Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths

Goldsmiths' Company
Goldsmiths' arms:
Quarterly gules and azure, in the first and fourth quarters a leopard's face or in the second and third quarters a covered cup and in chief two round buckles the tongues fesse-wise, points to the dexter all of the third.
The Company's hallmark for gold is a leopard's face ducally crowned.
MottoJustitia Virtutum Regina
LocationGoldsmiths' Hall,
London EC2, England
Date of formation1327; 696 years ago (1327)
Company associationGold and silversmithing
Order of precedence5th
Master of companyCharles Mackworth-Young (Prime Warden 2023-24)
The third and present Goldsmiths' Hall in the late 19th century

The Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths, commonly known as the Goldsmiths' Company and formally titled The Wardens and Commonalty of the Mystery of Goldsmiths of the City of London, is one of the Great Twelve Livery Companies of the City of London. The company's headquarters are at Goldsmiths' Hall, London EC2.

The company, which originates from the twelfth century, received a Royal Charter in 1327 and ranks fifth in the order of precedence of City Livery Companies. Its motto is Justitia Virtutum Regina, Latin for Justice is Queen of Virtues.


Frontage of Goldsmiths' Hall, EC2

The company was first established as a medieval guild for the goldsmith trade. The word hallmarking derives from the fact that precious metals were officially inspected and marked at Goldsmiths' Hall.

Goldsmiths' Alms Houses, Acton

In 1812, twenty almshouses were built on the former Perryn estate in Acton, on open land west of London. The almshouses were built on land which had been left to the company by John Perryn in 1657.

In 1891, the Goldsmiths' Company founded the Goldsmiths' Technical and Recreative Institute, which went on to become Goldsmiths, University of London.

Today, the company is one of the few Livery Companies still to play a formal role in its ancient trade. The Goldsmiths' Company oversees The Goldsmiths' Company Assay Office, where objects made of precious metals are tested for purity, and then marked with an official symbol should they pass the necessary tests. At the Trial of the Pyx, the Goldsmiths' Company is also responsible for checking the validity of British coinage.

The Goldsmiths' Company also has a library and archive for those wishing to research goldsmithing, silversmithing and hallmarking.

List of recent Prime Wardens

Goldsmiths' Centre

Goldsmiths’ Centre in Clerkenwell

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

Current activities

In July 2017, the Goldsmiths' Company announced it was to become a founding partner of the new Museum of London, donating £10 million to the new site. It also announced a contribution of £250,000 to Westminster Abbey for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Galleries, which opened in 2018.

The Goldsmiths’ Company supported two large educational initiatives, providing funding for a science initiative in primary schools created by Imperial College London and the National Theatre’s programme of streamed recordings for primary schools.

See also

Further reading

  • Lisa Jefferson (ed.). 2023. The Register of the Goldsmiths' Company: Deeds and Documents, c. 1190 to c. 1666, Vol. 1–3. Boydell and Brewer.

51°30′57″N 0°05′45″W / 51.5158°N 0.0957°W / 51.5158; -0.0957

This page was last updated at 2023-12-08 06:13 UTC. Update now. View original page.

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