Apostle Spoons The Swaythling Set 1524 &1553


Apostle Spoons The Swaythling Set 1524 &1553

Of Historic importance, the finest set of fully hallmarked Tudor period apostle spoons remaining in private hands and the most significant Tudor period silver to appear on the world market this century. The magnificent Swaythling set is comprised of six Henry VIII and six Mary I parcel-gilt apostle spoons. To place the spoons in a historical context, the reign of Henry VIII was from 21st April 1509 till his death on 28th January 1547. Queen Mary I lasted just five tumultuous years during which time she was known for her brutal persecution of Protestants and gave rise to her sobriquet – Bloody Mary. She was the daughter of Henry VIII and his first wife Catherine of Aragorn. She came to throne in 1553 following the death of her half-brother Edward VI and the nine day reign of Lady Jane Grey.

The Spoons are believed to have been presented by Charles II to Martha Clayton, the wife of Sir Robert Clayton , Lord Mayor of London who was later director of the Bank of England . In the London Gazette it is reported that “ on Tuesday the 9th of March , 1679-80, King Charles II and the Duke of York did Sir Robert Clayton, then Lord Mayor , the honour to sup with him at house in the Old Jewry”. In the History of Parliament it is written “ The house he built for himself in Old Jewry had a banqueting hall more splendid than anything in the royal palaces, and as sheriff he entertained the King and most of the nobility there. Evelyn wrote of him as ‘this prince of citizens, there never having been any, who, for the stateliness of his palace, prodigious feasting, and magnificence exceeded him’

The six dated 1524 have the maker's mark a heart attributed to Robert Amadas and the six dated 1553 have the maker's mark a crescent enclosing a mullet attributed to Nicholas Bartholomew. All the spoons have pear shaped bowls with scratch weights and conjoined initials MC below inscribed tapering hexagonal stems, gilt terminal figures each with emblem and pierced rayed nimbus, the inscriptions and scratch weights are as follows:
The 1524 six
Sanctus Mathias Apostolus 2=2=00
Sanctus Phelippus Apostolus 2=4=0
Sanctus Simon Apostolus 2=1=00
Sanctus Bartholomeus Apostolus 2=0=0
Sanctus Matheus Apostolus 2=4=0
Sanctus Andreas Apostolus 2=2=12

The 1553 six
Sanctus Iohanus Apostolus 2=2=00
Sanctus Paulus Apostolus 2=2=0
Sanctus Petrus Apostolus 2=12=12
Sanctus Thomas Apostolus 2=2=12
Sanctus Iacobus Minor Apostolus 2=3=0
Sanctus Iacobus Maior Apostolus 2=18=12

Length 18.5 cm 7.25 inches approximately 785gr 25oz 5dwt

Price on application and Viewing by appointment only

This Magnificent set of 12 Apostle Spoons , were first sold , on 28 March 1892 by Christie’s of London and have since been known as the Swaythling Set .

Biography Robert Clayton

Clayton’s father was ‘a poor man of no family’, but he had an uncle Robert Abbott, a thriving scrivener, with whom he took service ‘in a very low capacity’. Despite his lack of formal education he rose to be Abbott’s chief clerk, inheriting from him in 1658 a house and shop in Cornhill and an annuity of £100. He went into partnership with John Morris, another of Abbott’s clerks, their firm combining the functions of modern land agents, conveyancers, brokers and bankers. As former serv-ants of Abbott, who had been condemned to death as a commissioner of array in 1643, they en-joyed an excellent connexion with the Cavalier party, and greatly prospered by unravelling the com-plexities of land ownership after the Interregnum. Among their most considerable clients were the Duke of Buckingham, the Earl of Peterborough, and Sir George Jeffreys (for whom Clayton se-cured the post of common serjeant of London), as well as Sir Frescheville Holles, Lord Cornbury (Henry Hyde) and his brother Laurence Hyde, Sir Francis North, (Sir) Stephen Fox, Sir Eliab Har-vey, and Sir William Pritchard. Clayton and Morris lent money on the security of deeds, which did not always find their way back to their original possessors. It was the general belief that as trustees they had swallowed up most of Peterborough’s and Buckingham’s estates. In 1672 they obtained a royal pardon ‘for all usurious contracts in taking interest more than 6% ... though not conscious of any ground of offence’. Hence the portrait of Clayton in Absalom and Achitophel as ‘extorting Ishban ... pursued by a meagre troop of bankrupt heirs’. Clayton and Morris purchased in 1672 the manor of Marden, which Clayton transformed from a ‘despicable farm’ into a magnificent seat for himself ‘at extraordinary expense’, and in 1677 they purchased the borough and manor of Bletchingley three miles away, together with five other Surrey manors sold under a private Act to pay Peterborough’s debts. All the Surrey estates devolved on Clayton under a division of property made in 1678, and he inherited Morris’s share four years later. He acquired through his wife one of the largest plantations in Bermuda, leased Kennington manor from the Duchy of Cornwall, and pur-chased the island of Brownsea in Poole Harbour with the copperas works there, and iron works in Ireland. He acquired fame in London, not only as its wealthiest citizen but also by securing the foundation of the Royal Mathematical School at Christ’s Hospital, opened in 1673, for the training of boys to a knowledge of navigation ‘to the great increase of seamen and the benefit of trade’. He also rebuilt the southern front of the Hospital at a cost of £10,000. The house he built for himself in Old Jewry had a banqueting hall more splendid than anything in the royal palaces, and as sheriff he entertained the King and most of the nobility there. Evelyn wrote of him as ‘this prince of citizens, there never having been any, who, for the stateliness of his palace, prodigious feasting, and magnifi-cence, exceeded him’. He was an active member of the common council, and a member of the committees administering the city lands, the Ulster plantation, and the London markets. He was be-lieved to hanker after a peerage, and was intimate with (Sir) Joseph Williamson and (Sir) John Rob-inson I; but he went over to the country party in 1673 when he promoted the London petition of grievances on trade with Sir Thomas Player. Thereafter, he became an associate of Shaftesbury and a political ally in London of the nonconformists, whom he would never prosecute, though he re-mained an Anglican and declared himself ‘never to have been in a conventicle’.
Clayton represented London in the Exclusion Parliaments. An active Member in 1679, he was classed as ‘honest’ by Shaftesbury, and appointed to 14 committees, including those to inquire into the recent fires in the City of London and the state of the navy, to examine the disbandment ac-counts, and to consider the bills to prevent illegal exactions and reform the bankruptcy law. He vot-ed for the exclusion bill and spoke twice about pensioners. He told the House on 23 May that Fox was ‘regular in his accounts, and you may see the same things in his ledger with as much ease as if you had his book of secret service’. Four days later Clayton was engaged in giving the House an account of the excise pensioners when Black Rod appeared. He was chosen lord mayor without op-position in September of that year, and was again elected MP for London in October. He spent £6,955 on his mayoralty, entertaining Shaftesbury and other leaders of the country party in splendid style on several occasions. At the request of Shaftesbury, Lord Huntingdon and Lord Grey of Warke he summoned the common council in January 1680 to support a citizen’s petition for the meeting of Parliament, but the proposal was defeated by one vote through the efforts of Jeffreys, now recorder. He was more successful in September, when the King assured him that Parliament would meet within a couple of months. On 20 Oct. the common council voted their thanks to him on his mayoralty ‘for his watchful care during his whole time for the preservation of his Majesty’s person and this City, together with our religion and liberties, in the midst of those wicked and des-perate Popish Plots’, for ‘his asserting the right of petitioning his Majesty for the calling and sitting of Parliaments, notwithstanding all opposition to the contrary’, and for the ‘kind and affectionate reception he has constantly given to the citizens of London in all their humble application to him as well in this court as in the common hall’.
A very active Member of the second Exclusion Parliament, Clayton was appointed to 29 commit-tees, including the committee of elections and privileges, and made 15 recorded speeches. He served on the inquiries into abhorring and the conduct of Sir Robert Peyton, and on 14 Nov. 1680 he reported the address for the removal of Jeffreys. ‘What sticks with me’, he said, ‘is his officious-ness at the council table.’ He was appointed to the committee on the bill for regulating the coinage (9 Dec.). On 13 Dec. he moved that all Papists should be banished 20 miles from London, and five days later he spoke in favour of the exclusion and association bills, and was among those ordered to draft an address accordingly. He was also entrusted with bringing in bills to regulate the post office and to repeal the Corporations Act. He served on most of the committees to investigate the Popish Plot, and on 6 Jan. 1681 moved for a debate on the new evidence from the Irish witnesses before the next report.
Before the Oxford Parliament met Clayton and (Sir) George Treby examined the Roman Catholic conspirator Fitzharris in Newgate. By the prisoner’s own account he was promised an acquittal if he would accuse the Queen, the Duke of York, and Danby of complicity in the murder of Godfrey, and Lord Halifax (Sir George Savile) and Lawrence Hyde of receiving pensions from France. But Clayton told the House that Fitzharris had asked whether he had said enough to save his life.
We told him we thought not, but if he would ingenuously confess what counsel he had for drawing and modelling his treasonable paper, and be ingenuous in the whole, we would take his further ex-amination, and wished him to consider it.
Clayton was appointed to five committees in the Oxford Parliament, including the committee of elections and privileges, and those to report on the progress of Danby’s impeachment, to prepare for a conference with the Lords on the loss in the previous Parliament of the bill of ease for Protestant dissenters, and to draw up Fitzharris’s impeachment, a move to get him out of the hands of the King and into those of the House. On 26 Mar. he declared:
We can discharge our trust no better than to observe the directions of those that sent us hither. We, who represent the City of London, have received an address from the body of that City in the mat-ter of the bill for excluding the Duke of York. I could heartily wish that some expedient may be found rather than that bill; but if there be none, I must pursue my trust and humbly move that a bill may be brought in to disable James, Duke of York from inheriting the imperial crown of this realm.
He was appointed to the committee to draw up the bill, over which he would have presided had Parliament not been dissolved.7
In April a government informer reported that Clayton, like Player and Thomas Pilkington, was in favour of ‘a free state and no other government’, whereas Shaftesbury wanted to make Monmouth King. On 13 May he was appointed to the committee of the common council to draw up the petition for the calling and sitting of a Parliament. In the following October he brought to Sir Leoline Jen-kins papers purporting to show that ‘there is little justice to be had in Ireland against Romish priests’. It was presumed that his intentions were to influence the jury at Shaftesbury’s forthcoming trial for high treason, and to secure Ormonde’s removal as lord lieutenent of Ireland. There were rumours that Clayton was also to be charged with high treason at this time, but through Jeffreys, now lord chief justice, he secured immunity from the harassment to which other Whigs were sub-jected, and he was able to make his peace with the Court.8
Clayton was appointed on 18 Jan. 1682 to the committee to prepare the defence of the London charter against the quo warranto issued against


Burlington Fine Arts Club, London 1901 , catalogue p51, nos80-91 , pl XXXII

Queen Charlotte’s Loan Exhibition of Old Silver, English Irish & Scottish .All prior to 1739 , Seaford House, Belgrave Square. London , 1 May to 8 June 1929, no 172. p21

Robert Amadas

Born? London, c1470: Died London in 1532.
Amadas was trained as a goldsmith by his father. He was a lowys of the Goldsmiths' Company in 1492, and 'fully sworn to the Company in 1494'. In 1503 he was admitted to the livery. He was one of the Company's Wardens in 1511 and 1515, and Prime Warden in 1524 and again in 1530. The last mention of him in the Company's records was on 15 January 1532 when his apprentice, Brian Berwycke, was sworn to the Company.
Amadas is said to have been the 'chief supplier of gold and silver to the King and his courtiers'; nu-merous entries in the State Papers record payment to him for gold and silver plate, including plate given by the King as New Year's gifts. In January 1532 the King's New Year's gift to Amadas was 36.75 ounces of plate, while Amadas in turn gave the King 'six sovereigns in a white paper'. It has been conjectured that Amadas marked his work as a goldsmith with a heart, a play on his name.
Amadas served as acting Master of the King's Jewel House as early as 1524, and on 20 April 1526 was formally appointed Master, an office which he retained until his death in April 1532, when he was succeeded by Thomas Cromwell. After Amadas' death, commissioners appointed to take an inventory of the King's jewels which had been in Amadas' custody. Two of the three books of in-ventory were signed by the King, and all three by Amadas' widow, Elizabeth.
At some time before 1526 Amadas was appointed one of the deputies to the Master of the Mint, William Blount, 4th Baron Mountjoy In 1526 the coinage was altered, and a new contract was en-tered into between Mountjoy and his two deputies, Robert Amadas and Ralph Rowlett, and Ama-das' deputy, Martin Bowes. Shortly thereafter allegations were made of wrongdoing in the admin-istration of the Mint, and in June 1527 a commission of inquiry was set up. The commission reported in February 1528, and was highly critical of Amadas and Rowlett. In 1530 Lord Mountjoy, dis-turbed by the declining revenues from the Mint, and suspecting corruption, instituted a lawsuit in the High Court of Chancery against his two deputies. Unfortunately, the outcome of the lawsuit is unknown; however, in December 1530 Mountjoy appointed a new deputy for the Mint, the London goldsmith Hugh Welshe or Walshe, who had been one of the members of the commission which had earlier been critical of the work of Amadas and Rowlett.
Amadas refused election as Sheriff of London in 1531. He made his will on 3 July 1531, requesting burial in his parish church of St Mary Woolnoth, and appointing his wife, Elizabeth, as his sole ex-ecutrix, and Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk, Sir Thomas More, and Richard Rich as overse-ers.[6] He bequeathed the King a gold cup of £100 value. Among his other bequests was £5 to John Freeman, who had been apprenticed to him in 1507 and admitted to the livery in 1528. The will was proved 28 November 1533. His stock was inventoried after his death and put up for sale.

Nicholas Bartholomew

Nicholas Bartholomew was one of the most important spoon makers of the period. - Nicholas Bar-tholomew - who is identified by the excellent "crescent enclosing a mullet" makers mark. This par-ticular mark was used as a workshop mark for a lengthy period during the 16th and early 17th cen-turies and passed from master to apprentice. The date letter has the distinctive cut out to the punch that differentiates it from the late Elizabethan letter "T" and the lion passant is within a diagnos-tic rectangular punch. There is also a good example of the leopards head crowned mark to the bowl.

Apostle Spoons

Ref No.FA98x19
Year 1524 - 1553