Provincial Guilds

In the UK

Many towns and cities around the UK still have Guilds and several of these provincial Guilds have connections with the City of London and its Livery Companies.

In particular, the Company of Cutlers in Hallamshire (Sheffield) has a connection with The Worshipful Company of Cutlers and the Shrewsbury Drapers Company has a connection with The Worshipful Company of Drapers . The cities of Chester, Durham, Newcastle and York have a number of extant Guilds, the latter including The Company of Merchant Adventurers of the City of York; The York Butchers’ Gild which has links with The Worshipful Company of Butchers; and the Gild of Freemen of the City of York. The Cordwainers’ Company maintain connections with their York brethren. The City of Bristol boasts its own Society of Merchant Venturers and the City of Edinburgh has its own Company of Merchants.

Cities in the UK with ancient Guilds include, among others: Dundee, Exeter, Glasgow (with its 14 Trades Houses), Lincoln, Stirling, and Oxford. A more recent creation is The Worshipful Livery Company of Wales based in Cardiff, styled on a City of London Livery Company.

Beyond these shores

Beyond the shores of the British Isles, two Companies in the United States of America have substantive  links with  their London counterparts, specifically The Honourable Cordwainers’ Company and the Company of Carpenters of the City and County of Philadelphia. Several City of London Livery Companies are also connected with Guilds (or Ziinfte) in Switzerland.

A comprehensive listing

The Glaziers’ Company has published a booklet on the subject of the provincial Guilds, ‘The Outwith London Guilds of Great Britain’ M&B Felsted Ltd.

A list of over 220 existing Guilds, with links to their website (where they exist), is also available.

The Livery Committee acknowledges this content from ‘The City of London Freeman’s Guide’ published by Paul D Jagger. Which is available for purchase online.