Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths

The third and present Goldsmiths' Hall in the second half of the 19th century
The third and present Goldsmiths’ Hall in the second half of the 19th century

Medieval guild for Goldsmith Trade

The Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths, also known as the Goldsmiths’ Company, is one of London’s Great Twelve Livery Companies. It is correctly known as The Wardens and Commonalty of the Mystery of Goldsmiths of the City of London. The Company’s headquarters are located in the City of London’s Goldsmiths’ Hall.

The Company, which dates back to the 12th century, was granted a Royal Charter in 1327 and is ranked fifth among City Livery Companies in terms of seniority. Justitia Virtutum Regina is the motto, which means “Justice is Queen of Virtues” in Latin.

History

The Company was founded in the Middle Ages as a guild for goldsmiths. The term hallmarking comes from Goldsmiths’ Hall, where precious metals were officially inspected and marked.

On the former Perryn estate near Acton, on open land west of London, twenty almshouses were built in 1812. The almshouses were erected on land that John Perryn had left to the Company in 1657.

The Goldsmiths’ Company established the Goldsmiths’ Technical and Recreational Institute in 1891, which later became Goldsmiths, University of London.

Goldsmiths’ Hall in the City of London
Goldsmiths’ Hall in the City of London

The Company is still one of the few Livery Companies with a formal role in its old trade today.

The Goldsmiths’ Company oversees the Assay Office, where precious metals artifacts are evaluated for purity and then marked with an official symbol if they pass. The Goldsmiths’ Company is also in charge of examining the legality of British currency at the Trial of the Pyx.

Goldsmiths’ Centre 

In Clerkenwell, the Goldsmiths’ Centre opened in 2012 as a location for workshops, exhibitions, events, and education, including apprentice training.

Current activities

The Goldsmiths’ Company stated in July 2017 that it would donate £10 million to the upcoming Museum of London as a founding partner. It also announced a £250,000 donation to the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Galleries at Westminster Abbey, which opened in 2018.

The Goldsmiths’ Company supported two extensive educational programs, including funds for Imperial College London’s science effort in elementary schools and the National Theatre’s streaming recordings for elementary schools.

Sources

Byars, M., & Riley, T. (2004). The design encyclopedia. Laurence King Publishing.

Wikipedia contributors. (2021, April 24). APA style. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 11:39, May 28, 2021, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=APA_style&oldid=1019644967

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