In the mediaeval period the City of London constituted most of London, but the conurbation has grown far beyond it. As the City’s boundaries have remained almost unchanged since the Middle Ages, it is now only a tiny part of the metropolis, though it remains a notable part of central London, holds city status in its own right, and is a separate ceremonial county. It is often referred to as ‘the City’ or the ‘Square Mile’, as it is just over one square mile in area. These terms are also often used to describe the UK's financial services industry, which continues a notable history of being based in the City. The local authority for the City, the City of London Corporation, is unique in the United Kingdom, and has some unusual responsibilities for a local authority in Britain, such as being the police authority for the City. It also has responsibilities and ownerships beyond the City's boundaries. The Corporation is headed by the Lord Mayor of the City of London.
The City is today a major business and financial centre, ranking alongside New York City as the leading centre of global finance; throughout the 19th century, the City served as the world's primary business centre, and continues to be a major meeting point for businesses to this day. The City has a resident population of a little over 11,000, but around 316,700 people work there, mainly in the financial services sector. The legal profession forms a major component of the western side of the City. 108 Livery Companies maintain the City's history and traditions in their respective crafts, trades and professions. There are 40 Livery Halls within the City’s Roman boundary.
One of the oldest surviving traditional ceremonies still in existence today is the granting of the Freedom of the City of London. It is believed that the first Freedom was presented in 1237. The mediaeval term 'freeman' meant someone who was not the property of a feudal lord, but enjoyed privileges such as the right to earn money and own land. Town dwellers that were protected by the charter of their town or city were often free hence the term 'freedom of the City'.
When an applicant has received the Freedom of the Livery Company they are required to obtain the Freedom of the City of London before they can proceed to become a member of the livery. To be eligible for the Freedom of the City of London the applicant has to be above the age of twenty-one years, not an un-discharged bankrupt and not having been convicted of a criminal offence.
The application will be submitted to the next Court of Aldermen for approval. Subject to the approval of the Court of Aldermen the successful applicant will receive a letter from the Clerk of the Chamberlain's Court inviting them to make an appointment for their freedom admission ceremony. Each freedom ceremony is carried out individually in the Chamberlain's Court Room, Guildhall. The applicant will be asked to read aloud the declaration of a freeman and to sign the declaration book, whereupon they will receive a copy of the freedom (City freedom certificate). Friends and family are most welcome to attend the ceremony.
The Livery Committee is the body set up to consider matters of interest to the City of London, the Livery Companies and Mansion House. The Committee is made up of Aldermen, Common Councilmen, Livery Clerks and Liverymen. Further information can be found via the information button below that will link to the Livery Committee Chairman, Nigel Pullman JP's extensive website:
Also, in his role as Chairman of the Livery Committee, Nigel has created a new web site, designed to be a central source of information relevant and of use to all liverymen and their clerks, with a reasonably simple and intuitive domain http://www.liverycompanies.info which aims to be the gateway into all livery related on-line information.
From there, a couple of clicks will take you, for example to the City Briefings booking site, the Fishmongers list of liveries, a Diary of City events, a recently added an A-Z of Livery Halls, and much more. Including a News page (towards the right end of the menu bar across the top of the page).
At this News page you will find the material that is likely to reappear in the forthcoming Livery Briefing (subject to final editing). It includes references to the livery companies or other City organisations.
Nigel hopes that you will take a look and, by way of unscientific market research, your thoughts, ideas and comments about the other pages on this new website. (contact information on the website).
Alderman Alan Yarrow
Alderman Yarrow, 63, is the 687th head of the City of London Corporation, which acts as the local authority for the Square Mile. He replaces Fiona Woolf, who was only the second woman to hold the office in the institution’s history.
The following link will take you to the Lord Mayor's biography on the City of London website:
Alan Yarrow is to succeed Fiona Woolf as London's Lord Mayor
Link to Denise Roland's Article in the Telegraph dated 29th September 2014:
The 2015 Lord Mayor's Show will be on Saturday November 14th at 11am, and will be followed by the Lord Mayor's Fireworks in the evening.
This year is a particularly special one for the Show as it celebrates its 800th anniversary. As a way of recognising this landmark event, renowned artist Sir Peter Blake has been commissioned for the artwork.
The Show is a free event that attracts thousands of people into the City each year, all revelling in the excitement, splendour and history that this special event evokes. It is a vibrant celebration of everything that makes the City unique – including its links to the many livery companies, some of whom will be taking part in the Show.
Current details of the 2015 Show can be found by following these links:
For more information about Livery Companies, Livery Halls and their locations, please visit:
This website has details of Livery Masters, their badges of office and Hall location maps where applicable.
Check the website of Livery Committee Chairman Nigel Pullman JP for a list of future City and Livery events at:
Our own Clerk also publishes a irregular bulletin with other City events that may be of interest:
http://www.makersofplayingcards.co.uk/files/2016 files/Clerks Bulletin 30Apr16.pdf
As information on other City based events of interest become available links and a short description will also be posted below.
Carvery Luncheon at Butchers’ Hall
Every Wednesday (excluding the month of August and the Christmas Break) The Worshipful Company of Butchers opens its doors to Liverymen, Guild Members and Freeman of the City of London; and invites them to reserve a place at their Carvery luncheon. Diners are offered the opportunity to see inside the Hall, meet fellow Liverymen and enjoy one of the best three course luncheons served in the City of London, which includes a hearty main course of Roast Beef. Drinks are charged separately. In order to make a reservation to attend this popular weekly event, please call 020 7600 4106, ext 2. Timing 12.30 for 1.00 pm. Dress code: Dark Lounge Suit.
Lunch at Ironmongers’ Hall on Mondays
Every Monday at Ironmongers’ Hall lunch is available to members of all Livery Companies and their guests. You can enjoy pre-lunch drinks in the drawing room before making your way to your table. Lunch will be served between 12.00 noon and 2.00 pm, however please make a reservation beforehand. To reserve your table simply call 0207 776 2300. You will shortly also be able to make your reservation on line. All food at Ironmongers’ Hall is British and much of it sourced locally from the Nevill Estate in Surrey. Monday lunches will not be served on Bank holidays or during August.
Lunch at Painters' Hall: The Artists Table
New for 2013, Life's Kitchen the Caterers at Painters' Hall are offering the Artists Table Luncheon Club on selected dates. Lunch with wines is £39.95 bookable in advance, and open to Members of all livery companies. Details can be downloaded here:
Livery Accommodation in the City
Liverymen and Guests of our Company have the opportunity to book overnight accommodation at Vintners’ Hall, subject to availability, at preferential rates. Full details of rooms available together with booking information and the Vintners' Hall location can be viewed here:
See the Makers of Playing Cards Charity Trust Brochure , Information and latest News
Next Livery Dinners
3rd July 2017 - Liverymen Only at the Innholders' Hall.
Please save the dates.
Court Assistant Dr.Paul Bostock has been commissioned by Bridge Magazine to write 12 monthly articles on Playing Cards.
P/M Roddy Somerville has a new page to bring interesting items about unusual packs from the Company's Playing Card Collection
Click the picture to go to the Curator's Corner.
Links to latest items in Member's area
(Including the Burn's Night Supper Photographs)
Master's Programme for 2016 - 2017
The Master's calendar card for the programme of events for the year can now be downloaded here.
Please note corrections and updates if any:
Download BrochureDownload the PDF Document