London Livery Company

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The City of London Livery Companies began as trade associations or trade guilds, which controlled who could carry out certain jobs in the City of London.

The Companies today[change | change source]

Today the companies act mainly as social and charitable groups, because over the centuries the livery companies have lost most rights to control trade, often as statute law applied the same standards across the whole country. Some support schools which were set up in the 1500s. Others sponsor apprentices in colleges and unversities. Some still have a statutory role.[1] For example the Goldsmiths' Company continue to run the London Assay Office where several million articles of gold, silver and platinum are hallmarked each year.

List of Companies in order of precedence[change | change source]

The order of precedence was first set down in 1515 by the Aldermen of the City of London. Forty-eight livery companies then existed. The list was based on the companies' economic or political power.

The first twelve livery companies are known as the Great Twelve City Livery Companies. There are now 108 livery companies, some very new, so the Order of Precedence is sometimes reviewed.

The Merchant Taylors and the Skinners have always disputed their precedence, so once a year (at Easter) they exchange sixth and seventh place. This is one of the theories for the origin of the phrase "at sixes and sevens", as the master of the Merchant Taylors has said 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.[2] Both companies had been founded before the birth of Chaucer, who was one of the first people to use the phrase, so it may have dated from before him.

  1. The Worshipful Company of Mercers (General merchants)
  2. The Worshipful Company of Grocers
  3. The Worshipful Company of Drapers (Wool and cloth merchants)
  4. The Worshipful Company of Fishmongers
  5. The Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths
  6. The Worshipful Company of Merchant Taylors (Tailors) (alternates with the Skinners)
  7. The Worshipful Company of Skinners (Fur traders) (alternates with the Merchant Taylors)
  8. The Worshipful Company of Haberdashers
  9. The Worshipful Company of Salters
  10. The Worshipful Company of Ironmongers
  11. The Worshipful Company of Vintners (Wine merchants)
  12. The Worshipful Company of Clothworkers
  13. The Worshipful Company of Dyers
  14. The Worshipful Company of Brewers
  15. The Worshipful Company of Leathersellers
  16. The Worshipful Company of Pewterers
  17. The Worshipful Company of Barbers (Barbers, surgeons, and dentists)
  18. The Worshipful Company of Cutlers
  19. The Worshipful Company of Bakers
  20. The Worshipful Company of Wax Chandlers
  21. The Worshipful Company of Tallow Chandlers
  22. The Worshipful Company of Armourers and Brasiers (Armour makers and brass workers)
  23. The Worshipful Company of Girdlers (Sword-belt and dress-belt makers)
  24. The Worshipful Company of Butchers
  25. The Worshipful Company of Saddlers
  26. The Worshipful Company of Carpenters
  27. The Worshipful Company of Cordwainers (Fine leather workers)
  28. The Worshipful Company of Painter-Stainers
  29. The Worshipful Company of Curriers (Tanned leather dressers)
  30. The Worshipful Company of Masons
  31. The Worshipful Company of Plumbers
  32. The Worshipful Company of Innholders
  33. The Worshipful Company of Founders (Metalworkers)
  34. The Worshipful Company of Poulters
  35. The Worshipful Company of Cooks
  36. The Worshipful Company of Coopers (Barrel makers)
  37. The Worshipful Company of Tylers and Bricklayers
  38. The Worshipful Company of Bowyers (Longbow makers)
  39. The Worshipful Company of Fletchers (Arrow makers)
  40. The Worshipful Company of Blacksmiths
  41. The Worshipful Company of Joiners and Ceilers (Wood craftsmen)
  42. The Worshipful Company of Weavers
  43. The Worshipful Company of Woolmen
  44. The Worshipful Company of Scriveners (Court document writers and notaries public)
  45. The Worshipful Company of Fruiterers
  46. The Worshipful Company of Plaisterers (Plasterers)
  47. The Worshipful Company of Stationers and Newspaper Makers
  48. The Worshipful Company of Broderers (Embroiders)
  49. The Worshipful Company of Upholders (Upholsterers)
  50. The Worshipful Company of Musicians
  51. The Worshipful Company of Turners (Lathe operators)
  52. The Worshipful Company of Basketmakers
  53. The Worshipful Company of Glaziers and Painters of Glass
  54. The Worshipful Company of Horners
  55. The Worshipful Company of Farriers (Horseshoe makers and veterinary surgeons for horses)
  56. The Worshipful Company of Paviors (Road and highway pavers)
  57. The Worshipful Company of Loriners (Harness makers)
  58. The Worshipful Society of Apothecaries (Medical practitioners and pharmacists)
  59. The Worshipful Company of Shipwrights
  60. The Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers
  61. The Worshipful Company of Clockmakers
  62. The Worshipful Company of Glovers
  63. The Worshipful Company of Feltmakers (Hat makers)
  64. The Worshipful Company of Framework Knitters
  65. The Worshipful Company of Needlemakers
  66. The Worshipful Company of Gardeners
  67. The Worshipful Company of Tin Plate Workers
  68. The Worshipful Company of Wheelwrights
  69. The Worshipful Company of Distillers
  70. The Worshipful Company of Pattenmakers (Wooden shoe makers)
  71. The Worshipful Company of Glass Sellers
  72. The Worshipful Company of Coachmakers and Coach Harness Makers
  73. The Worshipful Company of Gunmakers
  74. The Worshipful Company of Gold and Silver Wyre Drawers
  75. The Worshipful Company of Makers of Playing Cards
  76. The Worshipful Company of Fanmakers
  77. The Worshipful Company of Carmen
  78. The Honourable Company of Master Mariners (first of the 20th century companies)
  79. The City of London Solicitors' Company
  80. The Worshipful Company of Farmers
  81. The Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators
  82. The Worshipful Company of Tobacco Pipe Makers and Tobacco Blenders
  83. The Worshipful Company of Furniture Makers
  84. The Worshipful Company of Scientific Instrument Makers
  85. The Worshipful Company of Chartered Surveyors
  86. The Worshipful Company of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales
  87. The Worshipful Company of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators
  88. The Worshipful Company of Builders Merchants
  89. The Worshipful Company of Launderers
  90. The Worshipful Company of Marketors
  91. The Worshipful Company of Actuaries
  92. The Worshipful Company of Insurers
  93. The Worshipful Company of Arbitrators
  94. The Worshipful Company of Engineers
  95. The Worshipful Company of Fuellers
  96. The Worshipful Company of Lightmongers
  97. The Worshipful Company of Environmental Cleaners
  98. The Worshipful Company of Chartered Architects
  99. The Worshipful Company of Constructors
  100. The Worshipful Company of Information Technologists
  101. The Worshipful Company of World Traders
  102. The Worshipful Company of Water Conservators
  103. The Worshipful Company of Firefighters
  104. The Worshipful Company of Hackney Carriage Drivers (Taxi drivers)
  105. The Worshipful Company of Management Consultants
  106. The Worshipful Company of International Bankers
  107. The Worshipful Company of Tax Advisers
  108. The Worshipful Company of Security Professionals

Two old companies do not intend applying for a grant of the right to wear the special costume or uniform known as a livery.

  1. The Worshipful Company of Parish Clerks
  2. The Company of Watermen and Lightermen

Three groups intend applying for livery. One has already been recognised as a "Company without Livery" the other two have not yet existed long enough or become well enough known.

  1. The Guild of Public Relations Practitioners
  2. The Guild of Arts Scholars, Dealers & Collectors
  3. The Company of Educators[3]

References[change | change source]