Worshipful Company of Cutlers
The trade of knife-making and repairing was formed in the 13th century as a guild; the Cutlers' Company received a Royal Charter in 1416. The Company, like many other City Livery Companies, no longer has a strong connection with its trade, which for the most part relocated north to Sheffield, where a similar association, the Company of Cutlers in Hallamshire was established. Thus, the Livery Company remains primarily as a charitable institution. The Company funds and administers a variety of educational initiatives such as scholarships and awards.
The Cutlers' Company Arms have been in use since 1476. Its current Elephant and Castle crest was granted in 1622: this features two elephants and three crossed-swords, a helmet and a smaller elephant and castle. The original heraldic blazon read: Shield: "Gules, three pairs of swords in saltire argent, hilts and pommels, or; Crest: An elephant's head couped gules, armed or". The elephant probably relates to the ivory used in hafting swords, knives and other weapons — an expensive material employed for the best of implements. The elephant and castle crest gave rise to a pub of the same name on the site of an old cutlers' inn at Newington, south London which in turn gave its name to the well-known area Elephant and Castle.
The Company's livery hall is located on a site in Warwick Lane once occupied by the Royal College of Physicians, near Newgate Street. It was designed by T. Tayler Smith, the Company's surveyor, and was opened in 1888. It is a brick building, the façade decorated with a terracotta frieze depicting the processes of knife-making by the sculptor Benjamin Creswick, who had worked as a knife-grinder in Sheffield.
- "Cutlers' Hall". The Worshipful Company of Cutlers. Retrieved 23 June 2011.
- The Cutlers' Company
- Cheeswright, Richard James (1881). "The Cutlers' Company". An Historical Essay on the Livery Companies of London. Croydon: Richard James Cheeswright. pp. 25–50.
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