Joining the Livery
The Company welcomes people from a wide range of backgrounds. Whilst some are still connected to the trade most are not. We also have a strong representation from our military affiliations.
Should you be interested in joining then contact the Clerk (see Contacts) who can advise on the process and costs. There are two levels within the Company; Liveryman and Freeman.
Freemen are usually on the path to becoming full Liverymen, however we also have Freemen through the Trade route. These are people who have either won one of the prizes we sponsor or have distinguished themselves in the areas of jewellery, embroidery or computing.
By right of Patrimony – to claim this one of your parents must have been a Freeman of the Company when you were born.
By Redemption – which requires the support of two members of the Court and sponsorship by a Liveryman. This is now the usual route. It would also apply to those who became Freemen through the Trade Route and who wish to move on to being full Liverymen
By Servitude – the original way of becoming a member through being apprenticed to a Liveryman working in the trade. Now very rare.
The Path to Becoming a Liveryman
It starts with an application form which needs to be signed by two sponsors who must be members of the Court. An interview by the Master’s Committee follows. They will be interested in why you wish to join and what you bring to the Company. They will then make a recommendation to the Court. If successful you will be invited to a meeting of the Court were you will be made a Freeman of the Company.
Once you are a Freeman of the Company you then need to become a Freeman of the City of London if you are not already one. The guidance about this is below.
As a Freeman of the City of London you would then be invited to Court to be Clothed in the Livery.
If you are already a Freeman of the City of London you can be made a Freeman of the Company and Clothed in the Livery on the same day or shortly after.
Due to the cycle of Court meetings the process can take a year from application to being Clothed.
Freeman via the Trade Route
In order to maintain our connections with those who still use Gold and Silver wire in their work place a new category of membership was introduced, Freemen through the Trade Route. This is open to those who have won GSWD sponsored prizes in their discipline; jewellery, embroidery and computing. People who are prominent in their field can also be invited through Special Entry.
Candidates are invited to attend an interview at the Trade Committee at which they are asked to show examples of their work. If successful and they wish to join they are then asked to complete an application form. A recommendation is made to the Master’s Committee and then to the Court. Successful applicants are called forward to a Court meeting to be made Free of the Company.
Freeman through the Trade Route are under no obligation to go on to become Liverymen, but can if they so wish and there is an abbreviated process for them to follow. There are currently 30 such Freemen in the Company and they can take a full part in all social functions and activities.
Freedom of the City of London
To be eligible for the Freedom of the City through a Livery Company applicants must be:
- a Freeman of a Livery Company
- above the age of 21 years
- not an undischarged bankrupt
- never convicted of a criminal offence (convictions spent under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 need not be disclosed).
Further information on how to apply can be found on the City of London Guildhall website.
Admission to the Freedom of the City is conducted in two stages:
- application – previously conducted in person the interviews are now conducted virtually;
- the ceremony of admission to the Freedom at the Guildhall.