The Worshipful Company of Tallow Chandlers has its origins around 700 years ago, with a group of craftsmen working together to support the tallow candle trade before being granted full Livery status in 1462. Since then, the Company has worked hard to make a difference in the City, and now supports a wide range of charities, with particular emphasis on education.
We also maintain strong links with the oil and edible fats industries as well as BP, based on shared interests in heat and light, and in the education and training of those in the energy sector.
Our Company is one of the 110 Livery Companies of the City of London, and with the first written mention of our craft guild in 1376 we are one of the oldest. We originally began as a group of tradesmen, making and selling candles made from tallow (the rendered fat of animals such as cows and sheep), eventually being granted full Livery status in 1462. As such we were key in monitoring London’s manufacture and trade not only in tallow candles, but also other domestic goods such as oils, sauces and soaps.
Today we maintain links with tallow’s modern equivalents and descendants, from tallow rendering or candle making businesses to associations like NEODA and FOSFA. Also, on the basis of our shared interests in heat and light, we have built a relationship with BP, with whom the Tallow Chandlers’ support a primary school in the Isle of Dogs.
As well as supporting charitable organisations, much of our focus today is on the education of young people with a particular emphasis on science, technology, engineering and maths. In addition to our various bursaries, donations and scholarships, we have three flagship schools which receive some of our largest donations and non-financial support programmes.
Society and fellowship has fuelled the success and longevity of our Company with members now numbering over 360. A mix of Liverymen and Freemen, our members come from a wide range of backgrounds, encompassing varying professions, experience and expertise.