the Pepperers

© photoart composite – East India docks – London then and now

Nothing to sneeze at
though we grind them down without much thought
yet on such spicy seeds empires were made
fortunes favoured
a school for clever East end London boys*
riches from clove and pepper trade
came sailing from the Indies in the East

The Guild of Pepperers formed in 1180 & joined by the Spicers in 1386. As wholesale merchant traders dealing en gros  were incorporated in 1428 as the Worshipful Company of Grocers. 

*My husband attended the Grocers Grammar school : What made an education at ‘the Jewish Eton’ so special?

44 words of British history for this Quadrille #35: “Pepper

34 Comments on “the Pepperers

  1. That’s one familiar sight, nearby my sis-in-law’s. I’m afraid in those days the Thames was nevertheless more pungent than all spices of the Indies put together. Thanks for the brief journey into the past!


  2. You had me with the first line! A history lesson in a quadrille! I always learn something new at dVerse and you’ve provided the lesson today. Great take on the prompt!


  3. Love this… so interesting and how many fortunes that was made in trade of spices… I feel that many times pepper and spices was almost the same… in Swedish ginger bread is called pepper cookies.


  4. Where salt is an essential enhancer and sugar a sensual flood, pepper’s a third rail, more delicately and judiciously applied: a hazier empire perhaps, about the added pop that clarifies essence.


  5. A bit of wonderful history for our spicy palettes. Your first line is so true. From the salt trade to spices, it changed the world of trade and discovery of neighboring countries. So many things we take for granted in modern times. Loved your quadrille. ❤


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