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Livery Company

Livery Company

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The Livery Companies are 108 trade association
Trade association
A trade association, also known as an industry trade group, business association or sector association, is an organization founded and funded by businesses that operate in a specific industry...

s in the City of London
City of London
The City of London is a small area within Greater London, England. It is the historic core of London around which the modern conurbation grew and has held city status since time immemorial. The City’s boundaries have remained almost unchanged since the Middle Ages, and it is now only a tiny part of...

, almost all of which are known as the "Worshipful Company of" the relevant trade, craft or profession. The medieval Companies originally developed as guild
Guild
A guild is an association of craftsmen in a particular trade. The earliest types of guild were formed as confraternities of workers. They were organized in a manner something between a trade union, a cartel, and a secret society...

s and were responsible for the regulation of their trades, controlling, for instance, wages and labour conditions. Until the Protestant Reformation
Protestant Reformation
The Protestant Reformation was a 16th-century split within Western Christianity initiated by Martin Luther, John Calvin and other early Protestants. The efforts of the self-described "reformers", who objected to the doctrines, rituals and ecclesiastical structure of the Roman Catholic Church, led...

, they were closely associated with religious activities, notably in support of chantry
Chantry
Chantry is the English term for a fund established to pay for a priest to celebrate sung Masses for a specified purpose, generally for the soul of the deceased donor. Chantries were endowed with lands given by donors, the income from which maintained the chantry priest...

 chapels and churches and the observance of ceremonies, notably the mystery play
Mystery play
Mystery plays and miracle plays are among the earliest formally developed plays in medieval Europe. Medieval mystery plays focused on the representation of Bible stories in churches as tableaux with accompanying antiphonal song...

s.

Some livery companies continue to have a professional role today (for example, the Scriveners' Company
Worshipful Company of Scriveners
The Worshipful Company of Scriveners of the City of London is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. It is also known as the Mysterie of Writers of the Court Letter. The Company had been responsible for setting qualifications and regulations for scrivener notaries since its foundation...

 admits senior members to that profession, the Apothecaries' Company
Worshipful Society of Apothecaries
The Worshipful Society of Apothecaries of London is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. Originally, apothecaries were members of the Grocers' Company and before this members of the Guild of Pepperers formed in London in 1180...

 awards post-graduate qualifications in some medical specialties, and the Hackney Carriage Drivers' Company
Worshipful Company of Hackney Carriage Drivers
The Worshipful Company of Hackney Carriage Drivers is one of the 108 Livery Companies of the City of London. Its members are professional hackney carriage drivers, including London black taxicab drivers who have learnt the knowledge of London....

 is composed of those who have learned 'the knowledge' and are licensed London taxicab drivers). Other Livery Companies have become purely charitable foundations
Charitable organization
A charitable organization is a type of non-profit organization . It differs from other types of NPOs in that it centers on philanthropic goals A charitable organization is a type of non-profit organization (NPO). It differs from other types of NPOs in that it centers on philanthropic goals A...

 (such as the Longbow Makers' Company
Worshipful Company of Bowyers
The Worshipful Company of Bowyers is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London, England.- History :Originally, the Bowyers and Fletchers formed one organisation. However, in 1371, the Fletchers petitioned the Lord Mayor of the City of London to divide into their own Company.The actual...

). Most Companies, particularly those formed in more recent times, are primarily social and charitable organisations. The active Companies play an important part in social life and networking in the City and have a long history of cultural patronage, and control of the City of London Corporation (which still functions as a local authority with extensive local government powers).

After the Fan Makers' Company was established in 1709 (and later granted livery status in 1809), no new companies were formed for over 100 years until the Master Mariners
Honourable Company of Master Mariners
The Honourable Company of Master Mariners is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. The Company was formed in 1926; it was made a Livery Company by the City of London in 1932, making it the first new Livery Company to be formed in over a century...

 in 1926 (granted livery in 1932). Post-1926 Companies are often called modern Livery Companies.

Formed in 1999, the Company of Security Professionals became the 108th Livery Company on 19 February 2008 when the Court of Aldermen
Court of Aldermen
The Court of Aldermen is an elected body forming part of the City of London Corporation. The Court of Aldermen is made up of the twenty five Aldermen of the City of London, presided over by the Lord Mayor...

 approved their petition for livery. Many professions, such as solicitors and chartered accountants, have established new guilds with an aim of ultimately being granted livery. Two bodies, the Worshipful Company of Parish Clerks and the Company of Watermen and Lightermen
Lightermen
Lightermen were workers who transferred goods between ships and quays, aboard flat-bottomed barges called lighters in the Port of London.-History:...

, are recognised as City Companies but without the grant of livery for historical reasons; three further guilds (the Company of Educators
Company of Educators
The Company of Educators is a guild in the City of London. The Guild was founded on 24 May 2001 to represent the education and training profession and for charitable purposes....

; Public Relations Practitioners; and Arts Scholars, Dealers and Collectors) aim to obtain a grant of livery.

Governance


Livery Companies are governed by a Master (known in some Companies as the Prime Warden or Bailiff), a number of Wardens (who may be known as the Upper, Middle, Lower, or Renter Wardens), and a Court of Assistants, which elects the Master and Wardens. The chief operating officer
Chief operating officer
A Chief Operating Officer or Director of Operations can be one of the highest-ranking executives in an organization and comprises part of the "C-Suite"...

 of the Company is known as the Clerk.

Members generally fall into two categories: freemen and liverymen
Liveryman
For Livery Companies in the City of London, a Liveryman is a full member of their respective Company.Livery Company members fall into two basic categories: Freemen and Liverymen. One may join as a Freeman, and thereby acquire the "Freedom of the Company", upon fulfilling the Company's criteria...

. One may become a freeman, or acquire the "freedom of the company", upon fulfilling the company's criteria: traditionally, one may be admitted by "patrimony", if either parent was a liveryman of the company; by "servitude", if one has served the requisite number of years as an apprentice of the company; or by "redemption", if one pays a fee. (The Company may also vote to admit individuals as honourary freemen.) Freemen generally advance to becoming liverymen by a vote of the court of the Company. Historically, only liverymen could take part in the election of the Lord Mayor
Lord Mayor of London
The Right Honourable Lord Mayor of London is the legal title for the Mayor of the City of London Corporation. The Lord Mayor of London is to be distinguished from the Mayor of London; the former is an officer only of the City of London, while the Mayor of London is the Mayor of Greater London and...

, the Sheriffs
Sheriffs of the City of London
There are two Sheriffs of the City of London. The sheriffs are elected annually by the Liverymen of the Livery Companies, and it is a requirement for a Lord Mayor of the City of London to previously have served as a Sheriff. Sheriffs have only nominal duties now, but previously had large judicial...

, and the other traditional officers of the City.

Livery halls



Many Companies still operate a hall, where members and their guests can be entertained and company business transacted. Among the earliest Companies known to have halls were the Merchant Taylors
Worshipful Company of Merchant Taylors
The Worshipful Company of Merchant Taylors is one of the 108 Livery Companies of the City of London.The Company, originally known as the Guild and Fraternity of St...

 and Goldsmiths
Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths
The Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. The Company, which has origins in the twelfth century, received a Royal Charter in 1327. It ranks fifth in the order of precedence of Livery Companies. Its motto is Justitia Virtutum Regina, Latin for Justice...

 in the 14th century, but neither their nor other Companies' original halls remain; the few survivors of the Great Fire of London
Great Fire of London
The Great Fire of London was a major conflagration that swept through the central parts of the English city of London, from Sunday, 2 September to Wednesday, 5 September 1666. The fire gutted the medieval City of London inside the old Roman City Wall...

, along with many reconstructions, were destroyed during the Blitz
The Blitz
The Blitz was the sustained strategic bombing of Britain by Nazi Germany between 7 September 1940 and 10 May 1941, during the Second World War. The city of London was bombed by the Luftwaffe for 76 consecutive nights and many towns and cities across the country followed...

 of the Second World War.

Today, only some forty Companies have halls in London, which are commonly available for business and social functions, such as commercial and society meetings and dinners; the oldest extant hall now is that of the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries
Worshipful Society of Apothecaries
The Worshipful Society of Apothecaries of London is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. Originally, apothecaries were members of the Grocers' Company and before this members of the Guild of Pepperers formed in London in 1180...

, dating from 1672. Companies that do not have their own hall usually borrow another Company's for social occasions, or share premises on a semi-permanent basis, such as the Spectacle Makers' Company
Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers
The Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London, UK.The Company was founded by a Royal Charter of Charles I in 1629 AD; it was granted the status of a Livery Company in 1809...

 which resides in part of the Apothecaries' hall. One Livery Company (the Glaziers
Worshipful Company of Glaziers and Painters of Glass
The Worshipful Company of Glaziers and Painters of Glass is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. The Guild of Glaziers, or makers of Glass, the Company's forerunner, existed as early as 1328. It received a Royal Charter of incorporation in 1638...

) has their hall on the South Bank
South Bank
South Bank is an area of London, England located immediately adjacent to the south side of the River Thames. It forms a long and narrow section of riverside development that is within the London Borough of Lambeth to the border with the London Borough of Southwark and was formerly simply known as...

 of the River Thames at London Bridge, and is technically outside the City of London.

Precedence


In 1515, the Court of Aldermen
Court of Aldermen
The Court of Aldermen is an elected body forming part of the City of London Corporation. The Court of Aldermen is made up of the twenty five Aldermen of the City of London, presided over by the Lord Mayor...

 of the City of London settled an order of precedence
Order of precedence
An order of precedence is a sequential hierarchy of nominal importance of items. Most often it is used in the context of people by many organizations and governments...

 for the forty-eight Livery Companies then in existence, which was based on the Companies' economic or political power. The first twelve Companies are known as the Great Twelve City Livery Companies. There are now 108 Companies, so the Order of Precedence is sometimes reviewed.

The Merchant Taylors
Worshipful Company of Merchant Taylors
The Worshipful Company of Merchant Taylors is one of the 108 Livery Companies of the City of London.The Company, originally known as the Guild and Fraternity of St...

 and the Skinners
Worshipful Company of Skinners
The Worshipful Company of Skinners is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. It was originally an association of those engaged in the trade of skins and furs...

 have always disputed their precedence, so once a year (at Easter) they exchange sixth and seventh place. This alternation is one of the theories for the origin of the phrase "at sixes and sevens
At sixes and sevens
To be "at sixes and sevens" is an English phrase and idiom, common in the United Kingdom. It is used to describe a state of confusion or disarray. The similar phrase "to set the world on six and seven", used by Geoffrey Chaucer in his Troilus and Criseyde, dated about the mid 1380's, seems, from...

", as the master of the Merchant Taylors has asserted a number of times, although the first use of the phrase may have been before the Taylors and the Skinners decided to alternate their position.

List of Companies, in order of precedence


  1. The Worshipful Company of Mercers
    Worshipful Company of Mercers
    The Worshipful Company of Mercers is the premier Livery Company of the City of London and ranks first in order of precedence. It is the first of the so-called "Great Twelve City Livery Companies". It was incorporated under a Royal Charter in 1394...

     (general merchants)
  2. The Worshipful Company of Grocers
    Worshipful Company of Grocers
    The Worshipful Company of Grocers is one of the 108 Livery Companies of the City of London. It is ranked second in the order of precedence of the Companies and, having been established in 1345, is one of the original Great Twelve City Livery Companies....

  3. The Worshipful Company of Drapers
    Worshipful Company of Drapers
    The Worshipful Company of Drapers is one of the 108 Livery Companies of the City of London; it has the formal name of The Master and Wardens and Brethren and Sisters of the Guild or Fraternity of the Blessed Mary the Virgin of the Mystery of Drapers of the City of London but is more usually known...

     (wool and cloth merchants)
  4. The Worshipful Company of Fishmongers
    Worshipful Company of Fishmongers
    The Worshipful Company of Fishmongers is one of the 108 Livery Companies of the City of London, being a guild of the sellers of fish and seafood in the City...

  5. The Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths
    Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths
    The Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. The Company, which has origins in the twelfth century, received a Royal Charter in 1327. It ranks fifth in the order of precedence of Livery Companies. Its motto is Justitia Virtutum Regina, Latin for Justice...

  6. The Worshipful Company of Merchant Taylors
    Worshipful Company of Merchant Taylors
    The Worshipful Company of Merchant Taylors is one of the 108 Livery Companies of the City of London.The Company, originally known as the Guild and Fraternity of St...

    * (tailors)
  7. The Worshipful Company of Skinners
    Worshipful Company of Skinners
    The Worshipful Company of Skinners is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. It was originally an association of those engaged in the trade of skins and furs...

    * (fur traders)
  8. The Worshipful Company of Haberdashers
    Worshipful Company of Haberdashers
    The Worshipful Company of Haberdashers is one of the senior Livery Companies of the City of London. The organisation, following on from the Mercers' Company, another Livery Company connected with clothing and haberdashery, received a Royal Charter in 1448...

     (sellers of sewing articles)
  9. The Worshipful Company of Salters
    Worshipful Company of Salters
    The Worshipful Company of Salters is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London, 9th in order of precedence. The Company originated as the Guild of Corpus Christi, which was granted a Royal Charter of incorporation in 1559...

     (traders of salts and chemicals)
  10. The Worshipful Company of Ironmongers
    Worshipful Company of Ironmongers
    The Worshipful Company of Ironmongers is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. The Ironmongers, who were originally known as the Ferroners, were incorporated under a Royal Charter in 1463...

  11. The Worshipful Company of Vintners
    Worshipful Company of Vintners
    The Worshipful Company of Vintners is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London, England.- History and origins :It probably existed as early as the twelfth century, and it received a Royal Charter in 1364. Due to the Royal Charter, the Company gained a monopoly over wine imports from Gascony...

     (wine merchants)
  12. The Worshipful Company of Clothworkers
    Worshipful Company of Clothworkers
    The Worshipful Company of Clothworkers was incorporated by Royal Charter in 1528, formed by the amalgamation of its two predecessor Companies, the Fullers and the Shearmen...

  13. The Worshipful Company of Dyers
    Worshipful Company of Dyers
    The Worshipful Company of Dyers is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. The Dyers' Guild existed in the twelfth century; it received a Royal Charter in 1471...

  14. The Worshipful Company of Brewers
    Worshipful Company of Brewers
    The Worshipful Company of Brewers is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. London brewers are known to have organised as a group in the 13th century. Their first royal charter was granted by Henry VI in 1437....

  15. The Worshipful Company of Leathersellers
    Worshipful Company of Leathersellers
    The Worshipful Company of Leathersellers is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. The organisation originated in the latter part of the fourteenth century and received a Royal Charter in 1444...

  16. The Worshipful Company of Pewterers
    Worshipful Company of Pewterers
    The Worshipful Company of Pewterers is a livery company of the United Kingdom. It is 16th in the order of precedence of livery companies. It has existed since at least 1348....

     (tin craftsmen)
  17. The Worshipful Company of Barbers
    Worshipful Company of Barbers
    The Worshipful Company of Barbers is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. The organisation's records date as early as 1308, recording Richard le Barber as the first to hold the office of Master....

     (and surgeons and dentists)
  18. The Worshipful Company of Cutlers
    Worshipful Company of Cutlers
    The Worshipful Company of Cutlers is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. The trade of knife making and repairing was organised in the thirteenth century; the organisation received a Royal Charter later in 1416...

     (knife, sword and cutlery makers)
  19. The Worshipful Company of Bakers
    Worshipful Company of Bakers
    The Worshipful Company of Bakers is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. The Bakers' Guild is known to have existed in the twelfth century. From the Corporation of London, the Guild received the power to enforce regulations for baking, known as the Assize of Bread and Ale. The...

  20. The Worshipful Company of Wax Chandlers
    Worshipful Company of Wax Chandlers
    The Worshipful Company of Wax Chandlers is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. The organisation was established in 1358 by the granting of by-laws and ordinances by the Lord Mayor and Aldermen. New ordinances were issued in 1371...

     (wax candle makers)
  21. The Worshipful Company of Tallow Chandlers
    Worshipful Company of Tallow Chandlers
    The Worshipful Company of Tallow Chandlers is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. The organisation, which engaged in not only tallow candle making but also in the trade of oils, received a Royal Charter in 1462...

     (tallow candle makers)
  22. The Worshipful Company of Armourers and Brasiers
    Worshipful Company of Armourers and Brasiers
    The Worshipful Company of Armourers and Brasiers is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. The Armourers' Guild was established in 1322; it received a Royal Charter in 1453. Other Companies, including the Armour Repairers, merged with the Armourers. In 1708, brass workers joined the...

     (armour makers and brass workers)
  23. The Worshipful Company of Girdlers
    Worshipful Company of Girdlers
    The Worshipful Company of Girdlers is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. The organisation was awarded the right to regulate Girdlers in 1327; it was granted a Royal Charter in 1449. The Girdlers, or makers of belts and girdles, are no longer closely related to their original trade...

     (swordbelt and dressbelt makers)
  24. The Worshipful Company of Butchers
    Worshipful Company of Butchers
    The Worshipful Company of Butchers is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London, England. Records indicate that an organization of Butchers existed as early as 975; the Butchers' Guild, the direct predecessor of the present Company, was granted the right to regulate the trade in 1331. The...

  25. The Worshipful Company of Saddlers
    Worshipful Company of Saddlers
    The Worshipful Company of Saddlers is one of the most ancient of the Livery Companies of the City of London. The Guild of Saddlers, the Company's predecessor, is thought to have been an Anglo-Saxon Craft Guild – it certainly existed at some point in the eleventh century. The Guild became a Company...

  26. The Worshipful Company of Carpenters
    Worshipful Company of Carpenters
    The Worshipful Company of Carpenters is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. The Carpenters were traditionally different from a fellow wood-crafting company, the Joiners' and Ceilers' Company, in that the Carpenters utilised nails while the Joiners used adhesives to attach wood.The...

  27. The Worshipful Company of Cordwainers
    Worshipful Company of Cordwainers
    The Worshipful Company of Cordwainers is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. Cordwainers were workers in fine leather; the Company gets its name from "cordwain" , the white leather produced from goatskin in Cordova, Spain...

     (fine leather workers)
  28. The Worshipful Company of Painter-Stainers
    Worshipful Company of Painter-Stainers
    The Worshipful Company of Painter-Stainers is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. An organisation of stainers, or painters of metals and wood, is known to have existed as early as 1268. A similar organisation of painters, who generally worked on cloth, existed as early as 1283...

  29. The Worshipful Company of Curriers
    Worshipful Company of Curriers
    The Worshipful Company of Curriers is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. The Curriers, or curers of leather, first formed an organisation in 1272. This organisation became a Company under a Royal Charter of incorporation in 1605...

     (tanned leather dressers)
  30. The Worshipful Company of Masons
    Worshipful Company of Masons
    The Worshipful Company of Masons is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. The Masons were formed in mediæval times to regulate stonemasons. They were formally incorporated under a Royal Charter in 1677. Its members have taken part in the construction several famous structures,...

  31. The Worshipful Company of Plumbers
    Worshipful Company of Plumbers
    The Worshipful Company of Plumbers is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. The organisation received the right to regulate mediæval plumbers, who were, among other things, responsible for fashioning cisterns, in 1365. It was incorporated under a Royal Charter in 1611. Today, the...

  32. The Worshipful Company of Innholders
    Worshipful Company of Innholders
    The Worshipful Company of Innholders is one of the 108 Livery Companies of the City of London.The Innholders were originally known as Hostellers, but their name had changed by the time it was incorporated under a Royal Charter in 1514...

  33. The Worshipful Company of Founders
    Worshipful Company of Founders
    The Worshipful Company of Founders is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London, England. The Founders, or workers in brass and bronze, were incorporated under a Royal Charter in 1614. However, with the development of technology, the ancient craft grew obsolete. Now, the Company exists,...

     (brass and bronze workers)
  34. The Worshipful Company of Poulters
    Worshipful Company of Poulters
    The Worshipful Company of Poulters is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. In 1368, the organisation received the power to regulate the sale of poultry, swans, pigeons, rabbits and small game...

  35. The Worshipful Company of Cooks
    Worshipful Company of Cooks
    The is the smallest of the Livery Companies of the City of London.The Company received its Royal Charter in 1482.Its origins can be traced back to the 12th Century, founded from two guilds of cooks in medieval London - the Cooks of Eastcheap and the Cooks of Bread Street.As you would expect from a...

  36. The Worshipful Company of Coopers
    Worshipful Company of Coopers
    The Worshipful Company of Coopers is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. The organisation of Coopers existed in 1422; it received a Royal Charter of incorporation in 1501...

     (barrel makers)
  37. The Worshipful Company of Tylers and Bricklayers
    Worshipful Company of Tylers and Bricklayers
    The Worshipful Company of Tylers and Bricklayers is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. The organisation of Tylers and Bricklayers existed in 1416; it was incorporated by a Royal Charter in 1568. Originally, the Company possessed a monopoly over bricklaying within the City of London...

  38. The Worshipful Company of Bowyers
    Worshipful Company of Bowyers
    The Worshipful Company of Bowyers is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London, England.- History :Originally, the Bowyers and Fletchers formed one organisation. However, in 1371, the Fletchers petitioned the Lord Mayor of the City of London to divide into their own Company.The actual...

     (long bow makers)
  39. The Worshipful Company of Fletchers
    Worshipful Company of Fletchers
    The Worshipful Company of Fletchers is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London, England. Originally, the Bowyers and Fletchers formed one organisation. However, in 1371, the Fletchers petitioned the Lord Mayor of the City of London to divide into their own Company...

     (arrow makers)
  40. The Worshipful Company of Blacksmiths
    Worshipful Company of Blacksmiths
    The Worshipful Company of Blacksmiths is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. The organisation was first mentioned in a court record in 1299. A Royal Charter officially granting it the status of Company was granted in 1571. The Company originally had the right to set regulations and...

  41. The Worshipful Company of Joiners and Ceilers
    Worshipful Company of Joiners and Ceilers
    The Worshipful Company of Joiners and Ceilers is one of the Livery Companies in the City of London. The Guild of St James Garlickhythe, the Company's predecessor, named after the church where it was founded, was formed in 1375...

     (wood craftsmen)
  42. The Worshipful Company of Weavers
    Worshipful Company of Weavers
    The Worshipful Company of Weavers is the most ancient of the Livery Companies in the City of London. It existed in the year 1130, and was perhaps formed earlier. The Company received a Royal Charter in 1180. At present, the Company retains a connection to textiles through its contributions to the...

    , the most ancient Company
  43. The Worshipful Company of Woolmen
    Worshipful Company of Woolmen
    The Worshipful Company of Woolmen is one of the Livery Companies in the City of London. It is known to have existed in 1180, making it one of the older Livery Companies of the City. It was officially incorporated in 1522. The Company's original members were concerned with the winding and selling of...

  44. The Worshipful Company of Scriveners
    Worshipful Company of Scriveners
    The Worshipful Company of Scriveners of the City of London is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. It is also known as the Mysterie of Writers of the Court Letter. The Company had been responsible for setting qualifications and regulations for scrivener notaries since its foundation...

     (court document writers and notaries public)
  45. The Worshipful Company of Fruiterers
    Worshipful Company of Fruiterers
    The Worshipful Company of Fruiterers is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London originally and presently concerned with the fruit trade, and a notable charitable institution.-History:...

  46. The Worshipful Company of Plaisterers
    Worshipful Company of Plaisterers
    The Worshipful Company of Plaisterers is one of the Livery Companies in the City of London. The Plaisterers' Company was incorporated under a Royal Charter in 1501 and whilst the spelling used in the Charter was "Plaisterer", some later Charters used the alternative spelling of "plasterer",...

     (plasterers)
  47. The Worshipful Company of Stationers and Newspaper Makers
    Worshipful Company of Stationers and Newspaper Makers
    The Worshipful Company of Stationers and Newspaper Makers is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. The Stationers' Company was founded in 1403; it received a Royal Charter in 1557...

  48. The Worshipful Company of Broderers
    Worshipful Company of Broderers
    The Worshipful Company of Broderers is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. Broderers were workers in embroidery; the organization of Broderers existed in at least 1376, and was officially incorporated by a Royal Charter in 1561. As the craft of embroidery has lost its importance as a...

     (embroiders)
  49. The Worshipful Company of Upholders
    Worshipful Company of Upholders
    The Worshipful Company of Upholders is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. "Upholder" is an archaic word for "Upholsterer". In past times upholders carried out not just the manufacture and sale of upholstered goods but were cabinet makers, undertakers, soft furnishers, auctioneers...

     (upholsterers)
  50. The Worshipful Company of Musicians
    Worshipful Company of Musicians
    The Worshipful Company of Musicians is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. Its history dates back to at least 1350. Originally a specialist guild for musicians, its role became an anachronism in the 18th century, when the centre of music making in London moved from the City to the...

  51. The Worshipful Company of Turners
    Worshipful Company of Turners
    The Worshipful Company of Turners is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. The Guild of Turners, or operators of the lathe, the predecessor of the Company, existed in 1310. In 1435, it received the power to oversee and regulate turners in the City of London; it retained the power until...

     (lathe operators)
  52. The Worshipful Company of Basketmakers
    Worshipful Company of Basketmakers
    The Worshipful Company of Basketmakers is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. The Company was constituted in 1569. It was recognised as a Livery Company in 1825, and received a Royal Charter in 1937. The Company has recently instituted Yeoman memberships for working basketmakers and...

  53. The Worshipful Company of Glaziers and Painters of Glass
    Worshipful Company of Glaziers and Painters of Glass
    The Worshipful Company of Glaziers and Painters of Glass is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. The Guild of Glaziers, or makers of Glass, the Company's forerunner, existed as early as 1328. It received a Royal Charter of incorporation in 1638...

  54. The Worshipful Company of Horners
    Worshipful Company of Horners
    The Worshipful Company of Horners is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. It existed in at least 1284. In 1475, the Leather Bottlemakers merged with the Horners. The Company received its Royal Charter of incorporation in 1638....

     (horn workers and plastic)
  55. The Worshipful Company of Farriers
    Worshipful Company of Farriers
    The Worshipful Company of Farriers is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. The Farriers, or horseshoe makers, organised in 1356. It received a Royal Charter of incorporation in 1674. Over the years, the Company has evolved from a trade association for horseshoe makers into an...

     (horseshoe makers and horse veterinarians)
  56. The Worshipful Company of Paviors
    Worshipful Company of Paviors
    The Worshipful Company of Paviors is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. The Paviors were formed at some point prior to 1276; they were responsible for the paving and maintenance of London's streets. It received a Royal Charter in 1672...

     (road and highway pavers)
  57. The Worshipful Company of Loriners
    Worshipful Company of Loriners
    The Worshipful Company of Loriners is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. The organisation was originally a trade association for makers of metal parts for harnesses, bridles, spurs, and other horse apparel; hence the company's name, which comes from the Latin word lorum, through the...

     (harness makers)
  58. The Worshipful Society of Apothecaries
    Worshipful Society of Apothecaries
    The Worshipful Society of Apothecaries of London is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. Originally, apothecaries were members of the Grocers' Company and before this members of the Guild of Pepperers formed in London in 1180...

     (medical practitioners and pharmacists)
  59. The Worshipful Company of Shipwrights
    Worshipful Company of Shipwrights
    The Worshipful Company of Shipwrights is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London.The Shipwrights' Company has not, unlike other Livery Companies, ever received a Royal Charter; instead, it is considered incorporated "by prescription" because the body had for a long time used this title...

  60. The Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers
    Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers
    The Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London, UK.The Company was founded by a Royal Charter of Charles I in 1629 AD; it was granted the status of a Livery Company in 1809...

  61. The Worshipful Company of Clockmakers
    Worshipful Company of Clockmakers
    The Worshipful Company of Clockmakers is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. The Clockmakers were formed by a Royal Charter in 1631. Originally, no person was allowed to sell clocks unless they were a member of the Company. However, such requirements have since been relaxed and later...

  62. The Worshipful Company of Glovers
    Worshipful Company of Glovers
    The Worshipful Company of Glovers is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. Glovers were originally classified as Cordwainers, but eventually separated to form their own organization in 1349. They received a Royal Charter of incorporation in 1639...

  63. The Worshipful Company of Feltmakers
    Worshipful Company of Feltmakers
    The is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. The Feltmakers, or makers of felt hats, were incorporated by Letters patent granted by James I in 1604. They received an extended Royal Charter in 1667. The Company gradually lost its role as a trade association for felt hat makers, due to...

     (hat makers)
  64. The Worshipful Company of Framework Knitters
    Worshipful Company of Framework Knitters
    The Worshipful Company of Framework Knitters is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. It was incorporated by Oliver Cromwell in 1657 and was granted livery status in 1713...

  65. The Worshipful Company of Needlemakers
    Worshipful Company of Needlemakers
    The Worshipful Company of Needlemakers is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. The Needlemakers received a Royal Charter in 1656. The Company gradually lost its role as a trade association, now acting as a supporter of the needle industry instead...

  66. The Worshipful Company of Gardeners
    Worshipful Company of Gardeners
    The Worshipful Company of Gardeners is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. An organisation of Gardeners existed in the middle of the fourteenth century; it received a Royal Charter in 1605. The Company no longer exists as a regulatory authority for the sale of produce in London;...

  67. The Worshipful Company of Tin Plate Workers
    Worshipful Company of Tin Plate Workers
    The Worshipful Company of Tin Plate Workers alias Wire Workers is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. Tin craftsmen were originally part of the Ironmongers' Company, while the wire workers, who made wire objects such as cages, animal traps and fishhooks, were part of the Girdlers'...

  68. The Worshipful Company of Wheelwrights
    Worshipful Company of Wheelwrights
    The Worshipful Company of Wheelwrights is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London, England. An organisation of Wheelwrights and Coachmakers petitioned for incorporation in 1630. The petition was granted forty years later, in 1670, when a Royal Charter was granted to the Wheelwrights...

  69. The Worshipful Company of Distillers
    Worshipful Company of Distillers
    The Worshipful Company of Distillers is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. The Distillers were incorporated under a Royal Charter in 1638. They were empowered to regulate and supervise the production of spirits and liquors. Now, however, it does not retain such powers...

  70. The Worshipful Company of Pattenmakers
    Worshipful Company of Pattenmakers
    The Worshipful Company of Pattenmakers is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. The Pattenmakers, who were incorporated by Royal Charter in 1670, were makers of wooden-soled overshoes. Pattens were helpful in walking through the muddy streets of London. However, with the advent of...

     (wooden shoe makers)
  71. The Worshipful Company of Glass Sellers
    Worshipful Company of Glass Sellers
    The Worshipful Company of Glass Sellers is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London.The Worshipful Company of Glass Sellers and Looking-Glass Makers of London received its Charter in 1664...

  72. The Worshipful Company of Coachmakers and Coach Harness Makers
    Worshipful Company of Coachmakers and Coach Harness Makers
    The Worshipful Company of Coachmakers and Coach Harness Makers is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. An organisation of Coachmakers and Wheelwrights petitioned for incorporation in 1630. The petition was granted almost fifty years later, in 1677, when a Royal Charter was granted to...

  73. The Worshipful Company of Gunmakers
    Worshipful Company of Gunmakers
    The Worshipful Company of Gunmakers is one of the 108 Livery Companies of the City of London.The Gunmakers' Company received a Royal Charter of incorporation in 1637. The Company was, and still is, responsible for proof-testing gun barrels/actions for safety. Thus, unlike many Livery Companies, the...

  74. The Worshipful Company of Gold and Silver Wyre Drawers
    Worshipful Company of Gold and Silver Wyre Drawers
    The Worshipful Company of Gold and Silver Wyre Drawers is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. The Gold and Silver Wyre Drawers were incorporated by Royal Charter in 1693; the City granted it the status of a Livery Company in 1780...

      (makers of thread for uniforms)
  75. The Worshipful Company of Makers of Playing Cards
    Worshipful Company of Makers of Playing Cards
    The Worshipful Company of Makers of Playing Cards is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. The Company was incorporated by Royal Charter granted by Charles I with effect from 22 October 1628, and was granted Livery status on 27 November 1792 with a limit of a hundred members. On 21...

  76. The Worshipful Company of Fanmakers
    Worshipful Company of Fanmakers
    The Worshipful Company of Fan Makers is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. The Company was incorporated by a Royal Charter in 1709. As fan making is now done by machines rather than by craftsmen, the Company is no longer a trade association for fan makers...

  77. The Worshipful Company of Carmen
    Worshipful Company of Carmen
    The Worshipful Company of Carmen is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. Carmen, or drivers of carts, caused upset in 1481. The King conscripted carts to carry his wine allowing rural carters to force food prices up. By offering to provide the King's carriage and clean the streets the...

  78. The Honourable Company of Master Mariners
    Honourable Company of Master Mariners
    The Honourable Company of Master Mariners is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. The Company was formed in 1926; it was made a Livery Company by the City of London in 1932, making it the first new Livery Company to be formed in over a century...

    , the first of the 20th-century Companies
  79. The City of London Solicitors' Company
    City of London Solicitors' Company
    The City of London Solicitors' Company is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. The Company was formed in 1908; the City granted it Livery status in 1944. The Company received a Royal Charter in 1958. Prior to 1969, when the City of London Law Society was formed, the Company functioned...

  80. The Worshipful Company of Farmers
    Worshipful Company of Farmers
    The Worshipful Company of Farmers is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. The Company became a Livery Company in 1952, and was granted a Royal Charter three years later. The Farmers' Company supports farming students, and otherwise promotes education in agriculture.The Farmers'...

  81. The Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators
    Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators
    The Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. The Guild was established in 1929 and was granted the status of a Livery Company in 1956...

  82. The Worshipful Company of Tobacco Pipe Makers and Tobacco Blenders
    Worshipful Company of Tobacco Pipe Makers and Tobacco Blenders
    The Worshipful Company of Tobacco Pipe Makers and Tobacco Blenders is one of the famous Livery Companies of the City of London. The Company ranks eighty-second in the Order of Precedence for City of London Livery Companies...

  83. The Worshipful Company of Furniture Makers
    Worshipful Company of Furniture Makers
    The Worshipful Company of Furniture Makers is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. The organisation was formed in 1951, and the City granted it Livery status in 1963. The Company generally promotes the trade by awarding scholarship to students of the craft.The Company ranks...

  84. The Worshipful Company of Scientific Instrument Makers
    Worshipful Company of Scientific Instrument Makers
    The Worshipful Company of Scientific Instrument Makers is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. The organisation was formed in 1956, and the City granted it Livery status in 1964. The Company promotes science by offering scholarships to science students.The Company ranks eighty-fourth...

  85. The Worshipful Company of Chartered Surveyors
    Worshipful Company of Chartered Surveyors
    The Worshipful Company of Chartered Surveyors is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. The organisation was granted Letters Patent in May 1977. The Company promotes surveying by awarding scholarships....

  86. The Worshipful Company of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales
    Worshipful Company of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales
    The Worshipful Company of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. The organisation became a Livery Company in 1977. The Company promotes the practice of accounting by awarding prizes to students in the field. It also supports general...

  87. The Worshipful Company of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators
    Worshipful Company of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators
    The Worshipful Company of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. The organisation became a Livery Company in 1977. The Company promotes the profession by awarding grants to students aspiring to become Chartered Secretaries.The Company ranks...

  88. The Worshipful Company of Builders Merchants
    Worshipful Company of Builders Merchants
    The Worshipful Company of Builders Merchants is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. The organisation, founded in 1961, became a Livery Company in 1977. The Company promotes the profession by awarding grants to institutions related to building....

  89. The Worshipful Company of Launderers
    Worshipful Company of Launderers
    The Worshipful Company of Launderers is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. The organisation, founded in 1960, became a Livery Company in 1977. The Company promotes the profession of the launderers by awarding scholarships to laundry students....

  90. The Worshipful Company of Marketors
    Worshipful Company of Marketors
    The Worshipful Company of Marketors is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. The Company was founded in 1975. It became a Livery Company in 1978. It supports marketing by awarding scholarships in the field....

  91. The Worshipful Company of Actuaries
    Worshipful Company of Actuaries
    The Worshipful Company of Actuaries is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. The Company was founded and became a Livery Company in 1979, on the same day as the Insurers' Company...

  92. The Worshipful Company of Insurers
    Worshipful Company of Insurers
    The Worshipful Company of Insurers is one of the 108 Livery Companies of the City of London.The Company was formed and became a Livery Company in 1979, on the same day as the Actuaries' Company...

  93. The Worshipful Company of Arbitrators
    Worshipful Company of Arbitrators
    The Worshipful Company of Arbitrators is the 93rd Livery Company of the City of London. The organisation became a Livery Company on 17 March 1981. The Company supports education in the field of arbitration. It also functions as a charitable institution. Its motto is Law and Custom.There are two...

  94. The Worshipful Company of Engineers
    Worshipful Company of Engineers
    The Worshipful Company of Engineers is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. The Company was founded and became a Livery Company in 1983 and was incorporated by Royal Charter in 2004...

  95. The Worshipful Company of Fuellers
    Worshipful Company of Fuellers
    The Worshipful Company of Fuellers is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. It is now associated with the whole energy sector, but has its roots in coal: the Fuellers, or coal traders, were originally members of the Woodmongers' Company, which became defunct in the eighteenth century....

  96. The Worshipful Company of Lightmongers
    Worshipful Company of Lightmongers
    The Worshipful Company of Lightmongers is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. The Lightmongers, or sellers of electric lights, were organised into the Guild of Lightmongers in 1967. The Guild became a Livery Company in 1984. The Company promotes the lighting industry by awarding...

  97. The Worshipful Company of Environmental Cleaners
    Worshipful Company of Environmental Cleaners
    The Worshipful Company of Environmental Cleaners is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. It was established in 1972 as the Guild of Cleaners, and was later known as the Guild of Master Cleaners. The Guild became a Livery Company in 1986, changing its name again, this time to the...

  98. The Worshipful Company of Chartered Architects
    Worshipful Company of Chartered Architects
    The Worshipful Company of Chartered Architects is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London.The company was established in 1984 and was granted Livery status in 1988. The Company promotes architecture in the City of London particularly - primarily through its annual New City Architecture...

  99. The Worshipful Company of Constructors
    Worshipful Company of Constructors
    The Worshipful Company of Constructors is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. The Company aims to bring together those professionally qualified individuals concerned with aspects of building design, execution, management, vision and economic appraisal.The Company's origins date from...

  100. The Worshipful Company of Information Technologists
    Worshipful Company of Information Technologists
    The Worshipful Company of Information Technologists , aka the Information Technologists' Company , is the 100th Livery Company of the City of London...

  101. The Worshipful Company of World Traders
    Worshipful Company of World Traders
    The Worshipful Company of World Traders is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. The Guild of World Traders was founded in 1985, became a Company in 1993, and was granted Livery status by the Court of Aldermen with effect from 2000...

  102. The Worshipful Company of Water Conservators
    Worshipful Company of Water Conservators
    The Worshipful Company of Water Conservators is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. In 1988, some members of the Select Society of Sanitary Sludge Shovelers , who were also members of the Institution of Water and Environmental Management decided to found the Guild of Water...

  103. The Worshipful Company of Firefighters
    Worshipful Company of Firefighters
    The Worshipful Company of Firefighters is one of the 108 Livery Companies of the City of London. The Company aims to promote the development and advancement of the science, art and the practice of firefighting, fire prevention and life safety...

  104. The Worshipful Company of Hackney Carriage Drivers
    Worshipful Company of Hackney Carriage Drivers
    The Worshipful Company of Hackney Carriage Drivers is one of the 108 Livery Companies of the City of London. Its members are professional hackney carriage drivers, including London black taxicab drivers who have learnt the knowledge of London....

     (licensed London taxicab drivers)
  105. The Worshipful Company of Management Consultants
    Worshipful Company of Management Consultants
    The Worshipful Company of Management Consultants is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. It started as a Guild of the City of London in 1993 and became a Company without Livery in 1999. On 4 May 2004, the Court of Aldermen granted the Company’s petition to become the 105th Livery...

  106. The Worshipful Company of International Bankers
  107. The Worshipful Company of Tax Advisers
    Worshipful Company of Tax Advisers
    The Worshipful Company of Tax Advisers is a Livery Company of the City of London. It was started as a Guild of the City of London by some members of the Chartered Institute of Taxation in 1995 and became a Company without Livery in 2000. On 18 January 2005, the Court of Aldermen granted the...

  108. The Worshipful Company of Security Professionals
    Worshipful Company of Security Professionals
    The Worshipful Company of Security Professionals ' is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. The company is a charitable organization providing education and health services to members of the security professional community....



Note: *The Skinners' and Merchant Taylors' Companies alternate position once per year.

City Companies without grant of livery

  • The Worshipful Company of Parish Clerks
  • The Company of Watermen and Lightermen

Both of these Companies will never apply for livery due to their ancient status and custom.

A guild which is recognised by the Court of Aldermen as a 'London Guild' applies to the Court to become 'A Company without Livery'. After a term of years the Company applies to the Court for livery status, at which point it adopts the name "Worshipful Company of ... ".

Other guilds aiming to obtain a grant of livery

  • The Guild of Public Relations Practitioners
    Guild of Public Relations Practitioners
    The Guild of Public Relations Practitioners is a guild in the City of London. The Guild was formed in 2000 to represent the public relations profession and for charitable purposes.The Guild aims to achieve a grant of livery to become a Livery Company....

  • The Guild of Arts Scholars, Dealers and Collectors
  • The Company of Educators
    Company of Educators
    The Company of Educators is a guild in the City of London. The Guild was founded on 24 May 2001 to represent the education and training profession and for charitable purposes....


See also

  • Liveryman
    Liveryman
    For Livery Companies in the City of London, a Liveryman is a full member of their respective Company.Livery Company members fall into two basic categories: Freemen and Liverymen. One may join as a Freeman, and thereby acquire the "Freedom of the Company", upon fulfilling the Company's criteria...

  • Mottos of the Livery Companies of the City of London
    Mottos of the Livery Companies of the City of London
    The Livery Companies are listed in alphabetical order, rather than by precedence. Note that most are double entendres or puns about their Company's purpose....

  • City and Guilds of London Institute
    City and Guilds of London Institute
    The City and Guilds of London Institute is a leading United Kingdom vocational education organisation. City & Guilds offers more than 500 qualifications over the whole range of industry sectors through 8500 colleges and training providers in 81 countries worldwide...



Neither the 'City Livery Club' nor 'The Guild of Freemen of the City of London' is recognised as a 'guild' by the City; they are merely social clubs.

External links