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Join date : 2010-10-10

PostSubject: Livery Company   Thu Oct 14, 2010 7:30 am

The 108 livery companies are nominally trade associations based in the City of London, almost all of which are known as the "Worshipful Company of" the relevant trade or profession. The medieval livery companies originally developed as guilds and were responsible for the regulation of their trades, controlling, for instance, wages and labour conditions. Until the Reformation they were closely associated with religious activities, notably in support of chantry chapels and churches and the observance of ceremonies, notably the mystery plays. Some livery companies continue to have a regulatory role today (for example, the Scriveners), and some have become inoperative except as charitable foundations (for example, the Longbow Makers). Most livery companies, particularly those formed in recent years, are primarily social and charitable organizations. The active livery companies play an important part in social life and networking in the City of London, and have a long history of cultural patronage, and control of the City Corporation (which still functions as a Local Authority with extensive local government powers).

After the Fan Makers were established in 1709 (and later granted livery in 1809), no new companies were formed for over 100 years until the Master Mariners in 1926 (livery in 1932). Post-1926 companies are 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 of the City of London Corporation approved the Petition for Livery. In recent years, many professions (such as solicitors and chartered accountants) have established new guilds with the aim of being granted livery, the most recent being the Tax Advisers (formed as a guild in 1995 and granted livery in 2005).[citation needed] As of 2008 there are two old bodies, the Worshipful Company of Parish Clerks and the Company of Watermen and Lightermen which, for historical reasons, are recognized as City Companies Without Livery; while three further guilds (Company of Educators, Public Relations Practitioners and Arts Scholars, Dealers and Collectors) aim to obtain a grant of Livery.

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