We number about 180 Liverymen and 120 Freemen. The Court manages our affairs, under the leadership of the Master. 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 5 and 7 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 lively, distinguished 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.