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Livery Companies and Guilds

The City of London Guide

Source: City of London PRO

The City of London Public Relations Office produces a very helpful guide that covers short descriptions of all the City Livery Companies, their coats of arms, contact details, precedence numbers and a map of livery halls. The booklet also covers livery history, the modern companies, links to schools and the City of London.

The extract below neatly summarises how the Livery fits within the City - click on the image to the right to download a copy of the Guide.

"Whilst their origins are ancient, the underlying purpose and the driving forces that have sustained livery companies for so many centuries are timeless. The nature of the companies gives them huge flexibility, diversity and capacity for innovation. Their work today is as relevant to the good health of the City as it has always been. Their principles – energy and purpose through shared philosophies, integrity through shared values and excellence through shared example – characterised their earliest activities and will continue to define their role in times yet to come.

The livery companies probably had their origins in this country before 1066 and are similar to the fraternities and guilds (or mysteries) that flourished throughout Europe for many centuries. The development of guilds and their continuing existence was not confined to London…"