Worshipful Company of Wax Chandlers
|Truth is the Light|
|Location:||Wax Chandlers' Hall,
Gresham Street, London
|Date of formation:||before 1330|
|Company association:||Beeswax products|
|Order of precedence:||20th|
|Master of company:||Mrs Heather Hawker MBE DL (2014-15)|
|Motto:||Truth is the Light|
|Website:||Wax Chandlers' Company
Wax Chandlers' Hall
Established before 1330 (when it was recorded as being invited to contribute funds to King Edward III), the company received further Byelaws and Ordinances from Lord Mayor John Stodeye in 1358. New Ordinances were issued in 1371 and the company was granted a Royal Charter in 1484 – one of only two Royal Charters by King Richard III. The Company remains governed under its 1663 Royal Charter of King Charles II and corresponding Ordinances of 1664.
Wax chandlers (or merchants in beeswax products) traded separately from Tallow Chandlers; beeswax candles, being expensive, were usually reserved for churches and the households of royalty and nobility, while tallow candles were generally used in ordinary homes.
The Company today
As with many City Livery Companies today, the Wax Chandlers' Co. no longer operates primarily as a trade association. Its role has evolved into being a ceremonial, networking, educational and charitable institution. Like other livery companies, it takes an active role in supporting the corporate governance of the City of London and the Lord Mayor.
Its charitable giving is exemplified by its affiliation with Armed Forces units (HMS Protector and 5 Rifles), the donation of candles to St Paul's Cathedral (every Holy Cross Day in September), support to those in need throughout the City and Greater London (particularly in the London Borough of Bexley), patronage of the National Honey Show, the British Beekeeping Association and the award of an annual "Wax Prize" to encourage innovation in the design or use of waxes.
Wax Chandlers' Hall
The Company has maintained a Hall on the same site (6 Gresham Street, London) since 1501. The Wax Chandlers' current premises, their sixth, were substantially rebuilt in 1954 after damage during World War II – now refurbished, the Hall is popular for hire on corporate or social occasions. Tenants at Wax Chandlers' Hall include the Plumbers' and Engineers' Companies. Wax Chandlers' Hall can be viewed by the general public during the annual London Open House Weekend or by prior arrangement.
The Wax Chandlers' membership comprises Freemen and Liverymen (who initially join the Company by servitude, by patrimony, or by redemption).
The Company is governed by the Master Wax Chandler, Wardens (with the Upper Warden and Renter Warden) and Court of Assistants. Election Court each June determines appointments to senior office, with ceremonial installation following on the first Thursday in August.
The Company is administered by the Clerk and day-to-day management of the Hall is overseen by the Beadle.
The Company's notable members presently are: King Michael of Romania, the Rt Rev & Rt Hon The Lord Williams of Oystermouth (Master of Magdelene College, Cambridge formerly Archbishop of Canterbury), Alderman Fiona Woolf (686th Lord Mayor of London formerly President of the Law Society of England and Wales), His Honour Judge Sir Gavyn Arthur (675th Lord Mayor of London), and Alderman Matthew Richardson.
- Shield: Azure on a Chevron Argent three Roses Gules seeded Or between three Mortars royal Or.
(A mortar is a type of candle-holder, similar to the mortar of a pestle-and-mortar; a mortar royal is particularly splendid.)
- Crest: On a wreath Or and Gules a Maiden vested in a Surcoat of Cloth of Or furred with Ermine, kneeling among divers Flowers Proper and making thereof a Garland.
Mantling: Azure doubled Ermine.
- Supporters (granted in 1530): On either side a Unicorn Argent gorged with a Garland of various Flowers Proper, the Horn wreathed Or and Gules.
Motto: Truth Is The Light.