We asked you five questions about the City of London’s 108 Livery Companies, descendants of the mediaeval guilds. Here come the answers!
- How many of the 108 companies have a direct connection with leather? Two, four, six or eight?
Six – Leathersellers, Girdlers, Saddlers, Cordwainers, Curriers, Glovers. More tenuously you could add Upholders (upholsterers), Coachmakers and Coach Harness Makers, and Loriners (see the answer to Q.5 below!)
- What did the members of the Worshipful Company of Curriers originally do for a living?
- Blend spices
- Treat leather
- Transport goods
- Groom horses
Nothing to do with Indian curry, curry combs or carrying anything – “curriers” were responsible for curing leather.
- Which of the following trades or professions does not feature in the list of 108 companies?
- Water Conservators
- Image Consultants
- Environmental Cleaners
Actuaries have been one of the Worshipful Companies since 1979; Environmental Cleaners since 1986; and Water Conservators since 2000. No sign of Image Consultants yet, although Public Relations Practitioners are knocking on the door.
- Which of the Worshipful Companies was originally responsible for overseeing surgeons?
Skinners were in the fur trade. Cutlers have branched out a bit and also gone “oop North” to Yorkshire, where the Company of Cutlers in Hallamshire has largely taken on the professional interest in steelware.
- What did/does a Loriner make?
- Metalwork for horses’ harnesses
- Wooden overshoes for use in mucky streets
- Opera glasses
- Church organs
Wooden overshoes (pattens) were made by Pattenmakers; opera glasses would fall in the ambit of the Spectacle Makers; and church organs are made by organ builders, a trade a bit too esoteric to be represented in the Livery Companies. HRH The Princess Royal is a prominent Loriner (she was Master Loriner for 1992-93).
How did you get on? Why not let us know?