Wednesday, 29 September 2010


The portrait of Sir Robert Clayton before cleaning.  He is now looks much cleaner and slightly less bilious.  The details of the sword and curiously shaped white fur hat on the table are also now much clearer.  The white fur hat was the precusor to a natty mink item worn by the Swordbearer to the Lord Mayor. 
The Heritage Advisory Committee met on 22 September, the first time in the Company Year.  The Committee's Chairman is this year's Second Master Warden, Lady Victoria Leatham, supported by Past Master Sir Michael Craig-Cooper and Liverymen Mark Cazalet, an artist, and Loiuse Banks, an interior designer.  Jonathan Miles is the works of art advisor and Paul Vonberg the consultant architect.  Penny Fussell, our archivist, is the committee's secretary.

The committee has oversight of both the Hall and its treasures to ensure that our very considerable heritage, of which we are trustees, is maintained and developed.

Before the meeting began we examined the portrait of Sir Robert Clayton that had been subject to extensive cleaning and restoration under the supervision of Jonathan Miles. The picture above shows it in its pre-cleaned state.  It also does not show its frame.  It is a large picture, about two thirds life size, and now looks considerably better with much of the detail considerably clearer.  The frame has also been restored and some injudicious alteration of the canvas carried out possibly fifty years ago put right.  I hope to have an image of the picture in its restored condition in due course.

Sir Robert Clayton (1629–1707) was a major City personality of the late seventeeth century.  A very successful merchant banker he was a member of both the Scriveners' and Drapers' Company, an Alderman of Cheap Ward in the City of London (1670–1683), a Sheriff in 1671, Lord Mayor of London (1679–1680), a Member of Parliament for the City of London (1678–1681), President of the Honourable Artillery Company (1690–1703), Commissioner of the Customs (1689–1697), an Assistant to the Royal African Company (1672–1681) a director of the Bank of England (1702–1707) and much else besides. 

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