Bronze Seal Matrix of the Merchant Adventurers' Almshouse

Seal of the Merchant Adventurers hospital.

Although business was very important to the Merchant Adventurers, it was not the only thing that mattered to them.  Charity has been a part of the Hall from the very start.  The undercroft was used as a hospital or hospice from 1373 to 1900.  Company members gave properties to maintain it.  The inmates were poor and infirm men and women.  Chaplains cared for them; they also conducted services in the chapel.

This is the seal of the hospital.  It is the older of the two seals belonging to the Merchant Adventurers' Hall.  It was made during the medieval period probably in the early 1370s.  It is made of bronze and is used to make a mark in hot wax that is then attached to documents connected with the company's charitable work to prove their authenticity.

The seal is the shape of a pointed oval which is the typical shape of a religious seal.  It shows the coronation of the Blessed Virgin Mary by her son.   The words on the seal make it clear why it was associated with the hospital.  Translated they mean 'a common seal of the hospital of the Blessed Virgin Mary next to Foss Bridge, York'.


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