Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths

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Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths
EH1286469 Goldsmiths Hall 04.jpg
Location Goldsmiths' Hall,
London, England, United Kingdom
Date of formation 1327; 691 years ago (1327)
Company association Banking and commodity trading
Order of precedence 5th
Master of company Michael Prideaux, Prime Warden[1]
Motto Justitia Virtutum Regina
Website thegoldsmiths.co.uk

The Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths is one of the Great Twelve Livery Companies of the City of London.[2]

The Company, which originates from the twelfth century, received a Royal Charter in 1327 and ranks fifth in the order of precedence of City Livery Companies. Its motto is Justitia Virtutum Regina, Latin for Justice is Queen of Virtues.

The Goldsmiths' Company founded a London Technical and Recreative Institute in 1891, which is better known nowadays as Goldsmiths, University of London.


The third and present Goldsmiths' Hall in the second half of the 19th century

The Company was first established as a medieval guild for the goldsmith trade. The word hallmarking derives from the fact that precious metals were officially inspected and marked at Goldsmiths' Hall, the Company's HQ.

Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths' Alms Houses, Acton

In 1812, twenty almshouses were built on the former Perryn estate in Acton, on open land west of London. The almshouses were built on land which had been left to the Company by John Perryn in 1657.[3]

Modern Era[edit]

Today, the Company is one of the few Livery Companies still to play a formal role in its ancient trade.

The Goldsmiths' Company oversees the London Assay Office, where objects made of precious metals are tested for purity, and then marked with an official symbol should they pass the necessary tests. At the Trial of the Pyx, the Goldsmiths' Company is also responsible for checking the validity of British coinage.

Goldsmiths' Centre[edit]

In 2012 Goldsmiths’ Centre, a space for workshops, exhibitions and events, and education including apprentice training, opened in Clerkenwell.[2]

Current Activities[edit]

In July 2017, the Goldsmiths' Company announced it was to become a founding partner of the new Museum of London, donating £10million to the new site.[4] It also announced a contribution of £250,000 to Westminster Abbey for their Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Galleries, due to open in 2018.[5]

The Goldsmiths’ Company supports two large educational initiatives, providing funding for a science initiative in primary schools created by Imperial College London[6] and the National Theatre’s streaming programme for Primary Schools.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Membership & Governance". The Goldsmiths' Company. 18 May 2018. Retrieved 13 June 2017. 
  2. ^ a b Engel, Matthew (21 December 2012). "British institutions: livery companies". ft.com. Retrieved 22 December 2012. 
  3. ^ Official history Retrieved 18 June 2018
  4. ^ "Museum of London strikes gold with £10m donation and loan of treasures". The Evening Standard. 3 July 2017. Retrieved 24 Nov 2017. 
  5. ^ "The Goldsmiths' Company Makes A Major Contribution To Westminster Abbey". Church and Heritage Building. 3 June 2017. Retrieved 24 Nov 2017. 
  6. ^ "Imperial and Tigtag launch new resource to boost primary science". Imperial College London. 8 December 2016. Retrieved 24 Nov 2017. 
  7. ^ "Sir Lenny Henry launches On Demand in Schools Primary". 4 November 2016. Retrieved 24 Nov 2017. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°30′57″N 0°05′45″W / 51.5158°N 0.0957°W / 51.5158; -0.0957