Associated Companies

In the reign of King James I, the Mercers, in association with the Innholders, the Cooks, the Broderers and the Masons, combined to assist the City of London in the colonisation of Ulster.

Some three hundred years later (1905-1909), the Mercers sold virtually all their estates in Ireland, dividing the proceeds between the Associated Companies. The Innholders had, by this time, resigned from the Association. The Broderers’ share amounted to £9,868 15s 9d for an original investment of £233! Thus ended a 300-year partnership which had worked smoothly without any document or written contract.

From 1930, the Company was granted the privilege of holding its banquets in the Mercers’ Hall, which was to be so tragically destroyed by enemy action in 1941. The new Mercers’ Hall was opened in 1958 and Broderers today continue to enjoy their privilege of dining at Mercers’ Hall.

In 1948 the Associated Companies partnership was renewed when the Broderers joined the Mercers, the Masons and the Cooks in another overseas venture – this time in Southern Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe. Once again, as for the Irish Estates, no formal written document was drawn.


The Broderers' Banner (late 16th century). Damaged by enemy action 1941.