The Archive

Seven Centuries of Records

The Mercers’ Company Archive holds records documenting the business of the Mercers’ Company, its properties and charitable trusts from the 14th century to the present day.

The Mercers' Company welcomes enquiries from the general public.  Please be aware that the archive is engaged in a long-term project to transfer its retrieval systems to an electronic catalogue. During this process we regret that access to the archives will be very limited. Answering complex enquiries that involve time-consuming research by archive staff may not be possible until the project is completed.


General and genealogical enquiries

Researchers are advised to consult all available secondary material before contacting the Mercers’ Company archives.

Histories of the Mercers’ Company and other relevant publications can be found at Guildhall Library.

Within the Mercers’ Company archive, the main source of genealogical information is the lists which have been compiled from the Wardens’ Accounts, Acts of Court, Register of Freemen and Apprentice Registers. The information they contain is very basic, rarely giving more detail than the name of an individual and date of admission to the Company.  The Register of Freemen and Apprentice Registers can be freely searched via the Records of London's Livery Companies Online (ROLLCO).

Please note that not all persons trading as mercers or selling silks in the City of London were members of the Mercers’ Company. This is especially true from the early 18th century onwards when the Company was becoming increasingly detached from its original trade. For information about mercers based outside of the City of London, researchers are advised to check the records of regional guilds in County Record Offices for the appropriate area.

Genealogical and general historical enquiries relating to the Company should be submitted in writing by post or email.


Specialist and academic research enquiries and requests for access in person

We aim to support researchers as much as resources allow. Specialist enquiries and requests for access in person from post-graduate students, academic researchers, historians and writers are considered on an individual basis.

Research enquiries which are specific and focused are more likely to be successful.


Enquiries about the silk or textile trade

The Archive does not hold records of the trade in silks and other luxury fabrics.