History - 1300-1699

1699
Lucretia Clarke is admitted as a Freeman of the Company (though even before that date, widows had been permitted to take on apprentices and paid Quarterage). The first official lady Liveryman was admitted in 1919.
1690
After the "Glorious Revolution", King William and Queen Mary confirm by statute the Charters of all Companies incorporated in the Stuart period.
1671
Court records confirm the judgement of the Lord Mayor’s Court at Guildhall that defective spectacles found on the premises of a widow Haberdasher, Elizabeth Bagnall, should be "with a hammber broken all in pieces" by the Master Spectacle Maker "on the remaining parte of London Stone"
1658
The Court of Common Council grants the Company of Spectacle Makers the power to "search and survey" premises in the City of London and enforces their monopoly on binding apprentices to the craft of Spectacle making.
1634
The Court of Aldermen of the City of London confirms the translation, with the consent of the Company of Brewers, of 13 Freemen from that Company to the Society of Spectacle Makers "lately incorporated by His Majesty’s Letters Patent".
1630
The Company’s Bye-Laws come into effect on 30 October 1630. The Bye-Laws remain in force today and include the words of the Declarations by each new Master and Wardens, the Clerk, the Beadle and all new Freemen.
1629
The Royal Charter signed on 16 May by King Charles I establishes "one body corporate and politic…..by the name of the Master, Wardens and Fellowshippe of Spectacle Makers of London".
1628
On 9 June, led by Robert Alt, a group of spectacle makers petition King Charles I for authority to establish their own Company . The King’s orders to grant their petition are given on 1 November.
1458/9
Paul van der Bessen of "Southwerk" is recorded as a spectacle maker working in London.
1326
The inventory of items found in the rooms of Walter de Stapledon (Bishop of Exeter, and founder of Exeter College, Oxford) after his death includes mention of spectacles: "unum spectaculum cum duplici oculo", valued at two shillings.