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  History of the Chartered Surveyors’ Company

The Worshipful Company of Chartered Surveyors was granted Letters Patent in May 1977 and celebrated its 30th birthday in 2007. It is listed as Livery Company Number 85 out of a total of 110 and is generally known as one of the Modern Livery Companies.

The Company does not have its own hall and so has the pleasure of meeting and dining in many of the 40 Livery Halls throughout the City (a further Hall lies just outside the City boundary). The size of our Livery is limited to 400. The majority of Liverymen are Chartered Surveyors, but the Company is allowed to have up to 10% of Liverymen who are eminent in the property profession but not Chartered Surveyors.

History of Livery Companies

The City of London Livery Companies began in medieval times as fraternities – mostly to protect the interests of particular trades and the practitioners of those trades. Today there are 110 Livery Companies, some of modern origin (Builders’ Merchants, Environmental Cleaners, Information Technologists) and some of ancient origin (Mercers, Goldsmiths, Weavers, Fishmongers), but the oldest Companies began in this way, setting standards, protecting the quality and reputation of the trade and the members of the Company. Many Livery Companies can claim long and distinguished histories, the oldest Charter of incorporation of a Livery Company being 1155 (Weavers). Some, such as the World Traders and the Water Conservators, were incorporated in 2000 and the Firefighters in 2001. Whether ancient in origin, or not, the Livery Companies are custodians of much City heritage and are trustees of many traditional and innovative charitable endeavours.

The Modern Livery

‘The social and economic conditions which gave birth to the medieval guilds have long been overtaken by the development of industry and commerce, but in spite of this livery companies have survived and flourished.

Some still own halls, schools, almshouses, investments, land and substantial charitable funds. They have proud histories, traditions, records, magnificent treasures and above all, a determination that their work should continue.

Their survival has been achieved by doing what they have always done, namely fostering their professions, crafts and trades in a wide context, serving the community, supporting the City of London and promoting modern skills and professional development.’

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