Worshipful Company of Haberdashers

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The Haberdashers' Company
Haberdashers' Company plaque London.jpg
An 1831 heraldic property mark of the Haberdashers' Company
Location Haberdashers' Hall,
London EC1
Date of formation 1448; 567 years ago (1448)
Company association Clothing
Order of precedence 8th
Master of company Audley Twiston-Davies[1]
Motto "Serve and Obey"
Website haberdashers.co.uk

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

History and functions[edit]

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 is sole trustee of two major educational charities: Haberdashers' Aske's Charity[2] and the William Jones's Schools Foundation.[3]

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.[4] HRH The Earl of Wessex currently serves on the Haberdashers' 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 on 15 April 2002, located opposite St. Bartholomew's Hospital's King Henry Gate.

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.[5]

List of Haberdasher schools[edit]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]