We number 180 Liverymen and over 140 Freemen. The Court governs the Company, under the leadership of the Master. Freemen, Liverymen and Members of the Court serve on the Company’s Committees which report to the Court. Our Clerk leads our permanent support staff.
On joining the Company, you become a Freeman of the Tallow Chandlers. Historically, the award of the Freedom marked the end of a seven year period of apprenticeship as a Tallow Chandler. A Freeman could then serve under any master, or set up shop independently. Freemen of the Company can also become Freemen of the City of London.
Freemen will currently wait for between five and seven years before he or she is elected to full Liveryman status. The title also goes back to medieval times. Only full guild members were permitted to wear the distinctive liveried costumes of their respective organisations, and enjoy the living (that is, use) of their individual guild halls – hence the title.
Freemen are recruited through a combination of introduction and interview. The Court looks for engaging and motivated people who want to play an active role in the Company. Only those who go on to do that are then elected to the Livery.