About us

The Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers sounds ancient but has a modern purpose. Our mission is to support better vision for all.

The Company was founded in 1629 and is number 60 in the list of City of London Livery Companies by order of precedence. We’re living proof that eye health is so much more than a presence on the High Street.

Our name is misleading. We don’t all make spectacles. When the Company was founded in the 17th Century, making spectacles was the only thing that could be done to help people with imperfect or declining vision. Spectacles were the technology of their time. Today, there are many different ways to improve vision. We want to inspire future generations committed to visionary eye care, building upon our rich heritage of almost 400 years.

75% of our members have a direct link to vision-related activity but we are not a “Closed” company.  We are open to welcome women and men of all professions – and have been since the mid-18th Century.

Within the optical and sensory world, we are independent and multi-disciplinary.  All members have an equal voice, whether they are ophthalmologists, audiologists, optometrists, technicians, manufacturers, dispensing opticians,  orthoptists, clinical advisers, optical nurses, distributors of contact lenses and intra-ocular lenses, optical assistants working in practice, in hospitals and in the community…. the list goes on and on.

And our reach extends way beyond the City of London.  We have members right across the UK, in Europe, the US, Australia and New Zealand.  They live and work in communities where, every day, the Spectacle Makers’ craft is in evidence, helping people to understand eye health, to see better and to make the most of life.

Read our 2021 Review