The Master oversees the Company’s activities, as well as representing us at a variety of charity, trade, ceremonial and social events. He or she’s usually a long-serving Tallow Chandler.
Each Master serves for one year. The Master’s election has to take place on or within twenty days of the Feast of St. John the Baptist, reflecting our ancient links with the Brotherhood of St John. We usually hold the election on the first Tuesday in July.
This year’s Master, James Long, is married to Kate and they have four children Ben, Hannah, Thomas and Emily, plus three granddaughters. He is East Anglian born and bred, and they both live on their working farm in the heart of the Suffolk countryside, just south of Bury St Edmunds – known as the ‘Jewel in the Crown of Suffolk’.
Following a traditional education at a Sussex prep school and public school in Scotland, James chose to follow the family route of agriculture, and initially worked in the Norfolk and Suffolk turkey industry. However, after a few years, James realised that he was brighter than a turkey and left for Europe!
After working very hard on a small dairy and arable farm in central France, James headed to a family connection on Lac Leman, near Lausanne in Switzerland who grew peaches, apricots and, fortuitously – vines! Here James experienced his first ‘vendage’- and has never looked back.
Returning to London, James joined the wine trade progressing to his current company, Corney & Barrow. For the last 27 years, he has been based in Newmarket, home to English horse racing, as their Managing Director. James has been lucky enough to enjoy a fulfilling and successful career.
Kate has spent her working life in education, teaching for 40 years, firstly in the City of London and then in Suffolk; she is now teaching in an Academy in Bury St Edmunds.
James will be the sixth Master in his family. This line is through his mother’s side; his father, a submariner in the Royal Navy, did not enter the Livery. James became a Liveryman in 1978. His wife, Kate is a Freeman of the City of London. James’s maternal grandfather, Kenneth Paterson, became Master 50 years ago, to the week, of July 4th, when James takes up office.
James has served on his village Parish Council as Chairman for 10 years and has been a District Councillor for 18 years, serving a period as Chairman of that also. James is very keen on all things associated with the countryside and is a keen gardener; during his infrequent ‘free time’, James loves to grow his own vegetables, mow the grass and tend his fruit trees and roses. A bottle of wine is never too far away!