Flourishing today through reinvention

It might be fair to say that if the livery companies did not exist, then there is little chance that anyone would invent them today. Over the centuries they have nearly faded out of existence of their own accord, as the City and its trades have changed; They have been dismissed as dining clubs for the privileged, yet how does this explain the steady addition of new companies in the last decade, ranging from the World Traders to the Agricultural Journalists. The people who join them, the ones who run them, and even those who support them from afar, clearly see the benefits of belonging.

They flourish today and have managed to reinvent themselves more than once. They remain a fascinating aspect of public life in the City of London, they are not actually unique either in the UK or abroad. There is no such a concentration, nor can there be any private organization that contributes so much to public life. Offering pro bono hours of mentoring and more than £76m annually to charitable causes, ranking the collective London Livery movement as one of the largest contributors to charity in the UK.

They play an important role in matters of governance in the Square Mile; and the Corporation of the City of London, but if you go far enough, the guilds and liveries were indispensable to almost every aspect of life in the capital. They have their roots in Saxon times and acted as friendly societies, helping people in bad times, contributing to the care of orphans, and acting as a burial society, hence the extensive links that companies have to this day with City churches.

The Glass Sellers have evolved from 1664 when they were the Worshipful Company of Glass Sellers and Chinamen and continue to remain relevant to representing, supporting, and promoting the diversity of glass.