The Mercers’ Company received its first royal Charter in 1394 from Richard II but it existed as an entity before this possibly even as early as the 12th century. It originally represented the interests of merchants who exported wool and imported silks, velvets, fine linens and other luxury fabrics. Richard Whittington, William Caxton and Sir Thomas Gresham are among the early members of the Mercers’ Company.
The City of London’s processional thoroughfare of Cheapside has been the home of the Mercers’ Company since the 14th century when they began to hold meetings in a monastery that had been founded on the birthplace of Thomas Becket.
The present Mercers’ Hall is the third to occupy the site. The first Hall, built on land purchased from the monastery, was completed in 1524. When Henry VIII dissolved the monastery in 1538 the Company purchased all its properties. The first Hall was lost in 1666 in the Great Fire of London. The second Hall was destroyed by enemy action in 1941.
Mercers’ Hall is a true gem in the heart of London and the perfect setting for any occasion that requires elegance and style