One of the Great Twelve Livery Companies of the City of London
The Merchant Taylors’ Company is a flourishing livery company whose members are dedicated to education, fraternity and philanthropy.
Members play active roles in the governance of the Company and philanthropic duties which they undertake on their admission into Merchant Taylors’. Through volunteering their time, skills as well as donations, our members empower a raft of grassroots charities local to our key areas of work in Hackney, Lewisham, Southwark and Tower Hamlets.
Education comprises a core tenet of Merchant Taylors’ ethos, with prominent Merchant Taylors setting up free schools as early as the mid-14th Century. Today we work with a number of affiliated schools across the United Kingdom and ensure the provision of opportunities to exceptional students on an individual basis too.
Fraternity and community are rooted in the Company’s ancient beginnings, when members worked together in order to take care of one another in poor health, old age and through unstable economic times. Today, members continue to form close bonds, to support and challenge each other to ensure the future of Merchant Taylors’ Company.
The Merchant Taylors’ Company dates from 1327, when it was a social and religious fraternity of tailors and linen-armourers dedicated to St John the Baptist. While over the centuries, the Company, like many, gradually lost its ties to its trade, the Company has in recent years begun to re-establish these links.
With great appreciation for the Company's rich history, and its place in the City of London’s own, the Company and its members play an active role in the ceremonial life of the City. Throughout the calendar year, Merchant Taylors’ Company members take part in events which can be traced back to Medieval London.
Livery Companies continue to offer a fascinating insight into London's past and play a valuable role in the future of the City. Evolving from Medieval guilds, Livery Companies were so-called on account of their members' dress. These Companies regulated trades and crafts and helped to cement London as a global city. As London has survived a Great Fire, two World Wars, myriad political changes and seismic population growth, its City's Livery Companies reflect these changes through their own transformations. Nevertheless, the Merchant Taylors' Company continues to occupy the same site on Threadneedle Street as it has since the 14th-century.