Worshipful Company of Haberdashers
An 1831 heraldic property mark of the Haberdashers' Company
|Date of formation||1448|
|Order of precedence||8th|
|Master of company||Audley Twiston-Davies|
|Motto||"Serve and Obey"|
History and functions
The Haberdashers' Company follows the Mercers' Company (the other City livery company connected with clothing and originally 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 maintaining links with its heritage by giving awards for fashion education.
As an educational institution, the Haberdashers' Company has a tradition of supporting schools. It founded a boys' school in Hoxton and then expanded to schools in 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 in Acton, has now relocated to an adjacent site in Elstree. The Haberdashers' Company also runs a Hatcham academy, open to girls and boys; other schools are situated elsewhere in the United Kingdom: eg William Adams, a haberdasher by trade, founded in 1656 the Adams' Grammar School in his home town of Newport, Shropshire.
In keeping with its Christian tradition, the Haberdashers' Company presents copies of the King James Bible to starters at all its schools. The company owns and takes an interest in the patronage of its eight parish church advowsons.
The 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 livery companies, it supports the work of the Lord Mayor, the City of London Corporation and the Sheriffs of London. HRH The Earl of Wessex currently serves on the Haberdashers' Court of Assistants.
The Haberdashers' motto is "Serve and Obey".
On 24 October 2002 Queen Elizabeth II was welcomed by the Master Haberdasher, Nicholas Lund, to formally declare the hall open.
Haberdashers' Hall, with its various meeting and function rooms as well as offices, is centred on 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.
List of Haberdasher schools
- Abraham Darby Academy, Madeley, Telford, Shropshire
- Adams' Grammar School, Newport, Shropshire
- Aldersey Church of England (aided) Primary School, Bunbury, Cheshire
- Haberdashers' Agincourt School, Monmouth, Gwent
- Haberdashers' Aske's Crayford Academy, Crayford, Kent
- Haberdashers' Aske's Hatcham College, London SE14
- Haberdashers' Aske's Hatcham Temple Grove School, London SE14
- Haberdashers' Aske's Knight's Academy, Downham, Kent
- Haberdashers' Aske's Knight's Temple Grove School, London Borough of Bromley
- Haberdashers' Aske's Boys' School, Elstree, Hertfordshire
- Haberdashers' Aske's School for Girls, Elstree
- Haberdashers' Monmouth School for Girls, Monmouth
- Monmouth School, Monmouth
- West Monmouth School (affiliated)
- Haberdashers' Aske's Charity, Registered Charity no. 313996 at the Charity Commission
- William Jones's Schools Foundation, Registered Charity no. 525616 at the Charity Commission
- Alderman and Haberdasher William Russell at www.cityoflondon.gov.uk
- Abraham Darby Academy
- Aldersey School Bunbury
- The Haberdashers' Company
- The Haberdashers' Company history
- History of the Haberdashers' Company