Worshipful Company of Haberdashers

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The Haberdashers' Company
Serve and Obey
Haberdashers' Company plaque London.jpg
Location: Haberdashers' Hall,
London EC1
Date of formation: 1448; 566 years ago (1448)
Company association: Clothing
Order of precedence: 8th
Master of company: Joff Bates
Motto: Serve and Obey
Website: www.haberdashers.co.uk

The Worshipful Company of Haberdashers is one of the 12 senior Livery Companies of the City of London.

The Haberdashers' Company follows the Mercers' Company (the other City livery company connected with clothing and haberdashery) in precedence, receiving its Royal Charter in 1448 and has records dating back to 1371. The formal name under which it is incorporated is The Master and Four Wardens of the Fraternity of the Art or Mystery of Haberdashers in the City of London.

The Company, which was originally responsible for the regulation of cloth merchants, began losing its control over that trade as the population of London increased and spread outwards from the City after the Industrial Revolution. Thus, the Company now serves as an educational and charitable institution, whilst being proud to maintain links with its heritage by giving awards to fashion education.

As an educational institution, the Haberdashers' Company has a proud tradition of supporting excellence in schools. It founded a boys' school at Hoxton, which then expanded into schools at Hatcham in south London and Hampstead in north London; the Hampstead school moved in 1961 to become the Haberdashers' Aske's School, Elstree and the separate girls' school, founded at Acton, has now relocated to be adjacent at Elstree. The Haberdashers' Company also runs a Hatcham academy, open to girls and boys; other Haberdashers' schools are situated elsewhere in the UK: eg. William Adams, a haberdasher by trade, founded in 1656 the Adams' Grammar School at his home town of Newport, Shropshire.

Having a Christian tradition, the Haberdashers' Company presents copies of the King James Bible to starters at all its schools. The Company owns and takes a keen interest in the patronage of its eight parish church advowsons.

The Company is sole trustee of two major educational charities: Haberdashers' Aske's Charity[1] and William Jones's Schools Foundation.[2]

The Haberdashers' Company ranks eighth in the order of precedence of City Livery Companies and, as such, it is recognised as one of the Great Twelve City Livery Companies. Like other City Livery Companies, it supports the work of the Lord Mayor, the City of London Corporation and the Sheriffs.[3] HRH The Earl of Wessex currently serves on the Company's Court of Assistants.

Haberdashers' Hall was for many centuries in the Bassishaw Ward of the City but in 2002 the Company took additional premises in Farringdon Without Ward.

The Haberdashers' motto is Serve and Obey.

Haberdashers' Hall[edit]

The Company moved to its new Hall at 18 West Smithfield, London EC1A 9HQ on Monday 15 April 2002, located opposite St. Bartholomew's Hospital's King Henry's Gate.

Thursday 24 October 2002 is remembered as a very special day in the Company's history when Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was welcomed by the Master Haberdasher, Mr Nicholas Lund, to formally declare the Hall open.

Haberdashers' Hall, with its various meeting and function rooms as well as offices, is centred around a cloistered courtyard, entered through the façade at Market View Smithfield and also includes residential apartments and retail units. On the south side of the property, the Company has developed office space, which opens onto Hosier Lane.

Within the Hall, its cloisters to the right hand side lead via a circular staircase to the first floor where its Court Room, Committee Room and Luncheon Room lead off a Reception Gallery. The Reception Gallery leads to the Livery Hall, which has a high vaulted ceiling and is entirely oak-panelled. There are also offices for Company staff, facilities for catering staff with storage and cellars below the Hall, together with accommodation for the Master and the Beadle. The present Clerk to the Company, since 2013, is Commodore Philip Thicknesse RN.[4]

The building's elegant combination of ancient and modern styles are highly regarded both by visitors and architects.

List of Haberdasher schools[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]