London School for Girls now stands. The Great Fire of Cripplegate quickly spread to become what […]

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November 13, 2023

On this Day

On This Day – 19 October 1894

On this day in 1894 the Annual General Meeting of the Ruskin Society of London was held at Barber-Surgeons’ Hall. Master of the Company Sidney Young (author of the Annals of the Barber Surgeons of London, published in 1890) addressed the meeting on the ‘History and Archaeology of the Company.’ The Ruskin Society (or Society […]

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October 19, 2023

On this Day

On This Day – 26 September

On this day is held the feast day of saints Cosmas and Damian, patron saints of the Worshipful Company of Barbers. It is celebrated in the Catholic Church calendar on 26 September (27 September in the traditional calendar). Cosmas and Damian were twin brothers born in Arabia, and martyred as Christians in the during the […]

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September 24, 2023

On this Day

On This Day – 10 August 1562

On this day in 1562 diarist Henry Machyn recorded the following entry: “The x day of August was Barbur surgyons fest, and they capt ther communion at Sant Alphes at Crepull-gat, and master Recherdson dyd pryche, the skott ; ther was good syngyng ; and after to ther halle to dener, and after dener a […]

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September 21, 2023

On this Day