Worshipful Company of Scientific Instrument Makers

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Worshipful Company of Scientific Instrument Makers
MottoSine Nobis Scientia Languet
Latin for Science Languishes Without Us
LocationGlaziers Hall, Montague Close, Southwark
Date of formation1956
Company associationScientific instrument-makers
Order of precedence84th
Master of companyMr Kenneth Sanders

The Worshipful Company of Scientific Instrument Makers is one of the 110 Livery Companies of the City of London.It ranks 84th in the order of precedence for the Livery Companies.


The Company was originally formed in 1956 when science and manufacturing were key to the UK economy[1] and the memory of war time defence requirements were still fresh and the UK was a large-scale manufacturer of specialist electronic and mechanical scientific instruments. It is one of the Modern Livery Companies formed since 1926[2] having been granted its livery status by the City in 1963[3]. It is hoped a Royal Charter may be granted in 2019.

As with the original Livery Companies it supports the profession and the craft of scientific instrument making, this is achieved through the exchange of ideas and information between members and guests, and also by its charitable donations supporting those in or retired from the profession.

The Company shares Glazier’s Hall with two other Companies. The Hall was originally a tea warehouse and is built into the structure of London Bridge. Along with the Gunmakers it one of only two Livery Halls outside the boundary of the City of London[4], albeit only a short way outside.

The Livery has a long-standing connection with the Institute of Measurement and Control, the Scientific Instrument Society and a number of other bodies related to measurement. It is also linked to the Bridge Ward Club.

The history of the Company has been documented in two publications created by Past Masters and these can be downloaded here.

Coat of Arms[edit]

The coat of arms[5] includes two key figures from the area of scientific instrument making, Sir Isaac Newton and Michael Faraday. The crest is Minerva the Roman Goddess of wisdom and strategic warfare. It is featured in a stained glass window[6] in the Company church St Margaret Lothbury.[7]

Membership and Governance[edit]

Members, although from diverse areas such as nanotechnology, mechanical engineering, genetics and astronomy, industry and academia, must be connected to science or engineering in some way in order to join.

The Company has five levels of membership[8]. Younger members (from 16 years old) who are still studying or in training can be Apprentices or Scholars. This enables them to receive financial and/or mentoring support. The next level of membership is Freeman, usually someone who is early in their career; then up to Liveryman who are established in their profession and eligible to serve on the Court and progress to Master. Occasionally Honorary Freemen are admitted as a result of serving the Company or profession in some significant way.


  1. ^ Quinault, Roland (2001). "Britain in 1950". History Today. 51.
  2. ^ "Modern Livery Companies" (PDF).
  3. ^ "Livery Information web site".
  4. ^ "City of London Boundaries".
  5. ^ "Heraldry wiki".
  6. ^ "Waymark stained glass window".
  7. ^ "London City Churches".
  8. ^ "Why Join Us - membership categories".

External links[edit]