The Chartered Architects Company, London

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The Origin of Livery Companies The earliest livery companies were formed in the 11th and 12th centuries as trade 'guilds' (hence the Guild-hall, the centre of civic government in the City for at least the last 800 years.). The guilds were formed as independent associations, a combination of what would be described today as employer's federations as well as trade unions. They had three main purposes.

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Principally, the guilds or companies were established to ensure high standards of business conduct and product quality from all their members. A person had (at least until the last century) to be a Freeman of the City of London to be a trader within its boundaries and he also had to be a freeman of his guild or company. It was by this means that only the very highest standards of workmanship and service were countenanced in the City, and this was one of the main reasons for London's success in becoming a major international city and centre for trade during the Middle Ages. The second basis for the earliest fraternities was a combination of religious zeal and deep Christian belief for those working in the City. Many City churches are still partially financed and supported by livery companies and share their benefices with the Crown or the Bishop of London.
Thirdly, the guilds were founded to help in the education of future generations in the ways of the particular trade or craft and to help those members of the company or their families who had fallen on hard times or were suffering bad health. While new livery companies were formed up to the 18th century as new forms of trade became established in the City, very few new companies were started in the 19th century. In many ways the concept of livery companies fell from grace largely because they had often become little more than wealthy dining clubs, and because the City at that time was itself changing its very nature. Social change, together with the industrial revolution, meant that products were no longer produced within a city family unit, but in factories across the country.
People no longer lived over the shop, but in new areas of London outside the 'square mile' of the City. During the 19th Century the new City entrepreneurs became experts in the financing of trade, rather than in its producers.
Education, Property, Counselling, Quality, Industry, Environment, Companies, Activities, Modern, Chartered, Culture, Fellowship, Livery, Charitable, Professions
Architectural Drawings, Architectural Services, Building
Architects, Construction Companies
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