Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Lawford Lunch at the Drapers' Hall 2014

The Lawfords at Drapers' Hall 2014 Click to enlarge. For names, see below

A fine lunch was arranged at the Drapers' Hall on 28th April 2014 for 30 descendants of Samuel Lawford (1739 - 1835).

Penny Fussell, the Archivist, gave a talk on the Company and a tour of the Hall. Jeremy Lawford talked about the Lawford family history and Nigel Lawford about the family's long links with the Drapers' Company, beginning in with Valentine Lawford, who was Master in 1775.

Herry brought along a portrait of Edward Lawford, who worked at the Drapers' Hall for over 50 years as Clerk and Solicitor to the East India Company.

Edward Lawford 1787 - 1864)
Around that time the family members of the Company included four lawyers, two bankers and two stockbrokers and it continued to provide many members of the Company (at one time 26) for the next hundred years or so. See also The Drapers' Livery Company here 

Jeremy Lawford gave a fine overview of the family's known history beginning with Robert Lawford of Co. Warwick, Gent and laying to rest the epithet most often associated with Edward Lawford (above). He has published a number of detailed papers on different aspects of the family's history. See also Lawford Family History here

Those attending the lunch are shown in the photo above:

The cousins assembled - L to R:         
Sylvia Colbeck (Nigel's sister)
Nigel Lawford
Mark Lawford (Nigel's son)
Louise Lawford (Mark’s wife)
Philip Lawford
Simon Martyn
Roshni Russell
Fiona Waugh
Marcus Price (Nigel's nephew)
Mary Findlater
Simon Colbeck (Sylvia’s husband)
Patrick Findlater
Paula Lawford
Jeremy Lawford
Giles Russell                                         
Paddy Cottam                                                      
Anne Lawford                                                     
Mike Lawford                                                            
Richard Maxwell-Lawford                                   
Mary Maxwell-Lawford                                                                      
Piers Lawford                                                       
Helena Maxwell-Lawford                                               
Vincent Lawford                                                                                                                                               Nicholas Maxwell-Lawford                                          
Dierdre Quinn                                                                        
Herry Lawford                                                      
Margaret Lawford                                                   
Rosie Findlater (hidden)
Missing: Andrew Lawford

Charles Tilbury                                                 

The lunch coincided with the 60th anniversary of the Golden Wedding of my grandparents, Capt VA Lawford and his wife Jane

Grandparents' Golden Wedding at Quickley June 1953 
Back row: Denys, Valentine, Vincent, Paddy Cottam, Adrian, Patrick, Jeremy. Sitting: Daphne, Sylvia Findlater, Grandfather Vincent, Grandmother Jane, Peggy, Annette. In Front: Piers, Herry, Michael, John Findlater, Patrick Findlater, Fuff (Luxmoore). Quentin and Mary Findlater were both absent
The photo below is of the family who attended from that event

Back row: Piers, Michael, Vincent, Jeremy and Herry
Seated: Mary Findlater, Paddy Cottam and Patrick Findlater
(John Findlater was not well enough to attend)

Additional photos of the lunch can be seen here.

Lawford Links with the Drapers' Company 1725 - 1950s

Lawford links to the Drapers’ Company from 18C by Nigel Lawford

1. The Lawford links in the 18C began with Valentine who was apprenticed in 1725 to a draper called Martha Ellison – a woman, please note. His father was a humble leather dresser in Southwark so he started with nothing but his wits & probably good looks, which of course are dominant characteristics of the Lawford male...

· Married an heiress in 1739 and

· Became a Clerk of the South Sea Company – Chief Clerk of the Old Annuities - & added this position to his trade activities.

· Built up a portfolio of around 30 properties in London.

· Rose to be Master of Drapers in 1775 and

· Died in 1783

· The Draper links were continued by his three sons, most notably Samuel

who is our common ancestor. Samuel was

· Born 1749 and

· Admitted to Drapers as Apothecary by trade in 1773.

· He married his heiress in 1775 and

· Built up his property portfolio branching out to Wales.

· Became Master of Drapers in 1809 and

· Died in 1835

· Samuel brought his sons into the company over time and by January 1801

there were five family Drapers in total – an Apothecary, Upholsterer, Soldier, Farmer & Banker

A truly motley collection, but the apothecary was supremely well connected in the City

2. In the first half of 19C

· Lawford membership greatly expanded as three of Sam’s sons developed as City professionals, and Edward became Clerk to Drapers. This was the period when the Lawfords had greatest presence within Drapers and their City presence was built around three principal businesses:

· legal services, through Lawfords solicitors of Drapers Hall

· banking, through Curries & Co of Cornhill, and

· stockbroking, principally through Steer, Cuerton, Lawford & Co of Cornhill (but nephew George was also building up his own firm of G. Lawford & Co)

· Edward led the Legal services.

· In 1804 when he was 16 Samuel fixed five year articles for him with Henry Smith, who was then Clerk to Drapers & solicitor to HEIC & Drapers. The Clerk incidentally was the general manager/ company secretary of the Company.

· He completed articles in 1809 and in

· 1813 joined Henry Smith in partnership at the age of just 25.

· By 1820 he was probably Assistant Clerk.

· HS died in 1826 & Edward succeeded him as Clerk & Solicitor to HEIC & Drapers.

· In 1828 Edward brought brother John into partnership and the practice expanded.

· Both their eldest sons trained as lawyers and in 1842 Henry & John Lindsay became partners.

· In 1854 Edward resigned & left Drapers' Hall.

Edward therefore

· Worked in Drapers Hall for 50 years from 1804 and

· Was Clerk there for 28 years from 1826.

· The Hall was a London residence for his family from 1826, so the family lived there as well as at Eden Park.

· From 1842 Drapers' Hall Hall provided the working premises for the four man legal partnership together with trainees and support staff

Edward’s family lived at Drapers' Hall, worked there, entertained and played there, and were a constant presence at the heart of Drapers. And in due course three of his nine children married into Draper families.

· Samuel Junior led the Banking services.

· Born 1777 and

· Became a partner in bankers Lefevre Curries Raikes & Co in 1806.

· Brought two sons into his business – Samuel & John, although only J stayed the course.

· Became Master of Drapers in 1850

· Thomas Acland, son of Sam Junior, led the stockbroking services.

· Born 1816 and in 1848 married the daughter of James Turing Bruce, who was head of the discount house Bruce Buxton & Co., one of the 4 majors.

· In 1845 joined Capel & Cuerton as a partner in their long established firm and this became Steer Cuerton Lawford in 1847 when George Steer joined the firm, after the death of John Capel. (John was a first cousin of the James Capel who founded the famous City partnership of that name)

· During the half century to January 1851 the number of Draper Lawfords rose from five to 17, and of the total in 1851 eight were City professionals - four lawyers, two bankers and two stockbrokers. Also included in the 17 were one priest, two soldiers and one insolvent lawyer resident in Wales.

1850 probably saw the strongest Draper presence of the Lawfords at any time, with Edward as Clerk & solicitor to the Drapers, and Samuel Master, with successors to both of them waiting in the wings.

3. In the second half of the 19C

· the Draper presence was significantly reduced with Edward retiring and the family legal practice relocating to Austin Friars just adjacent. Family Draper numbers nevertheless increased overall to about 26 in 1901 as the large Victorian families paid their dividend and Lawford stockbrokers flooded the membership.

· Lawford lawyer numbers were reasonably stable but bankers fell to just two at a junior level.

· The three principal companies of 1851 were still prominent but as the 4th generation expired the Lawfords spread out and the stockbroking firm of George Lawford rose alongside Steer Lawford.

· Lawyers: Lawfords solicitors now split up. Henry moved to Austin Friars and was joined in partnership firstly by James Waterhouse around 1856 and then by his son Godfrey after 1877; Henry died in 1887. John Lindsay Lawford practiced alone then merged with Crowder & Maynard in 1856. Herbert Bowring, son of George, began to practice as a solicitor and rise within the ranks of the Drapers’ Co.

· Bankers: Samuel had retired from Curries and when John Lawford died in 1875 the family involvement ended. John’s son Arthur entered employment with Martin’s Bank but was not to progress beyond bank clerk level.

· Stockbrokers: Steer, Lawford grew, with Herbert Fortescue joining Thomas Acland in 1870, and Thomas died in 1884; Herbert’s brothers Ernest & Archibald joined the LSE but in different firms. George Lawford & Co expanded to include Rowland, Edgar and Benson, and then George died in 1895. 4 other Lawfords arrived at the stock exchange in various guises.

· There was just one Master during this period – in 1885 stockbroker George, son of John of Downhills, was honoured with the role.

· By January 1901 the number of draper Lawfords had expanded to 26 and of these 16 were City men, with 4 lawyers, 2 bankers & 10 stockbrokers. The trend away from prudent professionals had been pronounced, and one lawyer was soon to try his own hand on the stock market with disastrous consequences; this was Godfrey.

4. Lawford links in 20C

· After 1901 my information rather dries up – perhaps because Lawford membership of Drapers declined substantially. The 5th generation were there in large numbers but I have little information on the 6th – the generation of Evelyn Lawford.

· Lawyers: the legal tradition was maintained initially by Herbert Bowring, son of George, and he became Master in 1925. Godfrey retired from the Austin Friars partnership and the firm continued in being into the 21st century as Field Fisher Waterhouse.

Godfrey’s son Evelyn became a mining engineer and rose to be a director of RTZ. He joined Drapers in 1938 and features as the last Lawford Master in 1957.

· Stockbrokers: Herbert retired to Scotland around 1910, with his collection of tennis trophies, and disinherited his only child, who was last heard of challenging his father’s will from Papua New Guinea. In 1921 Steer, Lawford merged from strength with Mullens Marshall, the Government Broker, and continued in being until absorbed by Warburgs late in the century.

· Bankers: these appeared to die out initially with the passing of Arthur, son of John, but I think they have been revived by later members who have carried the flag into the 21st C.

· Generally, Lawford Draper numbers seem to have reduced drastically and at the end of 20C the number of Valentine’s Lawford descendants on livery had probably declined to 3 or 4.

Nigel Lawford. April 2014