Not even the most enthusiastic Draper would claim certain certain antecedents for the Company before 1066 and the world of our Anglo-Saxon forebears although it is quite possible that the earliest origins of the Company are from that period.
Lambarde, having painstakingly taught himself Anglo-Saxon, demonstrated that the basis of much of England’s Common Law derived from pre-Norman sources. He also went on to discover a great deal more about Anglo Saxon England.
Lambarde is best remembered in the Company for having founded the Queen Elizabeth College almshouse in Greenwich in 1576. Portraits of his descendants are also displayed in the Hall entrance from Throgmorton Street.
Since Lambarde first stimulated interest our understanding of, Anglo-Saxon England has significantly increased. One of the principal ways that has been achieved has been through the discovery and interpretation of coin finds, both individually and in hoards. These discoveries have revealed the best organised coinage system in Europe at the time and have furthermore shed deep insight into the culture, politics and art of the earliest English societies.
This has made it of great interest not only to academics but also to collectors. One such a century ago was William C Boyd (1840-1906) who was Master in 1898. After his death his collection remained untouched to be sold in London 99 years after death in September 2005.