Worshipful Company of Scriveners

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Worshipful Company of Scriveners
Littera Scripta Manet
Location: c/o HQS Wellington,
London WC2
Date of formation: 1373
Company association: Legal services
Order of precedence: 44th
Master of company: Sir Henry Bedingfeld, Bt
Motto: Littera Scripta Manet
Website: www.scriveners.org.uk

The Worshipful Company of Scriveners of the City of London is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. The Scriveners' Company is also known as the Mysterie of Writers of the Court Letter.

The Company was founded in 1373 as the qualifications and regulatory body for Scrivener Notaries in London. Its Royal Charter was granted by King James I in 1617.

In 1801, Parliament passed the Public Notaries Act, under which only members of the Company could become Scrivener Notaries. Historically, Scrivener Notaries were the only Notaries Public permitted to practice in the City of London, the Liberties of Westminster, The Borough (Southwark), and other places within three miles of the City. Due to their geographical proximity to the embassies of many countries governed by civil law, Scrivener Notaries are only appointed after a two-year apprenticeship to a practising Scrivener Notary, must be fluent in one or two foreign languages and be familiar with the principles and practice of foreign laws. The ancient privilege of Scrivener Notaries was extinguished by the Access to Justice Act (1999), since when any Notary Public may practice in the City of London and elsewhere in England and Wales. Nonetheless, the Company still retains authority to set standards and qualifications for Scrivener Notaries.

In the order of precedence of the City Livery Companies, the Scriveners' Company ranks forty-fourth. Its motto is Littera Scripta Manet, Latin for The Written Word Remains. The Master is head of the Company and its membership comprises Wardens, Assistants, Liverymen, Freemen and Apprentices.[1]

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