Company Treasures

Browse the extensive collection of Shipwrights' treasures collected over the years.

Poors box

Poors box

In 1729, “the Company’s seal in silver” appears in the inventory: nothing is known of it. In the same list the four silver items are described for the first time as “with the Company’s arms”. The first three, dating from 1671 to 1693, certainly cannot have had the arms on them originally, but there appears to be no record of any subsequent engraving.

Until 1977 the Poors Box was placed in front of the Master (Prime Warden) at all meetings of the Court, and  it was customary for him to invite new Liverymen,  Assistants and Wardens at their installation to make a contribution to the box. It was opened once a year and the contents distributed amongst the Company’s pensioners and poor members. Subsequently, after it has been on display, it has frequently been found to contain  anonomous  donations.

John Gibbens, was Warden 1772-1773 and 1773-1774, gave a new poors box in 1772. It is Oak, 10 ins. wide x 6.3/4 ins. high x 6.1/2 ins. deep, with brass mounts, twin locks and brass plate engraved:

 POORS   (Shipwrights’ crest)   BOX

belonging to the Worshipful Company

(coin slot)

of Free SHIPWRIGHTS of London

The GIFT of

John Gibbons



In 1719 “the poors box” (a box for donations to the Company’s poor brethren or dependents) appears in the inventory for the first time. This was apparently a predecessor of the one still in existence (item 004/1772)  which was presented to the Company in 1772.


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