We are proud now to have a total of six Livery Companies based within the Ward of Broad Street.
They are, in purely alphabetical order, the Worshipful Companies of Carpenters, Clockmakers, Drapers, Furniture Makers, International Bankers and Plumbers. The Ward of Broad Street is also home to the Guild of Entrepeneurs and the Guild of Freemen.
The easiest way to discover more about these Livery Companies and Guilds is to visit their websites. Provided below is a quick overview of each organisation and a link to its Company website.
A view of Carpenters' Hall taken from London Wall
The Worshipful Company of Carpenters
Ranked number 26 in the order of precedence, the Carpenters' Company received its Royal Charter in 1477. It has had its Livery Hall on London Wall since the first one was built in 1429. This survived the Great Fire, but following a conflagration in 1849 a new Hall was built and opened in 1880. A gas explosion caused by an air-raid in 1941, destroyed that second Hall and the current Hall was finally opened in 1960.
The Company was a founder member of the City & Guilds Institute in 1880 and established its own Trades Training School in 1893. Now called the Building Crafts College and located in Stratford, it continues to represent the Company's commitment to training in the woodworking crafts.
Entrance to Carpenters' Hall from Throgmorton Avenue
The Worshipful Company of Drapers
Ranked number 3 in the order of precedence, the Drapers' Company (full name - 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) has its Livery Hall in the Ward of Broad Street.
The first Drapers' Hall was (in the 1420s) located along St Swithins Lane, south of Bank. A Hall in the present location in Throgmorton Street, was bought from King Henry VIII in 1543 (it was originally the house of Thomas Cromwell). Destroyed by the Great Fire, the Hall was rebuilt by 1671 and was rebuilt again in 1772 (after another fire). In the 1860s, the frontage was changed and the interior altered by Herbert Williams.
The Worshipful Company of Furniture Makers
Ranked number 83 in the order of precedence, the Furniture Makers' Company was not established as a Guild until 1952, receiving its Royal Charter in 2013.
The making of Furniture and associated products was historically under the auspices of the Carpenters' and (due to the 'nailing' and iron-strapping' methods of construction) the Blacksmiths' Companies. The Turners and Basketmakers were also involved. By the mid 18th century, the Upholders had became pre-eminent in all the furniture and property decoration industries and it wasn't until after WWII that a specialised Guild for 'Furniture' was established.
The Company is based in an elegant 19th century townhouse at 12 Austin Friars, within the Ward of Broad Street and while not a traditional 'Livery Hall' it offers a dining venue for up to 100 people.
Drapers' Hall entrance in Throgmorton Street
Interior of Drapers' Livery Hall
The Furniture Makers' Hall at
12 Austin Friars
Click on the button to the left for a link to the Furniture Makers' website.
The Worshipful Company of International Bankers.
Ranked number 106 in the order of precedence, the International Bankers' Company is very definitely one of the modern Liveries. It has offices in the Furniture Makers' Hall at 12 Austin Friars (see above) and is therefore a resident of the Ward of Broad Street.
In 1999 the Court of Common Council ruled that the Freedom of the City of London could be extended to all nationalities. This ruling allowed for the first time, a truly International Livery to be established. So in September 2004 the International Bankers' Company was constituted as a full Livery and it received its Royal Charter in 2007.
Click on the button to the left for a link to the Carpenters' website
The Crest of the Worshipful Company of Carpenters
The Worshipful Company of Clockmakers
The Worshipful Company of Clockmakers’ was established by Royal Charter granted by King Charles 1 in 1631.
It ranks 61st in the order of precedence of the 110 City of London Livery Companies. It is the oldest surviving horological institution in the world, and its motto is Tempus Rerum Imperator, Latin for Time is the ruler of (all) things.
The Clockmakers’ Company original purpose was to regulate and encourage the “art and mystery” of watch and clock making together with many related skills, such as engraving, sundial making and mathematical instrument making Unlike some surviving City Companies, whose members are no longer drawn from the trade their Company nominally represents, the Clockmakers’ Company includes a majority who are still involved in horology, whether clock making, watch making, designing, buying, selling, collecting, repairing, restoring, conserving or using for scientific purposes; and it includes associated trades such as engraving.
The Company still provides a forum where those interested in horology (whether modern or antiquarian) can meet. It still encourages the trade, still promotes excellence and (through its charities) promotes education and training. It runs occasional craft competitions. It awards the Tompion and Harrison Gold Medals, and The Derek Pratt Prize for exceptional achievement in horology worldwide.
Through The Clockmakers’ Museum and Educational Trust it maintains, for the enjoyment and education of the public, its historic Library at mediaeval Guildhall in the City of London, and Museum, which is in a special gallery on the 2nd floor of The Science Museum. The Clockmakers’ Company does not have its own Hall, but retains an office in the City at The Carpenters’ Hall (see above).
Click on the button to the left for a link to the Clockmakers' website
The Crest of the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers
The Crest of the
The Crest of the Worshipful Company of Furniture Makers
The Crest of the Worshipful Company of International Bankers
The Worshipful Company of Plumbers.
The Worshipful Company of Plumbers (based in Carpenters' Hall, see above) is one of the most ancient of the Livery Companies of the City of London.
The Company is proud to be one of the oldest Liveries, placed at number 31, with over 650 years of continuous service to the City of London and the craft of plumbing. The company received its first Charter during the reign of King James I in 1611. The Charter was expressly intended to be “for the utility, advantage and relief for the good and honest, and for the terror and correction of the evil, deceitful and dishonest”. Livery Companies also assumed responsibility for the education and training of apprentices to their craft. Indeed, it was initiatives taken by the Corporation and Livery Companies that led to the foundation of the City and Guilds of London Institute in 1878. The ancient Craft Guilds in the City of London were closely linked to the Church. Their origins were therefore as much religious as for the protection of the trade.
The relationship is reflected in the title “Worshipful Company of Plumbers” whereby it is both traditional and proper for all Court Meetings to be preceded by prayerful worship. From earliest times the Church of the Company was St. Michael’s, Crooked Lane, and for this reason the Patron Saint of the Company is St. Michael. It is now traditional for the Court to hold a dinner as close as possible to the feast of St. Michael, the 29th September.
The Company continues to:
Foster, maintain and develop links with the Plumbing craft and allied disciplines.
Promote as appropriate youth activities in the craft by financial and technical contributions to educational and vocational ventures.
Contribute to Charity through the Company’s Charitable and Educational Trust, which provides grants to improve the educational and management aspects of plumbing, as well as grants to the City of London charities.
Support the “Pursuit of Excellence” so that through contact with other organisations the Company is able to call on past experience for the benefit of future enterprises.
Click on the button to the left for a link to the Plumbers' website.
The Crest of the Worshipful Company of Plumbers
The Guild of Entrepeneurs
The Guild of Entrepreneurs (based at Drapers' Hall, see above) is a Guild of the City of London and an aspirant Livery Company. It is made up of men and women who have invested their own money and time in setting up and running successful businesses. Its aims are to:
promote excellence in the profession of Entrepreneurship
support the Lord Mayor, encourage the growth of the City and promote its full potential to entrepreneurs and growth businesses
foster fellowship among entrepreneurs
give money and time for charitable works that support the development of entrepreneurs and help to bring the opportunities of entrepreneurship to young people.
An entrepreneur will have identified new market opportunities, sourced and organised the required people and resources, and experienced both the risks and rewards associated with such ventures.
Click on the button to the left for a link to the Guild of Entrepeneurs' website.
The Guild of Freemen
From medieval times, the City of London worked together with Livery Companies to control acceptance of Freemen. However, in the nineteenth century, it became possible for people to apply for the Freedom of the City of London without belonging to a Livery Company - this created the need for an organisation to which all Freemen could belong, to pursue the interests of the City.
Consequently, in 1908, the Guild of Freemen of the City of London was founded, to bring together free men and women for the purposes of charity, benevolence, education and social interaction.
The Guild of Freemen's HQ is historically Tallow Chandlers' Hall, but the administrative centre and Clerk's offices are based at 65 London Wall - very much within the Ward of Broad Street.
Click on the button to the left for a link to the Guild of Freemen's website.