On 25th May 2021, HRH Princess Michael of Kent very kindly planted a White Mulberry Tree at Weavers’ House in Wanstead in a COVID compliant outdoor ceremony. The White Mulberry has a special significance to The Worshipful Company of Weavers being the preferred habitat of the Silkworm.
History relates that Italy and France both had a thriving silk industry from the 13th century, using both black and (predominantly) white mulberry leaves to feed their silkworms. King James I wished to emulate this industry. In letters of 1607 and 1608 he therefore asked the nobility to plant 10,000 mulberry trees to support an English silk industry to rival that of the continent. Sadly silk production didn’t take off in England, though, perhaps this was because black mulberries were planted and not white, which produces finer silk or perhaps the cool, damp climate wasn’t right.