The Master is responsible for the governance and regulations of the Livery in much the same way as a chairman of a company. The Master chairs the Court meetings as well as having various ceremonial duties to perform. Other roles include direct support for the Lord Mayor, the Sheriffs and Alderman and the Corporation of London and its elected Ward members.
Wardens are appointed by the Master, following election by the Court, and take up their roles at the same time as the Master at the Installation Court held in October each year. It is usual for the Junior Warden to progress to Senior Warden and for the Senior Warden to take up the position of Master. The Company more recently took the decision to appoint a Renter Warden as the third, and most junior, Warden.
The Wardens’ duties are to support the Master during their year of office, to deputise for the Master at meetings when called upon, and to ensure the direction and business plan of the Livery, as set out by the Master and Court, is properly maintained and progressed.
Past Masters are held in high regard as the most senior members of the Livery and are available on the court to support and provide advice to the incumbent Master.
The position of the Beadle is now purely ceremonial – calling the Court, or those assembled, to order and ensuring that the programme for dinners and other meetings is adhered to. The Beadle is also responsible for ensuring the Master and Wardens receive their gowns and chains of office and are properly attired at each formal event.
The Clerk and Clerk Emeritus
The Clerk and Clerk Emeritus are responsible for the organisation and administration of the Company, the Court and its activities. The positions have a wide range of duties including the general management of the Company, coordinating and overseeing charitable and educational support activities, organising ceremonial and social functions and reporting on these matters to the Master and the Court. It is usual for the Clerk and Clerk Emeritus to attend and minute Court and committee meetings, attend dinners, and to liaise with other livery companies and organisations useful in the support of the livery’s activities. The Clerk and Clerk Emeritus are supported by several part-time assistants.