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Archives in London and the M25 area

SMITH, William (1550-1618)

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0074 CLC/262
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives - click here to see details of the physical location of collection
Full title: SMITH, William (1550-1618)
Date(s): 1575-1633
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 3 production units.
Name of creator(s): Smith | William | 1550-1618 | herald and playwright

Context

Administrative/Biographical history:

William Smith was born in 1550 in Cheshire. He was apprenticed as a haberdasher. His earliest known work, A breffe discription of the royall citie of London, capitall citie of this realme of Englande dates to 1575 and is described in the Dictionary of National Biography as a "vividly written work, revised in 1588, contains a detailed description of the ceremonies surrounding the installation of the Lord Mayor, illustrating Smith's lifelong interest in pageantry, heraldry, and the London livery companies".

Smith moved to Nuremburg in Germany and managed a tavern, while still writing works on English genealogy and heraldry, and Cheshire topography. In 1595 he returned to London and was appointed to the College of Arms, in the position of Rouge Dragon pursuivant. He also began to write plays. Smith died in 1618.

Source of information: David Kathman, 'Smith, William (c.1550-1618)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, Sept 2004; online edn, Oct 2006.

Content

Scope and content/abstract:

Treatise on the government and constitution of the City of London, entitled A breffe discription of the royall citie of London, capitall citie of this realme of Englande by William Smythe [Smith], citizen and haberdasher of London, 1575; and The XII Worshipfull Companies, or Misteries of London. With the armes of all them that have bin Lord Maiors of the same, for the space of almost 300 yeares; of every Company particularly. Also most part of the Sheriffs and Aldermen by William Smith, (two versions, 1605 and 1609).

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:
English

System of arrangement:

Three volumes.

Conditions governing access:

Access by appointment only. Please contact staff.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright to this collection rests with the City of London.

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at: http://search.lma.gov.uk/opac_lma/index.htm

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Purchased by Guildhall Library in 1914, and catalogued by a member of Guildhall Library staff in the same year. The Guildhall Library Manuscripts Section merged with the London Metropolitan Archives in 2009.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
August to October 2010.

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