Becoming a Liveryman
- A Liveryman - the term applies to all genders - is a full member of our Company.
When a Freeman becomes a Liveryman, the candidate is said to be ‘Clothed’: indeed, a clothing gown is placed on him at the Court ceremony which the new Liveryman wears at the ensuing dinner. Thereafter only the master, wardens and assistants are seen wearing these at Company events.
The Responsibilities and Privileges of members of the Livery
- If you become a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of International Bankers, you will be encouraged to participate in Company activities by:
- Supporting the aims and objectives of our Company, including the Lord George Principles for Good Business Conduct
- Engaging with its charitable endeavour and our work in the field of education
- Encouraging younger members and journey men through the mentoring scheme
- Attending Company events, including those only for Liverymen, such as the Company’s annual Common Hall
- Becoming a member of a committee, such as Liverymen, Events, Charity & Education, Finance and Communications committees, or the Court
- Representing the Company at Livery events
- Including the Company as a beneficiary in your will
- Liverymen can:
- Participate all Company dinners and lunches, including those for Liverymen only
- Serve as Chairman of a committee
- Be considered for advancement to Warden and Master
- Vote in the elections of the Lord Mayor of the City of London and the two elected Sheriffs at Common Halls held at the Guildhall
- Stand for the post of Sheriff of the City of London
- Attend the United Guilds Service at St Pauls Cathedral
Progression to Liveryman
- Any member of the Freedom may put themselves forward for progression to Liveryman and we encourage all Freemen to consider doing so.
Criteria to be considered for Liveryman status
- WCIB Liverymen candidates are expected to meet several of the following criteria:
- be a Freeman of the Company for a minimum of two years
- be a Freeman of the City of London
- be engaged with the Company and support it with their attendance at events
- support the Company in its charitable endeavours
- contribute to the aims of the Company, perhaps by volunteering, participating in the committees, mentoring junior members, providing content for 'The ‘International Banker’ or offering skills from which the Company may benefit
- to affirm their continued support and contribution to the aims of the Company
- Recommendations for new Liverymen are made to Court following a meeting with the Livery Admissions Committee, which is chaired by the Junior Warden.
- First, a candidate for progression should send an email to the Clerk outlining:
- Reasons for wishing to progress within the Company
- Involvement with the Company and within the City of London to date, and
- Future objectives within the Company as a Liveryman
- A short interview will then follow with the Liveryman Admissions Committee, which will be keen to understand the Freeman’s involvement with the Company in the past and in the future and to get to know the candidate better. Involvement with the Company can include attendance at events, joining a committee, acting as a mentor for more junior members or involvement in the Company’s charitable activities.
Involvement in the City of London is also considered, including employment and other charitable activities. The committee will be keen to hear a candidate’s views on the Company’s future development. Unless specifically asked the candidate will not be required to bring any documentation to the meeting. There will be an opportunity to ask questions.
- Shortly after the interview, the committee will decide whether to recommend the candidate’s Liveryman application or to require some further activity within the Company for a short period. The recommendation of the committee is then sent to the Court to be approved or amended by the Court.
- New Liverymen will be clothed at a Company admissions ceremony, typically prior to one of the main events during each year. As part of the clothing ceremony, each member is required to make a declaration in front of the Master and Court and also pay a Livery Fine (a one-off membership fee) of £550, which includes a Liveryman's lapel badge to be worn at Company and Civic event.
- Freemen interested in becoming a Liveryman should contact the Clerk: firstname.lastname@example.org who can also put a potential candidate in touch with the Chair of the Livery Committee should they wish to discuss their application before submitting it.
The Clerk can also advise a candidate how to apply to become a Freeman of the City of London.
Historical Background and Civic Life
- The term livery originated in the specific form of dress worn by retainers of a nobleman and then by extension to distinctive clothing and badges to denote the status of belonging to a trade. In medieval times these became symbols of privilege and protection and were worn by guild members to distinguish between each other. The grant and control of these was regulated by the Court of Aldermen.
- Livery companies evolved from London’s medieval Guilds, eventually becoming Corporations under Royal Charter, responsible for training in their respective trades and crafts, as well as for the regulation of aspects such as wage control, labour conditions and industry standards.
- Initially, municipal authority had rested with the Lord Mayor and his Aldermen (elder men, one from each of London’s 28 wards) but by 1285, a second level of authority that came to be known as “common councilmen” (citizens elected from each ward to “counsel” the Aldermen on “common” affairs of the City). Membership of a Ward Club is an excellent way to meet additional people who have influence over the way the City is run, and to initiate a personal engagement in the corporate processes. Each ward also elects an Alderman who has jurisdiction over the Ward and who attends the Court of Aldermen.
- Liverymen no longer have any local authority franchise in the City but retain the exclusive right of voting in the election of the Lord Mayor of the City of London (Michaelmas ‘Common Hall’) and the two elected Sheriffs (Mid-Summer ‘Common Hall’) held in Guildhall as a ceremonial occasion.