When the Company was formed in 1670, all of its members were workers in tin plate and wire in “the City of London and the part near adjacent”. However, in common with many other Livery Companies, its membership was opened to those outside the trade, in our case in 1733. Nowadays, about a third of the Company have a background in the metals industries, with the remainder coming from all walks of life.
In addition, while we are originally, and remain, a City of London Company, our trades are carried out across the UK, which is reflected in our membership and our charitable activities. Thus an interest in the City of London or links with the Company’s trades remain important attributes for membership.
There are four categories of candidature, based on traditional practice:
- Servitude (Apprenticeship) – apprentices must be above the age of 14 years and be apprenticed to a Liveryman of the Company for a period of no less than four years, starting before the age of 21;
- Patrimony – the sons or daughters of Liverymen born after the Liveryman had joined the Livery may become Liverymen by Patrimony; and
- Redemption – nowadays the most frequent – admission on payment of a Redemption ‘Fine’ to the Company.
- Yeomen – past prize-winners who were in further or higher education or in work at the time of winning one of the Company’s awards or prizes may apply to join the Company as “Yeomen” – click here for further information.
Individuals wishing to join the Company in any of the first three categories should be introduced by a current Liveryman. Initial enquiries may also be made to the Clerk of the Company.
The Company is governed by a Court of Assistants comprising the Master, Upper Warden, Under Warden, Deputy Master (the immediate Past Master), some fifteen Assistants and all Past Masters. The Court normally meets five times each year, each meeting being followed by a Court Dinner which Liverymen and (on most occasions) their guests may attend.
The administrative work of the Company is carried out by the Clerk.