Admission to the Livery
Only those who are already Freemen of the Company and Freemen of the City of London can apply to move up into full membership of the Company and become a Liveryman. Being a Liveryman of The Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers is still a mark of distinction within the world of optics.
What are the benefits of being a Liveryman?
Only Liverymen may be nominated to the Court of the Company, to be involved in how it runs and develops and to take office as a Steward, a Warden or, indeed, Master of the Company.
Liverymen may apply to attend the Court Luncheons held each quarter and the annual Livery Dinner. They also have priority for any formal Gregorie Dinner held outside London. Liverymen have a much wider network of contacts with the members of other livery companies through regular invitations to social events, meetings, lectures and ceremonial occasions, such as the United Guilds Service held at St Paul's Cathedral each year, where the Masters of all 110 City Livery Companies process, gowned and robed, to hear the highest quality choral music and a Sermon delivered by the Bishop of London,
Liverymen of all the City Livery Companies vote in the annual elections for Sheriffs of the City of London and for election of the Lord Mayor, in the "Common Hall" process at Guildhall. Click here for more details of Common Hall elections.
Click here to find out more about the Lord Mayor and the Sheriffs
Being Clothed as of the Livery
The original meaning of “Livery “ was clothing – and all those who come to be admitted as Liverymen are still clothed in a Livery gown during a special ceremony conducted in front of the Master, Wardens and Court of Assistants.
The Master and Wardens decide when an individual should be invited to be “clothed as of the Livery”. This depends on whether there is space in the Livery, whether the individual may have skills and experience which would be useful for the effective governance of the Company, in which Liverymen may be called upon to participate, and their commitment to the principles of fellowship in the Livery world.
There is absolutely nothing secret about the process of becoming a Liveryman, and the guiding principles are nothing other than politeness and respect for others. You are introduced, you make promises, you receive a badge denoting membership and you are introduced to other members.
Applications for the Livery must be supported by two existing Liverymen. This need not be a major barrier. Freemen who are not in contact with Liverymen every day can ask for the help of the Clerk and she will be happy to arrange meetings or other introductions, as needed.
If you have been a Freeman and are now thinking about moving up to the Livery, please click here for the Livery Application Form. An updated CV will be required.
Liverymen must pay a fine on admission to the Livery (currently £900). This includes VAT, a silver Livery medal and admission to the Court Luncheon following the ceremony at which new members are clothed "as of the Livery". The admission fine is effectively a demonstration of commitment to the Company, which in turn provides a lifetime of membership, subject to continuing payment of the annual subscription (Quarterage) each year. The current Livery rate of Quarterage is £300 per year.
Liverymen are also expected to contribute to the charitable purposes of the Company. Click here to find out more about the Charity and the Education Trust.
Each new Liverymen receives their own Livery medal, or badge. City invitations will often indicate that "Badges may be worn".
Liverymen play their part in the workings of the City of London. In the past, members of this Company have been elected as Aldermen, Sheriffs and Lord Mayors.
Click here for details of the Spectacle Maker Lord Mayors, Aldermen and Sheriffs