Friday, 30 January 2009

A Freeman of the City of London

8 December 1739
Paid to Mr Smart attorney to himself before his maid Servant in his Kitching In Wheavours Hall in Bazing Hall Street by Gild Hall to pay in to the Chamberlins Hands that is John Bosworth Esqr to make me free of the City of London Twenty Five Punds one Shilling.

This is a truly astonishing sum of money! Thomas did not earn that working for Thomas Hinchcliffe so he must have been subbed from home. In the eighteenth century all middle class professions required investment - the training of a naval officer, the purchase of a commission in the army, the education of a clergyman, living in London while training for a lawyer - all required substantial financial resources. It seems that being a London merchant was just another in the same vein. (reference for the costs of training - MF Odintz's PhD "The British Officer Corps 1754-1783. University of Michigan 1988)

John Bosworth, later Sir John, was elected Chamberlain in 1734. The election was hotly contested. He is listed as a tobacconist of Newgate Street. There was, I think a monument to him in Christchurch Newgate St but the nave is a shell.

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