Livery Profile

Lord Mayor's Introduction

Many people will be supprised when you share these statistics with them. For despite its size and charitable outreach, the Livery remains largely invisible to the City and its workers. This is not to be wondered at, as each company goes about its business quietly, doing good almost by stealth.

Yet it is appropriate from time to time for the Livery to state clearly the breath and depth of its contribution to the life and soul of the City and the nation. What, alas, these statistics cannot show is the quality of life-changing and enhancing work which each of them do, nor indeed, the number of people each reaches or involves.

My congratulations to the Livery: their members and dedicated staff, for all they do to enrich this wonderful City of which we are all so proud.

Alderman David Lewis
The Rt Hon The Lord Mayor of London
December 2007


The Livery

There are more than one hundred livery companies in London. Each of them is a remarkable philanthropic fellowship. Ancient (eg the Weavers) or modern (eg the Information Technologists), they are all dedicated to serving others.

Whether firmly bound or loosley tied to a craft, trade or its successor, every company has in its own way made its charitable work manifest either by supporting education, research and welfare or by nurturing the skills of those actively involved.

The living out of this ethos through the ages has ensured that the Livery holds an honoured place in the life of the City, the nation and beyond.



Some key facts about the City of London Livery Companies:




companies with active links to trades and professions


Charitable giving

Livery Companies have always been concerned with charitable giving:
£41 million given in total by livery companies in 2006*


This was split between:
Welfare 39.1%
Education 35.8%
Church 2.2%
Environment 4.1%
Trade 6.6%
General 12.2%


*most recent calendar year


Livery Companies have affiliations and active links with:

regular and reserve units of the Armed Forces

air, sea and army cadet units


almshouses providing 830 homes




Livery Companies are widely involved in education and training. They support:

primary and secondary schools

tertiary and further education colleges

city academies


Useful definitions

Ministry: another name for a company (misterium, Latin). A fellowship of people of the same trade / craft / skill.
Guild: another name for a company (gildan, Saxon for 'to pay'). Used for associations aspiring to join the Livery.
Patrimony: membership by family affiliation.
Redemption: membership by application.
Freeman: first level of membership.
Liveryman: second level of membership affording opportunities to help the company and City.


Useful website The City of London
Reproduced with kind permission from the Mercers' Company