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Originally appearing in Volume V16, Page 811 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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ADTIIORITIES.—In addition to the Report referred to above the following works may be consulted: H. T. Riley, Memorials of London and London Life (1868) ; Chronicle of London from 1089 to 1483 (ed. by Sir N. H. Nicolas and E. Tyrrel, 1827) ; Munimenta Gild l d l Ri .aae onnenss, n s eres, e. y . . ey 4 vos, (1690) reserving the judgment in quo warranto against the city. The livery companies now in existence are the following: Apothecaries. Fellowship Porters. Needlemakers. Armourers and Bra- Feltmakers. Painters. siers. Fishmongers. Pattern Makers. Bakers. Fletchers. Pewterers. Barbers. Founders. Plaisterers. Basket Makers. Framework Knitters. Playing Card Blacksmiths. Fruiterers. Makers. Bowyers. Girdlers. Plumbers. Brewers. Glass Sellers. Poulters. Broderers. Glaziers. Saddlers. Butchers. Glovers. Salters. Carmen. Gold and Silver Scriveners. Carpenters. \Vyre-drawers. Shipwrights. Clockmakers. Goldsmiths. Silkthrowsters. Clothworkers. Grocers. Skinners. Coach and Coach- Gunmakers. Spectacle makers. harness Makers. Haberdashers. Stationers. Cooks. Horners. Tallow Chandlers. Coopers. Innholders. Tin Plate Workers. Cordwainers. Ironmongers. Turners. Carriers. Joiners. Tylers and Brick- Cutlers. Leathersellers. layers. Distillers. Loriners. Upholders. Drapers. Masons. Wax chandlers. Dyers. Mercers. Weavers. Fanmakers. Merchant Taylors. Wheelwrights. Farriers. Musicians. Woolmen. The following are the twelve great companies in order of civic precedence: Mercers, Grocers, Drapers, Fishmongers, Gold-smiths, Skinners, Merchant Taylors, Haberdashers, Salters, Ironmongers, Vintners, Cloth-workers. The " Irish Society " was incorporated in the 11 James I. as " the governor and assistants of the new plantation in Ulster, within the realm of Ireland." The twelve companies contributed in equal portions the sum of £6o,000 for the new scheme, by which it was intended to settle a Protestant colony in the lands forfeited by the Irish rebels. The companies divided the settlement into twelve nearly equal parts, assigning one to each, but the separate estates are still held to be under the paramount jurisdiction of the Irish Society. The charter of the society was revoked by the court of star chamber in the reign of Charles I., but a new one was granted by Charles II., under which the society still acts. Most of the companies administer charities of large value. Many of them are governors of important schools, e.g. the Skinners have the Tonbridge Grammar School; the Mercers, St Paul's School; the Merchant Taylors, the school bearing their name, &c. The constitution of the livery companies usually embraces (a) the court, which includes the master and wardens, and is the executive and administrative body; (2) the livery or middle class, being the body from which the court is recruited; and (3) the general body of freemen, from which the livery is recruited. Some companies admit women as freemen. The freedom is obtained either by patrimony (by any person over twenty-one years of age born in lawful wedlock after the admission of his father to the freedom), by servitude (by being bound as an apprentice to a freeman of the company) or by redemption. Admission to many of the companies is subject to the payment of considerable fees. For example, in the Merchant Taylors the fees are—upon taking up the freedom, by patrimony or servitude, £1, 3s. 4d.; by redemption, £84; on admission to the livery, £8o, 8s.; on election to the court of assistants, £115, tos. At one time the position of the livery companies was a subject of much political discussion. Two parties threatened to attack them—on one side those who were anxious for extensive reforms in the municipal organization of London; on the other, those who wished to carry forward the process of inspection and revision of endowments, which had already overtaken the universities, schools and other charities. A Royal Commission was appointed in 188o to inquire into all the livery companies, into the circumstances and dates of their foundation, the objects for which they were founded, and how far those objects were being carried into effect. A very valuable Report and Appendix (4 vols., 1884) was published, containing, inter alia, information on the constitution and powers of the governing bodies, the mode of admission of members of the companies, the mode of appointment, duties and salaries and other emoluments of the servants of the companies, the property of, or held in trust for, the companies, its value, situation and description. The companies very freely made returns to the commission, the only ones not doing so being the Broderers, Bowyers, Distillers, Glovers, Tin-Plate Workers and \Weavers. The Commission estimated the annual income of the companies to be from £750,000 to £800,000, about £200,000 of that amount being trust income, the balance corporate income. 1859–1862); J. Toulmin Smith, English Gilds (published by Early English Text Society), with essay by L. Brentano (187o); W. Herbert, History of the Twelve Great Livery Companies (1837) ; C. Gross, The Gild Merchant (2 vols., 1890) ; W. C. Hazlitt, The Livery Companies of the City of London (1892), contains a precis of the Royal Commission; P. H. Ditchfield, The City Companies of London (1904); G. Unwin, The Gilds and Companies of London (1908). (T. A. I.)
End of Article: ADTIIORITIES
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