Elizabethan cloth seal

Contributed by Museum of London

London lead cloth seal, 1552

The only known London cloth seal with this date on it.In the centre of this lead seal are the arms of the City of London (a cross and a sword). Around the edge is an inscription: "LOND[INI PRO] PANNIS LANICIS 1552", meaning 'for woollen cloths at London'. Lead cloth seals were attached to bales of cloth at various stages of its production and by Crown officials called 'alnagers', who assessed whether the quality was good enough and whether tax had been paid. This 'alnage' seal is from London. In the 16th century, cloth underpinned the national economy and London controlled the export trade. The country's wool was appreciated for its warmth and quality and was traded for manufactured goods. The English even tried to offer woollen cloth to India in exchange for gemstones, spices and other exotic goods. In the mid-16th Century, cloth accounted for 90% of all exports and London controlled approximately 75-80% share of that trade.

Comments are closed for this object

Most of the content on A History of the World is created by the contributors, who are the museums and members of the public. The views expressed are theirs and unless specifically stated are not those of the BBC or the British Museum. The BBC is not responsible for the content of any external sites referenced. In the event that you consider anything on this page to be in breach of the site’s House Rules please Flag This Object.

About this object

Click a button to explore other objects in the timeline


View more objects from people in London.

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.