Edward Jerman: 1605-1668 The Metamorphosis of a Master-Craftsman

By Helen Collins

A study of the work of the architect and craftsman who built the most important secular buildings in the City of London after the Great Fire.

ISBN: 9780718830380


Edward Jerman, a metropolitan master-craftsman, was the designer of some of the most prestigious secular buildings in the City of London following the Great Fire of 1666.

Considered ‘the City’s most able known artist’ by the Mercers’ Company, in 1667 Edward Jerman was invited by a committee composed of the Corporation of the City and the Mercers’ Company to make designs for the new Royal Exchange. The halls of the ‘Twelve Great Companies’ had also been destroyed by the Fire, along with thirty-five halls of the Livery Companies. Having designed four of the new livery buildings, Jerman was now commissioned to design four more for the prestigious Twelve.

These companies were the wealthiest and most superior, whose members included the most eminent citizens. Thus Edward Jerman was chosen as architect by many of the rulers of the City, an august body of men of authority and privilege who controlled its affairs both politically and commercially. Together with Sir Christopher Wren, whose City work was mainly confined to ecclesiastical architecture, Jerman was responsible for the most important City buildings of the post-Fire period.

This book celebrates that contribution. Jerman’s major designs – the Royal Exchange, eight Livery Company halls and St Paul’s School – received acclaim from contemporary critics. His town planning for the Goldsmiths’ Company was innovative and his designs for the Lord Mayor’s pageants exemplified his versatility and ingenuity. His palette was wide and the City of London in the third quarter of the seventeenth century proved fertile ground wherein Jerman’s artistic talent could take root and flourish.

Additional information

Dimensions 246 × 189 mm
Pages 208

Trade Information LGEN

About the Author

After 22 years as a dental surgeon, Helen Collins forsook the medical profession to pursue her lifelong interest in the history of art. She embarked on a four year course at Birkbeck College, London, where she won prizes and attained a diploma with distinction. She went on to the Courtauld Institute where she achieved a Master’s degree in English Architectural History. This led to the doctorate conferred on her in 2001, and upon which this book is based. Helen Collins is married, has two children, and lives in London.


List of Illustrations
Abbreviations and Notes on the Text

1. Setting the Scene – Edward Jerman in Context
2. The Jermans from the Records of the Carpenters’ Company
3. Edward Jerman: City Worker
4. Edward Jerman as Pageant Maker
5. Edward Jerman’s Work for the Fishmongers’ Company
6. Father and Sons at Goldsmiths’ Hall
7. Edward Jerman’s Royal Exchange
8. Edward Jerman’s work for other City companies


Appendix 1: Election Day Dinner 1582
Appendix 2: Anthony Jerman’s property 1640
Appendix 3: Goldsmiths’ Company Indented Articles
Appendix 4: Views of Goldsmiths’ Company Properties


Endorsements and Reviews

… an engagingly written account of an interesting and little known architect who played a fundamental part in the City’s rapid recovery after the disaster of the Great Fire.
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