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Livery Company

From Academic Kids

Livery Companies are trade associations based in the City of London. They originally developed as guilds. They were responsible for the regulation of their trades, controlling, for instance, wages and labour conditions.

At present, some Livery Companies continue to have a regulatory role. For instance, the Scriveners' Company regulates and oversees Notaries Public of the City of London. Other companies, where the profession has become obsolete, exist as charitable foundations. The livery companies also play an important part in social life and networking in the City. Still others, such as the Longbow Stringmakers' Company and the Hatbandmakers' Company, have become inoperative. Some recently founded groups such as the Information Technologists have been charitable in nature for the whole of their existence.

Livery Companies are governed by a Master (known in some Companies as the Prime Warden), 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 executive officer of the Company is known as the Clerk.

Members generally fall into two categories: freemen and liverymen. 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 liverymen of the company, by "servitude" if one has served as an apprentice in the trade for the requisite number of years, or by purchase. (The Company may also vote to admit individuals as honorary freemen.) Freemen generally advance to becoming liverymen by a vote of the Court of the Company. Only liverymen may take part in the election of the Lord Mayor of London.

There are currently one hundred and five Livery Companies in the City of London. In 1515, after years of dispute, an order of precedence was settled for the Livery Companies of the time based on the Companies' economic or political power.

The Merchant Taylors and Skinners dispute their precedence, and so annually alternate between sixth and seventh place, the change occurring each Easter. This is one of the theories for the origin of the phrase "at sixes and sevens", 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 [1] (http://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-six1.htm) (However, both companies had been founded before the birth of Chaucer, who was one of the first people to use the phrase, so this may have dated from before him).

Many companies still have a hall, where members and their guests can be entertained and company business transacted. Among the earliest companies known to have possessed halls were the Merchant Taylors and Goldsmiths in the 14th century, but neither theirs nor other companies' original halls remain; the few survivors of the Great Fire were destroyed, along with many reconstructed ones, during the Blitz. Today, only 36 companies have halls in London. Companies that do not have their own hall usually borrow one of the other companies' premises for social occasions.

List of Companies, in order of precedence

  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
  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 (Girdle and 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
  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 Veterinarians 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 (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
  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
  105. The Worshipful Company of Management Consultants

Some Companies are recognised by the Corporation of London as "City Companies Without Grant of Livery":

Others are in the process of obtaining livery status:

See also

External links

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