It was a history nerd’s biggest thrill. I’d been in the Museum of London before, but every time I walk through those doors I get excited. So much history jammed into one place.
On this particular day I was on a treasure hunt. I wanted to find as many Richard-related items as possible. I had spent the past four weeks visiting the locations associated with Richard, and now I just wanted to absorb what the Museum of London held in store for me. It did not disappoint.
The Museum and Crosby Place
One of the first things I noticed was an interesting corbel. It hung at the top of a giant glass display case. Intrigued, I wandered over to read the placard describing the piece. I was happy to see that this particular corbel had once hung in the great hall of Crosby Place. Crosby Place (also known as Crosby Hall) was Richard’s town home when in London. The house was originally the home of Sir John Crosby, an alderman and grocer. Crosby leased the land from the Prioress Dame Alice Ashfield of the Priory of St Helen. This lease started on the nativity of St John the Baptist and ran for ninety-nine years. With his lease secure, Crosby had built a magnificent house, which included the great hall where this piece once hung.
According to the informative placard, the carving was marked with the arms of the Grocers’ Company. The Grocers’ Company grew out of the Ancient Guild of Pepperers. In 1345, some members of the Guild founded a new fraternity and the Grocers’ Company was born. Crosby had been a liveryman of the company and had been elected Master in 1469. A detailed history of the Grocers’ Company can be found at its website:
If you’ve never been to the Museum of London, I highly suggest a visit. There is so much history there waiting to explore. And, if on your visit you run into a dazed brunette wandering from item to item squealing in delight, it’s probably me.